Shoe Review: Saucony Kinvara 3

PROFILE:

Neutral Trainer/Racer:

  • Lightweight but well-cushioned shoe designed for training and racing
  • 4mm heel to toe drop, a transition shoe to minimalist running
  • Promotes mid-foot strike
  • Weight: 8.0 oz. (Size 10)

Saucony Progrid Kinvara-3

Many of you may well know that i have been a Saucony user since the early 80s and have tried different models through the years. I like them for their great fit, adequate cushioning and stability. There isn’t any model that didn’t suit me and all my Sauconys found hundreds of running miles into them.

Saucony has a terrific series with its Kinvara, incorporating minimal changes into its latest series that accentuates its minimalist properties. With all the generally glowing reviews given to all its models, the original Kinvara, Kinvara 2 and 3, this will be my first time to actually own and use one and i’m talking here about the Kinvara 3.

You can tell at first glance that the Kinvara-3 is a fast, lightweight shoe. It was originally designed as a high mileage trainer for runners who naturally strike at mid-foot and is touted as a transition shoe for minimalist running. Though i am not too inclined wearing minimalist shoes or those with the heel to toe zero drop on long runs, this shoe has a tolerable 4mm heel-toe drop that i didn’t exactly notice when revving along the roads or trails.

This shoe has already come out with a lot of reviews on the net so i won’t dwell with much of the technicalities anymore and will just focus more on my experience with it.

Here are just a few basic details about this shoe:

CONSTRUCTION:

The upper is a visual delight, artistically designed to enhance its aesthetics. Cosmetics aside, it’s made of  “FlexFilm”, a sturdy but flexible thin plastic-like material that is electronically welded into an inner mesh. It adapts to the foot and provides a seamless feel. The tongue is made of soft air-mesh.

The midsole is made of high-abrasion EVA or the EVA+ which provides adequate cushioning even with its 4mm heel to toe drop. The EVA+ has been retained from its Kinvara 1 and 2 models as wear-testers noted its durability and longevity. It has also its usual Progrid heel foam.

The Kinvara-3 outsole is made of Carbon Rubber called the XT-900. It has triangular lugs on the forefoot area that offers exceptional traction and high-wear properties.

It is noteworthy to mention that reflectors have been integrated into the design. Two triangular-shaped reflectors were placed on the heel counter as well as on the sides of the toe area and at the top front, near where the shoe laces start.

FIT AND FEEL:

I was a little apprehensive about the fit inside as when you look at the shoe externally, the forefoot seems not to be wide enough. But looks can be deceiving. Once inside the shoe, you could immediately feel the snugness and secure heel cup while the forefoot was accommodating even with my wide feet and thick socks on.

At about 8 oz or less, the shoe was super light and even with the 4mm heel to toe drop, i could not feel the difference from my usual 8mm to 12mm drop shoes. It profiles more like a racing shoe than a trainer.

PERFORMANCE:

I’ve had about 70 kilometers of training runs on the Kinvara-3 and i would say that i had a sublime feel running these on both asphalt and rough roads. No issues about hot spots, irritations, nor dragging. It offers a soft, resilient ride and feels more comfortable at faster speeds which may be due to the easy flexing upper.

On my long runs, i felt ample cushioning and the airmesh provided superb breathability, no over-heating inside whatsoever. The shoe was easy on the rough roads and even though i had to step on small rocks, the feel to these surfaces was moderate and i thought that the cushioning was adequate enough to impact rough terrain.

I have the Skechers GO Run and a Vibram Five Finger (Speed) which i would say are more of the minimalist shoes that i’ve used, i would say that the Kinvara-3 falls in a sweet spot between a true minimalist trainer like the aforementioned and a semi-supportive middleweight trainer, encouraging a fast, efficient stride but with adequate cushioning to pass as a road trainer.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION:

I bought this shoe at 50% discount from Saucony Philippines given as a gratuity for bloggers who attended the Kinvara’s launching last December to test this shoe. However, this review was not in anyway influenced by this benefit, giving my own honest opinion based on my experience with it.

Nonetheless, the Kinvara 3 for me was a confirmation to the mostly rave reviews from prominent running shoe reviewers and runners on the net. Firstly, the fit was excellent, the ride was very comfortable with just the right amount of cushioning in almost any terrain and its the shoe that you can use for everyday training or the occasional racing.

This shoe is for efficient runners who want a lightweight, good midsole cushioning and forefoot flexibility.  An excellent running shoe and at P4,590.00/pair, it’s a bang for the buck!

1st Waldorf Trail Run: A Race Recap

My appreciation to trail running started when i joined my first trail race at Timberland Heights, the All Terra King of the Mountain Trail Run way back 2009. Trail running wasn’t that much popular then as now although The North Face Race series was already staging trail races much earlier.

I was so fascinated by the experience of running through wooded forests, river crossings, communing with nature and much more that i made it a point to run as much trails as i can, if time and opportunity permits. Succeeding races and training runs at Timberland ensued.

So last Sunday, i was back here to run the inaugural Waldorf  10k Trail Run. The Manila Waldorf is a school located inside the Timberland Heights, Filinvest Estate, just a stone’s throw away from the trail head. I wasn’t even aware that there was a school located inside this estate as we didn’t give much notice to the ongoing development in the area. After all, we came here for the trails!

Woke up early and arrive at the Centris Mall near Quezon Blvd at about 4:30 am so i could avail of the service vans which will take some of the runners to the race venue. I met with Mike Antigua, one of the race organizers who was overseeing the transportation of the runners and long-time running friend Dennis (the RunningPinoy) who was also running the 10k.

