One Down, Two More to Go

Approaching Finish Line
I almost panicked upon hearing Lupang Hinirang being played while I was getting off from the taxi. I quickly scanned the venue for the location of the baggage area. “My, I’m late,” I said to myself. But I knew I had enough time before I left my place. How come the race is starting so early? I was jolted out of my reverie when out of nowhere, I heard a voice calling my name. It was Cyrus a.k.a. Cloudshocked. In front me, another voice called out my name. It was Rodel a.k.a. Argonaut. Argo informed me that I had enough time before gun start. Together, we both ran slowly to warm up after depositing our stuff at the baggage area. I couldn’t find Cyrus. He must have started his warm up exercises, too.Waiting for the gun start, there were quite a good number of half marathon runners at the starting line. I have never seen this number before in all my three-year stint of racing. One could feel the excitement of the 21k runners.

Twenty … nineteen … countdown began … ten … nine … five … four … three … two … one. I pushed my Garmin’s start button while slowly running.

Century Tuna Superbods half marathon event kicked off the start of the Runrio Trilogy. After finishing a full marathon during the Condura race a few weeks back, this race I considered as recovery run. I enjoyed running it because of its new route. And, I was not surprised. Knowing Coach Rio, he would always introduce something new in every race that he handles (e.g. he was instrumental in giving runners the chance to run inside Heritage Park during the VSO 15k race). This time, runners once again tasted a new route near 32nd Street at the Fort.

One Kilometer More to Go

A good number of marshals, 34 portalets were made available at the race venue plus excluding those seen along the route, more than enough water and energy drinks at every water station, LED display showing the names of the runners as they reached the finish line, lively emcees, presence of Century superbod models handing out water to every runner, use of timing chips, a multimedia presentation of the route before the race started, a computer-enhanced countdown, different lanes for freebies for each category, provision of a cooling shower, bountiful breakfast goodies, free hammer gel was also distributed to runner, stage with big LCD screens, and a lot more!

However, no matter how perfectly the event was executed, there were some incidents that happened while I was running. On my way out and running toward S & R leading to 32nd Street, a white van took the lane of the runners. The marshals and even the traffic enforcers called the attention of the driver. But to my surprise, I saw the same van taking the runners’ lane along Lawton Avenue again. Then, there was this marshal, who, while signaling runners approaching Bayani Road to go straight ahead, didn’t look my way, and accidentally hit my chest. Ouch!

But with the sea of runners (11,000+) running back and forth at the crossing of Lawton and McKinley, it was also a bit confusing, especially, if you’re not familiar with the streets of Global City or of the race route, where to go for 5k, 10k, and 21k route even if distance markers were provided. It must be a tough job for the marshals to control traffic flow during a race.

I’ll end this post to remind runners to be “responsible runners” while racing. I’ve noticed that a good number of runners threw their cups wherever they want to even if trash bins are provided. Mother Earth is suffering enough because of our waste. We only have one planet; let’s try, in our own small way, to preserve it.

Here’s one more on running etiquette. I know the feeling when you’re about to overtake someone. It feels good, right? However, just like a good driver that you are, the road is wide enough, don’t just cut and stay right in front leaving not enough distance between you and the runner behind you. You want to go fast? Go ahead. But please don’t cut the runner behind you by totally blocking his way. And, if you want to stop or decide to walk, please walk on the side of the road so as not to block runners behind you.

Last Three Kilometers

Nonetheless, I still enjoyed this run. I take my hats off to Coach Rio, Century Tuna and its partners, and Photovendo. Thanks, too, to Kaye Lopez.

Looking forward to the second leg of the Runrio Trilogy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: