Sunday, April 28, 2013

Safeguard-2XU Sole Racing: The Bomb!

With the running boom nowadays, its very difficult to be part of a race where you wouldn't push, shove and squeeze your way through a sheer number of runners. Runrio's Sole Racing last April 21 is one of the few intimate races every runner dreams of.

April 19 - Race Kit Claiming

The 3-day race kit claiming event happened at 9th avenue, Bonifacio Global City. The claiming was quick and well-organized; took me not more than 5 minutes to get my hands on the tote bag containing my race bib, hydration bottle, 2XU calf compressions and some goodies from Safeguard.

Race kit claiming tent at 9th avenue
Well-organized booths and friendly staff
The race kit contents
April 21 - Race Day

With an early 4am gun start, I was at the venue before 3am to get a good parking slot. I had time to warm-up and meet with fellow bloggers and runner friends. Noticed a lot of security and bouncers at the assembly area. With the recent Boston Marathon bombing, I expected security measures will be increased. There were even a number of security personnel with accompanying bomb-sniffing dogs! Marshals were strictly checking runners' race bibs and if they're carrying a hydration bottle with them.

As expected, a lot of photographers were walking around and documenting the event through their cameras. We were camera-ready, of course.

Photo courtesy of Phillip BF: Run Adobo King, Thirdy Lopez, Deemen Runner, Speedy Titan
After the national anthem and a short prayer, runners were then briefed on the race route, which made good use of BGC's streets before heading out to Buendia flyover then back. The route was quite a challenge due to its many turns.

The 21k race route
As we were sent off, I couldn't help but complain on how humid it was. HUMID. I was sweating like there's no tomorrow but I was feeling great. I had my hydration bottle on my left hand, trying from time to time to switch it to the right but for some weird reason, I prefer to hold it with my left hand. Rolly and I were pacing each other at the first few kilometers of the race, but I was eventually on my own the latter part.

Photo taken by Phillip BF while we were all running: Sweaty me!
The best part of the race is how clean the race route is all throughout. There were no wasted hydration cups on the street. Hydration stations were manned by marshals carrying pitchers (of water and Gatorade) and runners just had to refill their bottles. Marshals were even kind enough to pour water on runners' heads to cool them down as they pass the hydration stations.

I kept a constant pace and my strategy was I would not look at my GPS watch and just surprise myself at KM20.

At the Buendia flyover. On my way back. 
With 3 kilometers left, Runningshield Patrick Concepcion passed by with his usual negative split pace. He made me eat dust again. Haha!

Upon seeing the KM20 marker, I looked at my watch and it registered 1:53. I can do a sub-2! Yay! I took it easy since I knew whatever happens, I can bag that sub-2.

Almost at the finish line!
I crossed the finish line with an official chip time of 1:58:54.

Another great thing about this race is how intimate it was. With only a thousand runners in attendance and only one race category of 21km, it was easy to bump into a familiar face every once in a while. And I only have the photos below as proof of how many friends I met during that day.

With Vener Roldan and Sir Patrick Concepcion
With Zoot Runner of the Day JP and Rolly 
With Loyce and Thirdy
With my running idol Patrick "Runningshield" Concepcion
With the man who conceptualized this race - Coach Rio!
With Sir Rene "Jazz Runner" and Bee "Kamote Runner"
With Barefoot Daves
Doing the superposition with running couple Tey and Earl
With beauty queen Miriam Quiambao
The Quartet is complete again!
With Mommy Vimz "Kulitrunner" and Allan "Running Free Manila"
We had our post-race breakfast at Banapple Market Market.

At Banapple
2 days later, official race results were released. I ranked 97th among 977 runners, which translates to top 9.9% overall. Happy with my results!

Leg 2 of Sole Racing happens on the 18th of August.

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