This year’s installment of the Condura Skyway Marathon could arguably be considered as the best one yet, but there were still some things that could’ve gone better.
Before I knew it, January was over and it’s already February! Needless to say but I was probably less prepared for this race than my previous marathon where I was at least able to squeeze in some decent runs. For Condura Skyway Marathon I got entangled well with work that I wasn’t even able to maintain my fitness regimen! And by the time the weekend came up I wasn’t really that inspired to run—only the thought of that beautiful medal was my inspiration to get up so early that morning.
With hardly just two hours of sleep I was like a walking zombie on the road. It was so early in the morning then, and I realized that getting a taxi isn’t as easy as I thought it would be so in the end I arrived at Bonifacio Global City just a few minutes before gun start. Of course there were some routines I had to do (including checking-in my bag) before joining other runners so in the end I started at least two minutes into the race! Wow, late. Good thing timing chips were used.
The bad thing for me about starting late is the pressure of catching up to other people. Usually on a normal race, my first few kilometers starts slow because of the crowd, but at the same time serve as my warm-up. Since there was no one else around I don’t exactly have a delimiter on my speed so I ended up running faster than the usual. Eventually I was able to catch up with the tail end of the trailing crowd and even pass them but this resulted in a weird “tired” feeling—warmed-up too fast.
Originally I was hoping to beat my previous Condura Marathon time of four and a half hours but early in the race I knew that it may not be realistic because of the early onset of fatigue—but it was worth the try. Water stations were spaced about every 2 kilometers so hydration won’t be much of an issue to slow me down, although the Skyway would really pose some challenge.
Being one of the “better” races in the country, I didn’t bother getting anything more than the lone energy gel that I have for the race—bad move! Yes, there were plenty of hydration stations but only a few were serving sports drinks. As I progress this resulted in just about every part of me having quick short pains that would lead to cramps if not handled well. I had pains, one at a time, on both my quadriceps and hamstrings, side stitches on both sides, and at one time even in my mid-section. It was a good thing that I still carry my hydration belt with a bottle of my preferred sports drink to prevent its full onset.
As if those intermittent pains were enough, my body finally settled for one injury: my right plantar fascia (the arch). I wasn’t really prepared for all the ramps the Skyway brought so my plantar fascia took the toll at around 30 kilometers into the race. By then I walked for the most part all the way to the finish, taking care not to aggravate the injury further by landing on the outer side of my foot. As a side effect, my left peroneus longus (lateral muscles outside of the lower leg) also got sore while compensating for my strides. It was definitely not my day.
It wasn’t all bad things though as I was able to meet old friends that I wasn’t able to see for a long time, some also running their races, some taking pictures, some volunteering at aid stations, and some after the race. It’s always nice to see a familiar face on the road, much more if they’re cheering for you! Nice to meet you guys again and thank you for the cheers! Thank you as well for all the photos! 😀
Despite my race not being as good as I expected this race was definitely memorable as I ate constantly during the race whenever I can. I consumed 2½ bananas, a pack of sweet and salty nut trail mix, a sachet of energy gel, a 500mL of sports drinks, and an indefinite amount of water. Some race marshals were actually looking at me while I munched on that trail mix and bananas while I run the Skyway. Of course this also resulted in a twice visit at the toilets along the route, and another one quickly after—my most hydrated marathon so far!
In the end I was able to finish less than two minutes off my previous time despite having one of my worst race performances. Oh well, there’s another day to take a revenge with the Skyway!
The Marathon Review
The 42K route of the Condura Skyway Marathon 2011 is excellent as you get that rare opportunity to run the length of the Skyway, including the newly constructed extension. Hydration stations were nicely spaced at two kilometer intervals, some serving sports drinks and some even bananas. The starting time, though earlier than the usual at 3:30AM, is also ideal as runners were able to enjoy more time without the sun. Race marshals were everywhere so there’s little chance of getting lost (if that was still possible). Portable toilets were placed along the route so you don’t have to do your business in the eyes of the public. Timing sensors were surprisingly plenty as well and placed strategically, aside from the ones at the start and finish lines. Sealing the deal is one of the most beautiful and possibly the largest finisher’s medal in the country.
On the other hand there were some demerits, mostly from the less than ideal distribution of sports drinks which were expected at races of this caliber. For the most part runners were being served only water which may have led to a few runners having cramps. And although bananas are nature’s energy gels there were only a few station that serves it so unless you brought your own supplies you may have some nutrient deficiencies.
With all things considered, my overall verdict with Condura Skyway Marathon 2011 is 4½ / 5. It is safe to say that it had reached a status at par with the best in the region, if not the world.
The Condura Skyway Marathon 2011 has one of the best finisher’s goodie bags I’ve ever had and one of the best post-race activity areas. It was very much organized, everything was in order and accessible, and there were many freebies! My favorite one though was the free ice cream so get back some calories lost during the race.
One notable feat of the Condura Skyway marathon 2011 was is amazingly quick release of race results. A day after the race, the partial and unofficial results lists were already published and the day after, the official race results.
The services of Marathon-Photos were also used to capture our race pictures, and while I did get some really nice pictures to boast, I’d surely miss the era of free photos bundled with the race fees. Photo downloads start at $14.99 (that’s US Dollars!) and prints start at $5.99, but you can download your finisher’s certificate for free.
I would like to congratulate the Concepcion brothers for bringing the best Condura Marathon so far! It had come a long way, constantly improving with each iteration, and we know that it will continue to be better. Thank you Mr. Pat and Ton Concepcion!
I would also like to congratulate all the finishers of this year’s race. Congratulations guys for a job well done! Stay motivated and keep running!
To all the race marshals, volunteers, traffic aids, and everyone involved to make this race a great one, thank you very much! You’re all part of this race’s success as much as we do.
Let me end this post with a quote I got from a past race: “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.” We may not always get what we want, but it’s no reason not to have fun!