Race Report: Merrell Adventure Run 2013

The local folk song, “Planting Rice Is Never Fun” has never been so apt in describing the farmers’ hardships and sacrifice while toiling their lands to plant rice and other crops for our staple food and that of their sustenance. The lyrics…

Planting rice is never fun,
Bending over ’til the set of sun.
Cannot sit, cannot stand,
Plant the seedlings all by hand.

I’m sure many runners at yesterday’s MERRELL Adventure Trail Run got a glimpse of this experience, although just fleetingly and without even bending to plant anything.

I was giddy and apprehensive at first when we approached this tiny rice field after a race marshal informed us that we had about 5kms to go on our 21k run. No inkling whatsoever that another major obstacle was just a few meters ahead. Seeing the runners wade through this slimiest of mud, clenching their shoes on one hand and using the other for balance, we got the drift that if you wore them on, the shoes would get stuck under it and would be hard to retrieve them.

So while wading on just about 20 meters of this paddy that’s knee deep, felt like a quick-sand and very muddy, me and the others got to experience a very yucky feeling while stepping on some bulge on the soft ground that’s very slippery and slimy…you get to trash underneath on Carabao’s poop that lies together with the mounds of mud under it!

When we emerged from this “obstacle”, the stench on all of us was very revolting as we all smelled like “carabao shit”, from head to toe! No water was immediately made available when we landed on dry ground so we just used the grass to wipe-off the mud clinging to our toes, calves, hands and knees. This may well be Merrell’s version of the X-Terra Race, “Putik Pare” (Mud Run) and what better term could you call this but the “Pooh-Pooh, Pare”!

This was actually the second of two muddy obstacles, the first which came after the 8th km mark when we had to crawl for about 15 meters beneath a chicken wire and sharp bamboo twigs dangling in our heads  where the crowd got backed-up to wait for their turn.

To sum up the race, here’s  some observations/notes which i took during the race:

  • The 21k race route was awesome… great scenery, trails galore, river crossings, mountain ranges
  • Though views were beautiful, the course itself was very difficult! Lots of uphills (so lots of walking), some of the downhill parts were very steep and slippery as i saw a lot of runners slide down, tumble and roll from side to side with some injuries
  • Though not frequent, water supplies were adequate and they served really ice-cold water with cubes of ice that you can place in your hydration back pack.
  • Race Marshals were adequate and were in crucial junctions to guide the runners
  • Mud-pit crawl area should have been placed on a wider road. The area was too narrow, only 3 rows of runners could be accommodated so there was a huge back up at the entrance
  • It was so nerve-wracking that the last kilometer was all uphill and we had to stop-and-go several times before hitting the finish line. A marvelous moment though when you reach the top!
  • Race Director Thumbie Remigio was hands-on, observing the conduct of the race at many points along the course, even taking pictures while at it. Good job, Thumbie!
  • Thanks to lady Runner #97 for the push at the back to get me over the rice paddy.
  • At the turn-around point at the end of the river crossings, there was a woman half submerged in water singing religious songs on the top of her lungs which the race marshals fondly described as a “Shokoy” (half-human, half mammal)! LOL!
  • The bamboo barricade obstacles was absolutely ——! A nuisance rather than an obstacle. 🙂
  • Showers with soap were adequately provided near the finish area but had to spend another hour or so at our bathroom at home to scrub and scrape out all residual slime in my body
  • Bread, eggs, bananas and water bottles were also given to all runners

This is probably one of the best trail runs ever organized and obviously, a lot of preparation had gone into it. After those grueling uphills and downhills, stumblings and tumblings, continuous river crossings, mud crawls, the pooh-pooh walk and the last insane crawl to the finish, i finally made it to the finish in about 4 1/2 hours!

A very satisfying event and a great memory to bring home! Congrats to the Merrell people and to RD Thumbie Remigio!

I’m leaving you with some of the pictures i took from the race. Other photos courtesy of Thumbie Remigio!

