Lipa City was where my running life flourished during the summer of 1980. I have a lot of fond memories running in Lipa during my youth. I remember running at the forest behind La Salle, traversing through the banks of rice fields and crossing the sugar plantation by the train tracks near Canossa Academy. Oftentimes, I'd run alongside the small planes at Fernando Air Base or take relaxing routes along Mataas na Kahoy. But most of all, I love the fresh air of the countryside and the delicious Lomi that Lipa is known for. So joining the Milo - Lipa City 21km, was a perfect chance for me to revisit my roots.
Typhoon Luis was dumping heavy rains on race day and the entire Lipa City had no power. For a moment I worried that the organizers would cancel the event but I also knew that Milo NEVER cancels a race which I like.
Before we took our places at the starting line, the atmosphere was like a party. My fellow runners and I were laughing, taking pictures and just catching up in the pouring rain. It was great to see most of my "lunatic" running friends who came from all over - Manila, Batangas and even as far as Baguio - just to run the race. I even got to see my old friends from 30 years ago. But as soon as the start gun fired, we all had our game faces on.
The Milo race started in front of SM LIPA and went around the city and other main roads. The rain kept pouring, puddles formed everywhere and it was pitch dark with only the lights from tricycles and other vehicles lighting our way. The turn-around point of the race was a leg-numbing uphill challenge but walking was never an option. I finished extremely happy because on this race I was finally able to run pain-free. Thanks to the weekly therapy I have been undergoing in INTERCARE, gone is the nagging nerve pain in my left leg which allowed me to kick better and run faster. I was just simply ecstatic.
Lipa City 34 years after is quite different now from how I remember it during my youth. Gone are the grasslands, coconut trees and chicken farms. Lipa has transformed into a somewhat modern city with it's paved roads, buildings, malls and the accompanying traffic that usually comes together with urban progress. Nevertheless, it was great to have come full circle - going home to where it all began; where a boy was able to fulfill his passion. His name is "RUNNINGSHIELD."
Thank you Karlene s. For the picture
Pre Race Diner - The Famous " Lipa Lomi "