Had a great 23 hours in CamSur (flew in Saturday 3 pm, flew out Sunday 2 pm) over the weekend. Now I can say that provincial races - if properly organized - are MUCH better than races in snobbish Metro Manila. The scenery is picturesque, the air is pristine, no motorists that get furious over road closures, and awesome crowds that line the route.
Ah yes, the CamSur crowd. I have been racing for over a year now, and not until last weekend have I ran before spectators that were as warm, friendly, and hospitable as the people who lined the CamSur route. They smiled, cheered, clapped, waved, and greeted runners with a warm "Good Morning!" They manned the hydration and aid stations with the zeal and zest of true volunteers, and gave all passing runners a lot more than an energy boost or an adrenaline rush. They waved flags, carried hand-made signs, gave words of encouragement, reached out to give low-fives, and made even an average runner like me feel like a frigging rock star. If only to experience all of these, every runner ought to have a CamSur race in his bucket list. My only regret from the weekend is that I did not have a camera with me during the run to take pictures of all the friendly faces that lined most of the 42-kilometer route.
As mentioned in my post-race mobile post, I finished the CamSur marathon in 5:18. Still way off my sub-5 goal, but it's totally fine - no skin off my back at all. Sub-5 marathon or not, this first-time CamSur visitor had a grand time running through the fields and the friendly villages. Special thanks to Marian, a fellow 6:1 Galloway marathoner who paced with me throughout the run, and who will in all likelihood nail that sub-5 before I do.
Here are some souvenir pics from my wonderful 23 hours in CamSur. Cebu, can you top this in 2011? I'm going to find out for myself.
|Laying out the red carpet - band and dancers at the runway to welcome runners.|
|The mandatory "self-portrait" - in the shuttle to the hotel|
|Runners are welcome at the Avenue Plaza Hotel|
|Carbo-loading at Grissini's with pizza and pasta, plus some beef carpaccio for protein|
|Never go to bed without chamomile tea and chocolate sans rival|
|A few meters to the finish line|
|Marathon No. 3 - Done!!!|
|With Bam, my ever-supportive wife|
|Post-race Pinoy brunch at Red Platter - |
inihaw na liempo, inihaw na pusit, sinigang na salmon belly, and steamed white rice
|Thank you, CamSur! You deserve a medal, too!|