Memorandum: To All Employee Runners

FOR:  All Employee Runners

Date:  May 6, 2013

EFFECTIVE : Immediately

DRESS CODE/PAY INCREASE:

1.  It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary. If we see you wearing Newton Running Shoes and using a Garmin 910XT or a Soleus 3.0 GPS watch, we assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a pay raise.

2. If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a pay raise.

3. If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a pay raise.

SICK DAYS/ABSENCES

We will no longer accept a doctor’s certificate as proof of sickness/injury due to running. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.

HOLIDAY DAYS

1.  Filing of vacation or emergency leave to rest for a couple of days prior or after your running a marathon/ultramarathon will no longer be accepted.

2.  Requesting to work under-time to attend a carbo-loading party,  press/bloggers race launch,  catch an out-of-town race or meeting with friends for a run prior to closing of office hours will no longer be allowed. Likewise, an employee who arrives a minute late will be considered absent that day.

Remember that each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturday and Sunday.

COMPASSIONATE LEAVE

This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or co-workers who died because they were hit by a speeding truck while running or succumb to a heart attack while doing so. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend to the arrangement.

In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.

STRETCHING

Stretching your muscles, doing contortions on any part of your body and performing other forms of exhibitionism will no longer be tolerated in the office premises. Likewise, running up and down the stairs of our office building should be stopped immediately. Our building is not a track and field oval nor is it a vertical run route.

TOILET USE

1.  Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilet after you leave the office specially when changing to your running attire when you go for a run. There is now a strict three-minute time limit in the cubicles.

2.  At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the cubicle door will open, and your picture will be taken whether you are caught with your shorts down or still fitting your jogging bras.

3.  After your second offense, your picture will be posted on the company notice board under the “Chronic Offenders” category.

4.  Anyone caught smiling in the picture will be sanctioned under the company’s mental health policy.

LUNCH BREAK

1. Skinny people (those who habitually run marathons or ultra marathons) get 30 minutes for lunch, as they need to eat more so that they can look healthy.

2.  Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure.

3.  Chubby people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that’s all the time needed to drink iced-green tea.

INTERNET ACCESS

1.  Access to internet sites will now be limited. If an employee is caught browsing running websites or blogs like Takbo.ph, Pinoy Fitness, i Run Far, Baldrunner, Runblogger, Running Shoes Guru, The Trail Running Blog, CoolRunning and most specially Jazzrunner–even on their personal laptops, tablets or cell-phones, they will be reprimanded for first offense and warned accordingly. Subsequent offenses will be suspension for up to a month, without salary.

2.  At any time an employee is caught uploading pictures or posting a status of his/her running exploits at Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, their employment will outright be terminated and all benefits due them will be forfeited!

Thank you for your loyalty to our company. Remember we are an employer of equal opportunity and we are here to provide a positive employment experience that cares for your physical well-being and promotes an active and healthy lifestyle.

Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations and whinings about PRs, running shoes, diet, LSD training, marathons, ultras, CLPs, cross-fit training, trail running, running bras, loot bags, etc. should be directed elsewhere!

Takbo.ph Runfest: From Roots To Routes

Many runners have their own favorite races. Some of them may be the big established races or megaraces such as Condura, Adidas King of the Road, QCIM, Globe Run or the Milo Marathon. With their sheer size, grand organization, opulent logistics and high energy, these races are eagerly anticipated by everyone because they generate so much excitement.

If only time and finances allow, i would love to run all these races.

But there’s another kind of favorite race–smaller in scope but no less special that captures the spirit of a particular community. These races are the heart and soul of Metro Manila’s road running scene. Without them, our sport wouldn’t have the foundation and breadth that it has now.

You probably have your own favorite small race. Mine would be the Takbo.ph Runfest!

Now on its third anniversary, the Runfest has become the focal point of Forumers of the Takbo.ph website and serves as a reunion run of sorts for old original members. It’s the brainchild of Takbo.ph owner Jinoe Gavan who later joined forces with Ian Alacar, Doc Lyndon and others which has now become known as Leadpack, Inc.

These individuals have contributed in shaping Takbo.ph Runfest into the tight community that it is today. The Runfest is a fun run for runners by runners and has molded into one big family that has maintained its friendship through the years.

