Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Run Report: Cebu City Marathon 2013

I joined the Cebu City Marathon 2013 held last Sunday, January 13 in the Queen City of the South. It was my third straight year to join Cebu's biggest foot race, considered as one of the best organized in the country. My first time to join the CCM was in 2011 when I ran 5K and last year when I finished my first full marathon

Initially, I planned to skip this year's edition of CCM. My wife and I will be traveling next month to Luzon and we thought that we will just save our money for that trip. Luckily, I won a free registration courtesy of's photo contest. Then a Cebu-based friend told me that I could sleep over at their apartment the night before the race. And fate must have conspired as the day after I won the free CCM race kit, I was able to book a round trip plane ticket to Cebu for only P1,400.00 through  Cebu Pacific's promo fares. So on the early morning of January 13, I found myself making my way to the 21K starting line in IT Park, Lahug.

It was ten minutes before gun start when I took the first of my three GU Gel. Fireworks then kickstarted the 21K race which promptly started at 5:00 AM. The route was basically the same as last year: 

The first half of the race was mostly flat and downhill. Sleep-deprived for the two straight nights before race day, I started to feel sleepy at the 5K mark. I actually came ill-prepared for this race. With all the parties and reunions last December and the rainy days of January, I managed to logged only two long runs of 13K and 15K respectively. Planning to conserve my energy, I decided to run-walk all the way after the first 5 kilometers of the route.

Notable Cebu landmarks we passed by are the Provincial Capitol Building, Fuente Osmeña Circle, rear side of Basilica del Sto. Niño, Cebu City Hall, Magellan's Cross, Plaza Independencia, Fort Santiago and the dreaded SRP Tunnel. Turning point of the 21K was along the SRP road, about 2 KM from the tunnel. I reached it in 1 hour and 4 minutes and I thought that if I could go faster or even just maintain my pace in going back, I could break my 21K PR of 2:11++.

But then it was mostly uphill in going back to the start so I took more and more walk breaks. Good thing there were plenty of water stations to keep us hydrated. Some stations served Pocari Sweat sports drink while, one station served sweet bananas and another one had chocolates and candies. Cold sponges were also available further keeping us cool along the way.

 Thanks to for this pic! I love my running form in this one. Hahaha!

The uphill took its toll as my pace got slower and slower in going back to IT Park. I crossed the finish line at 2:15++, or two minutes over my PR. Still it made me happy because despite the lack of training, lack of sleep and the tough route, I managed to nail my second fastest 21K to date. I actually had four so-so half-marathons in 2012, with finish times of 2:16, 2:30, 2:20 and 2:36. I am glad to have improve my time a bit in the CCM 2013. I hope to have more time to train this year so that I could finally break that more than 1-year old PR of mine.

 With 21K Champ Willy Rotich

My Observations on the Cebu City Marathon 2013

1.Well-organized as usual. Races started on time, half of the road was used exclusively for the runners and traffic was well coordinated in the intersections.
2. More than enough hydration stations. Some with Pocari Sweat sports drink, sponges, bananas and chocolates.
3. Bands and dancers in some parts of the route made the mood more festive.
4. Nice finisher's shirt for 21K and 42K finishers.
5. Fast uploading of the results. I don't know the exact time they uploaded it since I only went online the day after the race and the results are already posted on the CCM website.

1. Still no finisher's medal for the 21K runners. :(
2. Race singlet was small, tight and stiff. 
3. Despite the increase in registration fees, there are fewer freebies as compared to previous years' CCM.

The Pulaguy Blogger's CCM 2013 stint would not have been possible without the kindness and generosity of the following: for my 21K registration; Rose Buenconsejo of and husband Mark for fetching me at the airport, touring me to Lapulapu Shrine and for the yummy early dinner in Fredz Sutukil; Doel Pacana and Pablo and Haru Reyes for my second dinner in AA Barbeque; Doel and Tina Pacana for my free accommodation, breakfast, lunch and ride back to the airport; and to my wife Malou for allowing me to travel and run solo this time (hahaha!).  

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