Since I knew that the RU-1 is one of the best races in the Philippines, I decided to register early to assure myself of a spot. True enough, the 21km event was all sold out in just less than a week. But three days before race day and even with race bib already on hand, I was somewhat thinking of backing out of the race not because I had some reservations with the organizer, Rio de la Cruz, (who is an excellent race organizer) but simply because I HATE OVERCROWDED RACES !!! I don't particularly like elbowing fellow runners and being canned up like sardines in the coral waiting area.
Fast forward....Race day.
An hour before gun start I got changed and warmed up before heading to the Race Area. As expected it was packed BUT instead of cramming myself for a spot close to the front, I decided to stay way...way...way at the back. It seems most of my friends were thinking the same thing because to my surprise, that's where we all found ourselves converging....at the back of the pack in WAVE 2. We were all taking pictures, laughing and talking about the good old running days while waiting for the race to start. But the moment the gun fired, we all had our game face on !!!!
The first few kilometers seemed like an obstacle course weaving left and right trying to overtake runners, jumping over cones and jocking for position but when the view finally got clearer … I was in the zone.
As expected the race was very good, adequate water supply, marshals on hand and major roads blocked so runners were kings of the road. No PR this time but I did fairly well and really enjoyed the race. But most of all I've realized that being at the back of the pack ain't so bad after all.