Last Monday (a holiday), I received a call from Albert asking me whether I would like to join a "course inspection" for the upcoming SIM.
I stammered "What? Now?!". It was 10AM and for pete's sake, I haven't taken a bath.
He said "Yes, now! We'll pick you up in a few minutes."
"But I haven't taken a bath and what do you mean 'we'"? We're having our friendly little argument now since this was totally unexpected.
He ignored what I said and added: "Boss Red and Rinna. We'll pick up Boni on the way out. Let's go." and he hang up on me. Rats.
I looked at my wife with bewilderment and she said "But I am cooking kare kare".
"I won't be out for long" which turned out to be the opposite. I went home late that day and the food I was supposed to have for lunch was at least there... needing some reheating though. This is however another story.
Okay I am digressing.
So we drove off and took the obvious route - SCTEX. Weather was good and no traffic. Upon reaching Floridablanca, we took our camera out and shot the pictures below:
This is the start of the race. Most likely the organizer will open this section of SCTEX since this is not officially open yet to motorists. Runners will merge on the main lane and head straight to Subic. Billy (running his first 42.2k in Subic) informed us that runners have to assemble in Subic (finish line) and have to be shuttled to the starting line. I wonder why we have the travel the entire 42.2k in opposite direction when there is no need to. A waste of time and gasoline. It is better to give runners the option to head straight to the starting line.
We decided to measure the course using our vehicle's odometer (no one brought their Garmin). One quipped that it looked like less than 42.2k to which I countered "Since this is AIMS-certified course, I doubt if this is less than 42.2K". As it turned out, the course is what it purports to be - 42.2k.
This is another downhill approaching Subic toll gate. One has to check out the course to really see and appreciate the up and down hill portions of the course.
In our estimation, it is 80-85% downhill or perhaps even higher. It’ll be a fast race to establish a PB or PR. However with roughly 33-35k out of 42.2k being downhill, it’ll be wise to incorporate downhill training. Too much downhill running during a race has been known to turn unprepared quads into marshmallows. Maybe an exaggeration but more or less this is the message - train accordingly.
The SIM website says the 42.2k starts at 4PM. Depending on the weather, it is highly probable that the sun is still up. Meaning, hot and humid. But then again it could be raining as well. When we ran the SCTEX 42.2k last year, the sun had feasted on the runners but that was a morning race. The course offers no shade for the entire distance.
I wonder why I have this weird feeling that this SIM 2009 is by far going to be the largest and prestigious race. Well, this remains to be seen .
Jon (not doing enough downhill running with only 32 days to go before SIM)
As of September 23, 2009, 4PM local time and only 23 days after the registration has opened, there are now 6715 runners who registered for Comrades.