Event: Runnilla Eco Challenge Feb. 22, 2015, details & register here >>
For schedule of running / racing events and runners’ stories, check aktib.ph!
Pechakucha Cebu happens every 2nd Tuesday of the month at Gilt in CrossRoads, Banilad. It’s free so come and join. Check more about PechaKucha Cebu here >>, and don’t forget to like the page to keep posted with their very interesting presentations! =)
Last May 13, 2014, I had a chance to do a presentation for PechaKucha Cebu Vol.III alongside with Jon Unson (artist/photographer), Kaloy Uypuangco (Production Designer), and Gigit Sulit (Free Spirit of thelonerider.com). You can check Gigit’s presentation here >>.
Below is the video of my presentation from Stacey Cardoso of My Dragon Eats Cat Food musical dou to show my anxiety-filled presentation.
For the text version, you can check below. This was not the original story board I made, but I realized there’s a certain kind of pace and format that would fit the PKN way of presentation so I had to make a lot of changes, and make it more personal. I was really hoping to show more of the Cebu running community, but I lack the creativity of fitting them into 20 slides.
So here it is…
In the tech startup or blogging community, I’m known to be the RUNNER. In the running community, I’m known to be the blogger of runroo.com / aktib.ph. Tonight I will speak as a runner. I started running joining Tour de Cebu 3 years ago. A throwbackthursday photo as a proof!
Tour de Cebu was a weekend “trip” started by 4 programmers and 1 journalist who set to run around the whole island of Cebu which is around 500KM++. To make it happen, they did it by running 25KM every weekend. They started and ended at KM0. I got curious, and joined in one of their weekend runs, and from then, the rest is history.
I then became the “expert” in the group of non-running friends and relatives. Questions like “Why do you run a “marathon”?” becomes an obligatory in get-togethers.
“Because real life is not hard enough,” my standard reply. This was Paolo G. Lim’s mantra when things got rough during Tour de Cebu or group runs.
And so friends give me me blank stare. So I would suggest to them that they should try running, join fun run to make it more “fun.” Their reply would be they’re afraid to be last or get hurt. Unknown to them, I’m usually that last runner. This was my 1st official race, the 50k Habagat Ultra Trail, as last runner to arrive after almost 11 hours up in the mountain barangays of Cebu City.
And, yes, it looks so far away from the ads of Nike running shoes. But don’t worry, everyone looks like that in running. This is a photo taken by JD of a pro and elite triathletes battling to the finish line for the championship title. See, my looks were not much different from the champs!
As they say if it does not hurt, you are not doing it right.
But running is not always about pain. It also makes me fall in love. I fall inlove with places. It got me interested with travelling. They called it racecation; scheduling your travels around races. I fell inlove w/ the brutal mountains Bukidnon, my first race outside Cebu.
Coming from a city known for its beaches, I felt like dying here when I realized that their mountains are so huge and steep, I need to tie my hair around the roots of the trees so I would not fall.
It also brought me to beautiful beaches. This was in Sipalay. My beach body just perfectly fit in, and I won female champion. Sometimes, I always don’t come last. I also arrive both first and last! =)
As they say, the first step to sucess is simply showing up!
Running has introduced me a different kind of roller coaster ride.
And, it’s even available just in my backyard. At the back of SM City Consolacion is this ranges of hill which a friend called rollercoaster because it looked like one. I live in Consolacion for 9 years but I only knew of it when I started running.
So when we get the chance to travel, the trails became our theme park. And, it felt like we never get to travel because everytime friends would ask us if we’ve been to Disneyland or this tourist spot and that theme park, we could not answer yes.
Running also gives me a different set of lens to view life. It makes me look at development and poverty in a different light. It can make you feel how small you are in this world. But I won’t preach about that. Except that will my kids our kids will still be able to enjoy these trails and mountains?
But on the other side, running is also empowering. And, I’ll share to you a few races that all happens in Cebu, which look impossible. This is the 250KM single-stage race, the first in Philippines, and in Southeast Asia. And, it happened first in Cebu in 2013.
And, I was lucky to be part of that race… not as a runner but as a support crew of three ladies, whom they called theirselves Psycho Inday Runners. Two of them finished the race, the other one was pulled off because she missed the half-way cut-off time by 15 minutes.
When you are surrounded with these kind of people, impossible simply becomes a word.
Cebu has also the first ultramarathon in the whole world that is exclusive to women. Yes, women in all forms and age! It happens every March, in time for International Women’s Day! Marathon is 42KM, ultramarathon is that race beyond 42KM, it usually starts at 50KM. For a small island, it’s something to be proud of.
So why is Cebu quite a hot place for running and endurance sports? Here are some groups and individuals who started in this boom.
Cebu has its first marathon in 1-10-10 organized by Cebu Executive Runners Club. Then, 2011 came Dr. Yong Larazabal and his celebrity wife Donna Cruz, the group behind Kawasan Falls Marathon among many others. Definitely, Yong and Donna made a perfect running poster model.
But I believe tipping point came when Cebu media personalities came into the scene like Max Limpag. He started running to quit smoking, made lechon part of running experience, add in a supportive wife in the picture, and created the UNGO Runners Group. Compared to the “executive” runners club, UNGO was something everyone can relate.
Then, add in Atty. Haide Acuna, former news anchor of TV Patrol Cebu, who was probably the first Cebuana to run a 100KM ultramarathon who made “suffering” looked fashionable, and preached “slow is the new fast.”
Then came in runners who bring in their different personalities with them in races, who never fails to catch people’s attention. Cebu has the first runner to run a 100KM then 160KM in barefoot.
Cebu also has regular sartorialist runners. This Michael Jackson run marathons in loafers, this woman is a PE teacher, and so she always has snazzy costume in all her runs: from fun run to 100KMs.
Then runners become race organizers too. This was a race organized by friends, Runnilla Eco Challenge. I asked Mark of HappyGaraje to make a logo for it. The logo is somehow brought into life when runners called him Runnilla Boy, others nicknamed him “chokoy”, and re-enact his look in their photos.
As you see that running has a space for everyone, and you don’t need to be a runner.
This photo is very meaningful to me. During one of Tour de Cebu’s, I was totally disappointed of myself for being such a slow fat runner, and then I turned around, and saw this view. And, realized I come a long way despite my slowness.
“You’re only given a spark of madness. You musn’t lose it.” – Robin Williams.
It’s one of my favorite motto in running. And, it somehow answers why I run. If we cannot be crazy in running, then how can we be in real life.
This last photo was last Sunday’s Coast to Coast 65K Ultra, from Cebu Capitol to Toledo Gym viat the fattest mountain of Cebu – Transcentral Hiway. We quit this race twice. On our 3rd attempt, we finally gave up on quitting.
Again, Thank you Paola Galan and Jay, and also Jesslee of PechaKucha Cebu for the invitation! Follow updates at PechaKucha Cebu page here >>.
Featured photo from Jesslee Cuizon