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