Camsur On My Mind

When i blogged about my 2010 Camsur International Marathon experience last year, that article elicited a lot of comments and it was one of the most read articles i had written last year.

That piece was focused not solely about my conquest and suffering of running that race but it was mainly about the heroic feat of a first time marathoner who, through her faith in us to assist her, made it to the finish as she cheated pain and even her own life just to live her dream of finishing her first 42k.

That run brings a lot of memories and is a mirror to our own weaknesses and heroism. The marathon is a lot like life. We learn to overcome adversaries, struggle through barriers but you also have to learn to keep going. The Camsur experience was like a dose of cold water for me as it was like a jolt against years of ingrained negative attitudes and false self-image. Cecille’s determination touched many running souls and made me also grin somewhat about what we runners can do and think…what wonderful women, indeed!

That article was posted at Camsur’s website (camsur/links) or you can read it directly here, (a-bizarre-finish/).

This year’s race promises to be another block-buster run as their second staging hopes to gather a whopping 20,000 runners! Registration is presently on-going and if part of your plan is to run a truly international race, then the 2011 Camsur International Marathon hopes to fulfill that promise. I have already registered for the 21k event although i would have preferred to run the full marathon again but for the lack of training. Anyway, here are details of this year’s race:

Here are some pictures taken during the launching:

Launch was at the Bubba Gump, Greenbelt 3

The early birds

The running bloggers

Bloggers with the officers of Event King

NBA Fit Run 2011

If plans push through, Miami Heat Fil-Am Head Coach Erik Spoelstra will be running the 10k event of this race. And does he run? Yes he does, according to Carlos Singson, NBA Asia Manager during the launching of the NBA Fit Run 2011 at Friday’s Resto at the BHS a few nights ago.

Coach Erik will be one of the sports celebrities gracing this race which is the culminating event of the NBA Fit Philippines that saw some of the present crop of NBA basketball superstars in action against our best PBA players and our Smart Gilas Philippine Team.

The NBA Fit Run 2011 will be held at The Fort on August 07, 2011 and herebelow are the details of the race:

Here are some pics during the launching at Friday’s Resto, BHS:

MC for the night, Ms. Vimz Mendoza (Kulitrunner) giving some introductions

NBA Asia Manager Caloy Singson explaining the highlights of the NBA Run

The running bloggers doing what they do best...eeeeat!

Some more bloggers at the other table

The winners gloating on their raffle prizes. Lucky you!!!

Shoe Review: On-Running Cloudsurfer

BACKGROUNDER:

Lightweight Cushioned Shoe:

  • For efficient runners, forefoot strikers and underpronators who want good cushioning and a light flexible ride
  • Good second shoe for fast-paced training, racing and long distance runs
  • Won the Avansa Over-all award at the recent ISPO Brand New 2010 Awards for Innovation in Sports
  • Weight: 10.0 oz (estimate)

Engineered in Switzerland, made in China.

Well, the production in China is mostly a given, where majority of running shoes (or nearly all of them) are made there but the ON-Running shoe has its roots in Switzerland and no less than the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Testing and Research has tested and acknowledged the cushioning capabilities of this shoe.

The ON is relatively new in the market making its debut at the International Trade Fair for Sports Equipment and Fashion in Munich last year. It is presently available in Europe, the United States, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia and developed by Ironman Triathlon Champion Olivier Bernhard and endorsed by former New York Marathon Champion Tegla Laroupe.

I was able to test run this shoe last week and the model i have is the “Cloudsurfer”. The fact that this shoe has nothing to do with surfing, it was created to simulate a glide-like soft landing and to make a powerful push-off with the help of its lugs.

CONSTRUCTION:

The Cloudsurfer is one radical-looking running shoe that i’ve tried. Its big advance: to land as soft as landing in soft ground and to push off effectively by using its 3D CLOUDTEC Cushioning technology which are pieces of circular rubber lugs they call “clouds” embedded on the outsole. That’s right, the outsole! ON shoes has become one of the first shoes to take the cushioning battle to the outsole. Gimmick or not? Not.

ON shoes accomplishes this with 13 circular “clouds”, 9 of which are located in the forefoot area and 4 much sturdier clouds on the heel side. With these, the clouds compresses, locks and rebounds for a powerful push-off and compresses back to a very cushioned landing.

