The “Scars” of Running

As i look down at my left foot today, i take notice of the scars that years of running had done. The endless pounding on pavements, trails and every conceivable surface has now taken its injured foot or a painful heel spur, to be more specific.

It looks like it just had been crushed by an asphalt roller and had to be plaster-casted at the National Orthopedic Hospital. And it looks gross. Ugh!

Just taped my left foot

Actually, the plasters are just ordinary athletic tapes that runners with Plantar Fasciitis or heel spurs apply to secure the foot in place and preventing the arch from collapsing unnecessarily. I also use a silicone heel pad to further cushion the pounding and lessen the impact.

At times, i also use a KT Tape (generously provided by running mate Betty) and the ever popular and inexpensive masking tape which does a good job, as well. There are so many ways to tape the feet and you can search it on the net, particularly at YouTube.

Well, it doesn’t look as bad as it seem and the feet are just remarkably fine though i feel the tinge a bit if i run beyond 10k. My Plantar Fasciitis has actually healed but it’s the heel spur now that’s been causing all the discomfort and needs to be treated.

I’ve been in some form of a therapy and i visit a PT twice a week which has been on-going for several weeks now. There’s no sure fire treatment to a heel spur unless you want a cortisone to be injected or subject it to surgery to remove the bone growth.

I’m still doing the conservative treatments, though; cold therapy, stretching, foot rolls, massage, taping, Vitamin I (Ibuprofen) and lots of rest.

After the run

It’s been a week and a half since i ran last and that was at the Run With the Masters race at Roxas Blvd.  It’s been the longest time of rest i had from an injury so i had to see and check the progress. Met up this morning with the usual suspects of Betty, Tonete, Leo and Sylvia at the Meralco Compound at Ortigas Avenue.

The group at the Meralco compound

I have since gained another 4 lbs in 2 weeks and had to adjust my belt bag to loosen it which i had not done for several years now. What the heck!

I arrived late at Meralco as the group had just finished running 6k so i joined them for the rest of their run.


I felt quite ok and at the end, i finished 5.5k in around 36 minutes while the guys did more than 10k. It was a nice, good easy run and it’s something as a surprise for me as the foot didn’t hurt at all.

Hopefully, the foot will be more ready the next i run the “Run With The Doctors Race” (here) or the “World Youth Day Fun Run” (here) this Sunday and leave the scar behind.

Merrell Barefoot Collection Launched in Manila

It’s been around in the local scene for some time now and if you’re in a race lining up for the start, just look down and you might just find a pair or two wearing these glove-like shoes that’s shaped like a foot.

It’s a “minimalist” shoe inspired by barefoot running. It’s as close as barefoot running can get and assumes that running close to barefoot is the natural movement of the feet rather than wearing regular running shoes that has pads, cushioned heels or motion control features which they say, inhibit the natural stride of a runner.

Runners have become open to trying new concepts of running and for shoe manufacturers, they have introduced the least amount of shoe a runner can safely wear while strengthening the foot and improving one’s stride.

NIKE had introduced the FREE several years ago and others have now joined the bandwagon like the VIBRAM Five Fingers, VIVO Barefoot models, the SOMNIO Nada, Brooks Green Silence, New Balance Minimus and lately, the SAUCONY Hattori Zero Drop.

Enter now the MERRELL line of minimalist shoes which has recently been introduced in Manila. It’s called the Barefoot Collection. For men, it’s introducing the Merrell Trail Glove, True Glove and Tough Glove while for women, there’s the Pace Glove, Power Glove and Pure Glove.

I was able to attend the launching of these shoes a few weeks ago at their main concept store in Market! Market!, Bonifacio Global City and the line-up seems to be promising.

It would have been nice to test-run these shoes on the road and trails and make a review of it but that might have to wait for a while. I’m just wondering what these shoes would feel like if they’re used in rough, technical trails with very minimum support and cushioning.

Anyways, they’re now available at all Merrel stores and leading department stores and retail for about P4,000.00/pair. Check them out!

Facade of Merrells Store at Market!Market!

