This was rather new and something I had wanted to do. Okay the distance was not ultra but it felt nice to join a race like this again. So when the invitation came from Marga, the Exexutive Producer of Run Radio, there was no hesitation on my part.
It did not matter if I did not get the ideal pace. 6:30 min/k was okay. A kind of "middle-of-the-pack" pace ... for some. So how did it turn out?
Well, some of the runners were complaining that my pace was faster than the average pace of 6:30.
One runner, George, in particular asked gruffly: "Boss, aren't you running too fast?".
I said: "Okay, let's slow down a bit. Now it is 6:19, 6:21,6:25, 6:29. Okay to you now?"
George: "Yes. Cool."
I noticed his breathing was steady now.
A politician runner even grumpily commented that: "Hey, I bet your pace is not 6:30. It is faster than that!" when we started to outpace him. Well, peace sir.
Most runners were asking what would be the time to finish on a 6:30 pace. I answered "not more than 2 hours and 20 minutes". George, who I called a philosopher now, after hearing this smugly said: "It could mean 2:10, or sub-2 or even 1:30!". I did not bother to reply. We crossed the line 2:11 something. 8 minutes faster than 2:20.
Every kilometer lap, I announced our average pace and some runners found it, oh well, comforting that they could sustain the pace. The inconvenient part during the race was that I had to look at my watch after 10 seconds or so just to make it absolutely sure the pace was neither too slow nor fast. Suffice it to say, a GPS watch or the like is a must when pacing.
After the race, my cousin Oswald said there were several runners following my lead, who perhaps wanted to kill me for not staying within the ideal pace especially during the late stage of the race.
When we had to summit the Buendia flyover or a hilly portion (okay, summit may not the proper word), I really had to slow down to 7:00 to as low as 8:30 and run fast downhill to recover the lost time. Man, I could feel their hard breathing on the uphills.
Anyway, it was exciting and fun. My friend Bles (part of my crew during BDM102K and Botak 100k) ran a new PR for 21K. Isn't that nice?
P.S. Ran an additional 9K after the race to make it 30K in total. I would love also to return the favor by pacing a fellow runner during the late stage of an ultra race. Favor received, favor returned.