There’s no doubt that Pokémon GO is one of the most disruptive innovation lately and it had forced a lot of people to get off of their couch and move. And even I, as a runner, was not spared as I found myself more “motivated” to go places to catch Pokémon. And last weekend was no exception as I found myself running around Manila.
I admit that the rainy weather of Metro Manila lately is less than encouraging for me to get out and run. Whenever I get out for a run, a strong downpour prevents me from doing so, resulting in missed kilometers and even gym workout sessions. But last weekend was more favorable, so I went out for a run. I picked my starting point at Rizal Park primarily because I’ve heard that some rare Pokémon may be found in the area. 🙂
It’s been a while since I last been to Rizal Park. There were quite a lot of people as expected, but this time around there were more people looking down on their phones as the park is teeming with Pokéstops. But still, I’m glad to see that most people are still in the park to enjoy the nice, cool, and windy weather we had that day.
From Rizal Park, I went to the Manila Ocean Park and got some new Pokémon to add to my Pokédex. I didn’t find Lapras though. 😀
I then went on to Roxas Boulevard to run towards SM Mall of Asia. I was a perfect day to run as the clouds kept the temperature low with the wind keeping you from feeling hot. The construction alongside Bay Walk is completed so there were no more obstructions, but sadly the street dwellers are back. In terms of Pokémon sighting, there aren’t that many that I encountered and there were only a few Pokéstops along the way.
My route went into CCP Complex, alongside familiar race routes, until eventually I ended up near the Mall of Asia Jetty Terminal. Here there are three Pokéstops in close proximity so expectedly there were many players in the area. The weather looked like it was turning for the worse so I had to conclude my run there and proceed to the dry confines of the gym. Overall, I had covered about 7K that day, albeit on a very slow average pace. 🙂
As a runner, Pokémon GO has its pros and cons. Probably the most positive impact of it for me is that I have an additional motivator to get out and run, but on the other end it makes my running session ridiculously slow. The first time I did a long run with Pokémon-hunting as motivation I found myself completing a kilometer in 10 minutes!
For all those wanting to do their run together with playing Pokémon GO, here are some safety tips I’d like to share:
Always be aware of your surroundings
You always see this message when you start the game and you should always keep this in mind. You don’t have to keep staring on your screen as you run as it should vibrate whenever a Pokémon appears. So when you run, put your phone down and focus on where you’re running, most especially when crossing the road.
Do not trespass
If the area is not open to the public, do not enter without permission! Doing so might put you in grave danger. Besides, you don’t have to be “on the dot” where the Pokémon spawned to capture it. It should appear on your screen once it is in range.
Be mindful of your belongings
If you’re carrying valuables, make sure to keep them safe. Check every now and then if your pockets are closed and double check your things before leaving an area.
If you’re not going to be running fast or you think you may need to stop every now and then, stay on the right side of the road. Always keep the left side clear for those who are in a hurry, using it only to overtake if all those on the right side are slower than you.
Do not stop abruptly
Some people may be walking behind you and stopping abruptly may cause injuries for either or both of you! If you need to stop, look around you first, slow down, and go to a safe place to stop.
If you think you’d be out or a long time, bring along some water, food, or money. You may also consider bringing an umbrella, flashlight, etc. depending on your situation. A power bank is an essential as well especially if your phone does not have a high capacity battery.
Don’t play while driving!
First, we now have an anti-distracted driving law. Second, it is simply unsafe! When driving, focus on driving. It’s you or your passenger’s life that could be at stake. If you really have to, find a safe and legal place to park. Anyway, you won’t be hatching that egg unless you’re moving below 20kph.
Overall, I found the positive sides of Pokémon GO outweigh the negatives as even local business are riding on the bandwagon. It also got a lot of people walking so I think that’s a plus. But as many of them are distracted as they do so, some imminent dangers lurk around so we must stay vigilant while playing. After all, it should be our safety first before anything else! You can’t catch that Mewtwo if you got hit by a car, fell on a ditch, or had your phone stolen! We can always enjoy the game while still being on the safe side. So to all Pokémon Trainers out there, stay safe and good luck catching them all! 😀