Tuesday, November 25, 2008

(Almost) Everything Went Wrong in my First Animo Run

After the VSO Run last Nov. 9, promised myself I won't dare face McKinley Hill unless I'm ready for it. And so, although I already registered for the UNICEF 5k Run, I opted to join the ANIMO Run in MOA (which Vener described as my balwarte).

Before the race:

1. Jenny (my friend who always accompany me as my official photographer) suddenly couldn't sleep in the house because of her choir practice at Don Bosco. She'll just meet me at MOA.

2. My parents wouldn't let me leave the house early in the morning alone (unica hija kasi noh?) so I had to wait for my mother's driver to wake up!

3. We were already near Zapote when I learned that my cellphone ran out of load! Oh, no! How am I supposed to get in touch with Que and Jenny? I told Romy we had to go back coz I left my prepaid card in my wallet (which I didn't bring anymore).

4. The original plan was to leave 5:00 AM and yet at 5:25 AM, we were only ascending the Zapote flyover! At this time, I could feel my bladder about to explode because of the unexpected turn of events.

5. My singlet was as usual, quite big in the upper portion but quite tight in the lower portion (size S and M won't fit my humongous hips so I was forced to swallow my pride and indignantly accepted size L). I left the house with a white shirt and placed my singlet beside me which I planned to wear over my shirt later.

6. I decided to put on my singlet but when I grabbed it I noticed that it was wet 'coz the water in my jug spilled! How could things go wrong when everything was neatly planned? I know most runners don't wear the race singlet but in my case, I want to wear it! It gives me a sense of belonging and pride (also, it's easy to tell what race I joined when I look at the different pictures because of the singlet I'm wearing).

7. Romy dropped me off in front of IMAX parking and proceeded to the registration booth where Que and Jinoe would be waiting to give me my order of 30 takbo.ph visors (they ran out of stock so 20 first, 10 to follow).

It's always refreshing to see the lovely couple Jinoe and Que. Seeing them sharing the same passion makes me believe that true love still exists in this age and time.

Then we went to the baggage area to leave our things. There we saw Eric (who left right away so didn't have a photo with him) and Jerry, as shown below:

8. Hearing that the race was about to begin, we walked towards the assembly area. I was shocked to see a very long queue of runners trying to get in! Jinoe explained it to me that it's because of the new bar coding system that the organizer was using. I literally squeezed myself into the pack, praying to God that I won't get crushed in the process. The gun was already fired for the 10k race but there were lots of runners who were still outside. Screams and yells rained that day.

9. I stayed beside the barricade rope, hoping that Jenny will see me there. There stood Vener and Christy!

Notice the similarity between Vener and Christy? They must love each other very much that they now look identical!

Jenny called that she's already in Fitness First when it was announced that the race was about to begin. See my blue bag in the picture? Vener volunteered to carry it for me during the race. Thank you, Vener! You're an angel.

During the Race:

1. There was no map given but I'm confident I won't get lost because as Vener said, 'balwarte' ko ang MOA.

2. When I was given the straw at the first turnaround,I was surprised that it was only 7:30 mins. in my watch. I couldn't believe that I ran 2.5k already. I learned too late that it wasn't the 2.5k mark. We were already back where we started but the marshals told us to continue. At this point, I thought the U-turn would be at the end of the road.

3. Again, I was frustrated that we still had to turn left and pass by the Church. There was a water station in front of the Church but I decided not to stop anymore. The 2nd (hopefully the last) turnaround came and I was given the 2nd straw.

I was in the middle of 2 male runners when Christy came flying past us. Thanks Vener for sending me these race photos in my e-mail. (Next time ulit ha).

4. Finally, I was back where we started. The marshals were instructing the 10k runners to continue running (they're gonna do it twice). I turned right and looked at the time and it read 36:45. I supposed it was the time for 10k runners who left 5 minutes ahead of us. I didn't break my PR. Next time, have to study the route and develop a plan.

