I’m not just making this up or saying this figuratively, really did ran with Mr. Piolo Pascual and Coach Rio dela Cruz, literally! This was during this weekend’s Timex Run 2012 which was one of my most memorable and fun races of all time.
There’s just a catch though, I was only able to run with Piolo and Coach Rio for the first 6K of the 10K route! Without any speedwork for as long as I can remember, I was lucky to have kept pace with these speedsters for that long! It was very much a lung-busting race pace for me for that duration, but it was a blast!
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Early in the morning I was supposed to be one of the lucky people to be with Mr. Piolo Pascual in front of the crowd of the 10K runners, but I arrived much later than I had anticipated. I was pretty early when I arrived in Guadalupe from home, so instead of the usual cab, I decided to take a jeepney to Global City. Unfortunately, our driver seems to be living under a rock and is still ignorant of race schedules in BGC (which is practically every weekend for about 2 years now or so) and when he encountered that road closure in 10th Ave. it took him quite a while to back out and return to Kalayaan Ave. Then he made another wrong turn and headed towards 32nd Street (which was also closed) so he had to back out again, so overall it took me more than 20 minutes to get from Guadalupe to Market! Market! which is just around 6K apart! Then it was my “baggage counter” curse (of not finding it as easily as I should) so after all things were said and done, the 10K race was to start shortly, and the huge crowd made it difficult to reach the front side. In the end I settled to being near the front—so close yet so far with my friends who were having a great time (and lots of photos taken) with Piolo. Oh well, such is my fate! But the game plan to run with Piolo (of course I had permission to do so and not merely stalking him) for as long as I can was still on!
Finally the nerve-racking gunstart—this is it! I had to move quick, through the “front runners” that were just there to have their pictures taken and not really run, to be able to catch Piolo whom was being paced by Coach Rio, surrounded by their “pacers.” Everything happened so quick—was able to bid “good morning” to my friends who were earlier in the company of Piolo (so glad to see you guys having fun!) then found a spot just a person behind Piolo. Wow! As I glimpsed on my GF405, we were running at around 3:50/km pace! Reasonable if Piolo was to beat his previous time. Piolo doing a “sub-Piolo.” 😀
Aside from running behind Piolo, I was so glad to be at my spot as I was able to run with my longtime running idol, Coach Rio. Never in my wildest dream will I be able to run with him, but with Timex Run I was pacing with him. Sure, my heart never beat that fast for that long before, but I was having the time of my life! Admittedly, there were only a handful of races where I did run “race pace,” and this one definitely counted, but alas, if only I was able to incorporate speedworks before this race it would’ve been less taxing on my body. I still have my endurance though so I depended on that, for as long as I can!
According to my GF405, our first kilometer was about 4:21 followed by an average of sub 4:40 for the following kilometers. It was a really great pace and I really admired the man more as he’s hardly showing signs of difficulty, whereas I was already breathing through my mouth. I think they were still chatting a bit at these speeds! Coach Rio is definitely a great coach!
What I observed was Piolo and Coach Rio’s pace was practically even regardless of the terrain. I was quickly reminded that it’s indeed difficult to follow a pace that is not yours. I tend to “ride” downhills to make up for slowing down on uphills, and following an even pace for me was extra tiring. There was a time at Triangle Drive where I was just behind Piolo and Coach Rio, controlling myself as I don’t want to intrude their space, because it was downhill and I got “carried away” a bit—controlling my speed was extra effort wasted and the following uphills were not going to make it easier with an even pace. Finally, after that turn at 8th Ave., 6K+ into the race, I decided to break away because it was all uphill from there. I wasn’t giving up the great pace but instead giving myself some time to recover (at the uphills?).
That kilometer was my slowest, being mostly uphills, dropping to 5:29/km. But since I was on my own pace I was able to be more comfortable, but I was a bit too tired to pull back to 5:00/km pace (that’s the lack of speedwork talking). It was only during the last kilometer was I able to muster a 5:07/km pace to finish the race in a bit disappointing 49:16—quite some time off my personal best. It was a consolation that it was sub-50 minutes, but regardless of the time what counted most for me was I had so much fun! Where else will I be able to run with Piolo and Coach Rio?
Sometime after the race, yours truly was able to be admitted inside the VIP tent and have pictures taken with Piolo. Honestly, I admire the man that gave us the “sub-Piolo” time, and with this year’s Timex Run, many runners will have another “sub-Piolo” time to catch! Of course I didn’t ask Piolo if he was able to do a “sub-Piolo,” or what his finish time was (it might be rude for some to ask them of their time you know) but according to the official race results, he did set a new “sub-Piolo” time to target at 47:42. And as for my picture with Piolo, I dare not post it as I’d look ridiculous beside a Piolo Pascual! Honestly, Mr. Piolo Pascual, thank you for giving me back that desire to be fast again! Getting back into that “sub-Piolo” time for me is like a quest for the Golden Fleece, and you may not like it but many in the running community has your time as their target! It just means you’ve earned a spot of being an “idol” in the community.
Coach Rio, you’re really a great coach and I’m so glad that I was able to run behind you during this race. I cannot put into words how happy I was being able to run with you, despite merely being for 6K. And oh, by the way, I love those socks! I hope you have them over at Riovana as my long socks are apparently extinct in the Philippines.
I would like to thank Timex for having a race like this where we can meet and be able to run with our idols. I really do hope this becomes continuous as many of us will be looking to run with Piolo again in the future. Thank you as well, Runrio, for another superb race which I could say was practically perfect! On another note, thank you very, very much for treating us bloggers like we’re part of your family. I really, really do appreciate all the generosities you’ve extended us, and I look forward to more events with you. Special thanks of course to Ms. Vima “Kulit Runner” for being our channel with Runrio.
To everyone who finished their respective races this weekend, Congratulations! I hope you had as much fun as I did! 😀