Photo Of The Week : Spiked!

The bodies and the outfits were a bit overwhelming, but these Petron Volleybelles didn’t mind my posturing in their pictorials. Oh, and some of them are runners who have participated in 10k races like the Adidas KOTR and QCIM!

Taken at the PSA Forum, U.N. Avenue, Ermita, Manila.

Of Running, Timing Chips and Facebook

Globe Run For Home 2010 Race Packet

Various local press releases describe running as the ‘new badminton’, which might seem a rather empty accolade, given that our endurance sport had seen its first heydays during the early 80s, long before the popularity of badminton. On balance, it’s fair comment.

At present, the current trend of running is at its peak. With two to three scheduled races on a given Sunday, i’m stumped on which race to join. On selecting my races, it still all boils down to who the race organizers/directors are, if the registration fees are reasonable (very rare these days), or if my running group is going to join the race. Often times, i’m swayed by joining if my group of friends are also joining–all for the camaraderie and support.

One race that stood out for me last year was the Globe Run For Home 2009, where i ran the 21k in 2:25. It was one of the most organized races, water and sports drinks were plentiful, portalets were laid out on parts of the route and my entry fee was practically free as the corresponding amount was converted into a text load on my Globe pre-paid account.

If my memory serves me right, it was also the first time that the “championchips” timing chips were introduced to track your moves and performance in different areas of the course and mainly to give an accurate finish time. Using these data, a performance analysis was also made available, giving a detailed assessment of each runner’s performance, his/her ranking vs. the total field of runners, your average speed during the race and split times at a particular point in the course.

This year’s edition of the race is going to be more visible in this hi-tech world. To make the results more timely, the timing chips that tracks your position along the course is now tied-up to your Facebook account and your finish time will automatically be posted in your FB account once you cross the finish line. Moreover, if your family and friends can’t be at the race venue to watch you live, they can watch a live streaming feed of the finish line by logging on to http://www.globe.com.ph/run. Pretty cool, huh?

If you have a Facebook account, just go to Globe’s Facebook account (Globe Ayala Land Run For Home) and click on “Go To Application” and install the Run For Home application on to your Facebook account. On race day, the timing chips will send newsfeed updates and race results to your profile.

It was a blast hearing all these innovations during their Blogger’s Night at the Shanghai Bistro at the Paseo Center in Makati last Tuesday. No less than 15 running bloggers were present to witness the presentation and it was great fun we had that night!

Run Bloggers Run

The crow at the Shanghai Bistro

Vince Mendoza of Finishline explaining the mechanics of the race

Coy Caballes, Social Media Manager of Globe Telecom

Bloggers Vener, Rod and Nora listen intently

Rico (Sheerwill) and Noelle (Kikayrunner)

Vener (Run Unlimited) and Roselle (The Running Diva)

With Nora (Life Begins At 50) who i'm meeting for the first time

L-R, Mariel (Solemates), Bards (Banana Running), Nora (Life Begins At 50), Vener (Run Unlimited), Jazzrunner, Noelle (Kikay Runner), Roselle (Running Diva), Que (Takbo.ph)

With the other bloggers

Globe Run For Home 2010 In Pictures

Last night during the Bloggers Lauching of the Globe-Ayala Land Run For Home 2010, we were given the heads-up on the race event, from the mechanics of the registration, objectives, race routes, timing chips and the chance to update your friends live once you cross that finish line… via Facebook!

Here’s a summary of the event, pictures included:

Globe-Ayala Land Run For Home 2010:

Run for Home is a sporting event led by Globe and Ayala Land, to be held on March 21 at the Ayala Triangle Gardens in the Makati Central Business District.
This is a run for the human race:  To provide affordable and decent housing for Filipinos in need, through Globe’s longtime ally, Habitat for Humanity Philippines.
It is a run for people of all ages and experience levels, with courses ranging from 3km to a half-marathon distance of 21km.

Organizer: Finish Line

Globe is giving away P170,000 worth of cash prizes.  Race winners can get cash prizes of up to P 15,000 and gift certificates worth P5,000 from New Balance.
But the true winner is the families who will benefit from Run for Home, through Habitat for Humanity.

