After a few weeks of being in hibernation, I get to run my first 21k for the year with only around 12k preparation a week before the race, and some session of strengthening workouts. It was a RunRio and Unilab event after all that I don't want to miss. Besides, I have a special duty to fulfill right on this event - to be the pacer of RunnerIshi! Well, before she asked me to pace her on this run, it has already entered my mind since on our CIHM 2010 - her 21k debut - I only paced her for the first 3 and the last 3 kilometers of the CIHM course. My duty of pacing her for this event is like saying "sorry about the past!", lol!
|I don't feel sleepy, but I already feel tired!|
|Leo, Me, Louie and Hendy|
At the starting line, I felt restless and nervous that I already wanted to back-out (for the first time) from the race. I got afraid of the unknown, of being sleepless and still run the 21k distance, of what would happen along the route if my plantar strikes, or if we come across a monster and grabbed RunnerIshi while I'm limping, or what about when I got hit by a truck - who will continue pacing RunnerIshi? Well thanks for Bodivance, a revolutionary breakthrough in sports technology that accelerates the warming up of muscles and promotes vasodilation. You can't connect? Neither do I!
While in the middle of our run, I realized that in my entire life of running, having already influenced a number of officemates into this lifestyle, I had never paced anyone yet during a race. On our practice runs, I have paced ChickenLegSaga and MinnieRunner but only for a few distance. So I'm wondering whether I could really keep my word of staying with her until we reach the finish line, or shall I just meet her on the finish line instead? Then I remember that ChickenLegSaga is also on pacer-duty for this race. His goal, is not just to stay at pace with his pace-mate, but to also make it his longest 5k ever that should last more than an hour. What's in his mind? Ask him what's in his heart! ;)
The most exciting part during the race was, I got to know more about RunnerIshi. She has some secrets that she does while running -- she farts (ssshhh... don't tell her about this or I might get beheaded). Aside from that, she has a knack of getting serious with running. A few meters from the 6th kilometer, I lost sight of her in the middle of converging runners of the 5k, 10k and 21k. Later did I knew that she already left me -- her pacer! Wow good, the pacer gets left behind! Slow me! Gladly, she waited for me until I could catch up with her. Catching up with her made my lungs and heart explode as I reached her location! Then I got blamed that she lost her running momentum for that very moment. Bad pacer!
I felt the duty of being a pacer when we were already more than halfway of the route, when her energy stores started depleting. It was a test of patience to still stay slow and at pace with her, to be a good motivator when the route seems getting long and farther from the finish line, and help her go on despite her feeling the muscle aches and the heating sun. During this time, I know I was able to motivate her and have her push herself when I was able to dig a very inspiring message to her:
"Go Ma'm Irish, kaya mo yan, konti na lang, go go go!".
|Crossing the Finish Line.|
After claiming our priceless medal after some 3 hours of running, I also got my own prize from her. A sweet hug and thanks that made my tears fall, and the tears tasted salty - Pocari sweat! Well it will be "our last run together". During the race, she told me that she's already leaving, and have no idea when is she coming back. I was glad that I was able to pace her on her 2nd 21k race and gave her a personal record, cutting-off some 20 minutes from her previous Pikermi at the CIHM 2010.
|Finish line photo from BazuSports|
The pacer duty was great. It was my longest time spent running a 21k, but also it was the shortest time that I have spent with a girl [space] friend.
|Me with friends - RunnerIshi, Erika, and Eden|
|Initial race result. The pacer is still faster after all :p|
|Actual finish time. Thanks to Eden for the greatly captured moments.|
Official race result from BazuSports.
Race Director's Official post-event message
Special thanks to Bazu, Leo, and Eden for the photos.