The Barefoot Collection

Bards (Banana Running) tries one of the womens models

Among the early birds, from left Clockwise: James, Marga, Carina, Bards, me, Fred, Vener, Roselle and Blas

Group picture with the Merrel staff

Running With The Masters: My Race Recap

It took us less than 30 minutes to arrive at Rizal Park and there were already runners milling about in front of KM 0, start of this mornings’ Run With The Masters Race. If there was one stupid slack i did this morning was i forgot to bring my bib number to the race. Oh, i did have my shorts and running shoes with me (Duh). It was Tonet who registered for me and brought my race singlet and i assumed she had the race bib too forgetting that i had it stacked in an envelope two weeks ago.

I tried to get a replacement bib from Fred Villarta (no relation), one of the race organizers but no dice, he couldn’t do that for me although he allowed me to run as i paid for my registration but had to forgo of crossing the finish line on my return. I was running the 10k distance, had my own hydration and figured i would just finish on the outside of the finish line area. No big deal as this was just going to be a training run for me.

My group, Sylvia, Betty, Leo and Tonet

With Betty and Tonet

One thing i noticed about this race is the simplicity of the race settings. It’s a one simple, straightforward no frills event with a spartan starting line made of steel braces festooned with lots of tarpaulins of event sponsors to cover the steel bars. Noticeable is the absence of any steel railings that encloses the starting line so it’s a free-for-all area although the 21k runners took their places intuitively as they were the first to be fired-off while we 10k runners would wait at the back or the sides for our turn.

Starting line in front of KM0

The 10k runners about to begin

A minute before the 21k run started, i saw a portly guy who looked familiar, giving last instructions to the runners. I thought it was Red Dumuk, a race director during the early 80s who was involve with the leading marathons back then including the Manila and Filipinas International Marathons. If that was you Red, nice to see you back.

The weather has become hot and humid as i discovered during the first few kilometers of the race. I had slowly gone out with Tonet who was wearing a 21k race bib but decided to downgrade to the 10k distance in order to accompany me. So, with Tonet with me, this is to be an easy run and there wouldn’t be an attempt for a PR on this one. No matter. I soaked with sweat climbing the Buendia flyover instead. Along with the sizzling temperatures, fun was the norm of this race whose advocacy is the fund-raising campaign of the Philippine Team in the 19th World Masters Athletic Championship in Sacramento this July.

Surprisingly, there were no Kenyans on this race which gave or local elite runners the chance to be on the limelight. This run however, wasn’t just for the elites to shine. It was for the mid-pack runners too who enjoyed the light atmosphere as much as the almost flat, out and back Roxas Boulevard course. There were adequate water stations and like in the 80’s, tabos (ladles) were used to pour water on cups!

The good-ol tabo being used. Yikes!

Not long after we cleared the outside of the finish line for our 10k finish and my other running buddies’ 21k run, our group sat in a crowded Aristocrat Restaurant savoring their famous barbecue chicken, omelets, arroz-caldo, bibingka, pork-tofu and some hot pipping coffee. Betty and Leo set new PRs for their 21k race. My run time hadn’t been what i hoped, but on a warm, fun Sunday at Roxas Blvd, it just didn’t matter.

Here are more pictures of the race:

Members of the Mariners Running Club (remember them?) They were recording the finish times of their 21k runners and any member crossing the finish in more than 2 hours would be reprimanded and a corresponding penalty imposed by their superiors, according to the members i talked to. Cheating was strictly prohibited!

The group after the run

At the Aristocrat Resto enjoying some bibingka

Co-runners Reylynne, Mark and the rest of their group on a table beside us

With Reylynnes group

Planning To Marry A Runner?

So, you are a non-runner and are about to get married to a runner. Here’s a few pre-nuptial words of wisdom:

