With more than three years of experience in running, I have been a beneficiary of help from friends, social media friends, veteran runners, elite runners, and even strangers. They’ve helped me conquer the first step to my first 5k to the 160th step to my longest ultramarathon.
I am sure everyone can relate to this. It would take forever to be able to thank all of them. And the only way we can really thank them is by completing the cycle.
I have always tried my best to share my experience thru posting it here. I would willingly answer querries from friends and acquaintances and try to answer them or refer them to an authority. I have enjoyed running and pacing friends in their training runs and races including the 2010 and 2011 TBR Dream Marathon. It is my way of Paying it Forward.
For those two years though my duties as pacer and cheerer for the Dream Marathoners would end as soon as the friend I am pacing have crossed the finish line.
It was a different one this year. After pacing my friend, Tere to a sub 5 finish, I tried to gather myself again and recover quickly. I walked back to the Kikay Tent and tried to cheer the runners heading to the finish line, mostly those finishing sub6. (If you’ve seen an odd looking girl shivering and covered with towel while walking-that’s me!)
Runners are already on their last 5K when they reach the tent. Most of those running back by the time I reach the place are on their last 1K going for a sub 6 while those arriving still has about 4K to go. I guess even elites who finishes a marathon in sub 3 hours are in pain on the 38th kilometer, moreso, most of these runners who will finish between 6 hours to the cut-off of 9 hours.
The three aid stations at this point was a blessing silently saying -“Runner, you’ve made it this far! Let’s finish your dream STRONG!”
The water/aid station at TBR Marathon
The bubbly Second Wind Station with triathletes and veteran runners offering drinks, chips, fruits and ____ . I don’t know really know what he was offering cause I just grabbed this from Hector Yuzon’s IG. But I am sure everyone who passed by either ran faster or stayed longer…:P
The KIKAY Tent – Need I say more to describe it….
There are other aid stations along the course, almost every 1.5 kilometers. Tent of Dream Chasers abound also cheering, offering food and drinks. Some of them would run with you or walk with you.
Here are some scenes at the Kikay Tent:
You’ve probably ingested all sorts of sports drinks, gel and water at this point. Now, the brilliant guys at this station brought several liters of Pepsi to give the runners the energy boost they need. It does magic at ultramarathons for veterans Mark and other TPPB so why not share with the Dreamers.
Just tell them you need a massage and they would willingly do it for you. I got the chance to help massage about two runners and it wasn’t easy task yet it was fulfilling seeing their face brighten as you relieve them of the pain. Hats off to Bea, Ronnel. Odie, Natz and others who stayed longer than me and have been doing it since 2am.
You will only have one first full marathon finish and you have to be ready (and good looking) for it. Almost all runners stopped and freshened up at the last station to the finish line.
As much as I still would want to stay until the 9-hour cut-off, I had to go and run with JM to the finish or else I might need to run back alone to Manila.
The Team stayed until the last runner has passed the tent….and chased her until she crossed the finish line with 3 minutes to spare.
584 Dreams were fulfilled on that day at The Bull Runner Dream Marathon.
I went home a better person.TBR Dream Marathon gave me the chance to 1) run without focusing on myself but on others; 2) give rather than take; and 3) be joyful as I help out strangers.
Congratulations, Jaymie and Team! It is an event that allowed runners to dream of becoming marathoners and at the same time allowed veteran runners to PAY IT FORWARD.
Photos from Bea Hernandez and Odie Cacho
Categories: Race Reports