Monday, February 8, 2016

Race Review: Condura Half Marathon 2016

This was a good race for me and one that I joined last minute for.

Honestly, I was lazy to run it as it had an early gun start of 3:30AM and I wasn't that comfortable with running a distance of Half Marathon.  I escaped unscathed at PSE Bull Run 21km but I didn't want to push my luck.  Still, with the blessing of God, I felt I was getting faster and stronger.

Once I was able to talk to race organizers if I could claim my race kit in Makati, I immediately went online to register for the 21km distance.  Thank you guys for your help!

I did one 16km during the week for my long distance run and just had target of finishing well and enjoying the scenery.  But as the day grew closer, I was thinking whether I could beat my PSE half marathon time of 2 hours 41 minutes (with an average pace of 7:37).  I had a hopeful target of maintaining an average pace of 7:30 and if I was still strong, to lower pace for the last 5km.

Even if I wasn't able to go faster than 7:30 pace at last part, that would be a new PR for me for the year.

With two hours sleep and 3 Gu gels in my running belt, I was off to Alabang.  Parking was very easy and I was able to find a spot at Filinvest Mall, just a short walk to the Starting Line.

My gun start was at 3:30am but with the multiple race Waves, I ended up running it at 3:45am.  "Oh no", I thought to myself, "I'm going to feel the heat from the sun at the last part".  Nevermind that it was just 15 minutes longer from the scheduled race start.  The lack of sleep must have muddled my thoughts that morning! Hehe.

But a good reason of starting your race at the last batch was that most runners were already ahead of you, making the road or in this case, the Skyway less congested.

The first 5km was slow and steady as ran on an incline from Alabang to Skyway.  This was good as body was just getting warmed up.

Route was pretty simple: keep running on the Skyway until you make a U Turn at the halfway mark.  As we started our race, there were a lot of Full Marathoners already heading back towards Alabang.

Weather was nice and cool and the sun never came out even at the last part of the race.  In fact, it became a little cooler as it started to rain a bit at the last part.  Thank You God!

I felt good the entire time, taking one Gu gel at 8km mark, a banana at 12km and a second GU gel at 16km for the last 5km on the road.

With enough energy, I was able to go faster at the last 8km and ran at below 7 minute pace for the most part.  Only when I got to the Skyway exit did I get slower as it was congested with 6km, 10km, 21km and 42km runners!!  I had to do a lot of weaving around the runners in front of me.  

But I didn't mind as when I saw my pace, it was at 7:23 and much lower than what I was aiming for so either way, I was happy with it.

Best of all, I felt strong and not even tired.
As we head into Alabang, I stopped looking at my watch and focused on the remaining distance.

Finally, one last turn to the finish line and when I crossed it, I had a big smile on my face.

Condura Half Marathon 2016: conquered!  Thank You GOD for making me strong!!

... And what a nice finish time too!  I not only managed to shave off 11 minutes from my last Half Marathon race but also achieved my utarget time of 2 hours and 30 minutes, which was my ultimate goal for the Run United 1 event in March!  It came much, much sooner that when I expected it.  As another bonus, I wasn't out of breath after crossing the finish line.  No pain in my legs too.  God is definitely good and this race is one of many where I glorify HIM.  Thank You God!!

The finisher medal was nice but I was more looking forward to the Finisher Shirt as it had the route map at its back!  Which was a very neat idea!!

Thank You God for a great race!  Thank You Condura for a good event (there were enough drinks and bananas and distance was accurate).

Final Note:  Unfortunately, although this was a fantastic race for me and I had a great time in it, I can't say this for everyone who ran it.  

There were some complaints with regards to the race kit pick up one day before the event as lines were long and it took a long time for runners to get their kits.

Moreover, it was a sad news for some families and runners everywhere as two runners passed away in this race: both young and at the prime of their lives: One joined the 21km while the other did the 42km event.  

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