The most competitive and innovative race of the year capped off its third and final leg last October 27, where hundreds of runners conquered the hills of Nuvali and proved that runners can finish a half marathon competitively, at the same time being responsible, by bringing own hydration gears all throughout the race course; thus, eliminating the traditional use of plastic cups in road races. This is also the first race that gave premium race items to participants like calfguard, visors, cap, hydration bottles and slippers.
Leg 1: Making History at BGC
The first leg of Safeguard-2xu Sole Racing happened last April 21, at Bonifacio Global City. This was the first time in history of half marathons in the country where runners were required to bring hydration bottles while running the course. I initially thought it will be a disaster at hydration stations but I was dead wrong. The race was perfectly executed, runners were able to refill their bottles smoothly and finished the race very satisfied. Cut off time was 3 hours and everyone finished safe and sound. This was the first time ever that there was no plastic cups and trash left along the course after the event. Something we all can be proud of.
Participants of the first leg received Runrio slippers, aside from the Runrio hydration bottle, 2xu calf guard and Safeguard active products that they got during the race kit distribution.
Leg 2: Battling the Storms at Manila Bay
After the success of leg 1, I was very sure that the second leg would be as good or even better than the previous leg. I was not thinking about how they would execute the “no plastic cups” policy this time because I’d already experienced it during the last leg and they did pretty good. The new offering of the second leg was the new race route, which was the MOA-Roxas Blvd route. Also, it was set on a rainy season, August 18 to be exact; so runners expected a more challenging rainy race. True enough, runners literally battled a storm along Roxas Blvd., Manila Bay, where strong rains and waves welcomed the runners on their 5th kilometre at around 4:30 – 5:00 am. That was the most memorable part of the race for me, running in the rain, at 5am, with huge waves along Manila bay? Just epic.
On the second leg, runners received a bigger Runrio bottle, 2xu sunvisor, Safeguard active products and their second pair of Runrio slippers.
Leg 3: Finishing the Trilogy at Nuvali
Running at Nuvali will always give me the chills because I have run my first marathon here. And to have this as the third and final location of the Safeguard-2xu Runrio Sole Racing just made my race experience extra remarkably special. The third leg also had the same objective with the previous legs: finish the race competitively and responsibly by bringing your own hydration gears because there would still be no plastic cups at the refilling stations.
As the third and final leg, it is expected that this should be more difficult than the previous legs and the challenging hills of Nuvali gave justice to that. It was definitely extra difficult, lung busting and breath- taking race that pushed all runners to step up their games. The route was innately a roller coaster ride and ended with a 5k labyrinth route that will surely test your mental toughness. Good thing the weather cooperated. It was difficult but over all a great running experience.
Finishers of the trilogy received a dog tag with engraved finish times of the three legs along with new set of 2xu calf guard, 2xu visor, runrio cap, hydration bottle, slippers and safeguard active products which were distributed pre-race. The race initially planned on giving a pair of running shoes as the final freebie but due to unexpected problems with the suppliers, they decided to distribute other useful race items like the ones mentioned above and refunded a certain amount depending on the date of registration.
There was a side contest which was called the “Fastest Five”, wherein a team of 5 runners, would have their finish times be averaged and the fastest team will win free registration, airfare and accommodation for the upcoming Safeguard Activ Cebu International Marathon, set on January 2014. Team Cebu5 was announced as the winners initially, but it was Team Powerpuff Boys who went home victorious after rechecking their finish times.
I can say that Safeguard-2xu Runrio Sole Racing will surely be one of the best races not just for 2013 but in history, its competitive nature, intimate feel and environmental concern will be its trademark in the running community that runners will always look back and remember. I hope to see another trilogy next year, with new innovations, locations and traditions.
Did you finish the trilogy too? Let me hear your thoughts by leaving your comments here or dropping me a line on twitter @cjlampad. See you on the next race!