It was my first time to run as a bandit in a race. Just thought that I ditch the sportsband in solidarity with runners who do not own any Nike+ stuff. Besides, I just looove the Mizuno route and I just couldn’t let this race pass Nike or no Nike. Sundays are brick days for me and a change of scenery is always refreshing just like it was during the Miracle Run 2 weeks ago.
Had trouble sleeping, so I finally got up at around quarter to 4am to bike. Unlike the Miracle Run where I biked after the race, this time I got to bike before the run. It was still dark outside so I set up my indoor trainer and biked for 45 minutes. Finished at around 4:30 am. And after fixing my stuff, it was off to McKinley Hill.
Was dressed like a true bandit in an all-black ensemble, well, except for my shoes which was navy blue 🙂 All the more to take advantage of the darkness that surrounded the race site when I got there at around 5am, hehe. It didn’t take long for the sun to rise though and I had to content myself lurking just in front of the McKinley Convention Center as I observed the various official racers prepping their Nike+ stuff and warming-up for the race. Minutes before the start, Annie Agoncillo took the lead in helping the participants stretch and warm-up for the race that was about to start. I read in Marga’s blog that Annie collapsed at some point during the race, but she’s OK now. In hindsight, I thought it may be probably due, in part, to what I thought was a pretty high-energy warm-up routine. I didn’t actually witness what she did (was in lurk mode, bandit remember?), but from what I was hearing, the warm-up consisted of an aerobic routine before the actual stretching exercises. I remember getting tired just hearing how they went about their warm-up 🙂
Race promptly started at 6am and it seemed to me like there was only a hundred or so runners at the start. Also saw fellow bandits lurking behind the ‘prison bars’ (railings) beside the starting line waiting for the signal to start. Once the signal was given, I let a few seconds pass before breaking out from ‘prison’ and joining the Human Race. Well, the course was basically the very same Mizuno 15K route minus 5 kms., of course, except that we started right at the heart of the dreaded McKinley Hill. So you could probably imagine how my heart rate shot up in the first few minutes of the race. Tried to maintain my pace, using shorter but faster steps up the hill and thinking that for every uphill, there’s always a downhill 🙂
Right before the turn to Bayani Road, I saw Dingdong (RunMD) run past me and I said, “Go Dingdong!” I got no response from him and it appears that the Ipod was the culprit 🙂 Pressed the button of my watch to get my 5km split and saw that I did 24:49. There goes another chance at a negative split because I know that the time was a bit too fast for me. The run inside Heritage Park is always pleasant. And I was touched that those manning the water stations even offered a bandit like me (seeing that I obviously had no race bib) refreshments and bananas 🙂 Of course, I could only offer them my thanks as I thought it wrong to partake of refreshments offered at a race where I was not an official participant. Besides, taking drinks and eating bananas would only slow me down. This bandit is going for a sub-50!!! hahaha 🙂
Inside Heritage Park, I introduced myself to Javy Olives (triathlete) and paced with him for a few kms. All this time, I was really laboring and thought it must be my lack of sleep and creeping heat that is catching up with me. At the 6 and 7 km mark, a glance at my watch revealed that I was already doing a little over 5 minutes/km. and I knew sub-50 would have to wait for another day/race 😦 But it’s all good, there were no dagger looks that were thrown this bandit throughout the race. At least, that’s from what I can see as I refused to make eye-contact with the runners being the guilty bandit that I am 🙂
Was able to manage a sprint towards the finish, only because it was downhill once I entered McKinley Hill again 🙂 Sprinted towards the chute reserved for bandits as the one for the official racers had a photographer waiting for them. A bandit should never get his photograph taken 🙂 Eventually finished with an unofficial time of 52:45. I saw Coach Rio at the finish, gave him a high-5 and muttered an out-of-breath congratulations for organizing a good race that was enjoyed by everyone, I think, Nike users and bandits alike 🙂
I made my way through the booths and I finally met Prometheus Cometh and RunMD who was kind enough to offer me his bottle of Rush. But I had to decline once again for the same reasons stated above. Would have wanted to stay on and chat with the fellow bloggers but I had to say my hi/hellos/goodbyes quickly since there was a school function for my son later on that morning. Also saw Norman Pascual (Herbalife/Fort Striders) as I made my way to the car for my much-needed refreshments.
I know there was a little bit of controversy surrounding this race. But just the same, I joined it because bottom line, I just liked to go out and run, my personal feelings against NIKE be damned 🙂 Also, race organizers like Coach Rio needs all the support and encouragement from the community because it’s no joke to organize a race. I’ve seen it upclose with my friends from SALIGAN who organized Run 4 Ur Life that was held at UP 2 weeks ago. Us runners move from one race to the next week after week, but did you know SALIGAN is still accounting for the expenses for a race that was held 2 weeks ago? Not to mention the weeks of preparation leading to the staging of the actual race itself. So there.
On that note, I would like to congratulate Coach Rio, PC and all those involved in yesterday’s race for staging a successful Human Race in Manila. I guess I also speak for the bandits when I say thank you for making us feel welcome even though we didn’t have any NIKE sportkits, etc. Some of us even placed in yesterday’s race with a cool number at that: 666 🙂 (Please check official results at runrio.com)
As for NIKE, sorry, but I still won’t buy any of your stuff…..Only because I cannot afford it and would much rather win them as freebies 🙂 But if it’s OK with you, I’d still run the races you sponsor 🙂 Make that, I’d still run them even if it’s not OK with you….I’ll just be a bandit again 🙂
Finally, here are stats of yesterday’s brick workout for those interested (although I don’t think it’s considered a brick anymore in light of the lag time between the bike and the run):
Indoor Bike: 45 minutes AHR: 123
Transition: 1 hour 25 minutes
Run: 52:45 AHR: 158 (first 5K); 166 (last 5K, so that’s how a tempo run should feel like)