I took it a step further when I covered the very 1st Kerry Sport Manila Vertical Race. I joined the fun climb which had us ascending 20 floors of Shangrila at the Fort. It was a really unique experience and thanks to Under Armour, I was also able to try the upcoming Charged Bandit Running Shoes.
Climbing is not something new to me but joining a vertical race would be a unique experience. I had a chance to cover Kerry Sports Manila Vertical Race 2016 and the first thing I asked was if there were any kits left. Fortunately, Under Armour Philippines had one left for the fun wave, which was 20 floors. Since it’s been raining non-stop, I’m starting to miss the competitive environment of a race. If I can’t run on the road or on the trail, let me at least try to get an adrenaline-rush from the vertical challenge of this race.
I brought my Under Armour Speed Form Apollo, which is one of the lightest speed shoes you can get but since they were allowing free trial for the upcoming Under Armour Charged Bandit 2. I took the chance to try it on for this event. So there you go, I’m trying an event I haven’t tried with a shoes I haven’t tried too. Anyway, this would just be for fun so I guess this would be a good way to gauge some of the features of the Bandit 2.
Under Armour Bandit 2
First impression is that it’s really soft and comfortable on the feet. Charged Bandit 2 uses a Molded Micro G® footbed takes the shape of your foot for great cushioning & fit. The Two-piece Charged Cushioning® midsole provides more balance between support and comfort with a firmer heel area for better landing and a softer forefoot for better comfort. It usually takes time for me to get used to new shoes but since the charged is soft, cushy and has a good fit, it felt perfect. I tried it out on the treadmill and I could really feel the float even as I went for a faster pace.
Tin of UA (One of a Kind Marketing) also joined our wave. It was just a fun climb, the plan was just go easy (not really). Our wave start for the fun climb is at 11:00 am. They separated the start in waves so there won’t be congestion in the stairs. The regular waves started earlier and by this time all the elites and participants for the 59 floors have finished the race.
As the race started, I went on slowly after all this was the fun wave. I noticed that everyone was going at a fast pace so that triggered my GO button to speed up. As we entered the step, I started to brisk walk and went on for longer stride taking two stair step at a time. It felt like ascending a mountain-summit but only faster and without the scenery. The first 5 floors went by like a breeze and I noticed that people started to slow down. I went on with my pace though I did stop at one of the floor to take a sip of hydration and to have a photo at one floor.
Halfway point, taking fast long strides gets exhausting. I shifted to taking one stair step at a time while maintaining the same pace for the next 5 floors. With 5 floors to go, I went back to the two stair steps at a time with the same pace since I knew we were approaching the finish line. I stopped at the 20th floor thinking that the finished line was there but the door was closed. I took the next floor to see the finish line in the 21st floor. I just realized that the start/lobby was in the second floor, hence, the finish line should be in the 21st. I checked my watch and it was just 5 minutes and 49 seconds for the full 20 floors. That was crazy kind of fun that satisfies my endorphins. I want to do it again. Well, next time, I’ll do the full distance.
The Bandit 2 did help on the stairs as the steps felt much softer with the cushioning and the outsole had a good grip on the surface so I didn’t have to worry about slipping on a wrong step. I hope to check it out on longer distances too as that would be an entirely different stories. It was nice experiencing the very first Kerry Sports Vertical Run. I’m glad even if it was just the fun category, I was able to try it out. It was also nice hearing stories and experiencing on other friends who also tried the distance. I had several friends who also made the podium.
It was nice also seeing Leroy too of Brick Multi sport Store, who I haven’t seen for a long time. We used to see Leroy a lot when we were still training at McKinley Hills with Brick being our usual hang out. It’s also where I got my road bike. I also saw a lot of friends coming from the trail running community. I guess the elevation challenge of the vertical race was the next best thing to being outdoor in the trails.
I hope they would do more vertical races here as it’s a different kind of challenge. It’s a faster race but the vertical ascent will make it worth each huffing and puffing moment to the finish line. Congratulations to Kerry Sports Manila and the participants of the race.