Last year’s Runfest was one of the best organized races to be held at the BGC. It was a new route that took us to the vicinity of the British School for the first time with abundant water and sports drinks situated at every 1.2km intervals.

From last year's race

Most importantly, i knew why i was running this race. It was for the inspiration, camaraderie and the renewal of acquaintances that only a community run like the Takbo.ph Runfest can generate.

The original takbo.ph group

This years Runfest will be held on July 24.  You can check out details here ( here ).  See you there!

Roam At The Takbo.ph Nightfest Run

From the organizers of the highly successful Takbo.ph Runfest last July, the Grand Fiesta Run at Newport City and the San Mig Run among many others, LEADPACK is again spearheading another race dubbed as the Nightfest Run, co -sponsored by takbo.ph, Sketchers Running Shoes and magnolia Pure Water on April 09, 2011.

LEADPACK is composed of Ian Alacar, Jinoe Gavan, Doc Lyndon Cosico, Ben Alacar and a hosts of others.

The race will be held at the Filinvest in Alabang, Muntinlupa City and will feature a 5k and 10k race starting at 6:00PM. Part of the proceeds will go to the Runners On A Mission (ROAM), a foundation to support disabled children or those with special needs.

The registration is limited to 2,000 participants only. I was able to attend their press launching last Monday and was pleased to know that the beneficiaries, ROAM is headed by Missionaries and runners Craig and Michelle Logan who are regulars in the running scene with their disabled child, Justin in tow on a stroller.

Here are the details of the race. Hope to see you there.

 

Race organizer, Jinoe Gavan of takbo.ph and Leadpack explaining the mechanics

With Craig and Michelle Logan of Runners On A Mission Foundation (beneficiaries of the run), Carina and Gail

With officials of Sketchers Philippines

The Story Of Runners On A Mission (ROAM)

Craig and Michelle Logan have been serving with Arise and Shine Philippines for over 22 years.  In 2001 they adopted Justin, who has special needs.  Justin had bacterial meningitis when they got him as a baby.  The couple spent many months in the hospital that first year fighting to save Justin’s life.

Through it all, Craig and Michelle’s prayer was that Justin’s life would make a difference and fulfill the purpose that God intended for him.  After his recovery, the couple started Justin in physical and occupational therapy at home, and thus was the start of Justin’s long road to recovery.

 

Team Logan (Pic from Craig's FB)

It was while talking with the therapists during the many hours of Justin’s therapy that Craig and Michelle realized there were so many other children out there that did not have access to therapy.  There are so many needs that a special child has and this can be overwhelming for parents who may not even have enough for basic needs.

Craig and Michelle  had a desire to help other families and children with special needs but did not know how they could help since Justin’s own needs were quite overwhelming.  Over the years, Justin has been blessed by others donating standing frames, wheel chairs, braces and many other items to help with his therapy needs.

All the therapy has definitely paid off for Justin.  He may not be able to walk or talk but he has come a long way.  He loves to smile and to hug and kiss anyone who comes near.  So the question became…How can the Logan family share all the blessings they have received with others?  That’s how the idea for “Runners On A Mission” was born.

Team Logan first came on the scene in 2006.  At first the “team” consisted of Craig and Justin until Michelle was inspired to join the team and make it a family affair.  Team Logan started out just joining a few of the bigger races, not knowing of any others.  In 2008, they joined Takbo.ph and found that they could run in more races than their feet could take them!

Running had become a popular sport in the Philippines.  Team Logan’s desire has always been to inspire other families with special needs children to realize their child’s full potential.  They have met others along the way that have that same desire.  Some have even brought their children out to join races.

Along the way, Team Logan realized that it’s through their running that they can help meet the needs of other special needs children in the Philippines.  That is where “Runners On A Mission” comes in.

Team Logan/Runners On A Mission have teamed up with Dr. Francis Xavier Dimalanta, a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician here in the Philippines.  He is the President of Cerebral Palsy Philippines Inc. and started his own therapy center in 2003 called “A Child’s D.R.E.A.M. Foundation” in his hometown of Baguio City.

