Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Taste of Marathon Triumph

photo credit : Edward Diente 
Four hundred eighty three, almost five hundred lives changes after crossing the finish line. More than five hundred different stories of life changing experience. One could write about all these stories of fulfillment and have one inspiring book for the world to read. For now, let me share my own vantage point of this one of a kind marathon event in the Philippines - The Bull Runner Dream Marathon 2012.

I was once a dreamer. March 18, 2012, that persona in my dream and I became one. Its the fusion of me and who I want to be. The moment when once I who had limits suddenly became the guy who knows no boundary. With the support of my friends, my untiring wife who went through exhausting undertakings just before my race (and still managed to pull-off a great post marathon surprise), and the extraordinary marathon experience that The Bull Runner herself provided - I am now a marathoner.

photo credit: Jenny Red
I'm one of the marathoners of the event so please bear with me if I missed some of the details since my feeling of great elation did made everything blurry as if I'm still dreaming. And speaking of everything being blurred and  dreamy at the finish line, this photo perfectly emulates my mental images as I recall all the things that had happen. In fact, I could hardly recognize most of my friends who threw congratulatory messages. All they were are angels who touched my heart as they all became part of this wonderful chapter of my life.

Its just an ordinary place, hundreds or even thousands of people passes that road everyday. 
But now, that place has a special meaning to me. Its the road that leads me to becoming a marathoner.  

Advance Party :)
Gloomy Saturday morning came, my son and I were packed and head to El Cielito Inn together with Carlo and Arnel. My wife Nette still had some important responsibilities that she had to attend to at work so she'll be following us late night instead. We arrived in the hotel before lunch time, just in time for check-in. Took our sumptuous lunch at the back of wet market of Paseo. Good thing Arnel took us there because its relatively cheap compare to other prime restaurants in the area and still the food were more than satisfying. We roam around for a little while at Paseo and decided to head back to the hotel. We slept in the hotel from 2 in the afternoon until 6PM. Its a good rest  preparation for our 2AM gunstart. We had a light dinner from Dyep who generously bought burgers for us. He even had ice cream for Tim. Thanks Dyep! Nette arrived in the hotel at around 11PM together with Six:30 running group. Shes so exhausted because of her all-day-busy work, good thing Arnel reserved a hotel room for us, so my wife and kid will rest and sleep until morning and by then they'll wait for me at the finish line.

Pacemates Miles & Mitch
We left the hotel and head to Nuvali at around 12 midnight. Japs gave us a lift who happens to be passing by the hotel where we stayed. It was still early and yet too many runners were already flocked in the starting line. We parked in the designated area and soon enough I met my pacemates Miles and Mich. We were so looking forward to this event and finally the long wait was over. Since it was still early, we had all the time to check-in (to get our timing chips and reflective arm band), posed for some pictures, and stretched our legs.

Six:30 running group goofing around before gun-start

Photo credit : Angelito Hernandez

The stage was situated adjacent to the starting line coral. Cristine Jacob (also TBR Dream Marathoner) graced the soon to be marathoners as their host. Reminders has been announced, inspirational words had been said, and the prayers was led. Then the countdown begins. 2 o'clock in the morning while majority of the population were resting, all the runners were all in high spirits. Mixed emotions of excitements, fears, reliefs, and joy could be seen from nameless faces around me.

Then the gun went off. Its like a feast where everybody shouts at the top of their lungs to express how happy they were. "This is it!" said the runner behind me. Flashes from different cameras gave the runners a distinct ambient of importance. Throwing each other smiles, handshakes, and bidding each other good lucks as we started running. Definitely a site I want to be a part of.

We stayed in front of the starting line (to strike a pose for the cams. hehe!) and that was the first and last we were at the front of the pack. We tried to do a consistent  alternating 1 minute run and 1 minute walk to conserve our strength since its a very long 42.195 kilometers (the operative word there is "tried" LOL!). Together with Miles, Mich, and Lestky, we clocked the first loop (21K) at 2 hours and 40 minutes. I told the group that our time gives us enough room to finish within 6 hours. But after reaching the 30'th kilometer mark, the walk rests grew longer than a minute. Well, we tried to enjoy the scenery of Nuvali (kanya kanyang trip lang yan db? hehe!).

