What is a “BANDIT RUNNER”?
Bandit, from the word itself, is an outlaw. An outlaw deprives himself of legal force. In other words, Illegal. In marathons, or in my case, a fun run, a bandit runner is someone who joins a run but did not registered and/or payed for the race. The harshest definition I’ve read about Bandit Runners came from this blog:
A Bandit Runner, he is one of those people who is too CHEAP to enter a race and they run without paying and without a race number.
I felt really bad after reading it. I felt guilty because the race was for a good cause: to help the abused/homeless children of BANTAY BATA 163 and for the rehabilitation of the Pangi River (or was that the bridge? not sure) in Matina, Davao; and I’m an illegal runner without a singlet and a race bib. Its my first time to actually be a bandit runner. My runs before were sponsored by my mom especially when the whole family (excluding my dad; he’s not a fan of running) joins the event. This time, my mom had some errands to attend to and was not interested in joining the run. I had no money for it but really wanted to join. So I decided join but not pay. Just go with the flow because I’m pretty sure the people in-charge would definitely not notice me.
There were around 7,000 registered participants in total at the first Kapamilya (Night) Fun Run on different categories (4k, 8k, 15k, 21k), according to a friend. Lesser than that of the Milo Fun Run last Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. Unfortunately for me, there were checkers of the race bibs so I had to start outside of the starting line.
The Map; The Path
There’s a little change in the path. Instead of going through Ecoland Drive, they change the path to Tulip Drive up to the shrine hills (8k turning point), Gap Farm (15k turning point) and Ma-a Bridge (21k turning point) and back to SM. I won’t be talking about the 15k and the 21k turning point since i only ran the 8k race. The first 2 km of the run was really smooth. I was running at a jog-run steady pace and wasn’t stopping. I had to have my heart pumping at a steady pace so I won’t get easily tired. I ran with what I think was the Task Force Davao runners or military cadets runner because they were chanting. I was chanting with them silently. Their chanting was actually making the run really simple because my focus was at the chanting and not on my tired legs. Plus chanting along was helping me with easy breathing, promoting oxygen distribution in my body. There were water stations at almost every few meters.
The biggest challenge was the uphill path to Shrine Hills. It wasn’t easy. It was my first time running a very steep path. I’ve tried running uphill on a treadmill back when I was still training at the gym, but I never last 5 minutes and then I stopped. This time, I tried not stopping. It was insane. Sometimes, I need to slow down a little bit and walk for a while and try to rest my legs and my back. I never gave up. I gave it my all, I was even able to update my facebook through my phone while running the steep path.
When I got to the turning point, I was actually pretty nervous because I’m a bandit runner. I don’t have a race bib. Since the run was organized by a TV station, they were videotaping the whole thing at the turning points. I tried to cover my face while getting my 8k race band. Getting the band was like the first best feeling of the race. Its an indication that you’re halfway to the finish line and it gave me a boost. We were now running back to SM. The path was going downhill. My strategy was to just run by gravity to exert less effort. But I started feeling friction burns on my toes because my shoes were a little loose for me. It hurt like shit but I had to run. Downhill wasn’t easy as it looked. You have to combat gravity or else you’ll roll down the hill and/or end up injuring yourself.
What a fulfillment!
Halfway through the final 4km, I had to walk because at that point, my energy was almost at its limit but I kept on going. I never stopped. I just walked and then ran again. When I was like a few meters more from the finish line I was really stoked. I was thinking about my run time. “How many hours was I running? I bet I ran 2 hours!” was all I was thinking. When I saw the chronograph/digital clock, I was more than excited. I was more ecstatic when I saw my time; 1:00:14.
My heart was racing. I was waving my hands. I was uppercut punching the air. I was feeling the success for myself. But of course, I did not stepped on the finish line. I’m a bandit runner remember. I don’t have a race bib. But despite the fact that I wasn’t able to step on that finish line, i still felt success (not as much. would’ve been more if i really stepped on that freakin’ finish line!).
But compared to my previous runs, this is by far the fastest. Before, I usually finish a 5k race in 1:40:00. My last race which was the Milo Race I finished the 5k race in 00:49:12. I think computing it (just inside my mind), the Kapamilya run would be my fastest time. I’m proud of it.
Benefits of the Run
We all know running is the easiest, the most convenient, the least expensive (not in this case) exercise that gives you a full body workout. As you run, the heart pumps blood thus promoting circulation which promotes oxygen distribution all over the body that provides energy to organs to do their jobs for a person to be healthy.
There are a few things that I’ve learned in this race. At first, you’d feel like there’s nothing wrong at being a bandit runner because you will think people wouldn’t notice you. Yeah, I guess that’s an advantage because you get to run for free. You get to have fun without paying. Plus the exercise. But then at the end of the day, you’ll think about a lot of things.
Guilt — the race was suppose to help the needy especially the children and the rehabilitation of a place in Davao that was struck by a disaster a few months ago.
Shame — the other racers started and finished at the designated area. I didn’t. I started outside. I joined the run outside which literally made me feel like an outcast.
Less Fulfillment — compared to when you finished and stepped at the finish line. I’m still proud of myself for finishing the race faster than I expected but less fulfillment because people didn’t notice my success. If only I wasn’t a bandit runner, I would’ve proudly raised my arms at the finish line and shout!
The lesson is, NEVER BE A BANDIT RUNNER! I know the race are quite expensive, especially for someone like me who’s still a student and depends on a very budgeted allowance. The race are announced a few weeks prior, which gives you ample time to save. The next time, I’ll be saving and I’ll be paying to race. This will be the FIRST AND THE LAST TIME I’M GOING TO BE A BANDIT RUNNER!
Read this: The #1 Reason Not To Bandit A Race
THANK YOU SO MUCH, ABS-CBN!
THANK YOU SO MUCH, KAPAMILYA FUN RUN!
UNTIL THE NEXT RUN!