Before I noticed it, Run United 2 came, and while I survived, I can’t say I was quite prepared. Not only was it my longest race thus far, it was also one of my slowest race ever. Here’s my Run United 2 story.
Run United 2 started quite early (3AM) but I arrived earlier so I was pretty much relaxed as I had more than enough time to look for the baggage counter, have my restroom break, etc. But no matter how early I was, I wasn’t early enough to be able to get close to the front pack as the starting line was just crowded. It’s only on Run United that you can see the longest distance having one of the most registrants, and getting sold out pretty quick!
Coming into the race, I knew I was not prepared, and I knew I’d most likely be setting my slowest 32K race ever. But that doesn’t matter: what mattered to me was to finish the race, and finish it in an excellent condition (no injuries whatsoever). Completing the Run United series was always “a must” for me each year so ready or not, missing Run United is not an option. (I thought I had completed last year’s Run United after years of trying when I completed the trilogy, but it turned out that last year’s Run United wasn’t a trilogy as it required the Run United Philippine Marathon, which I failed to join, to be considered complete.)
I knew I was running really slow when I finished my first 5K in around 30 minutes. Suddenly I was afraid that my conservative estimate of a three and a half hours finish may not even be feasible after all. I didn’t know if the crowd at the starting line was slow, or I was, or both, but I didn’t pressure myself too much as I knew I won’t be setting a personal best even if I exhausted myself. So what’s left to do? Have fun!
It would’ve been much more fun if the rains had joined the race, but it didn’t. We were fortunate that the race started early as it was, and I was already more than midway with my race when the sun slowly rose from the horizon. Still, we can feel the humidity and heat so early in the morning. It was fortunately a Run United race so we were well taken cared of: lots of hydration, both water and sports drinks; lots of marshals; lots of portalets all throughout the route; and lots of bananas! I actually never had that much bananas on a race, and never had I been that hydrated on a race before (that I had to take a restroom break at least five times during the race)! There were even some medics at the final turnaround of the 32K that provides free application of liniment, which I of course availed as I was feeling some onset of cramps.
Overall, I can’t really think of anything how Run United can be improved, but somehow the second leg still managed to be better than the first. The hydration stations were the longest I’ve ever seen in any race in the country (probably even longer than some big races abroad), the marshals were the most enthusiastic, the route was quite interesting as narrow roads were no longer used, and the finisher’s shirt and medal were just awesome! Even the race results were released in record time. Personally, everything was just perfect! If anything can be improved, it would be my time which was, as expected, a bit off from my target. I finished in 3:32:45 (almost 3 minutes off, boo!) but considering I had quite some fun, was injury-free, stopped at all (and I really mean all!) hydration stations and at least five times for a restroom break, I could say I’m pretty much satisfied! Two thumbs up for Run United 2!
To all the finishers of Run United 2, Congratulations! And to all the people behind the success of the race, thank you and keep it up! Looking forward to the final leg of this year’s Run United series.
You may view the official race results here.