Raymund Reel Bontol


THE countdown is coming to a close as the Cebu City Marathon draws near. Excitement clouds the running community of Cebu. While most participants are running the 5K, some first-timers will be in the 42K category.

Final preparations are taking place as the event draws closer.

Race packets are meticulously prepared by organizers, while there is an ongoing marathon expo at the Ayala Active Zone.

Freebies, race bibs, singlets, timing chips (for the 21K and 42K category), race details and route are placed one at a time in every packet ready for distribution. Arrangements for the carbo-loading party today at 6 p.m. at the Ayala Terraces are being finalized to satisfy all runners wanting to load on fuel for the race.

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Members of the Cebu Executive Runners Club, organizers of the CCM, busy themselves with the final race preparations while race participants focus on final race day strategies.

Here are a few reminders to prepare for race day.

1.) Study the route. Familiarize yourself with the route to avoid confusion and properly set out a plan.

2.) Make a checklist for race day. Apparel, shoes, cap, fuel belt, wrist-top computers, race bib, timing chip and gels are of utmost importance. It is advised to bring money and toilet paper in case of emergencies.

3.) Post-race gear. Extra clothes, slippers, towels, medications and money are put together in one bag to bring on race day. Deposit items in courtesy booth.

4.) Race strategy. Gel every 45 to 60 minutes. Eat a light breakfast 1 to 2 hours prior to the race. Walking breaks for first-timers. Sips of water every 1.5 to 2 kilometers to avoid dehydration. Warm-up and stretching routine before the race.

Run at your own pace.

5.) Carbo-load two to three 3 days before the race and not the night before. Meet with other runners and fuel up at the official CCM carbo-loading party on Jan. 8. Coupons are priced cheap at P150 for a carb meal and drink during the party.

Free coupons are given to the first 150 registrants of the CCM.

A program to orient and inspire runners is prepared. Family and friends are invited to share this night with runners.

6.) Do not miss out on the Race Expo. Race packets are distributed during the Expo. Runners will also have the chance to grab some new gear at discounted prices.

7.) Sleep. Get at least 6-8 hours of sleep prior to the race.

Eat dinner and put yourself to bed early to relax and prepare your body for race day.

8.) Hydrate the entire day before the race. Never hydrate 1-3 hours prior to the race to avoid feeling heavy or bloating.

A simple test to check hydration status is to note your urine color. Clear and almost transparent urine color is recommended.

9.) Race Rules Familiarization. No wheeled supports and unregistered runners (bandits) inside the barricade.

Wear race bibs in front of singlet. No shortcuts. Secure your timing chips. No chip means no official finish time.

10.) Bring extra money for the CCM souvenir shirts and official marathon photos. Smile every time you see a camera aimed at you.

To all CCM participants, Godspeed and don’t forget to enjoy the race.