Category Archives: full marathon

Corregidor Marathon Training, 21 December 2014

It was not only after four years after that l had the chance to run the Corregidor lnternational Half  Marathon (CIHM) event since its inception in 2010.  Proud to be invited by a high performance Corregidor International Half Marathon team to test run the route a few years back. Note: Both the Corregidor Marathon (CM) and CIHM events, however, were rescheduled to January 11 and 12 respectively instead of December last year to give way to relief operations in areas affected by typhoon Yolanda.

                                                             El Lobo supports Corregidor marathon training

Yes, running races back to back, a full marathon on a Saturday and a half marathon on a Sunday of the same weekend in January 2015, is slightly nutty and a new challenge which l haven’t tried before. To prepare myself on this, last Sunday, l joined the last batch of participants  who went to Corregidor Island to train with them and run portion of the race route. Training started with a three-part warm up exercises led by the CIHM founder, Edward Kho. For our main training, we did seven repeats up a hill, increasing effort each time until we were confident enough to continuously run the hill.  So glad to have come and learned new ways to tackle it. Training ended with cool-down stretch exercises.   This is it! No more backing out! 

Corregidor Marathon and CIHM participants and soon-to-be-soon-to-be Corregidor brave warriors

Super duper thanks to El Lobo Energy Drink through Sir Willy and Sun Cruises for the warm support.   Also, kudos to one of the lady Philippine Masters athletes who assisted Edward and took beautiful photos during the training session.  It was also nice to meet newfound friends.  See you at the starting line!

2nd Corregidor Marathon and 5th Corregidor International Half Marathon


Race Registration Procedures
Beginning this coming 2015, race participants to both Corregidor Marathon and Corregidor International Half-Marathon will only be paying for the race itself. Team Run Corregidor is giving back to race participants the option to choose their mode of transportation to the island.
The race registration fees will have the following schedules:
Regular (Aug 21 – Oct 31)
42K Full Marathon = P2500 (USD 55)
5K Blitz = P1000 (USD 22)
Late (Nov 1 – Dec 31)
42K Full Marathon = P3000 (USD 65)
5K Blitz = P1250 (USD 28)
Last-Minute (Jan 1-11, 2015)
42K Full Marathon = P3500 (USD 75)
5K Blitz = P1500 (USD 33)
42K Full Marathon
17 January 2015
Gun Start: 6:00am
NO qualifying time; NO race finishcut-off time
Race Registration inclusions:
Finisher’s Medallion (0.5kg, 5-in diameter)
CM Dri-fit Race Shirt
Race bib w/ RFID timing chip
CM Race sling bag
Runners’ Briefing (Jan 10 & 11, 2015)
CM Post-Race Party
CM Digital Finisher’s Certificate
P1,000 SOLEUS Gift Voucher
*For race participants attending the Carbo-loading Dinner (Jan. 16,2015), Carbo Dinner ticket may be availed at P250.00 at the Runners’ Briefing.
5K Blitz
17 January 2015
Gun Start: 8:00am
NO qualifying time; NO race finish cut-off time 
Race Registration inclusions:
5K Blitz Finisher’s Medal
CM Dri-fit Race Shirt
Race bib w/ RFID timing chip
CM Race sling bag
Runners’ Briefing (Jan 10 & 11, 2015)
CM Post-Race Party
5K Blitz Digital Finisher’s Certificate
P1,000 SOLEUS Gift Voucher
*For race participants attending the Carbo-loading Dinner (Jan. 16,2015), Carbo Dinner ticket may be availed at P250.00 at the Runners’ Briefing. 

