April 22, 2009

Bahaghari Marathon

It was a privilege to join the bahaghari marathon event held in pinamalayan, a quite, bustling town located approximately 200km south of manila, in oriental mindoro. It is during summer, at the 25th of april, the place is celebrating its town fiesta. The theme for this year's bahaghari festival is "a celebration of colors". Every season the town is showcasing different events like bangkarera, photo contest, moriones festival and other sports tournament like basketball, baseball, boxing, cycling and marathon, to name a few.

I was informed that one of the most colorful tournament here is the fun run, and I was invited to join. Lo and behold, I packed my bag and headed home for the said event, being a running bug, I cannot miss this year's running event. Furthermore, I am interested to know how fun runs and races are organized here.

I arrived at the site early in the morning and witnessed the influx of other runners, only to be surprised that the race would start at 7:30am. Heck, the heat is tremendous at this time of the year, yet it will start that late. I will be in a hostile situation I thought. The race will start and finish infront of the municipal building and will weave its way through the town center, go out via the national highway and turn around infront of a national high school northwest of the town proper. After a short briefing, we were sent off and the faster runners scampered themselves up front. Alas, this place is also frequented by experienced and fast runners. I am in no place to race this time because of the scorching heat so I positioned myself at the last pack. It was my pre-race strategy to run and maintain my comfortable pace from start to finish. The searing heat of the sun is overwhelming, I could clearly relate to the ordeal that the 102 bataan ultramarathon participants experienced during their race some sixteen days ago. As we go on, number of people were at the sidewalks cheering for each runner. I could vividly hear what they're whispering when I approach each; kuya malayo na yung nasa una, bilisan mo; sakay ka na lang, realizing that I was really buried down somewhere at the last.

But somehow I could hear 'yan lang ang tamang bilis, yan ang pang marathon that reminded me of my goal that day. I exchanged cheers with them and began to be conversant by saying hi's and hello's. I even exchanged high fives with the kids to the surprise of other runners, how come he could make it, I thought they were thinking of me. Little did they know that this was one of my strategy to veer away my thinking from running. For every pounding of the asphalt road, I felt I was inching my way to the front pack as I overtook runner after runner. It was the very first time that I have had a vehicle support crew with me all throughout the run, I always ask for water and gatorade from them just to augment the heat and exhaustion. Whew! I could really feel the heat burning in and out of me. Thankfully, they offered their support for me that day. After about 62 mins I reached the finish line with an average pace of 05 mins per km. Good enough to run amidst the scorching heat, good enough to beat the odds. After a brief rest, I continued my run on a slow easy jog to cool down my weary legs. The whole of myself was soaking wet due to my dousing all throughout the race.

my race number,
ala triathlon event

weaving my way through,
notice the runner trailing me

with ditoy aquino, mauro helera & stanford ang,
the men behind this event

the route, 12.50 kms according to google earth
click the pic to enlarge

After the run I was able to talk with the organizers and they invited me again for the next year's hosting. I unfold to them the running boom in manila and how thousands of people here are getting addicted to joining races for fitness, fun and passion. I wished them luck and hope that they would come out with frequent fun runs at their place for this is the beginning of a more successful hosting of running events. They did not just invited me to run again but to come up and help them out with the construction of the mechanics for next year's edition. Sounds good, but I had to have more runnings ahead of me.


  1. vener, a nice way to bring back something to the community when they see you running a local race knowing that you came all the way from metro manila. nice run!

  2. Thanks Roy.

    Thank you Sir Jovie. I remember in one of your writings re your advocacy to bring running in our grassroots particularly in your hometown of Laoag, hence, through this participation, I hope that regular fun races be organized in our place so that many will be joining. That was a good experience indeed.

  3. It's great to be back home and running too! Happy to hear you had a great vacation as well! Kitakits!

  4. Another great run from you idol! Congratulations! God bless!

  5. Thanks Jay, I hope you enjoyed yours too. Good for having ourselves some break. See you.

    Thanks Bro. J, sabi mo nga masarap makalanghap ng sariwang hangin, nilubos-lubos ko na. Iba talaga sa probinsiya. See you on the road.

  6. Hi Vener. Great post. I'd like to see more races like this in the U.S.

    Great that you enjoyed the experience! Take care.

  7. Hi Wayne, thanks for dropping by. After this event, I'm back in manila and kickin' ass again on training. Sadly the lakers lost their first, but I believe they will bounce back and win the series eventually. Good luck on your training and races, I love the kezar stadium.

  8. Vener, the Lakers will bounce back. The Rockets are tough but everyone is at this time of the year.

    Also, Pacquiao was awesome last Saturday here. Recently, he made an appearance at AT&T Park for a Giants game and threw out the first pitch.

    BTW, great post on the takbo.ph yearbook. It definitely brings back a lot of memories from last year!

  9. Hi Wayne, I'm glad I was featured in the yearbook and so was you. Congratulations too on your wonderful story. I'm sure this is just a step onwards a more fruitful takbo.ph yearbook.