  1. Don’t expect him to be beside you in bed the moment you wake up in the morning. The early morning run is part of his ritual. You have to brush your hair and apply some make-up before going to work or the results are unpleasant. Same with a runner.
  2. He may be in a bad mood, grouchy or irritable when he heads out the door for a run. However, expect him to be sober or most likely happy and refreshed after he comes back. You may find yourself wishing that your spouse would go out on a run every time he feels grouchy.
  3. Runners are mostly collectors of running mementos. Expect her to accumulate race singlets and T-shirts than she’ll ever need and purchase new pairs of running shoes without discarding her old ones. However, if you donate these items to charity or give them away to your relatives without asking permission, there will be trouble!
  4. There will be pay-days when your spouse goes home and hands you his salary envelope and you notice the money short on what he usually hands you. This may be because he has paid some registration fees to enter some races or worst, he has purchased another pair of new running shoes! Expect the usual excuses, “at least i didn’t spend it for a GRO’s drinks or going on a night-out with friends.”
  5. If you’re attending a social function made up of runners, take a good book with you or bring your cellfone with built-in games to play with or seek out others who are non-runners like you.
  6. I hope you like pasta.
  7. Even though your spouse can run a sub-Piolo (47 mins) 10k, race day is at least 4 hours long. Expect on arriving 1 hour before the start, allow an hour for the race itself and 2 more hours for post race activities. Two hours? Yes, because you line up for the race freebies, you line up half-kilometer for a half-slice of Nature Valley bar, another half-kilometer for your picture to be taken by the official photographer and the endless picture taking with your running buddies, running team, with the Emcees, with the Showbiz people and additional photos for wacky poses! When running spouse finally decides to leave and invites you over at McDonald’s for breakfast, expect to find many more of his running friends inside and add an additional hour of stay there.
  8. If you’re used to hearing mass in the morning of a Sunday and expect him to be home on time from the races so you can hear mass together, forget it for reasons #7. Just schedule all activities in the afternoon.
  9. If you have spare time, enroll in a 2-week REFLEXOLOGY class as there will be times when spouse will ask you to knead and massage his aching muscles and sore heels. You will be able to save money from his regular massage at the Spa and you will be in his good graces forever!
  10. Never, ever say the word “Quit”, “that’s enough, we can take a cab” or “just walk if you can’t run anymore” during a race, specially in a 5k or 10k race. Be warned that runners do not take kindly to coaching tips or advices from non-running spouses specially on short distance races. The more you tell him to walk, the more he’ll run, no matter what.
  11. It’s inevitable that your spouse will encourage you to take up running. Eventually, you might even surpass his PRs in all distances, from the 5k to the 100 miler BDM. Don’t hold back thinking that you might hurt his ego. On the contrary, he’s going to be very proud of you.

Now, you’ll know why the man or woman you love loves running!

U.P. Campus: A Universal Playground

I am re-posting an article published last April 7, 2011 by SAM MARCELO, Senior writer of the Business World Newspaper who wrote this splendid article about running and other sporting activities at the University of the Philippines campus. Sam reminisces why the campus of his Alma mater has been attracting hordes of sports enthusiasts and shares his pleasant experiences with the running community. He quotes me (ehem..) on the routes inside the campus and why running there has been a part of many runners’ itinerary. Here’s the article:


The University of the Philippines (UP), Diliman is a year-round petri dish of human activity. Unlike schools that turn into ghost towns over summer vacation, UP is perpetually alive. On Sundays, when cars aren’t allowed into the Academic Oval, weekend warriors flock to the Diliman campus, already a Mecca for joggers, and turn the university into a universal playground.

The beating heart of UP is the Academic Oval, a 2.2-kilometer stretch that is more rectangle than oval when viewed in Google Earth’s satellite images. Joggers usually begin their run at Quezon Hall (The Administration Building or “Admin”), the site of the Oblation statue. Sculpted by National Artist Guillermo Tolentino, the pose of the Oblation — arms outstretched, head turned to the sky — is symbolic of solemn offering (which is what “oblation” means, in the first place). During my years as a UP student, I never saw the Oblation as a sacrificial lamb. I always thought — and still think — of UP’s naked man as an Olympic ideal, a victorious runner breasting the tape.
Under his shadow, runners limber up. While stretching their gastrocnemius and quadriceps muscles, they face towards the west, like the Oblation, and take in the view: the length of the University Avenue framed by a pair of triangular waiting sheds designed by National Artist Napoleon Abueva. The sunflowers that line “Univ. Ave.” haven’t yet begun to bloom but they are there, sleeping underneath the earth. Sunflowers are a summer tradition in UP; these heliotropes are scheduled to bloom late April, right around the time graduation ceremonies are held.

After the ritual of stretching is done, one can either turn towards Roxas Ave. and run the Acad Oval counterclockwise (in the same direction as the area’s one-way vehicular traffic scheme) or turn towards Osmena Ave. and run clockwise.

