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!
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)