Running with Craig

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Craig & Justin Logan at the Southern Race

I first noticed the tandem of Craig and Justin Logan late last year in a race either along Roxas Boulevard or around Mall of Asia. Race was probably Milo 10K, Yakult 10-miler or Animo Run. From the corner of my eye I saw a middle-aged, Caucasian male speeding along the flat road with a stroller in front of him. I immediately thought there was cute baby inside the stroller, and with a hint of envy and sour graping (because he was faster than me), I said to myself that that stroller was actually an advantage - easier to cruise along with.

Several races after I would learn that a special-needs kid named Justin rides inside the stroller. I said to myself, WOW. After that I would be on the look-out for the pair. I longed to be part - even for a moment - of whatever special bond the father-and-son have. When Craig indicated then in forum that he would be joining the Condura 21K and that he was looking for pace groupmates, I replied enthusiastically that I would like to try pushing Justin - even for just a few meters. Eventually I would formally meet the Logan family (including wife Michelle) in the carbo-loading party for the Condura race. Unfortunately at that time I was already injured and lost all hope that I could run along with them on the Skyway. I heard from Jinoe and Quennie that the tandem had a challenging but relatively fast half-marathon.

In the Greenfields City Run I thought I might be able to run with Craig & Justin. I even had lunch with the Logan family (and Verdana resident Runnermhel) the day before where I hinted that I might try to run along with the Logans. Unfortunately, I was at least 5 minutes late for that race.

Then I heard Craig and family will be doing the Southern Race. I was still itching to run with the Logans and I have always loved running in Alabang, but I already signed up for an out-of-town aquathlon (Camaya Coast Aquathlon challenge). But the call of the race cause, the location and the Logans were so strong I threw caution aside and decided to go for a back-to-back race weekend. I told my fellow Camaya aquathlon friends that they were free to go all-out in the beach trail run and swim, but I would just be chilling. I needed to conserve my energy for the more important 10K happening the following day.

While I was excited for the novelty and camaraderie of my Camaya experience, I was also looking forward to finally running with the Logans, going back to the place where I truly fell in love with running, and possibly get a new 10K PR post-injury. I was actually feeling stronger post-injury. Perhaps also wiser and more mature. I had a finish line scenario in my mind: I would ran the whole course with the Logans, beat my December 2008 10K PR of 1:06, Team Logan would also get their PR and all these good things would happen in my favorite running place. The bonus was that everything would happen in a run for a good cause (the children of SOS). Splendid!

To prepare for this miracle of a run, I was looking for a catalyst to inspire me further to run faster. Truth was I needed all the help I could get to pull through this ambitious weekend treat I signed myself into. For the past few days there was this song going on-an-on in my mind. I kept hearing Craig David blurting out these lines from "Insomnia":

I never thought I'd fall in love, love, love, love,
But it grew from a simple crush, crush, crush, crush
Feels like insomnia ah ah, Feels like insomnia ah ah

For some inspired (or was it strange) reason, I chose this song for my Southern Run. I didn't know actually if insomnia was the right term for my physical and mental state, I but did realize I terribly lacked sleep because of either training, or bonding over drinks or via the shoutbox with fellow running addicts. A song entitled Addiction might have been more appropriate, but I happened to like the beat of Insomnia and the cool vibe of its singer Craig. Perhaps the beat would prevent me from going into dreamzone during a race, and egg me on to actually run faster.

Two days before the Southern Race I went to Alabang to register and had my phone blaring Craig's laments on Insomnia all afternoon while I did my business in the mall. Yup, one crazy little song playing in cycles. Pag naman hindi ko pa na-memorize yang lyrics and melody...At separate instances while in the mall I would meet Doc Lyndon who was registering for a contingent of runners from and finally Michelle Logan registering for the family and friends. I casually asked Michelle what Craig was targetting for the race and she mentioned he would probably run around 1:05, hopefully better. Oh my, I said to myself. That was even better than my personal best achieved in an ideal state of physical preparedness. Coming from my first open water swim, beach and trail run, I would attempt to run along someone with a better PR than me. I must be dreaming. Well, I love to dream, so I told Michelle I promise to be there race time and would TRY to give my best.

Come race day I was late - AGAIN! Just 5-6 hours earlier I was still drinking with friends to celebrate a friend's age group win in the aquathlon. God, I had lost track of the sleep debt I had been accumulating the past weeks. I had my earphone stuck into my phone with Craig David still feeling like insomnia. Yes, I memorized enough snippets of the song but I realize I was not gifted with strong lungs and heart to sing that song in my mind while running 10K at 6:30min/km or better. For the first time, I would be running with MP3 player on. So unlike me actually, but as I was still dead tired from my Camaya aquathlon and trip, maybe Craig D doing the singing would help me. Thankfully the race started late so I was able to position myself beside the Logans a few minutes before gun start.

