Monday, April 30, 2012

race to the finish

It's 4:45 a.m. Saturday morning as we drive through the quiet city streets.
What was I thinking?
I'm not a runner.
But here Mark and I are on our way to a local charity run.

When Mark told me he was going to enter his second 10k race in two months,
I told him I'd come along to cheer.
Then somehow he talked me into participating.
NO! Not in the 10k. I'm not that crazy fit.

We pay our fees and get our shirts as dawn begins to break over the city

All participants gather, and the first order of business is a prayer, asking God to bless the run.

I glance over and see Manuel Vismanos,
the barefoot runner, a local legend.

Manny is a retired policeman from  Davao. He started running in the 60's and has always believed that running barefoot makes him move better and faster. 
Manny is also an avid mountaineer, and he climbs without shoes, too!


Mark and the other 10k runners start off without much ceremony - before we really expected they'd start.

Then a fitness instructor runs up front and leads the rest of us in a warm-up routine.  By the time the 6k runners have started, she's going strong; everyone is dancing! The warm-up gathers intensity before us 3k folks begin.  I'm feeling sorry for the 2k guys - they'll be worn out before they start!

A task force guard stands by watching the warm-up; these men with their huge weapons are just a normal sight in the community.  No one (not even I) blinks to see them here.

The 3k begins. This family made me smile.

The route takes us up a main street,

to an intersection where we stop to wait for a stream of traffic.

Then near the market, dodging chickens in the road, past fires burning in these cans 
to steam the mais, or sweet corn sold by street vendors.

As the route progresses, I realize there's a young boy keeping pace with me, walk/jogging beside me.  We begin to talk.  Jaybee is 10, and from Manila, and his mom was somewhere out in front.
We had fun sharing impressions of Davao, and he wanted a photo together at the end.

Jaybee and I.  I knew Michael should have joined us!

Manny comes in at 51 minutes

with Mark just 3 minutes behind him.

Snacks are served afterward - 
bananas, a rice porridge (with fish thanks, but Mark likes it!) 
and hard boiled eggs.

Manny and Mark had talked at a previous race,
 and he was gracious to pose with Mark for a photo.

But Manny wasn't the only one with celebrity status.
Lots of people wanted to pose with the Americans...

Thanks for letting me join you, Mark.
Maybe next year I'll be ready for that 10k...


Rachel Cori said...

Way to go, Mark and Barbara! What great memories. I'm inspired. I think I'd like a dance warm up each morning.

Judy said...

You go girl!!! Good for you! See all that work with Leslie Sansone pays off ;-)
Off to work out now--thanks for the motivation!

us5 said...

come with us next time, Rachel! :)

us5 said...

:) 15 years of training w/ Leslie for a 3k?!? well...let's just say i didn't break any records with my time of 25 minutes. :lol:

Serena said...

You're amazing Barb! I admire your family for how active you guys are. And I think it's great that you and Mark did this together.

Carl G. said...

I liked your running commentary, Barb - yay for you!

us5 said...

well, at least i didn't use any run-on sentences, right?!? ;)

us5 said...

thanks, Serena! :D i'm pretty sure i'm nowhere near amazing, but i'll take all the encouragement i can get!! :lol: looking forward to seeing you soon!

Elysa said...

How fun! I love all the details that you share and that is so cool about Manny, the barefoot runner. I also loved the boy who wanted to be with you. I know that you guys have had to sacrifice a lot to be where you are, I'm understanding that better and better as we prepare for the mission field, but I also see the blessings that God has poured out in your life as a result. What joys He has set before you ... both eternal and just plain fun in the here and now.

Rosalie said...

Thanks for sharing this! I love how your family has embraced the people and joined with them in things like this. They feel loved by you. You're running well!