Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Unexpected Twist and Meet-Ups at the Cosin Summer Run in Cagayan de Oro

Going to the starting line of the Cosin Summer Run in Cagayan de Oro City last Sunday (May 20, 2012), I was pretty confident that I will achieve Goal # 2 of my running goals for this year: to finish a 10K race in one hour or less with a timing chip on. After all, I already did a sub-1 hour finish (59++ minutes) in the previous week's Fiesta Run in Malaybalay City. I did not consider that an official time though, as the race did not utilized the timing chip technology in recording finish time. However, it gave me enough confidence that I could breeze my way to a sub-1 finish at the Cosin Summer Run since the Malaybalay route has lots of uphill stretches while the Cagayan de Oro route is mostly flat. My belief is that if I could do a sub-1 10K in Malaybalay, then doing it in Cagayan de Oro would be a "run in the park". Or so, I thought.

The race route map (photo from Circle Productions):

This is actually a new route for running in Cagayan de Oro. Starting line was still in Divisoria but instead of going straight to the highway, we made a right turn in JR Borja Street, towards the direction of Cogon Market and Brngy. Gusa.

 Malaybalay Runners minutes before gun start

The run started a bit late with the 16K runners going first at around 5:15 AM (gun start was scheduled at 5)  and, we, the 10K participants, running next about 15 minutes later. My run started normally and I was pretty confident with my pace. Then after about 2 kilometers, I couldn't anymore hold the urged to pee (been feeling it before the run started) so I did it on the road side (nyahaha!). I reached the 2.5 marker at 15 minutes and I am not yet panicking with my 6-minute/km pace though I know I would have to run a little faster to meet my goal. I did took walk breaks of 30-40 seconds in every water station (about 1.5-2 km apart), and believed that I would have enough energy for the finishing kick later.

Just as I expected, the route is mostly flat except for two short uphills along the way to the turning point. However, the sun was up and shining early so the heat started to take its toll on the open portion of JR Borja. I reached the 5K turning point near Villa Ernesto gate in Gusa Highway at 28++ minutes and was happy to know that my pace is right on track with my target finish. A long gentle uphill from the highway back to JR Borja Extension coupled with the sun's heat growing more intense somehow slowed me down. But I know I am far from being spent so I continued on with my pace.
On the last stretch to the finish, I paced along with three other runners. They would pass me by  during my walk breaks then I would catch up and move ahead every time I run again. At the last 2.5 kilometers of the route, I realized that my target is very doable so I cranked up my speed and leave my "companions" behind. Passing by Ororama Mega Center, I run even faster as I could already visualized the last turn up ahead. However, probably due to excitement (or disorientation), I made the wrong left turn to Corrales Street (nyahaha!). The marshal was just smiling on the side before he pointed me the right direction. It took me about three to five seconds to regain my senses, went back to JR Borja Street then left turn again in Velez Street on the next block and sprinted my way to the finish.

My stop watch read 1:00:20. Ouch! I failed to hit my target by a few seconds. I was a bit dejected as I approached Malou waiting for me on the side. She had this smile across her face as if telling me she made another great 5K finish. Tired and exhausted, I leaned on the steel barricades. I blamed the time I took to pee and the wrong turn I made as the culprits for my failure to meet my sub-1 target. Grrrr!!!

 Malaybalay, Impasug-ong and Sumilao runners. Go run Bukidnon!

I would feel better later on, as I met up, chatted and have some photo ops with friends who also joined the race. Malou was later awarded with a medal for her 5th place finish in the 5K female category. Yehey! My wife was an achiever once again. This is her second Top 10 finish in a week's time, and my jealous brain  already concocted my FB status to be posted later on: I concede, my better half is the better runner. Nyahahaha!!!   

Me and my wife with her 5th Place Medal. My smile hid my Hey Jealousy mode! : )

It was already past 8 PM when we arrived home in Malaybalay. With some time to spare before hitting the sack, I checked out the Circle Productions website to see if they already posted the official results. I was pleased to know they already did and as I viewed the 10K overall result, I got the biggest surprise of my entire running career:

 (Click image to enlarge)

Bwahahaha! My official time showed that I finished the race at 1:00:03 and though I failed to do a sub-1, I made it as the top 20 10K finisher over-all. I swear, I am glad that I don't have to scroll too far down the over-all result to see my name on the list. Hahaha! Yes, I failed to hit my goal but my trying hard effort rewarded me with my best place finish which I never expected.     


Post-Run Notes:

1. I and my friend Jim Baula (who also joined the race) unexpectedly meet our  "long lost" friend Eugene Agito during the event. The three of us were best of friends during our high school years as we all shared a common love for basketball and rock music. Eugene is now a nurse and working for the medics and rescue team which ensured runners' safety during the race. Here's a pic of the three "metal heads" after the run:

 2. As I and my wife are walking towards Chowking Divisoria for breakfast, someone approached me and asked if I am the Pulaguy Blogger. When I answered her "yes", she told me that she had read my 1st Marathon experience in this blog and that she (and her two companions) is also preparing for her first marathon this August. I forgot to ask her name but just in case she reads this post, I'd like to say: "Thanks for the readership Ma'am! Keep on running and best of luck on your first marathon!" 

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