Nat Geo Earth Day Run 2013

Now on its 4th year, the National Geographic (Nat Geo) Earth Day Run aims to promote the conservation and preservation of our earth, our mother nature. For every runner who joins, 3 tree seedlings are going to be planted. Let’s continue to conserve, protect and re-cycle and make mother earth a sustainable planet to live in.

REGISTRATION SITES AND SCHEDULES:

NatGeo Earth DayRun 2013

ONLINE: March 15 – April 20, 2013 at http://natgeorun.com
ON-GROUND: March 18 – April 20, 2013 at the Registration Kiosk,
G/F, Greenbelt 3 Mall, in front of the Asics store.

EARTH-FRIENDLY RACE FEATURES:


Bloggers at the Nat Geo Earth Day Run Launch @Buddah Bar, Makati

Cesar Guarin’s Sets For Global Run

Cesar Guarin has been an old fixture in the local running scene as he first emerged during the first running boom of the late 70s. When i started to take up running during the early 80s, he was already in the limelight, running in various local races until he set to run his first of many ultra running feats starting with the Trans-Pilipinas Ultramarathon, covering a total of 2, 251 kms from Zamboanga City to Baguio City which he did in 37 days.

Considered the “Father of Ultramarathon”  in the Philippines, he is now set to conquer another 30,000 kilometers across the world in the Global Run: Takbong Alay sa Pilipino at sa Buong Mundo.  Guarin is undertaking this near-impossible feat to pay personal tribute to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).

Likewise, Guarin is dedicating his global run to Filipino street children, raising funds to help them through his group’s “Batang Pangarap” program. Guarin’s group teamed up with Overseas Filipino communities and various agencies to get underprivileged kids into running, and provide them with their basic needs and social development programs.

Backing Guarin on his worthwhile quest is the Philippines’ leading low-cost carrier, Cebu Pacific. In a special event held recently at the Xin Tian Di of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, the airline expressed its full support to the man known as the “father of ultra-marathon” in the country.

Guarin on one of his ultra runs in Europe

“Cesar Guarin is very inspirational. He is trying to do something that no Filipino has ever done before, which is to run around the world, the equivalent of a thousand marathons,” said Alex Reyes, general manager of the Cebu Pacific Long Haul Division. “He’s also reaching out to all the OFW communities in the countries that he’s visiting, reaching out and bringing a little bit of home to them.”

Reyes also expressed that not only is Guarin’s cause a worthy endeavor to support, his global run is aligned with Cebu Pacific’s core mission, which is to serve the Filipino overseas communities. “Today there is no Filipino carrier that flies to the Middle East.  We’ve chosen Dubai as our first long-haul destination to cater to Filipinos based there,” he said. “By making fares so much more affordable, OFWs can come home much more often or their families can visit them there.”

Alex Reyes (L), General Manager of the Cebu Pacific Long Haul Division, Cesar Guarin and Candice A. Iyog, VP for Marketing and Distribution during the launch of the Global Pinoy Run last week

“Through Cebu Pacific’s low-fare, great-value service, we hope that there will be more frequent reunions for overseas Pinoys and their families,” Reyes added.

With Filipino OFWs in Europe

Guarin’s goal to circumnavigate the world on foot started with a dream: he wanted to be the first Filipino to bring home the Olympic gold marathon medal. After failing to qualify for the 1980 Moscow Olympics because of an injury, he channeled his frustrations to completing the Trans Pilipinas Run, covering 2,251 kilometers from Zamboanga to Baguio in 1983.

Guarin followed this achievement with the Trans USA Run in 1985, running across 14 states in 48 days non-stop, from Mondays to Sundays, literally from the east to the west coast.

These ultra-distance runs gave him the training he wanted, and improved his strength and endurance. He joined the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, but was again thwarted by an injury. Rather than feel defeated, Guarin persisted on and was back on his feet by 1992.

Cesar talking about his upcoming global run during the launching of his Global Pinoy Run at Crowne Plaza Hotel last week

He set out for the Trans Europe Run, covering a distance of 3,756 kilometers from Barcelona to Rome in 67 days. His Europe run was filled with challenges. Their corporate sponsor backed out at the last minute and they had to improvise using a mountain bike instead of a support vehicle. His long-time friend George Tan had to carry 50 kilos of supplies across 6 mountainous European countries for two months on bike.

