Time: 1 hour and 8 minutes
Date: April 21, 2012
Pace: 6:48 minutes per kilometer
Boracay Skyathon 2012
I’ve always wondered how it would feel to run in the fine white sands of the beach. Since Boracay was too much of a party place, I never had enough energy or initiative to wake up early and run by the beach. For all what the island has to offer, I was able to do island hopping, snorkling, All Terrain Vehicle ride, banana boat ride and even thrown off a cliff via a Zorb ball but never a run. So this was what Boracay Skyathon meant to me, a chance to tick off one of my to do list in Boracay. I was lucky enough to be assigned by Total Fitness magazine to attend and take part of the Sky Cable sponsored beach run. Skyathon was a vacation and a run rolled into and it was held in one of the best places to be in summertime, Boracay. This is gonna be another legend-wait for it-dary run adventure.
Sky Cable had us pampered the whole event from our pre-flight reminders for our SEAIR flight, to our hotel accommodation at the TIDES, meals and of course, our race kits. My flight was a day before the run together with other sponsors, partners and some celebrities. We were welcomed with a generous loot bag from event sponsors. There was a pre-event Sounds of Sundown cocktail which also offered free henna tattoo, massage and claiming of race kits. Until this point, I was torn on whether to go barefoot or run with shoes but eventually decided on wearing shoes upon seeing that there are some rocky areas in station 1.
While the race route was simple which had runners starting at the beachfront in Epic near D’Mall and the runners running 1 and a half kilometer near the tip of station 1 for the first u-turn slot. The runners would then run back to the start area for the 3K mark and go for another 1 kilometer towards station 3 for the 4K mark and the second u-turn and then the course heads back to start area where 5K runners can proceed to the finish line, the 10K runners will do another loop and the relay participants will switch runners for the second loop. The elevation of the course is the tricky part as you can go on different elevations in the course depending if you’re running in the shoreline which is lower or in the beach area which is higher. Running on uneven terrains and elevation is also what makes this run challenging. Then there’s the fine white sands makes it harder to accelerate as the stronger you push on the ground, the deeper your feet gets into the sands.
There was a pre-race briefing conducted by the finish line, the organizer for the run wherein the race course was discussed. Since there were just around 300 runners, all categories had the same gun start at 6 AM. This was more of a race to train pace for me since I’m just starting my buildup for next month’s duathlon but of course, I do want a decent finish.
At gun start, I tried going for a strong start but the uneven terrain was punishing on the legs but was able to start at below 6 minutes per kilometer pace before switching strategies to take it at a steady and consistent pace of around 6:30-6:40 minutes per kilometer pace. You do exert more effort in navigating the fine white sands as each stride you need to add more power as you get stuck at some points in the white sands. The good part about this area is that the shoreline is bigger which gives you more space on more solid grounds.
I’m calling this area as the killer ‘sands’ as the shoreline is a bit shorter and you have to take a significant portion of the run on the soft and fine white sands. The stronger you push, the deeper your feet gets into the sands. I struggled at over 7 minutes per kilometer on this part as there were some stretches that it would be faster to walk than to get buried running just like how a quick sands eats you faster when you keep moving. This is the part that you wished that you were just went barefoot instead.
2nd loop and I really wanted to catch up on this part as I knew that I need to save time here since it won’t be fast once I get back at the killer sands. Back to my sub-7 minute pace and having my second wind, I felt refreshed just seeing the beach in your background and passing by the scenic Willie’s Rock before the U-turn. After a struggle in the killer sands are, this felt like a breeze.
Now back to the killer sands and at this point most of the runners have opted to remove their shoes and just go barefoot but I just went on wearing shoes even at times I have to run on water as at this time even the shoreline was getting thinner and sands in the shoreline a lot softer. I went back at a slower pace above seven minute per kilometer pace but managed to build some steam to finish strong in the last 500 meters. 40th in the 10K Men Category and 45th overall in the 10K category.
Finishing with a Rainbow
As an additional incentives, I get to finish with a rainbow at the finish line. One of the perks of a beach run. That says why it’s more fun to run in the beach. If a rainbow does not seem enough for you, the loot bag is probably one of the most generous loot bag Ive ever seen with a finisher shirt and slippers from boardwalk and products from belo, salompas and other event sponsors.
As soon as I crossed the finished line, it meant that the vacation leg was on full swing. Beach front massage, chill walk at the island, Jonah’s milk shake, dip in the pool and in the blue waters, Merly’s Barbeque and of course, sun set watching. It’s always a priceless portraits once the ocean, the Paraw sails and the swimmers meet the setting sun. It’s one of the things to look forward to in Boracay.
And just to make sure Skyathon end’s with a bang, there was an after party at the Juice bar called Gold Rush promoting Sky Cable Gold’s packages. It had fire dancers, drinks from the Bar and Emperador light and lots of games with great prices. It was definitely a fun night even as the program proper was over people stayed on to party until the wee hours of the morning. That definitely spells a successfull event with a capital S-U-C-C-E-S-S.
And then to say my thanks
It was great meeting new people and friends I met in this events. Thanks to Sky Cable, event hosts and sponsors for pampering me the past three days. It was a pleasure running the Skyathon. Of course, I’m eternally grateful for Total Fitness magazine and Team Total Fitness for all the support. I’m completely overwheled and jumping for joy.
And just in case you’d want to see more pics. Here’s a link to my FB page. (click here)
Team Total Fitness Running
This is my last race for season 1 and in a few days it’s gonna be whole new season…