The Pink run is a yearly event organized to create awareness for Breast cancer here in the Philippines.
It is a condition that has become prevelant that it has now overtaken lung cancer as the number one cancer in the Philippines. Worse is that Philippines is now the number one country in Asia in terms of breast cancer affliction. See more in the link below.
So as an advocate of its reduction, this was an event I found prudent to participate in as my small way of contributing to its reduction. The longest distance being 15K.
So here I am. It’s been a while since I last ran an event shorter than 21k! Running ultramarathons and training for them made race distances shorter than 21k less attractive. But, as I already know and would be re-learning, even “short distance” races of 10K, 10miles or half marathons could help in ultrarunning – boost fitness, confidence, speed, etc.
I ran with Jael Wenceslao, a friend and ultrarunner as well.
To make it challenging, I told him that we would be targeting a sub1:10hr finish. Luckily, he was game also. A sub 1:10 finish may seem pedestrian for 15k for speed demons, but for us ultrarunners, we’re just starting to warm up at that point! Additionally, I’m usually content with a 1:15 finish for this distance, 5min/km average would just abolut do it. A sub 1:10 finish would mean extra effort for me, not to mention the race route would be along Mckinley-Bayani, known for its steep hills and rolling terrain.
Jael and I met in front of the brick multisport store in Mckinley. Maris, my beloved girlfriend was with me and would be running 15k as well. Incidentally, Jael was with his wife who would be running 15k too! Full house! I planned on running without taking gels nor saltsticks as I deemed it too short.
The race started promptly at 5:30am. The first few kilometers was an easy 4:45/km for me with Jael right behind me. Soon enough, we were running side by side, keeping in step with each other. We clicked well kilometer after kilometer and I noticed that we were able to maintain a 4:39/km! Hydration stations were not many to slow runners down and not to far away to leave you thirsty – just far enough for a runner to chase the next for a much needed walk break. My breathing was not heavy but my legs felt the pace. There were times that I wanted to just walk, simply because I wasn’t used to racing this way. Seeing how Jael was determined to break the time we set out for ourselves, I strode with him as well, damned tbe the legs.
The final stretch to Mckinley hill was more or less 2km. We skipped the last hydration station and decided to just go for the finish. After a kilometer or so, I let Jael go, seeing that he still had some more “sprint energy” for the finish. Our splits – 43min for 10k, 1hr for 13k, made me tell myself that breaking 1:10 would be within reach anyway! There goes my complacent self…
I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:07:22 with the course being short by 200 meters as per my GPS watch reading. Jael would clear teh coure 22 seconds a head of me. That brought a lot of satisfaction to us as we hit our target times as planned. More excitment would follow when at the 25mins later I see my dear Maris approaching the finish line with a knowing smile. Ah yes, that was a PR smile for sure. Finishing with a time of 1:32:19, a new PR for her at this distance was a joy to watch. Not far behind comes in Jael’s wife, Cookie a few minutes after Maris. Nice.
Overall, this was a good tune up for next week’s RUPM where Jael and I would be running the marathon. True to our nature, we’ll be pacing and targeting new PRs again! Maris will be running the half marathon and I’m sure she’ll have a new 21k PR! Good luck to all of us and happy to support the breast cancer awareness in Philippines. I leave you with a photo of your’s truly…