Dr. Dimalanta’s desire to help children is deep as he has spent years of his life sharing with and encouraging parents and children who are in desperate need of his help.

Going Bananas: A Volunteer’s Perspective

Tessa Banana?

I would not have missed this race for anything. In the past two editions of The Condura Skyway Run, i ran both races, the 21k and 42k last year and i cherished the experience of running atop the skyway…cheering on each other, looking after your pace while struggling to get the remaining miles over with.

However, i had to miss last Sunday’s edition as i was still recovering from the recurring plantar fascitiis which is healing slowly and to risk running more would just aggravate the long, slow, healing process.

Handing out bananas to runners at an aid station isn’t exactly a fun, ideal alternative pursuit to running or cross-training (unless you eat the bananas yourself) but you sure appreciate being in the middle of the action and all this hoopla of assisting and cheering runners takes on another level.

So the first time i volunteered for takbo.ph’s Aid Station along Buendia Avenue at last Sunday’s Condura Skyway Marathon, it was everything i didn’t possibly expect. Plenty of good company with the old guards of takbo.ph, handing out bananas, cheering, taking their photos, clapping or shouting encouragements (“Go, teh, you can do it”, “Malapit na, teh”) and the young female runners goes giggling and found it a bit amusing after seeing a middle-aged guy addressing them as Teh (Ate or sister)! Lol!

Eat all you can!

It puts a little perspective to my own participation in running and i realize that this is the world i am part of and i am used to being cheered and encouraged at and not the other way around. You also get to notice, and not too often, that while the leading elite runners run a lot faster, we ordinary runners struggle just as mightily and hurt just as much as this Big Guns in our pursuit of a PR.

Nice to know that people thank you in return and some had recognized me as they ask why i am not running this race. “No training” is just what i reply. As i see the last of the runners pass by our station and headed for the finish line, i end my volunteerism as i wanted to catch up with my running friends who were now waiting for me at the finish line. I take a cab with Abby, my co-Team Leader at the aNR-UP who was also going to meet BFF Luis at the finish.

Running friends: L-R, Tonet, Aileen, Alex, Sylvia, Cecil, Betty and Dante

After the race

I meet my group after the race and all were satisfied with their time and the conduct of the race. All were unanimous in the excellent race organization… perfect race, delicious bananas!

For me, giving back to this sport is what it’s all about!

The takbo.ph volunteers

Thanks to Jinoe for the pictures!

Grazilda’s Cinderella at the CIHM

The Race of Rock-stars

What do the Afroman, Cinderella, and the country’s top social entrepreneur have in common? December 19 holds the answer. On that date, the three notable personalities from equally exciting yet distinct fields will head to one destination: Corregidor. And they will not just do a tour of the island, but will do more than that. They, together with close to 400 gritty and elite running aficionados, will rock the island and run in the inaugural Corregidor International Half-Marathon (CIHM).

Top race organizer and running coach par-excellance Rio dela Cruz, also known as the Afroman of the Philippine running community, has confirmed his participation in the CIHM, billed the last major race of the year. Rio, fresh from his blistering finish at the New York Marathon, is eyeing the top spot in the CIHM to become its first ever champion.

 

Gwen Zamorra, GMA Talent Center’s newest and fast-rising sweetheart, who’s endearing a throng of fans with her role as Cinderella in the top-rating telefantasia Grazilda, will see action in CIHM. Unknown to many, Gwen has been into running for almost two years to date, with a 15k and a half-marathon under her belt already. But in CIHM, she is out to prove that she is not a frail damsel in distress. On the contrary, she may just unwittingly cause distress to male participants whom she might outrun in the race.

 

Then, there’s the country’s prime social entrepreneur Illac Diaz who is deadset to bring one of his advocacies to the running community and at the same time prove that his mountaineering stamina is no fluke. Illac is excited to be part of CIHM as he sees the race’s design akin to his ecological advocacy and a perfect venue to measure his remarkable fitness level.

