Skip to content

Cebu Marathon 2011: 1st Home Half Marathon

30/01/2011

It has been 10 months that the next trip home to Philippines has been arranged, just after we arrived back from Manila on January 2010, plans to come back for Christmas has been made, on the flights at least.  I planned and I knew that at least on December some fun runs will be on at home when I go back.  Be it 5 Km or 10 Km.  I was luck I was able to do a 10KM with Run4Change on December 2010 and Lucky we chose Cebu to be the island destination before we go back to Sydney and Cebu Marathon was on, on the same week dates we wil be there.  No, we did not travel there for the run.  Tez wanted and was curiuos what was in Cebu where his dad has been too and has been mentioning to him so be it Cebu will be the destination.  I have been to Cebu number of times but they say tha a destination is always different depends on what you do and who you are with!

By November 2010 we were half okey to join the half marathon.  The hald unlikely to commit and do the run will be our condition after notraining during the Holidays while we are in the Philippines and the unfitness from eating and drinking most likely.  So we say let’s see.

Unregistsred/Too late for Registration: By January a week before we are about to go to Cebu, of course I forgot! Some races do not do on the day Registration! so it was all closed.  I was only remided while we were in Fort Bonifacio and I saw the Banner and I realized I should do the registration when we go back to the hotel.  Which I did and found out, it was disappointing.  So I told Tez about it and I told him I sent an email to the in-charge and admin if the can accomodate us, accomodate International runners.

A ray of hope: I sent the email asking request and explanation of what happened to late registration, and yes lucky because Tez and I will be representing the Running Club from Inner West of Sydney, Woodstock Runners, (yes we intend to wear our club uniform) and hoping the experience will be a good way to mention and advertise tourism to the rest of the club and ehem the readers of my blog, and we are experienced runners we are hoping consideration that we be considered.  And a day after the email a John Pages from where we got his email from the contact us in the official website of the events, replied and mentioned he will mention to the event committee to see what the decision is.  At least it I thought John have replied and will bring it up for discussion.

An exchange of the participants details has been sent to John in the span of 5 days and taking it was New Year’s Eve to Jan 5, it was very very accomodating of him to reply to my email!

Green light: Two days we are bound to Cebu, I received an email that we are already pre-registered with the late entry fee however we do not receive the event singlet.  That’s okey, it does not matter.  30AUD for an Internation half marathon is good enough! we do not get freebies most of the time in the races here in Oz we don’t receive any singlet or shirts.  So what makes it different? We are very grateful that we were able to be accomodated two days before we reached Cebu!

Are we ready? I only ran the longest 9 Km in the span of 2 weeks and did 4 runs, a 4, 6 a 9 and a 2 Km run! Tezza did no training at all!  Plus the tropical warm and humid weather? Good luck.  I told tez we will just have fun and finish the run. Yea okey it was a Suicide.

1st time Half Marathon: Yes this is my 1st half marathon, longest race ever to be run in my home country!  I know and I am ready that the conditions will be different and I wont be running as well (well is subjective in my own terms!) as I do in Oz.  Ok I have ran 10 Kms and 5 Kms in Manila before but more than twice the distance of 10 Km is huge difference.  Anyway it will be an honor to run on my own home country at least I can say I did a half Marathon in the Philippines!

Event Expo: Lucky we were staying 15 minutes away from Ayala center where the event expo is, not much of crowd and queue and we went to the counters to find the in-charge whom John gave our names.  in 15 minuts we got our race pack which consisted of the race bib! And yes we have to ask for maps, they ran out.  Not all volunteers in the counter do not have any idea how would the drinking stations going to be.  But we managed to find out roughly.

Pre-race carbo load: Pizza, salad and pasta share at Shakeys in Ayala center! It has been years the last time I have been to Ayala center and there are so much change in agood way that it is looking more like Greenbelt in Makati already! So we finished the big pizza and the solo pasta which was not too great and the salad.

Sinulog: Oh yes, this is one of the 1st event marker of the Sinulog festival in Cebu! and i did not event have any idea it was Sinulog when I did the travel arrangements!

