An Open Letter to the Ironman Participants

To my friends and teammates who are racing 70.3 tomorrow,

I am ever so proud of each and every one of you who have taken on this very personal challenge to swim, bike and run a half ironman (HIM) distance.  Some may be doing it a second time, a third maybe, but the feeling of ‘have I done enough? trained enough? rested enough?’ is a nagging peripheral thought just the same.  For the HIM virgins, this is on the forefront of your mind right now.

Let me tell you what I have to say about that (go ahead and skip the next paragraphs as I have no authority whatsoever in triathlons, more so an IM 70.3.  But since you’re my friends, you will read on *wink):

You have done enough.  YOU are enough.  You have always been enough. 

You were never lacking in any iota of a measure.

Sure, you didn’t reach your intended time last year, had to dnf perhaps, naunahan ni __________, and every null thought you can possibly think of.  But didn’t you aspire to do better this year? Trained earlier (uyyyy, may natamaan)? Ate better? ‘Had girl abs in the process?

Whatever happened last year, is just that – the past.  You’ll never regain it, you can only learn from it.  What you have now is the present.  Whatever you’re doing now, is what you need to be doing.  What you will be doing tomorrow come gun start,  is as it should be.

The finish line?  Done. It is its own present. The Start and the Finish are the same. So why fret?

Enjoy everything – the smile that people will generously give you, albeit nervous, enjoy it.  The pat on the back, the good lucks, the godspeeds, the well wishes, the all important prayers.  Carry them with you as you race.  With every swim stroke, every bike pedal and every step, you are where you need to be.

Say a prayer of gratitude at the gun, say, ‘Thank you, Lord for making me finish this race’. This is how you claim His promise :)

For when you know by Faith that you’ve finished the race, getting to the finish is easy.

So, Carina, Mike, Raff, Noelle, Hanna, Joy, Jon, Nico, Kuya Jun, Coach Al, Ronnie, Argow, Marge, Vic, Jet, Redge, Bong B, Chance, Eric, Arbs, Joni, and all I know who’s racing tomorrow, this one’s for you. *Cheers *Clink

Get Ready at the Start Line of 100 Miles Cafe

Friendships are born from common interests. Wency and I have two – running and food : he runs ultras, I support; he manages cafes, I eat.

I first met Wency, Jael to some when BZ requested that we ‘adopt’ a runner in one of the initial test runs of the 102km Bataan Death March. A quiet guy, Wence did his own thing in the run, never really needing anything from the test run support crew.  What struck me most about him was his fair skin-hahaha. In my head, is he sure he wants to darken that alabaster skin? Apparently, he was sure. He finished the test run with no qualms  and the rest of his ultramarathons  thereafter with a passion for running and a discipline for it like no other.

Fast-forward to 2013 when he asked for some taste testers to try out the menu they were developing for their new café, the 100 Miles Café.  Buti na lang I had some experience with taste testing when I was working for the Cravings group years ago – it didn’t hurt that I loooove food too.

Wency and his family  manage a couple of Figaro franchises, Cafe Bonifacio and Oriang.  All with delicious menu to choose from.

100 Miles Salad

100 Miles Salad

Potato Salad

Potato Salad

The Classic Carbonara

The Classic Carbonara

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

Broccoli and Asparagus Pasta

Broccoli and Asparagus Pasta

Sausage in Soft Taco

Not in the pictures above are the malunggay soup and the mushroom, basil, and feta cheese pasta.  Ang takaw kasi namin ni Kokoy naligtaan mag picture :)

Me, Wence and Kokoy

Suffice it to say that we enjoyed it.  All the pasta were cooked al dente, just the way it should be.  The bolognese and the carbonara were classic recipes that you will love! I will definitely order the 100 Mile Salad with its 3-dressing and the broccoli and asparagus pasta as soon as the Cafe opens.

Pero parang may kulang…..

yeMARGA flan may finally make its retail showing at 100 Miles Cafe. Abangan! (teehee)

yeMARGA flan may finally make its retail showing at 100 Miles Cafe. Abangan! (teehee)

I can’t wait for the 100 Miles Café to open and you can be sure Wency’s ultramarathon comrades will be there to support his new project and to maybe just carbo-load, recover, hydrate, chill, hang-out. 