After the Race:

1. I was feeling all sad for my race time but when I was handed my certificate together with a commemorative t-shirt, my face lighted (babaw lang talaga ng kaligayahan ko noh?)

2. Christy must have noticed my exhaustion that she helped me with a cup of water. Thanks, Christy! You and Vener were my guardian angels that day. Then came Jenny, my supposedly official photographer:

3. Immediately after drinking water I excused myself for I have been longing to go to the restroom (no portalet here) even before the race started. The security guarad pointed us to the nearest restroom but when we got there, the ladies' room was still closed! Jenny and I had to cross the street and use the one near the playground. When we got back, I was already wearing the new shirt that was handead to me at the finish line.

4. There was no runner blogger in sight. It seemed that the rest of us were at that time braving McKinley Hill. I lined up for biscuits and drinks while waiting for the program to begin.

Right after the exhibition of the DLSU Cheer Team, Vener reappeared and told me that our friends were gathered at the new takbo.ph tarpaulin (nice work, Jinoe!)

Girl power: With Que, Anna, and Christy

Here's a close-up of Jinoe's "baby" (with matching takbo.ph visor pa yan ha).

5. Finally met Anna! She told me that only the first 50 finishers were given the commemorative shirt. And we both congratulated each other.

6. Then Taki arrived with the 2 OctobeRUN DVDs (for Ate Ella and me). Thank you so much Taki! Eric, Dennis and Jerry also joined the group (nice meeting you guys!).

7. Then Anna introduced me and Jenny to the whole runaholic family. What a pleasant sight to behold--a father, mother and 3 kids bond together for the love of running. (Sayang we were so engrossed talking that we forgot to pose for a picture)

8. When it started to drizzle, Jenny and I took cover at the Fit & Right tent right beside the stage. By this time, the awarding already began.

Then the emcee announced that there was no female runner aged 50 and above that joined the race. I saw Taki also inside the tent and he advised me to approach the race organizer. And I did.

The first person I talked to wasn't even aware that there was a 50-above age category! The lady beside him informed him that there was such category in the registration form. She asked me if I only registered that morning, because late registrants were not yet 'registered'. She was surprised when she found out that I registered at DLSU Sports Complex last Nov. 18,2008.

She then got my name, contact numbers and my foot size 'coz according to her, they're giving away Havaianas for the age category winners.

9. There were at least 10 runners who complained about their finishing time and I learned that the new bar coding system fouled up. According to Taki, the same problem occured last year. He was expecting that it would be better now. Taki was supposed to come in 3rd in the DLSU Alumni Category. I hope he already settled this issue with the race organizer.

The awarding stopped because of the commotion. First time to stay to witness an awarding and it ended this way!

The organizers decided to give all the complainants medal and gift pack. I wonder if I could still claim my Havaianas . . .


  1. Congrats nora on your animo race. Mukhang easy run na lang ang 5K sa iyo. Baka it's time to move up. hehehe What do you think? See you again in future races!

  2. Bro J! Missed you and Baby last Sunday. Thanks! I won kasi walang kalaban hah hah . . . I already started my 10k training last August but I'm doing it slow, but sure. Will have to train for hills first before I try 10k. It will definitely be next year. Gio and Eia will run/walk 3k in the Yakult Run and of course I'll join them. Hope to see you there! Regards to your darling swthrt!

  3. Hi Nora,

    congratulations!!! my prediction came true!!! you conquered the race with flying colors. congrats ulit!

    i am glad that you were able to claim what is duly yours...good work, my friend! its a pity for me, i was not able to fight for fei as she was a victim of that bar code inefficiency. She came in third (based on the stubs held by the lady at the finish line) but her name was not even included in the top 10 list...at any rate it was a race to remember too as we finally met and made a lot of chika.. hahaha

    hope to see you again soon. take care!

  4. Next time, we'll fight for each other, Anna. Kung wala doon si Taki, I wouldn't even think of approaching the organizer.

    But you're right, finally meeting you was the highlight of the race. Kelan tayo start ng hill running natin?

