Race Review: ATC Southern Race, May 3
Race number 9 for the year, and another comeback at the 10K category. =)
This will be (temporarily) my last race with the members of takbo.ph as I’ll be leaving for Cebu tomorrow. And what better way to enter this race but with a relaxed body and an even relaxed mind, because I’m aiming for a new PR at the 10K category. My target? To finish the race in less than 1:02. This is why the night before the race I got myself a good massage. Admittedly, my body felt like I was in heaven – the very reason why I remained half-asleep for most of the session. Also, I had a little outing at Punta Fuego to be one with the elements so I came back to Manila much energized than ever before.
Since I lived near the race site, I had the liberty of waking up at a much later time. When I got to the starting line, I was so pumped up, because today would be the day that I would make things happen. Nothing’s going to stop me, I said to myself. A few days before the race, I ran 5K at our village oval so that my feet wouldn’t be so shocked with the concrete. Thankfully enough, my feet have well adjusted to the surface, and after a number of rounds, I found myself having a new best friend – in terms of running path, that is. Hehehe. I was glad to know that takbo.ph members were about to attack the race, even though most of them came from the direct north.
Just moments before the race, the starting line went down – literally. For some reason it ran out of air. Or something like that. But the race organizers put it up in a jiffy since the race was about to start. But we started 5 minutes beyond the scheduled time since there were many more registrants who wanted to enter in the race. Wow, looks like no one was to go bandit for this one. Hehehe!
The race started with an uphill attack of the ATC parking lot at the north wing. From there it was on to the tree-filled streets of Ayala Alabang. Frankly, that massage did help me a lot, since I was running on concrete pavement much easier than before. Even the long gradual uphills (averaging 10 degrees on the first few kilometers) were somehow relatively meager to the legs, thanks to the benefits of forefoot running and a cool mind. My feet have totally gotten used to running on concrete, so there was a big chance for me to grab that PR. From Acacia all the way down to the Country Club, it was all going well. After the 5K mark – roughly around near the entrance to Taysan street – more uphills were about to come my way, so I had to give my best. Since I couldn’t employ my forefoot running strategy because of the temptation to go on midfoot during the uphill portions (DARN IT!), I had to go slow a bit. But the downhill tread on the way to Madrigal gave me the necessary boost. At Madrigal Avenue, I was already feeling exhaustion, but still I pushed myself. The uphill section near Brother Mike’s residence really got the best of me, so I walked it. =( But after that, it was all systems go. The last water station cased the much needed liquid for me to go on further, but it didn’t have any cups – so I had to drink it with my bare hands. A few sips, and then I’m off!
Upon turning right at the housing area, I noticed that I had only 6 minutes left to accomplish the new PR record. So without a doubt, I gave it all I got. But I didn’t know that there was more than a kilometer to go! Great. There goes the beloved 1:02. However, my PR for the 10K was at 1:05, and there was still time to beat it, so I decided to go under 1:05 instead. Upon reaching Mindanao Avenue, there was no choice for me but to run as fast as I can. Though my legs are nearing saturation point, it was time to push. In the end, I beat my PR by 40 seconds. It’s not much, but at least I beat it. That’s what’s important. =)
All in all, this was a good race. My day was made even brighter because I had beaten my PR. =) With this, I shall set 1:03 as my next target. I know this is achievable with a little practice, and less of the walk breaks. On a good note, though, I didn’t have much walk breaks on this race, and the breaks I incurred for this race only lasted for less than a minute. Perfect. If I keep up with this, I can bring down my 10K time sooner than expected.
So, here’s my review.
D (direction) – start from the ATC New Wing parking lot, then go left to Madrigal. Once you reach San Bernardino, turn right, then make another right to Maria Cristina. Go all the way up then make a left to Acacia Avenue. Just go straight all the way then make a left to the Country Club Drive. Attack the uphill and downhill paths as fast as you can until you reach Madrigal Avenue, at which you should make a right. Again, battle the uphill and downhill paths, then turn right at Luzon. Upon seeing Mindanao, make a left, then run all the way to the finish line while the guards help you cross the street. I’d rate an easy to medium difficulty for this race. The uphills, as always, make it hard for the runner.
R (registration) – since this was near my place, I found the registration easy. I wish they could have placed a satellite office somewhere for the northern racers so that they wouldn’t have to go all the way down south to get themselves registered.
U (uhaw) – for the first 5K, a water station was present every 2.5K. It became more frequent at the latter half. You won’t dry up in this race.
M (money) – though 150 bucks doesn’t get you a singlet, at least you’ll get free Starbucks coffee in the end, plus some other freebies. Not a bad amount, if you ask me.
S (safety) – aside from SOS Philippines volunteers, AAVA security was also there to make sure that the runners are safe from oncoming vehicular traffic. They also rove around the race course, too. Thanks for lending your help!
So what’s next on the line-up? You’ll know soon. For now, it’s time to temporarily settle in Cebu to get things done. =)
Some pictures follow: