The Rolling Hills of Tanay

One stretch of the zigzag road in Tanay, Rizal

This wasn’t my idea of a “break” I sorely needed. After 14 consecutive days of running (took the whole day off on the 15th), the thought of doing another 3-4 hour LSD yesterday, Sunday, was not going to be a pleasant one. Then along came Tanay, Rizal, a running haven which my group had finally agreed upon after some “vicious” deliberations on where to run this time, tired of the Ortigas-Ultra cycle we had been doing regularly.

The winding highway inside Tanay, its rolling hills, clean air, magnificent mountain vistas and the relative absence of traffic made us want to come back again to explore its charms at a leisurely pace. I was with Betty, Tonet and first-timers to Tanay, Leo, Sylvia, Alex and Elaine. For me, this was just going to be a leisurely, picture-taking pace and for the others, a hill training session (the hills here are treacherous!) but no matter what you call it, it’s going to be a sight-seeing run!

We all met at Masinag, near the entrance to Antipolo at about 4:00am and after buying some provisions of water and food, we headed off to Tanay for the one-hour drive. The early fog was breaking through the roads and we had to slow down until we reached the Sierra Madre Resort, our starting point which by then was still closed to customers. It was pretty cold outside so some of the ladies had to wear light jackets initially and just strip them off at our vehicle support once they were fully warmed-up.

After running for a few hundred meters, I had forgotten to switch on my garmin so I spent the next few minutes fumbling with the dials in pitch darkness to get it to initialize and finding the satellite signal that I had to resort to walking to sort things out. Our target distance, a 30 kms out and back route, starting at the Sierra Madre Resort and turn back after the 15km mark, the same route we did early last year with the runners.

As always, the fastest among us, Sylvia was raging in front followed by hubby Leo, Elaine, Alex then Betty. Tonet and I were at the tail-end, content with our 7:30 snail pace while taking pictures of the view.

Along the route, I found no less than 4 running groups, most of whom I had the pleasure of running together in different long runs. And like myself, they were coming to grips with the steep hills and getting those mileages up in their own training.

Below are some of the pictures that we took.

Barring any storms or typhoons, this is a great time of year to be running the hills of Tanay. It was cool and overcast (perfect running weather), the roads were dry and the trees and flowers were in full bloom after some rains we had the past few days. I would highly recommend Tanay to anyone looking for a different venue with that rustic, scenic view.

There was just one thing that marred this particular Sunday run and that was the pollution. Not air pollution by any means but the noise polluted by those thundering motor bikes that zigzagged the course and there were hundreds of them! Those powerful BMWs, Ducatis, Harleys, Kawasakis and other smaller bikes were ringing in my ears for several hours. Happens that there was this new motor bike track being inaugurated at the outskirts of the main highway and many groups and clubs of riders were on hand to witness the event.

We ran a total of 30.45 kms in close to 5 hours, including picture stops, eating and walking breaks (there goes my “break”!) It’s a tough but satisfying trot through the mountain ranges, a perfect venue to venture outside of the neighborhood and conquer those steely hills.

Starting on the right foot: A low mountain looms during the early part of the run

Foggy crest right along our course

One trail leading to the inner mountains of the Sierra Madre

That's Tonet running along the road signs

Facing a mountain wall

Tonet poses at the middle. No riders yet this early

About to pass two runners, one wearing a run united shirt

As green as it can get

Large boulders to sit by

One odd view along the highway

It's all downhill from here

A view from the other side, starring Tonet

A small waterfall along the road

Meeting Dyep and Danica along the road

Then there's Aileen and Glo

Team aNR UP-Heartbreakers!

Finally, we see Alex and Sylvia on their way back

Elaine and Leo were not far behind

The lady in (dark) pink?

"Thelma" look-alike? That's Betty who should have played the role of "Thelma's" mom:-)

Meeting Mila and her friend who were doing a 40k run

One of the route's breath-taking view

Riders begin to arrive in droves

A view at the 27th km mark

Finally back at the Sierra Madre Resort with Team CB and Team KTT

Rey, runner at left seems to have ran non-stop all his life

The Gas Station LSD Run

It was supposed to be a long run around the U.P. Campus where we probably would have to surge up “Hearthbreak Hill” many times and run around its fringes to cover the 21k-25k scheduled distance, but it was not supposed to be.