See you all at the PIMCO Run2Run Adventure Trail Run in Tanay, Rizal next Sunday, May 5! (https://jazzrunner.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/pimcos-run2run-trail-run-in-tanay-may-5-2013/)

For more updates on trail runs, follow me on TWITTER @ https://twitter.com/jazzrunner

RACE RESULTS are now out! Here is the link: http://www.strider.ph/

The views around us before the start

With friends and our clean apparels before the run

On an uphill double-track trail

The trek to the first river crossing begins

Threading in slowly as the rocks under the river are unstable and slippery

A river trail, literally with cassava plants watching the proceedings

The views can’t get any better to take pictures during rush hour

The first mud-pit obstacle (photo by Thumbie)

Long lines waiting

This is another river crossing

Slippery rocks really slowed the runners down

The heat was just overwhelming so it was on shades like this that we had time to rest

Friend June, enjoying the scenery

A long and winding dirt road

The rice paddy

Mud looks like soft cement

Pooh-pooh pare!

Time-out!

Getting out of the water was another obstacle

I lost my water bottle here

Good job leaving your Poo-pooh, Mr. C!

Bamboo barricades

An instant Vibram Five-Fingers minimalist shoes

Single-track trail descending to another river

Another shaded path

This lady (L) literally pushed my butt so i could emerge up from the rice paddy. Thanks, Mam! 🙂

The last 2kms was a grueling uphill climb. This is the last 500 meters

Over-took this lady who was struggling to ascent like all of us did.

Dang uphill!

Last 350 meters and counting. the “Moses tablets” is in the foreground

So near, yet so far!

No, that’s not a calf compression i’m wearing. It’s the sticking mud we all got from threading the rice paddy (photo by Manghusi Photoshop)

My Ultrasipre Surge Hydration pack, camera, shorts, all soaked in mud!

My previously immaculate white Adidas socks now soaked in dirt and grime. RIP!

PIMCO’s Run2Run Trail Run in Tanay: May 5, 2013

The Run2Run Trail Run Adventure will be held on May 5, 2013 at the Ten Cents To Heaven Resort in Sitio. Mayagay II, Brgy. Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal, just a kilometer away from the Sierra Madre Resorts. This trail run comes a week after the Merrell Adventure Trail Run this coming Saturday which i will also be running.

I was able to document part of the 21k route during a test run i did with other trail runners a few weeks ago (you can read it HERE) and i would say that this is one nice route, a combination of single track trails, rough roads and the main uphill highway.

One main attraction we weren’t  shown is a hidden trail en-route to Tuntong Falls, part of the 21k course. The race will start at an elevation of about 600-700 meters above sea level so the first kilometer or two will be an all downhill trail. Over-all, the trail run will be an awesome combination of two of the most scenic mountain trails, the May Sawa mountain scenery and the Laiban River trails

Along the main highway

Remember that this is a buddy run where you have to be a pair to register, start together at the starting line and arrive together at the finish line.

Remember that each runner should bring his/her own hydration bottle, hydration back pack or hydration belts as the organizers are not going to provide paper cups as this is an eco-friendly race. Organizers will only be providing re-filling stations along the race route.

View at the starting line

Here are some details of the race:

PIMCO AMAZING RUN2RUN TRAIL RUN ADVENTURE (Buddy Run)

Date:  May 5, 2013, Sunday
Venue:  Ten Cents To Heaven Resort, Mayagay II, Tanay, Rizal

DISTANCES:  5k/10k/21k

ASSEMBLY TIME: 4:00am

GUN START:  21k  —  5:00am/  10k — 5:15am/  6k — 5:30am

REGISTRATION FEES:

5K  :    P550.00

10k  :  P750.00

21k   :  P950.00

REGISTRATION VENUE:  ROX at the Bonifacio High Street (3:00PM to 8:00pm)

Shuttle Services for Metro-Manila Runners:

Additional fee of P300.00 per runner will be charged for the shuttle bus to the race venue and going back to the same pick up points as follows:

Pick up Details:
Date: May 5, 2013

Pick up points:
Shell Station, Makati Edsa
Mandaluyong, City Hall Circle
Quezon City Circle
Masinag, Marikina in front of Mercury Drug
2:00 am Shell Station Makati Edsa
2:15 am Mandaluyong City Hall Circle
2:40 am Quezon City Circle
3:10 am Masinag

The Bus will passed-by and will not be standing by please be at the pick-up point at the time to avoid inconvenience and present your Service Stub. The Time of Pick-up are estimated arrivals at the pick up locations given.

If you miss one pick up place, you can still catch up by proceeding immediately at any of the pick up points ahead. The Shuttle Bus will not wait.

