Dreaming of Condura

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

When Condura Race was surveying for suggestions for its 2010 version, I was one of the few eagerly pushing for a full marathon. I pushed because I love marathons, and I knew that the generation of half-marathoners that Condura enticed in 2009 would go for a full marathon a year after.

My personal wish was granted. Finally, a marathon by Condura! Thanks to the Concepcion brothers. The organizers listened to runners' sentiments, proving once more that theirs is a race by runners, for runners. My Condura dream crashed though when I learned about the date. My best pal is surrendering bachelorhood a day before in distant Boracay. Sadly, the last flight back to Manila was not late enough, and the morning flights were not early enough to bring me to the marathon starting line come February 7. I hope to still catch some friends though, especially the first-timers, as they trace back the route to the marathon finish line. Maybe I can run to the NAIA Skyway directly from the airport =)

Because I cannot run it, I will content myself to dreaming.

I dream that the marathon pre-race ceremony will be something special. Fireworks is not necessary but will be glorious. Simultaneous lighting of individual candles (or a single massive marathon torch) will be a silent, solemn statement of our running hopes and dolphin dreams. Simultaneous flashing of our cellphones and cameras will also do.

I dream that Filipino creativity will be unleashed in the sea of inspiration bibs. Colors, i see colors. I see wit, drama, naughtiness, whimsy, determination, ambition, glory and nobility on those bibs. Every single one contributes to this mosaic of runner solidarity.

On the route I see short witty one-liners of inspiration or humor on standees/markers. Think New Balance race and its clever love/hate running campaign.

I see a massive tent for marathon finishers, with chairs and even tables, where they can actually sit and rest their battle-weary legs as they start trading their personal stories. I see family and friends mingling with the runners, in the same tent of solidarity, trading congratulations and greetings. I see food and drinks on the table - bought, brought, catered, home-cooked, shared and passed around.

In the unofficial Condura Carbo-loading party that takbo.ph did for the 2009 race, we tried to put diverse runners of Metro Manila in a single roof. Baldrunner, bugobugo, kulitrunner, bananarunning, myironshoes, i2runner, manokanexpress and other bloggers were there. Sayang unavailable si Jaymie The Bullrunner. I am dreaming that this time, the Condura tent will bring everyone together.

I dream of a class picture even bigger than the crowdiest takbo.ph picture. Underneath the colors of our jerseys and affiliations, we are all runners. I am thinking - and seeing - a class picture reminiscent of my 160-strong high school batch picture. Only this time,  the 2010 Condura Class picture has more people. I see PhotoVendo, takbo.ph unofficial photographers, and perhaps even PhotoBongBong on a ladder, on the stage, on a pedestal arching their bodies and lenses to encapsulate in a rectangle the breadth of our collective greatness.

I see family and friends lining up on the streets awaiting their runners.  I see handmade banners, group streamers merrily dancing in the air. The Philippine marathon supporter crowd is not yet New York marathon-strong, but we'll get there. We will bring the flavor of New York to Philippine shores and make it our own - warmer, more boisterous, playful and endearing.

I see happy faces. I see smiles. I hear "Good Morning" repeatedly traded among runners, the way we urbanites greet local villagers when we venture into their home roads on an early weekend trail run. Good morning paired with a smile, such a sweet greeting to receive from strangers strange only because we have yet to know their names.

I see cheerful people hanging medals on the finishers. I hear drum beating, trumpet play, or the emcee shouting congratulations as every single marathoner cross the finish line.

I see pride. I see accomplishment. I see purpose. On the low roads and on the Skyway.  On the finish line I see tears - not emanating from pain or relief that the ordeal is over, but from an overflow of emotion that will burst if not expressed in tears. I see tears rolling on happy faces. Tears that reflect the light and the beauty of the personal and physical transformation that just transpired.

On Sunday morning of February 7, 2010, I hope to be part of the Condura magic once again.


Running Diva January 27, 2010 at 10:14 AM  

Sounds like your dream is as the same as the lyrics from the song I Dreamed a Dream ... "But there are dreams that cannot be, And there are storms we cannot weather..." Run from NAIA to the finish line!;)

Julius January 27, 2010 at 10:40 AM  

It's too bad you won't be able to make it back in tme for Condura. Have a great time in Boracay, and a safe flight back to Manila. See you at the finish line!

Gingerbreadman January 27, 2010 at 1:21 PM  

Rix, well done I enjoyed this! I am thankful that you can still be part of the experience in one way or another. It should be a blast! Yeah!

daytripper1021 January 27, 2010 at 3:19 PM  

wow. this was a great read. nice post! :)

jetpaiso January 27, 2010 at 4:25 PM  

nice post rico... you have captured the very same dream i wished for my first marathon... i have high hopes with condura, and i'm hoping for a good memorable experience this time.

Ian January 27, 2010 at 8:18 PM  

Ditch the wedding... run Condura...
How many times in your lifetime can you run a marathon in the sky... i'm sure your best bud would understand... hahaha... j/k..

truman January 27, 2010 at 9:17 PM  

Very expressive, dude. :) I can also see what you're imagining. Let's hope your dream comes true.

Rico Villanueva January 29, 2010 at 12:28 AM  

Hey Roselle....Some day this dream will come true :-)

Julius, hope to catch you at the finish line.

Hey Luis, of course one way or another I shall be part of it. =)

Thanks daytripper :-)

Jet, those dreams will soon come true :-)

I'm sure my bud will understand. Not sure about the bride though. I'm part of the entourage! Haha.

Bryan, no harm dreaming :-)

Roxy February 4, 2010 at 11:54 PM  

Hello Rico,
Nice to meet you at the CLP. Thanks for the warm welcome. I really felt dyahe at first, as everyone seemed to know one another.. :)

By the way, I've been an avid reader (lurker, haha) of your blog from the time I stumbled upon here some ten months back or so. :) Keep up the good work!

- Roxy

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