Regular (Aug 21 – Oct 31)
21K Half-Marathon = P1500 (USD 33)
10K Challenge = P1250 (USD 28)
Late (Nov 1 – Dec 31)
21K Half-Marathon = P1750 (USD 39)
10K Challenge = P1500 (USD 33)
Last-Minute (Jan 1-11, 2015)
21K Half-Marathon = P2000 (USD 45)
10K Challenge = P1750 (USD 39) 

21K Half-Marathon
18 January 2015
Gun Start: 8:00am
NO qualifying time; NO race finish cut-off time
Race Registration inclusions:
Finisher’s Medallion (3-in diameter)
CIHM Dri-fit Race Shirt
Race bib w/ RFID timing chip
CIHM Race sling bag
Runners’ Briefing (Jan 10 & 11, 2015)
CIHM Post-Race Victory Party
CIHM Digital Finisher’s Certificate
P1,000 SOLEUS Gift Voucher
*For race participants attending the Carbo-loading Dinner (Jan. 17,2015), Carbo Dinner ticket may be availed at P250.00 at the Runners’ Briefing.
10K Challenge
18 January 2015 
Gun Start: 8:15am
NO qualifying time; NO race finish cut-off time
Race Registration inclusions:
10K Challenger Finisher’s Medal
Race bib w/ RFID timing chip
CIHM Dri-fit Race Shirt
CIHM Race sling bag
Runners’ Briefing (Jan 10 & 11, 2015)
CIHM Post-Race Victory Party
10K Challenge Digital Finisher’s Certificate
P1,000 SOLEUS Gift Voucher
*For race participants attending the Carbo-loading Dinner (Jan 17,2015), Carbo Dinner ticket may be availed at P250.00 on Jan 10 & 11 during the Runners’ Briefing. 

Registration Procedures:
1) Pay the corresponding ADVANCE RACE REGISTRATION fee by way of a bank deposit at any BDO branch using the following details:
BDO Checking Account
Account Name: Big Big Big, Inc.
Account Number: 000410417114
*For international participants, as follows are the details when depositing corresponding race registration fee through bank transfer:
BDO (Banco de Oro Unibank, Inc.)
Branch details: 041 Bel-Air
Swift Code: BNORPHMM
Acct details: Checking Account
Account Name: Big Big Big, Inc.
Account Number: 000410417114 
2) Send the photo-captured copy of the deposit slip as a direct message/private message to the Corregidor Marathon FB fan page indicating your full name and chosen distance category. 
3) In 24 hours, an alpha-numeric code reply to your message will be sent to you by the page moderator. This code CAN NOT be shared with another person. This code is needed for the filling up and validation of your on-line registration form.
4) Once you have received your alpha-numeric code, on the applicable FB page, complete your registration for the race by clicking the on-line registration form link.
5) Once race registration is validated, you will receive in 48 hours your race inclusion confirmation via email. On the confirmation email, you will be notified when you may claim your race registration kit. It will coincide with the Runners’ Briefing. The venue will be announced via personal email and blog posts at a later date.
*CREDIT CARD payment facility is being finalized. Announcement of its availability will be announced in the coming weeks.
BONUS for CM & CIHM Race Registrants:
Running the full and half-marathon distances in Corregidor is no easy feat. Serious preparations must be undertaken.

To all race registrants, Team Run Corregidor is providing a free monthly training (training session is free but Sun Cruises will charge a fee of P1000 for the ferry transfers and island entrance) on the actual race course, on the following dates: Sep 28, Oct 26, Nov 23, and Dec 28. For more information, visit the FB fan pages of Corregidor Marathon and Corregidor International Half-Marathon. 
RUN CORREGIDOR P.R.o.m.o (Personal Record obliteration motivational offer)
All race registrants for the for the CM 42K and CIHM 21K will be given a 50% REBATE of their paid registration fee if they get to break their personal record in the same distance they have registered to.

42K and 21K race registrants fill out the on-line race nomination form:

On the form, along with other details, indicate the race distance, name and date of race to be nominated, and official race finish time.

The race to be nominated must have been run during the period of January 1, 2014 to October 31, 2014 only.

Any form of MISREPRESENTATION will automatically disqualify the race participant from the promo.

Sun Cruises as our event partner is generously giving special rates for race participants of both the 2nd Corregidor Marathon and 5th Corregidor International Half-Marathon: P1300/person EXCLUSIVE to race participants ONLY (inclusive of round-trip ferry, lunch buffet, and entrance fee to the island).
Room accommodations are limited. In consideration of this, Sun Cruises will be offering Camping Tents for rent (P500 flat rate). 
Sun Cruises will start accepting ferry and accommodations booking for CM & CIHM participants beginning August 21, 2014.