Time of Return Trip: All Runners must be at the shuttle bus for the return trip to Metro-Manila from the race venue after the race event not later than 2:00 pm

For more information about the race, just visit their website at http://www.pimcosportsevents.com/#/amazing-run2run/4573658703 or check-out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PimcoSportsEvents

Update: Merrell Trail Run 2013 at Camp Sinai, San Mateo, Rizal

Four days to go before we hop and skid, jump and splash along the trails and rivers of Pintong Bukawe in San Mateo! But hey, don’t let the excitement cause you to forget important things to prepare before this race and the organizers have given these reminders for Saturday’s trail run:

If you don’t have these special equipments above, an empty water bottle will do or any container that you can re-fill water into and grip easily with your hands while running.

Please be reminded to come to the race venue on time, late comers will only be allowed to run if they arrive 10 minutes after the gun-start of their respective categories.

Please take note of the gun start time

I’m seeing many inquiries on the Merrell FB page https://www.facebook.com/MerrellPhilippines regarding where the venue is and where they could take a ride going to the site. If you were not able to avail of their special transport services from Trinoma or BGC, Merrell’s FB page have stated that there will be Jeepneys plying the SM-Masinag to Pintong Bukawe route starting at 3:30am early morning of Saturday.

Here is Merrell’s advisory:

For commuters, there will be provision of jeepneys AT SM MASINAG as early as 3:30 am until 4:00 am only. This service will bring you straight to the venue for a fee of Php 50.00, and will be on a first-come, first served basis. We strongly advice you to take this ride since there will be no public vehicles during this time. 

For non-commuters, going to Mt. Sinai will be via Marcos Hi-way, pass Masinag Market Junction to Brgy Cabading. Please take note that there is no passable route (that will reach Pintong Bukawe) from Batasan and San Mateo.

Shuttle Service

So there!

I am posting the map going to the venue itself and i hope others may find this useful.

Wishing everyone good luck and happy trail running!

Energizer Night Race 2013

The “Energizer LED Headlamps Run”, as i would like to call this race, is again being staged in Manila on May 4, 2013 to brighten the homes of our less fortunate countrymen who have no access to electricity. This will be the second Energizer Night Race to be held in Manila and will feature a 5 and 10-kilometer distance race .

Energizer Philippines, together with One Million Lights, a global nonprofit organization, have joined forces to improve the daily lives of children and adults by providing clean and healthy solar lighting pledges to provide clean, safe, affordable solar lighting to rural communities around the world, including the Phulippines through international distribution programs.

In the Philippines, the donations are made in the form of solar-powered LED lanterns and bulbs. These will enable children to study at night and adults to extend their workday, all while helping to improve household health and safety.

(L-R) Energizer Philippines Marketing Manager Cara Tecson , Asian Managing Director Todd Montgomerie and Brand Manager Joan Frances Mendoza at the Press Con with samples of the Solar Energy lamps to be donated to power-less barrios in the Philippines

Energizer Philippines has already donated 23 million hours of solar light through its work with One Million Lights (11 million hours in 2011 and 12 million hours in 2012), and is pledging to donate an additional 13 million hours in honor of the 2013 Energizer Night Race series worldwide.

To spice up the run, organizers have also given runners the liberty of showing off their creativity by designing their singlets using neon-fabric paint pens. Runners with the Best Singlet Design and Best Message will get to take home prizes from Energizer.

Participants can also post their photos after the race on Energizer’s Facebook page and get a chance to win Best Before and After Photos, Best Action shot, and Best Light Art Photo.

Here are the details of the race:

Energizer Night Race
May 4, 2013
5K/10K
Bonifacio Global City

Assembly Time  : 6:00PM

Gun Start   :  10k – 7:00pm / 5k – 7:30pm

Registration Fees:
5K – Php 700
10K – Php 800

Registration Venues:
Brooks – SM North Edsa
Runnr – Bonifacio High Street
Toby’s Sports – EDSA Shangrila
Toby’s Sports – Glorietta
Toby’s Sports – SM Mall of Asia

Registration Period:  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 to                                                                                                          Tuesday, April 30, 20013

Online Registrationwww.energizerbatteries.com.ph/NightRace

A RACE KIT will be provided to all the participants. Included in the race kit are the following: (1) Energizer Headlight, (2) Energizer Cap, (3) Singlet, (4) Neon Fabric Paint Pen, (5) Race Bib with RFID Tag, (6) Route Map, and (7) Schick Razor.

