I ran the PhilHealth 18k run last Sunday to get my usual week-end long run fix as i wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this race. It was going to be one of those long, relaxed runs to gear up for my upcoming Run United 21k next month.
However, i knew this was going to be one of those mega runs where you get to jostle with thousands who have registered for this race, many of them joggers and week-end runners who would crowd on the narrow east lane of Roxas Boulevard.
As expected, the route became very crowded, specially when the 3k, 5k and 10k runners were sent off one after the other. The scene was like of ants coming from the north and south bound lanes and bumping into each other during the turn-around points!
I had to stop and walk several times to find a way how i could pass through without encroaching into the opposite lane! Despite the mayhem, the race went on without any major hitch as marshals courageously directed traffic as they urged runners to move, move, move! (Imagine groups of 3k runners stopping at the 3k turn-around sign-board just to take pictures!) The crowd would later thin out once you get pass through these turn-around choke points.
These odds were all stacked against the organizers but surprisingly, the event was well-run, very organized with very well placed hydration stations that you would never worry about getting a drink on your next stop as the tables were well-stocked! Oh, they were even passing out bananas at around the 6th and 8th km marks and these was a boon to us running the longer distances.
The only real kink to this race was that the route got too tiresome as the 18k runners, starting from Km Zero had to turn around at the foot of the EDSA flyover on the way back to Luneta only to turn-around again upon reaching Pedro Gil so we were en route back to Edsa to make the second and final turn-around before heading straight back to the Quirino grandstand at Luneta for the finish line.
I wish they would have extended the run towards MOA then to Macapagal Avenue, get the extra distance there then turn back towards the finish line.
With PhilHealth as the main proponents of this race with the Philippine Children’s Medical Center and the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital as beneficiaries, this run was held in 18 other major sites throughout the country so major support was given to assure the success of this run.
Over-all, the energy put into this race was tops and kudos to race Director Edward Kho for directing such an extra ordinary event. Our heartfelt thanks to to Ms. Claire Papa of RiteMed-Unilab, major sponsors of the race who provided us media and bloggers breakfast and refreshments after the race.
There’s not much pictures in here, just mementos before and after the race.