Monday, October 26, 2009
My Subic Adventure - SIM And Others
When I finally decided to participate for the 21k Subic International Marathon a compromise agreement with the family was to bring them as well in Subic and have a family bonding time.
On 24Oct09 Saturday early morning the family with my granddaughter proceeded our way to Subic. As I have not been to Subic for about two years, I was delighted to see that travel time has been greatly reduced with the opening as well of the SCTEX (Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway). When we reached the Floridablanca interchange, the westbound lane has been coned for counter flow as the eastbound lane will be used by the 42k Subic International Marathon which was to start on the same day at 4:30pm using the expressway all the way to Subic area ending at the Remy Field.
We reached the Subic area at about 9:30am and went directly to ZOOBIC. I have arranged our tickets via internet the day before so the wonders of e-technology were available for this theme park. I found the place great with its main attraction of almost 50 tigers and all types of animals, serpents, crocs and others. There was even an animal and Aeta shows incorporated in the package. The tour was guided and lasted for 3 hours so your P475 is well worth the entry fee.
It was already 2pm when we were able to check-in at the Lighthouse Resorts which was also a sponsor for the SIM and gave 20% discount for participants. The place was nice and has the beach and pool facilities for the children and adult as well.
At 5:00pm the family decided to have a Sunday’s anticipated Mass at the San Roque Parish which was also inside the Freeport Zone to free my tight schedule on Sunday which will be 21k race and travel time back to Manila. This part I will not forget for a long time. Just after the after the mass, I told the family that I will bring them back to the hotel and I will proceed to Remy Field to await the finish of the 42k race which should be coming in by 7pm. Feeling so in a hurry, I forgot my favourite orange Nike cap and a very expensive Rudy Project shades at the church pew. As they say, the “Lord Gives And Takes Away”. So long shades may the finder enjoy you!
Arriving at Remy Fields at 6:30pm the Nike 10k race was in its last runner coming in at the finish line. The announcer was mentioning that there were about 270 participants on the said race. The field had a very festive atmosphere and the stage was being prepared for a night party and band which was to start after the awards ceremony of for the 42k. Then just about 6:50pm the first Kenyan runner entered the field and followed in interval of minutes by another 7 Kenyan runners. I was already losing hope to see the first Filipino runner and finally the 9th finisher was Filipino runner from Baguio. After he cross the finish line, I had to leave be back to the hotel with the family.
At 3:00am the following morning I was already awake and preparing myself for the race. The distance from the hotel to Remy Field was barely 5 minutes so I was taking my time to leave the hotel as the gun start will only be at 5:30am. When I did arrive at 5:00am at Remy Field, the area was already full of people. I am not good at making estimates but there were thousands. This is the very first time that I have seen so many police participants, Philippine National Police is one of the sponsors. There were also a lot of young kids in elementary grades which probably are local school supporters for the event. While awaiting for the start of the race it was nice to see familiar faces and friends from Takbo.ph, however, with so many people it was difficult to maintain conversational phase.
I was hoping that the gun start for 21k will be as scheduled but sad to say it did not with a mini program injected prior to the race. I do not complaint for this, however, only two negative comments I have for the race are (a) the gun start for the 21k, 10k, 5k, and 3k was changed to be a mass start. This could not have been an issue if the organizers were able to control the participants to be positioned before the start line. In the process of having people go back there were squeezing and stepping over with 3k and 5k participants in front rather than at the back and children squeezed in between. This was unsafe, I hope they improve this in the future. (b) Medals for the 21k run out to more than half of the participants. The organizers were fully aware of the number and should have prepared accordingly. Other than these two issues, the race was great. The route was perfect with no vehicular traffic, scenic view along the way, inclines to conquer and a good fresh air for the lungs.
As I have participated on both the 21k events for the QCIM and SIM, I am very much tempted to compare both events, but, would rather not and just thank the sponsors for both events to continue providing these races in the future, however, to take notice of the post race analysis and comments received from the different sectors to improve on the same in the future races. Both events are very distinct from one another which are just great. Both ice creams have different flavour.
Lastly, I wish to thank the group of Takbo,ph (Rico Villanueva and friends) stationed at near the 14km distance who provided COLD DRINKS that really made may day. I completed the 21k in 02h45m05s and had the rest of the morning swimming at the resort pool before reaching back in Manila at 5pm.
SIM my family bonding time and 21k race, great and wonderful (sad- goodbye Rudy Project shades)!