Here are some of our thoughts on the recently held Great UP Run, a Nowhere to Go But UP initiative organized by Run Rio.
1. We are not fit enough for this.
Regina: I initially just wanted the 3k run but ended up joining the 5k. I knew how unfit I was (am?) for this. Given how sedentary my lifestyle is, there was no way I could go from couch to 5k. I had planned to train but the weather did not cooperate, so I seriously doubted my ability to finish the whole thing. Fortunately, I managed to walk, trot, and occasionally run my way to the finish line.
Patriz: I am not fit at all. I mean, I had to drop my Taekwondo class in UP because I could not do a single push up. So the only thing that made me join the Great UP Run was my undying and sometimes, totally irrational love for UP, specifically the UPMBT.
Well, in the end, I was able to finish the 5k run (mostly by walking). I only really ran once and that was because a volunteer guide told me to hurry up so that an Ikot jeep could cross the intersection.
2. The route was challenging AF.
R: Upon signing up for the 5k run, I thought “Oh this is just two laps around the acad oval”. Boy was I wrong. The route included Katipunan Avenue and an uphill trudge (I say trudge because at this point, I was exhausted) through the Science Complex.
P: I really thought it would just be two laps around the acad oval. Pretty chill, considering I used to walk around the oval frequently during my undergrad and grad days. But, the actual route involved going around the Science Complex that had an uphill path. To put it shortly, my legs hated it.
3. It’s well organized.
R: The Great UP Run was organized by Runrio so everything, from the registration to the event itself, was well-organized. We registered and paid online with no hassle. The runner’s kit was delivered five days before the event. The kit included the singlet, race bib, and the super handy Gatorade wrist bottle, which was apparently an effort to be environmentally-friendly. All announcements, made through the Nowhere to Go but UP Facebook page, were clear and timely. All anyone had to do was show up and run. The traffic control was great as well.
4. It’s for a good cause.
P: Look, I’ve been rooting for the UP Men’s Basketball Team since my freshie days (2010). I watched the zero-win teams play live. I was there when the UPMBT had a bonfire to celebrate a single-win season and everyone laughed at us because we were “OA.” I watched every game UP won last season live. I was there when they told us we are the most toxic fanbase. Wrong. I started following the UAAP when I was five, and I’ve seen enough fanbase shit (my brothers are from La Salle and Ateneo) to know that every fanbase can be toxic.
Anyway, what UP teams severely lacked before was support. This was clear. Ateneo and La Salle are backed by powerful millionaires. They recruit well and they take care of their athletes. UST has a 5,000 sqm. state-of-the-art sports complex. How could UP compete with that? When it couldn’t even provide recovery meals for its players? When it used duct tape to fix the gym’s basketball court?
I’d like to think that UP’s rise in basketball was prompted by that bonfire and the founding of Nowhere to Go But UP, an organization of UP alumni that helps get UP athletes proper funding and support.
During our winless seasons, whenever we faced winnable opponents, UP attracted a fair number of supporters in the arena. To me that meant that people were aware, they wanted to support. But let’s face it, it’s hard to brave the traffic, pay for a game ticket, and lose by 30 points every single game.
With Nowhere to Go But UP, people now know how to support and see a difference. There is much hope for victory and a fair fight. Many people would tell me, I’m being basketball-centric here. This is partly true. As a basketball country, there is no doubt that there is so much more attention given to our basketball teams. But what I’m seeing from my years of following UP sports teams is that everyone is getting better support—thanks to people who have been loyal from the start and most especially to Nowhere to Go but UP.
The success of the Great UP Run is proof that the support for UP athletes will continue to rise.
R: If anyone needs a detailed, albeit slightly biased, account of the UP MBT history, just go to Patriz. She’s your basketball nerd.
5. It’s for everyone.
P: Okay, obviously the event was for fitness buffs. But it was also for blobs like us, groups of friends, families, and even pets. There were little kids and old people that joined the run. Heck, someone even brought her kid on a stroller and one let his dog join too.
R: UP has always been a space for dissenting opinions, but when the community comes together, it IS together. Who could forget how we celebrated a single-win season with a “pathetic” bonfire, attended by a community that was just genuinely happy to have snapped a 27-game losing streak? Or more recently, how the community rallied behind the MBT in their do-or-die game against Adamson, with viewing parties set up all over the country and perfectly captured in this chill-inducing video montage?
The Great UP Run 2019 is a testament to that kind of community. It was great seeing the campus packed with 4,500 participants last Sunday ready to support their alma mater’s beloved athletes. Even those who couldn’t be at the campus showed support by participating in the virtual run.
It is always a spectacular experience every time the UP community comes together. Sabi nga ni BLKD at Raimund Marasigan, “di lang pangkat, kami ay komunidad”.
6. Ganda ng medal. Sana all.
P: The medal looks perfect. It has a clean design and its strap is sablay-inspired. Too bad it’s only for 10k and 21k finishers. No wonder, we saw some runners still wearing it in UP Town. What a way to flex.
R: I’m already thinking of joining the 10k run next year only for the medal.
7. Let’s do this again next year.
R: Given the success of the first Great UP Run, I’m pretty sure this is going to be an annual event. See you at the Great UP Run 2020!
P: What she said.
For more insights on UAAP-related content or pop culture in general, visit our website at https://theamprsnd.com/.
Patriz Biliran and Regina Peñarroyo co-run The Ampersand and write blog articles in their free time.