The experience isn’t the same. Running the loop counterclockwise means going with the flow and becoming a proverbial single drop of water in a mighty river. Running clockwise means seeing people — really seeing them — and occasionally meeting an oncoming jogger’s eyes. Many prefer to run counterclockwise. Assuming that the elevation data available from Google Earth is accurate, there is a rational explanation for this phenomenon: the Acad Oval is easier to run counterclockwise because of the downward sloping terrain close to Melchor Hall (The College of Engineering, “Engíg”). Go clockwise and you’ll be running uphill more often than not.

Part of the Academic Oval

During the beginning of the school year, freshmen are given “survival guides” containing university lore. Trivia compiled in Vista Pinas, a blog run by Eugene Alvin Villar, UP alumnus and self-described “techno-addict and map-fanatic,” includes the following unverified but oft-quoted details: (1) there are 16 humps around the Acad Oval; (2) its western end is Kilometer 14 and its eastern end, Kilometer 15; and (3) 281 acacia trees line the oval, 109 on the outer lane and 172 on the inside. The branches of these acacia trees tangle, twine and form an arboreal embrace above UP’s runners.

“Running in UP is great because of its almost pollution-free environment. It has wide open spaces, acacia tree-lined roads and many more shaded pathways that protect you from the heat of the sun,” said Rene L. Villarta in an e-mail interview with BusinessWorld. Mr. Villarta is the team leader and head of the Adidas Adination of Runners Running Clinic that meets in UP every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. “Running in UP is like running in a huge park replete with botanical gardens, green foliage, quaint residential neighborhoods, and buildings old and new. Vehicles are at a minimum and, most importantly, the campus is very peaceful.MICROCOSM OF PHILIPPINE SOCIETY”

The university is said to be a microcosm of Philippine society. Jogging is a fine opportunity to people-watch and the variety of joggers and jogging-related fashion in UP is different from the yuppie/expat agglomeration found in the south. You will not find anyone like Lawin or Zorro, the unofficial masked mascot of the university whose lair extends from Quezon Memorial Circle to UP, in Makati or Fort Bonifacio Global City.

U.P.'s Zorro (Pic taken from Juice Kupo's blog)

The caped crusader is harmless — he might be considered a protector, even — and he is as much a part of UP as the Oblation, as the “aristokarts,” the “hepa sandwiches,” and the Ikot and Toki jeeps. He perches on the Acad Oval’s benches, high-fives random joggers, and cheers them on.

UP has cross-training varsity members, their loping nonchalance evident in every swish of their loose Michael Jordanesque shorts; serious runners identifiable by their metronomic gait and hydration systems; ex-athletes who wear their old jerseys like armor, as if to say “I may be a sack of potatoes now but I used to be fit”; marathoners in racing singlets proclaiming that they ARE fit and capable of finishing a 21-kilometer race; trendy runners trying out Vibram FiveFingers barefoot sports shoes; and brand ambassadors who declare their loyalty to either swoosh or three stripes from head to toe.

The Acad Oval has them all: human beings of every age and every morphology (from callipygian to cankleíd). They run, juke, walk, jog, backpedal, high-knee, butt-kick, and karaoke while dressed in sweat pants, compression tights, and last decade’s fashion. The most common accessory? White earbuds courtesy of Steve Jobs.

Me and Marga

Along Roxas Ave., by the waiting shed in front of the Faculty Center (“FC”), BMX bikers — different from the helmeted cyclists going around the Acad Oval — perform wheelies, tailwhips, and other “flatland” tricks while dressed in low-slung jeans that expose boxer shorts — and, on occasion, butt-crack — to the jogging public.

Continuing on the counterclockwise route, a jogger will see skateboarders doing kickflips and grinds on the AS steps. This stairway leads to Palma Hall, formerly the “Arts and Sciences” Building (hence “AS”). The entities previously housed in this building have since split into the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Social Science and Philosophy, and the College of Science, but its name remains: it is still “AS.
The AS Steps, owned by skateboarders on Sunday, is the acknowledged “tambayan” or hangout of UP’s “coño” crowd. On these steps, they congregate and wait for their drivers to pick them up. It’s possible to spend hours here and the true mark of a UP graduate is the ability to sit anywhere and kill time.
Across the AS Steps, in the AS Parking Lot, mallet-wielding men and women mounted on two-wheeled mechanical horses engage in a new craze: bicycle polo. The Acad Oval is both museum and proving ground for leisurely pursuits. Along this 2.2-kilometer loop, one might spot Rollerblades (inline skates, if you prefer), a throwback from the 1990s, or folding electronic bikes invented by a UP Diliman engineering graduate (look up the Tronix eBike).


