Running 360 degrees around Mayon Volcano

Legazpi City Travel Blog

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It was a good thing I was able to sleep. I usually get excited the night prior to a race day that getting some decent sleep is a bit challenging. Though my sleep was staggered--I found myself waking up every now and then afraid to miss waking up at the right time--it was good enough. After dressing up and eating a light breakfast, I am good to go.

I didn't know anybody from the group except a runner I met the day before. So I just waited in my corner quietly before the race began. After a quick program and off we scrambled like little mice in a maze. 

I did like the pre-dawn weather. It was not cold and the fresh air made me feel invigorated. Never mind the fear of encountering dead animals or animal waste along the way as it was still a bit dark.

getting halfway
I was in for an adventure.

I knew it got better when I caught a silhouette of Mayon Volcano behind a predawn horizon. And after awhile, came in the morning sun. Mayon volcano was hovering over us like a demigod watching over his subjects. The scene could not get any better with rice fields along the way, farm animals grazing, locals doing their morning routines and birds fluttering across the morning sky. Add to that the smiling and cheering locals, police and army officers we met on the sidewalks and in the hydration/water stations. 

I thought the first half of the race was the easier part. Or the only easy part because the weather was not that hot yet. I also thought I would find a fastfood resto a few kms after the 40th km mark, but I was wrong.

runner #23 crossing the finish line
I saw one at app. the 53rd km mark and I was so happy to find it. Jollibee-the all-time favorite fastfood of Filipinos. I took a quick lunch of Jollibee spaghetti and refreshed a bit, brushed my teeth, applied sunscreen, etc. 

Then came the furious sun. The sun was getting hotter as the afternoon ripens. I remember being poured of cold water on my head just to refresh me in every station by some random local. Plus refilling my hydration pack became a habit in every staion I encounter. I thought the last 20 kilometers of the race were the most difficult part of the race. I remember running out of water in the last few kilometers. Good thing there were stores all around. I was also getting impatient. I ignored all the nosey bystanders who kept asking me questions in their local language.

I zoomed past them (zoom is an overstatement since I was just running slowly) and struggled and struggled. Just a kilometer away from the finish line--atleast that's what the race sign said--an organizer on his bicycle led me to the finish line. But it was not a kilometer! It was a couple more! The thing about being close to finishing a race is that you rally on even if you are tired until you get to the finish line.

And there it was. Finally! After close to eleven hours on the road the finish banner loomed before me. I was welcomed by a cheering crowd. Crossed the finish line, awarded my finisher's medal, posed for some pics and whew! This is another feat for me. 14 months into running and now I am an ultramarathoner! I felt like being on top of the world or more appropriately I felt like being on  top of Mayon!

After getting a very soothing massage (a free one!) and eating what was supposed to be my dinner, I went back to the hotel and slept a very long sleep.

mightor20 says:
yeah. the heat is an issue. probably you have to have some heat training for the race. thanks.
Posted on: Aug 13, 2011
mistere says:
It looks like an amazing but also quite challenging race! Hopefully one day I'll do it although I'm not sure how I'm going to cope with the heat!!!
Posted on: Aug 10, 2011
mightor20 says:
thanks rhea! :)
Posted on: Apr 08, 2011
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getting halfway
getting halfway
runner #23 crossing the finish line
runner #23 crossing the finish line
msg rich rice anyone?
msg rich rice anyone?
invoking some Jordanian powers!
invoking some Jordanian powers!
me want some jollibee!
me want some jollibee!
saying thanks
saying thanks
bling!
bling!
20th place! out of 59 finishers :)
20th place! out of 59 finishers :)
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Legazpi City
photo by: cookiecandy22