Who would want to run a distance of 25k just inside the confines of UP, anyway? That would be ultra boring. I was hoping that the course venue be modified to cover outside the peripherals of the campus so when Mar Marilag suggested that we venture from U.P. to Tiendesitas in Pasig and back, i felt a sigh of an escape from the shackles of the campus!

In front of U.P. Oblation, before the run

While still waiting for the others

By the time we all had gathered in front of the UP Oblation, it was already past 5:30am and noticed the dark cloudless sky. I figured that it was going to be a very hot morning. From the Oblation, we headed down University Avenue and turned left to C.P. Garcia. This road is going to be used in the early goings of the upcoming 2nd QCIM. 

The road from Katipunan Avenue to White Plains and down to Corinthian Hills is one long stretch of mostly cemented roads except when we climbed up the Katipunan Flyover as i felt some effort expended on the climb. This was to be one of the highlights of our run. I felt good all the way though and all the pit stops we had were made on gas stations!

The only thing that spoiled an otherwise good run was the time it took us to rest on these stations. The socializing took too long which may have saved us from running under the heat of the sun on the latter stages. It left us cold and already dry each time we re-started our run.

First stop, at the Shell station along Katipunan Avenue

Some felt bored while waiting for the others..Team Boring?

The climb up Katipunan flyover (Photo by Ronnie Provido)

2nd stop, Shell gas station along White Plains

Doc Toto and June Santiago

LEYa and Jj.

At the third Shell gas station along Julia Vargas coner C-5

On our way back to UP, our group started to disperse into smaller ones and we were now running in 3’s or 4’s up until Petron gas station past Merriam College where most of us re-grouped to take a much needed break.

Towards the last kilometers and a half, once we got inside the campus, June, who had been pacing with me the last 5k, and i maintained our 7:30 pace until we found that the others had already arrived and were jogging at the academic oval as we merged together. We suddenly found ourselves sprinting towards the Oblation and i found myself finishing rather strongly.

But after that sprint, i was like spent-up and within no time, was feeling exhausted and hungry as i was craving for food. Was sore throughout the day but felt exhilarated, nevertheless.

Still, it was a good run to do 21k in 2:45.

Back at UP after running 21k with the the Runnex hotshots!

A ‘Gallowalking’ Sunday

If there was ever a true believer and practitioner of the Jeff Galloway “Walk-Breaks” training method, that would be no other than Carina (Flying Boar), marathoner/ultra-runner and a batch-mate of mine during the first genesis of the group. Her run to walk ratio of 5mins run, 1 minute walk have earned her her horde of followers, beginners and veterans alike who have experienced the value of the training method.

The Gallowalking group meet up last Sunday, with Carina in blue singlet

So last Sunday’s run was my first official long run after Camsur as we did this group “Gallowalk” run. There were about a dozen of us who congregated near ROX as we started a warm-up run around the BHS at exactly 5:30am while we waited for the others.

Carina seems to have set this all on tap, her sports watch making a beeping sound after every 5 minutes and claps her hands twice to indicate the start of the walk, then claps again after the 1 minute walk have lapsed, signalling that we have to start the run again. This routine came like clockwork during the duration of our run, never missing a beat although it took us longer to rest every time we stopped at a convenience store.

We started off nice and easy on the still carless enclave of the Fort, all of us together until the 13th kilometer mark when some of the faster runners pushed a little ahead entering McKinley Hills but the rest of us stayed close behind. Generally, it was a very nice pace which varied from a 6:30/km to a moderate 7:30/km run, neither pushing terribly hard during the running pace and the recovery walk gave us some chance to ease up and refresh ourselves with our water and sports drinks.

Walking break along Lawton Avenue

On our way back from the boundary of SLEX toll way in Sucat. Carina leading the group

Early stages of the run when the sun was not visible yet

The group seemed to have thinned out on our way to Essensa when the heat just became unbearable, the 1 minute walk-rest became double as some of us seemed to wither. At 15Km, i began to struggle and felt out of synch from the rest of those who were ahead. Other runners at the back were also feeling the heat and had to walk for their own good. I never really felt any sort of energy anymore so i purposely slowed down until reaching Market-Market.

I told Carina i was going to end the run here. That said, it was just pointless for me to keep on going but at least, i put in time and some distance in my come-back LSD run. I ran a total of 18 kilometers. So Carina and the others went ahead to finish their scheduled 26k run.

