6:00 AM 23 August 2009 @ UP Diliman Campus
This road race was supposed to be conducted last 28 June 2009 as one of the “side events” of the BOTAK’s Paa-tibayan 100K Run but it was postponed to this date. Since I did not intend then to join this race after the fiasco during the BOTAK’s Marathon Race on the first week of May and the fact that I joined the Los Angeles Marathon on the last weekend of June, I did not know about the original route and the reason why it was re-scheduled to a later date.
It was almost a month that I did not join any road race after I finished the 5K Team Relay Run held at the ADMU Campus. I finally decided to join this race to make the 10-Mile event as my evaluation/performance race after one month of training since my last road race.
Thirty minutes before the race, I was already at the vicinity of the starting area doing my stretching and warm-up exercises and I was with the members of the Elite Team Bald Runner who were registered for the 10-Mile, 5-Mile, and 1-Mile Street Mile. Few minutes before the start, I was able to meet and talk to Jonel aka Bugobugo and we talked about our race strategy. I had the impression that he was prepared to do a fast run on this race after he told me that he will be going for a “negative split”.
After a short program, the race started at exactly 6:00 AM for the 10-Mile runners and the rest of the 5-Mile runners were left behind to start after a few minutes. I did not expect this race as a “big event” but I knew that the basic needs for the runners and the requirements for a good race were in place. As I started the race, I was surprised to see the first water station on the first 200 meters from the starting line. I said to myself that this must be a good sign of a good race. I tried to grab one of the water cups from the two volunteers manning the water station but somebody got the cups from them and I had to continue with my run. I am glad Jonel was able to grab two water cups from the table and he gave me one. Thanks, Jonel.
After running 500 meters, Jonel left me for good as he started to slowly go on “race mode” and I just maintained my race pace of about 5:00 minutes per kilometer. My first loop was a fast one as I registered a sub-25-minute for the 5+ kilometer distance. After the first loop, the race started to be boring but I just maintained my pace and find enjoyment of running along the shady route of the UP Diliman Campus. Some of the runners would greet me along the way and some of them were the faster runners who reached the turn-around area ahead of me.
I had observed that BOTAK improved a lot in the way they conduct their race. I’ve seen PATAFA personnel who were manning the timer/digital clock and as staff of the technical group at the Finish Line; lots of volunteers and route marshals with directional signages & kilometer marking along the route; lots of water supply in water stations; additional ice cold Gatorade sports drinks in separate Gatorade Aid Stations with the proper Gatorade cups; and lastly, nice music rendition of an “acoustic” band at the Finish Line Area which gave me a boost every time I passed or completed every loop. I heard more good music after I finished the race as I waited for the other finishers and the other races during the 1-Mile Street Run.
BOTAK’s had improved in their water/sports drinks Aid Station and in their directional & kilometer marking signages. Gone are those days when race organizers in races at the UP Campus would lack drinking cups for the second loop. The race marshals were also efficient in reminding the runners on what turn or street to take during the race which is a sign that they know the route of the race. Since the race clock of PATAFA was at the Finish Line, I have the impression that the race time results was efficiently recorded. I just hope that the race results will be published soon.
The hardest part of the race was running the third time for the last loop! The sun was already hot but I was glad that water & cups were still abundant and even the Gatorade drinks were still cold and available in every Aid/Water Station. Every time I reached a Water Station, I had to grab two cups–one for drinking and one for dousing water to my bald head and it was very refreshing. I started to feel hungry but I was reluctant to use the GU Sports Gel tucked inside the small pocket of my CW-X tight shorts and have it reserved for my additional 8K run after the race. I tried to pass as many runners I could reach during the last loop as I thought I was increasing my pace but after uploading the data from my GF watch, I found out that I was decreasing my pace! Maybe the runners infront of me were getting exhausted due to the heat and they were getting slower, too! Finally, I reached the Finish Line and I was satisfied with my performance as I registered an average pace of 5:00 minutes per kilometer for the whole race.
Everything seemed to be perfect but what I’ve observed to be lacking was very minimal. I reached the finish line at exactly 1:19:00 hours based from the digital clock at the Finish Line but when I saw the distance registered in my GF watch, I found out that the distance was 15.64 kms. The distance I’ve ran lacked 360 meters! I really don’t know if my watch’s reading was accurate as one runs along the UP Campus. There might be some inaccuracies with the GPS of the watch when running in a thickly vegetated or tree-covered route. However, when I saw Ian Alacar, the Race Organizer of the event few days after the race, I asked him if the 1-Mile Street Run was properly measured by the PATAFA and he said, “Yes”! Then, I supposed, the 10-Mile & 5-Mile Runs were also properly measured by PATAFA, too. I just hope my GF watch did not register the right distance while running at UP Diliman Campus. By the way, I did not break any PR time with this race.
Ian, congratulations for a nice race to include the conduct of the 1-Mile Street Run. I like the singlet that goes with the Race Packet for this race. So far, this was the only complimentary singlet that I used during a road race.