Pitik ni Jai: Nike Women’s Half Marathon

Sunday
May 15, 2016

If I had to describe the past two weekends, the only word I have in mind would be “run-tastic.” 2 weekends ago, I was the unofficial photographer for the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon. Read on for the gritty details.

I’ve already been a run photographer with Run United 1 and I really enjoyed the experience. I guess it’s my favorite way of giving back to the running community. So when I found out that a lot of my friends were joining Nike’s All-women run, I immediately saved the date!

What a wonderful Sunday morning it would be, taking pictures of all the beautiful women giving an effort to beat their PRs or simply running a distance they’ve never run before. I’m all for women empowerment as long as I get to be the audience. ;)

Plus I have never seen a run happen on Cavitex before, and the finish line was also different from the starting line, so the race gave me lots of new experiences as well.

So there, a couple of friends and I arrived at the Mall of Asia grounds only to find out that the starting line was actually at Blue Bay Walk, a few kilometers away. So we hailed a cab and arrived in time to see all the runners fussing about. We rendezvoused with our other friends and I readied the photography gear I’ll be using. Thanks to Rosalie for letting me borrow her camera.

Some of my friends ready for another half-marathon

It was amazing seeing so many women runners in one place. Since it was a buddy run, I know that a percentage of them would be first timers, being coerced by their running friends to run in exchange for an experience of a lifetime. Those who would never even think of running 21 kilometers will be doing it in just a few moments.

After the usual introduction of the pacers and other warm-ups, the run was a few seconds away from starting. I positioned myself a distance away from the starting line and waited for the runners.

A huge wave of running women just past the starting line

Finally, the race started and I shot at the runners as they breezed through. After two waves, all the runners had passed through except for a few latecomers. My friend, Jao, and I boarded the shuttle to the finish line which was at the other end of Cavitex, Island Cove resort.

This was where I got pissed. There was so much traffic going into Cavitex that we arrived at Island Cove way too late to capture the first runners. We arrived 2 and a half hours later and so, I was only able to take pictures of the runners who ran after that point. Great logistical planning, Nike.

Taking pictures of the runners from inside the super-slow shuttle

So, a bit miffed, I still did what I came to do and took pictures of all the amazing ladies making their way to the finish.

Captain and buddy finishing strong!

After the race I hung around and met with my friends and acquaintances. They shared with me their feedback about the race and, well, it was a mixed review:

(+) Positive reactions

  • There was great support and training (if one could travel to BGC easily)
  • The pacers were gwapo and encouraging (the photographer was gwapo as well, lol)
  • There was sufficient hydration and medical assistance
  • There were lots of post-race activities

(-) Negative reactions

  • No finisher shirt (even I was disappointed for my friends)
  • No post-race loot (just water and gatorade)
  • The finisher pendant faded quickly (from gold to brown)
  • Route logistics were difficult

You can check out my friends’ review here and here.

But still, I enjoyed the event and that’s a success in my book. Congratulations to all the finishers, from first-time runners to those who broke their PRs, you are all great! Hurray to women empowerment.

The rest of the photos can be seen here:

Never stop running!

-jgzn

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