Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Run United 1 - I Like ....

Unilab Run United 1 was a huge success. It was a new 21K route - BGC to MOA with a little side trip to Rizal Park - though the route was mostly flat but it was still challenging. 

Prior to the race, people were complaining about the high fees - well, it was a normal reaction since it was raised by Pho150 from last year's fee. Some people were kinda bashing the organizers for such fees - but - in any case, surprisingly, there were a lot of 21K runners in spite of the Php900 reg fee. It was not erally that bad at all... and people were just reacting to it but registered anyway. Lesson learned: don't complain if you will register anyway. If the press release was correct, there were 4000 21K runners. Nice one.
Another pre-race issue was the shutle service from MOA to BGC. It did raised a lot of concern for runners with families and cars - coz it is indeed a pain in the a$$ going from one venue to the other. Good enough, the buses were there, it left MOA on time, a lot of people availed of the free service, and still, everybody was happy. My friends and I took a cab anyway coz we do not want to stress ourselves prior to the race. If my eyes and numbers were right, I saw 10 buses (at least the last number signage I saw was "10").
Runners were already in BGC prior to gunstart. There were two waves, my friends and I were part of wave 2 - no rush really to be in wave A. Some of us were not really gunning for a PR - some were just there to enjoy. As expected, it was really crowded, and I just hope next time there will be more waves to avoid conjestion. 
Anyway, the conjestion was part of the challenge :). 
Some areas were poorly lit - there were lights - blinding lights - but in any case, as runners, we all need to take extra precaution in dark areas - perhaps slow down a bit to be sure there are no potholes (at at the same time "rest"). Hydration stations - they were enough for all, except taht it really takes a lot of your time if you squeeze your way in front of the table since the people manning the stations were not that prepared. Well - maybe they were prepared - it's just that there were really a lot of runners that all of what they prepared were all consumed. Pretty much the same scenario for all stations that I have been to. 
Oh - there was a part where runners only occupy 1 lane - that was along Buendia - from the LRT station going to Roxas Blvd. Again, it is all part of the challenge - plus the fumes from the vehicles along the road - ahhh... really a big challenge. Good thing though, the route along Roxas Blvd was good, runners occupied the entire half of the highway and there was enough space for everyone. 
I'll skip the rest of the details and jump to the most exciting part of the race - the finisher medal. Much has been said about this - that the organizer had a really good marketing strategy and they used the medals to lure (?) the runners. I was not expecting that it was HUGE - I mean HUGE at 3 inches. Well, it is just a slice of the pie - but imagining the medal to be round after running all of the 3 races in the series, it will be a good 6-inch diameter medal. Nothing can really beat that! It will surely encourage a lot of runners to run in all of the 3 races in the trilogy -and to top it all, run in the Philippine Marathon which will make it appear to be bigger since the medals can be connected together though a magnet and whoa - who knows you can wear your plate-sized medal. Whew.. I'm excited!!!
There were downsides but I do not want to dwell on them - there is no such thing as a perfect race. hehehehe...
I would rather focus on my next run - I just registered for a 10-miler on April 1st. Looking forward to that race.

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