At the Piazza, McKinley Hills

At this juncture, we had to take a longer break because of the scorching heat

Taking a break at the 7-11 at McKinley Hills

We had done about 16k at this time and we had to proceed to sun-baked Fort area

This week will mostly be easy runs but i’m going to push the pace again on Wednesday to see how everything goes. Hopefully, i would have regained some momentum in my training and get back to my pre-marathon fitness.

Low Batt!

I was planning to do a 25-30km long run last Sunday to come as close or even duplicate our 30k LSD run the week before at Tanay, Rizal but after a lackluster low-mileage the days following that treacherous hill run, it was a struggle just to finish half of  it. 

Was looking forward in getting together with my usual training partners, Mel, Betty and Tonette but last Sunday, we had Jun-jun of Runnex and two of Mel’s friends, Dave and Doc Toto as company. 

L-R: Jun-jun, Tonette, Doc Toto, Dave, Betty and Mel

Starting our run at 4:15am from Shell, C-5, we all felt just fine after the first 10 kms, but you just never know if you’re going to sustain this feeling towards the rest of your schedule run. The weather was fine and while running at the Fort, we came upon two races running simultaneously, the Run To Read Race and the China Bank Run. 

With future QCIM marathoner, Marga

With runners at McKinley Hills

During the 11th kilometer and onwards, i started to feel spent up as we entered McKinley Hills. Running up those short hills became perfunctory and a bit uninspired. I was starting to do my own Gallo-walk version of 5:1 in the hope of saving some energy for the remaining kilometers of the run, but it was not to be.

Break time

Along 5th Ave.

Tessa Prieto-Valdez running in her usual tutu outfit

A light moment

It turned-out to be dreary, felt the energy levels soar down (like a mobile phone having three bars then suddenly drop to just 1) but ultimately content in getting in some mileage for the week. I, together with Betty, Tonette ended our run at 22kms with a time 0f 3:00 hours. Mel, Dave, Jun2 and Doc Toto continued for another 10k as they were training for the upcoming Pau Ultra 65k run.

That night was chillax time. Had some shots of brandy and had to taper too hoping to run again for another 5k the next day.

Running and drinking do mix, sometimes.


Long, Slow and Wet: The Rolling Hills of Tanay

My legs have now loosened up a bit as i write this. I couldn’t move a joint the day after the gruelling 30k run on that long, torturous rolling hills of Tanay last Sunday. I’ve run those hills several times in the past with running buddy June but those were distances of not more than 18-20kms. This time it was gut wrenching, and the last half of the run, from15 to 30k was a struggle as Tonette and myself were reduced to running up those hills 100 meters at a time, then walk the same distance and prepare for the next 100 meter run up! Pheww…  


This place has some of the best post card views around and though the hills were challenging, it gave us some breathers to take in the scene…deep forests, ravines, mountain ranges, a horse that talked back and the occasional sprints from the dogs who gave chase!  

We arrived late at the Sierra Madre Resort where we were supposed to start before 5am. Two kilometers before we arrived at the resort, we already met the runners coming towards us in several groups with their designated paces and there were about 60 of them with head-lamps and flashlights illuminating the dark highway. As soon as we found a space to park, the four of us, Betty, Tonette, Mel and me tried to play catch up with them.  

We started off nice and easy on the still dark route. All of us were together ’till about 5kms when Betty and Mel had some issues with the pace and decided to pull away leaving me and Tonette behind. They were on a 6:30/km pace as Tonette and i settled to a more comfortable average of 7:30/km pace, not pushing hard nor holding back at all. At about 7 kms, they completely disappeared in front of us. We were able to pass the tail-enders from about the 8th km mark onwards. 

At the 15k turn-around in Baras, we stopped for some refreshments, took pictures then headed back. Here, the challenge began when the route was more uphill which ranged from 300 meters to about 800 meters of continuous inclines. The rains started to pour at about 20km and that was a good 10 minutes of getting a cold shower, running shoes and gear all wet!

The last 7k was to be the toughest of all as we did the 100×100 meter formula of running uphills. Lucky to have seen Jairuz from the support group with their vehicle parked on the 25th km who gave us refreshments and a choco bar each to weather the last remaining kms. At this time, Tonette was getting her second wind as i tried to keep up with her until the finish.

We ended up doing the 30k run in 4:23!

Mel and Betty finished the run 15 minutes ahead of us and we were all ecstatic in finishing the run! Our thanks to our friends at, Team Boring and the support group that assisted us during the run. Till the next LSD!

