TAGUIG CITY – These unexpected fun runs are bringing in a bigger share of fun. I was not supposed to participate in the annual Philippine Stock Exchange Bull Run last January 13 (Sunday) at the Bonifacio Global City – my calendar for the day was originally tabbed for a 60-kilometer bike group ride to Cavite and back.
I got the literal eleventh hour invitation for the 10,000 meters close to 11:00 PM of January 12 (Saturday). The bad weather besetting Metro Manila the last few days prompted the decision to go for the safer choice of running the Bull Run even if the bicycle was already disassembled and loaded into the car. Besides, it’s bad to snub opportunities like this as they may never come again!
The Bull Run is quite significant because it was the first fun run I joined that was held in BGC back in 2011. I decided to wear the same singlet because it is preferred to road test and wash singlets before races.
Last year, slots to the Bull Run’s 21 and 16-kilometer category quickly sold out owing to the reasonable registration fee plus the awaiting medal and finisher shirt. Hence, I was unable to join due to taking time to troop to the registration centers and joining the 10,000 meters again was not an option.
Just like in 2011, the announced course was modified because stretches of Buendia Avenue had to be shared with another fun run. Overall, this was probably the only red mark on an otherwise perfect race.
Both events had their own u-turn slots so it was up to their marshals to make sure that their runners use the correct slots. Originally, the u-turn was situated near Reposo but was moved closer to just before Makati Avenue with the lost meters transferred to Lawton Avenue going toward McKinley Hill.
The plan was to go faster after the Buendia u-turn but the other fun run had their u-turn at the foot of the Kalayaan Flyover and coupled with the bulk of the returning 21-kilometer runners, it was quite difficult to accelerate.
Hydration was not a problem as I even opted to skip several stations, including a shower station. The only mistake I probably made was skipping the aid station just before the first ascent of the flyover which was the only one that served Pocari Sweat, the event’s official sports drink.
Upon seeing the nine-kilometer marker, it was a mad sprint towards the finish line. The goal of finishing under one hour was achieved – 59:18 good for 69th place among 800 finishers.
This is indeed a good start for the 2013 running season. It may not be my best effort for the distance but considering that this was an unplanned race, I am very happy and satisfied.
After the race, we assembled at the nearby Track 30 for a simple birthday celebration of running buddy Armand Tangkihay over noodles and rice cake. Amidst our collective joy, we never realized the tragedy that unfolded.
A male 21-kilometer participant collapsed and died in the vicinity of the STI Global City Academic Center as he was making the final push towards the finish line. The fatality was later identified as Romel Defeo, president of the Sigue Correr Runners.
While we prefer not to further discuss the circumstances of this unfortunate incident, it only reminds us of the dangers of the sport. Preparation, training and nutrition are very important plus listening to one’s body and knowing when enough is enough.
By the way, all the preparation and training for a marathon next month seems to be paying off. My time of 59:18 is far better than the 1:21:58 result at the 2011 Bull Run!
We would like to thank the people behind Itemhound, the timing services provider, for making our participation possible.