For the second time around, I ran Subic Legacy Run. This time with a different atmosphere as most of the runners were from our very own Philippine National Police force. I learned that there were over a thousand runners who participated the run, including PCSupt. Samson R. Tucay, Race Director and who retired last September 8, 2008. What a way to spend retirement day!
Here’s our story (my version)…
The HF group met at Velasquez Park, Salcedo Village at around 9AM. However, we left Makati City a bit later due to some errands of some of the HF runners including me. I wanted to thank Aljo and Mon for their patience. In the car, I saw Ipe, Sensei John Ting, Totoy, and Mayen.
It was an awesome experience for me to see and traverse, for the first time, the newly completed highway going to Subic which made the trip shorter than expected. Almost everyone in the car couldn’t stop admiring the view, especially, the almost endless road which was a sight to behold. We arrived at past 12 noon and after leaving our stuff at Subic Homes apartment (courtesy of Aljo), we looked for a good place to eat and headed back to the apartment to rest.
Other HF runners, Zimm, Cecil, Tin, Lito and his wife, arrived later in the afternoon while Mon and Sir Ipe went out to have a beer session with the HF Lost Command camp whose apartment is just further down the road.
That night we had dinner at Aristocrat’s. Doc Oknoy, a 42km runner, joined us at dinner time. After carbo loading, we headed back to the apartment for guitar and singing session. It was really fun! To top it off, we enjoyed posing before the camera. Tin’s great idea, of course!
Anyway, there are other HF people whom I wanted to feature also in my blog. HF group, as you well know, is composed of diversed people and very talented too. It just suddenly dawned on me, why not post their best moment after finishing a run? I believe they\’re very inspiring, especially, to runners like me or to runners out there. I did ask him through SMS or text if it’s OK. I had the GO signal. He has his way with words. He could have been a writer other than being a doctor.
This is Doc’s own story …
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Marie Caesarea (marie@cargosafeway) and Ms. Gay Maddela of RUNCPI for allowing me to run the unforgettable Subic Legacy Marathon last 7 September. The run was supposed to be by invitation only, but I wanted to be part of the legacy of a great officer and a gentleman in General Samson Tucay. This man leads by example, Gen, Tucay was able to reform and transform the rotten eggs in the police force into men of valor and he was able to mold new police officers who carried his ideals. The midnight marathon was his graduation run. I wanted to be part of his legacy not only because I firmly believe in the man and what he stands for, but also, I want to be reformed too. I have talked this over with my colleague, Dr. Gigi and we agreed that this run will be my Rubicon, crossing that line of no turning back.
So I pestered Ms. Marie, Ms. Gay and Mon Sunday (Domingo) for me to get into this race and for that I am so grateful. I haven’t been running so I know that I was in no shape for this run, the only thing running in my mind was Perfecto De Castro’s 10-string guitar rendition of the Leopoldo Silos and the great Levi Celerio’s classic, “Dahil sa Isang Bulaklak” (Because of a Flower), with that and the majestic sunset at Manila Bay, I was trying to take Dr. Gigi one afternoon but she was buried with her books. It was splendid and after the sun was gone, it rained. But like the crazy man that I am, I welcomed it with a smile and went home drenched.
I would also like to thank Ms. Rivka for cheering me on, and a fast running friend egging me to run. Hopefully I will be able to chase this friend in future runs………means a lot to me what you did.
I intended to do this run alone, so I deliberately did not join the group (I hope you understand by now folks), arrived in Subic and watched “For the First Time” to kill time. Eto na naman. Seeing KC, last time I saw her was in her Mamita’s (Madame Elaine Cuneta) room trying to choose what to play in her big laser disc player. KC has grown. Naiyak ako (I cried). I must admit……ang bigat sa dibdib (with a heavy heart). Naiyak ako sa inggit………buwisit na Richard yan ang sweet sweet, ang presko-presko… ang sarap gulpihin!
Anyway, I knew Mon will be worried, and I miss the gang too. After seeing For the First Time. Boy, you don’t want to be alone anymore. So I called and met up with the group at Aristocrat and we had fun and went back to Subic Homes, bonded with the guitar, covered two chordbooks full of songs from the 60‘s to the 90’s…. Roselle was the diva that she is. Then Lito, Mon and Mikey sent Ka Totoy and me off to the marathon.
It was exciting. I think it was the first midnight 42k marathon in the country, the intended 50 runners swelled to 61 then 72 and we were about 100 I the starting line. Me up with Don who was in a full race mode wearing his tri-team shirt.
