Condura Skyway Run: Almost the Perfect Race

“A run BY runners FOR runners”

The Condura Run is a run conceptualized by the Concepcion brothers (Ton and Pat)… two runners who are veterans of many local and foreign races. They used their experience, listened to the wishes of runners and partnered with one of the best race organizers in Rudy Biscocho, to come up with one superb race. The Condura Run has set a very high standard that would be hard to match (though I hope they do) by upcoming races.

The Route

When it was announced that this year’s version of the Condura Run would have the Skyway as part of the route, many runners, myself included, immediately wanted to sign up for the race. It was a major come-on as this opportunity to run on the elevated road may just be a once-in-a-lifetime event! But then, as the days to the run approached, and as I passed through this road many times, I began to think that running on top of the Skyway wasn’t really that special. The views were not exactly breath-taking and the undulating terrain didn’t seem that daunting. Its only allure is that it’s an elevated road, where pedestrians are not allowed to pass.

However, as I found myself running on the Skyway, I realized what made this run special.

  1. it gave me a taste of how a big city race should be –> wide expansive roads where all you do is run… without fear of being sideswept or run over by cars;
  2. the straight but undulating road allowed me to see how hundreds of people looked like running in unison… and it was such an amazing sight.

032220091021

Add-ons

1. use of bottled water – the water stations served bottled water that were poured into cups, while other stations handed out water bottles (which I prefer). The water was cold and refreshing. There were so many water stations (with enough water I might add), that I don’t think I even got thirsty the whole run.

2. gloved water station servers – made them look more hygienic. I also liked the fact that they were serving the water to the runners rather than the runners picking them up from the table. I think this lessened the mess/spill and congestion in the stations.

3. use of sponges – a controlled way of cooling oneself… Hmmm…though, what happens to all those used sponges? (Di kaya puwedeng labhan at i-recycle? 😀 ) And was there 1 sponge kaya for each runner? Just wondering…

4. rain! – the water trucks spraying cool water both at the Skyway and the finish line area was a nice touch… though, that was sure a lot of water…

0322200910191

5. finsher’s medal

Things to improve on

  1. tight entry point – there were ~1300 half-marathoners trying to enter the coral, which filled up quickly, adding to the congestion. The race eventually started even though not all the runners were inside. Since if it didn’t, the race would have started late. And, the runners still outside couldn’t get in anyway unless those in the coral were already allowed to run. This could have been avoided if the runners for the shorter distances were not yet allowed to enter their side of the coral allowing more space for the half-marathoners. I was one of those runners still outside when the starting gun fired, and though I didn’t mind, I bet it sure sucked for those runners who were aiming to have their PR’s. I guess one solution for next time would be… if you want to have a PR, arrive earlier. 😀
  2. medical services – about 1 km from the finish line, one of the half-marathoners collapsed. He was disoriented…just literally out of it. Lucky for him, other runners who were in the area saw him and helped him out. The ambulance (though I think it was a Fort ambulance and not a Red Cross ambulance – who were the official medical team for the race -) did arrive early, but… the paramedics didn’t know squat what to do! (Though I don’t blame them since even doctors, here and abroad, sometimes have difficulty identifying and managing sports-related emergencies) From what I observed, the medical team was 1) not prepared for emergencies beyond the usual (sprains, etc); 2) there was a lack of essentials (IV fluids, a real working stretcher); and 3) no protocol on what to do if an emergency does happen (e.g. no coordination to which hospital to bring runners who would need help beyond first aid). Of course these are stuff that the medical provider should make sure they have, but I think it is still the responsibility of the race organizers to make sure of the adequacy of their services.

What can be done

  1. since having your own medical team is more expensive than just outsourcing for it during events, it would be nice if race organizers would conduct seminars/trainings for their “suki” team so that they would be able to manage sports-related emergencies better;
  2. race organizers should make sure needs are available;
  3. though this may be more expensive… water stations should also have sports/electrolyte drinks, not just water; and
  4. earlier starting times, especially during summer.

For Runners

  1. know when to stop and call for help. Know your limits. There is no shame in a DNF if it means you surviving;
  2. train well;
  3. hydrate!; and
  4. bring identification with you at all times.

The Condura run was indeed a run that was by runners for runners. It sure is one tough act to follow. But I’m quite sure the Concepcion brothers will come up with something and suprise us all again next year!

To runner number 31 (21km), hope you’re ok. See you on the road!

Pictures

A very well attended race:

032220091007– near the starting line –

032220091014– at the Kalayaan flyover –

032220091015– runners as far as the eye can see –

Skyway views:

032220091018– sunrise –

032220091024– Makati –

032220091023– not exactly going to Church –

For really great pics, I saw some in this site.

