I was waiting for C near the finish line (he did 21K and I did 10K so our batch finished ahead) and I noticed this man who was clapping and cheering on the runners who were about to cross the finish.
He was behind me and at first I thought he had some teammates and he was cheering them on. But he kept at it for a long time and I realized he was cheering on everyone... strangers who were speeding or hobbling to the finish. I just had to get him on tape, erm video. My age is so obvious! Sorry for the dizzying part. I panned too quickly.
It was a good run for me. My second time on that route (first was Condura in March) and it felt good to know what to expect. Didn't make it any easier though. I swear the Kalayaan-Buendia flyover is a killer, especially the way back. Just when you're tired and excited to finish, the steep incline going back really hits you hard.
There were so many people doing the 10K that day. 1800 plus, according to the program hosts. When they fired the gun, there was a mad dash as usual. I have learned not to give in to the temptation of running after the pack. It can be discouraging though to see the huge throng of people speeding by you and getting further in the distance.
But I just knew from experience that going at that speed was crazy. And true enough, keeping at my pace of maybe 6 minutes per kilometer, I slowly passed so many people, many of whom were already huffing and puffing at just the 1K mark. Kawawa.
Speaking of pacing. At the start, I saw this guy with 6min/K pentel penned on his calf. I wanted to keep to his pace but realized early on that he wasn't keeping that pace. He was way too fast. I know how 6min/K feels like and he was going faster than that. I never saw him again during the run.
After the 5K u-turn though, I was beginning to wonder how I was doing (I didn't have a watch on) and I was happy to see the guy who had 7min/K marking on his calf. I moved closer to him.
"Excuse me, are you still keeping to your assigned pace?"
"Yes I am", he says and then checks his watch.
"I see. Thanks!" I say to him as I trotted on ahead with a smile.
I don't think I'll get a new PR on this run. I crossed the finish as the timer turned 1:00:00. I'm just happy to have finished without feeling like collapsing after. Haha.
It was nice to see a lot of the Nike Clinic coaches all throughout the route. Felt good to be cheered on.
Which brings me back to the guy who was cheering on anonymous finishers. I think that's how it should be. I should do that on my next run.
Some pre and post-race pictures with friends:
Fort Bonifacio dawn sky:
Almost at the finish line:
Charlie, who did 10K too:
Jason from the Nike Clinic:
C, hobbling valiantly to the finish. He had leg cramps thrice.
Francis, easy breezy with 21K:
Francis and Charlie:
Francis's famous last words post-race: Ayoko na! Last ko na to!
With Samboy Lim! He did 3K. I told him: "yun lang? ano ka ba!" Hahaha.
Post-race breakfast at Max's:
There's a part two to this race day story. :)