The race started a few minutes late as it was still dark in the area but we were off as soon as brightness lit up around us at about 6:15am. It was nice to be running on familiar terrain, the cool breeze was invigorating as we tackled the single track trails around the hill-tops at the beginning with the views of the Sierra Madre Mountains visible on either your left or right side.

As always, i brought in my camera and record some of the new trails that were part of the course.

There were adequate hydration stations every 2 kms of the route but i didn’t expect that this was going to be a no-cup race so you had to bring your own hydration bottle or container. I just had with me a bottle-full of Gatorade so when i wanted to have water, i used the cap of the blue plastic container that were on the tables, poured water on it and scooped right from it!

Approaching kilometer 8, we were diverted into a unused trail that cuts-off from the main road leading to the finish and the views here were wonderful and serene. I was on a roll during that time but stopped every time i saw a good view and took shots from my camera.

Race marshals were adequate although i wished they had deployed some during the last kilometer when runners were distracted at a road construction site where barricades were blocking the road so we had to stop and ask the workers on which direction to go.

Other than that, the over-all organization, water stations, trail route and volunteers were laudable! There were adequate food stalls selling breakfast meals at the school grounds although you could line-up and get free hot dogs on a stick or in sandwich buns as many times as you like.

However, one concern of mine was on the ruling with regards to the winners. They did not have separate categories for the over-all male and female winners. They just awarded the top 3 placers regardless of sex which i think was unfair to the female 1st placer. I brought this concern to Mike and he said that he would rectify this issue immediately.

Over-all, i think Waldorf did a commendable job in staging its first race and learning from some of the bumps on this fun run, they should be able to stage a better race hopefully next year!

Here are some pictures of the event:

With friends before the start

With Dennis Ravanzo (Running Pinoy)

The start was delayed for a few minutes because it was still dark

Busy taking some pics above these hills

Lucky to have good cool weather this morning

Downhill part slows down the runners

The route was gently rolling, no major shifts on elevations

Yours truly (in blue) keeping up with the pace (Photo credits, Carlo Unson)

Inside the forested area of the Timberland Heights

Many scenes like this inside the forest trails

Trail in one open area frequented by bikers. Luckily, no bikes were allowed inside the trails during race day.

A rotonda, of sorts

Part of the scenery, overlooking the wide Sierra Madre mountains

The last 3kms offered some very nice trails

Last 2.5 kms.

This is a new trail that wasn’t open to races before and i’m glad they let us pass through here for the first time

At approximately the last 1.2 kms.

There’s more of this hillside trails

A downhill dash

Then another short uphill…

The one final push before hitting the dirt road and to the finish

Long lines at the finish to get some free hot dogs

Families and friends were gathered to greet the runners

The Waldorf School “picnic grounds”

The Magical Garden and River Trails Of Montalban

I have often espoused about how much there is to see and experience in running on trails and if runners only took the time to look beyond city running, there is a wealth of fascinating places to be discovered.

During the week-end when many were running road races around Metro Manila, running buddy June Santiago and i discovered these wonderful trails just beyond the majestic Wawa Dam in Montalban (now Rodriguez) frequented by mountain bikers and hikers alike.

Flanked by the huge boulders of limestone rocks and a gorge at the south-end and the Sierra Madre mountain range in the north, it is a picturesque combination of stunningly beautiful garden-covered vistas, pristine river, wild fauna and runner-friendly locals.

We felt that we were the only 2 people in the world who were lost in this somewhat secluded paradise. It’s hard not to fall in love with this place, town-folks in their small farms and a scenery of pastoral charm. The clean and gently gushing river and fresh air provide a refreshing treat to the senses and to the spirit.

I’ll leave the rest of the pictures we took during our run with you but i really don’t think these pictures will reflect the beauty of Montalban well enough which to my mind was no less than…magical!

Enjoy!

The start was just after the last steel bridge and watch tower

Trees were abundant in many parts of the trail

The trails lies just beside the Wawa river banks

Cool breeze, mountains, clear river, fauna… all breath taking scenery, who wouldn’t want to run in here?

One of the postcard scenes at the beginning

One of the twin mountains as a backdrop

This is not a lake, just a wide part of the Wawa river that points to the “Bernardo Carpio” twin mountains

A sandy part of the river trail

There’s a small village that cuts through this trail

We ran through this small community

Entrance to the garden trail

As technical as you can get

The roots are like large boa snakes crawling on both sides of the trail

The trails were illuminating with greenery, with wild birds floating above your head

Deep woods, leaves scattered and the trail seem not to mind this intruder into its territory

So peaceful here. All you had were the wild plants and trail

Wild fauna all through out this area

A dash over some rocky terrain

Ferns, orchids, aroids, palms, pandans and other exotic plants were abundant

A secluded area only trail runners would enjoy

One has to watch-out for these protruding tree roots, though

The plants never intruded into the trails, lined up on both sides as if welcoming the runner

Going back down into the river

In the middle of the river

Our first river crossing

There’s more on these river crossings

Nice wading on gentle-flowing, clear shallow waters, knee-deep at the most

My Viking trail shoe takes an unscheduled bath

We’re going deeper into the country side

Cutting into land, along vegetable gardens

Wide open land of vegetation

June stops, observing a farmer harvesting eggplants

Grazing cows

Approaching a makeshift store selling halo-halo.The store’s name is called “Shimanong”

Our 2nd river crossing

We criss-crossed the river 12 times on our way to the main road to Buso-buso and back

Past Sitio Inigan towards Tanay area

We had these trails all to ourselves

A rugged, rocky path

Our 3rd river crossing

Running here entails many zigzagging over rivers

Back to dry land

Getting warmer as hours passed

We went on just following the trails with many interesting views

Towards a gushing river

Pristine view. Wish you were here

It was like a lake view but it’s still the river

It would be nice camping out here

Spot June here

Walking past boulders

Taking it easy on this single track

This calf didn’t want me to trespass on her trail so i had to maneuver around. Bad cow!

