Monday, April 22, 2013

Survivor: Run United Edition

The Runrio Trilogy kicked-off with the highly anticipated first leg last March 17. Slots for its longest distance (21k) were sold out way ahead of the registration deadline. Of course me and my running friends registered as early as possible to avoid the hassles of scrambling for a 21k slot.

I and my running buddies Rom and Ryan had been planning for weeks that they would be attempting to do a sub-2 on this race event. I told them I was gonna pace them of course. I have been giving them tips and do's and don'ts from time to time and kept reminding them to set their minds on the goal, as psyching one's self helps (at least for me).

We met before 3am, as the race would have a gun start of an early 4am. We were one of the early birds of the race (no pun intended) and got our spot near the starting line arch. In a matter of a few minutes, the assembly line became crowded with more 21k runners, and we found out later on that the group has been split into two waves.

3 then became 5, as we were joined by two other runners - officemates Marte and Joshua. I knew then that the chance of having all of us finish at the same time is close to impossible, but I promised myself I would stay with either Rom or Ryan, whoever sustains the pace farthest. Exactly 4am, we were sent off.

From L-R: Marte, Joshua, Me, Rom, Ryan (photo edit courtesy of Rom)
And so Survivor: Run United 1 commenced:
  • At KM 5-6, Marte was the first to go.
  • Mid-way through the race, Rom slowed down so he was the 2nd to be eliminated. (Later found out he had an alcohol intake the night before. Grrr!)
  • Joshua and Ryan were still strong and keeping up with the pace I'm setting. About KM16-17, we lost Joshua so Ryan was the sole survivor.
  • Ryan was on overheat so we definitely slowed down. At KM18, I knew we could still meet sub-2 if we sustained a 6-pace but with the frequent walk breaks Ryan was requesting, I gave up the sub-2 goal at KM19 and just did a relaxed pace until finish.
We clocked in at 2:04:34. In Rom's terms, a DISGRACE run. Hahaha!

Almost there!
The sole survivor Ryan
Some race observations:
- As usual, superb hydration - overflowing water and Gatorade
- route was a PR route, mostly flat
- gun start of 4am to avoid the heat
- Festive activities at the race village - lots of fun photo booths
- Recovery station providing massage and ice bags for runners is definitely a BIG PLUS for this race

Yes, I'll push myself to do better next time as a pacer. Hehe!
Photo booth with Rom and Ryan
Cooling down at the parking lot
Can't wait for my next attempt as a pacer to do sub-2. It's definitely a challenge but I know some other race we'll be successful. More training!

Still on target until KM17. 
Congratulations to Runrio and Unilab Active Health! Next leg will be on June which will feature the Afroman Distance. 32k here we come!

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