Sunday, July 08, 2012

Lessons of Running

I quickly went to bed upon arrival from Baguio City last night to get enough sleep for the next day run. My running clothes and ionic drinks were all ready. I just needed to wake up at 4am to chase the 5am time for the 10K Category of the 36th National Milo Marathon, Dagupan City leg.

I didn’t have in mind the goal of topping the race. I’ll leave that to the professional runners who have gone miles running all their lives. I just wanted to run, or to jog and walk when exhausted, and enjoy the lively and healthy spirit of the running community. It makes one young and fit anyway, so it really should be fun.

Oats and two bananas completed my light breakfast. Afterwards, I proceeded to the race venue trying to be on time. Funny thing, I ran with my messenger bag strapped on my chest because I failed to deposit my things in the baggage tent, otherwise, I’d be late for the race.

Lesson # 1: Come to the race venue at least 30 minutes ahead of time. Hundreds of runners would blur your familiarity of the place and most of your time will be wasted on asking the other “where’s.” J Anyway, since my bag distracted my running pace, I’ve found a way to leave it at one of the water stations. Yahoo! I felt like running with freedom, no baggage, no burden, as if my soul wanders in tranquility and solace of being so light.

The last time I ran in a Milo event was in 2010 under the same category. Indeed, I could say that Milo Marathon is still the longest, biggest and grandest running event in the Philippines. It has found its niche of fostering camaraderie among running enthusiasts, promoting fitness, wellness and discipline, and ‘building champions in life.’ I took so much delight of seeing people, young and old, run the best way they can, carrying that “kaya-ko-to” attitude to finish the race. After all, it’s not really how fast you finish the race, but how you run the race itself. Lesson # 2: Stick to your goal. You will still get your valued prices: fulfillment and peace of mind.

The hydration station was very helpful for runners. That’s where people could drink and cool down. Passing the 5K category, I thought all along that things have changed when it comes to cleanliness. But when we met the other runners on our way back, disposable cups were scattered at the hydration station. The proper disposal of trash was neglected by multitude of runners, most of them young people. I could see how the volunteers impressively served the runners by way of offering them water. There were even garbage aides around the area to pick up the used cups. But some of the careless runners just threw the cups everywhere. They might have forgotten one aspect of discipline, that is, to throw their garbage properly. Lesson #3: Value the volunteers, and don't make their lives miserable. Don't treat them as janitors. You are a runner, but please don't run away with your trash, okay? :)

After more than an hour of running, jogging, and a bit of walking, I finished the race and got another 10K certificate. I was the 81st from the 132 runners under 10K category with an official Gun Time of 01:11:05 and Chip Time of 01:10:58. See the complete 10K results here during the Milo Marathon in Dagupan City last July 8, 2012.

But the highlight of my running story was my acquaintance with Mr. Alex Garcia, a father who lost his one leg after an accident more than a decade ago, and his eight-year-old daughter, Kristine. I found out that Kristine lost her bib number, and so the father decided to give his bib number to her daughter so she could officially join the race. Together, they finished the 3-kilometer run!

Mr. Alex Garcia and his 8-year-old daughter Kristine
 finishing 3K together

It was a touching story of multiple LESSONS to learn from:

4. Never allow physical handicap, sickness, or infirmities hinder you from continuing life and achieving your goal.
5. Who you are is what you should be. If you are a father, then by all means, act like one.
6. Running becomes meaningful if seasoned with vision and purpose.
7. Sacrifice is a mark of love. Remember the Cross.
8. And lastly, as they say, life is a journey. Run LIFE the best way you can.


riarui said...

Hi Alf!
Your post reminded me of the pleasure and contentment I felt when I finished the 10k race of Adidas King of the Road in Jakarta last year.
And it is also a reminder that I haven't run again since then! :(

Alfie said...

Hi! Thanks for reading. Hope you'll find time to run again, nothing to lose, more to gain:) God bless you