Last weekend’s Mizuno Infinity Run was a monopoly in terms of races as it was the lone one for the day in the Metro. With a relatively higher registration fee than the usual (P300 without any race singlet) it was almost like paying for the brand, not the race.
The race started early for the 15K. I thought that I arrived late being a few meters away from the Start/Finish area at exactly 5:30AM but since I’m only running 10K I was still ahead of time since it started 30 minutes later.
One of the “interesting” events that happened before the 10K started was the warmup routines with stretching led by a fitness instructor. This is not a new thing pre-race but what surprised me was just about every 10K runners participated with the routines (with the exception of myself since the routines were bad for my knees). I was just a bit concerned because it included stretching routines normally done after the race.
Hitting “The Wall”
Yes I hid the wall early in the race, but it’s not the wall marathon runners sometimes experience—it’s about a wall of people that made for a slow start. I was somewhere in the middle of the 10K runners so it took some time for me to cross the Start line, and some more time to be free of the huge pack. These “walls” were made of runners “jogging” shoulder to shoulder making it very difficult to find an opening and overtake.
It’s Payback Time!
Sweet revenge! The 10K route was similar to my first 10K race (my second ever) which was the adidas King of the Road 2008 and this race was my revenge on this course for “belittling” me that time. I failed to do a sub-60 minutes on my first attempt and this time around I was able to finish in a little over 50 minutes (despite my recurring knee injury) and proudly with no “walk breaks.”
The 10K Route
This route was by no means a walk in the park: the Kalayaan flyover was really the challenging part of this route because of its gradient and length. It is one of my favorite 10K route specifically because of this route feature.
The race was directed by Mr. Rudy Biscocho of RACE, the same outfit that handles the Milo Marathon series. From my 10K route perspective, here’s my evaluation:
- Kilometer markers were GPS accurate but unfortunately were broken by the slight miscalculation of the turn-around point making the 10K route a little but negligibly short.
- Water stations along the route including a lone Gatorade station in Buendia.
- Plenty of marshals that direct people traffic.
- Good quality finisher’s shirt with certificate.
- Lively activity area.
- There were areas that were possibly dangerous to runners that no marshal was manning.
- Insufficient Gatorade at the Finish area. This may be a fault of the sponsor but I think every runner should at least have one bottle after the race. I knew of a lot of people that didn’t have theirs plus the ladies manning the Gatorade booth there have “attitude problems.” (Update: it seems that there were sufficient supply and the distribution was the problem, see the comment section)
- No loot bags or freebies.
The race overall was good but because it felt a little expensive it feels like we could have gotten a bit more. This was my first Infinity Run and although it fell a little short of my expectations I’ll surely be back next time. Read the surprise below and you’ll know why.
The full name of last weekend’s race was “The Mizuno Infinity Run Time Trials.” This meant that the times of runners who participated were recorded for the time category in next year’s Infinity Run which would be held on January 10, 2010 (01/10/10) still at the Fort. Mizuno is challenging everyone to beat their time and those that would be successful in cutting the most amount of time (based on the results of this year’s run) would win prizes. Of course you should run the same distance so now I have my first 10K scheduled for next year (although if I didn’t have my revenge I could have a larger margin of improvement, hehe).
This year’s results will determine the time category of runners for next year’s Infinity Run and if you managed to keep your race bib until registration on October 2009 you’ll have a discount for next year’s race. Next year’s race of course is not exclusive to this year’s participants: there would be an open category for new participants but their time would qualify for the 2011 Infinity Run.
It’s interesting that it’s no longer just you who keeps track of your records. This initiative by Mizuno I think is excellent in encouraging everyone to improve. We may not all get a chance at the podium but our personal accomplishments already makes all of us winners.