A week ago on Sunday, 7-Eleven organized a running event held simultaneously in Manila, Cebu and Davao. My friend Jamie and I took on the 10k Buddy Run in Davao. It was a nightly affair with all sorts of sweets, hotdog samples and sugary drinks waiting for us at the finish line.
At four a.m. all buddies congregate in the start section on the parking lot of SM City mall. We’re invited to join a Zumba warm-up session that I think is being televised. Jamie and I halfheartedly participate, opting for some light stretching instead.
Off we go! The game plan is to go slow and steady. For most of the course all that separates us from traffic are big red cones and dozens of volunteers. There are lots of water stations along the way. Even before we make a U-turn at the 5k point, the faster runners go past on their way to the finish line. At the same time, some buddy duos have reduced their speed to walking pace. We’re nicely in the middle of the pack.
During the race I experience an almost serene kind of quite. All of that changes once we cross the finish line. Loud music blasts out of the speakers, search lights pierce through the sky, countless phones take countless pictures; life is unequivocally here.
We collect our medal and finisher’s goody bag and explore the small village inhabited by the event’s many sponsors. Fancy a hotdog? They’ve got you covered. Ice cream or Cheetos? Walay problema! And it’s all free. Some runners fill up their bags to the brim with goodies.
In Davao, nighttime is not downtime; it’s go time
The rest of the day I’m bursting with energy. Well, until around sunset. That’s what usually happens when I go running early in the morning. You trick your body and mind into believing that you can sustain the high until late in the evening. This, however, rarely happens.
I enjoyed the race and the opportunity to share in a joint passion with others. To just be one of many and experience the awakening of a city.
It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that in Davao, nighttime is not downtime; it’s go time.
I found the picture below this blog’s headline on the Twitter feed of one proud mom (@biruarfam_sb). These are her two kids, showing off the medals they received after their 3k 7-Eleven run in Davao.