Run for Home is different from other running events, for these reasons:

The first-ever race route through the Makati Central Business District
We wanted to give the runners a unique experience by letting them pass through an area that is usually busy and congested, but which on race day will be reserved just for them.
This will be the first ever running event to be held at the Ayala Triangle Gardens in the middle of the Makati Central Business District.

The use of an environmentally-friendly singlet
The Run for Home 2010 singlet is part of your race kit.
It is made from 100% recycled PET bottles and is being used for the first time ever in a Philippine running event.

There are 5 courses:
3 km:  Estimated to take 15 minutes to complete
5 km:  Estimated to take 30 minutes to complete
10 km : Estimated to take 1 hour and 10 minutes to complete
15 km:  Estimated to take 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete
21 km:   Estimated to take 2 hours and 20 minutes to complete

Globe is donating a portion of the proceeds to Habitat for Humanity Philippines, with the common goal of building communities through volunteerism.
The donation will be handed over to Habitat for Humanity on race day, March 21, at the Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati City.

Habitat for Humanity is a global organization dedicated to uplifting people’s lives by providing them affordable and durable housing. In partnership with Habitat for Humanity Philippines, Globe will support the construction of new housing units to address the need for resettlement of the informal settlers from the Pasig riverbanks, a project initiated by Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig (KBIP).  Run for Home 2010 will help fund the construction of houses in Bayanijuan sa Calauan, a 100-hectare resettlement community in Barangay Dayap, Calauan, Laguna. This initiative is part of the Ayala Group of Companies’ commitment to build communities for those in need.

The course has been checked for safety. It will feature water stations, paramedic teams and portable toilets along the way.
There will also be a baggage deposit area at the race venue, and designated parking areas for participants and spectators.

–Participating runners each get an electronic timing chip that will track your moves and performance, auto-feed status updates to your Facebook account as you pass the finish line and allow you to get race pictures and analysis of your performance during the run.

–Within the same week as Run for Home 2010, you can download your race photos for free at http://www.globe.com.ph/run.Just type in your race number and you can find all photos with yourself in it.

–Competitive runners can also check their individual race results after the event, and get a detailed assessment of your running performance, e.g., your ranking vs. the total field of runners, your average speed during the race, your split times (time per lap/kilometer).

–And on race day, if your family and friends can’t be there to watch you live, they can watch a live streaming feed of the finish line by visiting http://www.globe.com.ph/run.

How to join the run:

You can register online at the Globe website http://www.globe.com.ph/run .
Or visit participating Globe stores:

o27    Trinoma Mall
o28    Greenhills Hub
o29    Glorietta 3
o30    SM Megamall Cyberzone      o31    Alabang Town Center
o32    SM Mall of Asia
o33    Market! Market!

After March 5,  registration will only be available at these Globe stores:
o    Trinoma Mall
o    Glorietta 3

You can also join by doing any of these things from February 14 to March 5:

o    Buy a new Globe Tattoo Broadband stick for just P 895 at a Globe store. Once you’ve got the stick, visit a participating Globe store and present your Official Receipt; you’ll get your race kit for free!
o    Register to Globe Duo for one month: It’s just P 399 if you’re a postpaid Globe user, and only P 450 if you’re on prepaid or Globe Tattoo. Once you’ve registered, just present the text message you received from Globe Duo, confirming you’re all signed up. You’ll get 50% off your race kit!
o    Just pay P 550 to join the 3k and 5k,  or P 700 for the 10k, 15k and 21k.
o    Bring your friends and run as a group!

§    If you all want to run in the 3k or 5k:
For a group of 5, it’s just P 2,200; you get 5 race kits.
For a group of 7, it’s just P 2,750; you get 7 race kits.
For a group of 10, it’s just P 3,850; you get 10 race kits

§    If you all want to run in the 10k, 15k or 21k:
For a group of 5, it’s just P 2,800; you get r race kits.
For a group of 7, it’s just P 3,500; you get 7 race kits.
For a group of 10, it’s just P 4,900; you get 10 race kits.

Let’s support their cause and hope to see you all in this race!

Marikina Riverbank Trails: Revisited

I’ve always been attracted to the Marikina Riverbanks Park. It holds a special place in my world of running as it has been a venue of countless runs in the past. What makes this place special is its very scenic route, a beautiful landscape that’s set along the banks of the Marikina River. Once a neglected stretch of swamp, the riverbanks has been revived to life, a peaceful oasis of lush green vegetable gardens, small mini parks and rows of eateries.

