Saturday, July 07, 2012

FILA & AIA: Schools Run for School Rooms 2012

Athletes in Action (AIA), a global sports ministry, together with FILA, hosted the running event "Schools Run for School Rooms" on July 7, 2012 at the Bonifacio Global City, Taquig, Philippines. This school-based fun run aims to raise funds to rehabilitate schools in Iligan City, which was devastated by typhoon Sendong in December 2011. I like what the poster reads "Your every step can bridge the gap between a child and his dreams. Run to help build schoolrooms for unfortunate school children in Iligan City who lost everything to Typhoon Sendong in 2011. Help our students stand tall once more. Unleash the power of your feet!"

Many schools, as well as private corporations and churches participated in this event. I arrived at the venue a little past four in the morning, and there already were huge groups of students and runners clustered in front of the well-lit stage and around the parking lot. I texted a PEx runner and he replied that he was with his Honda colleagues. Members of the Unida Church also came and participated. This was my first 10K road race.

The program onstage started at 5am with announcements and stretching exercises led by the Philippine Dragon Boat Team. Then the 10K runners were asked to take their places at the starting line. We had no timing chips, so I set my watch to timer mode and synchronized with the LED timer set high above the Start/Finish line... the gun fired and we were off~

It was so enticing to keep pace with faster runners, but I knew that if I did, I wouldn't last till the end of the race. So I counted rhythmically in my mind and did the 2/3 breathing pattern I've been practicing for quite some time. I also studied the race route beforehand so I could estimate how far I've run and glance at my watch to see whether I was up to my regular pace. I reached the first water station, which was located at about the 1.5K mark, and I knew that I was doing okay so far.

The water station didn't provide water! It was Pocari Sweat, a drink that is said to replenish the body's water and electrolytes lost thru perspiration... it tasted like sweet-salty water. I would have preferred plain water... but I guess this would have to do for now. I just hope that it wouldn't give me vertigo while running. I experienced vertigo several months ago when I drank electrolyte drinks like this one. The vertigo stopped when I stopped taking these drinks.

Past the 3K mark (there were actually no kilometer marks on the route, just in my mind), the faster 3K and 5K runners started overtaking me. Again I was tempted to up my pace... but I remembered that they had a shorter route than ours, so naturally they would catch up with me along the way. I had to concentrate on regulating my breathing with my pace. When I was past 6K and still felt okay, I knew I would be able to finish the race within my target of 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Stopped and posed for a pic at the U-Turn near Kalayaan Ave.
I plodded on, trying to keep my pace, sometimes slowing down to catch my breath, especially on the slightly uphill portions of the road. At last, I could see the finish line on the other side of the road, just two more turns and I'd be there. I was surprised that the LED timer at the finish line showed 1 hour and 12 minutes when I crossed it... I was a bit confused, did I miss a turn or what? But my stopwatch also showed the same, so it must be correct. There were no more marshals or timers at the finish line... only groups of students and runners taking pictures... oh well~

I lined up for the free Pocari Sweat bottle and the free Gardenia slices. I didn't have time for the Potencee vitamins, as the line was too long. I also wasn't able to take pictures of Georgina Wilson or Fabio Ide, who were onstage while I was lining up for the freebies. I looked for my son Moji at the FILA tent where I told him to wait for me. One more picture before I change my sweaty clothes :)

I'm happy with my time... my first 10K road race ran in 1 hour and 12 minutes. This is in preparation for my dream race... to run in the National Milo Marathon... not the full marathon yet, just the 10K :)