Runner'sWorld Philippines April - June 2011

Runner's World Philippines is now a stand-alone magazine!
The April - June 2011 issue with Piolo Pascual on the cover is now available Nationwide.
The Concepcion Brothers are featured on The Article " Runner's High "at page 89 written by me.
Thank you again to Runner's World Editor in chief - Marie Calica for supporting the Condura Run Advocacy.
If you have not purchased a copy of the said Magazine and you have "bad eyesight" like i do, and you're eager to read the Article, the Magnified version is found below.
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Runner’s High
The Skyway, a personal best, and running alongside thousands of racers - could this writer ask for anything more? By Patrick Concepcion
The Condura Skyway Marathon 2011 celebrated its fourth year last February 6, 2011. Like the previous Condura races, the 2011 version was for the dolphins. My brother and Condura Skyway Marathon Founder Ton Concepcion and I hoped to create more awareness to preserve the dolphins in Baclayon, Bohol – the Dolphins Capital of the Philippines, Every fifty pesos from every paying runner, plus any monetary surplus the event made, was contributed to the research fund to sustain eco-tourism in Baclayon, the governing municipality of Pamilacan Island.
This year we had a range of distances, from 3-k to 42.195-K. To accommodate the numerous entries, we decided to set two starting lines: one on Ayala Ave. for the 10-K, 16K and 21-K distances and on Bonifacio Global City for the 3-K, 5-K and the 42.195K categories. The finish line was also at BGC.
For the first time, the 10-K, 16-K, and 21-K runners got a taste of running the Skyway, and with the Skyway Extension, the full marathoners were able to run from BGC to Sucat and back. Even the 3-K and 5-K, albeit held inside BGC, passed through a new route. We expected a total of 15,000 runners.
Like last year, I joined the full marathon. In my years of running and countless races, it’s the 42,195-K distance that challenges me the most, and I won’t deny that its also the event that scares me the most, Running a marathon takes a lot of physical and mental preparation. If you’re not prepared, you will hit that dreaded “wall” I carefully planned my training four months prior to the event. I was averaging 100 to 120-K a week, plus a once a week speed session consisting of 10reps of 300-meter sprints, I also joined many local races to increase my threshold for pain and develop physical and mental toughness.
On February 5, 24 hours before the race, I still didn’t get the much needed rest I was longing for. As the “Condura Skyway Marathon Ambassador” I was still busy finalizing last minute preparation and registration for VIPs and elite runners. I went to bed at 10:30pm, and woke up at 11:30pm- only one hour of sleep! I couldn't go back to bed; my adrenaline was pumping, and I was nervous about my performance.
Minutes before gun start, my mind was playing negative thoughts. Was my training sufficient enough? Will my hour-long sleep affect my performance? Will my on and off foot injury give me problems? I quickly composed myself, went into my zone, and prayed quietly, “God, please guide me in my run. This is the day I prepared for. With your grace and strength, I will perform well in spite of the obstacles. It will be my determined spirit that will make me finish this marathon” I had to remind myself that more than being a race ambassador, I was a runner.
When the starting gun was fired, I was off and running in a trance, full of concentration and focus. My game plan was simple: not to go out too fast, maintain my running form (no slouching!) and stay hydrated (which is extremely important for me because when I get dehydrated, I literally go deaf). I really had no targeted personal best time. I just wanted to run and see what happen next (although my target pace was a sub 6min/km).
The weather was cooperative: it was cool and breezy with an average temp of 22 degrees, which is good for long distance running. There was also sufficient water and 100 plus supply on every 1.5K of the route.
Running on top of the Skyway was indescribable. I felt goose bumps all over. It felt like I was the on top of the world. No cars, no buses- just us runners. We owned the skyway – for the next few hours, at least.
Don’t be fooled by the skyway terrain, though – it has a lot of long uphill climbs. If you run too fast, you will burn out. I had to be composed and not get too excited. I had to remind my self: it’s still a long way to go- at least 25-K more.
When I exited the skyway, there was at least 10K- more before the finish line. This is literally where the marathon event begins: your body is tired, your legs are cramping, and you’re soaked in sweat. Small humps feel like hills, and hills feel like staircase! Your body is literally telling you to STOP, but your mind says GO. This is where mental preparation and toughness kick in.
It was in the last two kilometers that I struggled. Cramps started to hit me and had to adjust my running form to compensate for the pain I was feeling. The funny thing with cramps is you discover muscles in your legs- muscles you through you never had. I was now running with my spirit, and I was determined to finish the race that I dreamt about and prepared months for.
I finished with a time of 4:16:38, a fast time that I did not expect at all. This is my Philippine personal best marathon time. I was at least seven minutes faster than my last marathon, the Quezon City Marathon 2010, where I finished with a time of 4:23:09.
I couldn't help crying when I crossed the finish line. There were many other runners who finished before me, and yet I felt like a winner. I had won my personal battle, and for that alone, I knew I was a champion.
Top: Patrick Concepcion, Condura Skyway Marathon Ambassador, with his brother Ton Concepcion, Condura Skyway Marathon Founder.
Middle : Runner's on the Skyway.
Bottom : Alabang Runner " MAR" ( left) with Patrick Concepcion (right) running on the Skyway.