Two races, one weekend, 2 outcomes.
Sunday. After the debacle I had yesterday, I was having second thoughts about joining this race. I was afraid I was still sore from Saturday’s run and that I’d run this race a lot more poorly. However, since I was already registered (c/o Master Mon of Happy Feet — many thanks!), I decided to suck it all up and run this race. Besides, I’ve never done a back to back run yet so this would be a nice chance for me to do so.
I was originally planning to run from my place to the Fort. However, I woke up later than planned, and since I didn’t want to be late (I still had to find Master Mon to get my race packet), I decided to commute up to EDSA-Buendia. It was there that I started my warm-up jog to the Fort.
I arrived at the Fort in good time, found Master Mon, got my packet and looked for Jonel (bugobugo85), who was very kind in allowing me to leave my bag in his car (many thanks too!). I was contemplating in running with my bag on, but I decided to run bare to allow my back a little rest… and, I was also looking for a chance at redeeming myself.
Together with Jonel and his nephew Nico, we proceeded to the starting area where we were herded inside the starting chute. Unlike other races where participants are segregated depending on the race distance they were running, all the runners (3k, 5k, 10k) were all lumped together so it was a little bit chaotic. Also, the starting time for the 5k and 10k was the same so when the starting gun fired off, I found myself engulfed by a horde of runners. Though, it was a great sight seeing hundreds of runners, mostly dressed in the orange kit of BOTAK, as they ascended the street towards Essensa… it sure made running in the start a bit difficult. I had started out in the back so I had to be a little creative in weaving and dodging other runners as I tried to pick up my pace.
At the Essensa area, I was surprised to see the leaders already coming back… I then realized that the turn-around point was already nearby. When I got there, I couldn’t suppress a smile as I saw a lot of people all bunched up all clamoring for a blue string. The two marshals handing them out were definitely overwhelmed by all those people. Lucky for me, I found one string on the ground so I picked it up and went on my merry way.
The route was two loops of the designed course. I think it was a very nice course as it provided just enough of a challenge. After the 1st loop, as the 5k runners were peeling off to the finish, the roads suddenly cleared up providing ample space for the 10k runners. During this loop, since I was out to redeem myself, I attacked the hills as others were beginning to slow down. I rode the downhills utilizing gravity to further increase my pace. I was passing a lot of runners as I continued to maintain my relatively fast pace. I even sprinted the last 150 meters as I approached the finish line. I crossed the finish line with an unofficial time of 52:09 — not overwhemlingly fast, but it was still a sweet redemption run for me 😀
At the finish area, I got to see/chat with MarkFB, Charlie, George, Wilbert and Vener among others. Jonel, who broke his 10k PR in this race, proceeded to run another 10k after the race, not minding that the sun was already shining brightly at that time. I’m still a bit less hardcore than he is so I begged off when he invited me to join him… maybe next time lakay…
The run was generally ok. There are just few points where they can improve at:
- segregate the runners depending on their race distance
- different starting times for the 3k, 5k, 10k and so on races
- set a farther 1st string dispensing area –> it was just too chaotic in this race
- make the water stations more visible, and have more marshals distribute the drinks
- less strings please –> I think a total of 5 strings were given at various points of the route
This was one great running weekend. Though my 1st back to back races showed contrasting results, I mostly had fun in both of them. Maybe instead of having simultanaeous runs during Sundays, some of the races could be scheduled on a Saturday instead. I do sure hope there will be more weekends like this in the upcoming weeks! 😀