Run To Honor Her Late Husband Benjie Llorente
Looking back at this goose bumps video when Erna Fay and I received a surprise welcome by a huge crowd of SPH’s supporters in the last 200 meters before finish line of Titan Run 2019.
Erna is a Filipino expatriate music teacher who has taught for six years at Pelita Harapan international school in Kemang, South of Jakarta.
The supporters consist of students, teachers and parents, were screaming, cheering, yelling, clapping, high five as we crossed in the middle of the road while the other handling a posters with motivational messages: go Erna, we love you, so proud of you, you can do it, stay calm and run, kamu bisa, kamu hebat.
Yes that’s right. Finally. Erna did it. She ran 22.5 kilometers in 3 hours 15 minutes, the furthest distance she ever run in her running’s journey, previously she only did 16 kilometers.
Now we all know who she is, a half marathon finisher. She dedicated her achievement to her late husband, Mr Benjie that passed away four months ago. They both have been living together for almost 13 years with their two children.
It was wonderful experience being her pacer along the route, accompanying her from start to finish line. I never felt much emotional feeling like this since I started running in 2007 ago.
Thank you Erna for giving me unstoppable goose bumps every time I see this videos. It gives me a lot of inspiration, meaningful and got a value of running. Looking forward to supporting you again one day in another road or trail race.
A week later, Erna write her running’s goal to me, telling what she was doing about healthy lifestyle. Here it is:
When my husband Benjie and I turned 39, we committed to set personal goals: to be more active and be the best possible versions of us in the year ahead. So we set out the plan, enrolled fitness gym as part of preparation to our first run on September 2018.
We did training together after all work done. We recorded runs, the sessions we had with our personal trainer even we food intake was also under a strict supervision of making sure that we had more vegetables and fruits in our dietary plan.
It really help us reach our target, which is to be fit and healthy, mapped out a lifestyle change at the beginning of new age. Actually we never thought of running to be something would enjoy as we trained for first run: 10K for Benjie and 5K for me. We both soon found out running became a new hobby that we did over time.
After we ran first race in 2018, we looked up another challenging run. At this time, we want to bond over a short trip to Singapore without the kids. It was also the perfect time to do it, to celebrate Benjie’s 40th birthday.
The Singapore run was held in February 2019. True enough, by the time Benjie turned 40, we were able to reach our ideal weight that we set out at the beginning of 2018.
Inspired by the results of our hard work, Benjie and I set another goal: signing up to run as a duo team for Titan Run. It’s a 45 kilometer run where each runner of the team runs 22.5 kilometers to finish the race.
While Benjie and I were inspired to train and prepare for this race, life took an unexpected turn of events when Benjie was rushed to the hospital on April 11, 2019. He suffered from hemorrhagic brain aneurysm that led to his untimely death.
The pain of losing Benjie was something I could not bear even running was something I didn’t want to pursue anymore. The summer did something good in my heart. It started with my daughter, Zee, asking if she could run with me. I laced the shoes and ran 2K with my daughter.
Two days after, I running again with Zee, this time a little further. I realized how much I missed running. So I contacted my friend who initially asked to run in Benjie’s behalf for the Titan Run in August, 3.
We both planned to train over the summer but we didn’t really do much favor either because we’re busy with master’s degree and being on vacation with family and friends.
Coming back to Indonesia, we resolved not to run anymore. I was set on giving the bibs to anyone who was willing to run. A common friend introduced me to Runner Kid who managed to change my mind.
Even though I’m not running with Benjie this time around, I will be running it for Benjie. Remembering the husband, father and friend that he was to my family and community.
Pay all your debts, except the debt of love for others. You can never finish paying that! Romans 13:8.
Video taken from here: Instagram