This was a race I was anticipating with all my heart for various and mostly sentimental reasons. The story starts sometime in September of 2010. I had just completed my first half marathon at the inaugural REXONA run returning a decent 1:39hr time. Team Powerpuff boys had earlier been formed and they were in need of new recruits to help them fill the 25 required slots for the upcoming October fest run. A yearly race that has a category for team competition. Coach Ronnel, a good friend of mine and colleague at work invited me to join. I was more than elated to say the least. I like having purpose in anything I do. It is my way of remaining sane in this fast paced world. So competing once in a while makes sense to me, and when such opportunities present themselves I enjoy taking them. I know at my age, my biological limitations are all too glaring, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying a good race. Being first or last is neither here nor there for me, but the fact that I gave my best enriches me a lot.
Incidentally at that time, I was on a business trip to Tokyo for a month and would be back in time for the October fest run. I continued doing my training in Tokyo. At that time being a novice in running (I had 9 months of running under my belt), I had no program and was doing basically whatever I felt like doing on any given day. Not knowing something is bad. Worse is when you are ignorant of the same. It did not take long before I was hit by ITB injury two weeks to my Tokyo sojourn. Coming back from Tokyo, I made a visit to the doctor. A pretty lady and a smart one at that would be my doc and therapist for the next 6 months as I tried to nurse myself back to normal. At first when she told me that my injury was not that bad, I thought to myself good, but when she went on and said I should look at a 4-6month recovery, I almost thought she had spoken Martian a language I don’t understand. She repeated exactly what she said in plain English. It hit me hard.
So when I say PSE Bull run was a race with sentimental value to me, there are a lot of things that happened between my injury and then. I missed the January 2011 edition because at that time I was half way through my recovery and I could barely sustain an 11km jog. The feeling of letting my team down and the helplessness that I felt by not being able to join the race made me sad. I said to myself there and then that I will make up for my team once I’m back to my normal self. I took this down time to read a lot on running, trainings and injury avoidance. I searched for training programs and stuck to them. This would pay off in the subsequent races as I saw my finish times improving and improving. I have never felt so motivated. October fest 2011 came. 1:32hr 21K. I felt good. Then PSE bull run 2012 was opened for registration. I did not want to miss this. As it coincides with the more popular CEBU marathon and folks are coming back from their Yuletide holidays, it was hard clobbering a team, but in the end we managed to get the prerequisite 10 needed to enter the team category. A special thanks literally goes to our very own Sir Mon Sunday. He worked tirelessly to make it happen.
As with all good races the PSE Bull run turned out to be a PowerPuff party. Sort of a second coming after the unforgettable CHRIS EPIC RELAY though of a much lower scale. The times we registered for this event were excellent. Taking the 1st three places at the podium and taking almost eight out of the top ten places. The 16K category was also dominated by our team members taking podium finishes and very good times. I felt good, not necessarily for myself, but for my team as a whole. There is no accomplishment that is more satisfying than a team win. While individual wins turn men into heroes, team wins turn men into legends as teams tend to outlive individuals. When you go to a race in a Powerpuff singlet, you hear the whispers at how good they perceive you, you realize that to them you are not Joey, or whatever, you are the PowerPuff boy.
After the PSE Bull run, I pondered to myself silently. What is it that makes us tick? We are just ordinary guys doing what they enjoy doing. None of us is an elite runner. None of us runs for anything but to enjoy the moment. There are no gains for us, yet we always feel the urge to wear our jogging attire and hit the roads every so often, some of us as much as 100km a week. Others have even dared themselves to do ultra marathons and Triathlons and have come out successful. These are the moments that make me appreciate the essence of jogging. Jogging was designed to be enjoyable. We jog ourselves to “Elite-Jogger” status, simply because we love jogging. The rest are just bonuses.