I conquered my sixth full marathon in a very challenging way. It was held in the beautiful island of Panglao, Bohol on 09 September 2012. It was a simple race with only 566 finishers in three categories, namely 5K (201 runners), 21k (175 runners), and 42K (190 runners).
At Bohol Beach Club, the race started around 4 am after a short warm up via sexy dance number from the local dancers (pam-painit for boys), followed by a count down and fireworks. We started uphill but my husband and I did very well. We ran all the way while it was dark. When the sun shine came, we joined the group doing 5-1 until we met the Ace Lim, brother of Tagbilaran Mayor, who was a finisher of 50-states marathons in the US. He was doing a 1-1 and he was very strong. He even offered me a 5 hour energy drink. When we reached the road under repair he sped off and my husband and I had no other choice but to walk on that muddy with pot holes – trail like road measuring more or less 5km. This made our shoes so heavy that we have to stop at the nearby store to remove our shoes and the sticky mud on it.
When we were about to run again, there was a sensation and pain on the legs of my husband so we decided to walk most part of the course. We had several pit stops in various sari-sari stores to re-fuel ourselves and for me to seek comfort on the urge to look for the rest room. My husband asked one storekeeper if she can allow me to use their toilet as there was no portalet provide along the course. The kind storekeeper agreed and there I sought relief. But I cannot urinate and there was pain in my abdomen. I never realized that I was suffering from extreme dehydration. I had to bear the pain thinking the sensation will just move away but I was wrong. It persisted. However, the warrior in me did not want to give. I told myself these words : This pain is only temporary, I will not give up, I will not do that in Bohol.
We attempted to run again, but there were two occasions when my husband was almost hit by an overtaking vehicle coming from our back. We ran on the safe side or opposite the incoming vehicles but how can we prevent the overtaking vehicles in our back not to hit us. The road was narrow and two small opposing vehicles just fit but not enough for buses and wide vehicles. Most of the passing vehicles did not even reduce their speed but even blown their horns on us. I was forced to run on the shoulder of the road, so at that time, I just imagined that I was doing my training run for ultra. Whew! That was punishing and I felt my toes will be dead soon.
The laid-back barrio environment was great but we ran through the long, steep and sharp portions of the roads. It was like we are covering several and contiguous hills which I called the “never-ending uphill”. Although I noticed the presence of several churches in those hilly side of the route.
When we reached the entrance of Bohol Beach Club again, my husband and I decided to run and finish the race running. And we did it. After crossing the finish line, we received our finisher’s shirts and medals but we were not able to take pictures as we forgot our camera in the hotel. At any rate, the memories of Panglao will always linger on.
It was a hard and difficult race but worth remembering for the lifetime. It thought me several lessons, first of which is to be more patient and never give up. Second, there are no two races alike, and I have to accept the best and the worst of each race. Third, I also realized that in joy and in pain, I have my loving husband to stay and run with me. I am blessed, do I need to say more?