Last August 18, I joined my first 21km race in the Safeguard 2XU International Half Marathon held in SM Mall of Asia, one of the biggest malls here in the metro. It was organized by none other than RunRio Inc., owned by my good friends Rio Dela Cruz and his wife Nicole Wuthrich-Dela Cruz.
Compared to the run races back then, it was really pleasant to see that more and more people are joining the world of sports. Of course, the Philippines is still a basketball-loving country but I am much happier seeing my classmates from high school, old swimming friends, relatives, and most espeically family members being active and fit through running, which I believe is the cheapest form of exercise. I can still remember when I joined races, it only included a race shirt and a bib number. There were no timing chips, no huge race time displays at the finish line, no promo girls to congratulate you when you cross the finish line, and no freebies whatsoever.
Because of the high number of participants joining in 'fun runs', registering for a specific race is not as simple (and not as expensive hehe) as before. This specific race costs 3500 Philippine peso (roughly 80USD) for each participant, which is much more expensive compared to other 21km races. Yes it's quite expensive but the race pack included the following items: a black towel, RunRio slippers, 2XU visor, RunRio water bottle, and safeguard products to go with it. Not bad at all (hmm well maybe because I got the race pack for free thru my sister's friend hehehe)...its what I always call 'balik-puhunan' -- in our language simply meant getting back what you exactly paid for. =)
It was raining all through out the day before the race so I expected a wet, long run (which I don't like at all). Before the race started, i took one pack of a new brand of organic gel to try which I bought the day before --wrong move! The gun went off at 4:00 am, I started it out moderate and just built the pace. On the 7th km, the rain began to pour down hard, combined with strong winds. Thankfully, it did not rain hard the whole 21km. Despite an unpleasant incident (had to visit the bathroom in the middle of the race..:D), I am still grateful for a strong finish.
It was a well-organized race and kudos to the organizers for promoting a litter-free race. (All competitors had to bring their own water bottles, hence the RunRio water bottle, because the water stations did not provide any paper or plastic cups)
To God be the Glory!