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National Milo Marathon

"Kaya mo 'yan!"

I have first joined a Milo race way back on its 21st eliminations season on 1997 in Baguio. It was my second official running event, and my first time to join a 5K-race together with some Baguio kids in Elementary and some High school levels who were, unexpectedly a lot stronger than me. I still remember there were only few (around 150) 5K runners back then, my race bib was made from some kind of cotton-fabric (unlike our tyvek race bibs today), and almost everyone were running competitively with their whole heart and might!

After that 21st Milo eliminations, I said to myself that I will not join a Milo race again until I'm competitive enough to be called a Milo Finisher. This came to me because of the turnout of my 5k finish time, learning that a Milo race is not an event where I can just play around.

Meeting a Milo Marathon King

One evening of December 2010, having just finished a short maintenance run together with the aNR-Ortigas group, I was called by some of my running buddies for a simple gathering. Still in my running attire, I held a cab going to Tiendesitas. The driver noticed my attire and asked if I am an athlete. In my understanding, an Athlete refers to those who undergoes rigorous and formal training supervised by a certified and an equally or more competitive Instructor/Coach, which in my case, am not! So I told him that I'm just a leisure runner who enjoys the challenge of joining weekend races.

His name is Herman Suizo, and told me that he was once a member of the Philippine Team back in his younger years and was crowned as the National Milo Marathon King (with a time of 2:28:57) the same year when I first joined the Milo race in Baguio. I asked him about his training as a member of the Philippine team and he enthusiastically shared about it. Kennon Road in Baguio was their training ground. They train daily for 20K minimum going up the famous Zigzag road on a 10K-relax pace and another 10K race pace, of which he can still vividly remember how their Coach pushes them whenever they're on the verge of giving up. I wanted to ask more questions and know more about him but I've already reached my destination.

My further research showed that Mr. Herman Suizo has a listed Marathon Personal best of 2:19:36 at IAAF.org which he attained in Seoul Korea, has won gold medal twice in the Biennial SEA Games (1989-2:23:19, 1991-2:22:52), and that his name rings for lowering the National records in 15K, 16K, 20K, 21K, and 42K during the late '80s until early '90s (source: PinoyMiler).

The Milo APEX Running School

After that meet-up with Mr. Herman Suizo, I got inspired with his feat and at the same time found myself in doubt of my running capability. Then I hoped that time that Milo would also offer a Summer Clinic for Running, not just for their famous Summer Clinics in Basketball and Taekwondo.

By 3rd quarter of 2011, to my surprise, I learned that Milo was already having a Milo Running Clinic in BGC, Taguig. Due to the fact that I didn't knew about it beforehand, plus the venue was too far and schedule isn't really feasible for me, I didn't bother to enroll anymore. Fortunately last year (2012), the Milo Running Clinic (now named Milo APEX Running Clinic) is already offered in different locations within the Metro, and I was lucky to have one near our office in Quezon City Circle.

Although I intended to finish the whole 3-months course, I only managed to enroll for the Basic (1st month) and Intermediate (2nd month) programs for 21K-category which consists of 12-sessions per program. And even though the office was just near, our hours is until 6:00 PM so I always arrive late. My attendance wasn't also good and I've only managed to complete 11-sessions out of the 24-sessions for the 2-months program.

During one of our APEX training (with Doc Minnie on the right)
(Photo courtesy of Milo APEX )

In contrast to my non-completion of the Milo APEX course, I know that somehow my body and my fitness improved, I learned some new knowledge regarding nutrition, injury prevention, proper warm-up and cool-down, and the types of training and workouts that we should include during race preparation to make our body dynamic for any activity, not just for running.

The Milo APEX training is lead by Coach Jim Saret, together with the Country's top Athletes/Coaches and is really a great training program for anybody who wishes to become a better runner and gain overall fitness.

Eliminations

Despite not having completed my Milo APEX training, I was already enthusiastic to join another Milo eliminations leg for a 21K distance. Although I haven't improved much, somehow, I now have more confidence to join the flock of stronger and competitive runners, well... except with their own goal to qualify for the finals!

So on the 36th National Milo Marathon - Manila leg, armed with a few weeks of Milo APEX training and conditioned and body, I showed up at the starting line with only one goal in mind - to break again my 21K Personal record which I have just attained a few weeks ago during the HyperSports Get Fit Run 2012 (01:56:24).

And I did!

I was amazed that truly our body can achieve more than what we think we can!

Photo-op with some friends (para makapagpahinga) before reaching the Finish line
(Photo from Angelo Lagumbay)

I am also thankful for two other runners for this feat. One was the old man whom I silently paced with from the starting line until about 7th kilometer on which I wasn't able to keep up with his pace anymore when he sped up faster than our starting pace. Our starting pace though has helped me to maintain a faster pace almost all throughout. And secondly, a younger and newbie runner (Bib# 23056) who asked me to pace with him from the 18th-km mark where I was supposed to walk already.

However conditioned our body is, if our mind isn't conditioned to push ourselves, we would easily give up when we're already faced with much physical pain and resistance. With the physical training, I was able to condition my body, and the pressure of pacing with other stronger runners, I was able to push myself further. And with that, I broke my 3-weeks old 21K PR, finishing with a time of 01:54:44.

It wasn't much but I was really glad because out of xx number of my finished 21K road races, it was my first time to achieve a sub 1:55.

Then I settled for it!

There's this kind of attitude in me that I don't like: Of not striving for more once I already achieved a goal!

Aside from the circumstances that prevented me from being able to continuously train, I just got contented. Instead of honing and sharpening myself more, I just sit it down, and pat my own shoulder for a job-well-done but which can still be made MUCH BETTER!

One year have passed, the 37th Milo Marathon eliminations came and I still haven't made another record break for that one-year old 21K PR. I haven't been doing well anymore! Instead of staying on better personal records, I kept finishing 21Ks in more than 2-hours.

With Stradcom officemates and Running buddies
(Photo from Leo)

with some co-Six30 members and... a recruit
(Photo from Leo)

On the brighter side...

While walking around the Mall of Asia together with my office/running mates, I saw a Student who also joined the race wearing a white and green Milo shoes. Then I realized that this race wasn't really just for the stronger and competitive runners. With the fact that since the year 2010 at the 34th National Milo Marathon, Nestle started a "Help Give Shoes" advocacy for the benefit of underprivileged school Children.

The recipients of this advocacy are schools supervised by the Department of Education (DepEd) and as of July 28, 2013, the number of shoes that Milo, through the participants registration fees, has already distributed 27,200 shoes. For those who don't know about this cause, or who haven't watched any of the Milo Marathon commercials (because you don't have a Television set like me), here's a video below to give you an idea:


It's high time for me to answer this question:
"Iba-ibang pangarap, iba't-ibang hinahabol. Ikaw, ano'ng hinahabol mo?"

Would you care to share your own answer?

3 comments:

  1. Hi Pedz, I got no photo from you this time after finishing, unlike last year, hahaha. Congrats again, we'll do the full distance next year. Your training should start today. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sir Vener, didn't brought my camera anymore, decided to just leave the capturing to the Pros of the field :)
    If we're going to do the full distance next year, then we might as well train together, train me, hehe :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Haven't joined any Milo races yet, hopefully next year. I want to join Milo Apex also if there'll be one in Ortigas area ;))

    Congrats for this Alfred x)

    ReplyDelete

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