The Pocari Sweat Run: A Crash Course in Running

I’ve never considered myself the sporty type. Growing up, I was content to read books and listen to music most of the time. I didn’t like P.E. much except when they involved board games or swimming. I get tired easily and prefer not to exert myself physically.

When my husband got into running as a form of exercise a couple of years ago, I initially accompanied him during his runs around the village next to ours. He’d circle the looping road on a run while I leisurely walked my way around. Eventually, I stopped coming along because it has been taking a lot of my time from finishing my writing deadlines.

I thought I got off easily … until hubby started joining real runs. He has been on three races already when I got an invite from Pep Squad Events to join the Pocari Sweat Run a couple of weeks ago. He encouraged me to give it a try since there would be a 3km course. I hesitantly agreed but wasn’t that confident of my ability to finish a race. Soon after, he excitedly got us our race kits and, despite my misgivings, I no longer had a chance of backing out.

Five days before the race, I found myself “training” along a looping road in Filinvest Alabang that has been closed to traffic. Surprisingly, it was teeming with runners and walkers alike that windy Tuesday afternoon. Hubby has measured the distance months ago using the motorbike and he said one full loop measures 1.5km.

After some stretching exercises, we set off. I alternately jogged and walked because it was hard to catch my breath after a certain distance. Upon reaching the end of the long lane, we popped in at a nearby fast food joint to buy a bottle of juice. After a full circle and a half, partly running and mostly walking, my legs were ready to give in and I was dripping with sweat. I woke up the next morning sore all over.

Four days later, the night before the race, we practiced running again along the road of a nearby village. With barely four hours of sleep, we got up the next morning at 3am and reached Tiendesitas in Ortigas about 15mins before 5am. 

To make the long story short (please read my hubby’s take about the event here), I ran and walked my way through the 3km course. All I could think of while getting drenched in sweat was that I wouldn’t want to cross the finish line last. Goodness, there were even several small kids plus a dog with a 5km race bib and I found it funny that the children and the pooch might most likely even finish earlier than I did!

I am grateful that the race organizers strategically placed Pocari Sweat drinks and water stations along the race course. I quenched my thirst thrice, if I remember it right. At the last turn towards the finish line, I also liked how there were people standing by to cheer on and encourage flagging runners that we’re almost there. I was handed a cool towel and a cold bottle of Pocari Sweat when I entered the 3km finishers’ lane. Upon exit, somebody also gave me a bag containing a finisher’s shirt and 2 more bottles of the refreshing drink.

Based on the official results, I finished 3km at 29mins 2secs and was 148th out of 236 runners. Good thing I’m a fast walker LOL. When hubby finally arrived from his 10k run, I was raring to go home and rest. But we took time to take some photos and waited for the awarding of winners before heading back to Alabang. Upon reaching the house, I plunked down on our bed, immediately fell asleep, and woke up late in the afternoon.

I won’t claim the title “runner” yet. Someday, I might -- if I muster enough drive to practice running again and develop the strength and endurance needed for races. For now, I still think of myself as a fast walker and I enjoy doing that as a form of exercise. But maybe, just maybe, if I see a good enough reason to run again, I will. Let’s see.

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