Hills, Heat, & Water


Critique on the Mizuno Infinity 15K Run 

This is my critique on the conduct of the first rendition of the Mizuno Infinity 15K Run which was held last Sunday, 30 March 2008 at The Fort and Taguig City Area.

In the shorter distance run less than the half-marathon, the Mizuno Infinity 15K Run was the most challenging road race I have participated in Metro Manila because of the terrain of the route. The hills along the Bayani Road, Lawton Avenue, and McKinley Hill made the race something to talk about among the runners. These hills separated the men from the boys, the ladies from the girls and those unprepared runners from the prepared ones. But there is nothing to complain about those hills because it is a part of the challenges in a road race.

At this time of the year, summer, the sun rises so early in the morning. The 6:00 AM start for the 15K runners was already a late time to start a road race during summer season. On that particular day, the sun rises and appears at the horizon after almost all the runners passed the first five kilometers of the race and when most of the runners were about to start running the last five kilometers of the race, the sun was already way above the horizon and it was already giving out intense heat to the runners. The hot sun and those continuous hills at McKinley Hill area (13th kilometer) tested the strength, patience, and perseverance of the runners. If only the race for the 15K started, at least, 30 minutes earlier, the sun could have not been as hot as it was experienced during the race day.

As I entered the Heritage Park after the turnaround at the end of Bayani Road/near C-5 Road, most of the runners at my back were already complaining about the lack of water and one of the marshalls told us that the next water station is on the next kilometer marker. A few meters from the Gate of the Heritage Park, one of the race volunteers gave me a small hand towel! I thought it was a “cold towel” but it was an ordinary “dry” towel and I said to myself, “wow, this is new!” This was my first time in a road race to be given a small hand towel. For what? So, my both hands were holding something while I was running inside the Heritage Park—on my right hand was the hand towel which I used in wiping my sweat on my forehead and my left hand was holding a bottled water. Later, I threw the empty bottle in one of the garbage bins in the park and I put my hand towel at my back, on the garter of my shorts and I continued to run with my hands free from anything.

Before leaving the Heritage Park, there was a water station and I tried to pick one cup and drink from it. I was surprised that the taste of the supposed water is different. I only found out later that the liquid is one of the energy drinks being given but it was so strange to my taste buds. It would had been better if they completely provided drinking water in all the water stations. The energy drinks are supposed to be available at the finish line where you can replenish the spent sweat and electrolytes from the body, most especially in road races shorter than the half-marathon

I seldom stop and drink from water stations during road races. This is one of my techniques to shave-off time for the run. If a runner spends 10 seconds to stop, drink, and walk in every water station and there are at least 3 water stations in a 10K race, he/she is losing at least 30 seconds. This is the reason why I bring my Nathan Water Belt or designate my security detail to preposition themselves in points where they could hand me those bottled water. But in this particular race, I had observed that the organizers placed enough water stations but there were not enough water supply and cups on these water stations for all the 15K, 10K, and 5K runners. I had observed also that they did not position a water station at the rolling hills of McKinley Hill area and at the Finish Line. Anyway, I read on the post of The Bullrunner that the organizers sent a letter of apology to all the runners for the reported  “lapses”. I hope these complaints will not be heard from the runners in future races.

Finisher’s T-shirt? Who cares? For the nth time I was given a finishers t-shirt too large for my size. The organizers should think that almost all the runners have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 22 to 25 (the elite runners have lower ones) and this translates to XSmall, Small, and Medium Sizes.

My Overall Rating/Grade for this race—78%

(If the saleslady/staff of the Mizuno Store at Bonifacio Hight Street had smiled a little as I was smiling at her when I entered the store and if only she knew me also as the Bald Runner when I registered for the race, I could have raised my rating/grade to 80%)

3 thoughts on “Hills, Heat, & Water

  1. BR,
    At 35, I am a novice runner having joined only 10 races in my entire life. My first was the 23rd RUNNEX last Dec 2006, the other 9 runs were this year. So far the best one I had “water-wise” was the condura race for Tubbataha in The Fort on March 2. Instead of cups which had the tendency to spill while you’re running, mineral water bottles were handed out. This didn’t require slowing down my pace for a gulp of water. I hope other races can do this as well. If it’s expensive for the organizers, they can pre-sell water bottles for pick up at appointed stations in exchange for coupons attached in the race bib. See you on Sunday.

    runmd

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  2. runmd, the first race this year where i experienced bottled water being distributed in water stations was at the “Green Is Good” (GIG) 10K Run held at the UP Campus last 03 Feb with the Manila Water District/Maynilad as one of the main sponsors. This race could had been a perfect one but the distance needs validation as many of the runners complained that it was short. Of course, the Condura Race was a perfect race and the best so far in terms of support services and race manangement. i’ll be glad to see you at The Fort this sunday.

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