For my first weekend this year, I set my mind and heart to do what I love doing, and that is running. I am glad that there are several races to choose from. For January 8 and 9, the races are Run for Love, Run for Life in Filinvest, Alabang, Subic International Marathon in Subic, and PSE Bull Run in the Fort.
Last Sunday, I asked my husband and children if they are available and willing to join me. My Unica Ija and Buns cannot make it due school activities. With that, my older son, the most athletic in the family, suggested that the three of us join the Run for Love Race. When I asked him if he can register for us, he obliged without any hesitation. So there you go, he went to ATC and Festival Mall to register but it took him three days to finally complete the process for one reason or another. On the first day, the person manning the booth came in late and he cannot wait for her. On the second day, the registration booth did not open as per schedule, so again my son who came early in his road bike has to leave instead of waiting and exposing his bike to risk if he will linger longer in the mall. Finally, on the third day, he was able to register his dad and mom but omitted himself as he decided to use the intended registration fee for a gadget of his bike. Well, he loves his bike and his mom always understands.
The day came, it was this morning, my husband and I left the comfort of our home and brave the cold dawn to proceed to the West Gate in Alabang. It took us less than 15 minutes to get to the venue despite a lot of diggings and road works along Zapote-Alabang Road. When we reached the place, we were advised to park in the middle of the access road as the parking area is already full. As we were walking to the starting line, I got this notion that the race will be simple just like a village run. I can also feel that I will enjoy the race despite running twice the 5k loop because the route is stress-free with no vehicles/motorist allowed.
Before we start the race, a pastor from Hands of Love Philippines Foundation Inc., beneficiary of this race, thanked the Lord and prayed for the runners. He also briefed us about their foundation and mentioned that they are motivated to act by Jesus Christ’s love. He reiterated that this event aims to eradicate hunger and poverty. The purpose was noble and we were made to realize that we are not just running for fitness or fun but also for the sense of selflessness and generosity to the less fortunate and marginalized sector of our society. For me, this is an opportunity to help without being publicized or recognized. The reward will come from our Lord above.
To set the mode back to running, a fitness coach (sorry, I cannot remember his name and his company) was called and he activated our bodies through simple routines for us to be ready to run injury-free. I love this!
After a minute or so, the runners were separated according to each category which will run five minutes apart. We, in the 10K category, ran first. We were all excited and happy. I even heard a couple promising to each other that they will continue talking even at the point that both are tired. Another couple said that they should finish together as in “walang iwanan” . Some were serious and silent runners especially the Kenyans and the elite runners from Team Bald Runner. For me and my husband, we maintained our pace with neither pressure nor tension. We enjoyed the pavement as well as the hills. We liked the weather and of course the surroundings. It was pure fun and pleasure not to mention that we were running for love and life. We both had a good time.
The race was well-manned. The marshals and water stations were adequate. Runners ran safe. Freebies and loot bags were also provided. The awarding ceremony was likewise simple but superb. I felt fulfilled and contented for my first race in 2011. If I will describe the race in one sentence , then it will be – The race is terrific.