With the participation of these three interesting personalities, the anticipation for the first Corregidor International Half-Marathon is fast approaching its fever-pitch climax. Close to 400 runners, and still counting, are rushing to register for this historic footrace on the hallowed grounds of Corregidor, known as The Rock. The composition of participants is nothing but out of the ordinary. From age to professional background the race looks remarkable. The youngest participant is 18 while the oldest, so far, is 67 years old. The professions of registered participants paint an interesting picture. Participants vary from lawyers, physicians, dentists, IT specialists, human resource practitioners, engineers, and even band artists.

Likewise, a huge number of runner bloggers will see action in the race, with no less than Jinoe Gavan, the top honcho and moderator of the country’s biggest running forum and blogsite Takbo.ph will make his mark on the race course of CIHM. Surprisingly, the number of female contenders almost approximates the number of their male counterparts. Definitely, it will be interesting to find out how the gender war will be played out in the race.

And to further escalate the excitement of CIHM, Session Road, one of the country’s sought after bands, will rock it out for the Victory Party of CIHM, in the evening of December 19 at the island. During the party itself, exciting prizes will be raffled off for participants. Lucky participants stand the chance to run away with a gift certificate for a 2-night & 3-day stay at Two Seasons Hotel Boracay, Holster Jelly Sandals, trendy running shoes, Sun Cruises gift certificates, and cool items from Coleman.

Registration has been extended to December 4 and will run daily from 4pm to 8pm (beginning Monday, November 29) at ROX in Bonifacio High Street. For more race details, visit www.corregidor2010.runningmate.ph.

My KOTR 2010 Experience

Yesterday’s KOTR 10k race was probably the biggest aggregation of 10k runners i have ever joined in and hearing the announcer’s tally of 4,600 10k runners registered for the start, i was a bit overwhelmed by the staggering number.

When the sirens sounded for the 10k start, it took me about a minute and a half before i could cross the starting line. And the scene was overwhelming. At about the 1 km mark along 34th Street, runners in front of me stretched up to 400 meters jam-packed like sardines and glancing at my back, an even longer stretch, as far as the eye could see was an even greater multitude of bobbing bodies occupying the whole street!

I was just one of those in the clusters who were now gaining some rhythm going at 6:30/km pace when before turning left to the British School, we encountered pot holes and small pools of stagnant water that had many of us slowing down to a walk, skip and hop to avoid stepping on them.

Worst, the 21k runners were now on their way back and were forcibly relegated to the sideways of the narrow road avoiding the rushing 10k runners who were running face to face againts them. This was a terrible choke-point and some bumping ensued, so both sides had to slow down again and give way to each other…a drawback to whoever was aiming for a PR.

I wish the race organizers should have diverted the route. From the start at 7th Street, runners should have turned right to 32nd Street, then make that left turn to 38th towards the International School. That would have avoided the head-on traffic experienced at 34th Street.

Felt great running over Kalayaan Flyover towards Buendia and making the U-turn at Paseo de Roxas i sort of picked-up the pace a bit. However, the climb back Kalayaan flyover had me really gasping for breath when i reached the top. I slowed down to a jog, found my bearing again after a few meters and resumed my pace going to Rizal Drive up to the finish.

I found the water stations adequate, as with many runners who ran the 10k but heard complaints from those who ran the 21k distance, particularly from running buddies Betty, Tonette and Mel who were aghast by the empty water station tables from the 16th kilometers up to the finish.  Good thing they had some small water left in their hydration belts.

My only beef about the race was how the RFID recorded the finish times. I pressed the START dial of my watch when the horns sounded for the 10k start but didn’t cross the starting line until about 90 seconds have passed. But when i crossed the finish, the official time results recorded the time i crossed the finish line, the same time i had with my watch. The 90 second lag time was not deducted from my official time! Seems that this particular RFID only records the time you crossed the finish and not starting from the time you crossed the starting line! Knowing that this was the case, i should have positioned myself near the front, not that it mattered for me but it would have save a minute or two on your over-all finish time.

I was a bit surprised by the sheer volume of registrants at the Adination table booths. When I proceeded at the UP-MOA booth, runners were already crowding the tables to register and get their Passport-for-freebies card. Good sign for the UP-Adination group which will tentatively start on November 9, 2010.

