I survived my first half-marathon at the recently concluded Run United 2 last Sunday. This year, I dared to be fitter and more active so I went back to the gym sometime last March. Prior to Run United 2, I joined the Yakult 10-miler last March and a 10km run in Ateneo for the Kythe Foundation last April. These two races plus circuit training at the gym made me confident to take the plunge and run my first half-marathon. I’m also excited to take my new running buddy on the road, my Mizuno Wave Rider 17, I love using it at the gym and I can hear my new shoes roaring for some pavemen action.
I wasn’t able to join the first leg of Run United because we were in Palawan. I would have ran my first 21 km earlier :p
21 km Race Route
Having been used to the SM Mall of Asia as the starting point in the past Run United events, I was surprised to learn that the starting point will be at Luneta. Perhaps, it’s more apt to start at kilometer zero. Another surprise is that runners will run a very straightforward route, Luneta-Roxas Boulevard-Coastal Road-Cavitex and back. Yep, no MOA routes this time. Personally, I like to run in familiar roads. It gives me a sense of direction and assurance that I can finish the race. But whatever the route is, what’s left for me to do is just run.
As always, Run United is well-organized! Enough lighting for runners, hydration stations with Gatorade and water, sponges and banana station, and marshals and medics on standby. Because of my familiarity with Run United, I didn’t bring any hydration because I trust Runrio in terms of taking care of runners. I’ve seen plenty of portalets along the course too but I don’t use portalets during runs so I’m not too keen of their locations.
There’s an on-going road construction approaching Coastal Mall that’s why there’s a bottleneck on that area. Narrower roads ahead at the Coastal Road up to Cavitex because runners can just use one (or two?) lanes of the highway. This part is what I didn’t like, apart from being crowded, I got worried and praning that buses or trucks might lose control with their driving and just hurl at us.
I finished my first 21 km around 2:55 (no official time yet). I’m not happy with my time but my feet were happy inside the Mizuno Wave Rider 17. I am too, and I’m excited to use it on future races. More about the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 on my next post.
Finisher’s Medals were given to all 21 km and 32 km runners upon crossing the finish line. And having seen Jeff’s finisher’s medal from previous Run United series, this is the best quality of their medal so far, too bad that I can only have two medals this year. I also love the sweat activated singlets, the word ALTIVS can be seen. Claiming of finisher’s kits is fast, there are a number of booths for every category so lines were moving fast. Same goes to the well-organized baggage claiming area.
The Active Health Village was also set up but I wasn’t able to roam around, I can’t find the entrance. Pupil provided the entertainment but we were hungry and tired all I can think about is food and ice-cold Coke. Sorry Ely, next time!
We used to bring the car and park at the MOA grounds on previous RU events. But knowing that there will be limited parking spaces within Luneta area, we just took a cab from Caloocan going there. Turned out that some parts of Kalaw were used as parking spaces too.
There were issues about runners making a halt all of a sudden without minding if there were fast runners behind their back. The issue about educating runners with proper etiquette were raised and I think with the wide reach and most number of attendees of Run United, it’s a great venue to educate especially newbie runners like me. I hope they can include a short video about runners’ etiquette to be shown before the gun start.
And… I feel safer running inside the MOA grounds, please bring back the old venue and route. Who’s with me?