Road Marshalls Were Great!

6 07 2008

Araw ng Maynila Half-Marathon on 06 July 2008 at Luneta Park, Manila

I was late for the start of the Half-Marathon Race due to traffic at EDSA and due to my pre-race activities (warm-up & looking for a place to pee) after I arrived at the parking area at the Luneta Park. I thought the Half-Marathon Race would start at 5:30AM after arriving at the starting area at 5:25AM only to realize that there were fewer runners who were waiting at the Starting Area. Once I arrived at the Starting Area, I realized that the runners who were waiting were the runners for the 10K race and some members of the Fort Striders Running Club told me that the Half-Marathon runners had left at about 5:10AM. More than fifteen (15) minutes had elapsed after the start of the race!

I had no choice but to start running and to push the start button of my GF 305. After running for one kilometer, I could hardly see any of the last runner and Roxas Boulevard (going to Pasay City) was free from traffic..and I was the only one running with a race number! I thought of going back to the finish line and declare myself as DNF (Did Not Finish) for being late and later join the 10K runners. But when I was about to reach the area before the Manila Yacht Club & Philippie Navy Headquarters, I could see the blinking lights of the Road Marshall’s car at the corner of Vito Cruz and Roxas Boulevard and I saw a lady runner with a senior runner running together. The sight of the road marshalls and the last runners made me decide to push through with the race. Aside from that, I consider myself as a “road warrior” who never surrender to any fight!

After I passed by the last two runners, I had to depend on the road marshalls which were positioned in every traffic light and street crossing/intersection to ask for the direction and route of the race. I was alone at the busy street of Harrison Road and I tried to maintain my pace. However, when I turned right at Quirino Avenue, I could see some runners staggered along the stretch of Quirino Avenue towards Nagtahan Bridge which were at least one kilometer away.

Road Marshalls were all around the crossings/intersections and along the route and some were on their motorcycles. Some of the road marshalls riding on mortorcycle would escort me after I turned right at Quirino Avenue and after I crossed Taft Avenue. They were really there to help the runners and maintain traffic, holding off the vehicles and giving priority for the runners to pass on busy intersections. These road marshalls really inspired me to continue with the race. They were great!

I thought I was the last runner who started from the Finish Line. But later, at Km #7-#8, Joms of Happy Feet Runners called my attention as he passed by. He started the race way much later after I left the starting area. He is really a strong runner!

Slowly, I had to overtake most of the runners along the way and was comfortable going through those bridges at Santa Mesa and Nagtahan. I was maintaining a sub-6-minute pace per kilometer up to kilometer # 12, but for the rest of the way up to the finish line, I started to reduce my pace due to the heat of the sun and it also made my body asked for more hydration. I was glad I had my Nathan Water Belt with me and had, from time to time, my staff giving me additional Propel Drinks along the way. Some of the runners complained of lack of water stations from the Nagtahan bridge up to the Finish Line and my staff was able to share some of my prepared water supply to some of the runners.

These runners on my back were some of the runners I passed by along the way. I was wearing an orange The North Face (TNF) shirt and my first time to use my ASICS Gel-Kayano 13 running shoes to a road race. The shoes is very comfortable and stable. I intend to use it for my San Francisco Marathon and Bulldog 50K Trail Run in Calabasas, California next month.

At this point, my pace became slower because of the heat of the sun but I ried my best to overtake and leave these runners!

I overtook the lady runner at the back when we were about to reach the Intramuros area. I was trying to catch up with a younger runner at this point but he was too fast.

I tried to smile at the Finish Line but my mind was pre-occupied with the thought of drinking a bottle of ice-cold bottled water once I get out from the chute. I was glad I finished the race.

I was able to overtake more runners on the last two kilometers before the finish line and my time on the last kilometer slowed down because of the heavy volume of traffic infront of Manila Hotel. I finished the race in 1:53:39 hours but my GF 305 registered a distance of 19.5 kilometers. I knew I would be able to improve my finish time from the 8th DND-AFP Gintong Pangarap Half-Marathon if only the race organizers were able to measure the route properly.

These were the data I gathered from my GF 305:

Distance—19.5 kilometers       Time—1:53:39 hours

Average Pace—5:51 mins/km           Average Speed—10.3 kms/hr

Maximum Speed—15.2 kms/hr        Total Calories—1,445 cal

Average HR—160 bpm                      Maximum HR—168 bpm

Total Ascent—918 meters                Total Descent—909 meters

My pictures with the “Friends of the Bald Runner” will posted tomorrow.


