I was among the NatGeo Earth Day runners who flocked to The Fort, Taguig during the wee hours of Sunday morning. Light-headed, due to lack of sleep, and filled with anxiety, I was overwhelmed by the view of thousands of people mostly wearing either gray or yellow Earth Day Run shirts. Each color signifies registered race distance: gray is for 10K and up, yellow is for 3K and 5K.
Excited and determined to join my first ever official 5K event, I found myself in the middle of yellow runners getting ready and warming up along with the stretching exercises led by the race host—one of them is weatherman/celebrity Kim Atienza. And in the same manner as the 21K and 10K races were started, the 5K countdown came.
As soon as the big bright red digital timer hits 0:00:00, a chorus of “go” from the eager crowd and with the accompanying fireworks display (with the sun already peeking out of the horizon), runners begin crossing the start line on the 7th avenue. The cadence each pair of running shoes make, and the huffs and puffs of runners around me were infectious—somehow intimidating but most times encouraging. Every sight of the distance markers (1-km increment) and water stations also made me to keep on running.
Less than 40 minutes later, the finish line becomes visible after the last turn on the 9th avenue. (I realized that it must be every runner’s happiest moment to see the capital letters F, I, N, I, S, H up ahead while trying to summon whatever strength is left.) Handing over the race bar code capped the race for me. Thank you lord for good health, treadmill and a sneaky and supportive wife—everything made me survive my first official 5K run.
Based on the figures from natgeorun.com, there were a total of 8,337 finishers in all four (4) races. 2782 finished the 5K race and I was the 1039th placer with an official time of 41 minutes. Not bad.
Trivia: April 10, 1996, or exactly 15 years ago, I was rigging TCP equipment with wifey.
Mood: 2/10 Honks! (I’ll definitely participate in more 5Ks.)