4th Quezon City International Marathon: Race Recap

Done, finished, complete! The wee hours outside near home felt perfectly fine, people were up and about as if you were just strolling within your neighborhood.

Our neighborhood, the Quezon Memorial Circle

Da hu? What is this neighborly thing i’m talking about? The Quezon City International Marathon!

It’s the marathon that when you step back along Commonwealth Avenue on your way back to the finish, you see gigantic traffic at a standstill, hot-headed cursing drivers and heat that’s guaranteed to melt you away.

Well, not this time, at least not as bad as it was the previous years’ editions. Traffic was more manageable, there were less of those irate drivers, water was *still* available during the last stretches but the weather didn’t change–it was warm and humid. QCIM-4, the race i didn’t almost want to run.

Yes, i didn’t feel like running this one as many things transpired days leading up to it. The torturous Tanay 21-k trail run the Sunday before really left me all-beaten up with muscle soreness that lasted for several days. Ice and Ibuprofen were my solace during those dreadful days. The feeling carried on until the Fundracing Run last Friday where i was supposed to do the 16k distance.

Still, besides being late, i was in no mood nor vigor to do the distance so i down-graded to just running the 8k that morning. The result was rather pitiful. I couldn’t run continuously and had to stop and walk most of the time. It was a botched attempt of psyching myself  to be ready 2 days before the marathon and felt completely at a stand-still.

The day before the marathon, i was just dilly dallying whether to just do a long run of about 30-32k along the route, drop out somewhere if things won’t turn-out to be good. Even shared this feeling on FB where some good meaning friends offered encouragements.

Atty. Jon Lacanlale, an esteemed ultra-runner seemed to sum up what everybody was saying, “Just toe the line and don’t make any plan. Let your body dictate the pace and all.” I took that in mind…seriously!

Race Day:

Met up with running buddy June Santiago and arrived at the Quezon City Hall at about 2:25am, still early for the 3:00am start. Saw Teammates Betty and Tonette who i was supposed to pace with for that long slow attempt of  getting the run done and if all thing got well, even finishing the marathon, all 42kms of it.

But almost as soon as we were headed to Quezon Avenue at the 2 km mark, i felt raring to go and shifted my thoughts of entirely finishing the race. My apologies to Betty and Tonette, specially to Tonette whom i promised to run with throughout the route, but the urge to run my pace at a more tolerable (upbeat) pace was calling and dictating at that time. Had i succumb to her pace, i knew i would not be able to finish the race. Sorry na. Hope you ladies know me well to understand.

With Betty and Tonette

The run inside the University of the Philippines was slow and dark with marshals straining their flashlights on humps and potholes for runners to see. Exiting back to Commonwealth Avenue towards Fairview, the lead 21k runners were fast catching up on us. The wide Commonwealth Avenue was a familiar sight and by all accounts, i was able to glide on satisfactorily until our entrance to La Mesa Dam.

Had a great time inside the reservoir; trees, shades, the views were appealing, hydration was constantly present but i have to say that doubts were still lingering if i could make it out of the reservoir and onwards to the last 8 kms strongly for the finish. Coming out of La Mesa Dam, the traffic was there as expected but had to concentrate on moving on myself while the traffic enforcers try to sort out everything else.

By the time we were approaching the long uphill stretch to Litex, mother mercy seem to have abandoned us temporarily and here, i had to struggle and walk, walk with many others who had probably thought of conserving some energy. For me, my batteries were already draining out. The legs and heart were still fine but for some reason i was gasping for air, trying to find that second wind.

The last 6k was in a word, agonizing. Whatever strength there was left, i tried to put it all into my head overcoming the layer of pain that had engulfed the rest of my body. A few more kilometers and i would see the Iglesia Ni Cristo Tower and that would be the Nirvana i was looking for because that signaled the last 2.5k. But at this point, nothing of the INC tower yet.

Adjusting my cap which had ice cubes in it during the last 2.5 kms

The aim was now to run-walk from one water station to the next. Although i had my own hydration bottle, i would seek some ice cubes in every station and put some inside my cap and it helped cool me down during the last stretches. Finally, the sight of the INC Tower excited me and i knew it was only a matter of 2 kms plus before i could get a glimpse of the finish.

I was running with this guy from the Fairview Running Club and we paced each other and overtook some runners still as a result.

And all of a sudden…this sight! Oh, the most beautiful sight of all!

Home and home sweet home it was! Made it through everything. Was ecstatic upon stepping on the finish mat but was so exhausted that i nearly dropped to my knees and couldn’t hold myself up. I poured all the water that was left in my bottle over my head to the amusement of passers-by who clapped and cheered on.

Just a few more meters before the finish line

My time was nothing to cheer about at 5:47, a far cry from my time last year on this same event but better than my Run United Phil Marathon time a month ago. All things considered, i’m just so happy to finish this one without any injury, praise God!

With friends who also finished the marathon

I empathize with all other runners who came later because i heard that some of them who finished past 6:30 hours (including Tonette and Betty) where already at the mercy of water station personnel who had begun to pack-up, dismantle their tables and left those 6-hour plus runners to mend for themselves at the last 5 kms. I had hoped that this problem would be addressed in this year’s edition as this has also occurred during the previous stagings of the race.

