To beat the heat, we had to register and be at the start line by 4:30am. The gun (or fireworks in this case) went off at 5am and @ 3,000 participants were off to a starlit guided tour of the city and surrounding countryside. For the more serious runners, the course is named the "adventure marathon" because it is routed up through the foothills outside of Dumaguete, where competitors must dodge rocks, weave through tropical fruit trees, and balance over makeshift bamboo bridges. The 10K course stayed within Dumaguete's city limits. I finished with the morning tropical sun, piercing the time clock at 1 hour and 20 minutes. Not a bad time considering I didn't train and my running shoes were chaco sandals. It was so exciting to see the first marathon runner (he was Kenyan) sprint through the finish line at about 2 hours and 30 minutes! So impressive. The experience was less daunting than expected. I'd do it again, and maybe next year I will actually train for it and wear the appropriate shoes.
*The Dam Marathon is the only marathon that celebrates rice. It is sponsored by PhilRice partners hence the slogan "Rice is Life".