Caught off guard.
Yes, that was what I felt when I received an e-mail from a fellow blogger, Vimz a.k.a. Kulit Runner, reminding me where and when to claim the race kit for the Run United 2. I totally forgot about this particular race since I was looking forward to the upcoming Run United provincial leg instead.
One good thing though, at least, I had some mileage but I knew it was not enough prior to this race. Modesty aside, this particular distance was just a regular run for me when I was seriously training for the Bataan Death March Ultramarathon race. But two nights before race day, I had some misgivings whether I could run fast or beat my previous 21k time the way I used to.
Having no idea what time it would start and what the route would be, I arrived at the venue with only a few minutes to spare to deposit my stuff at the baggage area and for warm up exercises. I couldn’t even consider it as a warm up since the race was about to start.
As I got near the starting line … the surprise of my life … the crowd … in all my years racing in Metro Manila (2005-present), I’ve never seen anything like this … there were just too many 21k runners at the starting line and I was at the far end. That even after gun start, I couldn’t even run right away, I just walked up to the START arch. It was also difficult to even weave through the crowd. Amazing!
My strategy then was just to enjoy it and considered it as a long run or a practice run. No pressure at all.
It was nice to see familiar faces like Eo, who I had the chance to pace with and who eventually left me since he really was faster than I am, Gab of Team Boring, Rainier a.k.a. Running Enthusiast, Jet also of Team Boring and a fellow blogger, Julius, and Jixee among others.
The Kalayaan-Buendia flyover was another challenge even if I’ve run this area countless of times. My finish time was not good (based on my best time for 21K) but still, I had fun running my 16th half marathon despite feeling ill.
To top it off, while I was on my way to the Finishers Area, I was greeted by a shout from a runner, “diva runner!” I never met the guy before but after some initial pleasantries, he told me he had visited my blog. My bad, I forgot his name! But if ever you get to read this allow me to say “thank you” for visiting my blog. I hope this blog helped you in some way or another.
Marshals did their job so well. The staff manning the water stations even welcomed us with a gleeful smile. Powerade and water were just aplenty. I have a nice finisher’s shirt and medal, and more freebies from Unilab and other sponsors. What more could I say?
Many thanks to Dada Teves for facilitating my registration, to Kulit Runner for the invite as well as for the follow-up, and most of all to Coach Rio for the complimentary kit. Thanks to my coach, Coach John Lozada for the constant follow-up so I could train.
I take my hats off to Unilab and the Runrio Team!