How do you choose your first marathon?
The marathon distance is the same. It’s always 26 miles and 385 yards in the English system and 42.195 in the metric system. But deciding where to run your first full mary can be as crucial as training for the marathon itself. Choosing which course to make a marathon debut in is as important as hours spent on the road.
For the first-time marathoner, choosing the right course can be as overwhelming as the distance itself, simply because there are lots of options available to the newbie marathoner, especially those with travel money to spare.
The Marathon Foodie says a newbie marathoner should only stick to these three factors in weighing her options: 1.) Do I go local or abroad? 2.) How much time for training do I have between now and my target marathon? 3.) What kind of training ground do I have in the next 3 to 4 months before my target marathon?
Many newbie runners like to mix traveling and running a marathon. Like hitting two birds with one stone, the runner has run a marathon whilst discovering a new and exciting destination.
Gail Kislevitz, a veteran of 20 marathons and author of First Marathons, a book of personal accounts says this may not be a good idea. "Traveling adds another level of stress to an already difficult event. The number one thing people do is underestimate what it takes to run a marathon. Running the miles is not enough. When choosing a marathon, keep in mind how and where you are doing your training, and try to simulate what you’ll find on the course. The ideal situation is to pick a marathon close by where you can train on the actual course."
Apart from a familiarity with the race course, running in your own turf also allows you to harness your own local fan base that can provide you with material and moral support when you need it most at the crucial points of the full marathon (from 25KM till the Sure, big city marathons like New York and Chicago have their big crowds, but there’s nothing like seeing the familiar faces of your family, friends and loved ones along the race route and when you cross that marathon finishline for the first time. .)
Before the Cebu City Marathon, runners aiming to run a full marathon for the fist time had to race in Metro Manila or Subic . If you’re a runner based in Cebu or the nearby provinces looking for a marathon debut, I suggest you make the Cebu City Marathon in your goal. It is home, so logistics and hotel accommodations need not be a problem, the roads are familiar and the cut-off time of seven hours is generous enough even for the slowest of runners. More importantly, the CCM has proved itself to be an excellently managed race making your marathon debut as pleasant an experience as possible, despite the inevitable muscle pain that marathon running brings.
And speaking of cut-off time, the more generous it is, the better for the first time marathoner whose first and primary goal should only be to finish the full marathon regardless of time. The oldest running event in the country which is the Milo marathon has a cut-off time of 5:00 for the full marathon, so the Manila eliminations set may not be the wisest choice for a full marathon debut, unless of course you are as gifted as Marathon Mom Donna Cruz- Larrazabal, who finished her first full marathon in 4:48:45 in Macau, which like Milo has cut-off time of five hours.
Mt. Manungal Climbathon
The Municipality of Balamban will commemorate the 53rd death anniversary of President Ramon Magsaysay, Jr. with a climbathon at Mt. Manungal .
The climbathon is open to all professional runners and weekend warriors. The race starts at the Welcome Arch of the Municipality of Balamban at the Transcentral Highway all the way to the crash site in Mt. Manunggal . The race distance is 17KM for the men’s open and 13KM for the women’s category and executive division. The race route consists of a mix of concrete roads, dirt roads and mountain trails. So it might be a good idea to leave the at home and wear all-terrain shoes for the climbathon.
Balamban dumptrucks will be picking up trekkers as early as 5Am in JY square in Cebu City . There will also be a pickup point in Balamban for local trekkers. These same dumptrucks will be ferrying trekkers back to Cebu City and Balamban. For inquiries you may call or 4650455 local 115.
The Marathon Foodie has one observation. Women runners have been running far longer distances since the 1960’s. In this age of gender equality, why do women have to race the shorter distance of 13KM in the climbathon while the men race all of 17KM?
Free Running Clinic
Take advantage of Runnr Academy ’s free running clinic on “Optimal Running Technique” with three-time Philippine National Triathlon champion Arland Macasieb at Ayala Center Cebu’s Active Zone . to 8 p.m. and . to 3 p.m.
Macasieb will discuss common running errors among recreational runners; the attributes of elite runners; correct running posture; Running tools, drills and skills for speed.
Macasieb is an exercise physiologist and holds a masters degree on exercise sciences from the Montclair State University . He was the Philippine National Triathlon champion in 2001, 2005 and 2006. He is also a 6-time Ironman finisher.
Seize the road!