Two nights ago, I got an invitation that was too good to resist: to race representing Team Soleus at yesterday’s Li-Ning Manila Run at MOA/Roxas Boulevard. While the race itself had some logistical issues (late gunstart, shortage of 21K mileage, insufficient water and personnel in some stations…) I couldn’t help but smile along the race course, even when the heat and humidity made running seem like a chore. Never mind the nice Li-Ning Finisher Shirt for 21K runners that everyone was raving about – although, true enough, that shirt can really make heads turn! The icing to the whole experience were the members of Team Soleus that greeted me along the race route, even though I had never met most of them before. All because I was wearing a Soleus shirt!
High fives, shout-outs, laughter, and ribbing could be expected as soon as whenever that familiar S logo loom in front of me as I muscled my way to the finish line. Soon I found myself doing the unthinkable; I started to scan racers as I run and counted that almost every 200 meters, I would find a Soleus runner. Then came the initiative to bring out my hand upward and holler, “Go, Team Soleus!” Before I knew it, I was crossing the end of the race, but NOT the end of the Soleus cheering and camaraderie.
I’m not a people-expert but I can name at least two reasons why Team Soleus is so infectiously happy:
- Team members make an effort to be together as often as can be. I’ve seen teams and running groups rise and fall into oblivion. They all blame TIME, or the lack of it, but the bottomline speaks from the heart. If you want it, make time!
- The team leader must be as passionate in running, as with spending time with people. I had the good fortune of being introduced to Ms Judith Staples of Lucerne Group of Companies a few months ago. I’ve witnessed how much her team love and respect her, such that each and every activity together is proof that this is for the long haul.
Despite all the notes I have taken, I still finished at a decent 2:14, for a “short” 21K race. If there was a PR on the number of times I stopped for Soleus, this one would top them all.