I knew this would be a good race as the organizers behind this event never failed in terms of accurate distance, ample water stations and enough marshals to ensure a safe race. These were the same people behind Rescue Run 5km at McKinley Hills and Greentennial Run held at BGC a year ago.
I needed to do a Half Marathon this weekend before my big race the following week and this was the only race that had it. There was also another race in BGC but only had 10km as its longest distance. While I registered for the 21km category, Per joined the 10km race as her first race after her first marathon so she was a bit excited for it too.
The only drawback to this race was that the gun start for the 21km race was at 4:20AM, which meant we had to wake up at around 3AM to get ready, and to have enough time to get to the starting area in White Plains before our race would start!
I would think that parking would be a problem too given that the area allocated for it was along White Plains roads only but luckily, we got a very good spot right next to the starting line! Thank God for that!
As Per's 10km would start at 5:30AM, she opted to sleep in the car first while I walked slowly to the starting line, turned on my Garmin and did a few stretchings!
The unique thing about this race was that we would be running on EDSA! This was something I have never experienced before and one I was looking forward too. But they can't possibly close the entire EDSA road to accommodate the runners! Even during the Inaugural Run United Marathon in 2012, only one to two lanes were open along C-5 for the runners. Either way, this was still an experience in itself but before we got to EDSA, we had to do some intense running along White Plains and the hills that this area offered. There were some twists and turns but marshals were there at important turns and there were water stations every 1.5 kilometers, which were quite good for us.
Pretty soon we headed on EDSA via Julia Vargas Avenue (running between the two Megamall Buildings) and as expected we were on the same road as that of cars and buses, which were moving slowly along EDSA. I didn't know why as they had their own lanes!
I soon realized that the vehicles were being diverted to San Juan via the bridge to Greenhills and what was causing the slow movement of these vehicles were the passengers being dropped off by the buses, thus resulting in one free car lane only.
Then the lanes were clear of all vehicles! We had EDSA all to ourselves and that was an awesome feeling!!!
"Wow", I thought to myself, "This won't happen again!"
So I enjoyed running on EDSA and its two flyovers there, and even stopped to touch the lamp posts, cause you know, I won't be able to do that again! Haha! So this half marathon became a fun run, if you can call it that.
The roads weren't as smooth though as one runner tripped and fell on the concrete. Another girl tripped on a cat's eye in the White Plains area but there were always some runners to help them up and make them move again. With these two incidents right before my eyes, I got worried about Per and wondered where she was. I noticed that there were some runners next to me that were wearing the 10km bibs so I tried to go after Per and just run with her as we would be running on the same route. I wanted to watch over her too to make sure she wouldn't trip on the roads.
I saw Per on EDSA but she was heading Southbound while I was still going Northbound. She seemed strong and happy and had done 1.86 kilometers while I was on my 8-9 kilometers. Pretty soon, I reached the U turn on EDSA and headed back to where I came from. I did not see Per on EDSA again (wow, she was fast). I passed by Megamall and crossed J Vargas and there were no signs of Per yet. The route was shared with 10km runners but at one point we would separate.
I saw Per ahead of me but a bit far off and she was walking! "Yes", I thought to myself, "I would finally be able to get to her!" But as our distance got closer, she ran again and I couldn't reach her again. Then there was the U Turn for the 10km runners whereas the 21km runners would keep on going. Oh well, at least I would see her on the U Turn.
She was strong and happy still! What is going on with this woman! There was also a banana station here for both 10km and 21km runners, which was good for all of us!
I slowly completed my last 6 kilometers inside White Plains/ Valle Verde Area. More hills and more walking but I didn't mind as it was a long, slow run for me.
Pretty soon, it was the last 2 kilometers, then the final kilometer and I opted to run the final distance all the way to the finish line. My last kilometer was the fastest at 6:30 pace and I was strong at the finish line and not out of breath. What a great race! PRAISE GOD!
The loot bag had plenty of nice stuffs too - deodorants, conditioners, mouth wash, tooth pastes and the finisher medal was a good souvenir item for this race and to commemorate the EDSA Revolution Anniversary! A very unique medal.
Per had a great time too and upon checking her loot bag a day after the race, I saw that she had a finisher medal too. For 21km runners, ALL FINISHERS will get a medal but for 10km runners, only the top 50 men and top 50 women (for a total of 100) will get finisher medals.
My wife was one of the top 50 women 10km finishers that day! And didn't even target that medal! Great job!!!
Congrats to the organizers for an unforgettable race experience!