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

Shoe Review: Zoot Ultra Kane 2.0

BACKGROUNDER:

Light Stability Trainer:

  • High mileage stability trainer
  • Specifically designed for the runner needing stability, maximum cushioning and those with heavy stride.
  • Weight: 10.8 oz. (Size 9)

The Zoot Ultra Kane 2.0

Long known for its apparels in multi-sport,  Zoot hasn’t been a major player in the running market much, as its niche has always been in the triathlon racing shoes. Now, it’s trying to unshackle itself from this exclusivity and has recently attempted to broaden its appeal by introducing models that would suit traditional runners to use them for everyday training and racing.

Zoot has recently been formally introduced in the Philippines and although it has been on the shelves of the RUNNR running store for quite sometime now, its presence is still not felt in the mainstream running community not like its more popular counter parts like Adidas, Nike, New Balance, Mizuno and other popular brands.

The Ultra Kane 2.0, part of Zoot’s “running” shoe category is one such shoe that has been introduced here in the country about 2 years ago.

CONSTRUCTION:

  • The upper of this version is made of nylon air-mesh which is a deviation from the original Ultra Kane which was made of  the TekSheen stretch fabric.  The Air-mesh was probably used to appeal more to runners although the same technology was used, the BAREFIT construction in the interior which gives it a glove-like fit and can be used sock-less.
  • Regular shoe laces were used for the 2.0 instead of the Quick-lace system that was used in their first edition that catered for triathletes

  • Their midsole technology is called the Z-bound, a lightweight and resilient compound that gives it a responsive ride. Z-bound has a very high-energy return. The result is less weight and great response.

Z-Bound Midsole

  • The outsole is made up of blown rubber or the ZBR  (Zoot Blown Rubber) a custom blown rubber that gives the footwear durability and extended wear time.

Zoot Blown Rubber

Other innovations used in this shoe are the CarbonSpan+ shank molded into the midsole which provides a smooth, stable ride and the Dri-Lex Liner Fabric which is antimicrobial that minimizes moisture,  foul odor and reduces hot spots that cause blisters.

FIT and FEEL:

The Ultra Kane 2.0 is a snug-fitting piece of rubber which is comfortable in the inside. The shoe’s soft tongue is sewed-in within the upper that stretches once you slip-in your foot. Runners not used to this type of slip-in shoes might find it a bit annoying but just loosening the laces and stretching up the tongue while pulling the pull-tab at the top of the heel will do the trick. Voila!

There’s instant comfort once you walk in it. The cushioning is immediately palpable although not so much as not to be able to feel the surface while running. It seems that the use of the laces seem secondary as the seamed-in tongue does secure the foot in itself. I didn’t feel any hot spots to cause any prospective blister and although the forefoot and heel cradle were roomy enough, it still hugged the foot preventing it from sliding from side to side.

Heel counter

PERFORMANCE:

Nice to be running on these shoes on several short and long runs and i’ll give the performance high marks. Being a neutral to slight pronator, i like the mild support it gave on the longer runs. The ride was lavishly comfortable, extremely smooth and soft from my heel to toe strike. I felt that i was running on my last leg of the Kona Ironman, so let me imagine just a bit.

The heel and midfoot fit are quite snug but the forefoot opens up a bit to the stretchable upper layer of the shoe. However, all the cushiony-feel when walking on it dissipates as you could feel the surface of the road when running which is a good thing.

The shoe is responsive and agile and i would venture that this would be an ideal shoes for long distance running, from half-marathon to marathon distances.

CONCLUSION and RECOMMENDATION:

The Zoot Ultra Kane 2.0 has everything that a good solid shoe should have: snug fit, enough cushioning and enough support to give runners who need more stability.

One noteworthy feature of the Ultra Kane 2.0 and all the other Zoot running shoe line-up is their attractive styling and color combinations. These shoes have their lineage in the triathlon with all the heel tabs, slip-in wear, sock-less comfort, fast performance and other new innovations introduced in their latest models.

This is an excellent buy!

A newer version of the Zoot Ultra Kane which is the version 3.0 has just been recently released and is now available at Planet Sports Stores, Riovana, Secondwind and the Brick Store.

