Greater Than 300

Last sprint on a very slippery when wet Commonwealth Avenue.  (photo courtesy of Running Photographers)

Last sprint on a very slippery when wet Commonwealth Avenue.

     QUEZON CITY – For an admitted first time fun run organizer, the Golden Grip Universal Foundation’s “300 Mandirigma: Hakbang Sa Pagbabago” last Sunday (August 4) at the stretch of Commonwealth Avenue was a smashing success.  Definitely, the crowd was far more than the 300 participants they had hoped to attract initially.

     At first, the unpredictable weather did not cooperate as it rained heavily.  Suddenly, the rain stopped a few minutes before the 5:30 AM gun start for the 10-kilometer category.

     It can be said that the rains could be a blessing from above but it resulted in slippery road conditions.  The game plan now was to take extra precaution with every stride.

     I have not run on Commonwealth since last December’s Quezon City International Marathon but I still have an idea of the road’s topography.  Of course, the biggest challenge remained the Tandang Sora flyover which had to be scaled twice on the straight course.

     Only the two inner left lanes from Philcoa bound for Fairview were closed so a lot of uniformed traffic enforcers and policemen were stationed throughout the five-kilometer stretch.  An ambulance was parked at the u-turn slot near Saint Peter Parish, doubling as a road block.

     Speaking of traffic, I had to arrive as early as 4:00 AM in anticipation of the heavy influx of entrance examinees at the University of the Philippines.  However, traffic was hardly felt during the race.

     As per organizer’s instructions, parking was made at the Quezon City Hall compound.  The brisk walk from there to the race village served as a good warm up.

     Hydration was well provided every 1.5 kilometers.  Since it was only a 10-kilometer race, I just drank three times from the two stations that served Pocari Sweat and skipped the others.

Runners assemble for pre-race briefing.

Runners assemble for pre-race briefing.

     Having run a full marathon exactly one week ago, I was not expecting much since my body is still in recovery mode.  Compared to last December, negotiating the Tandang Sora flyover surprisingly seemed easier.

     With about a kilometer left, it meant the final rush to the finish line.  Despite running conservatively due to the wet road conditions, I still checked in a shade under an hour based on my watch.

     Filipino ultramarathon legend Cesar Guarin graced the occasion.  He ran with the 10-kilometer runners, which is a mere pittance compared to the transcontinental distances he has tackled so far in his current attempt to run around the world.

     Finishers were rewarded with a nice dry fit shit.  The designed featured national heroes Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio and Lapu-Lapu – very appropriate since all participants are deemed as heroes.

     Proceeds of the run will go to Golden Grip’s many charity activities which include providing formal and non-formal education to poor but deserving children, livelihood skills training for adults and many others.  As foundation president Megan Ip said during the program, they will not stop as long as there are Filipinos who are in need.

     The giving indeed does not stop and continues with an aquathlon entitled “Langoy Sa Pagbabago” on September 28 and a duathlon called “Padyak Sa Pagbabago” on November 30.  Details of these events will be announced very soon.

     If the success of the fun run is any indication, it is recommended that the trilogy be completed.  It will mean tripling the number of persons getting help towards a better life.

Thank you to Lara Palileo of the Golden Grip Universal Foundation for inviting me to participate in this fun run.

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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