This blog post is written minutes after my Run United 21K run, even before the winners are even announced! It’s quite nice to have a netbook handy and Wi-Fi around! Anyways here’s my account fresh off the race.
Epic. That’s a word I could describe this race because of the huge number of turnout. It’s probably the biggest 21K race I’ve ever seen in the Philippines! And for the first time Runrio used a 21K route that is point-to-point, starting from Bonifacio Global City and finishing at the SM Mall of Asia grounds together with other legs. Of course it also meant that runners and their bags had to be shuttled between these points. Personally I don’t prefer routes like these due to contingency issues, but after running this 21K route I was really, really happy with it!
Because of the huge turnout, 21K runners had to start in waves to prevent clogging the roads. While I was surprisingly on time for the gunstart it was impossible for me to join the first wave so I had to settle starting in the middle of the second wave. No biggie but if you don’t like running in the crowd, you’re out of luck! Mind you, I think I was doing a decent pace all throughout the race but I wasn’t able to leave the crowd until I arrived in Roxas Blvd.—more than half way through the race! That’s how long the crowd was! A lot of runners by volume, but also a lot of quality runners that kept the race more competitive than the usual.
The 4:30AM gunstart was just perfect. Initially I thought it was a bit too early (as I wanted to have a tad more sleep) but looking at it now I couldn’t have thought of anything better! Because it started early, a decent 2-hour finish would be at 6:30AM when the sun had just risen. And since I did a sub-2 hour finish, I was practically able to outrun the sun! 😀
Course and gunstart: perfect, but what about hydration? Interestingly, this was the first race that I ever had wherein there was more sports drink (Powerade) than water! I don’t have any qualms about it but I can’t exactly douse myself with it. 🙂 There are lots of sponges though for this purpose. And oh, there were lots of bananas as well, and I really appreciate that they cut off the top to ease removal of the skin.
The medal—woah! It was so much bigger than in the picture! On its own it’s already huge, but considering it assembles with two other Run United medals and crowned by the Run United Philippine Marathon, you’d get one huge plate! 🙂
As per the controversial loot bag, inside it is some very nice finisher’s shirt (better than last year’s in my opinion) and products from sponsors.
I would like to congratulate Unilab and Runrio for another “perfect” race! To everyone who completed the first leg of the Run United Trilogy, Congratulations!