My first and longest race in more than two months, Nike We Run Manila surely gave me a lot to think about when it comes to my future long distance races. It was a lot of fun, but it wasn’t as easy as I originally thought it would be!
It’s a 10K. It’s one of my favorite distances, but sometimes I really dread it for its speed. And as always I decided to test myself with this race to figure out my current fitness level when it comes to running. Between this race and the last, my longest run never reached 5K so it should be very interesting—but of course a personal best is not on the “to do” list.
It was a beautiful sea of orange shirts, about 5,000 runners strong (based on the results list). I really liked this concept of Nike as for the first time we all got to run without a race bib, thus reducing weight, albeit we’re all wearing shirts instead of singlets. The shirts were made of an excellent lightweight material, as expected from Nike, and very comfortable that I don’t think anybody minded the shirt for use in the race.
The race oddly started 2 minutes earlier because the starting line timer was 2 minutes ahead of “Garmin time.” As expected, it was attended by the elites themselves. It was nice that they were placed up front because it would be quite a challenge to pass through the thick crowds, and I was fortunate enough to be allowed to position near the front. Despite being only 2 seconds behind the front runners I still found it very difficult to weave through the crowd as some slower runners placed themselves up front but didn’t took the task of running fast seriously. If you’re going to position yourself up front, make sure to run! Otherwise you’d be taxing everybody else who wants to run. This is not a written rule, but it is a good running etiquette.
Originally I planned on staying away from water stations and brought my own sports bottle as I was wearing my trainers, Mizuno Wave Prophecy, which gets really heavy when wet. But because of the humidity I gladly threw away that thought and doused myself with water at the first sight of a water station. It was nice that the sun was setting and the temperature dropping, but it still is not the same as a morning or a night run. Sunset runs apparently are quite a challenge.
The race itself is of great caliber. Never had I seen such long hydration stations serving both water and sports drinks. As I saw the long trail of runners I realized that even our 10K has reached a standard that we could invite foreigners to run here and we won’t be ashamed! Gone are the days when we wish for our races to be like those abroad—we’ve actually become better! And with the new routes Nike We Run Manila used that have nice asphalt roads, it’s difficult to complain. The only thing that is sad though is that the suppliers weren’t able to complete our finisher’s token so we got a note instead.
Overall, I loved my Nike We Run Manila experience. I had so much fun! The route was nice and challenging, and I really did get a good workout. I was even surprised to finish just a few seconds off 50 minutes despite the uneven terrain! I guess I must be excited to finish the race to be with my friends soon after. This race served as a mini-reunion for me and so many runner friends whom I’ve not seen in a very long time! Only Nike was able to drag us all out to run!
To Nike and RunRio, thank you for a great and memorable race! I hope this becomes an annual event so I may invite our friends from the provinces or even abroad to visit the Manila and have a good, fun run. Thank you as well to all the people behind these events, especially those manning the routes. And to everyone that completed Nike’s 10K challenge, congratulations! (You may view the race results here)
I actually stayed a while (a long while!) after the race because of the post-race mini concert by Chicosci, Sandwich, and my favorite Parokya ni Edgar! Even they had fun that they gave extra performances making the activity area a concert grounds of sort. And we needed not go far to get good food, there were concessionaires in the area serving good food at surprisingly reasonable prices. It was an afternoon of fun ended with a party! It’s a Saturday to remember and hope to be repeated.