Race Review: New Balance Power Race 2009, November 29

Long overdue race review from me. =P

After a long time, I finally got to race in Manila again. This seemed to be a “welcome back” race of sorts. =P Once again, I didn’t have any long run training for this, except for a 15K runabout that was accomplished nearly 2 weeks before the run. I wasn’t aiming for a PR for this race, but like what I did at the Globe-Ayala Run For Home event, my Garmin settings were set between 6:15 to 6:45 mpk. If I get a new record, that’s great. But if not, it’s also okay with me. I’ll do everything to the best of my ability though I lacked training.

KM 1 to 5: Early Morning Cold.

When I woke up on race day, the chill was quite strong and cold. I was tempted to skip this race and continue resting instead since I had a mountain climb RIGHT after the race. Quite suicidal for me to rush to the mountains after a race, right? But upon thinking how much I paid for this race – and knowing that I was in training for the Condura Run next year – I got my lazy bottom up. Besides, it’ll be good to see my running cohorts again after such a long time not being with them.

There were many of us at the starting line for the 21K. All were planning to do a long run as part of the Condura Run. Cool, I’m not the only one. Though many were doing the run at a long run pace, I still kept with my current Garmin settings. One of my friends, Mark, decided to pace with me for the first few kilometers of the race. It was going to be his first 21K effort so all the pressure went on me not to let this guy down as much as possible. Hehehe! When the gun started, we managed to keep our pace at bay, to an easy 6:30 mpk. The surroundings were still dark and cold, so the overall ambience was just right to get the heat into our system. There were a few stops to get ourselves hydrated but overall, Mark and I were doing good time and looking forward to maintain that pace.

KM 6 to 10: Keeping It Steady.

After passing KM5, our pace was still doing good. Shortly before reaching Net Square, I heard some voice calling me from behind. It was Ellen, along with Bong Z, Joyce, Sir Mon, and a few of my other running buddies. These “monsters” were also under traning for the Condura Run, and they were planning to pitch in 6K after the race. After receiving a remark from Bong that I had bloated myself (hopefully not to extreme proportions, though – but I must admit, I DID gain weight after my assignment in Cebu), I really got conscious of myself. Damn, this belly fat I gained back has got to go soon, REAL SOON. =P But thanks for the reminder, bro. I must be conscious of what I’m eating once again. =) They went ahead of us after sometime.

Though I had my first major walk break on the approach to the intersection leading to Forbes, I was still feeling good and managed to make up for the seconds I had lost. Thank goodness for the downhill leading to Serendra. The morning chill was still there somehow though the sun was nearing its height, so the steady pace lingered itself, until we got to Bayani Road.

KM 11 to 15: Still Keeping It Steady.

Mark and I incurred our second long walk break in the middle of Bayani Road, right smack before reaching the American Cemetery. My feet were starting to feel initial signs of pain, but it was still tolerable. The downhill leading to Heritage made it somehow easy to course through the remaining sections of the race. Unfortunately, Mark had to break away somewhere between KM12 as he was feeling exhausted. After asking if it was okay to go on ahead, I coursed through the gradual uphills leading back to Lawton Avenue. I had another walk break after the American Cemetery, but my overall feeling was still great. I had realized that I could still make good time in this race – but not for long. The hardest section of the race was about to come up – and it was every runner’s worst nightmare.

The last few kilometers will course through the killer hills of McKinley, with the hot sun shining above our heads.

KM 16 to 21: Run and Go!

After entering McKinley hill, I realized that there was NO WAY that I was going to meet the 2:15 or 2:20 target. The mere thought of me running these hills made me uneasy for a while, since I was steadily getting weary. From here, I employed my run-and-go strategy. If there were any uphill traverses, I will walk it, but if there weren’t any, I’d run to whatever distance I can reach. The last section of McKinley Hill – particularly that steep ascent leading back to Lawton Avenue – got the best out of almost all the runners I know of, including me. They, as well as myself, were literally walking that hill. Heck, there’s no way I could muster enough strength to run that hill, even in small steps. Nevertheless, I firmly resolved to run again after reaching Lawton Avenue. Though the finish line was nearing the run-and-go was still in effect. I wanted to push but I was saving that energy for the last 500 meters.

With less than a kilometer to go, my right leg felt a sudden jolt. It reminded me of what had happened when I had cramps back at QCIM. CRAP! I cannot suffer from cramps now that I have the finish line in my sights! I was left with no choice but to run with a really easy pace, though I had enough strength to push. Finally, I got to the finish line, exhausted BUT injury-free. =)

I was still able to climb Mount Batulao right after this race. Much energy was still in my system – I thought I was going to be completely wasted.

Here’s my review:

D (direction) – the 21K route will take runners through the following:
> from 28th Street, right at 11th Ave
> right again at 26th Street
> left at McKinley Parkway leading to Serendra
> straight to 38th Street
> right to Triangle Drive
> left at 10th Ave
> left again back to 38th Street
> right upon reaching 32nd Street
> left upon hitting Rizal Drive
> left at 26th Street
> right at 5th Street moving straight to Lawton Avenue
> make a u-turn meters after reaching Bayani Road
> right to Bayani Road all the way to Heritage Cemetery
> make a u-turn back to Lawton Avenue
> right at McKinley Hill
> head up once again to Lawton Avenue
> right at 26th Street, moving towards the finish line
Might I say, this was a REALLY tough course. McKinley had to be the last section of the route! =O

R (registration) – easy access to this race. You can register at any New Balance store.

U (uhaw) – more than enough water stations for you to finish the race. You won’t get thirsty. =)

M (money) – if I remember correctly, I paid nearly 500 bucks for this race. Aside from the usual race bib and singlet, you get a finisher’s medal, and if you’re lucky, you might gain a new pair of new socks from New Balance. Those we were sporting NB footwear will get them for free. Not bad of a deal there.

S (safety) – proactive marshalls with loudspeakers telling everyone to run on the designated path? That’s an A+!

Here’s the route we took…
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And the usual split analysis.
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Since I didn’t bring my SLR on this day, I don’t have much pictures to share with. Oh well. =)

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE ORGANIZERS FOR ANOTHER GOOD RACE, NO MATTER HOW HARD IT GOT! =)

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One response

  1. Sam

    Congrats carlo as well. Try shedding those extra lbs bro, it will help you run faster too.

    Hi Sam,

    Thanks much! Yup, currently working on losing those pounds again. Apparently nahiyang ako masyado sa Cebu. =P

    December 8, 2009 at 10:28 AM

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