Subic International Marathon (SIM) dubs itself as “The most prestigious marathon in the Philippines.” Many of you may have an idea on the events that transpired, and this is the story of my partake on its “prestige.”
It was very early Saturday morning when we left Manila for Subic. Yet again it was another adventure for the weekend warriors. This would be the second International Marathon in the country for the month of October, and given the excellent event we had with QCIM we of course were expecting a great race. After all it is an international marathon, “the most prestigious” one as advertised.
After settling in our pad for a few hours the moment we 42K runners were waiting for had arrived. It would be my first sundown marathon, and saying I’m excited would be an understatement. It was particularly special for a few of my friends as they attempt their marathon debut with this event. At around 1PM we were off to the starting line, not just the 42K and 10K (Nike Human Race) runners but also our other friends who lovingly went with us for support. Indeed despite being out of town we had a lot of supporters around us—an enviable trait that not many running groups enjoy.
Are we there yet?
From our pad we drove all the way to Floridablanca Exit where the starting line was, and it was a very long drive. Knowing that the route we were taking would actually be our course it was exciting, but considering the time it took us while driving it, it was also very daunting. I never realized that a 42K route would be that long had it not been a loop course!
Literally just a few hours before the race we saw that the water stations were few and haven’t received their water rations. We had no idea how much water each one had—all we know was that there was too few for comfort. At that stage I was more excited than alarmed, although the idea of a “dry” marathon was at the back of my mind.
There were quite a lot of marathon runners that day so SIM could proudly say that they were the most attended international marathon to date. Of course our guest runners from Kenya are surely going to make a world-class race and how Filipinos would fare were still in question. Not before long runners were called to check in and to our surprise we were asked to dip our right index finger in ink! I kind of had a feeling that we were being used for some political act.
After all the subtle ceremonies, at 4:20PM the race started. As a “tourist runner” I fondly brought out my trusty camera and snapped along shots as the race unfolded. It was a very easy, relaxed, and happy run for me as I chat with fellow runner friends, some of whom I’ve not seen in a while. Runners do have their reunions on races! As the race gradually progresses the crowd slowly disperses and the road starts to get wider.
To those that aren’t running, they view running as something similar to what Usain Bolt does during his sprints, or when a thief runs when being chased by cops, so when they see us running leisurely they see us as walking. I think this was the remark I got from one of the marshals when he saw me taking pictures while “running.” I didn’t really process it at the time as I was busy taking pictures, but when I realize his point I checked my GF405 to confirm if I was walking—seven minute per kilometer—I don’t think I can “walk” that fast.
Anyhow I’ll let these pictures do the talking for me:
(Continued to Part 2)