Jan 27, 2011

Daily thoughts - The Greentennial Run WOW Experience

As of 2010, I havent seen my College track and field teammates for over a decade. I posted some old photos on facebook around November and started tagging them away. It got my old friends excited and it eventually led to a reunion last December 18 2010. We all had a great time that day sharing stories at our coach's house. Some of my teammates gained a lot of weight whereas some look just the way they did 12 years ago. It was really amusing. We couldnt help but also laugh at the prospect of running from my coach's house all the way to the cycling station in Antipolo. We couldnt believe we used to do it every Sunday when we were younger. Now, just from her house to the main road is unthinkable. We all agreed we are no longer spring chickens! Then all of a sudden we started talking about having another reunion the following year 2011.

One of my friends asked us if we will be running in the upcoming Greentennial Run. La Salle will be turning 100 years old in the Philippines and alumni from La Salle Greenhills have organized a run scheduled on January 23 2011. As noted on their website:

"De La Salle Philippines and its network of Lasallian schools nationwide aims to raise one billion pesos for the One La Salle Scholarship Fund by our Hundredth anniversary in 2011.
The fund will be used to allow full scholarship equivalents (FSEs) to 20% of the student population in each of the 18 schools in the Philippines, including La Salle Green Hills, by the centennial in 2011. This will make it possible to share Lasallian education to deserving students, giving them a voice in our academic community and allowing for a richer dialogue that is reflective of what is true in our country."

I suggested it would be a good idea to have the run and a reunion at the same day.Some of my friends let out a frown. They said they havent ran for a very long time.I told them I have been jogging the past few years but I never seriously engaged in any races that were really competitive. I have just recently started to really run again. I told them about a recent run I had on December 11 and it was really fun! Joining the Greentennial run would be a great opportunity to have our "run reunion" at the same time donate to a worthy cause. My teammates said they would think about it.

As the day came nearer, I would post the countdown on our facebook group.

It was funny because originally we all agreed on running the 10km then my friends were asking if they could just run the 5k or the 3k. I told them the kids will be running those events. I told them how shameful it would be if a 9 year old kid ran faster than they did. Of course I was just teasing. But my friends said they didnt care. Running the 10km was too difficult according to them.

I waited for everyone to make their final decision on whether they wanted me to register for them or not. It took a week before I heard from my friends. I couldnt wait on everyone anymore because the 16th of January was the deadline. I went to R.O.X (Recreational Outdoor Exchange) at the Fort on the supposed last day of registration. I signed up for the 10k because the 5k and 15k were both closed. Not that I was planning to run the 15km but one of my friend was. The two other people I was about to register wanted to run the 5k but the slots were also closed. I asked them via sms whether they are okay with 10km instead. They said its fine but they said they will just walk. I got my stubs and I was told by the lady that I can pick up the race kits by January 19-22 at the same place. This is the first time Greentennial have organized a run so I kinda understood why they couldnt arrange the pick up and registration all on the same day. I figured it wouldnt be so much of a hassle for me to get the kits within the week.

But I got sick and I was able to get the kits only on the day before the race. I was upset also to find out that the sizes I ordered for the two guys werent available. I had received an earlier confirmation via email that as much as possible, they would give us the single sizes we have ordered. It was useless to argue at that point. I took whatever they offered and checked the envelopes to make sure that the race bib, time chip and safety pins were all in there. One of my friends who got her kit earlier said her envelope had no safety pins. Another annoying discovery was there was no race map inside the kit. All the previous runs I joined (Animo, ING and the PSE Bull Run) had everything. The right singlet size, the time chip, bib, info sheet and of course the map. But like I said, I gave the organizers leeway because its their first time to have this kind of event.

