Run For Your Life!

Last Sunday, I woke up at 2:20 a.m. I bit my lips, shut my eyes, and tried to return back to snoring. It didn’t work. My heart kept pounding. And so after a few minutes of counting sheep, I gave up. I unwrapped the blanket, headed out, checked my email, read the news, and sipped San Mig coffee.

By 4:45 a.m., the time had arrived. I shook my wife Jasmin to wake up, showered, changed to sleeveless T-shirt, packed the iPod Shuffle, then left.

At 5:30, the Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital was flooded. Over a hundred—maybe hundreds—in running shoes littered the side street. It was the “Run For Your Heart” campaign launched by Dr. Peter Mancao and his fellow doctors. What a fabulous idea! Never mind if these heart doctors lose patients because more people are fit and are less likely to suffer from heart ailments.

At 6 a.m., Councilor Yayoy Alcoseba fired the gun and hundreds trampled the asphalt. It was my first-ever attempt at the 10K. For Jasmin, the same—her first 5K. Since I’ve taken up running last year, I’ve loved every moment. Jogging along streets named Escario, Salinas, Mango and Osmena, you observe sights you’ll never see on a car.

At the finish line, it was exhilarating. Vice Mayor Mike Rama ran the 5K and never lost his smile from start to finish. Cesar Montano ran one kilometer then said a “Vote for Me” speech. Dr. Yong Larrazabal was, as expected, a cheetah in shorts—he won the 10K Doctors’ division in 40 minutes. Dr. Vic Verallo beat his personal record—he clocked 45 minutes. My time? I couldn’t—and still can’t—believe it: 47:49. Was the distance shortened or did my Timex malfunction? I expected to run one full hour but 47 mins? My wife Jasmin also out-sprinted herself. She ran the 5K in 30:40. Good speed!

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