Words by Emina Sotto / Photos by Neil Vildad and Jeanne Dizon
Now in its third year, Kerry Sports and EastWest Bank held the 2018 Manila Vertical Run in Shangri-La at the Fort. As part of the World Vertical Circuit, this event is the only international stair-climbing race that circulates around iconic cities around the world.
This year, I decided to challenge myself by participating in the vertical run. This was my first time to ever join a race in my whole entire life, so it isn’t any wonder why this experience came with struggles, learnings, and realizations for me that I will remember forever.
5 Things I Learned From My First Ever Vertical Run
5. Do not underestimate it.
Months before the vertical run, I was suuuuper confident about it. I honestly thought it was doable. Twenty flights of stairs ain’t so bad. Boy, was I wrong! For someone unathletic and unfit like me, all I had to do was pass the starting line to realize just how difficult the vertical run would be.
My legs gave up on me pretty early… by the sixth floor. Nevertheless, it served as a life lesson for me to never underestimate anything, especially the unfamiliar. It’s important to always do research first, so you can prepare accordingly. On that note…
4. Be prepared.
Months leading to the event, the 2018 Manila Vertical Run offered training for the participants every Saturday. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend those practices (which became my greatest disadvantage during the race). Training is very important, especially for a very physically demanding event such as this.
Preparation also means being mindful of what you eat, so your body weight can cooperate with you during the race. Ultimately, I learned that you cannot go to a race unprepared. It takes hours of training and discipline beforehand in order to survive.
3. Listen to your body.
During the race, if there’s one thing you should always watch out for, it’s your body! Always keep in mind to put your health and safety above everything. In the middle of the race, I started feeling dizzy and my legs started shaking. As much as I wanted to keep up with the other participants, I knew I had to slow down and pace myself. Safety should always be your top priority!
2. There’s nowhere to go but up.
In the middle of the race, I often thought to myself, “Should I give up now?”. Running up those flights of stairs was definitely not easy. If anything, it was an uphill climb (no pun intended). Literally speaking, there was no way to go but up. The finish line was 20 floors up from where we started.
It was during the time when I was struggling to make it that I realized the importance of resilience and not giving up. So yes, in every situation in our lives, there will be hardships – but it’s up to us to decide whether we rise up to the challenge or take the nearest exit. #lifelessons
1. It’s time for a fit and healthy lifestyle!
It took me approximately 10 minutes to finish the entire race (20 floors) and that made me realize one thing: I am extremely unfit. In a way, this served as my wakeup call to finally choose a fit and healthy lifestyle. Health is wealth, after all!
The 2018 Manila Vertical Run equipped me with new learnings and inspired me to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Hopefully next year, I’ll bounce back better than ever! At least by then, I’ll already know what to expect and how to prepare for it. And now, you do, too!
To the winners of the 2018 Manila Vertical Run, congratulations! You are truly an inspiration to us all.
Kerry Sports Manila Vertical Run
July 8, 2018
Kerry Sports Manila, Level 6, 3rd Avenue cor. 30th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig