Cebu City Marathon 2011 holds my record for my fastest marathon so breaking my course record would also mean a new personal best—what a pressure! On a lighter note, merely completing CCM will finally take me across my first 3,000 kilometers. Will I be able to break my previous record, or will I just break a leg? That’s what went through my mind, and this was what went on with the race.
The best thing about out-of-town races is that I get to sleep in a hotel which is usually pretty close from the starting area. CCM was no exemption and as an added luxury, I can wake up later and leave my room just minutes before gun start. Unfortunately, a good long sleep doesn’t always come with it! My room was cool but my blanket was too warm: I was sweating under the sheets but shivering otherwise! Add to that the fact that I don’t easily sleep in places other than home and I got anything but a good night’s sleep.
I came out of my hotel just a few minutes before gun start: my walk towards the starting area served as my warm up. I’m not sure about statistics, but the crowd seemed to be just about the same as last year, but definitely much less than those in Manila. The race started promptly at 4AM, and it started with a nice fireworks display. Fireworks are kind of nice to look at, but maybe race organizers should reconsider using them because their smoke don’t dissipate that fast. I had to cover my nose to avoid inhaling its foul fumes.
Moving onto the race, the route was unchanged from last year so everything was familiar. There was just some minor but noticeable difference: the distance markers. At first I thought it was isolated, but it happened a few times: kilometer 8 and 10 markers were the other way around, and so were with at least two other points within the route. I don’t mind since I have my GF405 with me to measure my distance, but it’s kind of annoying as you may think you’re within your target pace, to find out much later that you’re not.
The weather was quite pleasant early in the day, and I even thought that it may rain during the race as it had earlier, but sadly it didn’t, and the clouds dissipated after a while. The rains prior to the race weren’t that strong but it was enough to make the starting area (where we deposit our bags) muddy so even before the race started my shoes were already heavy and wet with mud. A few kilometers henceforth, my socks were wet, and later on the inevitable, blisters! The lack of mileage, the not so cool weather, the less than ideal sleep, and the huge blister on my right foot—all I tried to ignore and just gave it my best but to no avail. My first half done in two hours flat—shameful because of the fact that it’s net downhill! There goes the new personal best, here comes the dreadful uphills, and the sun!
“Second Wind.” I didn’t know if that’s what happened towards the end of the race, but I knew I was on a roll towards the end as I finished merely five minutes off my course record, which was also my personal best. Just after the first half I was struggling and my pace dropped to about 7:30/km so I was projecting a finish of around 4:30:XX to 4:45:XX, so I was surprised to finish in 4:24:24! I guess I was really lucky, but had I actually prepared better for this, I may have had a new best to start the year. Oh well, I had so much fun anyway! My past year’s experiences went rushing back into my memory as I ran the route, and now with some new ones to add.
Cebu City Marathon 2012 is as good as I remembered it, except for the crazy kilometer markers. If not for that minor glitch I actually thought it got better! The route’s the same but the support got a notch better with more sports drinks, water showers from firetrucks, and lively volunteers! I so loved it when they poured ice cold water on me! It’s such a wonderful experience that I’d probably reserve the first week of January for this race from now on. I so love Cebu City Marathon, and I so love Cebu City!
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Cebu City Marathon just gave me my first 3,000 kilometers! Admittedly, it took a while, but I could not have thought of a better place of achieving it than in Cebu! To the organizers and all the people behind CCM, a big thank you! Congratulations to all my fellow finishers as well! Race results can be viewed here.
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Dried Mango Chronicles: