I’m sensing a pattern here. Due to some new responsibilities and interests, I get to blog a subject only when another event on that same subject comes along. Case in point, I was finally able to post regarding my Valleypoint Campsite experience a few weeks ago because in two weeks I’ll be up in Baguio again. Now, I’m gonna share a virtual run I participated in last December because two weeks from now I’ll again be back on track literally – both for the virtual run and some two fun runs for different causes.
Run for Wishes
Make-A-Wish Foundation is a foundation that helps children with critical illnesses make their wishes come true. It’s an international non-profit organization with a Philippine arm operated and supported mainly by volunteers. Throughout the year, Make-A-Wish Foundation organizes fundraising activities, one of which I already got to attend. It was a block screening of the film, “Solo: A Star Wars Story”, held at SM Light in Mandaluyong City.
I share Make-A-Wish Foundation’s core principle. I’m a firm believer that it’s the good times that keeps us going through the tough times. Do not forget in the dark what God revealed to you in the light. Also, whether we admit it or not, a big chunk of who we are, is a product of our sad or happy childhood.
Granting a sick kid’s wish to visit an amusement park, to get new toys, or to own a cellphone to hear encouragements of distant loved ones are indirect yet effective ways of healing the child. It’s a much-needed, hope-filled stop along the difficult road these kids must endure. Just how effective? Science backs up claims that happy hormones build better immunity, that’s one. Plus, never mind. The truths that can be measured are not the only truths that matter, anyway.
Last December, in partnership with takbo.ph, Make-A-Wish Foundation held a virtual run. Virtual run means you can run a predetermined accumulated number of kilometers anywhere you want, at anytime of the day you want, just as long as the runs are inside an agreed time frame. For Make-A-Wish virtual run, the period was from Dec 1, 2018-Dec 31, 2018.
The options were 20km, 40km, and 100km. I chose to run 100 kilometers because it was challenging. 100km seemed attainable but difficult. It was the right distance to give me some sense of accomplishment. I wanted to know if my body can do it. My mid told me I can but I’ve never done it before. The thrill of knowing, that excited me to the bones. I’m clumsy and weak, a couch potato for so long that 100km would be a personal milestone.
Funds were raised from portions of the registration fee (Php1,250 and Php900). Entitlements upon completion of the virtual run are finisher’s medal, a tshirt, and an e-certificate. Details of how the virtual run works, and the list of other virtual runs organized by takbo.ph are on their website. I’ll just explain the most basic here.
Registering for a Virtual Run
Create an account at takbo.ph. Register for the virtual run that’s open for registration (takbo.ph usually opens just one run per month). You have the option to choose your distance, the distance you would have to complete to get entitlements. If for example you chose 50km and finished only 45kms you won’t get any entitlement at all, even if there’s 30kms among the choices. You also get one of two kinds of shirts: the premium shirt comes with Php1,250 registration fee while the standard shirt comes with Php900 registration fee.
Recording Your Runs
Since it’s virtual run, you may run anywhere provided you can upload the recorded distance and time to your account at takbo.ph. I ran on three different venues at various times of the day – at Manila Memorial Park with wide open spaces, at a sports complex with oval tracks, and on treadmill inside a gym. When I’m outdoors, I used Runtastic app on my phone. Runtastic doesn’t need data but it does require enabled GPS to track your run. Smart watches can’t be used. The list of other recommended mobile apps are in takbo.ph website. When I was at the gym, I just captured photos of the treadmill’s dashboard showing the distance and time.
Ah, your proof and bragging rights! Around two days after uploading my last run’s records, I got an email confirmation that all of my uploads are verified, and that I indeed successfully finished the virtual run. Takbo.ph mentioned on the email the expected time of delivery of the entitlements.
My siblings and I made a bet on this. All three of them would pay me Php200 each if I finish 100km. I would give them Php500 each if I don’t. Pay up, what up!
It was also a time I would look back as a time when the devil tempted me not to finish the run. Four kilometers short of 100kms, three days before December ends, I was in a hospital in what was the worst flu I had in years.
The morning of December 28, I was still energetic, playing with the kids of Lingap Bata Center in Sta. Maria, Bulacan. After lunch, while driving in the pouring rain traffic, I just felt my face turning hot. That virus was fast! Upon reaching home at 3pm all I can do was sleep. The night was filled with abstract nightmares I would always have whenever I’m sick. The following morning, I had to go to the hospital.
I still finished the race inside a gym, wearing thick clothes so I don’t shiver. Had that run not been verified for whatever reason, I won’t get the entitlements, but God is good. I actually felt better the night after that last run, just to make my condition worse and my fever to last longer the days after. I was sick when I welcomed the New Year. I didn’t make it to church on the first Sunday of 2019 and I missed an organization’s teambuilding. Those are the prices I had to pay for the run.
This 100km run will be memorable to me for a long time. Whenever I’m feeling weak, I would just have to look back on this December when I had the strength to finish something I thought I couldn’t do. In the same way, granted wishes are what the children of Make-A-Wish Foundation can look back to when, while battling cancer, anemia, or other diseases, they might feel that they can’t make it anymore.
Please visit Make-A-Wish Foundation Ph website to find ways on how to make kids’ wishes come true.