Despite the gloomy weather, over 5,000 runners showed up for the One La Salle run at The Fort yesterday. As I viewed the sea of green before me, I wondered if I had registered for a race or unwittingly signed up for one big La Salle family day.
– A sea of green –
– One brave soul. Runmd proudly wears his Ateneo singlet –
Just as hubby and I found our way to the crowded assembly area, it started to drizzle and then pour. Runners huddled under tents while others allowed the rain to drench them from head to toe. We were part of the latter group; why shield ourselves from the rain when we were definitely going to get wet anyway?
Soon after the 16k and 3k runners started, we 5k runners were off. (Yes, all of us 5,000 runners started practically at the same time.) I bid my husband goodbye and went ahead not in an effort to break a PR but more to find some room to breathe. This was, after all, a training run for me; my first 5k after the shin splints.
For the first half, I ran at a comfortable 6:00 min/km pace, intentionally slowing down when I found myself reaching 5:00 to 5:30. No way was I going to reinjure myself for this race! It felt awesome to race under the rain, something I’ve never done. I didn’t feel as tired and I felt like I could go on to the finish line without ever taking a sip from my amphipod. Boy was I wrong.
As I closed in on the 3km mark, I suddenly felt depleted. I knew that there were two things to blame for this pathetic scenario: 1) staying up late the night before to read books with my daughter (that’s the life of a running mommy!), and 2) lack of training (my longest run was a 5k during my past 1.5 month imprisonment in shin splint hell.)
I swallowed my pride. I began to walk (argh…a mortal sin in the TBR world because no one has ever caught me walking in a race—much less a 5k!) and, in an attempt to appear strong and cool, I made it look as if I was just taking a water break.
It turned out to be a futile strategy since a runner suddenly appeared beside me, almost like an angel from the sky. How I wished that he looked like Gabriel with long blonde hair, unblemished skin, with his chiseled chest shining through his white robes staring at me with his blue eyes saying “Be strong. I shall run with you.” But, this man was old, dark, chubby, and short and he said to me in the gentlest manner “Maganda ang pace mo. Ituloy mo lang yan. Sasabayan kita.” And, with those words, despite his non-angelic features he became a blessing to me. We ran together.
God, all that drama. You’d think I was running marathon. Or, at least, you’d think that the man ran with me the next two kilometers to finish the 5k race. Soon after he uttered those words, we made a left on the road along with the rest of the 5k pack to discover that we were at the finish line. Whaaat?! According to my Garmin, the 5km race had ended at 3.3km. Was the route inaccurately measured? Did all of us make a wrong turn? Did they miss a sign along the route? Did they lack marshalls (I didn’t see any!) to point us in the right direction? I don’t know. All I knew was that it was the shortest 5k of my life.
We were in for an even bigger surprise: a long line for us to pass through the finish line. I bet we were lined up even longer than the time it took us to run the race. I apologize for being sarcastic. But, my sarcasm was a lot lighter than the complaints from the crowd. One veteran runner repeated himself like a broken record as he waited in line “Terrible. Another badly organized race. Terrible. Terrible.”
– Runners waited in line to claim race giveaways being distributed from a truck. The scene reminded me of a NFA rice allocation. –
After my 5k-run-that-was-actually-a-3k, my hubby and I met up with my nephew (who I, unfortunately, didn’t see before or during the entire run) and my three bodyguards, uhm, actually they are my three kuyas, who just came to watch. We chatted for a while, took a few photos, then called it a family day.
Thank God for the drops of water from heaven. Running in the rain was perhaps one of the few, if not the only, positive experience I gained from this race.
– TBR’s biggest fans: my hubby, my nephew (center), my three brothers –