RUN United Leg 3: Running the Afroman Distance the Second Time Around



Courtesy of JpegMendoza
and Deemenrunner
The Afroman distance was one of the races I looked forward to running this year. Completing the trilogy was no longer my goal since I already did that in 2010.

And as race date got nearer, I couldn’t contain my excitement. Well, it has been months since my BDM 102 experience, and I haven’t got the time to run longer distances other than the recently held 21K races during the Run United Leg 2 and the Adidas KOTR. Kind of missed ultra distance running events lately.

Too much excitement can be a little nerve-wracking also. PatCon, also known as Running Shield in the blogosphere, said in his recent blog posts that he couldn’t help being nervous every time he’s racing. My sentiments exactly! Yes, I still get those butterflies in the stomach as well as not being able to sleep well the night before the race.

After depositing my stuff at the baggage area, it was great to finally see familiar faces—fellow bloggers, friends from Takbo.ph group, the “masters”, Happy Feeters, multisport enthusiasts, fellow ultramarathon friends among others—at the starting line. The 32K gun start was at 4:30AM. With the large number of 32Kers, it may be likened to the number of participants in a full marathon event.

I failed to achieve my goal in Sunday’s race even if it was a fairly good finish for me. I failed because aside from starting way too fast during the initial stage of the race, I also gained a little weight. It means I must control, tweak my pacing, and not be lazy in doing the core exercises next time.

Mall of Asia area was my training ground prior to BDM 102. In fact, the RU3 Starting Line was the exact spot where I usually begin my training workouts. I haven’t been back until recently and was surprised to note some changes in the area. Buildings kept mushrooming, traffic lights have been added, and the vehicles, well, just too many of them especially at night. The somewhat U-shape route was my favorite but when I came back for my training runs, I could no longer do it with the many parked vehicles and the ongoing building constructions in the place.

When in a Runrio race, expect a well organized running event. The baggage area is easy to find, lots of water, efficient marshals and traffic aides, race starts on time, KM markers in place along the route, a challenging route, availability of first aid personnel, efficient way of giving freebies and loot bags, medals given to finishers at the finish line, energetic emcees, provision of portable toilets in strategic areas, and many more.

Some said they didn’t like the route because there were areas which are smelly and polluted. I also agree to a certain degree but guys we couldn’t blame the race organizer for this. We have ourselves to blame for polluting our environment in the first place. In fact, we contributed every time we throw and leave those empty cups, gel packets, and bottles on the road. There were those who were nice enough to put their cups in the receptacles provided though. The organizer was not lacking in providing containers for the cups as well as collecting these after the race. We should laud them for these initiatives instead of complaining about it. Those garbage collectors who were there ready to gather the plastic cups should be lauded also.

I’m recommending a little improvement in the area of providing enough energy drinks for runners (if possible only) next time.
Overall, it was a great race! Congratulations to all finishers, those who completed the trilogy, and kudos to Runrio Team and Unilab for bringing a series of pretty good running events this year!