Thursday, February 5, 2009
UAAP Track and Field - Rizal Memorial Complex
For almost eight (8) months now that I have been using Ultra Oval as my usual venue for my daily exercise, I have shared the track in the mornings with the (UP) University of the Philippines, Track and Field Varsity Team for both male and female who are under coach Rio De la Cruz and coach Elma Muros Posadas. During the period, although I do not know each individual member of team by their name, their faces are so familiar to me that I feel a sense of attachment and promised myself to visit them on the 1st day of competition for the 74th season of (UAAP) University Athletic Association of the Philippines at the RIZAL MEMORIAL STADIUM on 5Feb09.
I hate to confess that in my lifetime it is only today that I got the opportunity to go inside the RIZAL MEMORIAL STADIUM or RIZAL MEMORIAL COMPLEX (as it is known at present). RMC is considered the oldest sports complex in Asia which was built in 1934 with a seating capacity of 30,000 people. The present state of the stadium is definitely below par from the other sports complex in Asia, but, the HISTORY of the stadium is so rich in the 75 years of its existence.
Of course what is close to my heart is the RACE WALKING event wherein the two UP female members GERALDINE and JICA (family names I do not know) have shared with me quite a number of laps in the Ultra Oval that I feel a part of their effort to attain glory for their school. My intention was to provide support and cheer on their event. Further, I did offer them an open challenge that should they be able to land on the top 3 positions in the finals, an agreed reward amongst us shall be given to them by me.
As it was only 1pm when I arrived I was able to see the eliminations of the female 100 meter dash. I was so excited to witness 2 out of 3 UP female entries were able to qualify for the finals. I kept on glancing and asking Coach ELMA the chances which I hope I did not get into her nerve. She asked me to promise her that I’ll stay and watch the finals. As the 100 meter finals was slated prior to the Walk Event , I was more than happy to say yes. Sad to say that both UP finalist did not make the top 3 positions but as I understand being qualified for the finals already earned them for their school points which will be added on the overall standing. Already an accomplishment.
At 3:05pm the 5000 meters Finals for Race Walk started and at this time MICHAEL who is also a race walker and a member of the Philippine Air Force was seated with me giving me live commentaries on his experience and feeling on a completion as the same has had the honour to represent the country in events in South East Asia. He even pointed out to me the different form and styles of the other participants. Both Geraldine and Jica were visibly tense and stiff in their first 200 meters. Then the worst accidental error occurred when Jica stepped on the shoes of Geraldine (of all people her team mate) from there on it was catching up rather than full concentration on the race. MY TEAM (if I may be allowed to say so) landed 6th (Geraldine) and 7th (Jica). Again, with the point system, I would say an accomplishment.
The girls did not beat me on our private challenge, but still out of the joy for the experience I had for the day, I gave them a little consolation prize for allowing me to be part of the race. I am proud of you girls and wish you a better performance on your event on Sunday for the 10000 meters. RELAX and ENJOY the race. (easy for me to say – what if I am the one to compete?)