What to do after 33 marathons? Keep running, of course-A A +A
Sunday, October 20, 2013
By Dr. Potenciano Larazzabal III
(First of two parts)
I know, I already accomplished my goal of 33 marathons in my lifetime and was to choose another sport thereafter. But why am I still writing this piece? Well apparently, the running bug wouldn’t just go away and I just could not stop running.
So when I learned that I was to attend the European Society of Cataract and refractive surgery Convention in Amsterdam in October, my fingers got restless. They started hitting the keyboards for the running guide and voila, Brussels Marathon came up!
Beautiful Belgium is just beside the Netherlands and it would just take a few hours by train to reach there. I immediately e-mailed my Boholano running buddy Capt. Kenneth Tenebro of the US Army (AKA Just Running). After registering online, we readily booked our hotel of choice just a few meters away from the finish line. For early birds, we paid less fees, got our names printed on the race bibs and got a free T-shirt. As marathon veterans, we also knew that booking our hotel early would also mean paying less than a third of the price of the hotel room if it is still available on race week. I also booked the speedy Thalys train ride from Amsterdam to Brussels, which would only take 1 hour 40 minutes non-stop.
The Brussels half and full marathon on Oct. 6 was the biggest running event in Belgium with over 13,000 runners representing over 40 countries.
The full marathon was limited as there was a cut-off time of only five hours. The highlight for many is the start and finish at the Grand Place at the heart of Belgium’s capital city not far from the European Parliament. The race starts at the spectacular Parc du Cinquantenaire, passing landmarks such as Schuman Square, the Royal Palace and the Justice Palace. It is a hilly and winding course through many green spaces with marathoners and those taking part in the half meeting up at around the 36K mark.
Ken and his lovely wife Wilma claimed my race pack on Friday. I arrived in Brussels at around 11 a.m. on Saturday and just walked to my hotel, the NH Grand Du Sablon. There was a flea market just in front of the hotel and I had my eye on a 150-year old Belgian table clock sold at a bargain price. If I would be happy with my race time, I would try to bring with me a special souvenir to remind me of my performance. Since the hotel was fully booked for the marathon, my room was yet to be available at 3 p.m. Ken and Wyl met me at the lobby. I was happy to see them but also felt sad because seeing them together made me miss my wife back home.
(To be continued)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 20, 2013.