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Technicality

14 03 2012

(Warning: This post is not meant to offend/embarass or question one’s running activity or capability. Whatever is written in this post is a personal opinion/impression of the writer)

When a runner says that he/she will run the entire Island of Luzon, that means, the runner starts in some place and continuously run the course with breaks like resting, eating, and sleeping along the way. After the runner’s break or pit stop, he/she would continue on the course. He/She repeats the process everyday until he/she reaches his/her destination. This is what I understand about what I call “adventure runs” or multi-day stage runs.

However, if a runner started somewhere in Luzon and then makes a “break” on his run by going to Manila to rest and visit his family, friends, and attend to his business or office, and then after a few days, he returns where he stopped and then resume his run, then this is not considered as a continuous run. I think this kind of practice or technicality is not what an ordinary runner would expect as the definition of an “adventure run”. If a runner started in Vigan City (Ilocos Sur) and plans to go around Luzon in a clockwise direction, he/she should be in the direction towards Ilocos Norte, then to the Cagayan Valley Provinces and so on and so forth. The runner does not need to go to Manila by bus, car, or airplane to take a rest for few days and then return again to where he stopped after his/her break somewhere else. An adventure run is a continuous journey from Point A to Point B or from the Starting to the Finish Area!

Let me tell you about my experience. On my first day of the West Coast 200 (Subic Freeport to Alaminos, Pangasinan), I was unluckily bitten by a dog in San Narciso, Zambales, a 40-kilometer distance from where I started. Because I wanted an immediate medical attention from people whom I know, I had to immediately go back to Manila. After 3 weeks of treatment, I continued my adventure run, not from the place where I stopped (San Narciso, Zambales) but from the place I started (Remy Field, Subic Freeport). It’s common sense!

I heard and read from news accounts that a lady Pinoy runner ran across America but at some point along the way, she had some injury and decided to go back to where she started (Los Angeles) for her to be treated and be able to rest. After few weeks, she recovered from her injury and she went back from where she stopped and resumed her run. She declared herself to have ran across America. If I am going to follow my impression and understanding about “adventure runs”, the runner is disqualified for the feat.

My good friend, retired Police Director Sam Tucay and his running buddy priest, had been running along the Maharlika Highway (from Aparri, Cagayan to Jolo, Sulo) for the past months with a commendable advocacy with the PNP and the civilian sector but there are instances that I see them in Metro Manila and I have the belief that they are having their running “breaks” in Metro Manila. This practice is considered as technicality in giving the impression to the public that these two persons have been continously running around the country with the much-needed breaks along the route (but in reality, they are having their running breaks in Metro Manila).

For a runner who declares himself to be running around the globe, he/she should be running from one country to another. Not for the runner to run in one country and then goes back to his home country for a week or two to rest and then fly out to the next adjoining country to continue his run around the globe.

I sincerely salute and respect our local adventure runner, Father Amado “Picx” Picardal, who is a “no-nonsense” and honest runner who had been keeping and posting his daily experiences in his adventure runs in his blog. This is the guy who really deserves to be the best example of an adventure runner. You can browse his running diary in his adventure runs at his blog at www.amadopicardal.blogspot.com.

The bottom line in an adventure run is an strict observance of integrity and transparency!

Please feel free to post your comment/s and impressions about such technicality in adventure runs or multi-day stage runs.

See you at the Starting Line.

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2 responses

14 03 2012
Eric Socrates

i agree with you BR. i call ultramarathons with support crew as babysitted races. now a multi-stage adventure run that has breaks by going home -that’s practically going to his mother’s womb. but that’s just me.

14 03 2012
fatherpicx

Thanks for the kind words, General. looking forward to see you before you do your adventure run/pilgrimage in the Camino de Santiago in the near future(?). congrats on your latest adventure run up to Baguio – I still recall the Cordillera leg of my adventure run/walk (it was just overwhelming). I haven’t had any adventure runs lately – I’ve ran out of challenging goals after the trans-Philippines solo run/walk. An ultra-marathon race doesn’t have the same appeal and excitement for me. I don’t like cut-off times, support vehicles, running companions/competitors and finish lines – it is too stressful and dangerous for me with my myocardial ischemia. Someday, before I die, I want to go on another solo, unsupported run-walk, with a pack on my back across the French Pyrenees, the North of Spain and Galicia, and Santiago de Compostela and up to Muxia – the western coast of Spain (over 1000 km). Meanwhile, I am still waiting for the next crazy runner who can replicate what I have done – solo, unsupported, run-walk from Davao to Aparri via the Cordilleras in 56 days or shorter. There won’t be any medal, buckle, trophy or finish line – only the joy and ecstasy that comes with it.

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