Monday, July 7, 2008


June 22, 2008: I was all set to run my first 5k but "Frank" crushed the country, leaving the organizers no choice but to reschedule the Manila Half Marathon Challenge to July 6, 2008.

I was devastated to say the least.

First, I missed the PIA (Pinay in Action) Race last March 9, 2008 because of my sick daughter.

Three weeks later, I missed the Mizuno Infinity Run because I was still recuperating from a one-week illness.

And now this??? I was beginning to question God whether He'd like me to run or not. Could it be that He's trying to send me a message that I shouldn't run? Morbid scenarios started to form in my deranged mind.

June 23- July 5, 2008: Thanks to the Wimbledon Open, the exciting tennis matches brought me back my sanity. Seeing my idol Roger Federer play again on grass took my mind off my interrupted 5k run.

The bad weather prevented me to run for one whole week. I only had the chance to run 3X before the race. But that wasn't a problem for me because my goal was only to finish, not to win over the other female runners who were probably more than half my age.

July 6, 2008 at 1:30 AM: I was awaken by the drizzling sound of rain showers outside our window. Eia got up, looked outside and asked "is it raining, Mama?" She knew that she had to be left behind if it's raining when it's time for me to go. I told her that yes, it's raining but not that hard. Then I silently prayed that the rain would stop so I could bring my children with me. I wanted my first 5k run to be really memorable, to be witnessed by my two darling children.

This time, God granted me my wish. At 4:00 AM, I got up at the first sound of my celfone's alarm. I rushed to the bathroom, took a shower and put on my running attire (I already pinned my #4437 race bib on my shirt 2 weeks ago). At 4:30 AM, me and my entourage (Gio, Eia, Ate Ella, T. Jenny, Romy, Wendel, Ronald and Chari) left Philamlife Village and headed for Manila.

At 5:15 AM, we were already parked beside Luneta Grandstand. Good! There's still time to take pictures.

We're supposed to be five but unfortunately, my cousin Jun Muego wasn't feeling so well. With me are Ronald, Chari and Wendel.

Then we noticed that only a few runners were around the area. We learned from a fellow runner that the starting point was not Luneta Grandstand but in front of Rizal monument along Roxas Blvd. Oh, no! We already missed the start of the Half Marathon. I was hoping to see Patrick Concepcion and pose with him. When we got there, it was being announced that the 3k, 5k and 10k runners should now position themselves inside the starting line. We went inside the crowd and listened to more announcements, while my son Gio started taking pictures.

We were informed that there will be a slight delay because Mayor Lim will be coming to address the runners. After his very short speech, we were off.

The four of us started side by side, happily talking to each other. Then the 3 of them stopped at the first water station and caught up with me. I got the shock of my life when I didn't see any U-turn sign at Quirino Ave. Since the time I got my race kit, I was already imagining myself turning at Quirino Ave. as indicated in the race map. I couldn't believe that we were almost in front of Central Bank before turning around! I said to myself "Ok lang Nora. Kaya mo yan."

After Pedro Gil, I passed by a group of young runners who were walking. One of them commented "bay, daig tayo ng babae. takbo pa siya, tayo lakad na lang." I said to myself--I didn't train for 14 months for nothing!

When we were nearing Luneta, I got another shock of my life. "I thought we'll turn left at Kalaw Ave. then right turn to Luneta Grandstand", I told my cousin Wendel. One runner who overheard our conversation informed me that we will go straight ahead then turn left around the block then left to Luneta Grandstand.

Oh, no! Hindi ko na kaya. But I kept on running, gathering the last strength in my aching body.

Yes!!! We're almost there . . . Later I found out that my cousin Ronald experienced stomach cramps so he and his girlfriend Chari had to walk back to Luneta Grandstand.

Suddenly, I was on top of the world when I finally got my first Race Certificate. I was sooh happy that I wasn't the last to finish. I did it! I actually did it!

After we got our free t-shirts and bottled water, I told them we'll have breakfast at Max's Restaurant Roxas Blvd. But before that, one last picture.

The whole entourage: Thank you Eia, Gio, Jenny, Ate Ella, Wendel, Ronald, Chari (and Romy who took this picture) for sacrificing your sleep to give me your much-needed support.

Lastly, thank you Jaymie. For without you, this exhilarating experience wouldn't have been possible.


  1. Noooora! Big big congratulations (plus a big virtual hug) to you! I'm so happy for you! It was great that your whole family was there to celebrate your first 5k finish with you. I wish I had witnessed it too. I hope you have other races in mind so we can get to meet soon!

  2. congratulations for finally running and finishing your 1st race! I'm sure its the 1st of many! see you at the races :D

  3. Thank you, Jaymie! Thank you, theloonyrunner! Hope to see you both and the other runners at the Milo Marathon this Aug. 3.

