I woke up early last Sunday to head to to Venice Piazza in McKinley Hills. I was wide awake by 3:15AM, and was on the road by 3:45AM. Much to Bards, cajoling – I went there early to register for the 10K. With traffic being smooth and all, I was at the venue 10 minutes after 4:00 AM. As drove in the lot to park my car, I felt my knot in my throat form. The runners were mostly men, with a handful of women in blue.
And I my singlet of choice was pink. SHOCKING PINK.
Hay naku, nandito na ako, so I gulped what little coffee I have in my travel mug. And bravely stepped off the car to register onsite. I was getting looks because of my glaring pink top, but good thing that Lito, the cute PAF photographer from the blogger’s launch was the first person I saw at the baggage area. He ushered me to the registration area, and soon I was joined by Bards and then Bro J and Swtheart, the running couple who are also aptly named Joseph and Josephine!
At 5:10AM, we decided to hang out at the starting pit and join in the warm-up exercise that was led by one of the Philippine Azkals. Well, it was quite SCARY not to follow the drills —> baka kasi kami barilin kapag hundi sumunod. Had a chance to chat a bit with Dianne, the barefoot runner; who was also running the 10K! Fierce woman indeed!
Gunstart for the 10K was exactly at 5:30AM, and a few meters after passing the starting line, all 10K runners turned right UPHILL to KILLER MCKINLEY HILLS. Pang-armed forces ang route – PATAYAN AGAD. My heart was not given a chance to work its way up, but was forced to work double time because of the immediate uphill climb. I did my best to find my rhythm and made sure to drink and do walking breaks at the water stations there.
Going out of McKinley to Lawton towards Essensa was also a challenge. I felt my heart bursting a bit, but stubbornly sauntered on, even in times of wanting to walk. After the U-turn, I came face to face with a fleet of PAF runners who looked like they would trample me if I don’t hurry up. Hurry up I did, because I didn’t want them to catch up. AYAW KO MAGING ROADKILL.
Turning left on Bayani Road to Heritage felt nice. It had been quite a while since I have had the chance to run on this road. It was a good run going in, but I knew I had to take it easy on my way back out. I remember that a steady incline awaits me on my way back.
Going back up after the U-turn on Bayani Road was a bit difficult, I expected it to be. So, water and the electrolyte drink was a must have at every water station stop. I took a quick picture of my old friend, Bayani Road. And continued on a steady pace up back on Lawton. It was mostly downhill when I entered McKinley Hills from Lawton and I just let my legs roll up until the finish line.
And I was quite surprised to clock in 1:08++ as soon as I crossed the finish. Not. bad. at. all.
When we got ourselves together, we stayed on and watched the musical program and the awarding ceremonies. Before the end of the program a military chopper flew high above and released confetti’s on the Venice Piazza Plaza. Don’t worry, it was all swept and clean by 8:00AM!
This was a good run with a fierce race route made by and for the Philippine Armed Forces. Good Job Coach Joar!