6:00 AM 15 February 2009/Power Run 15K/10K/5K @ SM Mall of Asia & PICC Grounds
Yesterday, I posted my predictions about today’s road race. Actually, I forgot to mention the lack of kilometer markings for the said race and instead posted a corrected version of my post in my blogger site (www.baldrunner.blogspot.com). I made those predictions to warn other runners to expect that this race will not be as perfect as they wanted to be. Except for the “perfect weather” for the race which I did not specifically stated, although I was expecting a hot, sunny and humid on the last half of the race, all the things I’ve predicted about the road race came true!
1) Simple Program & Punctual Start—This is what I like with road races managed by MX Sports. The Emcee just simply announced the remaining minutes before the race starts and repeatedly informed the runners that the race starts at exactly 6:00AM. The race started at exactly 6:00AM as registered in my GF 305 watch with a simple countdown from the Emcee and a simple “fire” sound from a track pistol.
2) No Problems & Hassles During Registration—I registered last Saturday and it was so easy. I observed also that the race organizer was accepting the registration of participants minutes before the start of the race within the assembly area. However, I was not able to get a hard copy of the road race route which I expected to be a part of my race packet. I depended much on the race route published by runner-bloggers and takbo.ph download copy of Jinoe. By looking at the race route, I was already expecting some “chaos & confusion” during the said race.
3) Nice Emcee & Sound System—So far, I like the way the Emcee delivered his message in order to inform the runners about the start of the 10K & 15K races. The sound system was also pleasing to my ears and the background music made me sway and stretch my body and legs.
4) Fast Course—This is a flat and fast course and I predicted a PR best time to the students (“speed” training) and members of the Team Bald Runner in their respective road race.
All my predictions were true! There was “chaos, confusion and lots of whining” along the road from the runners. Running two loops at the PICC Complex created the first confusion among the runners. When the runners were back to the MOA Grounds after coming from the PICC Complex and Macapagal Highway, another confusion occurred where I saw two top contenders for the 15K were lost. Instead of being ahead of us, they were actually going opposite to our direction. It was too late when they realized that they were on the wrong road as they joined us. On the last stretch of the race, all the runners were complaining about the extra distance they had to run.
Some of the runners were confused as most of the roads at the MOA Grounds did not have road marshalls. One runner who was mad about the situation, when he saw me coming, shouted and requested me to write a very long critique for this race. Another runner even shouted, “we just follow Bald Runner and for sure we’ll not get lost to the finish line”. Hehehe! I really like that! Another runner would always shout to every Security Guard and Road Marshall manning in some of the intersections that their race was confusing and he was complaining of the high cost for the registration fee. A lady runner (who was running third overall in the women’s category) ran beside me and she was also loudly cursing for the confusion and lots of turns along the way. I spoke to her in a nice manner and said, “Don’t Waste Your Energy Complaining, Focus Your Mind On Finishing the Race With More Strength”. Another runner who ran beside me even suggested for me to organize a road race and bring back those road races I had conducted when I was the Chairman of the DND-AFP Gintong Pangarap Half-Marathon Road Races. Thanks, dude! You can experience how the Bald Runner conducts a road race if you join the 1st Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race this coming 05 April 2009.
Since I’ve predicted those things that will go wrong on the day of the race, I just concentrated my mind in finishing the race. Just when I’ve expected to have a dash on the last 700 meters before the Finish Line as my GF 305 registered a distance covered at 14.3 kilometers, a road marshall directed us to turn right to a road where the 15K runners had to get their 3rd and last straw at the end of this road and then back to the road that leads us to the Finish Line. I was sorry to frustrate the lady runner beside me when I told her that we still have 700 meters left to go before the Finish Line.
No pictures of me (running along the route) taken by my staff. Even my staff who had been taking my pictures during road races was also confused about the route of the race. Because of those so many turns and roads we had to go through inside the MOA Grounds, my staff was not able to locate me and decided to just wait for me at the Fnish Line.
1) Longer Distance—I predicted that these race would lack a hundred meters for the supposed 15K distance or at least, accurate to the nearest 50-100 meters, plus or minus. However, my GF 305 registered a distance of 16.8 kilometers! We ran an extra distance of 1.8 kilometers.
2) Runners Competing With Vehicles On the Route—I thought I would not experience what other runners had experienced before in road intersections where pubilic utility jeeps would just cross your path and stop infront of you. I exactly experienced that kind of situation at the vicinity of the “Globe” fixture infront of MOA. There was no road marshall on that particular intersection and the driver of the jeep “competed and raced” with us to cross the intersection and made a quick U-turn. Instead of making a quick U-turn, the driver simply stopped and his jeep blocked our way few inches from us. It could had been a case of a “runner bumping a jeepney vehicle” and not the other way around if we did not stop! Sometimes, such case distracts one’s momentum and pace.
