Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fair Play: Dodging Hells' Angels in the Sinulog Run

(Column disaster, instead of this final copy, I inadvertently e-mailed a draft, which came out in the paper today.  Ouch-)

I ALWAYS knew runners have to be made of sturdy stuff to be able to do what normal people won't, wake up really early just to run a few kilometers.           I didn't know they'd have to be very good at dodging the Devils on Wheels.

Last Saturday, a few members of the Sportswriters Association of Cebu joined the Sinulog Run.  It was fun, and in my case, painful.

Just 200 meters after the start, my legs started to revolt so I decided to slow my pace.  How slow?  A brisk-walking lady overtook me.

Still, a kilometer into the race, I realized I'd have to watch out for crazy motorists of all types.  These Hells' Angels won't mind barreling through a group of runners if they see a minute gap, opting to let a runner dodge their hoods rather than wait for a marshall to let their cars through.

The first of these Hells' Angels, who think the roads are made specifically for them, were a red Tamaraw FX and a taxi that played a dangerous game of chicken with the runners.  Then there was that darn jeepney driver who jolted me and three others in my pack by revving his engine to max to get his way.            Another jeepney driver dropped a passenger near a runner, then belched black smoke on his way out for a good measure.

After I finished my run, another bunch of devils took over. Question: Does riding a really big bike exempt a rider from wearing a helmet?  And why does a red motorbike have a police siren?

While I was walking to the flyover, another bunch of these KSPs came, not minding if there were still 21K runners, or pedestrians for that matter, on the streets. Sure there were some considerate ones in their group, but most of them remind me of that bully back home who always rides his big bike when most people in our place were asleep, just to make sure he got noticed.

The worse was that guy in a DT, who, sans any helmet, beat a red light, did a turn ala Moto GP.  For a moment, I wished that his tires slip, just to see how embarrassed he will be.

Oh well, I hope the Hells' Angels of the pack took their motorcade to other parts of the country, and stay there.  I know a place in Mindanao where these Devilish Riders will do well to advertise their wealth.

Despite the Hells' Angels, my first 5K experience was fun and inspiring.  One old guy struggled to the finish line, with cane in hand, and got the most applause, while I saw a pair of runners helping an injured friend limp his way to finish the 21K. (And among the sportswriters, the most senior in age and physique, Rico Navarro of The Freeman, finished first.)

And then there are those who man the water stations. They not only provide water, they cheer you up. And by the time you need that cup of water, you also need a "liter of cheers."

However, one lady in the water station at the finish line wasn't too pleased with the some of the runners. After seeing the nth finisher throw his cup just anywhere, I heard her say loudly, "Hoy, tarunga sad ninyo labay ang basura," just as I was about to add to the litter on the streets.

Well, she was right. It was the finish line, there was no need to drink, throw and run.  So I dutifully brought my cup with me.

MONEY TALKS.  The squabble over the proposed split of the purse is threatening to derail the Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton fight.  (Or is it already part of the hype?)

Pacquiao asks for respect and wants 60-40 or the highway, Hatton wants 50-50 or another bloke.  Well, can't they make it 60-40 in favor of whoever wins the fight? Both fighters are confident they'd win, why not put their money where their mouth is?

Oh well, that's just a thought.

No comments: