Tuesday, February 9, 2010

things i do when i'm bored (2)

number 2: critique, hopefully, not needlessly.


it all began with a tinge of hesitation. P750 was a lot of money to shell out only to tire yourself for a run. however, considering you rarely get a chance to run the length of the skyway, it was a price i thought at that time, was worth to pay. i noticed there was no timing chip mentioned in the race description, and considering last year's race pack, i wasn't expecting anything spectacular either, i.e., a great singlet and lots of freebies. the kit pick up was scheduled about 2 months later, 3 days before the actual race itself.

race pick up wasn't too much of a hassle. i got mine on a thursday, the first day of kit distribution. i was expecting a mob of people but was pleasantly surprised to find none. early bird perks i guess. the venue for the pick up was changed a few days prior and the racers were informed via email. i reckon either people were taking their time or not a lot were informed of the change. anyway, im sure word of mouth will handle that. as expected, the race kit wasn't spectacular. quite disappointing actually since i could not help the feeling that organizers were starting to see the lucrativeness of these runs as they get more popular. friday comes along and i get a holler from narnian saying there's a problem with our bibs as some didn't have a bar code. now this was really sad. what was more sad was that this problem was only exclusive to the 21K and 42K runners. i checked my kit and surprise, surprise, mine too had none. a few email exchanges later with ton concepcion and i finally surrendered myself to the fates that be. the condura run this year was going to be interesting... hopefully not in a too bad of a way.

this was my first run for the year and my fourth 21K. i have been rather apprehensive about this race since i have been taking it easy on myself due to my injured ankle. there was also all of that excess weight packed in from all those holiday dinners. heavy and injured, i sincerely was not expecting to make good time. my focus was more to train again, as well as re-learn my pace as i haven't had the chance to do any trial runs. i want to run my first 42K this year and hope that condura would give me the gauge as to how much more i have to go and do.

so, race day. lots of people. couple of celebs. fireworks, blah, blah, blah. gun starts and BANG, people bolted towards the skyway. the race course was familiar as there's really not a lot of options for people to run in makati. i was taking my time, paying extra attention to how my ankle was cooperating. the first signs of pain and i will stop, i told myself. thankfully, i finished without any incident. the run was quite pleasant actually. the weather was cool and the air, not too polluted. we ran mostly in the dark. it caused a bit of concern for some since i read that there were runners who fell and got injured because of the low visibility. me, i think the dark helped a lot in keeping me running at a comfortable pace. i did notice though that the entire stretch of the kalayaan flyover, as well as the skyway was in total darkness. i don't know if the organizers were trying to save money by turning the lights off. i hope not though... but i think my guess is right. there were adequate water stations along the route, though i would have hoped there were also more energy drink stations. the banana station was funny since you get handed a WHOLE banana to chug down. good luck if you don't end up chocking! i got mine and broke it in two. i ate the half and threw the other half away. i learned later that the banana station wasn't even that of the condura run, but by a different organizer who donated the service.

i finished the race slightly slower than my usual time, but definitely faster than what i was expecting, at 1 hour and 56 mins. i got my finisher's medal and my free energy drink and water, the very anti-climactic freebies. i didn't bother wearing my medal as it was already flaking when i got it. i didn't want it corroding all over me. i guess i shouldn't complain too much since, at least, i got a medal. other finishers didn't. yes people.... THEY RAN OUT OF MEDALS.

kuya and i had breakfast after. he enjoyed his clubhouse sandwich while i enjoyed the visual feast of ogling at all the beautiful people these events attract. we left the fort at around 9am and saw that there were still runners running. these would tail end of the 42K pack. it was this time that we noticed, there were not that many race marshals on the road. pitiful.

overall, and as dejected as i write this critique, i am sad to say that i am quite disappointed with this race. it felt poorly organized considering the amount of time they had to prepare. the news said that they had a huge turnout of racer, around 8700 if i recall correctly. with that many people, the organizers should have been more vigilant in readying themselves. its seems though, they simply just banked on the skyway as the main feature and forgot all about the other things that make a race successful.

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