As a jogger approaches the eastern side of the Acad Oval, opposite the Oblation Plaza, he sees the Sunken Garden (officially named General Antonio Luna Parade Grounds, but no one calls it that), a natural bowl-like depression teeming with sweaty bodies engaged in team sports. Hours before play begins, designated members must arrive early and stake out their domain with little orange cones. Setting down these pylons is the human equivalent of dogs urinating on their territory.

Adidas Adination of Runners, UP Group

Over time and out of habit, areas become associated with sports. Football is usually played closer to Benitez Hall (College of Education, “Educ”); disc on the opposite end, closer to Malcolm Hall (College of Law, “Law”). The center belongs to whoever gets there first.

The rise and fall of a game’s popularity can be judged by how much of the Sunken Garden’s five hectares it eats up. During its heyday in the early 2000s, flag football used to be played on three fields (to the ire of other sports enthusiasts). That no longer happens since the Sunken Garden crowd has moved to Circulo Verde near Eastwood City.

At best, one might find a group of friends playing seven-a-side flag football or a tackle football team belonging to ArenaBall Philippines, the first local tackle football league, training in full gear.

The natural slope of the Sunken Garden is reserved for idlers who would rather lie on the grass and spectate than participate. They loll, read, sketch, and watch the clouds roll by. With their DSLRs, they document the frolicking staged in front of them. Families set up their tents and picnic mats and enjoy a tame version of the great outdoors.

The covered walk leading from AS to the Gonzalez Hall (University or Main Library, “Main Lib”) offers another vantage point of the Sunken Garden. Back when the College of Fine Arts (“FA”) was still located in Gonzalez Hall, this covered walk was known as the “artist’s street,” where the cool kids and pretty girls of FA hung out.

Boomerang throwers, kite fliers, and Sepak Takraw players have all visited and played in Sunken Garden, a marshy piece of land that, according to UP lore, sits on a fault line (hence the sinking). It isn’t perfect. During the rainy season, the Sunken Garden floods and turns into a mud pit; during summer time, it’s a desert. Artifacts such as broken bottles and condoms have been exhumed from this site of urban anthropology. Unpeopled, the Sunken Garden is a barren womb.

The UP Diliman campus, established in 1949, has a classical layout with a monumental axis running from the Oblation statue to the Andres Bonifacio monument in front of Vinzons Hall. Rounding the eastern end of the Acad Oval, a jogger first hits Law (the mirror image of Educ) then Engig (the mirror image of AS).

The tennis courts and the 130-foot Carillon Tower are found on this side of the Acad Oval. Take your earbuds out and you might hear music students practicing their instruments. A few more paces down and you’ll hit the grassy area behind Quezon Hall, which is more family oriented than Sunken Garden. Volleyball, badminton, buzzing remote-control cars, folks dozing in hammocks — these are the sights on this end of the 2.2-kilometer loop.

The hill opposite Quezon Hall was part of a nine-hole golf course spread over UP’s 493 hectares of rolling terrain. Sometimes, guys take their pitching wedge and practice their swing on this knoll, upon which a makeshift green has also sprouted. Turn the corner and you’re back where you started: right in front of the Oblation statue.

At 6 p.m., the lights flutter on; joggers come and go well into the night. University officials and professors prefer to make their rounds late at night to lessen the risk of bumping into students (it is mildly awkward to see your Math 55 professor panting around the Acad Oval).

Unfortunately, the street lamps’ glow doesn’t reach the Sunken Garden. The last ball is thrown, the last disc is hucked when it finally gets too dark to see.


The known length of the Acad Oval makes it easy for joggers to track their progress. When boredom hits, however, there are several alternatives. First option: the 400-meter Track Oval across the College of Human Kinetics, where the university’s softball and football varsities share the field with track-and-fielders practicing their javelin, shot put, and hammer throws.

