My racing season for the year officially ended with the Run United Enervon HP Recovery Run. It’s one of the most unique races I’ve ever joined, and here are some of the reasons why.
What made the Run United Enervon HP Recovery Run unique? Normally, races are about speed. This one is not. Being a “recovery run,” the event was more of an easy long run than an actual race. Of course nobody’s preventing anybody from running all out, but this event is not exactly the venue for that.
On a personal level, this race was unique because it’s my second time to be an official event pacer. It had been a very long time since my last official pacing duty, and this one was quite interesting as we were led by elite athletes. And the pace was quite interesting too—I was assigned to pace for the 40-minute 5K!
I was invited to be one of Run United Enervon HP Recovery Run’s official pacer just a few days before the event. I admit I had to think it over before accepting it because I’ve never done a 40-minute 5K before! But since I won’t be alone in this duty and would have elites lead us, I gladly accepted the offer.
Our brief orientation happened the day before, practically just hours away from the event gun start. It was quick and concise, and it gave us the opportunity to meet other pacers.
As expected, our call time was pretty early. And even as arrived relatively early, there were already so much commotion happening at the activity area. The 10K pacers were already being prepped with their balloons and bibs as participants for the 21K were lining up for their impending start.
Each of us pacers were wearing larger than usual race bibs indicating our target finish times. We were also wearing three balloons each, two of which, in orange, bore the event’s name while the other one, in gold (or yellow depending on whom you ask :D), duplicates what is written in our bibs. Each pace group is assigned a unique color and gold happened to be our designated color. We also wore singlets in our designated pace group’s color (except for our lead pacer which wore their Unilab tri-suits). And since we didn’t have gold singlets, yellow became our adopted color. Who has gold singlets?
The starting line for the 10K and 5K was segregated based on target finish times. In front of the starting line were the “fastest” pacer group for that event, which was us for the 5K (at 40 minutes), followed descendingly by slower-paced groups. There were wide spaces between the pacer groups for participants to decide which party they are comfortable to join. I’m not sure if a 40-minute 5K was too fast for the majority, or runners were just not in the mood, or they were just too shy to join us, as we only had a handful of runners joining our pace group. But we’re still glad we had some recruits!
This race was just the best venue to know what it’s like to be an elite runner. Since there’s no prize and the elites that were in the race were pacers and this being a recovery run, anyone can really be the lead runner! Some runners really did took this opportunity and ran fast, and it was their opportunity to run behind those motor bikes that you normally see just ahead of the leading pack. If I wasn’t pacing I’d probably do the same and ask a friend to take a photo—the ultimate runner selfie! 😀
I realized that a 40-minute 5K is quite a pleasant pace for a recovery run. It is especially good for beginners as it’s not too fast and the distance is not too far. Some of our “recruits” were even commenting that our pace was pleasant. For those who want to simulate what we did, it’s a pace of 8 minutes per kilometer or a speed of 7.5 kilometers per hour.
In the end, we were a few minutes earlier than our target time. The route was a bit short as well so that’s one excuse. 🙂 On the good side, nobody in our group was complaining!
After the race, the activity area was just teeming with a lot of post-race amenities. There were areas you can do stretching, have ice baths, and even attend informative seminars to name a few. And of course the brand sponsor, Enervon HP, was there as the official recovery drink. In all honesty, I’m actually an avid Enervon HP user (going back to the days they still had 1kg packs) as my protein drink in the gym so I can never really have enough of this stuff.
Run United Enervon HP Recovery Run was just an excellent way of closing the 2014 running season. The easy pace made it comfortable for everyone, and the exclusivity made it quite intimate. It was quite a rare opportunity to actually run side by side with elite athletes, and I really had so much fun!
I would like to thank Unilab Active Health for giving me the chance and trusting me to be one of the official pacers! It was such an honor to run side by side with my fellow pacers and for a short time we got to run alongside elites without running out of air! Congratulations for a great concept and I look forward to what’s in store for Run United next year! Congratulations to all finishers as well! 😀
You may view the official race results here.