For the Love of RUnning: My Run United Philippine Marathon Experience

Commitment.  Lifestyle.  Perserverance.  Discipline.  Determination.  Passion.  Courage.  Motivation.  Fun.  Wellness.  Confidence.  Fitness.  Health.  Strength.  Inspiration.  Family.  Friends.  Active.  Personal goal. 

These are the words written on the front side of the shirt, the loyalty running shirt given to runners who have completed the Run United (RU) series this year and couldn’t be luckier to have one.  
Printed on the back of the shirt,  “For the love of RUnning.”  
Early this year, I wrote something about planning to run another marathon in the last quarter of the year but with the erratic weather, one typhoon after another plus the monsoon rains which caused floods in some low-lying areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, joining in another marathon was completely out of the plan.  Foremost reason, not enough training or simply put, I didn’t get to train at all.  
In one of my usual runs while waiting for the light to go green before crossing the street, a friendly young man beside me, may be in his early 20s, started a conversation.  He asked me if I would be running the Run United Philippine Marathon, I replied with a smile, “Nope, I’m on rest mode.”  Considering that I had just recently finished a 32-kilometer race a few weeks back, I was definitely on rest mode.  So I thought.
But fate intervened.  I got a free voucher of the upcoming running event courtesy of Runrio.  With no hesitation, I registered for the full marathon (42K) category.  After I signed up, the first thing that struck me was the fact that I would be running the distance with no training at all.   My only long run was the 15K race by Ensure to Endure the previous Sunday.   “What did I get into? Oh well, good luck to me!” Hahaha!
It was nice to see familiar faces again at the starting line.  At the start of the race, I initially paced with a fellow ultramarathon runner and 102 Bataan Death March finisher Sir Larry, a member of the Fairview Running Group.  
The pace went on smoothly when suddenly the person in front of me stopped running.  So as to avoid crashing into him, instinctively, I jumped at the sidewalk.  My right foot hit first and I suppose landed wrong.  I failed to see the square hole.  The edge hit the inner big toe bone or mound of my right foot.  It was really painful but it did not stop me from continuing to run.  Sir Larry insisted I should check on it before proceeding.   
With this incident, I would just like to remind newbie runners out there of an etiquette running rule when running races: If you want to STOP and drink, move to the side of the road, out of the way of other runners.  Move to the right side of the road during a race if you slow to a WALK, so that you can let others continue to run.  
I didn’t allow the earlier incident to deter me from reaching my goal.   
To finish the race, carries the rewards of hearing one’s name being announced as one crosses the finish line and accepting from the race director the biggest finisher’s medal I have ever seen.  It was not a personal best but it was worth it.  
All for the love of running.

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