Not Bad for a New Start

Cebu City Marathon 2014


My first official race of the year can’t be other than the Cebu Marathon (Sunday, Jan 12, 2014). Being part of Sinulog Festival, this is the grandest of all run/races in Cebu.

I ran 21km in last year’s event (02:06:59), and being honest with myself, I probably can’t get the same or better timing. I didn’t prepare for it well, and training was almost to non-existent.

The race was organized by RunRio, with full marathoners (42.195km) starting at 3AM, followed by half (21.1km) at 4AM. I was at the venue (IT Park) at least 30 minutes early, and since it’s just a block away from office, I parked my motorbike, and grabbed 2 cans of Red Bull. On race day, you enjoy the moment and trust your training. This time, I’ll enjoy the moment and trust the Red Bull.

The weekend is nothing but clouds and heavy rain, but as expected, the event is happening rain or shine.
21km event started exactly on time (which is something I always find positive). With high spirits, everyone finds a spot in the crowd amidst continuous downpour. Taking careful not to overexert myself, but also not to be trapped among hundreds of runners, I escaped with a little faster pace for the first 1 or 2kms. In races, particularly half marathons, I actually divide the distance in my mind into 3 equal parts of 7km each :). Each time I reach a part of it, I feel more encouraged and determined. Reaching 7km around Malacañang sa Sugbo, SRP tunnel is nearby. With the non-stop rain, the tunnel of almost a kilometer length (973m) is the only sheltered part of the route, and good thing, we are passing it twice.

Finishing the SRP tunnel is an uphill. I naturally slowed my pace and just remember to be even with it on my way back, when it’s descending. I noticed I’m actually pacing with the group of Rochelle Tan (Cebu triathlete), and for the reason I don’t want to be mistaken as a stalker, I ran ahead of them for the U-turn, but rejoined them for a couple of more kms, until finally going ahead of them completely.

In the 14th km, I took my first and only GU powergel, a left over from last year’s season (lol). Despite heavily wet from the rain, I feel my body heating up that I still had to grab some cold sponges.

I realize I was slowing down big time, ‘probably took the gel too late. As in all races (except for my first full marathon), I always make sure I finish it with grace. Never walking, not limping, and exerting any remaining energy for the final stretch. I ran the last kilometer in 05:34.
I finished the race in 02:16:08, almost 10 minutes more than my 2013 attempt, but despite this, I’m still okay. This is a better than expected time, and definitely a good start for the next 11 half marathons in 2014. 🙂
P.S. I wasn’t able to take any pictures at all. I wrapped my phone in Cling Wrap twice so I can still bring it with me to track my run, but the camera lens is blocked. Race result can be found here ->

I’m 1st on the list! (on the 4th page though)! Finishing 157th in the field of 1142 finishers. I’d say it’s not too bad. 🙂


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