Incessant rains at the Metro this past week. Still, I was looking forward to the Eco Dash, if only to escape the monotony of my usual long-run routes. Got to the race venue at around 4:30am since the race pack stated that the half-marathon was supposed to begin at 5am. But an announcement was made that the start of the race will be pushed to 5:30 given the inclement weather. No worries. It was a cold morning and the sun was not about to make any appearance that day.
At the starting line, I saw Gerard and Norman and we talked about the latest re: Whiterock. Also saw quite a number of the Polo Tri peeps who were racing that morning. I did notice however that there wasn’t the usual crowd of runners at the venue. Perhaps on account of another race at MOA or maybe the rains discouraged some participants. At any rate, I was still conversing with Gerard and Norman when the starting gun suddenly went off. And off we go…
I don’t know if I had mentioned before that I do not wear my HRM anymore during trainings and/or races – and I found it liberating. I’m no longer a slave to numbers and a gadget telling me whether I’m giving enough of an effort 🙂 Recently, the stopwatch I had been using this past year and a half got damaged. So, I borrowed my son’s stopwatch. Guess what happened next? That watch too conked out. The sporting gods must be telling me something….So, for the Eco Dash Run, I ran naked 🙂 Well, blind actually. No HRM to tell me what zone I am in and no stopwatch to tell my time. And as it turned out, the race did not have the usual kilometer markings to inform the runners about the distance covered at a particular point. If the whole point about of ecology and saving Mother Earth is simplicity and going back to basics, it might as well apply to running as well 🙂
A few kilometers into the race, I found myself pacing with my former relay teammate at Whiterock, Dionne. Actually, I didn’t realize it was her until we were making our way to Glorietta. Too bad she got her Ipod with her, would have wanted to chat and catch up on what’s been happening with her since Whiterock. I don’t know, I just tend to be wary of people who wear Ipods, it’s like flashing a “Do Not Disturb” sign to us friendly dudes 🙂 Uy, friendly daw o, hahaha….
Anyway, my plan for this race was to try to maintain proper running form and technique as taught by Coach Jomak. So, I was consciously telling my body throughout the race to push the knee forward while trying to imagine a tiny hurdle in front of me so as to incorporate a bit of a skip in every stride. Also, the rolling terrain at the Fort is all too familiar by now, so the plan was to conserve enough energy to attack the hills and coast during the downhill portions. Yup, no shuffling this time 🙂
Well, I don’t know if I maintained the proper form but I was quite happy with the effort I gave at every incline 🙂 Weather was just perfect, even with the occasional downpour. I won’t be surprised if a number of runners set a personal best at Eco Dash. There were ample gatorade/water stations throughout the route. Remember my initial observation about the low turnout for this race? I’m glad I was wrong about that one when I saw a huge pack of 10 and 5K runners as I made my way back to the Fort and onto Bayani Road 🙂 It was quite a good turnout after all considering the weather. I hope it banishes the myth that one gets sick running in the rain 🙂
Norman tapped my behind and zoomed past me just before the McKinley intersection. I tried to psych him out by sprinting past him immediately 🙂 But Norman was running a strong and solid pace and soon enough, he was out of sight. I decided to pick up the pace after the McKinley intersection and held whatever pace I was on till the finish 🙂 Didn’t see any big clock/timer on display at the finish, so it really was a blind run from the start 🙂 Thus, I don’t know what my finishing time was. I was informed later on that there indeed was a timer at the right side of the finish line banner. Oh well….
There wasn’t much of a queue for the Gatorade drink at the finish and I was thankful for that. Didn’t bother to line up anymore for the freebies. I was just so happy to run the entire distance again after the disappointing walk/stroll at Camsur. Eco Dash Run was a no frills race that lived up to its billing. Simple, back-to-basics run invigorated with a shower from the heavens.