20 Years On And Still Smoking the Competition

In one of my earlier articles in this blog, I mentioned that I come from a running family.  My dad and my two older brothers were part of the running boom in the 80’s.  As a kid, I would spend my Sunday mornings at the Quezon City Memorial Circle or UP, waiting with my mom in the car for my dad and kuya to finish their weekly runs with the Runnex or Band-Aid running clubs.  I tagged along for the congee or lugaw that we would always have at Ling Nam after.   But while my dad and eldest brother were serious and avid runners (I have yet to break my dad’s 10k PR and my kuya runs his marathons in the 3:30 range), none of them competed at a level as high as my other kuya, whom I fondly call Brah, did. You see, Brah represented my alma mater in the UAAP and even got a letter award from the university for his efforts.

My brah running for the State U in his maroon/black singlet.

I remember this particular race, the finals of the 800m event of the UAAP 1990-1991 season.  I was in 4th year highschool then and had just gotten my driver’s license.  Brah, who was afraid that driving his pawis-steering Toyota Corona all the way to Rizal Memorial Stadium would sap the energy out of him, requested me to be his chauffeur for the day.  Of course, I readily obliged and even offered to be the official photographer for the State U.

When we arrived at the Rizal Stadium, I positioned myself at one of the bleachers behind where the UP Track Team was congregated.  I wanted to get an unobstructed view of the track so I could take good photos.  I should have known better. 

As soon as the gun went off, I was out of my seat, screaming and cheering like a madman. Brah paced himself in the first lap but on the second, he overtook one runner after another until eventually, he was only a couple of stride lengths from the lead runner.  Unfortunately, Brah ran out of tartan and finished a close second; still, a podium finish.   The exciting finish got me so pumped up that I was yelling expletives and cuss words that would make a sailor blush.  I only realized this after race, when I felt the cold stares of the female members of the track team bearing down on me.  Ooops.  I slowly melted back into my seat.   It then dawned on me that I failed to take a single picture.     

Fast-forward to 2010.    Just last weekend, Brah competed at a masters track meet in Singapore and totally smoked the competition.  I so wanted to take the three hour flight to SG just to watch him race but it was not to be.  It’s a good thing my nephews were able to take a video of the race, complete with their cute commentaries (I shudder at the thought of having my swearing caught on video).  Brah clocked in at 2:32, around 30 seconds slower than his UAAP time, but still a mean feat for someone who’s in his 40’s and who has put on at least 40 pounds since his college racing days.  And, as he says, he was not pushed.  Watching the video, I’d have to agree with you on that one Brah.  🙂  Good job!


4 Responses to “20 Years On And Still Smoking the Competition”

  1. Brah Says:

    Salamat. You can always come next year; I promise to run faster. Thanks again for taking me to Rizal Memorial. Teka lang, takbo muna ako. Haha..

  2. stacy Says:


  3. hurdler49 Says:

    GOOD STUFF! Thank you for this. The last time I competed in the UAAP was back in 2008 (UAAP 70). I retired for two years and went back to athletics training in 2010. I have yet to compete in a sprint hurdles race, but I’m doing my utmost best to get in tip-top shape for this May’s Nationals.

    Godspeed to you and your brother!

    • Running Consiglieri Says:

      Hey hurdler49, thanks for dropping by! You UAAP people are of a different breed. Rec runners like me can only hope to have a shade of your VDOT. Nurture your God-given talent and keep on running!

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