Distance: 10K (Actual 10.4K)
Time: 1:07 minutes
Date: October 15, 2011
Pace: 6:41 minutes per kilometer (Actual: 6:26 minutes per kilometer)
Night runs are as rare as they get and upon seeing that Nike had one in store, I immediately signed up. It was more of a warm up for my 21K debut next week than an actual run plus a night run should be a real change of circumstances over morning runs. While you go with fresh of the sleep energy on morning runs, you get to take a night run already perked up and ready to go. Gun start was 5pm and it was still warm and humid for this run. The run also offers a different race course concentrating on 8th Ave and International School Area and Triangle Drive area.
Upon entering the runners area, I immediately downgraded my expectation and threw all PR aspirations away with more than 8,000 runners running on a single wave and we were packed towards the midpoint until the tail end of the run. This is gonna be a crowded run. As the sound of the gun start rang, it took as an additional 2-3 minutes just to get to cross the starting line and right after that, it was ‘human traffic’. You can’t really accelerate much as there is not much space to run and you had to swerve from one point to another just to get past all the runners. It does get tiring trying to overtake continuously and endlessly. I shifted my strategy to running at a steady pace and just have sudden burst if there would be areas with less runners and just go with the flow on congested areas.
The race course was congested throughout the whole run and aside from the heat and humidity, it felt suffocating to be surrounded by so many runners but a race is never about counting things going wrong but living past these inconveniences to come up with a decent finish. I held on to a consistent pace and trying to get past as many people as possible, I just went on and on and on. I felt tired as early as kilometer 3 but I just kept on going at a moderate pace and just stopping for several water and hydration breaks. It was also nice that series of kids were so involved in watching the race that they wanted low fives. At first, I was hesitant since I didn’t want to drop form but seeing how the kid appreciate the low fives, I did give them my low fives.
Going for kilometer 7,8 and 9, you now get the full effect of a night run. Though there were some lighting, there were some areas that are real dark especially the last two kilometers at 8th Ave. This was also the point I started to adding a few seconds to my speed towards the finish line and finished around the 1:07 mark. It was of course nowhere near my PR. Come to think of it, it wasn’t a bad time. Given the circumstances, it was the best I could have given. Of course, it could have been a better time had I started nearer the starting line as it would have saved me a lot of energy overtaking but you just got to take what you can get. In another perspective, this could be my PR for 10K obstacle run / walk course.
The race course was unique but it was too small to squeeze in 8,000+ people and there were some congested areas where you had no choice but to walk but I have to give it to the organizers that all the runners were properly hydrated and guided along the race course. The finisher item was not available on time but the race organizers was humble enough to apologize for such and come up with an alternative solution. There may also be some mix-up on the d-tags as I got twitter updates for a different runner. I hope that this does not mean, some errors in the results when it does come out. On the overall, I think the 8,000 runners had fun and seeing that Nike was able to pull in newbie runners because of its strong brand name would be plus to the running community.
We had our instant picnic right after the race with S&R Pizza, Blue Bunny Ice Cream and the World’s Best Sports Drink, Coca Cola. You do need to recover all those lost calories and sugar in your system. It was fun and different to have a simplified picnic setup compared to the usual restaurants at high street. And there goes another race and another story but somehow this would be my last run going solo as a new banner would debut next week and I’m really excited for that but let’s leave that story for another time. It’ll be a new beginning.
3 months and 9 days later, I finally got the Nike USB finisher item.