Cheers, Wence!

Nota Bene: (The 100 Miles Cafe is located at: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=483100015085406&set=a.483067385088669.112464.483060431756031&type=1&theater)

TAKBO.PH

(This is a long-overdue gratitude blog for Jinoe and Que; am glad that it comes on the heels of this voting thing as a game changer for the tattawards.)

My foray into running began in 2008 when I got sick and needed to drastically change my sedentary lifestyle.  Not only did takbo.ph give me an opportunity to read through accounts of hundreds of people who ran,  takbo.ph also allowed me to be who I am without being a subject of ridicule or judgment – considering running is a sport and I’m ahhh, well, ahhh….not sporty J  I was big and beautiful.  But I was accepted.  I was made to feel welcome and loved.  As slow as I was, as big as I was, I had a place to be as slow and as big as I needed to be.

It was in takbo.ph that I found really good friends – the kind you find in elementary or high school – where it’s a little bit more pure as when you’re older – you know what Im talking about  – the same interests, humour, wavelength, music, writing style, the same type of kindness – where most believed in good and positivism, where hardwork and discipline are part and parcel of the running lifestyle.

Poster Making for First Time Marathoners

People at takbo.ph are good people.  They are not mean, they encourage, they wait for you to the finish, heck they even pace you from start to finish, they make posters and banners for your first marathon, and much much more.  How much more?  Let’s see…

TAKBO.PH is a Venue to Get People Together

  • Although there may be dissenting opinions in the different fora, it’s managed really well by the administrators; such that when it gets too personal and mean, it gets bumped off; it truly is a venue for togetherness and respectfulness (I know wrong grammar.)
  • As cheesy as it is, there are many a love affair that hails from the site (Aminin! Natuloy man o naunsyami, kinilig pa rin kayo diba? LOL)
  • Businesses made; business partnerships forged (parang LOTR lang ah)

The Iconic TAKBO.PH Tarpaulin

The TAKBO.PH  tarp is an iconic tarpaulin in all the races–every runner wants to have a picture with that tarp – it used to be just one; but as the family grew, and different running groups  were formed, Jinoe and Que had to produce more and more.

The Iconic Banner at McDo

Various Advocacies TAKBO.PH introduced, initiated, and maintained

  • The Breakfast Club was the brainchild of Que and Mar if Im not mistaken, where runners contribute to a gathering for children without homes at Jollibee, play games with them, have a meal with them and have them bring home a loot bag of groceries for their families.

Breakfast Club, Pasay

Botak 100 at KM 81

  • Angel Brigade. Takbo.ph is a staple of Angel Brigade.  When typhoon Ondoy hit, it was takbo.ph who built care packages of sardines, noodles, crackers, milk, water , clothes and more.  They would of course do this after their runs at BHS, but always ready to help…until today when AB asks for volunteers, you know at least 20 pairs of legs will be at the AB Headquarters packing as fast as they can to get the relief goods to our kababayans

Tired Packers

Med Mission, Rizal (Tent City)

Medical Mission, Rizal

  • Mountain Climbers are also runners and through AB and takbo.ph,  we built packages of slippers, blankets,  kulambos, and school supplies and they brought it to the literally far flung areas of the north

Marky on the mountain of Benguet

  • Pencil Project, Better Bones Project are only a couple of individually-initiated projects that tapped into the takbo.ph database and knocked on our hearts to donate items and time, which we all happily did.

