Yup! This is one run that I truly enjoyed.
Nope, I didn't break PR.
Nope, I didn't win in my age category.
But why am I grinning?
The night before the race, it was raining cats and dogs. I told myself:: Hmmm.... maybe I'll just skip this race. But in the darkness of my closed eyes, I could see clearly the finisher's shirt. I couldn't get it out of my mind. I know if I didn't run, I'm gonna regret it for the rest of my life. So I promised myself -- rain or storm, I'll run and finish the race. The shirt that awaits is simply irresistible.
I'm soooh happy I joined this race. I just love this shirt!
When we arrived at the Fort, I looked for familiar faces but couldn't find one. (Actually, I found 1 familiar face but unfortunately, he didn't recognize me).
So it's just me and Ate Ella in the picture.
But not far from us, I saw a foreign-looking lady whom I thought was as young as me. I introduced myself to her and I learned that she's Stephanie.
Tall and jolly Stephanie is Mexican-American and yes, she's gonna be 53 like me in 2 weeks (Happy Birthday in advance Steph!)
Steph and I doing the very short warm-up exercise and off we went.
Stephanie and I started together but in a blink of an eye, she disappeared from my sight.
I have run 3 half-marathons this year and none of these resulted in a sub-3-hr mark. Maybe it's because of lack in training or excess in weight or ascending age or all of the above. How in the world did I pull off a 2:37:29 time last year?
As I proceeded with my snail race pace, I noticed that we passed by Concepcion Industries. I thought of Patrick and felt a sudden longing for this wonderful guy.
Just as I turned right to Buendia Ave., there was Patrick right before my very eyes! I called his name out loud and he called my name as well. That was enough reason for me to be happy. Never mind if I don't finish in less than 3 hrs. Better luck next time hah hah . . .
When I turned around in Buendia, I started counting the runners who are yet to make the turn-around. And I add or subtract whenever I pass a runner or a runner passed by me. My goal was to be ahead of at least 40 runners (simple lang naman kaligayahan ko).
I was preoccupied with my counting when out of the blue, Rico appeared! We exchanged greetings (she addressed me as Golden Girl -- a name I'm happy to hear in the race, aside from Tita, Ma'am, Mommy., Ms. Nora, Tweety. But as usual, meron pa ding tumawag sa akin ng "Nanay". Ouch!
When I reached the 11-km mark, I set my stopwatch back to 0, hoping that it would psychologically tell me that I will just run 10 km. This way, I won't be overwhelmed with the 21km distance.
Then I saw a table with bananas and chocolates! The marshals laughed at my shrieking voice. I remembered in RU 2, there were no more bananas left for me. I was happy I didn't bother anymore to bring a banana from home. With this, I give the OctobeRun 5 stars!
I had a chance to talk with other runners and this was my favorite:
SHE: Ilang taon na ho kayo?
ME: 53. Ikaw?
SHE: 45 po. Kayo ho yong may pangalan sa harap ng singlet sa Unilab? Pinilit ko pong lampasan kayo pero nauna pa din kayo sa akin.
ME: Okay lang yon. Ang mahalaga, natapos mo ang race na walang injury. At nag-enjoy ka.
SHE: Oo nga po. Ang importante, nakapag-exercise kahit mabagal.
When I was wondering how many kilometers left to the finish line, a foreigner was running towards me and cheering me that there were only 3 kms to go.
I looked at my watch and figured that if I run for 25 minutes, I could still make it to the sub-3-hr mark.
And so I did. I did it! I just found out a while ago that my official time is 2:57:36.
After claiming my finisher's kit, I looked for Stephanie and thank God, I found her and had photos with her.
After giving Stephanie my calling card, we headed for the rest room to change. But before that, one last picture.
As we were walking to Market, Market to meet my friend Majel, I was munching my free champorrado flavored pop rice bar. I sooh love OctobeRun!