The organization is far from perfect but is a big improvement from any of the previous QCIM stagings. With a little more preparation and communications with those manning the water stations, this marathon could still be vastly improved. I’m aware that the organizers were only given the go signal to prepare everything 3 weeks prior to the race and this should have affected their over-all readiness.

I would like to thank all the PACERS for both the 21k and the 42k for doing a job well done! Thanks guys!

Here is the unofficial results of the race:


Till next year!

(Thanks to Tsinelas Runner, Photojojo, QCIM, Running Castles and others for the pictures)

4th Quezon City International Marathon (QCIM): December 2, 2012

If you’re not running T2N or the Nike-We Love Manila Run, the 4th Quezon City International Marathon, to be held on December 2, 2012 is still open for registration. This is a great way to start the December Christmas season and deplete your reserves so you can feast-up on your holiday eating binge!

QCIM is one of the most popular marathon races in the calendar, mainly because it traverses the widest avenue in the country but also transports you inside idyllic La Mesa Reservoir that helps the kilometers pass. This year, the route also passes Quezon Avenue all the way to the underpass of EDSA and back.

Like the previous years, Pacers for the 42k and 21k distances will be employed to guide you on your projected finish times. Also this year, the race will be organized by one of the top race organizers in the country, Without Limits Sports Events led by Mr. Ian Alacar.

This race is ideal for those who wants to run a marathon at very reasonable registration fees.

SMDC - Quezon City International Marathon 2012

SMDC – Quezon City International Marathon 2012
Quezon City Memorial Circle
December 2, 2012
LOCAL: 5K / 10K / 21K / 42K
INTERNATIONAL: 5K / 10K / 21K / 42K
SMDC-Quezon City International Marathon 2012 is slated on Dec. 2, 2012.

Activity area will be held in Quezon Memorial Circle, route includes Quezon Avenue, Commomwealth Avenue, UP Diliman, and La Mesa.

4th Quezon City International Marathon “QCIM” 2012
December 2, 2012
Commonwealth Avenue and La Mesa Eco-Park

Registration Fees:
5k – P400
10k – P500
21k – P600
42k – P800

5k – $18 or P750
10k – $24 or P1,000
21k – $48 or P2,000
42k – $72 or P3,000

Registration Sites:


UP Bahay ng Alumni, UP Diliman

SMDC Showrooms
– SM MOA – Field Residences Showroom
– SM Megamall – Blue Residences Showroom
– SM North EDSA – Grass Residences Showroom
Chris Sports
– SM North Annex
– SM Megamall
– SM Manila
– SM Fairview
Fitness and Athletics
9th Ave., COr 28th St., BGC
Altera Bike Shop
Club 650, Libis
MC Home Depot, Julia Vargas, Ortigas
1. Singlet sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL. Availability of sizes is first come, first serve and while supplies last.
2. Registration Period: October 15, 2012 – November 26, 2012
3. Registration fees:
5k – P400
10k – P500
21k – P600
42k – P800
5k – $18 or P750
10k – $24 or P1,000
21k – $48 or P2,000
42k – $72 or P3,000
4. Race kit includes:
a. Race singlet,
b. Race Bib with B-TAG chip (Chrono Track timing system),
c. Safety Pins
5. Race/Event Date: December 2, 2012 (Sunday)
6. Assembly Time and Program Start:
7. Start Line Venue: Quezon Memorial Circle, Liwasang Aurora
8. Race route : visit http://www.withoutlimits.ph for route information
9. Registration refund is not applicable.
10. Change of singlet sizes upon availability only and until supplies last
11. Finishers Medals will be given to 21km & 42km finishers
12. Finishers’ loot bag for all participants will be available.
13. International runners must present valid passport
14. Promo:
Residents, schools, companies and organizations based inQuezon City may avail of a P50.00 discount by presenting any valid ID (school ID, SSS, Company ID with QC address, Postal ID, Driver’s License) upon registration.
Only one promo/discount per person only.
16. There will be no onsite registration. (Registration on the race day is not available.)
17. Registration Partners:
– Chris Sports SM North Annex
– Chris Sports SM Megamall
– Chris Sports SM Fairview
– Chris Sports SM MOA
– Chris Sports SM Manila
– Fitness & Athletics BGC, 9th Avenue corner 28th Street
– All Terra Cyclery Club 650, Eastwood Libis
– All Terra Cyclery MC Home Depot, Julia Vargas, Ortigas
– Runnex Office, UP Bahay ng Alumni, UP Diliman
– SM MOA – Field Residences Showroom
– SM Megamall – Blue Residences Showroom
– SM North EDSA – Grass Residences Showroom
(Registration Period: October 15 – Nov. 26, 2012)
18. For inquiries, contact Without Limits office, 383 7658 or email secretariat@withoutlimits.ph / http://www.runnex.org
FOR EVENT-RELATED INQUIRIES: (office hours only, 9am-5pm)
Call (02) 3837658