1st RUNniversary: Accidental 10K-er

August 17, 2009 marked the first year of my destiny with running. How time flies so fast. I didn’t even notice it until my friend reminded me when we were at the Kenny’s Urbanite Run. In effect, the Kenny’s event became my pre-anniversary 15K run.

A Flashback to August 17, 2008: The 2008 Men’s Health 10,000 KM Miracle Run 

It all started with email invites between me and my officemates. Back then, we probably had no idea what we were getting into. The obvious reason was that running was good for the health. It was a great start. Twelve of us eventually joined the run. We all had designated partners to run 5K each (race rules allowed 2 runners to run 5k each to complete 10K).

Excited for our very firts race Excited for our very first race

Epitome of a Rookie Runner. Back then, I felt like a college freshman. It was new territory. It was overwhelming. I did not know anything about running, except to set the treadmill speed between 9 to 12 kph. The only thing I wore that was related to running was the MH T-shirt. Other than that, you can immediately say that I was a rookie runner – basketball shorts, cross-trainers and a chronograph watch.

My Miracle Run. Come race day, I suddenly found myself without a partner as he couldn’t make it. It was 5 minutes before race start so I decided quickly to just run 10K. I didn’t know if it was the right thing to do. My mindset then was more of ‘bahala na’ as I was there anyway or I can always stop if anything went wrong. Even if I knew nothing about pacing then, I thought it best to run moderately during the first 5K and, hopefully, have enough left for the last 5K. It all didn’t go well as planned as I was very tired by the 7K or 8K mark. The only thing that kept me going was I wanted to finish regardless of the time. Fortunately, I made it! I finished my first 10K.

A blessing in disguise. Looking back it was a blessing in disguise. It was the kind of start that gave me the confidence, motivation and habit to continue running. I’d call it my destiny with running. My miracle run.

Mission Accomplished Mission Accomplished
Winners in our own right Winners in our own right

Special Thanks to Patrick Oliveros for the pictures.

Race Review: The KRR Urbanite

The Kenny Rogers Roasters Urbanite Run was the most talked-about run event this August. Evidently, the concept of running at night created a lot of excitement and anticipation. This was my second night race; the first one being the 2008 Isuzu Shake, Rattle & Roll run. But the KRR Urbanite took running at night to another level. In a nutshell, here are my highs and lows for my 15K run.

THE HIGHS

Night race with a party atmosphere and a tough course. Organizing a night race is a unique idea in itself. Having a party and running at a tough course adds another dimension to it. The Isuzu night run can rightfully claim to be the first night run around the metro, but running 4 laps around BHS is clearly easy compared to running around Lawton Ave., Bayani Rd., Heritage Park and McKinley Hill.

Run, Eat & Donate. The registration fee of Php 600 is high compared to the other run events, but there is value for money in it with the run, eat and donate concept. The run, of course, is a given. The meal is very filling. And most importantly, we get to contribute to Hands On Manila Foundation.

Nice Singlet. I like the simple design and comfortable feel of the singlet. It’s like wearing a Nike dri-fit or an Adidas clima-cool.

Adequate hydration stations with abundant supply. This one is a no-brainer. This is typical of any Finishline organized run event. Then, there is an abundant supply of Powerade and Viva water. I was even able to get a cold bottle of Powerade from the McKinley Hill hydration station. Furthermore, there seems to be no control in claiming Viva water after finishing the race. Initially I got 2 bottles. After roaming around the party area, I was given another bottle as I made my way back to the parking (it was given to me without me asking, great!).

Security, safety and the presence of marshals. Again, this is typical of Finishline. This being a night race, safety & security is a foremost concern. And the organizers did not disappoint. They have always coordinated well with the local government to ensure the safety of runners. One lane is allotted for runners with the traffic cones serving as the boundary. There were also marshals all throughout the route. Some had flashlights to guide runners in some of the dark areas of the route.

KM markers. I have no way of telling the accuracy of KM markers but I do trust that Finishline has always been very close, if not accurate, of the actual distance (based from the Garmin data from my friends). Without my Nike+ Sportsband (display problem) for a month now, the markers help me a lot in determining how I pace myself during a run.

Disposable Timing Chips. The detailed results from the Globe Run for Home showed the capabilities and usefulness of the disposable timing chips. As of this writing, the results aren’t available yet. I do hope that more and more races make use of these timing chips.

THE LOWS

The race kit claiming process. We (me, my wife and brother) are fortunate that we did not encounter any hassles in claiming our kits. But the mishaps have been well documented in blogs and forums. Some of the complaints include: Race kits not being available even if they registered early; Only 1 venue for race kit redemption; Late announcement that last-minute registrants will be able to claim their kits on Aug 14; Being asked to return on a Saturday morning.

I sympathize to those who had a bad experience in claiming their kits. We all hope that it will be better next race. Certainly, the complaints and suggestions posted in blogs and forums would help the sponsor and organizer in creating a better claiming process.

Irresponsible motorcycle drivers. For some unexplained reason, the traffic cones of Finishline and the marshals and police along the route did not persuade some irresponsible motorcycle drivers from driving inside the designated lane for runners. I saw this as I was running along Lawton Avenue. The police was even shouting at the driver to get out of the lane. The motorcycle driver only got out of the lane when some other runners also asked him to move out.

MY 15K RACE

Without any doubt, this is my best run in 5 months. I did not set a new 15K PR but I really felt very good during and after the run. I ran at a moderate and consistent pace all throughout, tapering off a bit during uphills. I walked approaching hydration stations but I made it a point not to walk on uphills.

I have always loved any race route that passes through Heritage Park and McKinley Hill, no matter how difficult it can be. The thrill and challenge just adds up to the excitement of running.

Inside Heritage Park, we were greeted by the refreshing and cool wind. As expected, it was dark with only a few lampposts giving us light. I overheard a group of runners scaring each other and having a good laugh.

Going down McKinley Hill, I had a flashback of what happened to me last February at the RUNew event where I ran too fast on a downhill that caused my quadriceps tendinitis injury. This time around I was careful no matter how tempted I was to accelerate on a downhill. And during uphills, I made sure to run wisely – small strides, look up, upper body slightly tilted forward (no slouching) and breathe faster but consistently. This is probably the first time that I got out of McKinley not completely wasted. I ran casually the rest of the way and finished with an official time of 1h 39m 27s (chip time: 1h 38m 38s). With this run, I am glad to know that endurance training has been successful. I do need to get back and train for more 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.

Thank you Kenny Rogers, Finishline and all the other sponsors for a wonderfully organized run event.

Thank You Pres. Cory Aquino

 

Time Woman of the Year (Jan. 1987) 

(Source: Time.com)

“The Filipino is worth living for” – Pres. Cory Aquino

Today, at about 3:00 am Manila time, former president Cory Aquino passed away. It came as a shock to me when I turned on the television and the very first thing I heard was the news about Pres. Aquino. Like millions of Filipinos, I have also been praying for her recovery and hoping that she survices from cancer. It seems that, even if I do not personally know her or her family, a part of me feels sad and emotional.

A million Thank Yous. To Pres. Aquino, I thank you for championing democracy. I thank you for being the hero for all Filipinos. I thank you for being brave in the face of adversity. I was still very young when the EDSA revolution took place but I will never forget that me and my generation are the beneficiaries of democracy. You are truly a great leader and hero who exhibited humility, transparency and courage.

When I wake up early tomorrow morning, I will run and I will wear my iamninoy shirt and I will wear it proud — Proud for being a part of a wonderful community and iconic figure.

My condolences to the family and relatives of Pres. Aquino. Her legacy will live with all of us forever.