General Tucay gave his valedictory and we went off. My plan was to stick with Gen Tucay’s group so that the sound of the stampede will hopefully scare away the wild animals along the route, and of course, the support was there for runners, figured out it will be impossible to support all 100 of us running when we are on the road……. The agreement was, we will all run with Gen Tucay as a pack until the 30km mark and then the rest can sprint away (the 30km mark is from the airport to the Remy track field, the idea was we stick together in the forest and breakaway when there are lights present in the streets to the finish) But runners as we are……we tend to be excited…our adrenalines are bursting. So what the pack did was they broke away when we reached the airport at the first 8km mark. We were scattered. So this will be a nightmare for the limited support staff for the marathon.
My plan sticks, stay with the general or be lost in the woods…………….stay I did , but struggled…obviously, the General lives and breathes in Subic, he was in great shape, because he was talking all throughout the run…….giving instructions, concerned with the welfare of all the runners in his race. He was not thinking about himself, but the people who were around him! It was 90 percent uphill in the first 21k and I tried my best to stay with the pack, near the turn I met up with ka Totoy then, Don Ubaldo who was with some elite runners and he had his sweet wife as back-up, driving the car, lighting their way. Reminded me of Richard and KC and how they cared for each other.
I was lagging behind from the pack by the 25th kilometer and I realized I got what I wanted for in the first place………………………. I was alone in the dark……………. No one was with me……. I have to change my plan………. Run slow at the lighted portions of the mountain road…and run as fast as I can in the dark stages….where wild boars, naughty macaques, hungry bats, big boa constrictors and the deadly Philippine cobra might be in the middle of the street lurking…. (I remembered how the
tiger from the nearby Zoobic safari fell victim to the bite of the cobra……the tiger became a Smithsonian skeleton display in that park). I don’t have the strength and the agility of a tiger…. So I sensed that I am no match to the Philippine cobra which was my main concern never mind the slow boa falling out of a tree. It did not help that I saw a dead snake in the middle of the road on the way up…… they are for real…
I deliberately left my water container half empty, for me to have some left in the race with the hope that the noise from the jiggling water and my galloping run will scare away the beasts in my mind. In effect I was doing a fartlek, intervals while I was running the marathon. Along the dark downhill bend, I tripped and fell had a sprain but had to carry on like a wounded Rambo….. by the time I reached the airport…..I was a goner……………the legs were not there anymore ……I was dead tired, I have no other way but to finish the course, I remembered singing this song with Mikey and Roselle when we jammed (thanks guys, this kept me up)
“It is the night. My body’s weak.
I’m on the run. No time to sleep.
I’ve got to ride.
Ride like the wind to be free again;
And I’ve got such a long way to go……………”
Finally met an officer in Rambo camouflage who showed me the well lit road back (the road crossing Binictican and Subic Homes) I was tempted to call Mon to pick me up since they were nearby, I think friend Bro Aljo sensed this, for HE DID CALL ME…. But my fone as always was in silent mode so I did not see it…so I walked that lonely highway alone……with the strange slithering sounds prowling in the grass at the side of the road, I was too tired to be scared…. I just carried on………………. with a smile and a welcoming Ms. Gay at the finish line……. I did my sixth marathon….
From: oknoy poblete
Subject: SEptember races and Subic
Date: Tuesday, September 9, 2008, 3:03 PM
There you go… I decided to exclude his last two paragraphs. For me, they were too personal. May be… he might publish that reflection in his book someday.
So, back to our group’s story…
The full marathon started at 11 PM. So there went Mon, Lito and Sir Ipe to send off Doc Oknoy and Totoy for their run. Awesome! By the time we woke up prior to race, these two great guys
were already done with their full marathon! Amazing!
Race day, 5:30 AM …
Had to do some laps and stretching.
The race didn’t start on time as we waited for the last runners of the full marathon to reach the finish line. And when they did finally arrive, everyone cheered!
The race started after the sounding of the trumpet (seven times) and followed by the firing of the gun. There we go… 5k and 10k runners … both civilians and military alike… with one passion … RUNNING.
I was about to overtake Tisha (who was my target then) but she, who just recently did a 21k, overtook me. She was fast! In fact, I overheard some police personnel saying, “Grabe, ang lalakas nung babae, o!” (Wow, that lady is pretty strong!) It sure was a nice feeling, that while running, some of the police runners would say “Hi!” or “Go, Ma’am!”
I think most of us did well.