Running with “Walkers” at St. Peter Midnight Run

Halloween.  For the first time, I’m doing a Halloween race on a Halloween night itself.  And for the first time, I’ve attended a Halloween race where practically everyone is in costume.  It’s going to be a “thrilling” night.

Before the event started
(Courtesy Running Photographers)

I didn’t really thought much of what to wear for this year’s Halloween run.  I don’t exactly have an arsenal of costumes in my closet hanging around for such an occasion, and I just thought of using my previous “costume” which is basically just angel wings to be matched with anything white.  But the night before Halloween, I just thought of doing something different with the things that I already have.

After much deliberation within my head, two items became the pivot of what my costume would be: my three-quarters-length black running tights and my knee-high red football socks.  Black and red.  Well, I think the color matches the occasion well.

My original plan was to pull out a superhero-inspired costume.  But then I realized that I’m missing my cape!  I had that cape for so long, just waiting for this occasion and now it’s nowhere to be found!  I was ready to go without a cape but when I put on the superhero signature brief-on-top-of tights, I was anything but thrilled.  It was anything but “flattering.”  Time for plan B.

Then I saw my neckerchief which was recently given to us from an event launch.  It’s red so it matches my socks perfectly.  Then I tried it on—an idea comes to mind.  Brought out my black vest, and voila!  I have a cowboy-inspired costume!  I didn’t bother going with the hat though as I might lose it while running.

My “cowboy-inspired” costume
(Courtesy Running Photographers)

When it comes to out-of-the-usual fun runs, I usually sign up for 5K max but for some reason, I thought of signing up for the 10K.  Being my first race in Ortigas Center I guess I wanted to maximize coverage, but on the race day itself I didn’t thought it was a great idea.

The event started in MetroWalk, Pasig City and if the info I got was accurate, it was the first race to be held in the area.  The program started at 10PM where participants in costumes were nominated for awards in certain categories.  There were so many categories that the announcement was completed only few minutes left before the 10K starts.  The “Fabulous Running Divas” started a “warm-up” session before the 10K started.

Can you see me? 🙂
(Courtesy Running Photographers)

The 10K event started 11:30PM.  There weren’t that much 10K runners (as expected) so I placed myself just behind the elites (yes, they’re present) just for me to see even the early part of the race from their perspective.  The bad news was that I didn’t really do my warm-up before we started so chasing after the lead pack shortly after gun start was really demanding.  Add to that the fact that it was a very humid night, so odds were against my favor.  At least I was able to run behind the elites and see how it’s like from their perspective (for a few hundred meters at least).  This is probably only the second time I was able to do this ever.  That pulled my first kilometer in 3:55!

And we are off!
(Courtesy Running Photographers)

Fortunately, there were quite a lot of hydration stations along the main route serving sports drinks (Pocari Sweat) and water.  Unfortunately, there were loops—quite a lot of it for the 10K!

When I realized that there’d be loops my knees just started “melting away.”  I hate loops.  I get easily bored.  And as I was to do my second loop I was thinking 10K really wasn’t a good idea.  The thing is that the loops were a bit “complicated” on the intersection as you have to turn right on your first and third time, and left on the second and fourth time.  I didn’t know this at the time since I don’t really bother with race maps before a race.  I only figured this as it happened.  Good thing there are some “points of interests” along F. Ortigas Jr. Road (where I used to be based) where the “hunks” and “divas” were located.  I don’t know what the “hunks” gave to the ladies, but the “divas” gave kiss marks for gents.  10K passes through this route twice (second and fourth loop) and I’m happy to get seven kiss marks during the two time I passed as it is the date of my birth (November 7 to be exact).  Likewise, the “attention” I got while running on this section from “spectators” was just priceless!

The second loop led 10K and 7K runners to Doña Julia Vargas Ave. which was the most challenging segment of the race.  It was practically all downhill from Ortigas Center so it was all uphill on the way back.  This segment slowed me down drastically as I got a bit dehydrated when I missed two water stations in this area.  The water stations were on the sidewalks while we were running beside the isle and the road isn’t closed so just getting to the side is a chore, not to mention pretty dangerous.

After four loops around Meralco Ave. and Sapphire Road, we’re back towards MetroWalk where a final station, the “haunted house” awaited us.  It was impossible to run inside the “haunted house” as it’s filled with obstacles like coffins and “zombies,” not to mention “walkers” and smoke fills the area making visibility in the relatively dark area low.  Afterwards, it’s a quick dash to the finish line, where surprisingly nothing awaited us.

A race and a few kisses after from the “divas”)
(Courtesy Running Photographers)

Overall, St. Peter Midnight Run was quite fun if you consider the event as a fun run.  Otherwise if you treat it as a “regular” race, it’s not so.  The good part is that it’s fun as most participants did came with their costumes and were “game.”  There were also quite a lot of prizes that many actually made a career of putting on their costumes.  The not so good part were the technical aspects of the race like confusing route, unclosed roads, water stations on the other side of the road, the location of the baggage counters, and some finisher’s kit claiming issues (particularly for the 3K and 5K).  But since this is a fun run, what mattered is that participants did have fun—and for me at least, I did!  I’m looking forward to see this as an annual event, with technicalities improved of course!  What’s weird though is that I actually performed well with this run with my 1K in 3:55; 5K in 23:57; and finishing in 51:43!  After all those stops?!

To the organizers of St. Peter Midnight Run and their crew, congratulations on having a fun event!  Special thanks to all the photographers, particularly the Running Photographers, for taking our pictures!  To all the finishers, Congratulations! 😀

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