Century Superbods Run: Rock Your (Super)Body

    

The Century Tuna Superbods Run holds some significance for me because ten months ago, I found myself submitting a video audition for Superbods 2009:

This year the audition process was way more athletic, requiring people to finish their chosen distance at the Superbods Run before going to the onsite go-see. But in a crowd of 11,344 race participants, one can really get lost in the multitude.

And that’s why I went with a gimmick at the Superbods Run.

Century Superbods Run: The Body
I’m a mowwwdel.

I wasn’t the only one who ran with the theme “Less is More”: the Bald Runner himself, Sir Jovie Narcise, ran shirtless, beating Derek Ramsay at his own game. BR ran 21K, I ran 10K, and Derek ran 5K. Ü

The Early Bird Gets the Worm?

Because the demand for race kits far exceeded supply, I was at the venue at 4am to get a spare race kit from Mr. F, whose foot is still out of action. I gave it to Julie‘s friend so he could run in the men’s category, at least. Since the 10K wasn’t due to start until 5:35am, I hung out with Timmy, Sid, Z, and Carina for a while at the parking lot behind R.O.X. We were content to watch from a distance as Coach Rio and Derek officially opened the Superbods Run, while Tricia Chiongbian and Rovilson Fernandez did hosting duties.

Suddenly, at around 5am, a 30-second countdown started, after which a foghorn sounded. Was that the gun start for the 21K? We weren’t sure, since other people who were wearing 21K race singlets were still milling about away from the starting line. Five minutes later, there was another countdown and horn. Was that my gun start? As 5K runners started to gather for their warm-up, we finally came to the conclusion that yes, we had just missed the proverbial boat!

It’s Too Late, Baby?

Sid, Timmy, and I broke into a cold-sweat run, elbowing our way through bodies swaying through a warm-up. I hit the start button on my new Garmin (I named him Kiko) and we bolted off. All my plans of making this event an easy, pa-cute run fell by the wayside as it became a mad dash against time.

number of runners passed We were eight minutes behind packs of slower runners on the tail end of the 10K. As I zig-and-zagged past these, I kept checking my pace on Kiko. At one point, I hit a whopping 3:28 min/km pace. Was I in a hurry, or what? Sid and Timmy dropped back.

speed per split Since I felt physically strong enough, I decided I would try to equal or beat Papa Piolo’s 10K time of 47:53. That would require me to run at speeds faster than 5:00 min/km for most of the run, which was hard to do as I found myself slowing down behind walls made of warm bodies. My only respite from the pace I’d imposed on myself were the hydration stations, which stocked beautiful rows of water and Gatorade (mmm!). I didn’t even notice the models hired to man the tables.

As I entered the last kilometer stretch, I checked Kiko and was crestfallen to see 47:53 just tick by me. Drat. Foiled again! But there was still time to make this a sub-50 minute run, which I attempted to do. But I just missed my goal by two seconds.

Summary of Results

According to the results (which very quickly were released overnight), my official time is 50:01 chip time, and 58:16 gun time. I placed 18th in the women’s division, but according to chip times I would have been 11th if I’d started on time. (I might even have beat The Bull Runner Jaymie Pizarro to the finish line if I had. *sniffle*)

It wasn’t as bad as it might have been because we had timing chips laced to our shoes. In races timed with chips, a runner is timed from the moment they cross the start mat until the moment their foot touches the finish mat (unless you’re a professional runner aiming for the top prize, in which case you’d better be in front when the gun goes off).

Results in Division F 25-29

However, I did still have to contend with the thousands of people who had finished before me and were lined up to receive their post-race freebies. I gave up on the lines and instead went to look for my friends.

Was It Your First Time?

Century Superbods Run: with my 3K girls
All my 3K ladies, put your hands up!

I’ve already mentioned before that my girls Jenny and Bianca signed up for the 3K distance, making the Superbods Run their first ever road race. Don’t be fooled by the 21K singlets: as Jenny said, they ran “2 plus 1 K!”

I’m so proud of them for completing their 3K. I even want to applaud their environmentally-sound way at the water stations; they would drink their plastic cups dry and neatly dispose of them in the garbage bins. Ü But you know what really made me want to do cartwheels? They told me their ultimate goal is to run 10K by the end of the year. I told them, “If you do manage to enter a 10K race, I’ll pay for your registration!”

Race in Review

  • Route: The incomplete road closure even during the beginning of the race posed risks for motorists and runners alike. As I was heading towards University Parkway, I heard a screech and a crash behind me. I and several runners looked back to see a motorcycle lying on the ground in front of a car.Because of the route’s looping course, the different race categories sharing parts of the loops, and few race marshals to point the way, some runners got lost. Thankfully I was following all the 10K singlets ahead of me and thus managed to make it to the halfway point and back again without any detours.

    Again, another advantage of the chip is no log jam at the finish line beause you don’t have to hand a stub over to an official once you’ve completed your race.