MISCELLANEOUS TAKBO.PH ACTIVITIES

Such as the Cervical Cancer and Sports Injury Talk by Doc Dianne and Doc Rannie;  Biggest Loser 1-2-3 where those who joined really fought for this title; as well as the Wine and Cheese Parties at 7 in the morning; games of patintero and luksong tinik even before the BHS backyard was done; of Girls Night Out, concelebrated birthdays, the traditional Noche Buena Run, Bisita Iglesia Run the missing CP2, of bloggers and such

Wine and Cheese

Girls Night Out

Noche Buena Run in UP

Bisita Iglesia Run (From UP to Quiapo

Patintero

Luksong Tinik

The Mysterious CP2

Blogger Friends (Photo by Jazzrunner)

TAKBO.PH  Does Not End with Finishing a Marathon

  • Because of the discipline developed in training for longer distances, inclusive of recovery runs, speed training, tempo run, drills, cross training (swim, bike),  proper nutrition, and plenty of reading , there are different ways of growing in this beloved community
  1. Your Personal Record (PR) is the best way to measure your development in this sport.  This entails listening to your body and not copying your neighbour’s training plan or PR.  Your growth is your own.
  2. 3-5-10-15/16-21-32-42-50-60-70-80-102-160-250km.  I know, I know…the 250km is a relay – hahaha.  As you develop endurance and stamina and a true love/craziness for this sport, you also tend to up the ante as far as distance is concerned.  Have you noticed though that longer distance runners are thinner? hahahaha
  3. Triathlons.  A natural progression to running is multisport /triathlon.  The transition to this is amazing.  I’ve literally seen a n ultramarathoner  – non swimmer (sputtering at the army pool) progress to a couple of Half Ironmans under his belt as well as a Full Ironman Distance  in just 12-18n months time.  As more runners are getting more and more into multipsort, I cant help but be glad that their base is running, for a triathlete can tell you that the game and therefore the finish is made in the run.

Runners turned Triathletes

My life is full and meaningful because I googled running in 2008 and found TAKBO.PH – I read, participated in the fora, shoutboxed during office hours (shhhhh…), bought the takbo singlet, happily wear them in all my races, ran 5, 10, 21, 32, and 42km here and abroad, all the while enjoying the camaraderie of friends  who I know will last a lifetime.

Game Changer you say? I say Life Changer 

Go Natural 2012 Run

Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes almost four (4) years ago makes the Go Natural 2012 Run close to home.  The disease and its potential to curb an active lifestyle is real.  Getting the word out there about the disease is not enough.  That’s why a big thank you goes to Nattural Quality Corporation (NQC), who are the makers of Ampalaya Plus, Delite and more — for making these supplements and having a run for the benefit of early education for  children about diabetes.

Registration has been extended in all sites until January 11:

  • Toby’s – Shangri-La Mall and SM MOA
  • Planet Sports – Trinoma and Glorietta 3
  • Athlete’s Foot – Robinson’s Galleria and Alabang Town Center

and until January 13 at:

  • Riovana – Bonifacio High Street

See you on Sunday, January 15 at BGC! :)

See you on Sunday at BGC.

To Melvin Pangan — to training, to good health, to friendships, love and respect — A Salute!

MIZUNO INFINITY RUN June11, 2011

The Mizuno Infinity Run is one run I always run J. In 2009, if I’m not mistaken, this was one of my first 10km runs and it was there that Mizuno surprised us with their Time Trial Challenge in an attempt for runners to up the ante in the next year for a continuous improvement in their races.

In 2010, the first race I registered for was  the Infinity Run in their Expo where I got a P100 peso off from my registration fee because I ran the year before.  My friends from takbo.ph won in their raffle where I won a Mizuno backpack, Carina (The  Flying Boar) a cap, Timmy (The KenkoyRunner) a backpack and the best prize was won by Julie Reyes ( HotLegsRunner) with a pair of Mizuno shoes.  All in all a very happy event for all us. Wink wink.

It turned out to be my first race for the year after a much needed hiatus from Japan. And even with minimal training because it was sooo cold, I beat my time which I was very proud of! And if my memory serves me right (it normally serves me wrong, believe me!) I had a fond finish here as well as Rod, Ziggy, and Timmy sent me to the Finish Line.

2011 is going to be a struggle as my training is next to nil because of work and what-have-yous.  Oh well.  At least I can promote this event with fond memories.  Plus! This year too, my multisport family is being sponsored by Mizuno and some of us will act as brand ambassadors on the day itself.

I urge you to join this run on June 11 at the Bonifacio Global City and experience the ‘Never Settle’ attitude of the brand and the runners of this brand.

