Run For M.E. @ Ateneo De Manila Campus; 6:34 AM 26 July 2009
Almost 5 weeks before this race, Sir Amado aka Reinier 6666 called me through the phone asking me my approval for him to finance the registration fees and uniforms of my Elite Team Bald Runner to join and compete the 5K Team Run at the RUN FOR M.E. I immediately accepted the offer and gave him the personal data of the team members for their registration. Coach Salazar was able to organize two (2) teams of 5K runners and the members prepared for the race.
I was a member of the Team Bald Runner (Reinier) and Mr Amado Castro, Jr was a member of the Team Bald Runner (Pacific). Some of the elite members of Team Bald Runner ran the 10K distance. Actually, I had some reservations for me to run the said distance as I never ran a 5K road race race since I started this blog.
Days before the race, we received the team’s race packets and uniforms. The aim of the team was to get the first place despite the fact that the college and university’s varsity track & field teams will field their respective runners. The pressure was on us to make sure that we are fielding our best runners for each of our team.
The teams were already at the starting area one hour before the start of the race and had their respective warm-up and stretching exercises. It was also a time to meet friends and other runners while waiting for the signal to assemble at the starting line. The 5K Team Run was scheduled to start 5 minutes ahead of the 10K and 3K Run Run. And after a brief explanation of the race, the race started as scheduled.
Knowing that the race will cover the roads inside the Ateneo Campus, I did not bother to ask or look for the route of the race. I knew that the 5K distance will take one loop of the different roads inside the campus. I was also confident that the Race Director of this run knew how to properly manage the said race. The race strategy for me was to just follow the faster runner infront of me and maintain an even pace as fast as I could.
The first 3 1/2 kilometers consisted of rolling uphill & downhill roads; a flat run along the campus’ grassy oval track; and the remaining flat roads towards the finish line. There was only one problem along the course—slippery roads most especially on the first two kilometers of the route. I had to shorten my strides as the lugs protruding on the front sole of my Newton shoes had the tendency to be slippery on the wet roads. I saw two of my running friends who were victims of those slippery wet roads along the course trying to finish the 10K race despite their wounds and painful rashes.
I can recall that I was able to pass runners along the rolling hills; along the oval track; and later on the last 800 meters to the finish line. I finished the 5K run in 22:57 minutes (based from my GF 305) with an average pace of 4:47 minutes per kilometer. I placed #41 among the 5K runners and I was entitled to receive a T-Shirt for the first 50 runners in the 5K race.
The Far Eastern University Track & Field Team won the First Place and received a Trophy and a Cash Prize of P 10,000. The Team Bald Runner (Reinier) where I belong, won the 2nd Place and it received a Trophy and a Cash prize of P 7,000. The Team Bald Runner (Pacific) was awarded the Third Place Trophy and a Cash prize of P 5,ooo. However, after some time, it was found out that the Race Organizer and Race Officials admitted that they committed some “lapses” as there were other runners from other teams whose finish times were not properly recorded and included in the master list of finishers. It turned out that a running team from Marikina City registered a faster aggregate time than the Team Bald Runner (Pacific). Even if the Trophy and Cash prize were already awarded during the ceremonies, Coach Salazar and I immediately brought back the Trophy and Cash Prize to the Race Organizer/Officials so that these award & prize would be awarded to the deserving winners. Our other team landed in fourth place without any prize. The Race Organizer of the Race would call us “The Gentlemen & Honest Runners” Team.
In the 10K race, Alcuin Bolivar and Marecil Maquilan, won 4th Overall (Men) and 2nd Overall (Women), respectively.
After resting for 5 minutes after I finished the 5K race, I ran another round of the 5K course for my easy run with an average pace of 6:30 minutes per kilometer.
After changing to my dry shirt and shorts, I had a chance to meet and talk to other runner-bloggers and awarded the BR’s “1,000-Km Club” Finisher’s T-shirts. Finally, the best part of the day was the moment I received my prize for winning a pair of NIKE Zoom Structure Triax+ for my comment on The Bull Runner Magazine from The Bull Runner herself! Thanks, Jaymie!
This race was memorable because of three reasons:
(1) For the first time, my team was fully supported through the initiative of a Corporate Head, in the person of Mr Amado Castro, Jr aka Reinier666 of Reinier Pacific. I hope more Corporate Heads would also involve themselves in supporting our elite long distance runners. Who’s next?
(2) My first time to enter the Ateneo de Manila University Campus and get to have a tour inside through a 5K run.
(3) My second 5K road race since 1984 (after 25 years) and my first 5K road race since I started this blog.
Overall, the conduct of the race was satisfactory.