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9 thoughts on “Condura Skyway Run: Almost the Perfect Race

  1. Pingback: Topics about Recycle » Condura Skyway Run: Almost the Perfect Race

  2. Pingback: Topics about Medical » Archive » Condura Skyway Run: Almost the Perfect Race

  3. hi loonyrunner,

    i am the friend of runner 31 and he is ok now except on kidney abnormality findings. he will check out the hospital today.

    I agree with your observation, medical services should have all the essentials and know the protocol in case of emergency.

    Thanks a lot for assisting my friend.

    Keep on running!

    Regards,
    Roning

    you’re welcome… glad that he’s ok. he should take it easy for now…
    running in the country is still evolving, so I’m sure all aspects of a race (including the medical services) are bound to improve in the future…
    see you on the road!
    😀

  4. I saw #31 being transferred into the ambulance. Terrifying. Mr. Biscocho came by just before it took off to get the runner’s bib number.

    It’s true what you said about the first-aiders, since I exhibit heat stroke symptoms frequently myself. At the Runew race last month the doctors at the finish line gave me ammonia to sniff. I thought the first priority was to lower the sufferer’s temperature? 🙂

    that’s true. if you’re overheating, cooling is the treatment of choice. anyways, this means you should hydrate yourself well during runs… especially now that it’s summer.

  5. hi loonyrunner,

    Im runner #31. I just got discharged this morning after 3 days of tests. All are normal except for the kidneys which is normalizing and which i have follow up consultations for. Thanks for the help loony runner and to everyone who assisted there. Special thanks to my friend roning as well who saw me through until i got stabilized in the hospital.

    I learned a lot of things for this run – all of which you mentioned – but the hard(est) way (scares me even more now after reading the posts here)..so if you’ll permit me –

    1. know your limits – my goal for this race was 2:15..i wouldn’t have minded a 2:30 since it was my first 21k anyway..but i had a good pace going and with a bit more than 1k to go i saw my time at 1:55..so decided to go for it..wrong! that’s when my body went on auto shut-off..if i walked i would’ve still beaten my goal

    2. train well – i’ve done a number of 15k races and naturally extended my training for the half. not enough training i guess to run my 15k pace for 21..maybe more speed/tempo along with the long runs and +mileage?

    yup! and remember that since it’s summer time, you have to consider the heat as it can affect the way our body performs during a run.

    3. hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – before, during and after..i made sure i hydrated during the race at the water stations and my fuel belt. but i hydrated pre-race like i did my 15k. so i guess the fluid only lasted till that point..

    it was good you kept yourself hydrated, but I think water just won’t do. For the 21, the drinks in your belt might have not been enough. Oh, for the pre-race hydration, avoid the sports drinks… they don’t help you at that point or after that. Water’s just fine, the drinks are for during the race, and after.

    4. bring id – i did have one, but was in my fuel pack. gonna get me a wrist id now!

    hmmm… seems nobody bothered to check you’re pack for the id…

    The doc said i should just rest for a week or so but should be able to get back to running. See you guys on the road! (maybe at the finish line of my next 21?)

    you’re welcome! you gave us quite a scare there, but it’s great you’re ok 😀
    oh by the way, your stuff (ipod, fuel belt) are with the ambulance people at the Fort. From what I heard, you can claim them in their office.
    rest up, recover… train… and see you at the finish line!

  6. Doc, thanks for this info. I really wanted to know the news about runner #31. Thank God he’s ok now.

    yup, glad he’s ok! 😀

  7. Hey Joe,
    Glad to know that dnd (31) is now fully recovered. Based on his account he really ran out of fluid as he went near the finish line. Being the first to assist him when he fainted out, I can’t find anymore fluid from his hydration bottles. Another concerned runner arrived with a bottle of water and helped me, but at this point he is not responding well, he can’t drink and utter a word neither and he’s pale from head to toe. Luckily, a paramedic arrived and attended to him. That was the time when I left him and sprint towards the finish line to catch up xty. It was then too at the finish that I knew that he was at your care inside the ambulance.
    Good to know that a fellow runner is back on the road. More power.

    it was good you guys were around when it happened, you guys helped him out a lot 😀

  8. Hi
    thank you for your comments and observations
    i am so glad that runner 31 has fully recovered
    note that i have taken down all your suggestions.

    we shall make sure that these are all implemented for next years race

    thanks

    you’re welcome! still, it was one great race! and i’m sure next year will be much better! thanks!

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