I've never looked forward to a race as much as I did this one!! Why? Somehow, the last two scheduled races, for one reason or another, were races I didn't run in!!! This time, I was determined to show up, no matter what.
I've always loved running at UP. I find the locale eco-friendlier than Bonifacio Global City. The trees actually make it more pleasant on the mind while struggling through the course. It's my 3rd time to run a 10K at UP!! The beauty of this run is that I'm more familiar with the course now and I know, mentally, I should be able to tackle the challenge.
This was organized by the students of the Delta, Lambda, Sigma Sorority and the UP Varsity Swim Team. It wasn't a large crowd -- thankfully so, since registration, payment and bib distribution were handled onsite. That's probably why we were scheduled to start at 6:30am.
I was up early -- 4:30am. The night before was the 50th Anniversary and Homecoming of La Salle Greenhills. I attended but left early so that I didn't have any excuse not to show up the next day. While driving through Tomas Morato, I discovered that the Starbucks Coffee Shop there was opened early -- I decided to stop and grab a cup of coffee and a donut -- at least my stomach and need for caffeine was solved.
I actually arrived at UP way before 5:30am. I parked at the usual parking area but couldn't find the registration site. I was walking around the oval and chanced upon some students putting up signs and asked for directions. I had to head back to the rear of the College of Music -- that's where I found Allan Esguerra, already in line for the registration. A few minutes later, Dante Briones and Mama Ting also arrived. Bringing up the rear was Jorge Buenaventura. Another friend, Dave de Leon, decided to do a long run instead of joining us for the 10K. But, he'll join us for breakfast afterwards.
Everyone was running the 10K except for Mama Ting. After her coached-training runs at ULTRA, she decided to check her 5K performance, hoping for a new PR.
The makeshift registration areas where the runners lined up to register, pay and get their bibs.
The gang posing for posterity before the start of the race.
At close to 6:30am, we were all hearded to the Starting Line. After a few minutes, we were waved off to start our run.
The course was the same route we took during the Runnex 10K run last December. I did around 1 hour 14 minutes last December. I was hoping to do much better and without stopping this time.
The first 5K was good -- I felt strong and the rhythm was good -- despite the terrain. As I neared the last 300 meters of the 1st 5K, I noticed Dante struggling. When I caught up with him, he said that his right left was cramping up. I gave him one of my water bottles and told him to keep it.
There weren't enough water stations during the race. I was glad I brought along my hydration belt. While the students were trying hard, they just were up to the task of organizing a great race. But, I'm not complaining -- it was still a relatively good race.
Unfortunately, at around the 6K mark, I had to take a nature break. But, that was it -- I was able to sustain the rest of the way without any more breaks. The last 1K was the most difficult. I was struggling to mentally stay focused -- I didn't want to succumb to the desire to stop and walk. I started counting whatever distance markers I could see. It was such a relief to finally reach the finish line.
I walked back to the finish line and asked the timekeeper what my time was -- 1 hour 10 minutes and 29 seconds!! I was hoping for a sub 1 hour 10 minute run but I'm happy -- my first 10K run without stopping!! Finally!!
Everyone seemed to have done good runs. Dante was able to recover from his near cramps. The hydration helped and he actually finished ahead of me!!! And, of course, Mama Ting, has a new PR for her 5K -- the result of good coaching and training. Soon, she'll be tackling a 42K full marathon!!
After the race, we all went to Chocolate Kisses by the UP Alumni Center. After a hard but good run, the Bangus, Fried Egg, Garlic Rice and Coffee never tasted so good!!