The 11k loop trail is a paradise for runners but you have to share it with a sprinkling of road bikers and the usual throng of people just strolling around to enjoy the view. Weekends are vibrant and teeming with activities where local farmers hawk their freshly harvested petchay, lettuce and tomatoes; people picnic at tables overlooking the river and just while away at its banks admiring the sculptures of real life size animals like carabaos, giraffes, elephants, monkeys and horses.

While the scene along the riverbanks seem to be throbbing, the park and the whole city of Marikina still struggles to rehabilitate itself from the massive scale of devastation wrought recently by typhoon Ondoy and the scars that it left behind are still evident.

Last Saturday, my regular LSD partners Betty and Tonette got together again and decided to venture out for a run at the riverbanks. For the two ladies, it would be their first time to run on these trails and for me, it was a chance to witness the changes in this park after typhoon Ondoy.

We started the run at about 5:30am. Tonette in white, Betty in blue.

Before the river's magnificence

With Tonette

We started our run at about 5:30am towards the northbound trails as it was still dark although most of the trails were fully illuminated by lampposts. On our 3rd kilometer, the sun has started to set-in and we could now see some of the effects that typhoon Ondoy had caused.

Low tide because of the drought

Something got the attention of the two

It was an aviary atop the walls of a house

Some portions of the banks of the river were eroded and some parts of the paved trails were now covered with sand. Some trees were uprooted and those that were standing were strewn with plastics and other trash. Parts of some trails that collapsed were now being repaired and you have to walk those portions as large rocks were still on top of these trails.

Grim reminder left by Typhoon Ondoy. Garbage waste left hanging on trees which were 30 feet above the riverbanks

Bamboo trees uprooted

Even the trail was not spared by the typhoon

The statue on left was used to anchor the boat which nearly capsized at the river

Back in each others arms:-)

Nice sand!

The crowd now gathering at the wide spaces

In front of a small dome

Noticeable is the low level of water because of El Nino

A Christmas tree at the middle of the river to give cheers

At the side of SM Marikina, near Marcos highway

Sandy road on the way back to the riverbanks

Nearing the steel dome

My favorite pic of the two

1.5k before the end of our run

Taking a break

Except for these remaining damages, the place has certainly regained its luster. Damaged plots have been replanted with crops and vegetables, the landscaping had been given a worked-over while eateries are again flourishing. With continuous rehabilitation still underway, this will be a soothing place to visit and run, once again!

Completing our 11k run

Photo Of The Week: Because Of You…

Because of you…i might be joining this race!


Takbo para sa Kalikasan (Year 11)
February 28, 2010, 4:00AM
Quirino Grand Stand

For the Benefit of Pasig River Rehalitation Project c/o Bantay Kalikasan

EVENTS

3K/5K/10K

REGISTRATION FEE

P200
P150 for students with valid ID
(Singlets to be given upon registration)

REGISTRATION AREA

DZMM Public Service Office
Look for Mr. Zaldy Naguit

Downloadable registration forms available at http://www.dzmm.com.ph

Shoe Review: New Balance 609 Trail Shoe

It’s one of the best shoe purchases i had (and the cheapest)– an entry level, low profile trail shoe. The New Balane 609 All Terrain shoe offers more than your average trail shoe where it combines stability, comfort and enough traction to handle rough, rocky and soft trails.

A note on the NB609 shoe however, that this shoe is a ‘hybrid’ or more known as an “all-terrain” running shoe that represent somewhat of a cross between a road and a trail shoe. This is intended for runners who cover distances on hard pavements going to and from trails. All terrain shoes provide a softer, road-like outsoles without the extra-hard traction of a pure, technical-trail shoe.

The first break-in i did on the 609 was a 15 km run around the U.P. Campus so it was running on a combination of asphalt, cement and short tracks of dirt pavements. It didn’t consciously feel that i was wearing an all-terrain shoe as it hugged the hard pavements well like an ordinary road shoe. It provided enough cushioning and stability for me.

