Photos by Star Sabroso
“Are we there yet?” “Is it almost done?” “I just want to finish” “Just keep running, just keep running…” “I can’t believe you talked me into this!” “I hope there’s pizza in the finish line!” “We can do this!” these were just some of the words you could hear if you ran with the 4,000 women who braved the first ever Nike NRC Half Marathon in Manila last May 15.
The NRC Women’s Half Marathon went off to an exhilarating start at past four in the morning in Blue Bay Walk in Macapagal Highway in Manila. The sound of gun starting began a virtual concert of screams and cheers amidst the loud music motivating the crowd, with “Half Mary” first timers either nervous or pumped up from all the positive energy. “Yes, we can!” “We’re better for it!” people cheered in a sea of Nike race bibs, which for some reason made everyone look good compared to so many other marathons or fun run bibs people have seen in years.
Together with their partner runner and the #BetterForIt Nike campaign adrenalin in their blood, these women gave their all amidst the dry humid air by dawn and the already scorching 7:00 a.m. sun along the stretch of Macapagal to Cavitex, finishing in Island Cove, Cavite.
NRC Women’s Half Marathon is the culmination of The NikeWomen Victory Tour in Manila, part of an even larger global Victory Tour that has been touted as the largest women’s event series in the world. The event kicked off in Japan last March 13, followed by other capital cities in the world. In Manila, the festivity started with Nike+ Run Club 12-week training program through the Nike+ Running app and the Nike+ Running Club sessions conducted twice a week. During the training, women participants could already choose which pace to run for their actual Half Mary as coached by professional pacers.
Veteran runner Luisa Raterta crossed the finish line first in Island Cove, clocking in 1:37:34, followed by long time runners Janette Lumidao and Maricar Camacho. The last buddies to arrive got there in 4:52:08 hours, way past the cut-off time of four hours, but they made it nevertheless.
Island Cove was like a runners’ haven with Nike’s post run activities that helped the women recuperate from the race. Some jumped into the pool and enjoyed the cold-water retreat; some cooled down and enjoyed massages and stretches led by professional therapists and trainers; and others refueled with healthy energy food in the Nike tents. Participants who used the Nike+Running app throughout their journey and accumulated more than 250 kilometers received special access to post-race analysis with N+RC coaches and shoe cleaning services.
Nike continues to encourage women to push themselves into becoming better versions of them. This first NRC Women’s Half Marathon marks the beginning of an even larger movement as women continue the journey for years to come. So, to the rest of Filipino women – if the 4,000 did it, and a half-million more women across 33 countries, nothing should stop you in trying, because you’re #BetterForIt.
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