It’s in the intimate races where you see that the running community is one big happy family. Coach Roel’s Birthday run had different teams and running groups united either as volunteers or runners all working together in the run and the festivities. Ultra 10 mile challenge was also an exploration of a fresh route of the Pasig Area, which also came with challenging inclines and a really competitive and fun track relay categories.
Ultra 10 Mile Challenge
I was seriously considering sitting out the races this weekend as I’ve been in races all weekends of March. It was also a busy time for me with the Annual Report Rush at work (Yes, I do have a demanding day to day job too.) I had zero training mileage during the week so I thought that I should find a way to squeeze this one in for some mileage. It would be a good breather from the work stress since this one comes in a very festive environment. I ended up claiming my kit though I still was contemplating whether to run the 10 mile category or just go easy with the 5K category. I ended up choosing the 5K category since I wanted to watch the track relay categories happening at 7 am. I needed the workout too since I need to pile in some mileage for the week. I like that it’s a fun and no pressure environment.
Race Course and Elevation Profile
The Route was simple with the race starting at Ultra. It the heads towards Meralco Avenue and Julia Vargas. The race shifts to Lanuza Avenue with the halfway point u-turn before proceeding to the other side of Lanuza. The race goes uphill via St. Martin and re-enters Ultra for the Finish.
The race starts with an uphill climb heading to Meralco Avenue before a slow descent along Julia Vargas. There is a slight incline going to the u-turn slot in Lanuza before moving to the flatter part of Lanuza. St. Martin is a steep climb at kilometer 3 before it goes flat again at the Ultra Track Oval.
Since I was working late the night before the race, I made sure that I set my alarm just in time to catch the 5:45 am gunstart. I arrived at Ultra around 5:15 am, which was enough time to get my kit, warm up and see the 10 milers being sent off. I also met Celebrity Karylle who’ll be doing 3K distance and joining the relay category later. I didn’t set any expectations high for this one. I just wanted enjoy the run. I also brought my GoPro Hero 3+ for my documentation needs.
The 3K and 5K category had the same gun start. As the race started the kids who were joining the 3K category went on at a fast pace to start the race. I started fast too to start the race but inserted some few second walks as I am warming up my muscles. After all the long distance runs, my muscles are not built already for short runs as it takes time before they get warmed up. I just had to bare with the pre-warm up stiffness and also rustiness since this is just a shorter distance. Thanks to the ultra soft cushioning of adidas Ultra Boost, I was able to keep a decent pace while warming up. The Julia Vargas part was downhill so this is where I started going real fast.
I was all warmed up already at Julia Vargas so I can go at a more consistent and fast pace. I am now more familiar with this area because I was able to run with my friend Tracey here a few months ago. It felt routine already from hereon as I made my way to the u-turn at Lanuza and the next water station. I met my friend Inja at the water station and guess who got a dose of water? =>
After playing around in the first water station. I went on to continue my run and. After reaching the end of Lanuza, I saw the steep incline of St. Martin. I can choose to walk this part or do a sequence of run walk. I preferred the latter as it would take me to the finish line faster. I went on to do one minute run and 30 seconds walk and after just a few set, I was at the top of the hill. I went forward and it was already the entry point to Ultra. It was just about 200- 300 meters to the finish line from the entry point and it was the softer surface at track oval. With the scent of the finish line, i went at full speed to finish strong at around 30 minutes. The course was less than 5K though from my watch but I’m good with that as it’s still was a good run for me.
That was a good quick run and after finishing. I was catching up with some friends while awaiting the relay. We came up with a crazy idea of forming a relay team of bloggers. So I was checking who was around, Roselle of runningdiva.ph, Redg of onereyna.wordpress.com and Jared of runningsuplado.blogspot.com and that makes a team. At the same time, the hosts were already daring our team to join. That would be fun but we ended up super nervous for this one as the track event is something new to us.
It didn’t help watching the first few relay team blitz the track with their speed and form. Karylle also was fast and had a really nice form too. When it was our turn, I volunteered to be the first runner since I didn’t want to have the pressure of missing the baton. It turned out that the first runner had to do the starting track position, which was customary. I told the marshal if it would be ok if I go for a running start since I’m afraid I might trip myself (yes, I am such a klutz.) but it was required so I had to try it out a few times before the actual start. It was just a 100 meter run and we were up against track masters for this event. It was an honor to run with them on the same course. When the race started, I went out running as fast as I could though the other participants quickly sprinted their way to the first 100 meters. Even at my fastest, I felt running slow motion at their full speed. I was able to pass the baton to Redg then Redg was able to pass it to Roselle and finally, Roselle was able to pass it to Jared. That was an exhilarating experience at track.
We learned a lot doing the relay as it showed a lot of difference between athletics and running like they can sprint all out since it’s just a short distance while we’re trained to do fast and consistent strides we can sustain in the long run. They can go with an immediate burst of speed while we take time to warm up and speed up. It’s two discipline but one could complement the other. We were also able to watch the other track events and were impressed with kids doing well in the events. After the boodle fight, I went home to catch up some sleep. Along the way, I was surprised with Jared sending a messaged that we placed third in the mixed relay category. It was surprising but it was fun joining this one. I guess it only felt real when I received my medal the next day.
Outfit of the Race