Go Marino, Go! : a FAME Fun Run, September 23, 2007

Aargh! This is the second time around that I didn’t do well in my run. Instead of improving it, it’s getting worse instead. The culprit? Not getting enough sleep the night before–too excited to know what’s going to happen and anxious at the same time whether I can finish the race or not. I end up feeling sluggish and sleepy on race day itself. It’s a struggle to get off from bed. Today’s race day, I only had a few minutes left before gun start…again! (e-rod am sure will comment on this). Good thing Zaldy, who appeared from nowhere, happily assisted me so I can leave my bag. I hail you Zaldy for the initiative! 😀

Not an easy run for me. After the first turn around point, I feel cramps on my stomach. Uh, oh! Not a good sign. I had no choice but to walk for sometime. That’s when I saw Tisha, a fellow happy feet runner, waiving at me on her way to the 5k turn around point. Sigh…

“The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,” a verse which I remembered only too well. My brain is telling me to run but my body is telling me to walk and wait for the pain to subside. In spite of this unfortunate circumstance nothing beats that moment–seeing myself finishing the race. Now, that’s fun run for me…

Fil-Mus Run for Peace, September 9

A 10-K fun run for peace along Roxas Blvd., Ermita, Manila, to welcome the holy month of Ramadan, when Islam believers abstain from food, drink, smoking, and sex from dawn to dusk.
Even before the race started, I already told Judah, a fellow runner, that I was not feeling well and even showed him my shaking hand. But this didn’t stop me from joining the run. I heard that Robin Padilla would be there. Cool! There were two laps required to complete the 10-K run which started from Rajah Sulayman monument along Roxas Boulevard to Kalaw then using the same route to Vito Cruz. On my first turn-around, I saw a group of runners slowly pacing with a guy in the center. It was a fair-complexioned movie actor, Robin Padilla. Of course, I wanted to stop but those happy feet of mine were already into the race and went on with the run. I never walk during races but I did this time for I was not really feeling well. Mon beat me by a few seconds.

Trail Run, September 2

Went out of the house at past 5 AM. It was a bit cloudy. Waited for Ben to pick me up near RCBC along Ayala Avenue. Ben asked me to wait for another extra minutes. To kill time, I went to a nearby Starbucks and bought myself a glass of milk and a slice of banana cake. Judah, always the earliest bird, was already waiting for us at Quezon City. We were running late. It was a relief, finally, when I got a text message from Ben that he was on his way to pick me up. With him were Chai and Brent. Then, together, we went back to Pasong Tamo to fetch Renz.

La Mesa eco-trail…simply breathtakingly beautiful–with those greenery and canopy of trees. A nice site to behold, indeed!

The 9-km trail run ended with a super duper lunch at Mang Jimmy’s near UP. One of the happiest runs I’ve ever had!

A souvenir shot before running.

back: Renz, Judah
front: Brent, Roselle, Chai, Julie (trail guide)
photographer: Ben

La Mesa dam, where Metro Manila gets its water supply.



Left photo: Canopy of trees and an awe-inspiring view. That blue speck is no other than me. Beside me is Renz.

Right photo: Taking some rest every now and then after running a good distance.

(Photos courtesy of Ben)

The UP Great “PICNIC” Run, August 26

Woke up at 3:30 AM today excited how the race will end and looking forward to the first ever picnic of Happy Feet. Excitement is in the air. Look at the deluge of e-mails pouring in day by day at our impromptu_runners e-group… it speaks volumes. Everyone is willing to bring whatever they think can make the group happy. Eric a.k.a. e-rod who’s based in the US even offered to bring virtual lechon. Hope by the time Eric comes home, that virtual lechon will become a reality–no longer a mirage of our imagination. Right, Eric? 😉 Taraaaan! The most awaited moment… It’s picnic time!
Yesterday, I got a text message from Mon telling me, “puwede ba rice toka sa ‘yo?” I had to text him back, “What’s toka”? Toka, my friends, simply means pot luck. Ergo! Mon has asked me to bring rice for tomorrow’s picnic and that’s today, August 26, for the picnic. Thanks to Chai for buying the 2 kilos of rice. This is her long awaited danggit-pusit-birthday treat-picnic-with-her-Happy Feet fellas. And the least I can do is cook it. No sweat at all! Ben, the ever nice guy, texted me the night before that he’s going to pick me up at around 5 AM. And right on time, indeed! Thanks, Ben! We arrived at UP 15 minutes earlier. Good! Ben is in a “race mood” and jovially said, “Today is race day!” A crowd has gathered at the Start Line already. A member of the organizing group announced over PA where registration is, where to buy food, la la la… It is also good to note familiar faces like those of Totoy, Rey, Chum, Anton and many more. Everything’s set! The gun was fired at 30 minutes past 6 AM (Hope I got the time right). It was a long run for me. It was not easy. Firstly, it was my first taste of running around UP. Now I