It was only my second time at R.O.X. I am not familiar with the Fort area and although I do know how to go there, I really dont know how to get back to the MRT station. The last time I was there to pick up the race kit for the PSE Bull Run, I paid a hefty 53PHP for a 7 minute cab ride from the Fort to the Ayala MRT station. I had no choice because I did not know where to find a jeepney or a bus from the R.O.X area. Going there was easy but leaving was tricky if you are commuting. This time I was not willing to part with my 50PHP so I took whatever jeepney I saw. It was a disaster. I travelled all the way to Taguig and paid 10PHP. I have never been to that area before and honestly I was a little scared. I found a jeepney that read MRT so I got on and paid 7PHP. I made it to the Magallanes MRT. From there I paid 11PHP to get to Guadalupe. The area below the Magallanes MRT was already very dark at 8PM. In hindsight, I regret not taking the cab ride because by the time I got to my friend's house in Guadalupe, I was soaked in sweat and I was exhausted from all the walking. Just an idea of the disaster trip I had:

I stayed over at my friend's house for the night. We ran 2 weeks previously at the PSE Bull Run  and they have told me beforehand Im welcome to stay again. As usual, me and my friends werent able to sleep well. I dont know if it is the excitment but I slept for 2 hours and my friends slept for probably 3 hours only.

I got up at 4am and my friends woke up a few minutes after that. We hurried to the venue at 28th street at the Fort because the assembly time was 5:00 AM. Gun start for the 15km (which my friend was running) was at 530AM. We were still in the car at 510AM. We finally found a place to park near the NBC Tent at around 525AM. My friend had to ask his wife to park the car because he had to be at the cordoned area already. His wife and I were running the 10km, we still had ample time to warm up. The problem was I still had the 3kits for the 3 other people I registered. Fortunately, they got their kits just in time before the run started for the 10km. There was a huge turn out of participants. The run was really a big event! There were photographers everywhere, even the pep squad with their drummers were there. I didnt bring my camera along so I borrowed these photos from the Greentennial Facebook fan page (http://www.facebook.com/greentennialrun). The credits are in the caption.

photographers at the start line (Aileen Roque Photography)

Volunteers in charge of the Finishers' Medals (Dan Soriano Photography)

Photographers and Volunteers Booth (Nitz Tubis Photography)

screen for gun start? (Dan Soriano Photography)

Start Line (Dan Soriano Photography)

10km assembly (Jay R Brun Photography)
The route for the 10km was  like the one in the PSE Bull run. Unfortunately the map isnt too clear when you check it on the Greentennial website.

10km (Jay R Brun Photography)
There were 4 categories. 3km, 5km, 10km and 15km. The gun start were as follows :

5:30 - 15k
5:40 - 10k
5:50 - 5k
6:00 - 3k

There are probably thousands of photos on the Greentennial fan page so I just borrowed a few since it would be better to just go through the photos on facebook. The shots are amazing and I havent even seen all of it. There were a lot of photographers present and I am yet to check out all the albums being uploaded daily.

I ran the 10km again for this event. I personally think I did better than the last time I ran two weeks ago. My pace seemed  to be the same as that during the PSE Bull run although I felt more confident going the flyover as compared last time. Also I noticed that the flyover seem well lit on this run.

Other things worth noting were the ample water stations and markers. They had powerade and water and enough cups! I cant help but remember that on the PSE Bull Run some people had to scoop water using their hands or worse a used plastic cup! On this race also, there were Marshalls everywhere and some of them were even cheering us on. There was a part on the loop though that I thought I got lost and have joined the 15km runners. I tried to check the guy running ahead of me if he also had the pink and orange yarn. I saw he did so I reassured myself I was on the right path.

The most fascinating part of this run was when photographers asked us to "jump". I was not able to jump because it was already on the last stretch of the run and my legs were really tired. I did see a couple of runners happily "jumping" for these photographers though.

