Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Fair Play: That runner's high and boring speeches

IF you want to learn the meaning of “passion for sports,” then check the marathoners. They are one of the prime examples. I mean, who in his right mind would run 42 kilometers?

For non-marathoners, 42 kilometers is just a number but if you want to imagine how far is that, then picture this.

Walking from Abellana National School to the Provincial Capitol may seem daunting but that’s only 1.82 kilometers (thanks to Google Earth). Imagine running back and forth from Abellana to the Capitol 23 times. Or, get this. The distance covered by the 13B route from the University of San Carlos-Technological Center to the USC Main Campus is only 6.40 kilometers, imagine going back and forth six and a half times.

That’s a marathon. Do you think you can survive that? I know I can’t.

The last time I ran for more than five minutes was back in high school, when we were made to jog for more than two hours as punishment for being late in practice.

But back to these marathoners. Not only do they run the 42K, they run more in preparing for a marathon. According to John Pages’ column yesterday, Millete Chiongbian ran close to 500 kilometers a month for the past year to prep for an event.

How far is 500K? Per Google Earth, a straight line from the Cebu Provincial Capitol to Gaisano Gen. Santos covers 485.21 kilometers. Whew!

And that’s not even half of it. Because of the lack of 42K races in the Philippines, marathoners like Chiongbian and the members of the Cebu Executive Runners Club are flying to Singapore just so they could run another 42K this Dec. 7, the day most Pinoys would be focused on the TV to watch Manny Pacquiao fight Oscar De La Hoya. Now that is passion.

For most people, you’d have to hold a gun to their head to force them to run 42K, for the marathoners, they’d give the guy holding a gun a plane ticket to the latest gun show in the US and run that 42K and more.

This runner’s high, is sure one, very, very, very powerful high.

OPENING CEREMONIES. Back when I was still an athlete, I’ve always hated the Opening Ceremonies of sports events. They’re tiring, boring, and they serve no purpose.

You practice hard for months, you arrive at the venue a day or two before the meet starts, and you have to spend that first official day, tracing the parade route the host plotted for the Opening Parade, instead of playing. (And of course you hear the organizers say, we have a really tight schedule, that’s why you play two games today.)

And worst, the speeches. You have to listen and all you can think of is, “Kanus-a man ni siya mahuman para makabalik nami sa quarters.”

During these speeches, just so we won’t waste our time, we’d spend it checking out which girl from our delegation, or from the others, is the hottest. And while Mrs. Shooperintendent is babbling about sportsmanship (It’s either that or how schools should not forget sports, the template for these speeches) or while Mr. Mayor is babbling how hard they prepared for the event, we try to learn what sport the girl was in so we could watch her in action.

I think a love affair was even started in our delegation once, thanks to a boring speech.

Nobody really remembers or pays attention to what the speaker is saying. So to guest speakers of future events, please consider that 1.) athletes can’t vote, 2.) they’ve heard it all and 3.) they’ve seen it all. Heck, they’d probably hear the same speech in the Regional and Palarong Pambansa.

So if you really want to get the athletes’ attention, (unless of course, you think the Opening Ceremonies speech isn’t supposed to be for the athletes) then consider saying this:

“Thank you for that wonderful introduction. Let the games begin! You can go now.” (,

For Bisaya stories from Cebu. Click here.

1 comment:

Al said...

What's up?. Thanks for the info. I've been digging around looking some info up for shool, but i think i'm getting lost!. Yahoo lead me here - good for you i suppose! Keep up the great information. I will be popping back over in a couple of days to see if there is any more info.