I met new runner friends from takbo.ph. A group of wonderful
people who welcomed me into their clique with open arms. You guys rock!
The race started about an hour late. First time for me to experience a late gun start. And so I was informed by my new friends that, "yes, it happens". Gun start was suppose to be at 8am. I thought that was already too late. Oh dear, the heat! The sun! I avoid it like the plague!
People at the starting line at the Malinta Tunnel, were getting restless. Over in the front they were cheering and clapping, making all sorts of noises as if to say, "Hello? Let's go! What are we waiting for?" To this day, I wonder what took them so long.
Finally, the gun went off. And I thought I was gonna trip or fall on someone at the start of the race. It was sooo dark inside the tunnel! But I didn't. That would've been my karma for being so anal about the gun start. haha!
I can say that this race humbled me right from the start. It was truly the most difficult race of 2009. Just a few kilometers from the starting line, the very first and most unforgiving uphill faced me and as my muscles began to ache, I was asking myself what I got myself into. Does anyone know the incline on that hill? Calling all Garmin users!
What was I thinking?
1. My farthest run ever was 10K and it was just a week before at the New Balance Power Race.
2. I didn't have enough time to train for this grueling 16K!
I just pleaded to God to let me finish this race unscathed. Unfortunately, right after that morbid uphill my right ankle started to hurt. It was a sharp pinching pain which I tried so hard to ignore. But when I reached my 10K it really started to bother me. My body pleaded for me to stop but I just didn't want to give up. Ankles, don't fail me now!
As I struggled with the pain, a breathtaking view made me stop. Completely. I haven't seen anything this beautiful in a long time. I was lucky to see Earl behind me and I screamed and said, "Earl, picturan mo ako please!" Those benches looked really inviting. *snaps out of the spell*
Darn it! That photo op caused me a minute or two! Well, it was worth it. It already seemed like I was doing more of a "Picture Pace" since my injury was slowing me down.
I tried to distract myself. I took off my left earpiece so I can hear the cool breeze and the rustling trees, while I still listen to my playlist on the other end. It was nice to get away from the city. From all the busy streets, smog and pollution. To breathe fresh air and experience nature while running. Priceless.
My Nike Sportband said I just had 5K left until I reach the finish line. That's still a long way! My ankles are already about to surrender and break free from my legs and just bury itself somewhere in the forest. Yeah right about this moment, here on this trail, the pain was already unbearable. And the rocky terrain made it worse.
Thank you Earl for the pic, by the way. The first ever pic of me running. I wish to have one with me actually facing the camera. Hehe!
Anyway, I was just a few kilometers from the finishline, I couldn't believe I was looking at the same god-forsaken uphill again! Was I running around in circles?! Aaaargh! ... And so the "limp-running" started. So many service cable cars passed me with some runners on it (later on I found out that they were the ones who couldn't finish the race anymore). I was tempted, at this point, to call it quits. Seriously. Either that or someone will just pick me up from the pavement later on.
I couldn't care much about my ambitious goal of finishing within 2 hours anymore. I just wanted to FINISH. Period.
And I did.
Below are my colorful straws that they hand to the runners every 4 miles (i think).
My sportband says I finished at 2 hours and 21 minutes (see pic above). My runner friends said that it is a good time for a first timer on a 16K run. But it wasn't good enough for me. It wasn't my intention to compete against anyone in this race. I was in it to compete against my worst adversary...MYSELF.
Yes. I can say...
I Came. I Saw. I Conquered Corregidor.
But I promise to do better next year.
Kudos to the organizers! I'm sure you've heard about the other complaints already from the forums and blogs, so I will spare you since I couldn't care less about those issues in the event anymore. I was just happy to be a part of it. Thank you for the challenge! See you again next year! =)
p.s. Just wanted to share this funny pic from takbo.ph forum member, Jaypee. Told you it was a tough course. LOL!
More pics to HERE! ♥.•:*¨*:•.♥
*UPDATE: Race Results are out. Download it HERE. So, apparently I finished it at 2:24:39 =)
*photo credits: Caezar and Rodel