Hi! I recently ran my first 16-kilometer, which is also my longest distance by far, in Brown Race Marathon that was held last December 6, 2015 at Quirino Grandstand. I signed up together with my running buddy, Yssa, who unfortunately was not able to make it to the race because of a conflict in schedule so she asked our other friend to run in her place.
It was my first time to join a run outside of the usual venue, Mall of Asia so in a way, it got me really excited even though I feared I might get lost.
Even though there were several things that did not go well, I had a pretty good run which I will tell in detail below.
I arrived in Quirino Grandstand at around 4:15am. During that time, the 21k participants were already conducting their warm up before their gun start at 4:30am. The 16k buddy run was supposed to start at 5:00am but for some reason, they moved it to 4:45am. By then, I was panic-calling our other friend who was supposed to be my 16k running buddy. But because he was not picking up, I already knew that he was still asleep and it would be impossible for him to make it to the race as well.
At exactly 4:45am, the 16k runners began dashing while I began…walking (Lol) because I was setting up Nike+ in my new phone (yes, I forgot to do it the night before) and I did not worry that much because there was no timing chip included in my chosen distance. Lol. As soon as I finished setting up the app, I began running. It was still dark and the roads only had a few working street lamps. There was a time that I got surprised when there was a sudden flash out of nowhere. Apparently I did not notice that there was a photographer.
Running in the dark continued until I was in Roxas Boulevard. There, I remember not being able to see the road because there were no street lights at all. And because I was running alone in a dark and quiet road, several, funny thoughts entered my head which includes, “Hey look, I’m running at the road I usually pass by to go home. Should I just run back home instead?”, “What if someone suddenly jumps out of nowhere and grabs me, what will I do?” and “What if zombies suddenly burst out and chase me? Will I be able to escape?”
Again, I had a steady pace for the first five kilometers only stopping at the third kilometer to re-hydrate. I passed by two flyovers and found it nice that most of the race marshals that I encountered along the route greeted me good morning even though I was wearing earphones.
Somewhere along Baclaran, a race marshal instructed me to make a U-Turn. At first I doubted him because I did not see a “16k U-Turn” sign anywhere. But because the only person who was in front of me followed the marshal, I had no choice but to trust him and head back as well.
I tried to avoid thinking of how far I still had to run and focused on my goal to finish the race before 6:30AM. I also remember thinking how my weak self once walked from United Nations LRT station to Manila Ocean Park, which is just beside Quirino Grand Stand, and getting tired at such a short distance but there I was running more than ten times the distance. That thought alone made me really happy.
I knew that I was already near the finish line when I passed by Luneta Park along United Nations. I then checked my watch to see if I can make it back before 6:30AM and smiled at the thought that yes I can because it was still relatively early. Although I was really tired and sweaty then, I tried to convince my mind that I was not and pushed myself to run. As they say, when your legs get tired, run with your heart. But to be honest, this is easier said than done.
When I saw the finish line, I started dashing towards it but just before I crossed it, two race marshals asked me where my partner was (because 16k is a buddy run). I told them that my supposed buddy overslept so I was running alone. I thought they would not let me cross the finish line without a partner that was why they asked but after I answered, they let me pass.
Ah finally, I made it! A girl immediately congratulated me and gave me a medal which, of course, made me extremely thrilled. I checked my watch afterwards only to see that it was just 6:15AM so more or less, I ran for an hour and a half.
I walked along the venue for a bit before I claimed my bag and finisher shirt. I happened to make new friends along the way too!
- Good quality event shirt, finisher shirt and medal
- Nice marshals.
- The event was well covered by the photographers. Thank you!
- A bit unorganized. Some runners were crossing the street to get to the hydration station. I am not sure if there is a 16k U-Turn sign but because the marshal made me go back already, I followed. There were also reported problems about some runners not getting finisher shirts and 42k runners not being able to complete their supposed route.
- No sponsor loot bag? I only got a bottle of water and a finisher shirt.
I am supposed to run in Soleus Run for the Aspins this Sunday, December 13. Unfortunately, there is a conflict in my schedule thus making Brown Race Marathon my last race for this year.
I am really happy with how far I have come in terms of my fitness endeavors and I hope to be able to continue doing this and more next year. I am not striving for perfection but for continuous improvement. Aiming to hit that 21k mark early next year!
Credits to Red Knight, Run.S.A, iam9z, Veronica Villagomez, AffiniTea and Day Bern for my (decent) photos!
Thank you for reading!