Greenfield City 21K Run & Water Station “Tips”


5:00 AM 19 April 2009 @ Greenfield City, Santa Rosa, Laguna

I have the following impressions when I was running the Greenfield City 21K Run this morning:

1) I thought I was transported to Venice Beach or Costa Mesa, California when I saw the business establishments at the Paseo, Greenfield City

2) A 21K Run seems to be a “speed run” if you consider yourself as an ultramarathon runner. Thus, making a Marathon Race as your “Tempo Run” workout.

3) Runners would congratulate you for organizing and finishing the 1st Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race and they “idolize” you as a “hardcore” runner. Others who could not believe what we have done two weeks ago think that we are “crazy”. That’s the reason why our favorite song is “CRAZY” by Patsy Cline (a Willie Nelson song in 1961).

4) Runners would think that this run was a LSD workout and part of our recovery from the BDM ultramarathon race.

5) Running “Back-to-Back” (Saturday & Sunday) road races is really a “Hardcore” Runners’ Event ( 10-miler & 21K races). 

After running a 16K race yesterday morning, I had to rest the whole day in preparation in today’s 21K race at Greenfield City in Santa Rosa, Laguna. I slept early last night and was already preparing and doing my pre-race ritual at 3:00 AM. At 3:45 AM, I was already on the road to Sta. Rosa and reached the Starting Area at 4:20 AM.

While I was doing my warm-up run around the parking area, I saw the members of the Hardcore Group of Team Bald Runner (those who finished the BDM 102K Ultra Race) who were also doing their stretching exercises. After few minutes of stretching exercises while sharing stories about the race yesterday, we finally proceeded to the Starting Area.

The Hardcore Runners-Team Bald Runner Before The Race
The Hardcore Runners-Team Bald Runner Before The Race
Group Calisthenics Before The Race/ I was in Black!
Group Calisthenics Before The Race/ I was in Black!

There were lots of runners already at the Starting Area and the program started with some Group Exercises and Calisthenics. I did join the exercises and there was a festive mood in the air. The exercises were brief and I immediately positioned myself a few meters from the elite runners and I was in the company of Jonel aka Bugobugo, Lester, Mari, and Michelle. In the true tradition of Coach Rio’s races, the 21K race started very early. It started at 5:00 AM and it was still dark. The 10K and 5K runners would start 30 minutes later.

The Race Started At 5:00 AM For The 21K Runners
The Race Started At 5:00 AM For The 21K Runners

As the place was still dark, I tried to be conservative on my average pace on the first 5 kilometers of the route but the slight downhill terrain would push me to run faster. Nevertheless, I really controlled my pace and I knew that this race is a long one with no uphills on the first half of the race. After running for about 30-40 minutes along a combination of cemented and asphalted roads and entering to other newly-developed subdivisions, the sun started to rise on the horizon and the whole place became clearer…and hotter!

There were lots of water stations along the route but I was pissed off on the first water station when I picked up a water cup without any water in it. I had to pick up another one with water in it while I was still trying to maintain my forward momentum. Sometimes, Murphy’s Law comes into play when the personnel in the water stations thought he/she filled all the water cups with water placed on top of the table but he/she could have missed some. Well, I could not blame them and could not blame myself because it was still too dark when I reached the first water station. There was no way for me to see if the cup was filled with water or not.

Anyway, let me talk about “tips” on how to get a cup of water from the water stations if they are taken/picked up from the table. Due to the positive reponses of Race Organizers about the observations of runner-bloggers on the lack and location/presence of water stations during the races, I could say that the races have improved a lot with regards to water stations up to the point that water cups are already handed by the water station personnel to the runners. This is the reason why I don’t have to bring and wear my Nathan Hydration Belt in road races up to the Marathon Race. The following “tips” are just suggestions if you want to improve your finish time—(1) If you are intending to get water in a water station, try to move to the edge of the road, 10-15 meters before reaching the water station. (2) While maintaining your pace, at a distance of 3-5 meters from the table, fix your eyes to the particular cup of water you intend to pick up, it could be at the near, middle or far edge of the table. (3) Focus your sight to the water cup you intend to pick-up as you get nearer to the table. (4) Extend your arms and pick-up the water cup withour stopping and drink the water, one gulp at a time, as you move away from the table. (5) Never stop  infront of the table as the incoming runners would be prevented from getting their cups while they are in motion. (6) If water cups are being handed by water station personnel, keep on moving forward as you receive your water cup. Don’t stop infront of the water personnel once you receive your cup of water. (7) Before throwing a cup with water in it, be sure that there is no runner on the side where you want to throw it. It would be better to drink all the water in the cup before throwing the cup. (8) Learn & Practice to drink water from the cup while running. 

I was glad the succeeding water stations did not give me any problems. The first 10 kilometers was a breeze as I was able to overtake some of the runners and later picked up my pace from Km #11 up to Km #13.5, the last turn-around point. From that point, I was already on the “speed mode” and wanted to finish hard on this race. But the uphill climb on the last 2 kilometers slowed me down as I joined more runners from the 5K and 10K distance races.

Mari Javier of Team BR-Professional Group Finishing The Race
Mari Javier of Team BR-Professional Group Finishing The Race
At The Finish Line!
At The Finish Line!

I finished the 21K race in 1:48:03 hours with an average pace of 5:08 minutes per kilometer. My GF 305 registered an accurate distance of 21.01K. It is not a PR time for 21K  but I consider it as a “speed workout” for the TNF 100 or for the 2nd BDM 102K Ultramarathon Race! Ha! Ha! Ha! I enjoyed the race as it was a change of road racing/road environment away from the usual race routes in Metro Manila. I also shared nice stories with the Hardcore-Team Bald Runner after the race and I was able to meet new “fans” and friends while waiting for the Awarding Ceremony.

Lastly, I am happy that the members of the Elite Team Bald Runner won almost all the top awards in the 21K (Men’s & Ladies) and 10K (Men’s) Races.

Guys, keep on running and see you soon in the future road races!