There were at least 6 fun runs in the Metro Manila area scheduled for October 19. But there was no doubt in the minds of runners from the more active running clubs which running event they would join on that early Sunday morning.
So it was that more than a couple hundred passionate runners from the ARC RUN CLUB MLA, Ayala Triads, CAC, Team Spider, Team P.I.G.S, D'Takachin, Soleus, Fabulous Running Divas, Team Saint Lazarous, PAR, Off D Road, Snail Runners, Task R' Us, Mananakbong Kabitenyo, Team E.S.E., Snail Runners, Team EK EK, Naic Runners Club, Team LATAK, Team PASYAL, Team Philippine Star got to join the ARC CommUNITY Run, the 32-km long and slow distance run thru the hills of Ternate to Kaybiang Tunnel and back. Include on that list of distinguished running clubs the motley crew from the 83neans composed of Bob, Ed, Ernie, fellow blogger Mau and the Bicolano Penguin.
What were our reasons for picking the ARC event over all the others? Two reasons come to mind on the part of the 83neans.
First, our participation in the event was a solid manifestation of our appreciation of what A Runner’s Circle – Manila, now on its 4th year in the Philippines, has done for the local running community.
ARC is a specialty running store that is more of the running and less of the commercialism that seemed to have plagued many other sporting goods outlets in the market. By this I mean that go visit the ARC store and immediately the friendly crew of Super Mario Malinao and Alain Llaguno will attend to you in a very warm way. They, being genuine hard core runners, would know your needs. Chances are, they would even know your face as they are frequent participants in the local races. I never felt like a stranger inside the ARC store at the corner of Roxas Boulevard and Quirino Avenue.
With over 10 years of experience in the running industry, they pride themselves in their excellent customer service. This customer focus is what makes ARC successful in bringing to the country certain foreign brands. Recent examples are the Orange Mud, Hoka and Altra brands that have proven top hits, especially among the long distance running aficionados. Further examples of ARC’s customer focus are their regular Thursday runs and untiring support of running groups, fledgling or otherwise.
Second, we simply liked the idea of the community run. Everybody enjoyed running with no worries as to who would be the podium finishers or to what would the cut off finish time be. It helped that the registration was cheaply priced at Php 350. Rare are those days when the reg fee is below Php 500. What the more high-flying race organizers have done is to put a lot of non-essentials (i.e., a lot of freebies, a lot of gimmicks, a lot of music, a lot of technology like time chips) to the running event to justify their expensive registration fees. Not with the ARC CommUNITY LSD run. It was all about the running. And in the process of this worry-free running, a lot of fellowship is to be generated among the participating runners and running clubs. After all the origin of the word “Community” is from the Latin word “Communitatem” which connoted fellowship and camaraderie.
So how was the run itself? We will let the photos do the talking. After all, it is said that that a picture is worth a thousand words. Only one complaint from one participant – the use of the word LSD is a misnomer as the 32-km run was not only long and slow but a lot of challenging ups and blissful downs as well.
|83neans with ARC’s Raul Acuna|
|A good early morning start at 5:30am|
|By their shirts, we know they are Team EK EK runners.|
|By her hand sign, we know she is from the Ayala Triads.|
|Ongsimer kids in action|
|Convergence of Ayala Triads and D' Takachins|
|Ed exalting at the sign pointing to Kaybiang Tunnel|
|Bob attacking the uphill|
|Ernie enjoying the uphill|
|The penguin passing thru Kaybiang Tunnel|
|Mau strong at the downhill|
|At the Km 16 u-turn|
|Group photo with the sea as backdrop|
|Power walking uphill|
|Dreaming of being part of TTMO of MMDA|
|Showing good form downhill|
|Closest thing you would see a gallop from the penguin. Thank you Altra Olympus.|
|A lot of downhill on the way back to Ternate|
|A km away from the finish line|
|Ed in triumph at the finish line|
|In front of the Municipal Hall of Ternate|
|83neans with ARC’s Dot Romero|
Congratulations to the great minds and bodies responsible for A Runner’s Circle store and the CommUNITY run. Kudos to fellow oragons Joe Matias, Raul Acuna, Dot Romero and team for a job well done.
We share the sentiments of many that more of the CommUNITY Run is what are local running community needs.
Many thanks to Orly for the photos.