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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..

February 27, 2015

THE BULL RUNNER DREAM MARATHON 2015: Pacer Duty for the 4th Time


Inspired by the idea of "Paying Forward", the Bicolano Penguin (BP) has been volunteering for pacer duty the past several years at the Bull Runner Dream Marathon (TBRDM) in Nuvali, Sta. Rosa. Being a member of the first batch (2010) of TBRDM, I felt that the best thing an elder can do is to help the young ones. 


The penguin has had the distinct joy and privilege of pacing fellow First Balfour runners in the years 2012 (Icar Hombrebueno, Lily Santamaria and Rose Dalawampu),  2013 (Delsie Giray) and 2014 (Iya Pe and Joy Castillo).   2015 is no different and for my 4th tour of pacer duty I got to share the marathon journey with Alice Monfero, Ems Ros, Richelle Hua, Migo Antonio, RJ Santos and Joram San Luis. 
2012:  Lily, Rose, Dr. Trudy, Icar and BP

2013:  Delsie exults as she crosses the finish line with the clapping BP in tow.   

2014:  The BP, Iya and Joy in the gray colors of First Balfour

2015:  BP, Richelle, Alice, Ems, Migo, Joram and RJ
With multiple tours,  guess we can call the BP a veteran and here are a couple of tips on being a pacer at the TBRDM:

1. There is power in a group. The bigger the group the more power it generates. No doubt, the biggest running group in the TBRDM is the 2-1 galloway pace group which is led by Coach Jim Lafferty. It is advisable that one joins this group when pacing relatively slow runners.  The 2-1 pace is not stressful plus running with Coach Jim is never boring.  He has that booming drill sergeant voice and he knows the benefit of humor in a long run such as the marathon. He has several jokes in his bag which include a quip that God is a woman as women run things in the world. He also has that routine of asking if there is a birthday celebrant among the runners. Pretty soon, all the runners in the 2-1 pace group is singing a birthday song. Running with a big group is less tiresome than running alone or running in a group of five. That is why when the 2-1 pace group reaches the first 21-km mark, almost all the runners feel fresh and strong.  It is at this point that Coach Jim bids farewell to the runners. 
Coach Jim leading the big 2-1 Galloway pace group.
Coach Jim with the First Balfour runners at the end of the first 20 kms of the TBRDM 2015.

2. Know the customer. And remember that the customer is king or queen always and forever. It is imperative that a pacer be keenly attuned to the needs and condition of the runner he is pacing. A pacer should be aware if the runner is already tired or short of breath. A pacer should be able to read the body language of the runner.  Such an awareness would guide the pacer adjust the pace or even decide to change from running to walking. The pace that should be followed is one that the runner is comfortable doing and not the speed which the pacer likes.

3. When pacing 2 or more runners, there will come a time when you need to choose which runner to pace.  This happens when one runner appears stronger and faster than the other runner.  For obvious practical reasons. a pacer should choose the slower or weaker runner to support. 
What a joy indeed for a pacer  to see his runner finish the marathon smiling, jubilant and injury-free. 
For the TBRDM 2015 edition ran last Feb 22, all 6 First Balfour runners finished well before  the 10-hour cut off time.  With or without my pacing, I am confident they would have been successful in conquering their first full marathon. They are focused and disciplined in their training. No doubt, they would have a lot of things to say or write about this extraordinary experience. That is why they have been requested to prepare a write up which will be posted in the coming days in this running blog.
First Balfour runners all pumped...

...up with their finisher medals.


But before ending this article, allow me to commend and thank the wonderful people behind the TBRDM:  the Bull Runner herself - Jaymie Pizarro, Coach Jim Lafferty, Coach Lit Onrubia, Macel and the rest of the crew.  Kudos should also be given to the countless volunteers who served as dream chasers. Majority are graduates of TBRDM.   Their energy-generating gimmicks are getting better every year.  
The Bull Runner with her TBRDM team 
The Dream Chasers are getting better at it. 

The posters are creative and direct to the point. 
Dream Chasers Efren and Vangie of TBRDM Batch 2013
The food stations were generously stocked with fruits, chocolates and other treats.  
And of course, a big CONGRATULATIONS to all the finishers of The Bull Runner Dream Marathon 2015. You guys have shown to all that being a marathoner is not a matter of age, gender, size, shape, footwear or mobility.   Above all it is matter of the HEART.
The oldest finisher  in TBRDM 2015 is a 75-year old lolo wearing sandals.
The oldest female finisher is a 67-year old lola who loves Hoka running shoes.
The most inspiring... 


....running couple in TBRDM 2015.


P.S. Many of the photos in this article are taken from the facebook pages of Photo-Ops and Running Photographers. Thank you also to our First Balfour photographers Manny Yak and Delsie Giray.



   

     
  



     

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