My Run For Home Review

The Run for Home last Sunday, July 19 was the most anticipated run event this month of July. It had the hype. It had the big-name sponsors in Globe Telecom and Ayala Land. It introduced the disposable timing chips. Looks to me like the ideal recipe for a great race. So, did it live up to expectations? I will try to give my take starting with the registration process down to race day.

The Registration Process

It was good that runners had lots of registration options – online, Runnr, Nike, Fitness First and Globe Business Centers. The registration fee was fair if you’re a Globe subscriber but I think it’s expensive if you’re not.

One thing that was new for me was the race kits being claimed 3 days before the run as I am used to getting them upon registration. I did wonder if this was a good idea because of 2 reasons. One, there was only one location where the kits could be claimed and it might be a hassle for runners who live far from BHS. Two, it might be too crowded and chaotic at the claiming area.

Upon the advice of a friend, we (me and wifey) claimed our kits early Saturday morning. There were no lines and we were able to get our kits easily. But, still, the claiming process surprised me. I had thought that it was as easy as presenting the coupon and getting the kits. Instead, you had to write your name and distance to verify your registration. It seems that the control number written in the coupon didn’t matter much. On this aspect, I am sympathetic to the experience of other runners who claimed their kits on a very rainy Thursday and Friday night. They had to fall in line and wait for a long time just so they could claim their kits.

Race Day

For this race, I registered for the 10K distance. Running 21K was just too impossible due to lack of training. Coming into this race my only goal was to finish it in less than 1 hour at moderate to easy (LSD) pace. My mindset was to run at moderate pace on flat roads and taper off along Kalayaan flyover.

The 10K route. It was similar to the 2008 Adidas KOTR route. It’s mostly a flat course except the run along Kalayaan flyover, which exhibited a ‘hilly’ characteristic with its various inclines. The most challenging was the long ascend coming from Buendia. It felt like forever going up from that end.

The weather. Fortunately for all of us, the storm had passed and there was no rain. It was a cool weather and the sun was nowhere to be found. We all did not have to bear the challenge of running along the flyover with the searing heat.

Water Stations. I must say that the race was not lacking with water stations. The water station situated in the middle of Kalayaan flyover is a BIG plus. But I am only talking about the ‘station’ here. It’s a different matter altogether if we talk about the availability of water. Let me elaborate. After the u-turn at the 5K mark, I noticed that the people manning the water stations were not prepared. You can see that half of the cups lined up along the table are empty. One had to stop and wait for water or 100 Plus to be poured into the cups. Confusion and queuing ensued because of that. So, best advice I could give here is to always bring along your hydration belts just to be sure.

On a positive note, it was commendable that 100 Plus drinks were being served at the stations. Thanks to 100 Plus for providing the drinks. Personally, though, 100 Plus doesn’t work for me because it’s carbonated. I always feel bloated whenever I drink it, most especially when it’s not cold.

KM markers. As expected, Finishline has been known for providing KM markers to inform runners of the distance covered. According to my friends with Garmin watches, the KM markers were accurate. Hats off to the Finishline for this.

Safety. Again, Finishline has done a great job for coordinating with the local police in ensuring the safety of runners. I personally like the traffic cones with the Finishline stickers on it to establish the boundary and space for runners and cars.

The Disposable Timing Chips. This is a first in the running scene. From the flyer, it seems that this is a powerful timing chip that’s able to provide several data to the runner. When the official results come out on July 23, we would all know if the hype generated by this device is worth the wait. For the time being, I commend Globe for trying this out and we all hope that this would be used in future runs.

Run Results. This is one of talking points after the race. The common question was – “Why does it take that long to release the official results?” So far, I also don’t know the answer. Certainly, the expectation was that the results will be available within 24 hours considering the use of the timing chips. Plus, Finishline has been known to release official results within 24 hours and that’s even done manually. My take on this is to give the benefit of the doubt to the organizers and sponsors. It is a new timing system and it might be better to hold off the results and ensure that the results are clean and accurate. Maybe, there’s a bit of a learning curve in getting to know this system. Perhaps, if this timing system will be used more often, then the official results can be released earlier.