View the race results here: http://results.racetectiming.com/

Here are some pictures of yesterday’s pre and post race activities:

 

With the takbo.ph group

 

Most of those in yellow are Team Leaders of the Adination running community

 

Funnyman Prince hugging the limelight (again):-)

 

With co-runners at UP, Christy and Jun2

Betty, Pio(lo) and Mel before their 21k start

 

The Ekiden Boys

 

Adination-BHS Teal Leaders, Cindy and Carina

 

First time i get to talk with the affable Pat Concepcion (http://runningshield.blogspot.com/). Great guy! He talked about the upcoming Condura Marathon but wouldn't confirm if the SKYWAY would still be part of the race venue.:-) On my left is Roselle and Mar

QCIM2 Booth

Registration at the Adination-U.P. and Moa booths

Takbo.ph + Adination group

Wackiest group around

Another successful get-together

Breakfast at McDo after the run. Clockwise: Tonette, Mel, Yett, Me, Betty and Dante

Photo Of The Week: Smiling Carly

 

Despite dehydration and all, Carly still manages to smile at the last 250 meters of the recent 34th Milo Marathon and looks like she would be able to tackle another 50k distance. She finished the race in 4:26. She’s made up of steel, guts and an unparalleled tenacity for hard work to achieve her best.

 Smile on Carly, we believe!:-)

Long, Slow and Wet: The Rolling Hills of Tanay

My legs have now loosened up a bit as i write this. I couldn’t move a joint the day after the gruelling 30k run on that long, torturous rolling hills of Tanay last Sunday. I’ve run those hills several times in the past with running buddy June but those were distances of not more than 18-20kms. This time it was gut wrenching, and the last half of the run, from15 to 30k was a struggle as Tonette and myself were reduced to running up those hills 100 meters at a time, then walk the same distance and prepare for the next 100 meter run up! Pheww…  

  

This place has some of the best post card views around and though the hills were challenging, it gave us some breathers to take in the scene…deep forests, ravines, mountain ranges, a horse that talked back and the occasional sprints from the dogs who gave chase!  

We arrived late at the Sierra Madre Resort where we were supposed to start before 5am. Two kilometers before we arrived at the resort, we already met the runners coming towards us in several groups with their designated paces and there were about 60 of them with head-lamps and flashlights illuminating the dark highway. As soon as we found a space to park, the four of us, Betty, Tonette, Mel and me tried to play catch up with them.  

We started off nice and easy on the still dark route. All of us were together ’till about 5kms when Betty and Mel had some issues with the pace and decided to pull away leaving me and Tonette behind. They were on a 6:30/km pace as Tonette and i settled to a more comfortable average of 7:30/km pace, not pushing hard nor holding back at all. At about 7 kms, they completely disappeared in front of us. We were able to pass the tail-enders from about the 8th km mark onwards. 

At the 15k turn-around in Baras, we stopped for some refreshments, took pictures then headed back. Here, the challenge began when the route was more uphill which ranged from 300 meters to about 800 meters of continuous inclines. The rains started to pour at about 20km and that was a good 10 minutes of getting a cold shower, running shoes and gear all wet!

The last 7k was to be the toughest of all as we did the 100×100 meter formula of running uphills. Lucky to have seen Jairuz from the support group with their vehicle parked on the 25th km who gave us refreshments and a choco bar each to weather the last remaining kms. At this time, Tonette was getting her second wind as i tried to keep up with her until the finish.

We ended up doing the 30k run in 4:23!

Mel and Betty finished the run 15 minutes ahead of us and we were all ecstatic in finishing the run! Our thanks to our friends at Takbo.ph, Team Boring and the support group that assisted us during the run. Till the next LSD!

(Thanks to Jairuz and Marvin for some of the pics!)

Back to the rolling hills of Tanay. Tonette would discover its beauty

Almost perfect weather until rains soaked us wet two hours later

An isolated hut on the foothills

Approaching the support vehicles

Posing at the Garden Cottages

At the 14k mark

We were stopped here not knowing that this was the 15km turn-around already

At the turn-around mark at 15k

With runner from the 6:30 running group

Wet and wild

Approaching the 25th km mark

   

At the 29th km, 1 more to go and we're done!

