It was around 2011 when I found myself in the expansive grounds of the Quezon City Memorial Circle. A friend recommended the running program after a few sessions at the UP Oval with coach Jojo Macalintal (of TeamMac fame). For 3 months, we were taught the basics on running and beyond. The schedule of Monday & Wednesday evenings plus a long run on Saturday remains to this day. By 6 PM, we’d start our regular warm ups followed by a series of strengthening drills and culminated with a few rounds around the monument.
The first few seasons of my attendance was very sporadic, owing to my difficulty and disgust of threading around QC’s disjointed traffic jams, shallow acquaintances and distant connection with the coaches. I was also focused more on ultrarunning branching into trail running then.
It was only in 2012 that I began to connect and relate with fellow runners and found detours to take me to QCMC faster that I became a regular attendee of the Milo Apex R2 running school (MARRS). It has become a tri-weekly habit that I never fail to miss except in cases of long vacations and whatnot. It’s during the April edition when we experience the incessant afternoon rains of June & July which could mar or discontinue a perfect workout but most of the time, the sessions continue and we had gotten used to the cold winds and the pelting rains. We just think of the rewards after – usually a piping hot bowl of beef noodles.
This 10th Season (which started late April this year), under the willing guidance and tutelage of Coaches Jim & Toni Saret, MARRS has raised the bar to make every WILLING participant fitter, stronger and faster. An emphasis here on willing since usually after the first month, about a third of us have already left, for various reasons. This time around, except for a few absentees, the QC edition has managed to keep its roster intact. And so, we keep taking on the weekly challenges which not only hone our running form & skill but strengthen the other body parts besides the legs. Whew!
The main reason of this active and consistent participation, I would surmise, is the introduction of new coaches and physical therapists from the national team. So don’t blame us if we feel like national athletes, motivated, guided and pushed to our limits by the country’s best athletic support team. Each season culminates with a major marathon (Milo marathon, Metro Manila edition for the April edition and the Milo finals for the September edition) and with these season’s high volume of participants, expect MARRSians to shine come July 26! Now this just got my heart thumping…
Thanks to Rickpets Lens for taking the time to visit us last Monday (22 June 2015) and taking most of these pictures of MARRS-QC in action.