Date: September 1, 2013
“ 5:30 am, the ladies were off and then came the longest ten minutes with each seconds ticking meant another stride worth of lead for the female pack. 5:40 am at gun start, we came charging in and it was one of the fastest starts I’ve had in a run. Defending one’s gender meant pushing the effort a little further as bragging rights was at stake. “
Read about: Incoming: Sofitel-Runrio Battle of the Sexes II
August has been a worry-filled month and having the calendar at September 1 had me more excited. There’s something about September that radiates hope. It might be the earlier nightfall, the cooler temperature or the entry of the “ber” months that signals the start of merriment. Nothing refreshes me like a good run so having a race kit at Sofitel – Runrio Battle of the Sexes was a good way to start the month. Forget that I’ve missed a significant chuck of time on my training from a busier schedule. The plan was to use the race as a good training run and start building up again for future races. One thing I like about this race was the unique concept of a different gun starts for male and female with the ladies having a 10 minute head start for the 10K category. This one’s also for a cause with the beneficiary being the children of the Virlanie Foundation. Mall of Asia is no longer a familiar playground for me as my last race in this area was more than 2 years ago but the flat terrain here would be a good one to pack in speed.
The race starts at Seaside Boulevard proceeding to the end of the road with the intersection at Macapagal Boulevard as the first u-turn slot. The race goes back to Seaside Boulevard with a refreshing view of the bay and proceeds to Coral Way heading to Macapagal Boulevard. The race continues in the Aseana area in Macapagal Boulevard until the Coastal Mall area for the next u-turn. The Race goes all the way to Edsa Extension and proceeds to Diokno Boulevard before intersecting again with Coral Way. The race proceeds back to Seaside Boulevard for the finish. The elevation profile for the area is relatively flat.
For all the troubles of waking up early in the previous days and the head ache the night before, I was up early on race day arriving at the venue at 5 am which gave me a lot of time to stretch before gun start. As this had an unusual concept with the ladies going first with a 10 minute head start. The 10 minute gap felt like forever as even before we were let go, there was about two to three ladies already back in Seaside Boulevard. While I had no aspirations of being competitive for this run, the feeling in the area was tense and this is was contagious. After 10 minutes, it was finally gun start and everybody zoomed fast and furious at the starting line. First 500 meters, I checked my pace and it was 4:30 minutes per kilometer which is way too fast for my normal level so I tried to walk a few steps to normalize my heart rate but still ended up finishing the first kilometer at 5:30 minutes per kilometer race pace. This is still way to fast for me considering I’ve missed a chunk of my training. By the 2nd kilometer, I settled in at around 6 minute pace until the 3rd kilometer but still depleting my energy reserves.
I switched further to a seven minute pace approaching Aseana area and still managed to finish a fast 5 kilometers. My missed mileage started to show in the second half of the race as I was already huffing and puffing so tried to recover by adding some short recover walks in between the runs. It’s now time to do the drill, one foot over the other and repeat as I started counting down the distance. I was exhausted and struggling but the good thing was I was still moving and still pushing myself to the finish line.
As I entered back Seaside Boulevard and the final kilometer, I gave it one final push as I can just recover after the finish line. I started making my dash to the finish and despite the struggle, I was able to finish at my target time. Funny, how describing my 10K run felt like doing 21K. Oh well, that’s what you get for being inconsistent in trainings but for all its worth this was one solid training run. I was able to play around with different paces during the run and also I didn’t feel any muscle pains the whole run. I also took my time at the water stops as the stations are about 1.5 to 2 kilometers apart just to make sure I am properly hydrated. Overall, Sofitel-Runrio was a good run with a lot of leg room to run as most roads have been closed to accommodate the run and just so you know who dominated the run, 10K was won by the females but the 5K was dominated by the males. So we’ll leave it as a draw.
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