Not too many people knew that, during the Nike Clinic at Ultra last night, the fastest Pinoy runner at the recently held NYC Marathon was in their midst. No surprise, because this guy silently arrived with just a couple of his friends, clad in the most unassuming attire one could choose: a white shirt and black shorts, and disappeared into the small crowd of runners.
His name is Mike Mesina and I interviewed him via email soon after he ran his 3:12 NYC Marathon, missing the Boston qualifications by just a minute and a half. (Click here for full interview.) And, last night, I had the pleasure of finally meeting him as he chose to run in Ultra before leaving for NY the following day.
Funny that when first saw each other it was like seeing an old friend. He’s a simple, friendly, down-to-earth, and painfully modest guy considering his speedy legs. Upon meeting him, one would even think he’s a newbie runner. He didn’t brag about his time nor his runs abroad, and neither did I see him show off his talent for speed at the track. In fact, when Coach Jo-Ar told him he’d be in Group A (the fastest of the bunch), he even seemed embarrassed.
I hoped we could run together (with me probably crawling and panting meters behind him) but, with my knee pain, I thought I’d bore him death with my ultra slow pace. I sure hope he enjoyed last night’s clinic and his brief time with the Pinoy runners.
Mike, keep in touch. As I said, I hope we can run again in the future—whether it’s in New York or Manila—even for just a few minutes before you leave me eating your dust 🙂
Thanks to Wilbert for the photo!