Dorothy: luck comes in threes
Jinoe: 3rd medal on the wall, 3-peat
Taki: bag the gold, 3 marathons in a year
Wayne: three times is a charm, enjoy the experience
Bards: race hard, have fun, finish fierce
Dindo: make us proud
Rico: savor every kilometer of this opportunity
These were the words echoing in my mind as I run the National Milo Marathon Finals, 32nd Edition.
There were about 300 qualifiers and guests who participated in this 42km full marathon run of the longest-running foot race event in the country that started in kilometer zero at Luneta through an out and back course finishing at the Quirino Grandstand. The weather is fine as I left home but just like the milo way we were treated to a drizzle as I reached the venue, thankfully it did not develop to a downpour. I arrived as early as 3:30am and people are still at a minimum. We waited for a while and reviewed my plan during this race and have a chat with fellow runners. I went to warm-up, stretching and jogging around when I met Baldrunner jogging through the assembly area. I didn't know that the HCs were already at the corners of Kalaw St. and Roxas Blvd. then.
After a while the runners arrived and we were called inside the assembly area, it was 4:00am. Inside the starting line I met fellow runners and guests and have a brief chat and photo-ops as we waited for the start. Suddenly the shot was fired and off we went. In the same Biscocho trademark, the race started 3mins before 4:30am, and the runners scamper ahead to assume pole position. These are qualifiers, so are they elites. I stayed behind and met Jonel and the group before Kalaw St. After hi's and hello's we went on our own, Philip and Jerry leading the pack, behind us were the group of Jonel, Jay, Joe, George, Nico and Lester. Slightly ahead of us was Sir Jovie. He had a good start that brought him the bacon, a new PR. Everybody set a new record.
I stayed to a relax easy pace with my friend Rod as we paced each other savoring every kilometer of this opportunity. I have been running alone mostly all of my long distance runs, its just lately that I realized that its good to run with someone and exchange stories along the way. After two kilometers, at the foot of Buendia flyover, we made a move and left the HCs behind. We maintained this pace althroughout as we exited Kalayaan flyover, pounding on the course and having fun as we aim for the gold. Stride after stride, Rod and I realized that we are setting a new PR with this run, as we are having negative splits and we are running at a pace better than our eliminations run.
As we approached Paseo de Roxas, I increased my pace leaving Rod just behind. After a few blocks I told him I'll make a move and he politely told me to go ahead uttering he will maintain his pace, maybe he's spent. I went my own taking over runner after runner until I crossed South Super-hiway. Ahead was a billboard with a "huge" message. With my eyes looking at the horizon, right hand raised up high with my index finger pointing straight up, I talked to Him. With my body weakened, I gained strength as if somebody is pushing me. I was inspired as if someone is telling me to run strong. Amidst the cheers of jolly people, I continued my stride. With a few kilometers left, I gave my all and spend my reserves, this time increasing my pace even more. Race hard, finish fierce as I recall what Bards says.
I prepared for this race for I want to accomplish something to close out my 2008 running year. I had ran a total of 1,563.40km before this event for this year, including two full marathons, four half marathons and lot of short-distance races. I met tons of friends inside and outside of running. I trained hard, run hard, and woke-up early in the morning just to run. I just love to run. I wanted to be proud of my effort so that many would be inspired too. I will still be running and continue what I had started.
After reaching Roxas Boulevard, I felt a sigh of relief. Malapit na. Staring frequently at my watch I knew I could make it in time. I enjoyed the scenery and the road full of green-clad people to relax my weary body, Milo, I'm on my way back. Running alone I made it to kilometer zero, 300 meters to Quirino grandstand, people cheering and runners greeting. Here my enthusiasm gained more as I saw the finish line and the clock dangling atop. Leaving exhaustion behind I dashed to the end finishing intense and strong. Its true luck comes in threes as I stared at the clock and crossed the tape. I finished my Milo Marathon Finals. All the fatigue were out as I exited the chute proud. I raced my hands jubilant. This is for everyone. Thank you for the inspiration. I conquered my third as another Milo Marathon story unfolds.
triumph & jubilation
with Andrew & Willie