“Takbo.PH Runfest is not just your average run, it’s also a celebration of running. The 2014 edition gave us challenging climbs across two flyovers and several ascending roads in Bonifacio Global City Area. The main dish for this celebration is an eat-all-the-hills-you-can for breakfast. #TakboPH #Runfest
Running Never Ends… You can’t help feel nostalgic on your journey as a runner. That journey had me struggling and building my confidence from the start and eventually conquering new milestones and personal records. That journey also had me suffering several injuries and overcoming them. Sometimes, I race to chase personal record but most of the time, it’s to get my regular dose of adrenalin rush and endorphins. It’s not a sport for me – It’s a LIFESTYLE. This is the reason why Takbo.PH is always on my racing calendar because it reminds me on the wonders that running has given me. It shows me a community of people who dare to brave the early morning drowsiness, the inclines, the distance and the hot Philippine sunshine. Takbo.PH is one of the pillars of the running community and the runfest unites people who share in their passion. Another year, Another Runfest, Another Celebration.
Race begins in 34th Street in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) and goes to the Triangle Drive via 11th Avenue. The Race than goes on a climb to 10th and 8th Avenue before looping on 32nd Street going to the climb at Kalayaan Flyover at around the 4th kilometer. The race then descends to Buendia where you pass Paseo De Roxas, Makati Avenue, Ayala Avenue, Pasong Tamo and finally the u-turn slot before Osmena Boulevard for the first 8 kilometers of the race. The race returns to BGC via Buendia and Kalayaan Flyover at around Kilometer 13. The Race then goes uphill via Rizal drive which goes to 5th Avenue all the way to Lawton for the u-turn slot 15 kilometers into the race. The race then goes back to 5th avenue with a loop in McKinley Parkway to the 26th Street before returning to 5th Avenue again. The race then shifts to 32nd Avenue for the final 2 kilometers, which includes another climb in the flyover in C5 before heading back on the way to the finish line.
Strategy: Run – Fest
Race assembly is at 3am while the gun start is 4 am. I was in the venue around 3:20 am and was there for the pre race activities like opening remarks, prayers and warm up. 4 am has been a regular gunstart time already to allow roads to open earlier and also for the sun to be more manageable at the finish line. I had a good warm up for this one and I was comfortable with my muscles as I had it taped the day before when I attended the Ironman expo in Rockwell. The strategy was Run – Fest meaning run the first half of the race and enjoy the second half. And BANG!!! Gunstart!!!
There were about 2,000 runners in the 21K distance and after the gunstart it was just crazy. People were starting so fast and so did I, at least for the first few kilometers. With thousands of runners running along side, you kind of get into their rhythm and run faster. It was also nice that there were no stiffness early in the race which had been a regular part of my routine. Before approaching the climb in Kalayaan Flyover, I slowed down a bit realizing that this is a long one and I’ve barely reached the 4th kilometer. Since the Kalayaan flyover was mostly a rolling terrain, I still had to push myself on the climbs and cruised on the descents. The Kalayaan Flyover was still dark but we could probably run this stretch even with our eyes clothes because of the number of runs that we’ve joined in this part.
Buendia was about a 5 kilometer stretch of flats so I added some effort here since the course is mostly flat. This is a straight stretch passing through Pasong Tamo, Makati Avenue, Ayala Avenue, Pasong Tamo before the 8 kilometer u-turn in Osmena Boulevard. The effort was consistent though I’m using a more aerobic cadence. I took my energy gel before the 8th kilometer for added energy. I was moving fast here though my heart rate was already high but decided to continue with the efforts and just have a few walks to allow the heart rate to stabilize.
The Climb Before the Storm
By the the 11th kilometer, it was nearing the time to hit the climbs again and in my race strategy, this was the time I loosen up a bit and enjoy the run. There was about 500 meters before the climb in Kalayaan flyover so I run that part to the mid of the hilly part and then proceeded to walk half the climb. I took this opportunity to lower my heart rate. When I hit the top I then went on to run again then shifted to run walk intervals before cruising on the descent in the Kalayaan Flyover. The next part was a climb again starting at Rizal Drive. Before the 13th kilometer, I had my energy gel, which was one of the craziest flavor, salted caramel.
Don’t Try Something New on Race Day
The energy gel usually kicks in around 15 minutes after taking it and what was expected to be an energy boost ended up as a bad tummy. My body reacted differently to the flavor and by the 14th kilometer, I was having a really bad tummy. I’ve walked most of this part and just added a few efforts since I felt uncomfortable. This was also the time that the sun gave us a warm good morning greeting I was struggling on this part but I figured having a minute of run and a minute of walk would be better than just walking the remaining part of the race. 7 kilometers to go and that included the road from Lawton to the loop in McKinley Parkway and then finally 5th Avenue.
With 3 kilometers to go and the race heading downhill at 5th Avenue, I decided to run most part of that stretch as my last push. The last 3 kilometers still had one overpass to climb and that was the one heading to C5 from 32nd Avenue. I slowed down on the climb and then cruised on the descent until the u-turn at c5 where it says, 1 kilometer to go. I walked on the last climb before running the descent again and then gave it all I got for the finish. That felt like my a really long last 7 kilometer stretch for me but the important thing is finishing and since running never stops.
This was a tough one and that’s not only because of the tummy trouble. If this was a buffet, this was eat-all-the-hills-you can for breakfast. It’s always a great experience having your body challenged and at the same time finding a way to surpass it. Happy Annivarsary Takbo.PH and thanks for giving us hills unlimited and a great reunion race. See you next year.