Our first run at Greentennial Half Marathon 2011

After our Sagada Caving Adventure, I realized how unfit I was so I decided to pay more attention to my fitness.  I had to choose a sport or activity where I can exercise.  So I chose running.  It is relatively cheap and easy to do.  I can do it any time too.  Moreover, fun runs are becoming so popular that they are being held almost every week.  They are good opportunities to meet new friends and bond with family and friends.  
Three weeks ago, a friend invited me to join the Greentennial Half Marathon 2011 to be held at May 22, 2011 5 a.m. at Aseana City.  To motivate myself to start exercising, I agreed to be registered for the 5K race.  I invited my cousins and siblings to come too.    I googled for a beginner training program and shared it among us.  

My fitness background is the worst.  Being a retired online gamer and presently, an online seller and MBA-Juris Doctor student, I spent all my life sitting down.  I rarely stand up.  The training was difficult for me.  I couldn't even finish 1/4 of the beginners program.  My body was heavy when I jogged.  After a few seconds of jogging, I found myself tired, heart racing, catching my breath, gasping for air and becoming dizzy. 
Organizer's Media Information and Other Tents
Baggage Counter
Race Crowd
Runners Heading Towards the Starting Point
5K Runners Listening to the Emcee Before Start Off
10K Started Off then 5K Runners Positioned at the Starting Point
Waiting for the Blast Off
Days went by fast, it was finally the Greentennial Half Marathon day.  We had to wake up early and go to Aseana City.  There was already a huge crowd when we arrived at 5:35 a.m.  There were portlets and tents with labels on them.  We headed for the Baggage Counter tent and deposited our belongings.  There was a stage with a big screen just beside the starting point.  The emcee announced that the 16K race was about to start.  They called the racers and performed a stretching exercise.(They did this before the start of each race category and it was very helpful) Soon, our male cousins at the 10K category started theirs.  
5K Runners Dashed from the starting Point
Prison Guards Group in Orange at the Left Side Running as a Group
Being Overtaken by Runners
5K Runners after the First Corner
After a few minutes, it was the start of our 5K run.  I couldn't stretch at the beginning because it was too crowded.  When the signal was given, everyone ran ahead but I just walked first and then jogged slowly.  I maintained my slow pace knowing my limits.  I can't help but admire the navy in white and coast guards in orange running as a group.      The 5K runners were energetic.  Up until the 1st corner, everyone was keeping their running pace.
Reaching the first point
Sun Rising
Straight long and wide road after the 1.5K point
There were water stations just between the 1.5K point U-turn, where plastic cups of water were being distributed.  It was announced prior to the race that water stations are placed every 1.5K distance.  Upon reaching the 1.5K point, pink straw loops were given.  The sun soon rose as we were running along the straight long and wide road. 
3K Corner point and 5K/10K/16K/21K Way point
5K/10K/21K Way Point Directing To Go Right
Soon, we reached the 2.5K Marker which directs 3K runners to turn left for the finish line and for 5K/10K/16K/21K runners to keep heading straight.  As soon as I thought I could no longer keep on going ahead, I saw the navy, coast guards and other racers on the opposite side heading back already.  I thought to myself the turning point towards the finish line must be near! WRONG! I then reached the 5K/10K/21K way point directing to go right.=(
Jollibee Mascott Routing the Runners
Jollibee Waving at the Serious Runners 
Pocari Sweat Station
A Jollibee mascot was at the other side of the road greeting the runners.  I saw Kurt and my cousin at the opposite side already heading back.  Soon, I heard people saying "Uy! Pocari Sweat!" as we arrived at the Pocari Sweat Station at around the 3K point.  The sun was glaring at us while running on a long distance so we were all refreshed by Pocari Sweat in small paper cups.  It was my first time to taste it.  It tasted slightly like light lime and a bit sweet and salty.  It was not exactly my type but Kurt and my cousin loved it so much they drank a lot even after the race.  What about you? 
Runners Along the Wet Road
Trash bins After the Water Station
Someone Cleaning Up the Littered Plastic Cups
After a few distance, there was another water station.  Water in plastic cups were being distributed to the runners for both sides of the road.  Although there was a trash bin and trash bags next to the water stations, plastic cups were scattered all over the floor.  But there is someone picking them up.  The road was wet probably from all the runners water spills.

Way Point Directing 10K/16K/21K Runners To Go Straight
5K U-Turn Point
Jollibee Posing For A Photo
Just as soon as we could see Uniwide Wholesale Center, we reached the 5K U-turn Point.  Finally, I was now at the opposite side heading back to the starting point.  As we turned, we got our white straw loops.   Then a lot of people were getting their photos with Jollibee.  He noticed I was holding my cellphone so he posed for me too.
5K Directed to Go Left while 10K/16K/21K Straight through the Fire Brigades Cool Shower
There was a 5k way point and assistants telling 5K runners to go left while 10K/16K/21K runners have to go straight through the showering hose from the fire brigade.  It looked fun and refreshing that I was actually jealous!
Racing Towards the Last Corner
Nearing the Last Corner
Despite being tired and sweaty, runners raced towards the last corner.  I could see my little sister,little kids and the aged, all running ahead of me.  I wanted to run off too but I was too tired.
Reaching the Last Corner
We soon reached the last corner, photographers were taking jump shots.  I admired the runners who had the energy to jump.  We could hear the emcee from the distant stage praising the runners who were first to arrive at the finish line.  As I passed the corner, I kept walking until I could see the finish point and ran towards it.
My Finishers Medal
Claiming the Kellogg's Special K Freebie for the first 1,000 runners
Finishers Lining Up at Various Tents to Claim Freebies
Pocari Sweat Tent
Looking for more Pocari Sweat bottles at the next tent
Crowded Race Assembly Area
The Freebies
Last Glance at the Assembly Area 
As soon I passed the finish line, someone handed me "MultiSport" magazine.  Then I exchanged the Tab 1 attached to my bib for a Finishers Medal.  I didn't expect to receive one but I'm glad I did.  After, I lined up for the Kellog's Speciak K Cereal.  I was so unlucky because when it was my turn at the Pocari Sweat tent, they ran out so I had to wait a few minutes for the replenishment.  Lastly, I exchanged my Tab 2 for the wellness kit (a bag of supplements).  I still have the Tab 3 left.  Do you know what it's for?

That afternoon, our results were out at http://www.runningmate.ph/.  It showed our rank but does not state  how many participated in each category.  My result clearly tells me that there are 865 runners in the same category that are faster than me though.  What do you think?
Rank:866 on category
BIB No.:6044
Overall, we all had fun.  My cousin was even glad she was able to make it to the top 100 on her first run and had her free shirt.  We were all glad to receive our first finisher's medal.  This motivated us all to train harder for our next race.  We were all so glad that we chose to join this race among all the races held that day.  

UPDATE:  There were 1,273 5K runners and photos are out at http://www.activemoments.net/index.php/Greentennial-Half-Marathon-Photos-2011
May 22, 2011 @ 5am
Aseana City
Organizer: Greentennial Events Management