It was May of 2004 that my neighbor and friend, Edward Joven, convinced me to join his group in running around the Marikina Sports Park every weekday. At that time I was 45 years old. Although I had been a varsity short distance runner during my College days and participant in the Ilocos Region Athletic Association (RAA) meet, I had my hesitations in even joining the fun runs.
Two months later, I joined my first fun run, the 5km. of the National Milo Marathon. Despite being a first-timer, I finished with a decent time and thoroughly enjoyed myself in the company of old and young alike. At the same time I became more confident and gained experience and learned about the techniques of running as I joined more races including the 10km. races.
If I was not at the Marikina oval doing practices, I would be on the road to Antipolo City proper and making the return trip both times running. The Marikina Sports Park runners were my companions during these instances. Sometimes, I would go to the U.P. campus in Diliman. I made sure that I had at least one hour of running eceryday.
After being able to harvest medals in my age category and sometimes being featured in newspapers, I decided to try the 42km Philippine marathon in 2005. I had gotten hooked to being a runner and the exhiliration of going onstage was truly an amazing feeling. I then made-up my mind that I would join the more experienced runners. By this time, I had gained confidence in my ability to run a longer distance.
The night before the marathon, I couldn’t sleep. I was so nervous. I had been advised by a friend that I should just pace and relax mydelf and go on with the flow easily. I would probably feel the pressure at the 30-32km. point wherein I would be able to run with more seasoned veterans. By the grace of the Almighthy God, I was able to finish the race.
What an experience! It became a walking pace for some runners, and there was a number of participants who all experienced cramps and some even sustained injuries. The sun was out in full force and my mindset was just to finish the race. I counted myself very lucky not to have been plagued by cramps in this first marathon run of my life.
After 12 (twelve) long years of running and joining fun runs (my favorite is the 5km run) and marathons, I had become a true believer in the art of running. I had been able to maintain my proper weight, made a lot of new friends and I feel good about myself. I had convinced other people to join me in running and some have even joined races and had been included in the top three placers.
One example I am particularly proud of is Atty. Marc Castrolles. From joining the fun runs of 5km, he progressed to join the longer distances- like the 10 km. And within a year, he joined his first full marathon of 42km run even he hadn’t joined yet the 21km run.
In my native land of Laoag City, whenever I visit, I had become to be friends with the elite group of runners who participate in their national marathons.
Despite the fact that registration fees had sky-rocketed, I will still join races because running had become a great passion for me. A day without running had become an incomplete day for me. Every Sunday, I join the races. And my best friend, Dennis Centeno and me had become “bandit runners” when the registration fees became unaffordable. Haha.
I started running as a form of exercise but now, I have realized that that it has given me my feeling of being much younger and free of stress and problems.
As long as I am physically able to run, you will find me doing practice runs. Definitely, the saying that age does not matter holds true for the sports of running.
That is the power of LOVE>
(The author, ROBINSON G. ANDRES, used to be a full-time employee, but is now a dance instructor. He firmly believes that the secret of health for both mind and body is running. Many have commented that he looks far younger than his actual age of 57. Robin, as this blogger calls him, is our neighbor at Kingsville Subdivision in Antipolo, Rizal).*— SSSIP.
(in the video above, you can see some of achievements and accomplishments of Mr. Andres since he started running way back 2004……)