I've always wanted to try running in one of the provincial legs of the Milo Marathon. (Just to be clear: not to qualify, only for the experience.) When a runner friend mentioned he was planning to run the San Pablo leg, I immediately wanted to tag along. I needed the mileage (for RU3) and it was one of the nearer provincial leg locations from Metro Manila.
We traveled to San Pablo September 1 (Saturday) afternoon, with an approximate 2-hour travel (traffic was bad due to the rain and road works). We stayed at Tahanan ni Aling Meding, and we were surprised race organizers and marshals were staying there too (Runrio vehicles parked everywhere when we arrived). I had a feeling I've been to the place before, and it took some time before I realized I stayed there when I attended a friend's wedding years back.
|Tahanan ni Aling Meding entrance|
|Great view from the hotel veranda - Sampaloc lake|
The gun start is at its usual time for the half marathon - 4:30am. There were only a few 21k runners in attendance (found out in the results there were only 225 finishers). The starting line is just a few meters away from where we were staying.
It's been a while since I paced someone in a running event. Ryan was targeting a new PR (his PR prior the San Pablo leg is 2:11), with a goal of 2:05. My tighter goal is a sub-2, so that I could have some buffer for failure. Hehe!
|Milo Marathon San Pablo race map|
On the final 5 kilometers, we were still on track for a sub-2. However, I was already feeling Ryan struggling to keep up with the pace I'm setting, with his heavy breathing. I can already hear how heavy each step he's making as he was already dragging his feet. It came to a point when I was behind him and literally pushing him up on an incline. As we reached the final stretch on the Central Elementary Oval though, he had the sudden burst of energy to sprint the last few meters, finishing with a time of 2:01:45 - not the sub-2 I have hoped for, but slashing off 9 minutes from his previous PR is no joke, especially with the killer route.
|My 3rd Milo Marathon medal!|
It was another great Milo Marathon experience, and I'm sure I'll be running more provincial legs in the future. Kudos to Milo and Runrio!