I am feeling nostalgic right now. Well, nothing special, it's just that my running buddy/Dad is already in Laguna for a 2 month stint to set-up their branch there. Our rendezvous for running started way back in 2007, it was October to be exact. It was the first and only SK Fun Run held in Labangon Elementary School. It attracted the elites and even fun runners. There were only two categories then: 3K and 5K. The 3K had it's turning point at Paseo Arsenas, while the 5K has to pass Katipunan St., right turn to Salvador St., straight to Duterte St., then right turn to V. Rama Ave., then turn right to Katipunan again. In other words, this is now one of my routes for my practice run which covers 5.8 km, and four "hills" in Banawa (The last one hill, if you are coming from Katipunan, is the steepest.). It was me and my father's first 5K. He able o finish it, and was paced by Tito Roy, his childhood friend. As for me, I was walking! I only made it to the second hill, in the area of One World Montesorri School and South Hills International School, and turn back to where we started. I was with my aunts and cousins who unfortunately were there to support our relatives who were running for elective posts. This was before the barangay elections of 2007. Back then, I used a blue Puma futsal shoes for running.
Back during that time, races are held sporadically, unlike today, wherein a race is held every weekend, at times, two races share the same date. There were only few marquee races then like, Don Sergio Osmena Run, which is being held on the statesman's birthday, September 9 (This race only features one race category: 10K.). Another one was the Sinulog Half-Marathon which was held the Saturday before the Sinulog Grand Parade. And of course, the Milo Marathon eliminations leg.
With Ms. Twinkle Ignacio as "Flores de Mayo".
My first 3K-2nd Mandaue City Run
(May 3, 2009)
When I first started "seriously" running in May 2009, all I dreamed about was to finish the Milo Marathon's 5K category which was slated in July 5. My first race was at the 2nd Mandaue City Run (May 3. It was the Sunday of the Pacquiao-Hatton fight). I registered in the 3K category. I finished 13th place, with a matching photograph of me running towards the finish line, only to be overtaken by a kid! I am sooo going to post that photo once I find it! My second, and could be my last 3K, was at the first MAD Run held in Lahug, 3 weeks later. Like my first race, I ran-walk. By June, I decided to level-up to 5K, constantly practicing at the hills of Banawa on weekdays, and at the Cebu Business Park on weekends. My very first 5K was at the Kapamilya Run, which was held a week before the Milo Elims. I clocked at 37 minutes on my first 5K, but base on the official results, my time was 26 minutes! Weird, really? The Kapamilya Run was my gauge if I can run 5K in the Milo Elims. I was able to run the whole course on my first 5K!
On my way to the finish line at the Kapamilya Run
(June 27, 2009)
After the resounding success of the Milo Elims, races were popping like mushrooms. Cebu Milo Elims had a higher number of participants compared to Manila. A lot of people have their sort of awakening to running back then.
In the past, Cebu only had a few running clubs. In Cebu City, there's Cebu Executive Runners Club or CERC, and Cebu Road Runners Club (CRRC). In Mandaue City, there's the Mandaue City Runners Club. In Lapu-Lapu, they have R.O.X. Gym. And in Talisay, they have the Kabangis Running Club, led by Mr. Jun Canton of the Philippine Airlines (PAL). Lately, I haven't seen Kabangis in some foot races. The last time I saw them was at the 3rd Mandaue City Run.
Back then, registrations fees are usually between P150-P250. P250.00 was already expensive. Back then, a woman named Leiszl Gitaruelas used to be Cebu's Running Queen. She even strutted her stuff in Hong Kong (top 3 or top 4 finisher of the half-marathon in 2009, and third in the Mt. Kinabalu 21K Run). The last time I saw Leiszl was at the Cebu City Marathon. She ran 21K just like me. She is now based abroad. Back then, Ms. Twinkle is the only costumed runner. But now she has competitors!
Could this "woman" be a threat to Ms. Twinkle's throne?