23 May 2010
Photos courtesy of Vener aka Run Unlimited and Dr. Jun Kagaoan
Two years ago, I joined the 25th Executive Classic 10k of Runnex and got the surprise of my life when I placed 8th in the 10K Top Ten Women Division. Allow me to copy, cut, and paste a portion from my previous blog post about what I said while waiting for the winners to be announced …
“Mon and the others wanted also to witness the awarding ceremony. Then, I saw Sir Jovie [aka Baldrunner] who waved at me. It was then at this time that I said to them, “Kailan kaya ako magka-podium finish?” (When can I have a podium finish?) Sir Jovie answered, “Malapit na ‘yan.” (It will happen soon.) Even Mon and Ipe agreed on what Sir Jovie said. I was so surprised that after I asked that question, the emcee announced…”8th place…” I heard my name! Whooah! I did a podium finish!” (Blog post, 7 Dec. 2008)
Runnex 10K Executive Run is originally held every year during the month of December but it didn’t push through in 2009 to give way to the 1st Quezon City International Marathon. Runnex Board decided to have it instead on May 23, 2010, which coincides on its 27th anniversary. It is a run open to executives, businessmen, professionals, and diplomatic corps members.
The following are qualified to participate: 1) those holding managerial and executive positions; 2) government officials with a minimum position of Division Chief; 3) military officials with a minimum rank of Major; 4) licensed professionals [such as] doctors, lawyers, accountants, and engineers [among others]. All participants must be at least 30 years old on race day. (Source: Runnex site)
I qualified not because I’m a businessperson nor an executive but as an information professional. Knowledge managers, popularly known as librarians, in the Philippines, are required to take and pass the licensure examination first before they can practice their profession. My license is my ticket in this event, a license to run.
FAST FORWARD …
I didn’t have any plan to join any race. What I wanted to do is rest and spend another personal milestone with family.
However, before the said race weekend, I received news from back home that my mother was rushed to the hospital due to heart attack. The last time she suffered the same illness was two years ago.
I wasn’t so sure whether it would do me good to race even for a 10k only. But I didn’t want to dampen Master Mon’s enthusiasm when he reminded me to defend my ranking in the top ten (as if I were that fast, eh?). I did ask myself the same question over and over again, “What did I do to deserve such faith in my capability as a runner?” It truly overwhelmed me to know how others thought I could nail this race again. Eventually, I gave in to race on this one on a condition not to stay long for I had a flight to catch at noontime.
We arrived at University of the Philippines (UP) with enough time to do warm up exercises. I was surprised to see quite a number of runners considering a race was also being held at the grounds of Mall of Asia that same day.
While I was on my way to the starting line, I saw familiar faces from up North. I wasn’t wrong. It was indeed Dr. Jun Kagaoan and his wife, Ruby. I was so happy to see both of them! If you’ve read my previous post regarding my running experience in Vigan, Doc Jun was the organizer of that fun run. They traveled many hours all the way from Vigan to just run a 10K race in UP. Truly, some runners are “hibang” (means “crazy” on a positive note) with running. It was nice to see familiar faces and friends at the starting line.
Ruby and Dr. Jun K., visitor runners from Vigan
We ran the same loop twice for us to complete the 10-kilometer distance. Initially, I started to run fast and aimed to pace with Master Mon but eventually I had to slow down when I felt the same pain from my butt down to the back of my knee. It only meant one thing; I was not yet fully recovered from my last run in the PAU 50K. Also, I was not feeling well; worry and not getting much sleep took its toll, I suffered common cold symptoms, runny nose and cough.
I was impressed the way Runnex Club members and volunteers handled the race. Even if there were a lot of joggers and runners, who didn’t take part in the race, still they were able to control the crowd running around the UP “oval”.
I finished the run in 1:07:58. More or less the same finish time, which I did two years ago, where I placed 8th in the Top 10 Women Division. While I was waiting for a free cup of coffee, I heard my name being announced by Runnex officials. Whooah! A podium finish again?
This year, I ranked 4th in the Top 10 Women Division and placed 1st in age category. I never expected this to happen because, on a personal note and as a runner, I considered my finishing time as not a ‘good one’. I’d been aiming for the past three years to do a sub-hour finish time for 10K but no matter how I tried; I would either feel not ready or sick. Also, I haven’t run 10K distances in a race recently, well, except this one.
Runners received a lot of freebies—sandwich, Gatorade (I asked for two bottles for I was so thirsty.), two finisher’s shirts, overflowing coffee (I was holding a cup while receiving the medals.), and many more.
Post race breakfast with fellow Happy Feet runners was cancelled. I needed to leave immediately after the awarding ceremony to catch a flight back home to see my ailing mother in the hospital.
The next day, on my birthday, while watching over my mother who was still in ICU, I showed her the medals, which I got the previous day. I knew it was no ideal birthday celebration but still, I thanked God for the blessings—for allowing me to see my mother and for giving me good friends as pillars of support. I couldn’t ask for more.
What a gift to celebrate a personal milestone!