Time flies when you’re having fun… and also when you’re busy! I’ve been so preoccupied with lots of different things that before I knew it, it was already the weekend of Globe Run for Home! To make things more “interesting,” I’ll be doing 21K—the distance that I least like.
Half-marathon is my least favorite distance of all—it’s too long for a “fun run” but not even half as “astonishing” as a full marathon—well that’s how I perceive it. That’s not to mention that you need some sort of preparation to pull a decent time doing such without incurring any injuries. Globe Run for Home (R4H) would just be my fourth 21K race ever, and this would be my longest run after Condura Skyway Marathon. With hardly any run beyond 3K since Condura I had no expectations to set a new PR at R4H, but of course I was aiming to finish at around two hours. When it comes to races, better to have a goal!
The first of my goals for R4H was getting on the race venue before gunstart—I was late for my previous one so I had to make my own run, and I didn’t want to have a repeat of that. Fortunately I was able to achieve this goal, albeit not much time to spare.
Next goal, positioning. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but I really hate it when runners position themselves up front for photo-ops, but don’t really run! I don’t want to place myself in the middle of the pack as I really tire easily crisscrossing the crowd who are in to it for pictures, so even if I wasn’t as fast as the elite athletes I position myself comfortably near the front, crossing the starting line about three seconds into gun start.
The next goals were more on keeping in line with the two hour goal—finish the first 5K in 25 minutes (done in 24:52), 10K in 50 minutes (done in 50:39), and 15K in an hour and 20 minutes (done in 1:17:48). Since 21K is well beyond my comfort zone of 10K I knew I’d be much slower for my second half so my goal was only up to 15K, and just take it from there.
Starting near the front allowed me to run as I pleased since the elites were way ahead and I’m only in the company of runners of my pace, which of course were not as many as in the middle pack. As an added perk I was even able to get an entire banana at around 7K into the race—breakfast runner-style. It was such a delight to have little competition for water, sports drinks, and even road space, but it didn’t last until the end—thought I could get away huh?
Eventually the huge crowd was able to catch up with our sparse pack—not the 21K middle pack—the 5K and 10K pack! The 21K route was really good but unfortunately it shares its last few kilometers with all other legs so by the time we were in that area, the bulk of these other distances were still on the road. It’s just good though that it’s not as dense as other big races and I was able to make my way into the crowd—not an easy feat after running for quite some distance.
Then came that last turn to the finish—everything seems to be in order, and I knew that I was well within the two-hour target. Then I glanced onto my GF405 to confirm—oh the horror! My GF405 ran out of batteries! Now I’m practically blind to my actual distance and time elapsed! I actually forgot to charge my GF405 fully before the race so I started with just 50%. I figured it would endure a two-hour ride, but I was dreadfully wrong! My GF405 is more than two years old so this may be how its battery “ages.” (Later on I found out it “died” at 20.26K, about 740m shy of the finish line :()
With no GF405 to tell the elapsed time I can only count on the timer hanging on the Finish line: 1:50:XX—yes and no! Yes, I’ll make it sub-two hours, even set a new PR; and no, I don’t want it to turn 1:51:XX! With all my effort I ran towards the finish while at the same time counting down the seconds in my head before the clock ticks to 1:51:XX… 30… 29… 28… and then 13 seconds before the 51st minute I crossed the finish—1:50:47, race time! Now the only thing missing was my starting time (was unknown to me then) to get my new official PR. And of course that finisher’s medal which was the inspiration for me to sign up for the 21K would not be forgotten!
If you signed up for the race, or have friends that do, and activated the R4H Facebook app, you’d notice their Facebook status being their starting time. For the 21K the race started exactly on time, 5AM, GF405 time, so from there I was able to get the three second lead time I had (3 seconds according to my GF405, about 2.5 according to the official records) when it posted that I crossed the starting line at 5:00:02AM. I was able to get a hold of this info shortly after my race via Facebook for Blackberry, but unfortunately I didn’t see any official finish time. I thought it was just delayed, but apparently the app failed to deliver and was only able to send updates for the first 9.5K of the race (the first sensor) for the 21K.
Later in the day the race results were made available and unfortunately my results were quite trivial. Looking at the splits I had an entry missing—it was before going back to the Kalayaan flyover when I found myself (together with a lot of runners) on the other side of the road where the sensor was not placed. I actually thought that I had taken the wrong side of the route but I wasn’t alone (in fact there were more of us where I was running than on the side where the sensor was) which led me to deduce that the race marshal before the road split didn’t lead us to the right side, thus the missing split. Oh well.
In the end it was a typical Runrio race—excellent! Aside from the merging route there’s really nothing more I can complain about! (Well, the Facebook app failed to deliver, but it was a “nice to have” add-on that wasn’t part of the race so it doesn’t count, and my “trivial” race results were forgivable.) The post-race activity area was one of the best I’ve seen, and the 21K finisher’s medal was quite better than I anticipated. I’d say every penny spent with an excellent race like this one is well spent (not to mention that part of it went to a beneficiary of your own choice).
As I figure out what my new official PR is, I discovered that my previous 21K record was also set with Globe Run for Home—2009! No wonder I was able to beat it! It’s about two years old! See, with constant practice, regardless of how much or little, improvement is inevitable! If you think you’re slow now, keep doing it, log it to track your progress, and a year or two hence you’d definitely get much better at it! If not, imagine all the unburned calories that would’ve stuck to your belly if you hadn’t! 🙂
To all those that finished their respective races, congratulations!