The idea of running 26.2 miles or 42 kilometers sounds hella painfully horrifying. I mean, Isn’t it? But pain is temporary and pride is forever. It has been my long time dream! I remember writing down “To run a marathon” on a homework back in college when the professor asked us to list down our top 20 life bucket list.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m so proud to say that just yesterday, I just happen to cross that off from my bucket list!
Manila Marathon 2019
“Run. Finish. Stronger.”
Am I pressured yet? Maybe! This one is such a heroic event though! All marathoners (damn, am I calling myself a marathoner officially?) call for assembly is 11:00pm of June 22 (Saturday), gun start is at 12:00mn of June 23 (Sunday) and the cut-off time is 7:00am. That only means they’ll be giving us 7 hours to finish the course! Seven freaking hours. Going to be a long and bloody night for me then. To be running to celebrate my Filipino blood, to be able to appear stronger in every distance and to finish the marathon with pride.
I have been preparing for a Spartan Race for a while now and after getting my Trifecta this 2019, I made up my mind to finally sign up to run a full marathon (I signed up 2 months before race day without proper training!) Well you see, I only have 2 run races (obstacle course races not included) for the past year: a 10km and a 21km.
Isn’t it 42km a big leap?
Perhaps yes but I don’t care. All I know is I am highly motivated to arrive at Manila Marathon 2019’s finish line with or without pain. And what I needed to plan is how to still look good in photos because it’s a requirement! Like you know, all for the gram HUHU.
I am working 5 days a week and I only get to run long distances during my day offs with at least a minimum of 16km LSD. Sometimes, there are fruitful mornings where I can pull off an extra couple of hours to run 10km before I go to work. Those mornings are beautiful. There’s nothing like coming home to a yummy Filipino breakfast at 6:00am after a good run.
Anyway, I was also got invited to be one of the coffee masters to showcase coffee innovation to the recently Starbucks Coffee Festival. My friend Steaven, Starbucks PH 2018 Coffee Ambassador told me I missed a lot! I knew that. But I am bound to chase a dream. Hehe! Hello Steave!
(For everyone to know, I got tired of convincing my friends to run the marathon with me so I did this solo.)
So I went to the starting line with 5 energy gels, a pack of gummy bears and a small pack of peanut M&Ms. The energy was good! Waiting 3 minutes before the gun start and with all those adrenaline, I can’t believe I’m doing this marathon thing already haha!
So for the first 2 hours of race, I was doing good! Continuously running at my chill steady pace. Roxas Blvd was stunning even at night.
And then when I saw the 20km mark, I was somewhere in Makati already that I thought “That’s 20km only?” and it was almost 3am. What the hell! Hahaha I mean I mean it in a good way though. It’s 20km already, it might felt like I was already running long but I was also still feeling great! No sights of pain yet.
And then when I got to Kalayaan Flyover, I was surprised to know that runners had to do it twice! The heck. That was the time I started walking in longer time because both my legs needed recovery already. I must say it was fun, eating bananas and chocolates and hydrating myself. By the 30km mark, mostly everyone was started walking. I was so sweaty but also determined to reach the finish line.
I crossed the finish line by 5:42 in the morning. Almost 6 hours in the course! I remember getting a bit teary eyed when somebody gave me my medal! Ugh, it was damn priceless. Never in my life I would see myself running 42km but there I was, in the sunrise of June 23rd, proving every little doubts that came to me that they are all wrong.
After running a marathon
Can I just say that it was damn phenomenal? I enjoyed every second of it! Running a marathon is something I would love to do again in the future. After all, conquering the long distance gave me the liberty to talk to my inner self about almost everything. It gave me the independence that I needed and it also made my soul free.
Writing this blog, with both my feet aching horribly, I realized that while pain comes and goes, the pride we experience from achieving such accomplishment will never fade. I have no idea what the hell I am actually capable of. And often times, I get lost to the mentality that it’s too hard.. and then I’ll find out that humans are fucking incredible! Almost anything is possible if you really put your heart and mind into it. Now I think that my legs are made for long distance running and they are stronger after my first Marathon.
I am Marron Santillan, a Marathoner.