Urbanathlete Diva

After a two-month hiatus from racing, I’m back into racing mode by joining this year’s Men’s Health Urbanathlon 10K race. I was really apprehensive whether I could finish this or not considering my fear with climbing up an eight-foot wall and going down on the other side. Plus, there was this high hurdle that I had to tackle and the low crawl with a height of three feet only. Well, good luck to me!

November 7, was the big day. I arrived at the venue feeling a little panicky as I thought I was running late and couldn’t find the baggage area. It was a good thing; I bumped into Ian Alacar, race director, and Doc Lyndon of the Leadpack Organizing Team, who informed me that I belong to the second wave of 10K runners! Whew, what a relief!

Gun start was at 6AM for the second wave of 10Kers. After running a few meters, one had to stop running by either walking or running through the first obstacle, the tires dump. After this was done, one had to run a few meters again by climbing up a balance beam. I missed my step twice (and all I could do was shriek in frustration, the girl thing, if you know what I mean) for it was difficult for me to maintain my balance while walking on the beam.

There was also an added pressure knowing that behind you runners were waiting for their turn to climb it. You had no choice but to do it as quick as you can. Next, was the run up to the back of St. Luke’s where we had to pass through a scaffolding maze where its inside was heavily tied up with garters. I was giggling and having fun passing through this obstacle for it reminded me of my adventuresome childhood days.

Then, off we ran again and as we near University Parkway, we were faced with another obstacle, the hurdles. My, if you only knew how I felt. One by one, I was careful running at the top of the hurdles. The guys, well, what could I say? They did it with no difficulty at all!

I dreaded to run the highest one. Well, at least, I was able to climb it and … “Woooho!” I did it! I did it! Off we ran again up to the turnaround point and back. On the last kilometer, we had to tackle the low crawl. The crawl obstacle was placed in an area where it was bit muddy. Seeing both the men and ladies passing through the low crawl, I had no choice but do it like what they did. Ops, I did it again! Ha-ha!

“This is it!” Up ahead, I saw the looming eight-foot wall with runners falling in line, waiting for their turn. I didn’t want to opt for penalty. I was really nervous while waiting for my turn. But seeing all the runners, feeling the adrenaline of finishing it no matter what, I took a deep breath to calm my nerves. With the help of fellow runners, mostly friends from Takbo.ph, I climbed the wall, and was quivering with nervousness while on top of the wall and carefully maneuvered my way down at the other side of it. “OMG!” I made it! I finished and did all the obstacles with no penalty! Ha-ha! I ran towards the 10K chute and received my finisher’s medal. I stopped at the side of the chute and bowed to say a prayer of thanks to God for keeping us safe during the race. I didn’t have any major injury, well, except for a minor scratch on my left hand and an aching muscle caused not by running but by climbing. Men’s Health Urbanathlon, I considered as one of my unforgettable races this year.

Hydration was no problem. The event started on time. Runners were patient enough to wait for their turn by falling in line in any of the race obstacles. The supposed-to-be number of participants was only 1,000. But due to public demand, additional number of registrants was accepted. The only downside of having too many participants was waiting time is more or less same as the penalty time. Others, I bet, opted to go for the penalty time so they could run again. May be in its future urbanathlon races, more obstacle structures be provided to accommodate number of runners so as to lessen queue time. Overall, the race was successful.

I congratulate my friends from LeadPack, especially, Doc Lyndon and Jinoe of Takbo.ph, for a job well done. Same goes to Ian Alacar, organizer of the said event. Kudos to the sponsors like Century Tuna for providing the runners some breakfast meals, Gatorade and Maynilad Water for the runners’ hydration needs. I would like also to personally thank Georgia of Summit Media for inviting me to join this event and Hypermarvs for running and pacing with me from start to finish. Thank you so much Hypermarvs! Super thanks to the marshals, mostly from Takbo.ph, for your cheers! I take my hats off to you!