June surveys the area

Still on land, on the river banks

Boulder is shaped like a face of a buffalo

4th or 5th? river crossing. The deepest we had so far, reached up to our groins:)

The running continues…

Non-stop trails along the river banks

At last, another one on the river besides us

Root crops in the middle of the river

Our 5th river crossing

A trekker who passed by us

We strayed away from this trail

Another open land

Another one blocking the trail! Bad cow!

Surfaces varied from sandy to rocky

Taking some rest and enjoying the view

Wish we had more time to take a dip in here

Sipping a drink from my Camelbak Surge

Another rock formation

Island hopping

Taking in the view

Strong currents here descending to a downhill path

Main entrance to Kasili and Boso-boso

View from an elevated area

On our way back, we finally make a stop-over at Shimanong’s Store

The Shimanong’s specialty, Halo-halo!

Nice rustic scenery

Back on the trails

Removing the dirt and grime

Another vegetable garden

Trail shoes underneath the water

Back in the woods

Tired and weary, we had our cool-down 2 kms before we ended our run

The trail on the west side of the river

Cool winds kept the temperature tolerable

June getting his second wind

A crevice on the trail

Thatched huts in Wawa Dam

The steel bridge to the watch tower

The limestone trail towards the dam

Wawa Dam

From a distant

The gorge below

Philhealth Run Manila: February 17, 2013

On February 17, 2013, roads in 18 sites across the nation will be taken over as the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, better known as PhilHealth, stages the first simultaneous nationwide running event dubbed as PhilHealth Run 2013.

Drawing inspiration from the two highly successful running events organized by its regional centers in Mindanao, the PhilHealth Run 2013: Nationwide Run for Mother and Child Protection promises to be a memorable sporting event as it aims to engage near 100,000 professional and amateur runners from different parts of the country – all running simultaneously with one aim in mind: Universal Health Care in the Philippines.

Runners will converge in 18 major cities that include: Manila, Baguio, Dagupan, Tuguegarao, Clark, Malolos, Sta. Rosa, Batangas, Legazpi, Iloilo, Cebu, Tacloban, Zamboanga, Iligan, Davao, Koronadal, Butuan, and Marawi.

Through this momentous event, PhilHealth aims to rally the entire nation as it helps stage a push towards bringing universal health care a reality. With universal coverage, every Filipino, regardless of status, is given the financial access and support to quality health care and services.

Philhealth Nationwide Run 2013 – Manila
Date :  February 17, 2013
Venue:  Quirino Grandstand Manila
Race Distances:  3K/5K/10K/18K

Registration Fees:
3K – Php 350
Inclusive of Race Singlet, Race Bib, Finisher’s Certificate, Raffle Stub
5K – Php 550
Inclusive of Race Singlet, Race Bib, Finisher’s Certificate, Timing Chip, Raffle Stub
10K – Php 650
Inclusive of Race Singlet, Race Bib, Finisher’s Certificate, Timing Chip, Raffle Stub
18K – Php 750
Inclusive of Race Singlet, Race Bib, Finisher’s Certificate, Finisher’s Medal, Timing Chip, Raffle Stub

Registration Venues:
– Check on selected PhilHealth Field Offices:

  • Quezon Ave., Quezon City
  • Remcor Bldg, Rizal Ave. Ext., Caloocan Bldg.
  • Mark 1 Bldg, 1971 Taft Ave. Manila
  • Liberty Boni Bldg., 94 Boni Ave., cor. P. Cruz, Mandaluyong City
  • Editha Bldg., Alabang, Zapote Road, Las Pinas City
  • ITC Bldg., Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City
  • DAP Bldg., San Miguel Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City

– Robinsons Galleria Sports Loop 3rd Level (One-stop Registration site where you can register, pay and claim race kit all at once).

Special in-store registration will open on January 30 to February 3
– Tobys SM Manila
– Tobys EDSA Shangrila
– Tobys SM Faiview
– Runnr Trinoma
– Runnr EDSA Shangri-La
– Runnr High Street, BGC and Alabang Town Center

On-line Registration:
https://run2013.philhealth.gov.ph/manila

Claiming of Race Kits:
Race Kits may be claimed from February 2 to 11 at the Sports Loop of Robinsons Galleria, 3rd Level.

Race participants can likewise register and claim their race kits in a one-stop race registration facility at the Sports Loop throughout the same period.

All registered race participants should bring their claim stub and official receipt of race registration fee.

Race Route, Manila Leg

18 SITES, 18 YEARS, 1 NATION

The nationwide run on February 17, 2013 marks PhilHealth’s 18years of service to the Filipino people, having been established in 1995 with the enactment of Republic Act 7875.

The event’s simultaneous staging across 18 sites in the country emphasizes the point of unity and oneness in aim and spirit. As PhilHealth’s 18th year anniversary celebration for February, dubbed National Health Insurance Month through Presidential Proclamation No. 1400 in 2007, it will surely stand different from the rest as one of historic and great proportions.

In support of the country’s efforts towards achieving the Millenium Development Goals of reducing child mortality and improving maternal health, proceeds from the event will be used to support national and regional institutions promoting the protection of mothers and children in the country.

The national beneficiary of the PhilHealth Run 2013 is the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, and local beneficiaries vary per region. More than just a running event, it endeavors to uphold the importance of our mother’sand children’s health in the challenge of nation-building.

