Monday, July 16, 2012

Race Review: World Vision Run for a cause 2012



In the last 10 years, one phenomenon that has developed in the lives of many Filipinos and subsequently contributed significant revenues to many industries today is running. When it started, many thought that it was just a phase that will soon die down but, apparently, it has become a fast-growing fitness urban culture. Companies with their brands, organizations and even NGOs have jumped into the bandwagon in utilizing running events as part of their campaigns -- may it be for brand awareness or fundraising -- and it has been very effective. Many running organizers even made it a yearly or a seasonal event which eventually gave them many loyal followers.


Last June 24, 2012, World Vision, a familiar NGO name noted for its flagship program, Child Sponsorship, did its first take on its own running event dubbed as World Vision Run for a Cause 2012. It was held at the Bonifacio Global City running circuit which was participated by more than 3,700 runners from different parts of the metro with some even coming all the way from Pangasinan.



Even before I embraced running as part of my personal lifestyle, I have always supported the programs of World Vision. I even had the opportunity to share part of my blessings by sponsoring Marvin Mandawe, a boy from Palawan for 10 years. However, my sponsored child has already reached the maximum period of sponsorship which is 18 years old and he is no longer part of the program. But through the correspondence I received from him via World Vision, it is very reassuring to know that his life and his family’s are far better now because of the help they received from child sponsors of World Vision like me. My help for Marvin may be over but through the World Vision Run, I was still able to help other poor kids like him because the proceeds of the run will go to 8,000 kids more who cannot go to school because of poverty.



One part of World Vision’s advocacy in helping poor kids is to promote and make child sponsorship a part of a family tradition where each member can have a share in helping. That’s why the run was categorized by four running distances in order to cover the running abilities of each member of the family. The 500 meter dash was for the small kids, 3k and 5k are for the beginners, moms, and older siblings and the 10k are for Dads. There was also a category of 21k for the competitive and seasoned runners.


World Vision run is kind of special for me because for the first time, I got to bring along my son Gabriel and he ran his very first 5k race. As for me, I registered in the 21k distance and it was my 4th 21k run on barefoot. With tons of work I had the week before, I was not able to get some decent running prep for the run, but I was excited just the same because I got to run with some of my friends and former colleagues in World Vision.



The gun start for the 21k was at 5:30 and it was a bit late. A few meters from the starting line was a bus blocking a portion of the road that made the runners crowd up. I have run 21k in BGC before and somehow, I was already familiar with most of the turns in the course. As always, the Kalayaan bridge was part of the obstacle for me, but at least I know much better on how to manage my strength in crossing to Gil Puyat Avenue. I maintained an easy pace in the first 10k and I had the opportunity to talk to some of my running friends. I even had the chance to run with Aga the blind barefoot runner as he was being guided by another fellow barefoot runner and World Vision advocate Gerrard Pizarras. Upon seeing Aga, I was humbled down and at the same time encouraged by his dedication. Many runners were amazed with his talent because even in the absence of eyesight, he was not deterred in living his passion for running.


Finally, the U-turn was on sight and I was half way through but I knew crossing the Kalayaan Bridge for the second time can be a challenge. Surprisingly, I made it through without the usual pains. This showed that my two years of barefoot running is slowly paying off. After passing by NET One going towards Serendra, I noticed that this is taking a bit too long or maybe it was just the fatigue I’m experiencing. But later on, a running buddy of mine confirmed that the 21k was a few kilometers longer. It registered in his GPS Watch as 24.6k. So, that explained it.



After crossing the finish line, my gun-time was 2hrs. 6min. which is normal for my usual 21k distance. Nonetheless, I still managed to finish it with no injuries ... or so I thought, because as soon as I got my loot bag, I felt a little dizzy with blurring of vision. So my son guided me to the medic station and made a quick BP check and the shock came not just to me but also to the medic staff when we found out that it was 60/20. Super low blood! The medic team quickly made lie down on a stretcher and gave me a dose of oxygen. After 5 minutes on “emergency” mode, I underwent another BP check and it was back to normal 110/20. I felt ok right after, but that scenario gave my son a short cardiac-moment. After the program ended, a blogger-runner friend invited us over for a nice cool down session in his mom’s posh condo’s swimming pool at Forbes Heights.

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