(Thanks to Jairuz and Marvin for some of the pics!)

Back to the rolling hills of Tanay. Tonette would discover its beauty

Almost perfect weather until rains soaked us wet two hours later

An isolated hut on the foothills

Approaching the support vehicles

Posing at the Garden Cottages

At the 14k mark

We were stopped here not knowing that this was the 15km turn-around already

At the turn-around mark at 15k

With runner from the 6:30 running group

Wet and wild

Approaching the 25th km mark


At the 29th km, 1 more to go and we're done!

Calibre 45 LSD Group: Bang! Bang!

There were two groups doing LSD (Long Slow Distance) runs  last Sunday and i wanted to join one of them. The first group was “Team Galloway”, initiated by Carina of who would be doing a 37km LSD run based on the Jeff Galloway training method. I witnessed Carina and her team do the Galloway run successfully during the 32k Rizal Day Run last December 29 and all did a sub-four hour run. This time, they would be attempting 37K with this program:

PROGRAM: 5:1 (5 mins run at 6:30 pace, 1 min walk) for 30km
4:1 (4 mins run at 6:00 pace, kung keri =), 1 min walk) for the remaining kms.
Note: Others may set their sustainable pace

Without batting an eyelash, i immediately signed up. I needed the mileage in preparation for the upcoming Condura Marathon. No sooner after i signified my intention to join, another invitation appeared (at the website)  from a second group led by Jet Paiso who will be doing another Galloway LSD with a longer distance of 45kms. They aptly called their group, “Calibre 45”. The calibre group were mostly runners training for the BDM 102 ultra run this coming March.

Now, i thought that this second group would be perfect for me because firstly, i would be running the full distance of the marathon and stretching the distance even further and secondly, their pace would be from 7:30 to 8:00 for the 5:1 ratio, a more comfortable pace for me than that of Carina’s Team Galloway group. It was in the morning of the run that i decided to join the Calibre group.

I tagged Betty and Tonette along with me, two of my regular running partners from our Runnex group who are still undecided to run Condura. The three of us met the rest of the group at McDonald’s, U.N. Avenue in Ermita at 3:00am.

Here are the highlights of the run:

—  Our Route: Start at KM O (Rizal Park) to Roxas Blvd then left to Buendia Ave up to Kalayaan Bridge going to The Fort (Taguig). From The Fort to C-5 Road northbound on the way to Libis going to Marikina and back.

—  Run started at 3:30am. Total Runners: 17

Tonette posing at KM 0

A short prayer before our LSD

Doc T, Mar and Emil

—  While the faster runners did their own fast pace, the slower ones ran the Galloway program

—  The distance from KM O to BHS at The Fort totaled 11kms. We had one stop over for some photo ops at the Petron Station, corner Buendia and Makati Ave. It was still pitch dark.

Our first stop, Petron Station, Buendia corner Makati Ave.

First Stop, Petron Buendia

—  We met some more runners at BHS who were either running the Bull Run 10k Race or with the Team Galloway LSD group

Our 2nd stop, Bonifacio High Street where we met another group of LSD'ers

No Bullrun for us this time

—  Did two stop-overs along C-5 Road on our way to Marikina, one at the Caltex Pasig footbridge and the other was the Shell station at the corner of Julia Vargas Street where we partook siopao, instant noodles, chocolates and whatever was available.

—  Sun was up when we were past Tiendesitas

Taking a pose at Libis, near Eastwood City

Entering Marikina City

Betty and Tonette, the two thorns among the roses near Ortigas Ave. Extension

—  Reach Marikina City near the front of SM Marikina which was 23 kms. Made our U-turn for the start of the final half.

At our turn-around bend just before reaching SM Marikina

—  Tonette left the group at KM25 (Blue Ridge) as she continued her run towards Katipunan Ave. to her home in Diliman. She must have completed 29kms.

—  Betty left the group at Julia Vargas (KM28) and continued her run home to Valle Verde. She did 29kms too.

—  Rest of the group rested at Shell-Pasig and re-stocked our hydration flasks. Mar sustained a minor injury and wisely discontinued his run.

On one of the gas stations at C5 on our way back

At the bridge overlooking the Pasig River

Arrived back at The Fort, just after the Bull Run race was finished. Claimed our medals from BR (Bald Runner) for finishing his December 30 Rizal Day 32K race. Long chit-chat with the runners who were still at The Fort.