understand why it is being dubbed as the great UP run. It is indeed great! The trail goes uphill through a road which is a good distance from the sunken garden. Secondly, there were a good number of runners—both

young and old, neophytes and seasoned, serious and elite runners. I had to push myself and had to spend my last energy runni

ng at a good speed the last 300 meters of my 10k run. I just wanted it get over and done with. I beat my KOTR PR by two minutes. An improvement! Aiming to achieve a 30-minute PR for 10k in the next coming months. This means more practice runs and races. ; ) See the Great UP Run results at http://www.upeuro.org/. Check out also the runners’ blogs for more photos (photographer, banggigay, anton).

The UP Great Run 10k route map

Barbizon Mommy Milkshake Marathon, 4 August

Woke up feeling so tired today for not sleeping early the night before and wondering whether to join the milkshake run or not. I had to drag myself down to text Ben for a ride to the Fort. I had to do it quickly because I was only given 30 minutes to prepare and be there at the agreed place. We arrived at the Fort forty-five minutes past 6 am. Smith, who arrived early and was doing a warm up run already, said a “happy” hi to us as we passed him by. We did a couple of warm up runs around Gourdo’s while waiting for Mon to arrive. Mon, finally, arrived with some of his running buddies. We were given free pink T-shirts by Barbizon staff upon registration. Cute color!

Barbizon Mommy Milkshake Marathon, a fun run for breastfeeding kicked off at past 8 am. It was well attended by representatives from UNICEF, WHO, local celebrities like Tessa Prieto-Valdes, children, pregnant Moms, visitors and some serious and no-so-serious runners. I was glad to finally meet the bull runner, Jaymie, in flesh.

Was ahead of the pack of women running but halfway of the run, I tried to catch my breath and decided to slow down. A new found friend, Trisha, went past me … then followed by another runner. Hearing the sound of steps behind me, I increased my pacing a bit. Only to find out it was Smith after all. We paced together toward the Finish Line. (And I learned from our e-group’s post that a fellow runner, Zaldy, saw Smith and me on QTV.) I finished 3rd in this run.

After the run, we got a lot of freebies—food, a bottle of water, laxative medicines, and a pair of underwear. Oops! Sorry guys these are for women only! 😉 To top it off, a Krispy Kreme doughnut treat from Mon, Ben, Smith and Joms made the day complete! After all, the best things in life are free, right?!

Can’t wait to see the photos and video taken by Ben during the race! (For more details about this run, visit the bullrunner’s blog at http://thebullrunner.com/)

Victory Lap, July 15

A 5k fun run dubbed as 911: Marathon for Life sponsored by e-PLDT Ortigas Branch, part of their Give-a-Life-Program. While waiting for the race to start, one experienced runner said to me, “You will win this race.” Of course, I was apprehensive. My focus zeroed in only on finishing the race. That’s it! A supposed practice run (for me) but a race that ended victorious! Bringing home the bacon seemed impossible. But I did! Indeed, the surprise of my life! Yes, I won first place in this race. My fastest record (10 minutes and 55 seconds)for a 5k run. Whooaaaah! Unbelievable! THINK! THINK! THINK! Almost 11 minutes for a 5k run? We deduced that with two complete turns, we only ran approximately two kilometers. After the race, my happy feet fellow runners urged me to ask who won for women division. I approached the race recorder and asked hesitantly, “who finished first?” He said, “Number 132.” Huh? That’s my number! That’s me! Wow! I went back to my group and announced gaily, “hey I finished first.” Went home that day with a big smile and happiness written all over my face. Do try to visit Photographer on the run’s account, “Winning Race” at http://benmchan.blogspot.com/. (Photos courtesy of Ben)