For more details, you can check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EnergizerPhilippines

Safeguard-2XU Sole Racing: Claiming of Packets

After having breakfast of Sausage-Egg McMuffin, hashbrown and large fries with Pimco’s Manny Santos and runner friend Iris Torculas at a McDonald branch in Boni Avenue this morning, i proceeded immediately to Bonifacio High Street to claim my race packet for this Sunday’s  Safeguard-2XU Sole Racing Half-Marathon.

Didn’t want to go with the droves that would arrive in the evening after work, so i found myself  arriving at the venue with less than a dozen people at 11am. The booth bearing the first letter of my surname was empty so i was all alone with the receptionist checking all swags in my goodie bag and was through in about 90 seconds! That was a breeze!

Claim booths

All the great swags that came with the registration for this First leg half-marathon were all there except for the slippers which they promised to deliver to our homes as soon as they arrive this week. Bars of safeguard soap and a bottle of body wash also came with the loot bag which was more than they had promised!

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For those who haven’t claimed their race packets yet, here are the details of how you can claim them:

RACE KIT CLAIMING DETAILS:Runners must claim their race kits and Safeguard lootbag (the lootbag for this race is given before the race, instead of after) at the RACE KIT CLAIMING event.  No race kits shall be delivered to runners nor claimed on race day.
Dates:
April 19, Friday (10am-10pm) and April 20, Saturday (10am-6pm)
Venue:
Bonifacio High Street (by Krispy Kreme), Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
What to bring:
A print-out of your confirmation letter, valid ID’s, and an authorization letter (if claiming for someone else)
What you will get:
1.  Race bib – personalized race bib for those who registered before April 5
2.  2XU-RUNRIO compression calf guard
3.  RUNRIO water bottle – runners must use this or ANY OTHER hydration container on race day otherwise you will be disqualified from starting.  The bottles shall be refilled at the hydration stations along the route.  The organizers shall not use paper/plastic cups for this race.
4.  RUNRIO slippers
5.  IPICO timing card – runners MUST RETURN this after the race, otherwise a penalty of PHP 500 shall be charged to the runner. This promotes zero waste as we can re-use these timing cards for future races.
6.  SAFEGUARD lootbag
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Venue for claiming of packets
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This will be the first of a 3-leg Safeguard-2XU Half-Marathon racing series and i’ll be toeing the line without any expectation on my part, making this a “chill-chill” race (a term i learned from Carol, a newbie but fast running friend) which means an easy-go-lucky run, just to beat the 3-hour cut-off time.
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The Jazzrunner blog thanks Coach Rio for the complementary race kit!
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See you on Sunday!

2013 Run United 2 Now Set!

RU2

All those aiming to run the seldom held 32k distance, now is your chance to conquer this event at the leg 2 of the Run United 2013 which is going to be held at the Mall of Asia on June 2, 2013.

More than 4,000 are expected to run in this distance alone and if your training has gone well after running the Half last month at Run United-1, expect this to be another feather to your cap and aim for the RU Philippine Marathon (42k) this October.

I was able to attend the launching of this race yesterday at the Chocolate Kiss Cafe inside the UP Campus and here in brief are the details of the race:

Presenter – Unilab Active Health

Organizer – RunRio Inc.

Beneficiaries – Gawad Kalinga and Children’s Hour

2013 Run United 2 will be held on June 2, 2013 with Ceelin 500m dash, 10k, 21k and 32k race categories. All categories will start and finish at the SM Mall of Asia.

REGISTRATION VENUES:

Online Registration: April 1 to May 12, 2013

In-Store Registration: April 15 to May 19, 2013

Priority Registration for Run United 1 21k Runners: April 10 – 14, 2013 (only at Riovana BGC)

RIOVANA

  • BGC –28th Street corner 9th Ave., Bonifacio Global City –Monday to Sunday from 12nn to 8pm
  • KATIPUNAN – 3rd Floor Regis Center, Katipunan, QC (infront of ADMU) – Monday to Sunday from 12nn to 8pm

TOBY’S

  • SM Mall of Asia – Monday to Sunday, 12PM to 8PM
  • SM North – The Block – Monday to Sunday, 12PM to 8PM

REGISTRATION FEES:

fees

ASSEMBLY AND GUN START TIMES:

timesru2

Singlet Design

21k Finishers Shirt Design

32k Finishers Shirt Design

Coach Rio discussing the event at yesterday’s launch

REMINDERS:

  • Registration is on a first come, first serve basis, and may end earlier than the announced deadline. Race kits may run out before May 19, 2013.
  • Singlet size availability will be on a first come first serve basis.
  • Singlet and finishers shirt samples will be available for fitting at the registration centers.
  • A timing device (d-tag) will be used by all participants during the race.
  • D-tag will be presented when claiming the finishers’ kits – no d-tag, no kit.

