After deciding to train for a half marathon without knowing the schedule of my first 21k race before 2007 ended, I followed the magazine article’s 12 week 21k training plan.  By the first week of April, I was ready for my first half.  The only problem was, to my surprise, there wasn’t any 21k race!  It left me no choice but to be introduced to those 5, 10 or 15k weekend races while waiting for that race I trained for.

KOTR 2008

After 6 long months and a number of weekend races I came to enjoy week after week, Adidas King of the Road 2008 came on October 11.  I signed up as soon as registration opened.  I can still remember the buzz about how reasonable registration fee was (at 350 pesos) and the nice singlet.

As it was my first, my number one goal was to finish.  It would be an icing on the cake if I could do it in 2 hours (or less, fingers crossed) so I felt good about my 1:51:42 finish.  Not bad, I thought.

KOTR 2009

Fast forward to this year’s staging.  I couldn’t help but feel a little nostalgic as I look back at what I’ve done and the races I’ve finished since then.  I never thought I’d be able to sustain what others would call as the running fad.  What seemed to be a weekly training became a part of my life now, a lifestyle.  While some people would notice that my weight dropped a little (they never thought that was possible given my light frame), I would assure them that I’m okay and that I love every single day of running.

 

Perfect timing to pose with the Running Diva and the Takbo.ph first lady on a perfect day for a perfect run for me

Perfect timing to pose with the Running Diva and the Takbo.ph first lady on a perfect day for a perfect run

3 full and 5 half marathons and a number of runs of shorter distances later, I feel so fortunate to still run injury-free, which I always attribute to “listening to my body” and paying equal importance to rest and recuperation.  I also feel much stronger and faster now. 

Bonus

Another big difference I’ve observed one year hence is the number of friends I have known in a span of one year.  I congratulate, smile at and wave to more fellow runners now.  It’s always nice to talk to people who really understand you, what you undergo through and compare running notes once in a while.

Nice people I was able to meet during the past year because of running

Nice people I was able to meet during the past year because of running

This blog was also born during that period of time.  While it has been my notebook as I log every single run I make, this blog has also been my pal through thick and thin, and has been witness to the joy and every tear I shed especially after every marathon I finished.  🙂

They say the reward of doing a job well done is to have done it.  That’s why I shall forever be grateful for all the bonuses running has given me. 

I don’t mind the new 21k PR of 1 hour and 41 minutes either.  🙂

KOTR Winners

 

KOTR 2009's beneficiaries--the people and the children of HOPE Worldwide Philippines

KOTR 2009's beneficiaries--the people and the children of HOPE Worldwide Philippines

This year’s run was also well organized, with sufficient Gatorade, water and banana aid stations.  Except for the 5k-turned-6k-plus booboo, it was a great run on a great day for me.  I also liked the cheerleaders’ words of encouragement:  “Channel that inner Kenyan in you”  “Pain is temporary, pride is forever.”

The 21k race was won by a Kenyan runner but the real winners of the day were the Filipino children.  I didn’t mind shelling out the extra 150 bucks this year because this year’s race donated 140,700 pesos to HOPE Worldwide Philippines as they continue to help make the lives of the children under their care better for more than a decade now. 

Congratulations and thanks to the organizers and sponsors for making Adidas King of the Road 2009 a fun, safe and worthwhile experience for me and for the other runners, too, I hope!

See you next year!

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