Monday, August 15, 2011

# 24 twinkle, twinkle little star !!

not up above the world so high but like a diamond on the road, she is.

yesterday was the first of a three-weekend half marathon spree for the local running community. you read that right - three sundays in a row!! it is enough for others to turn green with envy. it is wallet-busting, too - insanely and incredibly so! the full marathon distance top-billed yesterday's race but it is the half that is featured back to back to back. twenty-one kilometers makes a half marathon. twenty-one kilometers pounding on asphalt is no joke, much more the full 42.

most often in cebu's road races, one would see a petite runner garbed in full costume taking flight in the cool morning breeze. mid-flight, the unforgiving sun takes charge.  she is a prominent figure on the road. twinkle is her name.  on my first few races, i would run beside her. i would match her every stride from start to finish. along the route,  many would call out her name. humble in her fame, she would wave back.  many would want a picture taken with her at the finish. she would gamely pose.

last year, at the first staging of yesterday's run, i ran my inaugural half marathon. as the faint rays of the sun started peeping out, i stood with hundreds of other runners, jittery and already sweat-covered even with the starting gun yet to be fired.  in the sea of eager road warriors, i found myself beside twinkle.  she asked if it was my first half.  the nerves must have shown on my face.  she cautioned me to take it easy. just take slow but steady steps and you'll get there, she said.  i did.  i took slow but steady steps. by her side.  i could have taken shade under her tiara of a mango tree heavily laden with fruits.  

following a few strides behind twinkle on the homestretch of my first 21k,  the finish line venue comes into view. the sense of fulfillment is overwhelming.  never have the blue skies been so breathtaking, the gentle waves of the water so comforting.  i bask in the early morning sun.  i am almost there!

twinkle is uncontested in the best costume category. she takes on different characters befitting the concept and purpose of the race, much like an avatar to a screen name.  photo credits go to the owners of these pictures pulled out from race albums posted online.

twinkle adds color and zing to local races. true to her name, she is a jewel of a road warrior who twinkles not up above the world so high but like a diamond on the road, she is.

a severe vertigo attack late last year set me back a couple of months. when i got back on the road, twinkle had conquered greater distances. full and ultramarathons became her turf.  i am stuck with the half.  she is faster now than when i was running alongside her.  i would have my tongue hanging out in no time if i even attempt to be at pace with her. speed remains illusive to me. my time yesterday was slower than my inaugural 21k but it is okay.  i am not complaining. i am thankful i am back eating asphalt when there was but just a glimmer of it a few months back.  i still see twinkle on the road in some of the weekend races. she is on her way back, effortlessly weaving through while i have yet to make the turn-around, relentlessly kicking into higher gears. i wave at her and she waves back.

the full marathon is in my bucket list. when the mind says 'yes, i can do it!', an old pair of legs questions 'can i do it?'  mine is an old pair of legs but my wonderful mentor (thanks, voss!) who got me into running a couple of years back believes mind will prevail over body.  i know the voss is right. i will get there. someday before my legs turn rickety and wobbly on me. perhaps i will run alongside twinkle again - stride for stride - just like i did on my first half.  isn't that awesome?

1 comment:

  1. What I would like is to run along side of twinkle and you and stride for stride we conquer that road race and enloy eating the asphalt :) So, what you say? you in? I do believe that you can capture that feeling of a 42K, maybe that will be the one we tackle together :)