Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Condura Skyway Marathon 2012 - Perspectives from the Other Side

The annual Condura Skyway Marathon is one of the most anticipated road races in the country. For one day a year, thousands of runners ranging from recreational runners to international elites take this opportunity to enjoy Manila in a one-of a kind experience – running atop the Skyway. I was initially supposed to run in this race until I received an offer to experience a running event aside from, well, running in it. I was to lead the warm-up sessions before each race for all distances.

Over 14,000 runners!

 The Condura Skyway Marathon 2012 was made even more unique as it featured a midnight gun-start for the 42k full marathon category. This meant that I needed to be at the starting line a good two hours prior. Together with a friend, we prepared two warm-up routines; one for the long-distance runners (i.e. 42k, 21k, and 16k, respectively) and another for the short- and middle-distance runners (this would be the 10k, 5k, and 3k participants). This was because the long-distance runners needed a warm-up that was more relaxed, intended to calm down nerves as they embark on their personal battles with daunting distances. For the quick elites, their thoughts were most likely on beating their own personal records and some were definitely gunning for the win. Some of them were newbies at the ‘serious distances’, feeling jittery and anxious. As such, we made sure that their warm-up routine involved easy, repetitive movements – the sort that would take their minds off worries and fear.

Showing off my flexibility :)

This guy takes away my worries and fear. Sometimes.

For the ‘fun runners’, they were treated to a high-energy session, which incorporated hops and jumps. It was a lot more active as many people who join distances fewer than 10k run with their families, and a high-activity warm-up routine was something that suited the kids as well. It was a little tough on us warm-up leaders as we have been leading routines since midnight. However, seeing the bright, smiling, and excited faces of the fun runners energized us and helped keep fatigue at bay.

With Team ARC Manila!
 In a way, I did a marathon on that day, albeit not the running sort. All in all, the event lasted a little under nine hours, and I was awake and on my feet the whole time. It was amazing to stand on the sidewalk for a change and cheer on runners, as compared with my usual experience of being with the runners. I realized that to participate in a run, it was not always necessary to lace up and race with the others. It was also possible – and as fulfilling – to be on the side screaming excitedly, “Go runners!”

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