Race Report: Condura Skyway Marathon 2013

Tuesday, 5 February 2013  |  Bullish Insights

Race: Condura Skyway Marathon 2013
Date: 3 February 2013
Venue: Filinvest Corporate City

One of the most anticipated races of the year drew thousands of runners to the south with the promise of running on the Skyway, a strip of elevated road so close to the heavens that runners spend the rest of the 364 days of the year dreaming of running it once again.  (Well, at least, I do!)  The 6th Condura Skyway Marathon had runners of all shapes and sizes wake up in the wee hours of the morning to run 3.8k, 6k, 10k, 21k, and 42k.

The race, led by running brothers Ton and Patrick Concepcion, who’ve run marathons all over the world has a reputation of being well-organized and well-thought out.  The practice of Wave Starts, similar to bigger races abroad such as the New York City Marathon and practiced last year, was impeccably executed again.  The 21k course was clean and simple (how much simpler can you get on the Skyway?!) and road marshals lined the roads to ensure everyone’s safety.  Water was sufficient and bananas were provided at some stations. Portalets were available all throughout the course.  Medical aid and ambulances were conspicuously present during the race.  The enthusiastic hosts at the start and the cheerers at the finish line made the race more entertaining and exciting.  The medals were definitely something to be proud of too!

It was a fantastic race!  And, I really wouldn’t complain about anything!  But, there’s always room for improvement and, if you were to ask me, here’s my very short wish list for Condura Skyway Marathon 2014:

  • 21k race start at 4:30am.  Our race start was 3:30am last Sunday.  While I don’t mind running a marathon at midnight, I really thought twice, thrice, and even a fourth time if waking up at 2am (yawn) for a half marathon was worth it.
  • Sports drinks at every station. While more 100Plus was provided this year compared to last year, there were still complaints about lack of sports drinks.  Hopefully, next year, they can provide more.  My secret ultimate wish: that they actually provide the non-carbonated sports drink that most of us runners prefer heehee.

Congratulations to Condura Skyway Marathon for yet another fantastic race!

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THE DREAM

I won’t lie to you. I was anxious about this race.  I was hoping to run a sub-2 hour 21k and while I had trained hard for it, I still had some doubts.  The last time I ran a sub-2 was in 2011.  My 21k PR was way back in 2010 and I’m not even sure if that still counts.  For all of 2012, I was focused on training for my first Ironman 70.3 and managing injuries that I had absolutely no speed in my legs.

Two nights before the race, I dreamed about it.  DON”T LAUGH.  Here it goes:

My friends and I were walking towards the starting line when someone told us there was a shortcut.  In the darkness, we climbed up a long ladder and suddenly found ourselves in the Condura office! (I told you not to laugh!)  We walked straight through the hallways passing cubicles and I happened to see Ton Concepcion busy preparing for the race.  I stopped to chat about the event while my friends went ahead.  We went on and on about races, running, my ITB, then suddenly I heard the gun start!  I ran towards the race start and found that I had been left behind!  I still ran the race in complete darkness (it looked like Ermita) then after a few kilometers, the sun was out and I was on Singapore roads!  I found the elite runners heading back and chased after them.  The end!

I can’t really tell if I managed to reach the elites at the end.  You figure that portion out!

WARM UP

I woke up at 2 am for the race feeling nothing like an elite runner.  I felt tired, sleepy, and, after I found out my driver who I asked to come in for this race only because I expected difficult parking didn’t wake up, I was grumpy too.

With friends Ton and Jun, we ran a quick warm up and met up with Lit who had already done his warm up.  These three guys are the ones I usually run races with.  And, for the entire 2012, we ran our races together.  Yes, we ran them together, easy and happily, chatting all throughout.  This race was different.  Walang kaibigan kaibigan.  We were all gunning for our best times.  We’d all meet up at the end.  (We were so serious I couldn’t help but laugh really!)

THE RACE

When the gun went off, we all made a run for it.  My plan was to run a 5:40 pace for the first 10k.  At the half way mark, if I felt great, I would aim to sustain or go faster.

I could only see Lit and Jun ahead of me.  For the first few kilometers, we were running at a 5:30 clip and I knew I would bonk if I continued this way.  I slowed to 5:40 and committed to run my own race.  Those long climbs were tough!  I tried to distract myself by looking at the marathoners on the other side of the road, cheering them on, waving hello to friends, and thanking God that I only signed up for half! LOL

By the turnaround, a little over 10k, my average pace was 5:41.  I felt like I could push some more…and I did!  It was at this point that I found my rhythm.  Everything went by in a blur.

All I remember next was seeing Jun ahead of me by the last 5km.  I ran right behind him.

In the last 3km, we made a run for it and sped off towards the finish line hitting Km 21 at 5:25.  It was oh-so painful.  I couldn’t feel my legs anymore.  I was praying the race would end soon.  I was reminding myself that I had been through worse, that I trained long and hard for this race, that we would soon be eating crepes (haha!)  When I crossed the finish and saw my time, 1:59, all the pain was well worth it.  Yes, yes, maybe even the way too early call time!

My official time was 1:58:55.

Condura
- My one and only photo after the race -