Now 57 years old, Guarin continues to challenge himself and is determined to conquer the rest of the world. His next stop, the Middle East, is seventh of his 15-stage worldwide run. While the tough weather conditions and rough terrains may intimidate regular runners, Guarin considers them part of the challenge and is looking forward to the adventure that awaits him.

Next Challenge: 1,265-km Solo Run in the Middle East this 2013

Guarin will now embark on his Middle East Run challenge, referred to as “the toughest extreme distance run” among Cesar’s 16 stages of his global run. To finish this ultra-marathon  Cesar will have to complete the total distance in 6 countries in the Middle East (UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait).

Next stop, the Middle East

Finished (1983 to 2011) –

Stage 1: Trans Pilipinas Run                             2,251 km   37 days   1983

Stage 2: Trans USA Run                                    4,960 km   87 days   1985

Stage 3: Trans Europe Run (6)                         3,756 km   67 days   1992

Stage 4: US–Canada Run                                 1,272 km   29 days   2009

Stage 5: Trans Australia Run                            2,053 km   36 days   2011

Stage 6:  Finland–England Run II (7)              1,820 km   45 days   2012

In Progress (2012 to 2017) –

Stage 7: Middle East Run (4)                            1,265 km   31 days   2013

Stage 8: USA – Alaska Run (2)                         3,134 km   74 days   2013

Stage 9: Japan–Korea-China Run (3)             2,857 km   68 days   2014

Stage 10:  Austria–Greece Run (3)                  3,065 km   60 days   2014

Stage 11: Russia–Hungary Run (6)                 2,539 km   60 days   2015

Stage 12: Egypt–Jordan Run (3)                      2,290 km   50 days   2015

Stage 13: Brazil–Argentina Run (3)                 3,144 km   75 days   2016

Stage 14: India–Nepal–Bhutan                        2,223 km   48 days   2016

Stage 15: Myanmar–Singapore Run (3)         3,766 km   90 days   2017

Stage 16: Brunei–Philippines Run                   2,067 km   50 days   2017

The runs will be on desert roads and around an oval course in regions or areas where road running is prohibited or illegal. At 1,265 kilometers, it’s going to be a challenging run, which may take 40 or more days to complete.

Global Run Middle East will surely be one of the most memorable and exciting global run stage that Cesar and his team will venture. For Cesar Guarin, global running is an incredible life changing experience where he challenges himself against some of the most rugged and beautiful landscapes in the world. Once he finished this run he will be the first person to have run an ultramarathon of this magnitude in the Middle East.

At the launch with fellow bloggers

Yours truly with the man himself

“I’m happy that Cebu Pacific is backing this global run. This started as a very personal project, so I’m really delighted that we’re getting more support,” said Guarin. “Choosing Dubai as one of their first long-haul destinations and offering low fares show that Cebu Pacific, like me, is a supporter of Global Filipinos,” he added.

The Amazing Pinoy Run: May 25, 2013

NOTE: THIS RACE HAS BEEN RE-SCHEDULED TO MAY 25, 2013!

This race is an alternative to the Merrell Adventure Trail Run which is also going to be held on the same date, April 27, 2013. If you’re not into trail running as yet, the Amazing Pinoy Fun Run will give you a chance to hone your skills on the road and run with the popular Philippine Volcanoes Rugby and the Philippine Azkals Football Teams.

Also on hand to give the run some prestige are Sheena Vera Cruz of Amazing Race Philippines, Eric “Eruption” Tai from It’s Showtime and actor Jon Avila. The Volcanoes are going to be spearheaded by Andrew Wolff and Chris Everingham, among others.

The Philippine Volcanoe stalwarts with Sheena and Jon Avila. Good looking guy on the right is Race Director Edward “Tito” Kho of Events Logic, Inc.

This fun run will include challenges or obstacles that you have to accomplish like being able to dance your way out of the “Tinikling”, a Limbo-rock bending contest and complete various lunges throughout the course. There will be no timing tags/chips for this race although runners will be able to see their finish times at the clocks above the finish line.

Here are the details of the race:

AMAZING PINOY 2013 Leg 1
May 25, 2013 @ 5am
Bonifacio Global City
2K/5K/10K
Organizers:  Event Logic, Inc.

