This is a story of faith, hope and love in Weng Baltazar’s first marathon…
BIB NO. 51: WENG BALTAZAR
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.
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!