Sunday, November 27, 2016

Race Review: Gatorade Run 2016

This was my first time to not only join a Gatorade race but also a 22-km distanced road race.  The big come on for this race (at least from my perspective) are the Adidas singlet and finisher shirts.  They even have price tags on them for P995 each so that more than makes up for the P1,700 registration fees.

The route for this race goes around Mall of Asia area before doing a long stretch along Buendia Avenue all the way till the end and make a U Turn right before Kalayaan bridge (phew as didn't want to climb the bridge).  From the U Turn back to Mall of Asia area, there were two more turns before the finish line.  

It was nice how they had a special thing at the 21km mark as if to say that you have just done a half marathon but your race isn't finished yet. Haha!

School bands at the last 2km of the race also helped boost energy, which at that time I really needed as tired and shoulders were aching!  This is due to the back to back race I did this weekend: 10km Mcdonalds Stripes run and then this one.  So started this race with tired legs!

But by God's grace I was able to finish this race.  Thank YOU LORD!  

This was a good race and one I recommend to runners who can afford to pay a little more due to how they managed the race and the shirts that come with it.  I hope I get a chance to join next year's event.  

Thanks to ADIDAS Ph for the free race kit. :)  A good year ender race

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Race Review: Mcdonalds Stripe Run 10km

I was fortunate enough to receive a complimentary 10km race kit for this event (thanks Joanne of EON) and I was excited for this race as it has been a while since I was able to join a 10km race (about 6-7 months ago!!!).

I joined past events of this race from a 10km solo run to 3km family run with my two kids (one in stroller) and wife.  And in all these events, the race was well organized.

For this year's events, proceeds from the registration fees will go to one of their charities:  Ronald McDonald Read to Learn Program.  So not only do you get to run a nice race and burn some calories but you are also contributing to lessening the country's illiterate population.

For the race itself, I have no target. Haha!  No speed or time trial but just to have a good run!  Route took us to Kalayaan Avenue and to BGC area.  There were only a few runners doing the 10km category as most were in the shorter distance with their families.

My legs were tight in the beginning and pace of 6:30 wasn't easy for me.  But I made it a point to run through the entire race and just stopping to drink or tie loose shoelaces.

All in all, a good and quick race and got a breakfast sandwich at the finish line.  Congrats to the race organizers!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

New Balance 25k pics and results

Race photos are available at pinoy fitness and facebook.

Race results are available as well

Race Review: Pinoy Fitness 21km Challenge

This was my first time to join this half marathon challenge.  With Pinoy Fitness races, you not only have to have the endurance to finish the distance but the speed as well to complete the race within the cut-off time.  Early this year I was able to complete the sub-60 Pinoy Fitness 10km.  It was my most pressured 10km race and it took a lot of weeks of preparation just to make sure I am able to cross the finish line in under one hour and get the medal.

Same goes for the Half Marathon race.  They had three categories: sub-2 2XU which is impossible for me, sub-2:30 which is possible but not 100% sure and the sub-3:00, which is definitely doable for me.  Aside from this, gold medals are given out for the first 300 finishers for each category.

I wanted to join this race but didn't know whether I wanted to do the sub-2:30 category and train hard for it or take the easier route via the sub-3 category and try to aim for the gold medal.  That could also give me a fast time with minimum risk of not getting a medal should some thing unforeseen happen during the race. But I realized that if I took the sub-3 category then I am not challenging myself.  So last month I took the plunge and registered myself for the sub-2:30 category, paid Php 1,000 and got my race kit.

As an added bonus, the medal for 2:30 category is bigger than the 3:00 one (about half inch bigger I think).

My training is to do short 8-10km runs at average pace of 7:00 and I also joined the New Balance 25km to build endurance. I did well in New Balance
so that helped build confidence for this race.

The gun start was at 4:35am and I left the house early as going to MOA is always unpredictable: sudden traffic jams due to roadwork, long lines for parking, need to search for toilet.  Logistics was a problem and unlike other Half Marathons where i can be late, I can't afford that luxury here!  Being 5 minutes late here can spell the difference between me getting a finisher medal or not as they based it on the gun time of the race!

