Run Rizal @ 150: Madness, but there is method in it

Posted: October 2, 2011 in Events, Personal

Nakapulot ako ng piso sa Luneta. ^_^

Way back in July, PinoyFitness.com held a raffle for free Run Rizal kits. The race was on Sept18 during National History Week, coinciding with my running anniversary. I joined on a whim and for the first time in my life I won an online contest. 🙂 Winners got to choose the distance and I picked the longest to get a guaranteed finisher’s medal: 16K. Then, several injuries struck. After the Milo Marathon, I couldn’t even run for the whole month of August, and I wondered if it would be madness to still compete in this race.

By September, I was inching my way to recovery by brisk walking, then run-walking for 2K, and finally managing 6K as my farthest. That didn’t exactly inspire much confidence in me and until the night before the event I wasn’t sure I’d go for it. Aw, hell. I laced my shoes anyway and went out at an ungodly hour. Good luck to me and my lingering injuries.

There was a festive atmosphere at Luneta. The emcees were already announcing the gun start while I was a few hundred meters away, so I darted to the baggage counter and then to the starting line. I barely got a few stretches in when everyone went off running. Time check at 5:30am, the sun was starting to creep in. It was a fun run after all and I noticed some runners decked in costume. One guy was in full guardia civil uniform while several girls had that Maria Clara thing (?) over their singlet and carried folding fans. Others imitated Rizal with the dark suit and bowler hat.

I jogged at a snail’s pace. I hoped that my plan to run really slow and take a break every kilometer would be enough. I didn’t mind walking a lot and being relegated to the tail end of the pack. After all, every finisher gets a medal, even those who had to crawl to get there.

The route was uncomfortably familiar to me. Much of it overlapped with the final stretch of the Milo Marathon in which even walking became excruciatingly painful. I recounted the torture of that event as I went past some landmarks, finally being able to laugh it off. Fortunately, my injuries did not bother me this time. I surprised myself by being able to run the initial 14K in a controlled manner despite the lack of training. Afterwards, I allowed myself to walk the rest of the way. I needed to keep some energy for the long journey home.

I sprint my way to the finish line just for kicks, collected my awesome piso-inspired medal from a girl in full baro’t saya, got my loot bag, and cooled down at the sidelines. When I passed by the stage, the best in costume award was being judged with the Rizals arranged in a firing squad. How apt.

Hot and filling post-race breakfast at Lugaw ni Mang Juan, LRT2 Gateway Station

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