PIM 42k Recap2 (Experience Produced Confidence!)

9 11 2009

“I really look forward to a hearty long slow run. You feel good while you’re doing it, and get to feel good about yourself all day long after you’re done.” -Jennifer Van Allen

KM 0- KM 4 (Quirino Grandstand- Delpan Bridge)

The first 4 kms of this race was an acid test for me. As I recalled what  happened to me in SIM 42k where I incurred a hamstring injury, I’m so sensitive if there’s a pain build-up early on this race. My original plan was to walk the first 2 kms and then slowly jog the next 2 kms, but as I tried to run when I heard the gun, I discovered that I can run slowly, and so, that I did. However, as I attempted to increase my pace, I felt a pain on my hamstring and so I decided to keep my tempo at 7.85 mins/km since I heard that the cut-off time for this race was reduced from 5 hours to 6 hours. If I could maintain that pace, I could finish this race at 5 hours and 30 minutes. At this point, I was greeted by a lovely couple, Maru and her husband who was with me too at the QCIM. Later, I haven’t seen them again for they were both strong runners.

It’s so ironic that I peed so early at the first km of this race.

There was no problem for me reaching Delpan Bridge, although some areas were so dim and the road was uneven. One mistake, and it could make one injured or it can aggravate an injury if you have one already. Here, I’m so careful and decided to walk whenever I’m in doubt of those uneven surfaces.

My BDM classmate and buddy, Dennis Enriquez overtook me in KM 3 and since then, he decided to be with me, until km 41.

KM 4- KM 6 (Delpan- Planetarium)

Whenever there’s an uphill, I walked to rest my feet and reserve my energy. Coming from 2 weeks lay-off and no running at all, I’ve found myself that I’m a little bit out of synch and rusty as early at  that  stage. My breathing was not normal, hearbeat as well. But my legs were still okay, no pain. Perhaps, a great consolation at that point.

KM 6- KM 8 (Planetarium- Mc’Arthur Bridge)

The route of Padre Burgos to Escolta was a sight to behold, my second time since PIM 42k in 2007. As I reached the Mc’Arthur Bridge, I’m now hungry. But this time, I’m ready, as I brought with me 3 Powergels, a Tuna sandwich courtesy of Willy from Sofitel Hotel and 2 pieces bananas. I’m also loaded with gatorade placed on my hydration belt (3 pieces 250 ml. canisters). I ate one banana but that was not sufficient to ease my hunger, so I ate the other  one.

KM 8- KM 10 (Mc’Arthur Bridge- Ayala Bridge)

As a long time ally, Dennis and I have been to so many races, but none was so sweet than the BDM 102k. Here, in the route from Arroceros to P.Casal in Quiapo, we recalled our quixotic quest in finishing that Ultramarathon which took us more than 17 hours. We laughed outloud remembering that day, and once again, here at PIM, we have finished the first 25% of this race as we reached the Ayala Bridge. 32 kms more…

KM 10- KM 12 (Ayala Bridge- Nagtahan Bridge)

From bridge to another bridge, that was this race was all about. As we approached CEU in Mendiola, I remembered my College days. Here in this place, I scorned those runners  long time ago, not knowing that I too will become a runner someday.

KM 12- KM 14 (Nagtahan Br.- Zamora Pandacan)

Quirino Avenue was a memorable place for me since I rented a small room here in Pandacan wayback in the late 80’s as a freshman College and as I ran that place now, I’m now in insipid mood. Nostalgic feeling filled my air, reminiscing those days. Until this point, my legs were all fine, no pain, no cramps but there was a prurience on my toe, signaling a slight blister. I applied a Petjelly lavishly before this race but even with that, it’s no assurance that you’re immune afterall  to any bulla or canker.

KM 14- KM 16 (Pandacan- Icasiano)

Due to my very slow pace, some of the runners  overtook me already but it’s no big matter for me. Those three (3) Ultramarathons I have joined in just 3 months within this year made me a slower runner, plus the fact that I have  back to back marathons prior to this one. What can they  expect from my legs? It’s now  like a glass full of cracks. I envied those fast runners, how I wished that they too have conquered  the same route that I did. But it was my choice. No frills. I have to fight back also on that negativity  behind my mind. Ultra-runners do’nt brag for those accomplishments. While some of my co HC were still strong even with Ultra-running and TKO 250, I’m the reverse and at times, I’m disappointed about myself and how I fared up for this race.

KM 16- KM 18 (Icasiano- Lambingan Bridge)

From Pedro Gil to New Panaderos, I encountered some numbness on my left leg so I decided to walk for 3-5 minutes. Here, I opened my PowerGel and I gave one to Dennis since I owed him  in the QCIM. Dennis won’t accept it but I insisted and so, he took it. We walked steadily and decided to run again after that.

KM 18- KM 20 (Lambingan- JP Rizal)

At this point, I can felt already  the torridity of the sun. Good thing that I was able to bring with me my HardRock Sunvisor and Spyder Sunglass. I knew from there that that day would be smoking-hot and blazing. But I forgot my sunblock, one of my few mistakes here in this race. Many people watched us as we entered the Pasig River route, some cheered for us while others were curious what’s going on.

