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Run United Philippine Marathon

Posted by on 7. October 2014

RUPM Half Marathon Done.


Distance: 21K
Location: SM Mall of Asia
Date: October 5, 2014

“Run United is a journey for most with the Citues (Faster), Altius (Longer) and Fortius (Stronger) theme that encouraged runners to take the next step in their running journey.  SM Mall of Asia became a host to another series of feel good stories with several runners completing the trilogy and some finishing their first or nth Marathon.  Congratulations to all finisher and most specially to the newly minted Marathoners.”

Read about:

Run United Philippine Marathon

Crawling myself to the finish line. – Photo by Neville Abuso

If you haven’t noticed I haven’t joined a race in about a month. It was nice to be back at Run United Philippine Marathon.  In between those times, I was busy having my shin splints treated at NY Theraspine.  I should have done this earlier as I am now running pain-free and injury free.  It would be a great time to test my legs in the longer distance though I’m sure I would still be short on the endurance department.  Most of my friends joined the full marathon distance but I joined the half marathon distance.   It really takes time to build up for a marathon so I decided just to have one full marathon each year with my next one being on February.  This would be part of my build phase and part of the build is trying out new stuff and testing oneself.  I ended up going for a longer 5 to 6 minutes of run with 1 minute walk interval during the race.  Unilab and Runrio has always been known for the quality of the races and the seamless execution they have on races so this would really be a great race to be back.

Race Route

Race Route is powered by Suunto Movescount

The race begins at Seaside drive and enters Roxas Boulevard via Macapagal Boulevard and V. Sotto.  The race goes on to Luneta via Roxas Boulevard for the first 5 kilometers of the race.  The race shifts to the other side of Roxas Boulevard and goes all the way to the Baclaran area for the u-turn at the 12th kilometer mark passing by the flyovers crossing Buendia and EDSA.   The race then heads back to V Sotto coming from Roxas Boulevard taking on the other end of the flyovers crossing EDSA and Buendia for the 16th kilometer of the race.  The race then heads to Macapagal Boulevard and enters Seaside Drive at Kilometer 18.  The race then goes on two kilometers of Seaside drive with a u-turn slot at Marine Way. The race goes back to the finish line at Diokno Drive for the last kilometer of the race.  The main difference of the course over other Run United races was that they had the Luneta side first which just meant taking the flyovers at the second half of the race.

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The Race

Let’s get this on! – Photo by Fox T Rot

I rested the whole of Saturday and also had myotherapy to ensure that my legs won’t be stiff on race day.  I also came in early as I needed time to do my stretching and warm up before the race plus the traffic would be chaotic once the marathoners gets unleashed.  I went to the start area about 3:40 am or 20 minutes before gunstart for the pre-race briefing and warm up.  It was a different field as I can count the familiar faces in the race.  Then there’s the countdown and gunstart.

Sleepy eyes as usual – Photo from Running Photographers

After gunstart, I slowly walked myself to the starting line as I don’t want to get carried away by a fast start.  The goal was to go at moderate speed but longer intervals.  I went on with a 5 minutes run and a 1 minute walk interval.  Since the run interval was longer, the kilometers went by faster.  It was a bit dark at Macapagal Boulevard and at the CCP area but it was tolerable and there were water stations about a kilometer apart.

The race course were fast and flat except for 4 climbs along the flyover in Buendia and Edsa. – Photo by Tara Trip Tayo

Roxas Boulevard felt different since the Luneta Part came first.  I usually go this part when it’s early morning and you could see the beauty of Manila Bay already.  Since the Luneta part came first, I decided to do faster splits here as I know my time would be much slower at the second half of the race with the climbs at the flyovers.  My legs were fine despite the longer interval.  Previously, I would settle for a 3:1 or 2:1 run-walk interval as I would already be sore.  I had to keep up with the 5:1 interval and  even extend to a 6:1 interval if I stopped by a water station.  There were lots of leg room to run with both sides of Roxas Boulevard being utilized.

Hey there!!! – Photo by Tara Trip Tayo

The other side of Roxas was the longer stretch with a full 7 kilometers from Luneta to the other u-turn slot in Roxas Boulevard.  It also has two climbs in Buendia and Edsa.  I took my first GU energy gel at the 7th kilometer mark and went on with the race.  It was the same consistent pace and interval except for the climbs where I would go for a shorter interval on the climb to take advantage of the descents and rest up on the uphills.  The route for runners was shortened to two lanes after crossing the flyover in EDSA but there was still enough leg room left since the runners were spread out in two waves.

Can you find the hidden Francky? – Photo by Tara Trip Tayo

I noticed that my cadence was slowing down after the 12th kilometer which just means fatigue is starting to crawl in.  I started being more conscious on the cadence and breathing so I’d still maintain a good pace without tiring out.  The good part about this was it was half way into the race and I am starting to count down the kilometers.  I also took my second GU energy gel at the 14th kilometer mark.  By the end of the Roxas Boulevard loop, it was down to the last 5 kilometers.  I tried to maintain the 5:1 intervals until the CCP area but fatigue becoming a factor.  I then went on a 4:1 interval until the 18th kilometer before entering Seaside Drive.

Fatigue was setting in the last three kilometers. – Photo by TJ Tiburcio

Three kilometers to go, I was already peaking when it comes to heart rate.  I then shifted to a more conservative 2:1 Run Walk Interval.  It was a slower cadence and I know I just have to endure the remaining.  Upon crossing the last u-turn, I felt my calves were already cramping.  It was one kilometer to go but if I pushed it too much, I could end up down with a bad case of cramps.  I then took a walk and inserted a few jogs in between just to reach the finish line.

Finding ways to cross the finish line. – Photo by Tara Trip Tayo

200 meters into the finish line, I decided to walk the remaining part as I had an experience in the past of cramps in the last 20 meters of the race which became more time consuming.   It was a consistent race for me though I wasn’t able to finish strong as I would want to but I’ll take this as a lesson since I did push myself hard on this one.  I now know that my legs  can go on longer intervals compared to before.  It’s back to more long runs and trainings for me as I need to cover a bigger distance on my way to my marathon in February.  Great job Runrio and Unilab!

Outfit of the Race

This is my outfit for the race. – Photo by Tara RUNah Top – Nike (Designed by Breakout Design), Bottom – Under Armour, Shoes – Newton Distance III, Watch – Suunto Ambit 2S, Shades – Salice Eyewear, Wristband – TBR, Visor – Under Armour, Calf Sleeves – Under Armour,  Socks – Under Armour and Tape: Rock Tape

Pay It Forward

Lacking one of the medals after missing Run United 2

After claiming my medal, doing my stretches, doing my rounds at the active health village and freshening up, I still had a lot of time so I decided to take some photos of the remaining 21K runners and the marathoners.  It turned out the reason why there are so few familiar faces at the half marathon distance was that they were doing the full marathon distance.  Photo links below:

Run United Philippine Marathon Album 1

Run United Philippine Marathon Album 2

Run United Philippine Marathon Album 3

One of the more heartwarming moments at todays #RUPM was Ernest Carual finishing his first Marathon.

I’m glad to stay around to capture this moment.  Ernest had osteomyelitis as a child,which had his right leg 15 inches shorter than his left leg.  That’s 42 kilometers he and his wife conquered today and that’s months of hardwork and preparation.  Read more about his story as featured at Pinoyfitness.  It was really an inspiring and heartwarming moment just seeing him conquer the distance.  I hope more people would choose the running lifestyle as possibilities are endless when you give it a big hard try.

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