Race: Del Monte Fit ‘N Right
Overall rating (10 highest): 3
- Use of RFID for timing
- Fairly simple and incident-free run
- Organized race pack in bag with free samples
- Pre-race briefing from race organizer
- Directional signs lining the route
- Samples and freebies provided after the race
- Booths after the race
BETTER JOB NEXT TIME:
- Messy race packet redemption. (I redeemed mine at Bonifacio High Street only to find out it wasn’t available yet. I was told to return Friday evening. Fortunately, it arrived earlier so I returned shortly and got to claim on Thursday.)
- Assembly time of 4 a.m. too early for a 6 a.m. race start
- Traffic! Long lines to enter the area. Parking lots were closed so runners were forced to parallel park on the roads.
- Late race start. Race start was scheduled for 6 a.m. but it was the pre-race “show” that began at this time. With runners crowded at the starting line, hosts were chatting away and a warm-up was introduced while runners were impatiently waiting to run (hence the heckling from the angry crowd.)
- Late pre-race briefing began after 6 a.m. After 6 a.m., while runners of all distances were already crowded at the assembly area, it was only then that the organizer announced different start times for distances and requested 3k and 5k runners to make way for 10k runners. (I cannot count how many eyeballs rolled during this time.)
- Surprise gun start. In the middle of the warm-up, the gun was suddenly fired and the race started with many runners unaware of what was going on.
- Lack of marshals in a major intersection in front of SM Mall of Asia. Runners crossed the intersection and stopped vehicles on their own.
- Converging of slower 3k/5k walkers with 10k runners. By the 2nd loop, 10k runners had to weave through the traffic of walkers.
- No kilometer markers.
- Extremely long gift ribbons used for turnaround markers for runners (at least in perfect timing with the Holiday season)
- Limited water at stations.
- Long lines to claim freebies. Freebies were limited so not all runners were given.
- Low-quality singlets that smelled of paint. (My 8-year old was the one who complained about the stench, not me!)
This race could’ve been called the Del Monte Late ‘n Wait race. For the almost 5,000 runners who registered for this race, there was a lot of waiting: one had to wait for the race packet to be delivered, wait to find parking, and worst of all, wait for the race to start amidst a tight crowd of eager runners. If you were parched after the race, you had to wait behind a long line of thirsty runners to grab a cup of water, too.
Thankfully, despite these mishaps, the course itself allowed for an enjoyable, flat and fast run, which allowed runners to grab great times. The atmosphere was festive and fun, especially for beginners who didn’t have high expectations on the technicalities of the race.
I heard this will be an annual event for Del Monte. Hopefully, the race organizer will improve on the flaws and make the race “right” with runners next year. Congratulations is still in order for Del Monte which campaigns for a healthier lifestyle for Filipinos!
5 to 6 a.m.: Pre-race – 10k, easy
6 to 7 a.m.: Race – 10k, 5:30 min/km
7 a.m. onwards: Post-race – 6k, 6 min/km
Hubby and I arrived at the SM Mall of Asia at 5:10 a.m. and, when I saw the long line of cars entering the area, I knew there was no way I could squeeze in a pre-race 10k. As soon as we found parking, I jumped out the car, bid hubby goodbye, and ran easy. I only hit 2k when I made the wrong decision to enter the starting area at 5:50 a.m. in preparation for the race to start. I wasted 30 mins. waiting, which gave me enough time to think of Plan B…
5 to 6 a.m.: Pre-race – 2k, easy
6 to 7 a.m.: Race – 10k, 5:30 min/km
7 a.m. onwards: Post-race – 14k, 6 min/km
The gun went off during the warm up, but I couldn’t complain; I was all psyched for a fast race. I switched my iPod shuffle on and went on full race mode through the flat roads of SM Mall of Asia course.
The nice thing about this race is that I wasn’t competing with anyone but myself. In the past, I would target other runners and cross them off my mental list one by one. Now, Singapore was on my mind (as it always is while training the past months) and I was focused solely on my own pace. I would take a peek at my Garmin (yes, I’m back to Garmin) and manage a tiny grin as my pace ranged from 5:00 to 5:15 min/km without me feeling completely drained. Fine, I didn’t stick to my Plan B pace, but I felt great and I couldn’t slow down.
– Going for my 2nd 5k loop. Thanks to Bald Runner for the photo! –
Strong, Happy Finish
I finished with an unofficial time of 51:20 mins with a pace of 5:08 min/km for my 10k run. Not a PR but a great time considering it’s been so long since I raced a 10k without worrying about injury.
After chatting with Coach Jim Saret, meeting up with the hubby at the finish line, refueling with a Hammer Espresso gel, and refilling my amphipod with Gatorade, I took off on my own to run the balance 14k of my program.
Long, Slow Run
Since I was going to run the last 14k on my own around SM MOA, I searched for a safe, secure course within the area. I found a 1.2k loop and ran that over and over and over again. The first 10km were serene and enjoyable; my introverted self found it completely invigorating. But the last 4km were the opposite; it was painfully slow and challenging.
By the last kilometer, the sun decided to strengthen its rays over the entire street so I had to take cover as I started to feel like a sunbathing shrimp with my face burning up. I changed my course and ran only under the shade. Unfortunately, this passed the row of restaurants around SM where all the other runners, including Jinoe and the rest of the takbo.ph peeps, were savoring their meals while my empty stomach growled with each step.
Despite the temptation to give in and quit (something that was quite easy to do as the car was parked in the loop I ran), I managed to complete the 14km for a total of 26km that Sunday. Surprisingly, I was more pleased with myself for finishing the last 14k than grabbing a great time during the race. Truly, the tougher the challenge, the more rewarding it feels in the end.