A quick pose but long chit-chat at the Fort on our way back

—  Continued our run from The Fort to Kalayaan Bridge towards Buendia. Made another stop near the Pacific Star Building for some rounds of Taho.

Back at Buendia with replenishment of taho courtesy of Rodel

—  Long stretch of walking along Buendia Ave. The 5:1 ratio (5 minutes run: 1 minute walk) became reversed, 5 minutes walk: 1 minute run.

Doc T (right) having a good time

The "galloway" plan in the reverse. It's now more walking than running

Nearing Osmena Highway

—  Reach the 40th KM mark at the corner of Buendia and Roxas Blvd.

—  Ran the last 5 kms back to KM O.

— Completed a total distance of 44.8kms – 45kms depending on whose Garmin you’re looking at

At the finish (KM 0). Total distance: 44.8 kms

It was a good run over-all with just minor aches associated after an LSD. I did a 5k recovery run the following day and also did 30 minutes of Tae-bo aerobics at a class in QMC.

Congrats to all who joined the run: Rodel, Chris, Wilnar, Gab, Junar, Betty, Tonette, Gian, Emil, Cyrus, Jonathan, Angel, Jet (for initiating this LSD), Doc T, Mar and Joen.

See you all at Condura!

“Pepeng” Threatens our LSD

P9063213Rains have been holding up for most of the time today but it would be a completely different scenario tomorrow and maybe Sunday.

I’m still keeping my fingers crossed. If rains and strong winds would result into PAGASA announcing a storm signal No. 2 for Metro Manila tonight, then we would have to postpone the familiarization run this Sunday. We shall know for sure by noon time tomorrow.

Meanwhile, i’ll do a 10k run early tomorrow morning, rain or shine.

LSD Run: For QCIM and SIM Runners

Practice Run: QCIM Route

Practice Run: QCIM Route

 For all those who will be running the Subic International Marathon (SIM) and the Quezon City International Marathon, we are organizing a Long Slow Distance (LSD) run this coming Sunday, October 4, 2009. This LSD run will cover a distance of 25 to 35 kilometers passing along the route of the QCIM.

Assembly area will be at the UP Oblation. Here are the details:

4:00 – 4:20am : Meet up infront of the UP Oblation. Runners can park their vehicles in front of Abelardo hall or Plaridell hall which is just 100 meters away from the Oblation.

4:30 : We simulate the start time of the QCIM so if possible, we start our run on time.

We start from the Oblation on our way out to University Ave. then turn right to Commonwealth Avenue. From Commonwealth, we turn right to Batasan Road and make a u-turn when we reach the back of Batasan Pambansa on the way back to Commonwealth. From Commonwealth, we turn right on the road that leads to The La Mesa Eco Park. We’ll check if we’ll be permitted to access the route inside the Park otherwise, we shall have to run the peripheral roads outside of the exact route. We exit again at Commonwealth and turn right to Regalado Avenue on the way to SM Fairview then turn right to Quirino Highway and make a u-turn after 2 kms on the way back.

Runners who only wish to run the 21k route can do so by going back to Commonwealth Avenue after the turn-around at the back of Batasang Pampansa and towards North Avenue. For those who will not be able to run the whole 25-35 km stretch, there are always public jeepneys that will take you back to Philcoa and UP.

Runners should bring their own fuel/hydration belts/ belt bag-pouch/ hand held water bottle/ camel backpack, bars/gels. Grocery and other convinience stores are available along the route.

All runners are invited whether they are running the SIM, QCIM, Milo or any other long distance races.

They can list up at the website, in this link:

So far, the list of runners joining are as follows:

01. Rene
02. Mar
03. Erick
04. DocT
05. McCoy
06. Decipher
07. Betty
08. Mel
09. Tonette
11. James (runma777)
12. rltanmd
13. Marvin Rae
14. Pat…
15. Art
16. Joen
17. Jassel aka Russel (QCIM 5:30 Pacer Group)
18. Prince
19. Bon
20. Bong
21. David
22. Earl – 22km
23. Vicky Ras
24. Edu
25. lauren
26. julie
27. nao
28. Carly
29. Ziggy (will try to join. adjust ko pa kasi sked ko)
30. charles…
We’ll see you all there this Sunday!

LSD – Taming The Killer Highway!

