Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Afroman Distance Pacer Duties at RU2

Pacing one runner is a difficult task. Imagine pacing four. This is my Run United 2 race experience - tiring yet fulfilling and fun.

Initially, I had wild plans of beating my 32k PR at RU2. Those plans went down the drain with a number of factors:
- Crazy work schedule making me miss my maintenance runs
- Zero mileage for two weeks before the race (previous run was at Slimmerun)
- Hot, hot weather during race day

I could add more but they are just lame excuses (haha!). So when I and my running buddies (Ryan, Rom, Marte, Joshua) met at the assembly area, I decided to take it slow and be an instant pacer. All but Ryan are 32k first-timers so whatever happens, it will be a PR for them. So no pressure whatsoever - no target time, just a decent finish.

The Afroman Distance race route
We started at a 6:30 per kilometer average pace. Everyone was happy with the "easy" pace I was setting but I knew at the back of my head that sooner or later someone from our pace group will not be able to sustain the pace with the difficult weather conditions (and road conditions too!). We were having fun chats and there was even a time when were jokingly running side by side, forming a line and almost occupying one lane of Macapagal road.

By KM14 along Roxas Boulevard on route to Luneta, we merged with the 21k runners. The road became more crowded as the volume of average-paced runners ran together. As KM17 passed, Marte and Joshua slowed down and so there were just Ryan and Rom left to pace.

Our performance from KM20 onwards was just abysmal. As time progressed and as it became hotter and hotter, we had longer walk breaks and longer stops at hydration stations to cool down. We were gulping water and Gatorade beyond our normal race consumption, making us feel heavier (and lazier). We even stopped at KM20 to eat taho when we passed by a taho vendor at the CCP area.

During the last five kilometers of the race, Rom kept telling me and Ryan to go ahead and leave him on his own. I insisted we finish together as a group. When he needed to walk, I would stop and walk. When he's ready to run, I would run. We ran and walked UNITED. Haha!

We crossed the finish line together after 4 hours and 16 minutes. It may have been my slowest 32k time (even slower than my first Afroman run), but I had a blast nonetheless.

Happily crossing the finish line!
Group shot at the finish line c/o Lem of Pinoyfitness
Some race notes:
- I still prefer the BGC to Mall of Asia race route of 2012's Run United. This year's race route is more mentally challenging than physically challenging as it just goes along the roads of Macapagal and Roxas Boulevard. Macapagal seriously needs some road works. I pity barefoot runners running along those dilapidated pavements.
- Great hydration. Runrio has really mastered the hydration of a big race. Cold water and Gatorade never ran out amidst the volume of runners. I just saw a few runners taking a sip and returning their used cups on the tables instead of throwing them at the trash bins. Yuck, right?
- The medal is definitely better this leg than the previous leg. Very obvious they had different suppliers. I would have preferred to see consistency on the medal quality across the three legs.
- The finisher shirt rocks! And I love the loot! I'm such a fan of Enervon HP (and Enervon Activ!).

With runners from Team Titans (from L-R: Fritz, Flip, Jake, Rom, me, Ryan, Noel H., Wins)
My pace group - Congratulations to all of you!
Officemates - afroman distance virgins no more!
Congratulations again to Runrio and Unilab Active Health for staging another successful Run United race event! You've brought more people again to living a healthy lifestyle through running and expanded the community.

One more piece to go!
Rank 1163, 1164 and 1165
Super Positive Split! Haha!
RUPM is on October 6! No more excuses! Training commences.


  1. Abysmal... Big Word! LOL


    1. wahahaha! abysmal naman talaga. congrats din sau! lakas mo!

  2. RU2 2013 was my slowest afroman run as well...teka bat wala ako sa pic?

    1. yung mabagal mo kaya, mabilis na namin. hahaha! di ka kaya nagpakita nyan! nawala ka na sa race village.