Posts Tagged ‘Milo Marathon

27
May
19

2019 National MILO Marathon

The 2019 edition of the National MILO® Marathon has been officially launched and there are some notable changes this year.  Continue reading for more details.

Samples of the actual singlet, finisher shirt and medal, and other inclusions when you sign up.

Continue reading ‘2019 National MILO Marathon’

22
Aug
11

The Joy of Running in the Rain

This is probably the only way I can describe the video below, scenes from the 35th National MILO® Marathon Manila Eliminations.  I posted it here to motivate me (and hopefully, others) whenever rain pours on my (our) runs.  Too bad I missed the water therapy. 🙂

31
Jul
11

The 35th National MILO® Marathon Manila Eliminations Race Results

I can’t believe that it had already been a full two years since my first marathon at the 33rd National MILO® Marathon!  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to join this time, but for all those who participated I’m sure you’re eager to see your race results which are now available.  Talk about the fast!

Click here to view the race results for the 35th National MILO® Marathon Manila Eliminations.

To all the finishers, Congratulations! 😀

21
Jan
11

2010 in Pictures

2010 was the year running took a backseat from my list of activities, but in between my great hiatus there were some interesting events that transpired.  Here’s a look back at how 2010 was for me:

January

The highlight for the first month of 2010 was my return to running with a 50K test run of the Bataan Death March (BDM) Ultramarathon (first 50K of the actual route).

With our support crew (courtesy Gail Consolacion)

(Continue reading…)

09
Sep
10

A Weekend of Adventure (Preview)

This weekend is one of the busier weekends as far as running is concerned: five races are simultaneously held, two of which are in Bohol!  Beginning with Metro Manila: the FINEX Run in SM Mall of Asia, The FS Run is Bonifacio Global City, and The Green Mile in Ayala Alabang.  Elsewhere, in Bohol, there’s the Tagbilaran leg of the National MILO® Marathon, and The North Face Thrill of the Trail in Danao.  It’s probably the same time that I saw two races simultaneously held in a province.

Five races, one long weekend

(Continue reading…)

13
Jul
10

34th National MILO® Marathon: R&R (Runners and Review)

This year’s installment of the National MILO® Marathon (Manila Eliminations) takes the race on an entirely new level.  Personally I’ve never had any local race come close to what MILO® had achieved with this year’s Manila Eliminations, and despite so many new developments it still had plenty of room for improvements.

The Runners

I consider MILO® Marathon as a runner’s race.  Never in any race have I met so many “real” runners.  I say “real” because of their genuine passion for the sport.  They’re not in it for bragging rights, nor the prize, but instead to prove their worth.  And this race never runs short of them.  Runners coming in all sorts of form: some without an arm, or a leg, some short of height, or youth, or health, but definitely never short of honor and talent.  I’m humbled by the presence of these runners as in their eyes I’m still a mere “visitor” in their turf—a turtle in a race of rabbits (so that’s why I was wearing green! :D).

Turtle spotted 😛

I remember vividly on my way to the final turn-around, a lady old enough to be my grandmother already on the way back!  Definitely gives a literal meaning to the Tagalog saying, “Papunta ka pa lang, pabalik na ako.” (roughly, you’re just on your way forth, I’m already headed back)

Where there’s light there’d be shadows, and lurking within the crowds of the runners and the participants like myself were those self-centered glutton thieves, out to steal pride and honor that they lack.  I won’t dig deep into the rotten pits of the underworld but it seems that where they came from qualifying for the finals is everything!  In their world one should qualify no matter what it takes!  Was it the free race?  Was it the free singlet and shorts? Or was it the free food at the Carbo-Loading party?  Could this be “poverty” in the runner’s world?

Had some of these creatures viewed out their window while taking that van, or that other one not made a relay out of the marathon, or that other one not skip those loops, perhaps they would’ve seen and be humbled by the efforts made by those “real” runners.  As a mere participant, I’ll always admire these “real” runners (and hope to join their ranks in the future).

The Review

The series had begun long before many of us were even born (myself included) and I could say we grew up with awareness of it.  Who would’ve known that I too would be part of it?

For my third time joining MILO® Marathon I’d say this is the best one yet.