I always look forward in doing Long Slow Distance (LSD) runs every weekend. It develops in me a psychological ability to run the time it would take me to finish a marathon (i’m hoping for 5 hours or less, if i’m lucky).

Having completed several marathons in the past, long runs are most useful during the progressive buildup leading to a marathon. More useful is probably getting the chance to run part of the marathon course itself and I think its a good idea to do a trial run, survey the course and get familiar with it.  Three of my running buddies and i did just that…to run the whole stretch of COMMONWEALTH Avenue. Betty, Tonette, Mel and myself are contemplating in running the 42k QCIM and this will be Betty and Tonette’s first full mary.

We first had our apprehension in running the route as it was continuously raining the night before while some parts of the roads might have been inundated already. Besides, it was still pitch dark as vehicles would not be able to see us clearly. But being the hard-core runners that we are, we decided to pursue the run and we started at around 4:45am as the rained weakened into a drizzle as patches of wet asphalt were under our feet.

Commonwealth Avenue is notoriously famous as a “killer highway” because of the number of vehicular accidents occurring almost daily. However, these accidents happen as a result of irresponsible drivers who over speed, despite the 60kph imposed speed limit and disobedient pedestrians who continue to cross no jaywalking zones instead of using the footbridges strategically placed along busy areas of the avenue.

The avenue is 12.4kms kilometers long and is considered as the country’s widest street so far. So we all agreed to use all available pedestrian side-walks (which are wide and far from speeding motorists) and to run against traffic.

Posing before the run in front of Plaridel Hall, U.P., 4:30am

Mel, Betty & Tonette posing before the run in front of Plaridel Hall, U.P., 4:30am

On top of the first overpass before the Iglesia Ni Kristo Main Church

On top of the first overpass before the Iglesia Ni Kristo Main Church

Just past the INC Church

Just past the INC Church. Slight drizzle during the first stages

Past Tandang Sora Street and above the flyover construction

Past Tandang Sora Street and above the flyover construction

Nearing the St. Peter Church

Nearing the St. Peter Church. The left white shadow must be the spirit of one lost soul who wanted to run with us 🙂

Atop the sandigan bayan flyover on our way to Batasan Road

Atop the Sandiganbayan flyover on our way to Batasan Road

The Sandiganbayan

The Sandiganbayan

Towards the end of the footbridge then towards Batasang Pambansa

Towards the end of the footbridge then towards Batasang Pambansa

Start to Batasan Road

Start to Batasan Road

A light moment and a pause to breathe

A light moment and a pause to breathe

Mel, Betty and the Jazzrunner

Mel, Betty and the Jazzrunner

Posing at the entrance of Batasang Pambansa

Posing at the entrance of Batasang Pambansa

Betty, trying to mimic the thrill(?) of crossing the finishline in her upcoming 42k race

Betty, trying to mimic the thrill(?) of crossing the finishline in her upcoming 42k race

On our way to North Fairview

On our way to North Fairview

Regular sight of goat meat being sold near Litex going to Fairview

Goat Station! Regular sight of goat meat being sold near Litex going to Fairview

Just ask Mang Caldo the best cuts for caldereta, kilawin, pinapaitan or kapokan!

Just ask Mang Caldo the best cuts for caldereta, kilawin, pinapaitan or kapokan!

Its not goat meat they're buying but bananas--P10.00 isang tumpok of over-ripe bananas

Its not goat meat they're buying but bananas--P10.00 isang tumpok of over-ripe bananas

Inseparable duo

Inseparable duo

At this juncture, we decided to make a side trip inside the LaMesa Dam Eco-Park

At this juncture, we decided to make a side trip inside the LaMesa Dam Eco-Park

So we enter the Eco Park

So we enter the Eco Park

Inside the parking area of EP

Inside the parking area of EP

JR and Mel

JR and Mel

Running inside the nature reserve

Running inside the nature reserve

Racing up to get a good view of the Dam

Racing up to get a good view of the Dam

I will be posting more pictures once i get them cropped. In the meantime, let me say that this route, particularly Commonwealth Ave., will be closed to traffic during marathon day on October 18. Both lanes from the Quezon Memorial Circle up to Tandang Sora Ave. will be closed while the south-bound lane from Tandang Sora Ave. to Fairview will also be closed to motorists.

Keep on logging those miles and see you soon!