Second, the new 500-meter “science oval,” a tribute to the Acad Oval, which is envisioned to be the unifying feature of the soon-to-be-completed National Science Complex, a 21.9-hectare project that was allocated P1.7 billion by the Philippine government in 2006.

And lastly, institutionalized jogging routes used by members of the UP Mountaineers for its diagnostic runs. According to Mr. Villarta, who also runs the blog, the 10-, 15-, and 21-kilometer distances extend outside the Acad Oval and include Magsaysay Ave. and Pardo De Tavera St. towards the south. Standard distance races in UP are measured on this five-kilometer loop, run it twice and you’ve covered 10 kilometers.

These routes include Heartbreak Hill, a 100-meter incline with a steep grade that reaches up to 20 feet. “UP’s Heartbreak Hill has been a regular training ground for runners since the late 1970s,” said Mr. Villarta, who added that its distance and elevation have been given as fact ever since.

U.P.'s Heartbreak Hill

As for playgrounds — as in those with slides, swings, and seesaws — UP has several of them: one is located behind the College of Science Library and Administration Building. There are at least two others (have fun looking for them).


“UP is a responsive environment,” said Danilo Silvestre, former dean of the College of Architecture (“Arki”), who specializes in architectural and urban design. “Its design is robust and it lends itself to anything. You can’t foresee how people are going to use it — and people will use it the way they want to.”

In architectural parlance, he continued, “robustness” refers to a space’s ability to perform a multiplicity of functions. When the AS Steps were first built, for example, architects weren’t thinking that it would be a great prop for skateboard tricks. And yet, the stairs are used as such today.

“UP means different things to different people,” said Mr. Silvestre, a UP alumnus who graduated magna cum laude. He added that the activities performed around Acad Oval will often reflect the prevailing cultural milieu.

As an example, he offered the 1950s, an Americanized period in Philippine history, during which hayride wagons circled the Acad Oval as part of the Lantern Parade, which also included a university-wide barn dance.

Today, UP is a social place, especially on weekends when it exudes a “fiesta atmosphere.”

We return because of the memories that are rooted in every nook and cranny of the campus. Places are easier to love than people. UP is mine. It can be yours as well.

(UP Diliman is open every day. Entrance is free.)

The whole article can be found here: Alabang Nightfest Run

I had one exciting run at the Nightfest race this weekend and it had one of the nicest race route i’ve encountered in a while. I think it’s a route the Alabang-Adidas Adination of Runners group frequently visit in their weekly night runs and the long undulating hills posed a challenge to those unfamiliar with the terrain, including myself.

Being unfamiliar with the route in Filinvest, i just went on with the flow of runners when the starting gun fired-off at 6:00pm and ran on a leisurely pace with my digicam in tow. The run took us to quaint under-developed residential neighborhoods with trees that seemed to line-up the whole route. The temporary floodlights seem to do its job in providing the needed illumination to guide the runners, otherwise it was pitch dark for most of the route.

I ran the 10k so it was two loops of the course. The hydration was adequate specially the Pocari hydration stations, wherein the middle tables were surrounded by wooden planks to serve as a “processing” area by the water attendants in pouring Pocari into empty cups. After the cups are filled up, attendants transfer them into the open tables for runners to pick up. The wooden planks were apparently constructed to prevent the runners from picking up cups from there while the attendants are still pouring the drinks to it. A Leadpack innovation? Nice one.:-)

I maintained an easy 7:00/km pace and my 10k time of over an hour was similar to that of the GOOD Day Race, the Sunday before. Checking the official results, my name read as the”Unknown Runner!” 🙂

It was an enjoyable run in spite of those rolling hills, capped with a hearty dinner at the Festival Mall with my youngest daughter who lives nearby.

Thanks to Jinoe, Doc Lyndon, Ian and the Leadpack team for a wonderful run! Here are some pictures of the event:


The start and finish


Lovebirds? Yikitii!

MC DJ Chloe

Speed and beauty (both accredited to kikayrunner )

Hotlegs Runner? No, that's kikayrunner showing off her new Mizuno shoes!

