“Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” Psalms 23:4
If runners have to choose between a headlamp and a blinker light, the former will be a wise choice, that was for this race, the Subic International Marathon. I was able to bring with me a headlamp. At 8pm, the area was covered with complete darkness and if you have no such gadgets, it’s either you’ll run not knowing what lies ahead or just wait for some terrible things to happen. There were no stars that night, a thick black clouds covered the sky. A half-moon appeared so late but was so shy to give its full radiance.
At km 14 to km 26, there was also an unexpected water drought! Proof that we’re not yet ready to host an International event. Even the ambulance, our last resort just in case, revved up and went forward, and that was the last time I saw it. Later I realized that many runners collapsed under extreme conditions.
Those runners with back-up vehicles were not affected but not all were born with such priviledge. In fact maybe 30 to 40 runners lagging behind have no convoy to assist them in time of miseries. One runner from the north who said he was a regular reader of this blog, a newbie Marathoner, was so dehydrated but even I can’t help him for my hydration belt was already empty. It was so fearful for there’s no store at that place, the SCTEX though almost perfect and ideal for running can be fatal if resources like water and light foods were not available.
Like the common mistake of some Organizers, those marshals in Aid Stations were so eager to go home once those elite runners passed them by and they forgot that not unless the last runner reached their respective stations, those marshals have no right to leave their posts specially if the race was done in a place like this, the SCTEX.
Aside for my hamstrings injury, I’m also concerned with water and food. Yes, I have 4 power gels but I need some solid foods like banana or anything that I can consume easily and lightly. I gave 2 power gels to my buddy, Romy. At km 25, I shivered slightly, maybe due to hunger or thirst, I don’t know. At km 27, a truck with water finally arrived, I drank 4 glasses of water, refilled my hydration belt and splashed liquids on my head and body.
During that long route of complete darkness, Romy and I talked about so many things, including those old films of Lito Lapid where he can dominate many enemies with his karate chops, sliced a bullet, and punched an enemy with his trademark assault. No, I’m not his fan but we need to laugh to ease away some tiredness. We laughed outloud just to escape the harsh reality that we’re in a race surrounded by darkness. We also conversed about horror topics like aswang, manananggal, tikbalang, balete tree and mambabarang in which Romy was so familiar as he lived in the province before. He confirmed that those myths are true. I just told him that it’s not appropriate time to talk about it since we were in darkness. Negative thoughts in a negative situation can breed negative result, and so I shifted the topic from something positive like the goodness of God etc, therefore I was able to share the Good News to him at that time.
At km 28, our conversations and mild laughter suddenly stopped, when we approached an interchange where there were some crowds watching this race on top of us. As we entered that place, they were shouting not with cheers but with mockery and insults. As I walked with a limping left foot, they made fun of me but that’s not my worry. I feared that they might threw stones on us or some bottles.
However, along the route, I encountered an ‘angel’, when Sir Adie delos Reyes saw my bad condition and he gave me liniment. That was of course a big help. Thank you.
This race in darkness can be prevented if the Organizer obliged all the runners to bring headlamp and blinker.
At this time, I will savor those moments but even at this point, I can’t believe I can a finish a 42k just by walking with bad conditions like that.
I was not able to join the Adidas KOTR today due to my injury but I’ll return someday with a vengeance. Yesterday was not my day, but God’s day. All praises belong to HIM.
God be Praised!
Did you know…
… that today is Live to Tell About It All Day? This day
celebrates the anniversary of the 1901 date when Anna Edson
Taylor became the first person and woman to go over Niagara
Falls in a barrel and live to tell about it. After her journey
Anna said: “If it was with my dying breath, I would caution
anyone against attempting the feat… I would sooner walk up
to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to
pieces than make another trip over the Fall.” 😉