Since the first run event I joined called, UST Unending Race, held inside of the University of Santo Tomas campus (which I had not gotten the race result for my first 5k run) in February 2010, 5 years had gone and in those time I had managed to run in 198 run events (8 5k, 41 10k, 1 12k, 5 15k, 15 16k, 1 18k, 68 21k, 1 22k, 2 24k, 5 25k, 3 30k, 5 32k, 1 34k, 1 36k, 17 42k, 10 50k and 4 60k). Taking home 17 finisher trophies (broke 1 already), 2 souvenir statues, 3 buckles, 134 finisher medals, 1 medallion and 1 medal an award for completing one season (composing of three run events) of trail running with a defunct race franchise. The estimated total distance covered in these events if added together is roughly 4,192 kilometers. With that distance I could have already run out and back from the northern most part of the Philippines to the southernmost portion since the total distance of the Philippines from north to south is only 1,850 kilometers while west to east 1,100 kilometers according to Jens Peters Lonely Planet: Philippines. Another way of putting it, the distance from California to New York is roughly 4,692.5 kilometers while the Pacific Crest Trail, which begins at the US-Mexico border to US-British Columbia border is 4,286 kilometers.
In the 5 years I had ran in various run events I have had 7 DNFs and some unaccounted numbers of races I DNS or did not started. Some of the reasons I remember why I did not showed up ranges from: I was suffering plantar fasciitis and was painful at that time; I was still tired from the previous run event I joined and couldn’t run on the following day race event; it was raining and I got lazy getting out of bed; there was a party or an office outing I chose to attend instead; I joined a triathlon event by mistake. I once had registered in an event twice one on-line while the other in store because I had forgotten I already did. I also had once registered in two events happening the same time because the one I preferred between the two had its registration a bit later. What did I do with the two previous race kits? I gave away the first one while I managed to sell the other. Then there was a time I registered in two events one happening in the morning while the other in the afternoon but I also registered in an event happening the day before the two events. I only managed to run in two.
Just for discussion sake, if each of those races I joined cost me P500.00 ($12.) then I already spent roughly P59,000.00 ($1,311.00). But it probably cost me even more if we compute the total cost using the actual registration price since an average 21k run now cost around P900.00 while marathon and ultramarathon events ranges between P1,000.00 to P2,500.00. I also need sometimes to book hotels and purchase airfare. There are prearranged shuttle that cost between P350.00 to P750.00 that I actually availed. Then there are food and drink expenses; and energy supplements to think of.
With these 198 run events I have gone around Metro Manila covering City of Manila Las Pinas City, Makati City, Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa, Paranaque City, Pasay City, Pasig City, Quezon City, Taguig City. My feet hit the pavements of the following roads: Buendia Boulevard, C-5 Road, Commonwealth Highway, EDSA Boulevard, Kalayaan Avenue, Lawton Avenue, Macapagal Avenue, NAIA Road, Ortigas Avenue, Roxas Boulevard and the whole of Skyway. Topping the list of venue that I had ran most in Metro Manila is Bonifacio Global City with close to 53 run events followed by Mall of Asia with 29 run events. Rizal Park either in front of the Rizal Statue or Grandstand garnered 12 run events I participated at and Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex with only 8.
While outside Metro Manila further north in the Cordillera Region, in Ifugao I had tasted of how it is to run among the rice paddies of Banaue, Batad and Hungduan with the Rice Terraces at the backdrop. In the Mountain Province I ran around Sagada but did not finish the whole race so, I am coming back for more. In Benguet, I reached the ridges of Apucao and the summit of Mt. Ugo in Itogon. While in Bokod, Mt. Purgatory along with 4 other mountains. In Baguio I got in so many places via run events than I did with my excursion. Going down to La Union, in San Fernando I got to run along the runway of La Union Airport at Poro Point. My foot sunk at the sands of San Juan as I gun for the finish line and took a bucket challenge on top of Pulipul to stave off the heat after running close to 50 kilometers with still 17 kilometers more to go. I ran also in Tarlac, Pampanga, Subic Bay Freeport Zone and Camaya Coast in Mariveles, Bataan. Near Metro Manila in Rizal Province, I participated in races held in Angono, Antipolo, in the trails of Tanay and in San Mateo with Timberland and Pintong Bukawe. I almost covered the whole of Laguna by foot except for Famy, Pangil, Pakil, Paete and Lumban corridor. The same thing with Cavite, if only I could run the area covering Alfonso, General Emilio Aguinaldo, Magallanes, Trece Martires, Indang and Mendez then I could also claim I ran the whole of Cavite. I got to and from Tagaytay via several route including through off road. So far I reached only Nasugbu, Tanauan, Talisay and a portion of Sto. Tomas and Laurel in Batangas. I have yet to set my foot in Quezon but by the time I publish this I may have already touch Infanta if I don’t DNF. Leaving the main island of Luzon, my feet trod 25 kilometers of Puerto Galera and 10 kilometers of Boracay in Caticlan, Aklan. In Cebu I got as far as Talisay after going around Cebu City. In Bohol 21 kilometers of road from San Agustin, Panglao was the farthest I travelled via foot race.
I am not a fast runner and hadn’t broken any of my previous PR (57:43 for 10k, 2:24:27 for 21k, 5:43:45 for 42k and 8:41:56 for 50k) achieved earlier when I was still much stronger and younger. I had to admit I walk in most of my run, which may be appalling for some. At the age of 45 maybe I still have a long way to go. Who knows what I can still accomplish in the next 5 years.