For booking concerns, please contact Sun Cruises (8am to 5pm – Mon to Fri; 8am to 12nn Sat) at 5275555 loc 4511 and4512, 0917-5459917, 0917-8084641, 0922-8475418.


Run Corregidor Registrants’ Bulletin

Run Corregidor Full and Half Marathon Advance Registration

38th National MILO® Marathon Finisher

27 July 2014 — Joining the MILO® marathon this year was not part of my game plan.  But I guess fate intervened when I suddenly found myself invited during the event launch and signed up for the full distance. Later that day, I got to thinking how I would tackle the full distance within the six-hour cut-off timeframe considering there wasn’t enough time to train (and I mean to REALLY train) for it.  Running a full distance (even for experienced runners like me) may seem like a scary prospect, especially if you feel your preparation wasn’t enough.
Double time training since race is fast approaching so I had been running more even on days when it rains.  When race weekend came, I made sure I get a good sleep Friday night for I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep the night before the race.  Then early Saturday morning, I went out for an easy 1.5K swim.  When night came, I found myself just tossing and turning on my bed waiting for the alarm clock to go off at 2 AM.  
I arrived at the race venue with enough time to check-in my stuff at the baggage deposit area then proceeded right away to the starting line.  Walking steadily not too far from the starting line, I bumped into two ultra running friends, Chito and Mel.  I couldn’t help but notice there was quite a good number of marathon runners.  
I ran with Mel and Chito during the initial stage of the race and eventually had to slow down upon reaching Roxas Boulevard at the corner of Buendia Street, the way to the last turnaround point, and then a final stretch to the finish line.  On my way back, I bumped into another ultra runner friend, Chips, and some running coaches.  Thrice I had leg cramps, but glad it just went away.  Finally, I finished my 8th marathon after a two-year hiatus!  I think I did pretty well.  Shaved a lot of time off from my last full marathon.  Still have yet to beat my best marathon time though.  Let’s see…
Two thumbs up to the race organizers (Runrio, MILO® Team, AIMS, IAAF, volunteers, staff, and sponsors), on this one! 

Congratulations  MILO® on your 50th year anniversary and for the successful staging of the marathon!  Good to be part of your history!

Congratulations to all finishers and winners of the 38th National MILO® Marathon!  
Thank you MILO® PR Team for the support and for having me in this event.  
Super duper thanks to my running coach, Coach John Lozada for your patience to train me.  
Many thanks to Fabulous Running Divas Rikki S. aka Cheapanggang Diva for the cheer at the finish line and to Blue Z. for your cheer during the race.  
Thank you also to Pepsi (Girley) and her BPI Runners Club Teammates, Lochie, Paulo, Benjamin, Jim, Ramon, and Filson for having me during their post race breakfast.  
Many thanks, too, to all photographers/photography groups — Tara Trip Tayo, AV Photography-AAquino, Running Photographers, Photo-Ops, Aquizzed Snaps Photography, Reggie C., Philipbf Photos, and KB Runner.
For those who I failed to mention here, thanks for all your support.
Until next time! 

MILO® Celebrates 50 Years as a Brand and the 38th National Marathon

MILO Celebrates 50 Years as a Brand and the 38th National Marathon …

      To Build a Nation of Champions, 
              One Child, One Sport at a Time.

In 1974, the brand’s first ever sports event-the MILO® Marathon was launched.  With only 747 runners from a single race, it’s now a year-round, nationwide, multi-race event with over 200, 000 participants.  

On July 27, Sunday, the MILO® brand will celebrate the 38th National Marathon.  It has grown into a globally renowned running event having certified by the Association of International Marathons (AIMS) and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), and hosts foreign marathoners from Kenya, Ethiopia, and other countries across the globe.  The race is organized by Runrio, lnc.

