Christmas came early this year for Carlos de Guzman. Three months early, to be exact.
That’s how fast his mind was racing as soon as Gatorade’s Ton Gatmaitan came down the chimney in the Fruit Punch colors making like Santa Claus with a plane ticket to New York City to run the freaking New York Marathon on November 4.
Carlos tried to sound cool about it when Ton asked, “Have you ever done the New York Marathon?”
Carlos had an inkling that he'd be sponsored for the marathon since a year ago to that date, Ton also popped the same question to the Bull Runner herself.
But when Ton said he’d get back to him in a few hours, he agonized on "I hope it's a yes." So when the activations manager for Gatorade did – “Yeah, we’ll send you” – it was like Carlos won the lottery.
Carlos actually tried to win a lottery slot to one of the world’s most famous marathons the previous year but it was no go. This time around it was like he was the recipient of the Make A Wish Foundation.
In truth, Carlos had just successfully recovered from a long bout with anemia that affected his participation in his beloved triathlon events. He missed the last Ironman Philippines because of his illness. When he would finish his races he looked like the cat dragged him across the finish line with his suit opened up so he could breathe.
“My motivation for this New York Marathon?” he said aloud. “To prove that I am back in the game.”
“And it’s New York!” he exclaimed. “It’s going to be a feast for the eyes. I’ve read and watched so much about the city, the marathon, and the culture. It is important not to be overwhelmed. I need to focus. Everything else can come later.”
By day, Carlos is a voice talent for a Korean telenovela (don’t ask him what because he isn’t allowed to say which one). When he’s off, he works on his popular blog swimbikerun.ph that is about to celebrate its second year in cyberspace journalism. If he isn’t doing those, he’s participating in all these triathlons. Yet still when he finds the time, Carlos, who was at the Conservatory of Music at UST, jams with his band playing alternative rock music.
He swears that there isn’t enough time in the day for everything but until more hours are added to a day the 24 currently in use will have to do. And right now, Carlos is deep into his preparations for the New York Marathon.
“Some people are worried about the cold weather,” he pointed out. “I am not. I thrive in colder climates.”
Right now, Carlos is trying to get as much mileage as he can. He isn’t concentrating on speed but working on the base fundamentals including hydration. “It’s important to hydrate not during the run but before the race as well.”
For the marathon, De Guzman has set a goal for himself – to finish the marathon in five hours or less. “I’d be very happy with that.”
How will he celebrate after he crosses the finish line?
“To eat one of New York’s famous street hotdogs. With everything on it. Oh, yeah. With Gatorade.”