After joining the Run United 1 race at the Mall of Asia last weekend I still find myself in awe how a race this magnitude was done. From the organizer's account, the registered runners reached a staggering 13,000 people, of which 4,000 went to the starting line of the 21km distance. From what I heard, this was the biggest half-marathon distance attended locally, maybe not far behind from international races. The point to point race route of the 21km was among the many firsts that Runrio introduced to this race. It started at BGC in Taguig City and ended in MOA in Pasay City after traversing the other cities of Makati and Manila. The hydration stations were strategically located and were serving ice cold water and powerade with bananas at one station somewhere in Buendia Avenue. The weather was fine from the onset to the finish since the organizers started the race earlier. The route was challenging because of the presence of Kalayaan and Buendia Flyovers and the runners were treated to a moderate to intense workout. Aside from those uphills, the course was relatively flat at the stretch of Roxas Blvd. and Buendia Avenue.
There was also the bus transfer (of runners) from MOA to BGC before and after the race. I was among the thousands of passengers who availed of this service. Although Runrio had used this system in one of their previous out-of-town race before, this was different since we were treated to a luxury ride with motorcycle-riding police escort that made the travel very convenient. There were luggage buses too which transported runner's belongings from the start line to the finish line.
The race went well for me as I enjoyed the route. The point of having a different start and finish lines somewhat erased the boredom of going out-and-back to the finish line, which I believe were also part of the sentiments of other runners. This was the second time I ran this type of race course, the Pasig International Marathon in 2008 was the other (from Marikina Riverbanks to Quirino Grandstand).
I had fun running the race and was surprised by my outcome, I did registered a pretty decent finish time, not a PR but a good one and I'm satisfied. The idea was just to go before 1h45m from my previous of 1h47m (at the GoNatural Race last January), but maybe the excitement propelled me a little bit faster. It was the first time too that I used my GoRun in a 21km race, the lightness and stability of the shoe made my pacing efficient.
As usual, the scene at the finish line and at the expo area was festive. Thousand gather and roam around having smiles all over their faces. But I had observed that there were unregistered runners who ran (bandits) and claimed lootbags too resulting to the shortage of distributed lootbags. I learned from Runrio later that there was a breach of security in their redemption booths. These areas should be manned by those bulky bouncers that were deployed at the finish line, sa palagay ko lang, so as to avoid these scenarios from happening again. I believe, the other two legs of the Run United Series will draw more participants including the much anticipated Run United Philippine Marathon late this year.
The finishers medal was topnotch too. By finishing this leg, I collected the first of the three-piece medal set of the Run United Trilogy.
Another first here was the determination of race results. Runrio introduced a new innovative system of personally determining your race result by just texting your stats to Runrio E-Com. And it goes like this; RESULT RU1/DISTANCE/BIB#/NAME/BIRTHDATE and send to 09229992444. Oh man, my result just came in second. Hassle free, di ba?
Congratulations again to the Runrio Organization for coming up with this kind of race and for raising the bar higher again. See you again on the second leg. Keep running, keep training.
I'll leave you here with a series of photos that I took at the expo.