My rule of thumb in selecting a road race to join when there are two or more road races in a particular day is to select the road race with the farthest distance! So, I’ve chosen the Eco Dash: The Ayala Malls Environment 21K Run as my race run early this morning.
I was already at the starting area 15 minutes before 5:00 AM (the scheduled start of the 21 K race) and I was hoping that the 21K race will start on time. However, the 21K runners are not yet in the corral/starting area and I knew already that the race will start later than the time it was scheduled. While waiting before going to the corral, I did a short stretching and slow jogging drills just to warm up my body as it was raining. I was able to see familiar faces who are “die-hard” and “hardcore” runners belonging to the MASTERS group and from the younger ones. I had a brief chat with the HING’S Running Club, the Hardcore Group, the takbo.ph group, the MASTERS runners who joined last week’s 15K race in Camp Aguinaldo, my brother General Samie with Babette & nephew Lemuel; Sir Amado aka Reinier6666, and the members of the Elite Team Bald Runner. Simple words/statement of guidance and encouragement to my elite runners before the start of the race had always been a part of my ritual to boost their morale.
The race started at 5:30 AM after 3 “demonstrators” conducted a simple stretching exercises infront of the runners with the beat of music at the background. And all of a sudden while I was talking to my Elite Runner Rene Desuyo, I just heard the sound of the starting gun and we were off.
My race strategy was to maintain an even pace of 5:00 mins per kilometer or faster and “attack” the uphill climbs at the Kalayaan Flyover and Bayani Road with “surges” or “fartlek” runs with 1-minute duration which I repeat until I reach the top. I usually count my strides as my left foot strikes the ground up to 90 or 100 and repeat the process by counting back to 1. I usually do these “surges” and “fartleks” when I want to overtake and pass someone who is a faster runner infront or beside me. This is a good technique which anybody could do to improve their time and performance in road racing.
On the first 2 kilometers of the race, the runners’ distance with one another stretched out and I was happy to maintain my average pace at 5:00 mpk with ample space on the road but a “newbie” runner kept on making “surges” on me and made criss-cross cutting on my lane/direction as he overtook me for so many times before we reached the Kalayaan Flyover. I did not mind him and continued with my pace but as soon as we hit the uphill climb, he slowed down and did not bother me anymore.
The rain kept on pouring and the road was full of flowing water and some areas were with “potholes” but the runners were not deterred from the adverse condition but for me, it was very comforting that I felt refreshed with the cold rain and seemingly fresh air. I really appreciate the presence of so many water stations and Gatorade Stations along the route and I observed that our Race Organizers had improved on this but I still have to wish the presence of longer tables for these water stations in future races.
I enjoyed running along the wide streets of Makati Business District—Paseo De Roxas; Makati Avenue; up to the turn-around beside the Shang-rila Makati Hotel, without any vehicles. The road marshals were very efficient in controlling the vehicles in all the crossing/intersections. I was running alone while I was running along those wide streets.
On my way back at the Kalayaan Flyover, I met the bigger group of the 10K runners and I had to take a limited space at the right side of the road and I was hearing a lot of greetings from the runners I met on this part of the route. Despite the blurred images of runners I saw through my peripheral vision, a simple wave or “high-five” to these runners was enough to acknowledge their greetings. Thanks, guys! Your greetings kept me running at a faster pace!
As I turned right at Rizal Drive (the street along the old Jollibee and McDonald at The Fort), I saw a lot or 3K & 5K runners & walkers who filled the whole street and I could not see the 21K runners ahead of me! Knowing the route for the 21K race, I kept on passing and weaving through the slower runners until I reached 5th Avenue. Once I turned right on this street, I saw that the 21K runners infront of me had gained so much distance from me and I started to “surge” on the uphill portion until I reached the McKinley Road. As I reached Lawton Avenue, I was able to pass more runners and I was surprised that almost all the HING’S runners were infront of me. These MASTERS runners are really good and fast runners! I think their Ice Cream & Ice Buko and other Ice Candies mixed with Ice Cold Beer is their “secret” in running and road racing!
Running along Lawton Avenue up to the end of Bayani Road-C5 turnaround was a lonely one but I kept on looking on my watch just to be sure that I kept my average pace and I observed that I became slower when I attacked the uphill climbs at the Bayani Road by 10 seconds. However, I made sure to pick-up my pace when I reach the downhill/plain portion of the road. More “surges” or “fartleks” along the way and more counting mentally until I was back at The Fort area and up to the Finish Line.
For the last 4 kilometers, my GF 305 registered an average pace of 4:35 minutes per kilometer, a pace faster than my 5K average pace at the Mommy Milkshake last week, and I found out that I have more strength left after completing the race. I finished the 21.06K distance in 1:45: 25 hours, registering an average pace of 5:00 minutes per kilometer based from my GF 305 watch.
After a brief rest to drink two cups of water and some “photo-ops”, I ran another 3.6 kilometers around the BHS loop and extending the distance up to 5th Avenue as my “cool-down” run. It was nice to know and witness the awarding of the members of the Elite Bald Runner as Champions in the Men’s & Women’s Champions in the 21K Race ( Rene Desuyo & Anna Vargas) and Champion in the 10K Race (Jujet De Asis).
I am satisfied with the result of my run in this race. Based from my previous post on how to predict finish time for the Marathon Race, my finish time for this Half-Marathon (after adjustments) could, hopefully, give me a finish time of sub-3:45 hours.
See you in next week’s Half-Marathon Race!