The Century Tuna 21km was to be our 3rd Half Marathon together as a couple. I don’t know how I was able to convince Per to join this race again but here we are again – me with my injured heel and Per with her lack of training.
The only times we ran was by doing a 10-km easy run last Monday and a 7-km easy run last Friday night. No running the week before as I was still recovering from my last race and Per will put off running as much as possible in favour of the latest episode of “Desperate Housewives”.
But with our good running last Friday and no water break in between, it seems we are ready for the first leg of RunRio Trilogy.
We left the house at 4:50am as expecting huge turn-out and heavy traffic given that there will be 11,000+ runners that day. It was traffic as early at 5am but we were still able to find a parking spot although it was a little far from where the race will commence.
We turned on our Garmins and walked slowly to the starting line as it was still early based on my time but lo and behold, there were a group of runners heading out of Fort Bonifacio. Who are they? They wore the same bib color as we were! They can’t be the 21km runners as we were early by 10 minutes! Unfortunately, my worst fear was confirmed when I asked a runner passing us by, and got his race category answer. Yes, it is the 21km runners! In a fit of panic, we started running to the starting line, opposite to the big stampede of runners. We definitely didn’t want to be left behind but neither did I want us to burn out so quickly into the race. So I told Per to calm down and just do a quick walk to the starting line as this is chip timer anyway. That way we can still run as planned – go slow and easy and gradually pick up speed as we lower the total distance we had to finish.
We met Alvin near the starting line and he joined us for most of the run here. Our plan was to do 8minute pace and go faster at the second part. First part of the race was easy as mostly downhill heading to the International Schools and all over Fort Bonifacio. We had to weave among honking cars and angry drivers but mostly, it went off without a hitch. We stopped at some of the water/ Gatorade stations and replenished ourselves.
We were still pretty strong after 10km but that was the easy part. The second part with the hilly Lawton, the hot Heritage Park and the burning morning sun was more of a challenge for us. Surprisingly, the challenge came and went quickly. I was surprised that Per was pushing though, pounding the pavement, running the hills and still looking strong! Looks like a potential good Personal Best for her!
Our first 21km race together was 2009’s Globe Run. We finished it at a time of 3:03 (pace 8:45). Then it was the 2009’s San Francisco Half Marathon with a time of 2:51 (pace 8:08). Our target for this race was just to maintain 8:00 pace throughout the entire time and that should be enough for a new Personal Best time.
By the time we got out of Lawton and back into Fort Bonifacio, I knew we had a new couple record but I didn’t know by how much (in terms of minutes). We were able to go for a negative split especially for the last 2km and crossed the finish time at 2:46:06 (and chip timer 2:41:09). Pace of 7:47 and shaved off 10 minutes from the last half marathon!
I definitely didn’t like the long line to get the gift bag and finisher medal but with the huge turn out of runners, I guess that was expected.
I liked the size of the finisher medal and since we got one each, that would be a welcome addition to our 2010 Xmas Tree Decors! The tuna meals were great for breakfast too! Yum yum!
Overall a good event for us as only problem was it starting early but we had the important things here, which were the following:
1. Accurate distance
2. Chip timer which matched what was reflected in our Garmin – new couple PR achieved
3. Lots of water and Gatorade. My favourite sports drink!
4. Models at the water stations!
5. Free breakfast
6. Huge finisher medal
7. Seeing so many familiar faces! Everyone was here
Some friends did report getting lost in the race while others reported inaccurate results. I hope this will be rectified for the 2nd leg of the Trilogy.
Hopefully Photovendo uploads race photos in their website soon and hope to see the Analysis report :)
Pictures I took while doing the 21km with Per: