About Me

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I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

September 17, 2012


On the same weekend that I was cheering on my fellow 83nean runners finish the Penafrancia Marathon in Naga City, a good friend was  finishing her first half marathon half a globe away.  She has been preparing for this bucket list milestone for more than half a year already and now she  bagged it.

I am talking about my friend Francia Manahan Dihiansan and the first 21km race she conquered is the Chicago Half Marathon, the   fifth largest half marathon in the U.S. and the 21st largest road race in all of its 50 states.  As can be seen in the route map, the race course showcases the marvelous south lakefront of Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes of North America.

Running along the lakefront

Francia finished smiling with a time of 2 hrs & 53 mins.  The official website places her at 11,377th  overall among 12,103  finishers.  This time is almost the same as my finish time  at my first half marathon , the Condura Skyway last 2010.  Francia and I are “Row 4” kind of runners and we like it that way.  Just like in the classroom of our high school years, there is more color, more drama, more penguins  and more fun in our row of the run.   

I am proud of her accomplishment.  oragon ading taga-Iriga.  She put a lot of time and effort in this golden journey of hers.  She linked up with a local Galloway group and piously did training runs in and out of the Chicago area.  I am sure her family is happy and proud of her latest running achievement, especially her daughters who have the spirit of adventure as well.  

Now, the question is – Would she be happy and content with the half marathon?  Or would she now level up and go for the full one?  

Knowing her, I would put my bet on her going for a full mary. No doubt about it. The question is when and where? Ooppss. Pardon my bullish intrusiveness. For now, let us not pressure her. Let us allow her to savor the sweet and endorphin-laced taste of a successful half marathon.  

CONGRATULATIONS! Your journey is an inspiration. Not bad  for someone who considered  herself to be at the “very bottom of the totem pole” seven months ago.  You are most definitely going up.   


  1. Francia M. DihiansanOctober 13, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    To quote John Bingham- "The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
    A big accomplishment for me and truly a miracle.
    Thank you Nonoy, you inspire me.

  2. Thanks Francia. A lovely quote from the original penguin.