Thursday, December 12, 2013

Race Review: Greenfield Christmas Run 21km

Another impromptu race for the month of December. 

Now it was even worse training-wise.  The last run I did was a slow and easy 10km on a Friday morning, which wasn't bad considering that the race was two days after.  What was bad was prior to my 10km easy run, my last workout was three weeks ago!  During that time, I did no running or any other form of exercise.

So I was bit cautious (and very afraid) for this race.  But the finisher trophy was just too enticing.  I chatted with one of the race organizers and he assured me that there wouldn't be any cut-off time.  Perfect!  I could just walk the entire thing if I wanted to (which I don't but I could..).

With nothing else to lose, I drove to Greenfield early Sunday morning from my house and got there in 40 minutes.  The parking line was long and I was panicking a bit as I still had to look for one particular person who had my race bib with him.   Good thing I was able to ask the security guard if there were any other places to park and he pointed to another direction and lo and behold, just one car lining up!  I quickly parked the car, brought my phone with me and dialed the person's number.  RING!  RING!  RING!  RING!


I quickly made it the starting line and look for any booths there and found one where a guy was handing out race bib to another runner.  A quick inquiry confirmed that this was my guy and after paying P500, I got my race bib!  Yahoo!!

A few minutes to go before gun start so I went back to the car and took the rest of my running gear from it.  New thing I brought with me was my MP3 player.  I needed all the help I can get for this half marathon and if this device offered any sort of distractions from the race, then I am all for it!

I got back to the starting line and just in time too for the countdown! 3 - 2 - 1!

And we were off.

I stayed at the back and more and more runners quickly overtook me.  I didn't mind.  I was just happy being part of this race and just hoped I wouldn't run out of trophies at the finish line.

It was pretty dark at 4:30am and there were no street lamps here.  A lot of times we couldn't see where we were going and what we were stepping on.  I had to go slower (if such a thing was possible) as I feared tripping on something.  There were a few spotlights but oddly enough, they weren't focused on the ground or on the road but on our faces so it made running even more difficult as we were blinded by them.  Oh how I wish I had my night lamp with me!

super dark!!!

There were a lot of water stations here and good point on the organizers for serving cold water.  The course was pretty straightforward and quite flat, just the way I like it.  Unfortunately, at a crucial turn into Pramana, there weren't any marshals directing us to keep going forward and a lot of us entered the residential compound. (Pramana was part of the route but something you had to do going back after making the U turn).  A lot of 21km runners were confused and didn't know whether to retrace their steps out of Pramana or just finish the entire thing.  I told them to just finish it and to just skip it going back, that way, it should still be the same.  They agreed and we all kept going.

surprisingly, still in a good mood!  What!!

I verified with other fast 21km runners, who were going back already, that they only had to do Pramana once and they said Yes (I wouldn't want to run longer and at the same time, I didn't want to cheat either).  "Okay, at least I know what to do", I thought.

So I kept going, exited Pramana and kept going until the U Turn back to Pramana, where I skipped it and just kept running (or jogging) all the way to the finish line.

My time wasn't bad but not exactly fast either.  I was just glad to finish the race happy and got finisher trophy.

Results came out the following day at and I ranked 1,100 +/ 1,700 + runners.  Not bad (expected to be last 10!).  Time of 2:45 for distance of 19.8km.

Thank You God for giving me a chance to run in this race and for keeping me safe.

To God be the Glory! AMEN