At the grand launching

With Philhealth Ambassador Ms.Gwen Zamora

PhilHealth Run Manila Press Release

Race registration for the PhilHealth Nationwide Run is in full swing. With exactly a month to go, PhilHealth NCR is setting its target at 18,000 runners to represent the nation’s capitol in commemorating the 18th founding anniversary of the national health insurance corporation.

According to Dr. Gigi Domingo, VP for PhilHealth NCR & Rizal, alongside its target number of race participants PhilHealth Run Manila aims to give 85% of the proceeds from the race registration fees to its two beneficiary institutions – the Philippine Children’s Medical Center and Cottolengo Filipino orphanage.

“PhilHealth Run underscores the agency’s mandate which is universal coverage focusing on mother and chld as the most vulnerable group. With the nationwide run, we aim to synergize all efforts – both of government and private sector – to realize our ultimate goal to make every Filipino entitled to medical benefits by the time of need,” Domingo further said.

PhilHealth Run Manila is scheduled to fire off on February 17 at the Qurino Grandstand, simultaneous with 17 other sites across the country. The huge field of race participants will be plying the long stretch of Roxas Boulevard starting at Km 0 to finish at the Quirino Grandstand. The Manila race will have four distance categories – 18K, 10K, 5K, and 3K. All finishers of the 18K category will receive a finisher’s medal upon crossing the finish line.

On-line registration have started as early as October 2012 via https://run2013.philhealth.gov.ph/manila/. Manual registration are also on-going at all local PhilHealth field offices. Special in-store registration will open on January 30 to February 3 in cooperation with Toby’s and Runnr at the following outlets: Toby’s (SM Manila, SM Southmall, SM Faiview); Runnr (Trinoma, EDSA Shangri-La, BGC).

All registered race participants, with their claim stub and official receipt, may claim their race packets from February 2 to 11 at the Sports Loop, 3rd level of Robinson’s Galleria. Race participants get to receive a PhilHealth Run race singlet, timing chip (except for 3K), race bib and a raffle stub.

PhilHealth Run Manila recently held its press conference to mark its 30-day countdown to the staging of the NCR leg. Joining the PhilHealth officers in the press event were Philippine Volcanoes Rugby Team standout Chris Everingham and GMA 7’s prime talent Gwen Zamora to highlight the event’s advocacy campaign and beneficiary institutions.

Everingham and Zamora were handpickewd by PhilHealth to be its official event ambassadors for their positive image and  sterling achievements in their respective fields.

For more information on PhilHealth Run Manila and its advocacy, visit the PhilHealth Run website.

 

PIMCO 1st Trail Runners Awards Night

Yesterday, i had my mind set on attending the 1st PIMCO Trail Runners Awards Night at the Grand Pearl Room, Room 498 Center in Mandaluyong City. It’s probably the first time that a Trail Runners award would be given out to acknowledge trail runners for their dedication, ranking and standing in the various PIMCO trail races that were held last year.

1st Annual Trail Runners Award by PTRA

(Photo by M Degollacion)

I was really surprised finding a big crowd of runners attending the festivities. I was late coming in for the 6:00pm affair and didn’t notice any person crowding outside the building except for the 3 people at the registration table stationed at the ground floor. Upon entering the grand hall on the 2nd floor, the place was bursting with people, mostly awardees of the top PIMCO 100 trail runners on both the 21k and the 10k categories.

I took the last available seat at the back but was immediately led to the dining area first by gracious hosts while listening to the welcome speech of PIMCO President Manny Santos.

For a race organizer new to running or more so trail running, 2012 was a banner year for the Philippine Trail Running Association’s (PTRA) series of Trail races in Tanay which is under the auspices of Pimco Sporting Events. It’s advocacy for environmental protection and preservation of forests and mountains that includes tree planting, immediately spread like wild fire (no pun intended) to trail and mountain running enthusiasts.

The Love A Tree Discovery Run was their first salvo into Tanay’s trails, and i still recall running on the main highway combined with rough roads and trails plus long river crossings. Then the Nature’s Trail Discovery runs followed which was a Trilogy that culminated with a 21k lung-busting uphill climb on mountain trails near Daranak Falls.

I myself was a witness to this sort of mini-boom of trail running in Tanay. I encountered countless of torturous mountain climbs,  dangerous river crossings, on occasion lack of hydration and banana stations (hahah..) but then nothing beats the immeasurable amounts of fun and the gorgeous scenery that you won’t find in road running.

So back to the awarding ceremonies. The PTRA Running award categories include:

Best Team Award – (Sigue Correr)

Best Runner Photographer  –  (Ella MaraMelanie Dator Perez and from Team USB are co-awardee)

Best Trail Running Partners – ( Federated Distributors, Norphl and Tanay Mountaineers )

Trailblazers Award and Top 100 Trail Runners Award

Trail Runner of the Year Awards

Most Promising Female Trail Runners – (Alexandria Ahongon and Ellen Tolentino)

Best Media Partner –  (Manila Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)

Best Trail Running Blogger

The trail runners of the year were a revelation to some but came as no surprise to those who were regular participants of the Tanay trail race series. Goldy Dela Cruz and Maynard Degollacion were the Trail Runners of the Year for the 21k category while Robert Fiesta Ramones and his counterpart Iris Charine Torculas romped off as top runners for the 10k category.

