TBR Dream Marathon: Congratulations and Thank You

Still on a high after me and Suzanne (my wife) successfully finished our first marathon at the TBR Dream Marathon last Saturday at Nuvali, Laguna. So many ideas and stories running through our minds right now that we don’t even know where to begin. It may even take several entries to recount the wonderful experience of our ‘”BestEST First Marathon.”

But one thing that’s very clear to us is how overwhelmed we are by the event and how thankful we are for having been a part of it. So, let me start by expressing our sincerest thanks and congratulations to all who made the event possible.

Many Congratulations and Many Thanks to:

  • Jaymie, The Bull Runner, for conceptualizing and staging the Dream Marathon. I had planned to run my first marathon December 2010, but the Dream Marathon enticed me to deviate from my plan. There are times when my stubbornness leads to me trouble but the beginner’s marathon you put together was just perfect! The Dream Marathon was a marathon that treated beginners as VIPs; you provided us everything that we need and more – bull circles with the best of the best, bull sessions with the Second Wind team, Coach Jim’s beginner’s program, dream chasers and pacers and a safe and memorable event. Congratulations once again!
  • Coach Jim Lafferty for developing a fantastic beginner’s program and for endlessly motivating all dream marathoners. Your optimism and energy was contagious!
  • Dream Chasers, Pacers and Second Wind team for the encouragement and motivation. You call our names and tell us we’re doing okay – wow, hearing one’s name being cheered on is indeed a great boost! You endlessly tell us we’re doing a good job no matter how tired we are. You all lifted our spirits and helped us cross the finish line. (Our special thanks to my good friend and officemate Eric for cheering us on complete with banners – thanks man! And also to Ms. Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan for never failing to cheer runners whenever she passed by – in fact, I noticed Suzanne running faster whenever you cheered us on)
  • Takbo.ph for the cheers and support. You are such a fantastic group. We wanted to personally thank all of you but did not have the chance to. Hopefully, we get the chance to do that in future races and events. We hope to finally be a part of the Takbo.ph ‘class picture’ after a race.
  • Fellow Dream Marathoners for being very friendly and supportive. Everyone was supportive of each other – a friendly ‘good morning’ here and there, a warm ‘good luck’ here and there and countless bright smiles all over. Congratulations as well to all of you!
  • Hydration Station Support teams all volunteers for your unwavering support in ensuring that we are hydrated. Add the fact that you also cheered for us and motivated us to complete the marathon.
  • Co-Presenters and Sponsors for all the goodies you gave us. You really spoiled and pampered us! Thank you also for making the event a success.

Right this moment, both of us looking forward to next year’s TBR Dream Marathon. We are expressing our intent to help in any way we can. Count us in!

In conclusion, let me just say that it’s true what everybody says – that you’ll never forget your first marathon. And all of you made it possible for me and Suzanne. We are sincerely appreciative and grateful for all your help. Thank you for positively changing our lives.

Condura Run 2010: FlatFoot’s Continuing Cramps Debacle

Five 21K races, five cases of leg cramps! That is the sorry and sad tale that yours truly has experienced in each of his 21K races. A little refresher:

  • QCIM – cramps at KM 20 (21K debut)
  • Adidas KOTR – cramps at KM 18
  • Timex Run – Cramps at KM 18
  • Philstar Run – Cramps at KM 17
  • Condura Run – Cramps at about KM 18

A five-for-five batting average is good for most sports, but not in a case like this. Time and again, I’ve been humbled – and embarrassed – by cramps. One minute, I’m running a pretty good pace; the next minute, I’m wobbling and agonizing in pain. I can’t seem to complete a 21K without yielding to cramps. The frustration just keeps building up.

I was running at a comfortable and good pace. At the 16K marker, I had it at 1 hour 33 minutes. I felt I was on-course to finish within 2hours 5 minutes. Then, at about the KM 18 mark, cramps suddenly got in the way and it completely caught me off-guard. My previous cramps started with a bit of a ‘warning’ – some muscle tightening and fatigue. This time around, it just happened!

My leg cramps at the recently concluded Condura Run 2010 was the bitterest pill to swallow – physically and emotionally – as I trained well and hard for it (or so I thought?!). Physically, it was so painful that it seemed I didn’t train at all. Emotionally, it left a psychological trauma that bothered me for so many days. “Why, oh why?” was the only question I had.

As frustrating and depressing as it is, I know that I’m back to the drawing board. I need to go back and see what I did wrong in training. Already, I think Natz (i2runner) has a very good point – that I run ‘on-pace’ in my long runs. That is, instead of doing an LSD, I should train to run long within my 21K pace and not in a slow pace. He may be right as I can complete a 21K LSD without cramping.

And so, after feeling down a few days, my resolve is as strong as ever. I’m confident I can get this monkey off my back. Time to train again and time to train more wisely and effectively.

By the way, FlatFoot’s Better Late than Never Condura Run 2010 Review

OVERALL RATING

I’ll be using a scale of 1 to 5 defined as: 1-Poor, 2-Fair, 3-Good, 4-Very Good, 5-Excellent.

I would rate this run event as a 4.5/5 – Almost Excellent! Congratulations to Mr. Ton and Mr. Patrick Concepcion for staging a successful 2010 Condura Run. Here’s me wishing that we all get to run along Skyway again next year.

THE HIGHS

Organized race kit distribution. It wasn’t perfect but it was a remarkable improvement from last year’s race kit redemption mishaps. There were many tents manned by friendly and accommodating volunteers. The tents were also labeled accordingly to direct runners where to claim their kits.

The Skyway experience. It is the only running event that takes 21K and 42K runners to the Skyway.

Race started early and on time. With fireworks at that too! With the heat, I’m sure glad the race started that early.

Adequate water stations with abundant supply. Water and 100Plus sports drinks were properly segregated. There were also people handing out cups of water to make it easier for runners.

Finisher’s Medals for all distance categories. Most races only give medals to 21K or 42K finishers.

Safety and Security of runners were ensured. There were enough traffic aides and marshals along the race route.

Presence of KM markers. I don’t have a way of telling its accuracy, but it’s greatly welcome that the markers were there.

Runners helping runners. When I succumbed to cramps during the last 3 kms., there were some runners who asked if I was okay and some even offered to run with me and pace me to the finish. I wasn’t able to get their names but I owe them big time! Thank you!

Other positives: Many portalets in the start/finish area and some along the race route; Cold sponges; Water tanks to spray cool water to runners; Bananas being given to runners; Motivators and bands along the route; Nice commemorative T-Shirts; Philippine Star Condura Run supplement section; Lots of freebies (ice cream, beer, MH & WH back issues); Race results for 10K/21K/42K were released within 12 hours.

THE LOWS

Missing bar codes for 21K & 42K race bibs. It was highly commendable, though, that it was addressed immediately. The organizers sent information via email, blogs and SMS on what to do.

Unlit areas along Kalayaan flyover and Skyway. I almost tripped in a pothole along Kalayaan flyover.

Not all received the finisher’s medals. From the Condura Run website, it is said that there was “an attempt to take the box containing several medals.” As such, if you registered on or before Jan. 24 and you didn’t receive the finisher’s medal, just send an email to: secretariat@condura.com

See you all at next year’s Condura Run. Cheers and Happy Running!