Leg 3 of Runrio Trilogy, Unilab’s Run United 3 was held last Sunday, November 13, 2011. Six 83nean runners (Ateneo de Naga HS Class of 1983) including myself ran the 32 kms.
It is a running event that was very much well attended. Thousands of all shapes, sizes, genders, colors, and age trooped to the Mall of Asia grounds in the early Sunday morning hours to participate in one of the biggest races in the country. Distances were 500- meter dash for kids, 3 kms, 5 kms, 10 kms, 15 kms, 21 kms and the rare 32 kms.
It is a running event managed by Coach Rio dela Cruz (a fellow Bicolano who traces his roots to Bato, Cam Sur) and his Runrio group for the biggest pharmaceutical group in the country. As such, Unilab Run United 3 was expected to be well-managed with adequate hydration stations, on-time start, proactive race marshals, technology-driven innovations, and considerable glitz factor. And all these, Runrio did not disappoint. Thus, many runners like me are happy with the Unilab Run United experience.
As the following pictures at the finish line would show, there was a lot of happiness in the air:
|With the 83nean runners - Ernie, Ghibz, Ed, Fards, me (BP), and Bob|
|Bicolano runners at the finish line|
|With a barefoot running advocate|
|A First Philec Runner and a First Balfour Runner|
More importantly, I do believe that the spirit of Bayanihan was in abundance during the race. Allow me to elaborate. As stated in the company’s website, “Bayanihan, tradition of working together and sharing the fruits of common endeavour is the heart and soul of our corporate culture.” Bayanihan was manifested by the running groups like Snail Runners Alabang, Team Boring, Team USB, Team Kamote and Happy Feet Running Club, to name a few, who fielded many runners. They would run in groups of 3 or 5 and I noticed that a runner or 2 in that group are newbies and the more veteran members are guiding/helping them out finish the race, particularly on the afroman distance of 32 kms . If the newbie runner would stop to check the legs for some muscle pain, the veteran runners would stop as well to comfort the newbie. Upon nearing the hydration station(s), the veteran runner would often run ahead to get for the newbie runner the coldest water in the station. And at the finish line, running club members who have finished ahead stayed behind to cheer for their comrades, despite the blazing sun.
Such an inspiring sight when you see Bayanihan in action and I couldn’t agree more with Jocelyn Campos-Hess, the Chairman of the Board of Unilab, when she wrote in the Unilab website “Bayanihan is community at its finest.”