The Nike Women Victory Tour 2016 in Manila was held last Sunday in Cavitex. The starting line was at Blue Bay Walk along Roxas Blvd and the finish line was at Island Cove in Cavite. This is the first time I ran or heard of a run, really, that didn’t circle back to starting line. The run started at 4:30AM but since we were at the back of the crowd, we only crossed the starting line at around 4:40 to 4:50?
Kilometer 1 to 5 was okay; I and my buddy, Eka, were able to run that distance at a comfortable pace. After the water break, I was starting to feel some soreness so I suggested we start walking. We walked for a few meters then started to run again. This cycle continued until around kilometer 14 (?)– we’d run, stop for water or medic break, walk for a while and then run again. After that, my knees started hurting so I took more and longer walking breaks. I felt I would slow down Eka so I asked her to just continue forward if she wanted to.
During training, my maximum distance was 14 kilometers and I felt so beat after. As expected, during the run, kilometer 14 to 21 was really excruciating. Aside from my knees, my arms and back were sore from running too long. My calves were hard threatening to cramp. Medic stations were a godsend; those sprays of oil were temporary relief for my muscles. The water stations, oh God, were like little heavens along the way. The sun was scorching our sides and our backs. I had to keep dipping the sponge they gave out during kilometer 10 in ice water and just wipe my body with it, especially my face and neck.
The last distance marker was, I think, kilometer 19. By this time we were already near the end of Cavitex. After passing the side of the toll gates, we ran through a barangay leading us to Island Cove. There were a lot of people lining up on sidewalks watching us pound our feet on the road. My leg muscles, near the inside of my knees, began to cramp so I started walking again; I needed to walk to conserve my pain threshold for when I’m near the finish line. I think it was here where Eka and I got separated from each other.
Seeing signs showing the Island Cove resort were like mini-lighthouses. To me it meant that the end was near so when I felt my legs were better, I started running again until I reached the entrance to the resort. There were a lot of people cheering us on saying ‘Go! Last kilometer na!’ There were also a lot of photographers so I told myself ‘Don’t stop now’. My leg muscles started cramping again so after passing the photographers, maybe at the last 500 meters, I walked again. However, there were these guys holding gold pompoms shouting ‘Konti na lang. Itakbo mo na!‘. Nahiya naman ako, kaya tinakbo ko na nga! Thanks to them, I finally crossed the finish line with the clock at 3 hours, 11 minutes. I’m still waiting for the chip time.
My knees were really painful by then. After crossing that hump that records your D-Tag, I walked to the nearest sturdy structure I could find. I went to this metal thing where Eka was and stretched to calm my cramping muscles.
Honestly, the pain took away the immediate joy of completing the run. We went straight to claim our finisher’s race pack and sat down on the grass. That’s when it hit me: I JUST RAN A HALF MARATHON. 21 KILOMETERS. Deep inside I was crying and jumping because of relief. Now that I think about it, it was more disbelief than joy that I felt. HAHAHA. And accomplishment. And pride. You a half-marathoner now, girl. *pats self*
We walked around the resort to see what Nike had to offer us girls. A pool, a DJ, some free food and boys. Lots of gwapo boys. :))
At this point, I’d like to give some quick pros and cons.
- NIKE SHIRT- come on, let’s be honest. That Nike shirt was good. Racerback gave us all a sexy back.
- Free training/recovery sessions- I didn’t get to attend any but this was a good idea by Nike. I think they also partnered with other establishments for this.
- Pacers- nakaka-engganyo talaga tumakbo kung may nagpupush sa’yo. Plus points pa since they’re so gwapo and ganda!
- Water and medic breaks- this is my first time but I really appreciated the many water stations along the way
- Buddy system- I know there are a lot who invited strangers to be their buddy but I like that Nike at least attempted to make this run a bonding moment for friends.
- All women- I did see one man who was running. Maybe I’m wrong but he really did look like a dude. Thank you for making this a run to empower us.
- Route- To tell you the truth, the route was a little off. From Blue Bay, we went to Roxas Blvd, U-Turned back, and then U-Turned once more before going to Cavitex. Parang pinilit gawing 21KM.
- Shuttle buses- There was poor coordination for the shuttle buses going back home. May isang guy talagang napaka-fail in giving instructions.
Example No.1: We were lined up for the bus, tapos sabi nya, ‘Doon po meron pa, katok lang kayo.’ So, pumunta kami. It turned out wala naman palang seats na. Baka daw pala payagan kaming standing. WHUT.
Example No. 2: Finally, may bus na so pinaforward na kami papunta sa bus. May isang bus near us kaya doon kami pumunta. We were trying to go in pero the driver won’t let us. Hindi kami pinapansin. Then when we told the guy na ayaw kami papasukin, ang sagot niya ‘E hindi iyan. Iyong nasa likod.’ We were all like ‘SORRY HA. DI KASI NAMIN ALAM E.‘ That guy. Wow lang. When we got to the right bus naman, ayaw kami pasakayin ng driver. Akala niya sumingit kami sa pila. Kahit na sinasabihan na siya ng Nike bouncers and other staff, kebs siya to the point na willing siyang may masaging tao. Tapos, noong na-confirm na hindi kami sumingit sa pila, wala man lang sorry or remorse from him. Ugh.
- No finisher shirt- Fine, upon signing up we knew there wasn’t going to be a medal. We expected a finisher shirt kasi hindi ba that’s standard for half-marathons and last year, the 10K run had one. This time though, pendant lang. Wala pang nakasulat na 21K! Paano na ang bragging rights ko for completing my first half marathon?!! Charrrot.
- Free food- Hay. Ang free food lang ay Fitbar at Nestle Yogurt. Iyon laaaaang.
Anyways, before I stray away from my intended content, I would like to thank a few people (sorry, feeling hashtag blessed kasi talaga ako).
First, syempre kay God. Only He knows how much I prayed before and especially, during the run– ‘Lord, matapos ko lang itong run, magpapakabait na ako.‘
Second, to Eka, my race buddy. She inspired me to run by saying ‘Sige lang. Sabihan mo lang ako’. when I asked her kung pwede pag-isipan ko muna kung tatakbo ba ako. Lol. Pero, really, she’s one of the people who believed that I could do it.
Third, to Kit, the love of my life (yihee). He pushed me to go to the gym or run whenever I felt lazy; he understood that my weeknights were reserved for training so we couldn’t have date nights. From start to finish, he was there consoling me whenever I missed a target and congratulating me when I surpassed them.
Fourth, to those guys and girls cheering us on during the run. Nako, sobrang salamat. Kung hindi dahil sa inyo baka naglakad lang ako buong way. Salamat sa pag-pressure sa akin na tumakbo.
Lastly, to friends and family who I said ‘No’ to sa mga invites to go out, sa mga nakinig sa rants and kwento ko.
Now to why I ran this half marathon
You may never get to see this and I may never tell you.
This run is for you mama ,who was worried that I’d pass out from the heat or asthma. There were a few moments during the run when I felt like crying because I was dedicating this run to you. This was my own way of giving you something I worked hard for. Belated Happy Mother’s Day, Ma. Happy Birthday, my superwoman.
We stayed at Microtel the night before and the view from our room was not bad. I was people-watching while eating dinner by the window. Hehe.
Photo credits as watermarked.
Non-marked photos are from my phone’s camera