We never missed any of the hydration stations in the course, in fact - I never got a chance to get thirsty. Familiar faces from the online running community were also there as chasers to cheer us on. They provide the authentic joy of cheering and screaming our names that boosted our moral and pushed our slow pace a little faster. They provide hydration, gummy bears, fruits, chocolates, chips, bodivance, liniments, massages, and everything a runner could want. This is the reason why some dubbed TBR marathoners as "Brat Marathoners", haha! (its a foot race so runners could not request for a ride to the finish line :P ) There's a junction in the race course with exemplary sound system and live band that we passed six times. God also blessed the event with ideal climate - with cloud cover and even sprinkles us with a fine, gentle, misty rain. What else can we ask for?

The finish line is now in sight. I let Mich go ahead and tried to maintain a good distance from her so each of us  will have our own special moment in the finish line. I also intend to let Miles go ahead next to Mich but my Six:30 teammates were already there to escort me (in a cramping speed) dashing our way to the finish line. Ten meters before the finish line comes with the crowd cheering my name, wow! its my fellow HOBsters!  I saw Noah pulled out a party popper and blasted confetti in the air as I crossed the finish line. Thank you H.O.B.!

My twisted calf muscles almost gave me tears. But no, I don't want to cry in front of the camera! Hahaha! A matador hang a medal in my neck (my preeecciouuusss 8-} =p~ ). My co-Barneys were there holding up our tarp together with my wife Nette and son Tim who wore matching shirts with prints on it saying "My Daddy is a  Marathoner!" - I almost cried (keyword : "almost" :D ). I dedicate this achievement to you Mahal and to our fruit Tim. Thank you for all your support and love.

Nette and Tim in shirts and holding a tarp in the finish line.
Thanks mga mahal ko.
The TBRDM finishline was the most emotional place that day. Every finishers were hugged and kissed by their friends and family. They treat them like they haven't seen them for a long time. Four hundred eighty three finishers that were inspired, took the first step, and now becomes an inspiration for others. Its really amazing how this feat could change one life. Its not just a label of being a marathoner, its not just the discipline acquired while training, its how it changes our appreciation towards life.

For me, it really changes my life in ways beyond the running life that I'm living. Every aspect of my life seems to get in their better perspective. 

This is the race that exceeds everything that runners expect from a great race. And some say that there's no such thing as perfect, if that is the case, then TBR Dream Marathon 2012 didn't really took place. Because there's only two words that I can describe it with - "Perfect Race".  


Special Thanks to:
  • Nette & Tim (family)
  • TBR Dream Team 
  • Miles Lim, Mich, & Lestky (pacemates)
  • Carl, Kaye, Rhona, Rochelle & Julie (financial support)
  • Six:30 Running Group (overwhelming support)
  • Hang Out Buddies  (support - party popper! wine! hehe)
  • Heart Break'ers (support)
  • Diadora Philippines through RFM (for the singlet)
Thank you for letting me do the things I really love..

20 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

  1. You should share this to Jaymie. :) Congrats marathoner Noel!

    1. Shared it to Jamie's wall. I hope its ok. :) Thanks RFM!

  2. Galing! Napapangiti ako habang nagbabasa! :)

  3. the best race indeed. thanks for making me a part of it.:-)

    1. Im glad to have spent the journey with U and Mich.. :)

  4. Congrats Noel! Very inspiring Article =)

  5. congrats tukayo! sarap ng feeling ng first full! so kelan na ang 2nd marathon? :)

    1. Thanks tukayo! sarap talaga, two weeks n high pa din! ;) Soon bro. baka Mag Milo.. :) naadik n din. haha!

  6. continue to inspire others! congrats noel! :)

    1. Congrats Daves for bagging the first place! I'm so proud to be a friend of one cool and humble dude!

  7. Congrats ulit Noel! I love your number. Nice shirts, too. :D

  8. really nice Noel.. it was indeed the perfect race.

    1. thanks for the time spent reading irish! malamang ung pic nyo n sa finishline ang maging poster pic for next year. hehehe!


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