31st Milo Marathon Run, 22 July

The 31st Milo Marathon kicked off at exactly six o’clock in the morning with over 10,000 participants gathered near Manila zero km marker. Invited to grace the event were Senator Pia Cayetano and Mayor Alfredo Lim. Both gave short inspirational messages. Mayor Lim fired the starting gun. This was my first Milo Marathon race and was too pooped after finishing the 10k run. Who wouldn’t? I slept late the night before. Doing what? Editing this blog plus recording some favorite songs over the Net. Woke up after a four-hour sleep. A bit groggy. Headed towards Kalayaan Avenue (Rockwell) to hail a taxi but too late to realize that the gate was still closed. Sigh… Blamed it for not wearing my “librarian” eyeglasses. Got no choice but to head back the same way and take the other exit, J.P. Rizal. Texted Chai that I was on my way to Roxas Boulevard. I arrived at the Start Line seeing the race participants at the same time hearing one official announcing “last call for 10k runners!”. I panicked a bit and asked one of the runners where I could possibly leave my bag. The guy pointed his index finger where the grandstand is, a good distance from where I was. Arrrgh! I panicked a bit more when I received a text from Chai asking me to look for her bib in Zaldy’s bag. OK… I looked at my watch and still had 15 more minutes to do it. I walked and ran toward the baggage area. The baggage area was, of course, a mountainful of backpacks, bags, etc. I texted Chai that getting the bib was quite a daunting task given the time and told her to hurry because the race was about to start. After I deposited my bag, I headed back to the Start Line and that was when I met Chai. She said she saw Mon. I did look for Mon but couldn’t see him. Blamed it for not wearing my “librarian” eyeglasses, again! I was lost in thoughts for a moment … walked to where the students are…and took a sudden turn around. “Why was I headed there in the first place?”, I asked my myself silently. So, I went back and noted I did the right thing. There, before me … “Entrance for 10k runners” posted above the zero marker and just so near the stage. Yoooohoooo! It was nice to see the race officials, guests, the senator, and the mayor, up-close. Didn’t beat my KOTR PR though. Well, one can’t have all the glories in running. May be I was a bit feeling so “toxic” with the many people milling around plus didn’t have much time left to at least stretch leg muscles before running. Good thing was, I did my run without walking or stopping. It was a slow run compared to what I did during the Adidas King of the Road (KOTR) race. In fact, Chai, a fellow Happy Feet runner, beat me by eleven minutes (based on the Overall 10k Results posted by Mon, an “astig” Happy Feet 10k runner). Funny thing was Chai phoned me while I was still running on my way back (near US Embassy then at that time). Still out of breath, I answered, “Chai, am still running! Call me later! Minutes ticked, still running … before my eyes … the much awaited moment … Finish Line … accepted the certificate … then, saw Chai waiting for me near the Medical Unit area. After the run, I did wonder how are they doing–Mon, Zaldy, Smith, Renz, etc., fully aware that three Happy Feet runners are still running in the 42k event–Ben, Joms and RC? Were they OK? Did they experience cramps while running? Chai and I decided to look for a place to eat and headed toward Max’s (at least, a-not-so-crowded-a-not-so-toxic-place) along Roxas Boulevard. It was a long walk after the 10k run. But it was ok, since we had a nice view of the remaining 42k runners–whizzing, pacing, walking–along Bay Walk on their way to the Finish Line. Nothing beats a sumptuous breakfast! Thank you Chai for the breakfast treat. After all, the best things in life are free! Indeed! (Photo Courtesy of Chai)

Adidas King of the Road, 1 July

The first time I met some of the members of the Happy Feet Runners after the race (except for Ben, wearing a yellow shirt, whom I’ve met during the Nike+ Fun Run last April 2007). KOTR run was an unforgettable experience. With just a few minutes left before the start of the race, I realized I forgot to bring my bib. I psyched myself, “relax… don’t panick…” It dawned on me that every second counts! I had no choice but to go back to my place and get the bib and risk missing the start of the race. Fortunately, I made it in the nick of time! Thanks to Tisha and Madelle for these nice photos. As you can see, we were all smiles. Who wouldn’t? This was the unofficial gathering of Happy Feet Runners a. k. a. Impromptu Runners, a group that is so diversed yet with a common passion–R… U…. N ….. N …… I …..N .. G ! I have finished my run in one hour and four minutes, beating my record in 2005 by fourteen minutes. Not bad, eh? This is my comeback after over a year of not running. Glad to be a HAPPY FEET! Whooah!