Enlightenment came on kilometer 38 of my spur-of-the-morning full marathon, past the smiling and cigarette-smoking pair of a twenty-something prostitute with a makeup made garish by the harsh late-morning light and her 40ish client waiting for a cab outside a North Reclamation Area motel.
At that point in my unplanned 42-kilometer run last March 2, I fully understood, “Free your mind and your feet will follow.”
I haven’t read Kevin Nelson’s The Runner’s Book of Daily Inspiration, where the quotation comes from, but I kept repeating that phrase on that day, when, after leaving my house in Lapu-Lapu City for a scheduled 21K run on my way to the Sun.Star office, I decided to complete a full marathon.
It was excruciatingly hot and there were instances on the way to Lilo-an when the thought of just turning back and not completing the run occurred to me.
But I kept mumbling my mantra.
MANTRAS, according to Runner’s World, help runners “stay focused and centered.” (CREATIVE COMMONS PHOTO BY PACO FLORES)
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Doctors Raymund Reel Bontol and Humility Igaña topped last Sunday’s medical category in the well-attended 5th University Run at the Cebu Doctors’ University at the North Reclamation Area. Bontol, who is part of the Cebu-based Team Reborn competing in Sunday’s CamSur Ironman 70.3, and Igaña are both members of the Ungo Runners, a group of running enthusiasts that run every Friday night.
DOC MITTY. Humility Igaña won last Sunday’s medical women’s category in the 5th University Run. CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE. (PHOTO BY RAMIE IGAÑA)
Bontol set a new personal record in topping the 10K Medical Men’s category, finishing the race in 42:38. At 2nd place was Dr. Harem Dieparine with a time of 45:30 while Dr. Mark Anthony Longinas finished 3rd with a time of 49:43. Rounding up the top 10 are: 4th Jo Banjo (50:47); 5th Renald Ramiro (58:24); 6th Ryan Jubal (1:02:33); 7th Andrei Yu (1:02:22); 8th Questor Nodalo (1:05:04); 9th Philip Larrazabal (1:06:21); and 10th Paul Go (1:11:17).
Igaña, meanwhile, topped the field of women doctors by finishing her 10K race in 1:01:31. Roslyn Yu was 2nd with a time of 1:02:23; Loy Tan was 3rd with a time of 1:06:20, Catherine Ti was 4th with a time of 1:07:27, while Ma. Victoria Larrazabal was 5th with a time of 1:13:10.
The Men’s 10K was dominated, as expected, by Kenyan Simon Losiaboi who breezed through the route in 32:16. He was followed by Arnold Unabia at 2nd place who finished in 33:13 and Alvirg Busa at 3rd who finished in 33:56.
In the Women’s 10K, Madelyn Carter topped the race by finishing the distance in 39:45. Jojielyn Pepito was 2nd with a time of 40:33 while Aiza Suaybaguio was 3rd with a time of 42:01. Rounding up the top 10 are 4th Lohriz Echavez (43:01); 5th Rosas Emily (49:39); 6th Melinda Ponce (50:48); 7th Angel Olis (50:56); 8th Donna Cruz (50:07); 9th Jane Ong (51:26) and 10th Florence Mata (51:29).
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The first 500 registrants to the Cebu Doctors’ University’s (CDU) flagship race, the University Run, on August 15 will get personalized race bibs, organizers announced in a press conference Tuesday night.
This is the first time that a race in Cebu, even possibly in the country, will allow registrants to specify what is printed in their race bibs.
PERSONALIZED RACE BIB. Organizer Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III with a sample of the personalized race bib that will be assigned to the first 500 registrants of the 5th University Run on August 15. CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE (PHOTO BY MAX LIMPAG)
Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III, a marathoner who has been recognized by the Sportswriters Association of Cebu for his contribution to running, said the first 500 people to register for the run can specify what combination of letters and numerals would be printed in their race bibs. Larrazabal said the bib has room for 6 letters or digits.
He said that in races abroad, personalized race bibs are only reserved for elite runners.
If you still haven’t registered, however, you should do it now because there were already about 100 registrants on Tuesday night. Registration fee is P250 but students need only to pay P200. Registration areas are in Larrazabal’s Center for Sight clinic in Cebu Doctors’ Hospital, Nike Athletic Club in the Banilad Town Center and CDU.
The race distances are 3K, 5K and 10K. There are separate categories for students and CDU alumni.
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Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III started running four years ago to deal with work stress. The successful eye surgeon worked daily from early morning to late in the evening—a schedule he described as very stressful.
“Mamatay ta ani ug sayo,” he told runners in the Sun.Star Cebu newsroom last night.
He started playing basketball until he injured one of his fingers. That spurred him to take up another sport—running.
RUNNING COUPLE. Max Limpag (left) briefs runners on the route of the 10th Friday Night Run from the Sun.Star Cebu office to the BTC and IT Park. At right are running couple Dr. Yong Larrazabal and Donna Cruz-Larrazabal. CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE. (PHOTOGRAPHED BY MARLEN D. LIMPAG)
Since then, the doctor has run 11 full marathons or 42-kilometer races and countless races in shorter distances. He has run a full marathon monthly since December.
Larrazabal also helped spur the current running boom in Cebu with his annual University Run and monthly Run for Sight series, which he organized when there were still very few running events in Cebu. For that, he was awarded by the Sportswriters’ Association of Cebu.
Larrazabal was the speaker in last night’s ungo run, a weekly Friday night run from the Sun.Star Cebu office to the Banilad Town Center and the IT Park.
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He speaks in a whisper, barely discernible in the cacophony of the football matchplay commentator and the groups of people in nearby tables.
“It’s a sport that anybody can join. All you have to do is wear rubber shoes and have the determination to just do it,” Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III told a group of reporters two days after he ran yet another personal best—a 3:47:22 full marathon in the 2010 Seoul International Marathon.
11 SO FAR. Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III shortly after completing his 11th full marathon in the 2010 Seoul International Marathon. CLICK TO ENLARGE (CONTRIBUTED FOTO)
Determination is something Larrazabal understands.
The eye surgeon just finished his 11th full marathon, running a 42-kilometer race at least monthly for the past few months, and set a personal record.
Larrazabal went to South Korea with no marathon training. When you say marathon training, you typically mean months of programmed long runs, speed work and cross-training. He had none of that.
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