Declining running performance, aggravated by an overstaying pandemic, was my reason for staying away from competition — even when physical races rebooted since 2nd Quarter as Alert 1 gave us more courage to go outdoors.
I must admit that it was plain curiosity that had me signing up for the Run Ortigas 2022. I had my fair share of racing in the Ortigas Business District in the early 90s and all I could remember were cars jostling against runners, creating a chaotic and highly polluted environment. And then I learned about the development of more “grounds” for the active, social life by Ortigas Land, as it started transforming commercial spaces of Ortigas East into modern community living.
Of course knowing ahead of time that the race will be organized by the maverick of all race organizers, Runrio, was a gigantic motivational factor. The semblance of a big race was enough to send me waking up at 3AM today, race day, November 20.
Getting in the Groove
Upon arrival at Silver City/ Tiendesitas, the festive mood beckoned with the infamous tunnel lights greeting runners and spectators alike. And then I found the “Grounds”, or what used to be a building that was home to The Fun Ranch before it closed down in 2020. So unmistakably “Runrio”, stamping its signature Event Area style.
Suffice to say, Ortigas Land made an excellent choice at partnering with Runrio. Everything is spanking detailed and runner-friendly. I’m sure Runrio had to contend with several limiting factors with the race route, but the “GROUNDS” almost seemed tailor-fit for this and other medium-sized races.
Running the Ortigas route
Ortigas is familiar territory to me, having worked here for at least two decades before retiring. Somehow, I viewed its places and run its roads with fresh eyes. I was indebted to those parallel flat roads (i.e. Opal, Emerald, Ruby), in deep contrast to how much I hated that ultra-long uphill along Julio Vargas avenue. This time around, the tour of Ortigas was flawless, with vehicular traffic secured and tons of traffic men and marshals governing the twists and turns.
For sure, it will take many Runrio races for Ortigas East to be considered a racing haven but running this route gives you a more palatable taste of what it’s like to run in the city — with its towers of concrete and slab and long asphalt roads that can take you from EDSA to C5 in 2 to 3 kilometers. Yes, just like running, the pace in Ortigas is fast, deliberate and results-oriented.
Ortigas East, however, is getting more laurels for creating active communities. The crowd estimate in this morning’s race reached 1,300 runners and I saw many with a homecourt advantage just by living in the vicinity. Personally, I feel I can train for a new PR if I had living quarters here. Maybe a future goal? In the meantime, let me just pinch myself to the reality that I AM competitive again.
Watch the official video that captured a thousand thrills and more! https://fb.watch/gZADEmPDwJ/