From a Greek Character

The name MILO® was coined after the Greek character Milo who was known for his extraordinary strength.  Inspired by its namesake, the brand MILO® uses its energy to strengthen Filipinos through sports (1964).

1980s witnessed the rise of the MILO® Sports Clinics which propelled many sports development programs including its life-long commitment on Building Champions.

A ‘MILO® a Day’ and ‘Growing Up with MILO® ‘ jingles became household hits in the 1990s. It was also at this time that the B-vitamins was launched.

In 2004 (40 years), the highlight of the celebration was the campaign that featured sports legends led by Lydia De Vega passing on the torch to upcoming champions.

Be part of its history!  See you at the starting line!

Borneo International Marathon 2014 Official Results

It has been two years since I had the chance to join the full marathon women’s veteran category of the Borneo International Marathon (BIM).  It’s one race abroad that I would always remember.  Had a great time running in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.  

The zeal and dedication of the Organizers have not waned.  Year after year, even if faced with challenges, they were determined to bring only the best road race in the area.  That said, congratulations to all who are behind the recently held BIM 2014.  You deserve a pat on the back for a job well done!

For those who have run the race last weekend, the wait is over.  Official race results of the BIM 2014 can be found here.  

Finally, mark your calendar and save the date to be part of the BIM 2015 road racing event on May 3!

Corregidor International Half Marathon and Corregidor Marathon 2013

The running community will once again converge in Corregidor Island to participate in two events: the 1st Corregidor Marathon (CM) on the December 7 and the 4th Corregidor International Half Marathon (CIHM) on December 8 respectively.
The 1st CM will usher in a new level of challenge in the running scene. With a total distance of 42.195km, the event is designed to be the common ground of marathoners, ultrarunners, and triathletes.

Participation in the 1st CM will be reserved for 88 seasoned marathoners only, with a set qualifying time. Because the half-marathon course of Corregidor could be viewed from the top as forming an “8”-shaped loop, runners must race through the course twice to complete the race, hence a “double 8.”
The race is an open competition. All participants upon crossing the finish line will receive a Finisher’s Medallion and a rank-indicated Finisher’s Trophy. There will be one male and one female overall winner whose title will be Corregidor Marathon Man and Woman, respectively. Each winner will receive a P 30,000 cash prize and a champion’s trophy. Age bracket top finishers will also be declared and will be awarded with a certificate of achievement.
In addition to the full marathon distance, CM will have shorter distance categories: the 5K Blitz and the 3K Thrill. Each of these distances shall have 150 slots. These shorter distances will cater to those who are just getting started with the sport of running and who would like to experience running in the island. There will be no qualifying times required for the participants of these sub-categories nor will there be a sweep time or cut-off time.

Meanwhile, close to 1,000 participants and visitors are expected to turn up for the 4th installment of CIHM. Runners from different backgrounds–from intermediate recreational to hardcore runners, will take a shot at dethroning the reigning King and Queen of the Rock. The 4th CIHM is designed to thrill, surprise and challenge runners, from different parts of the country and from around the world, by testing their mettle on all types of running terrain.
The race route, covering a total of 21.0975km, will encompass a combination of paved uphills and down slopes and intermittent segments of dirt trails. But what would differentiate CIHM from the usual running experience of avid runners is that it will take the race participants to key historical hotspots on the remarkable isle. Right at the start of the race, the runners will experience an adrenaline rush as they race past the full length of the Malinta Tunnel. The exhilaration will continue to unfold as the runners exit the tunnel’s east access en route to the interior of the atoll. The thrilling highlight of the race surges as the runners negotiate the tricky span of a thickly foliaged trail draped in rays of sunlight, culminating in a run along the rocky cliff of the island with a breathtaking view of Manila Bay, to dramatically finish at the south dock breakwater facing the vast West Philippine Sea.
The 4th CIHM will be an extraordinary opportunity for passionate runners to set a new norm for personal achievement as finishing the race will be akin to recapitulating a fortress that is home to the resilient and valiant. There are 300 slots to be opened for the 21K distance. A qualifying time of 2h30min for male runners, and 3h00min for female participants will be adopted for this category. First time 21K runners must have run a 10K race within 1h15m (male) or 1h30min (female). However, for CIHM alumni 100 slots will be allotted as wildcard entries waiving the qualifying time requirement.
Aside from centerpiece 21km event, there will be a 10k Challenge for running aficionados who are yet to be familiar with the challenging terrain of Corregidor but yearn to discover and experience its distinctive scenic course. There will be no qualifying time to join this race category. Likewise, no sweep time will be observed. The top male and female runners in this event will be awarded with a certificate of achievement and winner’s plaque. All finishers in this race category will be awarded with a 10km Achiever Medal. Only 200 slots will be opened for this side event.
Registration for the 1st CM is ongoing and, for the 4th CIHM, registration has started last 1 October 2013. 