Race day: January 9, 2011. Race starts at 5:10 at Asiatown IT Park.  Looking at the map, it might be 30 minute drive and we are not sure if we are able to get a cab at that time of the early morning.  we set our alarms at 3:30 and were ready by 4am and walked down the hotel lobby and how lucky to get a cab so immediately as soon as we step out of the door!

We instructed the driver our destination and oh arrived the event venue in 15 minutes! How convinient.  Umm okey, we should have slept more!! But as soon as we got to the venue we cant! with all the Band playing, the drums playing to the tunes of the Sinulog team song and participants in their race mood and sexy promo girls in their sexy outfits okey we can’t close our eyes on one of the corners of the venue!  So we just roamed instead to see what we can see, and discussed where we are going to meet after the run should we get separated from each other.  We plan to run together at least half way of the race, as always.

20 minutes before the start we did a short slow warm jog and some stretches and walked ourselves to the gates where the Half marathon runners need to check in.  We were waiting in the gates for 7-5 minutes.  Listening to the drums beating and countdown reminders.  It was warm and getting so humid already.

Start: 5 …4…3…2…1 and Bang! did the gun, no, the fireworks! Yes off we go.  We positioned ourselves just in the middle of the crowd.  It was a slow start not until 500m after the start line the crowd started to thin out.  Pacing ourselves we ran in the dark.  After 2 Kms, Tez was complaining I was going too quick, which I thought was not.  it was just from the down hill slopes.  But I did try to slow down.  At 4th-6th Km I was in a good position around 4th or 5th amongst the ladies.  Okey don’t blame me, yes I am a bit competetive!  It is my first half maraton in my home country so I should do it properly.  After all the request from the commitee to consider us running, shouldn’t it be just right to do my best? well i slowed down I was worried Tez was complaining he is not feeling well, tummy is acting up too fast … and I was worried on the areas that were very unfamiliar and very foreign to Tez having have not lived in the Philippines.

Tourist scenic tour: A good way to do your tourist scenic trip of the city is run! We passed by the Sto. Nino Church, Fort San Pedro, Capitol, Fuento Osmena Park and the newly inaugaurated tunnel and fly-over of the city.  It was a tiring scenic tour however!! :p

Going at 8Km +: By the time we reached the tunnel at the foot of the slope, Tezza shouted out I should just go ahead.  Now I felt a bit guilty for leaving him.  I am worried he might just feel unmotivated to finish and walkand quit! And its an unfamilar route.  But then again, I know he is already a big boy and find his way.  So I left him by that then.

Started to walk. By the time we were on our second lap which I did not know goingback the tunnel and the uphill okey, its a bit hard! I started walking and running at that point.  Making sure I dont walk long enough to waste time, but just to rest and cool off.

Lots of water. Lots of drinking stations every 1.5 to 2 Km distance of the route.  Too plenty that they hose you with water or offer you sponges!

Route: is not the easiest route.  The downhill you have been running at half the lap is the same up hill you need to run but more traffic and more chaos when you go back home!  It’s sunday so the Sunday rush of the locals going to church and their own businesses on that day by 6 am has started!  and knowing Cebu speaks cebuano and never Filipino, I almost go lost in one of the instructions on the route by one of the marshalls and I figured out, okey I look tired but no Thank you I am not riding your motorbike on my way back the finish line!

Dropped off: On half the lap from 5th to 9th.  The humidity and lack of training is getting into me! There has been a lot of walking involved and psychological giving up.  I was overtaken by 4 females, and I did’nt care anymore all I want is to finish! Lucky if I finish at 2 hours!!  My shoes are all soaked from the hosing and dosing myself with water from the drinking water, my bra top is chafing my chest skin it stings!

On my way home: I tried to just jog myself back to the finish it was getting to warm to just keep running in the pace so I started picking my pace up again by last 3 Km.  At last we are back the IT Park! Hurrah, and I was so tired I started to walk again just hundered meters away from the finish! And one male senior runner in Cebuano says just keep moving and I thanked him so I ran and left him.  The clock looks weird as it says 1:37 and that couldn’t be.  I know I have been running at least 2 hours now! when I stopped and cross the line, stopped my clock it says 1:57:00! I am happy I am sub-2 hours, even I left my 4th position at first lap, I was asked by my name and was told I am in top 9th or 10th.

