TBR Dream Marathon launches with registration in September, officially begins training in October, and culminates in March for race day. We’re together for 22-weeks of talks and clinics. It is inevitable that deep friendships and strong bonds are formed from our runners. They sign up as strangers and are bonded for life after they cross the finish. It’s a gift from joining TBR Dream, probably just as significant as the 42km finishers’ medal.
Here’s a story written by Allan Gregor Bulos, Bib #079 about his team: Team Rock and Road.
I have never written anything in my life. But something about my experience at the TBR Dream Marathon 2012 made me feel that I had to write. This is a story, no a journey of love, life, laughter and most of all friendship.
This is Team Rock and Road…
Allan Gregor Bulos (Bib# 079), Elvin Pastorfide (Bib# 17,Pacer), Goldy Dela Cruz (Bib# 159), Jonard Aries Gamboa (Bib# 210), Kristine Joy Cerame (Bib# 107), Riz Damaso (Bib# 141), Rosemarie Beltran (Bib# 063), Marie Joyce Negepatan (Bib# 365), Christopher Sta. Cruz (Bib# 517)
We are a small group of Runners/Mountain Climbers. Out of that small group, 7 first time marathoners (Me, Jonard and Joy – The Lovers, Joyce – Ms. Shy Ako, Riz – Ms. Estuar Legs, Goldy – The Female Mamaw & Chris – The Joker), 1 who’s looking for running her second marathon (Rose – The Experienced one), and a willing pacer (Master Elvin) ran The Bull Runner Dream Marathon last March 18. (I would often think of these monikers in my head when we were out running or just hanging around together,hehehe).
- The ever growing Pinoy Fitness Family -
Six months ago, we barely knew each other. We were just casual acquaintances over Facebook and members of the Pinoy Fitness Forum. We would occasionally talk with each other within a thread even though we haven’t really me each other. We technically registered separately for the TBR Dream Marathon. When the registration started, I signed up for myself. At the time of registration, some of us were already running since 2010 and some of us started just on 2011 including me (I started joining Fun Runs last May 2011). Luckily, all of us made the list, not knowing what will happen in the next few months.
Some of us, knew each other longer that the others. I only knew Joy, Jonard, Joyce, Elvin & Chris. Joyce only knew Rose, Goldy, Chris and Me. Rose only knew Joyce. And so on and so forth(I even remember clearly when I was trying to introduce Joyce to Joy and Jonard but being the shy person she was, was reluctant to do so, hehe).
- Joyce, Mr. Yakult (Gabe Mercado), Me and Rose -
The seed of the group was planted last November 30, after a run event at Ultra. The most of us, bound together by the love of running and the dwelling curiosity on Mountain Climbing, got together.
- Joyce and Joy (Magkakilala na sila dito, hehe) -
- With Jc,one of the members of the Team -
Then, the serious training for the Marathon came. We planned long runs together through UP & Nuvali. We sacrificed time and “alone” times for the event. We would change our schedules so that all of us could run on the same route. We would pace each other during races. We would look out for each other for posts in the TBR page. Luckily, we all managed to get slots on all of the Shuttle Services to and from Nuvali (I even remembered when we just got from mountain climbing that the sign-up sheet was posted, that we registered through the cellphone of Jonard), we even managed to get slots for the Gatorade test. It was one for all, and all for one!
- At UP just after the Holidays -
- Valentine’s Day LSD with other TBRDM Batchmates -
– LSD at Shotgun (Rodriguez, Rizal), that’s me crawling, hehe –
- We managed to get slots for the Nuvali Shuttle -
– At the Gatorade Sweat Test -
- With The Bull Runner herself (photo credits to Mark Tibo-oc & Luzel Franco) -
The Day before the race, we carbo loaded in an eat all you can restaurant. We talked about our planned race paces. We agreed that we would run with our own pace then would meet up at the finish buffet. Then we headed to the hotel where we have reserved for the event. We even had a film viewing of “One More Chance” starring John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo (current favorite film of the group, hehe), just to get our mind off what we will do the next day.
Then it was the race day itself. It was a very festive atmosphere. Picture taking here and there, everyone giving pleasantries to each other, laughter in the air, everybody was loosening up. We even had a picture of the Pinoy Fitness Family near the starting line. After which Coach Jim, Neville, Jaymie made their remarks, encouragements then set us off.
