Friday, June 29, 2012

Run United 2: Almost sub-two in the 21k

When I did my first 21k run just over a year ago, one word filled my consciousness and that is “scary” but after several 21ks that followed, the anxiety and “scariness” was soon transformed to excitement and sheer joy every time I run. The feeling is more overwhelming when the course is new and it brings a new challenge in the game. I’ve been to several dozens of runs in the span of almost three years of running and there were quite a handful I consider an “epic” run and Run United is certainly one of them.

Just over a week ago, I finished my 4th 21k run at the Run United 2 which was set off at the Bonifacio Global City all the way to SM Mall of Asia in one single stretch. Rain poured a few days before the race day and it was still drizzling on the day itself. Many came a bit late including me because of the weather and the line at the baggage counter was really long. In a little while, the emcee Geli Victor announces the countdown for the first wave of the 5,000 21k runners, and the rest of us who were still in the line started to feel a bit of uneasiness, but still hoping to catch up at the last wave.

Finally, as soon as I was done in the baggage counter, I sprinted my way to the starting area I tried to catch up with the last batch of runners that will run the highways of Gil Puyat Avenue, Roxas Boulevard and Vicente Sotto and towards the finish line at the SM Mall of Asia. As we started to cruise the streets of BGC, excitement form every runners was felt in the atmosphere and the feeling was euphoric.

After the 7 kilometer mark the rain stopped but it left a really wet road with some puddles along the way that made many runners crowed up in a portion of the road just to evade it, because running shoes will surely hold water. But to a barefoot runner like me, it didn’t pose any problem at all. There about 16 barefoot runners who ran in the 21k category alone that day.

After the 11th kilometer mark where my ITBS normally occur, seemed to be absent that day and I felt I was on top of my game. I was so happy with my pace that I leveled up my speed a bit, hoping to get a “sub-two” at the finish line. Just as my level of excitement was high, as I reach the intersection of Vicente Sotto near World Trade Center, it suddenly collapsed because the road condition was so bad, even worse than the last time I ran there. From then on it was a slower pace with extreme caution with application of proper running form and technique. At the last kilometer mark, I managed to ran on the smoother portion of the gutter which made my pace increased a bit, hoping to recover my lost pace back earlier.

As I approached the finish line, I can already see the time and it was at 2:04:31.So I used all the remaining strength I had and sprint to the finish with the hope of getting a sub-two in my chip-time, since I was part of the last wave that was set off 15min late in the gun-start. But later on, I was told that the clock was not synchronized with the time in BGC and it was set 20min late. In short, my official time will be around 2hr. 5min. So, there goes my sub-two dream.

I didn’t get the sub-two but the overall feeling was so overwhelming because it was still faster from my previous 21ks. The next Run United 3 is scheduled on September 16 and I still have plenty of time to improve and perhaps get that sub-two in the end. 

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