Pediatricians Pound Pavement

pps-takboparasakabataangpinoy
     PASAY CITY – The Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) successfully staged the Takbo Para Sa Kabataang Pinoy last April 16 (Tuesday) at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) grounds.  The fun run was part of the activities of the 50th PPS National Convention.

     All the available slots for the general public were quickly gobbled up owing to the very affordable price of PHP 250.00 and PHP 200.00 for the six and three-kilometer categories respectively.  The 500-meter dash for both children and adults went for PHP 100.00.  Slots in all categories were set aside for the doctors attending the convention.

     Set to start at 4:00 PM, the program and gun start was thankfully moved forward an hour thus avoiding the hot afternoon sun.  The weather was also humid hence no need for a warm-up, just some stationary stretching, since I was already sweating profusely.

     Aside from the unusual day and time, the fun run deviated by firing off the 500-meter dash first.  Apparently, this had a special reason.

     Most of the entries in the 500 meters were from the event’s beneficiary, God’s Special Children Foundation.  Since the dash would span about an estimated two to five minutes, it was right to give the kids a chance to run in front of a huge audience since they are the real stars of the show.

     As the last of the dashers arrived, it was time to fire off the six-kilometer runners.  No less than PPS President Dr. Melinda M. Atienza did the honors.

     Since it was weekday afternoon, only a partial road closure was in effect unlike during the traditional Sunday morning runs.  That was fine considering the small field.

     Given the limited space, the route consisted of a lot of u-turns.  Three color-coded ribbons had to be acquired along the way and depending on the ribbons one has, the marshal will point to which direction to go to.

     The number of marshals was more sufficient in relation to the number of runners.  The marshals were also well-prepared for their task, toting bull horns to bark instructions to the runners.

     Hydration gets a passing mark – there were two stations along the route which runners get to pass each two to three times plus one more at the race village.  Only water was available and that is much acceptable due to the short distance.

     With a set up like that, it is important for the runner to be alert and if possible to also understand the route map.  For the distance, I usually skip several hydration stations and take one or two drinks since time is very critical and a single miscue might result in a major drop in the final rankings.

     Again, it is at these small community runs wherein an average runner can feel like an elite runner for a day.  I ran toe to toe with the leaders most of the way only to be edged out at finish line by the eventual champion . . . of the Women’s Division!

     Podium finishers received medals, a plaque and a huge loot bag containing sponsors’ products.  All finishers in the three and six kilometers received medals, a rarity for the distance.

     The doctors then retreated for another night of fellowship at a nearby hotel.  Hopefully, we will see a bigger edition next year.

Thank you to Jerico Villamonte of Pep Squad Events and Marketing and to the Philippine Pediatric Society for making our participation possible.  Official results of the race may be downloaded HERE.

About Anthony E. Servinio

A long-time television sportscaster, magazine writer, photographer and college professor from the Philippines finally gives blogging a try after more than a decade of on-line presence. Read on folks!
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