Last Sunday my husband and I ran with some of the dearest people in our lives for Singtel Race Against Cancer. We did the 15km run and it was our 3rd time running in this event. Last year the event was cancelled due to haze, the organizer announced that the finisher medals would still be given out to participants but we didn’t collect ours because it wasn’t the medals that made us join the event.
This was the event that started me on running for other events 4 years ago and it was one of the event that we continue to sign up every year (except for the year that we were out of the country).
It wasn’t the best organized running event. The flag off time at 7.15am was a tad late for a 15km run and I dislike routes that makes us go in loops. However we continued to sign up because we know that a huge part of the registration fee goes to raising funds for cancer patients.
My Dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2012 and had half of his stomach removed. It’s been 4 years now and these days he wakes up at 5 in the morning to go cycling and brisk walking. He watches what he eats and he exercises everyday. Many of the people we know who suffer from cancer haven’t been so lucky and it upsets me to learn when yet another someone falls prey or succumbs to this dreadful illness.
This year’s run was a special one because I had my siblings to join us in the run. Unlike my brother who is a fitness buff and running 15km was a piece of cake, both my sisters weren’t seasoned runners. Like many people, they were active in sports in their younger years but are nowhere close to completing a 15km run these days. One of them did a few marathons when she was younger but is now a mother who is still breastfeeding and chasing after another active preschooler. She barely has time to rest, what more train for the run. Signing up for the event did make her go for a few runs, albeit nothing more than 3km. Amazingly, she managed to complete the 15km on Sunday, coming in just about the same time as me. I guess she still has it in her, being the ‘natural’ runner in the family.
My littlest sister had just returned from a 2 month overseas stint a few days before the run and was down with a persistent flu. She turned up on Sunday still unsure whether she should run and was prepared to rip off her race tag half way through if she decided to quit the race. Alas, she completed the race below 2 hours despite being sick!
As for myself, I was nursing an old injury and haven’t been running for the past month. I had thoughts of pulling out as I was still limping 2 weeks ago.
Let’s just say that we were all very ill prepared for the run but we all turned up on Sunday hoping that we could still give it our best shot.
As it turned out, we completed what we set out to do. Whether it was sheer foolhardiness or pure endurance, we completed the 15km. For the first time, the kids were there to cheer us on for the last 50m of the race. They were eager to watch us sprint to the finishing line. They rode their bikes, cheered and chased us to the finishing line. It was all so exhausting and fun.
The human body again proved its resilience and toughness. That one can most likely do it if one will it. And it is hard to imagine what cancer patients have to go through for their bodies to finally shut down and succumb to the demon. And it is this knowledge that makes cancer survivors like this one truly a warrior.
And we will continue to run …
To honor those who had fought.
To celebrate those who had won.
To remember those who had lost.
To cheer those who are still fighting.
Head over to Singtel Race Against Cancer for more inspiring stories.
You can also make a donation here.
Hope to see you next year for the run!