Assembly time will be at 4:00 am. Gunstart for the 21K runners will be at 5:00 am. The 10K and 5K distance runners will follow soon afterwards with a 10-minute interval between distances.

Registration is at all Mizuno branches in the Metro Manila area. Runners may also register at the Mizuno Sports Outlet in Paseo de Sta. Rosa in Laguna, and at the Mail and More Convergys’s Branch

Registration fee is priced at 600 pesos for the 5K distance, 750 pesos for 10K and 800 pesos for the new 21K course. All previous participants will also get a 50 pesos discount from registration.

Please visit http://www.mizuno.ph or Mizuno Run Club (https://www.facebook.com/MizunoRunClub) in facebook for more details.


AKTv Run June 5, 2011

When the invite for the AKTV Media and Bloggers Night was handed out, I was excited on two (2) fronts:  A local channel specific to sports, both recreational and professional is being given its due- its own local airwave! Plus as a broadcast graduate eons of years ago, I wanted to know how the Kapatid Network can pull off an all-sports network given issues on budget in covering local and international sports events, finding professional Filipino  sportscasters to deliver the news, and sustaining a small but captured audience 365 days a year.

I was impressed with how conservative the programming was, starting at a late afternoon time slot until midnight seven days a week and an appetizing menu of programs catering to a wide audience with enough of a star power to kick things off.

Kick things off they will on June 5 with the AKTV Run (read as Active) at the SM Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City.  AKTV will introduce its line up of programming  after the four (4) race categories of:  3km, 5km, 10km, & 21km runs.  Manu Sandejas, a bike enthusiast  and Chiqui Roa  will host the early morning event.

Interested participants can register online at http://www.interaksyon.com/aktv.

Regular in-store registration will run from May 5-22 at the following sports and running stores: Runnr (Bonifacio High Street, Taguig), ROX (Bonifacio High Street), Toby’s (SM Mall of Asia), Planet Sports (Glorietta, Makati City), The Athelete’s Foot (Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa and Robinsons Galleria), and at Planet Sports (Trinoma, Quezon City).

GREENFIELD CITY CLEAN AIR RUN 2011

I have heard many things about the Greenfield Sunset  Run from last year. The fact that it is away from the city says a lot about a refreshing run venue for us city folks.

This year, the run  is dubbed the Greenfield City Clean Air Run 2011 promoting the unpolluted air of its 300-plus hectare master planned development  in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

It would have four (4) race distances:

1)      500 meter dash for children 5-12 y/o

2)      5km Run

3)      10km Run

4)      21km Run

and registration is until May 22.

Registration Sites are as follows:

  • R.O.X. – Level 2 R.O.X. Bldg. Bonifacio High Street, Taguig City (12nn–8pm,Tel # 8564638)
  • Toby’s SM Mall of Asia – G/F Entertainment Mall, Roxas Blvd., Manila(12nn– 8pm, Tel # 556-0445)
  • Planet Sports Glorietta – 2F Glorietta 3, Makati City (12nn – 8pm, Tel #8177896)
  • The Athletes Foot Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City
  • Planet Sports Trinoma – 2nd level, Trinoma cor. North EDSA, Quezon City(12nn– 8pm, Tel# 9167451)
  • The Athlete’s Foot Robinsons Galleria – 3F Robinsons Galleria, Ortigas Pasig

City(12nn – 8pm, Tel# 6363162)

  • Paseo de Sta. Rosa, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna (Tel# 046-5412845, 02-4208003)

Kindly take note of the Gun Start Times:

21km run                             5:15AM
10km run                             5:30AM
5km run                               5:50AM
500-meter dash                                6:00AM

Transportation is provided on a first-come-first served basis.  You need to inform the organizers of your intent to ride the shuttle bus from Mandaluyong to Sta Rosa. Estimated Time of Departure from Mandaluyong is 3:00AM.

The singlets are nice-looking too.