  5. hi Nora, congrats on finishing your 5k. Even with all the problems here at least you got a lot of free stuffs to make this day memorable. See you soon

  6. Congrats to YOU Dennis! Nice meeting you again last Sunday. Yes, the ANIMO was memorable inspite of starting all wrong. See you at Yakult Run!

  7. It is realy devistating if things dont work out on race day. If something goes bad, all tend to go bad. Sorry to hear but I think rather face McKinley hill than face another day like you did at MOA. At least we know if Rio organise an event, it will be a huge success. Are you going to milo?

  8. Hi Nora, what a thoughtful post naman. It was our pleasure to run with you and enjoy the day. Don't worry about that because I'm on my relaxed run that day, surely until next time. Maybe at Yakult I'll do just the same. Congrats again cheetah girl and go for the 10. Christy will do the 10 at Milo.

  9. Hi Nora. Congratulations the 5K despite all the stuff I've been reading on yours and several other blogs.

    Hopefully this race will continue next year but the organizers need to get their heads together and realize the numerous mistakes that were made. It's way too many mistakes for a race that attracted 1500+ runners. I can see why some runners went to Coach Rio's event the next day. If I were there, I would have. I know you weren't alone as I read Taki's, Vener's and others' blogs and read the mishaps.

    Anyway. congrats again and hope your week is going well.

  10. congrats nora, you made it again! it seems that you're ready now to increase your mileage, ha! i already miss running. it's been a month now since i last joined a race. unfortunately, i'm still recovering from my knee injury, medyo pinakikiramdaman ko pa plus i suffered from asthma attack for the very first time. kung kailan ako tumanda, hehehe. anyway, i'm still hoping to meet you soon, maybe i can join na this january.

  11. Yes Philip. If it's Coach Rio, we can be assured of a well-organized race. Hope the organizers learn from their mistakes and do better next year.

    I won't be joining Milo this Sunday but will be accompanying Gio and Eia run 3k at the Yakult Run this Dec. 7. Will you be there?

  12. Wow! 10k na si Christy? I'm sure she's ready for that as I've seen her fly last Sunday. Good luck to her!

    Yes, I'm training for 10k and I already registered for the PSE Bull Run on Jan. 18, 2009. My first 10k, the first race for the year 2009.

    See you and Christy at the Yakult Run!

  13. Thanks Wayne. I'm planning to e-mail DLSU Running Club and air my sentiments on the Animo Run.

    Anna and I will begin our hill training this Monday in preparation for my first 10k Race this January 18, 2009. I hope by that time, I'm ready to conquer McKinley Hill!

  14. Mae! I hope you'll get better soon. Don't worry. There will be a lot of future races where we can meet. Kung OK ka na by Jan. 18, will be running my first 10k. Wala ng atrasan to!

  15. Hi Nora,

    I'm disappointed I miss this run -- I was still nursing my aching knees and on this Sunday, my son was gonna compete in the Skechers Street Dance Battle 4 at the Araneta together with the rest of the Ateneo High School Indak (Street Dance Club).

    Too bad nga -- La Salle pa -- but, family does come first and besides, my body was still in need of recuperation.

    Congrats again on the run and wow -- new Havaianas!!!

    Guess it's time for you to move up to the 10K category na!!

    Catch you soon!

  16. Nora, it was great to finally meet you. You are truly an inspiration to us young runner.

    You got a very detail recap and i love to read it.

    Taki told about that incident, hopefully the organizer will call you up.

    Hope to see you again in coming races!

  17. Johnny, disappointed din ako 'coz I expected you to be there, being a true LaSallite. But of course, Family comes first. How did the Street Dance Battle go?

    Hope to run 10k with you on Jan.18,2009 at the PSE Bull Run. Nakaregister na ako!

  18. Jerry, the pleasaure was mine! Sayang, we were not able to talk longer. Maybe next time. Hope Jinoe sets up a booth for takbo.ph to serve as our meeting place before and after the race.

