Monday, March 23, 2009

Condura Run Recap

There was a time that I joined every running race that I could get my hands (feet?) on. However, a few months of running every weekend can really take a lot out of you. And with my diversion into multi-sports and MTB, plus my MBA classes, I really have begun to pick and choose which road races I do.  In fact, I think that my last race run was during the Happy Run more than a month ago, which in a city where there is a race every weekend, is a very long time.

But when I heard from Patrick that the Condura Run would have a 21k and would be on the Skyway, I didn't hesitate, I automatically registered!

For me doing this race was a no brainer, not only because Patrick was a good friend. For 1, 21k is probably my favorite distance for a road race; it’s just long enough to be challenging, but not too long that you contemplate suicide along the way. 

Secondly, last year's run was arguably one of the best managed in the country, so I knew I would be able to enjoy and race this year's event worry-free.

Lastly, come on! One month between road races is way to long!

Night before race day, I got a text from Pat that there would be 6,000 runners registered for the race, so he advised coming early.

Imagining the problems I would have parking if I went late, I decided to take his advice to heart and arrived at the venue a good 45 minutes before the start of the 21k.

Once there, I laced up, wore my I am Ninoy jersey, using the CR, and talked a bit with my friends.

15 minutes before the start, we made our way to the start assembly area, where my visions of a perfect and trouble free race quickly crumbled. I couldn't find the entrance to the assembly area; I saw a sign for a 5k and 10k but no 21k! Then I ran into a rather rude race official who said we had to enter by the 10k sign.

Once I got in line for the assembly area, it was so crowded that I only got in a minute or two before the start of the race!

Luckily, when the starting gun went off, all this pre race stress melted away and I concentrated on the primary task of running 21k as fast as I could. 

As any experienced runner will tell you, the 1st 2 or 3k of any road race is spent trying to go around slower runners while at the same time trying not to run too fast and wreck your whole race program.

It wasn't until the pack made its way down from the Kalayaan flyover that I managed to get into some "clean air" and I was able to race at a pace I was happy with. 

 (For those who do not know, I still don't run with those techy Garmins and HRMs and such. I prefer to run "blind" and instead listen to my own body if I can go faster or slower.)

For this 1st half of the race, I decided to run conservatively and was actually thinking of running a negative split. So I definitely ran within myself for the 1st half of the race and was feeling very good as we reached Osmena Highway and the highlight of the race, the SKYWAY route!

It’s at this point that I remember thinking that after we get over the SKYWAY onramp, we should be fine.  In my head, I remember thinking that once this ascent was done with the SKYWAY would be once long flat stretch until the turn around and the eventual downhill run.

Boy was I wrong! The Skyway was anything but flat, instead proving to an undulating concrete snake with energy sapping uphills and knee pounding downhills. Magallenes interchange never seemed to far away to me before!

It was round halfway to the turn around when we saw the lead group of 4 runners. 42 minutes into the race and they had probably finished more than 14 or 15 kms! I haven't even reached the turn around point! Later I would find that they finished in 1 Hour 10 minutes! 

Looking back on yesterday's race, I really didn't get a chance to enjoy the Skyway because on the way to the turnaround I was too busy focusing on running and on the way back I suddenly felt very weak and close to bonking. I really slowed at this point, almost running at 6 minutes per kilometer. I was caught and passed by a lot of people; my team mate Al passed me just off the SKYWAY gave me some encouraging words, which helped. At the very least it distracted me for 15 seconds and took my mind of my pain. 

At this point all I could think of was a bet I made with Hector. Loser buys a bottle of Rush! I assumed that I was ahead of him at this point, so I took a long and careful look at each runner who passed me. I maybe slow, but so long as I managed to stay ahead of Hec, I would be fine!

It wasn't until reached the 16km point that I got my often prayed for and much needed Second Wind. But my problems didn't end there; suddenly my left knee began acting up!

So little kilometers left yet still so many problems! I remember telling my knee to hold it together for another 5k and I'll deal with the pain tomorrow if there was really a problem.

When we finally reached the Fort, I started to run faster, hoping that by finishing faster I would get a good race time and more importantly I can get myself out of my self imposed misery. 

Unfortunately, every time I tired to speed up my legs quickly gave out.

But 300 meters from the end, I saw another runner quickly making ground on the side of the pack. Oh! A Now it would be a race! Could be fun! So I waited for him to pass me and quickly made chase behind him!

Thank god for that guy! By focusing on chasing him, I managed to distract myself all through the finish line and to a time of 1:47! This is probably a PR, because my last 21k was Subic Marathon last year at 1:58:10

So it was all good! And more importantly I finished ahead of Hector! 


P.S. Thanks to Marga and Pat for helping me find my key after I lost it in my post race delirium.


  1. Find out more about IamNinoy Runners here:

  2. great job. :) now, on to our saturday duathlon!

  3. Congrats sa PR bro! Kelan tayo mag speed works ulet?

  4. congrats jeremy! it was fun seeing you guys at breakfast yesterday. ;)