Sunday, July 29, 2012

36th Milo Manila Elims - From A 10k Perspective

After being out of circulation in the local road races, its was a welcome sight for me to return and what better time to return on the road than via the 36th Milo Manila Eliminations at the Mall of Asia (MOA).

On my way to the venue at the junction of EDSA and Roxas Boulevard, I could see sillohuettes of runners at the flyover bridge. I assume these should be the 42k runners which was supposed to be flagged off at 3:00am and at that time it was around 3:50am There was no rain but you could feel it in ypur bones that rain should be dropping in any minute.

By 4:15am I was already on queue at the northern open space parking of MOA and as expected it was full and I was one of the last vehicle that was allowed to enter the parking area.

By 4:25am I was already at the starting area and the emcees were briefing the 21k runners and about to send them off. At exactly 4:30am the 21k runners were released which I had the opportunity to witness. God there were a lot of runners. 31/2 minutes after the start, there were still runners crossing the starting line. I leave it up to you to estimate how many were there.

At 4:45am all 10k runners were allowed to enter the holding area and the usual pre-race formalities, briefing and what have you were done by the emcees. As per the announcement, this event was more than the 42k and 21k events in term of participants. At exactly 5:00am 10k runners were released using the usual Diosdado Macapagal Avenue to Sotto Avenue in Cultural Center then to Roxas Boulevard until the crossing of Vito Cruz and back to MOA area for a good distance of 10k.

01h25m15s after, I crossed the finish line on race walking mode a good 5 minutes ahead of the sweeper time of 01h30m on running mode. It was not the best of my race walk time but I feel good that there were still a big number of runners behind me who were running and walking in the process.

Milo Marathon is already an institution and what more could you expect except that it is getting higher and higher in its degree of excellence in the matter the race is held. To think that they are doing this almost every week on different regions in the Philippines to make sure that the be able to bring the sport all over the island which is to highlight of the 36th Milo Finals at Manila sometime in December. To the Nesle group and their brand Milo THANK YOU. They have done so much to the youth and those who are needy and wanting. To Coach Rio dela Cruz who has handled this event on the race technical side for the last two years congratulations as always.

From the finish line to where my van was parked it was a good 3/4km so I took the said distance to cool down. A minute after I arrived my car a heavy downpour of rain finally came. It was heavy in every sense of the word. Another race that spared me from the rain, but, not the others as most of the 42k and 21k were still on the road.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

PATAFA Grand Prix Road Race 2nd Leg - I Had Roxas Boulevard For My Own

Philippine Amateur Track & Field Association (PATAFA) conducted today July 1, 2012 the 2nd Leg of PATAFA Road Race Grand Prix.

I arrived at Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park at around 5:10am and was worried on parking availability and safety at the venue. To my surprise I was able to enter and park just opposite of the Grandstand as there were only a handful of cars. Considering that the gun start for the 10k event was scheduled at 5:35am there were not so many crowd. A short while later, I found out that the 21k event has not yet been gun started so I was wondering how this event was going to transpire.

I was approached by a foreign participant and was asked if it was the norm locally that race scheduled are late as he was entered for the 21k event and it was already 5:30 and still awaiting for their start. I was embarassed to reply that it is not so and that local races do start on time and I just do not have any idea why this race was running late. Anyways, at about 5:45am the 21k event was gun started and to my surprised I saw that there were no more than thirty (30) participants all in all for the 21k event.

At 5:51am the 10k event was started and again there were no more than 30 participants in our group. About 2 km from the starting line, although I felt bad that there were so little participants, I could not complaint as the route was well supported by hydration, marshals and police force to ensure the safety of the route. From the Cultural Center of the Philippines all the way to the Japanese embassy (the turning point) marshals have strictly enforced that only registered runners are on the road. This was something new to me. I have no traffic and have the road all by myself. I could even close my eyes and not worry to trip or bump on something. No bad.

From the Cultural Center until back to Quirino Grandstand although the road was primarily for runners, non registered runners and bicyle enthusiasts were as well using the route. I do not mind sharing the road with them as the atmosphere was pleasant and encouraging.

01h23m47s I crossed the finished line on my race walk mode. It was a very pleasant workout with the route all by myself.

To PATAFA it was a good event, but, I hope they could have marketed the event more as they could have made more runners happy . Other than the late start things were well handled and managed. I shall support you again on the 3rd leg and hope that you will be able to generate a bigger crowd.