Friday, August 20, 2010

Run to Read (Let's run to build libraries)

Run To Read Fun Run was designed to raise funds to build and restore libraries for less fortunate communities in various parts of the Philippines. The run will be composed of 4 major distance events; 3KM, 5KM, 10KM, 15KM and a 500-meter dash for kids and their moms or dads

Now who wouldn't support such a noble cause?  I guess the other 2,000+ runners felt the same way too

I immediately went out to BHS but the guy there told me to scram.  Well not exactly.  There was no more 15k race packets and said that it'll be best if I register to another site.  And so I went to All Terra in Libis.  Couldn't register as well, they only carry 5k race kits.  What a bummer!  I ended up in Reebok/Megamall, good thing they accepted my registration but I wasn't able to get my race bib and singlet.  I was told to come back by August 1.  Well, as long as I am registered then I have no problem

Another nice thing about this fun run is that there are five (5) singlet colors to choose from.  Which eventually became 6 as they introduced another color - lime green.  When the singlets were made available, I grabbed the RED one
This is my first 15k race and I've set a goal to finish it in 1 hour and 30 minutes.  I just need to cover every kilometer in 6 minutes or less.  And maintain this speed throughout the course of the race.  It should be doable. Not easy but doable.  To make it more realistic, I studied the locations of the water stations and planned which one I should get myself hydrated and minimize my downtime

Aug 15.  Race day.  Came in around 5:30am just 15 minutes away from gun start.  Immediately started with the usual dynamic stretching.  My idea is to do a quick run around BHS for a proper warmup.  But because the gun start is just a few minutes away I opted not to. 

Had a strong start.  But in the first few kilometers I knew that there was something wrong and I would be in trouble.  Here are some of the issues I encountered:
1 Distance markers.  There was none.  Not a single one.  For the whole 15 kilometers I did not found any.  I do not have a consistent stride rate as I tend to rest by slowing down everytime I feel tired.  So distance markers help me maintain my intended pace.  For any race, having distance markers is a big PLUS for me.  I am not asking to have one every kilometer but at least every 2-3 kilometers
2 Water stations.  I was surprised to see a water station just passed the first kilometer.  I guess they placed this for the lower distance runners.  Also, There is only 1 water station in Bayani Road where there are supposedly two of them.  A huge no no.  What happened to the other one?  And because there is only 1 water station, as expected it prematurely ran out of water.  Forcing the rest of the runners to climb out of Bayani without drinking and finally getting some in Lawton Ave
3 Elevation.  Too many of them.  Well I do not blame the organizers but rather I blame myself.  I was not ready with the number of inclines inside Bayani Road.  This was actually my first time to run here.  I guess this is the perfect time to integrate some hills training in my regular practice runs.
4 Race map.  It is not accurate.  The implied U-turn in Bayani is somewhere in Heritage Park.  When we got there it was moved to C5.  I know it is not that far but it just messes up with my mental image of the race map
5 9k U-turn.  There was a 9k u-turn inside bayani (near Heritage) where there were 2 marshalls who were giving away plastic loops.  I got confused with this arrangement.  Almost did a U-turn there.  Good thing I saw the other 15k skipping it.  Later I learned that it was intended for another race sponsored by a financial institution
6 Two races.  When I was traversing in Lawton Ave, I saw some runners turning right to McKinley hills.  I wanted to go ahead to 5th Ave because I know there was no route going there but I would feel bad if I end up knowing that I cheated.  I had to stop and ask the marshalls just to make sure that I am not cutting any corners
7 Marshalls.  A 10k runner got lost and went in to Bayani along with the other 15k runners.  He stopped and asked for directions but was given a wrong instructions.  He was being asked to ran along with us and take the 9k U-turn intended for the other race.  Good thing I was there and said otherwise.  Primarily the error was made by the person in-charge in the 10k loop along Lawton.  I suspect that the marshalls doesn't have the big picture of what was going on and got stationed with specific instructions and with very little details

I managed to pull out a time of 1 hour and 36 minutes from this run.  I was off by 6 minutes from my target.  No biggie as I know I will do better next time.  Actually I am already planning on how am I going take on my next race this Sunday (16k).  Optimistically I should be able to cross the finish line in 96 minutes (maintaining a pace of 6'/km) but it will be great if I'll get it in 90 minutes or less.  I hope I'll catch lots of Zzzzz this time

Overall I had a great time.  If there will be another run next year, I will definitely participate and support their cause again


Unknown said...

oh, those singlets are cute! it seems that the race isn't properly organized.. oh well, at least you had a great time and the 'noble cause' is all that matters.

good luck on your next race! :)

Daves said...

yup, that's right dianne. it is the cause after all :)

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