Friday, December 17, 2010

ING Running 20 - 10k Race Report

Fort Bonifacio Global City - Manila, Philippines
Time: 1:18:16

My cousin AB and I turned 30 this year and have gone a little loco with the running. We ran the whole race together and it felt GREAT.

The full story after the jump...

AB's baby/my godson's first birthday is looming on the horizon which means I am way overdue to meet the big guy.  So I sent a message to my cuz to check agreeable dates...  and if a race happened to fall on that weekend it would be magic. 

I have been known to procure magic.

This was planned about 2 weeks out and made possible with the availability of cheap flights.  Perfect timing.  I'd be able to see my grandma while she was in the Philippines and spend a little time with extended family before the holidays.

I landed in MNL Friday afternoon, checked into the hotel, and had a serious food fest with AB.  We were both really good all week and looking forward to stuffing our faces at dinner.  We opted for a protein load instead of a carbo load, just because this Brazilian churrascaria was just too tempting.  O.M.G. all you can eat.  Sadly I got no photos.  The entire restaurant, except for our little table in a corner, was occupied by a 60th birthday party and it was filled with old people dressed as cowboys.  Fabulous!  This sort of thing would never happen in HK. 

We wound down the evening with dessert and conversation at the Old Swiss Inn by my hotel.  Great place, and more on that later.  We got carried away chatting.  So much for early bed time!

Sweet Jesus, here we are crossing the starting line at 5:30 AM!  That's right.  I woke up at 3:45 AM with the help of 2 alarms and a wake up call.  Once I was ready I headed back down to the Old Swiss Inn (God Bless 24 hour restaurants!) and over my coffee and oatmeal I realized that my day was getting started as the rest of the patrons were winding down an evening of bar hopping.  I'm old!

5:30 AM start time is pretty brutal.  And kinda weird to run in pitch darkness.  But that means we didn't have to deal with blazing sun, heat, and traffic.  I was seriously concerned about the heat and humidity since I do poorly in both, but it was fine, and even when the sun came out there was a gentle cool breeze. 

Running like the wind!

Running like I stole something!  Actually here it looks like I barely graduated from mall walking.  Love it!

Let's evaluate the pros and cons of this race, starting with this, the ONLY mile marker (ok maybe there was another one near the end) on the course.  This messed with my head.  I like the sense of accomplishment hitting each KM, and even with our Nike + we never knew exactly where we were. 

Another minus, which would never happen in the states, poor traffic control.  It's really really not safe to be running next to cars and dodging traffic.  It was fine for the most part, except when you sucked up some exhaust from a truck.  And then at one point we were running the yellow lines on a city street...  kinda weird.

A plus and a minus.  I'm so glad I had my cousin there with me because the route did a few turns, out and backs, some corners were not clearly indicated, and there were forks for the 10k and 20ks.  I could have easily gone the wrong way a la Charlie Brown.  Super great to have my cousin with me the whole time because we're roughly the same pace.  I always feel bad running with people who are much faster than me and I'm holding them back. 

Other pluses: tons of water stops.  Like every KM.  But a point taken away for plastic cups.  Running is catching on big time in the Philippines, and so there were a lot of "regular" people doing the race.  This makes me feel good because in HK I feel like everyone's elite.  It's probably also the smallest race I've done, which was nice but still enough people to remind you that you're in a race!

The first half was not so scenic, and that was fine since we were in the dark.  But the sun came out and, oh hello Jollibee!

For a minute I pretended I had gone that far.  And pretended there was only 1 KM to go.  I'm telling you, it messes with your head. 

Sunrise over the city.

The finish line magically appeared after we turned a corner, so it was no problem sprinting for 3 seconds to the finish!  A new PERSONAL BEST for AB!

We had a GREAT time.  I wish we could be regular running partners. 

A little post-race expo thingy at the finish line.  Not so great since the ran out of water.  WTF?

This race was also on a Saturday, which meant we had the whole weekend ahead of us.  And still time for a nap :)

I felt so much better during this race than the previous UNICEF 10k, but ended up being slower.  I think my feelings are not related to the end time on the clock.  And I was relieved that the protein load didn't backfire. 

Yeah, Manila might be new to this running thing.  There are races and events probably every weekend.  It's great.  But they haven't figured out proper post-race nutrition.  Who needs bagels and bananas when you can have Krispy Kreme!  

No comments: