Race Review: ROTARun 2009, September 20
The night before the race I went into yet another emotional battle. I tried to keep myself calm as much as possible so that it wouldn’t affect me, but it was quite useless. Those tears were flowing and much pain had sunk into my system that… Oh, never mind. I’m sorry. I’m supposed to be doing a race review. Anyhow, I tried to get as much rest as I could since this race would be the day where I would try to get a new 21K personal record.
Come race day, the feelings in my heart were still there, but it was a brand new opportunity to live, so I might as well race my heart out so that I’ll get some endorphins into my system. I got out of bed and prepped up, making sure to arrive at the race site 30 minutes before gun start. It was another course that will be plying through McKinley Hill – the famed hilly stretch which gets most runners walking on the way to Lawton Avenue (including myself). With a little prayer I promised that I would be giving my best, no matter what the cost, because I really want a new record. My target time for this race was under 2:16. That would be just fine for me – I’m bringing down my personal bests one minute at a time.
My Garmin pace setting was set to alarm above 6:08 min/km and below 6:38 min/km. This is probably punishment for me, but what the heck, if I’m gunning for a new record then might as well push it to the limit. But setting those aforementioned paces did give me a lot of trouble, because once I was through walking the uphill leading to Lawton Avenue (yes, I really did, but at least I was able to run a fourth of it), my spirits started to go low after making the u-turn that will lead me to Fort Bonifacio Gate 3. Add to that, I had initial signs of side stitch after passing KM5 or KM6. But still I pushed myself to keep within my targeted pace. But upon reaching Bayani Road, the pain of the side stitch was starting to grow, so I had to stop running for a while and re-adjust the pace.I had no choice but to shift down to 6:30 km/min to 7:00 km/min. That way I should still be able to finish strong. This was also the time when one of my running buddies, Ellen, caught up with me. She was pacing Timmy as he was aiming for a 2:20 finish. From KM9 onwards, I decided to go along with Ellen and Timmy as we headed down to C5. So far, so good.
Later on we entered Heritage Park, where we did the remaining few kilomters of the 21K route. I encouraged Timmy to keep within pace as much as possible, same with Ellen. Before making the u-turn that will lead us out of the cemetery, I paced along with Vic, and that persisted until we left Heritage Park and ran the final sections to Lawton Avenue. Now running along a cemetery is quite a unique experience since everything was so peaceful, but then again, I didn’t like the feeling of running across mausoleums and tombstones because I fear that the spirits might stumble upon me all of a sudden. Quite freaky, but still, it was fun running there.
At the approach to KM15, the side stitch had made itself felt again, and I was forced to walk around half a kilometer until I got to the front of the entrance to the Army football field. Chugging on my final cup of water, I pushed myself to get to the finish line as soon as possible. While I was heading down McKinley Hill to get to the finish line I checked my Garmin – a few kilometers had to be done more before reaching the 21st. But Bong had told us who were just about to finish that the route was short. Oh well, at least I’ll be finishing the race with a relatively good time. I arrived at the finish line in 2 hours and 2 minutes, with 17.75K total distance covered.
So sad that the route was cut short. But then again, it was a good route, since I got to run across Heritage Park for the first time, and I got to practice running across the hills again, though I lacked practice. I was undertrained for this event, so to speak, but it was a wonderful long run nonetheless. I extend my congratulations to all those who finished the half-marathon. It’s another medal for us in the bag for us to marvel at in the future. I also salute to those who ran their 21K for the very first time – it’s a very big accomplishment, and I’m sure you’ve proven your limits. =)
But more importantly, I extend my congratulations to the takbo.ph people who organized this event – Doc Lyn, Jinoe, and Que. Indeed, though it was your first time to set up a race and though it may have cost you valuable hours of sleep, it was undoubtedly a success, and I hope that you’ll be able to give birth to more running events in the upcoming months. You guys rock! =D
So, did I beat my 21K PR? I would say no. The route was short, and I don’t want to cheat on myself. There will be another chance come the New Balance Power Race this week. =)
Here’s my review of the race:
D (direction) – start from the back of the Chinese International School, then make your way to Venetia Drive, go straight to Upper McKinley Road, then make a u-turn upon reaching the Britsh Embassy. Head up to Lawton Avenue then just before you reach Old Lawton Avenue, make a u-turn to head to Bonifacio Gate 3. Upon reaching said destination, make a right to Bayani Road down to C5, then make another u-turn, making sure to enter Heritage Park. Run the outer perimeter then head back to where you came from, attack Bayani Road, Lawton Avenue, then descend to McKinley Hill to end up at the finish line. Medium to difficult race route.
R (registration) – I got myself in during the Urbanite event. There were other places to register yourself for this race also, so I have no problems with this one.
U (uhaw) – there were water stations every 2K. No need for a hydration belt on this one.
M (money) – 200 bucks gives you the usual race bib plus a singlet and some freebies in the end. Good value for runners here.
S (safety) – race marshalls were scattered all across the race route. In fact, some members of the Army, special forces, and the PNP pitched in to make the running route safe. Thanks for your help, guys. =)
Some pics follow:
The organizers – thanks again for another good race:
Here’s the route…
And my split analysis. Very uneven splitting. =(