I was thrilled to be back at the BGC running another 21k, coming off just a week after finishing the Run United2 Half-marathon under overcast-skies and slight drizzle.
Well, there wasn’t any rain last Sunday at the World Vision 21k Run and while weather predictions would be sunny, the late start caused some worries among us runners as the early heat would surely beat down on us.
I arrived with June at around 4:15am and the start was at the exact same spot as that of the RU2 race last week. The start was low-key, none of the mega crowds of runners from RU2 (yess, we can breathe now) but the air was nevertheless filled with excitement. I bumped into Elaine and Alex, my team mates from Team 90% and they were going for an all-out effort and better their times from last week’s.
The start of the 21k race was already delayed and you could just hear the moans of runners annoyed by the rantings of the lady DJ. Emcees should be aware that runners hate late starts! Good thing that Miriam Quiambao, one of the events hosts was discernful of the brewing displeasure of the runners when she stepped up the stage and immediately counted down from 5 to 1 before she fired the starter gun! Good job, Miriam!
But then, a Mitsubishi Asian Utility Van (part of the race crew) was left just in the middle front of the starting line and runners unaware of it had to make a sudden stop then swerve around to avoid bumping to it head-on! Man, how stupid of that driver to leave his vehicle in front of the starting line! Hahah..
I’m glad that the route took us first to Kalayaan Bridge towards Buendia Avenue rather than the usual route that we take first, the vicinity of the British School and the new Toyota showroom which we still did, although that was for the last 6 kms. I always love the part of crossing the Kalayaan Bridge and the subsequent downhill rush towards Buendia Avenue as it’s the only part where there’s an uphill and a downhill.
We were shown a new detour from Buendia when we took a right turn to Malugay Street (just after Mapua Institute) and made a u-turn just before Osmena Hi-way then back again to Buendia. At this point, my legs were still stiff as hell as i couldn’t get the proper rhythm and the cramping on my left hamstrings continued (felt it since T2N) although it was much bearable this time. It was useless to push it so i just coasted along, ran at a 7-7:30 pace for my own good.
We eventually got back at the BGC area and it was only at the 14 km mark that bananas and Pocari drinks were made available. That banana was refreshing and it got me feeling good up to the finish. I ended doing a 2:38, even 5 minutes slower than my RU2 the previous week. I’m just glad to be able to do a long run and this is what matters most now.
After crossing the finish line, i saw the omnipresent Ms. Mars in her usual jovial mood, taking pictures, having the time of her life after finishing her own 5k race. No sooner after i got my loot bag at the 21k tent that i saw her again at the media tent chomping on some pizza and offering some to me! She’s a runner, photographer, blogger, media rep, angry birds fanatic rolled into one!
I later joined my team mates, Team 90% and Runnex for a hearty breakfast at Something Fishy, Eastwood complex.
Despite of the faux pas at the starting line, the race was admirably well-organized, the marshals were generally supportive and courteous, the water stations were well-stocked and the Malugay route was a welcome break from all the running along Buendia.
Pep Squad events, one of the organizers of this race have maintained their very good reputation in putting up one good show after the other and their races are worth looking up to.
Our support too goes to World Vision (WV), holding its 1st Run For A cause which will benefit thousands of poor children through World Vision’s Sponsorship Program. Part of their 55th anniversary, WV provides education, healthcare assistance, child protection, values formation and community livelihood programs to poor children and their families in need.
It’s a great start and i hope WV continues to stage awareness events like this run thus continuously helping children in need!