21k  Female Trail Runner of the Year Award, Goldy Dela Cruz who won a Viking Trail Shoe from Norphl big boss, Cesar Valmadrid (middle)

10k Trail Runner of the Year Award, the statuesque Iris Torculas

With the male Trail Runners of the Year,  Maynard Degollacion (21k) extreme left and Robert Fiesta Ramones (10k) extreme right. Race Director Alvin Balderama (middle)

Also, awards went to the top 50 21k and 10k trail runners and to the 71 Trailblazers (Trilogy Finishers) which had them wearing nicely crafted medals.

To add to the above distinguished list of awards given, those included were, the Best Runner Photographer (individual and group) and the Best Trail Running Blogger of the Year Awards. The Individual Best Photographer was awarded to Ella Dator Perez while the group photographer went to Team USB.

To close out the awards given last night, yours truly was presented as the Best Trail Running Blogger for ” in recognition for outstanding contribution in the development and promotion of trail running through his blog”. Thank you so much, PTRA/PIMCO!

With Norphl President Cesar Valmadrid and Pimco Race Director, Alvin Balderama

Unprepared for this..

Thank you! (sniffs)…

Here are more pictures during the awarding ceremonies last night:

PIMCO President, Manny Santos

21k Awardees

10k Awardees

Wacky shot!

With Team Rock and Road

Goldy showing off her Trail Runner of the Year and Trailblazer medals!

One of the unusual picture poses!

Finally settling for a pause

During a break

Youngest trail runner (?)

Showing off their medals

So what’s in store for Pimco’s trail races for 2013? In case you didn’t know yet, a 50k ultra-marathon is scheduled this coming February 10, 2013 along with shorter distances of 24k, 12k and 6k runs. Few slots left so why don’t you register now? http://www.pimcosportsevents.com/

See you February 10!

RUN UNITED-1 Returns For 2013!

Run United 1, 2013 will kick-off anew on March 17, 2013 at the Mall of Asia. And there is no other race that is greatly anticipated, when training begins in earnest, new running shoes have been tried and broken-in and new set of PRs are hoped for in this year of race trilogies! Start training now and let the good times begin!

2013 RUN UNITED 1
March 17, 2013
SM Mall of Asia
500m dash for kids / 5km / 10km / 21km
Organizers: RunRio / Unilab Active Health

REGISTRATION VENUES:

REGISTRATION FEES/INCLUSIONS:
RUN UNITED 1 GEARS:2013 Run United 1 – exclusive race singlets and race kits are available to all participants. More than a simple running gear, these are the badges of participation in a competition of prestige.

Race KitsComplete race kit will be available upon registration. Online registrants will receive their complete kit from February 4 to March 3, 2013.Race SingletUpon in-store registration, registered participants will receive their Run United 1 race singlet. Sizes are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Actual singlet

2013 RUN UNITED 1 ASSEMBLY AND GUN START TIMES:

Race Category Assembly Time Gun Start
500m 6:00AM 7:00AM
5K 4:30AM 5:45AM
10K 4:30AM 5:30AM
21K 3:00AM 4:00AM

2013 Run United 1 21km Finisher’s Medal:

Each of the 2013 Run United Medal Series Finisher’s medal is a unique medal by itself and at the same time is a unique part of a 3-piece united medals from the Run United Series legs. Register and finish the 21km/ 21km/21km or 21km/32km/42km of legs 1/2/3 respectively and form the medal puzzle which is the 2013 unique RunRio Trilogy/ Run United Series United Medal!

Each leg 1 – 21km, leg 2 – 21km and 32km and leg 3 – 21km and 42km finishers will get to receive a 4 inch-radius trapezoid-shaped medal.

If a runner finishes all three legs in the category 21km/ 21km/ 21km or 21km/ 32km/ 42km, he/she will be able to form this 2013 unique RunRio Trilogy/ Run United Series United Medal:

21k Finishers’ Shirt

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: CLICK HERE

REMINDERS:

  • Registration may end earlier than announced deadline because race kits may run out before March 3, 2013.
  • A Valid ID must be presented upon registration. For group registration, a photocopy of any valid ID & picture must be presented by the representative.
  • Singlet size availability will be on a first come first serve basis.
  • A timing device will be used by all participants during the race.

RACE RESULTS:

RACE MAPS:

Mr. Lester Castillo, Brand Manager of Unilab Active Health giving the welcoming remarks during the launch

Coach Rio will direct the RU-1 again. Emphasized that runners’ welfare will be top priority

An RU poster pic of yours truly

A group pic of the bloggers and media

CONTACT DETAILS:

For In-Store Registration Inquiries:

  • Globe – 0927 347 7700
  • Smart – 0929 7178164
  • Landline – (632) 887 6194

Race Registration: registration@runrio.com

=======================================================

Press Release                                  January 17, 2012

 Run United Rallies Filipinos to “Exceed Yourself” in 2013

Longer distances and focused approaches mark this year’s run races

Mark your calendar runners, the 2013 Run United series is set to bring in more excitement and a lot of surprises to this year’s running calendar. Unilab Active Health (ULAH) and RunRio Inc. promise longer distances that are big on fun and prizes, starting off with 2013 Run United 1on March 17 at the Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City.

Ever responsive to the runners’ feedback, Unilab Active Health and RunRio are now focusing on longer distances to be in step with the requirements of progressive runners who want to better their personal records and outdo themselves in every race.

“We noticed a trend during the previous years’ races that the slots for longer distances get filled up faster. There were instances when we had to open up more slots. So, by focusing on longer distances, we will be able to accommodate more runners,” said Alex Panlilio, Head of Unilab Active Health.

Coach Rio dela Cruz added: “This is in line with our plan to be part of the growth and journey of Filipino runners. It just goes to prove that the local running community is more mature, that is why we also launched the Run United Philippine Marathon (RUPM) last year. Filipino runners have leveled up.”

