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Sunday, June 8, 2014

First fun run after decades !! :) JPMorgan Chase-sponsored "LaceUp Run" , May 17 2014 @University of Makati Track Oval

Here are just a few snap shots from the recently-concluded "Laceup Run 2014",    a fun-run event for runners in different categories ( 3K,  5K, and 10K)   sponsored by  the company I am currently with,  JPMorgan Chase Philippine Global Service Center (GSC),  happening last May 17 2014  at the  University of Makati Track Oval.

Being my first run after so many years -- I  did  the Avon Fun Run for Women ( my first fun run as a teenager)  decades ago ---    this  was a historic milestone ,  well, at least for me.
It was a breezy  three-kilometer run  which I  joined ,  zooming away through it at a lazy 25 minutes,  but nonetheless feeling victorious  because I finished way ahead of the other runners in the category who were still huffing and puffing at the tracks long after I have plopped my butt on the track oval's  grandstand seats.

Sure,  I didn't have to wear my earphones to listen to Paramore music or some other "motivational" rock-and-roll music to help me through that three-kilometer ordeal,  since there was blaring  rock music at the tracks while we  ran our derrieres  away.

And the big bosses were  also there to  show their winning form.   

Indian National  Nihar Nidhi,  who happens to be  the Chief Executive Officer  of  JPMorgan Chase Philippines,  was  there  in  perfect "fighting form",   clad in rubber shoes and shorts,  and was running with me  side by side at the tracks.   He was running the 10K run,  while I was  running my  breezy  3K run,   but since the 3K and 10K  runners  started at the same time at the starting line,    there were a few  times when  he was running side by side with me.    Of course,  he  being the CEO,   I had to give way  and   didn't push  my luck in trying to outrun  him,  and I let him  run along  :)  

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPMC) received the 2013 Employer of the Year and Disabled-Friendly Establishment of the Year Gold Award at the 27th Awarding Ceremonies of the Apolinario Mabini Awards at the Heroes Hall, Malacanan Palace, last Aug. 28, 2013.   JPMC Philippine GSC CEO  Nihar Nidhi  receives the award from Philipine President  Benigno Aquino III 
Photo Credit:

Expectedly,   I finished  my quick run earlier than him,  but  I  thought to myself  that this guy Boss  Nihar  is  a  surprise athlete.    I  normally would bump into him  during elevator rides,  exchanging polite smiles with him,  and  would  get a glimpse of  his  knowing looks.    Starting your  day?" he would  ask me  once  when he caught me alone inside the elevator,  with his  polite smile  on that young evening ,  and catching my glance.    Intelligent people would always give you their knowing looks,  like they know some of your secrets,  or that they can see through you with their knowing gaze.   

Photo credit: JPMorgan Chase  website

Boss Nihar   had  a  mysterious aura around  him,  a certain  charm with his stocky built and humble mien,   which remains unexplainable.    It  is  a pleasure working  with these people,  or at least bumping into them at the office premises  from time to time,  and  serving as good reminders  for  newbies like me that if  I just stay  a bit more longer in the company, I  can also be proud of myself  in achieving my goals,  just as he did.   

And then there was another boss,   American national  Nathan Shapiro ,    General Manager from JPMorgan Chase Philippines.     As part of the audience,  I was of course cheering for my boss at the sidelines.  

But it was a big surprise, possible not just for me but also for the throngs of  Chase employees  at the  grandstand rooting for their respective bosses,  as  Boss Nathan sped away  in what seemed like a  Speedy Gonzales stunt ---  zooming away at the tracks durin the relay run,  zipping away in what looked like some 60 seconds or possibly less for the stretch of  fifty  meters  -- as he passed the baton  to the next relay race runner.    We were all stunned!  Whatta guy !    Later when he finished the relay race run,   he walked to the  crowd and was probably waiting for a  high-five,   and  chanced upon  a smiling girl  -- who happened to me --  and so  raised his hand for me to slap with for our  milestone "High FIve".  Hhahahaha !!  Now that's one for the books :) 

Photo credit: JPMorgan Chase  website

What made the event  more  memorable  were a trio  of  Filipino parathletes (persons with disability  who  engage in athletic sporting events)    who are actually members of the Philippine Team  of parathletes.  Oscar Pistorius  would have been embarrassed  and humbled  by these  young men:     one was running along with  one leg and a crutch,   the other one  was running with only  one arm,   while the third one,   who was on a wheelchair,  also  beamed smilingly  at the sidelines , watching his fellow parathletes.

I could have snapped  more than a hundred photos  to chronicle this "momentous  sporting event"  (well, my first!),  only  if  my  digital camera did not go bonkers and did not act up on  race day.

Photo credit:

Well, back to my story:   let's just call this parathlete with one leg as  Johnny Bravo.  Oh sure,  he  ran with much aplomb and bravura and bravado  --  definitely  all the superlatives !  --  running even  much faster than me,  and  speeding away  and letting me eat dust (so to speak)   as he used his crutch and one leg  to  zoom away  to finish his 10K run  quickly,  just like as simple as eating a candy bar.

While  I was sweating and huffing and puffing in between runs,   walking from time to time to catch my breath at the tracks,  and  definitely getting  the  free water drinks at the water station strategically positioned for the runners  to either drink or pour on their heads and sweaty faces,    our  parathlete hero  Johnny Bravo  made it a simple run just like shooting the breeze.    I was humbled by these  admirable heroes.    Before they even started their run,   and being introduced to the audience before the race,  I  joined the crowd giving  them their well-deserved applause.  Bravo !!!   

Well,   to say that this race was a  great experience for me  would be an understatement.    I'm glad that  I went through the race and did it  as I should:  amidst all my personal  hassles and obstacles  that I was going through that season,  I was just smiling through it all.    Needless to say,  I am looking forward to  more races:   whether they be Wacky Races,   Amazing Races  ,   or   even Racing Hell :)  What  a pleasure to have this experience.   More races to come??  Sure.   See you at the next races.

As the saying goes: "Be there or be square!"   <3

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