Sunday, September 13, 2009

THE ECO DASH EXPERIENCE (or, My First Sub-60 10k Up a Flyover and Under the Pouring Rain)

Just got home from Ayala Malls Eco Dash 10k. I only have one word to describe the experience: Awesome. I've already taken a shower and am typing away in bed, but I'm still stoked. I'm still amped. The adrenaline is still pumping (must be the strawberry GU Chomps, which is loaded with caffeine). I can go on all day and I'll never run out of words to describe how I'm feeling right now. I'll try my best to bottle it up in a few paragraphs. Here it goes:

Eco Dash is one race I'll never forget because it allowed me to register a couple of firsts. For one, it gave me the opportunity to run on a flyover and straight into the heart of the Makati CBD. One of the main reasons I signed up for this race is the route. For 10k, the race started in BHS (no surprise there). From there, we went all the way to 32nd Street, up the Kalayaan Flyover, and down to Sen. Gil Puyat (Buendia). We then turned left at Paseo de Roxas and went into the Ayala Center, the turnaround point. From the Ayala Center, we headed to Makati Avenue and went back to Buendia. We then ran up the Kalayaan Flyover before heading back to good old BHS. Since I was doing Makati CBD for the first time, I felt so invigorated. My unfamiliarity with the route kept me strong. I positioned myself at the tail-end of the pack at the starting line (I arrived late), but I somehow managed to pass more than half of the runners by the 3k point. I was running at a steady and sustained pace that I never knew I was capable of running. Heck, I even overtook a few Army boys along the way hahaha! By the time I made it through Ayala Center and headed for Makati Ave., I was still unscathed and I very well knew that a sub-60 finish was well within reach. When I finally made it to Makati Ave. and saw a multitude of 10k runners (our bibs had red numbers) just on their way to Ayala Center, you could not imagine the boost it gave to my morale (and to my ego hahaha!). By this time, I was absolutely convinced that I was headed for a PR.

Running in the pouring rain - that was another first for me. The night before the race, I was apprehensive about pushing through with the race because of the inclement weather. I have never done any run, much less a race, under the rain. I have too many lame reasons why I abandon the roads and head for the gym each time the weather is screwed - I don't want to get my shoes wet, I can't get my iPod wet, I might catch a cold - that sort of petty stuff.

I was desperate for some inspiration to soldier on despite the weather, and I found it in the Eco Dash thread at I went on-line to find out whether the race would be postponed or cancelled because of the rain, but what I came across were numerous posts from excited runners, all saying that Eco Dash will be a go, rain or shine. That did the trick. I turned off my laptop and went to bed, determined to wake up less than four hours later and do the race.

When I got to BHS, the place was already crawling with runners of all ages - all stretching and warming up under the light drizzle. I pinned on my bib, got out of the car, and went into my own warm-up routine. A few minutes later, the gun went off for the 21k runners. After downing a packet of GU Chomps, I made my way to the starting line and joined the throng of 10k runners. After a few minutes, we were off.

Fifteen minutes into the run, I felt the wonders of running under the rain. By this time, the drizzle had turned into a heavier downpour. I had already crossed the turnaround point but I still felt strong and fresh - like I had just left the starting line. As I got out of Makati Ave. and set foot on Paseo de Roxas, I noticed that I had been isolated from the pack of 10k runners. The runners ahead of me were at least a hundred meters away, and the runners behind me were also trailing me by a good distance. The rain was pouring and the wind was in my face, and it felt like I owned the road. "Skyway Avenue" by We The Kings was blasting in my earphones. This, I thought, is I why I enjoy heading to a race at dawn on a Sunday while the city is still fast asleep. This is why I run.

I picked up my pace and, about fifteen minutes later, I crossed the finish line. According to my iPod (with a Nike+ sports kit), I (unofficially) completed the race in 0:57:42. Coming into the race, I was hoping to go sub-60. Mission accomplished! This is the second straight 10k race where I've gone sub-60. I couldn't be prouder and happier. Thank God I decided get out of bed, brave the rain, and finish the race.

Next up is RotaRun 10k on 20 September. I'd like to be back on the road for a recovery run tomorrow. Hopefully, my Lunarglides would already be dry and ready to go by then.


  1. Congrats on your new PR Julius, the weather was quite conducive to us haha. Try to adjust your time, I started a few feet from the starting tape and logged 10.25. 250 meters is good for at least 2 minutes if you're running a 6:00 minute pace, so do the math and adjust your PR time accordingly na lang. Good job, pakita ka naman at Rotarun :)


  2. Thanks a lot for dropping by, Luis. Yeah, the weather was perfect. Great run for all of us, indeed.

    I understand you just returned from an injury. What a comeback! Looking forward to meeting you and the people at RotaRun! Sana umulan ulit. :)

  3. nice blog and picture on your blog's title. keep on running and writing. it was nice reading your experience in this morning's run. good luck on your future races and hope to see you soon!

  4. Thanks for visiting and for the kind words, Sir Bald Runner! It's such an honor for me to have my blog visited by a legendary runner such as yourself. Hope to meet you personally in one of the coming races!

  5. Woohooo congrats man! 2 more 10k and you can now try half mary(marathon). See you soon!

  6. Sam, thanks for visiting! I see you did 21k in only 2:04. Congratulations, bro! I hope to run my first HM at KOTR. See you on the road. :)

  7. Do your best in the NB run, heard they are giving away one month's supply of whitehat yoghurt to the winners i guess =)

  8. You must have been in Cloud 9 indeed. Congratulations for reaching the clouds and touching the sky :-)

  9. Hello Sir!

    Just want to congratulate you on your feat! excellent. Never reach the sub 60 zone though but still striving my best and enjoying the runs... nahook kasi ako sa 21K eh...

    See you at the future races to come!

  10. Rico (Sheer Will) and Rodel (Argonaut), thanks for dropping by and the very kind words. Looking forward to meeting you in one of the coming races. Take it easy!