Answer: A Novice Runner!
I had my easy run yesterday early evening which started at 6:07 PM at the ULTRA Oval Track. As usual, I am a paying-user of the said oval track for P 29.00 every time I have my running sessions thereat. I decided to run 50 laps, equivalent to 20K, during this session as my recovery run after running the 4th October Run Festival 10K Race last Sunday at The Fort. After my stretching exercises, I started my run but after one lap, running along with other runners on the counter-clockwise direction, I had to drop by the CR to pee and resumed my run and this was where I saw MarkFB talking with the coaches and other runners on the side of the track. As I was about to complete my 2nd lap, MarkFB approached from my back and joined me for the next 23 laps. I did not know that Mark had finished also 2 laps before he joined me. We maintained our run along Lanes 2 to 4 leaving Lane 1 for the faster runners. After Mark and I finished 25 laps, running on the counter-clockwise direction, I had my “water break”. After drinking/sipping water from my Hydration pack which I placed at the side of the track, Mark and I resumed our run.
Instead of running with the flow of the other runners, I suggested Mark that we should run on a clockwise direction along the oval track for the next 25 laps in order to balance the force of our legs we were driving/pushing on the track on the curved portions of the track. So, for the next 12 laps, we were running comfortably at an average pace of 5:30 mins/km. along Lanes 4 to 6 making sure of not distracting the runners on the opposite direction. However, as we were about to complete our 13th lap, the Lady Security Guard interrupted our run by telling us that we should run with the flow of the other runners, which was counter-clockwise. Well, we followed the instructions of the Lady Security Guard and we completed the next 12 laps running on a counter-clockwise direction. However, I observed that the Lady Security Guard did not caution another runner ( I suspect that he is a Japanese) who was running “counter-flow” with the other runners. Maybe, he was insignificant because he was jogging alone.
I really did not mind such caution or reminders or “breaches” of etiquette at the oval track whenever I have my running workouts at the ULTRA Oval Track. However, I get mad and shout at laborers (doing some construction jobs at the ULTRA) who are smoking while watching at the runners at the bleachers to stop smoking or throw their lighted cigarettes away or for them leave the place at once!!!
Actually, I forgot about the incident as Mark & I completed the remaining laps. As I was about to leave the track & grandstand, the Lady Security Guard apologized to me for disrupting my run and for requesting me to run with the flow of the other runners. I politely asked her if it is a part of the rules & regulation in the use of the oval track to run only in the counter-clockwise direction while running at the oval track. She answered me that one of the runners complained about my running clockwise with MarkFB. I immediately asked her who and where was the complainant. And she answered me that the runner left the oval ahead of me. At this point, I berated and gave a lecture to the Lady Security Guard on the proper use and “etiquette” in using the oval track and reasoned out why I was running on a clockwise direction for my 26th to 50th lap. Lastly, I requested her to post a notice (to be seen by all runners) on the rules and regulations on the proper use of the oval track. Most especially on making Lanes 1 & 2 free/clear from slower runners and “walkers”. This request I have to check on the coming days!
Bottomline? This was my first time to run such distance on an oval track. MarkFB and I were able to run 50 laps on the ULTRA Oval Track, a distance of 20.16 kms, in 1:58:15 hours with an average pace of 5:51 mins/km. MarkFB was using his “Vibram Five Fingers” Barefoot Shoes and his first time to use the said shoes for a 20-km run! Congrats, MarkFB! I hope to run with you soon!