December 1, 2008

Race For The Third: The Milo Marathon Finals

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

three peat

with Christy

with Rod

with Andrew & Willie


  1. congratulations! enjoy the "off-season" :D

    - joe

  2. Sorry I was off so quick but I needed a CR badly. I could not wait so I went to Baldrunner's stand but could not wait there long as well as I needed the CR so I decided the best thing is for me to go home and get tender loving care from the misses. Congrats on your run. Which marathon is next, I am plaaning on doing the Pasig

  3. Vener,

    Congratulation for a new PR! Thanks again for the warm welcome at the finish line. I really appreciate it. My legs are still hurt but i'll be alright soon. Kindly convey my regards to Christy as well.

  4. Vener, congratulations on the PR!!!

    Happy for all of you guys. The photos were great as was the recap.

    Definitely enjoy the off season, 2009 will be here very soon. Take care and will stay in contact.

  5. Vener, congratulations for the three-peat! When I saw the marathoners passing by Buendia around 5:20am, I immediately tried to look for you. Thing was it was still very dark and you could easily pass for any of those elite runners passing by. But I do remember seeing that singlet of yours in the dark. I am glad you had a splendid run. Cheers!

  6. Great recap and great race! You are one hell of a runner my friend. Hope to run as fast as you one day!

  7. congrats Vener! A great finale for a good year for you :) Idol!

  8. congratulations Vener! we are all proud of you. Next year masasamahan na kita sa full marathon. Hanggang starting line lang ha kasi for sure maiiwan mo kami dahil sa bilis mo.

  9. Hi Vener,

    congrats on your third! Parang hindi ka napagod...bilib ako!

  10. Congratulations Vener! You're truly an inspiration! I know it will be a great holiday for you and Christy and your kids! Hope to see again...and keep on running! God bless you and your family!

    Congratulations to Christy for a great run too!

  11. Congratulations! Wow I really admire runners who challenge the full marathon and conquer it! Maybe next year, or the one after that, I can join you in full marathons as well (para may medal na rin akong isasabit hehe). :)

  12. Joe - Thanks & congrats to you too. I was leaving the venue when you arrived, what happened? Can't call you anymore coz you're running in a drizzle then. Anyway I hope you're doing good now. See you again.

    Philip - Oh, sorry to hear that. Clark Int'l. and Subic Int'l. will be early next year. If the plan push thru the Pasig and the Clark CDC will be on February. Thanks and congratulations too.

    Jerry - No problem with that bro, its only appropriate because I'm the one who came ahead. Rest easy for the meantime and don't rush things. Congrats too on your great finish.

    Wayne - Hi! Thank you for the kind words. I did it. Other photos will be on my next post. Right! I'm looking ahead for the year to come. Best regards.

    Rico - Thanks. So you were stuck at Buendia, its still dark when I passed that route, but thanks for the concern. Sayang, did not meet you there, maybe next time. I'll be at the yakult run. See you.

    Jay - Next time, we'll run together, there are still many races. Thank you and best regards. I hope you're doing good now. Recover muna ha, see you again.

    Dennis - Thanks man, nakatsamba! Congrats also to you and Per, 22 hours kayong on the move that day. Next year will you join me here? Esep, eseep!

    Wilbert - I hope one day soon you'll be at the starting line too. Thank you and see you again.

    Anna - Thank you. Runners secret, don't show what you feel, he he he. I was spent then, I'm just happy of this feat, naghalong pagod at saya. See you again.

    Bro J - Maraming salamat, congratulations on your run too. Good luck on your 10-miler this sunday, we'll see you there. God bless you too.

    Dhenz - Thank you. I hope to see you in the races soon. Keep running and you'll be at it the next day. Good luck.


    Time to recuperate and enjoy the off-season.

  14. Hey Vener, big congrats man! Galeeng! I wish I had more mileage so I could run with the rest of you guys as bandit but hopefully by next year. Well done!

  15. Congratulations! Your accomplishment has truly made us all proud! Thanks for the great recap, it's almost as if we were there ourselves.

  16. What a run you had! ... Just wish I could be in the finals... I won't have the opportunity to run Milo Finals next year as I will be leaving for M'sia in June. Congrats! Hope to catch up with you sometimes in January... All the best, time to enjoy a bit of life with family and friends... Christmas is coming!... -Mac-

  17. Jon - Thank you, I'm sending you my best regards during your singa 42. Good luck and enjoy the race. Next week you'll follow my lead, off season na, we were spent this whole year.

    Gene - I hope next year you'll be running with us too. Develop the base and we will do it then. Thanks and good luck on your runs.

    Dindo - Many thanks to you. Your sound bite is still in my thoughts, I can't believe I did this far. I share this feat to all of you guys, we did it! See you.

    Maclan - Yeah, christmas is near and I'm off on races now. Since planning is very much ahead, maybe you can make adjustments to avail of Milo races next year. Thanks a lot and see you again. Enjoy the vacation.

  18. congrats vener. you make it look so easy. :P

  19. congrats vener! godspeed!


  20. Bards - Thanks to you, I wish you all the best on your singa 42. Enjoy the experience. Believe!

    Ritchie - Thanks bro. See you again.

  21. I'm completely speechless Vener. God has blessed you because you're a blessing to others (like me!). Congratulations!!! Your discipline & perseverance paid off. I wish someday I could run the MILO Marathon with you (kahit sa starting line lang in the eliminations round heh heh . . . )

    Regards to Christy.

  22. Nora - Thank you, my wish is for all of us to run a marathon, I believe its achievable. Thanks for the thoughts. God bless you too and see you again.

  23. congratulations vener! nice seeing you and your better half christy at the yakult race this morning. ;)

  24. Congratulations for the Milo Race.Great run / Great race. Thank you also for the pictures in the Yakult race you sent. Better races next year - Patrick concepcion / Runningshield

  25. Vener, congratulations! I hope I could run/pace with you soon. Galing-galing! Your encouraging smile made me finish the 25k NB Power Race last month.

  26. Vimmz - Thank you, its great seeing you both too. Hope to see you two more often. Best regards.

    Patrick - Its good to meet you finally. Thanks for the present too. See you again and keep on running.

    Roselle - Thanks and congrats on the podium finish at runnex and the powerrace. See you again at the races.

  27. Idol Vener! Sana naman maturuan mo ko kahit ng konti. Very inspiring ka talaga and admirable how you prepared for this. Boston na ba next mo? :)

  28. Karen - We're just the same, a marathoner, I'm just a step ahead. Same with what you did, I prioritized discipline and diligence in my training and race as well. I won't stop hoping about boston, dreaming is free. Congratulations on your singa as well.