August 2, 2013

Another Try At The Milo Marathon Eliminations

I have been waiting year-long for this event. The 2012 milo season had been an unproductive year for me, result-wise, because I did not qualify to the finals held later that year, missing it for about 3 minutes. The longest 3 minutes in my marathon career. Although I submitted a good clocking during that race, 03h58m was still not enough. Please read my post here.

It is now the 37th season and everyone is in high spirit in joining and finishing this race. For me, it was totally different. Every marathoner has a goal in finishing a marathon, but for me, the ultimate goal is to qualify for the finals. I had been there twice before, and nailing it again will be a huge accomplishment. I had been missing, for some time, the carbo-loading party exclusively for the qualifiers and dining again with the greats is on a high priority. Armed with enthusiasm and experience, I once again set foot at the starting line of the Milo Marathon 42km eliminations.

I had my fair share of training for the past months before the race. Short run on weekdays and long run on weekends were the norm. Weekday runs were done religiously, alternating with a tempo and marathon pace until I reached the peak week. Oval tracks were done too for the Yasso 800's wherein I reached the 3m18s average. Sunday long runs were mostly attributed to easy-relaxed pace just to develop endurance. The average time is 3 hours for every run.

Fast-paced 21km races were incorporated in my training to practice speed and monitor my time. Trail runnings (half marathon and an ultramarathon) were inserted too to strengthen my core and legs and for an added benefit. It was a good choice but avoiding injury should be on a high note.

Leading to race day, the goal is to develop the legs first (months before race day), then the lungs (weeks before race day) and the mental aspect (days before race day). Nutrition should be present as early as day one. And ample sleep too. Try this formula and you'll be in good hands.

I was relaxed days before the event, unlike my other marathon races. The mental game sank on me as early as the peak week. The taper week was just relegated to strategizing and review of my battle plan. I had no major issues regarding nutrition as well, I just did what I am doing during training. No special meal whatsoever. The only generous meals were those from the different race launch that I attended, LOL.

I was early at the venue during race day. Four quality hours of sleep was good enough to lift my spirit that day. I can feel the good vibes within me as I drove to the venue with Romy. I was ecstatic that I can achieve my goal,  trusting everything, from training to plans, will work very well. Romy and I proceeded to a light warm-up immediately after arriving at the venue. Twenty minutes were good enough for an easy jog and stretches, including the hi's and hello's to some friends. There were 2,500+ participating souls inside the corral when we got in. Because the plan is to start strong, I slid among the hundreds to make it near the front of the starting line. Shortly after we were sent off.

Because many started fast, jackrabitting themselves into the front, the road were filled. Romy and I weaved our way ahead through the sidewalk. My start was pretty good, from moderate to tempo in just over a minute. I was observing myself if I will choke up during my start but I did not, good sign. I increased my pace slowly to marathon goal pace, until Romy begged off and told me to go ahead. I proceeded, but cautious of the redline. Luckily, there was none.

I pulled ahead after the first kilometer, to a pace of 4m55s per kilometer, thanks to Alfred's garmin, I was able to know where I started. From that figure, I calculated my every move, sometimes going faster, sometimes getting slower. I ran comfortably within that zone. I was surprised that the legs and the lungs were cooperating from the very start and throughout the whole course. With my air ways clear the leg works followed. The situation was totally different from my run last year, where I felt my legs weakened as early as km18 before succumbing to cramps at km34. Read my account here.

I felt stronger as I progressed, reminiscent of my past milo races, where I registered my fastest clocks. At the back of my mind is just one goal, that is to qualify for the finals. A feat that was forbidden a year ago. Relying on this mind set and with the help of two rosary prayers along the course, I accomplished my goal.
Here are my splits:
  • km5   - 0h23m
  • km10 - 0h47m
  • km15 - 1h12m
  • km21 - 1h42m
  • km30 - 2h29m
  • km42 - 3h38m
The hosting of the 37th Milo Manila Leg was again a success, hats off once more to RunRio events.
  1. The water stations were strategically located with ample reserves of ice cold water and gatorade, and bananas too. I heard even the last runners had their share.
  2. Gatorade provision, way better than last year's 100 Plus, where majority of runners, including me, find it unattractive as energy drink. 10 stars for that G. 
  3. Secured race route. Although there is an unconfirmed report of a runner bumped by a cab along the route and ended up at the police station instead of the finish line. Sad.
  4. Race marshals spread along the race course.
  5. Presence of aid station. Volunteerism rocks!
  6. Festive atmosphere at the venue particularly at the finish line.
  7. Huge medal and quality finisher's shirt.
  8. Satisfied runners. Thousand of participants from all categories.
  9. Heated one and two finish. The organizers managed to document the winner down to a millisecond interval.
Congratulations to all the finishers. See you at the finals.

Photo from Blue-Legged Runner
Photo from the aid station.
Photo from RPMB of Running Photographers
Photo from RHI of Running Photographers.


  1. You are always a strong runner Sir Vener. Congratulations for qualifying once again. I will bookmark this post so I could reference your training plan :)

    1. Thank you Pedz. Try it and let me know of the outcome. ;)

  2. idol! grabe ung 21k split na 1:42! T_T madami-daming kanin pa ang kakainin ko maabot lang ang bilis na yan. congrats vener! :)

    1. Thanks Noel. Nagulat din ako dun sa 21km split time ko, but I feel I was in a zone kaya siguro na achieved. Before, I was doing my races on a negative split, medyo napabilis yata ang first half ko this time kaya nag slow down ako dun sa second half.

      BTW, kaya mo rin 'yan. Been there too. Cheers!

  3. Congratulations, Run Unlimited! Still the same speedy Vener! :)

    1. Thanks Roselle, good to see you again at the MH Urbanathlon bloggers event.

  4. Hello Idol!

    Congrats on your feat! Sana mas mabilis ka pa sa finals!


    1. Salamat Ray, pasyal mode na lang ang finals, hahaha.