Prepping up for a trail run

For its next test, i took it to where it should feel more at home, at the Licao-Licao trails in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan ( licao-licao). The trails here are rough and rocky but the 609 was up to task on this demanding terrain as it performed well. It provided enough shock absorption as it hit sharp edges many times and was flexible enough while tackling steep inclines.

Rocky trail

The NB609 is just right for runners who have wide feet like me and it felt like a glove. It’s not light and neither too heavy and hugs the cup of my heel just perfectly. I never felt any tightness and felt that i could wear this forever. I would give this the highest marks in terms of performance, quality and its price. Well, you can’t beat the “bagsak presyo” price currently being offered at The Sports Warehouse where i bought the shoe.

Being an avid trail runner, i’m often asked the question, “Can you run on trails using your ordinary road shoes?” Of course, you can enjoy trails–specially smooth trails without running in trail shoes. However, if a trail is hilly, rocky, wet, muddy or slippery, it would be to your advantage and protection to wear a trail shoe. Why? Because it gives you more traction, water protection, a longer lasting upper and greater safety.

But if you just run trails once in a blue moon or on rare occasions where there are trail races, i suggest you get the “All-Terrain” type so you could use it for either on or off-road running.

Recovery Trail Run at Licao-Licao

It was just supposed to be a recovery run.

After Sunday’s grueling Condura marathon, there’s not much i wanted to do but to take things easy in the days that followed: jog for a few minutes a day, walk and jog some more to loosen up those tight muscles and regain some mobility and flexibility.

I dread the days following a marathon as much as the race itself, as the effort to recover leaves me physically and mentally flat the weeks after. While a complete rest will never be an option, i have nevertheless continued to cross-train by attending Taebo classes after completing my 30 minutes of easy running.

When running pal, June Santiago proposed that we do an easy trail run inside Ciudad Real in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan for an easy run, i immediately accepted and took this as an opportunity to regenerate the muscles by concentrating more on the “pleasurable” act of running.

However, little did we know that the route to Licao-Licao was going to be a very long stretch of endless trails that runs for about 10kms one way that ends at the Veterans memorial in Brgy. San Isidro. We ran and walked and it took us a total of 4 hours covering about 21kms to traverse the whole route.

It was great to recharge the batteries by running in scenic settings bounded by trees, mountains, fauna, animals and all that nature presented. Moreover, it was nice to finally break-in the New Balance 609 Trail Shoe i bought recently (on sale) at the Sports Warehouse.

Although my legs felt the burn more that it loosened on what was supposed to be a relaxing run, i can honestly say, “we’ll be back again in a couple of weeks!”

Here’s our trail run, in pictures:

Entry to Licao-Licao via Ciudad Real, Bulacan

Inside Ciudad Real

June posing in front of the seminary

Start of the long trail

The rough road that challenged our trail shoes

Near the Salikneta Farm (De La Salle-Araneta University Research Lab)

Happy trails:-)

June with local town folks and a runner from the Fairview Running Club we met at the trails

Resuming our run

Approaching on our 4th kilometer

One of several short inclines

Rocky trail

One long stretch

The shade of trees kept us from the heat of the sun in the early part of our run

Which way to go?

Resting to pose

Run we go!

Running on rocks made the run much harder

This trail is now part of Licao-Licao

Trails were mostly double tracks

The sun's rays piercing through the foliage

Running high inside nature

Stopping at a shallow stream

Lady fetching water

We continue our quest

Couldn't resist taking a picture here amidst the quiet surroundings

Looking for a store to buy refreshments along Licao2 Highway

Logs residents stock for firewood

Farmer transporting some fertilizers for his farm

Searching for a possible "kilawin" dinner?

The long road back

Not Forgetting Our Condura Carbo-Loading Party

I almost forgot posting our recent Carbo-Loading Party (CLP) we had at Joey Peperroni, The Fort last Thursday, two days before our scheduled Condura Skyway Marathon. The get-together was a record-breaker of sorts, attracting more than 75 runners, mostly from the Takbo.ph website forum.

CLPs are a runners favorite way of getting together, sharing their running stories while loading on their favorite pastas. All the formality of the dining table is broken down, allowing food and conversation to flow naturally in cozy surroundings.

