Friday Night: Carbo Loading Party and Pacers Orientation
~ the colorful display of the QC Circle tower was showcased
~ it was where I saw (again) the fast Kenyan runners who shared to us a glimpse of their pre-race training program
~ pacers for the 21k and 42k events were introduced
~ where I did an impromptu public performance
~ where I had almost endless photo ops with super funny takbo.ph friends
~ where I had photo ops with Armie and Mark a.k.a. The Running Adventures of Mark, who to my amazement knew my blog and even recognized me
And take note of the runners behind us, the funny musketeers Erick a.k.a. Shocks 5, DocT a.k.a. Doc Tapiok, and Crash Burn.
The surprise of my life didn’t stop from coming. Right after the introduction of the pacers, a young and bubbly guy approached me for a photo op. And it was Mark. Mark left some comments on my blog before and I was humbled that he appreciated the articles I posted here. I was so glad to finally meet him in person.
From L to R: Tin (Mark’s friend), Mark, Running Diva, and Vince of Finish Line
The night ended with funny poses with takbo.ph friends. They are not only a bunch of running addicts but also young at heart fellas. They love to kid around. Just look at the guys on Row 3. What do you think?
Sunday: The Day Has Finally Come!
Woke up at 3AM for this event. A great task at hand! Today I will be in a race not to race but to pace fellow runners who wanted to finish their half-marathon in two hours and thirty minutes. These were my thoughts while I was preparing my stuff. What’s so touching about being a lead pacer is to be with fellow pacers who believe in your capacity. With that said, I was grateful to be with Gab and Ebong, my fellow pacers and co-leaders who believe I can. Super duper thanks guys!
Those were the balloons for the 21k pacers. The half-marathon race started at the QC Circle at exactly 5AM. I didn’t have any idea who were following me but I could sense there was a good number of runners in our pace group. They were chatty and energetic. Fast running friends whizzed by and shouted jokingly at me, “Running Diva you need to talk and prep them up!” I just acknowledged their shout with a chuckle. Our pace group started by running an even pace of more or less 7 min./km up to the first turn around point near Batasan Hills.
After the turn around point, it was then where I slightly increased the pace, took no notice of the Garmin watch for some minutes and never realized I was running a bit too fast until Ebong gently tapped me on the shoulder reminding me to slow down a bit. Whew!
We were averaging a pace of 7.01/km. But I wanted to bring the group at an earlier time than the targeted finishing time. I maintained instead a pace of 6.57/km all throughout except on the last two kilometers. I slowed down a bit knowing that we had ample time to finish the race. One of the veteran runners said to me, “It’s an overshoot finish.” I wondered what he meant by that. I later realized that the group would reach the finish line six or four minutes earlier than the targeted time. That would mean a strong finish for everybody in the pace group.
A few meters left before reaching the finish line, I shouted to the group, “It was an honor to bring you to the finish line today fellow runners. Thank you so much!” True enough, we reached the finished line clocking 2:27.57 with seconds ticking. Jubilant, we gave each other some high-fives, we shook hands, and tapped each other’s shoulders. No amount of words can describe what I’ve felt and experienced that day.
Photos Taken After Finishing The Race
Photo 8 ~ With James, so happy to finish his first full marathon. Niel a.k.a. Crash Burn and I went back to pace/walk with James. Niel didn’t get to join us in this photo as he had to drive and park his car to the Circle.