For the first time, my friend Jenny won't be the official photographer. She will also join the 3k race as explicitly requested by Eia. Romy, my mother's driver for 30 years and also my son's godfather, will be our official photographer.
The 10 milers were the first to go, followed by the 5k runners. There was only a handful of 3k participants left. I told Gio he had a good chance to win but it's OK even if he didn't finish first. He could just walk when he gets tired. Quennie assured him that she will accompany him every step of the way.
Eia was back in her jolly mood again.
My cousin's son Paolo passed by walking and I told him I could run with him but he told me he couldn't run anymore unless he drinks water. I gave him water and after drinking, I ran with him but only until the right turn to the finish line.
When I turned around, I saw Vener waiting for Christy who was running the whole 16k!
It was a totally different Eia when I went back for her. She was sitting on the ground like a statue. Jenny and I had a hard time convincing her to walk again but she eventually rose and moved on. When we turned right towards the finish line, I thought she would be happy but she insisted to go directly to our car.
By this time, a number of people were clapping their hands and prodding her to go on while the motorcycle escort was cruising just beside us.
I ran towards the finish line to get a good shot at Eia and there was Vimz, who took my "finish" look. Thanks a lot, Vimz!
When I turned around, I was surprised to see Eia running with all her power and might!
I almost cried as I watched Eia sprinting her way to the finish line. In spite of the difficulty she went through, she made it. I knew then, this daughter of mine though born with Down Syndrome will battle every trial that comes her way. She was the last to finish, but in my heart Eia is a true champion.
Quennie and Gio were there waiting for us. Thank you, thank you Que for staying with Gio every step of the way. She took this shot of Gio at the finish line:
Congratulations, Gio! I am so proud of you. I'm dreaming of more future races together.
After Que gave me my additional order of 10 takbo.ph visors, we said goodbye to each other. But I still need to see my cousin Jun to get my pasalubong of sweet sampaloc from Thailand. While waiting for him, Que told me that Patrick Concepcion was approaching the finish line. I took this picture of him and tried to catch him but he disappeared in a flash.
Finally, I met my cousin Jun with his new recruits. See you all at the UP ICTUS Run!