Before even doing my 1st pacer duties in Run United 1, I already signed up to be a pacer for Run United 2. Not only did I sign up for it, I also signed up for the fastest target finish time – 3 hours! I had doubts then but I know I can do it as I have had faster finish times in the same distance and I am also training for a Marathon in July so it should be OK.
I asked Coach Romy for a training program but instead of the daily required training, he just gave me my required long run distances and some reminders on my bike training (no big plate until the race). So I trained like I used to alternating running and cycling as I am also training for Tri United 2 a month after Run United 2. I was a bit concerned as 3 hours was not an easy target if I would be running in a steady pace as I usually start fast then slow down at the last part of the race.
Pacer photos came out and with that, I can no longer say I can’t do it. I would try and keep a 5:30/kilometer pace during my runs but I couldn’t maintain the pace. So on race day, I went to the starting line still with doubts in my mind relying on previous experience to help me do it.
The race started. I was with our lead pacer Kharl and co-pacer Rod. We agreed to run between 5:30 – 5:35/kilometer. We ran with a good number of runners from the start until the 2nd U turn. We were admittedly faster during the first half of the race running between 5:20 – 5:28/ kilometer. At the back of our minds we were thinking we would eventually slow down at the later part of the race. The number of runners went down when we turned right to Gil Puyat. I think there were between 6 to 8 runners who stayed with the group.
We were encouraging runners who we knew could still run faster to overtake us at some part of the route and most of them did when we reached the CCP complex. I was already having cramps but then I had to finish on time so there were times when I would walk a bit then run again. I was asking Rod to walk but then we will miss the target so I started running again.
We finished right on target – 3 hours. I had to run faster when I saw the time change from 2:59 to 3:00 so that we hit our target. After crossing the finish line, we stayed a bit and cheered and congratulated other runners finishing. Some of them ran with us during the race.
My realization after the race is that it is difficult to run a race with your target finish time pinned on your back. It was also hard to maintain a pace especially if it is a faster one. It was difficult but it was very rewarding especially when runners thank you after the race.
Do I do this again? I think given the chance I would. Next in line if the Run United Philippine Marathon in October. Do I sign up for a 4:00 target finish time? I am not so sure about that but we’ll see.