From 6 to 200 MPH

Monday, July 26, 2010

SF Marathon .... Senior Runner Perspective

The SF marathon was not on my calendar. Having driven its streets, I was intimidated by it's hilly roads, aggressive drivers and one-way street.
But, with SFM being the only event missing for me to complete the California Dreamin' Series and my success at the Seattle Rock 'n' Roll 21k , I decided to do it. I also dedicated this run to Remus Fuentes.

Last Saturday, I attended the health expo to pick-up our bibs(it's a father & son run), goodies and importantly, my California Dreamin' jacket. The medal shaped like the California map, will be given after I finish the run. The expo was crowded and if SFM continues to grow, the venue will have to be changed.

California Dreamin' Series --- San Francisco+ Long Beach + Huntington Beach

On race day, my son & I arrived at the start line late in the cold city weather. My wave#4 was already out and running, so we joined wave#6. At mile 1, a Filipino runner approached me and asked if I knew Remus. He is from Manila and we talked about the running events in Manila but I forgot to ask his name(I wouldn't remember it anyway). Judging from his build & running form, he was a good runner. We saw & acknowledged each other several times, until I lost him for good at the Golden Gate Bridge. He was getting stronger while I started tiring.

The bridge was packed with runners going both ways. The condition was made worse by slow runners, walkers and team runners who ran abreast. At this point, the challenging inclines leading to bridge started affecting the runners(especially the 21k runners). I almost collided head on with a runner trying to pass others by running on the opposite lane. I crossed the bridge tired and breathing heavily but was still running (no walking, no stopping). At mile 10 and 3 miles to the finish line, the picture of Remus flew off the back of my shirt. Could not helped but said "its an honor running with you and rest in peace".
With Golden Gate Bridge behind, I thought it was a breeze to the finish line. My bad. There were more short inclines/declines ..... hilly streets that makes San Francisco special.
With head bobbing and arms flailing, I sprinted(in slow motion) to the finish line. I survived the SF 1st half marathon with a time of ........ 2:10:53

**Arthur picture taken at Embarcadero

After I got my finisher medal and food, I picked up my California Dreamin' Series medal and took the shuttle bus for a ride back to Embarcadero(start line) and waited for my son to finish his full marathon race which he finished in ...... 4:11:00

**Arturo Laforteza near the finish line.

Tomorrow, my wife & I are driving back to Long Beach, CA where I will just kick back and take it easy for 2 -weeks. Training for the Long Beach Full Marathon starts on August 12. After 3 years of running, I believe it's time for me to take it to the next level!


  1. Dear Art,

    It was great of you to dedicate your run in honor of Remus Fuentes. I could just imagine the way you told your story as I could picture the route as it was the same that I did when I was there last 31May10. The California Dreamin Medal is BIG wow it should be very heavy! BTW do you know that you still have performance output of 61% of the world's record for 21k? God you are still very strong Art! Congratulations and it really is time for you to run the full marathon. Run safe and wish you all the best. (btw - your son looks just like you! regards to Lucy)

  2. Hi Amado;
    Lucky me, I trained hard and ready for this race.
    I just watched the video clip of me sprinting to the finish line. I didn't realize that I had such strong finish(best pace). On the last 200 feet, I passed at least 10 runners. Hopefully, I can take with me some of my 21K strength/endurance to the next level. The CA Dreamin' medal is indeed huge and heavy(1/4 inch thick).

    Lucy & I will be in Manila on January 18, 2011.
    See you soon and take care.

  3. Hi Arthur,

    Thanks for visiting my blogsite. Congratulations on finishing your SF Marathon 21K race. Looking forward to meeting you in person one of these days!!


  4. Johnny, thanks for dropping by also! Will see you at the Condura event next year.
    If it's ok with you, I will include you in my blog roll.

    Take care.


  5. Hi Arthur. I am Dr. Raffy Tomacruz. I was the one who struck a conversation with you during the SF marathon last week. Thank you for mentioning me in your blog ... I hope I didn't disrupt your pace while talking to you. It was great to run with a "kababayan" here in the US ... we're not so many here. Congrats for a great time ... I just wish I could do the same when I'm your age already. I did finish the marathon ... though not as great as what your son accomplished. I also got a PR on my 2nd marathon ... 2h 26m 28s. Hope to see you in other runs here in the US! Raffy Tomacruz, Lubbock, TX

  6. Hi again Arthur. Made a mistake ... it was 4h 26m 28s. Wish though I did what I previously wrote ...only in my dreams!

  7. Nice to hear from you, Raffy! We have a good photo shot on the bridge. Got some info about you from your bib#. You got lots of picture.
    Also, I posted some names on Johnny Sy's blog which include you.

    The SFM was indeed an exciting and challenging event and hope to do it again at age 70(this time I will be young at my age division).

    I am currently training for my 1st full marathon and hope to see again (Rock n Roll San Antonio is on my list).

    Congratulations and regards.

  8. Hey Arthur ! “ Senior “ ??? you don’t look that old . thank you for visiting my blog and its really great to know that we share a common interest in running and to make it a better life for others. Take it easy regards.

    Raul Patrick Concepcion

  9. Hi Patrick! Thanks for dropping by. When I met Amado in Long Beach, I mentioned to him about my plan to run at the Condura marathon. That's when I first heard your name and that you run a well organized event. Hope to meet you in person and good luck.

  10. Art, Congratulations on your SF 1/2marathon and nice of you to run in memory of our kababayan, Remus Fuentes. Good time inspite of the tough terrain & crowded course. The medal sure looks great! Now you should be primed for the SF marathon. Take care and my best regards.

    1. Thanks Joe for viewing one of my oldest blogs. I was then a newbie runner but stronger runner.

      The new insole with arch support is doing wonder on my plantar facia and knees. Ran 15 miles last Monday and felt great.

      I am now taking it easy and do my running on the treadmill. Good luck to your upcoming events and regards.