My husband and I joined the 21,000 registered runners in the Camsur Marathon last 25 September 2011. It was an event we conquered with pure determination and mental strength considering that our preparation was derailed by diversified and unexpected circumstances emerging in my career.
Let me account my personal and positive experiences pertaining to my third full marathon:
On Saturday morning, we took Cebu Pacific in going to Legaspi City. We traveled in less than an hour and before our final descent we were treated with beautiful view of perfect cone of Mayon Volcano. It was a welcome sight and another affirmation of the beauty of our country. I felt so happy that I finally saw it.
From the airport, we were fetched by Suyin’s aunt. They provided us transport in going to CWC. Along the way, we enjoyed the scenery and of course the chikahan. We traveled for an hour and a half before reaching our destination. Since we came ahead of check-in time, we had our buffet lunch within the resort. After lunch, we stayed in our cabana 33 while waiting for a friend who is the LBP Regional Head in Bicol to visit us. When he arrived, we watched the Jordan and Philippines basketball semis-match. Right after, we went to Naga for dinner but we stopped by the Basilica for a short visit. We dined at the Red Platter where food preparation was superb but of course we cannot indulge for we have to be light on the following day. We ended the day by strolling around the wakeboarding area.
The following day, we woke up around 2:30 am. After saying a short prayer, we did our usual pre-race rituals. Since there was no provision for hot drinking water or coffee in our room, we just ate bread and drank cold water for breakfast. Then, we checked our hydration belts, GUs, pastries and bars . Before getting out and walking to the starting line, my husband took our photos.
At the starting line, I set my Garmin so we can do the Galloway. This gave me confidence to finish and to recover fast. We also met there our cousin and her husband who will also be running their 42K. It will be the first full marathon for our cousin but her husband, a judge, just finished T2N a week ago. They looked both prepared and very strong.
Before the gun start, runners were treated with exciting fireworks and aerial coverage of the event. Everyone was excited and enthusiastic. Our cousin joined us in the middle of the pack while her husband set up to run ahead.
At exactly 4 o’clock , the countdown started…10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1..and go! After a few steps, my recent conversation with one of my sons flashed back to me. I can vividly remember when he asked me if I am ready for this full marathon and I answered him that I cannot say 100% because I missed some of my long and maintenance runs but I am sure I can finish this one. He responded that I should just run my first 32K in warm up pace or I should walk if needed. With that in mind, I ran with no pressure and in my own pace even at the dark.
Along the route, the people of Camsur, both young and old motivated us to run and finish the race. With special and distinct tone of “Good Morning” recited by boys and girls queuing along the way, we cannot passed without responding. We also enjoyed their “high and low fives”. The demonstration of hospitality of beautiful people of Camsur made our journey light and enjoyable. They pushed us to conquer this difficult activity with ease. They made us feel extraordinary citizens of the world. I have no regrets pursuing this race despite very challenging course and extreme heat burning my skin.
After stopping at aid stations a couple of times, and an instance that my husband changed his socks in the waiting shed, we survived the race. We ran side by side from start to 42K. In several occasions, I urged him to proceed and leave me alone in my pace but he stayed with me. He only obliged in the last 600 meters after we traversed the lagoon together. It was also the time I found out that we already covered 42K because this marathon is not 42.195k but 42.6k. At any rate, through this 2011 CAMSUR Marathon, we ran and sealed our 25 years of togetherness as husband and wife. I am proud of this achievement.
As I crossed the finish line, I got another surge of energy when I saw my husband and the crowd cheering and clapping for me. This was further reinforced when I saw my finisher’s medal waiting to be hanged to my neck. I love this moment! This made me stronger as if I can run several kilometers more after crossing the finish line. My husband is likewise very proud.
After a few hours of rest, the sad part of packing up and checking out came. However, we left Camsur with memorable and remarkable experience no one can take away. Thank you Camsur!