Sunday, November 29, 2009, race day. We were definitely not in Manila anymore as we saw the entire number of participants just in the hundreds, not thousands, which was quite pleasant for us. It was definitely a breather from the over-crowded Metro races, and what’s even better was that most of these partakers are really runners, not mere participants.
The race director intentionally didn’t accept all “participants” because the he wanted a venue for runners to be able to run. Like with most “the more the merrier” races many runners who wanted to run weren’t able to do so because the course is filled by walkers that mostly don’t even know race etiquettes. Of course we can’t avoid walkers during races but if you want to be motivated to keep running you should avoid being with walkers. It may sound discriminating but hey, these races in the first place are running, not walking, so runners have priority.
I really wanted to join the 21K main event but since I was on a taper I settled for a cautious 10K. The 10K started at 5:45AM and the route was relatively flat except on bridge crossings. Since there was hardly any crowd I was able to lurk behind the lead pack and watch elite runners do their job. Despite its distance, elite athletes from Manila joined this event making it more competitive than expected. Of course I was in no way at par with these athletes but seeing competition from a “front row seat” was an experience. Gradually they disappear from my view but keeping my vantage position I was able to see who were leading and even count how many were ahead—this could be the best race ranking I’ll have in a long time!
At the end of the race I was a few seconds off my 10K PR finishing conservatively 11th overall for men (unofficial, based on my visual count). For the race in general the elites from Manila took home the crown but didn’t get it uncontested from the locals who really were quite competitive as well. After crossing the finish line goodie bags were given away and at the activity area in Aurora Park raffle prizes were even given away. It was a very well organized race even by Manila standard—something that was missing lately in the Metro. For that I would like to congratulate Mr. Faivo Bartolome for doing a great job!
After resting a while in our hotel room we were again out and about for more sight-seeing.
Right after lunch we headed southwards for our tour.
Before concluding the day we had a stop-over for some dinner.
That was our second day and our tour of Ilocos is hardly over. Stay tuned for our last day in Ilocos.
Special thanks to Wilnar, McCoy, and Sir Rene for some of the pictures showed here.
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