Monday, March 9, 2009

Takbo Para sa Kalikasan Race - March 8, 2009 (post race)

Not enough sleep for this race! I had exactly 3 hours of sleep so wasn't up for this event. I would rather forfeit the entry fee, but I can't because I wanted to be there for my friends, who will be doing their first fun run ever.

So I finally got out of bed, turned on the TV, woke Per up, fixed my things, ate a small granola bar, drank some water, put Coleman and gym bag in the car, drove to Per's house, picked her up and drove to the venue, where we found a nice parking space. Time was approximately 5:30AM when we got there.

We met my friends and they seemed eager to run. Place was already filled up with people with the 10km runners at the front, 5km runners in the middle, 3km runners at the back part, and some other runners (including Coastal Guards) at the very back. Neil said since we didn't have any race numbers, we had to start from behind the 3KM runners, regardless of what distance we would be doing for that race! Oh man! I didn't want to be left behind the 10km runners as I didn't know the race route!!!! :(

The race started a little after 6:00AM with the 10km runners speeding off. I saw them depart and couldn't resist NOT joining them so I said a quick goodbye to my friends and looked for a way to get to the starting line. Too bad, I got lost here and went to the 3km starting area instead! I had to leave it and look for the 5km runners starting point. By this time, the announcer gave the 5km runners the Go signal as well. Good thing I found my way in and ran off, pressing my Garmin watch to activate timer once I've crossed the Starting Line.

Getting out of Quirino Grandstand was hard given the parked cars, tight roads and the hundreds of runners in between you and Roxas Blvd. But once I've gotten out, it becomes easier to run as the organizers closed off the entire road.

I got to my normal race pace quickly and just kept on running. It was a sea of yellow as most 5km runners were wearing the official singlet for this race. I was one of the few who didn't wear it and decided to wear my Nike Human Race shirt for the sole purpose that it would serve as my race number for this event.

I passed by the 3km turning point and after running for a couple of minutes, I saw the 5km turning point, where a lot of runners stopped at the water station there. I decided to skip that one (eventhough I was thirsty) and just continued towards the next water station, which was at the 10km turning point and after the flyover.

At least I was able to catch up with the 10km runners so that offered some relief for me. But I shouldn't have been afraid of getting lost as I found out that the route was a simple run along Roxas Blvd for all race categories. This course was quite similar to the Milo races but this was better in that the measured distance was at 10.07km so it was accurate vs Milo's 10km race where our distance was at 10.40km (Milo's official time results were adjusted downwards to reflect the 10km distance).

I was getting tired but just kept thinking to myself how near I am to the finish line and that kept me going. I was counting down the last kilometers until I made the turn off Roxas and into Quirino grandstand, to which I saw the finish line. The marshal was shouting "10km runners to the left, 5km runners to the right". Upon seeing me without a race number and without the official singlet, he shouted that I should go to the far right. I shouted back that I ran out of race numbers and just kept going to the left lane (much to his dismay), where I finally crossed the finish line and stopped my Garmin timer.

Per was there waiting for me as she decided to do the 5km race instead. She got a new 5km PR of 34 minutes but was disappointed as she was aiming for 30 - 32 minutes. Still, a PR is a PR.

I didn't have any "real" goals for this race as just here for my friends but figured I can finish this one in under an hour. To which I did at a time of 57:56 minutes. My average race pace was at 5:45 minutes/ km, 1 second faster than my PSE Bull Run. But my PSE Bull Run will still be my PR at a time of 57:08.

Why the huge discrepancies? It's because of the distance finished: PSE had distance of 9.89km (I stopped my timer early due to looooooooooongggg line at finish line) vs Kalikasan distance of 10.07km. So PSE will still be my 10km PR even if average race pace point to this race!

On race itself: There were a total of 3 water stations, put in at every 2.5km distance so that was adequate enough. There were Pocari Sweat bottles handed out at the beginning and ending of the race. The yellow singlet fit me as Neil was able to exchange my XXS to XXL (or as I call it: the Running Fatboy size). No runners got lost as route was pretty easy and straightforward (figuratively and literally speaking!). All in all, even with the weird registration last week, race was good for me and Php 150 does seem cheap now (as most races are at P300 these days).

Neil and Marina had a good time in their 5km race and looked at doing some more races in the future. Unfortunately, their nephew Kyle didn't enjoy his run and shuddered at the thought of joining any more races!

We've decided to give him the one race certificate I got as he deserved it more than any of us (as he is just in Grade 4 and 5km is a long distance to run for a kid his age).

I'm quite happy that all of us were able to finish our races injury-free. :)

Yellow Team (Kyle, Marina) Vs Red Team (Per, me)!

RFB with college friend Neil

couples shot

RFB with the first timers. One resigned from this sport while the other two might come back.
Here's hoping Kyle will still change his mind in the future !

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