The Rush to Infinity Run sponsored by Rush & Mizuno happened on June 29, 2008. This was going to be my first 15-kilometer run and my third race. After months of running, I've made it a point to drive myself hard at this one.
Waking up at 0330 of June 29 was not so difficult. I've been tossing and turning on the hotel bed where we slept for the night. Well.. it was partly coz it was cold.. While sir Jerry and Mac were still asleep, I started preparing myself. Took a quick shower, did some morning stretching changed into my running gear and taped possible blister-ready zones.
We took a taxi to Global City and got there at around 0500. There were already a lot of runners around - warming up and stretching. In a few minutes we were called to the starting line, watched the countdown timer set by the organizers. At zero we were off.
I started at my regular pace. Turning right, then left, down the side of the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. I don't really know the name of the streets. But if you click on the map at the left you'll be able to see our route. At first it was downhill and it was this way for some time. I picked up my pace on the downhills and ran a faster than normal pace on the flats. The first U-turn was near the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Graveyard of Heroes). After the U-turn, we turned right into the Heritage Park. This was an awesome park. I just loved it in there! Green grass and walls. I really wanted to climb those walls! The park was great that I really didn't feel tired. Before long the route started going uphill.. back downhill and out the gate of Heritage Park. This is were the problems started. The road was congested with runners. Mixed with runners from the 5km, 10km and 15km. It was really difficult. Runners going both ways, some walking.. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD!! I had a difficult time weaving my path through these runners.. or should I say walkers. Finally, I made it out of the traffic alive!! Beside me, a man on a bike slowed down. "How far is this?" He asked in Filipino.
"15-kilometers," I replied. We had a little chat with the man then he said farewell and speeded up. Then, he slowed down and asked, "Can you cheat? Wanna ride?" Haha.. He was offering me to cheat!! Anyways, I said 'No, thank you,' and he was off.
The path now was going back uphill. Tiring it may seem but training in Tagaytay pays off. Other runners have slowed down a lot and I was passing them. When I thought we were close, we turned right off the main road and started down McKinley Hill. It was a pretty steep downhill, this road. And there was a U-turn at the bottom then back the steep uphill. My legs weren't quite tired yet as I remembered Talisay which was steeper and much longer than this road. It was tiring, yes, but I was determined to finish strong. As soon as we got out McKinley hill, back to the traffic, It was quite flatter. Then the signs of nearing the finish line came. I picked up my pace for the last kilometer. Speeding my way to the finish line for the last sprint, I noticed a long line to my left. I ignored them since they all had red straw around their necks (meaning they were 5km runners) and passed the empty right side to the finish. This is were my disappointment really started.
There were no officials waiting there. No one to take my official time. There was no one giving out the goodies. After asking around I learned that we had to line up on the left. What?! Insanity!! What kind of race asks you to line up for the finish line!!! My timer registered 1:12:24 and I was happy but for the thought that it wouldn't be recorded as my official time. My official time according to Runrio.com was around 1hr 30minutes which was really was off. And some people I finished before, were before me in the results. The results were later on removed from the site.
I would really like to appreciate the efforts of Sir Rio though. Everything was doing well but for the finish line and the traffic which sir Rio DID apologize and took responsibility for the errors.
Overall, the run was great! Great weather - clouded sky, not so hot, a bit windy. Overflowing drinks - water, or Rush, they had it.
I'm still at the beginning of my running anyways and I still plan to train harder and join more runs. See you in the next run.