For some time now, this race had been spearheaded by Jossie Ng, the Mapua professor wife of one of my longtime Voltes Team mates, Chris. Many a time, I was invited to join but circumstances just didn’t allow me to (last year was our Ironman relay and the year before that, I was recovering from dengue). Finally, on its 5th edition, I was finally able to join the Mapua Run last Aug. 10.
It seems trivial to wake up at 4 am, head out west into the walled city and just run 6KMs but running around Intramuros offered a whole new running experience and a different perspective in Philippine history. At 6 am, along with Mapuan students donning the official red & yellow shirts, we blasted off the starting line (and whispered to myself, “it’s Payasso time”). It’s my first time to take on a race under 10KMs so I knew I’ll be able to keep pushing myself into the finish. I just kept in mind that it’s only 3 rounds of the Academic Oval, in Payasso pace, of course.
Van set the pace early on so it was more controlled as we took on the cobblestone alleys of the walled community for two rounds. Running with our group was the whole family of Bon & Carlyn Aga, including 5 year-old Max and 2 year-old Tamara, being pushed by Bon in her stroller. Intramuros is a merry mix of colonial buildings, old churches, government offices, repurposed commercial establishments and colonies of informal settlers. Overall, it was weird fascinating experience to be running in a place that’s been around for centuries. There were instances when I was faltering and had to slow down a bit and in the last round, some episodes of coughing ensued but thankfully, I survived this one into a furious finish.
My time was 34:57 so at 6.9KMs (the route was extended due to some road blocks), it’s still within the 5mins/km pace I had targeted. The morning was capped with one of our Rancho Team mates, Fatima Mae Tiburcio placing 2nd in the 3KM category (Cha from Milo Apex was third and both were co-dentists). Our gracious hosts, Chris & Josie Ng prepared a sumptuous breakfast for the group. Later, we attended the Sunday services at the airconditioned and newly-refurbished Manila Cathedral and would have loved to move around and explore the sights but we were itching to get out of our sweaty running gears. Maybe next time…
Photography is courtesy of Red Knight (a.k.a. Emman Tiburcio) – salamuch!!!