The AIR Singlet

For more details check out the RunRio Website : http://runrio.com/2011/04/greenfield-clean-air-run/

Reminisce and Run

Goldilocks has always meant a special celebration for the Filipino family.  As a kid, my siblings, cousins neighbours and I would look forward to a birthday party because it would mean a fancy cake, the yummy frosting and the oh so pretty flower sugar.  Our parents will sometimes wean as away from these potent sugars as the combination of other kids, games and candy can become a little bit too much to handle.  But, oh, how we loved birthday parties!

Goldilocks was also there for academic achievements such as Best in Reading or being part of the Top 10 in a grading period and of course, a graduation meant a possible two-layered cake which means more flowered candies.

With the advent of the other bakeshops, some fancier than the next, our beloved brand took a backseat as we tried the others.

But why is it that when everything began tasting the same, we longed for the simple mocha chiffon, the icing and the candied flowers?  We longed for what is comforting, and easy and simple. No fuss.  There’s no need. It’s a cake after all.

It has been 45 years that Goldilocks has been part of the Filipino lifestyle-young or old, then or now.  With the running bug in all of us nowadays, it was fitting to celebrate the same 45 years with a fun run.

On May 15, all roads will lead once again to Bonifacio Global City for the Goldilocks Fun Run  organized  by RunRio  (First leg of the Run Rio Series Manila).

Registration ports will be at : RUNNR Store,  R.O.X. , Toby’s SM Mall of Asia, Planet Sports Glorietta &Trinoma, The Athletes Foot Alabang Town Center & Robinsons Galleria and the Goldilocks Store in Shaw Boulevard. Registration Fees are as follows:  5K (P600), 10K (P600) and 21K (P750) distances.  Registration is open only until May 1, 2011.

The Fiesta-themed atmosphere on race day will be filled with games for the whole family. Reminisce your childhood with the brand that we all grew up in and Run.

For More details: http://runrio.com/2011/03/runrio-series-manila-goldilocks-45th-anniversary-run/

Anonymous Runner (Part 2)

KM 81

We saw our van parked by a dirt road at the foot of the bridge.  We parked the car behind them as Nick made us wear reflectorized sashes so we can be seen in the dark.  When we got out of the car, holy kamote!  It was sooo dusty.  We decided to turn over supporting duties at a better location.  So at this point Pat had all of his 10-member  support crew waiting for him at KM 81.

Crew # 2 stepped out of the van and waited because Pat was waaay late in his time.  Sheila told me, “ang pangit na ng itsura ni Pat”, which I thought to mean since it was dusty, and he was sweating, na hindi na gwapo si Pat. Boy, was I wrong! I learned later that she meant Pat was really pale when they left him at the start of the bridge pa lang but that they couldn’t obviously stop at the middle of the bridge so they waited at the end of it.

Irene was the one who saw him from afar.  Walking.  She couldn’t believe that it was Pat, seemingly holding on to dear life on the bridge rail.  She ran to him.  His eyes were closed and using the bridge rail as his only guide. By the time I saw Irene and Pat at the foot of the bridge,  I went to Pat’s right side as Irene was on his left and put my left arm around his waist.  I was whisper-shouting into his hear (amidst the noise  of the busy bridge), ‘what happened? Are you just sleepy?’

And then it happened.  He leaned his whole body weight on me.  It took me a moment to realize he was collapsing unto me.  I grabbed my right hand around the front of his waist to carry him while still walking and called to Nick and Dado and Beeps, “Nick! It’s dead weight.  I can’t carry him!” They were there in a split second and supported us to the van.  Someone removed one ice chest likod ng van so Pat can sit down.  Doc Pnx was on him with a  sphygmomanometer and Doc Apple was taking his heart rate in mere seconds.  Sheila and someone else were massaging his legs.  I think it was Aileen who gave him ammonia or white flower on a cotton ball to wake him up.  His eyes were still closed and he looked pale as heck! And he still was not speaking.  And when he did speak, it was to say with a shake of his , ‘hindi ko na to tatapusin. hindi ko na kaya.’

