March 20, 2011 – five (5) runners from Team Atlas Copco Philippines took the challenge in October 0f 2010 to apply for the 2011 The Bull Runner Dream Marathon. They were anxious at first. But before the deadline for the application ended, they confirmed their intention to join.
Months have passed, all of them busy at work to deliver their Key Performance Indicators. Some of them have been taking their trainings seriously – I think there was only one runner who took it seriously. It was during the Christmas break when they felt to log in more mileage as the race get near.
In February, during the longest training run of the program, two (2) of them had a painful experience – literally. It was the first time that Mon and Mark ran for more than 10kms. Their intention was just to complete the first loop (10kms). But, as they approach the Solenad area, fellow runner Jonnie (our GM), challenged them for another loop – completing the whole 28kms.
During the last four weeks before the big day, I decided to have a “cramming” training for Mark and Mon. I even included a heat training in their last 3 weeks of training. Just in case they end up walking the last 10kms, at least they are used to the heat of the 8am to 10am sun.
I remember that my last minute instruction to the team a week before race day were: (1) get at least 7 hours of sleep starting Tuesday, and (2) avoid taking soda and meals that is something new for you – this is not the right time to experiment =)
Lights out at 8pm. But everyone was excited the night before the race. Gun start came but I wasn’t there to wish them good luck. I came to the venue at half past five in the morning. Just in time to see Roel and Romel cross the 20km loop.
By six in the morning I was out in the field taking pictures of the runners, when in just a matter of hours or even minutes they will be called marathoners. I ran along the route to check Team Atlas Copco. I first saw our GM who still looks strong at km. 34
From the rate that he is going, he can finish the race in sub- 6 hours. We exchange few words and cheered him that it’s only 8 kms more to the finish line. Then I moved on to search for the four.
Between km 33 and 34, I saw Mark and Mon who decided to be pace buddies. I guess they just can’t keep pace with our boss. Still in high spirits with their “poste – poste” program – run for 4 lamp posts then walk the next lamp post. The only challenge to this program was when they reached the areas without the lamp posts.
With three (3) runners on their last 8 kms, I went on to search the last two members of Team Atlas Copco Philippines. I spotted them at the crossing of km.33. Trying to hide the pain that they are feeling.
Now, at this point I have to run back to the finish line and meet our first finisher. It was already 5:30hrs from gun start and I feel that our first runner (Jonnie) will be crossing the finish line anytime. Half way thru my run, I phone fellow marathoner (from TBR DM batch 1) Leo to meet our first runner at the finish line since I am still 4-5kms away. Boss Jonnie finished his very first marathon in 6hrs, 11 minutes, and 20.9 seconds.
After less than an hour, Mon and Mark, crossed the finish line in 6hrs, 53 minutes, and 29 seconds. They are virgins no more!
And the last batch of Team Atlas Copco Philippines, Romel and Roel, clocked in 8:04hrs and 8:14hrs respectively.
With all those endorphins that they gained all throught the 42kms, these were how they look like…
Congratulations to you guys! Welcome to the Marathoners club of Atlas Copco Philippines!!
Your fellow marathoners welcomes you!
See you in Camsur in September!