The culminating activity of the Milo Marathon was held yesterday morning at the Quirino Grandstand. All 42K runners from the regional races who were able to make the cut-off time of 4:00 (I think) qualified to be part of the Milo Marathon National Finals. I woke up at around 5AM for this race and was glad that I no longer need to travel as my house is just a couple of blocks away from Luneta. I walked to the venue and arrived at 5:55. Enroute to Luneta, I passed by a convenience store to fill up one of my hydration bottles with a Gatorade. It was my first time to use my belt for a race and I was quite excited and feel professional altogether. Upon arriving at the venue, I saw that the start line was already filled with runners waiting for the gun start. And at 6AM, Mayor Alfredo Lim fired the gun and we're off to go.
Since the timing chip was used for this race, the start is like a bottle neck. The mat we need to cross was quite small and everybody waited for their turn to go about. I instantly started my running after I passed through the mat. I was pacing comfortably and was eyeing for someone I could pace (this is my new habit; pacing with someone I don't know. haha!). I saw this lady in mid-rib and I thought she is someone whom I could follow. Primarily because I think she is a pro and she could be easily distinguished from the green crowd. I did just that but at about 3K, I bid farewell to my pacer (who doesn't know I am pacing her) as I sarted to walk in preparation for the overpass we are about to reach. After a minute or so, I ran back and was able to climb the Buendia flyover without any problems. Walked a little at the top and resumed running downhill. I was very comfortable and was very happy with the first part of my run. I looked at my timer watch and saw that I clocked only 20 minutes in and I told myself that I am doing very well. I continued my running until I reached the turning point at Le Pavillion. I was then looking for a new pacer and I saw this guy clad in blue top. I immediately paced with him but after sometime I told myself that I could go faster. I did just that and overtook the guy. I was computing my time as I really wanted to get a new PR for this run. I was still at best when I started to feel tired. I decided to walk from Quirino to Rajah Sulayman. At this point, the blue guy passed me. I told myself that if I walk that distance, I will run the remainder to the finishline. I walked and immediately gained my running pace from Rajah Sulayman till UN Avenue. At this point, I was able to overtake again the blue guy and told myself, I should finish before him. I stopped running through UN Avenue to Kalaw as I was trying to strengthen my systems to finish strong.
Upon traversing the street of Kalaw, I ran and finished the course. Finishing ahead of the blue guy. I checked my timer and I clocked 1:10. I was a little disappointed since my best 10K PR is 1:09. But then, if I compare my previous Milo record with my new one, it is indeed a BIG improvement. My record in the July 5, Manila Eliminations was 1:26 and now I got it down to 1:10, therefore, a 16 minute diferrence is a great improvement. I still have to see though the official times as to be posted by Milo.
I am happy and fulfilled that I did this. Even though this time, I was running alone, I enjoyed it and maximized it to the fullest.
Photo below is a sample of how Milo Marthon is filled with Green Runners (photo taken from the net)