The above image is the official logo of the Bohol International Marathon 2019. The copyright belongs to the Bohol International Marathon organizers.
Last August 25, 2019, the Bohol Runners Club organized the Bohol International Marathon 2019: The Tarsier Run starting at Island City Mall in the province’ capital Tagbilaran. The run featured distance categories of 42K, 21K, 10K, and 5K.
This blog’s author, being a trying-hard (I mean aspiring) runner myself, participated in the 21K category of the event. Here was my experience.
A friend and colleague of mine, William, who hails from Bohol, invited me, after having an enjoyable experience himself during the 2018 event which was held in the neighboring island of Panglao. This time around, William is gunning for the full marathon or the 42K category. Good luck!
As any runner would advise, preparation is key. Under-preparation will cost you, trust me, I learned that the hard way during the Hunat Sugbu 2019.
This time, I made sure I was prepared, mentally and physically by gradually increasing the distance of my runs until I became confident with completing the 21K distance.
Registration for running events usually starts a few months ahead to give runners ample time to prepare. Bohol International Marathon started accepting registrations as early as May of 2019 and offered decent discounts for those who will register early.
Getting to Bohol from Cebu
Race kits including the event shirt, race bib, and timing chip were distributed a day before the race so it’s a no-brainer that I must be in Bohol a day before the race. I brought my wife and daughter with me too, for moral support 😊 and of course to go on a tour after the race.
We traveled from Cebu to Bohol via Ocean Jet. Booking ahead of time is allowed through their website and other accredited ticketing outlets. Seeing as this was a holiday weekend, advanced booking is highly recommended.
Note: The Bohol International Marathon usually takes place on the Sunday immediately preceding the “National Heroes Day” holiday in the Philippines which is celebrated every last Monday of August. Be sure to book your travel in advance to avoid unnecessary inconvenience.
Where to Stay?
Bohol is a widely-known tourist spot so getting a hotel room is not a problem in the city of Tagbilaran and in the neighboring island of Panglao.
For the first night of our stay, we opted to stay at Sun Avenue Tourist Inn and Café. It is very near the port of Tagbilaran and had a decent price. Our experience there was not bad at all. However, because of the schedule of the run taking place at 4AM, I had trouble finding a ride going to Island City Mall, which was around 5km away from the inn. Transportation in the early hours of the morning is a little difficult so we recommend arranging for one the night before or better yet bring your car to Bohol via ferry.
And so, the race begins! As mentioned, I had trouble finding a ride to the starting point and I arrived just in time (4AM) for the 21K run to start. By the way, the 42K started at 2AM.
Note: The use of head lights is recommended as the event starts at dawn and some parts of the race track do not have street lighting.
All was well until I got to the 9K mark when I felt some discomfort on my foot. Turns out, I had blisters on my toes. Surely, it wasn’t something that could stop me, so I continued. There’s lechon and roasted beef along the way, anyway, so that’s added motivation. 😊
2 hours and 32 minutes later and with a sense of accomplishment, I made it to the finish line. There, the organizers were waiting to don the finisher’s medal.
A post-race snack and a finisher’s shirt is also given to the finishers.
William finished shortly thereafter, with a personal record of 4 hours and 42 minutes. Good job!
The Bohol International Marathon experience was exceedingly awesome! I will be joining again soon!
Did you join the Bohol International Marathon 2019? Let us know your experience by commenting below.