10 kilometres. 1 hour and 10 minutes and 15 seconds.
I did it; I really did it! I ran my first 10K/Underwear Affair in memory of my Nanay (what I called my grandmother, but actually means “mother”), Rose Ramirez who passed away from vulvar cancer in November 2011.
It was a sunny, over 20-something degrees Celsius, Saturday, July 6 at 6 p.m. when hundreds of runners hit the pavements of picturesque Vancouver. I was running along with the crowd, trailed a little bit, soon I was running alone! Yikes! But who cares, right?! It was my first 10K and this was essentially a fun run, where everyone was ridiculously sporting their brightest, whitest, tightest nuddy pants. And of course, others took it to the next level and chose to go as Pikachu, pirates and “Force Kins, the children of the force.” (Just FYI, I was not last at all hahaha!).
I was sporting neon pink and yellow with a golden devil-horned hat ready kick cancer’s butt. Along with my family, I showed up with my amazing team officially the “Just Jaina”, and then converted unofficially to “JuJuJaina” when Kuya Julius joined the team. I am so proud of Nina Santiago for doing this with me. Also, I am proud of my Kuya Julius who came all the way from Washington state with his beautiful wife, Ate Joyce. Kuya Julius #RanForRose and honoured Nanay the best way he could.
I had a lot of fun, with the very energetic crowd surrounding me and also seeing a few familiar faces was awesome! The Underwear Affair team know how to keep the crowd pumping, with music blaring (The Beat), booths and booty, booty, booty rockin’ everywhere!
I especially loved the love from our “cheerleaders” along the run. Every “woo-hoo!,” honking, claps and yelps of encouragement made a difference with each step forward. I was sweating, I was really pushing myself to just keep running/walking and get through with it. After all, it was far (check out the course here), but it felt good to know that so many people were a part of this race to beat cancer.
The Finish Line aka Closure
There was a point in the race, about 9.7 km into it when my cousin, Kuya Julius, ran back and encouraged me to keep running forward. At this point, I felt like the whole cause was coming together, that we really were #RunningForRose. And this was a beautiful moment because it finally gave me the closure that I needed…that I can now let my grandparents rest in peace. I sprinted to the end of the race and BAM. I #RanForRose.
Perhaps I can also finally turn off the noon-time alarm that goes off everyday, telling me to “Pray for Nanay.” This was an alarm that my Tita (aunt) told us back then to put on, so that we could all pray for Nanay’s recovery at the same time. I never disabled it. Perhaps now is the best time to do this.
Thank you to my grandma and grandpa for being great examples of love, strength and hard work. I will never forget them for this and I only hope that I could emulate the amazing qualities they left behind. I hope that they can now rest in peace. May God be with them!
I also want to thank my family for being there for me, supporting me and cheering me on, the day of the run! I know this was shocking for them especially because I trip all the time.
Thanks to my bf, Zahid, for being a great cheerleader since the day I decided to do the run. He of all people know how many times I’ve tripped just wearing my heels, let alone run publicly. #NonAthleticPeopleProblems
Thanks for Nina Santiago and Julius Ramirez for joining me in the Underwear Affair.
Of course, I want to thank those who’ve donated: family members and friends. Your support has been amazing and it means a lot to me, and to the many people affected by cancer all around the world!
Also, thank you to friends and family who “liked” my statuses, texted me, tweeted at me and encouraged me…it really means a lot!
We raised $612.95 in total, contributing to the $625,000 raised by 1,025 people who walked, ran and did the Booty Hunt for the BC Cancer Foundation! I am so proud of everyone who did the Underwear Affair, raising awareness about cancer below the waist and supporting cancer research so we can all finally say ta-ta to cancer!
Read the official news release here: http://va13.uncoverthecure.org/site/News2?abbr=va13_&page=NewsArticle&id=16869#.UdokuEG1Ha8
Read the “Winning Time Chip” results here: http://startlinetiming.com/races/2013/underwearaffair/vancouver/