Racing after completing SG was not part of my recovery program. Actually, I don’t have a new training program yet. I’m just running easy when I can and fitting in TmBR running clinics on Tuesdays.
Then last week Mesh said that Cathy could register us for the Fuego Sunset Run.
Fuego, sunset run, free dinner, beach time, Mizunos at Php2500 for race participants … sure why not. Sign me up, please!
Cathy, Mesh, Chum and I left Manila quite early last Saturday and arrived in Tagaytay in time to have brunch at Antonio’s Breakfast. Their French toast is a must try. Thick raisin bread slices, creamy butter served with caramelized apples and drizzled with sweet sticky syrup. Yum.
We arrived at Fuego a little after 12nn. Coming in, we saw that they have started to put up the km markers. It will be the same route but the difference is that we will be racing at night. We were all hoping that the route will be well lit.
After getting our race packs, we headed to the beach. Chum decided to catch some sun while the rest of us dozed off.
We woke up a little after 3pm and headed to Il Jardinero to have some Diabola pizza. Arnold our ever attentive and always smiling waiter from the last visit served us again. Thanks Arnold you always make us feel so welcome! We also saw Chef Mikel eating pasta. Hmm…carboloading? He ran and placed in the 5k category last June.
After changing into our running kits, we headed to the starting line. Runners have started arriving but we know that this will be a very small race. When we registered, they told us that only 65 runners signed up.
All four of us will be racing, Mesh 10K, Chum and I 5K and Cathy 3K. Welcome back to road racing Chum and Cathy. I salute you for braving Fuego and its hills for your comeback race.
Mesh’s race started first. 5mins later, Cathy, Chum and I slowly made our way to the starting line. Cathy and Chum have decided to take it slow and pace each other. They will separate at the 3km turnaround point. I on the other hand didn’t have plan. I knew the route and I knew that the hills will be daunting. I opted to wear the Newtons so I knew that I will not be doing an easy 5k with a little bit of hill workout.
When the starting siren went off 45 runners took off. I started running with a moderate pace. I knew I didn’t need to push too hard because the first 100m was a steep downhill. I just rode the downhill and prayed that I would not stumble and roll down.
It was already getting dark and the mosquitos have started buzzing. It was a good thing that the route was a bit dark. I couldn’t see the uphills coming. I just knew that I was running one of the hills when the wheezing and panting starts. Yes, Fuego is hilly. Imagine MKH from Lawton to the British Emb … can you picture it in your mind? Now, cut and paste that until you have a 5K distance and you have the Fuego route. Truly exciting!
We didn’t have as many race marshals but the Fuego staff assigned to the race were as cheerful as the last time. Instead of handing out water in plastic cups, they gave us water in plastic bags. I actually liked this change. I was able to drink some of the water without it going up my nose. I carried the remaining water and poured some over my head to cool off. It was already around 6pm but since we were running near the beach it was a bit warm.
Before I reached the first turn around point, I started seeing some of the 10K runners. Mesh passed and we said hi. No she called out my name and in between my huffing and puffing I think I managed to say something. I did, di ba?
Next, I saw Cathy executing her walk/run strategy. I called out her name and urged her to start running. After a few hundred meters I could see the bright lights of the finish line. I knew that I had to run another loop somewhere, just not sure exactly where it would take me.
When I reached the staging area, the marshals directed me to go to the right. Now this was the very dark part of the route. I knew I had 1km to go but I was not exactly sure where it would lead. I saw a runner ahead of me and I felt a little safer. We were both doubting the route and he slowed down a bit. I checked my garmin and the distance reading was 4.1. I said that we have a few hundred meters to go.We started shouting “5K 5K” hoping to get an answer back from the marshals. I was thinking that if don’t see a turn around after we hit 4.5km then we were truly lost.
We eventually saw an arrow going left. It was the uber steep downhill to the lookout point. I just started running down the hill, grabbed the string and grabbed some more water. I walked a few steps and started running again. I told the other runner (notice i didn’t get this runner’s name. Jay! I was in racing mode. hehe) that we only had a few hundred meters to go but he decided to slow down a bit. I pushed on, I knew that I only had 500m to go. One lap at ultra and a little bit and so I ran like crazy to the finish.
When I crossed the finish line, Cathy was there to take my picture. She finished her 3k in 24sumthing. Well within her goal pace. Congrats!
After crossing the finish line, I headed straight to the water station. After I had some water, I remembered to stop the Garmin. I checked my time and saw that I finished under 30mins. Not bad, the legs are alive! Cathy said I finished 4th or 5th. Aba, wagi!
I went to the 10K route to take pictures of Mesh. She finished in 60mins and chopped off significant time from her last Fuego race. Woohoo! Congrats, Flash has definitely booted out Wonder Woman.
Chum finished in 42mins. Tin, I think you need to start running again.
After we cleaned up and changed out of running kits, we went back to the lower beach. Dinner!
Hmm. Something is wrong with the buffet. They only had pancit and sandwiches. More like a merienda than dinner. All is not right in paradise. But we were hungry so pancit and sandwich is definitely better than nothing. We joined Ray and Sunday, Mesh’s 10k running mates.
The emcees told us that we need to drop the baggage tag portion of our race bibs to join the raffle. Chum and I volunteered the get the race bibs. One our way to the car, we passed by the reception area. They said the results were out and I wanted to check if I came in 4th or 5th.
When I saw the 5k results, I saw my name in Arial Font size 14 Bold. But Cathy said I came in 4th or 5th. I turned to Chum with a big smile and I started jumping. I won! I won 3rd! My time was 28:55. Not a PR but definitely a podium finish! Woohoo!
with Alden Meneses (2nd) and April Ong-Lee (1st)
Later, Marj of Punta Fuego explained to us why Chef was not able to join the race. I would like to thank MadamAmb for keeping Chef Mikel busy. Pancit for dinner was a fair trade for a podium finish.
Our dinner table ended up being the winners table. Chum, Mesh and Sunday won in the raffle, Mizuno execs who ruled the 3K waived their prizes and Cathy who came in 5th got a great looking Mizuno bag. Ray went home with a great pasta dish.
I went home with a Mizuno Tshirt GC, a cool medal and a big smile.
Thank you Mizuno! Thank you Fuego! Sa uulitin ..