The Southern Run

Sunday, 3 May 2009  |  Race Reports


Overall rating (10 highest): 6


  • Great race atmosphere
  • Fast course – almost flat all the way for 5k, downhill portions for 10k
  • Low race entry fee of P150
  • Early race start to beat the heat: 5:30 a.m. for 10k, 5:35 a.m. for 5k
  • Clean comfort rooms at Alabang Town Center
  • Directional signs at major points
  • No singlet (If I had the choice, I would opt for lower race fee with the option of passing up the singlet as mentioned by Banana Running, so lack of singlets is a plus for me)
  • For a good cause – funds raised went to help SOS Children’s Village


  • Short 10k route (or did the 10k runners miss a turn?), 5k slightly above distance at 5.4km
  • Long lines for parking as there was only one entrance to the parking area
  • No kilometer markers
  • Water stations were few and far between.  Cups ran out for 10k.
  • Limited race registration centers – only at Alabang Town Center

Overall, the fun atmosphere and the simple, no frills manner in which the race was organized was good enough for me.  For a low race fee, we got our money’s worth while helping charity.  The minor flaws were just that…minor.  If a runner had little expectations and wanted to have a good Sunday run, then he didn’t come home disappointed.  Congratulations to organizers of The Southern Run!


I have to admit. I miss small, relaxed races such as the race I joined this morning, The Southern Run, at Cortes de Las Palmas, Alabang Town Center.  There was more room to breathe, more space to move, and a lot of friendly familiar faces at the assembly area.  The atmosphere was less tense or competitive, but more like a fun-filled get-together among running friends.


Slowly recovering from my injury and carrying an extra 5 lbs. on my body (which translates to 15 lbs. more impact on my knees as each pound is 3 lbs on your knees according to the experts…yikes!), I had no grand delusion of racing this one.  Plan was to run an easy 5k on a course that I knew like the back of my hand and missed like a long lost friend.  

I had done my homework the night before.  I replaced my decrepit Spenco insoles with brand new ones as ordered by my favorite PT.  I placed hot compress on my tight post-tib muscles.  And, I stretched my calves for 5 minutes before leaving the house.  Oh, I also said a short prayer in case any of my pre-race preparations was not enough to combat the injury.

We arrived in time for the race start with ample time to find friends in the small crowd.  When the gun was fired, I ran along with hubby and friends—Ben, Jun, Mariel, Dingdong, and Kim.  We ran out of Alabang Town Center heading towards Madrigal Ave.  By the time we entered Ayala Alabang, it was only Kim and I who ran alongside each other.  We talked about the proper running form to reduce impact on the knees (especially on concrete roads like Alabang) and next race goals.  Before we knew it, it was time to go our separate ways.  Kim’s parting words were: “Jaymie, remember, if you feel pain, just stop.”  and with that she made a right with the other 10k runners as I ran straight ahead with the 5k runners.

I ran Madrigal Ave. and hit the turnaround alone.  I focused on my running form, landing on my midfoot, and staying positive without allowing the minimal ankle pain to take over me.  As most endurance athletes know—and as I’m learning more and more with all the trials I’m going through—the mind is a powerful thing when it comes to overcoming physical pain and surviving any kind of race—short or long, fun or competitive.  I had no plans of allowing minor pain to get in the way.  

Time flew as I ran through Madrigal Ave.  Soon, we made a right towards Mindanao Ave. moving closer towards the exit of Ayala Alabang.  I thought I heard someone call out my name, and when I glanced at the runner beside me, I was pleasantly surprised to see a familiar face.  It was Josh, a friend from college who I last saw…errr…a dozen years ago.  We ran the last few kilometers together catching up on things and pacing each other along the way.


I crossed the finish line at 34.29 mins covering 5.36km with an average pace of 6.26 min/km.  Slow, but I wasn’t complaining.  In fact, I was sort of rejoicing inside.  The funny thing about the injury is that I felt better after the race than when I had started.  Even as I type this, the pain has completely gone. 

The hubby had some good news too.  He finally hit sub-hour for his 10k!  I have a feeling the hubby and I will be racing each other soon.  That should be fun! Hah!


– Hey Photographer Ben, you’re being watched! –


– The hubby runs toward the finish –


– with good friends Mark, Dindo, Jun, Ben, Mariel, and Tiffin  –


– Mark, Greg Banzon of Sunkist Trihard with his brothers and team mate –


– Sir Ipe (Kinderdorf Leben), director of SOS Childrens Village –


– Another old college friend, JayGat, with Dindo –

We met up with my dearest running friends for breakfast at Pancake House as my early birthday treat.  Lots of great running conversation over pancakes, waffles, omelettes, and tapa.  What more could I ask for?


– birthday breakfast at Pancakes –