Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Nathan Ridge Run 2011 Sweet Experience!

When we did a recon on a part of the race route for Nathan Ridge Run last month, I told myself I'm gonna do the shortest distance come race day, which is 5K but due to insistent public demand (my blogger friends and the Nathan peeps, lol!), I was obliged to take 10K, 3 times the distance of the recon.

What are the preps I did? None! I just made sure I'm well hydrated, calm and relaxed. After work I took in a Bagel with Cream Cheese, then a cold shower (hot water is broken at the office), and went straight to R.O.X. where the bus is waiting for us to board going to Tagaytay. No pressure at this moment. It was pure excitement!

The bus leaves and arrives on time. Runners were all around taking pictures. It was festive and happy all around. I checked in my bag, got my whole body covered with Bodivance and then went straight to the race starting line.

Daddy Rene and me before the race. I'm covered with Bodivance. Love it! ^_^

Everyone got their water bottles filled up at the hydration station near the starting line. Surprised there was no commotion, it was smooth and hassle free! Got to meet familiar faces and runner friends prepping up for the run and got to take some photos with them.

The runners went gaga over the starting line to get their pictures taken. Ofcourse would I pass up the chance? NOT!

Me and my official pacer, Che-Anne! We look happy, right? ^_^

And we're off! (Photo credits to HOB)

For the target of 700 to a maximum of 1,000, there were 1,200 runner who joined. It's beyond what we expected. Cool huh? But even so, it doesn't feel crowded at all.

When the race started everyone is all smiles and happy. But when we reached around 500 meters of the route, most runners started walking, I did the same as well. The route was stiff. I'm having a hard time running upwards. I have no hill training and I am expecting this to happen. Since Che-Anne is pushing me, and that's what she's supposed to do, my blood glucose dropped low at a short span of time. My heart was pounding fast and I'm staring to feel a bit shaky. I tried to be calm and composed. I don't want to ruin the moment for her and Francis, who is running his first race. What's worse is I forgot to put the Jellybean on my belt. The only sugar source I can get is from Gatorade, and just in time we were near the first hydration station.

I tried to gulp little by little, and I'm glad my body acted up fast. I felt a sudden rush of ranting and whining when I saw "The Peak". Yeah! I will run there again. The experience from the recon suddenly flashed back. This is gonna be a nightmare repeating before my eyes, and I was right. It was hard, much harder now!

Going to "The Peak". Game face ON!

Runners were really into taking their photos along the route, and we do so too! The view was so great you wouldn't pass up the chance of taking your photos with it on the background. It's rare to see someone taking the race seriously, who doesn't stop by and enjoy the view.

Tagaytay Highlands never fails to amaze me. Even if it's not my first time there but this time, I get to explore some places that we weren't able to visit before. Its so clean and the breathtaking sight from down below and the Taal Volcano was beyond words!

What can I say about the Nathan Ridge Run 2011:

1.  They kept a significant amount of race registrants that's why the place was not overcrowded.
2.  Though the claiming of the kits were moved, everyone got theirs and even on race day itself.
3.  The bus was very comfortable. It arrived and took off on time.
4.  The gun start was observed strictly.
5.  Besides Marshals, Tagaytay Highlands Security Guards were present.
6.  Roving vehicles were present to provide medical aid or pick up runners who DNF'd (Did Not Finish)
7.  Traffic between runners and private vehicles are smooth sailing.
8.  Hydration stations are intelligently placed on a particular spot. No commotion while refilling bottles ever happened. Abundance of Gatorade and Water!
9.  Bodivance helped in keeping the runners warm during the cold, foggy start of the race.
10.The after-run food is great! and the Awarding Ceremonies were held on the Sports Complex.

Some part that can be a room for improvement:

1. They should have a strict observance of cheaters on every loop. We have seen so many of them, and they even have medals!
2. The race details, including the maps and other rules and regulations should be released earlier so runners can prepare for the event.
3. Race Bibs should have the distance marked on it and not just having it color coded. A new runner got confused he thought he got a 5K bib and was shocked to know it was for 21K.
4. Gatorade has many flavors, they should try serving something besides orange.

