Running is not for the faint of heartBy Sev Sarmenta
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The running phenomenon has resurfaced and this time, it looks like it’s not going to be just a fad that hits a tipping point and subsides.
Over the weekend, about 2,000 runners of all abilities woke up before dawn to hit the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) layout in Taguig for the 2012 Timex Run. Entries for the 5K, 10K and 16K arrived as early as 4 a.m. to look for parking space that is relatively ample for these runs.
BGC is a good venue also because there is not much traffic to manage, unlike in other places that are heavy thoroughfares even before the sun rises.
It was my first 5K, an event I prepared for since late last year as a fitness goal and to savor what the running hoopla was all about. This was not a New Year’s resolution kind of commitment but rather a goal that was worth achieving while getting an exercise at the same time.
When you’re at midlife, you don’t have that many fitness goals that you can actually achieve, so I chose one I could prepare for without overstressing myself.
Our wave of 5K runners was the third to be sent off after the 16K and 10K groups.
There is a festive atmosphere to these runs, complete with emcees and music to rev up the crowd. We hear that Sen. Pia Cayetano, actor Piolo Pascual and Tessa Prieto Valdez are running with us, adding star quality to a sport that has already attracted many.
The run was well laid out by Runrio, now a byword in race organizing in the country. There were clear markers at every important twist and turn, encouraging marshals who not only told you where to run but offered pep words to keep you going, and long water stations that could accommodate large arrivals or trickles of runners.
At the finish, there were more than enough tables to distribute finisher’s kits. This is a good lesson to learn for sports organizers: Details and responsible people are what make events work.
It was thrilling to reconfirm that running transcends all ages and economic boundaries. An old male participant, probably in his early 70s, walked through the entire route and couldn’t care about the younger runners whizzing by him.
Couples and families took time to take Facebook pictures to mark their participation. The fashion statement seekers and gizmo huggers were fun to watch and outrun while they frolicked on the pavement.
Despite its fiesta-like atmosphere, runners took the event seriously as they warmed up and stretched before the official start. To get the maximum benefit out of running, one must also be committed to it over time and not just by hopping straight into staged runs.
If you haven’t hit the streets in a long time and force yourself to finish a 5K, it could be disastrous rather than beneficial to your health. Get back into running or sports slowly.
As long as senior citizens get an OK from their doctors, running and even just walking is superb exercise.
I was pleased to have achieved my target of finishing. Race emcee Chinggay Andrada caught me at the finish line and congratulated me. “Feels good, doesn’t it?” she asked with a smile and I said yes, it did.
We hope that more events like the Timex Run will be staged just as efficiently throughout the year. Our fitness and sports enthusiasts have a low-cost pursuit that can be prepared for regardless of age, status or ability and deserve only the best when they go for it in an organized run.
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