Last Sunday, 10th of March, Scar Balatero of Team BARC finished his second marathon: Davao International Marathon 2019 (DIM 2019), in Davao City. It was a very rich experience as it was his first ever race event outside Cebu, with many unexpected situations and some serendipitous encounters too.
My Davao International Marathon 2019 Story
Going back to where it all began, I really don’t know what came into my mind upon signing up for this event. The moment I saw the race ad via Facebook, my alter ego once told me to take that leap and give that marathon a shot. As far as I remember, I signed up for this marathon without any hesitation at all. Apart from running outside Cebu for the first time, it was also my first time to go to Davao City, all alone. It was really a great challenge for me knowing that I am outside of my comfort zone, and also, I don’t get the chance to celebrate the race after with my friends and kaBARCs, unlike the usual races I’ve been to when running in Cebu.
The race route was like one hell of a roller coaster ride. Like literally, we’ve passed multiple and long road uphill and downhill. The toughest and most painful route I’ve ran by far.
I finished my very first Full Marathon (Cebu City Marathon) last January with the time of 5hrs flat. Before the DIM race started, I told myself to set a new PR coz I don’t want all of my trainings be put to waste if I will not try my very best to achieve something out from this race apart from finishing it injury free. When the series of uphill and downhill hit me, I told myself once, “With this kind of route, I think I can forgive myself for not setting a new PR today.” And then smirked at the back of my head.
The last 12km was already a mental game for me. I can only run 3-4min straight and then brisk walk and then try to run back again. My pace slowly deteriorates as the kilometers increases. Good thing my alter ego went back to push me to the limit. Fast forward to the finish line, I conquered Davao International Marathon finishing with an official time of 4hrs and 59min. Whaaaat!? I laughed at myself secretly as I beat my record for only a minute, but then again, with that kind of route, it was reasonable and I couldn’t be so proud of what I’ve turned myself into.
Before I ran my first marathon, I had heard friends from the running community say that if you can run a half-marathon race then you have the physical capabilities to run a full marathon. Going from 21km to 42km is purely mental conditioning. I felt like that was true after my first, but officially confirmed it after my second.
In order to get a lot of the mental strength, you have to do a marathon just to find out what you are up against. 42km is a ridiculously long ways to try to imagine during training. For me before my first, it was unimaginable. But once you’ve done one, you know what you’re up against. And it makes everything so much smoother. I had that feeling in my 2nd half-marathon, and even more so during my 2nd full marathon.
If fear of failure or performance is holding you back from signing up, I’d say go ahead and sign up but just make your goal to finish. Get the first out of the way and make your true “first” marathon your second. When I finished my first full marathon, I was not really convinced that I am already an official Marathoner, not until I had my second. Thanks to Davao International Marathon 2019. Will definitely going back again next year, along with my friends.