I wasn’t planning to do the Sun Fun Run for two reasons:
1. It’s a Saturday run and that conflicts with my laundry schedule. (I need to wash the clothes on Saturday so I can iron them on Sunday)
2. It’s a bit farther from where I live so I need to wake up earlier than when I do the laundry on Saturdays.
But then, it was a run that will benefit a foundation that helps kids so I decided to go. I just hoped that the sun shines later that day so I could still wash the clothes when I got back. Hah, my wife would be happy!
I was driving along South Super Highway when I realized that I don’t know where the assembly point is. I just knew that it’s in Ayala Alabang (or was it Alabang Town Center??). I thought I heard somebody tell me the day before that it was in the something de las Palmas or something that sounded like that. Armed with that thought, not to mention very clear information, I drove to the ATC. I found a couple of guards and asked for directions to the grrrspmd (para kunwari hindi nya lang narining yung first word) de las Palmas. Lo and behold! They actually understood what I said and they knew where grrrspmd de las Palmas was! I was so happy that I went down from the car and kissed the ground where they stood praising the high heavens for sending me two uniformed angels to give me guidance.
I was still basking on cloud nine when from the depths of my euphoria I heard one of the angels say : “Ser, sarado pa ho yon. Hindi kayo makakapasok.” Huwaat?? So where the !@#$% is the assembly point?
I decided to just go into Ayala Alabang and asked the guards at the gate. Of course, they knew where the assembly point is and they even have a map of the route. Thank you very much. I didn’t bother to kiss the ground this time as it was already 5:25. 10K was supposed to start at 5:30. So off I went to the Makiling Park where I saw everyone already assembled and ready. I parked the car and walked to the starting point – immediately mixing in with the crowd pretending that:
1. Like them, I came in early
2. Like them, I didn’t get lost coming to the assembly area
A guy who obviously knew the terrain, told the crowd around him that it’s a hilly course and he wouldn’t be surprised if some people would already be falling off on the first uphill climb. I thought: “Oh @##%, is he talking about me?” And I chose to run the 10K! My mind started churning out scenarios:
1. I could go back to the car on the pretense that I forgot something then drive away when nobody’s looking.
2. I could go to the registration and tell them that they gave me the wrong bib and get the 5k bib. Then run the 3k.
3. I could take off my bib, walk on the course to just before the first water station, douse myself with water and when the first batch of runners pass, join them (not forgetting to say something like, “Wow this course is difficult!”
But before I could make a decision, Craig of Team Logan stood in front and lead the prayer. Yes, yes that’s what I need. I closed my eyes and called on all the angels and saints in heaven (including my dead ancestors whose death certificates my mother kept) to help me in this run. I was actually hoping they’d just carry me and I could just breeze through the finish line smelling like roses. I was assuming all the angels and saints (and my dead ancestors whose death certificates my mother kept) smell of roses. Everything was a blur after Craig said Amen. I heard somebody shout Go! and my feet automatically started running. Well, actually I had no choice. If I didn’t move, I’d be trampled upon by the other runners who came charging like a herd of hungry buffalos. (Hmmm… that was a bad metaphor. I should have said: … the other runners who whizzed by like gazelles with their graceful gallops so beautifully executed, it’s almost poetic.
The first uphill segment was looming upon us right on the first turn. Fresh legs helped and I was able to go through it at my normal pace – Easy! (My heart was beating at waaay past my maximum heart rate. I thought I was ready to retire at that point. Hingal! I also thought that I’ve gone through the worst that the course can offer. It was farthest from the truth, I found out later. 10K and 2,000 gallons of water later (I spent a lot of time in the water stations that the staff there were already selling me a franchise for a water filling station) I crossed the finish line at 51:30 by my watch. My legs and my heart were both protesting and were telling me that I had been running for three days non-stop judging by the way they felt. Oh yes, I do talk to them specially during the long runs; begging them not to stop and promising them lots and lots of propel and vitwater (you know). But that’s another story (or another blogpost).
Now, if I these people would just move aside so I can crawl to my car…