September 14, 2009

Ayala Eco Dash Experience

It was raining the whole week and I was secretly wishing it wouldn't stop. I was signed up for the Ayala Eco Dash and I wouldn't miss it for anything. I skipped our barkada's usual boardgames Saturdays just to ensure I get a good sleep before my race.

I woke up the day of the race a little excited. It was still raining and I am already thinking of the challenges along our way. I am excited about this race for two reasons. First, it was for a cause - for the environment. Second, we will traverse the Kalayaan fly over which will by first time. The race was postponed for about 30 minutes to give time to those who are trying to catch up due to the rains. The initial plan of starting the 10K by 5:30 AM was pushed back to 6:00 AM. It was fine though specially the reason was valid. I didn't mind waiting an extra 30 minutes for the start.

There were some exercises prior to the gun start. It was cool. Although my comment is that we can barely hear the audio. I was thinking the stage was moved because of the rains. Then the gun was fired by 6:00AM. Everyone was excited and thrilled. We started running and it was a blast. There are a lot of obstacles in this run. For one, there are a lot of puddles. I keep on skipping most of them to try to secure my shoes but to no avail. There will be chances that you don't have a choice but to step on it. Later on, I didn't mind it anymore. Another challenge as well is trying not to slip. I guess running shoes are designed to be sturdy and slip-free but for someone like me who is "lampa" I could easily slip anytime.

I was pacing with my friend Tin (who finished sub-hour) for about the first kilometer or so. But Tin being a faster runner than I am overtook me and strengthened her pace. I decided to pace myself with my normal pacing. I was relazed, happy and confident. We were approaching the Kalayaan fly over when I felt something. I needed to pee! I didn't know what to do but I kept on running. I was doing fine and almost forgot about it. I decided, if I am going to pee, I will do it at Starbucks at 6750. The run along Kalayaan was a good experience. I was able to see everything. More than just running, I was sight seeing. I was enjoying the scenery and the experience.

When I alighted the flyover, I saw that my left shoelace came undone. I went to the side and secured my laces. This happened thrice for my left shoe and twice for my right. I guess the shoelace being wet triggers it to come undone. This is one minor negative thing about my Nike Lunar Glide. The shoelaces are slipping when wet. Bearable but at times it gets irritating.

We then turned to Paseo de Roxas. I was looking forward into looking at SOFA for a long time. While running the street, I realized that it was in a very poor condition. I am very much particular with roads and transporation due to my college background. I told myself, even the richest city in Manila have poor roads. I was nearing Mandarin Hotel and I am very excited to run along Makati Avenue and Ayala.

When I was passing through the main intersections of Makati, all the cars are horning! It was so bad to hear. Who would have thought that you could be stuck in traffic in Makati on a Sunday at 6-7AM. If I was in the shoes of those stuck in traffic, I would hate all of the people crossing the street running. Hehe.

We then turned in Landmark to enter the mid-way of the race. It was so comforting to run along the circle in front of Glorietta, The Link and 6750. It was a place I am very familiar to and has always been comfortable with. I even forgot to pee in Starbucks. :)

The run going back to the Fort was a blast. I didn't feel any pressure right now (Janina is that you?) I was just enjoying the run back. While at the top of the fly over running alongside some folks, I then heared something clanking. I thought it was my shoes and I immediately checked them and found out that it was not. I then turned around and discovered that it was coming from a guy in a pink shirt. As I have read in other blogs, I slowed down to let this guy pass me. But when I run back to my pace, I keep on catching up on him. I then decided to outrun the guy because I really get annoyed when something is clanking. I was quite successful and was able to pass the noise.

I was entering the Fort again and I thought, I did not even shed a single sweat. I know I am sweating somewhere but you can't feel it since I am already soked in rain water. I then got excited when I saw the Bonifacio High Street again and decided to increase my pace. I ran and was happy to turn and see the finish line. I did cross the finish line feeling the same feeling when I do. I feel contented and fulfilled.

I was the welcomed by Tin at the end of the finishline chute. She told me that I crossed the line at 1'39". Less the 30 minutes the 21K runners were ahead of us, I then registered a 1'09" run. I am happy as this is already a PR for me same as my Smash and Run 1'09". I'll be aiming for a 1'05 for my next race, The New Balance Race.

All in all my experience for this run was a blast. The rain is something new to me and I was happy to have done it. I also tip my hat off to the organizers for creating a successful, complete and simple run focusing on the main points of what a run should be. Enough marshalls, enough water stations. I would recommend though that they increase the number of markers as to what distance we have achieved already.

Kudos to everyone who completed this run and see you all in New Balance on September 27. :)

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