Sunday, August 17, 2008 marked the birth of the runner in me. It was the first ever Miracle Run by Men’s Health Magazine (Philippines) and it was my first ever race. I, together with several of my colleagues, decided to join this run for the benefit of GMA Kapuso Foundation so that in our own little way we could share some of our blessings and have fun at the same time. Little that we know that that fun run would open the door to something that would change our lives forever—the world of running.
I can still remember the trouble I had on what to wear that day. Naturally I didn’t have any clothes for running so I just grabbed whatever I had—basketball shorts I use at the gym, the most decent shoes I got I can use for running, badminton socks, bandana I got from our company’s previous summer outing, and the event shirt we got for the event. Not a single sign of a runner.
Since we really intend to just have fun and “test the waters” we opted to join the 5K leg of the race (there was also a 10K leg). None of us had practice nor training of any form at that time so a 5K distance very intimidating. That’s an entire 5,000 meters!
Last year the 5K event was in the form of a relay (two members of a group running 5K each) so we planned who would be the first and second liners, and have a buddy during our runs. That system worked surprisingly well for me and my buddy as despite conversing the entire 5K and having a “chillax” pace we finished the entire 5K in 33 minutes. We even thought that had we taken the race a little seriously we would’ve finished in less than 30 minutes, but finishing our first race was already an accomplishment for us. And of course before and after the race tons of pictures were taken.
The Great Divide
Back then I was clueless of when the next race would come about. I didn’t even knew back then that takbo.ph existed (but just Googling around I was able to find thebullrunner and it’s still one of my favorite sites) so for the following few weeks we didn’t have any runs. Back then runs and races were synonymous to us—there was neither group runs nor running clinics than that we knew of. Despite the good momentum we gained, the next race that we knew we could join was almost two months away: the adidas King of the Road. The earliest race we could join was actually the Nike Human Race but disappointingly it required that you have their Sportsband to join (which was very expensive for a starting runner like me). That was my first heartache as a runner—not being able to join a run because I’m not tech savvy enough (feels discriminating). It was a good thing that the next one, from adidas, was worth the wait.
* * *