Aaargh! Another late blog post. Thank God for a non-working holiday, I finally was able to open my blog site again and burn some backlogs. I've been looking forward to sharing my RU1 race experience for quite some time now.
March 13 - Race Kit Claiming:
Much controversy surrounded this year's leg 1 of Run United, with the introduction of prepaid cards as part of the registration process. Well as for me, I did an online registration the very first day registration opened, so I didn't have to go through queuing for the prepaid card purchase. Prepaid cards, especially of the 21km category, was sold out in record time, with a lot of speculations that scalpers hoarded them and selling them at much higher prices. There were some runners who took it against Coach Rio and the organizers of RU1 unfortunately. I think it's quite unfair though, to blame organizers when the intent was good for the prepaid card system - for runners to input their complete registration details at the comfort of their own homes, and for proper tracking of the singlet and finisher shirt demand and supply. Again, runners only have themselves to blame - if no one would support these scalpers, they wouldn't thrive anyway.
Race kit claiming was slated from March 13 to 15 at Mall of Asia. After attending a shoe launch at Glorietta, I was accompanied to MoA by Run Adobo King CJ and Speedy Titan Rolly. What greeted us was a very, very long line. With thousands of registrants, I kinda expected this. Fortunate for us though, fellow runner Syril was already in queue and he offered getting our confirmation slips so he could claim our kits together with his. Such luck!
|Selfie with the snake-like lines at the background|
|Runner Newbie Wannabe Photo - presenting the 21k race map! Lol!|
|Finally getting our kits after the long wait|
|Race kit! I'm runner #8667!|
With my crazy Team Banana teammates' idea to wear a uniform on race day, I borrowed a Team Ninoy cycling shirt from Boss Raphie a couple of days before the race. I was not sure if the top will be a comfortable fit, but I borrowed it anyway. RU1 will be sort of a newbie-type race - me wearing a lot of new running gear - my new Garmin FR220, new Asics Kayano 20 shoes, new 2XU 3/4 compressions tights, and a newly-borrowed top! Haha!
I was at the venue early, so as not to get stressed with parking, and one by one, my teammates arrived. Such fun seeing us donning the yellow shirt (as yellow as a banana could be), and of course we wouldn't miss to grab some photos before heading to the race assembly area.
|From L-R: Mark Runner, Beck Runner, Ikasam, Chef Lloyd, Mervin, Prof Syril, me|
|Photo courtesy of Tong Pascua. Team Yellow!|
However all that changed as the race started. With the sheer number of runners, we were zigzagging our way to overtake runners left and right. It was energy-consuming and you could easily lose the person you are running with. I stuck with the plan of pacing Becky though, even when Syril and Wyatt sped off to do their normal race pace. I can sense Becky is on peak condition and will grab the sub-2 target.
|Run United 1 2014 21k race route|
|Thanks Sir Art Mendoza for this shot at one of the Gatorade hydration stations|
It was a photo finish - we clocked in with a chip time of 1 hour, 59 minutes and 52 seconds. My sub-2 pacer duty is a success! Great job to Becky for keeping up with the pace!
|Almost at the finish! Photo courtesy of I Love to do this|
|With the Runner Mamaws - Ralph, Mervin, Ikasam, Wyatt, Syril, JP, Cholo, Pat, Archie (Photo courtesy of JP)|
|With Syril, Rolly, Vincent, Ryan and JP (Photo courtesy of JP)|
|So sad we didn't have a complete group shot. Team Banana in all our yellow glory - Becky, Ikasam, Wyatt, Syril, Lloyd, Mervin. Missing Team Banana Members in RU1: Raphie, Goldi, Mark Mark|
|Breakfast time with Ryan, Hazielle, Rolly, Joey, Jake and Flip at Mang Inasal|
Well, I just generated one on my own using my MS Excel skills. Haha! So it turned out my 506th ranking in gun time is way lower than my chip time ranking which is 379th! Out of 4717 21k finishers, that's really something.
I can't wait for leg 2 this coming June 1! It's another Afroman distance to conquer! Congratulations and thanks to Unilab Active Health and Runrio for helping us runners again to exceed ourselves!