We Parteyy, When We’re Not Running

If you’ve ever met and talked to Jinoe Gavan, founder of Takbo.ph, then you’ve probably seen him smile. It happens often in the course of his stories on running, the races he has joined and organized, his upcoming training for several races slated in the provinces and when he talks about his “first baby”, the Takbo.ph website.

The website on running has left an indelible mark among runners, and has created a lot of following in its two years of existence. It gave runners a chance to interact with each other on a gut level and has formed a wide, deep friendship that has branched from running into other multi-sports like the Duathlon, Triathlon and Ultra-Marathons.

I’m proud to say that i was part of its initial membership, from a few dozen who interacted at the Forums to the present thousands (and still growing) who have relied on the site for the latest news, schedule of upcoming races, blog stories, latest running gadgets and everything else on running.

Recently, there was a cause to celebrate when Takbo.ph marked its 2nd anniversary by staging the Takbo.ph Runfest 5/10k races which was a rousing success. To top off this celebration, expecting mom, Queenie Gavan (Jinoe’s ex-GF, now wife), organized a Runfest get-together at the Joey Pepperoni Pasta Bar at The Fort last Friday that was well-attended by both the old guards and the newer members of Takbo.ph. It was a merging of old and new faces, a continuing generation that will still grow as long as the running boom continues to flourish.

On a daily basis, Jinoe still finds himself immersed in making the website grow, on top of his regular job and other running projects. His goal still stands, “to promote running” and as long as runners keep motivated and friendships prosper, Jinoe will continue to have that toothy smile.

Here are some pictures from last Friday’s party:

The early birds

Mostly "oldies" (Photo by Carlo S.)

The group at the rear portion

Young bloods at takbo.ph

Party hosts, Rodel and Marga

Rodel with the new bloods

Waiting for their food and drinks!

Great guys!

Super fast runner, Carly (L) and friend, Chang

Marga, Ziggy and Tin

Nice...

Celebrity Rodel signing on his pic

Little Big Race

With more than 2,000 runners gathered on 28th Street at The Fort ready to run the 1st Takbo.ph 5k, 10k Runfest, much of the buzz among the runners was their personalized singlet which was proudly worn during the race. With runners’ names and monickers imbedded on their singlets and race-bibs, it sure was a sea of blue and black runners invading the arches of the Fort. Previously unknown but familiar faces finally had names that you could call out to! As always, i’m really having problems on this singlet sizing as i thought getting a XXL size would already fit my 180 lb frame. It would not be so. Anyway…

There’s a lot to be said for this well-organized race and i was totally satisfied how this run turned out with water stations turning up almost every 1.5kms that you wouldn’t need to worry how far your next drink would be.

I treated this as a fun race but you just never know how you could hold back when runners beside you keep jostling and sprinting past you that you get pulled forward by the fast flow. I felt a little wasted after the first 2 kilometers trying to maintain a 5:00-5:30 min pace that i had to ease off after the first water station.

I continued running to a more comfortable 6:00 min pace and maintained it all throughout except when i had to walk during stops at the water stations and enjoy a little of those ice-cold Powerade sports drink being offered. I knew that if i continue doing walking breaks at these stations, i wouldn’t hit the sub-one hour finish time i hoped to achieve. True enough, the verdict was not as favorable as i finished in 1:01:48. But that’s ok. I didn’t want to push myself too much as i was still in training mode for the upcoming marathons, anyway.

L-R: Neil, Marga, Pat, Me, Wilnar, Rachel, Noelle, Carina, Que, Doc T

 

L-R: Rachel, Neil, moi, Gail, Marga, Lauren

With Nora, recent marathon finisher

Last huddle before the gun start

Post-race breakfast (with Mel, Ninang and Tita) at McDo!

Jinoe Gavan, organizer of this race seems to be learning the ropes fast, in staging this well-ran race! He, together with Doc Lyndon and Ian Alacar have now earned themselves the trust and respect of the running community after some false starts during the past Rotarun and San Mig run. Though small and limited in runners participation, the race organization was strong, a class-act and staged as though it was a mega race with bands, long lines of water tables and the over-all joyous atmosphere of a new and well-measured route!

Congrats to all!