Thus, there will be no more 3km category in Run United, but it will retain the 500-meter dash for kids to make them start having an active lifestyle early on. The race categories for 2013 Run United 1 include 5km, 10km and 21km; for Run United 2 (10km, 21km, and 32km); and for Run United Philippine Marathon (10km, 21km and 42km).

If runners loved the singlets of previous Run United races, they would definitely rave about the improved singlets this year, which are made of new fabric designed to help improve the performance and comfort of the runners.

Better and useful items will still be part of the finishers’ token. And the unique united medal will still be given away to encourage participants to complete the series. Of course, the Unilab Active Health villages will still be jampacked with activities and freebies for the participants and their families.

The complete Run United 2013 race schedules are as follows: Run United 1 on March 17, Run United 2 on June 2 and Run United Philippine Marathon on October 6. Prior to these, The Bull Runner Dream Marathon will kick off on February 24.

For triathletes, Tri United 1 2013 on March 10, 2013 and Tri United 2 2013 on July 7, 2013 both will be held in Playa Laiya, Batangas. Tri United 3 2013 on October 26-27, 2013 in Subic and the fourth and final leg of Tri United will be fired off in Ayala, Alabang on November 24, 2013. Moreover, Unilab Active Health Duathlon will be on September 8 at SCTEX, Clark, Pampanga.

For more details please visit http://www.unilabactivehealth.com. ###

 

First Vita Plus Power Run: February 24, 2013

NOTICE: This race has been moved to FEBRUARY 24, 2013

One of the country’s top health and wellness company, the First Vita Plus Marketing Corporation, makers of the famous First Vita Plus natural health drinks is staging its first 3k, 5k and 10k race, the 1st Vita Plus Power Run to be staged at the Bonifacio Global City on February 24, 2013.

The 1st Vita Plus Power Run aims to introduce natural herb, fruit and mineral based products that are packed with high quality ingredients and formulated to care for people with active lifestyles and for their general well-being. The product also promotes locally grown and sourced herbs which are one of the best natural protection against sickness and stress.

Proceeds of this Fun Run will benefit 3 Foundations: The Share & Care Foundation, Child House Center and UP/PGH Children’s Cancer Ward.

All race finishers (including the special 500 meters kids race) will received a loot bag on some of the First Vita Plus products and many others, like a specially designed dri-fit event shirt for finishers of the 3k, 5k and 10k distances.

Lots of big cash prizes will also be given to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd over-all winners in each category.

Here are the details:

Dri-fit Shirt

I was fortunate enough to be invited during the launching of this race and personally witnessed what these products had to offer emphasizing on the products’ power for natural healing and wellness.

Ms. Doyee Tumpalan, President and CEO of First Vita Plus welcoming the media/bloggers

Their advocacy is to support the use of Philippine traditional herbs and alternative medicine which will generate livelihood among our farmers. Also, this would inspire our scientists and medical experts to maximize the healing wonders of Philippine herbs.

So, if you’re not running the Condura Marathon on February 3, here’s an excellent alternative to run a shorter race, easily accessible and is guaranteed to be fun!

Jinoe Gavan of Takbo.ph and Leadpack will be the Race Director

Ms. Mia Silva (in green), Events Promoter of the First Vita Plus Power Run

Dr. Richard Custodio, introducing the different products of First Vita Plus

Me and Barefoot Daves

5k Takbo Para Sa Marino: February 17, 2013

One of the oldest and most illustrious institutions in the Philippines today, the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy is going to stage a benefit run for the Seafarers Welfare Fund of the PMMA Alumni Association Inc. Part of the proceeds will be used for the maritime education and training of qualified cadets to man large ships locally and abroad.

The run will be the PMMA FEST 2013 TAKBO PARA SA MARINO 5k Fun Run to be held at the Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill, Taguig City on February 17, 2003 starting at 5:00am. The run will be organized by Without Limits, the same exciting group that staged the Immuvit Fearless Challenge Series and the recent 4th Quezon City International Marathon.

Filipino Seafarers

Here are the details of the race:

TAKBO PARA SA MARINO 5k FUN RUN

  • February 17, 2013 (Sunday)
  • Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill, Taguig City
  • 5k
  • Gun Start at 5:30am
  • For the Benefit of the Seafarers Welfare Fund, PMMA Alumni Association Inc.
Registration Fees: 5k at P700.00
Student Discounted Price at P450.00 (SY 2012-2013 ID must be presented before registration)
Registration fee includes singlet, race bib, finisher’s medal plus free Fiesta Breakfast from Red Crab after the run!
  Finishers will get to sample the Red Crab Resto Fiesta Breakfast
for free! (Photo by Hobbysandwich Blog)
================================

Discount stub from Chris Sports

– 5% discount on regular priced items in any Chris Sports branch

– 40% discount of the ON RUNNING SHOES (available in Chris Sports, Glorietta)

– Stub is valid from the date of registration to March 31, 2013

REGISTRATION SCHEDULE:

Registration Period: January 18 – February 15, 2013 or until supplies last

Pre-Registration / Reservation: January 12 – 17, 2013 (call Without Limits Secretariat 3837658)

Registration Sites:

