Thursday, July 21, 2011

Race Review: The Pocari Sweat Run "Ready Get Sweat Go"

I have shared in some of my earlier posts about running that a runner ultimately competes with himself. At my age, and with only a little over two years of running experience, getting highly competitive and aspiring to be as fast and as strong as the seasoned (younger) runners I know is a long shot and that the best time to prepare to be in that state of fitness was 10 years ago :) With that, the only competitor I needed to beat was my last 10k chip time of 1hr 1min and seven seconds at the Yamaha Run last July 3 at BGC.

Last Sunday my wife and I participated in the Pocari Sweat Run  dubbed as Ready Get Sweat Go! at Fonteraverde Tiendesitas, Pasig City. Much thanks to friends from PepSquad Events and Marketing Services who invited me and my wife and graciously gave us race kits for this event. It was my first time to race at Fonteraverde but I’m quite familiar with the area as I reviewed the race routes. So, with a little confidence, I registered for the 10k run and my wife, a newbie in the running circuit, signed up for 3k.

We arrived early so we ate a quick breakfast at a nearby fast food outlet before we proceeded to the starting line. The crowd was a bit small compared to the past run I’ve been but the place was already jumping with excitement. After a quick change of footwear, I proceeded to the 10k starting line while my wife deposited our belongings to the baggage counter. According to the organizers, there were about 250 10k runners who galloped the streets of Ortigas Center that day. While navigating my way through the crowd at the starting line, I bumped into Reylene De la Paz, a long time friend who has been running and bagging ranks and medals for quite some time now. I also had the chance to be acquainted with her running teammates who, I assumed, are seasoned runners as well.

Photo borrowed from Run Philippines' Facebook page

As the gun was fired, all the front liners sprinted the few hundred meters from the starting line. The first kilometer is a 10-degree ascent along Dona Julia Vargas Avenue. For a mid-foot runner like me, ascents are normally an advantage and give less strain on the knees and ankle. But as the day became busier, cars and jeepneys passing by became additional obstacles as we tried our best to dodge them along the way. It’s a good thing that water and Pocari drink stations were situated at certain points along the race course which made our day easier and fun. In a race course like this, the numbers of ascents come with an equal number of descents as we loop in the course. In general, descents are knee killers. For a mid-foot runner, one is allowed to do heel-strike on descents but with knees slightly bent to allow the body to have a natural shock absorber as it is being pulled by gravity downhill.

The last kilometer stretch was 10 degrees downhill and everybody was on full stride as we approached the finish line. I wanted to go faster but my body was battling with fatigue resulting from all those inclined and declined running, so I just decided to finish the race as comfortably as possible. I crossed the finish line at exactly 1hr. 3min.

I could say that this is one tough race. All of the finishers were given a bag containing a couple of Pocari Sweat drinks and a finisher shirt. After exiting from the finish line, I saw my wife who finished the 3k category much earlier seemingly without any sweat. As I was about to be amazed by her performance, she told me she mostly walked rather than run the whole course :)

Scanning the crowd, I saw and greeted my friend Reylene who turned out to be the first place winner in the 10k women’s category. Kudos to you, my friend, who is not only a fast runner but a good writer as well.

I was not able to beat my last chip-time in this race. But the battle is not over for me as I will continue to run and train to gain more strength. When the next race comes, I am sure to once again face my ultimate running opponent – Me.

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