I started joining road races back in 2009. My very first was the Kenny Rogers Urbanite Run, where I ran 15 kilometers. Urbanite happend some time in August '09, and for the remainder of that year, I went on to do six more races. Five were staged in Metro Manila (i.e, the Fort, McKinley Hill, Makati CBD), and only one was staged out-of town (Subic). Back then, I did not really care where I ran. For as long as I had a race to run, my weekend was made and I was happy.
In 2010, I ran a total of 14 races, and had a DNS in one. Of those 14, 12 were in Metro Manila. Of the 12, nine were held at the Fort, or had a portion of the route go through the Fort. Of the two that were held outside the Metro, one was held out-of-town (CamSur), and the other was held out of the country (Singapore).
The CamSur race - my third full marathon - started the fire. I was never the same after CamSur. All of a sudden, I was no longer hot about racing at the Fort or the Makati CBD. And so, as 2011 rolled in, I found myself joining even fewer Manila races. The addiction was further fueled by my new-found interest in ultra distance running. And so, my race log for 2011 looks like this: a marathon in Cebu, three ultras in Bataan and Pampanga (BDM and the two test runs), and then another ultra in Albay. Only one Manila race thus far - Condura. Next up is a marathon in Kuala Lumpur, an ultra in Nueva Ecija, and then that huge marathon in New York later in the year. Only one other Manila race on my radar as of this writing - Milo.
It's mind-boggling how much my running horizon has expanded (literally!) in such a short span of time. A number of non-running friends and acquaintances are amazed at the amount of time, resources, and effort that I invest in doing what I do - all for the love of an activity that they perceive as boring. All for the sake of joining races that I could never win. And then, they ask, "Why?" Once in a while, I go through lucid intervals and attempt to supply an explanation, provide some rhyme and reason, for what they term as "madness." Each time I do that, I do so knowing that, while some of them will probably get it, a lot of them very likely won't. And so, more often than not, I just keep my mouth shut. After all, I don't have to explain anything. This is the path that I have chosen. This is what I have become. This is my passion.
So, the next time someone asks me why I do what I do, maybe I will just say this:
"Wait 'til I start hitting the trails."