Day 2 – 02 May 2010
1-27.1 – Sta.cruz to Mabitac
2-29.9 – Mabitac to Jala Jala
3-19,27 – Jala Jala to Tanay Town Plaza
4-18.7 – Tanay to Binangonan Municipal Hall
5-19.85 – Binangonan to Tiendesitas
The race proper started at the Provincial Capitol of Laguna in Sta Cruz at around 0530. Macky will be covering 27km so we made sure that he will be well-hydrated all throughout. Our strategy for the second day is for our first two runners to finish their legs in 3H and the rest of us 2H. It’s really tight considering the route and the weather but that’s the reality that we have to face.
Learning from our experience on Day 1, we left all the transition areas on time to drop our runners. With the alliance sealed we are pretty sure that whatever happens we will be fine. We just have to remind Jucel over and over again to just take it slow and to not exert too much effort on the affected knee.
Iah’s “son”, Rene was leading the pack when we passed them on our way to Mabitac, he ended winning that leg in 1:40! Tao ba sya?! I should ask Iah hahaha
We left Mabitac for Jala Jala shortly after the second runners of the leading teams left.
It was in Jala Jala when I finally introduced myself to the Team Brooks Contingent. Tsg Buen, their Coach even gave me a snappy salute. The team is very strong; they are actually trailing behind the Antipolo Runners. It is also here where we had so many light moments with most of the support and some of the Elites.
Tere: Master bantayan mo si Vertek, tumatakbo na naman mamaya kamo mabangga na naman ng motor
Coach: Naku to talaga si Vertek, nakakalbo na kasi eh, hirap talaga pag tumatanda.
Laughter ensued after that comment. We also extended help to their first runner who was dehydrated. I was so worried I asked them to bring him to the nearest hospital since he is also vomiting. Katawa lang because there was no Doctor or crew in the Ambulance only the driver wala din silang oresol or hydrite! Haller!!! What are ambulances for?
We left Jala Jala for Tanay way before our Nam and Jucel arrived so we weren’t able to witness their dramatic moment. The exact picture was that magka akbay silang dumating with Jucel hopping on one leg because of his injury. Buti nalang din hindi ko yun nakita baka pag nandun ako nag lupasay na ako sa iyak. I just hope that the reckless jeepney driver who caused that injury will never ever experienced what he went through.
The blistering heat of the sun is already evident when we left Jala Jala. We are now getting worried with what will happen to Carlo and Mark. The pressure to beat the cut-off is already constricting.
We arrived in Tanay shortly after Alvin Canada (the BDM Champion) passed the baton to their fourth runner. Now I am really getting worried…
Our packed lunch was courtesy of Tin’s friend, Rhea. Thanks Rhea! That was the first decent meal I had since the relay started.
Silently, I am now beginning to obsess on how I am going to finish this race. I know I can really be stubborn if not restrained so I am also trying to keep my emotions in check. I keep going back to the rest room and feels like throwing up. I guess I was really anxious. I am having doubts if I will be able to pull it off. Honestly, I was afraid. I know my strength and surely I am no match to Tin. I am also anxious because I might slow her down. You should see me when we train at Ultra. I am always coming behind these guys when we do Yasso or we do those mind-boggling 100s, 200s, or 400s. My best time for 21K is 2:15. I am only running 18.7k but with the heat? I have been consumed about this fact since the first day when I was told that I am given two hours to finish my leg… I just hope the “Gerber” will give me the much needed kick.
I guess Mark and Carlo are already half-way when Iah and Gerry left for the last transition. The time is really tight now… Unless I use roller blades; the problem is I never used roller blades in my life! See? My line of thinking is getting crazier by the minute.
I was comfortably seated in a chair when I saw Carlo and Mark entering the transition area. I wasn’t prepared! Hindi pa ako nagbabasa!!! I hurriedly drenched myself, grabbed the shades from Carlo who seems disoriented, took the belt, and off I went! Only to come back at natanggal ang race bib!
