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The Hesitant Diva

Waking up very early in the morning despite sleeping late at night is something I detest.  In fact, I have second thoughts on joining Takbo.ph marshal team for the 37th Milo Marathon Elimination – Manila leg.  “Ano marshal na naman?  Wala nang takbo kundi puro marshal na lang?”  I said to myself.  The very minute my alarm clock blared at 1:30 a.m. after 3 hours of sleep, a myriad excuses come to my mind – will I, or will I not?

I was late upon arriving at our Buendia corner Pasong Tamo Streets station.  Almost everything where already in place except for some more sweets being laid on the two-table set up.  I added my Hany Choco bar packs to the bunch of Jelly Aces, Curly Tops, Mentos, and more jelly candies.  Dozens of banana hands were being sliced into two for easy consumption by the runners.  They occupy almost half of this 2-table set-up and with much more in the boxes.  I hope that they will be enough for more than 2 thousand marathoners.

Our Station Panindas!
Our Station Panindas!
How our station looked from the runner's point of view.
How our station looked from the runner’s point of view.

The Essentials

This is my very first time to man a station in support of long distance runners.  This had been an eye opener for me in so many aspects.  Among the things I learned are the necessary things and tools one should have available as they will prove to be the life saver of marathoners.

For Nutrition

  1. Banana – for potassium and other vitamins and minerals
  2. Sweets – for sugar replenishment and energy rush
  3. Salt

For Refreshment

  1. Ice cubes
  2. Water and/or near water source
  3. Ice box
  4. Cups

For Medical/Pain Remedy

  1. Topical Pain Relievers like Omega Pain Killer (lots and lots of)
  2. Petroleum Jelly – for rashes and abrasions
  3. Band Aids – for small cuts and bruises
  4. Betadine – to disinfect open wounds

For Grooming – this may be insignificant for most but for running divas, this is a must!

  1. Lipstick – there’s nothing more appalling for running divas than to look pale and without glow in pictures
  2. Comb
  3. Wet Ones

Necessary Implements

  1. Sprayers – the garden variety which gives out a continuous spray
  2. Sponges
  3. Surgical and Plastic Gloves – for medical supplies and food handling, respectively
  4. Cheer Implements and Noise Makers –  to liven up the atmosphere
  5. Cameras

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The Division of Labor

In this group of almost 20 volunteers, there should be somebody assigned to be “food servers”, cheerers, sprayers, photographers, massagers, groomers, leaders, utilities, etc.

The Servidoras

The banana and candy servers like Rica, Papa Racs and Sammy who with their makeshift trays of chest cooler cover looked like waiters in some swanky bar!  They took to the task like pros!

For Angel, Tiffany, Dina, Eileen and the rest, a paper plate and hands full of candies will do.  Nikki, Sammy and the rest of the boys who were not yet on massage duties handed either bananas or some more candies or both to the runners.  It is tricky doing this as some runners’ eye to hand contact is not that precise anymore after hours of running.  In fact, many tugged on Nikki’s hand mistaking it as part of the banana!

If there were those offering sweets, Angel became the Salt Queen!  Holding a plate of iodized salt while trying to cheer runners.  Her platefull slowly became depleted as thirsty runners heed their bodies need not only for water but salt also.

Rica took to the job like a pro!
Rica took to the job like a pro!
Candy! Sanging! Pili na!
Candy! Sanging! Pili na!
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Dina refilling her plate with goodies!
Ryan, the non-runner but promises to be one after, did his servidor best.
Eric Ma seriously at work!
Eric Ma seriously at work!
Angel, the Asin Queen!
Angel, the Asin Queen!
The Servidoras in action!
The Servidoras in action!

 

Runners enjoying their food!
Runners enjoying their food!
Choosy si Reylene!
Choosy si Reylene!
Si Bhe2 Cleo ang kulit-kulit! Ang sarap sapakan ng banana ang bunganga! hahaha.... Love you Bhe2!
Si Bhe2 Cleo ang kulit-kulit! Ang sarap pasakan ng banana ang bunganga! hahaha…. Love you Bhe2!

The Echuseros/Echuseras

Most of us don’t only offer food, massage, cooling spray, etc., we also offer the most touching and ego boosting cheer we can muster.  At the top of our lungs we shout “Go runners, go!”, “Push runners, push!”, “Looking good!”, “Nice form!”, “You can do it”, “Good luck,” and so on and so forth.  We sound our whistles and our tambourines.  We “echoz” the runners to give it their all despite wanting to stop and succumb to pain.  We encourage them to dig deep and persevere.

Jobert, one of the major movers of this group, did all he can to help motivate the runners. Kudos to you!
Jobert, one of the major movers of this group, did all he can to help motivate the runners. Kudos to you!

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The Maniniyots (Photographers)

Ardiae aka The Bluelegged Runner and Manolo did some photo taking before relieving tired legs with some liniment.  More and more runners ask for such passing by our station on their way back to MOA, which is the 34th Km.  Sir Jinoe and Que did some more photo-takings besides doing some cheering and making sure the area is clean of clutters and banana peels.  Sammy’s new recruit to the running marshal world, her friend from high school Ryan, did take some pix while not serving candies and bananas.  He promised to start running too!