3) No “Freebies” At The Finish Line—After finishing the race, I was trying to look for bottled water or sports drinks at the vicinity of the Finish Line but my staff informed me that there was no water or drinks available. I did not see any “Certificates” being given to the runners at they complete the race.
4) “Donate A Shoe” Booth Got Bumped-Off (Again!)—While I was busy distributing the donated shoes to those runners with “old and tattered” shoes, our “makeshift” booth was surrounded by Security Guards of DJA Security Agency of MOA for the simple reason that the race organizer was following/implementing a “policy” where my booth was not allowed to operate in the said area. I really did not understand why “these people” would question the presence of my booth even if our intentions/objectives are clear and noble (to help other people) and that we don’t earn any income from this advocacy. Hey, guys, your actuations will not stop us from pursuing our advocacy (even without media exposure) as we have plans of going to the suburbs and provinces around Metro Manila in order to help other runners. To the Race Organizer, if we made some “lapses” or did not coordinate with you in our desire to distribute those donated shoes we received from our benefactors, we are sorry for not coordinating with you but a simple consideration for allowing us to distribute those shoes would had been a very positive points for you. Guys, my project had been around for the past one year and if you don’t know about this “Donate A Shoe”-thing, you probably do not read or visit this blog. Well, if you want to improve the way you conduct your races and know the “voice” and feedbacks of your paying runners, you better start visiting/reading this runner’s blog.
5) Quality and Smell of Air—The quality and smell of the air each runner breath while running is very poor.
6) Lastly, very expensive registration fee—I usually hear this feedback from the runners beside me during the race. I really don’t mind the cost of the registration fee if the race organizer provides safety along the route, abundant clean drinking water, and for the benefit of a certain “cause” to help the less-fortunate ones or for some “noble” programs/projects.
1) Thanks For the VIP Treatment—As I entered the Starting Area, runners came to me for “photo-ops” and I received more greetings from the other runners as we waited for the race to start. As I was running, more runners would greet me whether I was trying to overtake them or while the runners would pass on me or while these runners were staying/running beside me. Guys, thanks again for those greetings while we are on the road race. I hope my “hand wave” and simple words of “thanks”, “banat!” and “malapit na ang finish line” to you would be enough to acknowledge your greetings. As a matter of request though, please stop calling me “General”, just simply call me “BR”, “Bald Runner”, or “Sir Jovie”.
2) PR Best Time For 15K—My running friends would always ask me when will I stop registering a new PR every time I join a road race. I always answer them with a smile and tell them that I am doing my running workouts regularly and prepare for a marathon or an ultramarathon race to come. My last 15K road race best time was 1:14:43 hours during the VSO Bahaginan 15K Run held last November 2008 at The Fort. For this morning’s 15K Race, I finished with a time of 1:20:03 hours with a distance of 16.8 kilometers as registered in my GF 305. The average pace was 4:45 minutes per kilometer which was within my target goal for the race. By simply deducting my elapsed time for the excess of 1.8 kilometers, my unofficial finish time for the 15K race would had been 1:11:14 hours which is an improvement from my VSO run by almost 3:30 minutes.
1) “Speed” Training by Team Bald Runner works well and slowly adapting to my body capability.
2) There is a need to continue with my supplementary weight training and have my gym workouts at least twice a week.
3) There is no “secret formula” for runners to improve on their finish times as they grow older. As the famous Dr George Sheehan would say that running is an “experiment of one”, I am still on the process of “experimenting” on how I could improve my finish times as I add more year/s to my age. Since I don’t follow any training program, a combination of speed, endurance and hardwork are the key ingredients to my preparations. Whether it is on the training, nutrition, medicine, supplementary weight training, Cross Fit, P90X, and mental positive attitude, what is important is to allow the body to adapt and recover from training and actual road race competitions.
4) Stay Cool & Relaxed but Fast in Road Races. I have already an inkling on what to expect during the road race through my predictions. I have already conditioned myself that the things that I’ve experienced during the Resolution Challenge which was held last month would happen again because of my impression that the race will be managed by the same race organizer. After running for the first few kilometers, I already knew that my predictions were coming true and just maintained and focused my efforts in coming up with another best finish time for the 15K distance.
To the members of the Team Bald Runner, congratulations on your respective PR best time on the said race. Everybody is getting faster!!!