As I have announced in my previous post that I am joining the “One Million March” to Luneta Park, I arrived at the Starting Area in front of the Philippine Army Officers Clubhouse at 5:30 AM yesterday even if it was raining. I was joined by the Pascua Family with Retired Master Sargent Pascua from the Philippine Army and his son and daughter. The whole family was using minimalist sandals and Aumel, the son, finished 1st Runner-Up in the latest Fort Magsaysay To Dingalan, Aurora 65K Ultra Marathon Race.
We left the starting area at 6:10 AM. Walked for about 400 meters towards the Pedestrian Gate of Fort Bonifacio and as soon as we hit Lawton Avenue and posed for a group picture in front of the PA Tarpualin, we were on our way to Luneta Park
Graciano “Totoy” Santos, one of the “famous” ultra runners and member of the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU) was able to catch up with the group after 30 minutes of our run.
The group run through the Lawton Avenue on a westerly direction going to the Domestic Airport until we reached Roxas Boulevard. As soon as we reached the intersection of EDSA and Roxas Boulevard, we were met by Eric and Jessie. Eric is also a ultra marathoner who lives in Metro Manila while Jessie came all the way from General Santos City, South Cotabato (Mindanao). Jessie is an avid reader to this blog and he told me that he was inspired to be involved in running through the posts I’ve published in this blog.
On the last 3 kilometers to Luneta Park, we were joined by more ultra runners: Mar Marilag, Benedict Meneses, and CJ Paran. These runners are finishers of the Bataan Death March Ultra Marathon Race and PAU members.
We reached our destination, Luneta Park’s Kilometer Post #0, in 1:50 hours for a distance of 13.5 kilometers. The time was 7:50 AM. The only time that we took some short walking breaks was when we had to cross major street intersections like Roxas Boulevard, EDSA, and Buendia Avenue.
As soon as we reached Km Post #0, we had some “photo-ops” with some celebrities and runners and sharing of stories with the rest of the group.
We stayed at Luneta until 9:35 AM and more people and marchers started to arrive at the Park. As we started to go back to where we started, we were met by more people going to the Park which forced us to just walk the first 1-2 kilometers of our run back to Fort Bonifacio.
It was only when we were approaching the Headquarters of the Philippine Navy that we started to run! Mar Marilag, CJ Paran, Benedict Meneses and Eric joined us but later went on their way to reach their offices and their final destinations.
Instead of re-tracing our route to the Park, we decided to turn left at EDSA and reached the Pasong Tamo Avenue where we had to turn right and be able to reach Lawton Avenue. CJ Paran who works at the Office of the City Mayor of Pasay was kind enough to escort us in his turf. At the corner of EDSA and Pasong Tamo, we took a brief break to drink some ice cold Coke for our last 3-Kilometer push to the Finish Line!
At 11:30 AM, we reached our Finish Line and congratulated ourselves for a successful and safe 27K LSD in the busy streets in Metro Manila. It was Graciano Santos’ recovery run after finishing a 50K Ultra Race the previous day and my recovery run also for running along the mountain trails with ultra friends in my “playground” for almost 9 hours the previous day.
The task has been done for the day—-To keep us counted for the “One Million March”! This event was created and organized through one of the Social Media platforms, Facebook, and as a Social Media user, this is my simple way to be a part and contribution to the objective of the event. Whether the event reached the targeted number of participants of the event or not, it has already sent a message that Social Media is very powerful tool in uniting the people from different sectors of the society in the country. The event was a success!
Keep on running!