Last Monday’s 32k Rizal Day run will probably be my last long run for the year, barring Mel’s persistence that we do one more LSD on the 31st. Not this week, Mel! I’m just thinking about having easy runs from now on and slowly resume training on the first week of January for the Condura Skyway Marathon on February 6. The Skyway Marathon is creeping up on me like a house on fire. It comes barely 2 months after my QCIM marathon last December 5 and the gruelling 21k Corregidor International Half-Marathon last week. With just 5 weeks to go before Condura, i’m cramming again like i’ve been under-training, instead of just doing maintainance runs which many have suggested.
And Monday’s 32k run at Camp Aguinaldo just came at the right time. A near bare-to-the bones race, no frills, but a race with just the right attitude that a lot of runners would appreciate–it felt exhillarating to run a again on a course so quiet, unruffled, where runners could just bond and talk, meditate or push as much as they want without the pressure and stress of other mega races.
Having run this course at last year’s edition, the organizers had the right distance this time, a full four and 3/4 loop at 32k, plus a few hundred meters change that had many of us laughing when the lead runners lapped us again with barely 4 loops completed. Unlike last year when i had to make a pit stop at a “For Officers’ Use Only” bathroom inside the camp’s fire department, it was a long, continuous run this time, only making stops when reaching the water stations.
It was great to see running friends and those who greeted me everytime i passed or was passed by runners. It seems that most runners knew everyone else, a close kinship where the truest and most dedicated ones have congregated and it was no surprise that the BDM veterans and would be ultrarunners were present.
I just ran a moderate pace, even when going the downhill parts and just enjoyed the cool breeze, my concentration just centered on finishing the distance strong. But it wasn’t to be until the 29k mark, going into the last 3/4 loop when i had to walk-run most of the time as the heat started to swell and my calf muscles started to lock. I must say that some of the hydration tables were under-equipped when the table marshalls were using small plastic bags instead of cups and the lack of water on some of the tables. Good thing i had my hydration belt with me and it sustained me well all throughout the race.
The affable Manong Jovie (baldrunner), race organizer was on hand at the finish line to welcome all finishers and i was handed a nice coffee mug which had a number “123” on it. It meant that i finished 123rd from the 200 runners who finished the race!:-) My finish time was 4:07, not being able to make the sub four hour that i was hoping for. I was satisfied with my time though, knowing that i didn’t push real hard and was just aiming to finish strong.
Over-all, the race was fine and i’m looking forward to joining its 3rd edition next year. Here are some pictures of the event. Thanks to my FB friends for some of the pics posted.