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Accounts from the Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2013: Putting my faith in the unknown (that’s the Active Heath sports gel)


 

The days leading into the Men’s Health Urbanathlon were dogged with doubt, apprehension and uncertainty.  It’s been marked in my running calendar for the longest time but I was wrestling with a bad case of flu and coughing.  The condition had me into a forced ‘rest and recovery mode’ so I hardly registered any mileage to speak of.  Factor in an erratic inclement weather and my eagerness level just petered out.

dark start, bright finish...

dark start…bright finish?

But I showed up anyway at 4 AM at the starting line, aware of the fact that I would regret it if I let a perfectly challenging race go to waste.  Their FB page stated that it was not a race to do a PR (personal record) so I told myself to just have a great time and enjoy every bit of 21 kilometers.  So I’m just going to wing it, go through the obstacles and cross the finish.  However, in the inner recesses of my subconscious, some kind of conspiracy seemed to be brewing.

At 4:30 AM, the first wave for the 21KM runners was released and I was successful in controlling my eagerness in starting too fast and burn early.  I really was taking pleasure of this race.  So I let those brawny big-armed runners go past me, envious of the fact that they won’t have any difficulty hurdling through the obstacles.  Now why didn’t I log in some gym hours last week?  Oh I was sick.

P1050619

floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee

The dark roads hardly tell of the great distance ahead so I made it around the old reclamation area in a jiffy and with minimal struggle.  Our first two obstacles came at the MOA area as we passed through the tire hurdles and rope climb surprisingly quite fast.  Soon we were heading towards the Paranaque area and as I remembered it clearly, this was where I almost burned out during the last Safeguard 2XU 21KM run.  Will this have a sequel today?, I could almost hear my mind.

Soon enough, it did happen.  Ah, the power of the mind, indeed.  I was huffing heavily and the coughing even made a brief appearance, I was ready to just walk the final 6KMs.  Now why would I torment myself on a 21KM race which isn’t even PR material?  But the competitive in me wasn’t ready to call it quits so I dug deep.  Guess what I saw in the inner recesses of my belt bag?  My Active Health sports gel.  It was given to us during last week’s RUPM bloggers’ night and I had almost forgotten about it.P1050577

So for the first time in a race, I tried out something new for me and the running world.  It was still to make its debut for next week’s RUPM but I’ll take anything to get me through this deadlock.  It’s been tested on seasoned runners and triathletes so perhaps it might just work me.  At the turning point, I downed 1 syrupy pack (tastes like yoghurt!) and just kept going like there’s no tomorrow, anticipating of the torture that lay ahead.

you have the power in your mouth...

you have the power in your mouth…

We reached the second set of obstacles and it was a breeze passing through the monkey bars and the metal barriers.   Some things are just more difficult when imagined than in my adrenalized reality.  Lessons learned.  Perhaps, surviving those hurdles with little difficulty had me rolling on the road.  I was on a roll as we reached the Arena area.  A right turn led me towards the finish line waiting for my splendid finish.

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the barrier to glory…

But wait, where’s the dreaded final obstacle?  A slight turn to the right and there it was – 2 layers of vertical barrier.  The first one was conquered in a single bound while the higher one required a rope to reach.  It was going down from a 8-foot top that presented a problem, not to mention a bit scary.  But as in life, I let my guts take over and just take the plunge.  Soon, I was going down nimbly and trusting the guy down there would be able to take my sudden drop. 

He did and soon I was back on track, floating like a bee and buzzing for the finish line.  I’ve always envisioned myself finishing a race in all its glorious trimmings and noise but it hardly happened.  I’m usually too wasted that a slow pained jog was all I could muster but life can really take you by surprise.  So in a run I had set out to just play along and have fun with, I was smiling and flying as cameras flashed to give me a 1:53 finish.  Now who would have thought it’s going to be one glorius climax?

 

 


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RU2 launch: R U ready for this?


The Sunday before my TNF100, I was invited to a unique and exhilarating race launch – the Run United 2 blogger’s launch at Chocolate Kisses in UP Diliman.  What sets it apart from your usual bloggers gathering is the time and location, both ideal for me.  Diliman is hardly 30 minutes from us and at 5:30 am, it’s a breeze to get there as we registered and put on our new super-comfy singlets from Active Health under Unilab.  It also got us drenched in sweat…

warming up to God knows what...

warming up to God knows what…

morning burpees...whew!

morning burpees…whew!

