I joined this race for the following reasons:
1. To run inside Camp Aguinaldo – national headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
2. To “race” a 32km route. This will help me finally end my own speculation that I totally suck at longer distances over 21km. My target for this race is a sub 3:30 (a very conservative target time based from a 1:56 finish time – 21km Philstar run), if I finish the race beyond this target time then I know I can’t be trusted at 42km.
3. To run with fellow hard-core runners. As 32km run is something not all newbie runners will try to participate, I was expecting a small crowd. But when I got in there, there were more or less 300 runners that show up, a very respectable crowd for a very long run.
4. To burn excess calories gained from previous days eating binge. I lost 19lbs according to the official result of BLC (Biggest Loser Competition-takbo.ph edition 3rd prize winner), but after the competition I gained more than 6 lbs already. I hope joining this race will give me a head start to runing longer distances as part of my regular habit for next year.
5. To commemorate the 113th Death Anniversary of our National Hero, Dr Jose Rizal. He was 35 years old when he was executed. I really wish BR made this a 35km run instead *laughs*
6. To experience a BR organized race and join a boodle fight! BaldRunner is like a running authority here in this country. When he speaks, everybody listens. I just thought I should experience a run organized by him to see if he can “walk the talk”.
After picking up Gab and Pojie along the way, we reached Camp Aguinaldo around 5am. I didn’t have much time to warm-up as I enjoyed the various pic taking with Takbo.ph team and saying hello’s to fellow runners. As expected, I may not know the names of some runners there but I noticed majority of the runners there were familiar people you would expect from regular road runs in Manila. I immediately noticed a long table with cups filled with San Miguel beer with Doc Marvs starting to make a scene by accidentally dropping one San Miguel bottle. That would be his hydration plan for the entire 32km I guess.
It was a bit dark inside the starting line with BR thanking various groups/individuals who helped made the race possible. A few minutes before the start of the race, BR started by singing the National Anthem. It was my first time to hear national anthem being played before a race so I thought it was cool. What made the singing of national anthem much cooler was that BR was the one leading the singing of the National Anthem. I noticed every one singing the national anthem, and so I sang the anthem, hit the high notes as well and ended it with a bang! The count-down started with BR purposely interrupting the count-down to add excitement to fellow runners