For Corregidor Marathon (and sub-events) registration details, click here.

For Corregidor Half Marathon (and sub-events) registration details, click here.

For FAQs, click here.
21K Finisher’s Medal

10K Finisher’s Medal

21K Dri-fit Race Shirt

21K Sling Bag
3K, 5K, 42K Finisher’s Medal

42K Trophy

42K Race Shirt

42K Backpack
For inquiries and updates on the two races, interested runners can like the separate Facebook fan pages or send an email to or Runners can also contact (02) 403-0246.

The 1st Corregidor Marathon and the 4th Corregidor International Half Marathon are managed by Big, Big, Big, Inc. and presented by Smart Communications, Sun Cruises, Soleus together with event partners Corregidor Foundation, Galileia Events Place, 100 Miles Café, L Time Studio, Runningmate, One Sceniques, Active Link, Toby’s, Runnr alongside with media partners Philippine Star, Pinoy Fitness, Mellow 94.7 FM,, Inquirer Libre, Solar News and medical aid partner UERM Medical Center.

Subic International Marathon, 26-27 January 2013

Five years ago, on September 2007, I ran in the first Subic International Marathon (SIM).  Being a newbie in the sport of running, I only did the 10K race category.   That was fun since I ran with fellow runners from the impromptu running group known also  as Happy Feet.
extribe, Inc., organizer of the race,  will stage the annual competition dubbed as a Run for Fun & Transformation.  

SIM has been actively involved in community development work in partnership with the Christian Officers Reform the Police Service (CORPS) Movement Foundation, a faith-based group which is deeply involved in creating God-centered, service-oriented and family-based communities. By tapping its legion of volunteers, the Foundation has offered different programs on anti-drugs campaign, values formation, health and wellness advocacy, strengthening family relationship among others to various communities in Metro Manila and regions in the country since 1992.  These programs have significantly contributed to the inculcation of values and virtues among children and youth thus transforming many lives and building safer communities. 

Your generosity will deeply benefit the advocacies attached to the CORPS Movement Foundation, Dilaab Movement Foundation, and Bukas Loob sa DIYOS Covenant Community of Subic Bay Freeport Zone, the beneficiaries of this yearly event.  Foremost in these advocacies is the care and formation of abandoned, underprivileged and extremely poor children. 

Seven Reasons Why You Should Join this Race

1.  Internationally endorsed race course
2.  A safe and clean 42-kilometer race course amid lush green scenery
3.  Rest facilities on every turnaround point for all race categories
4.  Use of RFID timing system
5.  Water station in every 1.5 Km
6.  Involvement and support of the communities around the race course
7.  Full medical support for emergency cases

Race Details
Venue: Subic Bay Freeport Zone

Start and Finish: Remy Field

Race Category and Gun Start Schedule

26 January 2013, Saturday
Afternoon fun run

5Km — 4:30 PM
3Km — 4:30 PM

27 January 2013, Sunday
Early morning competitive run

42Km — 4:30 AM
21Km — 5:15 AM
10Km — 6:00 AM

Official Registration Centers

~ New Balance Stores—Trinoma, EDSA Shangri-la, Glorietta, Marquee Mall
~ The Outlet Square at Subic Bay Freeport Zone near the Meatplus Café

There will be a special extended registration period for 3Km and 5Km on January 26, Saturday, from 9AM to 4PM. Pick up of race packet for participants who registered online is also scheduled on the same date from 1PM to 5 PM. On-line registration has started last December 5. You may also visit Subic Marathon for further details. Registration is until January 15.

