my first race picture
The night before the race I went through my usual routine. Lying in bed with eyes wide open and thinking … I gotta sleep I only have 6 hours …. 5 hours … 4 hours …left before I need to wake up.
I peeled myself off my bed at 4:00 am and was out of the house by 4:30 and heading towards Mesh’s house.
1st Challenge … where is the starting point?!? Tin said it was at Vic Sotto St. Hmmm.. Good thing when we reached the PICC area we immediately saw the giant Yakult near the Aliw theather.
2nd Challenge … where are the portalets?!? I normally do a pre-departure pee but I also need to pre-race pee otherwise I’d be worrying about it the whole race. I found a Marshall who pointed to the portalets. Number of portalets for females … one! *sigh* I suppose it reflects the number of female runners.
3rd Challenge … we are going to Paranaque?!? A man … who must be Mr Biscocho announced the race course. It would take us from CCP complex, out to Roxas Blvd towards Paranaque then back down Roxas to Manila Hotel and then back again to CCP. We have to go over 2 flyovers… oh well Ive been looking forward to do some hill work so might as well.
The gun went off at 5:58 by my watch. I was at the back of the pack with Mesh, Tin and Kristine. We wanted to avoid the stampede.
When I got to Roxas Blvd it was still pretty quite, not a lot of vehicles yet. Around Km2 I passed by rows of Ylang-ylang trees and it really smelled good…so good I was thinking that running at Roxas Blvd wont be such a bad idea and then a bus on the other side lost a tire. Then again … maybe not.
First water station before Km 5… time to eat some M&Ms! Kudos to Mr Biscocho and his team for providing ample water stations! I made it a point to crush my plastic cups though when I saw a guy collecting them and restacking them (definitely not part of the Yakult Team).
A little over 20mins into the race and we saw a pick-up with a timer mounted on top. First time for me to see this and it was quite cool. It was leading the first group coming back from the first turn around. Wow!
2 flyovers, then the turn around and then 2 more flyovers. I was on track and keeping the pace I’ve decided to run the race. Hay! How things have changed. Before it was just a matter of being able to sustain running for a number of minutes. Now, I not only run longer distances, I actually set the number of minutes per kilometre. For this race I said I was going to run it between 7:00 to 7:30 min per km. I ended up with an average race pace of 6:35min/km. Ha! I even have a race pace now.
When I reached the 10K mark, I checked my watch, I was 1 hour and 2 minutes into the race. Beat my 10K PR by 3 minutes. Yey!
Running towards the otherside of Roxas is an entirely different experience. The course was flat and there was a lot of activity going on. We passed by 3 aerobics classes, a group from a University having a parade and a gathering for Global Peace. I even saw Mayor Lim. The mood was very festive. I can’t help but dream of running a marathon in the US where there is a band or a cheering squad per kilometre. Someday soon….
The only downside was that the breeze was not as pleasant on this side of Roxas. Maybe Mayor Lim should plant more Ylang-ylang trees to mask the smell from the Bay.
By the time I got to the 2nd turn around near Manila Hotel the Marshalls have ran out of plastic straws. Tsk tsk tsk.
It was really a good thing we ran an easy 16K last weekend. When I was running back to PICC and the CCP complex looked so small and far away I almost lost it. But I kept on hanging on the thought that I have done this before and I could surely and easily do it again.
When we entered the complex, I tried to narrow the gap between me and 2 runners in front of me. Tried being the operative word … special thanks to one female runner who I think was waiting for a friend but also cheered all the other incoming runners.
I finished the race in 1 hour 45 minutes and 2 seconds by my Polar. (Finally got hold of the official results … official time is 1:45:54)
Only 1 Yakult! No banana? … This is for the next blog. Will attempt to review the races I’ve run this year.