Friday, March 7, 2014

PSE Bull Run 2014: A 21k Sub-1:50 At Last!

I vowed revenge after my first ever DNF at the 2013 edition of PSE Bull Run. 2014's really shaping up to be my year for running; I shattered my long standing 21k PR from Milo Finals 2011 (1:51:08) with a 1:48:07 at PSE Bull Run 2014! I still can't believe it, but my recent ultramarathon definitely increased my endurance and speed.

Registration Process:
I find the reg process quite weird - I registered online via the SM Tickets website. I thought that was it after I made the credit card payment. But no. After reading my confirmation email, it turned out I just received a claim voucher, which I should print and bring along with me to an SM Cinema branch, to get my race kit claim stub. That claim stub, I should bring with me during race kit claiming period. Quite a hassle if you ask me.

The REAL Race Kit Claim Stub
The Race:
The route was quite tough, with the usual Kalayaan flyover and the dreaded hilly part of Lawton Avenue. Actually, I didn't know what to expect of the race. I knew I was on recovery mode post-LU2TA, but at the back of my mind I wanted a strong finish. The race had a number of running teams vying for the fastest group category. The speed of competing runners will be contagious.

PSE Bull Run 2014 21k race map
I initially paced with Syril during the early part of the race, though he went ahead as I could not catch up with his usual "fast start" pace. I usually "warm-up" after the first 3 to 5 kilometers.

Me and Prof Syril - Photo courtesy of We Run For Good Health
Feeling strong and in good race condition, I picked up my pace. The weather's cool and it's not that crowded. Again that little voice inside my head is saying it's a good day for a PR. My Soleus GPS watch no longer locks a signal so I can't even monitor the distance nor my pace. I just had to keep running and hope for the best.

Action shot courtesy of Red Knight
With a 4am race start, I was surprised to approach the finish line with the sun not even fully up, which only means one thing - I finished fast. And ecstatic I was as I saw the timer displaying 1:48! My dream sub-1:50 finally became a reality! A recovery 21k run turned 21k personal best! TYL!

I had some time to stroll around with still a few people at the race village. Grabbed my lootbag (with the finisher medal inside), and then went back to my car to change and get my camera. After my usual social media update, I walked back to the race village for the usual meet-up with friends. And so let's go on with the photos:

Actor Joem Bascon spotted! He ran in the 16km category.
With the winning members of the fastest team category - The PowerPuff Boys! Idols!
With officemate, photographer and runner friend Lem
Of course, I had to take a photo with Runningshield Patrick Concepcion. He's nursing an injury so he's not on race mode (But still fast!)
With Team Alpha1 / Team Beta2 teammate Barefootdaves
Surrounded by Team Titans members
With my running buddy Ryan (What the hell happened to my medal here?!)
With Vincent, who ran LU2TA 60km as well
With Speedy Titan Rolly and Prof Syril
Post-race breakfast with Team Titans - Rolly, Hazielle, Paul, Ryan (Mother Lily all the way back center)
Lesson learned: A DNF in a race should never dishearten anyone. You can try again and come back stronger.

1 hour, 48 minutes, 7 seconds. Yes, I'm a bull.

Kudos to Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc for staging the race's 10th edition.