For the Love of RUnning: My Run United Philippine Marathon Experience

Commitment.  Lifestyle.  Perserverance.  Discipline.  Determination.  Passion.  Courage.  Motivation.  Fun.  Wellness.  Confidence.  Fitness.  Health.  Strength.  Inspiration.  Family.  Friends.  Active.  Personal goal. 

These are the words written on the front side of the shirt, the loyalty running shirt given to runners who have completed the Run United (RU) series this year and couldn’t be luckier to have one.  
Printed on the back of the shirt,  “For the love of RUnning.”  
Early this year, I wrote something about planning to run another marathon in the last quarter of the year but with the erratic weather, one typhoon after another plus the monsoon rains which caused floods in some low-lying areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, joining in another marathon was completely out of the plan.  Foremost reason, not enough training or simply put, I didn’t get to train at all.  
In one of my usual runs while waiting for the light to go green before crossing the street, a friendly young man beside me, may be in his early 20s, started a conversation.  He asked me if I would be running the Run United Philippine Marathon, I replied with a smile, “Nope, I’m on rest mode.”  Considering that I had just recently finished a 32-kilometer race a few weeks back, I was definitely on rest mode.  So I thought.

But fate intervened.  I got a free voucher of the upcoming running event courtesy of Runrio.  With no hesitation, I registered for the full marathon (42K) category.  After I signed up, the first thing that struck me was the fact that I would be running the distance with no training at all.   My only long run was the 15K race by Ensure to Endure the previous Sunday.   “What did I get into? Oh well, good luck to me!” Hahaha!
It was nice to see familiar faces again at the starting line.  At the start of the race, I initially paced with a fellow ultramarathon runner and 102 Bataan Death March finisher Sir Larry, a member of the Fairview Running Group.  

The pace went on smoothly when suddenly the person in front of me stopped running.  So as to avoid crashing into him, instinctively, I jumped at the sidewalk.  My right foot hit first and I suppose landed wrong.  I failed to see the square hole.  The edge hit the inner big toe bone or mound of my right foot.  It was really painful but it did not stop me from continuing to run.  Sir Larry insisted I should check on it before proceeding.   

With this incident, I would just like to remind newbie runners out there of an etiquette running rule when running races: If you want to STOP and drink, move to the side of the road, out of the way of other runners.  Move to the right side of the road during a race if you slow to a WALK, so that you can let others continue to run.  

I didn’t allow the earlier incident to deter me from reaching my goal.   

To finish the race, carries the rewards of hearing one’s name being announced as one crosses the finish line and accepting from the race director the biggest finisher’s medal I have ever seen.  It was not a personal best but it was worth it.  
All for the love of running.

