TAGUIG CITY – Not even a sudden downpour could stop the successful staging of the Second American Chamber of Commerce Foundation ScholaRUN held last March 3 (Sunday) at the Bonifacio Global City. An estimated 2,000-strong combined field helped send poor but deserving children to school while having a good time getting fit and healthy as they tried out the 10, five and three-kilometer distance categories.
Droplets of rain began as early as 4:00 AM that eventually developed into full-blown rainfall by 5:00 AM, less than an hour before the 5:45 AM gun start for the 10-kilometer race. Still, the organizers stuck with their decision – the event will push through, rain or shine.
As a few of the runners ignored the rain and began to assemble at the starting line with the gun start nearing, the rain suddenly stopped! Apparently, the rain simply paved the way for better racing weather while washing the streets of dirt and debris.
The race route was confined within BGC, so it may be described as generally flat with a lot of turns. There were five points along the way where runners had to pickup color-coded strings to make sure they properly followed the course.
The gun start was actually made a few minutes past the announced time but that was negligible considering the earlier rainy conditions. I can say I had a bad and shaky start because the sun had not fully risen and the first kilometer or so on 8th Avenue was poorly lit hence a tough time watching out for puddles and potholes.
By the time the group returned to BGC, the lighting was better and the sun was slowly rising so it was time to speed things up. Distance markers were strategically placed and because of the many twists and turns, a sufficient number of marshals were present to guide the runners aside from the directional arrows.
Hydration was overflowing and more than enough, with a separate station for two competing brands of sports drinks, Powerade and Pocari Sweat. Since the distance is only 10 kilometers, I skipped a couple of stations that offered water only.
Upon seeing a tarpaulin that indicated a kilometer to go somewhere near the International School Manila, it was time for the final sprint trying to pass as many runners as possible. Medals will be awarded to the first 100 to cross the finish line and I wanted to be sure to get one which I did with a lot more time to spare, unofficially at 57:38 on my watch.
After the race, the collection of loot bags was easy being one of the early finishers. There was already a long queue for the two shorter distances.
Regie Lumauag and Great Britain’s Carly Relf ruled the premier 10-kilometer category receiving medals and gifts from sponsors including a watch and Somnio running shoes. It is interesting to note that Lumauag and five-kilometer men’s champion Carlito Fantilaga were among the on-site registrants an hour before the race.
Other winners were Kimberly Dulay in the women’s five kilometers and Chase Burton and Angelina Baldomer in the three-kilometer category.
One thing worth staying for after racing is the raffle. The ScholaRUN was no slouch as it gave away handsome prizes that included a trip to Hawaii courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines and stays at five-star hotels and resorts aside from the usual sponsor gift packs.
Overall, it was a well-organized race that went with no hitches except for the inevitable acts of nature. As announced by AmCham Executive Director Ebb Hinchliffe in his closing speech, there will be a third edition next year!
Definitely, helping poor children through school and reaching their dreams is much better than sex.
Thank you to Candy Angeles-Gabriel of the American Chamber Foundation for making our participation possible and lending assistance during race day.