  4. Nora,
    It seems your just walking in the picture...biro lang...On Wimbledon your heartbeat must be running faster when you watch the Federer/Nadal final live until morning...sorry for both of us our idol lost and Agnes idol won the tournament...its good that Agnes and I went to sleep during the first rain interruption...we were not able to watch the drama unfold...i might got shock.


  5. Hah hah hah Boy naman. How could I possibly finish 5k in 33 minutes if I was only walking? My heart was beating faster while watching the final match than when I was running 5k--no joke! I couldn't bear the tension so after Federer lost the first set, I decided to watch other TV programs.
    I checked the results in the internet the following morning and I was really, really, disappointed that my (our) idol lost to Nadal. Nevertheless, I still watched the whole match with all its chills, twists and turns when Star Sports replayed it last Monday. Our last hope is the US OPEN.

  6. Congratulations! I can only hope to do the same.

  7. Of course you can, Edwin! Why don't you?

  8. Good for you nora. May you have another 50 years to run your 10k by then.

  9. Actually Ning I would really want to run 10k but hopefully before another 50 years. But if I do reach age 100, I wish I would still be running heh heh...

  10. Yey Nora! Congrats on accomplishing your goal! Love your bangs--you look so young!

  11. Thanks Gay. I hope when you visit the Phils. you can run with me.

  12. Hi Nora. Congratulations. Wow! And you picked a good one! Even if this helps for tennis, running is a good cross trainer and vice-versa. It's quite an accomplishment!

    Congratulations again and continue enjoying it.

    Wayne (50ish)

  13. hi! I was able to get a copy of the official results of the run. Your official time is 38 min and 26 seconds. You're ranked 32nd out of 67 female participants. Better yet, you were able to outrun 86 male runners! That was one hell of a run, great work! :D

    - the loonyrunner

  14. Hi Nora!! Congratulations on finishing your 5K!!! And thanks for dropping by my blogsite, too! Yep 50 and counting -- and you're right, life begins at 50 -- but I feel the aches as well!! he! he! That's the reason for all my attempts at an active lifestyle -- I'm determined to fight the aging process and finish with a smile!!! Good luck with all your endeavors and I hope to see you at the races!!!

  15. Hi Johnny! I was hoping to see you this Aug. 3 at the Milo Marathon but I just read in your blog that you'll be running in the San Francisco Marathon! Congratulations and Good luck!!!
    Oh, I also felt aches here and there--actually everywhere in my body hah hah ... But since I started taking powerjoints, the pain is gone. Try it.

  16. Really loony runner??? You just MADE my day! I can't believe I did that! My goal was only to finish, even if I would be the last. Thank you for furnishing this info with me.

  17. Wayne! It's a great honor see THE SFrunner in my blog, the One who has ran 900 races! Thank you! Hope to see you in future races (either here or there perhaps?)

  18. Wow. I got goosebumps reading this post. Running for the first time no matter what distance is really an overwhelming experience. Goodluck to you on the next 50 years!

  19. Thank you, jinoe! Nice to see another Ilonggo in my blogsite (I'm an Ilongga by birth, being born in Marbel, South Cotabato--a predominantly Ilonggo region). Goodluck to you and Quennie in the Milo Marathon.

  20. congrats on completing your first race! nothing beats the runner's high after a good race/run eh. your race story is very inspiring. hope to see you at the races.

  21. Thanks, bards! Your weight loss story is very inspiring too! You're the epitome of a total woman. Hope to see you at the Milo Marathon.

  22. Hoooraaay for my idol! I'm proud of you Ate Nora. Thank God for He gave me the strength to get up on that day.

    Now, I truly believed that God is sending us angels not just to protect us but also to make us happy. That day was a memorable day for me. You wanna know why? Because I met someone :-) Imagine he has a guts to approach me. I'm so mataray p naman when guys see me they opted not to ask for my name anymore.

    Anyways, Ate Nora you're my earth angel! Spread your wings and run like an ostrich! Go, go, go !

    I love you. God be with you in all your race.

    Oooopppsiii, when will you train me?

  23. Truly Jenny God works in very mysterious ways. Who would expect that you'll meet a special someone where we had breakfast after the race? Hope you'll both join me in the Milo Marathon.
    And thank you again for the supreme sacrifice of waking up early last July 6, 2008 in order to extend your moral support for my golden dream.
    I would love to coach you but now that you met someone who also loves to run, let him do it heh heh...

  24. Way to go Nora, congratulations! Your time was pretty good, all your hard work paid off! When you join Milo, you'll be looking to improve on that time and I bet you can do it.

  25. Thanks, datc! I really hope to improve my time in the Milo Run. See you there!