It’s also a great way to ease the tension and a nice respite from the rigors of training before the big day comes. Here are some pictures as we enjoyed the moments and later savored in finishing the marathon:

At our table

Th early birds

Table hopping

Doc Pinky and Kikay Runner (Noelle)

Sid and Rey

Angel and Tina

Drunken L (Cindy) & the Flying B (Carina)

Abby and Gabby

JJ, Ambo K, Angel & Tina

Happy bunch!

Vicky and Doc T

Carmen and Mike, sitting

Kikay Runner

Great smile from Z...

(Thanks to Bong and Doc Marvs for some of the pics!)

42Kms Worth Of Memories

What makes a marathon finish memorable? There should be a dozen different answers from runners who have finished one. It may be experiencing a new challenging route that you dreamt of conquering one day. It may be the support you got with your running group that made the run easier, more exciting and more fun. Or it may be achieving your one main goal, to be able to finish your first marathon.

For me, it’s a combination of all the above, when you feel that your body and mind have worked alternatively or in tandem no matter how difficult or painful the experience was and feeling the exhilaration once you cross the finish line.

The Condura Skyway Marathon just gave me reason to celebrate again! It’s good to be back on the fray, completing my first marathon run in 17 years and my 5th marathon finish over-all.

It was a long hard climb, two years after deciding to make a comeback to running last 2008 although i wasn’t sure i would be able to sustain the motivation. We all know too well that half the battle of training isn’t the running itself, that it’s finding the resolve to run each day and it takes a lot of commitment, goal setting and having a training plan to carry out such a formidable task.

When i was at the starting line yesterday at the Condura race, i didn’t have a race plan. Feeling like a beginner again, my goal was just to finish below six hours and run the best way i can. My stomach was having double-knots and the pre-race nerves was getting into me since last Saturday. I could not really shake out the fear that i felt and that was the fear of “failure” even if i came fully prepared. I was logging at around 70-80 kms a week and running distances of 34 to 45 kms on my Sunday long runs.

So, at the very last minute before the gun fired-off, i decided to join a group of runners from takbo.ph who were doing the Galloway method of running for 5 minutes at an average pace of 6:30/km then fast walking for 1 minute, the 5:1 run-walk ratio. It was tolerable running it the first 3 kilometers but i couldn’t keep up with the fast run segments as we were sometimes going at a 6:00 minute/km pace. I knew that if i stayed with them, i could not have kept up with the pace and still have any energy left for the middle stages. Much worse, i would have had great difficulty finishing the race if i stayed on so i cut loose at the 4th km and ran my own pace thereafter.

The silent, eerie stretch of highway and the mixture of urban and rural vantage points atop the Skyway will make you forget your feet are pounding on hard cement. A good 15 to 20 kms of the Skyway was used for the route and i felt some kind of drudgery, running on one, very long, endless highway. The marching bands stationed along the Skyway who were supposed to play during the rush of runners who passed by them, didn’t help alleviate the boredom as they were just sitting and looking more tired and sleepy than we runners were. Some of the runners even coaxed them to play but it just fell on deaf ears.

The runner support was however, above par. There were adequate water stations not only at the Skyway but all throughout the route. The marshals were exemplary as they even handed out the water cups to the runners themselves. However, one sad note i experienced was when i saw some runners trying to revive two runners who collapsed past the 21k mark just before the turn-around bend at the Skyway but there was no roving ambulance on site! It was a scary moment. On my way back, i saw both sitting down on their own and somewhat revived.

At Buendia on to the Skyway

On my way back at 33 kms, i saw what seemed to be a transplanted banana plantation cum aide station at the middle of Buendia Avenue set up by Entrepreneur-runner Amado Castro and the takbo.ph group led by couple Jinoe and Queenie. The bananas were so plentiful that it could have fed the whole barangay of Pasong Tamo with still plenty to spare!

The last four kilometers was the most excruciating part of the run for me. After climbing up the grueling Buendia flyover on my way back to the Fort, i felt my body stiffen, my knees locked and couldn’t sway my arms as much as i wanted to. I haven’t drank water or Gatorade from my flask for the last 3 kms and didn’t feel like drinking at all although i knew i needed to. I realized then that i was crashing into the “Wall”. The only thing that was moving was my two feet which luckily were moving forward–but not by much. I began to feel a mild paralysis from my head down to my ankles. I knew that if i panicked, i might not be able to move my feet so i tried to stay calm.

