Going Bananas: A Volunteer’s Perspective

Tessa Banana?

I would not have missed this race for anything. In the past two editions of The Condura Skyway Run, i ran both races, the 21k and 42k last year and i cherished the experience of running atop the skyway…cheering on each other, looking after your pace while struggling to get the remaining miles over with.

However, i had to miss last Sunday’s edition as i was still recovering from the recurring plantar fascitiis which is healing slowly and to risk running more would just aggravate the long, slow, healing process.

Handing out bananas to runners at an aid station isn’t exactly a fun, ideal alternative pursuit to running or cross-training (unless you eat the bananas yourself) but you sure appreciate being in the middle of the action and all this hoopla of assisting and cheering runners takes on another level.

So the first time i volunteered for takbo.ph’s Aid Station along Buendia Avenue at last Sunday’s Condura Skyway Marathon, it was everything i didn’t possibly expect. Plenty of good company with the old guards of takbo.ph, handing out bananas, cheering, taking their photos, clapping or shouting encouragements (“Go, teh, you can do it”, “Malapit na, teh”) and the young female runners goes giggling and found it a bit amusing after seeing a middle-aged guy addressing them as Teh (Ate or sister)! Lol!

Eat all you can!

It puts a little perspective to my own participation in running and i realize that this is the world i am part of and i am used to being cheered and encouraged at and not the other way around. You also get to notice, and not too often, that while the leading elite runners run a lot faster, we ordinary runners struggle just as mightily and hurt just as much as this Big Guns in our pursuit of a PR.

Nice to know that people thank you in return and some had recognized me as they ask why i am not running this race. “No training” is just what i reply. As i see the last of the runners pass by our station and headed for the finish line, i end my volunteerism as i wanted to catch up with my running friends who were now waiting for me at the finish line. I take a cab with Abby, my co-Team Leader at the aNR-UP who was also going to meet BFF Luis at the finish.

Running friends: L-R, Tonet, Aileen, Alex, Sylvia, Cecil, Betty and Dante

After the race

I meet my group after the race and all were satisfied with their time and the conduct of the race. All were unanimous in the excellent race organization… perfect race, delicious bananas!

For me, giving back to this sport is what it’s all about!

The takbo.ph volunteers

Thanks to Jinoe for the pictures!