KM 20- KM 22 (JP Rizal-Rockwell)

As I reached the half-point of this grandiose race, I sipped another Powergel but half only. I have to reserve the other half for km 30. Here, my time was 2 hours and 40 minutes. Also, I have to walk for 4 minutes as I took that Powergel.

KM 22- KM 24 (Rockwell-Robinsons Pioneer)

What an opportunity again to run in one of the busiest Highways, the Efipanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA). Although so short, but so amusing and gratifying. With my little steps, I’m not tired. With this kind of stride, I can finish even a 102k that day.

KM 24- KM 26 (Pioneer- Oranbo)

If my memory served it right, this was where there were plenty of motels situated along the area  and a long downhill route  caught me by surprise. I was tempted to run with speed, only to find out that I can’t. Pain hindered me once again. And so, since speed eluded me during  the entire course of this race, I just maintained my slow pace. It was at the downhill section at SIM where I incurred my injury, a good reminder for me not to repeat the same mistake here.

KM 26- KM 28 (Oranbo- C5 Bridge)

Probably the steepest and sharpest elevation happened here and I just walked to protect my legs. I can no longer waited  for km 30  to consume my remaining Powergel and so I ate the last half. Also, here I peed again.

KM 28- KM 30 (C5 Br.-Market Market)

Scorching heat was now upon us and not even our hydration can save us from this inescapable daylight. I told Dennis that it’s nothing compared to BDM 102 where we’ve been baked and toasted last April 5 from 9am until 4pm, the hardest at the last 22 kms of that race. Sometimes, those extraordinary experiences made us a little bit stronger and confident.

KM 30- KM 32 (Market Market-Buendia)

The last part of those bridges, the Kalayaan Bridge was conquered here. the day was too hot and ruthless. We’re so exposed and little bit weak. With sheer determination, I ran, walked, jogged. More than 10 kms left and this race will be over.

KM 32- KM 34 (Buendia- Petron)

As I reached the Aid Station, I fortunately was able to find an empty 500 ml. bottle. I refilled that and used that to sprinkle my head and face along the route. That helped a lot. Heat stroke can attack any moments and I have to guard against it.

KM 34- KM 36 (Petron- Grepalife)

At km 35, I was overwhelmed with a familiar figure waiting for me. It was Romy. And he handed me a bottle of Cobra Energy drink. From there, he paced with me all the way to the finish line. His presence added some stamina and my moral fiber was strengthened. He just went there to see me. Thank you once again, Romy.

KM 36- KM 38 (Grepalife- Buendia)

At this point, Romy told me that he was supposed to be with me at the starting line but since it was his birthday last Saturday, November 8, he had a hard time waking up so early that Sunday. I greeted him and I told him that after that race, I’ll treat him for a lunch.

I munched my Tuna Sandwich as I prepared to finish the last 4 kms of that race.

KM 38- KM 40 (Buendia- Qurino Intersection)

I’ve found some relief as I approached the Quirino Intersection in Roxas Blvd. to tall trees and high edifice. I hid myself on those shades from sadistic heat that tormented my whole body for more than 3 hours. As I  realized  that I’m so near at the finish line, I’m so amazed with the thought that, ‘nothing in life is impossible, If you will believe.’ Injured or not, I was able to conquer this race, another 42k.

KM 40- KM 42 (Quirino- Finish Line)

Nearing the finish line, I saw many wonderful events that also happened simultaneously  that day, The Paddlers competition and after that, the Bicycle race. Some bikers gave me a high 5 while few at  the audience side, they cheered. That lifted my spirit to sprint a little bit but again, there’s no power on my feet to increase my speed.

As I entered the The last 50 meters of that race, someone yelled, “No more medal.”

I said to myself, ‘that’s okay, with or without medal, nothing and no one can take what I have accomplished that day.’

I reached the finish line with not that so impressive time…


…5.32+! But I’m so proud of it.

I’m a conqueror even with a limited power. I pray that my speed will return to me, but right now, I’ll accept what life has to offer.

“Godliness with Contentment is a great gain.”

Let’s run for HIS GLORY!

God be Praised!




2 responses

9 11 2009

Ronnie, congratulations on last Sunday. You have the right attitude on what happened, especially coming off a hamstring injury at SIM. You and a number of runners completed what wasn’t an easy course by any means.

Since my first marathon a few years back, I’ve always said that those who endure are champions. Runners like you and Sir Jovie for example will always be in my thoughts and prayers along with the running community.

Please take care and rest the hamstring.

10 11 2009

ronnie, we are always “champions” and “warriors” in our hearts and feat to finish a road race like the marathon and ultra road races. what matters is that we finish what we started. you are right, the heat last sunday was nothing compared to our bdm102 experience. we are tough and determined because we are “true warriors” in the sports we love most. see you on the next races.

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