Thank goodness God guided me and I was able to park in a place where there were no lines, found a toilet I can use and no traffic whatsoever in Edsa!  Praise God!

I got to the starting line at 4:30am, just in time to see the first wave of fast sub-2 runners go off.

Then it was our turn to be at the starting line.  This is it!

The route for this Half Marathon consists of two loops, made up of four turns around the area.  My strategy is to go at 7 minute pace for the first loop, which is my target pace for this race and if I am feeling good, to go faster on the second loop.

I had hoped this race would be easier for me given its flat route and that I had a good time in last week's New Balance 25km race, which was hillier and longer!  But that wasn't to be as I was struggling in this race.  

I took GU gel at 12km and at 17km. No banana stations here but didn't plan to eat this as that is additional time that I can't afford to waste.  There were a few Pocari Sweat stations so that posed a challenge for me as water wasn't enough for this race.  Luckily I have an extra GU gels for emergency use (which didn't end up using).

Thank God that on the second loop I was able to go faster and went at 6:35 pace during that time. So that brought my average pace down and gave me more allowance for a sub 2:30.  

But I was getting exhausted.  Just two km more...

And then it was there, the final turn to the finish line!

Thank God For this race and for helping me make it!  I was praying at various times in the race and I felt God was with me all the time.  I was never truly alone in this race.

The sub 2:30 medal was put around my neck and I headed to the finisher kits area but with the long line there, I went first to the PF booth so I can get my self imposed reward:  PF Trucker's cap for Php 250!

I was prepared to buy it and had money with me during the duration of this race.  After getting the cap, I went back to the finisher kits area where it was a loonng wait before I got my finisher shirt.  But I am not complaining as got my qualified time, medal and trucker's cap.  To God be the Glory!

Awesome medal! To Him I dedicate this prize!

Note: race results and photos are now out via Pinoy Fitness website and their facebook page

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Race Review: New Balance 25km Power Run 2016

The last time I joined the New Balance 25k Power Run was back in 2013.  In 2014 I was out of the country when they had the race and in 2015, I found it too much of a hassle when they moved the location of the race to Daang Hari.  So I was pleasantly surprised when they moved it back to Bonifacio Global City (BGC) for this year's event.

This would be a good long run and assessment also for my big race the following week - Pinoy Fitness 21km sub 2:30 wherein you not only have to complete the half marathon but under the required time of 2 hours and 30 minutes to get a finisher medal at the end.

My goal for this race is to run the first 21km and see what my "finish time" for that is to give an idea for next week's race.  For the remaining 4km, I can opt to go easier or harder depending how I felt that time.  

The route is the usual one when it comes to long distanced races held in BGC - Kalayaan Bridge to Buendia Avenue, U Turn back all the way to turn right to Lawton and Bayani Avenue and U turn back again to head to the International Schools to the finish line.  It's safe to say that this is a hilly race!  Perfect! 

The gun start was at 4:00am and though it was too early for my taste, it was good too as most runners will be finished by the time it gets too hot.

There were a lot of (cold) water stations but not enough sports drink stations.  They had only one at the first part and none until the very last few kms in the race.

There was one banana station but I opted to have a GU gel instead to save on time.  Even with slight twinge in my left knee (which made me a bit more careful), I felt good throughout the race.  By the time I have reached the 21km mark, my time was at 2:22 and pace about 6:50ish.  This was a good gauge for my strength.

With 4km left, I kept going.  Prior to this race my PR for the 25km was at 2:58:11 and this was back in 2011.  I am happy to have broken that record by going more than 8 minutes faster than before at a finish time of 2:50:25 with an average pace of 6:49!  Praise God for this!  He is awesome!

No loot bags at the finish line but i am happy with my time and with the medal.

Plus some good stuff upon registrations:

Hopefully they will continue having the 25km in BGC and make that its permanent place.