TBR DM Story: Mikey Villanueva, Bib No. 583

Sunday, 1 April 2012  |  Bullish Insights

I always say that the marathon brings out the true character of a person. After observing three batches of runners on training for the marathon, we’ve learned that 99% of the time, we see the good in people: their tenacity, determination, generosity, humility, and more. After the runner crosses the finish line, there’s almost an instant awareness of all these good qualities inside that just want to shine through and take effect in one’s life. That’s just part of the magic of the marathon.

TBR Dream Marathoner Mikey shares a similar view and his thoughts on training and finishing his first marathon at TBR Dream…


Name: Mikey Villanueva
Finish time: 6:43:43

I’ve always been a fan of Douglas Adams. His humor is not for everyone but his illogical, off tangent manner of thinking brought him a cult following.  Imagine a trilogy – of five books!  Or that the restaurant at the end of the universe is actually not a place but a point in time.

Out of all that he has written, his place in geekdom and in the universe is for giving his readers the “Ultimate Meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything!” which is forty-two.  How does forty two answer anything? Six times seven is forty-two.  Aaaand it is significant because????  To be correct, according to fans, it is six times nine equals forty-two.  In base 13.  Google it if you’re lost by now.  Anyway, forty-two has been the butt of jokes and rightly so because Douglas Adams chose it as he found it funny.  Dry British humor, I guess.

Last year, I signed up for The Bullrunner Dream Marathon (TBRDM) organized by Ms Jaymie Pizarro for first & second time marathon runners.  It is the only marathon in the world where everyone is given enough support and encouragement to cross the finish line.  It even includes a 22-week training program that assumes you have zero experience in running! Imagine that – zero to marathon in 22 weeks!  How cool is that?  Amazing!

All that is required is to run three times a week, one hour during weekdays and long runs during the weekend.  The weekend runs increase in duration and distance.  Aye, there’s the rub!  This is where commitment, determination, and dedication come in.  It is not easy to get up on Saturday or Sunday morning and run increasingly longer and longer distances.  During the first week, it is only for an hour.  By the time week 19 comes around, we were running 32km in about 5 hours!  It becomes easier because we get the chance to do it with fellow runners who have the same dream.

Forty-two kilometers.  That’s the goal.  But running it brings something out of runners.  Running that distance for the first time not only taxes the body but also the mind.  Runners dread “The Wall”, the point in the run where they begin to question things- “Why am I doing this?” “There’s a reason bikes and cars were invented…” “My heart is going to explode!” “My legs are cursing me and want to go on strike!” “I wanna go home to mama! Waaaah!”  It is in conquering the wall that separates the marathoner from the fun runner.  It is a mental battle.  Runners have mantras for it “Pain is temporary, Quitting is forever” “What Wall?” “Endure” “Marathoner!!!”

It is in facing the wall that Forty-Two will give you the meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything. It makes you push your limits.  It makes you discover what you can do.  Makes you assess what you want in life.  It teaches you to plan on how to make things happen.  It digs deep and calls your soul.  It brings out your true character.  It makes you search internally for the meaning of YOUR life!

I guess Douglas Adams’ fans couldn’t figure out forty-two because most of them are not interested in running.  Now I understand.

Thank you Jaymie and The Bullrunner Team!