The Ultra Kane 3.0 version, Zoot’s latest Ultra Kane release

The Zoot collection at Riovana (BHS)

Shoe Review: “Walk, Don’t Run!” Mizuno’s BE Shoes

BACKGROUNDER:

PRE/POST Run Shoes:

  • The Mizuno “BE” is basically a  recovery shoe designed to be worn when you’re NOT running. A pre and post run shoe.
  • It helps strengthen the lower leg and foot muscles to improve running performance while aiding in the recovery of tired muscles
  • Inspired by the Japanese Waraji (Japanese 草鞋) sandals made from straw rope that were used in the past as standard footwear for the Samurai and the Feudal soldiers of Japan.

Wajari Sandals (photo credits terebess.hu website)

  • The sole of the Waraji sandals was designed to be shorter than the feet allowing the toes to move naturally up and down, to curl, grip and to activate the muscles of the foot
  • It’s not supposed to be used as a running shoe but just to satisfy your interest on how this shoe would feel like while running, you can take it out for a 3-5 km run (no more than that!) and just once!
  • Weight: 7.0 Oz.

Mizuno BE

I researched on the shoe even before its launching here in Manila and found out that it’s suppose to be worn when you’re not running. This shoe is often described as a toning shoe but that gives a negative connotation to it although it works to activate the toes and the muscles of the lower leg and feet, the same way as a toning shoe does.

The BE is Mizuno’s answer to the different recovery shoes that are out in the market. The K-Swiss Blade-Light Recover has been out in the market for about two years now while the New Balance has its own Minimus Life/Wellness Zero for post-run shoe wear.

While many runners will still prefer to wear flip-flops or slippers after a hard or long run, (including myself) make no mistake, the BE is a great casual shoe that’s great for walking, going to the mall or just wearing it to the office, if you’re allowed to wear one. This is one comfortable shoe to take anywhere!

CONSTRUCTION:

The upper is made up of a soft, suede-like canvas with breathable mesh specifically constructed on the top where the toes would normally be positioned. The toe-box is wide and roomy, designed anatomically to the shape of the foot.

The shoes insole is not removable while the midsole offers a lot of cushioning. The illustration above shows the shoes’ functions:

  • 1.  ACTIVATION SOCKLINER – Dips the toes to activate your muscles.
  • 2.  DYNAMIC FUNCTION HEEL COUNTER – Cups your heel to improve it’s cushioning function.
  • 3.  AP+ MIDSOLE- Offering cushioning and comfort at footplant.
  • 4.  BE FOOTPRINT OUTSOLE – Lightweight and durable.

The outsole

FIT and FEEL:

The BE has a nice, comfortable feel. It’s not snug by any means but it’s really made to make your toes relaxed and breathable. This shoe is one  flexible shoe i have ever tested. I like the footing which is soft but firm and there are no irritation issues with the upper and even on the heel-counter which is somewhat low.

BE’s sockliner dips just behind the toes, creating a space that allows the toes to flex and move freely, resulting in more muscle activity.

This is exactly how it feels in the toe area. Have you tried cutting the top area of an insole before because the shoe you probably bought was to narrow on the forefoot? I did this when i was just starting on running, i made bad decisions when buying running shoes when i didn’t try them on first before buying, that i ended up getting sizes that didn’t have enough space on the toe box.

So what i did was cut-off about 1.5 inches at the top of the insole, shaped them to conform with the trace of the toes and put them back to try them on. The toe-box felt roomier and the toes could feel the space that was cut-off. This is how the BE activation sock-liner feels.

Breathable mesh for the toes

PERFORMANCE:

From the first time i slipped on this shoe during its launching at Mizuno’s headquarters at Magallanes, i was sold. The inside of the shoe was very comfortable though one could easily sense what the Waraji sandals felt like, the gap of the insoles to the length of your foot. The midsole was pillowy and although there is a heel to toe differential of about 5-6 mm, the feel was like walking on a zero-drop shoe.

Although this shoe was meant just for walking, the inquisitiveness in me dictated that i should “test-drive” this shoe and took it on a short run the following day.

On that 4 km run, the shoe felt very light, meatier than the Vibram Five Fingers  “Speed” shoe but much lighter than the Reebok Realflex Transition shoe. The feel was responsive, tends to set you on mid-foot strike and glided well on asphalt road.

If we were not apprised that this shoe was made for walking only, i would have run another 4k on this without a problem. But there will probably be issues about its durability when taking this for runs so lets just leave it the way it was intended to be used, for the mall.

CONCLUSION and RECOMMENDATION:

After using this almost everyday on my daily grind for work, meet-up with friends, walking from place to place on errands, this shoe is very kind to the feet, no aches nor pains to the foot and legs, whatsoever.

Bravo, Mizuno BE! 🙂