Unlike runners in the temperate zone, those of us in the tropical areas get to run and race practically all year round. That's why runners in those areas envy us.
In the Philippines, racing for 2008 started as early as January with big name races like the Subic and Clark Marathons coming a week after the other. Other shorter distance races have likewise been held like the Philippine Stock Exchange Bull Run recently. A lot more have been lined up including the famed Milo Marathon regional elimination races which a great number of local runners are raring to take on.
"Twenty-six legs will make up the 32nd season of the National Milo Marathon," goes the lead of a recent news article. Races have been scheduled in Batangas City on Feb. 3, Puerto Princesa City in Palawan on Feb. 10, Clark Freeport in Pampanga on Feb. 17 and General Santos City on Feb. 24.
A four-month break follows the General Santos race after which the series resumes June 22 with the Dumaguete leg. This will be followed by qualifying races in Bacolod City (June 29), Iloilo City (July 6), Roxas City (July 13), Legazpi City (Aug. 10), Naga City (Aug. 17), San Pablo City (Aug. 24), Tacloban City (Aug 31), Tagbilaran City (Sept. 7), San Fernando City (Sept. 14), Laoag City (Sept. 21), Santiago City (Sept. 28), Baguio City (Oct. 5), Dipolog City (Oct. 12), Iligan City (Oct. 19), Cagayan de Oro City (Oct. 26) and Butuan City (Nov. 9).
The holding of simultaneous races in Cebu City, Davao City, Tarlac City and Metro Manila on Aug. 3 will serve as the season highlight. Organizers are expecting up to 60,000 runners in the four legs which will be held simultaneously.
Except in Metro Manila which is a full marathon, the elimination races are disputed in the 21-kilometer distance where the top three male and female finishers qualify for the National Finals scheduled in Manila on Nov. 30.
A 5K fun run and a 3K race for kids are also slated as side events.
Right now, runners are already talking about planning their training to peak right in time for the races scheduled in their own areas.
Me? I'm thinking of something sort of crazy - running all 6 Mindanao elimination races!