Here’s a promo offered by Riovana Store. If you buy specific products from their BCG or Katipunan branches worth P5,500.00, you get a free registration entry for this race at whatever distance you choose. Check out the poster for details.

Run For Free Promo

RACE DETAILS:

CONTACT DETAILS:

For In-Store Registration Inquiries:

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

Urban Trails: The Filinvest Transformation

Filinvest in Alabang is presently undergoing a modern transformation from the business hub that it still is today to expanding in other venues to support different lifestyle choices. Formerly called the Filinvest Corporate City which catered to attract corporate businesses as its main thrust a few years ago, it is now simply called Filinvest City, opening its doors as a new urban center.

I’ve lived in the area for about 3 years, living with my two kids and former wife at Katarungan Village, one of the peripheral villages along Daang Hari, a 10-minute drive away and saw Filinvest grow steadily, where we shopped and did our marketing at the Festival Mall on an almost daily basis, where the Alabang Town center was the weekly hang-out place for my kids.

It’s a great place but sort of an out-of -the-loop area when you work in Makati or Quezon City. But everything now has changed.

Aside from being a prime central business district, Filinvest City is now gearing to be a livable Garden City where trees and flowers now abound, promenades, trails and walkways are to be expanded to allow residents to walk, exercise and play through a park grade separate from cars and other pollutants.

It also will boost itself into being a Modern Metropolis where more amenities for leisure and entertainment, shopping and dining, culture and the arts, and health and wellness will allow its residents and visitors to enjoy a truly cosmopolitan lifestyle.

The running bloggers who tested the Filinvest City trails yesterday

Lastly, Filinvest City will serve as a Convergence hub where people coming from the north of Manila and the Calabarzon region in the south can easily access its urban center via the newly expanded Skyway in the north to the ever improving South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

Yesterday, i had another chance to return to the area as me and other running bloggers were invited to try out their new established pathways, trails and open spaces as part of their vision in making Filinvest City a haven for outdoor sports enthusiasts.

I was mesmerized by the lush landscapes, the tree-lined trails which would cater to both mountain bikers and runners. There is a thriving biking community using these trails and they must have been ruffled by our presence as we runners tried to invade their periphery and crowd many of the single track trails.

Our presence also coincided with their project called “Carless Sundays”, where vehicles are prohibited to use the City Loop, from Commerce Ave, Corporate Avenue to Parkway Avenue to give way for residents to play uninhibited within the area.

Here’s a sneak peek of what the trails look like. Warning: There are no mountains, river crossings, waterfalls nor steep uphill climbs to conquer here! 🙂

The trails near the promenade looked like a mini-slalom trail, perfect for bike rides

The open area trails snaked beneath the shadows of high-rise buildings

Near Commerce Avenue

Along one of the many shaded area of the course

Most of the trails here are smooth, perfect for speed-work and intervals

Along a single-track trail

Reminds me of the many partly shaded trails of Nuvali

Nice thing about these trails is that it’s never crowded, except when you’re sharing the trails with bikers

Right straight into a wooded area

A most unusual part of the trail. A tree was almost uprooted during one past typhoon and cut off the trail. However instead of cutting the tree off, park workers dug the trail deeper under the tree so bikers and runners could pass under it.

Another single track as we trudged through it under the heat of the sun

A trail just beside a small creek

That’s KB Runner trying to catch up at the back

Another of the switchbacks along the route

One of the few uphills

Again, you have to share the trails with bikers

Another switch-back

Speeding it up on the downhill

A secret passage to a very nice trail

…It goes upwards along a fenced property

…and into a wooden part then you see this…

A wooded trail

You wouldn’t think you were in a city

Looks like the fallen leaves have stayed on the ground forever!

Here comes more of the bikers

Seems Mr. Goatee is avoiding the advances of KB!

A walking break near where buses are parked

Towards to where we started

I think this is bounded by Ayala Alabang on the other side

Bee and KB with actor-triathlete Matteo Guidicelli

At the Palms Country Club for the Filinvest City presentation and breakfast