The Tagaytay to Nuvali to Sta. Rosa last Oct 25 was a run of many firsts.
Given its mostly downhill route from the highlands that is the Palace in the Sky in Cavite to the lakeshore plains of Laguna, many marathoners looked at the T2N2S as their debut into the wonderful world of the ultra. What more, its midnight start time insures that many of the ultra newbies will not have to endure much the biting rays of the tropical sun. And lest we forget, there is the alagang Run Mania to speak of.
Count among these aspiring ultra marathoners the indefatigable duo of Rose Dalawampu and Icar Hombrebueno. Executive secretaries on weekdays, unflagging adventurers on weekends. These two are my steadiest co-runners in First Balfour. They never back down from challenges. So when I challenged them mid-year to tackle their first ultra, their simple reply was "No problem. Just tell us what ultra to target." T2N2S was picked for them and they pursued their training with much gusto. The duo even went overseas for a 21-km jaunt at the Angkor Empire Marathon in Cambodia.
|Icar and Rose at the Angkor Empire Marathon this year.|
|The penguin with the sizable Paranaque Running Circle (PRC) contingent led by Mannix Manapat|
|Mingling with familiar faces at the starting line.|
|Eager T2N2S runners rampages downhill at the start which was delayed by 35 mins from the target 11pm start. (Photo courtesy of Bryan Ramos Sorne).|
|Rose & Icar going with the flow on the downhill|
|the shepherd penguin|
|"Chair Strategy" at work in Km 35|
|Renewed vigor at Km 40.|
|Why? Because of the Creamline ice cream at Km 40.|
|For the last 10 kms, the rabbit we pursued was Mang Crispin Banares, one of the oldest participants at T2N2S.|
|Where the hell...|
|...is the ...|
|Time for another chair break at Km 45|
|Finally, we are near. As in 50-meter near to the end of our 50-km journey|
|Rose raising her arms in jubilation.|
|A thumbs up from Icar.|
|How sweet it is...|
|...to be an ultra marathoner.|
|Proud of my First Balfour officemates|
|Newly-minted ultra marathoners|
|Looking fresh and ready for another 50 kms.|
And there were many more firsts to be had in that T2N2S.
There is the first team certificate of Team First Balfour. Thanks to Rose and Icar, First Balfour now has an ultra marathon team. Before T2N2S, our company only had the Bicolano Penguin to count as an ultra marathoner. The organizer Run Mania was gracious to award the team certificate.
Run Mania was generous and it awarded a team certificate also to row5runnin. A first for rown5runnin. At the starting line, Rose, Icar, and Mark Hernandez joined the Bicolano Penguin garbed in the row5runnin shirt. Thank you to Pat Maranan and the Run Mania team.
|Certificate for Team First Balfour|
|Team certificate for row5runnin|
|the row5runnin contingent|
Almost a first place for Paranaque Running Circle top gun Noy Gentoleo who placed second with a blistering time of 4 hrs & 21 mins. An average speed of 11.7 kms per hour.
|With the PRC runners. Noy Gentoleo is in the middle.|
|The Bicolano Penguin with Run Mania's Pat Maranan|
No doubt, the T2N2S was also a first ultra for many of the participants. It was truly an ultra of many firsts.
The T2N2S is ultra marathon # 15 for the Bicolano Penguin. But no matter how many marathons and ultras I have and will get to finish, the feeling of giddy excitement is always there as if the race is my first. Such is the allure of long distance running. Many many firsts.
|At the foot of the statue of Sta. Rosa de Lima.|