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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 9, 2018

BAYBAY CITY MARATHON 2: Beautiful Community Marathon

BCM = Beautiful Community Marathon.

After 2 editions of this long distance running event in the lovely island province of Leyte, it should now be crystal clear to all of us that have been fortunate to have a taste of it that the BCM actually stands for "Beautiful Community Marathon" with emphasis on the word "community."  For how could we not?

BCM 1st Edition
BCM 2nd Edition
From the moment it was conceived, to the time-consuming preparations, to the actual running of the race, to the awarding of the victors and to the celebrations after, the spirit of community permeates everything in Baybay City Marathon  and it is such a thing of beauty.

First, a bit of etymology on the word "community."  The Latin term "communitatus" from which the English word "community" came is comprised of three elements, "Com-" a Latin prefix meaning with or together, "Munis-" ultimately Proto-Indo-European in origin, it has been suggested that it means "the changes or exchanges that link" and "-tatus" a Latin suffix suggesting diminutive, small, intimate or local.

The togetherness of the local community of Baybay was very much evident and palpable to the great enjoyment of all the participants of the BCM2.  And by community we mean the local running club Baybay City Runners (BCRunners), the local residents, the local businesses and the local government unit (LGU) of Baybay City.

It was truly a beautiful experience for all involved. Let me count the ways, all 10 of them , of  how beautiful it was in the eyes of many,  with the help of photos:

1.  Beautiful Preparations.
The 2nd edition of the BCM was actually re-scheduled from Dec 17 to Jan 7 due to stormy weather conditions. But this did not dampen the lively spirits of the BCM organizers as they continue to prepare for the big event. 
BCRunners officers and volunteers busy preparing...
...the race kits and finisher goodies. 

The BCM organizers got a lot of support from corporate sponsors, local businesses, and ... 
...local government offices. 

2.  Beautiful Welcome.
Upon our arrival the day before the marathon, First Balfour runners received a warm welcome from BCR officers Norie  and Doreen.
Malcolm and the Bicolano Penguin were invited to breakfast by Doreen.

The breakfast featured delicious delicacies like the Gourmet Tinapa which is a product from Catbalogan, Samar. 

TAD Runners from Toledo, Cebu enjoying the breakfast. Hospitality at its finest from the BCM organizers.

3.  Beautiful Places to Visit.

Joining the BCM allows the runners to visit beautiful places in Baybay.  This lovely view greeted us upon our arrival at the Corals Beach Resort which is 10kms south of the city proper of Baybay. 
A sumptuous seafood lunch by the seaside awaited us at the Corals Beach Resort.

Other beautiful places of interest in Baybay City is Lintaon Peak.  Runners from Samar enjoying a selfie among the 16,000 white and red LED roses.    

Observing a breath taking  sunset from the beach in Baybay.
4.  Beautiful Carbo-Loading.

The carbo-loading dinner the night before the race featured...

...abundant food...

...highlighted by a crispy tasting lechon.  
The carbo-loading dinner offered also a welcome opportunity for ...

...runners to meet fellow runners from other towns and provinces.

For First Balfour runners, we got  to mingle with runners from the provinces of Samar and Northern Samar.

And we felt honored to be in the company of  Dennis, an elite Masters runner from Mindanao and the mom of Doreen during dinner time.  
 A Bicolano runner and 2 British runners sharing a table with Joy, an officer of Baybay City Runners.   

5.  Beautiful Start.

The starting area was located in the well-lit Baybay City Veterans Park. 

A board showing the list of the BCM participants attracted a lot of runners for picture-taking.  

The First Balfour delegation (5 full marathoners and 5 half marathoners) had a group photo in the podium area.  
Before the start for all the race categories, there were Zumba fitness exercises which showed... 

...a lot of energy from the participants of all shapes, sizes and superheroes.
Exciting start for the 21km participants, ...

...10km participants...

...and 5km participants.
3Km race participants feeling excited for their race. Starting them young in Baybay. 

6.  Beautiful Running.
There were a lot of beautiful running to be seen in the BCM. We see small kids  running with their elders...   
...even piggyback style.
We witness a Super Hero trying to regain old form. 
A crafty local runner showing how its done to avoid getting wet on a rainy day.

