The fifth of July, 2009 at the Manila eliminations race of the 33rd Milo Marathon, the road to the marathon is set, and I’ll be having my debut. Yes, you read it right—after almost 11 months since my first race ever and 7 months since my first Milo Marathon experience, I’m taking the big leap and would be running my first marathon.
I originally planned to have my first marathon next year because earlier this year I thought it was too early. With some unexpected twists of events I eventually found myself doing an ultramarathon, and now to be a “complete” ultramarathoner, a full road marathon.
Choosing My Stage
It was actually Craig who first urged me to have my first marathon this year. Back then we were actually talking of staging it in Subic International Marathon on October 24 but eventually the plan was pushed back to the Quezon City International Marathon a week earlier, until the talk of having a takbo.ph support group was initiated.
Being a “regular runner” I do not have the resources to put up my own support group. With the overwhelming support I’ve seen from my takbo.ph family I was persuaded to take the leap—even if Milo Marathon was way too early for my plans. After TNF100 my plan was to start my marathon training this July with June being my recovery month from the ultramarathon—and now I’m having my marathon in July! I’ll have an excellent support group and I’ll be having a debut on the country’s premiere running event—sounds like a plan.
Training you say?
I’m not mocking the marathon for joining it seemingly unprepared; in fact I had the most reservations in joining one because I regard it higher than my ultramarathon. Yes I may lack speed training that I so badly need but I am hoping that the endurance training I had for TNF100 would fuel me enough to at least make it through the curfew time. Deep in my heart of course I so desire to reach my dream of finishing my first marathon at 3:59:59 to qualify for the finals, but then simply finishing one within the curfew is already an accomplishment—one that gives me chills due to a concoction of excitement and apprehension.
Taking the Plunge
The main deciding factor for me in finally doing a marathon after less than a year of running was definitely the support. Yes, running is an individual sport—it’s non-spectator, a grave abuse of your body, and a mind game as well—but all these “tortures” seem to blur when you know you have your friends at your back supporting you. Those cheers may not affect you physically but they do boost people’s morale.
Thank you to my takbo.ph family especially the Milo Support Group! Your support means a lot to us who will be braving the marathon. Thank you very, very much from the bottom of my heart and I really appreciate all your efforts.
To the Almighty who gave me a willing and capable body and mind to face one of the most grueling challenges I impose on myself I am forever grateful. May His grace drive me to finish in good health.
To my fellow Milo Marathoners good luck to all of you! May God give us that day and help us conquer the challenges of the marathon. God bless us all!
To those dreaming to do their first marathon, stop dreaming and start doing! I was once a dreamer like you but if I stayed “dreaming” I wouldn’t have made my dreams into reality. Running gives you the opportunity to know yourself better and know your limits; and with that you’d know which path you’d take to get from dreaming to living it.
“The MIRACLE isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that
I had the COURAGE to START.”
– John “The Penguin Runner” Bingham