Janine and Jeanne went by my house to pick me up at 3:00AM and we then went to the shuttle bus station for our free ride to Sta Rosa. Bus was filled up quickly and by 3:45AM we left the station (15 minutes ahead of the scheduled 4:00AM departure time but that was a good thing as there were some roadwork on the South Super Hi-way, which caused a little traffic).
By the time we got to Sta Rosa, it was 4:40AM and for some reason, we didn't get our race bibs (as surrendered them to get the shuttle bus ticket). With the clock ticking closer to gun start, Janine and I were getting a little worried as neither of us would want to be tagged as a bandit here, especially since we DID pay for this race. Good thing I saw Vince near the stage and he was able to give us new race bibs, which we pinned immediately to our shirts and headed to the starting line for some stretching exercises.
The 21km race started promptly at 5AM. My goal was to try and beat my 21km PR and target a pace of 6:15 minutes/ km and I was successful for the first few kms (all were below 6 minutes/km). Unfortunately, I wasn't able to sustain this pace and my speed was slowing down. Even worse was that I had to take quick walk breaks now and then, which I didn't do at all in Condura! Sigh! I knew early on that I will have a hard time finishing this race and that I wasn't as strong as I was before. It took an effort for my legs to move and a struggle for me to beat each km distance.
The organization was well done, putting out lights on the road for us to see as it was still dark when we started the run. There were ample water, Rush drinks, and best thing of all were the sponges they gave to us. These things were icy cold but rightly so for this hot hot day! An hour into running, the sun was out and burning us up! There weren't enough shade here so it was a good thing they started the race early for the Half Marathon. Summer is definitely here!
Roads were mostly flat and there were some entertainment along the trail. But even that didn't lift my spirits. I just want this to end as quickly as possible. Finally, I see the turning point and gave my last sprint to the finish line to get a time of: 2:17:28 (with average pace of 6:32 minutes/ km). I did not achieve my goal of below 2:15 time but I was just too tired to care anymore. I was happy though in that they were giving out finisher medals so that was a nice surprise!
This medal took out some of the fatigue I felt but then I realize I had to run another 11km more. Sigh! And so I did at a very slow turtle pace (and got lost too). Buddies Janine and Jeanne waited for me and I came just in time for a photo shot at Photovendo before they packed up their booth! After resting for a while, I changed into dry clothes and we all went to the bus for its 11AM departure.
Our bus left the area at 11:00AM. I was able to catch some zzzz's there and by the time I got to Manila, I was so hungry already. I have been awake for about 10 hours and it was just 12:30PM! Talk about a loooonnnnnnngggggggg day! It really was a great escape!
Results out already at www.runrio.com. Upon checking it, I see that my time was at 2:17:37 (pace of 6:33) and 145th rank out of 278 male runners (female 21km runners have their own race results). I wonder though, how come my name is the only one that is ALL CAPS??? A mystery indeed :)
See you in the next race!