will work 4 food & run 4 fitness (esp if free) : Pinoy on a Sat Wellington funrun

This was the only pic where I didn’t look like I was close to a heart attack, Gio was the only Pinoy besides me and my flatmate Rey

[Note : am doing this now & asap while i still remember, only my 2nd photo blog & while the pics are gosh-awful, it’s the event / thought that counts right? just say yes pls.]

AS EVENTS GO, it was a perfect three-out-of-three, so it was a no-brainer for this cheap Pinoy joiner.  Consider that it was (1) held on a weekend, (2) a running event, and (3) free, capitalize that, FREE, so we had to join.

Although I’ve run around the block, around the suburb and around the area for at least the last two years now, I’ve not run in an organized running event since around 30 years ago when my dad’s printing guild organized a fun run from the Luneta Grandstand to Rizal Coliseum, truly pathetic for me.

But there was no excuse this time, and my flatmate, a true-blue enthusiast, having caught the tailend of the running fever back home in the Philippines, was gonna be with me, having discovered the event online first.  I say be with me figuratively, cause he zoomed off the starting gun and I could only see him as a dot on the horizon by the time I finished pausing to lace up my shoeses.

the pre-run briefing. Besides the briefer, there was only ONE OTHER volunteer, the timekeeper (and his girlfriend), so you can imagine how thinly staffed the event was.

I immediately noticed that running in an organized event is different from your garden-variety Sunday jog around the park, everyone is conscious of maintaining and improving their personal time, and all I wanted was to finish the run, an eventuality which I wasn’t entirely sure of even though I ran regularly.  Don’t ask me why.

the timekeeper. I noticed him cuz of his Ferrari jacket and Asian girlfriend (nothing wrong with that, I just noticed) .

By the way, the event was free because it was run entirely by volunteers under the aegis of Park Run, which was founded by a professional runner who wanted to give back something to the running community.  It comes complete with online personal times where you can track your running development, as long as you bring your personal barcode with you.  Pretty neat huh?

this silver-haired man ran in front of me and stayed there, I wanted to overtake him but was afraid I would risk collapsing, so I stayed in my own pace.

I knew I was in trouble and in bad shape when gray-haired people and seniors started passing me, and to begin with I already started near the end of the group, which was around 50.  I knew these were seasoned runners who were dedicated to their sport, but before long I realized I was going to be in a fight-to-the-finish, meaning a fight to not finish last.

It’s an awful pic,but near the middle you can see Kenyan Kip Kemei, who won the 2012 Wellington Round the Bays marathon. The distance he ran to participate in our fun run was longer than the actual run itself, obviously nothing to him. Ho-hum 🙂

Even though there was no prize, the personal bests were meaningless (except to the runners themselves) and no finisher shirts were gonna be given away, most of the runners were dead-serious and intent on doing their best.  before I reached the halfway point, I already saw the leaders, including an African marathoner who won the local Round the Bays event on the other side sprinting to the finish line.  This was probably something he could do in his sleep.

the fifty-ish grandma. give me a few more months, and I’ll beat her any day of the week. I hope 😦

Before the last kilometer of the run when I was huffing and puffing, a fifty-ish grandmom ran beside me and before leaving me to eat her dust, said, almost there boy, don’t give up now! as if she was reading my mind.  Rather than curse the ignominy of being beaten by yet another golden girl, I took her advice and steeled myself towards the grim end.

I still haven’t searched my finishing time, it still hasn’t been uploaded yet, but if it’s anywhere near the twenty-seven minutes I logged in 30 years ago, I will consider it an achievement.

Thanks for reading !


6 thoughts on “will work 4 food & run 4 fitness (esp if free) : Pinoy on a Sat Wellington funrun

  1. Congrats Noel! Methinks- ang mahalaga tinapos mo ang sinimulan mo. For whatever it’s worth, you’re a winner in my book. Woohoo!

    • woohoo! coming from a full-marathoner, your kudos means heaps CGP 🙂 one day I’ll do the NY version yet, in your footsteps! thanks for the comment!

    • hey Fil, thanks! if you mean do I join half-marathons and fun runs regularly, I don’t. But if it’s free and nearby, and the weather permits, I always try to participate in community runs like the one above. Yes, because of the changing seasons I’m like you, off and on 🙂 more power to your blog!

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