  19. Congrats Nora! You look great in the photos! Inspired ka ba? :)

  20. Hah hah ... di nga inspired. Umalis na kasi! (joke heh heh ...)

    Jaymie ha. Sabi ko naman sa yo, ibabaon tayo pareho ng nanay ko 6ft below the ground if we do that. I have no choice but to practice my vow of single blessedness--now and forever!

  21. congratulations and thank you very much for keeping track on me. I'm back to square one and walking is the way for me raise my adrenaline again.

    It'll take some time, my fault but I'd just have to step myself in.

    Thank you.

    I've got poundage to get rid of, have myself taken by the wind and run back.

    Do you run early in the morning? :)


  22. Thanks Kassy. My kids and I will only be walking most of the time at the Yakult Run. Don't want to put any pressure on them. Baka madala. I hope you can run/walk with us.

    Don't worry about being back to square one, Chef. Times like these happen, even to the most disciplined runners. Take it easy, one day at a time.

    I don't run early in the morning because of my children whom I still have to attend to during school days. Pwede kung Saturday o Sunday.

  23. Hey Nora, congrats! Looks like you're on way to moving up to 10k distance. Great pics of you with runner/bloggers! Sayang, Milo wasn't on your racing sched.

  24. Congrats, Nora, well done! Sabi na nga, I'll be saying those words to you again and again :-)

    Sorry, sweetie, can't make the Yakult Run as I have hospital duty on that date. Besides, I'm totally unprepared for a 10-mile run! I did 10k kanina at pahirapan na, what more kung 10 mile pa. Haaaay, baka halfway through, I'll be crawling na lang to the finish line.

    But I will be running for sure on Dec 14 at the UP Ictus event. Any chance you can run there too?

    Cheers! :-)

  25. Thanks, Gene! Hope your MILO went well. Joined the MILO elim. last Aug. 3. Still couldn't forget what the organizer did to my time. I ran in less than 35 minutes and yet my official time was registered more than 1 hour! Bad trip talaga. Next year, baka makalimutan ko na at napatawad ko na sila.

  26. MJ, mukhang 2009 na tayo magkikita! (same with Gene)

    3k lang ako sa Yakult coz I would be accompanying Gio & Eia.

    As for the UP Run, I will think about it. Will have to check if Gio won't be scheduled as lector or psalmist during that day.

    But I already registered 10k (my first ever!) at the PSE Bull Run this Jan. 18, 2009. Hope to see you there!

  27. Hey Nora!!! Great -- 10K ka na by next year!! Looking forward to running together then!!

  28. Yes Johnny! Hiya ako sa yo eh. I was the one who encouraged you to run 10k at NB Power Race, tapos wala ako.

    The first race in 2009 and I'd be running my first 10k ever! Sabay tayo ha. (although I doubt if I could catch up with you. My goal in the PSE Bull Run is only to finish)

  29. so you are going to do yuor first 10k?

  30. YES Philip! I already registered for the PSE Bull Run on Jan. 18, 2009. Will I see you there?

  31. I am not sure, where is it and where can you register? What is the distances?

  32. There will only be 3k,5k, and 10k races at the PSE (Phil. Stock Exchange) Bull Run at the Fort.

    For more details, you may go to PSE News at www.pse.com.ph

  33. Ang haba na pala ng comments thread mo. Hehehe.

    Congrats again Nora. I also told an organizer about the Animo Run. I was also disappointed by the way they organized it. It was a lot better last year.

    So 10K sa PSE Run. We will be there to support you. Samahan ka namin ni Que on your first 10K.

    Prepare for the hills. I have checked the race map again. Its the hills at the Heritage Park going to C-5. Tough route for first timers. But you will make it for sure.


  34. Really Jinoe? You and Que will be there to support me? Thank you, thank you Jinoe (and Que) from the bottom of my heart. I need all the support I could get. I know it's tough. But with you (and our other friends) around, I'm confident that I'll make it.

    Good luck in your 16k this Sunday! Thanks in advanced to Que who will accompany me accompany my 2 kids run/walk the 3k hehe . . .