Hundreds of runners from different parts of the globe sailed to the historical island of Corregidor last week, December 9, 2011 and chase their way up to the challenging hills of the island and battle it out to be the next King and Queen of the Rock!
I was one of them! I rocked the ruins! I chased the champions! 😀
Raining in Manila
It was raining hard and the traffic was terrible. I arrived at CCP around 9:30am and boarded Sun Cruises ferry around 11am. Saw familiar faces on board: KB runner & Co., Phillipbf and Team USB. Their presence means PHOTOS! So that made me happy! Haha. Who would not want a photo while running with the ruins & cannons on the background? 😀 We left Manila by 12noon I think. It was late by an hour on the schedule, maybe it’s because of the rain.
We arrived at the island by 3pm. It was still raining. We were fetched by the “tranvias” and brought us to our respective hotels. I stayed at Corregidor Inn with my two officemates. We were supposed to have a tour on the island but decided to just stay on our rooms because of the rain.
Carbo Loading Party
The sky was still gloomy but at least no more rain. The party was held in a cavana at the North Dock. Runners gathered together and had a good meal and a good laugh. They served us spaghetti, carbonarra, puto and fish fillet. The host of the party was Atty Raymond and Maey of Survivor Philiipines and I have to say they delivered. It was a good night. I almost died laughing. Maey was hilarious, funny and uhmmm crazy? Lol.
Torch! Bonfire! Survivor!
The main event of the night was the lighting of the bonfire. The defending King of the Rock, “zip lined” his way to bon fire and lit it up with his torch. It was a great night, with that good song playing (I forgot the title) I felt goose bumps, I felt like, yeah… I’m part of this thing! Let’s do this! 😀
I woke up 6am. Prepared my things. Took a shower and updated my face book status. Lol. By 7am, I’m ready to race! I went to the south dock to wait for my friends from HOB, Team MOA and Team PEX. The ferry for day trippers arrived 30 minutes late, so the gun start was adjusted to 8:30am.
The hosts of the event were Maey (Again! Yey!) and Betong of Survivor Philippines. And as I expected, they did a good job. They made us laugh pre and post race.
And the race began! The new set of champions chased their dreams and another history was made!
I ran with my officemate/10k buddy Sharon. My friends Dom & Kaye of Team Pex , Rex, Rod and Alvin of HOB, KB, Daphne, Chaley and Sam of Team Moa were running 21k too.
I planned to just make it to the cut off and enjoy the route after. The first 10K of the race was very challenging and “amazing” at the same time. The uphill ridge and the grass field run was new to me and I enjoyed it. The dark Malinta tunnel also gave a different kind of experience for first time Corregidor runners.
I was very conscious with the cut off time during the whole race. Of course I want the medal! So I’m always checking my time to make sure I’ll make it to the cut off.
I was at 5k after 38 mins (cut off is 45mins), 1:12 at 10K (cut off is 1:30) and 2:05 at 15K (cut off is 2:15). Yeah, buzzer beater! After that, sarap ng feeling. Wala ng time pressure. Lol. (After the race, I was informed na there was no cut off! Whattt?!?)
At 16k, sumakit ang batok ko! Ewan kung bakit. That’s why I did a lot of walking. I thought makakabawi ako sa downhills but I was not able to. My head was already aching at I felt hungry. In short, kung ano ano na nararamdaman ko. Lol. There was even a part on the race where I was the only one running alone on a downhill road ridge for a long period of time. It was good and scary at the same time. I even thought that maybe I was the last to checked in after the cut off, so that will technically make me the last runner on the course. Lol. But after a long solo run and walk at the hills of Corregidor, runners from behind started passing over me. (Hay Salamat, may kasama pa pala ako!)
On my third checked in to Malinta Tunnel, the marshal said “last 3” na lang sir! I looked at my watch: 2:29. I told myself “uy kaya pa ng 2:45”. So I started running again! Run! Run! Run! Konti na lang! I was already hearing the Maey at the stage!!! I’m almost there!!!
When I was about to turn to the stage area, the marshal told me, “sir aakyat pa po” last 2.
I was like: “Whaaaaaaaaat?!? Seriously?!?”
The two guy behind me decided to quit after they learned that. They told the marshal they want to go the “buffet” na kung ok lang. Sabi ng Marshall: Ay hindi nyo na tatapusin? LOL
I almost joined the two guy who quit on their way to the buffet, but I know I will not forgive my self if I quit that time so I continued running este walking. That was the longest 2 kilometers of my life! The longest and the stiffest! And the most challenging 2k route. I think 3 women passed me over even we are all walking. Mas mabilis sila maglakad! Lol
When I reached the top, I ran the last 600 meters. I crossed the finish line at 3:02. Not my best 21K time but my best 21k experience.
Party party with Stone Free and Mayonnaise. Free beer! Good Music! Lunar Eclipse! The Rock was rocking that night! At ang sinisigaw ng lahat: CONFIRMED! (Coach Edward, what was confirmed nga ba? Haha)
We finally had the chance to tour the island by our selves, we took photos and cherish our last moments on the island. We left the island by 2:30pm.
It was definitely a one of kind, challenging, exciting, historical, happy, crazy experience! what else can you ask for?
Corregidor International Half Marathon is a must run for all runners. Join us next year!
**(Photo credits to KB, Letsky, Team USB, Philipbf & CIHM)**