Nike We Run Manila: The Reds

After such a long hiatus from racing, it was a comeback for me to run in short distances such as the recently held Nike We Run Manila 10K.  My goal for this race was to test whether my speed work training has improved my running pace.  Running in ultra distances has changed my pace since then.

Once at the venue, seeing the number of runners, I knew then that there wouldn’t be a test run for me.  True enough, I had no recourse but to just finish the race, get it over and done with.  But not without experiencing a jab here and there from runners who ran past me, of participants who suddenly stopped running–they walked in the middle of the road and failed to give way to fast approaching runners–so oblivious to the fact that there were still many runners behind them!  Simply put, there were a lot of them who didn’t observe running etiquette.  Weaving through the crowd can be very tiring. 

With Ellen a.k.a. Kelcy and fellow Happy Feet James R.
(Photo Courtesy of James and of his photographer friend, Mish)
Running Bloggers at the Media Partners Tent
L~R (back): Noy, Takbo.ph/Manokan Express, Vball Runner, Bobby, Running Pinoy, Art, and Jazzrunner
L~R (2nd row): Banana Running, RUNNING DIVA, The Fit Mommy, Eman, and Running Enthusiast
L~R (3rd and front rows): Flying Boar, Gailcon, I’m Jet Paiso, Rod Runn3r, and Banjo

L~R: Jinoe owner of Takbo.ph site, RUNNING DIVA, Gigi the Fit Mommy, Gailcon, and Carina the Flying Boar (Photo Courtesy of Carlo S. a.k.a. Drum and Run)
The race started as scheduled.  There was a five-minute workout done before the race started.  Since there were just too many runners at the starting line, any movement would be limited to either just sway or jump.  One could feel the excitement when the ten-second countdown began.  I was running in the midpack, and one time had a glimpse of seeing a long stretch of runners in red.  The color was like signalling a red alert.  A sight to behold!  From the side of the road, I could only see awe from the faces of the spectators.  

At the last four-kilometer stretch, it made me think that a 10K race is no longer my fave distance.  That I missed running longer distances.  Don’t get me wrong.  10K is still 10K and not all could run this distance.  But what I missed really is the camaraderie of runners in ultramarathon races.  Of seeing and running new places.  Of not worrying to step on the shoes of the runner in front of me.  Of not worrying to be jabbed because not a soul is before you and behind you.  Of volunteer runners who cheered and egged you to do your job and reach the finish line.  I was suddenly jolted out from my reverie when Ross of Takbo.ph waved to call my attention, said “hi”,  asked how am I doing, and ran past me. 

I stayed on after the race to watch the performances of Chicosci, Sandwich, and Parokya Ni Edgar bands.  Both Sandwich and Parokya Ni Edgar bands gave stellar performances.  Too generous, in fact, to play and sing extra songs for the runners.  It was the vocalist from Sandwich who set the after-run-party pace since he also ran the course, his “first 10K marathon” that’s what he said while talking to the crowd  (please note: 10K is considered a fun run distance and not a marathon.  Marathon has a distance of 42.195KM)  and by singing  songs related to running like ‘Takbo’, ‘Lakad’, etc.  

Fellow bloggers Jazz Runner and Jet have already blogged about the conduct of the race.  And I totally agree to what they’ve said.  There were runners who also gave these suggestions: a race with 8,000 or more runners needs a bigger venue; if venue is too small, may be a PACE WAVE might be considered;  station numbers at the baggage counter be posted where it could be seen even from afar.  

Congratulations to Coach Rio and the Runrio Team, sponsors, media partners, and Nike for a job well done. Nike We Run Manila 2011 has once again raised the bar by bringing one of the best races this year.