With Ms. Nora, the golden girl

Took this pic while running the early part of the course

At the 3 and 6km loop mark

Darkness sets in

Near the finish (Photo by Amanda)

After the finish, with Team Boring


KB Runner (R) with Team Boring

After the race, had dinner with my bunso (who i patiently waited, as always) at Festival Mall


A Goody Run

This recap of last Sunday’s The GOOD Run is now overdue as i was going through some busy patches the last several days, attending to some prospective tenants of a property in Las Pinas and attending some meetings and launches of several running events in the evenings as these race happenings have become more frequent.

It’s been almost a week since the GOOD Run but i’m still feeling delightful of running this great event. I entered the race with low expectations, having ran the Hyundai Run For A Cause (here) the day before and i was still reeling from the soreness of my heel.

I was planning to run Sunday’s 10k a little faster than my Hyundai run but after running the first kilometer, i knew that was unrealistic. Almost always, the first kilometer is a good indication on how well (or bad) you’re going to run the rest of the way.

The race start

I was surprised to see a good-enough turn-out for the race, well Coach Rio’s races always attract a good number of participants as the route ran similar to the Run United 10k Race, only it didn’t pass at the back of St. Luke’s Hospital anymore and instead went straight to Justice Drive on the way to 7th Avenue.

With very little training the week before, i struggled the last kilometer of the race but got to nip some runners at the final 20 meters before the finish, a habit i get to play and relish at end of races.:-)

It was enjoyable over-all, the race as usual was well organized and i can’t help but feel satisfied on the outcome of such a wonderful event.

Here are some photos of the race:


After the 10k finish

With the 6:30 Group

With the Snail Runners of Alabang

My Somnio (lower-most) on display:-)

With "Journeying" James

With Mark and Jay

Don’t Get Sick, Run With Doctors

It’s nice to run with doctors, and many of them are real competitive runners. From Runnex, i’ve shared roads with Docs Lito, Benny, Gilbert and from the group, there’s Doc Pinky, Doc Eire, Doc Lyndon, Doc Topher, Doc Eric, Doc Roy, Doc Art and even with Doc Jun of Tarayem Runners… the list goes on. What’s nice about running with these doctors is that they don’t talk or impose any of their medical lingo like ectomys, dracunculosis or lobotomy while running with you. Instead, they talk about simple things they encounter like blisters, shin splints and stories like how they were able to out-run pit bulls chasing them on a neighborhood street. These are doctors who have taken their sport as part of their lifestyle. They are the real practitioners of health, health as practiced.

On May 1, there will be a thousand of them running a race at the Mall Of Asia grounds. The Philippine College of Physicians Foundation (PCPF) will spearhead the RUN WITH THE DOCTORS 3k, 5k and 10k race organized by RUNRIO as a fund raising activity for PCFC’s various advocacy which are the following:

  • Health Education Reform Order (HERO) advocacy program wherein the main objective is to ensure effective and efficient public health awareness campaign for prevention of common diseases through the educational system.
  • Pharmacovigilance or a system to promote patient safety through education and training, and reporting systems
  • Cigarette/Tobacco control

This will probably be the largest doctor-attended race in the country. These doctors are general practitioners and specialists who provide health maintenance for people who “get sick.”

Personally, i wish there were also doctors who specialize in sports medicine who could also join and provide their expertise in manners regarding sports injuries in running. Wouldn’t it be great to be running with Chiropractors, Orthopedists, Osteopaths, Podiatrists and Physical Therapists beside you?

For runners, this is the “health system” we need!:-)

Last week, we were invited by PCPF on their RUN WITH DOCTORS Launch at Kirin Restaurant, Bonifacio High Street and they explained their various advocacies and details of the run itself. Here are the details as provided by the organizers:


Running bloggers with the members of the Philippine College of Physician Foundation. Dr. Morales is standing on center (blue shirt with necktie)

With bloggers, from left Roselle, Bards, Carina and Jet

With members of the PCFC and Runrio

We hope to see you at MOA, May 1!

Hyundai Wave Run!

I almost got lost trying to find my way where i should position myself amongst the sea of runners that lined-up near the starting area. Although i still had a good 45 minutes left before my 5k run starts, trying to find the corral of my group with the same letter-coded bib proved to be a daunting task.

While the wave of 10k runners had already began, slowly the 5k runners emerged. I found my group and saw a familiar face, Cecil-1 a running newbie from UP. Because of the huge turn-out of runners, both 10k and 5k runners were divided into groups leaving the starting line on a staggered basis of 15 minute intervals. So when the first 5k group of runners were fired-off, i was with this group.

