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Joyettes first marathon! « Mathieu O'Halloran's Blog


Joyettes first marathon!

This past weekend, my little age grouper of a girl friend tackled her first marathon! The event was somewhat un-orthodox style with a 4 pm start and point to point race on the SCTEX highway going to Subic Bay.

I write her programs, so I believed she could go just get under 4 hours. Some critics begged the differ, claiming that first timers should have lower expectation…But this is endurance sport, where things are not always logical…

Her target was clear, realistic and challenging as we sharpened her arrows and tightened her bow over the past few weeks.  Also with the compromise of her job and living and training in Manila.

I myself am very cognitive of what advantages and disadvantages that indoor training can bring. So we optimized and compromized…

Not wanting to interup my curent training block, I did not race and chose to be in a support vehicle so I got to see the race start/progress/unfold/and finalized.

At the 5km mark, as expected the Kenyans where leading and Joyette was in about 200th position, a little slower that her goal pace. “I’m just warming up” she yelled at me! But some of those runners where not warming up, but blowing up, since I could clearly see who had started to fast, just by looking at their running form…


Some were over striding, breathing much too hard, doing way to much arm movement or just rushing through the aid stations…All the while she was smiling, keeping a quick/short/efficient stride and making sure she got fuel inside her!

10km she started to build and still smilling I shouted “hit the numbers” and “23% done” as she was running around human land mines.


15km the sun started to go down and she was running in a smaller group of men. And passing walkers or  guys that pulled to the side of the road to “stretch”


21km done, its dark and not many lights at this point on the highway. She’s a little above goal pace but still looking solid and turning the legs over very well.  She’s in no mans land…


25km done and some aid stations are missing, supposed to be every 2.5km, but not at this point, there some panic on the course but we are prepared with coke/gatorade and cold water.

30km done and she confronts the hardest uphill of the race going to the toll gate. Its dark, but I can spot her legs turning over very well and passing many men. Many of whom try to run with her and/or start to walk after she passes them.  “treat this as the end of the race” I scream at her!

35km done and shes going down a long downhill. She’s at a slight disadvantage at this point, her short legs and low body weight don’t add up very well with gravity.

40km done and she turns right onto the Rizal highway towards the Remy field track. Her legs are turning over very well after the downhill, there’s a few men in front of here and now theres many lights so she can see up the road. She refuses any drinks and charges! She’s still gaining a few positions.

42km done, half a lap around the track and 3h57 finish time! Target ACCOMPLISHED  J and I think 47th over all, 9th female and less than 1 hour after the first place female, you guessed it a Kenyan!


She made me very proud but at the end of the day, one thing is for sure, I would not want to race her over a 200km run race…

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