It was great running the TIMEX Run 16k yesterday, almost identical to the festive mood i had running the 21k Go Natural Run the week before. Two back-to-back races organized by Run Rio and both were challenging and tough, although yesterday’s race required a bit more effort for me to run that i had nothing left of a finisher’s kick at the last straight before the finish.
There were a few odd things about yesterday’s run. For starters, there were already a sizable crowd of runners milling around the race area when i arrived at 4:00am. You don’t see that much crowd gathered as early as 4 when the first race, the 16k event starts at 5:10am. Maybe, the presence of heartthrob Piolo Pascual piqued many to come this early?
Secondly, Riovana was already buzzing with customers even before i arrived and you’d think that there was a post-Christmas sale going on inside as the store was nearly jam-packed! Thirdly, the run started going towards 5th Avenue instead of towards Serendra, a nice change of direction.
Early visitor at Riovana (Photo by Timex Sports)
Lastly, it was nice seeing the friendly Chinggay Andrada, professional fitness trainer of Pinoy Biggest Loser fame doing the warm-up exercises. I met her during one of Skechers’ shoe launching a few months back and she was just so warm, friendly and chummy that she immediately recognized me at the press tent during the awards ceremony yesterday.
Yesterday morning’s weather was pleasant, not so cool but not humid either. Piolo was up stage to fire the starting gun and as he went up the podium, shrieks and screams were heard, which was expected from the crowd. The starting line was abuzz with runners trying to shake off all stiffness in them. When the gun was fired, we were off and i settled of nicely and was with a bunch of runners who were trying to overtake the slower ones. This was just a 16k race so i thought of revving it up a little bit too and go on with the flow.
Piolo firing off the 16k runners (Photo by Timex Sports)
I finally settled into a more relaxed rhythm and as the route was a familiar one, it was just my mind and body getting into sync while enjoying the festive aura surrounding me. I didn’t see Piolo along the route although i knew that he was running the shorter 10k distance with Coach Rio, i was still hoping that we would cross paths and get a glimpse of his running…form, cadence and all. He was trying to go below his standard 10k time of 47:53 something which i found out later that he was able too accomplish.
Before i knew it, we reached the turn-around mark along Buendia, just before reaching the corner of Ayala Avenue and at that instance i really felt awful already, struggling to keep pace with the runners i was pacing with. Before that, i even saw running buddy Betty who was in good form and ahead of me by a few hundred meters. Reaching the base of the Kalayaan bridge going back BGC, i was able to coast along the whole uphill span without stopping and those hill training at Meralco might have done a lot of good.
Cruising along Rizal Drive, i saw i sign that read last 2 kms and was skeptic at first because i knew that we were going to turn right when reaching 5th Avenue and that would be a few hundred meters more. Turns out that we would skip that part and turn left instead on the way to the finish.
I crossed the finish line, looked on top for the time and read 1:48. Not exactly a good time but one that i can live with.:-)
Note: Seems that i did a 1:50 according to the official race results which you can find here: http://runrio.com/2012/01/2012-timex-run-race-results/
Near the finish (Thanks to ARC and to Noel C for tagging)
It has been a great 2 weekends of running for me and the start of the year seems to be steps in the right direction. Big kudos to Gemma Pagsibigin of Timex for a great race and to Coach Rio for a job well done!
A quick glimpse on the press tent in pictures:
Lucky for you who won a Timex watch!:-)
Chinggay Andrada (2nd from left) with Gigi, Lara Parpan and Jaimie
Coach Rio and friends at the tent