Alaxan Unstoppable Runner | Run United Exceed Cut-off Runner
I was invited to be one of the Alaxan Unstoppable Runners of Run United Exceed 2017. The Alaxan Unstoppable Runners’ duty is to run at a pace of the race’s cut-off time of 2 hrs 30 mins. Simply stated, we are the cut-off runners who signify the conclusion of the cut-off time. Any runner who will cross the finish line after the Alaxan Unstoppable Runners is already beyond the cut-off and is not entitled to the limited edition medal.
I accepted the invitation since it was another opportunity to give back to the running community by helping other runners beat the invisible cut-off time of 2 hrs 30 mins.
Arrival at the Race Venue
We arrived at Bonifacio Global City at around 3:30 am, 1.5 hours before the gun start. Since it was early, we easily found a parking slot about a hundred meters from the starting line.
B and I found our way to the Alaxan Unstoppable Runners tent to prepare for our day’s duty. B, by the way, was also invited to be one of the cut-off runners. We were given the Alaxan Unstoppable Runner shirt, bib number, balloons and pace band for us to wear. A pace band is a guide indicating the target time for each Km normally worn around the wrist.
Prior race start, the Alaxan Unstoppable Runners were introduced by the program host to the 21K crowd.
The 21K Race
I was assigned on wave 2 together with B, Chang, Vanj, Chance, JC and Doc Ronel. Wave 2 was released at 5:05 am, 5 mins after releasing wave 1. We ran the first few kilometers gauging our pace, we needed to maintain a 7:07 mins/Km pace for the 2 hrs 30 mins finish.
At around 3K, I was quite uncertain between the pace I was reading on my Garmin and the pace dictated by what I feel. It seemed like we were running faster than the pace reflected on my Garmin so I asked Doc Ronel what pace we were running based on his GPS watch. He was also doubting the readings of his GPS watch, we were only at around 3K but his GPS watch says that we were already at around 5K.
At 5K – 10K, JC and I were constantly checking on the distance and average pace per Km registered on our respective GPS watches. There was minimal discrepancy so we based our group’s pace on our readings.
Second Loop of the Race
At the second loop of the race, the discrepancy between our GPS watches and the kilometer markers got bigger and bigger. The objective of finishing at 2 hrs 30 mins was getting more difficult since we were already confused of the exact distance and average pace we were running. The high-rise buildings of BGC might have caused inaccurate readings on our GPS watches.
Our team agreed that we would just adjust on the last 1-2 kilometers of the race as we were already misled by our GPS watch readings.
Crossing the Finish Line
We got sight of the finish line arc a little earlier than 2 hrs 30 mins. At this point, we stopped running then cheered and pushed the runners to chase on the 2 hrs 30 mins cut-off time. We ran towards the finish line a minute before the cut-off time. We crossed it at 2 hrs 30 mins 08 secs at a distance of 20.45 K according to my Garmin .
We had different distance readings of the race route, ranging from 20K to 25K. GPS watch readings are unreliable in the BGC area since the tall buildings are causing signal interruptions.
My Official Race Performance
21K Chip Time – 2 hrs 29 mins 13 secs
Average Pace – 07:06 mins/Km
Overall Rank – NA. Ran as Alaxan Unstoppable Runner.
According to the official race result, we crossed the finish line in 2 hrs 29 mins 13 sec.
The Alaxan Unstoppable Runners gathered again in the tent to have our post-race breakfast together. I had fried rice, spanish sardines, pork adobo, omelette and two cups of hot coffee.
The post-race breakfast served as a venue for cut-off runners to catch up and get to know each other. We shared our respective race stories, upcoming race plans and a little bit of “chika” over breakfast.
The program host introduced us again to the 21K runners during the post-race program. Random questions were spontaneously asked to some of us on the stage which kept all of us on our toes, haha!
My AHC Mentor Session Attendees
I saw Gian and Ryan, two of my AHC mentor session attendees among the crowd. Gian was able to beat the 2 hrs 30 mins cut off and has a new BGC 21K course record. He was still a bit disappointed though because he felt that he could have done better if not for the 2-loop route and the misleading GPS distance readings. Ryan, on the other hand, wasn’t able to make it to the cut-off but has shown determination during our training runs until race day thus exceeding himself even without the medal. Nevertheless, both of them are determined and inspired to train more and do better next time, I’m proud of these two!
That concludes my Alaxan Unstoppable Runner experience in Run United Exceed 2017. Cut-off runner duty successfully done, it was another fulfilling race day!
There was no Funko Pop reward for me since this was not my race. This race was about extending help to other runners who want to beat the 2hrs 30mins cut-off time.