I stepped back in fear.  As everyone was working on him, I stepped back looking to gain a little bit of sane perspective of the situation. Crap! Think, Marga. Think.  I felt him collapse on me.  I saw his pale face maski it was dark.  He was cold to the touch.  But he was still walking.  Kaya pa ba niya? Do we push?  Or when we do push, will he be worse off in the end? We’re here to make him finish , but in this situation, is it the right thing to do? Man!  He can’t go out like this.  He can’t DNF at a point where he’d really feel the DNF as a failure. (As a runner, you know what this means.)  There’s giving up and there’s giving up.  Lord, help.  What do we do?

We see Team Boring’s crew park beside us waiting for Gab, Mar and Doc T.  Their crew came to see how they can assist Pat and I hear Bong B (who’s running his first 102 next week) say, “ Pat! Mag donate ka naman ng support crew mo sa amin next week!” which drew laughter to all who could hear him.  Even I smiled.

I saw Gab walk to his crew and I gave him a hug.   He looked really strong, this one.  And as if the angels told me what to do, I told Gab, ‘ Please talk to Pat.  He’s thinking of dnf-ing.  He’ll listen to a fellow ultramarathoner.’  Gab went to Pat.  ‘Ano ka ba, Pat?!.  Kaya mo yan! Maski lakarin mo. Aabot ka ng cut-off.  Kaya kami nag ultra dahil sa yo! Ano ka ba?”

I was softly crying at this point, praying Pat heard him and gets re-inspired by the same people he inspired before.

I saw Ronald next and told him the same thing, ‘please talk to him.  He’ll listen to you.’ Ronald goes to him and like a bother spoke to him in a firm but caring voice. ‘Hindi ka pwedeng huminto. Maski lakarin mo.  Marga, maski i-pace ninyo na siya. Kesa naman bumagsak na naman yan sa gitna ng daan. Bro, kaya mo yan! Lakad lang! Tapusin lang natin.”

I was crying na talaga.  I told Beeps, can you please call Mrs. BR to ask if we can pace Pat already?  Natatakot  tayong mag-collapse na naman siya.  We know its only KM 81 but we’re really worried.  Beeps called.  They said for safety we can shadow him rather than leapfrog.  But we cannot pace him.  He’d be disqualified.  We understood.

While all this was going on, Pat had his eyes open and the crew was feeding him.  Gutom talaga.

He stood up and stretched. And took stock of everything that was told to him.  He said, ‘1K.’  Which meant he didn’t want a pacer and he sure as hell wouldn’t want us shadowing him.  We’d leapfrog. That was a small miracle we thanked God for.  He’s getting back on his feet.  He’d walk until he’s digested his food.  But he was ok.  I looked to Doc Pnx asking with my eyes if he’s good to go.  She nodded.  Moments like these were everyone’s focused on one goal, you can actually talk to each other with your minds.  There will be many of these moments later on in this story.

Pat started to walk on the dirt road.  Doc Pnx ran after him to give him water.  I see them talking.  She walked back to us and said, ‘hanggang 102 nalang daw ang kaya niyang tapusin’.

We drove about 400 meters into a gas station and Crew 2 turned over to us everything.  We decided that we will push him until he can’t be pushed anymore.  But we had the goal of finishing 160km and by golly, we sure as well will try our darndest!

KM 81-86 was a walk struggle for Pat and for us.  Very conscious of the 2 .5 hours delay we have on our target time as well as the 11:30PM cut-off at the KM 102 marker, we were computing and re-computing at every km.  What pace he needs to run in so he can make it and all that.

It was at KM 86 that Doc Pnx and Nick told Pat that he needed to pick up his pace so he can make it by cut-off time . Doc Pnx was not allowing Pat to stop anymore.  We were rushing everything to him- water, water with electrolytes, chocolates, egg para lang hindi na siya mabigyan ng dahilan huminto sa van.  And at the rate of 1km per leap frog, stopping is no longer an option.  Nick told him he needed a 9 or better pace. Jog lang huwag lang maglakad ng matagal.  Lauren said, if he just shaves off 2 minutes at every kilometer, he can make it with time to spare.

KM 87

It was at KM 87 that he began his rally and Doc Pnx and Nick decided to not let him stop longer than necessary. Doc Pnx was an awesome motivator, literally dragging Pat when he was slacking. ‘Hindi na pwedeng huminto. Hindi pwede maglakad. ‘ Of all of us, Doc Pnx had the only credentials as far as a runner is concerned in pushing Pat this way.  Pat will listen to her in sheer fear or embarrassment . Whatever works. LOL.