- Just before the start (photo credits to Active Moments) -
( I can only tell the story of my race because I, along with Elvin, ran at our pace)
We were off…
We were running at the planned pace, attacking the up hills properly, rolling along the down hills to conserve energy. We were giving high five’s, greeting and growling as we passed each other.
- Me and Elvin at one of the Dream Chasers Zone (Photo credits to Yongsky) -
We ran first half of the Marathon in only 2:03:00. But I soon found out, the real race really was at the second half. We were maintaining a good pace right until the 28th km when I started to tire and slow down.
By the 35th km, I finally got my second wind that lasted for only 1km before side stitches attacked. So I just decided the last few km’s of the run and not worry about any target finish time.
- One of the numerous walk breaks –
- Wrong timing on an attempt for a jumpshot (photo credits to Aquiz) -
But by the 40th km or so, while passing the Second Wind Zone, a friend sprayed me with a mist of very cold water. It suddenly recharged my drained batteries that I ran the remaining distance at a pace of 5min/km. (Spoke with Elvin that I will try to run at a 5min/km pace, he said, “siga una ka na, hehe”)
- After 5:00:57 (5:00:50 based on chip time), I finished my first marathon (photo credits to Active Moments) -
After finally crossing the finish line at a time of 5:00:57, I let out a grunt then waited for Elvin.
- Elvin sprinting to the finish line -
Shortly after I vaguely heard the announcer say “Here’s a runner from Pinoy Fitness, ay pacer pala sya, nasaan na yung pinapace nya, nauna na? Pero ganun naman talaga ang trabaho ng pacer, to ensure the one being paced will finish” (Job well done indeed)
After which, we posted for some pictures, got the loot bags, deposited them at the baggage and, being the first of our group, headed back for the others.
- Rose finishing her second marathon -
We first came across Rose, she was looking strong, and based on the blog she wrote last time after she ran her first marathon, and she was enjoying The Bull Runner Dream Marathon more. (Well, who wouldn’t??)
Upon passing Rose, we assumed that, Goldy, Jonard, Joy, and Riz had already made the turn at the 38th km that we didn’t see them.
- Goldy, all smiles near the finish line -
- Joy and Jonard sprinting to the finish line, together, as always (photo credits to Active Moments) -
– Riz, with the matching “closed eyes para feel na feel” finish, hehe -
Next we came across Joyce. I personally was happy for her; she was still running strong without any sign of pain. She had a case of runner’s knee just weeks before the Marathon and she was beginning to doubt herself. Good job Joyce!
- Joyce, finishing her first marathon with smiles all by herself (photo credits to Active Moments) -
After she left us, we decided to wait for Chris, the last of us. We walked right up until the first Dream Chaser’s Tent and waited for him there. Upon seeing him, we could already tell that his legs were already wasted (He had cramps on the 26th km). But he was undoubtedly enjoying the run (He was even smiling and laughing). We decided to pace Chris up to the finish. Unfortunately, chaffing suddenly developed between my inner thighs because my shorts and sweat had already dried up. I told them to go ahead and we’ll just meet at the club house. While Chris and Elvin took the right turn at the 38th km, I walked to the clubhouse where the others were waiting.
- Elvin pacing Chris this time near the finish line -
After the event, we headed back to the Hotel for a quick shower then headed off to Goldy’s house for some well-deserved post run celebration.
Truthfully, this run made so many dreams possible, it may not be my fastest but it may be the best marathon I will ever run. And I would be lying if I will say that I will never run this far again. In fact, we are already picking out from the rest of our teammates who haven’t run a marathon yet for us to be their pacer/chaser. We will definitely look out for this event every year from now on.
Yes, the Marathon will definitely humble you, but it will also teach you a lesson or two. And all that pain, suffering, hard work, training, sleepless nights, hundreds of kilometers, carbo loading, scheduled sick leaves (hehe), anticipation for the new posts at the TBR Site, the planned practice routes and the time spent on wondering what to wear is so much worth it, especially when you have a group of friends surrounding you.
I speak for the team that we would like to thank The Bull Runner, Ms. Jaymie Pizarro and Coach Jim Lafferty for creating an event like no other. Coach Lit and Neville for the lessons and tips we have learned. And for the rest of the TBR Dream Team for making us Dream Big and for trusting in us that we can Run Strong.