With a road race here and there, it is nice to try something different. When I first saw this, I got excited with it. The challenge is this: from the Starting Line, you would run into the E-Service building, go around and up 8 floors of parking levels, hit the stairs and keep climbing to the 25th floor, cross to the other side and go down and out of the building, where you have to run 500 meters to the finish line.
Sounds fun right?
The problem is that they didn't have any registration areas. I first thought it's the same place as where the BGC Run registration areas are, this being the first leg of the BGC run. Unfortunately, that isn't the case as the organizer for this race is different from BGC's. The only thing linking these races together was the grand raffle prize of a Chevy!
Eventually, I found out that registration for this race can be done via the internet (www.verticalmarathon.runningmate.ph). For a fee of Php 650, it wasn't that bad given this one-of-a-kind experience, the nice blue singlet and loot bag at finish line.
But best deal of all for me was joining the Skechers contest on their Facebook page. I, along with 49 other runners, got our race kits for free!!! Yipee!!!! No cash out! AWESOME!
To train for this event, instead of hitting the treadmill at the local gym, I went instead to the elliptical machine and put the resistance at a high level (no stairmasters in this gym). Working on it for an hour was enough for me. (Yes I know, I'm lazy but why train so hard when I don't have a chance at the cash prize anyway?)
Being unfamiliar with the building, it took awhile for me to finally find it. Once I did, the next problem was the parking as both parking areas were packed already! I had to go a couple more times before I finally found an empty spot and rushed to the starting line. Time for my race would start at 6:30am and I wanted to be there in time.
As I got there, I saw that our race categories were further broken down into 20 smaller waves made up of 10-15 runners each. That was a good idea to ensure that it won't be too crowded in the stairways especially if there were 1,000 runners joining the race.
It was a good idea until I found out that I am part of Wave 14, which will start at 7:10am! GRRR!! (Maybe in the future, the organizer could post the different waves a day earlier via their websites so no time is wasted on your part?)
Rather than waiting out the 3ominutes and doing nothing, I decided to take an easy 10-15 minute easy jog around Fort Bonifacio area, where I stopped by the latest Starbucks Branch near St. Luke's Hospital which had a drive-through service. Now, I know where to get my coffee fix after a weekend run!
I got back in time and once it was our turn, the gun was fired and we were off. Ran to the building immediately and went inside the parking area and ran it and climbed the various ramps as I headed to the next parking level. Quite tiring for this and I just wanted to get to the stairwell quickly.
A nice thing here was that there was a marshal in each floor to make sure each person is okay and that he or she will not get lost. Same thing with the fire exit as a marshal was positioned on each floor. It was tiring but a fun thing to do. Knees got wobbly as I kept climbing the stairs. I slowly counted off the floors as I slowly but surely headed to floor 25. 22...23....24....25! Yes! I did it! I got out of the stairs and went to the water stationplaced in the middle of that floor. Then I hit the stairs again on the opposite side of the building. This time it was a lot easier as no pressure on the knees going down.
In a few minutes I was out of the building and sprinted the last 500 meters to the finish line!
Vertical Marathon conquered!
E-Service Building Conquered!!
At the finish line, there was a band playing (with band's name having something to do with Cockroaches), and a lot of interesting booths (One had bamboo bikes! Another had electric bikes). This race was by Discovery Channel after all.
I pretty much like the loot bag. No finisher medals but being a geek myself, I gotta love the Discovery branded water bottles and face towel not to mention the environment bag.
As of today the race results are out already! Woohoo!
|NAME:||DENNIS QUE PE|
Hoping for more vertical races in 2011 ! Thanks again to Skechers for the race kit!