Before I got far from the group Quennie asked me if who was running with me. Being worn-out I didn’t immediately understand what the question was for and I was surprised that she was actually saying that she was ready to pace me! I was grateful enough with all the support I was getting and it was too much for me to ask for someone to pace me but she, without me even asking (and not knowing that I needed it) was willing to run the extra miles, literally! I even asked her if she was sure since it was still at least 11K and she unfalteringly confirmed. As I was a pacer last week, it was now my turn to have my own pacer. Another good reason to have friends that share the same addiction to running!
I really didn’t realize how important a pacer was until those moments. Honestly I didn’t know when I was a pacer if I was really needed. Now that the tables have turned I realized that runners, despite knowing beforehand that running is a solitude sport, are still people that also need company, in the case of running, a pacer. If seeing your friends cheering for you gives you a boost, what more if one or more ran with you? Truly I’m thankful to God for giving me the friends that I have which also share the same passion. These bonds that we form from our passion go beyond friendship—this is what I call a brotherhood.
At first I was a bit pressured by having a pacer but later on I found myself walking much less and again having the energy to run (not that fast of course). This was really a surprise for me and because of this a sub-five hours finish time was very much at hand. Eventually we crossed path with our group along Buendia Ave. which also signals the last few kilometers of the race.
Bring On the Heat
At long last, my pacer and I arrived at the last great straight of the race, Roxas Blvd. The sun was high in the sky, there were hardly any shade, and the temperature was starting to really rise—this was the final challenge that faced us before completing the marathon. I again was running out of water so I was again mindful of the situation. The lone (and abandoned) water station was almost out of water so even if I wanted to pour water on me I of course had to consider coming runners.
Being a flat and relatively straight road I was able to have a decent pace along the route but the heat really takes a toll on a lot of runners, including myself, so despite being the last few kilometers of the marathon it proved to be one of the toughest parts.
Last Few Kilometers
My pacer and I parted ways somewhere along the route and for some weird reason I had the energy to still run and this gave me a chance to overtake some runners who were no longer able to. Admittedly I was still walking parts of this route but this was mainly due to the heat that plagues us—with only a few kilometers to the finish there was no room for a heatstroke or dehydration.
The Run to the Finish
The last few meters to the finish felt like eternity but coming from the last corner and seeing the finish line I was almost teary-eyed—finally the glory of my first marathon was almost upon me. And at exactly 4:47:28 of race time I crossed the finish line—my first marathon was finally completed! I don’t know what to feel—all I remember was the feeling of euphoria for finally conquering one of the greatest human races, the marathon.
I was glad to see more of my friends upon crossing the finish line, and I was also glad to see some of them crossing the finish line. Like myself many of them were also having their marathon debut so it was a great day for many of us. And like last week when I welcomed one of my friends to the “ultra club,” I was now welcomed to the “marathoners club.” Now, almost a year into running I can proudly call myself an ultramarathoner by finally completing the missing piece, the marathon.
Coming out of the marathon I was relatively unscathed with only blisters all over and no serious injuries. In terms of calories I was able to spend at least 2544 kcal during the race and on the other hand consumed more than two and a half liters of sports drink and water, three packs of energy gel, and about two servings of banana.
I would like to thank my friends from takbo.ph especially the volunteers for the support group. Your support really pushed us harder in the right direction and we are thankful. Special thanks to Quennie who paced me at the moment I needed most. I wouldn’t have finished my first marathon in sub-five hours if not for your help and I really appreciate it. Finally to the Almighty for giving me an able body to finish the race, finishing it in good condition, and giving us that day of achievement.
Congratulations to all that conquered their challenges!
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The Chronicles of My First Marathon: