Last Sunday was the 5th edition of the Octoberun which is a yearly road racing event organized/managed by the members of the Fort Striders Running Club. My high respect goes to this running group as it had been consistently holding their running practices and workouts with their members at The Fort for the past years since the place started to have wider streets and vertical constructions.
Few days before the staging of the race, I asked Felsie from the Fort Striders if the race will push through because of the threat that Typhoon “Pepeng” would hit Central Luzon and she answered positively. I had predicted that this race will push through because I know the people who are behind this running group—they are dedicated & “hardcore” runners who are serious and know what & how it takes to manage a good road race.
Runners who decided to join the race were surprised to see that the weather was perfect for a road race. The atmosphere at the starting line was very personal and casual as runners would flock with their respective running club members and involve themselves with conversation about running, the typhoon/flooding, and the incoming races.
After a short prayer, singing of the National Anthem, and brief instructions from the Race Organizer, the 16K race started and we were off. Feeling from the way I lifted my knees and saw how my feet hit the ground, I knew I was starting with a fast pace. I tried to maintain my pace all the way along the streets of The Fort until I started to run uphill towards Essensa. Knowing the course, I tried my best to maintain a pace below 5:00 minutes per kilometer along the Lawton Avenue and towards to the turn-around point at C-5.
While running along the route, I’ve observed that the race was well-managed—long tables for the water stations, presence of route marshals, and the traffic of vehicles was not bad at all when the race is done as scheduled. It was good also to see the faster runners on the other side of the road for two times because the route has two turn-around points. I had the pleasure to see the members of the Elite Team Bald Runner battling it out on the lead pack. It was my chance to assess how these athletes/runners carry themselves and maintain their running forms and their ranking as compared with the other fast runners. By looking at their running forms and facial expressions, I could already assess if they are running with confidence or not.
Stronger and younger runners would overtake me along the route but I just maintained my pace as I knew where I could speed up and recover on the road. I would consider this race as tune-up race for the longer road races in the coming weeks and maintained a “tempo run” pace for this race. After all those positive thinking, counting of pace/strides, and mental “mantras”, I was already nearing the finish line and I found out that I still have extra energy to propel myself to the Finish Line.
I finish the race in 1:14:20 hours with an average pace of 4:52 minutes per kilometer (or 7:50 minutes per mile) but my GF 305 registered a distance of 15.3 kilometers instead of 16 kilometers. Being dismayed about the lack of distance, I did not mind or thought of comparing my finish time with my past races. After a few days, I realized that I was able to improve my time after comparing it with my past races in the 15K and 16K (10-mile Race) distance races. In fact, I was able to improve my time by 2 minutes for the 15K or 16K distance. I would attribute my improvement with my longer distance speed runs at the Oval Track ( 3 X 2,000 meters up to 3 X 5,000 meters) and my weekend long runs.
After the race, I took some time to chat with Jonel aka Bugobugo and the members of Team Hardcore at the TKO 250 booth. I was able to meet also the Jinoe, Quennie, and the rest of the takbo.ph people who are also involved in the TKO 250 project for the victims of Project Ondoy. I promised to myself that I will be putting in Ten Pesos (P 10.00) for each kilometer that I will run in road races starting with the 5th Octoberun 16K for the said project. So, on this road race, I was able to donate Two Hundred Pesos (P 200.00).
Before the team left at the venue of the road race, I was able to award the “1,000-Km Club” Finisher’s T-shirt to Junrox aka Tiger Boy. Congratulations, Jun! I hope this program was able to make you a stronger and faster runner!
I was doubly surprised when Carrey, my favorite supporter/sponsor of Elite Team Bald Runner handed to me bags of groceries for my runners. Thanks for supporting my elite runners! Yes, we are also victims of Typhoon Ondoy!