With Cecil1 and friend at the start

First wave of 10k runners

There was a lot of weaving and bumping on the course as we were able to catch up the last of those 10k wave of runners. But this was expected. My race went pretty good, considering my still sore heel spur went prickly at times, but taping it with a combination of RT Tape and masking tape seemed to bind the heel into one piece!

At Roxas Blvd

Considering the sheer number of runners who registered which reportedly reached 24,000 and one of the very rare occasions that registered fees were waived, those of us who were present last Saturday to run this Hyundai sponsored race felt that it was a very well organized race.

What’s astonishing is the clean orchestration at the start. Thanks to the excellent planning and the unflagging around-the-clock work of Jeremy Go, Neville Manaois and their corps of marshals and volunteers, the wave start near the Quirino Grandstand to Roxas Blvd unfolded without a hitch. There was the all-you-can-drink water still in their plastic bottles, portalets and the long line of race marshals guiding the runners to their rightful lanes, it was truly a thing of perfect execution.


A few meters from the finish. (Photo by Maan Catolos)

The crowd at the finish

According to Neville, Hyundai will stage two more mega races later this year and i’m looking forward in joining them again.

See you on the roads.

2nd Viva Vigan Heritage Run 2011

Reading last year’s running experiences at the 1st Viva Vigan Heritage Run (heritage-run) plus the side-trip run on the trails of Baluarte (trails of baluarte), and the memories return. It’s been almost a year since we discovered those virgin trails just behind Gov. Chavit Singson’s sprawling BALUARTE animal sanctuary one Saturday morning (May 1, 2010).

The following day was the big event itself, the Vigan Heritage 15K run which took us to the different sights of Vigan, capped by running on Vigan’s most famous landmark, Crisologo Street at the so called Heritage Village. It was like being transported back during the Spanish colonial rule centuries ago.

Crisologo Street

Baluarte trails. That's Betty running

It was one memorable run we had. The 15k race was very well attended with runners coming from different provinces including some who traveled all the way from Metro Manila just to join this race.

I still vividly remember the last part of the race when Betty and i surged towards the Heritage Village and with 1.8 kms to go, we were escorted by motorcycle-riding marshals with sirens screaming through Crisology Street and unto the last 250 meter stretch to the finish. It was a sky-high adrenaline surge that carried us quickly into the finish, escorted as if we were actually the race leaders while being cheered as we crossed the finish.

It was great fun and Betty even won P500.00 for placing in the top, female category!:-) Race Director Dr. Jun Kagaoan surely did a splendid job organizing that race.

Manila runners with Dr. Jun Kagaoan, Race Director (2nd from left in yellow)

My group is seriously considering returning next month for the 2nd edition of this race. Barring conflict of schedules and if finances allow, we will surely be there to savor the sights of Vigan again.

Here are some details of next month’s 2nd Viva Vigan Heritage Run 2011:


DATE: MAY 7, 2011
REGULAR REGISTRATION: March 28 – April 25,2011
21K Le’Tour de Vigan / 10k Adventure Run
5k Fun Run / 3K Kiddie Run
Planet Sports Vigan Vigan City Health Office

Registration: All Participants must fill-up entry form and submit to designated registration center together with your registration fee:

March 28-April 25

Php 350.00

Php 200.00

Php 150.00


April 26 –May 3
21K – Php 450.00
10K – Php 300.00
5K – Php 250.00


SECONDWIND Malingap St., Teachers Village, Q.C.
Unit 3A, Ortigas Home Depot, Pasig City
RUNNERS CIRCLE Unit H Aloha Hotel, 2150 Roxas Blvd.,
Corner Quirino Ave., Malate, Manila

You can also register by paying your registration fee through:
Landbank of the Philippines Vigan Branch
Account Name: City of Vigan
Account Number: 0402-1041-39
Then Fax entry form and deposit slip with name to Fax# (077) 7223838. or e-mail to or Keep receipt/deposit slip to claim your Race kit.

Each registered participants will received an event T-shirt (except 3K), race bib number, race pocket, post race refreshment and certificate. All finishers in the 21K category will receive an exclusive “2nd Viva Vigan Heritage Run 2011” Finisher’s Shirt.