It’s more than two weeks now when I returned to my hometown, Legazpi City, to fulfill one run in my bucket list for this year.
This is the MAU’yon 360…er…the Mayon 360 50-mile ultramarathon, where runners will have the greatest pleasure of running around the most perfect coned volcano!
Having set my heart, my body, and my mind on this most anticipated event which I’d be running for the third time, I was prepared for anything. As early as the first week of January I religiously trained and strictly stuck to my IF (Intermittent Fasting). Thus, in February I booked my flight; in March I registered for the run and booked my room accommodation through the help of my eldest niece Johanna. What I had to work out was getting my husband’s permission which he did not grant right away. I tolerantly waited for it and succeeded in convincing him to let me go home to Bicol two days before my departure.
My noon flight was just perfect for my May 4, Friday schedule. From the airport, I rode a trike and went straight to my favorite diner in Old Albay to eat my late lunch.
I finished my food in less than 30 minutes. Afterwards, I proceeded to the relatively new Sampaguita Tourist Inn at Washington Drive where Johanna booked me. To my consternation, the room was still not ready! Alright. No time to lose my cool. I accepted the reason given — the influx of guests due to Mayon 360 which is part of the Magayon Festival celebrations. As a result, I failed to freshen up. I just changed in their comfort room and left my bag for safekeeping. My quick movements served as my warm-up exercise already. Whew!
Being an obedient ultrarunner, I proceeded to Pacific Mall to attend the (required [?]) pre-race briefing and likewise claim my race kit and commemorative shirt (the perk of registering early).
I patiently listened to the organizers and stayed up to the end of the program.
Frankly, I needed a refresher since I didn’t complete my first Mayon 360 orientation in 2014, and I didn’t attend it when I returned the next year. There might be changes and important information which I needed to be aware of after three years. Well, I soon found out that nothing has changed much. For me who’d be running on my own, what counts most is to know that I’d be hurdling the same challenging route (which means I wouldn’t get lost!) and there would be hydration station after every five kilometer (a big hallelujah from the Lone Wolf!).
With the many runners in the hall, I ran across only one familiar face — Nelson Val “GreenEyes” Caro, Jr, a kababayan/friend. Being a part of my early runner’s life in 2010, Val has been mentioned in a couple of articles here.
The pre-race briefing concluded before 5:00 pm. My calculated time was right. I was glad since I set a meet-up with Ruby Mendones-Macasinag and Ma. Luisa Apolinar-Parlade, two of the most important women in my life. They kept me company in my carbo-loading at Treff Cafe. Our night ended with Dr. Malu, checking on my blood pressure at Estevez Memorial Hospital. This was a well-appreciated gesture from a dear friend/kumare. Following her advice to take a pill to counteract the unexpected shooting up of my bp to 150/100, I assured her that I was in a clean bill of health.
With our high school batch’s physiatrist’s reminder at the back of my mind, I prepared for my third Mayon 360, morning of May 5. As expected because this is the normal me before a run, I again experienced sleep deprivation. Luckily, I didn’t suffer from lightheadedness. It gave me the brightest green light.
At 3:00 am, I went down to the lobby where NJ, my eldest grandson, was waiting for me. He would take me to the start area at Peñaranda Park in his motorbike. His mother informed me that transportation in that area was a little difficult especially if it’s very early. Our trip took us less than 10 minutes. It was already drizzling. When my grandson left, I proceeded to the nearest Mini Stop to look for petroleum jelly. I was thankful that they had the mini sized container. It was what I was looking for. I applied some on my feet and transferred the remaining contents in the second ziplock. The first one contained the menthol lotion which I purchased from Tunhuang Spa. The petroleum jelly and the menthol lotion joined the six salt sticks in my fitbelt. They completed my set of ammos in facing the battle at the eighth edition of Mayon 360.
To be continued…
Elaine Mirabueno-Botabara https://www.facebook.com/elaine.m.botabara