Start time was 5h15 am which meant that the majority of the race would be done in the dark with inconsistent lighting along the course. Im always surprised by the lack of humility by many of the local runners @ the start! I managed to start at the back of the front, just behind a Kenyan!
I tapped on his shoulder and said “habari asubuhi” which means “how are you this morning” in Swahili – he replied with look on his face “Mzuri sana” which means “im fine thanx” in Swahili.
Right after that, the gun went and I shadowed the Kenyan. I followed his line as we cut through the mess in front of us – slowly but surely, the jokers peeled off and then eventually so did the boys - then all that was left were the men.
At 3k the Kenyan would ‘make a move’ to catch the lone runner up the road as we got on the Argonaut highway. This then compelled a few to hunt him down – seriously?
From their running style, breathing and sweet running down their neck, I knew they would blow later on. Sure enuff @ about 5k I was in ‘no-mans’ land running down down a pitch dark road, all I could see what the police sirens of the lead motorcycle with the 2 leading runners as we approach the Subic International Airport – unlike the last 21k I had done here, we would go left towards the forest, which meant we had some hills to go up and down.
At the turn around, my legs felt tight but strong – my breathing was under control and I was maintaining a good rhythm – however as about the 14k mark I went through a bad patch…
My legs tightened up, my breathing rate increased and a few negatived thoughts passed through my mind…
Not long after that, I was passed by an older runner who appeared to be in the army – now this was the hardest part of my race, the point where I made the decision to suck it up ad bridge the 20m gap to him.
This allowed me to open up my stride, clear my mind and focus on the present.
Considering he was an older athletes, I know he had ran with patience, had run miles in his body and would be able to outlast a younger runner.
My goal, stick with him until the last 500m and punch it home.
Well, after doing the ‘cat and mouse’ thing for about 3km on the way back on the Argonaut Highway, which consistent of several accelerations, deceleration’s and a bit of swerving out on the open road. His heels even knocked my knees a few times due to the constant speed change.
Once we passed the GodSpeed gate on our left, which was the last pedestrian cross-walk before the finish – I punched the pace and keep accelerating every 100m after that. I took one quick look back mid-way and saw had a major gap! So I keep the pace on until the line and secured 3rd place overall – the final pay check
I dry-heaved a bit at the line and then had a well deserved sit until Joyette came across the line, 2nd over all female!
Well our times where not great, but it was a solid course, early in the year and in the middle of our 2013 X-Terra Philippines preparation.
This is one of those ‘I’ll take it performances’ that shows me where my level is at early in the season, gives me a good taste of pain and allows to be reverse my race routine!
I would like to give a special thanx to my shoe sponsor On Running – you really have to try them, test them out for a few runs, especially the Cloud Racers to be able to give an opinion about them – they are really something else! They also attack a bit of attention for their unusual appearance, especially when worn by podium goers!
Anyway, I will be in my old training base Subic Bay for the next week, getting some training out in the open and then racing the NAGT next Sunday along side a few of my scholars and of course Joyette!
I like to use races as a part of my for the bigger races – it allows be to re-hearse certain specific impossible to emulate in training, see where my present level is at and of course, get a good taste of pain!