Dedicated Queens streaker prepares for his 12th NYC marathon
By Gerald Tabios
I am not the nude person running on the streets of New York. Rather, in runners world, a ‘streaker’ is a completely dressed person who runs marathons year after year in a row.
November 6, 2016, will be my 12th toeing the line for the New York City Marathon in a row. There is nothing like running in this great city, I always look forward to it every year. There is something about New York Marathon that I just crave to run again and again. It may be a personality quirk, a habit, a challenge, or an excuse just to tell my story.
However, streaking has kept my enthusiasm in running. I always begin my running calendar during when Daylight Savings Time (DST) ends. For a striving immigrant, I found that long distance running keeps me from being lonely in New York City since I migrated in 2001. Moreover, with over 50,000 people running the pavement each year, this race includes runners with disabilities and elder runners who have stayed fit and healthy. I get more motivation from running with all sorts of people. I believe that’s how it is in real life.
My passion for running started when I was in high school. I ran not as an athlete but simply for the love of it. Later, I joined the annual MILO 10K Runs in Cagayan De Oro City from 1994 to 1997. In 1995 and 1996, I signed up for a longer distance event by joining the Tri-City International Marathon 25K Race in Cebu City.
I was born in the beautiful town of Malaybalay, Bukidnon in 1969, and graduated from Civil Engineering at Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City. But for better economic opportunities, me and my wife settled in the U.S. in 2001 and I began working as chauffeur for a wealthy Park Avenue socialite for the past nine years. I live in Elmhurst, New York with my wife Donna and our two kids, Guthrie, 13, and Gerianne, 9.
As a family man, juggling work, family and training is a continuing challenge. I squeeze my training by running from my house in Queens to work in the Upper East Side 3 to 4 times on weekdays.
Since 2004, I have run this race 11 times battling wind gusts of more than 35 mph and, at one time, heat mixed with humidity. When my daughter was born a week before the race in 2006, I ran sleep-deprived. I can’t complain, running made me tougher. I like being healthy and raced around people with the same goals.
To some of our “kababayans” who are first-time runners, here are few tips that can help you prepare at the start:
1. Give yourself plenty of time to avoid stressing out and wasting some energy.
2. When it is cold or raining, bring extra clothes. Bring trash bags or disposable rain coat when raining. When cold, bring an old sweatshirt and sweatpants. I usually bring an old pair of sweatshirt/sweatpants combo which I got at Walgreens for $10. Wear warm clothing while waiting in your starting corral. Once your wave is ready to start, you can start shedding your clothing. Don’t worry, your discarded clothing will be donated to charity.
3. Relax! Find ways to stay calm and focus. Try visualizing the race route and conditions and always expect the unexpected.
New York Marathon can be difficult considering the weather condition and, at times, the deceptive uphill and bridge elevations. However, preparing ahead of time avoids these surprise factors.
I don’t want be called an ex-marathoner, therefore I have no plan on ending my streak any time soon. My next marathon is not always my last. I celebrate every time I finish a race!