Achievement Unlocked: First Podium Finish at PBA Run For A Cause 7
July 14, 2016
Hi everyone! Just a week after running my second half-marathon, I ran a short-distance race in PBA Run For A Cause 7 (July 10, 2016). I was very lucky because the company I work for is one of the sponsors so I was able to get a race kit for free. (That’s some serious work-lifestyle integration am I right? Lol.)
My officemates wanted me to join the 15k category but I refused and said that I only wanted a short-distance race because first, it will serve as my recovery run and second, I will TRY to earn a podium finish (though I was not very confident about it at first).
From my previous fun run post, I mentioned that my next goal was to earn a podium finish for a 5k race and with His grace, I was able to do it.
Without any form of training, I still dared to place in this race and so off I go to Quezon Memorial Circle where the event was held. I was already at the venue around 4:30AM even though the gun start for the 5k category was at 5:45AM. As soon as the group warm up was finished, the 5k runners were led to the starting line which was, apparently, along Commonwealth (they closed two lanes for the run).
Well, I decided to position myself in front of the starting line to increase my chances of earning that podium finish. Aside from this, I wanted to be in front so I can monitor the number of runners who will overtake me. Of course, I had to try my best not to let more than three females outrun me, because then, I would not be able to place at all. And to be honest, I was so nervous then that I kept clenching my fists to distract myself from thinking too much.
After the go signal to run was given, several male runners immediately dashed. As I looked at them, I found myself trying to catch up. I then saw a girl in front of me and it motivated me to increase my pace. Luckily, I was able to overtake her so I assumed that from that point, I was already the first female. And confirming my assumption was the biker that followed me as I ran. I heard him say to the marshal/traffic enforcer that I was currently the “first” in the female division. Having a biker follow me as I ran gave me a lot of pressure, well technically I get pressured every time I run with someone because I do not like holding people back especially if they have a faster pace compared to mine. And this one was even more pressuring because he was in a bike! That meant trying to run at a pace where he should be able to maintain his balance and momentum.
There were hydration stations for every kilometer. If it was any of my other runs, I would have stopped at the third kilometer to re-hydrate. But for this one, I knew that every second counts and stopping would only mean ruining my momentum so I decided to skip every hydration station that I passed. I held onto first place up until the second kilometer where a (different) girl overtook me. I tried to catch up with her but when I realized that I couldn’t (because of the extra huffs and puffs that I made while trying to catch up), I decided to run my own pace. Sayonara first place. It was fun while it lasted. Lol.
When I passed by the U-Turn slot, I tried to search for the next girl behind me to gauge our gap. I already knew she wasn’t that far behind but I still wanted to see just to make myself panic. Lol. This made me more sure of my decision to not stop at any hydration station.But even if I did not show signs of stopping, a marshal from a station handed me a cup of Gatorade. Of course not wanting to look like a snob, I grabbed the cup and continued to run. As expected, it was a bad decision (lol) because I found it really difficult to run while trying not to spill the contents of the cup. It was uncomfortable swinging only one arm while running so in the end, I spilled the contents, crushed and held the cup on one hand and continued to run towards the finish line.
As my legs struggled to run, I kept thinking that I only had a kilometer or so left and this was the most critical part of the race too because I could either lose or maintain my place. I panicked even more as runners overtook me as I was nearing the finish line but it was a good thing that all of them were males and maybe some of them were from the 10k/15k category.
Konting-konti na lang, kapit!!!
And finally, as I did my final dash towards the finish line, I felt a surge of excitement. I did not even bother to look at the cameras as I was already drowning in bliss and smiling to myself. As soon as I crossed the finish line, the biker who followed me told the marshals around that I was “second”. He then congratulated me and led me to another marshal who was getting the names of the finishers. Funny thing was I could not answer immediately when I was asked for my name either because I was feeling so many emotions at that moment or because I was still trying to catch my breath or both. Yeah, probably both.
After taking some photos, I returned to Quezon Circle to get my medal and loot bag while waiting for my other officemates to finish their respective runs.
As a first time race placer, I looked forward to the awarding part of the event. It was so surreal when I heard the host call my name. As I went up the stage, I was congratulated by different PBA players and a PBA coach. Our photos were taken afterwards.
What surprised me; however, were the prizes that I got. I was given so much that I needed the help of my officemate to carry everything back to our booth.
And so instead of taking the bus home, I decided to just book an Uber ride.
Really happy with my performance that day despite not adding any mileage from my long distance run the previous week.
Note: I still can’t find other official photos (aside from those in the PBA Run For A Cause Facebook page) of this run though there were several photographers. But if ever I find them, I’ll add some more photos in this post)
I never knew how placing in a race felt up until PBA Run For A Cause 7. The feeling was so overwhelming (and so are the prizes lol), I was practically in a really good mood for the entire day (I literally couldn’t stop smiling) and I still feel really happy (and very kilig) even now as I write this post.
Thank you to everyone who wished me luck before the race and those who congratulated me after. Thank you also to my officemate who gave me my race kit and to Him who gave me the strength and made this achievement possible.
My next goal now is to finish a full marathon but I am pegging to do this by next year. Will be using #RoadToFortyTwo when I start with my formal training. Wuhoo!