Time: 2:23 minutes
Date: October 23, 2011
Pace: 6:46 minutes per kilometer
I selected this race to be my A-Race over three months ago and that this would be the race I would transition from a 10K to 15K runner to half a marathoner. This race was not just 21K, it was 3 months worth of training and hard work on speed sets, hill runs and the weekly long 21K++ runs. While I wasn’t short of preparation, I was really jittery a week before as I felt that I have peaked too soon and may have lost some momentum during the taper week but I guess, being jittery is a normal reaction for someone who wants a major event to be finished successfully and that was my goal to finish with a good time and a decent pace.
Team Total Fitness Debut
This was also the debut race of Team Total Fitness and this is the beginning of a new era as Total Fitness and our sponsors (Oakley, ON Cloudrunners, Brooks Apparel, Polar, Cep, i-pure, Chris Sports, Honey Stinger, Dermplus, Epic Triathlon and Cycling Wear and Moving Comfort) is entering the running and multisports arena under Coach Andy Leuterio of Alpha Training Systems. There was no bigger stage to make a debut than Adidas KOTR. It was double the excitement as not only am I running my first 21K, I am also running as part of Team Total Fitness so it’s gonna be a big day for all of us.
There were over 4,000 runners under the 21K category and this time I positioned myself a bit nearer to the front as I was determined to have a good time for this run. I usually go for a strong start but having too little of stretching, I wasn’t able to accelerate immediately so I changed strategy to go for a steady start until I feel that my legs are a bit warmed up. I was also surprised by the sudden change in the race maps having so many twist and turns around the Fort area instead of a more straight course as originally planned. Oh well, no matter how much you change the route, it’s still 21K. I found my second wind past the Kalayaan Flyover towards the second half of the race so I increased my speed a few seconds from that point and took advantage of the flat and straight course. I also shifted my rest and run approach, resting only for water breaks and taking energy gels every 30 minutes.
Going past kilometer 15, I know this is a race I can finish and just thinking that this took 3 months to prepare, stopping was never an option. It also pays running under the Team Total Fitness banner as you’re running with more pride. It was now back to Kalayaan flyover and knowing that the end is near, I was able to run at a steady pace. Kilometer 19 was the final challenge an uphill climb from 5th Street until McKinley Parkway and after that it was a matter of coasting towards the finish line with more flats and downhill inclines. As I crossed the finished line around 2:23 mark, it was satisfying and all the hard work the past three months was well worth it.
This was one of the more organized runs I attended. It was a touch of genius to separate 21K and 16.8K runners on the way back in the Kalayaan Flyover. Hydration Station was sufficient and even if there were thousands of runners, it didn’t feel crowded and you have all the leeway to run. The route switched from simple to complicated but as I said earlier it’s still 21K. The finisher medal was unique and definitely a must keep memento of the race. It was a great first 21K experience.