Good thing there was an on-site registration, which was handled quickly and efficiently by the people manning the registration booth. The 600-peso registration fee I shelled-out was but a small contribution to this event's cause.
The gun start for the 10k runners was supposedly scheduled 5:45am but got a bit delayed due to the flag-raising ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo. At 5:55am, we were off.
My legs were soooo heavy during the start of the race that even I doubted myself I could have a decent 10k time. I just wasn't mentioning it to CJ and Thirdy since I still am their pacer and any negative comments I make might affect their performance. KB passed by my side and told me "Bro, you are dragging your feet." Indeed I was but I still continued on and prayed my legs just needed a bit of a warm-up.
And warm-up they did with the challenging route of Camp Aguinaldo! It took a long 5 kilometers though before I could correct my running form and not drag my feet. By this time, CJ was already pulling-out from our trio. I was constantly looking back and making sure he was only a few meters behind me and Thirdy. I asked Thirdy if we should just wait for CJ and just ditch our sub-1 goal or continue running and leave CJ behind. He replied he's ok with either so I made the decision to still attempt the sub-1.
Now for some good news and bad news. Good news: we made it to the sub-1 10k goal. We clocked in at the 10km mark in 59 minutes as per my Soleus GPS watch. Bad news: the route was 300 meters longer! That last stretch, Thirdy was so burnt-out that I had to give him the extra push, literally! Our official finish time is 1 hour, 1 minute and 9 seconds.
I love the intimate feel of a race like Race for the Orphans. Everyone was happy and stayed around to catch-up with runner friends and see familiar faces. I'm so proud to have represented Team Alpha1 on this event. Sir Rene did a fantastic job in organizing this - from registration, to race marshals, to the event host (Mish doing her debut hosting here), to hydration, to the bonus race raffle and to every other small details of the race logistics.
With Team Diadora Philippines (fellow blogger Running Atom on my left)
Another race plus: Race results were released the same day! Of course I wouldn't forget my ever reliable Excel graph for our race performance. Great to see another negative split finish with the final kilometer as our fastest kilometer!
Upcoming race: RUNew Alabang 21k on February 26! I need some practice runs this week! X.X