Friday, February 18, 2011

Again from RunClub - the Asics Davao Run

Members of Davao City's running community, joined by hundreds of weekend fun runners and a lot more, will be lining up the streets leading to Buhangin and the Diversion Road again this Sunday, February 20 for the Asics Davao Run.

Organized the RunClub, the first and only running specialty store in Davao City, in partnership with world-renowned Japanese running shoe company Asics, the event is expected to be bigger than last year's RunClub-New Balance Challenge. The Asics Davao Run is definitely longer and has a more challenging route mapped out by Mr. Kenneth Sai of Vantage Sports Promotions who will be managing the event.

RunClub raised the top distance for the 3-category race a notch higher to 15k. The other two distances are 4k and 7k. Runners in all three distances will be confronted by the challenge of running up the winding ascent of the Buhangin fly-over more than a kilometer from the starting line at Plaza del Carmen on Loyola Street.

From there, 4k runners will turn left to Dacudao Avenue and head back to Loyola Street. The 7K runners will go through Buhangin road and head for the turning point at the Buhangin-Diversion Road Interchange area before heading back to Dacudao Avenue and Loyola Street. The 15K runners will run along Diversion Road to its turning point at the Crocodile Park and back to Buhangin-Dacudao Avenue-Loyola Street. The route has a couple of nasty uphills.

"It’s a way to encourage runners to aim for something higher and set out for bigger challenges,”said Monchit Mackay, General Manager of RunClub Davao, when interviewed by SCOOP-Davao's Lito Delos Reyes earlier.

“Though the first run organized by RunClub last November was an astounding success, we will make this run bigger, more challenging and more rewarding,” Mackay added.

As for being more rewarding, participants get an Asics performance singlet, race bib, light breakfast and a specially made finisher’s certificate - provided they finish of course - with their registration fee of Php350.00. All registered participants can also take advantage of a one-time 15% discount on all regular-priced Asics products at RunClub Davao from the time they register until March 15, 2011.

Total prizes at stake sum up to more than P100,000.00, including items that will be raffled off during the event.

An estimated 1,200 runners coming from different parts of Mindanao are expected to join the Asics Davao Run which is also supported by MIX FM 105.9-the Official Radio Station, Sun.Star Davao-The Official Media Partner, Plaza del Carmen and Sports Town.

Part of the proceeds of the Asics Davao Run will benefit the Lamdag Foundation that caters to the welfare of women, young and old alike.

"Lamdag is going to build a center for women so we are helping them realize their project," Mackay said.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Personal best

"Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it's all about."
--PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian

We runners are truly a different breed of athletes. We pay to punish ourselves and get satisfaction from defeating ourselves.

My last tempo run over 10k in the hilly terrain of my home city assured me that I have a 45-minute 10k race effort in me. Pushing myself to lactate threshold pace and holding it over the distance, I put in negative splits for a solid progression run that ended with a 48-minute clocking. I was targetting to break 50 minutes for the distance and I did just that. I was happy. That means I could possibly make, maybe even break 45 minutes over 10k in Davao City.

I got myself registered 4 days before the event, missing out on a beautiful black and green race singlet. Supplies have already run out by the time I had myself listed for the race. I didn't have any problem with that. I seldom wear those race singlets anyway, just keeping them stacked in a closet as souvenirs. The finisher's certificate the organizers are gicing out post-race would be good enough for me.

By 4:30 in the morning, race participants were already filling up the starting area at the Holiday Gym and Spa car park. Among those in the crowd were friends from Davao Runners. In a corner was Davao's barefoot running legend Manuel Vismanos with his unshod proteges - his younger brother Boni, Aldo Pecson, Jonifer Bagayo. All four of them from Toril were doing the 10K run barefoot.

I decided to place myself forward on the starting line. I have always been a slow starter, and I thought this would give me a better lead going into the first two or three kilometers. As usual there was the series of passes following the rush after the gun - I pass other runners, other runners pass me.

It is always a bit frustrating, having other runners rush past you even though you feel like you were already giving it your all. It brings a tinge of self-doubt, shakes your confidence a little. But racing experience tells you you will pass them back sooner or later, that all you have to do is patiently maintain your pace and follow your race strategy. Patience and perseverance, that is what distance running is all about. Indeed before the turnaround point, my patience paid.

Going into the second half of my 10k run, I exchanged pace and lead with a curly-haired female runner. Diminutive as she was, Yen Kimbrough is one strong lady, and I didn't have doubts she would be among the top finishers in the women's race. She surged every now and then, running past me until I caught up and kept pace with her again. I kept my pace steady. I have never been one who did surges when racing. I found them energy-sapping.

We met 'Nong Maning Vismanos and his barefoot gang, joined by running writer-photographer Joanna Christina Lizares Co and a couple of other Davao Runners, making their way towards the 10k turnaround. Way ahead of us were the race leaders, the local elite of Davao running, and a few other younger and faster runners. Two of them were ahead of me on the road, and I tried as much as I can to stay apace and go for a fast finish, maybe even pass them approaching the finish line. It didn't happen.

Still I can't be happier crossing the line and getting the word from the race timekeepers. My official time was 43:25. I finished in 14th place. My own Timex Ironman Triathlon chronograph read 44:22.41. Either way, I improved on my previous 10k best of 47:08.38 (Merco 63rd Anniversary Run 10k, Davao, 25 Oct 2009). Nothing could have been better for me that day.