Last Sunday, February 20, 2011, Rogin-E Last Man Running was held in McKinley Hill which was definitely a first of its kind race in the Philippines. It combined the endurance requirement of an ultramarathon but at the same time speed as with much shorter races. It was a really challenging event that I would’ve loved to join in, but fate had other plans.
I admit that when I first learned of a seven-hour-paced-race I was all eyes and ears as I read through the details—but alas I was still not fully recovered from the plantar fasciitis I got from Condura Marathon, and my body was not prepared for such a long, paced race. Even on a good day I’d have second thoughts on joining races like these (especially the loops which I don’t have enough tolerance to deal with).
Days before the deadline my body had decided which race to join—the 5K. It had been a very long time since I raced such distance, and much longer since my last one at McKinley Hill. While the thought of getting back at McKinley Hill to set a new course record was tempting, I had let go of the thought for my plantar’s sake and at the same time help out a few running friends by setting pace. A 10K might be too long for my still recovering feet.
While I really do enjoy running in McKinley Hill, it’s really quite a challenge to get there so early in the morning, especially if you’re taking the commute. Without getting into details, I found myself walking along McKinley Road (Forbes Park) to get to 5th Avenue where I’d take a cab—more earth-friendly and at the same time served as my warm-up.
As I got near 5th Avenue, a vehicle stopped beside me and asked for directions— to McKinley Hill! It was a family of three (dad, mom, and daughter) also on the way to the LMR, and as a coincidence (or luck) I was wearing the event singlet so I can’t deny that I was going there as well (not that I wanted to, of course). Well obviously I know how to get there, and so they offered me a hitch to McKinley, as long as I point them (us) to the right direction. It was my lucky day indeed as I got a free ride, and I discovered that there are still good and trusting people in the world. I didn’t hesitate to take their offer because they were a family and not some random outsider, and I thank them for taking the risk of picking up a complete stranger. Thank you Mr. Nell and your family for the kind deed which I really appreciate!
Before the race started I met with my friends to give one her race packet and ask them of their target finish time. She was having a self-imposed time-trial, one was aiming for his first sub-30, and the other couldn’t care less. 🙂 A 30-minute 5K it is—6 minutes per kilometer average pace.
Being practically a free race (proof of purchase of 30 capsules of Rogin-E was all that’s needed to join) I was quite surprised that the organizers used a timing chip provided by Runningmate (sort of like a D-Tag but it’s stuck on a plastic strip stapled on the race bib). Adding to my delight was the nice looking and well-fitting event singlet that is now one of my favorites. Since Rogin-E is presumably catered for men, I was surprised to see a good turnout of female runners—it was a well-attended event but it’s not crazily crowded.
As expected we started slower than the target pace because we started at the back (to give way to serious runners) and had to “weave” through the crowd, not to mention that the uphills were really a drag. Those early minutes of the race also doubled as our warm-up as we prepared our bodies to catch up to our target pace.
The first thing I noticed was how well supplied this race was—plenty of hydration stations with sports drinks and bananas, lots of marshals, and lots of distance markers (every 100m on the route shared with LMR event). I guess these days even short races had achieve that “professional” level that we all demanded. No qualms whatsoever for this 5K easy runner!
I really had fun while running this race. I really missed running 5K and it was such a delight to go back to this distance after doing back-to-back marathons for the first two months of the year. What’s nicer was that I had absolutely no pressure but to ensure that I set the pace well so that we may finish 5K in under 30 minutes.
Unfortunately, the 5K route was longer than expected so we finished the race in less than 32 minutes, but on the other hand we really did finish our first 5K (via GF405 GPS) in just a few seconds over 29 minutes.
After crossing the finish and while waiting for our friends to arrive, another pleasantry greeted us—free breakfast! Wow, how thoughtful! It wasn’t much but it was well appreciated by this always hungry runner!
We still stuck around for a while for the awarding ceremonies of the 5K and 10K events but until we left, the Last Man Running participants were still battling out whom would take the title and the coveted prize. Those who did participate in the LMR event, but were eliminated, were awarded some very pretty participant’s medal (which I didn’t know) and a certificate of participation. Had I known that such acts of “bravery” were rewarded handsomely I might’ve done the usual and just go with it. 🙂
Still I’ve no regrets that I joined the shortest leg of the event as I was able to pace a friend towards fulfilling her first sub-30 minutes 5K (GF405-certified!) and spend some quality time with friends.
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To Bayer, Rogin-E, and Phenomenon Events Management, congratulations for a great event and a job well done! (Special thanks as well for my complimentary race kit and all the goodies with it!)
Congratulations as well to all the participants, and to all the people behind this race, thank you!