It was a festive show put up by Del Monte Philippines/CEMG, Sponsors and Race Managers of the Fit ‘N Right Race held yesterday at the Mall Of Asia, Pasay City. Marianne Tapales and her team must have spent a lot of time and energy in managing the promotions of this 3, 5 and 10k races.
Obviously, they have pulled out all the stops to make this race a success: A grand Press/Bloggers launching of the race, physical fitness guru Jim Saret’s lecture on the Fast, Intense Training (FIT) workout, a simple but nice singlet, generous freebies and give-aways to all finishers, raffle prizes with a Lenovo laptop as main prize and a flat and fast course. These are what all runners look for in a race.
But what happens when the race itself, after all the pre-race dazzle, fizzles out? It could have been a perfect race.
I had little expectations to run a good race for this event as i was going to treat this 10k run as a recovery run, having ran another 10k race at the Race and Shine Run just the day before at the Fort. I arrived at MOA at about 5:10am and immediately proceeded to the race packet claim booth to redeem my race packet. I was met by friendly staff and after giving my name to them, they promptly handed my packet, all in less than 2 minutes considering that there was a crowd gathered at the counter.
After putting on my singlet and race no., i joined the crowd and saw friends and co-bloggers. I also bumped into blogger Amado Castro who made me aware that we were wearing a timing chip called the RFID (Radio Frequency ID, its functions similar to that of the Championchips used at some races organized by Rio dela Cruz. Only, the bar-like chip was attached to our racing bibs. According to Amado, the RFID were widely used at races in the U.S.
RFID as worn by Sir Amado
Before 6am, we were asked to assemble at the starting line as the MC announced that the race will be starting in a few minutes. Most runners did just that and i thought that this was going to be a mass start. The following events transpired during the start:
— when all runners were called to the starting area, some of the runners in all categories positioned themselves in front. The race director must have realized this mistake and announced that the 10k runners should start 5 minutes ahead of everybody else, but few of the 5 and 3k runners who were already in front moved backwards.
— it was already past 6am, the sun was almost up but the MCs were still introducing guests. Thereafter, the Race Director (RD) gave his talk on the mechanics of the race. At this time, runners were already hollering to have the race start already.
— 6:20am, runners at the front portion of the starting line were getting impatient and when the RD finished his talk, MC announces warm-up exercises before the race starts to be led by the fitness experts of Fitness First. I could only utter, OMG! Haha..! More hollering and booing!
— sensing that the runners were losing their cool, the official holding the starting gun fired the shot, marking the start of the race (good thing he didn’t do a countdown) with the MC not knowing that the race had started already. Gun was fired at 6:35am!
I started at a very slow pace, almost jogging to loosen-up my tight muscles, still tired by the 10k race i did the day before. I caught up with Anna (The Meekrunner) near the 2nd kilometer and decided to run with her which i did all throughout the race. If there was one major drawback that i really thought was unforgivable was the total absence of water from the 4th km up to the finish. All water stations have dried-up and the marshals manning these stations were just seated in one corner, bored and probably waiting for their vehicles to fetch them. There was absolutely no drop of water available! Anna even offered her hydration flask to me but i declined knowing that she might be needing it more than i would.
The awarding ceremony was underway when we reached the finish. i didn’t dare to line-up for the freebies anymore as there were confrontations going on in the distribution tent! Seemed that lots of runners didn’t get their freebies.
Though i didn’t get to win the top raffle prize of a Lenovo laptop (in my dreams!), it was nonetheless a fitting end to a very admirable experience with CEMG, Del Monte Phil and their other sponsors.
To Marianne who has been in constant touch with us bloggers in updating us about the race, take a bow…you did a wonderful job! To the race directors, i think this race taught you many lessons on how to conduct a run and i’m sure you’ll do better without the extra baggage next time. Good luck and thanks to you all!
With the bloggers before the race
Photo ops at the start with Natz (takbo.ph shirt) and GF
Anna (The Meekrunner) giving it her all!
With the takbo.ph runners
More group shots
With Jinoe and staff of Runnerspeak
With the local winners
The percussion group setting the groove
Post race breakfast at the Taste of Asia. Thanks to Jacky and CEMG!