TBRDM Story: Weng Baltazar

Friday, 1 April 2011  |  Bullish Insights

This is a story of faith, hope and love in Weng Baltazar’s first marathon…


Running a marathon was never in my “bucket list”.  Running didn’t even appeal to me back then. At 35, I found my first love in tennis. But after finishing my first 5km in Baguio in 2009 (I was 40 then), I knew there’s something out there I needed to accomplish before my knees start wobbling with age.

And then I read about The Bull Runner Dream Marathon, a marathon event designed especially for 1st timers. This is what I have been waiting for, so my husband and I signed up at once.

I had no idea how grueling the training and preparation would be. It certainly wasn’t a walk in the park.  When I missed some of my training schedules, I knew I was gonna be in trouble. I started to doubt myself.  I finished my last 21k with a bit of a struggle. How much more would I endure for a run that’s double its length? Should I go for it? Undecided, I asked for God’s sign and prayed .The night before the big day I made a personal letter to God praying for strength and safety. Part of the letter says: “may  the realization of this dream brings forth a better person, not only on the road of an enthusiastic runner, but a better person on the road to righteousness, faith and love.”

Hours  before the run, I compelled (not asked  ) my best friend Ellen and little sister Kris to pray and  say the rosary for us. One hour before the marathon, I received a text from a friend (Ate Cheryl), must have been the sign I was asking for.  Without any doubt,”I will run my 1st marathon!”

Fast forward to the race day.  My husband gave me a kiss at gun start, during the 1st few meters I paced with him and some friends. Slowing them down I started spotting for runners who had the same run-walk interval as mine. I heard these two runners counting and I asked if I could join them . Let and Dittie gladly accepted me and I met my new running buddies. The 1st loop- we were doing fine, Dittie and Let were even singing Disney and Nickelodeon songs their kids love to sing (too bad I can’t join them, because my 4-year old Euan watches Mr. Bean).It was a joyride, until KM 27.

At Km 27 Dittie started feeling pain at the back of her knees (probably hams). We stopped at Medic station for some topical remedy. Then we started running again but the pain got worse.She took some pain killers but nothing seemed to work. We decided to shorten our run-walk interval, until she couldn’t run anymore . We started walking at Km 30. Dittie started crying and getting angry with herself. No amount of assurance could make her feel better. I guess the pain was so bad. She was so apologetic for holding us back and putting us through her ordeal.  She told us to go on ahead but we knew she needed us to stay .Let and I gave her all the motivations, prayed with her, and kept her going.  We walked for 5 kilometers more, and by God’s miracle Dittie got her second wind. We started running again at Km 35. The sun was up but that didn’t stop Dittie’s determination to finish. She was just awesome. Less than 1 km to finish, Dittie had an adrenaline rush. Let and I could hardly keep up . Together, we ran and finished strong. Seeing us together, the announcer even called us Charlie’s Angels, but I guess Dittie and Let were my angels: Dittie, for making me keep my prayer, and Let for making me keep  the faith.

Staying and running all throughout the course with an injured buddy made my first marathon experience even more fulfilling. Not only did I survive my 1st marathon but we helped a co-dreamer fulfill hers.

– Let, Dittie, and Weng –

I never thought my prayer would be intended on the journey itself and not only after crossing the finish line. God works in wondrous ways. My 1st marathon was a marathon of faith, hope and love.

Will I ever run a marathon again? Part of me says definitely. One marathon in my lifetime? I can live with that, but then I can always change my mind.


Congratulations to The Bull Runner Dream Marathon Team! You guys did an awesome job!

TBR DREAM STORIES: Marnie Hurst, Bib No. 136

Tuesday, 25 May 2010  |  Bullish Insights

There are hundreds of stories to tell about TBR Dream Marathon.  The best ones will come from the runners themselves: what happened on the roads of NUVALI as they took each step leading up to their first 42km, who were the angels that helped them on their way, what went through their minds as they worked for their dream.

This is a series of stories that will come from the runners themselves.  By posting these, we hope to inspire more people even after TBR Dream Marathon has ended.  The dream continues…

To share your own TBR Dream Stories, please email me at tbr(at)thebullrunner.com


marnie post run

I did it!!!!  WE did it!!!!  Thank you so much, Jaymie.  Really, words cannot express my deep gratitude for all you have done.  That was the most amazing marathon a new runner could ever ask for.

I wanted briefly share my marathon story with you.  So I started my week with a cough that I just couldn’t shake.  I coughed for about the first 3rd of the race and was really worried, but then I guess I coughed it all out, because it just went away completely.

– Marnie at the early portions of her first marathon –

But then at around 30km (just like everyone says!) I totally hit a wall.  My hips were hurting, kind of freezing up, and I have a heel spur on my left heel that was hurting so bad.  There was a terrible pain shooting from my heel all the way to my hip.  And then the hill came!  I had to start walking, but even then I felt like every step was a monumental effort.  My legs just quit working right.  Inexplicably I started crying.  The pain wasn’t THAT bad, but the tears just started flowing.


I was at somewhere around 35km, limping along, when a guardian angel swooped down in the form of Alfred the Dream Chaser.  He approached me and asked if I was ok.  I burst into tears again and told him about my heel and hip and my legs not working.  He helped me get a brisk walk going by pumping my arms, assured me that I could make it to the finish line within an hour walking at that pace, and then ran ahead in search of some ibuprofen for me.  He stayed with me for about 3 km cheering me up and getting my head back into the game until we came upon a woman in worse shape than me, and he flew off to help her out of her crisis.

At around 39km I was able to start running again and made it to the finish line with a smile on face.  There I was greeted by the wonderful new friends I have made in the process of training for this marathon.  Jim Lafferty was also there with his sweet words of praise and congratulations.  I was on cloud 9!!!  I went for my MUCH appreciated shower and sat down to eat with my running buddies where we had a front row seat to cheer on the rest of the runners.

And before too long, along came Alfred running alongside yet another runner who, like me, was heading for a successful finish to her first marathon with a smile on her face.  All along the way there were so many words of encouragement shouted out, warm smiles, caring co-runners, marshals and dream chasers.  Days like this are few and far between and I will NEVER, EVER forget it!!!!

– A sweet finish. Hugging Aileen, a fellow TBR Dream Marathoner –

– with Alfred, her Dream Chaser, and Marie, a fellow TBR Dream Marathoner –

When I got home I was greeted by cheers and hugs from my loving, supportive family.  I have entered near legendary status in my household by tackling my first marathon at 45 years of age.  I would never have thought about taking on this challenge if it wasn’t for you and your marathon, Jaymie.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!  I hope that your heart if full with all the love being sent your way by so many!!!

*  Images courtesy of Marnie and Photovendo