She would run after him after force feeding him chocnut so he can wash it down with water. And for Pat force feeding was our game plan at this last stretch.  Our mistake of letting him be when he said he’s not hungry or does not want to eat earlier will not be repeated.  We know better now.  He metabolizes really fast so he needed to be fed every kilometre.

We were so ecstatic every time we would see him from afar gaining speed and not walking.  In the dead of the night, Lauren, Doc Pnx and I would scream our cheers to him. It was pure joy to see him running and seeing that determined look on his face after what we witnessed at KM 81.  Every kilometre became a celebration.  And he was passing some runners already.  And we knew he needed to see that he can still pass some of them to go on.  As we leap frogged, we’ll see runner x and runner y and we’d scream inside the van ecstatic with the fact that he really is gaining ground-literally!

At one point in a long straight stretch of the road, we saw at least 10 vehicles with their hazard lights on parked on the right side of the road.  Dado, Nick, Lau and I looked at each other and said, ‘it means he has at least 10 runners he can surpass!’  This realization made us girls scream again! We see a group of runners walking.  I see Gab saying in a booming voice looking up in the sky, “Come Holy Spirit!…” I see Coach Mar going strong like an ox! Grabe! When he said the Angels were with him, he was not joking.  He looked really strong.

It was my turn to run after Pat at KM 100 na yata yun, I’m not sure.  He said, “Papahinag muna ako ng sandali pag dating sa van.”  I said, “ Do you see that line of cars with their blinking lights?  That’s how near you are to the other runners.  You can’t let up now!” (In my head, patay ako kay Doc Pnx pag huminto ka.  That was our pact.  To not make Pat walk at all anymore.)

Lo and behold, he didn’t stop at all and continued running.

Doc Pnx was in needles and pins because it was 11:03 or something and we led her to believe that cut-off was 11:30 when it was 11:45 because gun start was late.  So she was pushing Pat to his limit because she really thought cut off at 102 was 11:30.  She couldn’t stand it that  the buffer was mere minutes.  So she was pushing Pat like crazy. Hahaha

KM 102

Because we were all stickler for rules, we didn’t turn into the left turn for the 102km marker.  The support van went around so we didn’t see Pat beat the cut off time and essentially his finish.

I see him sitting down where Team Boring was and Doc Pnx talking to him and I see Doc Pnx eyes wet with tears.  I sat beside Pat., and with a questioning glance, Doc Pnx shook her head and bowed her face.  In my head, Oh no, I think Pat just DNF’d. His first words to me were, “Sorry.  Alam ko disappointed kayo.  Pero hindi ko na kaya.  Promise.”  Me: “Pahinga ka muna.  Don’t think about it.”  Pat: “Hindi na talaga.  Ganito naramdaman ko sa Botak when I was rushed to the emergency room. Kilala ninyo ko, hindi ako quitter.  Pero …” Nick: “Pare, pahinga ka muna. Relaks lang” Gab: “ Mamaya ka na mag decide pare. Pahinga muna.” Pat: (shaking his head). Me: myHoff, hindi ka naman naming pipilitin kung hindi mo na kaya, kaya lang, ang lakas mon from 87-102 eh.  Marami kang nalampasan and you finished. Ngayon ka pa ba hihinto?” Sid: “pare, game. Masahihin muna kita. (as he lays down the black bag so Pat cay lie down)”

When you touched the side of his thighs, he would scream in pain.  Doc Pnx, Nick, Lau, Dado and I looked at each other to see what we can do, vacillating yet again between allowing him to stop and pushing him some more with just hand signals.

I said to Pat: “ myHoff, you can’t stop like this.  You just can’t.  You’ve done this 102km twice or thrice already right?  This should be more than 102km.  C’mon, you can give us another kilometre.  Maka 103km ka lang, ok na. If you still feel you can’t, then  I’ll shut up (I said this on the premise of how he rallied that last 15km strong and I said, ako lang anmana ng mag shut up, not any of the support crew. Hehe). He didn’t say anything.