About to finish behind a male runner

After the run: I waited for Tez, and started to get worried after not seeing him in 15 minutes after me! I started going towards the route and wondering should I go run and look after him? but I might not find him so i waited and went back to the tent when we agreed to wait.  Alas I saw him after 30 minutes of waiting.  I hugged him tight and told him I was glad he finished I was worried he’ll quit! Im proud he finished the run despite of no training, the humidity and the conditions he ran in!

We went to collect our post race packs .. bottled water, 100 plus, breakfast: banana, bread, granola bars and water! was all worth it.

With the other awardees

We waited till the awarding as we were told top 10 finishers get awarded.  Hey i am lucky to get awarded still.  After 100 years of waiting the awarding ceremonies started.  I got 1000Pesos and a FortRunner back issue.  So I got my registration back :).  And proud I finished a half marathon in my home country, sub-2 hours  (no training!!), representing Woodstock.  I am thankful to God I finished.

Event: Cebu Marathon, January 9, 2011
Location: Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
Distance: Half Marathon
Time: 1:56:44, 10th F’OAll

Positives: Lots of volunteers, Lots of filtered waters, energ drinks, Lots of positive slogans on the route, LOts of entertainment along the route and locals cheering, enough distance markers, first aid stations, timing chips glued on the race bib
Negatives: Not enough directional arrows, traffic chaos crossing the route by the time of 6am! Uncleaned, unorganized shanties along the route (okey most of the urban areas of the country!- government needs to do something about this!), stinky, pungent, drainage/urine smell on some parts of the route.

Results
Photos

Thank you for the photos are from Florito G. Roque Jr and Gifford John S. Perral.

It has been 10 months that the next trip home to Philippines has been arranged, just after we arrived back from Manila on January 2010, plans to come back for Christmas has been made, on the flights at least.  I planned and I knew that at least on December some fun runs will be on at home when I go back.  Be it 5 Km or 10 Km.  I was luck I was able to do a 10KM with Run4Change on December 2010 and Lucky we chose Cebu to be the island destination before we go back to Sydney and Cebu Marathon was on, on the same week dates we wil be there.  No, we did not travel there for the run.  Tez wanted and was curiuos what was in Cebu where his dad has been too and has been mentioning to him so be it Cebu will be the destination.  I have been to Cebu number of times but they say tha a destination is always different depends on what you do and who you are with!

By November 2010 we were half okey to join the half marathon.  The hald unlikely to commit and do the run will be our condition after notraining during the Holidays while we are in the Philippines and the unfitness from eating and drinking most likely.  So we say let’s see.

Unregistsred/Too late for Registration: By January a week before we are about to go to Cebu, of course I forgot! Some races do not do on the day Registration! so it was all closed.  I was only remided while we were in Fort Bonifacio and I saw the Banner and I realized I should do the registration when we go back to the hotel.  Which I did and found out, it was disappointing.  So I told Tez about it and I told him I sent an email to the in-charge and admin if the can accomodate us, accomodate International runners.

A ray of hope:  I sent the email asking request and explanation of what happened to late registration, and yes lucky because Tez and I will be representing the Club from Inner West of Sydney and hoping the experience will be a good way to mention and advertise tourism to the rest of the club and ehem the readers of my blog, and we are experienced runners we are hoping consideration that we be considered.  And a day after the email a John Pages from where we got his email from the contact us in the official website of the events, replied and mentioned he will mention to the event committee to see what the decision is.  At least it

Advertisements
3 Comments leave one →
  1. 30/01/2011 2:56 am

    Sounds as if you had a great time. Amazingly I have a friend who lives in Cebu and also ran the race. Your description is much better than his two line email to me.

    Haha thanks!

  2. 01/02/2011 8:49 pm

    Hey,

    Congrats Witchkitty for your award wining performance.Give next time better than past performance.Also above your experience was very nice to read and share with friends.

    Thanks.

    Thanks Sophia!

  3. 14/02/2011 1:42 am

    Hey,
    great story, very interessting to read. I am into sports myself – I am MMA fighter. I tried to run a marathon myself, but honestly I am not into running and as you may know 🙂 a marathon needs a good preperation. I wish you good luck for the future.
    I wish you all the best.

    Thank you and i wish you well on your training too 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: