Nat Geo Run 2014: A Short Race Recap

A high five to all the runners for this years Nat Geo Run 2014!

Temperatures last Sunday was on an all-time high and we surely felt it even before the 12:00 midnight gun start of their inaugural marathon race, as i was already sweating! Except for the temperature, there’s really not much negative to say about this year’s edition of the race although that’s not definitely what i thought when i had to stop about 5 times just to have my cramping thigh muscles sprayed with liniment oil by the medics!

With friends before the run

There were lots of nice things going on at the Nat Geo Run and it is just something to experience for yourself.

For me, some of them were:

  • Nice route and getting back to Bayani Road was a breath of change scenery at Fort Bonifacio. Although this route was very well used back in 2010-2011 races, it sort of disappeared from the racing scene thereafter for reasons i’m not aware of and it was great seeing the Heritage Park once again.
  • The entire course was absolutely packed with runners and though it was a bit crowded, it never hindered the movement of runners doing the full marathon when they merged with the 21k, 10k and 5k runners.
  • Aid and water/Pocari stations were aplenty, more than i was expecting. There were great water marshals who were working their arses off and they were doing the best they could to service the 12,000 runners on the race route. All were very courteous and saw to it that each runner were being provided for.

  • We have been told by the organizers to bring our own water bottles as they won’t provide water cups but still allotted some for runners who didn’t bring hydration containers with them. I’ve always been wary of water running out along the course so i always bring my own hydration belt in case there’s a stretch without water on aid stations. This time however, i had rarely used my own water bottle as there were more than enough on the water stations and ice-cold at that!
  • Was able to pace Jham Mariano, a co-blogger who was running his very first marathon during the 1st 15kms and although not too confident in his training prior to this race, he was able to finish in a respectable time.

With first time marathoner Jham Mariano

  • My acid-reflux was again bothering me and managed to contain it only after the 16th km. My thighs went ballistic and it was cramping during the 2nd half of the race. Good thing that medics, who were completely equipped with first-aid remedies were on every 2 kms of the course. They sprayed liniment and even massaged my cramping thighs!
  • Had severe problems with chafing along my inner thighs (near the groin) that after the race, blood was prevalent on my shorts and under-wear. I was grimacing in pain when i took my shower.
  • Great to see my running mates Carol and Gemma finish strongly on their half-marathon race. Carol even finished 8th over-all among the females.

With Carol

Nearing the finish line

With Carol and Doc Gemma

I cannot stress enough how well organized this inaugural Nat Geo Marathon turned out to be. Ice-cold water and Pocari almost every two kilometers, enthusiastic and courteous marshals–they did a hell of a job, the ever present medics, all made a huge difference for making this race an over-all success.

This is my 16th marathon and what an experience it was!

Nat Geo Run 2014

Now you see them, now you don’t!

This has been the status for getting slots to this year’s annual Nat Geo Run 2014 which sold out way too fast even before its formal launching last Monday. There were some additional entries made available for the 21k and the 42k distance categories and all were swooped dry just hours after it was announced.

Photo

Last night, i heard that organizers have added another 30 slots for both categories and if these slots were not pounced clean as of announcement, i’m sure runners waiting for SM Aura at BGC to open at 10am this morning will be rushing down the registration tables to jostle for an entry!

And by the way, if you’re running the 42k event, the race starts at 12:00 midnight, April 27 and the field has been limited to about 500 42k runners only!

Good luck, hope you snatched an entry!

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL RUNS STRONG WITH EARTH DAY RUN YEAR 5!

(Press Release)

On April 27, 2014, National Geographic Channel (NGC) renews its commitment to the environment by celebrating this year’s Earth Day (which falls on April 22 globally) with another round of its wildly successful Earth Day Run. Now on its fifth year, Earth Day Run is expected to attract 12,000 running enthusiasts of all ages and fitness levels to participate for the good of the environment.

Earth Day Run has consistently been besting its record for number of participants, with last year’s expected number of 10,000 runners demolished by an actual registered 12,000 participants.

NGC hopes to replicate that success for Earth Day Run 2014 by registering 12,000 runners in the 3K, 5K, 10K and 21K categories, including a new fifth category of 42K designed to draw the most physically fit and expert runners in the country. The event itself is considered one of the biggest runs in the Philippines.

Nat Geo Run Race Director Neville Manaois explaining the details of the 42k distance run

This year, NGC is working once again with its environmental partner, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), to make a solid difference in the Philippines’ environmental footprint and give sustainable livelihood opportunities for local communities.

Last year, the two organizations used proceeds of the Earth Day Run to plant P1 million worth of fruit-bearing trees in the Abuan watershed in Isabela, in the Sierra Madre region. Besides partial reforestation of this important resource, local farmers were given the privilege to own and care for the trees as well as harvest their fruits for their income.

Bloggers during the launch

In 2014, NGC promises to raise money  for WWF’s Bancas For The Philippines project, which aims to train fishermen affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) last November 2013 in the making and use of fiberglass boats for artisanal fishing. These boats are designed to withstand the onslaught of typhoons to ensure that the fishermen can continue with their livelihood in any event.

WWF’s experts will train fishermen on site and help them build the fiberglass boats while reducing the use of sawn timber and plywood, in the hopes that the communities can produce one boat per day. Many fishermen were left with no sources of income when their boats were destroyed by Haiyan, and so this project is a significant step toward the rehabilitation of communities in Palawan, which was ravaged by the typhoon last November but slow to receive relief due to the sheer number of islands in central Philippines that needed to recover from the devastation.

A complimentary entry for the Jazzrunner. Thanks to the Nat Geo Run organizers!

Earth Day Run 2014 aims to help these fishermen directly with the sharing of climate-smart technology that will help them recover their livelihood, as well as decrease the fishing pressure on our seas that have been heavily exploited by commercial fishing by promoting artisanal fishing for small-scale fishermen.

Earth Day Run uses recyclable materials for its race bibs and a “Zero Paper” registration process in the form of a Centralized Registration System, which National Geographic pioneered in the country. Participants can support the Haiyan rehabilitation efforts of NGC and WWF by signing up on www.natgeorun.com or visiting the sign-up booth at the Lower Ground floor of SM Aura from March 1 to April 20.

Finishers of the longer races of 21K and 42K can not only take pride in their physical victory and willingness to help Haiyan survivors and the environment, but they will also each be getting a medal and finisher’s shirt to commemorate their triumph.

Nearly four months after Typhoon Haiyan, those affected by it still need so much help, and it has become important to sustain the public’s interest in their rehabilitation. Earth Day Run 2014 invites all runners to register and do their part while enjoying the health benefits of good exercise and unity in supporting the survivors of one of the most devastating natural disasters in the country’s history.

(Thanks to Justin and Noel for some of the pics!)