Botak Run Recap: Missteps Capped with a Good Run

There were already a lot of talk about expected hullabaloos at the Botak Race weeks before but we decided to register anyway.  As somebody quite new in the running scene, the only attraction for me was running on the Kalayaan-Buendia flyover and the fact that Jun, reeling from a knee injury, feels good enough to join a race again.

The Sole Mates

As you will find out throughout this recap, it wasn’t only the Botak Run organizers who had missteps.  The Sole Mates, in fact, started it.  he he he  Here goes…

True to form, we arrived early at the Fort at 5am.  There was already a healthy bustle of crowd that time.  Mariel     and I did some stretching,  put our race bibs in place and  finished our trips to the restroom.  A good 15 minutes before the race, we did our warm-up run around the parking lot fronting the starting line.  Runners were already at the corral but we were not worried.  After one round,  I asked Mariel for the time and she advised that it was 5:47am.  “One more round”,  I said.  We were doing our 2nd round when we heard the “last call”.  This is where the missteps begin…

Instead of going straight to the corral, Jun hurriedly advised me he needed to make his final visit to the john.  Again? … Now? … The race is about to start!!!  (Those were thoughts verbalized only after the race when we could already laugh about it. ) All I managed at that time was a worried look.   Dutifully followed him and waited outside the men’s room uncomfortably listening to the emcee’s last countdown.  Oh no, no no!!!

I took only a few seconds as there was nobody in the men’s room.  As soon as I came out the door, we heard  “Get set, GO”  so we ran towards the starting line.  The 10k and 21k  runners were already off.  The 5k runners were left waiting for their turn so we had to squeeze our way in amidst a sea of 5k runners to get to the starting line.  Whew, finally broke out of the 5k crowd and the marshal motioned for us to follow the pack ” Habol pa, habol pa!” We tried catching up . . .  Saw Mariel running faster than usual and motioned for her to slow down.  Seeing her nod, I went on ahead.  I tried to maintain my planned pace for the 1st 2k if there was no pain.  I saw Miguel & Jaymie at the 1st kilometer and told them that for the first time, we were late, hahaha.  After exchanging a few pleasantries,  I went ahead as they also have their planned pace for the race.

I really enjoy running at the  flyover all the way to Buendia which always reminds me of my 1st run.  After the U-turn  I increased my pace again which I tried to maintain up to the last kilometer.  I tried not to think of my injury, whether the pain will resurface or not.  I didn’t want my injury to control me.  I’m happy I was able to maintain my pace just like last week’s run.  Again,  with no knee pain during the entire run.  Yoohooo!  Crossed the finish line with unofficial time of 55:10 (Garmin) with 5:28 average pace, distance of 10.16km.   Slowly and hopefully,  surely getting back to form.

Of course, I had to run faster.  I was at the tail end of the runners!  Slowly, I inched my way pass runners and maintained a comfortable pace.

The Fly-over Run. Turning left towards the flyover got me excited.  Here it is!  I was happy the climb up was at the first kilometer of the race when I wasn’t tired yet and can fully enjoy running there.  I was happy to note there was a water station after the first uphill climb at the flyover but decided to pass up when I saw that there were no ready cups of water and would have to wait to get one.  There seems to be no activity at the table with only 1 attendant who wasn’t busy at all.  Not sure but I think they already ran out of cups. (1st downer).  Not that thirsty anyway so no big deal to me really but what about the other runners behind me?  Anyways,  the next water stations were okay.  Some offered both water and Gatorade.  I opted for the Gatorade whenever I see one available.  I seem to be running stronger than usual and felt good about it.  But where oh where are the distance markers?  (2nd downer)

Buendia. Faster runners were already on the way back and I was trying to spot Jun but didn’t see him.  I reached the turn-around point uneventfully, still feeling good.  Hydrating in one of the stations though, I saw an attendant holding the cups by the mouth.  Eeeeww!  Must have dipped his fingers in some of the liquid there! I wonder if that included my cup.  double eeeww!  (3rd downer).  Going back, with the long line of runners crossing Makati Ave., a few irrate motorists honked their horns so hard and loud, you can almost hear the driver yelling.   One even screeched his tires to show everybody his displeasure.    I don’t know how the traffic aides dealt with them but just can’t let that ruin our run, right?  As one male runner beside me commented, “Siya kaya ang tumakbo at tayo ang mag-drive!”  Well said man.  Well said. 😉

Going back the Fly-over. After that, it was all well.  I can see a lot of runners tiring out with the sweltering heat.  The uphill climb at the fly-over has now become a bit of a chore. Vener,  calling out a  “Hello Mariel!” was a welcome greeting.   It’s always nice to see a familiar face amidst the crowd when running.  A water shower at the end of the fly-over awaited the runners.  I wanted to avoid it but I’m glad now there was no way to.  By this time, the temperature was already up and the shower provided some relief.

Finish Line at Last! I was glad the finish line was  getting nearer.  It was getting hot!  I pushed myself to run faster to escape the head-on heat of the sun going towards Market-Market and into the finish.  Too bad Jun wasn’t able to get a running finishing pic.   Had a PR finish of 1:12:05 (unofficial – from time I actually started).

Went straight to the car to get my camera so I can take Mariel’s picture at the finish line.  I was in position, camera on hand,  expecting her to cross the finish line at 1:14 or a little later since this is a longer route than last week.  But I underestimated her as she finished a couple of minutes earlier.  Almost missed her had she not called me as she passed.  grrr.. Sorry hon. 😦

Yes, folks, he did it again!  I was happy to see Jun already waiting as I sprinted towards the finish line.  But surprise of all surprises, he didn’t see me and was still looking far off the incoming runners when I ran pass him and into the finish line.  I could still see  the stunned look on his face when he finally saw me.  For that look alone,  I forgive you.  🙂

After crossing the finish line


Traditional post-race breakfast with the Pizarros

After our usual post-race breakfast with friends Jaymie & Miguel

"The Finish line" (taken at 9:15am)

Missteps and all, we had a good run and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  That’s what really counts.  Don’t you agree?

Till the next race . . .


5 Responses to “Botak Run Recap: Missteps Capped with a Good Run”

  1. 1 run unltd. May 11, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Hi Jun & Mariel,
    “Missteps and all, we had a good run and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. That’s what really counts. Don’t you agree?” That’s right, I also looked at this experience on a positive sight. So many lessons were learned. BTW, its great to see you there, but I should have said happy mom’s day. Best regards.

  2. 2 thesolemates May 11, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Thanks Vener! It was a great Mother’s Day run despite everything!

    I feel for the other runners though who went through a hell of a lot more. – Mariel

    Yeah, glad you’re taking it all in good stride. See you at the races! – Jun

  3. 3 marga May 12, 2009 at 1:34 am

    Inaaayyy. Buti na lang I didn’t reg!!!

  4. 4 Jaymie May 14, 2009 at 6:11 am

    I never thought that the Solemates would ever be late for a race! I started laughing about your “misstep” all over again! Please don’t forget to adjust the time of your watches to avoid another incident like this hahaha

    See you at TNF! Mariel, start packing everything you’ll need for the trail run…I will too. Jun, please increase upper body strengthening exercises to ensure that you can carry all of Mariel’s trail equipment throughout the race.

  5. 5 thesolemates May 14, 2009 at 9:25 pm


    I know, di ba funny? Early and yet late! I sure hope we don’t pull something like that at TNF. We might not be able to catch up that easily with the heavy equipment we would be bringing with us. ha ha ha

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