(Warning: Imagery Overload)
There were 181 women who signed up for the 1st All-Women Ultra Marathon in Cebu. Until now, I’m still puzzled and at the same time amazed at how could there be 181 women signed up for a 50k run. From the past few ultras I’d seen, it would be a lot already to see a dozen of female participants. It made me wonder what were they thinking, what were their husband / boyfriends / partners / friends / families / relatives were thinking.
Really, what were we thinking? In between the starting line and the finish line, here is my story.
The 1st All-Women Ultra Marathon (AWUM) had me at its poster. I find it romantic and dreamy! =)
|by Ervin Limpag
The poster definitely tricked me to sign up for it. And, I think that it’s a given that Armie would be excited for this. A double treat that Odina nodded to this, and Jade, Odina’s sis (yes, they are sisters!) who did not need any much convincing, also joined in.
|Except that these 2 are tough, I don’t know how they came from the same womb. =)
Triple treat because it was nice to see someone I met from another running event (or more of climbing event) came to Cebu all the way from Davao for the AWUM.
|Kath in Team Davao Runner shirt
Before the race start, Mark asked me what’s my hydration plan and told me to prepare my ‘goodies’ bag. I told him that there’s no need for it because I felt that with all the volunteer support crew, the All-Women Ultra Marathon would be a big picnic.
I was mentally splitting the 50km race into 3 parts: The Sweet Treat, The Soursweet Treat, and The Trick.
The Sweet Treat
|First Station. Danao City Milers / Team Laspag
|Second Station (actually, they’re everywhere). TTB (Team Tytsbogdo)
|a better pic courtesy of TTB
Near Jollibee, at Osmena Blvd.
|Third Station. TCRC (Talisay City Runners)
At Osmena Blvd
|Mobile Support Crew. Team Laspag of Danao
|a better pic from Lloyd Tausa‘s All-Women Ultra Marathon pic album
At corner Zapatera
I was definitely still in a high mood that at this point, I don’t need much any ‘solid foods’ yet. The water and sports drink were what I all took from the stations. And, sometimes the bananas and chocolates shoved into my face were just hard to resist.
|Fourth Station. Smart
|Fifth Station. Mandaue City Runners Club
|Sixth Station: Bohol Runners Club (authentic from Bohol because of peanut kisses and Kalamay)
Somewhere in AS Fortuna
|7th Station: G6 Runners
Somewhere near USC-TC Talamban, my friends were handling the the 8th station so I’m skipping posting a pic of them. =)
I finished the first 20km at 3hours 18min. It was a bit fast when I aimed to finish the first 20km in 4hrs. So I took off some 15-minute break. I changed shoes since a blister started to develop. It’s my first time to experience a blister. But I was still in a very good mood that it did not bother much.
The 15-min break was a way to trick my body and mind to restart and refresh to go fight the real battle. As we all knew, it’s the second or 3/4 part of the race where the real battle is — the trickiest part.
|9th Station: Parklane Runners
|10th Station: Team Striders
|take 2 with a fab GK runner
At KM25, those things I wanted to NOT happen started to creep in — tiredness and sleepiness. I was already expecting these that’s why I packed with me an energy drink. I drunk half of the energy drink I was holding, and hoped against hope that it would do me some miracles because it’s too early yet to be down in the bottom of the pit.
|11th Station: NRRC (North Road Runners Club)
After here, the energy drink started to kick in, and I was back in the zone again.
At the crossing near Shell Station
|12th Station: MAC Runners
Running over Marcelo Fernan Bridge was definitely a treat. I felt like I was on top of the world cruising.
|jump or fall shot courtesy of Reynan Opada
After Marcelo Fernan Bridge
|13th Station. Team Guardo
|14th Station. Team YYKredit
|15th Station. LEAR Runners
After going up the Cansaga bridge
|16th Station. BEER Runners
|17th Station. Pentax Runners
I want to thank Popoy, in blue shirt, for out-of-the-blue ‘pacing’ me from Fernan bridge. He was just having his usual Sunday run when he went out of his way and paced me almost to Karancho. Maybe I looked that desperate. =)
|a better pic courtesy of Pentax Runner Romil
At MEPZ 2
|18th Station. Zen Runners
Then, I had the meltdown upon seeing the hub and friends stationing somewhere in the airport strip area, around KM45 (what’s with last 5km that it always makes me cry?). I just needed to cry to release all the tensions, and to have back a grip of myself.
Before Bigfoot(It shows I’m no longer familiar with the names of different areas of Lapu-lapu)
Pic is from Yendy’s pics. I could not find them in my phone pics. I think the person who took it using my phone did not know how my phone works. I’m a bit sad of not having a pic with them. =(
|19th Station. TG Lasang
|20th Station. PH Adiks with a fellow female ultra runner
(There were probably more stations that I failed to take a pic.)
From the last station, everything just became a living-in-the-moment. It was a stretch of falling and picking up myself again and again.
|with Armie, warat runner. Odina’s too wasted at this time.
From us, 50KM of thank you to all the people and volunteers behind All-Women Ultra Marathon. There were a lot of people I miss to have a pic with. These are few of the faces you’d usually see in running events, which makes long distance running less scary.