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LIVING THEIR DREAMS

TWO RUNNERS WHO DID THE THE BULL RUNNER ULAH DREAM MARATHON, THEIR FIRST MARATHON EVER LAST FEBRUARY 22 SHARE AND INSPIRE WITH THEIR STORIES.

BLANCA SANTOS-DELA CRUZ, 36

FINISH TIME: 07:06:23

widow; proud mom to a spunky 13-year-old cancer survivor; full-time teacher; print and online writer; runner since 2013

Why did you join TBR ULAH DREAM MARATHON? I wanted to prove to my daughter Bianca Angela, 13, that I wasn’t just randomly quoting Disney when I say that, “Dreams do come true.” I wanted to show her how you can actually make them happen through persistence and determination. And if you commit yourself wholeheartedly and faithfully to it, you will achieve it.  Two years ago, my husband Fernan, died and then a year later, Bianca was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. This marathon was a chance for me show her that despite the things that happened to us, our life is still good. Our lives don’t end with the loss of her daddy or her battle with cancer. They are significant chapters in our lives that call for us to press forward. A good story always ends in victory. Finishing this marathon is proof that ours, is that kind of story. Another reason I joined is that I wanted to sort of change the way people perceive widows. I want others to realize that widows are in fact, these beautifully strong women, who by virtue of faith, can still manage to achieve mean feats even without their men by their side.  By running and finishing this marathon, I also hope to send the message that despite pain and loss, we can reinvent ourselves and bounce back from grief to fearlessly accomplish great things. 

How did the marathon change your life?

BL ANC A SANTOS-DEL A CRUZ AND ARTHUR DOCTOLERO

It was hard but worth all the pain, discomfort, and sacrifice. The first 21 km was a breeze. Adrenalin,

excitement, and a fresh burst of energy brought me to the turnaround point. Since the route was new, I was completely into the moment. The second half was a real test of spirit, strength, and endurance for me. It’s true what they say about the final stretch, you run it with your heart. At the 34th kilometer, after a two-km uphill stretch, I hit “the wall.” Fatigue and pain in my left knee began wearing me down. Good thing my friend and dream chaser Jon David, a seven-time marathoner was there to give me the final push. Along the way, we met Abi Ngo, who was more tired and pained than I was. We ran the last 8 km together, with Jon telling us all his running tips, while I encouraged Abi. Running alongside them made me forget my own pain and tiredness. They kept my eyes and focus on the goal, and my heart on the race. Jon and I predicted that I will finish the race in six hours and 30 minutes, a half-hour over my target.But I finished it in seven hours and six minutes because it didn’t feel right to leave Abi behind. When I dreamed of finishing this marathon, I hoped that there was someone to cross the finish line with, so we can celebrate the joy, pain, and fulfilment of reaching the end. I was blessed with three friends—my training buddy Sheila Neukom who ran the first half with me, Jon, and Abi.  This marathon made me a “better person” in the eyes of my daughter, Bianca.. It’s because I lived the dream that she now believes that she can too. After experiencing this rigorous journey, I can sincerely share and talk about the beauty of the struggle, the value of having a sensible (training) plan, and the joy of pursuing one’s dreams and passion with family and friends. This marathon gave me a whole new confidence level. I am more inspired to dream bigger and set new goals for myself like doing an aquathlon or triathlon, or running one of the World Marathon Majors before I hit 40, and finishing that book I have been meaning to write this year. I am not afraid to go out there, make things happen, and become that dream. 

ARTHUR DOCTOLERO, 36

FINISH TIME: 05:41:59

credit research analyst, running for five years; football player, enjoys sketching, traveling, and collecting long playing records.

Why did you join TBR ULAH DREAM MARATHON? I always wanted to run my first marathon with TBR Dream Marathon since I started running in December 24, 2009. I was inspired by the stories of past TBR Dream Marathon finishers.    When I signed up for TBR Dream Marathon 2014, it was simply for self-achievement. But I backed out 10 days before race day because I had to take care of my father, Arturo Doctolero, in the hospital who passed away on February 17 last year.     I signed up again for this race this time to dedicate my first marathon to my late father.

How did the marathon change your life? In the days leading up to the race, I was really nervous because of a minor pain in my left knee which I injured in June 2014. I regained my confidence when my doctor assured me I was fine and told me to apply ice on my knee after training. My family and friends were supportive.     During the race, my running buddies Mitzie Salvador and Mikael Perez made a game plan to finish strong: Run the first 10 kilometers at a slow pace. Then pick up the pace by from km 11 to 25. Then, run with moderate speed and short strides from km 26 unto the finish line. Consistency was key to finishing the race strong and injury-free.     When I crossed the finished line, I raised the ribbon like a race champion. I also whispered my father’s name. Finishing my first-ever marathon gave me further confidence. I became an inspiration to my family. It has been one the finest moments of my life.

For more information about The Bull Runner ULAH Dream Marathon, visit: http://tbrdream.com.

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Profile for New Leaf

Endurance Sports Issue 10  

April 2015 Issue

Endurance Sports Issue 10  

April 2015 Issue

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