Initially it sounded formidable, having been accustomed to running 5ks for 3 years or so. We were challenged by the PDA Team (Philippine Diabetic Athletes) for whom I am wearing the colors for this run.
So I train up, running 8 to 10 kms every other day, doing hills every 2 km loop.
A week before the event, did the full 16 km practice run.
Come race day, it was a bit of a challenge figuring out where to park the car (at The Fort where the race will end) and how to get to Ayala Avenue in Makati City where the 16 km event will start. Eventually got into a cab, and hitched 2 other runners waiting for a ride to the starting line as well.
At the starting grid, I was glad to meet a biking friend Tsi who has done longer runs than me, at least I can keep pace with her. Other members of the PDA Team were there too, but some are running the half-marathon 21k. Off we go, into the dark lanes of the skyway. Happy to see very organized placements of water stations every 2 kms and urinals every 5 kms, and plenty of marshals to guide us. When the sun eventually showed up, some runners were having more than the usual fun in run events - they were stopping for photos, as this is a rare opportunity to be allowed to run at the skyway. There were some pretty views for photo opps, like the church windows somewhere near Guadalupe, which became a popular photo-stop.
As we labored back towards Makati City down Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, my shoes started to feel heavy, like there was bubble gum stuck at the heel. I checked and there was none, but still it felt like I was dragging my feet already. All of a sudden, I felt a tap on my back, and encouraging words from another runner, saying "you can do it, it's only a few more kms". I was wondering why he did that, but appreciated the concern just as well. I saw bananas being given out at the next rest station, I felt better after re-loading with 2 bananas. Just before we tackled the flyover at the end of Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue towards The Fort, I heard another runner tell me "we are so encouraged by your participation, keep it up, only 2 kms to go". Again, I wondered and was glad of the words of encouragement from them. Then a lady runner ran beside me, saying, "good thing you're doing this, not allowing your diabetes to hinder you". That was then when I remembered that my tri suit had my name at the back, saying I am a Type 2 diabetic. I am glad we were able to inspire people at the event, and I am proud to wear the Team uniform of PDA.
Well, as I was running down the homestretch, I came across other biker friends Rene doing the 21k and Lex doing the 10k. All 3 of us were just too happy to have reached that far, as we crossed the finish all at the same time. Till the next run, see you guys.....