Running Kota Kinabalu: the Borneo International Marathon 2012

6 May 2012 — Marathon running during the first quarter and by the end of the year, I think, is pretty achievable.  I wanted to try running a full marathon or an ultramarathon in Singapore for the past two years, but the opportunity kept eluding me.  Either the time to go there was not right or that my training wasn’t enough prior to race date.  I decided to forgo running there indefinitely. 
By coincidence, the prospect of running in Kota Kinabalu (KK), Malaysia just happened early this year.  Thanks to a colleague of mine who informed me on airfare promos. With a marathon race still in mind, I reserved a flight to KK for the Borneo International Marathon (BIM).  It was some sort of a spur-of-the-moment choice.  Marathon training for me would take four months, at the very least.   Who would have thought that Ellen, a fellow runner (and take note: a fast one, too), would say YES to my invite even on such short notice.  It sparked her interest to run the KK marathon, and voilà she reserved her ticket right away.  I was elated with this turn of events, especially, when Ellen invited Jinoe, owner of blog, to join us.   We signed up for the full marathon.  Surprisingly, we never trained together.  There were times though we bumped into each other during our weekend long runs but that was it. 
With just a few weeks left prior to travel date, in our e-mail exchanges we’re far more excited with the edits on our itinerary than discussing about the usual stuff about race preparation, training, target, etc.  I, for one, didn’t have any clear-cut goal in mind.  All I looked forward to was what KK can offer and how the race there would be conducted and organized. 
Arrival and Exploring Kota Kinabalu
Taxis are readily available at KK airport and the standard rate from the airport to the city is RM30 or MYR30 (1 Malaysian Ringgit = PHP 13.6614502 or PHP14).
We arrived in the early evening and had enough time to go directly to Suria Sabah Shopping Mall, the venue for race kit claiming.  The race staff was very accommodating and claiming our race kits turned out to be real quick.  We stayed a bit to take some photos and dined at the food court before going to our individual hotels.
Malaysia is a right-hand drive country, which means they drive on the left side of the road.  Initially, it was a bit confusing, especially, when you came from a left-hand drive country like ours.  You only needed to remind yourself how and where to properly cross the streets and eventually you’d get used to seeing cars coming from the opposite side. 
The hotel where we stayed is relatively new, modern, and strategically located within minutes to financial business centers, close to main shopping, dining, some tourist attractions that can be reached on foot, and the area is lovely to walk around.  

Across our hotel is the Sabah Tourism Board We visited this office on our last day in KK and we found out more about KK’s rich culture from the free brochures and maps on display.  Also, what a surprising delight to discover that Sabah Tourism Board is situated in KM0 (Kilometer Zero), a landmark etched outside the building. 
With the limited time and to ensure we wouldn’t be that too tired before race day, we had to pare down our visit in KK city and decided instead to take a journey of rediscovery and appreciation into the heart of Sabah history by spending the whole day of Saturday visiting two great tourist destinations, the North Borneo Railway and Sabah State Museum
We were told by the hotel staff that early booking is required prior to taking a ride in the steam train since it is always full with tourists, but nothing could damp our adventurous spirit.  We only get that one chance to do it at the time and place, so we took our chances, hailed a taxi, and went to the railway station to check whether we could still get a ride or not, and if we couldn’t, we’d just content ourselves taking some pictures as memento. 
North Borneo Railway is the oldest running steam train in Sabah and Borneo The railway train runs twice a week, Wednesday and Saturday.  Passengers board the train at Tanjung Aru passing three more towns: Putatan* (sounds familiar?), Kinarut, Kawang, and ends in Papar, an agricultural town.
*Putatan – We also have this name in Manila, Muntinlupa City, and Rizal
But for some reason, the heavens and the stars cooperated with us that day.  Once at the railway station, we were greeted and accommodated by friendly train stewards.  The ride offered us a unique and interesting experience in Sabah.  In the train, we met newfound friends and we’re treated with a free upgrade to a better seat by train stewards. It was also here where we had a photo op with the ever friendly Miss Universe Malaysia 2012, Kimberley, who joined the Borneo International Marathon 10K category.
The Sabah State Museum, just like what you would expect in a museum, showcased the history of the island.  The visit was purely an educational one, discovering the island’s rich history and age-old traditions.
Sabah is also known as The Land Below the Wind due to being below the typhoon and monsoon belt.   On Saturday morning, the sun shone brightly and hot, yet later in the afternoon and for a few hours in the evening it rained. 
Race Day
We decided to have an early night.  I wanted to go to sleep but no matter how I tried, I couldn’t fall asleep.  I think I only had a two-hour sleep before the race.  The marathon started at 3AM, one hour earlier than the previous year’s marathon, which was a good thing.  With the unexpected rains on Saturday night, early Sunday morning turned out much cooler.  
Ellen and I arrived at the venue with enough time to have some photo ops with runners including a bubbly and energetic pacer named Mohan at the starting line.   We later looked for Jinoe who happened to be just outside of the stadium busy taking pictures.  Together, we did warm up exercises and other photo ops again with some participants. 
Personal record or PR was far from my mind.   All I wanted was to see KK on foot, finish within the cut off time, and just enjoy this run that I even brought my camera, which I never did in any race.   Running at a comfortable pace at the start of the race, I decided to follow the 5:30 group from start up to KM28.
We were running through streets getting loud cheers and encouragement from the marshals themselves.  Our pace group, though silent most the time, acknowledged the cheers by clapping our hands at them.   The course was relatively flat with some slight downhill and uphill stretches.  I’ve learned that the route and start time were changed this year.  From Likas Stadium, we were running the wide road that runs along the beach and bordered by bushes, flowers, and trees; on our right the sea, on our left the trees.   Except for the thudding sound of heavy feet on the ground, silence was broken occasionally by frogs that sounded like cows mooing.  Hydration was not a problem, but I wished the organizer provided a hydration station much nearer the turnaround point instead of the standard three-kilometer distance since it was kind of hard not to drink something after eating a banana.   I dropped from the group to be on my own when I started to feel heaviness on my legs and this uncomfortable feeling of being scratched by something on my right side thigh. I had no idea that the right side of my thigh started chafing after KM27 and the continuous chafing already led to an open wound.  Really weird since this never happened before.  I usually put an anti-chafing jelly on areas prone to chafing.  The real culprit, I’ve found out later, was my camera which I placed in the inside pocket of my running skort (skirt + short = skort).  I think the camera’s weight plus the sweat caused the fabric to rub heavily on my skin.
After the turnaround point, I think I was already running at KM34 when I could no longer bear the pain that I stopped as soon as I saw some medics and asked for Petroleum jelly, but found out this wasn’t available.  The lady medic, however, offered a spray-on formula and when she sprayed it on my wound; I couldn’t help but yowl in pain.  It gave me temporary relief though, which made me run again.  I overtook quite a number of runners but I slowed down when I saw a very tired runner.  I asked if he were OK, chatted with him, and paced him to just rev him up.  Eventually, I had to leave him when he stopped running to check a friend who suffered a leg pain.  Good thing a medic was with them. 
I was about to run past two runners when I realized I knew one of them and decided to pace with them.  We even stopped at the marker with “6 KMs to FINISH” written on it.  Running and exchanging running stories with them made this marathon more enjoyable.  In spite of the sweltering hot summer day, the run-walk strategy got the better of us and made us reach the finish line together.   We congratulated ourselves and hugged each other at the finish line.  What a way to finish! 

