This is probably the “coolest” race that i have joined in. And i say it literally as the temperature last Sunday dipped down to about 15 degrees as we were warming up for the 5:30 a.m. start of the Anawim Grace 10K Run at Frontera Verde in Pasig.
The weather couldn’t have been better and the course itself was challenging, passing around Julia Vargas-Lanuza Avenues and the hilly St. Paul Street before heading back and it was a nice change of scenery from the usual week-end race venues in the metro.
The course is almost flat until you reach the 2km mark when you venture up St. Paul Street, nothing a runner can’t handle. The race itself went by faster than I had expected. The turnaround for the 10k was about near the top of St. Paul and there was adequate water stations.
The route goes for two loops but i noticed the lead runners making an extra loop and this sowed confusion among other runners who were following their tails. Seems that an over-zealous lead marshal made them do another turn until other marshals realized the mistake and corrected the situation.
The roads is virtually void of vehicles and cyclists at those hours so it allows a perfect opportunity to take in that part of the city without all the extra traffic of people.
The finish would have been exciting if not for the crowd of runners that blocked the finish line area. It also didn’t helped that the lady marshals who were giving out the medals were also in front of the finish line so you had to stop first a few meters before the finish arc to have the ladies award you the medals then continue walking to the finish.
Other than this minor hitch, i think the race organizers did a splendid job over-all, putting to good use the route which was an ideal race venue, more than enough courteous marshals, both on foot and on wheels who controlled traffic and cheered you along the way and the adequate water at the aid stations!
A big plus too was the food offered at the sponsors booth as we lined up for unlimited raisin/wheat bread, rice cereals and washing it down with Monster Energy Drinks.
A big shout-out to the Pinoy Aspiring Runners (PAR), for their grand debut in organizing this race and to Zalds Carlon Loreta for the opportunity in joining this run for a cause. A return engagement should be in the offing!