This race could very well be my resurgence from oblivion… my revenge from all the negativities and other whatsoever’s of 2010; it will also be a reunion with the other members of Team BR-P whom I haven’t seen for months!
Initially, Condura is not on the list of races that I am supposed to do this year; I wasn’t even supposed to do any race this year. So when I decided that I want to do it, the registration was already close. I had to enlist the help of a friend who personally know Sir Patrick Concepcion if I can still get through. Luckily, they opened additional slots – I got in, but I had to pay more than the regular registration fee and my medal and finisher’s T-shirt will be delivered to me two months after the race.
I am pretty sure that I am more prepared for this race than when I did the CCM last month. Deep inside I want to race it and establish a new PR. Unfortunately, I got sick three days into the race. I took meds alright, but it wasn’t enough to pull me through.
I went to bed early and made sure that all my gears are ready for the next day. I wasn’t worried about waking up on time since somebody promised to make sure that I’ll be there before the gun start. Well, I had the most efficient alarm clock. Thanks so much!
I arrived quite early at BHS. I had ample time to visit with friends. It was a happy occasion! It was so good to see some friends from takbo.ph, the UPLB Mountaineers led by Coach Jan, Team CB, the TFC boys, and of course the Team BR-P! It was a blast; I haven’t seen these guys for ages!
I was anxious; apart from the fact that I am not really feeling well, I felt the pain in my knees before I even went to the starting shoot. I usually take my pain reliever somewhere between Km 10 to 15 but at that particular instance I took it before the race. Oh dear! This is not a good sign…
There were lots of ribbing on our way to the starting line. It actually helped in my growing anxiety. There were so many runners! I was guessing that there might be more than a thousand of us. The race started at exactly 0330H with fireworks and a simple countdown.
My friends took off at the sound of the gun… I had to take my time. In as much as I wanted to race it, I had to play safe. I have a marathon to run; the best thing I can do given my current circumstances is to just enjoy and to make sure that I finish.
Surprisingly, the route was well-lighted. Generators are positioned in critical places. The hydration tables are strategically located; the problem is I don’t drink 100plus so I had to save the Gatorade in my race belt in the latter part of the race. I had 5 gels, three of which are the Roctanes that Kenneth gave me after the CCM. I also brought some chocolate bites and some Hydrite. I was hoping that these provisions will bring me safely to the finish line.
I leave in Laguna so I traverse the Skyway almost every day… I also know that the Sucat Exit is already open since 15 December 2010, so I assumed that it will be part of the route. The foot of the Skyway started at KM 11, I was then running for more than an hour. I was still good although my breathing was a bit labored due to my lingering cough and colds. We were approaching Magallanes Exit when the 21Km runners came into view. There were so many of them! I strained my neck looking for Helen but I didn’t see her. I was happy to see Maridol and Gail cruising steadily.
As usual I was on my own until Gab caught up with me at Km18. He paced with me until Km21 where I sprinted to a new PR at 2:13. Thanks so much, Gab! I was still 3Kms away from the turn-around when I saw my friends already coming back. Wow! They were fast… I can already smell PR for most of them.
I was having a good time until I felt the dreadful chafe on my armpit at Km 27. It definitely slowed me down. Ang hapdi! I am just so glad that there was a petroleum jelly in the ambulance! I was literally saved by that unassuming lubricant! I saw Rodel at Km30 or more. He was my motivator and timer until we reached the support station of the Takbo.ph.
I thought I will be able to break my PR from here… but the Berlin wall came uninvited at KM 38… my split time showed that I was at KM 38.2 at 4:12:37; I arrived at Km40 at 4:31:41… Can you believe that?! Atty Cyrus saw me a few minutes after that. A much needed pacer during the most critical moment. Thanks so much, Cy! It means a lot to me…
You think I should have just closed my eyes and run like somebody is running after me? No, I didn’t… I increased the pace alright; but I took walk breaks! I took three in the span of that last 2Kms. Oh well…
Still happy with the results though; no justifications or excuses…
We had breakfast at Conti’s after the race. It was a classic TFC and BR-P moment. Lots of laughter and the likes. It was doubly special because it was the birthday of Iron Mari.
The dreaded flu virus unleashed it’s powers the next day. Really now, a week before the BDM test run and the Captain is on sick Bay…
Goodluck to me!