Aesthetically, the shoes are very well built with a lightweight mesh fabric while the panels are wide enough for cooling ventilation.  The sock-fit insole are removable and well cushioned to conform to the shape of the foot for comfort and support. The collar and tongue are well padded as the stitching and overlays are very well done.

FIT AND FEEL:

There’s no problem getting into the shoe, so once you’re in, you’re locked-in. The pull-up tab on the heel was not necessary, in my opinion. The fit is snug and wraps around your foot nice and comfortable. It flexes in the forefoot and is flexible enough for both forefoot and heel strikers. The inside feel is roomy and did not overheat even when used in hot weather.

PERFORMANCE:

The ON is a solid workhorse and running an initial 13k on asphalt and concrete on my first try did not pose any inconvenience, whatsoever. The ride was smooth, transition was very responsive and there are times when you don’t feel the ground as those “clouds” may have been doing its job in dissipating the shock.

The light, glove-like feel seem to float on fast-paces and even running on cement (which i hate and try to avoid) seem to be inconsequential as your concentration remains to moving fast and efficiently, as possible.

The following day was my tempo and interval day and tried to see how responsive it was on faster-paced running. True to form, it is light, agile and very receptive. From a tartan track to a dirt track and back on the roads, the ON did show its adaptiveness and i’m tempted to try it on a trail one of these days.

HIGHEST AND BEST USE:

High marks for this shoe! On a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest, i’ll rate this at 4.5. Ideal for efficient runners who want a responsive, lightweight trainer and a good second shoe for fast work-outs or as a well-cushioned racing shoe.

CONCERN:

This shoe doesn’t come cheap and will be lumped with other expensive running shoes like the Newton and Somnio. So with the price, the questions are: Are the rubber clouds durable enough and for how long will they last? I’m sure there have been tests on longevity and durability conducted on this and would like to know of the outcome. So, the jury is still out, as for now. The On-Running shoe will be available at Chris Sports in early September, 2011.

She's Chris Sports' Marketing Manager Arleen Lindo giving my test pair last week. Thanks, Arleen!

Pocari Run: Good Days, Bad Days

About a dozen motorcycle escorts were on standby to guide the runners before gun start

Just a short post.

I almost forgot about the Pocari Run held last Sunday at the Frontera Verde and quite frankly, the race didn’t go out too well for me thus, i’m hesitant even to make a short write-up about it. But then, this is what this blog is all about, write and share the good ones and spill out those bad, forgetful events, as well.

I knew it was going to be a “bonkers” run and it showed from start to finish. I was heading into the race with low expectations, because my health hadn’t been well lately. Suffered from sore-throat a week ago and while medicines eased the discomfort somehow, a nagging dry cough took over so i had to resort back to taking anti-cough meds.

Those Ambroxol tabs really made me sluggish as i felt completely out of sync for the first 3 kms and never really felt any sort of energy and zest during the rest of the run. Even the first short uphill along Julia vargas Avenue felt like Mt. Everest that i had to walk parts of it! Pathetic, i know as this should have been just a breeze for me.

Enough of these ramblings. I can’t help but praise the over-all conduct of the race which i will rate as VERY GOOD! Here are the plus factors of the race:

  • A very nice and challenging course. Probably one of the best running routes in the Ortigas Center District with highlights being the hills of St. Martin and St. Paul Streets.
  • Presence of marshals at crucial checkpoints. Although traffic was beginning to swell at the latter stages of the race, the marshals and policemen were still able to guide runners and motorists alike and ensured safety for both.
  • Adequate hydration stations. Substantial water stations at every 1.2 km mark, Pocari all you can and some more water.
  • Free finishers T-shirt to all and more Pocari bottles to take home.

The culprit? I blame that drink for my poor performance!:-) (Pic by Pedz)

Kudos to Tia De Guzman of Pep Squad events for a job well done! My next run will be the Takbo.ph Runfest this coming Sunday and hopefully things will get better.

Here are more pictures from the race:

Near the finish..(Pic by Phillip)

With Team Life

With Tia de Guzman of Pep Squad Events

With actress Jasmine Curtis, sister to Anne

Running And Sex!

