An Afterthought on the NYC Marathon 2014
By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City — Wilson Kipsang may have been the fastest runner yesterday in the 50,000-finisher NYC Marathon. But all those who reached the finish line, including Filipino marathoner Joel Oco, felt very much a winner too. “I felt like crying when I reached the finish line. When you run the marathon, it is like competing with yourself,” he said, who finished the 26.2 mile run in more than five hours.
Will it ever occur to any runner, or to you, to quit at any time during the race?, I asked. Yes, Joel said, especially when your thighs and feet are already so painful and you cannot lift them.
So how do you fight against the pain?
“It is a mind game. You just have to conquer the pain. It is important to have family and friends to cheer you. When I see them, the pain disappears and I am encouraged to run some more.”
Joel, who is an engineer by profession from Cagayan de Oro City, believes that more and more Filipinos, especially the youth should be encouraged to join in the marathon. “It calls for lifestyle change on diet, sleeping habits, consistency in practice. It is all about discipline. Very important for the character building of the youth,” he argues.
His wish for the Filipino youth may materialize since the children of his friends are so inspired to join. He warned ‘though, “one has to treat marathon with passion, like it is your life-changing career.”
Joel vowed to keep running for his good health. He already noted to join the 2015 marathon as he flashed his priceless medal. (With photos from Evangeline Oco)