Coach Roel’s Birthday Run is another intimate run I’ve been doing yearly. I love that its more of a celebration than a competition. It makes you feel the warmth of the running community celebrating in a more festive mood. Happy Birthday Coach Roel!
Coach Roel Birthday Run
It’s always a fun mood at Coach Roel’s Birthday Run. A few years ago, I joined the 5K distance and also the mixed relay. We ended up 3rd in the relay. Last year, we had a scenic yet challenging trail route from Mount Sinai to Timberland and back. This year, the race returns to ultra with the main category being the 41K from Antipolo to Ultra. That’s 1 kilometer for each year of Coach Roel’s age. There were also fun categories in the 5K, 10K and the relay categories. I joined the 5K distance just for fun.
The 5K was a simple 12 loops around the oval with one loop being 400 meters. What I like about running in the oval is that it divides the run into shorter sets. I didn’t need to think about running 5K, I just needed to run 400 meters again and again. I haven’t really run on long stretches lately with trail runs and races being more at hiking pace. The softer surface of the oval reduces the strain in running. I came just a few minutes to spare before gun start.
After a short zumba warm up, the race started with the inner lanes for the 5K runners and the outer loops for the 10K runners. I started too fast pace for my own good because I easily get swayed by the pace of the leading runners. The first loop was the fastest until I started having shin splints in the first few loops. It’s usually common for me to have shin splints whenever I start too fast. I had to walk a few stretches into the third loop and then re-strategize with run-walk sets for the latter loops. I kept the walking sets short though so I won’t get lazy on the run.
I endured the pain of the shin splints int the 6 loops until my legs finally felt warm enough for a good run. I started doing longer sets of run and the just took a few seconds of waking breaks in the second half of the race. My pace was steadier on the second half of the race. I was counting down the loop until I’ve reached the 12th loop and earned my medal at 35 minutes. It felt ‘bitin’ as I just got warmed up in the second half of the race but it’s a good work out for me.
The next part was the “kwentuhan sessions” with fellow runners who either did the 41K, the short runs or those who was just there to support the cause. That’s what you get with intimate runs, you spend more time post race than the race itself. We also had to watch the really competitive relay events.
There were a lot of categories for the relay events, which makes you a better appreciation of the track sports. The relays went by at such a fast and competitive pace that we were left in awe by the speed of the participants. Then there was the awarding of the different winners.
Among the highlights of the event was the boodle fight for all. I just had a few bites but it was really fun seeing a community eating together as one. It was a short run with a longer time with the community.