Sunday, February 7, 2010

Condura Run for the Dolphins 2010

After only one hour of sleep (It's a long story!), my friend and co-teacher, Ammy, and I got ready for our first race of the year: the Condura Run for the Dolphins 2010.

We woke up almost unwillingly when our alarm clocks shattered the silence at the unholy hour of 4:00 AM. On our way to Global City, we passed by a runner who was steadily moving along the highway. Wow. The guy made running look as easy as simply breathing. Without much preparation for the run except for a few jogging hours in the past weeks and walking in between daily commutes, we prayed to God that we'll be able to make it through our own races.

When Ammy and I arrived at the assembly area, we were amazed by the large number of people already gathered there. The public address system boomed to life the moment we stepped off the taxi. "Five minutes to gunshot for the ten kilometer race!" We quickened our pace and discussed on how we were to meet each other after completing our runs. Ammy was running 3K; I was going for 10K. While we hurried through the crowd, we bumped into our HR officer from the center where we work. She was also running 3K with her friends. I greeted them but had to go right away because it was almost time for the 10K race to begin.

They all wished me well before I weaved through the throng of people to stand somewhere near the starting line. As the 60-second countdown began, fireworks shot up into the black sky, which fired up the enthusiastic runners who couldn't seem to calm their nerves and tense muscles any longer.

Bang! It was time to go!

It is hard to describe what went on in my mind as I steadily ran the first five kilometers and half ran, half walked the last five. At first I was like, "Oh yeah! I can do this!" and then next I was, "What have I gotten myself into? Why did I sign up for 10K? I should have ran for just 5K." Although my head was somewhat throbbing because of lack of sleep before I even reached the halfway mark, I silently encouraged myself that I can finish this race.

I stopped several times for water break and walked when I needed to especially during the last five kilometers of the run. By now I knew well enough to listen to my body.

The part I didn't like the most about the race though was seeing plastic cups strewn all over the road near the water stations. I mean, does it cost more effort to drink water and put the cup back on the table where it belongs than to gulp water and splash the remaining contents of the cup before throwing it haphazardly on the ground? Seriously. It was contradicting to think that people would run for the dolphins, yet throw plastic cups on a whim. Yes, volunteers and organizers would pick up the trash when the event is over and maybe everyone's just trying to maintain their pace... but still. Bring your own water containers and tie them around your waist next time or hold the plastic cup until you run past a garbage bin or something.

Anyway, a more positive moment replaced the disappointment I felt with the water incident. The best memory I have of the 10K race was when I fell into step beside a man who was pushing a younger man on a three-wheel contraption that worked like a modified wheelchair. Part of our conversation went something like this:

Me: "Hi! Are you running with your friend?"

Man: "Hi! No, I'm running with my son."

Me: "How old is he?"

Man: "18."

Me: "Wow! It's great that you run with him. Congratulations in joining the race together."

Man: "Thank you! Congratulations to you, too."

Me: "Well, I probably shouldn't talk to much so we can conserve our energy. See you later."

Man: (laughs) "Okay, see you later."

Me: "See you at the finish line."

As he went ahead with his son, I noticed they wore the same white shirt that bore the words "Never Run Alone" at the back in red letters.

At that moment, I was inspired like I was never inspired before. I realized I was not running alone either. Someone else was running with me. God was running with me, cheering me on and helping me move forward when I needed a little push.

My unofficial time for the ten kilometer run is 1 hour, 15 minutes and 30 seconds.

I was the 1236th runner to reach the finish line out of 2110. Ammy also finished her race with flying colors. Praise the Lord! :) I am tremendously happy with the race results! It was a big personal achievement. (I mentioned that the time is unofficial because the marshals were not able to punch in our stubs right away. There was a five minute delay more or less because we had to wait in line after reaching the finish.)

When I ran for the five kilometer category in Race and Shine in 2009, I clocked in at 43 minutes and 14 seconds. This record time became my baseline time for the Condura Run. I figured that if I double the time of my 5K finish, that will be 1:26:28 - the time I need to beat for the 10K stretch... and beat the time I did.

But more than setting a new time record for myself, this year's Condura Run for the Dolphins proved to be an even better experience of discovering the many blessings of God.


  1. that's my nephew Kevin and his dad proud of what they do ....:-)

  2. Hi, thank you for writing your experience with Never Run Alone. We are so happy reading your blog, and doubly happy to know--just now, four years later--how our short encounter have inspired you. Your blog equally inspired us. Hope to see you again. --Team Never Run Alone.

    BTW, here is our FB page, when you have time. :)

  3. You are very much welcome! :) I hope to see you in another run soon. :)


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