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I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

February 12, 2013


 "One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats."
 —Iris Murdoch

By no means is the Condura Skyway Marathon a small thing.  

At 14,000 runners for the distances of 3.8kms, 6kms, 10kms, 21kms and 42kms, I dare say it is one of the bigger  running events in the Philippines. The number of recorded marathon (42km) finishers of the 2013 Condura at 2,433 is more than what was recorded at the 2012 Run United Philippine Marathon which is at 2,072 finishers. Despite the hefty registration price of Php 1,800 for the full marathon, thousands of marathoners from all walks of life and from the entire archipelago as well as from Southeast Asia, Europe and the US  joined as this premier event provides the unique experience of running on a skyway, free from any disturbances from rowdy jeepneys and ornery dogs.  

More fun in 2013 Condura Skyway Marathon

But what made me sweepingly enjoy the 2013 Condura Skyway Marathon last February 3 are the handful of “small treats.”  Allow me to enumerate them:

1. The most comprehensive emergency quick response plan yet in a Philippine running event.  The key persons behind the Condura Skyway Marathon led by Chief Event Officer Ton Concepcion and its running ambassador Patrick Concepcion made sure that there were more than 1,000 race officials, many of whom were lined up at the Skyway every 200 meters  to be on hand promptly for any emergency.  Plus, a couple days before the race day, the Chief Event Officer communicated thru the social media an appeal to all runners to volunteer as a “safety buddy.”  It is a great feeling that the leading lights of the Condura Skyway Marathon are gentlemen and actual runners who are  genuinely concerned of the welfare of the participants.

2. This was the 2nd marathon of two of my favorite running buddies in First Balfour – Icar Hombrebueno and Rose Dalawampu.  After finishing their first marathon at the 2012 TBR Dream Marathon last March 18, these two friends only found the courage and time to go for their 2nd almost a year after.  But this was special as they did their training on their own, without the benefit of the spoiling tender loving coaching of the Bull Runner and her team. I ran with Rose and Icar for the first 5 kms of the 2013 Condura Skyway Marathon where they tried to follow  my Galloway 3:1 interval. But they reverted back to their comfortable Galloway 2:1 interval from 5 kms onwards.  I left them at that point but there was no doubt in my mind that they would finish which they did with a time of 6 hrs & 57 mins, good for 2,040th and 2041st place in the marathon field.  Certainly a treat to see running compatriots chalk up additional long distance accomplishments.  

BP with Icar and Rose of First Balfour Running Club

Rose and Icar showing their 2nd finisher medals for a marathon

Icar with Ton Concepcion, the Chief Event Officer
3. This was the first full marathon of fellow blogger and good friend Mau Gines. For more than 12 months already, I have been badgering the Wandering Jouster to go wander beyond her running comfort zone and go for the 42.195 kms. When she finally decided to go for it, I promised her that I would be there for her as coach, pacer and even as a photographer. Dictum meum pactum. At the starting area, Mau was relaxed yet focused on her goal. During the first half of the marathon we were running comfortably with the Galloway 3:1.The second half was marked by some muscle pain but she remained resilient and was even going at a fast pace in the last 5 kms.  With less than a kilometer till the finish line,  I let her go on her own fast run and seeing her cross the finish was joy for me.  Her time was 6 hrs & 35 mins making her the 1,798th finisher in the full marathon. There were 635 more runners who she was ahead of, including me who was in the 1,802nd place. (For more of her running exploits at the 2013 Condura , kindly refer to her blog

Since I started doing this in 2010, I have been fortunate to have been part of the marathon odyssey of 12  buddies.  I am truly blessed to be able to pay forward.   

Mau focused on the goal

Walang iwanan

A full marathon finisher

4. The finisher medal and the finisher shirt. Ton and Patrick Concepcion wanted the best for the marathoners of the Condura Skyway.  This was evident in the quality of the finisher medal and the finisher shirt. The latter being exclusively designed by Team Manila.They are works of quality that we Filipinos can be proud of to share with the rest of the region and of the world. I also have to add that the manner that these finisher items is given has greatly improved since its maiden edition in 2010.  Back then, when I crossed the finish line for the 21kms, I was disappointed, together with many more, at the fact that they ran out of medals to give for the half marathoners.  Fast forward to 2013 and the Condura team is well organized and well staffed.  At the area where they give out the finisher shirt and loot bag, I had a fun time with the staff who were all smiles and accommodating to have a picture with me. The marathoners were truly treated close to royalty at the Condura Skyway Marathon village.   

BP wearing finisher shirt with the all smiles Condura staff
The jampacked yet festive Condura Skyway Marathon Village

My cat Pacquiao with the finisher medal

There we have it, a list of  the treats I enjoyed in my running of the 2013 Condura Skyway Marathon. Wait, an added bonus treat in the form of meeting runners from other parts of the country.  In the first 5k of the marathon, I got to converse on the run with a pair of IGAT (Insane, Glamorous and Tattooed)  runners from Cebu.  And at the finish line area, Mau and I got to have a picture with a lady runner from Davao who has joined Condura for 4 straight times. 

With Kessel Que of Davao

Her name is Kessel Que and we sure aim to emulate her example and join the Condura Skyway Marathon every year.

That is the effect of enjoying many small treats. You get to come back for more. Thus, the Condura Skyway Marathon pilgrimage of the Bicolano Penguin is born.
That is the effect of enjoying many small treats. You get to come back for more. Thus, the Condura Skyway Marathon pilgrimage of the Bicolano Penguin is born.

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  1. thank you very much, vicboy.

    i conquered my first marathon because i had a MAESTRO, who unselfishly shared his experiences and extended his support and patience in realizing this kind of dream.

    i am honored and blessed.

  2. mas cute pala si pacquiao kung pusa sya. hehehe...

  3. Your welcome WJ. It is a pleasure for me to be of help to my running buddies reach new heights in their running adventures. You showed admirable determination.

  4. Thank you anonymous. Pacquiao is your proverbial pusakal who has showed a sheer love of life, literally. For 5X already, this cat has been injured severely but has gone back from the edge of death to live on. The fighter he is, this cat is bent on using up all of his 9 lives.