I used to dread McKinley Hill. If there was a race that included McKinley in its route I would think twice about registering. I vividly recall the first time I ran 15k at the VSO Bahaginan Race in November 2008. It was the longest ever run for me and, after 10k, I was exhausted. I will never forget standing at the foot of the steep ascent towards the exit of McKinley Hill and seeing the kilometer marker with the huge words “13” on them. Perfect number for such a hellish climb!
How things have changed since then. Now, I choose to run at McKinley Hill when I want a more challenging hill workout. Those hills upon entering and exiting the area and oh those hills inside are roads that I still want to run away from (literally!), but they definitely strengthen my quads and calves and build my confidence for an upcoming race. When the going gets tough at a race, I just think: If I survived McKinley, I can surely finish this one!
Last Wednesday, hubby, Jun (The Solemates) and I ran a 10k from Bonifacio High Street to McKinley Hill and back. It wasn’t the ideal set up for a run: we started a bit too late at 7PM, the rain had stopped but the street was littered with tiny puddles, and I was getting a bit hungry (hah!). But, I was eager to road test my new KSwiss Kwicky Blade Light (which I’ll write about it in the next post) so nothing could stand in the way of getting a good run in for that evening. With vehicles passing us by, we ran in single file at a strong, steady pace in silence (except for the time we stuck our heads into Brick to say hi to Leroy and we stopped for a water break at the convenience store.) It was a serious run for a serious route…and I loved it!
I ended the run completely spent, soaked in sweat, and super famished. But, hey, that’s what I always get when I run McKinley…and I’m not complaining!