The Weekend Getaway: Subic International Marathon 2012

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The invitation to join the 2012 Subic International Marathon came as early as September 2011.  It was during the carbo loading party at Bigg’s Diner in Naga on the eve of CamSur International Marathon.  And whom did the invitation come from? It came from a fellow runner, a friend, whom we met in Facebook – none other than Jesselyn Morales Domingo. JC de Leon and I have already committed that we will join this racing event, which is still months away.  But time flies so fast and a quarter of the year has already gone.  December came, and there’s Jess, asking me and other fellow runners if we already registered for the Subic Run. The reminders came through Facebook and SMS.  Finally, I have registered at New Balance, Shangri – La.  I’ll be running 42k, my fourth Full Marathon and my first official run for 2012!

Saturday – January 22. We arrived in Subic by batches. Some of us came alone. Arriving in Subic a little before lunchtime, we found ourselves lining up in front of the counter at Yellowcab Pizza.  Roughly an hour or so later, Jess, along with Jobz picked us up – and we’re on our way to the rented villas in Subic Homes. The accommodation was great, and so was the food – which made our two day escape to the south more enjoyable. Thanks to Jess!

We all came to run half and full marathons, except for Coach Mherlz who’s  competing in the 10k category.  For that added fun, six of us participated in the 3k and 5k categories.  Coach Mherlz topped the 3k category – Women Division. A little tired but happy, we went back to our villa for dinner, and to get the much needed rest to prep us all up for the next day’s event.  Despite the big events we’re facing, some of us didn’t make it to bed until 11pm. Well, I think it’s pretty normal. Ahahah..!  By 3am, we got ourselves ready, and proceeded to Remy Field.

Full marathoners set off from the start line at 4:30am.  At the start line, I was with running buddies – Grace, Jhunbie, Jake, Kuya Val, Jose, and our Full Marathon virgin – Gerald.  It was a slow start.  Just about right to warm us up.  Later on, we went to run on our own.  Towards the 10th kilometer, the route started its ascent.  You can say it was a mild slope.  The race organizer, eXtribe, provided lighting to some areas that didn’t have lamp posts.  Significantly, most parts of the route that early morning were dimly lit, aside from the upslopes that could extend for at least 500 meters.  Entering the rainforest, I had the most amazing feeling. I don’t know. I can’t even explain it.  No trace of air pollution, or whatsoever.  Just plain fresh air! You can never ask God for more.  Farther ahead, we passed by the Bat Kingdom – and the bats were making distinct sounds, perhaps in anticipation of the runners.  I haven’t seen any monkey although we passed by their inhabited area. There weren’t much public vehicles though occasionally, there were private cars and shuttle buses passing by.

Reaching the U – turn point, on the way back, there I met my running buddies.  It was a pretty smooth run. You can feel the soft, cool breeze touching your skin.  The sun was already up, but you can barely feel it.  Giant trees and dense rainforest shielded us from the sun’s rays. And the route was going downhill this time.

When the road had taken off the rainforest, the sun had finally come out in the open and the temperature creeping up. Each ray pierces through the skin.    Then there was a ‘shower’ station which was totally refreshing.  The person stationed there proactively opened the water hose on my approach.  Making those little steps under billions of cool droplets was invigorating!  And I was roughly 10 kilometers away from the finish line.  The heat was draining whatever energy I have left.  Good thing I brought with me a couple of energy gel sachets that gave me the energy boost I needed.  At eight o’clock in the morning I was beginning to feel the exhaustion of running for the last 3 hours. What motivated me to just get on with it was, I have already completed at least 30 kilometers of the route – and this is not the right time to give up.  The words of Coach Mherlz about running a full marathon were ringing through my head.  I was taking short strides. Even slow strides.  A couple of runners ran past me and invited me join them.  Pace running with them was a relief to make up for the lost minutes.  I tried to keep up with them while listening to the seasoned runner on how to make a really strong 42k finish.

Reaching a water station, the attendant was picking up the plastic cups that were scattered around. When he saw us coming, he started filling the cups with cold water.  I half filled a pitcher with water and pour it all over me and it felt good.  There were several times that I really had to walk for at least 200 meters as the cramps were building up in the muscles right above both of my knees.  Then I could see that it’s almost the finish line. I can’t contain the joy and excitement that I feel at the time. Despite the muscle pains I feel in my legs, the adrenaline got pumped up and I was making my way to the finish line.  It was a red carpet entrance to track oval.  There’s nothing like making it to the finish line with your friends cheering, shouting your name with the hype that you need.  Yeah, I crossed the finish line after 4 hours, 28 minutes and 23 seconds!

I am not a fast runner but I made a strong finish. THANK God for giving me the strength to take on another 42k challenge.

What made this run significant were the courteous men in uniform who tirelessly greeted the runners, the cheerful water station attendants, the race route, fellow runners, and my running friends.  And this was my first topless run!

And most importantly, many THANKS to Jess. I can’t thank you enough for your hospitality for making sure that our stay in Subic would be a memorable one.  Thank you for the warm accommodation and for making this January weekend a great one!

The whole experience has just started to sink in…


16 Responses to The Weekend Getaway: Subic International Marathon 2012

  1. Congratulations My dear kapatid Jarred for conquering the mountains of Subic..and for the strong finished you did at 42kms…Good Job!


    • //thank you, kapatid…the routines and the drills we do every Wednesday were a big help. Also, the boost coming from all of you gave me the confidence and the strength to go farther and make it to the finish line — no matter what…


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