I treated this race more as a training run leading up to NB in Clark next week. In fact I intended to run an extra 5K after the 15K at VSO so I could build up some mileage.
Mentally, I wasn’t really that prepared. I ran an easy 5K the night before the race, which I had never done before so I was worried that my legs would be tired this morning. I also was hardly able to eat breakfast. I normally can run a 10k with only coffee in my tummy but I try to eat something more substantial for longer runs. I managed to eat a banana with peanut butter at home but I’m accustomed to eating a cheeseburger before my long runs.
At the starting pen, I met a lot of friends so it felt more like a cocktail party than a race. I met for the first time SF Runner Wayne, Levy, Councilor Doray, Nora as well as Jonel, Mark, Tiffin, Doc Joe, Wilbert, Jaymie, Jay, Jun C, Mon, Ed, Ting, and Rico who turned out lives quite near my house.
After the starting gun was fired, I found myself running alongside Doray and Jay, with Jaymie and Jun C just a few steps ahead of us. We settled at a 6:00 to 6:15 min/km pace. As we approached the turnaround at the end of Bayani road, Jay sped up to run with Levy. Doray and I were able to catch up with Jaymie and Jun C at Heritage Park and the four of us ran together until we reached km 12 at McKinley Hill. It was at that point that I felt the effect of trying to maintain my 6:00 pace going up MKH. My legs were quite fatigued when I got to the 12km turnaround. I eventually slowed down and at km 13, the 3 of them were already about 150m ahead of me and I couldn’t catch up. At that point I walked and tried this new brand of gel I got from a bike shop. I almost threw up from the slightly rough texture of the banana flavored gel that felt like pureed banana. Next time my strategy should be to consciously slow down on the uphill to conserve enough energy to catch up on the downhill.
When I got back to Lawton, I slowed my pace a bit so I could have enough reserve for the finish. Along the way I saw Mark who was telling everyone to stay in the middle lane and away from the sidewalk since there a lot of higad hanging from the trees. True enough there were dozens of higad that I was able to avoid, thanks to Mark. A google search revealed that the higad’s scientific name is Euproctis, a kind of moth. The larval form looks like a caterpillar with a lot of hair. The hair breaks off on skin contact and causes nasty allergic rashes.
I crossed the finish line in 1:35. It wasn’t my best time but not bad either, as I expected that I would do 1:40 to 1:45. Except for a section in McKinley, I was able to maintain a tempo pace throughout. Kudos to Coach Rio for another well-organized race. The water was bottled and Rush was overflowing throughout the race. In fact, I hardly touched my water belt this time.
Instead of mingling with the other runners after the race, I joined Jaymie, Jun C and Jay in our targeted 5K easy run. During this run, I finally met BroJ with his wife who were on their way home. BroJ didn’t run since he was still recovering from the flu but took pictures instead. After a 1.75km loop around Serendra, I was ready to call it quits though since the sun was shining bright and my legs were still tired from the race. Jaymie and Jun C followed suit but Jay continued his run.
I still managed to catch the tail-end of the awarding ceremony and I chatted with other bloggers like Vener and High Altitude. I also finally met Jinoe and Quennie who set a new MR. I also saw the lucky recipient of Wayne’s Asics running shoes that looked hardly used at Bald Runner’s Donate-A-Shoe booth.
From my talks with the other runners, it seems that most if not all will be running at New Balance in Clark next week. Congratulations to the finishers today and see you all at Clark!