  • Chris Sports SM North Annex  Tel No. (02) 928-1487, (02) 927-6734
  • Chris Sports SM MOA Tel No. (02) 556-0261, (02) 556-0260
  • Chris Sports SM Megamall (02) 633-4946, (63)(2) 633-1659
  • Fitness and Athletics Bonifacio Global City  Tel. No. (02) 5191750
  • The Red Crab Alimango House  Tomas Morato Tel. No. (02) 412-4323
  • The Red Crab Alimango House The Venice Piazza Tel. No. (02) 403-8011
  • The Red Crab Alimango House Lucky Chinatown Mall Tel. No. (02) 7089578
  • The Red Crab Alimango House Resorts World New Port Mall Tel. No. (02) 856-0087
  • The Red Crab Alimango House Greenbelt 3 Tel. No. (02) 757 4129 / (02) 7574716
  • The Flying Pig East Wood Tel. No. (02) 900-0886
  • PMMA Office
    TSM Building Dian St.
    Pasong Tamo, Makati City
    (02) 9372080 Mr. Glen Rosales
  • EXACT Center, Inc.Exact Building, 891 Galicia St. Cor. Espana, Sampaloc Manila, (02) 5596355 / (0918) 9122973 / (0922) 8597060 Mr. Sonny Dilag

Singlet Design

Finisher’s Medals

Bib Design

FOR INQUIRIES:

Call Without Limits Secretariat at 3837658 (look for Vayne or Marjan), text 0922-8386200 or visit http://www.withoutlimits.ph

Gear Review: Ultraspire Surge Hydration Vest

BACKGROUNDER:

Hydration Vest/Backpack:

  • Lightweight vest-style backpack
  • With two (2) Liter Hydrapak® hydration bladder
  • Contoured shape profile for comfortable stable ride
  • Two large pockets at the left and right front strap
  • 2012 Gear Of The Year in Runner’s World Magazine
  • Weight: 304 Grams

Ultraspire Surge (backside)

So what does Camelbak, Nathan, Ultimate Direction and Ultraspire have in common? Aside from being great hydration gears for runners, they’re all being manufactured in the Philippines, particularly at the Freeport Area in Mariveles, Bataan. There may be other gear brands being made there but these four ranks on top of the tier where hydration systems are concerned.

During my early days of running and racing on trails, i was just content in using          the Nathan Speed waist pack which were ideal except that the bottles would sometimes slide-off after continuously running. Also tried the  Nathan Hand-held Quickdraw which i found very cumbersome after holding it  for more than two hours.

I then switched to a bigger single bottle waist belt which could accommodate an 18 to 20 oz bottle. This was more secure and had a little extra storage for gels or keys. It’s very convenient for me, (still is) a great way to run hands-free, unencumbered specially if i position the bottle on the side of my waist which totally eliminates the bouncing than when they were positioned on my back.

The need to finally have a hydration vest-style back pack was when during a run a mountainous trail run on our way back from Miyamit Falls in Porac, Pampanga, i had ran out of water, having consumed all the water from my two 20-oz  bottles. With no stores to buy any water or drink, i was left with no alternative but to ask from a native resident who was kind enough to give me water taken from a mineral spring.

Spring water

Lessons learned. With no available stores to buy water from, carrying lots of water on your back on long distances is the only way to go.

I’ve since gotten a hydration vest backpacks (the Camelbak Rogue) and lately was fortunate enough to receive one from my brother who gave me the Ultraspire SURGE.

FEATURES:

FRONT RIGHT:

  • On the front right of the strap is a stretch pocket where it can hold a  water bottle of up to 20 oz. It has an elastic cord which you can tie-up on the noose of a bottle or just tighten the pocket.
  • Above it is a small magnetized pocket which you could put a sachet of salt, keys or an electrolyte sachet. You place these things inside and it just flips closed automatically.
  • Just above the magnetized pocket is a loop which to loop and secure your water hose inside or use it to tie-up a bandana.

FRONT LEFT:

  • Large zippered inner pocket where you can place a camera, phone, small flashlight or other items that you may want secured.
  • An outer mesh pocket that is open where you can put a chocolate bar, gels or your small trash to stock in and throw later.
  • Above them, there’s a small mesh pocket where you can put paper bills or another energy gel. Attached to it is the water hose clip and another loop to tie whatever you want.

MIDDLE ATTACHMENTS:

There are two thin straps, that run from the left main strap to the right main strap. The upper one is located near the chest and the lower one hugs the upper part of the stomach. These 2 straps have attached aluminum clips to it (the red ones on the picture above) that attaches to their corresponding hooks on the left side of the stretchable pocket.

OUTER BACK PART:

  • There’s a top zippered pocket where you can place your head-lamp, cap or additional candy bars inside
  • At the bottom portion, there’s a very large mesh pocket with an elastic strap inside that goes through the left and right hand side so you have holes running through this pocket. Small things like gels, keys or small phones are not advisable to keep on this pocket as they might slide out of the holes.
  • The main compartment is zippered down up to its neck part only and its where you put your 2-litert Hydrapak® hydration bladder. This bladder is the soft plastic fold-up style which you have to roll-up and slide a clip to close-open it.

The Hydrapack bladder

It can carry up to 2 Liters of water

FIT AND PERFORMANCE:

I was able to test run this gear last Sunday during a 3-hour familiarization run on the trails of Tanay, Rizal. My story here (tanay-trail-run-part-2/). The trails form part of the upcoming 50k Love A Tree Trail Ultra-Marathon to be held on February 10, 2013 details here www.pimcosportsevents.com.

Before using it, as recommended by many who had experiences with this particular vest, you have to loosen on the side straps first, clip on the thin straps in front then adjust anew the side straps and pull down to tighten. This way, you will able to gauge its feel and adjust accordingly for the right fit.

Starting my run, i immediately felt the snugness of its fit, very stable on my back, no wiggles whatsoever. Of course, i could feel the 1.5 liter water contained in the bladder but still, it was quite light, not hindering my movements. I had just a little problem sipping out water from its hose the first time as i was only getting small bursts of water from its tube.