Glamorous maniniyot! The Queen herself!
Glamorous maniniyot!
In action!
In action!
In inaction!
Sir Tong taking a rest from a tiring photo session! Hahaha….

The Masahistas

The boys in the group headed by Jobert and Papa Racs did a variety of tasks as the situation called for like handling out sweets/bananas, making sure the cooler is filled with water for sponges, cheering, etc.  The rest got more involved with being masseurs as more and more runners arrive from their 34 km run around BGC McKinley Hill area.  Jonathan, Jayson (whom I saw already doing some intense massage work at some runners even at just their 19K point), Eric Ma, and the rest of the CRAMPS boys took turns kneading tired muscles with their Omega Pain Reliever filled hands.  In fact, to hasten the application, Jonathan filled my water spray bottle with the liquid relievers and mixed them with some water to lessen the viscosity and enable the spraying process.  This is most useful with those wearing compression tights needing the medicine to penetrate it without having to remove them from the waist down!  What a scene it would have been!

One of those photographs that speaks a thousand words. Halos di na ata tumatayo si Jonathan Nava kakamasahe. Seen here with Jobert.
One of those photographs that speaks a thousand words. Halos di na ata tumatayo si Jonathan Nava kakamasahe. Seen here with Jobert.

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Pila balde!
Pila balde!

The most productive and most in-demand of all masseurs is Alan, The Last Man Standing.  In fact, he stood true to his name becoming the last masseur standing, or precisely, kneeling down!  His hands have special powers in them that the cramping female and a few male runners feel instant relief!

The most sought after masahista of them all! Alan, The Last Man Kneeling este Standing pala!
The most sought after masahista of them all! Alan, The Last Man Kneeling este Standing pala! Nanghahamon pa for more!

The Mandidiligs

The sprayers are likewise very much in demand in a marathon race even at a cool day like last Sunday.  Runners even stop for seconds just to drench themselves in the cooling spray.  Nikki had a field day spraying heating up runners.  After some filling bananas in the first part, she offered cool comfort on the return leg.  Her peg for the day is “ang babaeng walang pahinga!”

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Nikki, ang babaeng mahilig mandilig!
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The spray masters!
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Pantanggal ng init ng katawan!
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Di po ako insekto!

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Enjoying the ice-cold sponge bath! Shampoo, anyone?
Enjoying the ice-cold sponge bath! Shampoo, anyone?

The Parlorista

I did them all except for the photographing since my camera did not have a memory card at that time.  I left it with Ivan.  Placing my fabulous diva headband on, I was a cheerleader, a banana and sweets feeder, a runner to the KFC fountain for those in need of water like Vans.  But most important of all, I was a  lipstick “retoucher” for fab diva runners like Pam, Sheryl, Amor, Kokey, Bhe2 Cleo, offering even Edrick and Noel some!  This may be an insignificant task to most but for fabulous divas, this is “THE” requisite in every long run where cameras and admirers abound.  Hehehe….

Basta hanapin nyo ako. Super VIP treatment si friendship Amor, me massage na me retouch pa!
Basta hanapin nyo ako. Super VIP treatment si friendship Amor, me massage na me retouch pa!

The Basureros

The clutter of banana peels, candy wraps, etc. need to be cleared off the road to avoid any accidents.  Though a lot of trash bags were provided, still it is unavoidable to contain all the trash thrown by a number of weary runners.  Sir Jinoe, the big boss of Takbo.ph himself was hands on in this task among others.  I saw Jobert took care of the trash bags too.  Kudos to these guys.

The Boss and the Basurero, Takbo.ph himself, Jinoe! What dedication!
The Boss and the Basurero, Takbo.ph himself, Jinoe! What dedication!

A Diva Masseur!

Alongside RJ and Jonathan, I did my share of massaging countless number of legs!  I do not even have time to look at the faces that the legs belonged!  After a series of like 10 runners, I need to stand up and cut the onslaught as I myself am feeling weak and faint as if I did some running myself.  However, the thank yous and the smiles despite the pain and the weariness from those I had helped were priceless!

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Ganda ng smile ni Fafang!
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Saan pa masakit kuya? Higher?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Experience

It was such a fun and a very rewarding experience that I hated myself for wanting to beg this one off just a while ago.  This experience of being there for fellow runners is just priceless!  I encourage everyone who considers himself or herself a runner to try this experience at least once.

There were many lessons I learned.  One of these was that no matter how well stocked the topical pain relievers were, they would still bleed dry!  Despite the amount of candies, chocolates, etc., it will still be not enough!  But there will be limitless amount of cheers and good vibes while doing a very selfless thing – that of being there for others.

Till the next Milo Marathon marshal duties!

Photo Credits

Takbo.ph Facebook Page
Blue-legged Runner Photos
Manolo Basura Photos
Sammy Salud dela Cruz

At the helm of it all, Sir Jinoe and Papa Racs. Plus the little girl.
At the helm of it all, Sir Jinoe and Papa Racs. Plus the little girl.

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Pichur pichur din pag me time.
Pichur pichur din pag me time.