Color Manila Run is not just the most festive and fun-filled run for me. It’s tradition. There’s no better way to start a year than a vibrant display of color powders enveloping the skies with people actively joining the ceremonies. It’s my 4th year running and enjoying Color Manila. It just keeps getting better and it got even bigger this year with their first ever half marathon category.
- Color Manila Run 2013
- Color Manila Run 2014
- Color Manila Nite Run 2014
- Color Manila Run 2015
- Brothers Color Manila Blacklight Run 2015
Color Manila Tradition
If New Years were spent the Color Manila way then we have a really colorful world. Color Manila has always been the way I started my race calendar. The race is just part of what makes it truly a must experience for young, lighthearted and fun-loving people. It’s the overall festive atmosphere from the start of the race, every time you pass the color stations, the color powder ceremony and the after party. This year had a unique carnival theme and a 21K category for experienced runners or even novice runners wanting to break in the half marathon distance. With so many marathons happening early this year, starting the year with a 21K distance would be a good build up. I opted for the 21K category too even though I knew that it would be tough to cover the distance coming from a long lay-off and a road trip from Baguio. In other words, I just want to enjoy the distance and not worry about time.
The race starts at Seaside Boulevard and proceeds to Diokno Boulevard for an out and back while also utilizing the side streets in the area for the first 4 kilometers of the race. The race then shifts to Macapagal Boulevard before shifting to Roxas Boulevard on the 5th kilometer. The next 10 kilometers is a loop in Roxas Boulevard from the stretch before EDSA until Luneta and back to Buendia passing by the flyover at Buendia twice. The race heads back to Seaside Boulevard at around the 17 kilometer mark, which had the color stations for the runners to enjoy. The last 4 kilometers was from the corner of Seaside Boulevard in Macapagal, passing through Diokno Boulevard before returning to Seaside for the final u-turn to the finish line.
The first run of the year is the hardest for me. It feels like the first day of the biggest loser camp. The weight is several pounds are heavier. The rhythm is off. the old bad running habits are back. 21K would be a great challenge at this time but I’m always a trooper, I’ll always find a way. Speaking of bad habits, I almost missed the gun start because I came so late that I wasn’t able to warm up much. The race started exactly at 4:30 am and I started really slowly since the goal was to endure the distance and not finish it the fastest. The first two kilometers was smooth though I was going at a really slow pace. By the third kilometer, I’m starting to feel that familiar pain in my shin and that I can attribute to a lot of things – rustiness, wrong strides, lack of warm up, etc. It was a great thing that there were people in the color stations actively cheering us on.
With the shin splints, I had to adjust my strategy so I went on a 1 minute run then 20 seconds walking break just to cover more distance. This went on for the next 2 kilometers. I tried extending the run portion a bit as we made our way to Buendia and started to climb the flyover until the 10th kilometer mark. I met Redg at the flyover area and we were joking about how it’s so difficult to run after the long break. Yes, it’s difficult. The lung power is down and the legs is not that used to the pounding yet.
By the 10th kilometer, I was already limping because of the shin splint. I figured I just have to find a way to last the next 5 – 6 kilometers as once I enter seaside Boulevard, it would just be at walking pace to enjoy the color stations and the carnival theme. I went on a 30 seconds to 1 minute run followed by 20 seconds of walks. It’s not fast but it kept me moving and covering the distance. I tried to endure the pain until the u-turn slot at Luneta (Km 12) where we had a water station break and they also gave chocolates.
After the u-turn I added more walking breaks until about 13.5 kilometer where I was able to get a spray of liniment from the medics on my sore shin. It was a great relief. I started speeding up once more and I was able to catch Redg’s Group around the 15th kilometer. I paced with them until the 16th, which was the u-turn slot for 10K runners. Redg was also having pains now on her ITB so we both decided to just walk the remaining distance. It was time to enjoy the color stations anyway. With the walk, I was also able to relax my shin for the rest of the race.
The color station was up at Seaside Boulevard. The first station was the Orange Station and we made sure that we had our dose of color powders. This was followed by the yellow station, which had really festive music that had runners packing the area. Next up was the purple station with their magic hats of color powders. The green station also had a very lively setup. The pink station was packed with their pig tail balloons calling the attention of the runners. The blue station also was fun with a fairy dust setup. I can say that the carnival setup and the different color stations were even better this year. It was fun, festive, colorful and really was up to the carnival theme. We then walked our way to the finished line and just like that I have my first half marathon of the year in the bank.
Great Job Color Manila for giving us another colorful start for the year with about 10,000 runners also joining the fun. I just love being a part of the color powder ceremony. It was breathtaking seeing the color display and heartwarming seeing people this happy. There’s no better way to start the year than the color manila way.
Outfit of the Race
- Singlet with My Runs Design by Breakout Design, shorts, calf sleeves, socks – Nike
- Shoes – Newton Distance IV
- GPS Watch – Suunto Ambit 3 Sports
- Eyewear – Rudy Project