After 21K at the ASICS photobooth.
Date: February 3, 2013
“Running the Skyway gives you a nice view of the cities along the Skyway route but another scene that will have a visual impact on your mind is the inclines and rolling terrain you have to conquer”
Condura Skyway Marathon 2013
Just checking in at Acacia Hotel, I got a feel at how big the Condura Skyway Marathon has became with this conversation.
Japanese delegate: Hi, Is this the first time you would be running the Condura Skyway Marathon?
Me: This is my third time. I’m doing the Half Marathon.
Japanese delegate: How was your time last year?
Me: 2 hours and 20 minutes. Are you doing the full marathon distance?
Japanese delegate: Yes, my first time doing the marathon in the Philippines.
Me: Good luck! You’re really going to enjoy the Skyway. It’s a very well organized run here.
Japanese delegate: Good luck too.
Condura attracting foreign delegates is a way of saying that this is the premier marathon event in the country. It’s my third year doing Condura, starting with 10K in 2011, Half Marathon in 2012 and this year. It’s the second year of the 12 mid night, 3:30 am gun start for 42K and 21K, respectively. So, it’s another race against time and our own body clock but it would also be done on a chilly Sunday morning. Condura Fever has taken over the weekend and almost everybody in the running world ends up in this side of town for the once a year chance to run in the Skyway.
Race Course and Elevation
If you love straight courses, it doesn’t get any straighter than this as you start from the Alabang Zapote Road exit ramp then takes you to a slow climb ‘til the toll booth and then Sucat Exit at Kilometer 4. The next 1 and a half-kilometers is a steep climb to the peak of the Skyway covering 40 meters of elevation, which then shifts to a rolling terrain with 10 to 20 meters climbs and descents until kilometer 8 just past Bicutan Exit. The race goes on a rolling downhill pattern covering 30 meters of elevation until the u-turn mark near C-5 exit, halfway point into the race. The race then goes back to a rolling uphill pattern covering 30 meters of elevation in the next 1 and a half-kilometers after which it does back to a rolling terrain from Bicutan Exit to Sucat Exit at Kilometer 16, which is followed by a steep descent of 40 meters ‘til the 18th kilometer and then slow descent to the finish line. One final obstacle is a incline of about 20 meters in the last 200 meters going to the finish line near the Festival Mall area.
Running Toll Free – Photo by Rodel Montejo
I had second thoughts on joining this one as even before the registration started for Condura, I was already registered for 21K distance at Standard Charter Hong Kong Marathon, which also happens this month. Condura Skyway Marathon is difficult to refuse so on the first weekend it opened, I registered and was still able to get a slot in wave A. I was not comfortable with my build before the race with some disruptions due to injuries and work stuff so decided to use this race as a build for Hong Kong Marathon instead. Since I’m doing it now at an aerobic pace, I set my watch to be more conscious of my heart rate and distance and last priority was speed. By now, I’m also not so used to running the 21 kilometers distance so decided to cut the race into several segments.
Find the Hidden Franckee! – Photos by Jpeg Mendoza
The first three kilometers was the steep part so had to take this one at a faster pace. It then shifts to several 1.5 kilometers runs, with the water stations as the land marks until reaching the halfway point of the race. I spaced gels and salt capsules every 5K kilometers. I also took my time in the water stops to recover. After the halfway point, I tried to breeze by the next few kilometers until the race moves to the next side of the Skyway. I met some runner friends here and you can say that the 42K distance was really challenging. After a while, I had to slow it down a bit further towards the last 7 kilometers of the race as I was also trying to manage some muscle fatigue at this time. I took a banana break at Kilometer 18 and took my time this time in eating the banana as years ago; I learned a tough lesson on how a fast paced eating of banana can make it difficult to run afterwards (Read about it here). I then went on to finish the race and that was a nice build and a test of endurance taking on the climbs and rolling terrain of the Skyway and the best part was, the sun was not yet up by the time crossed the finish line.
Condura also had a safety first mentality in this race with a lot of reminders on runners running within their limit and introduction of the buddy system. I really felt safe in this run as safety marshals were all over the Skyway aside from the medics and the numerous water stations. So if there would be any problems, there would be someone to attend to you and fortunately, I didn’t need one in this race. I commend the Condura team for a superb and well organized race and if by chance I get to meet other runners out of the country, I’d dare them to try out the Condura Skyway Marathon. I also wish to congratulate newly minted Marathoners and Half Marathoners. Earning one at this course is really a challenging one. It was nice meeting friends in the running community during and after the race.
3 Years of Condura
It’s my third Condura Skyway Marathon. Condura Team has always been consistent in providing a good cause for the run, a great dri-fit T-shirt, high quality medals and seamless execution on race day. I’m now thinking of vying for an even bigger medal. Well, As I said earlier, Condura will be hard to resist and I’m sure at around the same time next year, I’d be writing another chapter about my Condura Skyway Marathon Experience.
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