Friday, 22 March 2013  |  Bullish Insights

As is the tradition of TBR Dream Marathon, after the race, I post anecdotes about the marathon that I receive in my Inbox from our new marathoners. My inbox gets inundated with stories of triumph, love, gratitude, passion, and empowerment that it’s too much of a waste if only I read it. Through this series of stories (one every week for the next couple of months), may you all be inspired to run a marathon or dream big in your own lives.

TBR DREAMERS 2013: Efren & Vangie Gregorio
Bib Nos. 322 & 323

By Efren Gregorio

I’m a MILO 42K finisher with traumatic experience and once said to myself “I will not repeat this insanity, ever.” And in my wife’s case, she cannot hide her fear to go the full distance. But when I heard from a colleague (a TBR alumni) about TBR and started visiting its blog, I said to myself “we will join this running family.” Unfortunately, we missed the 2012 batch and I started to lose hope. Luckily, during RU1 last July 2012, I chanced upon Jaymie (I don’t know if she can recall it) at a water station in front of PICC and I said: “Hi Jaymie, good morning! I and my wife wanted to join your Dream Marathon but we don’t know how.” She replied: “Yes sir we will be glad to welcome both of you” and she whispered “Just visit my blog and I will have an announcement, MAYBE in September. Okay sir, let’s run to the finish line.” True to her words, in September we were able to register but not without a hitch and I know everybody in batch 2013 knows what that hitch is all about. Ha ha ha!

Our preparation started like this, from all Bull Circles and Bull Sessions we attended, we eagerly and enthusiastically absorbed every pieces of advice from coaches Lit, Jun and the two Jims (Lafferty and Saret). From doctors who explained the relation of medicine during training and, to avoid injuries and life threatening illnesses that a marathoner can get. And from other TBR alums who shares their experiences and spares some tips to all next dreamers wannabe. So, when the penultimate D-Day came (February 24, 2013) we’re ready!

We could say that our TBR Dream Marathon is a once-in-a-life-time and unforgettable experience in our running career. Only in this foot race that we didn’t feel the atmosphere of competition and time pressure but rather feels like participating in a big family gathering wherein all participants are all familiar faces. During the race we are overwhelmed by the support of TBR organization, like the never-ending supplies of everything a runner could want and more. You name it, over-flowing water and Gatorade in 3 flavors, the expensive GU Power Gel, salt supplement in capsule that when you missed it a piece or two of Chippy will be offered for the pickings, chocolates, gummy bears, oranges, apples, bananas, massage, singing bands and many more. But the most “supply” we can say that you can’t buy is the unselfish and dedicated expression of TBR’s motto: “pay it forward” by the TBR Alumnae. A heart-felt thanks to Joseph Nebrida and Philip of Batch 2012 who paced my wife and her co-running pace during the last part of the second loop. Also thanks to Craig Logan (Batch 2010) for his gummy bears. Ha ha ha!

– Efren running steady-

– Vangie all smiles! –

We knew from the beginning that our family will be there to support us. We also knew about the Dream Bus wherein our family will be carried to the running course. But we didn’t know the real effect of that encounter with our family during those times when you feel down and out of strength and suddenly seeing our son 10 feet away giving me a power bar, OMG! I want to cry! For both of us, it is like a second wind and that we wanted to finish strong. But the most memorable and incomparable one is when we crossed the finish line. Yes our two sons were there, but my brother? My two eldest sisters and my nephew with his wife in tow were there too? Inside of me it’s just a BIG BIG WOW! On my wife’s part she didn’t expected them too to be there, and to add more tearful feeling, she and my sisters had this indescribable friction that is very normal and standard to every Filipino family, that when she crossed the finish line she was hugged, kissed and congratulated by her long lost in-laws. Whew that is the most nerve wreaking feeling we savored on that D-Day! After all was said and done (the greetings, the picture takings and congratulatory words), it was known that our eldest son was the culprit to all these beautiful happenings. He said he used the FB and the text medium. Ang galing!

– Efren flashes his TBRDM medal –

Now as both alumnae (naks!), we learned also to respect not just other runners but also the course’s conditions and its landscape offerings. TBR, you really made us wiser as a runner and instill in our minds that nothing is impossible if you really do it the right way.

Again, to Jaymie and the TBR Dream Team THANK YOU for the journey!