The idea of running 26.2 miles or 42 kilometers sounds hella painful and horrifying. I mean, Isn’t it? But I truly believe that pain is just temporary and pride is forever. And running a full marathon 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 crossed 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 officially calling myself a marathoner?) call for the assembly was 11:00 PM of June 22 (Saturday), the gun start was at 12:00 MN of June 23 (Sunday) and the cut-off time is 7:00 AM. That only means they just gave us 7 hours to finish and complete the course. Seven fricking hours that is going to be a long and bloody night for me 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 Spartan 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 ran 2 running races (obstacle course races not included) for the past year: a 10KM and a 21KM.
And sometimes I ask myself if 42KM a big leap.
Perhaps yes but I didn’t care. All I know was I am highly motivated to arrive at Manila Marathon 2019’s finish line with or without pain. And what I needed to plan was how to still look good in photos because it’s a requirement! Like you know, all for the damn gram.
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 and there’s nothing like coming home to a yummy Filipino breakfast at 6:00 AM 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 M&Ms. The energy was good! Waiting 3 minutes before the gun start and with all those adrenaline, I couldn’t believe I’m doing this thing already.
So for the first 2 hours of the race, I was doing good. Continuously running at my chill steady pace and Roxas Blvd was stunning even at night.
Then I was somewhere in Makati already when I saw how far I’ve already run and that I thought “That’s 20KM only?” and it was almost 3 am. What the hell, I mean it in a good way. It’s 20KM already that it might felt like I was already running long but I was also still feeling great! No sights of pain yet.
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 longer because both my legs needed recovery already. I must say it was fun while 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.
Many kilometers later while battling the voices inside my head, 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. 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 doubt that came to me that they are all wrong.
After running a marathon
Can I just say that it was hella 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 oftentimes, 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.