Not until the conceptualization of our group's Epic Relay team, most of my individuality outlook for running has somehow changed. It made me witness a Leader's unfailing love for a group. It made me wonder how much more can that person give, or when he will surrender.
There was no solid cooperation at first, and it isn't falling into our expectations. It made my inner-self wrangle in hopelessness as our group crammed into a tight schedule of meeting the requirements, questioning almost everything: "Isn't this a group event? When are we going to train as a group?", "When will the remaining slots be filled-up?", "How much expensive can this race get?", "Why are those people who shouted their intent to join disappearing?", "Can we really make it?" It did made me hopeless, then hopeful. It made me impatient, then it gave me patience. And it also made me realize how important each individual is for a common goal.
With that as the background of our story, I could say that not all of the epic moments that our group has had on the recently held Epic Relay 250 were realized on the race days and race night itself. Sure the routes were challenging, the sun’s heat was exhausting, the sleepless and bathless days were amputating, and each of our runners had our own epic moments on our own legs for the race. From climbing the steep hills of Bataan, crawling the roads to Mt. Samat, gracefully running the flat roads, and attacking the steep downhills with care.
|Learning some history about the epic Battle of Bataan - that's epic!|
First, was my realization of a Team Leader’s Passion at work – I alone, would have already surrendered weeks before and even during the last day of registration due to lack of preparation, too much cramming; unfillable line-up of runners and support crews for the team; expected heavy expenses; and a lot of negatives and distractions that surrounds the conception of our epic team. But with Allan’s untiring and non-surrendering attitude made it all possible, and I learned from him. He was able to light up the fire from the very thin light of hope that he saw;
|Six:30 Running Group's final sprint to an epic finish|
I'm glad that this year's Epic Relay has materialized from the thoughtful planning of Ms. Arleen Lindo and all the people behind her team. Good job and Congratulations to everyone!
As for my own legs? All of it was memorable, from climbing the Mt. Samat, running away the cold eve, and dashing through the finish line.
|Reaching Mt. Samat|
Race commenced from Liyang, Pilar towards the top of Mt. Samat covering a lot of steep uphill with very steep switchbacks on mixed smooth and rough asphalt roads. Total elevation gain of around 500masl. The first 2-3 kilometers of the route were so hot but thankfully the roads going up to Mt. Samat were covered by the trees. My lungs got busted as I reached the top, I took a few minutes rest and took a picture of the cross, then proceeded to sprint down to pass the baton to our 11th leg runner.
Leg 2 / R.E.P #20:
Sweaty on a midnight run of the 2nd leg which started at Cubi Pt., SBMA and ending at the Harborpoint Mall, SBMA. The route became so exciting with the presence of a pitbull, an askal, and a pinchster dog barking at me while I was urinating on a waiting shed in front of their territory. The jungle noise of nocturnal animals/birds while running the steep downhill of Subic to Olongapo made me shiver in excitement as I imagined that I was running under a dark, moonless night while some unknown creatures are chasing at me. Upon reaching the flat asphalt and concrete roads, I was back to my normal rhythm of some boredom and made me miss those jungle noise. Approximate total elevation loss of 120-130masl under the fresh breeze of midnight air.
Leg 3 / R.E.P #30:
After 2 days and a night of lack of ample rest and no bathing, the final leg came. This leg started with a few flat asphalt roads at Barrio Baretto in Subic, then followed by gradual uphills between kms 3 to 4.5 and a short downhill leading to flat concrete roads towards the finish line at the Lighthouse Hotel in, SBMA.
More of the Epic stories of our group may be found from the following links:
Jenny Red's Tumblr
RunningFreeManila's Six:30 Epic Story Collection
A special thanks also goes to our invaluable sponsors, who came just in the nick of time, believed us, trusted us, and extended their support for our group.
"Face forward and take the next step. Don't flinch when the road gets rough, you fall down, you miss a turn, or the bridge you planned to cross has collapsed. Do what you say you'll do, and don't let anything or anyone stop you. Deal with the obstacles as they come. Move on." - Marshall Ulrich (author, Running on Empty)