REGISTRATION Fees:
Early Bird Rates until March 25th:
2K – Php 550.00
5K – Php 600.00
10K – Php 700.00

Regular Rates:
2K – Php 650.00
5K – Php 700.00
10K – Php 800.00

Registration Venues
* Chris Sports Branches in:
– Glorietta 3
– SM North EDSA
– SM Sucat
– SM Mall of Asia
– Robinsons Ermita
– Festival Mall
– SM Fairview
– SM Manila
– SM Megamall

* Fitness & Athletics Company

* R. O. X.

Online Registration: www.amazingpinoyrun.com

Race Singlets

You can also check them out in their facebook and twitter accounts:

www.facebook.com/Amazing.Pinoy
www.twitter.com/AmazingPinoy_

PRESS RELEASE:

Get ready for the ultimate fun run experience! Join the Amazing Pinoy Run 2013 on May 25 at BGC.

Amazing Pinoy Run revs up the ante of how fun runs should be. Runners of all capabilities will certainly find the right challenge and excitement for them as the race is designed to suit a broad spectrum of runners, from newbies to the competitive. Picture a fun run with the challenges of the Amazing Race and a festive atmosphere of fun races and you get Amazing Pinoy Run! Event distances are 2K, 5K, and 10K.

Part of the proceeds from the registration fees goes to the two beneficiaries of the race event – Clark Foundation and the Filipino Children Needy Fund.

Early bird race registrants (until March 25th) get P100 off the registration fee. Regular registration fees are: P600 – 2K; P650 – 5K; P800 – 10K. Registration sites are: Chris Sports (Glorietta 3, SM North EDSA, SM Sucat, SM Fairview, SM Manila, SM Megamall, SM MOA, Robinson’s Place Ermita, and Festival Supermall Alabang), Fitness & Athletics, and R.O.X. in BGC. Participants may also register online thru www.amazingpinoyrun.com.

The Amazing Pinoy Run 2013 is supported by Chris Sports, R.O.X., Fitness & Athletics, BGC, Gold’s Gym, Greenwich, Energizer, Schick, The Medical City, Timex, Berocca, Jack City, Jack TV, ETC, Manila Bulletin, and Philippine Daily Inquirer. Amazing Pinoy Run 2013 is organized by Event Logic, Inc.

For more details, “like” Amazing Pinoy Run 2013 on Facebook or “follow” the race on Twitter.

Race Recap: Salomon Penitencia X-Trail Run

As the final Lenten week approaches, i will again witness bare-chested males marching in the streets of Pampanga, flagellating their bodies with bamboo whips until blood oozes out from their backs. Eventually, i will also get to watch on tv actual crucifixions where either men and women will be nailed to the cross for real!

These are Lenten rituals of some Christian devotees, an act of penitence to atone for their sins, give thanks for curing their illnesses or to grant their wishes.

Yesterday, I, together with a thousand others were subject to another form of penitence, not because we wished to repent for our sins and ask for forgiveness from the Almighty but because we, devout runners, had to scale ridiculously steep mountain trails of the Hamilo Coast in Batangas for this year’s Salomon X-Trail Run that in the end, we were asking for his salvation!

I didn’t expect it to be this difficult and even though i had only managed to enter the 12k run, it seemed like we were pushing at double the distance, much more for the 24k runners who were finishing it from 4 to 6 hours!

The mountains had undulating steep inclines and there were many more of it when we finished the beach run and started to ascend on the second mountain trails. The trails were pretty narrow on some parts so a single line were formed and it was rare that one could pass through other runners except when downhills would offer that chance. Every trail goes up until it comes down.

The run along the beach on our way to the second mountain

At the rocky shores before the first uphill climb

At the 2nd mountain

This was the scene for most of the trails. Like zombies wandering aimlessly!

One rare chance we get to jog (Photo by Runaholic)

I was feeling very sluggish and heavy during the ascend on top. Many times, i had to stop and so did the others as i felt my chest was about to explode or you get to drown on your own heavy breathing. Nice to have those small tree trunks to propel you up but it mattered very little when you were scaling continuously on top.

