Monday, August 22, 2011

Fair Play: What the University Run made me realize

I WAS chasing a hot chick in a blue number yesterday for about five minutes when I realized I was chasing a hot chick in a blue number for five minutes.

Aaah, running, there aren’t that many better things to start a Sunday. Besides, it’s probably the only sport where you won’t be faulted if you spend 30 minutes chasing a hot chick.

Which was what happened to me yesterday when I joined the 6th University Run of Dr. Yong Larrazabal, my first running event since the midnight run in December 2009.

John Pages, who joined the 13K, said it was one of the best-organized runs he joined and since John has more mileage than a second-hand car, I’ll take his word for it.

I’m also glad that it was the University Run, and not the one before it, that I joined since judging from the other run’s feedback, I probably would have sworn off joining road races for good.

A guy just right behind me also had the same idea.

La….hi….ra…..gyud…..Doc…Yong…..” He was telling his companion, with his syllables spread every other step and puff, about how well-run the run was.

He also started talking, or rather at least tried to, about how race director Joel Baring was one of a kind.

“Engineer….dili….masipyat….distance,” he was saying.

“Kinsa?” His companion, who was struggling to keep pace, asked.


I was planning to butt in the conversation when, a runner with a rather nice behind stole my attention as she passed me by.

I tried to give chase but yesterday I’ve come to realize one truth about running—really hot girls who run are either too fast or too slow. You can either tire yourself out giving chase or mentally compose a column behind one the whole route.

Another truth about running. Crazy things come into your head when you’re treading the route.

I also realized one thing, joining the 21K division, which is my ultimate target for the Cebu City Marathon, will take a different kind of commitment. One, perhaps, that is greater than the one that had led me to spend 30 to 45 minutes, four to six times a week pounding rubber at the track oval.

One that will make me notice the route, not the hot ladies on it.

Yong said when he invited me to join the 6K that the view along the FFC boardwalk was awesome. He was right of course.

It was also at that point that I realized I’d have to do more if I ever want to join the 21K.

When you get to the boardwalk, you can see the First Mactan Bridge—or was it the second? But whether it was the first or the second, only one thing crossed my mind—it was so freaking far that I couldn’t believe folks were running to and from it.

And that’s just the 21K! Half the distance of a marathon, another ultimate goal.

Can I do it?

Should I do it?

Will I ever do it?

I finished my 6K in 37:15, and spent the rest of the time checking the finishers of the 13K and 21K divisions. John soon checked in, and so did his mom, who looked really very fit and finished her first 13K.

I saw a lot of CCSC regulars. And then there was Atan Guardo, who was perhaps bored with the 21K challenge that he decided to tackle the whole route bare-freakin’-foot! Crazy!

Just as I was about to leave with John, I met Doc Yong and congratulated him for a successful event. Then, as a souvenir, he gave me a 21K finisher’s medal. I declined at first but he said it was a souvenir.

I didn’t wear it, of course.

I thought it would be an insult to the men and women who were strutting their finisher’s medal proudly, taking souvenir shots at the finish line.

Perhaps, someday I will get to wear it.

Because you know what is one other thing I realized in the University Run?

The finish isn’t handed to you.

You earn it.

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