When I woke up early this morning, I was having second thoughts of joining this race. I only had 2 hours of sleep and my body was making a very good argument that I just stay in bed. However, I finally decided to lace up my shoes, pack my bag, go out and run. I reasoned out that this would be a good training opportunity for me to be able to run, even though I’m sleepy, to simulate the Bataan102 somewhat where I would have to run from midnight to the early afternoon of that same day. Also, this run was a chance to finally meet Wayne, the SFrunner who was in the country for some vacation time.
I arrived at the Fort just a little over 5:30 am and luckily for me, the race started a little bit late. (But since I was late, I wasn’t again able to leave my bag with Jonel, so I was “forced” to run with it.) When I entered the area for the 15 k runners, I immediately saw a lot of familiar faces. Jinoe and Queenie, the Happy Feet runners, Jaymie, Dindo, Jay, JunC, Levy,Taki and Doc Doray. I also finally got to meet Nora (of Life Begins at 50) and of course, Wayne the SFrunner. Wayne is an avid supporter of Philippine Running, actually of running in general, and his blog has been an inspiring read to many of us. The Philippine running community finally got to meet him when he decided to spend his vacation here in the country.
With the energy that’s palpable by being around so many runners, add to that my own excitement, any hint of my sleepiness disappeared. All that energy served as my elixir to fully awaken myself up! The route for this race was almost the same as that of the Mizuno runs so I already knew that it would be a fun and challenging route. When the start signal was given, I joined Wayne and Taki, who was treating this as a training run in preparation for the NB 25 k next Sunday. Everything was going smoothly until we reached Bayani Ave when Wayne seemed to be bothered by something. It turned out that his hydration belt was giving him some problems. Wayne’s waist was too small for the circumference of the belt! Since he couldn’t tighten it up enough, the water bottles kept on juggling in his waist, sometimes causing them to jump off the belt! This problem was solved when Wayne decided to just hold the filled bottles in his hands for the duration of the race. Hey Wayne, karangalan ko (it was an honor) to have run with you today. Congratulations on the run! 😀
At the halfway point, Taki and I picked up the pace a little bit as the uphills going back to the Fort started. Though the roads were mostly uphill at this point, Taki was still steadily running faster. I tried to keep up with him as long as I could but at the final turnaround at Mckinley Hill, I just couldn’t push anymore so I slowed down while Taki continued in his blistering pace. Thanks Taki for the speed workout, though you’re still too fast and too strong for me! 😀 I crossed the finish with an official time of 1:24:08 (official results are available at Rio’s website).
Along the route, I got to see more runners. There was Mark Parco, MarkFB, Chito (sunday warrior) among others. Ben (Photographer on the Run), and other photographers were situated along the race route snapping pics of the runners. Pretty excited to check out photovendo to find out whether I had any pics taken too. Near the finish, I was cheered on by DB, a doctor from PGH who also has been bitten by the running the bug. Congrats on the run, and on the good time too! The finish area allowed another opportunity to catch up with other runners (BR, highaltitude, ibanrunner, philip, vener) and of course to have photo-ops taken.
After resting a little and hydrating ourselves, Jonel, MarkFB, Lester, George and me (same group as last Sunday) prepped up to run some more. We decided to have another run around McKinley (same route as last Sunday), at long run/recovery pace only. It was a good thing that the water stations still had some water and the marshalls were kind enough to give us some. After around 6-7km, we decided to call it a day.Sa uulitin! Take 2 sa Clark? hehehe 😀
As what is to be expected from a Rio event, the race was well organized with a lot water stations serving bottled water and rush, kilometer markings (a first), and enough road marshalls. Congratulations to Rio and his team!