I dashed like a mad woman and Tin cautioned me several times that I was going too fast and that I need to stay close (nasa gitna na pala ako ng kalye)… Jucel reminded us to run continuously for 30minutes then do the 10minutes run 1 minute walk strategy. I don’t know what happened but we didn’t follow that one. We just ran… then took intermittent walk breaks. I just have to give it to Tin… without her dictating the pace, ewan kung san ako pupulutin!
Tin know the route by heart so that’s a BIG plus. She knows where to sprint because it’s downhill then walk because it’s uphill. It was very HOT but the good thing is I am now also being supported by Arnel (he is the very efficient motorcycle support of the Lake Dashers) the cold sponge is heaven! Thank you so much, Arnel!
When Tin told me that we covered 6K in 30 minutes… I was surprised. That’s fast considering the heat.
One thing that is still very vivid in my memory during that leg was when we passed Morong, which is a bit congested and busy at that time because of a sports fest. I was so surprised when a policeman helped us navigate that busy street. Imagine a situation when lead runners are in front with the police… ganun ang ginawa sa amin, dalawang pulis hinahawi ang mga tao para kami makadaan. At nung hindi kami makasingit sa gilid, dinala kami sa gitna! The experience was just surreal… we felt like Champions being escorted to the finish line!
We are on the 9th km at 55 minutes when we saw our support vehicle. Iah and Gerry alighted and told us that we are already out of the race so they will just pace with us. Apparently, they were told that unless we arrive in Binangonan at 1500H there is no way they could run. I was dazed… we are trying our best… Tin and I are running like as if there is no tomorrow. Attacking all the downhill as if we are on a regular race without the sun blazing in the horizon… I was lost; I was asking myself what’s the use of running if we are not going to finish anyway?
Gerry and Iah are now our pacers, also giving us necessary hydration. I don’t know what happened after but when I saw the next uphill going to Binangonan, I jogged. I jogged slowly until we reach a rather long downhill that we attacked with gusto. Then it dawned on me, if we are not going to finish then let me just establish a new PR.
I was still strong until we reached the very intimidating uphill separating Rizal and Pasig… I jogged that too; did I not tell you I was running like a madwoman? I was so excited! It could be the “Gerber”!
I don’t know where we were when Macky told me something about going on with the race. I didn’t understand it that time. I just continued running until Tin passed me then I saw the sign to the last transition area. I was hyped! I finished 18k in 2:03 – two minutes behind my partner, Tin. Only then did I fully understand what Macky was telling me…. We will continue with the race. But Iah is already tired; he already did 7km with us. He had like 50minutes to finish 20K… We are not elites! We are mere MORTALS…
It took us a while before we left the last transition area to provide support for our runners. Unfortunately, we got lost and we didn’t see them anymore. They were swept… Initially, I didn’t know what to say especially when I saw some runners still running even after the cut-off time.
We were silent until we reached the finish line and heard what happened. We had to apologize to Iah for not giving him support during that very critical time – I’ll say it again – I’m sorry, Iah. We didn’t mean to leave you there alone…
I became emotional when I read this note from Iah’s FB wall:
It was my first time to not finish a race. The first time to ride at the back of a moving vehicle that big. My first time to not cross the finish line. I was demoralized.
Yes, I was demoralized too. I actually cried when I arrived in the barracks. But then I don’t want to be consumed by that feeling. Everything happens for a reason and I know that there is more to being DNFed.
It was an amazing race… I am proud of what we have accomplished. I learned so many things in the span of 48hours… I can now fully say that the camaraderie and bonding that we had will forever be etched in my heart.
CONGRATULATIONS to Team Antipolo, Team Airforce-Brooks, and Team Baldrunner 1 for being the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placer respectively.
To my team the FLASH FORWARD and the LAKE DASHERS Congratulations and THANK YOU for a very memorable race.
To my friends at takbo.ph who sent me text messages: THANK YOU SO MUCH! I truly appreciate it. I miss you all!