This is my 4th marathon, my first for the year: Condura Skyway Marathon. This race is considered as the premier running event of the country and indeed, since 2008 organizers have been for the benefit of nature: Tubbataha Reefs, dolphins and this year the mangroves.
The whole race is all throughout the Skyway (after its completion last year) and all distances (5k, 10k, 16k, 21k and 42k) traversed the long road stretching from Filinvest Center to Don Bosco exit.
This is my first marathon with Condura and the first for some of six:30 running group’s Barneys: Marvin Trilles, Kyx and Daisy Castaneda.
Ever since I ran, I find it more rewarding running alongside a “running buddy” and this time I ran the entire stretch with Daisy, her first marathon! It was a surprise that Kyx, Daisy and I had consecutive bib numbers: 60301 to 60303! We started from the turn of Filinvest going to Skyway and after the 2nd half of Wave A, we were off!
The route was a surprise treat for everyone as the stretch of Skyway during the early morning (42k started at 12 midnight!) can really shake your nerves and to add on it, the route is a serious challenger to international races because of the never-ending rolling hills!
Kyx and Daisy’s First Marathon
Last year, I had the opportunity to pace Kyx on his 32k in the last leg of Run United and to my surprise, one day the couple spilled to me a secret: they wanted to do their first marathon in Condura. I got excited for them and they did not want to tell others until they finished it.
Their original plan (I think) was to do it together but I insisted to pace them as I already knew how Kyx ran and I wanted to look after Daisy. We paced until Km17 and from there Daisy experienced her first set of cramps on her calves. I let Kyx continue as I already knew he’s up for the challenge this time. Turning right to the ramp going to NAIA, we walked and asked for the Medics’ help. Fortunately, I think those were the same Medics I met in last years RU3 (God bless those girls!). Most of the runners have started walking and the experience of the seemingly endless treat of hills has toiled everyone. I tried to cheer Daisy telling her we’re almost there. After completing the turnaround in the ramp, we tried to go back but she still experienced minor cramps. Thank you to Doc Art, Mond, Marvs and the other runner who gave her the hydrite, it really helped her recover her spirit. Kyx waved as we met him in some parts but I just prayed and I believed he’s ready to face his challenge and cross the finish line strong and proud. We finally reached the other part of the Skyway and as we turned around, Daisy and I treated ourselves with a generous stretch and we transitioned to run-walk/Galloway method. Being at the last part of the race has its rewards, you experience the humane side of a race.
As we tried the last stretch, I thought Daisy recovered well and we did transitions seeing other distances already started and some almost finishing their distance. And as we reach 40th km, the sun has already greeted us and we are among the sea of runners as I tried to cheer Daisy that we’re almost there and she will be an official marathoner and her husband will be so proud as they have finished strong!
At the turn of the last 500 meters, we saw Kyx and cheering for Daisy we raced towards the finish line and yes indeed, another marathoner has been born!
Daisy I’m so proud of what we have achieved and Kyx, I felt like a doting father because of your strong finish. I hope you spread the inspiration to others!
- Seeing Bald Runner, frontRunner, the organizer Ton Concepcion and Senator Pia Cayetano is priceless!
- Seeing other running friends cheering you, “We can do this, tara!” is a big consolation.
- Senator Pia upon her 21km turnaround greeted us and said, “Good luck marathoners!” It was the highlight of Daisy’s quest for that medal!
- Crossing the finish line with cheers from the Barneys congratulating Daisy.
- All hydration stations were filled with water and some 100Plus.
- Finally got my frozen treat with Coors beer!
- Getting that awesome medal!
- Endless hills and a very long uphill climb on the last stretch. Very challenging!
- U-turn, U-turn, oh wait look another U-turn! (Priceless: as another runner finally reaches the last series of U-turns, he exclaimed: “Sa wakas U-turn na rin!”)
- Clueless marshals/volunteers. I think they should be oriented about running, the sport, the runners and the race.
- Endless water. Why? But thinking of what others said during hey-days there were no hydration stations so fine.
- Some medics are not attentive of the ailing runners unless asked for help.
- One banana station. Okay. So I hope we have more because this particular race is in need of strong will and determination so I think we deserve more than one banana station.
- A long queue in the massage station.
Looking at the race map was all too confusing until race day.
Overall, the race has its lessons to learn: that for a pricey registration fee I know it’s for a good cause but I hope they up the ante to meet the demands of the runners. It won’t be surprising if the next races would inflate their registration fees because they took this as their benchmark without giving back more to the runners. Organizers should also learn that more and more newbies and accidental runners are being born each race and that they should equip their medics well since these participants are prone to injury and will probably complain of their pain.
The running community were united the run was for our fellow runners Sheila Antiga and Rona Dizon who were injured in the recently concluded BDM160 and we are happy to update you that they are now safe from harm. Thank you everyone for your support as relayed from their respective teams (HoB Hang Out Buddies and Team CB).
Nevertheless, I hope to join next year’s Condura race until I can afford it. I will do my PR this time. To the organizers and to the runners, congratulations!
All pictures courtesy of Daisy Castaneda and Marvin Trilles.