It was nice running this half-marathon after my last race, the Safeguard-2XU Sole Racing 21k held last month. The Sante Barley Domination course at the Cavitex seems to have been chosen not only for its fast terrain but also for the stunning coastal views that we rarely see while running in the metro!
With about 6,000 runners joining this inaugural race of which half of them ran the 21k race, it was definitely crowded and slow moving at the start for those running the half-marathon but that was okay as it served as a warm-up of sorts, not rushing the pace to reserve it at the latter stages.
I’m still reeling on my acid-reflux issues and was worried that it again might affect my running. Good thing i took a tablet to control it before the run and was working wonders for both my breathing and tummy!
It was an overwhelming feeling to run early in the morning with a group of runners who feed off each other’s energy to push harder. Except for a few inclines and declines on flyovers that connect Metro Manila and Cavite, the course was consistently flat for the most part and great care was exercised by the race organizers by placing cones on the outside lane exclusively for runners to separate them from the rushing vehicles occupying the inner lanes.
I don’t usually rate how races were conducted but here below are just some of my observations:
- Beautiful and fast course
- Designated service lanes for runners along the busy Coastal Road
- South-bound lane of the Cavitex Expressway closed for runners to use
- Nice sampling of Sante Barley products inside loot bag
- Nice Finishers Shirt
- Gracious marshals greeting the runners
- Accurate distance (21.2kms) on my Suunto Ambit2
- Presence of the Photo-Ops Team and other private photographers
- Great hosting chores by the Running Host (Boy Ramos)
- Lots of newbie runners leveling up to the half-marathon for the first time
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
- Some water stations ran out of water cups
- Some stations ran out of water (at the 2nd half)
- Mid-pack to tail-end runners didn’t get any of those bananas, as promised
- Race start delayed by 30 mins as logistics were still being put to place
Note to runners: Always bring a hydration belt, hand held water bottle or any container you can bring along the run specially for races longer than 10k as you can’t be too sure if water would be adequate in a race!
The Sante Barley Run has great potential to be one of the premier runs in the country if they could just address the above shortcomings next time. One thing going for it is the very nice route and it’s secure enough even if it’s staged in one busy expressway. Since this is only their inaugural run, it has attracted hordes of runners who seem to be inclined in doing the half-marathon which is the race’s best seller, according to the organizers.
For me, i enjoyed this race immensely, it was a nice experience as i was able to achieve my target time of doing somewhere 2:30 (did it in 2:28:20). I’ll be looking forward to next year’s race!
(Thanks to Noel Camarillo, KB, Justin Joseph, the Photo-Ops Team and Without Limits Events for the nice pics!)