TBR RACE REVIEW: MILO MARATHON
Overall rating (10 highest): 8
Race organizer: Mr. Rudy Biscocho
• Fairly simple route covering spacious roads (except for road repair along Buendia)
• Very affordable registration fee
• Marshals along the route
• Accurate kilometer markers
• Abundance of water and Gatorade stations
• Free visors distributed before the race
• Entertainment such as cheerleaders and Milo theme song playing along the route
• Announcement of race number and name upon nearing the finish
• Runpix race analysis
• Photovendo photos
• Booths after the race
• Goodie bag for runners
BETTER JOB NEXT TIME:
• Limited portalets
The Milo Marathon is one of the more popular marathons in the country. Its organizer, Mr. Rudy Biscocho of RACE, can probably manage the event with his eyes closed considering all the years he’s done this. For this particular race, as expected, almost everything worked like clockwork. The race was well-organized from race start to finish. That’s no mean feat considering the quantity of runners who sign up for this race, counting the school children, of course.
It was nice to know that even old dogs can learn new tricks. This was the first time Milo introduced the following innovations: timing chip, runpix analysis, and photovendo photos, which gave runners an even better race experience. The announcement of a runner’s name as he neared the finish line was a pleasant surprise.
Overall, this was a fantastic race. All serious runners should run the Milo Marathon at least once in their lifetime.
My Milo races have always been jinxed. Eve of Milo Eliminations 2007: I collapsed in Alabang Town Center. A couple of days before Milo Finals 2007: I got Runner’s Knee. For all of 2008, I didn’t even bother registering anymore. For this race, I failed to make it to registration. What’s new, I thought, resigned to the fact that I was going to miss yet another Milo race. But, by some stroke of luck (or perhaps the running gods finally took pity on me), a friend was able to register me at the very last minute.
EXHAUSTED BEFORE THE RACE
At 4 a.m., my alarm rang and all I wanted to do was get more rest. Boy was I pooped. I had barely enough sleep coming from the early morning call time for The Rescue Run the day before. It didn’t help that I spotted the new black/yellow Nike Lunar Glides (reminds me of Lance!) the night before and decided instantly that I had to make them mine. We got home that night at around 10 p.m., packed for the race, attached the timing chip to “Lance” my new favorite running shoes (forget about breaking them in!), and hit the sack close to 12 midnight.
Half asleep I drank Hammer anti-fatigue tablets and a cup of coffee on race day morning. I shook off my weariness by reminding myself that I could go easy that day. Target was a relaxed 21km at 6:15 min/km. I could handle that.
RUNNING WITH DINDO
All this time, I had envisioned Milo races to have runners squeezed together like canned sardines in the assembly area. But, when I arrived, I found that the half marathoners were a small contingent. There, I spotted Dindo and Vener and chatted with them for a few minutes before the gun fired.
In the blink of an eye, Vener was gone. Dindo and I ran easy all the way. There was a lot of time for chit chat, viewing the Manila Bay on our right, and even a quick stop for the rest room along Roxas Boulevard.
I enjoyed the wide paved roads with occasional entertainment from children cheering in their green uniforms or loud Milo music roaring in the background. Fine, I felt like Milo 3-in-1 was being drilled into my subconscious, but any kind of entertainment during the run was well appreciated.
The road repair along Buendia narrowed the course for a few meters, but this didn’t pose much of a problem. In fact, it got us close to the runners who were on their way back. They were a mix of fast half marathoners and even faster full marathoners, the leaders of the pack. One didn’t have to glance at their race bib to know what distance they were running; just by the look on their faces you knew if they were running the full 42.195.
Kilometer 1 to 16 for me was completely stress- and incident- free. No niggling pains nor problems. No worries. Not even weariness. It was all fun!
When we hit 16km, Dindo, a recent Milo Marathon finisher, advised me “You have to finish the last 5km strong. So go ahead and run at least at tempo pace.” I don’t recall what I replied. I may have an answered with a snort, but I do know that I took a deep breath and pushed forward.
I ran at around 5:45 pace moving up to perhaps 5:30 nearing the finish. I am guessing my pace because my silly ol’ buddy, my Polar RS800CX PTE, decided to go crazy on me. It may be due to the fact that I used new shoes and didn’t calibrate it yet. Oh well, anything for “Lance,” right?
KAYA MO YAN!
In the last 1km, I felt strong enough to increase my pace even more. I was quite happy with how I felt at that point, like I still had enough fuel in the tank to run faster, it only proved that the lung-busting tempo runs the past weeks were working for me. I was going at about 5:00 min/km pace along with a younger runner who was likewise giving his all. I told him “Ang tagal naman ng finish line!” He agreed and said “Nabigay ko na lahat. Wala na akong maibibigay!” Who would’ve thought that lines straight out of a telenovela could be used on race day!
We passed the host of the event who yelled out my bib number and said “Jaymie Pizarro, Kaya mo yan!” Woooah, he called out my name and the names of all the runners passing by! Talk about moral support!
In less than a few minutes, the race was over. I crossed the finish at 2:14 official time. My watch said 2:12 with an average pace of 6:17. Good pace for a training run. Not bad for my first Milo experience.
Click here for official Milo results and free Photovendo photos.
* Big thank you to Photovendo for the great photos!