How the World Marathon Dream Started

The dream to run all the World Marathon Majors started in 2012, after I ran my first major marathon in Berlin. I did not know that an elite circle of the world’s biggest races existed until I saw signs about it at the marathon expo. I had such a great time running Berlin and enjoyed the vibe of a great city race that I started reading more about the other major runs.


Berlin Marathon 2012, the race that got me started on the quest to finish all of the World Marathon Majors by 2016.

So towards the end of 2012, I started to plot out the races that I would do in the next four years.  I have already been rejected twice for the New York Marathon since I started entering the lottery in 2011 so I said I would just go for the guaranteed entry in 2014. I checked other marathons that I could get into just by signing up.

At that time, the Chicago Marathon was the only that was not doing a lottery entry. It was set for October 13, 2013, perfect timing since I also wanted to do another interesting race, the Nike Women’s Marathon San Francisco, a week after. It was my first ever back-to-back marathon, another separate topic to talk about. I absolutely loved my Chicago Marathon experience and did my PR at 3 hours 50 minutes. This further firmed up my resolve to finish all majors by 2016.

I got into the 2014 Tokyo Marathon via lottery on my first try. They opened the registration August 2013 and although I knew that it was hard to get a slot, I decide to push my luck. The lottery was ten times oversubscribed but I was happy to get in. This marathon was the latest addition to the WMM and it is good that we now have one in Asia, giving more opportunities to Filipinos to run a major without traveling so far. This was a mostly flat but very cold race. I liked how it was super organised as expected given that the Japanese are known for their clockwork precision. Also, the crowd was very supportive in their own polite way, handing out food and treats to runners throughout the course.

Just a few weeks ago, I completed my fourth major in New York which I wrote about in a previous post. This is a race that I would love to do again. They say that in terms of terrain it is a Jekyll and Hyde with its benevolent descents and sinister climbs but it is what makes this race a very interesting one. A big factor of what makes this run special is the superb race organisation and crowd participation.

I can’t wait to get back to my training routine to prepare for the next one, London Marathon in April 2015. I am excited for this marathon for several reasons. It is the first time that I am running for charity, for a cause that is close to my heart. I will be raising funds and running for Scope, a charity focused on disability. I am also excited to run such a beautiful course that weaves through the city’s most iconic landmarks. I am also looking forward to run fast as I try to make this my Boston Qualifier. There, I have said it out loud and declared it to the rest of the world 🙂

2016 is the year for Boston, if all things go as planned. Of course there always will be curveballs along the way but my mind is focused on that as a goal. So time to recover from the injury so I can start training for it. For now the task on hand is to work on my London Marathon fund raising. I have a long way to go but I am confident and pumped up to work on this. There really is nothing like working on a lifelong dream and seeing it coming to fruition 🙂

If you would like to support me for the London Marathon, please click here.

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