10K Barefoot in the Sand

It is now May. It has started to rain thank heavens but the temperature is still not so cool. I still see friends posting April photos in the social networking sites and the stories behind the photos just make me smile.

I actually tell people that I went home but did not get to sleep in my bed the whole time. I would always wake up in our sofa every morning from a night of partying.

You see I have this high school reunion last 21 April. That is also the date of the Boracay Skyathon 2012. So since our place is just 40 minutes away from Boracay, I registered for the run (or should I say party?).

I ran 5K in the first Skyathon in 2010 and it was pure fun. I ran with my aqua shoes that time. This time, I decided to run barefoot so I just packed shorts, my HOB (Hang Out Buddies) singlet and a visor for the run. I knew this year would be even better and I was right. It was one big party in the sand.

The event started with Sounds of Sundown where runners claimed their race bibs and timing thing and was treated to free massage, henna tattoo, and some drinks. I hang out with my HOB listening to the music and sipping cocktails (my free drink) enjoying the sunset and the happy hour in Epic Boracay.

It was so nice seeing friends from Manila and having conversations and photos with them. I did not get a massage, neither did I get a henna tattoo but yeah I had a lot of drinks! Since we had a race the next day, we called it a night at around 7PM.

I was awake very early the next day for the run. Saw more friends in the starting line. Had conversations about the night before and on target times and on running barefoot while waiting for the gun start. There was a 10K, a 5K, and a couple’s relay and all runners will start at the same time.

GO! That was the magic word and all runners started running on the beach. I was a bit apprehensive as it was my first time to run barefoot but I just sprinted anyway. The goal was to outrun all the movie stars running with us. Well I passed almost all of them before the 3K mark but I was surprised to see Mateo Guidicelli sprinting to the finish line more than a kilometer ahead of me.

So there I was starting my second loop. I looked at my Garmin and my 1st 5K was around 24 minutes (2 minutes slower than my 5K time in 2010). It was good to see Noah with his camera clicking away. My legs were starting to hurt. I can feel blisters in my big toe so I had to slow down.

I need to finish this so that I can wear my slippers again. The beach is beautiful. The sand is soft. I kept thinking about those things as my feet are really starting to hurt after the 7K mark. 8K, 2 to go, come on, I can still go faster. I was thinking that way while cheering friends I see along the route. I just hate it when tourists just walked aimlessly along the route unmindful of the on-going race.

I was looking at the marker farther down the beach so I was surprised to see the finish line a few meters away. So I started sprinting to the finish line to the comfort of my slippers. A medal and a loot bag with a lot of goodies was waiting for me at the finish line. I finished after 50 minutes and 49 seconds of running.

Skyathon 2012 was fun. I managed to be the 9th person to cross the finish line (8th fastest). The highlight of the event was Rovilson Fernandez congratulating me and telling me that he was trying to outrun me the whole time. Well, he failed to do that of course.  🙂


About Kit Atienza

A researcher/runner/triathlete/cancer survivor who found himself in the world of development work. He enjoys, reflects, and rants about things while doing his job, improving his personal record in running distances, and training for the IronMan in 2016.
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