The Earth Day Run 2012 (Dagan Alang Sa Kalibutan) held last Sunday (April 22) in Malaybalay City was only the third organized run I've joined so far this year. After conquering my first marathon in Cebu last January, succeeding runs in Bukidnon and nearby Cagayan de Oro City conflicted with some of my personal schedules so I have to beg off from joining them.
With my grade school batchmates. L-R: Me, Jim Baula (my new "running recruit"), Carter Palma and Jun Lite.
With college classmates James Paulican and Randy Pizaña
The Earth Day Run last Sunday, however, provided me the perfect opportunity to achieve one of my running goals--that is to encourage more people to experience the joys of running. So in this particular run I "recruited" my friend, Jim Baula, to join his first 5K. Jim is my elementary grade classmate and we shared the same passion for rock music and basketball. In a time when MP3 was still unheard of, we used to exchange cassette tapes of our favorite heavy metal and hard rock bands. We were also the "self-declared" 1-2 punch of our barangay basketball team during our high school years. (hahaha!). He is now a Barangay Kagawad of Kisolon in the town of Sumilao and is currently planning to organize a fun run in his place. He joined the Earth Day Run so that he could have a grasp on how to organize a race.
The run was organized by the ever-active Father Robert Selecios of SIDPRESS. Start and Finish line was at the City Covered Court (Freedom Park). After a brief opening program where the importance of Earth Day celebration was explained, the race started at around 6 AM. In my own estimate, more than 200 runners participated in the event.
It was a 5K run and instead of attempting to break my previous best time of 26++ minutes, I just paced along with Jim and some friends: James Paulican of the Provincial Engineering Office, Leopoldo "Jun Lite" Liwanag of City Sports Office and Stewart Lagorra of Panahik Adventure Centre. Here's a photo showing the race route:
(Photo from Father Robert Selecios)
There were some uphills in the Kaamulan Grounds, Gawad Kalinga and Carbajal Street but it was a relaxed, even-paced run all throughout. Despite running in his first race, Jim was able to keep in step with us. We barely noticed the distance covered as we were chatting most of the way. We only increase our speed a bit upon reaching the final downhill going to the finish. We crossed the finish line in around 30 minutes. I believe it was very good run for Jim, being a first-timer.
Coffee, juices, water and sandwiches were served at the finish. It was indeed a very "sulit" run since registration fee is only 120 pesos and it already has a free t-shirt. Medals were awarded to the top finishers and some items were also raffled off to the participants. Seedlings were also given free to all runners.
With my LBP officemates
Here are the 5 Reasons Why I Love the Earth Day Run 2012:
1. Very affordable registration fee with free food, drinks, seedlings and t-shirt.
2. It increased the awareness on the importance of Earth's natural environment.
3. Challenging but enjoyable route as it passed through the Kaamulan Grounds.
4. Clean up drive was made at the race route after the run.
5. I was able to encourage another friend to lace up his shoes and RUN!