Here are some of the pictures I like!

Welcome Runners!

With Ate Jackie and Team Alpha 1 ^_^

I'm just playing out to ease the pain...

Meditating. Did it work, NO!

Che-Anne, literally dragging me up the stiff upHELL!

Sprinting to the finish line! (Photo Credits to A Runner's Circle Philippines)

Nice sideview shot by Francis Sy-Changco of Changky Media.

Ofcourse, a big congratulations to our very own Mario Maglinao of ARC Philippines Team for bagging 1st place in the 21K Category, beating foreigners along the way. When he was awarded, everyone was cheering with joy. Thanks Super Mario! You made every Filipino Runner so proud!

Mario Maglinao (Center) won 1st Place in a very challenging race! Photo credits to ARC Philippines.

I would like to thank Mr. Rovic Caroro of Greentennial Run, Team USB's Jojo Pauly, Sir Raul Acuna Jr. and Ms. Yoying Valdehueza of ARC Philippines, HOB Team and Francis Sy-Changco of Changky Media for the wonderful photos I used in this blog.

Also, to my Pacer Cheryl Anne Lumanog and to Francis Velarga, who did his debut run and was strong in it. Thank you so much for the support and congratulations to us!

We finished the race sub-2 and I am so happy we did it before the cut-off. It was the toughest 10K of all, but the best I ever had so far!

The aim of having a successful eco-friendly race was reached! It was the cleanest run ever! No trash on the road. The only thing that is on the road are the falling leaves and flowers, which I took one and put on as a headpiece. I hope we can also implement a "Cupless Race" here in the metro too!

I am a happy runner! ^_^ (Photo credits to Team USB)

Special shoutout to my fellow bloggers James Betia of Journeyingjames, Jeff Lo of Pinoyfitness, Christine Fernandez of Jovialwanderer, Edgar Alan of Eazytraveler, Rene Villarta of Jazzrunner, Blas Ople Tiangco of Titaniumrunner, Rod Apolinario of R0d.Runn3r, CJ Lampad of Run Adobo King, Jules Picanto of Runningmistress, and ofcourse Nathan Sports Philippines, Primer Group of Companies, Ian, Chito, Laira and especially to the Brand Manager, Ms. Mariel Flores. Thank you so much for the time and opportunity to experience this great race! The cupless race was a huge success! Congratulations!

Also, thank you to my Novo Nordisk Philippines family, to Ms. Marinel Hargraves and especially to Ms. Gina Reyes, who always believes and supports my advocacy.

A great look back shot captured by Rovic Caroro of Greentennial Run

Great news! Nathan Ridge Run is gonna be a yearly event so when I was asked if I'm gonna join again I said, HELL YEAH! Looking forward to it!

See you all next year at Nathan Ridge Run 2012!!!

Good Vibes and Sweet Running everyone! ^_^


Rob said...

Hmm, they had the lemon-lime (?) flavor Gatorade at the entrance to Midlands. Hehe. But still, most of the Gatorade they served were of orange flavor.

The Nathan Ridge Run was a lot of fun! It was very difficult, but it was rewarding to conquer those steep uphills and downhills. It's just so sad to know that there were a lot of cheaters in the race. I was not actually aiming for a medal, but if 30+ runners cheated and got a medal, then probably I was deprived of one (according to runningmate I placed at around 120-130 in the 10K category, but some names were not recorded so I doubt its accuracy). Haha. No ill feelings though.

The Sweet Life Runner said...

Hi Rob! I haven't got to the lemon lime flavor, maybe I'm too slow it ran out. LOL! but its sad to know those cheaters bag the medals that you should get. Don't worry, I'm sure Nathan will do better with that next time, and next time you'll get the shiniest one! Thanks for dropping by! ^_^