Race Review: Timex Run

I have to admit that we (me and my wife) had second thoughts in joining this race, primarily because of the expensive registration fee. But the 21K race distance, being my favorite now, enticed me to join. My wife, on the other hand, didn’t need much convincing when she learned that Piolo Pascual would also be running the 10K (Thank you Piolo!).

Was it worth it? A definite and resounding YES! Here’s why:

THE HIGHS

Race started early and on time. The early race start was perfect for the weather we have now – sun is usually shining about 6 am and it’s usually hot and humid.

Adequate hydration stations with abundant supply. First, water and 100Plus sports drinks were properly segregated. Second, queuing was prevented because long tables were used and were accessible from both sides (especially the stations along Buendia).

Finisher’s medals for 21K runners. It really is a motivating reward for any runner to receive a finisher’s medal. Just 1 tiny bit of request – I hope that the race event and distance were also embedded in the medal (I don’t mind the RunRio logo, but I wish the name and distance of the race event were also visible – like the medals at QCIM).

Organized distribution of goodies/freebies. There were separate tents for the distribution of loot bags and free drinks – one each for 3K, 5K, 10K and 21K. This really lessened, if not eliminated, the long lines. In previous races, I sometimes don’t bother getting the goodies/freebies because of the long lines. This time, I was able to stay around longer and enjoy the post-race festivities.

Lots of goodies/freebies after the race. Upon finishing, I was given a towel. Then, the loot bag contained the following – RunRio finisher’s dri-fit shirt, 100Plus, bottled water and Nature Valley bar.

Quick release of official race times. Results were released within 24 hours.

Other positives: Animated race map before gun start (bigger screen next time?), Many Portalets, Use of Timing Chips, Presence of marshals, Directional signs and KM markers and Bananas for 21K runners.

THE LOWS

I couldn’t really think of anything major.

MY 21K RUN: STRIKE THREE

Oh no, not again?! Cramps at KM 18! Crap!

Just to refresh: QCIM 21K – cramps at KM 20. Adidas KOTR – cramps at KM 18.

This time around though, I have to admit that this was due to my own doing. It was an accident waiting to happen. It was a very busy Nov. 9-15 week that I had very little time to train – a very lethargic 12K and 8K runs on Wednesday and Friday respectively. More than the long work hours, it was the feeling of being tired and stressed that left me sluggish during those practice runs.

Most painful cramps

It was, perhaps, the most painful cramps I had ever experienced. It felt like my knees and ankles were being twisted. Furthermore, my thighs and calves were as hard as cement.

It started again with my right hamstring all the way down to the calf muscle. Then, at KM 19, my right thigh and calf followed. I had to walk, stop and stretch. It got a little better, but it just won’t go away. The walking and stretching breaks became longer. I was actually doing some intervals – but not the kind of intervals one should be doing: run, then walk & stretch…run, then walk & stretch.  Running continuously became unsustainable. It was embarrassing but it was the only way to relieve the pain.

Missed goals

Unfortunately, I failed to accomplish the goals I had set for this race. Considering the nature of the race route (lots of uphills), I had set 2 ‘conditional’ goals. First, encouraged by my KOTR time, I wanted to try for a sub-2h finish. If that fails, the second goal was to finish within 2h 10m.

But when I started having walking breaks and when the pain became intolerable, I knew that the impromptu goal was just to finish. I conceded that this wasn’t my day, this wasn’t my week. Having said all that, I am still very happy with my official finish time of 2h 11m 36s (chip time: 2h 10m 52s). I am very fortunate and thankful to have finished with a good and encouraging time. I am humbled yet again by this experience and I vow to address this perennial cramps problem.

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 4.5/5 – Almost Excellent. (Well, if my wife and cousin were able to have their pictures taken with Piolo, then it would have been a perfect 5. Haha!)

Kidding aside, it was a very organized and festive race. I remember reading the The Bullrunner’s blog about the last call for the 2010 Condura Run wishes. It seems that Coach Rio translated a lot of those wishes into reality.

Congratulations to Coach Rio and to all his hardworking coaches and staff. There have been successive sub-par races and you broke that negative trend. May you sustain the momentum and continue to improve. Thank you and good luck!

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