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September 1, 2010Posted by on
When an athlete competes in a track & field circuit for long spans of time, he/she appreciates the significance of competing in one’s home track. Take Lolo Jones for instance. As a seasoned track veteran, Jones had experienced all kinds of competitions. And yet when she competed in her hometown of Des Moines, Iowa for the U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships, the radiance that she exuded as she paraded victoriously in front of her town mates was a raw display of pleasant emotion.
Unlike elite athletes or higher caliber amateur athletes, my competitive days did not translate into much traveling. In fact, I haven’t even competed on foreign soil yet. Aside from a handful of provincial meets and a training camp in Baguio, my exposure has been relatively modest.
In the past decade that I’ve been competing, I consider Rizal Memorial Stadium, Philsports and the Ateneo High School Track Oval as my home tracks. I spent most of my high school track days training at the spartan grass oval of my alma mater. I learned the basics of the sport at the most rudimentary of surfaces. Rizal Memorial and Philsports were my usual haunts in my more competitive college days. I spent long hours honing my hurdling and busting my lungs doing sprints. I even broke my left arm in Rizal in a freak hurdling accident almost four years ago.
My two year retirement brought forth a deluge of changes. The high school grass oval’s sparse environs can be therapeutic at times. But nowadays, I prefer a synthetic surface to a grass track. Besides, the unlighted oval is inappropriate for my nighttime training sessions. The Ultra oval, when devoid of my former teammates, seem just another training facility packed with recreational runners. I was willing to traverse the sheer distance to Rizal Memorial just to bask in the history of the place, but its conversion to a football specific stadium made the decades-old facility unavailable for public use.
I was left homeless in every sense of the word, if not for the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center.
Looking back, I can say that I practically lived in the confines of Moro throughout my college days. When the team wasn’t training in faraway Rizal or Ultra, we did our sprinting and hurdling workouts at the indoor oval. We utilized Moro’s state-of-the-art weight training facility to the fullest. In my opinion, Moro’s weights room is still the best facility for top caliber Filipino In my junior year in college, I spent a good chunk of my day in Moro, doing an endless array of hurdling drills, running drills, plyometric drills, sprints and weight training exercises.
When one spends an inordinate amount of time in one place for half a decade, the place grows on you.
Despite its hard Regupol surface, sharp curves and its policy of not allowing coach-less (or self-coached!) athletes to use the hurdles, Moro is the perfect place to train for this working athlete. Since the indoor oval is open until 10pm, it fits perfectly into my 730pm to 930pm evening training sessions.
In the past five months, I’ve rekindled a fondness for Moro, grateful for this god-send venue.