The downhills were much easier for me although i think you should have that level of self-confidence because any hesitation or doubts on where to land your feet would require much more energy or slow you down as i saw many runners who stopped, hesitated then fell on all fours on the steepest of descents. I had a misstep on the 8th km myself when i hesitated and missed the small rock i was to land on and the result, a fall on my butt that resulted to cramping on my left calf muscle.

One complaint i have on this race was the utter lack of hydration stations in the mountains. The organizers should have made the effort of hauling those gallons of water atop those hill crests as this is where runners need it most. One female runner even asked me if i could spare some from my backpack so i took the pack off, poured some water from the water bladder into her water bottle. She was safe in the meantime.

Rest muna, teh..

One instance when we all had to stop and catch our breath

One runner leaning on the trunk of a small tree

This runner seems to be like she was stretching

Despite the difficulties, i would love to come back on these trails again

Despite the slight rains the night before, the trails were dry and no marks of any muddy tracks, whatsoever.

There was to be a cut-off time for all the distances and so many of the 24k runners did not managed to make the 5-hour cut-off even if they announced late into the race that it was extended to another 30 minutes.

During the last 3km, i was just exhausted to even make a run for the cut-off time of 2:30 for the 12k distance even if it was all downhill so i just took my time. I just shrugged when i saw my time at 2:45 upon crossing the finish line. My usual 21k time on road races was even faster than this.

This is probably one of the hardest trail races i have ever done. I am however glad that i took part in it, getting to feel what a mountain race is all about.

Kudos to all runners who participated and finished this race!

With friends after the run

My next trail race will be the Merrell 21k Trail Run in San Mateo, Rizal next month. And before i forget, i saw Thumbie Remigio, the organizer of the Merrell run who was in the middle of the pack during the early stages of the 24k race! I hope he won’t upstage this Salomon event by changing the Merrell course into a more difficult one like what we experienced here at Hamilo Coast.

If that happens, someone is going to get flagellated this time! 🙂

Race Recap: Run United 1 Half-Marathon 2013

Not since the Condura Skyway Marathon have i seen such a big crowd of runners at last Sunday’s Run United-1 21k race at the Mall Of Asia grounds. I was amazed at the throng of mostly young runners who i figured have leveled-up in distance, those who have embraced the challenge of tackling the half-marathon for the first time in their pursuit of doing the full which Run United will be having near the end of the year.

We were sent off in two waves and i happen to be among those in the first but after just about 1.5kms the fast runners among the second wave started to pass us and the merging of both waves, numbering to about 5,000 were evident near Roxas Blvd. and the scene along Buendia Avenue was full packed!

I always take a light pre-race breakfast to provide me some fuel during long races but this particular morning has to be one of my most annoying ones after taking a large moon cake just minutes before the race with just  sips of energy drinks i had with me.  The result, indigestion or dyspepsia which i had to deal with for most of the first half of the race! I couldn’t burp or pass air so i had to contend in slowing down to ease the tightness in my chest.

Taking water didn’t help much on the indigestion but a half-banana portion seem to absorb some of the food stuck on my air waves. Whatever help that brought me, i knew i wasn’t going to achieve a good race time that i had hoped for.

Things eased up a bit when i reached back at Seaside Blvd, about the 10km mark on the way to the south side of Macapagal Avenue. I finally got into a groove of sorts running with old time friends like Jinoe Gavan and Jen Kun who both seem to be taking their time. Now at Macapagal Avanue towards Airport Road, it was a bit of smooth sailing and from then on, i was just pushing it further and only breaking to a slow jog whenever i reach a water station.

With Jay Nacino, left

At the last turn-around point, i was finally joined by Jay Nacino, an ultra-marathoner and now an active triathlete whom i talked animatedly about bikes and triathlons. He was just doing the 10k as a training run and he seem to be just gliding his way through while i was struggling to keep up with his pace and it seem to worked for me getting those kilometers after kilometers done. His stories and company seem to rev-up the little steam that i had left.

The last straight to the finish, a stretch of about 800 meters was so long that you seem to be running it endlessly but i was dead set in getting it there, bumping with other runners also finishing their respective distances. For the last 100 meters, i picked up the pace and veered towards the left lane which was the finish side of the half-marathon runners. Whatever energy i had left, i gave it all out to compensate for the lost time during the start.

