Read more about Camille’s story and the Tagbanua indigenous peoples for whom she ran. You can be part of her fundraiser after the jump.
It's been a week since the New York City Marathon. My apologies for the delayed update! I am very happy to share that I completed the marathon after 5 hours and 21 minutes of running through all five boroughs of New York City. Thank you all for your faith, support, and good cheer sent my way!
When I crossed the marathon finish line, my body's instant reaction was to cry. While every muscle in my body was in pain, it was the heightened sense of joy and gratitude that drove me to tears. Truly, that moment was not mine alone. I turn to all my friends who were along the running route, all the spectators who cheered this stranger on, all you who supported this fundraiser, and my dear friends in Culion to whom this fundraiser is dedicated.
For indeed, when mile 22 hit, I was not sure if I could still run any longer. My physical body was a complete mess. I stopped too often and wondered how I would be able to finish (and finish well) in that state. I owe it to the spectators who encouraged me to keep one foot in front of the other. At mile 23, I realized that my brisk walk was just as fast as my painful running strides. So, with one last piece of energy gel left, I fueled up and brisk walked that last mile before entering Central Park. Once inside the Park, I stopped. I had two miles left, a broken body, yet with still so much strength to pull from.
There's a phrase in runner lingo, "dig deep," that captured that moment so well.
On that spot in Central Park, I dug deep and decided I would run the last two miles, dedicating it to my Tagbanua friends. With every short, painful stride, I thought about my friends' dreams in the islands of Culion. I thought about the lives we lost to poor health. How I am so far away yet so strongly want to walk hand in hand with them. That my temporary, physical pain is nothing compared to what they have been through and still go through. I recited their names and recalled our fondest memories together. That perhaps my every stride to the finish line is my way of saying, "I am still there, with you."
For our fundraiser supporters, thank you for being there with us. This experience taught me that my sources of strength are unlimited; there is so much I can draw from when I rally my tribe. Thank you all for the support thus far.
I'll keep the fundraiser running (hehe) until Christmas Day and share more stories in the coming weeks. Will you help me cross this finish line?
Thank you very much!