A guy in white compression long-sleeved shirt and black compression shorts entered the race processing area and tried to look around and see if the people around are familiar to him. Our eyes met and he smiled.
He approached me while I was waiting for the other runners to arrive in the designated area for the processing of participants in the 1st PAU National Championships in Guimaras. He reached out with his hand and we had a handshake. And we immediately went on a conversation mode as we got to sit on our own chairs.
Our conversation went this way (Note: The conversation was in Pilipino/Tagalog and I have it translated to English):
Runner: So, I’ve finally met in person the Bald Runner
BR: Oh, thank you! Nice to meet you, too!
Runner: I am Demosthenes Limbaga and a resident of Guimaras. I am the contact person of runners and cyclists from neighboring islands who would like to do their workouts here in Guimaras.
BR: So, you must be very popular here! You are also a photographer and a fit athlete? (I’ve seen him sporting a SLR Camera with a pair of sports sunglasses)
Runner: Yes, I try to document the athletes who are practicing their sports here in Guimaras.
BR: How long have you been running? Also an ultrarunner?
Runner: I’ve been an athlete of the Project Gintong Alay during the time of former President Marcos and I was a middle distance runner then. Through the years, I continued to be a long distance runner and I am proud that I am only the ultra runner who is from this island.
BR: That’s good! So, maybe we are at the same age.
Runner: I am 57 years old
BR: Oh? I am 60 years old and a Senior Citizen. But I think you are a stronger runner than me.
Runner: I am glad you brought the Ultrarunning National Championship here in Guimaras so that the “Babies” will have a taste of the REAL long distance running.
BR: What “Babies” are you talking about?
Runner: “Babies” are those runners who would be asking and looking for Water Aid Station every one or two kilometers during the race.
BR: Ah..you mean “newbie” runners?
Runner: No, these are the runners who have not yet experienced finishing an ultra distance race.
BR: Ha! Ha! Ha! So, you are a bad ass ultra runner and a hardcore one!
Runner: Yes, you can call me anything as long as I am not a “baby” in long distance running.
BR: (Change Topic!) It seems you have all your toe nails painted with nice, dark & shiny nail polish.
Runner: Oh, yes! I’ve painted them all with nail polish to hide my dead toe nails!
BR: Very impressive. I might as well adopt your style so that I can hide also my dead toe nails! Oh, can I have your bank deposit slip so that my staff can process you already.
Runner: (He gave me his receipt). Please mention my name to the Governor that I am only the runner from Guimaras joining this ultra race.
BR: Of course! I will see to it that your name will be mentioned to the good Governor!
Runner: Thank you, General!
The guy finished #12 among the 110K Finishers with a finish time of 14:24:05 hours.
Not bad. Not bad at all.
(Note: Photo Courtesy of J. Avellanosa Photography)
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