Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fort Strider's Run: My First 16k

It was a last minute decision to run this race - I didn't even invite my usual running companions to join. The only reason I registered for this event was that it matches the 16k requirement on my marathon training program for September 12. Of course I tagged Eugene along.

Race Pros:
  • Registration center at Paranaque - After my practice run at Manila Memorial Park, had a 5-minute drive to Nelson Auto Repair Shop in front of Paranaque Medical Center to register. Yes, you read that right - an auto repair shop that accepts race registration.
  • Cheap Registration Fee - 300 pesos only with a free singlet! I didn't like the fit though, so I didn't wear it on the race day.
  • Manual barcode timing system but guess what? The results were released at the same day! Big wow!
  • Ample water stations (and Pocari Sweat stations too).
  • Hyper race marshalls cheering racers on. I love hyper race marshalls!

Now on to the cons:

  • Race Route map was released 2 days before the actual race day. When we arrived at the venue, we found out that they scrapped the initial released route and just used the usual Runrio map, modified a bit for 16k.
  • Late gunstart with no warm-up. Everyone was surprised when the gun fired to signal the race start without any heads-up whatsover.
  • The event name is FS marathon - why the hell are they using the word "marathon" for an event with only 16k as the farthest category?

My legs felt very heavy at the start but after a few kilometers, I felt the leg muscles loosening up. I was really grateful Eugene paced with me until the finish line. We did a steady pace of around 6 minutes per kilometer - just the right pace we're aiming for our upcoming SG marathon. We finished in 1 hour, 34 minutes and 46 seconds.

And since we didn't have our usual running photographers with us, we had to settle on only a few shots from my celphone camera. Here's a pic of the start/finish line before the 16k gunstart:

And here's a post-race picture of me and Eugene from the race village stage:

12 weeks to go before the BIG day. I need more training!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

UP ERG's Activate! Run and Pump it UP!

The University of the Philippines Engineering Radio Guild (UP ERG), my college organization, is celebrating its 75th anniversary. One of their activities is "Activate! Run and Pump it UP!", a race event held last August 29th at the UP campus. I was one of the first to register on this event, which was my 2nd race event in UP. Again, I opted to join the 10k category (plus 2 rounds at the academic oval for a total of 14.4k as part of my marathon training).

I would have to say, in the most unbiased way (hehe!), that the race singlet is one of the best as far as material quality and design are concerned. I remember being one of the first few people who saw the design, and gave the thumbs up for the black instead of the white version. The design was released a month before the actual event, and I doubted they'll be able to release the singlets on time due to their complicated side cut design. There was a slight delay on the delivery, but participants were able to claim their singlets a few days before race day. Whew!

One of the race freebies is the UP-ERG baller id. The color's orange, since it was sponsored by Enervon. Here's a pic (this is not my arm though):

Another race plus for me is we had new company, and hopefully, future regular running buddies. On pic below (from L-R): the "oldies" - me, BA, Dada, Nic and the "newbies" - Jing, Egay and Mike.

Here are the 10k runners wearing white (and yes, recycled) bibs...

... and the 5k runners, wearing their red (printed on paper and covered with plastic) bibs:

Maco is my orgmate from UP ERG. This is his first 10k run (and first running event too!).

Jing's, Egay's and Mike's first superposition shot! Weeee!

Aside from the recycled (and improvised) bibs, there are still a few more improvement areas for the race, in case UP ERG decides to do this again next year. Being an electronics organization, people were expecting them to make use of the RFID timing system, used during the Engineering Student Council's Eng'gfinity Run. I was quite alarmed at how the race marshalls (org members) were manually recording the racers' times; they were panicking! Another is that they should have double-checked the accuracy of the race route distance - the 10k was actually 10.7k! It was a challenging route nevertheless, and I enjoyed it a lot!

The race results are still not released as I write this, but I timed myself during the run so I have no problem. I clocked in at 1 hour, 4 minutes and 24 seconds, failing my sub-1 hour goal, but this was a 10.7km race anyway so I'd take it.

I normally don't write about the post-race happenings, but since we had our breakfast at Chocolate Kiss, I need to post some pics! I had the best tapsilog ever, with bottomless iced tea! And carrot cake for dessert too! Bottomline, I gained back the lost calories. LOL!

Here's a picture of us enjoying our breakfast while listening to "good" music:

We heard mass at the UP chapel afterwards, thankful again for another injury-free run.