Sunday, November 4, 2012

With unity, there is completion.

Being late by 14 minutes in Run United 3 and upon learning the 15 minute cut off for Run United Philippine marathon, I decided to go to the venue early. And by the definition of early, not arriving at the BGC area an hour earlier only to be stranded by traffic due to the roads being closed by the 42k runners.  I left home by 1:00 am and arrived at BGC by 1:45 am. Upon arriving, Run United has never looked so empty and I was the only runner in the starting area. There were some 42k participants at the side, but no one at the starting area. 


The wait was quite long. Good thing there was a playground near the starting area to lie down to and take a power nap. When the activities have started bands, videos and other forms of entertainment were being shown on stage. Riovana was open as early as 1:50 with runners lining up for gel and bathroom breaks. 

After a few minutes, the full marathon participants were off and running. There were a few latecomers into their category and while they were allowed to run the entire course, were given a waiver to sign declaring their run as unofficial.  Then, it was the 21k runners time to shine.


The good thing about being early is you get to position yourself on front. This was probably the first time I was able to be on front on all 7 Run United races that I participated in. 

So, this is how it feels to be in front of a big racing event (by big, meaning it has thousands of participants). Being side to side with the Kenyans (whom over took me in 3 seconds to win the event). The ultimate goal of this race is to break my PR 2:43 set back in Run United 1 to make up for the lackluster performances in Run United 2 (2:55) and 3 (2:51). I had to go as far as changing the training program from straight long runs to intervals. 


While being an hindrance when it comes to sleep,The early gun start is a plus within the race duration. Particularly avoiding sunlight for the 3/4th of the whole race. The first few kilometers went quite well. With my first one just a few seconds over 5 minutes. With the exception during the middle of the race, a 7 minute or less per kilometer pace is maintained.

By KM 16, I was able to clock in a few seconds less at the 2 hour mark, meaning if this was a 16k event, I already attained a PR. One thing that was good about this is the pace is very possible for a 21k PR even if I stopped by for a minute at the aid stations to have my knees massaged with omega pain killer. One thing I noticed is that training in intervals actually does a lot of benefit. The length of walk and rest periods are the same as before, but the speed seems to have increased. 

By the end of the race I was lucky to have attained a PR of 2:37.


The post race event, It the lines were gone, would be a great. But as it was crowded, I had to go to the essentials. Basically the Finisher's area, the Active health apparel booth, the Loyalty Shirt Section (Good thing I had emailed them countless times before going to the event). 

So there, after 84 kilometers of running, 4 days of wobbly legs and early travel, the Run united series is complete. Whether I'll be joining next year's event remains a question. But for now, It feels good to savor the moment. 

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