My Run

This was my first 10K race after the injury. I was excited and, at the same time, jittery. I’ve had 10K practice runs but all have been LSDs. I’ve joined the 15K MH All Terrain but that one humbled me. In short, I knew that I still lacked pace. Just the same, I had set a modest goal of finishing it in less than 1 hour at moderate to easy pace. I figured that would be a good enough gauge for my future 10K runs.

We were almost late for the race as parking was full in all areas of BHS. Fortunately, the space in front of Kabisera and Ascend was opened. The run from the parking to the start-finish line proved to be a good warm-up.

At gun start, I weaved my way out of the crowd and deviated from my plan of running at moderate pace. It must have been the excitement and the adrenaline rush. I soon found myself running at about a 5’/km pace. But as I approached the Kalayaan flyover, I decided that it was impossible to maintain that pace and I might not have enough energy to finish the run. So, I went back to my plan and tapered off towards the ascend to the flyover. Along that whole flyover stretch, I ran a pace of 6’30”/km.

It proved to be a good decision as I was able to increase my pace to about 5’45”/km to 6’/km along the flat roads of Buendia. It was pretty straightforward from there. Going back, I again tapered off along the flyover and increased pace on the flat roads leading to the finish line.

In the end, I was very happy to finish my 10K run in 59 minutes. I barely finished it in less than an hour but I now know better how to pace myself in future 10K runs. It also gives me a lot of confidence that I have gotten back the endurance. This surely motivates me to train some more to get back some more speed and to run at a more consistent pace.

Overall Rating

I’ll be using a scale of 1 to 5 defined as: 1-Poor, 2-Fair, 3-Good, 4-Very Good, 5-Excellent.

I would rate this run event as a 4/5 – Very Good. I am satisfied with the outcome of this run event. There some hiccups but I believe they were minor ones. Congratulations to Globe, Ayala Land, Habitat for Humanity, Finishline and all the other sponsors.

No Doughnuts for A Month

Yep, for a whole month I swear and promise and vow not to eat doughnuts and, who knows, it might as well extend for 2 more months.  No, it’s not because of any doctor’s order. It’s not because of a diet regimen, although it would surely help. It’s actually because of doughnuts overload yesterday.

I joined the REACH Fun Run yesterday. There’s a twist to this event — it’s a run and eat race. First, we had to run 2.5K to the challenge zone. Second, complete the challenge of eating 4 Krispy Kreme honey-glazed doughnuts. Third and last, run 2.5K again to the finish line. It’s a one of a kind run event that turned out to be not as easy as I thought.

The first 2.5K run. The race started a little over 7am, which would have been a late call time but the weather cooperated. A bit sunny and a bit of a cool weather at the start, probably because of a little drizzle early in the morning. I got there early, registered and did a 1K warm-up run around BHS. The race started and I ran at a good 4″ 30′ pace. I figured, it was best to run faster in the first leg than in the second leg. I reached the challenge zone without any hassles and got my small box of 4 Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

Eating time. Eating the first doughnut was easy. It’s the second, third and fourth doughnut that took its toll on me. As I’ve mentioned, eating the 4 doughnuts was harder than I thought. What more if it had been half a dozen as previously planned. Eating the doughnuts took a lot of my time. By the time I finished the second doughnut, I felt full. By the time I finished the fourth doughnut, I felt heavy. Just by eating 4 doughnuts, I finished 300 ml of water. The sweetness of the doughnuts really lingered in my mouth.

The last 2.5K run. As much I wanted to run at a similar 4″ 30′ pace, my body was not willing. I guess, the sugar boost did not work for me. Feeling full and heavy, I decided to run the final 2.5K at an easy and moderate pace.

Overall, it was an ejoyable run. I don’t know if I would do it again. Probably better to ask me again in a month or two. Right now, I just don’t want any doughnuts.

Runless for 4 days now

For 4 days now, I have been stumped with work. For 4 days now, it has been 10 to 12 hour workdays. And for 4 days now, I’ve been runless.

I feel so deprived and guilty of not being able to indulge myself of a good run. I’m aching to wear and lace my running shoes and run for as long as I can. Heck, I’ve even been dreaming of nothing but running for 2 nights now.

I can’t wait for the weekend. Saturday and Sunday here I come!