There are many negative connotations of the word “half.”
Half-baked. Half-breed. Half-life. Half-man half-horse (tikbalang in some cultures, fucking ugly in others). Fifty-fifty (ICU term for “not our fault if the guy dies!”).
But last Sunday morning, something they called “Half” never felt so fully… well… fulfilling.
I ran the Condura Skyway Half Marathon, all 21 kilometers of it that ran through 3 to 4 cities (5 if you include the short turn in the Taguig Area). (Thank God for the grace of running, and the grace to finish! The concept of the divine gets more real as you begin to feel your lungs and every muscle in your body)
Let me take a detour here to say, Hats off (or shoes off? pero mabaho yata yun) to the Condura Skyway Team for a brilliant organization! Thousands upon thousands of runners, and there was no clogging of people at the turns and starting area, supplies, portalets and ambulances were in abundance, and no accidents (at least none that I heard of). Congratulations to all the other runners, especially the 42k runners!
It was surreal running on the skyway at 3am, crossing the tollgates, seeing the Exit Signs, while waiting for the rest of the citizens below to wake up from their hangover. At around 5am, it got more difficult, as the aroma of pan de sal and tuyo and sinangag made its way up the skyway, teasing your senses that had been driven to desperation.
Yes, 21K is half of the Full Marathon (42), but you put your whole self on the line.
You prepared your entire body. Every muscle, every blood cell, every sinew, every fiber, every neuron. You got ready mentally. Physically. Emotionally. Yes, even spiritually. And it took every ounce of your willpower, sweat, and even childhood memories (they’re useful when you’re bored), to be able to finish. If you think about it, all the other distances are but a fraction of the whole 42k, but to the person at that stage of running readiness, it was every bit as fulfilling as the full version. A 5k is an eighth of a marathon, a 10k is around a fourth, but make no mistake about it – every finisher has every right to be totally fulfilled.
The 42k is a monumental achievement, true.
But whatever fraction of it you finish – feel proud. Your total self became even better. Yes, even if you feel like crap the morning after.