And like a precious kitten, we moved him to the van not saying much so as not to mess up his thought process.  Maybe he was thinking of a come-back and he’s not just saying it. It was a long walk to the van, though.  He couldn’t  bend his knees.  Both knees. Tsk.Tsk.  We were half carrying him and as he tried to move into the van, I felt him shiver. We all forgot that he had his shirt off and he was having chills as his body temperature levelled down. Nakow!  Jacket please!  Since he couldn’t move fast enough to get into the van, we scrambled for anything to cover him with.  Body warmth was his first line of defense.  He got into the van.  We told him to sleep for at least20 minutes and we’d talk to him after and decide if he was to continue on.  After a few minutes, his whole body was having spasms.  He still was not talking. We covered him up at which point Doc Pnx said, “Ano, swero-han na kita?” said in half-jest.  Pat said in a very small but lucid voice, “Pag nag swero, DQ…” Lau and I shouted with joy because it meant he wasn’t DNF-ing.  Not yet at least…

As we silently closed the sliding doors of the van, you could see from the outside an exhausted warrior sleeping in the dark, using two (2) sarongs as blanket.  You can hear the faint sound of the soothing music of waterfalls and the ocean to aid in hastening his sleep.  The good healer sitting beside the warrior regularly checks his vital signs making sure the spasms that manifests itself every once in a while is just spasms and nothing more severe.

As we walked into the road, we saw the almost fallen soldiers recuperating in their own way – massages in the ambulance, dinner, music, resignation, a quiet jubilation.  At 12:40AM Sunday, February 27, 2011, the second to the last warrior left KM 102 and continued on to attempt to run 58 more  kilometres.

The last warrior left at almost 12:50AM struggling with every step, with a friend by his side and his carriage with his ladies in waiting patiently seeing him through the last kilometre he promised to run/walk for them.  That was the most joyful DNF anyone could have asked for.

KM 102-103

Poor Nick. He was soooo excited to pace Pat not just 10km as planned but 58 km if need be. But alas, the fates were not with him that fateful Sunday dawn…

Or maybe Fate was with Nick…laughing behind the clouds as it made Nick pace Pat at the bestest pace Nick can muster…

40 minutes to a kilometer…

Pat could barely walk and was just trying to do so, so as not to disappoint his Entoraj (we fondly call ourselves Pat’s entoraj). Excited Nick (I can’t stop laughing!) realizing this was going to be the longest kilometer of his life, gets 2 packs of chips from the van. Akala namin for Pat. Para sa kanya pala. Chika pace kung chika pace! hahahaha

Lauren, Doc Pnx, Dado and I were laughing so hard at the picture this 2 brought to the fore that Pat was getting annoyed already. He has no choice but to take in the ribbing because he was in too much pain. hahaha

At exactly KM 103, Pat said. Oh, 1 kilometer na. Nick asked again, ‘Oh, mag de declare na ka ba ng DNF?’ Pat said with no hurt in his eyes, ‘Oo. DNF na’

Funnier part: As Pat was getting into the van, I thought Nick had him and Nick though I had him and we both left him at the same time. Next thing you hear, “Hoy! Mahuhulog ako,” as we saw him slipping down the side of the van. I couldn’t help him in because I was laughing so hard.

*We called in a DNF for Patrick Winceth Alcomendas at KM 103 at 1:30AM.  Proudly and with Love.

Epilogue1: We proceeded to the hotel  where Doc Pnx quickly administered to run 2 bottles of dextrose on Pat for dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.  His body would still involuntarily go into spasms even when he was asleep.

The Nightmare of Botak 100 Still Hounds Pat.

In the morning, Crew 2 would run an ice bath for him which was the funniest thing in the world .  Doc Apple would take pictures of Pat inside the tub of ice as Sheila would count to 20 seconds.  He hated it. LOL.

Epilogue 2: I asked Pat if I could write about this whole experience and he said, ‘pwede bang Anonymous Runner na lang ako?’  Sabi ko, ‘Sure!’ Hence the title. Bow.

Pat's Entoraj

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