So now you’ve registered (or have decided to register on the last day, Feb1) for the Condura Skyway Marathon 2012 happening this coming weekend. You did your 42k training and ready to ride The Skyway a.k.a. The Beast, as I’ve coined it last year, for the very first time. I won’t be running this year’s edition but I would like to wish all the first-time Condura 42k runners the best race that they can have.
Allow me to give my two cents on running this race.
Hill intervals/training (lots of it). This maybe late advice, but I hope you did regular hill intervals/repeats during your marathon build up for this one. Lots of it. The Beast is unmerciful with its rolling uphills and downhills. At first glance, it may seem a flat road from Alabang to Makati but it isn’t. It’ll be a roller coaster of elevation changes as you make your way across 5 cities over the Skyway ---and back. Quads will be screaming, pace will be slowing down, and the mind will tell you to walk if you’re unprepared.
Get accustomed to 100 PLUS. It is most likely that the sports drink for the whole race will be 100 PLUS, same as last year. Again, this is another late advice, but I hope you’ve accustomed your digestive system in consuming 100 PLUS for rehydration. Otherwise, packets of energy gels and salt sticks is what you should’ve prepared for to go with the alternative hydration being provided: water.
Dark and lonely. As the 42k race gun time is 12:00am and if you’re averaging 5 or more hours to complete a 42k, The Beast will be a lonely road. This will be most evident on the 3rd or 4th quarter of your race, when most of the 42k runners are spread apart and by their lonesome. It would be best to make friends among runners you get to be with it on that lonely journey. There’ll be no cheering crowd to watch you over the Skyway, and definitely minimal color wherever you look at the sights (black/grey mostly) since you’ll be running during the night time (while the rest of us are sleeping soundly on our bed).
Be mentally strong. Avoid thought processes that snowball like this: from looking at buildings/houses/condos, seeing the windows with no lights, thinking that people are in deep slumber and dreaming of wonderful subconscious thoughts while you are struggling your way and asking yourself, “Why have I signed up for this?” Be strong!
Keep going. I love one of Saucony’s mottos. It goes something like if you’ve used up all your weak, then what is left is your strong. I hope that inspires you to get going as your Garmin or the km marker shows 5k left, even if that 5k seems like a whole eternity and it might take you more than usual to cover the said distance. Believe me, the last 2.195km would seem long as well.
Enjoy the race. Just think of the massage tables, that humungous medal that will be greeting you as make your way to the finish line. You can’t wait to FB that on your profile and receive all the likes and positive comments from your friends and relatives. You’ll be the envy of that fast runner in your office who still hasn’t conquered the full marathon. You'll walk around the next day with pain all over, but you will still smile for what you did on that previous Sunday (early) morning.
Well, that’s all I can think of. I hope you get to enjoy the Condura Skyway Marathon. It’s going to be a one of a kind experience. You’ll never look at the Skyway the same way again. For you, it is The Beast that you’ve conquered and slain ---all 42.195 kms of it.