NBA + Fit = Spoelstra

I almost didn’t want to get up Sunday morning. I had set my cell phone alarm at 3:00am so I could get a head start and prepare myself to be at The Fort before 5:00am’s NBA Fit 10k Run. But before I could get up, I heard the slight drizzle outside and that made me stymied a bit and briefly considered skipping the morning race. Rains can do cast a sleepy spell on me.

I didn’t want to open my thoughts on making excuses in missing a scheduled race so I forced myself up. Did all my morning rituals, packed my things and met Pi-ya, who was already waiting for me at the 7-11 convenience store to give me a ride.

When I arrived at The Fort just before 5:00am, the 21k runners had just taken off and I just had a few minutes to claim my race packet from the registration area and do some warm-up jog. Surprisingly, a lot of runners had turned-up, ignoring the light rain that had made parts of the activity area soaked in rain and mud. And oh, I’m not forgetting that famed Miami Coach Fil-Am Erik Spoelstra was also running the 10k event. :-)

With Les and Mich at the start

At the start line, I saw Les and Mich from aNR-UP and Gail, a long time runner friend from Takbo.ph who was running again after a long lay-off. At the start, Gail and I took off at about 6:30/km pace and for someone who had had a long lay-off, she sure was in tip-top shape as she was just a step behind me up to the 4th km mark when she had to slow down a bit.

I too, had to slow down particularly when approaching water stations and walked through them which as an afterthought, bogged down my finish time considerably.

Just past the 5th kilometer mark, I saw a tall figure flanked by two shorter runners all walking and talking animatedly, taking their easy time. From behind, I could definitely recognize Rio dela Cruz with his thin frame and fuzzy hair. Just as I thought, beside him was the man himself, Coach Erik Spoelstra who looked exactly like the guy on TV commandeering the Miami Heat basketball team during the NBA finals.

As I took a picture of them, Rio was kind enough to introduce me to Coach Eric as the “Jazzrunner” blogger and that I had been attending his races regularly. The guy’s cool and he wished me luck as I continued my run.

Two Coaches: Coach Rio and Coach Erik Spoelstra

The Coach being mobbed at the finish

Again, I finished in over an hour but this race was a one great fun run. As with a Runrio event, I marveled at the extraordinary features of this race, the ever courteous marshals, the really long water stations and the festive atmosphere during the awards ceremonies. The organizers made everything happen so smoothly for the 6,000 runners, the usual de rigueur, a true mark of a successful event.

Here are some more pics from my Fujifilm cam:

Wet Sunday: The crowd at the finish

With "The Journeying James"

Les and Dyep!