Hope Run 2016 | Hero of Children with Special Needs
I was invited to run in the 5K category of Hope Run 2016, a run for children with special needs. I gladly accepted the invite as running for a noble cause will be a good way to end the 2016 season.
Aside from the Run United 2016 series where I ran as a pacer, Hope Run 2016 will just be my second and last race for 2016. I haven’t been racing lately due to the hectic demands of my 9-5 job but I was still able to squeeze in short weekday night runs, occasional Sunday long runs and ActiveHealth Community running mentor sessions so a decent 5K race would definitely be manageable. Besides, running the race is about giving my support to the race’s noble cause more than my personal record.
Arrival at the Race Venue and Wearing of the Cape
We planned to be at Bonifacio Global City at least an hour earlier before the 5:30 am 5K gun start. We need to be early since B who will be running 3K still has to get her race kit on the race day itself. There seemed to have some challenges on the race kit claiming that several runners weren’t able to get their race kits on their respective pick up schedules thus resulted to race day on-site claiming.
We arrived at the venue at around 4:30 am. The parking spaces near the starting line were already full so we ended up parking at One Parkade. We had ample time for B to claim her 3K race kit and to figure out how we are going to wear our capes.
3K race kit claiming was fast. B just showed her printed email notification and a 3K race kit was immediately handed over. Apparently, there was no specific race bib number pre-assigned to the registered runners. I immediately noticed that there was no shoe tag (timing device) included on the 3K race kit hence there will be no official results for 3K. This was not an issue to B though as her main objective of registering and joining the race is to be able to extend help to children with special needs.
After retrieving her race kit, we worked on wearing our respective capes so we can transform into heroes, heroines rather. 😛
The 5K Race
5K runners were sent off at 5:30 am. I felt heavy and slow, must be because my body was no longer familiar with race mode and that I have gained weight for the past months. The decline on my fitness as compared to my previous races was felt by my body.
I almost missed the first U-turn for 5K because of a hydration station situated in front of the 5K U-turn signage. Runners taking the hydration were blocking the signage. Good thing that I looked back just when I passed the hydration station and noticed the signage for 5K runners to take a U-turn.
At around 1.5 K mark was the second hydration station. I tried to get a cup of water to have a few sips but all cups were already empty. There was still water in the blue containers for self-service hydration but I couldn’t lose time fetching drinking water on a 5K race so I let it go and passed on hydrating. Succeeding hydration stations did not disappoint as there were already water-filled cups ready to be snatched and drunk.
Past 1.5 K, there were lots of signage with arrows pointing on where to go however most don’t have distances indicated on the signage. Cautious of not getting lost, I asked the race marshals for directions on every intersection and every time the race route diverges.
Crossing the Finish Line
The last part of the route prior the finish line is around the Korean Embassy area. At around 4.5K, I was still on the said area. At that instance, I was thinking that I should already be somewhere near the finish line otherwise, the race distance might be more than 5K. True enough, I crossed the finish line at a distance of 6.18K as recorded on my Garmin. I finished 6.18K in 34 mins 43 secs at an average pace of 5:37 mins/Km.
I waited for B to finish the 3K race. It’s been 30 minutes since the 3K gun start and she hasn’t arrived yet. For someone who runs at 6:30ish race pace, B should have finished the race at around 20 minutes… something must have gone wrong. Finally, she crossed the finish line 44 minutes after gun start. B got lost together with a bunch of 3K runners as they were directed by race marshals to the wrong route. She got free 4K mileage as she ran around 7K instead of 3K, hehe.
My Official Race Performance
5K Gun Time (Actual Distance of 6.18 K) – 34 mins 40 secs
5K Chip Time (Actual Distance of around 6.18K) – 34 mins 24 secs
Average Pace (at 6.18K distance) – 5:36 mins/Km
Overall Rank – 11th out of 1,045 runners
Female Rank – 2nd out of 537 female runners
My 5:36 mins/Km average pace was fast enough for a 2nd place female finish. Though not my fastest race pace, I was happy with the results.
There was no awarding of race winners since the race is about running together to help the children and not about who crossed the finish line first.
Overall, my finish time belongs to the upper 1% of the 5K field.
On Becoming a Hero
More than my decent race result and despite the race’s hiccups , it was worth it joining the race as it supports and helps children with special needs. As the emcee of the event says, “Nakatakbo ka na, nakatulong ka pa.” Running the race gives one an opportunity to be a hero of children with special needs.
The organizers should take note and learn from the race’s issues though so their succeeding races can further improve.
We had our post race breakfast at Slice BGC as it’s the least crowded resto/coffee shop we found near One Parkade where we parked.
I’ve been collecting Funko Pop figures for a while. To manage and control my purchase of Funko Pop figures, I’ve sworn to myself that I will purchase the said figures only when I join running and multisport races as a form of race reward. For the Hope Run 2016 race, I got my self a Yoda Funko Pop.