  • Hydration: Plentiful water and Gatorade at each of the long white tables made each hydration stop a pleasure. Now if only the models manning the tables actually knew where to position themselves and how to hand water out to the greatest advantage of the runners. I know it was a gimmick to have them there, but I’m all business while racing and I don’t let my eyes rove.Also, weren’t they supposed to be in bikinis and shorts instead of those boring white uniforms they were wearing? Teeheehee.
  • Package & Freebies: I didn’t bother to collect my freebies, but Bianca and Jenny got theirs towards the end of the program at 9:30am. I was pleasantly surprised to see plenty of freebie bags still in each booth. At least the organizers erred on the side of preparing too many, instead of running out and facing angry, sweaty runners. The Century “supermarket” where products were offered at a buy-one, get-one-free promo was also a nice touch.The onsite go-see was a cattle call from the moment I’d heard about it, and in actuality it was no different from what I’d expected. When we left, there were still people lined up for it.

Coach Rio didn’t have the time to run in this race, as he was kept busy dashing to and fro trying to hold the fort. In his thank-you note, he seems very aware of all that went down on race day. I admire him for his willingness to take responsibility, addressing the problems I and other runners encountered.

Last year’s Timex Run was an exercise in crowd control that ensured all its 5,000 runners were happy. I think for the Superbods Run many of the logistical problems might have been avoided had there been a cap on how many people were allowed to register. Managing more than 11,000 people, many of them new to running, is no easy feat.

I had a great run at the Century Superbods Run anyway. I give it THREE-AND-A-HALF KIKAY PINKIE FINGERS out of FIVE.

Hopefully based on these experiences, Coach Rio and Finishline will be better prepared for its future races. One coming up very shortly is the Unilab Run United on March 7, which shares the same routes as Century and might also have a similar number of runners. We shall see, but I have high hopes for it.

Oh, one last thing.

Century Superbods Run: Derek!
Derek! Not shirtless, sadly.

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15 comments on “Century Superbods Run: Rock Your (Super)Body

  1. nice outfit for the day. i was keeping pace sa isang girl who was wearing the same outfit pero hindi ikaw yun. nasa 5km sya and all black shorts nya.

    anyhow, hindi effective yung unahan mo ang mga tao kasi maaga nag-start. :P hirap tuloy mag pace ng maayos with a lot of sidestepping.

    it was a fun run nevertheless.

  2. duddette! Thanks for the mad dash at the start of the race. That really kept me going :) It's good to know that you placed 57th overall! way to go! :D Next time I'll try to hang until the 4th km na hahaha. Apir!

    -Sid

  3. Calvin, the mob of people was simply frustrating to run through. I'm hoping to redeem myself at the Unilab Run.

    Hi Sid! I'm quite happy with how I did, although there's the nagging feeling of what might have been. :) I'm glad you were able to finish strong.

  4. Ugh 2 seconds sayang! I remember when I missed out on my sub-50 dreams by less than 10 seconds I think before, was haunted incessantly by it. You did awesome as usual Noelle, I'm guessing without the preliminary stress and the weaving through traffic, you could have met it easy. Heck, even a sub-Piolo. Remember, once your pace hits the 3:30ish threshold early, for people around our 10k range that's much akin to a sports car redlining from the get go. You'll get that sub-Piolow next time no doubt

    p.s. – your outfit looked terrific :)

  5. fit&right; 50:00 (unofficial); century 50:04 (official)… argh!!! konti nalang…:)

    anyway, tabi tayo unilab sis. you so a sub-piolo, il break 50….cool?

  6. GBM Luis, thanks for the tip about not hitting 3min/km too early. I was burning frustration and anger as fuel, but I could really feel the burnout by the last kilometer. That's probably why I couldn't sprint to the finish.

    Hi bro Drey, you're almost there! Yep we shall be in front at Unilab Run. I know you'll crack the barrier finally!

    Hello Junrox, thanks for visiting. I'll try to keep the speed up without burning out. :)

  7. Hi Kikayrunner, reading this post reminded me of my own Century Run 10k experience. In fact, I was intrigued enough to look up your name in the race results and, lo and behold, I found out that we started the race on or about the same time. You started ahead of me by 29 seconds. At the 5.6k mark,I narrowed that gap to 11 seconds, so I am estimating that I caught up with you somewhere along 32nd street, on the way back to the finish line. I remember seeing a well-dressed female runner who, for quite a while, was running at the same pace as I was. At the time, I thought to myself, "ang lakas nito ah." That must have been you. Hehe.
    I was also aiming for a sub-Piolo but I missed it by a few seconds. Having to navigate your way through more than a thousand runners really cost us that coveted 57:53. Keep on running and see you at the races.

    -Consiglieri

  8. Hey Consiglieri! I doubt I was a "well-dressed female runner" at Century. I was more "half-dressed" in my red bra top and black shorts. :D

    Piolo really set a benchmark with his 47:54, didn't he? Quite a tough act to follow.

  9. Not too sure about the outfit (like you, I was focusing on the pace), but the circumstances (start and finish times, delay, split times, etc.) fit. With your pace, I doubt if anyone overtook you from the 5.6km mark onwards. According to your runpix analysis, there were only two. I was one of them. If you saw someone overtake you after the checkpoint, chances are, that was me.

    -Consiglieri

  10. I agree with your "Less is More" theme, it fitted you. The run was very well organized. Freebies were given before and after the run. I suggest next time you come as early as possible cause running now days is becoming a trend.

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