Cebu City SRP Midnight Marathon 42.2k 02/16/14
I needed to stop running. I earned it. With my first marathon and fifth half-marathon still so fresh in my mind and body, I’d have been enjoying a much-needed long vacation from running. Those races left me so spent that I swear I could hear parts of me screaming, “No more! Please no more!” However, I had registered for this late last year. This was supposed to be my first marathon, which was going to be held last December 2013, but a super typhoon blew it all the way to March 2014. So, there I was towing the line with an ensemble of marathoners on a cold midnight. Despite my worries and reluctance, a growing excitement welled up in me. I was really excited to experience Cebu City on foot in the middle of the night.
My excitement was quashed several kilometers later. I realized that, despite the pure awesomeness of running, it has its own share of haters. My running companions and I were ridiculed by partygoers and bystanders. I’ve had my share of hecklers before but this time their insults had more fire. It might have been the liquor or the late hour. My own susceptibility may have been fueled by my own weariness and insecurities. Whatever it was, the truth was lost on them. Running is fundamentally a great activity that promotes fitness. What we were doing was made even greater by the cause behind it. Eventually, I resolved to take my mind off the distractions. I had a marathon to run after all.
I had an easier time physically. The cool dawn weather kept me from overheating but there were so many turns on this race that I have lost sight of most of the other marathoners. It was creepy having the road all to myself. Whenever I caught sight of another soul, I would quickly use my fartlek strategy to catch up. It worked most of the time. I did have trouble with a barefoot runner but I passed him with four kilometers left in the race.
I can still remember the joy vividly when I saw my friends competing in the 5k category. The 21k runners finished so quickly that the loneliness was starting to sink in. I can deal with isolation but suffering on my own zapped most of mental resilience. I remember trying to race my friends and failing miserably. My legs were too tired and I honestly was reserving the last of my energies for the kick, which I did do. It was awesome. The realization that I had attain a PR in the end made the experience even more awesome though I could still hear parts of me screaming, “No more! Please no more!” I’m not one to ignore cries for help especially my own so I decided to limit myself to one marathon a year. At that instant, I swear I could feel my overworked parts let out a sigh of relief. I was now a two-time marathoner. I should let myself enjoy the victory. I did. 6:04:22