The Happy Run – Part 1

Monday, 26 January 2009  |  Race Reports


Organizer: Rio de la Cruz
Overall rating (5 highest): 4

– very well organized (Coach Rio has perfected the template of his BHS races)
– great entertainment (Chinese dragon dancers and ati atihan dancers at certain points)
– fun, happy atmosphere
– early release of results (Click here to view)

– ample supply of water at water stations
– good number of race marshalls at certain areas
– accurate mile markers at every kilometer
– pretty accurate race course measurement
– convenient registration at ROX

– wrong route map provided for 15k
– predictable course (same course for previous races of Coach Rio)
– no finisher’s certificate


This was a race that lived up to its name.  The Happy Run was yet another perfectly organized road race by Coach Rio which left majority of the runners content with the race organization.  There were a few surprises to liven up the mood, such as bands and dancers on the road, games after the race, and great hosting by Unang Hirit & Team Super’s Drew Arellano, the man behind the entire race.

IMG_0608 – Bianca Gonzales and Drew Arellano hosting the event –

Boy did I need some happy dust to rub off on me.  Still feeling some soreness in my left patella, I had earlier decided to downgrade my 15k registration to 5k.  Grrr…this bull wasn’t so pleased with the idea.  On the other hand, my hubby joined his first 15k.  Yahoo for him!

There I stood at the starting line with JunC, my running buddy, who is suffering from practically the same injury as I am.  (May God help us both!)  I think we were both unsure of what we were doing: Was it worth it to risk aggravating the injury?  Why run if we’ll be so slow anyway?  Will we be able to swallow our pride (gulp) as other runners swept past us?  Before I could think of answers, the race began.

We agreed on maintaining 6:15 pace.  Easy.  We were chatting and laughing while one by one the faster runners would pass us by.  In the beginning, this was acceptable.  After all, we were injured!   After 1km, more and more runners started to overtake us.  Runners who I used to outpace were now way ahead of me. Ouch.  Sob sob sob.  It was obvious in Jun’s face that he wasn’t happy either.  That is, of course, until Iza Calzado ran by his side and they exchanged hellos! Hah!

As we neared the 2.5k turnaround, we chuckled because it felt so short.  I don’t think we were even sweating yet.  As soon as we started climbing our way back up Lawton Ave., Jun and I asked each other how our knees were faring.  Both of our knees were holding up.  It was then that I asked him “Negative?”  He nodded with a smile, “Sige, negative.”  We picked up the pace and went for a negative split.  That’s where the fun began.

We ran faster, we stopped talking, and we found our rhythm.  Nearing the end, we both asked each other the knee question again.  And, both of us answered, there’s some slight pain, but hey we survived.  I finished at 5.15km at 30:08 mins with an average pace of 5:52.  

Then, the party started.  I say this because, as I waited for hubby to return from his 15k, I got to chat and spend time with so many of my running friends.  Photos were forever being taken.  Laughter was in the air.  Happiness was in abundance.  As the show ended (yes, we stayed until the very end) and hubby and I made our way to the parking lot, I only had one question in mind:  Where was Dingdong Dantes?

IMG_0611 – with hubby who finished his first 15k…wooohooo! –

IMG_0594 – with my best running buddies, JunC and Annie –

IMG_0590 – with Kulit Runner and The Changeling Children –

IMG_0596 – with young TBR readers who make me feel way too old: Carlos, Anton, Miggy, LJ (?), and Wacky.  Wacky, don’t be so shy next time! –

IMG_0619 – with Pinoy Ultra Runner head Neville Manaois. Congrats on the successful TNF! –

IMG_0587 – Now, how often do you see two heroes together: Optimus Prime & Zorro! –

IMG_0615 – Annie wins 3rd place for 15km –

More pics of Happy Run in next post…