Once again I find myself hugging the sands of Boracay as I return to join the Skyathon Beach Run 2012 held April 21, 2012. I thought the run would be pretty much uneventful for upon looking at the details of the event, there shouldn’t be much difference with the current run event and the one held last year.
There are however, few changes on the route of the race. For starter the start/finish arch was located at the beachfront of the Epic Bar and Restaurant. This is within the vicinity of D’Mall in Station 2 almost right at the doorstep from where I booked my accommodation at Fat Jimmy’s. Last year’s venue was at Guilly’s located at Station 1 which was quite a walk from Fat Jimmy’s. Last year there was this part in the race route somewhere between Station 1 and Station 2 where runners will have to either soak their feet at the green algae rich water that invaded the route or negotiate the nasty rocky elevated breakwater connecting Station 1 to Station 2. This rocky path was not only dangerously narrow but slippery with only the fence of a private property beside this path from which you cling with your dear life preventing you from falling into the very water you were suppose to be avoiding. Now this irksome path was completely leveled off. Thus no one would unnecessarily get soaked from the race unless the runner preferred running at the fringes of the beach where the water rolls in because the sand on this part of the beach are much compact and leveled.
I mentioned almost uneventful, but the truth was it was a bit unnerving for me. The night before the race, I broke my usual routine of sleeping early so that I would have enough stamina for the race. I, however, instead had quite a lot of San Miguel Light Beer before I turned in for the night. I was only supposed to say “Hi” with one of my student who happened to be in Boracay for vacation. The obligatory one bottle of beer all of a sudden was followed with several others. For it turned out that the manager of the bar I was having a drink at was my cousin and when I called on him after I spotted him, he brought in two bucketful of San Miguel Beer Light.
I woke up at 3:30 a.m. feeling a bit dehydrated, still sleepy, mosquitoes feasted and hot all over because before I slept I wrongly set the air-conditioner to the hotter temperature. To top it all upon stepping out of my accommodation it was raining outdoor. Looks like all the sign that this race would turn out bad for me was staring right at my face. I was thinking should I still proceed with the race or not.
At 5:00 a.m. the rain had halted. I proceeded to the event’s venue. Did my routine warm ups but got intimidated with the routine being executed by the runners from the local dragon boat team. 6:00 a.m. about 112 runners including some celebrities left the starting arch going towards the direction of Station 1. I felt I was the slowest runner. The initial thick crowd I was trailing at thinned out until I was just by myself running.
The turn around station was somewhere at the beachfront after the grotto. I encountered the runners on their way back to retrace their path, which will pass by the starting arch going towards Station 3.
In the last year’s route the runner were obliged to run along the road fronting the different establishments along the beach then exit to the turn around station by passing through deep soft sand which was difficult to run on and quite exhausting. In the current race the only deep sand crossing we experienced was at the turn around station at Station 3, which was taken twice by the 10 k runner as they make for their second loop of the race.
I was huffing and puffing thus I was force to do walk-breaks to recover. In each water stations I tried to drink much more than when I was doing a normal run somewhere that I didn’t had a drink of alcohol the evening before the race. I was not anymore concern with finishing with a PR or even trying to out run others whom I think were all pretty much decent runners.
Finally, I was at my last 2 kilometers. I decided to take off my shoes. I noticed that I did quite a lot better even faster. Upon crossing the finish line, I checked my watch and got 1:06:51. I think it is not a very bad finish after all. My regular 10 k finish time was just a bit faster than that by a couple of minutes. My last years finish time at Skyathon was 1:06:28 which was faster maybe because I was more conditioned then than I was now.