Congratulations to the organizer of this race and to all sponsors for making BlM 2012 a successful one.  Kudos to all the cheerers and volunteers as well!  Thank you also to BIM Secretariat Arjie and Jeff for facilitating my request on name entry correction during the registration process.  
Post Race and Departure
After receiving our finisher’s medal and finisher’s shirt, we proceeded to the activity area where runners can get some freebies like a glass of water to drink and a cup of cereal with milk. 
And to our delight and surprise, Ellen’s name was announced.  She won in her category!  Jinoe and I beamed with pride and saw to it that a picture is taken when Ellen received her award.  Jinoe went near the stage faster than I was.  I couldn’t move well because of leg wound.  We didn’t stay long and decided to go back to our respective hotels to rest and meet up later in the afternoon.  We had our late sumptuous lunch at Little Italy, a pasta and pizza corner, and toured afterwards nearby tourist attractions like the Atkinson Clock Tower, and Signal Hill Observatory.  We also walked our way to Jesselton Point ferry terminal to find out if we can still visit either Mamutik or Manukan islands, but with the limited time we had, we couldn’t risk being late from our flight the next day, and decided to go there next time.  We had a light dinner at the Waterfront, a place where lively strips of restaurants near the marina overlooking South China Sea.

I still had an early breakfast the next day at a café across the hotel.  We spent the remaining time before departure strolling around town.
My visit and race in KK will always be treasured.  If given the chance, I would definitely come back to explore the rest of the old town and take a seat at a café or along one of the beaches. 

[Related: Borneo International Marathon guide and race recap]