RALPH Gonzales first hit the road in last year’s The Great Lapu-Lapu Run after being “nagged” into joining the event by his father, PR man Jonji. After the race, he hung up his shoes “and stopped running for a long time.”
In January, with excitement over the approaching 1st Cebu City Marathon spilling over to profile pages of Facebook users, Ralph was encouraged to run again. He said some of his friends whom he thought could never run a kilometer were starting to run five kilometers, 10K and even 21K.
It made me think, he said in a Facebook interview, that if they could do it, then I could, too.
The status messages—those short posts announcing to the world what a Facebook user is doing or wearing or eating or even thinking—were the biggest factor, said Ralph.
“They also make it sound so fun, it makes you wanna give it a shot,” he said. Ralph is now a regular runner. He is also a member of the ungo runners, an informal group of runners who run every Friday night. Ungo runners found each other through, where else, but Facebook.
Virna Liezl Lim Firmeza also credits Facebook postings of her runner friends in getting her to run. Among her friends are top amateur runner Florence Mata, who frequently wins a top 10 spot in weekend races, and runners Emelee Sagun and Susan Militante.