Before 6 am, Coach Rio gathered us around the Oval for some mean run drills to get our adrenaline pumping.  Everyone was up and about and dripping in sweat the time we started taking on the academic Oval.  By Coach Rio’s standard, this was another relaxed, easy jog but the pace was quite furious that after one round, most of the bloggers opted to just wait by the Carillon station.  Taking this as my final run before the Baguio ultrarace, I tried to keep up with the group’s pace and even exchange some words with CoachR.  One topic which came up was his memorable race during the Boston Marathon.  24 hours after, the bombs went off during the said race.

Mornings don't get any better than this...

Mornings don’t get any better than this…

 

sprint form fail (tilt forward, accdg to CoachR)

sprint form fail (tilt forward, accdg to CoachR)

After 4 rounds in the oval, we were again rounded up for our cool down exercises and a heart pounding timed routine involving 2 sets of burpees and sprints.  Eventually, we dried up (with towels c/o Unilab Active) and changed to new tops.  We then headed to Chocolate Kisses where we were rewarded to a hearty Filipino breakfast while watching the primer on the Run United 2.  Most notable are the new singlets and finisher shirts of RU2 which are a departure from the previous ones.  These shirts have a very fine and breathable fabric you’d want to keep using every day.  It’s been a favorite of mine.

bloggers all...

bloggers all…

Our loot bags also included samples of Enervon ION and Enervon Activ which I’ve been using ever since.  See you on June 2, guys!

Special Thanks to Running Atom for the great shots!

2013 RUN UNITED 2 FACT SHEET

Presenter – Unilab Active Health

Organizer – RunRio Inc.

Beneficiaries – Gawad Kalinga and Children’s Hour

2013 Run United 2 will be held on June 2, 2013 with Ceelin 500m dash, 10k, 21k and 32k race categories. All categories will have a start and finishline at the SM Mall of Asia.

REGISTRATION VENUES:

Online Registration: April 1 to May 12, 2013

In-Store Registration: April 15 to May 19, 2013

Priority Registration for Run United 1 21k Runners: April 10 – 14, 2013 (only at Riovana BGC)

RIOVANA

  • BGC –28th Street corner 9th Ave., Bonifacio Global City –Monday to Sunday from 12nn to 8pm
  • KATIPUNAN – 3rd Floor Regis Center, Katipunan, QC (infront of ADMU) – Monday to Sunday from 12nn to 8pm

TOBY’S

  • SM Mall of Asia – Monday to Sunday, 12PM to 8PM
  • SM North – The Block – Monday to Sunday, 12PM to 8PM

REGISTRATION FEES:

Race

Category

Registration

Fee

Inclusions

Pre-Race

Post-Race

500m

Php350

Singlet, Race Bib, D-Tag, 10% Race Day Discount on AH Apparel, & Raffle Stub

Active Health Ventilation Knapsack Kit, Drinks & Race Analysis

10K

Php800

21K

Php900

Singlet, Race Bib, D-Tag, 10% Race Day Discount on AH Apparel, & Raffle Stub

Active Health Ventilation Knapsack, Finisher’s Medal, Finisher’s Shirt, Drinks & Race Analysis

32K

Php1000

ASSEMBLY AND GUN START TIMES:

Race Category

Assembly Time

Gun Time

500m

6:00am

7:00am

10km

4:30am

5:30am

21km

3:00am

4:00am

32km

2:00am

3:00am

REMINDERS:

  • Registration is on a first come, first serve basis, and may end earlier than the announced deadline. Race kits may run out before May 19, 2013.
  • Singlet size availability will be on a first come first serve basis.
  • Singlet and finishers shirt samples will be available for fitting at the registration centers.
  • A timing device (d-tag) will be used by all participants during the race.
  • D-tag will be presented when claiming the finishers’ kits – no d-tag, no kit.

RACE DETAILS:

CONTACT DETAILS:

For In-Store Registration Inquiries:

  • Globe – 0927 347 7700
  • Smart – 0929 7178164
  • Landline – (632) 887 6194