Wednesday, January 13, 2016

First Race for 2016: PSE Bull Run 21km

We should start the year right by getting more conscious of what we eat and by exercising more.

But this was wrong for me on so many levels:

1)  I was unprepared for running a Half Marathon!  What was I thinking?  I didn't have enough mileage and took this race for granted.  In panic, I did one long 16.5km last December 01 around the city with the hopes that it would be enough for me to get through the Half Marathon. In between I was able to run another 12km and a 10km.  But I felt like it wasn't enough and that I was cramming for this race.

2) I arrived from Hong Kong Saturday night!  With the race at 4AM on Sunday morning, I would be lucky if I got three hours sleep!  (I wasn't as due to delay in baggage claim, I got home late and was able to sleep for just 1 hour or so).

Too late for me to back out at this point and I was comforted by the fact that there was no cut-off time for this race, so worst case scenario, I should be able to  finish race by walking the last part.  My target goal was just to finish, but hopefully under 3 hours. Alvin, who went with me, had a target goal of below 2 hours!

The race started promptly at 4am and we were about 4 minutes late when we got there.  Not that bad as eventually I was able to catch up with some runners a few minutes later.  Alvin, obviously, was long gone by then.

The route was hard as it goes through Kalayaan bridge to Buendia and U Turn at the South Super Hi-way and back to BGC where this time, we would run to Bayani Road and to Lawton Avenue.  So safe to say that it was a hilly race!

Although I felt 4am gun start was just too early for a Half Marathon race, I reaped its benefits as well as I didn't feel the heat of the sun until the last few kilometers to the finish line.  There were ample water stations and very few Pocari Sweat drinks given out in this race.

The finisher shirt I liked as well due to the very nice design and materials used in making it.

Some improvements:

1) They ran out of finisher medals for 21km race! What the hell? This is unacceptable as they already know how many runners joined this category so they should have ample time in the preparation of said medals.  There were a lot of angry people when they found out about this.  A lot more who were disappointed especially since this was their main goal for the race.  I hope the organizers rectify this by making more medals and allowing those who have the 21km bibs to claim at their registration areas!

2) The chaos in getting finisher kits.  There were no orderly lines, no marshals manning the people.  It was a state of panic here.

3) No bananas for 21km and very few Pocari Sweat stations.  For a race this long, runners need fuel and not just water for their bodies.

4) I heard that the 5km route was at 7km and 16km route was at 17km.  Thankfully the 21km route was exactly 21.1km.

In spite of these shortcomings from the race organizers, I had a good time as kept pace steady at 7:50 minutes/km throughout the race.  On the last 3km, I felt strong so was able to speed up to the following pace:

19km - 6:46 pace
20km - 6:18 pace
21km - 5:45 pace

Thank You God for your protection.  I finished the race with a big smile on my face.  A runner's high indeed with negative split as well.

Maybe lack of sleep boosted my adrenalin? Haha!  First time I used 3 GU gels for this but I was glad to have bought it with me as it definitely helped me in this race.

Alvin was successful in his goal too, finishing his race at 1 hour 59 minutes and came back to me at last 3km to add some more mileage.

This was my final time and pace, more than what I expected and I am really grateful for it. 

We rewarded ourselves by having Bulalo at Dayrits Magallanes.

A good start for the year where a lot of things came out wrong but still gave me a strong finish.

Thank You Lord!

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