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 . . .