“Runners just do it. They run for the finish line even if someone else has reached it first.” -Author Unknown
At the finish line of Milo Half -Marathon in Baguio City last August 9, 2009.
This race was my 60th in my 3 years of running and probably, one of the most difficult in terms of elevation and climate adjustment. Going into this race, I gave myself a +15 minutes for my PR, since I knew that the route was tough and hard to reckon with.
I came in early for this race at 5:00 am but unable to check-in immediately to do my usual stretching and warm-up exercise because the staff in-charge for the baggage area was nowhere to be found and I have to approach Mr. Rudy Biscoho, to address this concern. We were about some 5-6 runners who raised this concern. Sadly, It was not until 5:28 am that my bag was finally deposited to their care, and at exactly 5:30 am, the gun was fired signaling that the race has just begun.
As a slow starter, I looked around and saw that the weather was so unforgiving. As I wore my New Balance leggings, an Adidas Long-Sleeve plus a milo singlet on top of it and a Nortface cap, but inspite of all those apparels, I’m still ‘in-chilled’ and can’t get my momentum going. Needless to say, I finished the entire race with no sweat at all, because it was raining so hard, the climate so cold and the fog was present in some nooks and corners of the route. What aggravated the situation was that the sky was too dark signalling more rains to come and strong wind occasionally was upon us. We can see so many fallen twigs and branches of Pine trees on the ground and only minimal crowd on the street to cheer us up, signifying this city was devastated by a very bad weather for the past few days especially-the race day itself.
What was so unforgettable about this race was when I felt ‘numbness’ on the exposed parts of my body, specifically my both hands. I felt the strong urge to stop for a while, clapped and clenched my fists to see if I’m still okay. It’s a weird feeling. Regardless of how strong I ran, still there’s no sweat and I’m chilled to death. Next time, in a situation like this, I’ll wear my gloves!
There were so many factors that affected my performance here aside from those I’ve already mentioned. Things such as:
– slippery road. Each strides must be done carefully. One mistake and you’re finished!
-dogs on the street (I walked everytime there was one, and so many of them)
-I’m hungry @ 1 hour and 52 minutes mark.
-blisters, you can expect this to happen when your shoes and socks were wet specially if it’s raining so hard.
-elevation. I haven’t done a ‘high altitude’ training since my TNF100 and that was some 3 months ago.
My time was a miserable 2 hours and 23 minutes…just enough for me to beat the cut off time of 2 hours and 30 minutes for the half marathon.
But I’m so happy to conquer such magnificent elevation especially a 21 kilometers route there at the heart of Baguio City. To reach the pinnacle of PMA area all the way to Hiyas, back and forth was an accomplishment in the true essence of running.
I do have some ‘polishing’ to do to improve my PR at half-marathon and this one was a great ‘rude awakening.’ It maybe a long process to overcome such ‘runner’s blues’ when you became an Ultramarathoner, but little by little… it can be done.
Truly, that Baguio’s half marathon was one of the most daring events I have encountered. I’ll practice more and train harder…
God be Praised!
More pictures next…