I had no intention to join the 2nd Laguna Marathon, but thanks to the last ultra I ran 2 weeks ago, I was given THIS.
Yup, a free race kit. Oh, great!
I was still quite undecided on running it, but upon finding out the race kit’s worth was P1,200, I gave in as I didn’t want it to go to waste. Besides, maybe I was meant to run this one for some reason. *so drama, Jah! :D*
I get nervous whenever I sign up for one. They give me the jitters compared to joining a 50k ultramarathon even if the latter happens to be 8 kilometers longer.
I dread the 42.195k.
Based on the majority of runner friends I know, marathons are meant to be fast. It’s all about sub 6, sub 5, sub 4s and the PRs runners try to beat with each try. They take these seriously and train for it for weeks. Runners make a big fuss about finish times for marathons unlike ultramarathons where just being able to finish is enough.
This was the 2nd Laguna Marathon. Aside from the 42k distance, they also had shorter distances of 25k, 8k and 4k. Our gunstart was at 2:30a.m. and was an out and back route from Laguna Sports Complex.
There was the national anthem, prayer, stretching and race briefing.
Race Director, Pat Maranan noted how the race event had a low turnout of around 150 compared to his ultramarathon events with around 500 runners. He said runners seemed to be more willing to run an ultra than a marathon these days. On the brighter side however, he saw it as an advantage for us runners as we were easier to watch over.
The Actual Race
The start was incredibly STRONG. 😮 Everyone ran so fast!
“Wow, these runners trained for this!”, I thought to myself. I felt like a weakling. Oh, never mind, Jah! I was here just for mileage, plus any result of this would be great considering it wasn’t the usual marathon city route. It seemed like everyone was running a sub 7min pace or even faster. I tried not to push myself too hard as I didn’t want to burn out that early.
Trying my best not to be tempted into speeding up, one by one I was being overtaken by the runners from behind. Still, no one was walking yet! I felt I was being left waaaay behind as I could now no longer see the lead pack ahead. In front were like only one to three runners I could see from a far distance.
I continued to stick to my plan of running a 5k run all the way easy pace even if my legs felt like they didn’t want to run. I guess my legs were still warming up.
After the first 5k, I started with my run-walk intervals… finally! *whew* This was the 1st time I was using a 2 mins run: 30 secs interval for a complete marathon. Good luck to me!
The route had 3 areas with less than 1km each of really dark roads. Ugh! Glad I brought my headlamp with me. I don’t know how the runners ahead of me managed to run through it without headlamps.
There were dogs too, but these dogs were tame. The ones that barked were the ones tied on the other side of the fence while the dogs that roamed freely or slept on the road didn’t mind us at all.
The route wasn’t flat at all. It was rolling.
With dogs, dark unlit areas, rolling hills, running alongside cars, this wasn’t the typical marathon most runners are used to in Manila.
At Km10, I managed to catch up with more runners. Slowly, but surely, Jah. Sowly, but surely.
By Km20ish, I was surprised I caught up with the runners from the lead pack. Yey to the 2:30 intervals. The 2 minutes run was short enough to sustain and the 30 seconds walk was enough to reboot myself.
I still continued to take in my GU every 10k. Hydration points where water, ice, gatorade and bananas were located every 2kms.
It was after the u-turn heading out to the main road again with ricefields on the side (wish I had taken pixs to share to you guys) did the feeling of being tired start to creep in. The intervals were still sustainable although I can’t say I was running as fast as I was anymore. The gap between the runners became longer.
Along the way, Runmania’s vehicles kept me company as they kept going back and forth to drop off water in hydration stations giving me a honk as they’d pass by.
Passing by a barangay hall (?), an old man on the side of the road welcomed us saying there was water for us at the table ahead. There was the blue water container and um, just 2 cups for all the runners to use. I didn’t mind. Sus! Para ka naman hindi dating mountaineer. Definitely not for the squeamish.
The last few kilometers of any race always seem to be the longest, especially when the RunMania people keep saying “Malapit na!” or some bikers passing by tell you “Ma’am, 4 kilometers nalang! Malapit na!” Yeah, right! Like easy for you to say as you’re riding a bike. ;p
Entering the Laguna Sports Complex where we started, I almost got lost. I saw the big start/finish inflatable blue arc, but wasn’t sure if I was to turn right on the 1st corner or go straight and turn there instead. I had to stop and ask the runners behind me which way before proceeding.
Straight, one last right turn and before I knew it,
…I was done.
I am happy I still had energy to keep with my intervals until the finish and managed to end the last few meters still running. Just couldn’t sprint, though, but was happy just to still be running to the finish.
I am also happy that I managed to end up being the 2nd runner up female to finish the marathon even if I never really aimed for it.
I am happy for a sub 5 marathon finish given the non ordinary marathon route.
I am happy it even turned out to be my fastest marathon finish to date. 🙂 PR! Woohoo!
I am happy with the old friends I met again and new friends I made in this run.
I am happy that despite having had to wait for hours for our van to be complete (as there was only one van this time), we were able to have a good nap, good lunch and good laughs together.
I am happy that my kids were happy with the Mogu Mogu products I got as prize. 😀
This was a good run.
It was a happy one.
I’m so glad I ran it. 🙂
- Photo credits: Laguna Run, Aquizzed Snaps Photography
Distance: 42k (42.31km on my watch)
Overall Rank: 17/126
Female Ranking: 3/17