Tuesday, May 15, 2012

5 Unforgettable Moments During the Malaybalay Fiesta Run 2012

Before I proceed with another made-up, after run list, here's my brief review of the 1st Malaybalay Fiesta Run 2012 held last Sunday, May 13, at the Capitol Grounds:

In my own opinion, the 1st Malaybalay Fiesta Run 2012 was a well-organized race. There are adequate hydration stations (four, to be exact) which are very important since the route (Capitol Grounds to Brngy. Casisang and San Jose boundary and back) features lots of up-and-down terrain which definitely zapped out the body fluids of all runners. Kilometer and turning point markers prominently displayed were also very helpful. 

The highway route, however, is somewhat dangerous due to the passing vehicles and the fumes they emit. My suggestion for future runs in Malaybalay is to do it on "interior" routes such as the diversion road in Brngy. Sumpong, or the dirt road going Brngy. Can-ayan. These roads are safer since only a few vehicle regularly passed along and the runners will get to breath some fresh air while enjoying the views of distant hills and mountains.  

Congrats to my friends Buggy Intong, Kenneth Taylor and Ronan Montero for doing a great job in organizing the 1st Malaybalay Fiesta Run 2012!     

And now, my 5 Unforgettable Moments of the Race:
5. A barefoot runner finished the 5K route - My kumpare, my officemate's husband and fellow Malaybalay Runners Pete Ford Padla successfully ran the whole 5K route without shoes on his feet. I believe that he established some sort of record by becoming the first runner in Malaybalay to do this in an official race. While I've done some after-training barefoot run in the past  (I love its therapeutic feel on my soles), the longest time I have done it is only about 10 minutes. I know it would take courage and strength to do this on a 5-kilometer distance so I commend my friend for his great accomplishment.

 Malaybalay's first barefoot runner! (Photo from Beth Padla)

4. A special child joined the race - On the last 2 kilometers of my 10K run, I passed along a very inspiring scene: a special child, assisted by two yayas, walking back to finish the 5K route. I was so touched that I have to stop my run and take photo to capture the moment. I would later learn that his name is Dale Paolo Monreal and is afflicted with microcephaly, a neurodevelopmental disorder. His parents, owners of a bakeshop in Malaybalay, made him do some regular walking as part of his therapy. 

 Be inspired!

3. I reached the finish line with a "comebacking" runner - Rio Adam Opiala, a friend I met through running, is on a comeback trail after collapsing due to heat stroke in last year's Milo Marathon in Cagayan de Oro City. After that unfortunate event, instead of just sulking and quitting the sport, he slowly made his way back into the running scene with grit and determination. During last Sunday's run we caught up and chatted with each other about one kilometer before the 10K finish line. Since there are no more hydration stations along that portion of the route, I shared with him the remaining Gatorade on my water bottle. After a short walk break, we sprinted together and both made a strong finish. How strong? Read # 2 to find out (hehehe!).

 Me and Adam at the finish

2. Finally, a sub-1 hour 10k for me! - Finishing 10k in less than one hour is one of my running goals for this year. Before the start of the Fiesta Run, I doubted if I can achieve it because the killer route known as Malaybalay Highway has lots of long uphill stretches. I'm glad I was able to maintain my endurance and a bit of speed all throughout and reached the finish line at 59:29. And I did it with walk breaks and some picture-taking along the way. I can't call it an official time though since the run has no timing chip and I have to rely on my cellphone's stopwatch to keep track of my time. Still I am glad that my training significantly improve my strength and speed on the 10K distance.

1. My wife is back with a bang! - My running partner, travel buddy and best friend also known as my wife Malou has been sidetracked after being confined for 6 straight days in the hospital last March due to stress-related illnesses (tension headache, post-nasal drip syndrome and acute gastritis!). Inch by inch, step by step, I helped her slowly get back into the groove and finally, last Sunday, she joined her first race after getting sick. The result? A 6th place finish in the 5K female category! Considering she ran only a few times and short distances before this run, her impressive finish further confirmed that, pound-for-pound, Malou is a better runner than me (Aarrgh!!!). 

 My wife is the better runner. Yeah!