Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Long and Slow 21K Run: Kagay-an Festival Run 2011(Cagayan de Oro City)

I joined the Kagay-an Festival Run Year 2 in Cagayan de Oro City last Sunday, August 21, 2011. The run was held as part of the Cagayan de Oro Fiesta Celebration. A week before this run, I climbed Mount  Kitanglad for the first time together with some of my friends. The tough hike resulted to muscle pains in my legs and it was only three days after the climb that I felt a lot better. For that reason, I wasn't able to do a long run prior to this race.

Despite the lack of preparation, I still signed up for 21K. Since this category doesn't come too often in races held in Cagayan de Oro City and Bukidnon, I took this chance to run my second half-marathon. I aimed to improve my time of 2 hours and 20 minutes during my first 21K in Malaybalay City last June.

I arrived in Cagayan de Oro City the day before the run. I checked in at the Park View Hotel, which is only walking distance to Divisoria Kiosk, the start and finish line of the race. My wife would arrive later that night, coming staright from her work. I registered her to run in 5K.

On the race day, we arrived at the Divisoira Kiosk at around 4:30 AM. Some staff were still busy in their preparation for the run. Gun time for the 21k is supposed to be 5:15 AM. Stretching was done after a short opening program. It was already past 5:30 AM when the 21K run started and there were more than 100 runners who joined in this category.

From Velez St., we turned left at the national highway and headed into the direction of Opol, Misamis Oriental. I maintained my regular pace and took some walk breaks along the way. I planned not to push myself too hard as I am still recovering from the Kitanglad climb. 
I reached the turning point near Panagatan Restaurant in Opol with a little over one hour .I feel I still have enough stamina to make a decent run back to the finish line. However, running back to Cagayan de Oro means facing the sun which is already up and shining high in its full glory. 

The intense heat gradually zapped whatever energy I had left and my run just become slower and slower. I took more walk breaks as I felt my legs getting heavier. There were still enough water stations along the way and it did helped so much in keeping me hydrated.

Two hours into my run and I reached the 10K turning point in Bulua. With still 5 kilometers to go before the finish line, I gave up my hope of beating my first 21K time. I decided to take it easy and just maintained my walk-run pace. My ultimate goal changed from improving my time to just finishing the race.

That's me (on the right) dashing to the finish line. Photo taken by my wife.

I reached the finish line at 2:35:18. Though I was disappointed with my time, I am still happy to finish my second half-marathon. And despite the long and slow run, I still received my first 21K finishers' medal. It is the best finisher's medal I got so far and it  made my run still worth the effort. 

 My Kagay-an Festival Run Finisher's Medal

More photos taken during the Kagay-an Festival Run 2011:

With the Motormate Models. Thanks again to my wife for this pic. : )

Run freebies!!!

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