My cherubic “daughter” could have been attending extended celebrations for her victory.
That is if Tokyo Marathon (TM) 2020 mass participation weren’t cancelled on March 1 due to coronavirus pandemic. This marathon could have been Angelica “Angie” Tan’s very first marathon and in an international scene at that.
When she texted me the great news of her acceptance in one of the Abbott World Marathon Majors last year, I was as thrilled as she was. The Lord heard Angie’s prayers. Initially waiting for the confirmation of a slot in Hong Kong Standard Chartered Marathon (HSCM), she also applied for TM 2020. This was a right move. She didn’t make it to HSCM, nonetheless she was not disheartened since TM opened the way for her. Unexpectedly, this global health crisis struck placing all scheduled runs at a standstill. Now, I wonder if it had a big effect on Angie’s passion in running.
Why am I suddenly curious about her present fettle? To someone who has been addressed as “Mrs. Goals or Mrs. G” solely by Angie, I feel that I am duty-bound to ensure that she nourishes her running fervor and fulfills her bucket list races. For certain, I am honored and humbled to have inspired this young lady to run.
Reviving our communication and making it more regular through two frequencies (Messenger and sms), we would often talk about our mutual fondness — broadway theatre, the Tony award-winning thespian Lea Salonga, family, dogs, fashion, and running. Breaking News: Recent additional shared interest was kikay (Philippine English, a girl or woman interested in beauty products and fashion) stuff such as Japanese fresh powder and eyebrow pencil. 🤣 Angie would ask for running tips and raise queries which exhibited her resoluteness to do a level-up run. She trained hard and purchased must-read running books. Consequently, when she told me that she registered for her first 21K at Manila Marathon on June 23, 2019, I didn’t hesitate to join her at SM MOA (Mall of Asia).
It was a reunion nine years after her graduation in the grade school where I was her class adviser.
From the moment we exchanged a tight warm hug to the time we took our spot at the starting area before 3:30 am and began running, we talked as if we’d no longer see a new day. *e-laughs*
What a big transformation for Angie whom I knew to be discerning and talented but soft-spoken. Well, it’s a welcome marked positive change! She matched my talkativeness. Hahaha. Since she wanted to be in the academe too once she earned her BS Psychology degree, she’d surely put to use her loquaciousness.😅🤣 And I thought it was only in running wherein she wanted to follow my footsteps. I’m flattened…er… flattered. *blushes*
Our interaction continued while we ran. Truthfully, I am an introvert runner just like Haruki Murakami. That morning though, my chat with Angie sidetracked me from my puffing and panting after km 10 while Angie maintained her relaxed and good running form.
I complimented her since there was no indication that she’d covered more than 10K, her comfort zone. Even though she admitted that she could now feel her muscle adaptation to the increased kilometer, I couldn’t tell visually that she’s having difficulty. In fact, without a pacer/companion, Angie would make it. To the keen observers, it seemed we had a role reversal at km 17. I might be a seasoned runner, yet I was actually absorbing the good energy from this newbie half marathoner.
Our relationship was no longer that of a teacher-student/choreographer-dancer, but of a runner-runner. It was a marvelous feeling which resulted to my singing along and dancing toward the last 1.5K.
Angie was also exhuberant when we neared the finish line. She was happily giggling while I held her hand and proudly raised it! Shout out to one of the Running Photographers, who snapped photos of Angie’s winning moment.
Frankly, it was my victory as much as Angie’s!
Feeling like a neophyte, I was overjoyed in my first 2019 registered run. Imagine, it took me six months before deciding to participate in a running event again! If not for Angie, I might have not considered a longer distance as my training run for my upcoming marathon a month later.
To celebrate our first run together, we had our breakfast at Max’s Restaurant, Ermita after changing in Sofitel and taking some souvenir shots in our finisher shirts. Angie made me feel young!
While eating, we evaluated our individual performance. The way I see it, I was the one who slowed down Angie’s pace. I told her that in her next 21K, she would surely have an early finish without me.
Ever modest, Angie shared her honest thoughts about her running and wishing to do it with me over again. This plan of another run together left a lingering smile on our lips when I was brought back to MOA’s parking lot. But on that day, nothing could beat the immeasurable pride which a “mother” felt for Angie’s maiden 21K, which was a well-deserved milestone.