After being out of circulation in the local road races, its was a welcome sight for me to return and what better time to return on the road than via the 36th Milo Manila Eliminations at the Mall of Asia (MOA).
On my way to the venue at the junction of EDSA and Roxas Boulevard, I could see sillohuettes of runners at the flyover bridge. I assume these should be the 42k runners which was supposed to be flagged off at 3:00am and at that time it was around 3:50am There was no rain but you could feel it in ypur bones that rain should be dropping in any minute.
By 4:15am I was already on queue at the northern open space parking of MOA and as expected it was full and I was one of the last vehicle that was allowed to enter the parking area.
By 4:25am I was already at the starting area and the emcees were briefing the 21k runners and about to send them off. At exactly 4:30am the 21k runners were released which I had the opportunity to witness. God there were a lot of runners. 31/2 minutes after the start, there were still runners crossing the starting line. I leave it up to you to estimate how many were there.
At 4:45am all 10k runners were allowed to enter the holding area and the usual pre-race formalities, briefing and what have you were done by the emcees. As per the announcement, this event was more than the 42k and 21k events in term of participants. At exactly 5:00am 10k runners were released using the usual Diosdado Macapagal Avenue to Sotto Avenue in Cultural Center then to Roxas Boulevard until the crossing of Vito Cruz and back to MOA area for a good distance of 10k.
01h25m15s after, I crossed the finish line on race walking mode a good 5 minutes ahead of the sweeper time of 01h30m on running mode. It was not the best of my race walk time but I feel good that there were still a big number of runners behind me who were running and walking in the process.
Milo Marathon is already an institution and what more could you expect except that it is getting higher and higher in its degree of excellence in the matter the race is held. To think that they are doing this almost every week on different regions in the Philippines to make sure that the be able to bring the sport all over the island which is to highlight of the 36th Milo Finals at Manila sometime in December. To the Nesle group and their brand Milo THANK YOU. They have done so much to the youth and those who are needy and wanting. To Coach Rio dela Cruz who has handled this event on the race technical side for the last two years congratulations as always.
From the finish line to where my van was parked it was a good 3/4km so I took the said distance to cool down. A minute after I arrived my car a heavy downpour of rain finally came. It was heavy in every sense of the word. Another race that spared me from the rain, but, not the others as most of the 42k and 21k were still on the road.