Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Carlos De Guzman's NYC 'marathon' run: A special run. Anyway.

This appears in

A special run. Anyway.
by rick olivares

"Everyone wins the marathon. We all have the same feeling at the start -- nervous, anxious, excited. It is a broader, richer, and even with twenty-seven thousand people -- more intimate experience than I found when racing in track. New York is the marathon that all the biggest stars want to win, but has also been the stage for an array of human stories more vast than any other sporting event. " 
- Grete Waitz, Norwegian marathon runner who won the NYC Marathon nine times. She passed away in April of 2011 due to cancer.

How do you celebrate your birthday? Try flying in an airplane and being cooped up inside for seventeen hours with the passengers next to you fast asleep and no one to celebrate your special day with.

How about as soon as you disembark, you switch on your cellphone and find out from text messages that the marathon you are supposed to be running in a few days – the New York Marathon at that – has been cancelled.

“I was devastated,” recalled Carlos de Guzman about his first reaction to the New York Marathon being cancelled by city mayor Michael Bloomberg. But after seeing firsthand the devastation wrought about by Hurricane Sandy, De Guzman understood. I saw the damage when I got there and it's no surprise the race didn't push through. Everything was literally a mess. I stayed in Brooklyn for the duration of my trip and there were some parts that really got affected with a lot of things destroyed. We also went to Staten Island where the race start was supposed to be and it was really hard to imagine pushing thru with the marathon and to make it worse, starting it in a town that got hit pretty bad.”

De Guzman, who operates, was to participate in the annual marathon as a guest of Gatorade. Despite the cancellation that left many runners angry and unhappy as they had spent a lot of money to go to New York, some still wanted to do the entire race course but most of the runners decided to just run around Central Park. I joined the Run Anyway NYC Marathon group. This group also organized a donation drive. I donated all my thermal clothes which I know would really be useful to those stricken with the storm. Who cares if I was freezing? The victims have nothing and could use it more than me.”

About 3,000 runners joined the Run Anyway group at their starting point in Central Park. By the time they hit New York’s streets, New Yorkers began to turn out to cheer for the runners and put up impromptu drinking stations. “The fun factor just kicked up several notches higher,” noted De Guzman who got an adrenaline surge from the response. “But what made the run really special for me also was the fact that we did the original NYC marathon course.”

Finishing the marathon with the unofficial time of 4:34, De Guzman looked back: “The funny thing about this whole experience is that I wasn’t aiming for a personal run that day. I don’t think anyone was. But I got it done. This was the best way to show it is to finish what I started and represent Gatorade Philippines and It’s not everyday you get a chance to run the best marathon in the world and for the best sports drink in the planet.”

Although the race was unofficial it wasn’t so bad under the dire circumstances. But De Guzman did fulfill one of his goals in going to New York – to eat a genuine street hotdog with everything on it. “I think I had around 20-plus of them during my whole stay in NYC. I posted everything on my Facebook page which most people thought got turned into a food blog! I had to remind myself a few times that I'm a triathlon website administrator and not a food blogger to stop me from eating.”

It turned out to be not such a bad and belated birthday gift.


Here's the first piece I wrote about Carlos' NYC Marathon dream.

Carlos and one of the 20 New York street hotdogs he wolfed down in his brief stay in NYC.

Carlos: I also visited the Gatorade booth at the expo and got to sample a lot of new offerings from Gatorade! The G-Series Pro lineup of Gatorade is really good! The have a 3 system lineup that will help you prepare, run, and recover.

I absolutely loved the Carb Energy Chews so I'm really hoping Gatorade Philippines would start bringing it in here in the Philippines! It was so effective I was still hyper the rest of the day after trying just a few of them!

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