Since I started joining the running scene in late 2013, my passion has taken me to some of the most popular running grounds in the country like Nuvali, Filinvest City, SM Mall of Asia-CCP Complex, and Intramuros. Finally, for the first time, I was able to run in Bonifacio Global City, one of the most popular running event sites in the country.
Aside from the opportunity to run in BGC, I joined Financial Fitness Run 2016 because of the cheaper than usual registration price for a half-marathon race (850php vs the usual 1,000 php price), a plaque instead of the usual medal for finishing the 21k category, and the nicely designed singlet and finisher shirt. I was able to convince 2 officemates, Alvin and Cristian, to join me in this run as part of their preparation for running their first marathon (it has been quite a while since the last time I joined a run with buddies).
We arrived at BGC around 1 am and decided to eat and kill time at a nearby Family Mart. Around 3 am, we left and headed to the event site with the excitement to run in tow. But, midway from the site, Alvin found out the he left his smartphone at Family Mart. Fearing that other customers might have stumbled upon it and took it away, his heart was pounding faster than it is while running as we brisk walk back to the store, hoping that it was still on the table where he left it. Luckily, was still on the table and we all had a good laugh about it.
With some time to spare, we walked around and checked out the activity area as we wait for the gun start.
The race started late. Dunno why, probably the hosts were late because when they were talking on the stage, everyone was in the starting line waiting for the race to start. So, they transferred to a smaller stage beside the starting line, initiated the warm-up, and the race finally started at 4:45 am, 15 minutes late than the original 4:30am gunstart.
I started the first 2 kilometers slow, assessing my buddies to see if they can keep up. But, as I was starting to run my normal pace, they can barely hang. They finally gave me the signal to go ahead and run my pace.
I like the first 10 kilometers of the race route, although there are a lot of turns, there are some straight roads to gain momentum. We ascended to Kalayaan flyover going to Makati and I noticed a change of route from the original race map. The first U-turn was suppose to be in near RCBC Tower (as seen on the race map), but the U-turn was placed within Gil Puyat Ave closer to the flyover. The reason for this? there was another running event happening at the same time as ours. Runrio’s DZMM Run had a U-turn on the other side of the flyover and it was reasonable to make adjustments so that the two groups of runners from different running events won’t clash or get mixed up.
The 2nd part of the route was the part where things got a bit harder. It was hot and there were a lot of vehicles around, smoke and some slight slow down due to traffic management was expected (traffic was handled well by the marshals). Since the route was revised, the next U-turn was in front of Heritage Memorial Park. Finally had a taste of cool Pocari Sweat drinks which makes up for the exhausting heat (worth noting that I accidentally drank on two leftover Pocari drinks. It was only when I saw the Pocari cups were filled almost full and I drank on two partially full cups that I found on the water station and not the 100plus station. Had a good laugh about the realization and shame on those runners for not throwing their used cups on the trash bins. I’m just glad that healthy specimens drank on those cups because I’m still fine by the time of this writing). There was also a candy station and ample amounts of bananas and cold sponges available around the route.
Going back to BGC, the last 5 kilometers got even harder because of the heat (this is why I think 2 or 3 am is the ideal way to start a half-marathon during summertime), I struggled a lot and just forgot about my plan to make a new PR. I just did what I could and run at a decent pace.
I couldn’t make a mad dash or sprint the last kilometer. I feel so exhausted and I want to avoid cramps, so I just jogged my way to the finish line. A smooth and easy finish. Amazingly, I still managed to finish at 02:15:02 (02:14:28 chip time), which is better than my previous half-marathon finish at 7-Eleven Run 2016 (02:17:00). Surprisingly, I was close to beating my current 21k PR of 02:13:20 from last year’s 7-Eleven Run 1500. But, it’s okay if I didn’t make a new PR, the most important thing is that I had a good run and my first time running in BGC was a success.
Financial Fitness Run 2016 is good event, it was handled well by RG Events, an organizer that I’m not yet familiar of. I’ve heard some complaints, one coming from Alvin, that some of the hydration stations ran out of water and Pocari drinks. But, it’s a common complaint in running events because the fast runners consumes too much that the slower runners are left with scarce supplies, and this is why hydration belts are still a good investment (wink wink) for runners. Hopefully, for some, the sponsor freebies make up for it. With its advocacy of providing information and to educate the public about the right way of investing and the importance of being financially fit integrated in a fun run, the event is a success. Let’s see what they can do next year.