I Came.I Ran.I Conquered.: The Condura Skyway Marathon 2012


Despite all the clamor and incessant complains about the obviously high registration fees in the Condura Skyway Marathon 2012 – the event pushed through with popular demands for more 42k race kits. The registration was even extended until February 1st, if I’m not mistaken. I registered exactly a week before the event date, and it’s safe to say that I could have been one of the last few runners who registered in this event.

One consideration that I made why I participated in the event was the advocacy of saving and rehabilitating the mangroves. It may sound weird for others and one may ask why do I have to spend Php1,350.00, run 42 kilometers, suffer leg and knee pains, muscle cramps, get yourself dehydrated, and what – have – you, just to save the mangroves.

So, why save the mangroves? Unlike any other plants, mangroves thrive only in the brackish water along the coastal areas. Due to conversion of these mangrove swamps into fish and shrimp ponds, salt ponds, for agricultural purposes and even for human settlements, the total land area covered by the mangroves have significantly decreased. What happens then? Marine life is becoming at risk. The source of livelihood of most tribal villages and human settlers living along these coastal areas who depend solely on fishing are also greatly affected. One thing leads to another, and so on. And the chain reaction goes on. (To read more about this topic, please visit http://www.conduraskywaymarathon.com/advocacy/why-save-the-mangroves).

On a personal standpoint, another consideration is the fact that being a road race – this one is taking place in the Skyway, with the gun start for the 42k at 12 midnight. Indeed, this is one of a kind, something that you may not want to miss.

And how can you ignore the 4 – inch 42k finisher’s medal? And it’s a good thing that not only the Full Marathoners receive a medal but all runners across all categories.

The significance of this event, just like any other running event, is the idea of sharing the same road with your friends – regardless of what distance you all run in. My race bib number was in Wave C. When I got to the venue, I met my race buddies and most of them were in Wave D. It’s more fun to run with your friends. So, I decided to join them – and we’re the last Wave to set off from the start line.

Setting foot on the Skyway, I know that it would take me less than five hours to finish the race. The anxiety of not knowing what’s going to happen in the next kilometer or so was nerve wracking. And the agony of feeling the pain and the thirst and hunger – all added up to the challenge. Up ahead, all you can see were the runners, step after step, making their way through the seemingly endless structure made only for the vehicles. But this time, it became the venue for the strong willed individuals to battle with, and conquer yet another challenge for themselves.

One thing I liked was the alarm when you passed through the toll gates. It may be trivial but it gave me an extra boost. This race gave me a very limited opportunity to run through the highest point in the skyway: the C – 5 road going towards the NAIA exit.

It was a pleasure knowing that a lot of my friends ran their first Full Marathon. After a little more than three hours or so of running, I was beginning to feel the exhaustion. Muscle pains and leg cramps were imminent. And there’s the fact that I still have at least 12 kilometers to finish the race. Despite all these, I still managed to run, jog and walk every kilometer just to make it to the finish line. Up until now, the voices of my friends calling me out still linger in my brain. Of course, I can’t miss those familiar faces and voices. I’m so thankful that God had given me these so many friends. I may have missed some of the names, but a wave and the mere idea that we recognized each other was a big thing. And yeah, one can never miss the ActiveMoment’s lensmen who took arial, look back, full and close up shots of the runners.

The large venue was well utilized – from the baggage counters, activity area, start and finish line. After crossing the finish line, you are being ushered to claim your finisher’s kit at the activity area. This was good because the finish line area doesn’t get congested with runners. Instead, runners can enjoy the good music, watch the fire dance, get a massage (for 42k finishers only), and receive freebies.  And there’s the Pinoyfitness booth where you can get a tech shirt and/ or a singlet for a very reasonable price. A lot of us Pinoyfitness residents ran wearing the Pinoyfitness singlet. (Please click here Remembering the Condura Skyway Marathon 2012  to watch the video. Video Credit: Pinoyfitness.com)

The way I looked at this event, it was well organized – from the start line, the gun start and the activity area. The whole route, aside from being CHALLENGING, was well lit, except for one after passing the 31st kilometer mark. Portalets were made available for the runners along the skyway. Water stations were set in strategic locations. Every runner knows how important hydration is. However, as you sweat, you lose electrolytes – potassium and sodium. And these cannot be replaced by just plain water. There were a couple or so of hydration stations that offered sports drinks but it could have been better if there were more.

Moreover, instead of giving every finisher just one bottled water and a bottle of sports drink, the race organizer could have given out more. Because at this time, any runner would really want to drink up as much water or sports drink as possible. I’m not complaining, but I would say that this is an area for opportunity, not only for the Condura Marathon organizers, but also for all race organizers.

I may not be a fast and strong runner compared to most of the participants, but I can say that I did a great finish. I just didn’t come and run. I conquered the 42k challenge of the Skyway; not only save the mangroves but also save the environment and the habitat that benefit from them.

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7 Responses to I Came.I Ran.I Conquered.: The Condura Skyway Marathon 2012

  1. Ben says:

    Very good read! couldn’t agree more,! its really good to see friends & other familiar faces who are now well trained and fit runners who took the challenge of a marathon. it was priceless! good job Ja!

    Like

    • SuPLaDoNG RuNNeR says:

      //@Ben: exactly, and I’m glad that more runners – especially the ones we know, are taking a great leap into the 42k category. And this means that runners are getting more serious about getting fit, aim for longer distances, looking forward to more runs with friends, and being able to help other runners achieve their dreams by pacing them throughout the race course. You also did a great job for pacing a fellow runner..

      Like

  2. runnerstoe says:

    Congrats Jared and had a great time running with you at Condura 2012!

    Rod aka Runners Toe

    http://runnerstoephotography.blogspot.com/2012/02/condura-skyway-marathon-2012-race-day.html

    Like

    • SuPLaDoNG RuNNeR says:

      //thank you @runnerstoe for sharing your blog’s link…congratulations — you just conquered the Skyway! Until the next race…

      Like

  3. Thirdy Lopez says:

    Congrats!

    Anung time niyo?

    Like

  4. Mario Qualls says:

    Wohh precisely what I was searching for, thank you for putting up.

    Like

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