Last 01 October 2011, some friends from here and abroad gathered together at Chicken Bacolod Inasal along Jupiter St. , Makati City for some sumptuous food, camaraderie, booze and stories on running and more running. BR should have been with us but he flew to LA who, we were told, will run the Dick Collins 50 miler. Good luck and have fun.
In the above picture, you will see from left to right: Jonel (standing), Rick Gaston (in jacket), Simon and Doc Peter (foreground).
When Rick G. mentioned in our e-discussion that he was scheduled to go to Manila in September 28, I knew I had to meet him in person as a way of personally thanking him for his advise/help on running, etc. Above all, it would just be cool to see the guy in flesh as opposed to virtual interaction. At around 6PM, he came in shorts, a race jacket (sorry, I forgot the race but it has 50 miles something on it), free Salomon shoes, Drymax socks (sponsored) and guess what? In a blue shirt of 2010 Western States Endurance 100 (WS100) with Cascade Crest 100 belt buckle to boot. Wow. One could not help but be distracted with his WS100 shirt while listening to him talking. I want that shirt and the cool-looking belt buckle in the near future. Hopefully next year :)
So thank you Rick G. for taking the time out to spend the night with us. Of course, the night would not be complete without the presence of Jonel, Doc Peter and Simon, who are some of the accomplished athletes around in their own right. Simon, by the way, just finished the Berlin Marathon 3 weeks after UTMB! This is the kind of get together that you cherish since it is hard to come by. I am thankful and humbled by the presence of these guys.
The next morning Simon, Doc Peter, Bong (a Pinoy based in Baguio who did the Grand Canyon Run. Amazing.) and Dean Cunanan (a strong Pinoy ultrarunner based in Toronto) met up in UP and headed out to Mt. Maarat near Timberland for a hilly 10 miler. The weather was nice in that we finished wanting to run more. This run was a little solemn for Simon since this was his unique way also of paying homage to his training ground for giving him the strength to finish one of the toughest races in the world - UTMB.
I am excited to race again locally and by looking at the local race calendar, it seems we have a slew of races to choose from. For all intents and purposes, this is all good :)
Jon (intrigued with the possibility of running Badwater via sponsorship. No Pinoy has ever done the race :)