Safety Tips For Runners

Ron running the Globe Run For Home Race

Ron (#1881) running the Globe Run For Home Race

Here’s an article written and sent to me by Ron Delos Reyes, Producer and Host of the weekly motoring show, AUTOREVIEW and a long time runner. Ron has been in the broadcast media industry for more than 2 decades now and has also organized special events, marathon races, included. He is presently the communications and marketing head of the QCIM.  Ron wrote this article for Cruising Magazine, a sister publication of Manila Bulletin, last July.


By Ron de los Reyes


I was invited recently by the organizers of the Botak Paatibayan Ultra Marathon race to talk about safety for runners during the pre-race fellowship and carbo-loading party at UP.  Carbo-loading is short for carbohydrate loading which is customary for runners a few days before a big long distance race. Runners normally burn a lot of carbohydrates during a race and thus, need to consume food like pasta, rice and even pizza and bread for added stamina. The race featured 100-km and 50-km events and was held in Quezon City and Marikina in late June.

I started by saying that with the increasing number of runners out on roads doing practice runs, training runs or LSDs (long slow distances), the probability of vehicular accidents also increases. We have to be alert at all times and ensure our safety as runners or pedestrians, motorists, riders and cyclists .

Studies show that the Philippines is ranked seventh among 10 ASEAN member- states in road safety and was also found to be the worst in accident data reporting in the 4th Global Road Safety Partnership ASEAN Seminar in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

The Automobile Association Philippines or AAP also noted that informal surveys show that many drivers are unfamiliar with road and traffic signs and are ignorant of traffic regulations.

While we don’t have figures on accidents involving runners (perhaps because runners are the most defensive and most alert users of the road), figures involving other road users are very alarming.

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reported a total of 11,699 fatal and non-fatal road accidents in 2007. In Jan- Sept of 2008, the figure increased to 43,510 road accidents (almost four-fold) including fatal and non-fatal incidents and damages to property. A majority of these accidents were caused by human error.

On a world view, the World Health Organization estimates that road accidents will become the third leading cause of premature death for all ages by 2020, accounting for a staggering 1.3 million deaths every year.

This is not meant to scare you but to encourage you to be on your toes always, and if you drive a car yourself, always remember to drive defensively and with courtesy and consideration for other users of the road.

Now, as runners, we are also frequent road users and are always exposed to hazards and dangers on the road, especially when we train by ourselves. In organized races, at least, we have police and marshals that secure the routes taken by the runners.

To enhance our safety on the road, here are some tips or reminders:

– Run on the left side of the road facing traffic. You will be in a better position to anticipate and react to vehicles.

Run on the left side of the road

Run on the left side of the road

– Run on roads with wide shoulders. Use the sidewalks when vehicular traffic increases.

– Be cautious on blind curves where you will not be visible to approaching cars.

– Be aware of factors that affect motorist visibility – glaring sun, rain, fog. Run single file when running in a group – particularly in high traffic areas.

– Anticipate potentially dangerous situations and be ready to deal with them. Always make the first move to protect yourself. Do not expect cars to change their paths to avoid you.

– Obey traffic rules and signals. Runners, as pedestrians, are bound by traffic laws.

– Yield the right-of-way to vehicles at intersections. Drivers may not heed traffic signals or signs.

– Be alert at all times. Be wary of “runner’s high,” fatigue, or any other lapse of concentration.

– Avoid running alone in isolated areas – vary your route.

Get someone to run with you on dangerous routes

Get someone to run with you on dangerous routes

– Use your ears as well as your eyes – don’t wear headphones and refrain from using your cell phones – Wear reflective clothing at dawn, dusk, or nighttime and bright, visible clothing at all other times.

– While it’s nice to run under the rains, take extra caution, too, as your visibility and that of the motorists will also be reduced. Consider another form of exercise when adverse weather conditions make running dangerous.

Now, here are some additional tips when you train or join the races:

– Running under the sun, heat and humidity requires that you take special precautions. Minimizing fluid loss and heat is essential.

– Drink water whenever possible. Water is the vital ingredient in the prevention of heat injury. Thirst is not a reliable indicator to warn a runner of fluid loss. Your body loses a considerable amount of fluid before you feel thirsty.  – Just like our advise to motorists which is don’t drink (alcohol and drive), don’t drink and run.

Running is an enjoyable form of exercise and is good for both body and spirit. It becomes even more fun and fulfilling when our runs are accident-free.