Pros:

  • Reasonable registration fee
  • Better registration process
  • Donate A Shoe program
  • Good quality singlet
  • Relatively challenging route
  • Earlier gun start
  • Bananas, energy gel (Hammer), sports drinks (Gatorade), and water throughout the route
  • Timing chip
  • Numerous portable toilets at various locations along the route
  • Sponge (limited)
  • Finisher’s shirt! 🙂

Marathon with three loops? 😦

Cons:

  • Insufficient hydration during the critical times of the race (last loop to the end)
  • Three loops in the route
  • Crowd control, particularly near the Finish
  • Baggage counter (for 5K)

Race in progress, look at the background 🙂

Suggestions:

The overall system may have improved but some old problem still remains: people!  Some staff still don’t know where their baggage counter is (or if they have one), many still don’t know how to properly man runners and spectators (a few runners thought the Start line is the Finish line and people kept crossing the road while the race was in progress), some don’t know how to handle, store, and distribute bags in their baggage counters (that ruckus with the 5K baggage counter), and overall the organizers are still not ready for major emergency situations (resulting in reported deaths during the Manila Eliminations).  Hopefully in all future races all people involved with the race are properly informed and trained of their part so as to avoid the horrors of the past.  Accidents happen but it doesn’t mean it can’t be minimized.

For its 34th year there were a lot of sweeping changes, some made it better while some made it worse, depending on where your vantage point is.  For my marathon perspective it was one of the best races I’ve had so far despite having one of my worst finish in terms of time, and health (10 times of flyovers would take its toll).  I realized with this race that we don’t need another “International” marathon, MILO® is ready to take that place as far as the marathon is concerned.  It has shown it’s got that potential, there are just some more kinks that need to be ironed.  God is in the details.  Personally I’d give the 34th National MILO® Marathon Manila Eliminations a Very Good (4½/5) rating with all its improvements and the great overall experience (not necessarily all pleasant) I’ve had.

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10
Jul
10

34th National MILO® Marathon: “I did it for the Shirt!”

This statement basically sums up the reason I signed up for the marathon.  The new routes, timing chips, donate a shoe program, potential new PR, and even the medal were not enough to entice me to join—only the 42K finisher’s shirt.  On the other hand I had many reasons why I wasn’t jumping for excitement to join the race: my right knee still hasn’t reverted to “normal” level, I wasn’t prepared, my final exam was on the eve of the marathon, etc. just to name a few.  It was only through a “Divine intervention” that my fate was sealed—registered a day before the deadline of the extended registration period.

After an “interesting” commute I arrived at Quirino Grandstand at around 3AM, an hour before the marathon gun start.  Last year I arrived 30 minutes early but ended up 10 minutes late, and I didn’t want a déjà vu.

This race served as a mini reunion for me with my takbo.ph family.  I thought that I’d be running like I was during my first MILO® race (alone) but surely enough, the gang was there, although I was surprised that Vener (run unltd.), a two-time MILO® Marathon qualifier, didn’t join this year.

I arrived so early the Start line is just being set up! (That’s the Km 0 marker on the right)

With my finish time out in public I think I’m going to raise some eyebrows when I say that I intentionally capped my speed to around 9kph (kilometers per hour) or 06:40/km pace, and aimed just to finish within 6 hours (the curfew).  With a “not-so-normal” knee and with just a single 10K run (on trails with an ultramarathon pace!) I had to play safe as I have every intention of finishing this race!  (Marathons never get shorter or easier no matter how many times you do it!)Crawl if you must” as my friend Jet described his marathon experience.

Speed Limit

The marathon leg started at 4:09AM (Garmin), nine minutes off which is atypical by Mr. Rudy Biscocho’s standard.  The new “timeslot” is beneficial with our climate as runners get to enjoy less of the sun, even just for 30 minutes!  If you ask me I would even prefer it to start around midnight!

Before gun start (courtesy Vener Roldan)

I started the race with Rico, a fellow ultramarathoner, as the rest of the gang sped away into the horizon.  It was like the good old ultramarathon times when we just chat away the kilometers, except we were faster (conscious monitoring via GF405).  Occasionally we exceed my cap of 9kph (which I never mentioned to anyone until this post) but I didn’t mind as long as I didn’t feel any pains.

Manila Eliminations route

Everything was smooth-sailing until the sun slowly greeted the runners with his warmth.  I think some of us were solar-powered as I noticed the improving pace of the runners in our vicinity.  I’m stuck on first gear so eventually I had to let my buddy go ahead with his race.  I don’t have a schedule to keep, just a pace to maintain, so cruise control it was!

I was delighted to see takbo.ph’s support station en route but after passing the first time on the one near Aliw Theater I thought to myself, “shucks, two more loops… I can still smile now, I wonder how I’d be on the next loop more than an hour from now… and the next one after that!”

