Whether you like crowds that squeeze you like a pack of sardines while standing elbow to elbow at the starting line, or running in the dark unawares of the large cords or potholes below your feet, the NIKE Run Manila 10k last Saturday should let you experience how to survive a race of this magnitude with obstacles that could make or break your run… Nike’s version of the Urbanathlon!
I like big crowds and the fun that goes with it. So, arriving an hour and a half early, Mark, Abet and myself settled into the shaded tents in front of the stage and immediately went into banter with friends, taking pictures to post at FB and showing off those shiny, red-orange Nike shirts we had on. I was stiff as a statue as we were just standing in one place, never giving our legs a change to move or stretch about except for the last minutes before the start when we huddled our way to the porta johns.
There are a lot of ways to describe the Nike We Run Manila 10k and you just have to be there to experience it yourself:
- Crowded start where hands and elbows collide waiting for the gun start. There was actually no room for the elbows to swing during the warm-up demo so all we did was to just bounce up and down because the only space left was above our heads! Didn’t matter though when you had your friends jumping beside you.
- 99.9% of the runners were wearing the prescribed red Dri-fit shirt (the .10% were obviously bandit friends) so it was a sea of the red runners lining on a stretch that probably measured up to 300 meters.
- Running in slow-motion during the first kilometer where you either maneuver to overtake or just wait for the ones in front to settle into their regular running pace.
- Counting the runners who you bumped and those who bumped you so it was just give-and-take, see?
- Hardly any vacant space as runners occupied every square meter of the road which stretched as far as the eye could see.
- Long water stations conveniently located adjacent to each other. Saw some runners pouring Powerade sports drinks into their heads thinking they were water. There should be different cups for each.
- Snake-like route that criss-crossed back and forth like an endless water stream of runners. I waved my hi’s and hello’s to the same runners several times.
- Running in mostly dry, humid weather. I’m not used to running in the afternoons so i had wished it had rained a little. Poured cups of water in the head several times, instead.
- Running in the dark for the last 2 kms but i’m used to this and other runners should likewise get used to it. Some training entails running from 12 midnight on-wards so there are parts of streets where it is unlit. Slow down and use use energizer lights when needed.
- Being served food at the VIP lounge but couldn’t get it past your throat because you’re still panting. Gulped several cups of iced-tea instead.
- An after-party rock concert that had many runners bobbing their heads. A while ago, it was the feet moving, now it’s the nobs!
- Leaving the race vicinity immediately to attend to other business matters together with the partners at the Texas Grill at BHS.
- Ready to hit the sack after dinner and a couple of beers.