Monday, June 18, 2012

Run United 2 21k: Perfect!

June 9, 8am

I was at the Greenhills morning market with running buddy @lingerboy. I ran 13k so far (10k with @lingerboy) and I was not feeling good so I was seated at one of the chairs there while dousing my head with cold water. It could've been due to several factors, but I'm suspecting that it was the unusual humidity that morning that sucked up all my energy. As I ran from my house to Greenhills which was 3.5km long, I still had the heavy task of running back. @lingerboy advised me to take a jeep as I felt my heart palpitaing more than usual (it lasted until the afternoon). I hopped onto a jeep for about a km and walked the remaining 2.5k.

Distance for the day closed at 16k in 2:19. One of my worst training runs yet. I rested for two days and soldiered on with my training (a 1:09 10k on Tues, a 10k speedwork on Thurs night, and a 7k easy on Sat).

Checkpoint number 2 was Sunday, at the Run United 2 21k. I needed to finish another sub-2:20 Pikermi.

June 17, RU2 21k raceday

The drizzle that morning would dictate weather conditions for the rest of the race. It was gonna be great, I thought.

Since there were 5,000 runners for the 21k event, we were sent off in waves. As I didn't want to end up bludgeoned by the sea of runners, I decided to start with the 3rd and last wave.

Planned pace: 6:30/km. I suspected the route from BGC to MOA would be a slow descent, except for 2 flyovers so I had to take control of my pace.

km1 - 6:51
km2 - 6:51

The challenge at the beginning of the race was mazing through the thick crowd of runners. As we were cramped as we ran in the BGC area, the cool weather was replaced by a slight heat, probably brought about by the energy being emanated by the 5,000-strong 21k runners.

km3 - 6:30
km4 - 6:23 (took 1st gel)
km5 - 6:18
km6 - 6:25
km7 - 6:21
km8 - 6:25
km9 - 6:17
km10 - 6:22
km11 - 6:28 (took 2nd gel)

As expected, I was breezing through Buendia avenue without no care of managing my pace (arghh!). I would pay dearly for it later on in the race.

km12 - 6:42
km13 - 6:31
km14 - 6:36
km15 - 6:41

I was surprised that the part of the route that I was most challenged with were from km12 to 15. This was already in Roxas Blvd. I had only raced twice in Roxas, with the last one a 21k on Dec 2010 (Milo) so I'm not really familiar with the course. km12-15 was hell for me as it seemed to be a very very slight incline up to the km0 Rizal monument area.

I soldiered onwards from that point, but, based on my calculations, a sub-2:20 is still on sight.

km16 - 6:32
km17 - 6:39
km18 - 6:48 (took last gel)
km19 - 6:36
km20 - 6:42

Fatigue, and overconfidence in the first 10k, came back with a flurry as I was coping with pace. Pace was below target but my effort was still ok at long tempo pace effort. As I made that last turn for MOA I gave it my all.

km21 - 6:15 (fastest lap)

That could've been a rare moment of finishing strong as I psyched myself to sprint the last 200 meters.

Garmin chip time: 2:17:45. My third fastest 21k ever and, more importantly, my 2nd successive sub-2:20 in 2 weeks.

That sub5 42k finish just got a little brighter. :-)


  1. Fast/efficient race claiming at the expo.
  2. Great point-to-point course. Relieves the boredom of the usual BGC route.
  3. Great support (ice cold water, Powerade, bananas, sponges). Dousing myself with water in the 2nd half of the race kept my senses awake to keep my pace in check.
  4. Great weather (Thank you Lord!)
  5. Nice racekit, finisher's medal, and finisher's kit.
  6. Efficient bus service from MOA back to BGC.
  1. Can you reduce the reg fees? P900+ is still pretty steep for a 21k. I know that RunRio races are of excellent (excellent!) quality but the high reg fees will drive the other so-so races to jack up their fees too. 
  2. I wished that the Powerade served was as ice-cold as the water.

Back to my training. July 29 is very close.


  1. Congrats for doing a sub-2:20. Sub-5 42K next? That's my goal too for this year. Hope I can make it. Good luck to your training.

  2. Hopefully the running gods will be kind to you and me by giving us a sub-5 this year. Sa July29 sana! :D

    Thanks Jinoe!