We’ve heard this around our community, during running events, in social media walls. They are the “LODIs” when it comes to running… They are the MAMAWs.
Pero ano nga ba ang Mamaw? Sila ba yung sub-2 ang 21k? Sub 40 na 10k? Yung mga ginagawang monthly hobby ang ultramarathons? Yung mga nagba-back-to-back na 42k or 21k on a Saturday and Sunday? Or sila ba yung mga elite athletes na laging nagta-top sa mga running events?
Personally, my “mamaws” consist of the regular ultramarathoners. I just get so amazed at the determination and mental fortitude these people have to finish 50 or so kilometers with minimal support of the usual hydration stations, well-lit roads, marshalls, etc… Make no mistake, I have joined one 50km event so far and it was a very humbling experience for me and It gave me more respect to those that uses these 50km as conditioning races for a much longer running endeavor.
Most of you know that I usually race the 21km distance on a semi-competitive level (Well, competing with my self, that is). So at least for this distance, I have studied and analyzed what I need to do to be successful in my next race. But for ultramarathons, I am overwhelmed by the sheer distance itself that I cannot wrap my mind around how to strategize for the whole race. And this is what amazes me for these long distance runners. Hindi lang nila tatapusin yung race e, uulitin pa nila next month, plus 30km pa! There are also those that see faster runners as their “mamaws”. To some, both fast and endurance runners are “mamaws”.
As I think about this now, it came to me that we put the label to those that we give respect to. We respect and admire those who could execute “monstrous” achievements that we cannot seem to do. Now come to think of it… is running the only factor in this label? As our community grows and learn a little more about each other, we actually learn that there are much more respectable things to everyone that affects or is affected by our running.
What I’m saying here is that each one of us has our own “Mamaw” factor. It doesn’t need to show on the distance you can run at a single go, or the time you get in completing that favorite distance. My theory is, regardless of your speed, endurance, or running experience, someone is looking up to you. Even newbie runners are looked up to as inspirations for their friends who have not started the journey yet. Maybe you are not the fastest runner, but someone else in the community actually admires how you manage your time, given your work and “extra-curriculars”. Maybe you are not the longest distance runner, bur someone from the community admires your passion in sharing every experience you have in running and in enjoying every little blessing that comes in your way.
Now, isn’t it a great community that we are all composed of “mamaws” in different respects admiring each other?
Yes, you, who is running through a broken heart (instead of drinking it out and getting wasted)… Isa kang Mamaw! Also you, Mr./Ms. Solo Parent that squeezes in your mileage before preparing for and bringing your kids to school… Isa kang Mamaw! To those juggling multiple jobs and still finds time to run whenever possible… Isa kang Mamaw! And to everyone who have chosen to make difference by being a VirtualRacePH runner. With lots of running events in the calendar, virtual or otherwise, you chose to run for a reason other than for the entitlements and prestige… Kayo po, ang mga tunay na petmalu na Mamaw!
Written by Joric Gonzales, VirtualRacePH co-founder. [January 2018]