Joining The Kaleidoscope World of Color Manila Run 5


color-manila-run-5-jaredWE all wanted to live a happy, fun and colourful life. But sometimes, our hands are just too full to handle a lot of things like stress, traffic, work load, and even some cruddy people. These are the things that make life dull and grungy. So, we look for things that could brighten up our day and add some sense of blissfulness in our life. For me, all it takes is putting on my running clothes, a pair of running shoes, a GPS watch, hydration bottle, and some pumped up music to whisk away a day in the dullsville. And on any particular weekend, I love joining fun runs.

I am grateful for the opportunity to join this year’s opening race – the Color Manila Run 5 held at SM MOA on the 8th of January. Though the concept is practically the same each year, that is, having colour stations along the route and the tossing of coloured powder later during the culminating program, I always have an inkling that there’s something special about this race.

Catching the 5am bus ride from Ortigas going to SM MOA, I instantly recognised a few passengers who are joining Color Manila Run 5. I arrived at MOA just in time for the 6am gun start.

I had to cut through the parking lot whilst I took out my race bib, shades, and headwear from my backpack. Unfortunately, I dropped the headwear so I backtracked my steps. Since there wasn’t much time, I hurriedly changed into my running clothes (I simply had to pull down my city shorts and take off my jacket as I was already wearing my running clothes underneath). I took my turn to deposit my backpack at the baggage counter and joined the throng of runners at the start line, which was unsurprisingly jam-packed! I was expecting all of us to be sent off at once but due to an avalanche of participants in the 10k category, a wave start was implemented to prevent a bottle of neck of runners along the route, especially in the hydration stations.

My Color Manila Run 5 race bib. #CMR5

My Color Manila Run 5 race bib.

As I stood in the midst of excited crowd by the inflated start line arc, I was speaking with Joy, who shared it’s her first time to join a fun run. And her running buddies were still on their way to the race venue. I know how it feels like to run your first race alone. Perhaps, you will all agree with me when I advised her “to just enjoy the run and have fun.” I’m pretty sure she had a good run.

Colourful confetti rose in the air with the release of each wave of runners. The tribal beat of the drums added a more festive mood to the race ambiance, even hinting that there’s more than just the coloured powders. True enough because the relatively flat 10k race course treated the runners to an early morning shower where everyone had almost no way of escaping it. Just a few hundred metres off the start line!

color-manila-run-5-participants

At the Color Manila Run 5 race village, I chanced upon ABS-CBN Sports Unlimited Host Dyan Castillejo, Rodel Montejo, Spongebob Runner (Kuya Merl) and Spongebob, Jr., Sports and Fitness bloggers/runners Franc Ramon and Leo Salazar, and Philippine Volcano’s Chris Everingham.

Along the Pea Rd., runners were having fun being poured with the coloured powders! Runners in groups queued to get a palm print of a dear friend Catherine Manuel at the Purple Station. And that’s just the first one! The next four for five kilometres brought the runners towards Macapagal Blvd. down to the CCP area for the U-turn and back to Seaside Blvd. Even though there was so much laughter floating in the air, I could still hear Sammy Salud cheering for the runners who spared an extra time completing the fun and easy leg work exercises at the Orange Station. That was something new, actually! As what I have commented in Niel Veluz’s social media post, “Bawal ang KJ sa Color Manila Run!” (Don’t miss out on the fun in Color Manila Run!).

Turning right to JW Diokno Blvd., the Blue Station was like a children’s playground. Runners were playing with those coloured powders. A photographer was pointing his camera lenses to any runner passing by. Up ahead was the Green Station and Blue Zapanta’s familiar face was the first to greet me. You see, more than just covering 10 kilometres from start to the finish line, running is about meeting friends who exerted an extra effort to add more fun to the run! The Yellow and Pink Stations completed the colour palette, which added more zest and sprightliness to the already polychromatic route.

My Color Manila Run 5 Medal.

My Color Manila Run 5 Medal.

It took me about 53 minutes and more fun to complete the entire race course. At the race village, I chanced upon Chris Everingham, who led the warm up prior to the gun start and Dyan Castillejo who was getting ready to do her spiel for her TV show Sports Unlimited. Had a short chat with Rodel Montejo, and a bit later, bumped into Franc Ramon and Kuya Merl Magtangob, aka Spongebob Runner, and Spongebob Runner, Jr.

As Franc and I came looking for Manong RJ of Running Photographers, we came by the 21k Redemption booth, where Suncoast Brands Team was handing out Lightwater and Vitamin Boost to half-marathon finishers, who likewise handed us our preferred post-race hydration, as LJ Miranda was busy taking snaps of the finishers. But of course, can we afford to miss her? And I’m very Thankful to Ma’am Lea and Ma’am Maila of Suncoast for the support. Always.

color-manila-run-5-lightwater-ambassadors

Lightwater and Vitamin Boost Ambassadors Franc Ramon, RJ Espinoza, Jared Baliguat and LJ Miranda.

Soon, finishers painted with various colours have taken over the race village taking photos, selfies, sharing their race stories and what not. And for me, it was another race done. And as I took my seat on the bus going home, I could say that that Life is more colourful with Color Manila Run.

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