First loop

First loop complete, two more!  MILO® really exhausted my tolerance on loops by having not just two but three loops of 10K length.  At my “cruising” speed of 9kph it would take me an hour and a half to complete one—it’s like watching a boring movie three times in a row.  The things I’m willing to do for that shirt!

Loop two, boring, and hot!  The loop section was pleasant as there were shade early in the morning and there were bananas and energy gels offered to runners.  Forgive my hoarding but I took two gels on my second loop as I instinctively know that there’d be none on the third loop!  (Which proved to be right)

Third loop, this is it!  To my surprise one by one I’m overtaking some buddies who were way ahead of me.  It hurts me to overtake anyone as I publicized that my target was just to do a “walkathon” of 6 hours.  As much as I’d love to stay and chat my “cruise control” was still intact so I had to overtake, sorry about that.

Completing the first loop

Approaching Aliw Theater for the third time I felt my body warning me of an imminent cramp—both on my quads and hamstrings! Luckily I was approaching takbo.ph’s support station so I asked for anything that could help.  As I approached I saw a runner that fainted, but he was already being tended to.  As much as I would like to stop and help I’d just be a nuisance since I wouldn’t know what to do anyway, so I just went on and got some of that liniment spray which effectively stopped the onset of cramps—or so I thought.

Just a few hundred meters later my hamstrings were really giving me some serious symptoms.  Fortunately the liniment wasn’t absorbed totally yet so I had to reapply it all over without stopping (I felt that if I stopped I’d get stuck!).  That time it worked but I had to tune down my cruising speed to 8kph with short walk breaks.  The walkathon had begun!

By the time I was running for that 42K turnaround point I was really hating those two flyovers—for the sixth and seventh time before turning back for more which made the 42K route having a total of 10 flyover crossings, a PR?  Now who says that the route was flat?

Walking… with a smile 🙂

Homestretch, around 5K to the Finish—no more water!  My worst nightmare has come.  It’s my first marathon all over again.  With an empty hydration belt on my waist and no water station in sight I was forced to walk.  This time around some of those I overtook earlier caught up with me, and even if I wanted to join them I simply cannot without water (call me Agua :)).

Cultural Center of the Philippines—an oasis as far as MILO® Marathon is concerned where one of the last standing hydration station serving sports drinks remains.  I wanted to refill my hydration belt then but they’re down to their last few cups so I just restocked with the contents of a cup (just a few sips worth).  A little more than 3K to go!

Walk-run combo was the theme for many runners during that last 3K.  Anyone who has run Roxas Blvd. would know how hot it can be, even as early as 8:30AM.  If you don’t have support it’s better to play safe.

Just crossed the Start line approaching the Finish (courtesy Rene Villarta)

Finally I can see the Start line, down to the last few hundred meters!  I wanted to run but I was so dehydrated that I can only manage short bursts.  And on that final curve to the Finish I saw Rodel (The Argonaut) who overtook me a while back.  As I approached him from the back I challenged him to run and unexpectedly he took the challenge!  And so, crazy as we were, we had a sprint showdown to the Finish, both of us on the verge of having cramps!  I jokingly said to him “unahan na lang mag-cramps” (it’s just a matter of who gets a cramp first) as we sprinted towards the finish line, no one willing to be the runner-up.  Like with my BDM102 power tripping, I won’t just hand over that ranking without a fight :).  Isn’t it better to feel you have earned the spot rather than been given to you?

Final sprint to the Finish (courtesy PhotoVendo)

That was the longest and one of the most enjoyable sprint to the Finish line I ever had!  I guess my competitive instincts got the best of me, thank you Rodel for giving me one challenge I won’t soon forget!  (I probably cut down a minute because of that crazy long sprint!)

In action (slower than real-time) 🙂

After crossing that shoot my finisher’s medal and certificate was awarded along with a loot bag and that most anticipated finisher’s shirt!  It’s a shirt that isn’t even branded but is worth that 42.2K trip.  Completing that MILO® Marathon experience was that ice cold MILO® drink that I missed last year.

The constraints that I endured were insignificant compared to the differently-abled runners which I witnessed performing their best with integrity, many doing way better than I did!  This proves that if we really aimed for something and worked hard for it, despite the odds WE CAN!  That’s MILO’s message for everyone with their slogan “kaya mo ‘yan.”

Marathons are always enlightening—how anyone handled their race tells a lot on how they live their lives.  To the enlightened ones, congratulations!




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The MIRACLE isn’t that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the COURAGE to START
– John “The Penguin Runner” Bingham
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