” The Annual Sofitel Run just got bigger with the #SofitelManilaHalfMarathon. We got a big medal for our big effort. It was fun running the MOA, Macapagal and Roxas Boulevard route that also gave us a view of Manila Bay and was for the cause of Virlanie Foudation. Thousands of runners went on to enjoy this run that also came with the cool weather. ”
Sofitel Manila Half Marathon
Sofitel had a different format for their run this year with the Sofitel Manila Half Marathon. Instead of the usual Battle of the Sexes, Sofitel came up with a bigger concept with a half marathon for runners to enjoy. Of course, the more important part was it would generate funds for the benefit of Virlanie foundation. It was great to be a part of this race. More than anything else, I came to this run to enjoy it. Of course, I also need the mileage to start preparing for my second marathon early next year. I’m low on long run mileage but I’m sure I’ll find the energy to finish this one.
Race starts at Seaside Boulevard and proceeds to Macapagal Boulevard, CCP Area and Roxas Boulevard for the first 3 kilometers of the race. The bulk of the race is in Roxas Boulevard. The race proceeds towards NAIA Road in Roxas Boulevard for the next 5 kilometers passing through two flyovers in Buendia and Edsa. The u-turn is before NAIA Road and heads back to Kilometer 0 (Luneta) in Roxas Boulaverd, which is about 6 kilometers from the u-turn passing through the two flyovers again. The race proceeds back to Mall of Asia area from the u-turn slot from Roxas Boulevard to CCP Area and Macapagal and entering Seaside Boulevard at around the 17 kilometer mark. The last 4 kilomter covers the full length of Seaside Boulevard and has a u-turn at the intersection of J. Diokno Boulevard and goes back to the inner part of Seaside Drive for the finish.
I was so complacent when I woke up that I left Makati at 3:30 am for a 4:00 am gunstart. I was stuck in traffic at the EDSA and I was literally watching every seconds tick until I reach Mall of Asia. I even thought of just trying to chase the starting line cutoff instead, which would allow runners up to 15 minutes leeway before it is closed to runners. It took me several minutes to queue for parking and by 3:58 am. I was parked and rushed to the starting line. By the time, I reached the starting line, runners were already starting to run at the start. No warm ups, no stretching but I had to go. One good thing though, my adrenalin is already at a high because of the chase to gunstart.
I really didn’t have a race strategy in mind as I’m trying to limit the use of the run walk method. One more thing going against me was that I had zero warm up before the race. As I entered the starting shoot. I went on to run at my regular pace. Fortunately, the regular pains in my legs was not present this time so I went on with the race. This was really a bonus since I didn’t have a decent warm up. After 5 minutes of running, I decided to go 5:1 run walk interval, which was a bit longer than the 3:1 run walk ratio I usually use. I just needed the extra 2 minutes push to add some effort in the run. I also don’t want to waste a lot of time in the water station this time. Let’s see how long can I push this effort.
The first 3 kilometers from MOA until Roxas Boulevard went like a breeze with most runners also running in full force. Water stations were well spaced out and would have one within 1 to 1.5 kilometers. The first half of Roxas Boulevard would have us navigating two flyovers over the next 5 kilometers going to NAIA road. I’d try to sync my walk intervals in the climb by adding several minutes on the run part until I reach the climbs. It was more efficient that way as the rest of the area are flats. Nothing much to see here as it was 4 am and it was still dark save for the usual night lights to guide us on the road. My legs were very cooperative at this point. It also helped that the usual humid atmosphere was not around since this was a rainy day and the weather was cool.
The next part after reaching the u-turn would be to go to the other side of Roxas Boulevard at Kilometer 0 in Luneta. We’ll be passing by 2 flyovers again so same strategy of reserving the walk part on the climbs. After crossing the second flyover around 12th kilometer into the run. It started to brighten up and there’s always the view of the CCP complex and Manila Bay along Roxas Boulevard to appreciate at this time. It was much more refreshing this part and since this is the second half of the race, it felt better ticking off one kilometer after another from the 21 kilometer distance. The u-turn was at Luneta about 14 kilometers into the race.
7 kilometers to go!!! From the u-turn in Luneta, it was the way back to the MOA Grounds. It was going over a strip of Roxas Boulevard, navigating the CCP area and Macapagal Boulevard before we entered the confides of MOA via the Seaside drive. The last four kilometers would be the full length of the Seaside Drive. Since this was the last leg and I was running low on energy for longer stretches of the run, I shifted to a 2 minute run and a 30 seconds rest interval to spread out my energy and not too over extend my recovery walks. By the 18th kilometer, I saw runners who have finished the course walking with their big medals. I was really surprised at the size of the medal as I didn’t expect it to be that big.
I went on with the last stretch with the shorter intervals and little by little I was inching myself to the finish. It didn’t take long for me to cross that finish line and it was a good race for me. I pushed myself further but not too hard and I got my mileage of the day. Of course, I really appreciate the nice quality of finisher shirt and the big medal. Great race to Sofitel and Runrio!