I was still at Kalayaan Bridge, just about 250 meters away from 32nd Street, when i suddenly realized that i was at the exact spot where my running partners from Runnex, Betty and Tonette used to stop to walk and rest during our long Sunday runs. This time, they were not there to run with me (Betty had an urgent business call in HK while Tonnette had to attend to family matters). The 3 of us had paced each other, stop together when one felt like walking and each gave me their chocolate bars or bananas when i felt hungry. Now, i could barely move and not one of them was there to assuage me that everything would be fine. At this instant, i felt a little emotional and i was fighting back tears. I was getting frustrated because my body didn’t move as it should and i couldn’t think clearly.

In marathon running, you can program the brain for success or failure. It’s either the negative thoughts persists, like not being able to finish the race or you see the positive side that your hard work has brought to where you are now. I knew that my training was solid, carbo-loaded days before the race, that this run was just an ordinary Sunday long run and should treat it as such. I knew what to do and was able to focus on the physical and spiritual journey–the process–rather than a particular outcome. Slowly, i began to think of all the hard training i’ve done. Slowly too, my body began to move forward again. Clearly, my mind was taking over what my body could not do anymore.

There is such a thing as a second-wind. Just as i thought i would be trudging the last 3 kms to the finish, there is that sudden outburst of energy that’s just ready to be tapped from within when you need it the most. The last water station along the University Parkway was like heaven sent. I finally drank two cupfuls of the orange carbonated drink (i don’t usually drink them in races as it always upsets my stomach) and another cupful of water and it served like a jet-fuel that set me off to running form again. I realized then that all i needed was to hydrate myself which i avoided for the last 4 kms.

Near the finish, i was greeted by the hollers and shouts of encouragement of friends and running mates until i crossed the finish, just behind running friend, Doc Marvs who sensed that i was inching my way to overtake him and sprinted until he was clearly safe a few meters ahead.

At the finish

I finished with a time of 5:44 (5:42:43 Official Time) and just thankful i was able to cross the finish. I know that i can still improve on this, but that would not be so important at this time.

5:42:43 Official Time

So what now? In every experience like running a marathon, we always learn something about ourselves. We are always in the midst of an adventure, an inner challenge and learn to face fears and adversities that presents itself. On certain occasions, we push the edge of the envelope. Hopefully we become wiser, more confident and well-armed for the better.

Till the next great marathon!

Group pic

With Obet Alano, team mate from Runnex who also finished the 42k, his 12th, i think.

(Thanks to Brando and McCoy for the pics!)

All Set For Condura!

There was nary a hitch nor long lines present when i claimed my Condura 42k race packet yesterday afternoon at Condura’s designated booths near ROX at the Bonifacio High Street in Taguig. Not even the heat of the sun could spoil the relative ease in claiming my envelope and it was all done in one minute!

The lean crowd in the early afternoon

That's my designated tent. No lines yet.

I arrive early at about 4:15pm and being the first day start of retrieving the packets would have been one of the reasons for people not to rush out too early. I also surmised that a lot of them would still be preparing to leave their offices to get to the venue. While there were lines already on some of the tents, my designated booth was practically empty so I was all alone in front of the marshal’s table.

My race packet contained the following:

1.  Race Bib # 50610 (without barcode)

2.  A blank race bib where you can write your name

3.  A very nice Run for the Dolphins T-Shirt,

4.  A Nature Valley energy bar

5.  A Reflectorized Pin Button and

6.  An advance supplemental copy of the Philippine Star which features Sundays’ Condura run.

Contents of the race packet

The Philippine Star supplement is just enormous and contains a comprehensive program of events that include the race maps, race routes, hydration plans/stations, race pack redemption, emergency aid stations, Patrick Concepcion’s helpful marathon running tips and write-ups on the history of the Condura run and its advocacies. It’s pretty impressive, if you may ask.

Right now, i’m getting hyped-up already but nervous at the same time as this is going to be my first marathon race in 17 years (the last came at the ’93 HK Marathon) and my fifth 42k over-all. My goal now is just to be able to finish the race and have fun, as well.

See you at Condura!