I never thought that one day I would be running the Run United race as a pacer. I have joined the Run United Trilogies since 2012 and all of them gave me good memories. My first 21k and first 42k were both done at RUPM. Last year, I’ve got a new PR for my 42K at RUPM and now, I am a pacer for the 21K category at 2:37 time.
I ran 9 half marathons, two 25K, one 32K, 4 full marathons and a 50k but this 21k race really gave me butterflies in my stomach. It’s like what I felt for my first 42K and 50K. I had a lot of things/concerns in my mind like “what if I got leg cramps”, “what if I cannot sustain the 7:30 pace”, “what if our lead pacer and my co-pacers are too fast”, “what should I do if I will be left out”. So many “what if’s” crossed my mind, but luckily, my pace group made it easy for me.
the 2:37 pace group, Wilbert, Jeff Lo (lead pacer), Franc and me
Before the gun start, our lead pacer, sir Jeff Lo conceptualized our strategy: run at 7 to 7:30 mins/km, run half the uphill, then walk the other half, run faster towards the hydration station then run together again. For the first 16K we are one pack, but one runner approached me and told me that he is having pain along his right side but he still want to run with our group. I told him to take a deep breath and then we ran a little bit slower for a few meters until the pain subside. At the last 2k, my co-pacer Franc felt that the runners are a little bit out of breath, so he decided that we can do run-walk strategy: run 4 mins, then walk for 1 minute. At the last 1 km, we did 2-minute run, 1 minute walk for a pace of 6min/km.
along Roxas boulevard with our pace group (photo credit to sir Jeff)
Last 3K, along the Macapagal boulevard
I was amazed how the runners cooperate with us despite of the pain and hardships they’re experiencing that time. I admire their perseverance to reach our goal. One runner, Erlie Vitor, told me that she will run with us only up to the 10k mark, but crossed the finish line with our target time. She told us “Kaya ko pala ‘yun, ang galing n’yo. Thank you talaga.” We reached the finish line tired and out of breath but with a wide smile. Despite of the pain and hardships that we pacers endure, when we saw their smile in their faces and heard their overwhelming appreciation, it really melts our hearts.
The Run United 1 pacers
Thank you Unilab Active Health for giving me this such wonderful experience. It will be added to my Run United precious moments. Thank you for giving me a chance to help runners “EXCEED THEMSELVES” as I also “EXCEED MYSELF”.
We also would like to thank the runners in our pace group, we had so much fun running and chatting with you guys. We are so proud of you. Bravo! Until next run, see you on the road.