What’s so surreal about the LA Marathon by Gerald Anderson
Barry Viloria on Mar 27, 2017 10:12 PM
It wasn’t just the race that the actor-athlete found enjoyable at the prestigious race. (Photos taken from Anderson's Instagram account: @andersongeraldjr)
“You look tanned,” we joked actor-athlete Gerald Anderson last Saturday past lunchtime as a way to greet him back. It was just a day after he arrived back in Manila following his Los Angeles Marathon 2017 participation, but he obliged for an intimate lunch to talk about his experience anyway.
“Oo, mahaba yung takbuhan namin, eh!” he responded with a laugh. “Jetlagged pa din!”
Anderson, 28, represented the country at the prestigious 42k event last March 19, US time. He finished at 4:25:2, placing 4,277th amongst the 18,867 participants, a pretty satisfactory performance considering it was the triathlete’s first marathon. Kenyans Elisha Barno and Hellen Jepkurgat ruled the men’s and women’s events respectively, at 2:11:52 and 2:34:23.
Anderson’s LA Marathon journey started since late last year, after sports brand Skechers (the international event’s major sponsor) tapped him to be the country’s delegate. It came as a coincidence that his upcoming soap where he is to play a triathlete also requires him to stay as fit. Anderson kicked off 2017 joining triathlons including an intimate fun run to celebrate his recent birthday (March 7).
To prepare a little more while anticipating the event, Anderson left the country for the States last March 13. It took him around a week to maintain, training at most at three hours a day.
“Pagdating dun, tumakbo agad kami. As early as 9 a.m. para di kami mapagod. 5k runs lang everyday, ‘tapos nag-spinning and then nag work out,” he narrated, calling the entire preps “light” as “Ayoko masyadong overtrained para sa run.”
As for the diet, Anderson just stuck with, well, none, but choosing to eat more energy-loaded food to fire him up.
“Relaxed lang ang diet ko. Di naman masyadong strict. Basta I wasn’t overeating. The usual lang talaga, di mo dapat binabago ang mga bagay bagay pag ganon,” he explained.
After the training, Anderson and his crew spent the rest of the day roaming the sunny LA—“chill lang, pasyal, sightseeing, bonding lang with the team. Bonded naman at masaya. Sobrang relaxed lang, we just enjoyed the moment.”
But when the day finally came, Anderson already found himself awake at 3 a.m. He was assembling with the rest of the participants at the Dodger Stadium by 4, having bagel and water for breakfast by 6, and readying at the starting line at 7. Throughout this entire journey, the actor had his team composed of his dad Gerald Randy Sr., handler Nhila Mallari, a rep from Skechers Philippines, and friends including Joey Espiritu and Ben Dayrit, all tailing him to document the entire run.
“Para din kaming tumakbo ng 5k all in all,” recalled Mallari. “May mga five stations dun kung saan namin sya aabangan. Ayaw kasi nya na may name-miss na i-document sa event.”
Mallari and the rest caught most of his finish line moments on tape, showing Anderson in a burst of emotions while catching his breath to cool down.
“Very emotional yung whole event—and the entire experience,” Anderson further described the experience. He said what we saw in the videos were just “mixed emotions sa dami ng nangyari, of fulfillment, of pain, of despair!” he then laughs. “It was a surreal moment!”
Another challenge accomplished: #SkechersLAmarathon one of the most challenging experiences in my life. There were moments where I asked myself if I can finish this race, but what pushed me was the love from the fans and my team who supported and trained with me since arriving in Los Angeles @bendayrit @joeyespiritu23 @nhilanhils @yetkl @tankring @rjtours .. i am priviledged to represent the philippines as an ambassador for skechers 🇵🇭🙏🏻 .. i learned so much on this experience .. #keepgoing #blessed #keeppushing #nostop #noexcuses #42 #26.2 #workhard #pain #whatpain #mylegshurt @skechersperformanceph
Anderson said he got overwhelmed about seeing all his hard work finally coming to fruition.
“When it comes down to it, it’s all you kasi sarili mo lang iisipin mo eh. But throughout the journey, marami kang naiisip at marami kang naisip na plano sa buhay ko. But that last 10k, it’s all about you,” he mused.
“Okay naman. Na-maintain ko yung pace ko. Ang sarap!” he added in retrospect. “My (finishing) time—it’s not bad for a first time. Na-challenge naman ako!”
Understandably, Anderson met some Filipino fans while in the area—“Maraming Pinoy, nakakatuwa. Grabe yung energy na binibigay nila sa kin.” He especially cherished meeting other participants just before the run. “May mga iba-ibang kwento ng iba-ibang tao from different parts of the States at ibang bansa. Daming istorya, nakakatuwa! More than the race, it’s the experience, and the kwento ng mga tao na nakilala ko.”
On his celebrity being revealed later on, he just said, “Medyo na-gets nila kasi ang daming camera. Pero the conversations and the bonding is what really made everything easy!”
The LA Marathon is obviously not the competitive Anderson’s last, and if at all, it’s just setting the bar higher for himself. It was business as usual for him last Sunday, as he went back to training for the rest of his triathlons this year. It was also to keep his shape in check for his new soap. (We hear he’s posing sexily for a magazine cover very soon!)
You still got that champion attitude going, we told him.
“Of course, I’m even more motivated now that I know what it feels. I really feel fulfilled!”