Trying to keep up that smile during the last few hundred meters of the race

As expected, i didn’t PR but considering what i had to go through during the first half of the race, i was elated just to be able to finish strong. Finished it in 2:38 and still felt some energy left. I high-fived Jay who was just on the other side of the finish and seem to be all relaxed like he was a few kilometers earlier.

I have ran this route several times in the past and although the sections along Buendia Avenue between Roxas Blvd and Taft Avenue were a bit dark and crowded, the marshals did a fine job in controlling the early traffic as cones were properly deployed along the route.

Over-all the race organization was tops, there were adequate drinking stations, drink-all-you-can Gatorade, courteous marshals and a vibe incomparable with other road races.

An A-1 race!

Thanks to the Running Photographers for some of the photos!

(Check out the race results here):  http://www.unilabactivehealth.com/rununited/results.html

A rock concert after the race

Breakfast with Team mates after the run

Tri-United 1 At Subic: A Personal Look

No doubt, interest and participation in triathlons all over the country continues to grow as does the number of teams participating in these events as was evidenced at last Sunday’s Unilab Tri-United held at the Dungaree Beach, Subic Bay Freeport.

It was my first time to attend a triathlon event, not as a participant but to cover it as part of the Unilab Media team in promoting its program of pro-active health and wellness activities through triathlons (Tri-United) and running (Run United).

Well, the Tri-United was like a whirlwind of an event, juggling my LCD camera from the swim events at Dungaree Beach then climbing my way up to the bike transition area and finally taking photos at my favorite event, running (in case you didn’t know).

As expected, the entire experience proved to be an eye opener. Triathletes are pretty serious with their gears and the sea of top tri-bikes resting atop those poles  sure looks like a fashion show of rides parading on the ramps. A couple of Cervelos here and there, Trek, Scott, Giant, Specialized and the Orbea brands, to name a few, dominated the field and even some mountain bikes with road tires were seen. I was drooling with envy and even thought of hi-jacking one of them to give it a spin around Subic Bay! 🙂

At the swim start of the Standard distance

At least 600 of the country’s top triathletes spread out over the standard and sprint distances with team relays were on hand at the Dungaree Beach under fairly good weather.

The Tri-United is an excellent event for our local triathletes to hone up their skills and most specially to the newbies who want to try out the standard (1.5km swim/ 40km bike ride/ 10km run) or the shorter sprint distances. Here,  they get the feel of what’s it like to splash and kick with other triathletes in a not so crowded open-water swim.

I saw many friends who were doing the tri for the first time and felt their jitters, most specially at the start of the swim event where most of them do not really have much of the swimming experience which for them was very daunting. One even confided to me that as long as he comes out of the water alive, he sure will be kicking it at the end of the run event!

Great to see the triathletes come out of the water one by one and sprint up on that carpeted ramp on their way to their transition for the bike leg but saw so many struggle as they huff and puff to catch their breath even before they started mounting their bikes.

I wasn’t able to witness much of the bike race as this was held outside of the transition areas although the excitement returned when each rider returned, dismounting from their bikes and ran towards their respective pole positions to start out their runs.

First time triathletes Toby Claudio, Jeff Lo and Amanda Manait. 2nd from right is Carlos de Guzman of SBR

With tri friends, Jet, Erick and Vic

Super Mom, Vanj Endaya

With wacky comedienne, Melai doing a triathlon segment of her show at Abs-Cbn.

Getting a shirt at the Saucony booth to go with my Kinvara3. Thanks for the shirt, Saucony!

For us spectators, the run was the most exciting because we would cheer on the runners whenever they hit the turn-around 5k point and it was here where we saw the strongest and most determined of the lot. Team’s here were tight-knit and the camaraderie was infectious although every body seems to cheer every one that passes through the finish line.

At the awarding ceremony, awards to winners were given not only to Elite athletes but also to age-group winners. For an event not so crowded with participants, i think giving out various awards to age-group category winners is just appropriate. Each age group winners should be given due recognition and i wish this system should also carry-over to pure running events.

Age group podium winners. Keshia Fule (1st), Lilian Banzon (2nd), Ma. Katrina Amistoso (3rd)

Winners of the Relay category

With Claire and Dulce of Unilab (3rd and 2nd from left) and members of the media

It was great to watch these triathletes push their boundaries and they gave it all…emotionally, physically and mentally and to the newbie finishers, they all conquered both their doubts and fear. Congratulations!

