Whenever I dress up, I always keep it simple. Less accessories and less make up. I just follow the rule of having a perfect match of my shoes, bag and dress. And of course, making sure that it is just right for the occasion. Well, I’m not really about to give a lecture on dressing up (I’m not really an expert on this one.) Just thought, my own rules on dressing up can be applicable to race organization. All you need is 1)good route with enough challenge; 2)enough water and aid stations positioned evenly and properly throughout the course; 3) well-briefed marshals, a little cheering is a plus!; 4) less crowding at the finish line and at turn around points.
I am so fortunate to experience the Takbo Para sa Katutubo last Sunday in Clark. I would say, it was a very simple race yet perfect.
The idea of joining started two weeks ago when we met Atty. Jon Lancale and his group on the roads of Clark during one of our long runs. He mentioned about the race. Our Team, the Bald Runner Professionals fell in love with the route and already have plans of coming back before the long run even ended. (Why? This deserves another story. Right, Mr. Frontrunner?) So, as soon as we’re back in Manila, coordinations for August 8 started.
Since most of us are training for PAU and Camsur, the week requires us a milleage of 30K. The plan was to do a 10K warmup-10Krace-10K additional/cooldown. The Bald Runner who joined us that weekend referred to such as ultramarathon tempo run.
We left Manila at 3am. Since most of the roads inside Clark Expo are closed for the race, we got lost finding our way to the meeting place. When our car finally got there, our other teammates have done one to two rounds already.
After squeezing in an easy three rounds, total of 7.8k, we went to the starting line. My plan was to finish in 57 minutes, not a PR, so I set my garmin to 5.7mpk pace. I was standing besides Mari at the coral and we were counting the elite girls and boys joining that morning. Top three filled up! Mari said he’ll probably just maintain a 4:30 pace. Hmmm, bubble thoughts went to – if I would have Mari within my view for the race, might just beat my PR….nuninuninu….
Bad decision! I started strong and maintained a view of Mari within the first 1.5kilometers. The terrain is more of rolling hills at the start. I am not sure if it’s because of the consistent training or if the ascent were just easy, I didn’t really have a hard time with the uphills. Water stations and marshals abound every kilometer and intersections.
BR has overtaken me at this point. So, I made BR my target. (Forget about Mari!). I was maintaining a pace enough to still see the yellow singlet of BR from afar. It was downhill all the way at that time so it was easy. Before the 4th Kilometer though I started feeling sour taste. I munched on two jelly beans to shake it off. I remember I only had coffee, ice tea and fries that morning. I do not really take coffee before a race and early morning as I usually have a problem with acidity. That one plus the fact that I started too strong must have trigerred it.
Iah appeared from behind (I suspected that with all those downhills!) . I told him I feel like throwing up. He was asking me to slow down. I tried to and the conversation helped me to shift my focus from racing to a long run.
As we negotiate the uphill back to the finish line, I had to spit several times already (okay, I wouldn’t describe more than that…). The boys went ahead and I was running with Jan who reminded me to slow down and stay on the left side. so, if ever I end up vommiting, I have the grass – not him =) He even suggested I force it out which I didn’t really do. It was the last three kilometers and it was going to roll again, done with the long stretch of uphill. I left Jan who is slowing down to wait for his wife. I told him I’ll just push it so the ordeal would end.
It was a fun, fun, sprint then slow down at the last 3k. Slowed down whenever I feel the acids on my throat, then sprint to target the figures I see ahead of me. It was easy to run fast with the wide roads and the absence of the last pack of shorter-distances runners which we normally experience in Manila races. (They probably have a different route for them). I still would want to at least finish in less than an hour. I crossed the finish line in 58 minutes.
After costume change, ate some apple, sweet jelly beans and strive sports drink, we went off running again. It was only me, BR and Mari pacing each other. (The others went ahead.) Finally, I got the chance to run at the same pace with them. LOL! We just went around the Parade Ground which is about 2.6kilometers. I finished another 9.6 kilometers. The acidity is still bothering me but my legs and my body still feels strong after the run.
The days run was simply perfect. As I said in my FB status, going to Clark for this morning’s run was worth the travel.
Categories: Race Reports