TBR RACE REVIEW: ECO-DASH: THE AYALA MALLS ENVIRONMENT RUN
Overall rating (10 highest): 7
• Enjoyable race course.
• Organizers set up tents for runners due to the rain.
• Race was delayed by 30 mins to accommodate late runners due to the rain.
• Adequate water and Gatorade at stations.
BETTER JOB NEXT TIME:
• Lack of km markers along the route.
The Eco Dash was a well-organized and smooth run (no pun intended). The half marathon course took runners around Glorietta, which was a delightful change from the usual Buendia route. Despite the pouring rain, the organizers managed the affair fairly well, providing tents and delaying race start to wait for runners who arrived late due to the weather. The Eco Dash was one of those races that you could miss, but had you joined, you would’ve left feeling glad that you did.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
The night before the race, I did a little rain dance, sang a couple of out of tune songs, and placed this in my Facebook status and twitter pages: “all set for the Eco Dash half marathon tomorrow. I hope it rains!”
At 3:45 a.m., hubby and I woke up to the wonderful sound of the pitter-patter of raindrops on our roof. I got my wish…woohoo! Then, within a few minutes, the rain poured madly and loudly. Uh oh, this was much more than I asked for, I thought. But, what the heck, we dressed, packed our rain jackets into our bags, and left the house…albeit a little bit late.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
The half marathon race start was 5:00 a.m. I arrived at the Bonifacio High Street parking lot at 5:25 a.m. Thankfully, the organizers moved all race start times 30 minutes later as most runners were late as well.
I left hubby to park (his 10k race started at 6:00 a.m.) and headed for the starting chute. There, I found Mon Domingo of Happy Feet who introduced me to Leo Valdez, yes the ultra-talented singer who played the engineer in Miss Saigon. As if on cue, my good friend, Kim (same name as the lead character in Miss Saigon) approached me along with her friend, Ivy. We chat briefly until the race begins.
SOAKED AND SMILING
My target pace for this half marathon was 6:40 min/km, in other words, kwento- or chatting-pace, which is my favorite pace of all! I find that, at this pace, the time flies by quickly and I usually end the run without injury nor pains in my legs. Sure, I won’t end with a PR, but that really isn’t my goal for now.
It was great then that I found myself running alongside good friends JunC (Solemates) and Dindo (runningDATcom), who has been sorely missed after his Milo Marathon a few months back. We ran together under the rain, chatting away about anything under the…rain.
The strong rains didn’t let up: we ran wet and soaked. In the beginning, I would try to avoid puddles to avoid getting my feet wet, but after a while, it just didn’t matter anymore. The weather was cool and sometimes windy, which was good since I didn’t feel tired nor thirsty at all. I took my Fuel Belt with me—2 8-0z bottle of Gatorade and 1 bottle of water—but only sipped after the first 10km. That’s how cool it was! I cannot count how many times I told my running buddies “This is so much fun!”
From Bonifacio Global City until we descended Buendia flyover to head off to Lawton, the three of us ran side-by-side. When we reached Chowking, I bid them goodbye as I had to make a visit to the little girls’ room. When I got out, I bumped into another friend, Charlie, who I hadn’t seen for quite some time as well.
Charlie and I chatted through the rest of the race. There was talk about massage, ITBS (the evil injury we’re both plagued with), triathlons, and many more. Before we knew it, we were down to the last kilometer to the finish. Jonel (BugoBugo), who had finished and was running the opposite way for his extended long run, accompanied us instead until the finish line. Jonel told us “Finish strong. Go for a sprint.” I was feeling strong, but I replied to Jonel “Nah, it’s okay. I’m running slow and easy until the end.” That really was my plan, and that’s how I ended it with a smile.
My Polar recorded a time of 2:14 (I paused it during my bathroom break). Not bad for a happy run with friends.
* Sorry, no race photos! I enjoyed the run so much, I completely forgot to pull out the camera!