I always get a good laugh whenever distance running is compared to sex. Indeed, there are similarities as i remember a short article published at RW way back that compares these two strange bedfellows:

  • You don’t want to peak too soon
  • Endurance is more important than speed
  • Even-pacing is crucial. Fartleks are discouraged
  • The more you speed-up, the more labored your breathing will be
  • Rest is required between repetitions
  • Warming up is desirable before plunging into action
  • Have to deal with performance anxiety
  • You eat whatever you want during long hauls
  • You’re reaching the climax when you see the finish line
  • It’s hard to achieve negative splits (Can you?)

Owws…:-)

“On-Running” Running Shoes of Switzerland

The On-Running Cloud Surfer

the On-Running insignia

When the running shoe “ZOOT” came about to these shores, not many local runners knew of their existence (except perhaps for some of our triathletes) which expanded its type from a high performance racing shoe for triathletes to a shoe for people who run exclusively. This shoe has gained ground throughout the world and has joined the ranks of the top running shoes you can find around.

When Tonet’s sister, balik-bayan Cecil Danao (who has run countless marathons and Ultra-marathons all over Europe) came home from Switzerland last January for a short vacation, i couldn’t help but notice the shoes she was wearing when she ran the Condura Marathon. When i asked her what it was, she said “On-Running” running shoes. What? She said it was one of the top running shoes in Europe and was a bit surprised when i told her that this was an “unknown” in the Philippines.

Cecil in one of her ultra marathons in Europe

So now, i’ve heard that On-Running will be made available here in Manila and making its debut very soon. The very unusual, off-putting name doesn’t warrant any attention at first when mentioned but this shoe has amassed a lot of following specially in Europe and is also available now in the U.S., Singapore, Australia and Malaysia. It’s real innovation is the ‘Cloud-Tec’ rubber elements on the soles. These rubber lugs reduces impact considerably, improves shock absorption and has that lightweight and fast feel to it.

I really would like to see this shoes in these parts and i now see more competition to the Zoot, Newton and Brooks labels that has been a regular staple to local runners.

Run, Eat and Drink?

I was going to meet up with my group at the Meralco Compound in Ortigas Ave. at 5:30am yesterday morning so i had to wake up real early. It usually takes me about 50 mins to run from Anonas Street in Project 2 to Ortigas Avenue, a good 7km headway before our group run starts so i took off at 4:40am.

True to my estimation, i arrived at Meralco at 5:30am and saw some fast runners, Chris Iblan and Wilnar Iglesia of the Powerpuff Team doing their warm-up jog before i saw my group.

There were 6 of us yesterday, Dante, Tonet, speedsters Betty, Elaine, Sylvia and then there was me trying to figure out where i would fit. Sylvia, Betty and Elaine have been consistent with their training for the past few months and it would be a stretch for me to match them stride for stride. Clearly, i was out of favor here. Dante and Tonet have suffered from minor injuries lately so i would be sticking with them, instead.

We started off nice and easy and the weather was fine, cloudy but not warm. The 3 speedsters pushed a little ahead while the rest of us were not too far behind.

It was kind of a mixed-pace, sometimes fast, at times slow and we took to walk-breaks when an interesting topic came up, never striking any kind of consistency. To end our run, we did 5 100 meter fast stride-outs and ended with stretching exercises.

I ended up doing 15.5k in 2 hrs and felt very good. Thanks to my running buddies.

On another note, Last Sunday was ARC’s Raul Acuna’s birthday. Yoying, Raul’s wife planned a surprise party for him and enlisted some of his friends to just appear for lunch. Yoying then would fetch Raul from the airport where he attended an ultra- trail run in Cagayan De Oro and would bring him directly to the ARC store at Quirino Avenue while we where waiting there. But the couple arrived early than most of the visitors and you could just see Raul’s expression when one by one, friends arrived to greet him.

Lots of food and drinks were overflowing! Had to nurse a hang-over the following day. Ugh!

Love seems to be going full bloom for Raul and Yoying and here’s wishing the couple the best of the years to come! Here are some pictures from the party:

Putok-batok special (according to Jet)!

Carbo-loading

The early birds with Raul , second from left

All eyes on the birthday boy!

Group pic