I remembered my first Condura experience when I ran my first half-Mary in the Skyway last year – it was awesome! So, when this year’s edition of the said race was announced, I definitely had to register. You see, the half-mary last year was just that : half of the skyway, so I thought that it was a good idea that the Concepcion brothers included the full marathon event.
It has been a well documented observation in the running community that organizing races has turned into a profitable business with some organizers more interested in making a quick buck rather than satisfying their participants. That is the reason why starting this year, I am choosing the races that I join (and being a bandit with the rest, hehehe). I know that quality has an expensive price tag that goes with it ; so even if I had hesitations in joining this race due to the expensive registration fee , I still joined the 42K event and I’m glad that I did.
Fireworks lit up a seemingly cold and tense morning where the 42K runners were preparing for the end of the countdown that would start the event. This is a refreshing scene compared to the usual Sunday morning race start. Everybody was happy and excited to run!
The challenging but enjoyable part of the race started early on as we ran around the Fort area , claiming one ascent after another before we scaled the Kalayaan flyover towards Buendia – this part of the route was dark since the streets we traversed had no lamp posts on it.
The vertical path which was the Kalayaan flyover as well as the rest of the Makati area was well lit and lively with the presence of various bands along the route – I was particularly energized upon reaching the corner of Buendia and Pasong Tamo when the Philippine Army band played the theme song of the movie The Magnificent Seven – I felt like Yul Brynner riding his horse, hehehe!
Upon entering the skyway, I said to myself – “Finally!” and took the most challenging path of my asphalt loving career. The ambience on the skyway was cool, exciting and bright …. Did I say bright? I thought it was, but somebody turned off the lights! Running the skyway was reminiscent of running Lawton Avenue about an hour ago – dark!
When the sun finally rose, the view from up there was spectacular, it’s different when you’re running it compared to just driving through it.
When we reached the turn around point near the Bicutan exit, I felt a bit sad because this feeling of enlightenment is half-over. It didn’t also help that there were small specks of matter floating in the atmosphere which some runners have inhaled and worse – ingested.
Just as I thought that the challenging part was over comes the most difficult ascent of this race – Condura hill. Well, like what most runners did , I just simply walked this part and enjoyed the view, I even took some pictures while I was at it. The sun was already up at this time as I saw it took its toll on the band that was supposed to perform the lively music for us runners.
Then came the sign at the bottom of the skyway which read “Congratulations, you have conquered the skyway!”. At least now, I can say that I have completely conquered it compared to just half of it last year.
… and there it was , on my return trip I met the generous souls of Takbo.PH and Reinier Pacific. The banana I got from them gave me a boost that I was able to run up to Makati Avenue.
After the short lived energy burst, I jogged /walked until the finish line. I finished the race in 5:46. 12 minutes slower compared to my first marathon.
All in all, this was a fun race : very unique and challenging route , water trucks, long water/hydration tables, sponges , fire works and bands. Did I say it was a race? Oh, I thought it was a party .
Condura Village the day before the race
Along the Magallanes area
Blue skies ...
Another view of Condura Hill
Near the Bicutan Exit
I don’t usually bring an mp3 player, but it sure would’ve been nice to listen to this while running :
Thanks to Roadmarker for inviting me to join her during the presscon last Thursday, January 28, 2010, in National Sports Grill, Greenbelt 3. I really miss this sport, and being in a crowd of runners just made the trip worth the break from working for upcoming events and web projects.
A short presentation for the 21K route was shown, and I’d like to say…I think there’s a formula to everything, especially running (even if I’m just a recreational runner / enthusiast). You don’t just run, because you’ll only end up injuring yourself…just an observation = )
The Century Tuna goodie bag was the second one I’ve received (the first coming from RunnerSpeak for the video below…)