 "high" Jumper (Ralph Carmen Photography)

Wow! (Ralph Carmen Photography)

Hahaha (Ralph Carmen Photography)

Wow thats high! (Ralph Carmen Photography)

Jolly Green Jumper (Ralph Carmen Photography)

Neat! (Darren Kaye Photography)

Hahaha the guy almost landed on the photographer(Darren Kaye Photography)

Funny! (Darren Kaye Photography)

Cute girls jumping (Darren Kaye Photography)

Jumping Jack Jumper (Darren Kaye Photography)

Jumping Super Lolo (Darren Kaye Photography)

Smell my armpit Jumper (Darren Kaye Photography)
Kwela Jumper (Rommel Espinoza Photography)

Lovebirds? Jumpers (Rommel Espinoza Photography)

Lovebirds? Jumpers (Rommel Espinoza Photography)
Jumping trio(Ralph Carmen Photography)
Visit the Greentennial Facebook Fan page to see all these great photos. I was laughing my ass off at some of the shots and I salute the photographers for coming up with these wonderful photos. You can see that everyone was indeed having a good time.

There was also a part on the run where the Manila Water has installed a "shower" for runners.
Shower  (Aileen Roque Photography)

(Aileen Roque Photography)

Power Puff Boys. I saw these guys at the PSE Bull run too. (Aileen Roque Photography)
There was an array of interesting runners that joined the Greentennial Run.

Cute little girl (Abi Escano Photography)

(Abi Escano Photography)

She is adorable! (Abi Escano Photography)

(Abi Escano Photography)

I think this guy bagged the Greenest Runner contest (. (Abi Escano Photography)

(Enzo Jauregui Photography)

(Kb Runner Photography)

(Darren Kaye Photography)
 (great angle shot  KB runner photography)

 (great angle shot  KB runner photography)

When I got to the finish line, I was surprised when one of the ladies ran after me to give me a medal. For the 10km, 5km and 3km, only the first 100 finishers will get a medal. I wasnt expecting one so I was really thrilled!
Me and my friend Dr. Pam.
I also bumped into a good friend of mine who is now a Doctor specializing in Pediatrics. She has joined several half marathons but opted to run the 10km in this event . After we finished stretching, we looked around to find a booth for the drinks and the loot bags.

Mascot (Dan Soriano Photography)

Baggage area (Dan Soriano Photography)

Pretty lady handing out the medals (Dan Soriano Photography)

cute dog donned in a greentennial singlet (Dan Soriano Photography)

runners in line for the loot bag (Dan Soriano Photography)

loot bag line (Dan Soriano Photography)

i like this kid in the photo  (Dan Soriano Photograpy)
that kid on the photo above gave me 5 bottles of mouthwash, 11 toothpaste and 12 capsules of vitamins in my loot bag

Maynilad Water shower (Dan Soriano Photography)

(Dan Soriano Photography)

Route maps photo booth (Dan Soriano Photography)

Route maps photo booth (Dan Soriano Photography)

Route maps photo booth (Dan Soriano Photography)

Route maps photo booth (Dan Soriano Photography)

Powerade and Wilkins water booth (Dan Soriano Photography)

Ambulance (Dan Soriano Photography)

(Dan Soriano Photography)

Stage (Dan Soriano Photography)

(Dan Soriano Photography)
The line to the giveaway took forever. I think we were in line for 30 minutes. Although it wasnt really an issue since I was with my friends and we had a good time catching up while drenched in sweat. I sent my feedback to the organizers and they were very pleasant and accomodating about it. . They had areas to improve on but overall, this event was a success. I havent been to a lot of races here but this definitely was a very good one. I was really impressed.

Another good news for me was that I improved my time by 2 minutes. Not a lot but for me that is already a feat. I hope to improve more in the coming weeks before I run my first 10miles and eventually a half marathon.

After the event we went over to my friend's place to have breakfast.

Post Run Breakfast
I was really exhausted but I had a grand time seeing my old friends and also being part of a historical event.

Good Job Greentennial Run organizers!!  I hope this is just the start of a series of other races!

Weeee! Animo La Salle! =)