Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Guam International Marathon

 Last April 5, 2013, I flew via PAL to Guam for their first International Marathon. I was really looking forward for this trip since I've never been to Guam. The flight time was 3 hrs 2 mins from Manila. I arrived in Guam almost 2pm(Guam time). The family of my friend picked me up from the airport. My first photo was a Welcome tarp for the runners.

The following day, I went to the Guam Visitor's Bureau to pick up my race kit and meet up with Neme and Tessie's family. Before lining up to pick up your packet you have to check your name on the list and check your race number. I was surprised to find out there were a lot of Japanese runners that joined the race. More than half in my division were Japanese women.

I said goodbye to my host family and went home with Rhea's family. I stayed at her home so we can go  together the next morning. We had a light snack at CPK and then went to church. I prayed to God to run with me since I know that my training was not enough. I also prayed for a good weather.

Then we went home and had slept early.


I set my alarm at 2:05 am. I woke up and changed on my attire and prepared my energy gels. We left the house at 3:30am. The house was a short drive to the venue. When we arrived we drop off our bags at the bag drop then proceeded to the starting point for the warm up. There were only a few runners that joined the marathon category. The mayor made a speech before gun start wishing us all for a good race.

Rhea's teammates

With Tessie at the Warm up

He honked the horn at exactly 4am. So off we go! The road was a slight incline at the start of the race. My only motivation was the barefoot runner in front of me. Her pace was quite fast so I decided to just stay behind her. The water stops were 2 miles from each other. Good thing David was there giving out water bottles. 

The first 10.5km of the race was fast since it was still dark and the wind was very powerful. I managed to finish it at 59 mins and 55 secs. My legs got warmed up and I was able to overtake the barefoot runner at KM13. Then decided to follow the Japanese woman. Her pace was a lot faster! We took a left towards the Naval Base. It was beside the ocean. You can see the huge waves. Neme was able to overtake me on KM 16. He was fast! I tried to keep up but was afraid I might lose all my energy. I was able to overtake the Jap woman on KM 19. My goal was to finish 21.1km by 2:05 and I was happy when I crossed the turning point at 2 hrs 2 mins 32 secs. Around 25km ( 2 hrs 26 mins 28 secs) my calves started to get tired. I noticed Rhea's friend and paced beside him till km 32. Crossed the 30k mark at 3 hrs! It was a definite PR! I was hoping to finish between 4:20-4:25. But then my stomach started to feel bad around the 32k mark. I was looking for the next water station because I knew there was a public toilet for the runners. I made a CR break. I felt bad so a many minutes wasted. My body was getting more tired since the sun was up already. I made another break in between the last 8kms. I knew by then I could not cross even 4:30. I did 1km jog/1 min walk from km36. By 4 hours I ran 38kms. I kept telling myself I can do this! Good thing there were volunteers that would cheer up the runners on the side of the road. 
Finisher sign

On the last 2km sign. My legs suddenly felt a little alive! I just followed the pace of the person ahead of me. Then I was a major crowd and I knew I was a Km away from the finish line. I dashed to the finish line with a time of 4 hours 33 minutes and 12 seconds! Good job and an amazing finish time! I walked to the end to get my medal. 
My finish time

When I crossed the finish line

Guam Finisher Medal 

 My rank:

108th finisher of 484 runners (22%)
27th female finisher of 164 runners (16%)
12th finisher out of 46 runners age division 

Thank you LORD for running with me. :)

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