My Milo Marathon Experience…Then and Now.
More than 2 weeks had passed since the 35th Milo Marathon where I ran 21k in the rain. For some people, the experience was a dream come true due to the fact that the Milo Marathon was deemed “the marathon.” Before running became popular here in the Philippines, it was a race that used to be only for the elite runners, hence the ultimate race for the Filipino runner. However, now that running became a very popular sport and an alternative way to a healthy lifestyle, more and more people are running in races. In fact, I am one of those people who is present in almost every running event there is. Running for me now has gone beyond being just leisure and as part of a healhty lifestyle but more of a test of my physical as well as mental ability and strength.
I used to be a very sedentary person who was a little overweight. Running helped me lose the excess weight and maintained my health and fitness. From the moment I got into running, I have ran in several races since then. In fact, I ran at least 4 half marathons before I ran in the most recent Milo Marathon. However, I still could not say I am an elite runner nor a marathoner yet. I am just a runner (or a “jogger”compared to the speed of the more serious and elite runners) who is yet to prove my ability and strength in a full marathon. As every marathoner knows, marathon is not about speed, but of stamina to finish the race.
Milo Marathon then. The 35th Milo Marathon was not my first Milo Marathon race. My friends and I had participated last year at the 34th Milo Marathon which turned out to be a disaster. There was total disorder in the race route (especially in the shorter distances, 3k, 5k and 10k). There was not enough room, or road. There was shortage of water in the hydration stations, and the allotted baggage areas, which were few, were short-staffed so that there was not only disorder at the baggage counter but chaos when runners started to come in to pick up their bags. Some lost their bags, other just had to suffer the long wait under the scorching heat of the sun just to get their belongings. We had fight our way in to the crowd just to be near the baggage counter and finally got our stuff after 4 hours of waiting. Feeling bad about all that was nothing compared to feeling totally freaked out when we learned that a runner passed out while attempting to finish 21k and eventuallly died at the hospital due to dehydration.
I feel that, overall, the 34th Milo Marathon was far from being a success. It was a total failure and a total disaster. We learned later on that it was not the first time that a runner died during a Milo Marathon. There were others who died due to dehydration on prior races, but nothing came out in the news about them apparently. We also found out that the organizers of the 34th Milo Marathon had a bad reputation from prior running events. Because of what happened, my friends and I decided that we will not run again at another Milo Marathon unless it’s organized by another group with a good track record for running events.
Milo Marathon now. I personally did not look forward to running in the Milo Marathon again after what happened last year. However, I had a change of heart when I learned that the 35th Milo Marathon will be handled by RunRio. After all, only a change in the organizer was our only condition to run again at the Milo Marathon.