They say, “Any idiot can run a marathon, but it takes a special idiot to run an ultramarathon.” And yes, I witnessed it first-hand last weekend when I joined the Fat Ass Run in Clark Parade Grounds for 12 hours.
“It started with Atty. Jonnifer Lacanlale and Sir Don Ubaldo, during a drinking session thought of running in loops non-stop for 24-hours. In 2010, Sir Don actually did it around the 2.2km loop of the Clark Parade Grounds. Every six hours, he would change directions.” (From Runner’s World Philippines January 2011)
While completing a loop I told my fellow Barney, Jenny, “I wonder how would anyone react when we share this experience.” Even I am baffled by the idea that I signed up for 12 hours!
Originally I wanted only 6 hours but I was too late to react when I visited Atty. Jon’s blog. Come January 2012, Drew asked if I have registered I said no and like I am really destined to run it, there’s a slot for 12-hours! After receiving the e-mail confirmation, I couldn’t stop thinking about it! To you reader wanting to join Fat Ass Run next year, DO NOT do the same thing.
In any case, let me recount why the Fat Ass Run is not a race but a fun run:
1. Meeting ultrarunners. The special idiots you call ultramen and women, they are admirable! Most of these ultrarunners are actually nice, approachable, funny and festive! You may see them focused on adding loops for their mileage but I’m telling you, once you run past their camps/stations they will gladly offer you assistance, food and the best: beer! Kidding aside, you think these men and women will not bother because of their feat, they will be the first to answer your inquiries: where to register, what to do, what will happen. What I experienced in being a support in BDM gave more meaning when I ran alongside Team Boring, Bald Runner and frontrunner!
2. Meeting other running groups/teams. There are maybe teams/groups but camaraderie is at its best during this event! I wanted to enumerate the teams here but too afraid I might miss one or two. I just enjoyed the good vibes that surround the assembly area. You will see the support coming from fellow team mates and the cheers from family members and friends are there. You would not see this in any races in the metro except during the finish line.
3. Established friendships. This is the first time our group, six:30 joined Fat Ass Run. Hendy and I decided last minute to join the event and I am grateful to our support group consists of: Imee, Kit, Tina, Jenny, Daisy and Kyx. Everything was really unplanned but came out like it was beautifully executed! My heart stopped jumping when I learned Hendy got the slot as well so I was even more excited to do the impossible: running for 12 hours because I won’t be alone. Yep, running solo for me stopped when I ran longer distances. “Running is not a lonely sport,” so as John usually say. I was fortunate enough to handpick the right people. Though I would have wanted to invite the whole group, I thought this is a personal adventure so I decided not to tell everyone until I have done this.
Running with the people you esteemed as friends is a humbling experience. You know that while you sing out loud without a care makes you an idiot, wait till your running buddy actually sing with you! You talk about a lot of things: life, love, work, friends, entertainment, literally anything under the stars! You realized you are not the only one as giddy as a kid when you see the fireworks light up the sky. You are not the only one who wishes that life could have been more kind. You are not the only one who thinks of the next training for your upcoming races.
4. Breaking records. I thought running around Clark Parade Grounds is just like running UP Acad Oval but surprisingly or maybe because of the excitement and anxiety, I ran for 25 loops and Hendy ran 30 loops! It was really more of a mind game rather than a test of endurance. Running the exact route in one direction for 6 hours then change for the next 6 hours gave me a clearer mind. It may not be official but I had my sub-5 here for a marathon and my first time to cross the 42k mark and still continue!
5. Grateful to life. You see yourself running around the same route; you see the same faces, the same expression. Somehow I am thankful that the run happened in a new place and the time was when most are sleeping. Sans the imaginative mind, I am more thankful for what I have right now and gave me a fresh perspective on my decisions. True enough, as I saw the sun greeted us for another day, another hope is given, another chance to be taken.
And so the cloud has cleared. All the pressure came from Gary last year finally has been gone and all unanswered questions as simple as, “Isn’t it taxing?” will simply be answered, “No. You will see yourself pushed to your limits and actually enjoying it.”
Cheers to all participants and to you Atty. Jon and Sir Don, kudos and till next year!
*Pictures courtesy of Daisy and Kyx Castaneda and Imee Palogan