DAVAO City's Olive Firmeza finished fourth in the women's 45-49 years old category of the 26 Virtual Run Gold Coast Marathon Australia held Sunday, July 5.
The 45-year-old mother from Buhangin clocked a total of four hours, 47 minutes and 16 seconds.
Australians Tracie Grey topped the class with a time of 3:48:11, while Sam Ilsley registered an identical time of 4:46:52 record to finish second and third, respectively, in the 42.2-kilometer virtual race.
Firmeza, in a Facebook Messenger chat interview with SunStar Davao, said, "Challenging na maka-happy (It was challenging and it made me happy)."
She said it took her 85 times to run around their subdivision to complete the marathon. "Uphill and downhill na diri sa amoa. Ako ra gadagan diri (I ran downhill and uphill in our subdivision. I am the only one runnin here)," she said.
The veteran of actual marathons said she enjoyed the race, adding, "Ang difference sa actual kay wala man ka kauban. Run solo, enjoy, and self support (The difference of the virtual run from an actual race is that you run by yourself yet you still enjoy it and support yourself)."
Her marathon best time is 3:53. The new virtual race is still something new for her, thus, she still has to get accustomed to running and competing against herself.
The Dabawenya landed 14th in the overall women's ranking. Aussies Sarah Maton (3:12:46) and Imogen Ball (3:32:11) grabbed the first two spots among 36 participants also coming from Russia, Singapore, Portugal, Iran and Malaysia.
Firmeza said she just registered online and filled out the form. The organizers then e-mailed the race bib, rules, and regulations and automatically an athlete's profile was created. She then uploaded the application that was tapped with the organizer. She used Strava.
"Sa race date, sa timezone sa country mo, mag run ka anytime in observance sa community protocols. Sa app makita ang rota mo, pace mo per kilometer and time mo rin," she said.
Jessica Daguio of Team Davao Runners placed 29th and Mabskobidoo of Team Kapwa Davao Inc. got the 30th spot.