Eventually Team Logan was able to catch up with us with their consistent pace for a five-hour finish. For a good distance we were all running with Team Logan, until fatigue set in.
Team Logan was on a 40-man marathon relay, two persons pushing Justin’s stroller for two kilometers with of course the presence of his loving dad Craig. As such the team was able to set a consistent pace. These fresh legs are great for pacing, but wreak havoc to those who have already run the miles. Some relay members run much longer than their required distance and as such runners come and go intermittently and before I knew it I gradually lost my original stakeholders. I was a big failure! Now I’m no longer qualified to call myself a pacer—at that point I became a regular runner—being paced by Team Logan. It was a humbling experience, but I learned a lot. Once again my dilemma haunted me—should I have stuck with the plan, or should I have stuck with the people? I felt like soldier abandoning his post. It was a run of shame for me; at least I was at the company of good people.
The Band of Runners
Running is a solitary sport—or so they say. It’s a sport that is not for spectators and is usually done for one’s self. Being with Team Logan and takbo.ph made me believe otherwise—it was more than just “passing a baton”—it was camaraderie at its finest.
The Heat of Competition
By the time we reached C5 we were really feeling the heat as there were hardly any clouds in the sky. It was very commendable for the organizers to have provided runners ample supply of water so we were able to douse ourselves with it without worrying for the other runners’ supply. Of course each water station marks changing of runners, fresh sets of legs.
Buendia Ave. was very pleasant for two reasons: first, there was shade from the skyscrapers that line the road; and second, the lively takbo.ph gang was there to cheer us up! It was like an instant charge of energy—it felt like their enthusiasm was transferred to us in an instant. The same energy boost was given to us by another set of the gang approaching Roxas Blvd. Their rowdy cheers, encouraging banners, and loving support really was a refuge to the hardships we were facing.
Finally we arrived at Roxas Blvd. This was one of the toughest parts of the race, despite being flat and straight, because there was hardly any shade there, and the scorching sun was very high in the sky. We had some issues at this part as well because of the number of vehicles and bikers we had to divert (a biking event was being held on the road as well and a dragon boat regatta on the bay). For the final four kilometers, at the last water station before the finish, it was takbo.ph’s first couple, the Gavans’ turn to push Justin to the finish.
After more than five hours Team Logan crossed the finish line complete with Justin, Craig, Michelle, and the rest of the relay team. Finally Justin had just completed his first marathon and I’m glad to have witnessed it firsthand.
Minutes later, one by one, the rest of my friends arrived at the finish including Running Diva who had just completed her marathon debut. She had an unexpectedly difficult ordeal with PIM, but then again I’ve never heard anyone said that marathons were easy. Surprisingly even Sir Jovie (Bald Runner) had problems with this race as for the first time I was able to see him finish the race (as he’s usually long gone by the time I finish my marathon), together with Sam (Running Ninja) who also had another mishap.
Arriving beyond the five-hour cutoff I wasn’t expecting that we’d have any finisher’s medal, but to my surprise even those who finished in sub-four hours didn’t have any as well! It was the first marathon that I’ve joined without any finisher’s medal! It was a very disappointing moment for me as it would’ve been my seventh medal from running, three from half marathons and three from full marathons, and this was my birthday marathon!
Why Do You Run?
Later on I kept asking myself why I did this marathon—had I known beforehand that there won’t be a medal would I still have gone through all that effort just to register for this race? What was my goal for this race? Was I only driven by the medal, or PR? – No. I joined this run because I wanted to. I was ready to run “bandit” just to run. I was ready to be a pacer to make for a more meaningful “bandit” run. I was even prepared to be envious of my friends receiving their finisher’s medal had I not been able to be an official runner. Should I be affected by a medal that I may or may not receive? Then I figured that I already received the medal I was hoping for—it came in the form of my family from takbo.ph. For that I am very thankful, and I know this was one of the best birthday celebrations I had.
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Spontaneity at the Philippine International Marathon: