Saturday, January 22, 2011

Behind every successful man is a woman

This was proven true when I was tasked by my running club (CERC) to head the SRP tunnel water station. I did not have A woman behind my success. I had FOUR.

(Tara Rama)
(Me with Jo Cua and Jo Osorio)
(Irene Vildosola)

If it weren’t for these lovely and energetic ladies I would have failed in making the SRP tunnel a memorable and exciting aid station. Each CERC member was assigned one water station along the SRP while Steve Ferraren (my marathon running idol) was our over all head for the SRP stations. Dr. Alex Junia, Dr. John Aranas, Bro. Carlo Bacalla, Steve Ferraren and I were given a limited budget to supply entertainment and aid to all runners at the SRP stations. Last year, we were grouped in pairs. I was with Dr.Alex Junia during the 2010 CCM and assigned at KM 32 in front of the Grand Convention Center. This year, the SRP route was extended to include the tunnel while the Grand Con and Mabolo stations were discontinued. Luckily, Bro. Carlo was able to supply all SRP stations with at least 10 volunteers per station. How can I and 10 other volunteers / marshals prepare water and 100 plus drinks in glasses, slice bananas, direct runners to use the right lane and help runners get their fluids? I needed help.

I posted in my facebook page that I needed volunteers for the race and in less than a week, I had four replies (from my much loved UNGO Runners). Four gorgeous gals, willing to help all runners make their marathon dreams a reality, agreed to help me serve more than 2,500 Full and half-marathon runners.

I was at the SRP tunnel entrance at 10pm the night before race day to help Steve and Bro. Carlo close the SRP route. Participants start their day at 2am race day while organizers and marshals start our preparations earlier. Summit water and 100 Plus drinks were delivered. Tables, a barrel and 2 ice buckets filled with Ice, Route markers, sound systems and our motivational signs followed. Jo Cua was with me when all my supplies were delivered. She checked the SRP tunnel route by running the 1KM stretch at least 2x to make sure the route was “runnable”. After a few hours, an energetic Jo Osorio arrived. She was brought to the tunnel by husband and (now) Marathoner Dr. Orlando Osorio before he heads to the starting line at IT park to warm-up for his 42K race. Jo was also kind enough to bring a long piece of white table cloth that was supposed to be used to make our water station more presentable. She double checked my supplies and said “Doc, you should have told me that we only had this much banana, I would have brought more.” Thinking about her her husband and all runners when she said it. Then Irene Vildosola arrived. She brought a CD full of dance and Hip Hop music so runners can enjoy the tunnel more. Last to arrive was my pretty and tall cousin "soon-to-be-Ungo Runner" Tara Rama. When all of us were complete, we started to prepare our water, 100 plus drinks and bananas while our marshals started checking the tunnel route. In less than 2 hours, our first "customers" arrived. It was our 42K Lead pack runners. After that was a blur. We were so busy. We refilled water. We gave out bananas and bread. We massaged aching legs. We sprayed cold water to all our runners. We also forgot a few things. We  forgot to eat. We forgot to drink. And forgot to sit down. Near 10am, our legs were more sore than the runners. We were more dehydrated than the runners. We were more hungry than all the other race participants. That was our Sacrifice. 
(waiting for the next wave of runners)
(Dancing while preparing the refreshments)
(REFILL!!! Hurry!!! Here they come!!!)
(After 5 hours from the start of the race, liniments are as vital as water)
(Marshals and the SRP Security Guard helped to refill our supplies)

Thank you very much Jo, Tara, Jo and Irene. Your help is very my appreciated. We made the SRP tunnel station a memorable part of the race.

Saturday, January 15, 2011



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I envy all CCM Participants. We, CERC, are now at our final preparations for race day. To make sure that ALL runners are taken cared of, CERC members are assigned water stations and responsibilities to help make the event a big success. We can NOT run our own race. That is our big sacrifice. The event starts tomorrow with the opening of our race expo at the Ayala Active Zone until race day at the IT Park on Sunday.
Congratulations!!! The Cebu City Marathon has attracted 1,100 42K runners from all over the world making it one of the biggest 42K races in the Philippines. Other distances have also increased with 1,400 21K runners and almost 3,000 5K registrants.

Race Expo Opens. The Ayala Active Zone will be full starting tomorrow as race packs will be released starting with the 42K and 21K registrants. 5K race packs will be released on Thursday. The expo will have booths from all sponsors and discounts for all the runners. Carbo-loading party coupons will also be available at the expo.

Carbo-Loading Party. To fuel up all the runners for race day, our CLP will be on Friday 6pm at the Ayala Terraces. It costs P150 only and is open to all. The first 300 CCM registrants and our pacers will have complimentary CLP coupons. CERC members will be there to welcome all the runners.

Route. Road closure along the entire route will start at 12 midnight but the SRP will be closed starting 10PM. A large part of the course will be at the SRP and will start at the Tunnel entrance all the way to the Talisay exit. A total of 7 water stations will be available along the 24K SRP route. Outside the SRP, another 6 water stations are in place. All water stations are spaced every 1.5-2 kilometers as promised. Water sprinklers are available along the route and especially at the SRP. Entertainment will be abundant as the organizers prepared sinulog music and dancers along the route. The runners will also be passing some of Cebu’s landmarks and will be properly labeled. Motivational Signs are also in place to help runners complete the race. Portalets and toilets are also available at the venue and along the route (Runners may ask to use the toilets at the Pump stations along the SRP).

Stations. Water and Medical stations are ready. COLD Water and 100 Plus drinks will be available in ALL water stations along the route. Forget about dehydration as a total of at least 1.5 liters of fluids PER runner at EVERY water station is prepared. Ice cold sponges and bananas are also available along the route. Medical stations are available at the IT park, Fuente Osmena Circle and at the SRP (Phoenix Water Station). An Ambulance at every medical station will be ready in case of emergencies. All Marshals for the entire route will be wearing white while CERC members will be wearing our CCM-CERC shirts.

Pacers. Our CCM heroes will wear uniform pacer singlets and balloons with their target time clearly visible. Two pace group leaders are assigned at sub-4:00, sub-4:30, sub-5:00, sub-5:30 and sub-6:00 finish times.

Photographers. Be ready with your perfect smile as official photographers are available along the route.

Rules. The organizers are implementing strict rules regarding wheeled escorts (Strollers, Cars, motorcycles and bikes) and unregistered pacers. Those caught with unregistered or wheeled escorts are considered disqualified and are not eligible to win. Unregistered runners are NOT allowed along the route (No Race Bib, NO Entry). In the event that a runner does not complete the course, the runner needs to approach the closest water station and surrender their timing chip. He/ she can still claim the goodies or freebies at the race venue but can NOT receive the finisher's medal. Honesty is what we ask of our runners. Runners should wear their race number with timing chip in front and should be  clearly visible.

Spectators. We urge all Cebuanos not running the CCM to please watch and cheer for the runners along the route. The race will start at 4am and will last until the last runner crosses the finish line. Let us help promote our city by making the Cebu City Marathon a big success.

Traffic. Roads will be closed so we ask all traffic to please avoid the race route. The entire Cebu City side of the SRP will be closed on both sides while the Talisay side will be open on one side. There is NO ACCESS to Cebu City from the Talisay side. We are reminding all motorists to please avoid the SRP as much as possible.

Congratulations Cebuanos and Good Luck to all Runners!!! See you on Sunday.GODSPEED!!!



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