When I heard about this race, I got a little bit excited. If there were no changes in my schedule, I’d be able to squeeze in this run. My last race was during the Manila Half Marathon, and my last 10 km race was almost 3 months ago (the DVA run), so I was really itching to race again. It was also a great opportunity to test out my new shoes during race conditions.
Registration: Since I wasn’t sure about my schedule, I didn’t pre-register for this race. My plan was to register during the race day itself – big mistake. When I arrived at the registration booth, I found out that a lot of people also had the same plan. I was still in line when the dignitary-sponsors of the race were already beginning their pre-race speeches. I finally got my bib number at around 6:10 am (start time was supposed to be 6 am – good thing there were a lot of speeches so the race didn’t start out on time 😀 ), and immediately proceeded to the start line.
Route: The race route was as follows: a half loop of the QC Memorial Circle, proceed to Philcoa… enter UP Diliman, then run through University Avenue. Two loops around the Acad Oval followed, then Univeristy Avenue again to exit UP Diliman, then the other half of the QC Memorial Circle to finish.
Distance: 9.1 kilometers
The Race: When I arrived at the start line. I was greeted by the familiar faces of some of the members of Happy Feet 😀 After final well-wishing from the organizers, the start gun was fired and though I didn’t have much warm-up… we were off! As in most races, the start was a little bit slow due to the mass start so I had to weave a bit while running to avoid some of the runners as I progressed forward. I wanted to run the start conservatively but because my shoes felt so comfortable, I was lulled into running at a quicker pace. I was just thinking to myself that I hope I won’t pay for this later when I’d get too tired that my pace would slow considerably.
Since I was familiar with the course, I knew that the route would be mostly flat. Had I probably trained properly for this race, I knew that this could have been a PR-breaking race for me. But since I haven’t, I was satisfied to run this race as a training run.
While I was completing my first loop around the Acad Oval, I heard some police sirens blaring behind me. I knew that the front runner was probably fast approaching so I swerved closer to the curb to allow them to pass by… that’s when I saw that it was Eduardo Buenavista leading the race. I decided to try to keep pace with him just so I’d have a feel on how running at that pace felt like. It was a blistering pace, which I only maintained for about 7 seconds. I however got a first-hand look on how graceful he looked running, while mine felt so laborious. His feet also seemed to just touch the ground so briefly and without much impact.
At that blistering pace, I noticed my shoes “react.” As my feet rolled during push-off, I felt the rivulets in the outsole seem to dig deeper into the ground seemingly propelling me quicker. Also, my heels didn’t feel much of an impact as I was running, still because of the comfort and softness of the shoe.
I got to finish the race maintaining my pace at 4:52 min/km. I did do a short sprint at the end but this was cut short by the too-soon appearing finish line. My time was 44:20 for the 9.1 kilometer race. It wasn’t a PR run, but I was still satisfied 😀
At the finish, I got to chat with Mikey, Mayen and Dingdong (RunMD).
It was a relatively well organized race. There were enough marshals directing traffic especially in the high vehicle volume area in Philcoa. My only complaints though are that the race was too short, and that there wasn’t enough water stations especially at the finish (even if they gave Gatorade, we still need water!)
So how was the shoe, it felt great! After the race, I was surprised to find out that I didn’t feel as tired as usual. My legs (especially my knees and thigh muscles) also didn’t have any pain anywhere. I felt like I still had enough energy to run another 10 kilometers! It thus made me wonder… all these just because of a shoe?