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11 responses

6 07 2008
levyang

Hi BR,

I salute for finishing the race notwithstanding your late start. It’s good that you didn’t listen to the voice on your head telling you to quit. That’s the way to race!!! Good luck to you on your journey to the US. Excited to hear your stories.

7 07 2008
loonyrunner

DATC and I was looking for you at the start, kaya pala wala ka pa nun… but, congratulations for finishing the race despite the late start! And you were still able to catch up with the other 21k runners who started out much earlier that you… that’s some pretty strong running 🙂

thanks for the sticker! 😀

7 07 2008
transitionzero

yan ang wild! 🙂 dami nyong nalate actually but some opted not to run anymore!

7 07 2008
runmd

In the race map that that the “disorganizers” gave, the starting time for 21K was supposed to be 5:30 am. I planned to arrive at 5:00 am to do my warm up but was late because of the EDSA traffic. I arrived at around the same time you did but opted to run the 10K race instead which my watch measured as 9.28 km only. I didn’t see you BR, sana sumabay na lang ako.

I am having mixed emotions, really. I don’t know if I should get mad at them for starting earlier than 5:30 am or be happy that I wasn’t able to run the 2+ km short 21K race.

7 07 2008
kingofpots

levyang, aside from being a “road warrior”, my passion and commitment to running “forced” me to go on with the race and it really felt good finishing the race. thanks for those wishes on my trip to the US. this blog will be maintained on a daily basis. keep on reading

loony, thanks! that’s the spirit! i think my training in the military made me do this. if i thinks of doing something, i should do it and do it good. it was really a nice experience trying to catch up with the rest of the runners. by the way, the sticker’s purpose is to spread or give awareness to our people that we have runner-bloggers in the country & running is the simplest way of maintaining physical fitness & good health.

marga, i think the organizers started the half-marathon earlier than what was scheduled. anyway, it was fun. aside from being late, other runners opted to join the race at UP.

7 07 2008
kingofpots

runmd, it would had been a nice run if you were able to join me. there were others who started late and they were able to finish the race. on the other side, the half-marathon route was hard with all those bridges and lack of water along the way. i am sure you’ll be compalining of so many things–traffic at EDSA, early start, bridges, lack of water, heat of the sun, traffic, & shorter distance..hahaha! anyway, running the 10K is better than not running at all.

7 07 2008
datc035

I agree that the road marshals did a great job of managing the traffic and ensuring the safety of the runners. I lost count of how many intersections they stopped traffic for me, even if I was just practically crossing alone. I would shout a thanks to them as I crossed. Hats off to the marshals!

On the route, I measured the route they provided upon registration and I got 21km by tracing it on google earth. I noticed 2 deviations from the planned route though:
1) From vito cruz, we turned left at harrison plaza going to quirino, instead of going straight to taft then quirino.
2) The turnaround point at the pandacan flyover was in the middle and not at the end at sta. mesa. I realized though that they may have shortened this to keep the route purely within the city of manila. I checked again this morning the distance that was “lost” by putting the u-turn right at the pasig river, and this would’ve shortened the route by 1.2km, which would account for a large part of the discrepancy.

Anyway, it was still a pretty good race overall. I got to see parts of old manila that I had never been to before, particularly the binondo area. It was almost like a sightseeing tour for me.

7 07 2008
aldzheimerz

Wow sir!! I don’t know if I would’ve run it if I was in your place. Road Warrior nga!! Inspiring. 🙂

7 07 2008
transitionzero

UP race was fun too! Short and sweet. But I heard that the 18k just measured up to 14k sa Garmin ng isang runner. Hmmm

8 07 2008
kingofpots

datc, running the manila half was the best way to tour manila and see places we have never seen for the past years. yup, the road marshalls did a good job for the safety of the runners and they saw to it that all runners were accounted for up to the last one. anyway, i hope the organizers will be able to correct the distance next time.

aldz, thanks for your nice comment!

marga, i read the report of passion runner about the run at UP and i hope the runners there enjoy their run.

8 07 2008
runpinayrun

Hi Sir! Ako nga yung nilampasan nyo at the start he he. And this is such a coincidence because when we were on our way home along taft, my cousin Tsi pointed out a van with the sticker http://www.baldrunner.com. Didn’t know it was you!

You’re very very fast, finishing at 1:53. Idol! Maybe someday I’ll have the same time as yours. But for now, I’m overjoyed that I finished a half-marathon!

Hope to meet you someday and good luck on the SF marathon. 🙂

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