However, putting more pressure to the valve when biting did the trick although still not much as my Camelbak hydration pack would do. The front pockets were incredible! I had stashed a 16 oz. Salomon water bottle on the right pocket and was able to put my celphone inside the zippered pocket on the left side which was really secured. Hey, no bouncing!

I didn’t have to reach for anything at the back because everything i needed was conveniently secured on the front pockets and they were easily accessible even while running. And because of its airmesh it allowed plenty of air to move around your body, no feeling of stickiness on your back.

Here are pictures of me wearing the Surge:

First used during a trail run in Tanay

CONCLUSION:

The Ultraspire Surge has a lot going for it: light, versatile, snug and it has everything you need, from adequate hydration, lots of storage and a very nifty look.

Probably, the only complaint i have about this vest is the “time” it would take you to replace the water in the bladder. Taking it out, unfolding it, sliding out the cover clip, re-filling it with liquids then putting it back again to its pocket, making adjustments inside to make it secure takes a lot of time.

I had been so accustomed with my Camelbak which has the quick snap cap on its built-in reservoir where you just pour the water in and replace the cap.

Still, the Surge is one excellent companion for your ultras, trail runs and mountain hikes. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed!

The Surge vs the Rogue

Tanay Trail Run: Familiarization Run, Part 2

I’m still nursing a nagging dull pain on my right hamstrings that has again returned after last Sunday’s trail run at Tanay, the 2nd and probably the last familiarization run before the Love A Tree 50k Ultra on February 10.  The pain has stuck after finishing the 4th QC International Marathon last month and it has been on and off my leg since then.

Last Sunday’s trail run was actually a complete repeat of the Nature’s Trail Discover Run, Leg 1 with the climb on “The Peak” its highlight and the various river crossings around Baranggay Sto. Niño, Laiban and beyond. With me this time was team mate at Team 90%, ultra-runner Chito Carreon who got his feet wet, running this course for the first time.

So we drove to Tanay early Sunday morning and arrived at about 5:15am to the barking of dogs near the entrance to Sta. Inez Road. We were the first to arrive so we took this time to catch off some more Zs. No more than 25 minutes had passed when i noticed other runners began to trickle in, among them Manny Santos of Pimco Sports wearing his usual Viking Trail Shoe and Cesar Valmadrid of Norphyl.

With its challenging trails, the PIMCO organized trail races and the hundreds of trail running enthusiasts, Tanay has become the self-style hub of the trail running community. Much to my surprise, there were more runners who attended this 2nd familiarization run, ready to hit the trails.

We re-traced the route used during Leg 1 of the Discovery Run and this would entail running up that killer mountain trail and back to those river crossings past the hanging Sto. Nino bridge. Those running the route for the first time did additional distance by hitting those river crossings while some of us familiar with the route opted to return back after reaching the hanging bridge.

The run (or crawl) to the San Andres peak is so ridiculous. And i’m sure i have never walked this slow that i had to stop and catch my breath every 10 meters of climbing! The uphill was sending a dull, thudding pain deep into my right hamstring which i’m dragging behind me like a heavy rock! Still i managed to reach the peak in one piece.

We all had a blast! Great conversations from everybody, a nice route and when we returned to base camp we had a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausages, eat-all-you-can pandesal and hot coffee, courtesy of Mrs. Santos, Manny’s wife. By the end, i did about 15k while the others did 18k.

For those who plan to run this race on February 10, you can still register on-line at Pimco’s official website at: www.pimcosportsevents.com or check their Facebook page at Pimco Sporting Events. Distances include the 50k ultra, 24k, 12k and the 6k trail distances.

Here are some pictures i took of the trails last Sunday. You will have to excuse the quality of the pictures as these were just taken using my Blackberry phone.

Hope you enjoy them!

One of the many interesting river canals trail runners will see along the course

One of many wooden bridges that connects many of the baranggays in San Andres

Typical trail along the lowlands. It would be more challenging when you climb up the peak

This pony suddenly appears and blocks our path. We all had to stop, walk slowly and sensing that we were moving near her, decided to give way for us.

Towards a small community where a cave exists

A small river crossing that got our shoes wet (a little)

When this group crossed, one of the wooden planks broke so they had to thread this very carefully

This trail leads to the small river cave

The mouth of the cave is visible from here

Race Director Alvin Balderama plans to have runners cross under which is chest-deep. I hope not!

Posing for a group picture

On my left (sitting) is RD Alvin Balderama

The single trail tracks at Baraggay Sta. Inez

This trail leads up to the “Peak”

We had to re-group most of the time and wait for the slower ones

Weather was fine during the early part of the morning but became hot and sunny past 10am

It’s all uphill from here

Same route will be taken in by all runners

A view of the Sierra Madre Mountains

More of the mountains

This is one steep ascent

This was just half-way into the climb

Perfect training for those running on uphill races

A few hundred meters more before the peak

Taking a break before the final assault

Cesar Valmadrid wished he had puffed fewer cigarettes before the climb

A rice paddy seen below

Taking pictures with his Android phone

Maribel, the only rose among the torns

At the peak

Chito enjoying the scenery

The trail on our way down

It’s more fun in the Philippines!

One scenic rough road inside Brgy. Sto. Nino

Scenic trail going to the river

Sun was up and about making the run so hot

Trail to the hanging bridge of Sto. Nino

We turned-around after approaching the bridge

Now at the foothills of the Sierra Madres

They have one of the cleanest rivers in the country

Corrals and stones along the river’s edges

Runners will trek through these rivers