I think I lasted only a kilometer running along with Craig. Only a kilometer had gone and I already felt my legs would fold up and my body would fall asleep. My plans were foiled once again. Craig was cheery and strong, but I felt power draining from me. Reluctantly, I let them speed past me. When, O, when would I run a longer course with them. At that stage I resigned to the idea that I should no longer plan it. The more I plan, the more it gets foiled. One day, it will simply happen. In even better circumstances.

I was there on the road chugging along between km 2 and 3, already entertaining a first time DNF - with only Craig David keeping me company with his insomnia rant, when officemate Oliver greeted me from behind. Like me, he lacked sleep and had a drinking celebration, but he showed up even if late. A new plan was hatched - two sleepy and alcohol-drowsy runners would brave this 10K till the end. As my quads were really hammered from the previous day's trail run, I let Oliver go ahead a bit but still within my eyesight. Going onto the Country Club and coming from a blind curve, I soon realized Oliver was gone. Uh-oh, I think my friend also had difficulty and he probably made a short cut back through the club. My spirit sank again. Thank God Oliver resurfaced a few minutes after - the dude simply took a liquidity break at the club. Gee-whiz!

All through-out my run Craig David was there. Sometimes I would listen to him, sometimes I dismissed him. At one point, what I used to consider as powersong and beat, now seemed so ironic and depressing. Why the hell did I chose a song about Insomnia as a powersong anyway? At kilometer 5 I got the answer. Suddenly these lines seemed fresh again:

Remember telling my boys that I'd never fall in love, love, love, love
You used to think I'd never find a girl I could trust, trust, trust, trust
Ah I just can't go to sleep
Cause it feels like I've fallen for you
It's getting way too deep...

Suddenly power infused through my legs. Here I was in the village where I fell in love with running - running with the most unorthodox of powersongs. But what power it had. I found myself running fast and effortlessly. In the past I've had eureka moments when I found myself saying: you are running well. This is how you should run. Run like this and you can run forever. Maybe Pearl Izumi was right all along - we are runners. Running is in our blood simply waiting to be rediscovered.

The last 5kms ran like a Craig David song - smooth, cool, hip, pulsating with energy. Still hoping to catch up with Craig, I sped through downhills, ran close to 6min/km, overtook at least 30 runners, and sprinted at my lactate threshold towards the finish line. It was the best 5kms I've ran in recent past.

I finished 5 minutes after Craig Logan and son Justin. The other Craig made me believe though my grand time with Team Logan would soon come.


Anonymous May 8, 2009 at 12:33 PM  

Wow that was a great story (that song from Craig David was also very memorable for me, but let's just say it's because of a DDG girl I influenced to start running hehe). Yan adik kasi back-to-back races tapos kulang pa sa tulog hehehe. Your day will come definitely, just don't try to be insomniac. Insomnia makes for a good pacer though... feels like insomnia, ooohhh

Rico Villanueva May 8, 2009 at 6:07 PM  

Hi Dennnis, so we have a common memorable song! Great. Kuwento mo sa akin yang side story pag nakita tayo. Haha.

LoganFam May 12, 2009 at 4:34 PM  

Hi Bro, thanks for all the "backgroundr info" about your Southern Race. I had no idea what you had been through. wow, and yet, you still wanted to run with us. Hey, Maybe I need to learn to slow down and just enjoy the camaraderie as well. without a doubt, I know we will get a good run with both of us feeling great soon. Justin is excited. Blessings.

Rico Villanueva May 12, 2009 at 8:43 PM  

Hi Craig. We shall have our running time soon. I know it will happen. Cheers to Team Logan! See you in Baguio :-)

freckle-face June 22, 2009 at 7:52 AM  

Hi - this is so inspiring. Is there any way I can contact Team Logan? You see, I am from the Phil Academy of Rehab Med and we will be holding the "MOVE Manila Run 09" this July 19 at the UP Diliman. It supports our fund for persons with disabilities, one of the most neglected sectors of our society. We will be having a good number of wheelchair athletes participating in this event with the able-bodied runners. There would be another family much like Team Logan who would run with us too (a husband with wife on a chair, and their daughter). I would like to personally invite Team Logan. I hope you can forward to me their contact info. Many thanks.

Rico Villanueva June 23, 2009 at 7:08 AM  

Hello freckle face. You can email the family at or I wish your organization and the MOVE Manila Run success :-)

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