Tuesday, June 19

Run United 2 (June 17, 2012)

Happy Sunday morning..... running like a child on the rain....oh what a joy.

I had it planned to be at the starting line an hour before the gun start, the previous Unilab Runs has been too crowded making it difficult if stuck with the traffic of runners. But just before I step out of my place heading to the starting line, there was just a heavy down pour of rain. Oh my, I am not prepared for this. Since the race will start at Bonifacio High Street and will end at Mall of Asia, I intended to put everything that I need for the run in my hydration belt pockets, for I do not want to carry and leave any baggage at the counter on this race, I did on the same race the last time. But with this down pour of rain I don't want to start with  wet socks and running shoes, and I don't want to be soaked on the rain and feel cold even before the race starts. I decided to bring my rain jacket, umbrella, a pair of slippers and change of clothes. To cut it short, I will have one luggage to be left at the baggage counter.

As I arrive at the starting area, I put on my shoes, my hydration belt, bib number and leave my plastic with wet jacket and umbrella on the mobile baggage counter, the parked buses. After one last visit to the portalet I proceed to the starting area. The rain did not stop, in fact the down pour gets heavier, for most of the runners they just enjoy the rain, just like me. But I noticed there are few that are creative enough of how to keep themselves warm, others put on a rain jacket which I thought might not be necessary for it will just keep warm as one goes a  longer distance. For others they used a big garbage bag to keep them warm and dry before the race starts, something that I thought I should have done. There was one I saw even putting a garbage bag on his head, it looks weird and I am sure it gets warm as the distance gets longer as well. 

As I approach the starting area almost 4:00am, all the runners are called for the first batch to come forward to the starting line. There are 5,000 runners on the 21K category, making the organizer release the runners by batches, three batches to be exact with 5 minute interval. The first batch will be released 4:30 in the morning. I stand right next to the person right in front of the line, beside the elite runners, the Kenyans. They are tall and have really lean legs. How come they have such legs, I thought. I saw some of my Ayala Triads family too. The ticking of the clock has become un-noticed  as program has keep us busy not even minding every drop of the rain. Just before the gun start, I can now feel my shirt starting to be wet, my shoes begins to get damp.

I am familiar with this route, I have done this on the past on the same race. What makes it different now, before the start of the race I am already wet, and few minutes after, I can now feel my shoes starting to get wet as well. I just enjoy every minute of it. It's cold as the rain never stops and sometimes the wind blows but the good thing about it I never had to think about the heat of the sun as it rises above the horizon.

I focus on my speed at this time. But a controlled one as well, as it is raining I am too afraid I might land on a slippery side of the road, I always aim for an injured free race. As my feet gets wetter and water just gets out of my shoes, I can feel the muscles on my legs getting tighter, I am too afraid to get cramps, I can not imagine how it feels. So I just enjoy the scenery of the city on a gloomy morning of Sunday. Concentrating on my breathing, other runners catch up with me, and I sometimes catch up with other runners. There are bananas on some aid stations that serve as my food on the entire race, leaving the food I bring untouched.

I crossed the finish line with a time of 2 hours 22 minutes and 27 seconds. It is still a long way to go for me in running, I really hope I can improve better. The finish line and activity area has a festive atmosphere, lots of runners everywhere, saw friends and familiar faces. I am glad I completed second half of the medallion and I hope to complete it this year.

Kudos to the organizer of this race, despite the thousand of participants from the different categories,  they are still able to manage a well organized race. Hydration stations are well stuffed with water and bananas (on some areas), marshals are visible every after several kilometers. Even the claim stations for loot bags and baggage are well manned. I managed to get some freebies on the booths of different brands after the race.  The festive atmosphere made me stay for a while before I head home.

Another race conquered, another miles added. 'Til the next run. 

No comments:

Post a Comment