This is my nth time to do marshal duties most especially under the Running Marshal group but this time it will be something new, something I have not yet done before. But what else in this volunteer work I have not yet done? Baggage duties – check, route marshal – check, cheering marshal – check, horror marshal – check, sabit medal marshal – check! Add to that list my program directing and stretch/warm-up leading duties with my co-fabulous divas and I had covered almost every variety of tasks involved in a run race, save of course for race directing. Well who knows? Hmmmm…. Hambisyosa! This is something different though still doing the regular marshaling tasks, this time on a bike!
The moment Jet Paiso, fellow blogger and Team Boring member, posted on the need for marshals for Takbo.ph Runfest, I immediately posted my name. I almost made it to number 1 on the list had I punched on the keypad much faster than Jobert dela Victoria. A few weeks later, another shout out got posted in the group page, this time for bike marshals. Thinking “wow this is something new to me, something interesting,” I signed up without batting a false eyelash. Without much thought of what is in store for my fragile body (echoz!).
I didn’t have enough bike mileage some weeks going into this task! Well what’s new? Hehehe…. A day before fortunately I have a press launch invitation at Fort Bonifacio which is a bike distance away from my lungga. So bike I did going there and since the affair involves a mini 2K obstacle run, it was a total body preparation for the task the following day which as of this time I still have not an ounce of an idea. Shoonga shoongaan ang peg.
Another problem I did not foresee earlier (well given that this is my first time and I have no intention whatsoever of becoming a Madam Auring) was the fact that the given call time is 1 a.m. Without any means to transport my bike, I have no choice but to ride it to the race location which is the turf area at BGC. This is one of those times I wish I had a sugar daddy! Choz lang, or why not? Boom! Luckily I have a buddy who is more of a bike expert as I am more on running. So we did a convoy very early in the morning with him leading the way. Simplistic isn’t it? Not really. I kept hearing a squeaking sound over my front wheel area! So we stopped a couple of times to find the problem and at one time even removing and returning the wheel itself. But none was found so I just carefully pedaled on. We arrived an hour late because of this.
Past 3 a.m. after some tummy fillers and chika chika moments with the rest of the marshal crew, we were deployed by small groups to tangent points along the route which covers the 21K distance being the longest race. I was assigned to marshal the 2K stretch of the 38th St. from the intersection of the flyover beside STI, McKinley Parkway and 32th St. to the Triangle Drive area. I was told to bike to and fro and watch for runners needing assistance and give some boosting cheer at the same time. In case some medical assistance is needed, I will have to sprint my way to the nearest of the two ambulance teams at both ends of my ronda. Hopefully, I prayed, none will happen most especially during the closing hours of the race when not only the runners are tired from all the running and the heat but me also from riding my route alongside. Fast-forward to the time Mommy Evelyn, the Purple Barefoot Mom and Sammy, the tail dwellers crossed the finish line, I heaved a sigh of relief that not only is the race over and thus my task, but that nothing serious happened to any of the thousands of runners in this blockbuster race!
Go runners! Go! Push! Good morning runners! Nice form! Keep on running! Almost there! And so I cheered the runners with all the encouragement I can muster from a few hundreds to a thousand of them in the span of more than 4 hours of continuous onslaught. Some familiar faces like co-bloggers, team mates, friends and acquaintances passed by with some few acknowledgments. Some a prolonged chika ensued like with Pam Magampo, a fellow divalicious runner, who would rather stay and make conversation than run! Hahaha…. Chikadora! Ana whom I haven’t seen in a while so I chased her to exchange some more; same with Edward “The LimitEd Runner” who used to be a constant runner over FTI until he transferred to “farflung” Q.C. A very popular fellow blogger Barefoot Daves who would like to ride my bike, jokingly, to the finish line also captured my attention as well as Allan of Running Free Pinoy and Noel Deemen Runner among others which this already lengthy article cannot afford to individually mention, well aside from my failing memory that is.
The system I did to “pace” myself with my task given the big number of runners is to cheer near the start of my route for a few minutes then bike my way to the other end, asking a few runners clutching or stretching their cramping muscles along the way if they are okey, give them a few boost of encouragement and then ride back to where I started and do the cheer time all over again. On the other side of my route is the station of fellow diva Ivan who did some picture taking of runners for our Fabulous Running Divas fan page. You might want to check it out if his lens captured you on the run! I also saw him giving a few cheers and some trafficking like I did also at certain points like my assigned place start and midway areas where vehicular traffic are heavy.
When the last duo of barefoot runners Mommy Eves and Sammy passed by, a number of us route and bike marshals accompanied them, talking to them, encouraging them and taunting them, jokingly as they are friends too, not dare to walk. Though at a snail pace given the heat and the fact that both strong-willed women are barefoot, we reached the finish line to the applause of all marshals who are already done with their task waiting at the sidelines. It was indeed festive and fabulous!
After some sumptuous eating over at Market Market with my fellow diva marshals Sweet, Ivan and Blue, plus Red who came all the way from Manila Bay Clean-up Run held at the MOA area, we are prepared to call it a day when my “fragile” body is faced with another task at hand! I still have to bike my way home, in the midday sun and after all the pedaling and marshaling I did for hours on end!
With no other choice than to blow my marshal TF paying for a taxi ride which I cannot afford, the Cheapanggang Diva did biked home despite seeing double under intense heat and fatigue. On the brighter side, I have injected a much needed bike mileage out of my very satisfying and fun marshal duty of a different kind! I cannot wait till the next one comes around.