Amusing to see local runners trying to keep up with a Kenyan runner. 
This photo captures the verdant surroundings of the full marathon in BCM.
Inspiring to see BCM race volunteers providing with a smile the much needed support to the runners.  
But what was most heart-warming to see is the group of Abuyog Runners who were gunning for their first full marathon in the BCM.  
Thru thick and thin, the Abuyog runners have the "walang iwanan" state of mind. 
7.  Beautiful Finish

The Abuyog Runners may have been the last marathoners to cross the BCM finish line but they sure have winning smiles. 
Many runners showed good looking finishing form  like this elite 10km runner.

A couple of lady marathoners,  Aiza of Allen Runners Society, ...

...and Daisy of  Toledo Adik og Dagan (TAD) flashing beautiful smile as they near the finish line. 
The object of the determined and smiling faces of the runners is the finish line where the finisher medals await.  
Anton of First Balfour beaming with pride as he shows the beautiful finisher medal. His second full marathon medal.
Likewise, the TAD runners were very happy with their finisher medals. 
For the 2nd straight time, the Bicolano Penguin had a memorable finish at the BCM.  First, I got congratulated by the beautiful PJ at the finish line.

Then I had a welcome reunion with Mark at the finish line.  He was one of the Baybay cyclists who patiently guided me thru the whole marathon course at the 2017 BCM when I was dead last.   

Afterwards, I got congratulated by BCR officers and members for finishing BCM 2 better than the first one.  

Yup,  they remembered that at the first BCM, the Bicolano Penguin finished last. Now, they share their smiles in celebrating a redemption. The BP finished 67th out of 91 finishers at the full marathon. A better finish this time.     

8.  Beautiful Awarding.

The awarding at the BCM2 was beautiful and special as it had the active participation of Baybay City Mayor Carmen Cari.  She eagerly participated in the awarding for the 3km podium finishers, ...  

...5km podium finishers...

...10km podium finishers...,

....21km podium finishers...

...and 42km podium finishers.  Not many a marathon in Metro Manila or other cities in the country can claim to have their mayor present for the awarding.  
Sportsmanship on display at the podium.

Jubilant to see our very own First Balfour runner Malcolm go up the podium to receive his prize...
...and trophy for finishing 2nd in the 42km foreign runners' category. A Kenyan placed first.

9.  Beautiful Post-Race Celebrations

BCM runners were pampered with a lot of treats  at the post race celebrations like cupcakes,  
...ice cream, 

...and lechon baka.
Even the Jollibee mascot made an appearance to thrill the kids after the race.  

A treat for the Bicolano Penguin is to be introduced to Mayor Casi. Got the chance to congratulate and thank her for the very warm hospitality the people of Baybay City have accorded the BCM2 participants.   
Photo with the Mayor and Josh of the Baybay City Tourism and Investments Promotion Office.
Snack time for the Abuyog Runners after the race.
BCM2 finishers chillin with San Mig and Gatorade.
The post-race celebrations for the BCM2 finishers and organizers extend to lunch and beyond. Celebrating a job well done.  
As for the First Balfour runners, Malcolm treated us to a delicious lunch prepared by the staff at the resort. He revealed that it was his very first time to receive a cash prize from running. 

Group photo of First Balfour runners with Corals Beach Resort owner Moning. 

10.  Beautiful Future

Just 2 days after the BCM2, there is playfully rockin talk already of BCM3 in the facebook timeline of the top officers of Baybay City Runners .  Now, that is what you call a beautiful future for BCM. 

It is a safe bet that many participants of the first 2 editions of BCM will be back for BCM3.  And a numerous number of first timers will no doubt be joining the veterans at the starting line of BCM3 come one cool December night.

For how could we not be back?  This BCM is one Beautiful Community Marathon.

Photo Credits:    Paksit PhotosSalimuang RunnerVCPhotographyNoriebelle Bacusmo-GuintoDoreen DanasGlenda NapolesChamel Melo , Daisy Batac and Mahinay Frances.

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