My heartfelt thanks to Claire Papa, Dulce Morales and to the rest of Unilab’s External Affairs for this opportunity to cover this event and for the delightful camaraderie i had with fellow bloggers and all my triathlete friends. You all rock!

What i do when i don’t run 🙂 INENG Barbecues, race sponsors

Camp Sinai, Pintong Bukawe Trails: The Merrell 2013 Trail Route

This may well be one of the most beautiful and varied 21k trail course outside of Tanay and it was good to have run these rarely used trails for the very first time. Camp Sinai in Pintong Bukawe, San Mateo, Rizal was near a former dump site where trash were as high as the mountains surrounding it that made the area a no-no visit or even pass through it.

Things change however, when the land-fill was closed a few years ago and this time, a burgeoning resort-like ambiance grew on its outskirts where outdoor activities have again flourished like mountain biking, trekking and now trail running.

With rolling hills, many technical terrain and about 1,200 ft of elevation gain, it’s not an easy course but the winding switchbacks to and from the river rewards you with stunning views of rural vistas, broad valleys where many sections offers sweeping views of the vast Sierra Madre Mountains.

As with previous Merrell Adventure Trail Race editions, this year’s route was selected by trail race expert and Race Director Thumbie Remigio who has again devised a route to challenge adventure seekers. Me and a group of runners from the Merrell and Saucony groups including some bloggers were given a glimpse of what to expect.

We ran just 11 kms of the 21km route and i was very surprised at the amount of variety, from gnarly rocky paths to broad rough roads and the various river trekking one has to pass with plenty of vegetation on the sides. Warning: the last part of the race will be all uphills and i advice runners who plan to participate in this race to train on hills. Arduous as it is, the organizers will even set up mud pits to give it more a rather dirty look for trail runners!

For those who plan to join the trail run, here are some details to guide you through in registration: http://registration/merrell-adventure-run-2013-at-pintong-bucawe-san-mateo-rizal/

I’m leaving you some pictures for a sneak peek of the Merrell 2013 race route and trails. Enjoy!

The welcome sign, 300 meters upwards

The views atop Camp Sinai where the starting line will be

Cottages at Camp Sinai

Briefing from Race Director Thumbie Remigio

The start of our run

It will be all downhill for the first 3.5 kms.

A small river that will greet runners on the way down. No crossings here

Views on the downhills were excellent

Trails passes at the side for a better view of the mountains

A bump during the downhill portion

All the trails you want

Seldom used trails here

With the group taking a break

There will be a long section of these on the trails

Stopping at a cross-road while Thumbie giving some instructions

At the 3km mark during this point

Single track trails leading to sterling views of the Sierras

Atop a portion of the mountain

This trail leads down to the river

One of the best views of the run!

Picture doesn’t give justice to the feeling while you view this. A wow scenario!

The group waiting at the edge of the river

Root crops at the river’s edge

Trekking towards the river’s edges

Wish we could just lie down and enjoy more of the views

About to cross the river

They didn’t want to get their shoes wet?

In the middle of it all

View from the other side

This will be part of the route

Threading some trails before we cross to the other side

Approaching a fenced property

Only the 21k runners will pass through here

An elevated path

It’s back to the river

Thumbie and Nonoy

Deep portion of the river. The bamboos are so old and brittle that it was crackling while crossing it.

Back to the boondocks

Posing with 2 local farmers and their dog

Up to the green mountains

Jojo Pauly

At the second half of our run

Lots of banana trees here

Rough roads will also be part of the route

This is a very long uphill trek

…with good views while walking the steepest part

Kids running towards us

The view behind us

Exiting the Sitio Watershed P7, Pintong Bokaue

A large boulder at the edge of the trail

A sprint on the downhill part

Going up back to Camp Sinai

The 10k and 5k runners will be scaling up this steep climb to the finish

Me on my way up…

Resting at a side mountain cafe at Camp Sinai

Moses’ tablets (Samsung?) You just don’t know the enormity of this until………….

…you actually come close to it!

150 meters before the run ends. Back to where we started.

Took our lunch here

And despite the 2 hour++ gruelling, uphill, downhill, river trekking run–we find this sign posted at a sanctuary…