After what seemed like an eternity, I’m finally back to into running. It had been more than three months since my last race, and I’m glad that Run United 2 was here to kickstart me back into sense. Here are my accounts of what I thought to be the best Run United leg so far.
Rains greeted the 21K runners before the second leg of this year’s Run United 2. It was fortunate that it was quite tolerable that it didn’t soak runners and it made the weather cooler than the usual. On the other hand, the long queues to the baggage counters were quite unfortunate. Standing on a line under some drizzle is not pleasant, and the volume of runners and the slow processing of baggage didn’t help. Good thing though that I was still able to be part of the last wave of 21K runners.
Having practically no decent run at all for the past three months, I was a bit worried about how I’d fare. During that hiatus, the longest of my occasional runs never exceeded 10K so snapping back into a 21K was really worrisome. I can only hope that my muscle memory was still there.
The cooler than the usual weather really helped a lot since I really don’t like it hot. Sadly, the rains that were pouring before the race stopped the moment the event started, but the weather remained pleasant for much of the race, as far as I’m concerned.
I really liked the new route. Somehow it felt like it has less turns than the previous so I think it could be faster, given that you prepared of course. I’m hearing some new personal bests from runners with this new route, but personally I’m not aiming for that coming to this race. Although I was about 5 minutes slower than my previous Run United finish, I’m pretty much satisfied to finish below two hours despite of my hiatus. Hopefully the pains in my right knee heal fast so I may start to slowly incorporate running back onto my new lifestyle.
This was actually the first race that I did after my GF405 went out of service. As a slightly inconvenient workaround, I used Endomondo on my BlackBerry Curve 3G on my hydration belt to map my route, and Nike+ on iPod Nano on my wrist for timing. Unfortunately though, stopping the timer on Nike+ was very cumbersome so it took me several seconds to stop the timer, and I wasn’t able to stop Endomondo until only after quite some distance after the finish line. I’ll just have to wait for the official race results to see how I fared exactly.
Overall, I can say that this leg of the Run United series is the best one so far! I liked that the route was arguably improved, sports drinks, water, and bananas were just overflowing, and the people manning the event were not only professionals, they also show concern about the runners. Some examples I can mention were them placing ice in the cups of water, clearing those cups and banana peels away from the runners’ path, etc. I even saw a picture of Coach Rio personally helping with the cleanup along the route of the race!
Additionally, I really love how RunRio was able to light up Kalayaan flyover with this race (seriously, when are those lighting fixtures going to be fixed?) without using those spotlights that were sometimes blinding. I was also glad to see so many traffic enforcers along the route.
At the finish, other than the much coveted second medal of the series, I love how fun the activity area was, teeming with interesting “gimmicks” from sponsors, some free food items, and of course the loot bag! I really like the multipurpose shoulder bag that Unilab gave finishers, and I think this leg’s finisher’s shirt is better than the previous. Baggage counters and claiming of finisher’s kit were quite efficient as well so I really think this race is just “perfect.”
To Unilab, RunRio, the event sponsors, and the staff, thank you for making yet another great race despite of not so favorable weather! If the second leg was already this great, I can only wonder how the next one would fare.
To all the finishers, congratulations! See you all on the next leg of Run United!