Before anything else, let me Congratulate first all the Kenyans who conquered the top prizes! As expected, they ruled and dominated this race.
Also, for Team Hardcore as Official Pacers in almost every given time frame.
Before I give my blow by blow account for this race, let me share with you what happened to my running buddy, Romy Irevera.
When I agreed to become one of the official pacers for the 5 hours flat, I thought of bringing in with me someone from my place, so that I have a companion. I’m from Laguna and to travel by bus alone as early as 1 am is difficult, unsafe and boring. So I applied in behalf of Romy, a veteran of many Marathons with the best time of 3.18, and he was accepted. The confirmation of that text is still with me, and when I informed Romy about this good news, he was overjoyed. But during the Carbo Loading Party, Romy cannot attend to get his singlet and race bib number due to logistics problem. So Romy sent an sms telling that he will get his race bib and singlet on the race day itself.
Earlier today, we travelled at exactly 1 am, so that, first thing first, we could get his singlet etc. We approached Coach Rio, but he said, “Ay hindi sa akin yan.” And immediately, Coach Rio turned his back as he entertained some of the querries from other runners. He maybe right, but we need direction as we don’t know where to go. As a race director, he knew the people in charge and he could help us by maybe saying in appropriate manner like, “Ay hindi sa akin yan, pero aalamin natin.” And with his influence he could send someone to assist us for we are Official Pacers, trying to help and assist this race, his race.
Anyway, so much for that. He maybe too busy and I understand. It may not be included in his role, but this race cannot become successful if the leaders in different departments will not help each other. They must work as a TEAM, and with a simple concern like this one, it should be given at least simple attention and direction for us to follow. Vague answer cannot help us, it can only create misunderstanding. Romy said, “Bakit kaya ganun sya?” I just told him, “Oh ang puso mo, hayaan mo na.” And we walked trying to get some sleep nearby for it’s only 3 am.
As we tried to get some rest, Romy told me how hard his life is as a janitor in Alabang. How Ondoy flooded his house in Binan Laguna and until now it was deeply submerged in water. He was not able to attend the CLP due to financial problem but he loves running so much. He was too excited to become an Official Pacer of this race.
At 3:45 am, we searched in the midst of many committees, the man in charged for the Official Pacer but I’m amazed when he told me that Romy was not included. I argued and stood my ground but to no avail. I’m so disappointed and decided to get my bag at the luggage area, and will show him the sms telling that Romy was accepted. But Romy said, “wag na lang bro, hayaan mo na lang.” “Pano ka?” I asked him. “Mag pacing na lang din ako kahit walang race bib, sabayan kita.”
I wanted to back off and go home, because I’m responsible for Romy’s misfortune. I’m so ashamed not only to him but for myself, for I’m the one who negotiated on his behalf. But now, it boomeranged on me as though I lied to him. But he insisted that I must join.
With heavy heart, I went at the starting line. I owed Romy a lot. I took one of his precious days which was supposed to be his rest day today, only to find out, he’s not included.
Within the next 5 hours and 22 minutes, I conquered another marathon, and I’m going to tell you my experiences. The joy, shivering, pain, THIRST, hunger and triumph…..NEXT!
Romy, the unfortunate runner from Binan at 3am near the starting line.
As I tried to get some sleep here…
God be Praised!