Started the Year by Running a Marathon

Race through the streets and colors of Cebu,” a message inscribed on a mango-shaped medal.

I signed up for this race sometime in October 2010. I was also excited since I haven’t visited Cebu for the past 11 years. The Cebu City Marathon (CCM) was my first race for the year. However, on race day, I didn’t expect much from “me” considering there was no time to train prior to the big event due to the passing of my mother in December, which was also the main reason why I didn’t make it as a pacer for the half marathon event of the 2nd Quezon City International Marathon.
The mood at the starting line was festive. Surprisingly, there was a good showing of numbers for the 42K category. The race started as scheduled with a countdown and fireworks display. There were also bands and cheerers along the route.
The same route as that of the inaugural race was used; however, runners had a taste of passing through the newly-opened one-kilometer tunnel leading to the South Reclamation Project or SRP. At around 7AM, as I was running along SRP, the sun was already up. It would only mean one thing, on our way back after the turnaround point; the sun would shine with all its might enough to drain most of the runners of their energy. Indeed, it happened. I suffered cramps even before reaching KM14. After which, I experienced an involuntary toe curling on my right foot, an indication of dehydration. I stopped running, tried to relax my muscles, and walked slowly before running again. Cramps didn’t stop. I had them even on my way back. I was forced to run-walk.
Good thing, Allen a.k.a. Ambow, a sub-six pacer, came by. He saved me when he gave me a sachet of oral rehydration salts. From then on, I felt a lot better. With tired legs, together with two fellow marathoners in our pace group, we ran-walked the route, confident at first to reach the finish line at sub-six. With the sun so hot and hilly route during the last seven or so kilometers, these elements slowed us down. Ambow and I reached the finish line with four or five minutes off target time. Anyway, despite the frustration, we still managed a respectable finish and had a great time running the last kilometer.

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Photos courtesy of Estan Cabigas a.k.a. Fit and Run.info

Many thanks to Carina a.k.a. Flying Boar (Team Endure) for claiming my race packet and Ambow (Team “Ultra” Ungas) for pacing with me. Congratulations also to Emily, a Cebu-based runner, for finishing her second marathon despite having cramps the whole time. What a willpower!

I take my hats off to the Cebu City Government, Mayor Mike Rama, Councilors Edgar Labella and Sylvan “Jack” Jakosalem, who at the same time, Chairs the Cebu City Traffic and Operations Management, and the Cebu Executive Runners Club headed by John Pages and Meyrick Jacalan for a job well done.

Viva Pit Senyor!