Lance Armstrong Not Allowed In Chicago Marathon

So he got banned in entering the Chicago Marathon for their October 7, 2012 race and that also includes ANY event which falls under the World Anti-Doping Code. No Running, cycling, swimming or other sport competitions for him… ever!

Picture via

Ruling states that if an athlete is banned by one sport, the ban must be recognized by the other federations which have signed the code.

“The agreement, signed by USADA and U.S. Olympic sports governing bodies, includes a “mutual recognition” principle. Under the rules, if an athlete is banned from competition under the World Anti-Doping Agency Code, this includes any event or competition that is sanctioned by a sport governing body which is a signatory to the Code, irrespective of the athlete’s level or expected results,” said USADA spokesperson Erin Hannan.

Now, for a person who was been raising millions to help cancer patients through his foundation who has never proven nor failed on any drug test he has supposedly tested in, banning him on any sport he wants to join in is i think too harsh.

This is a good opportunity for others marathons not binded by this code to invite him run their races… and join the cause to further fight cancer.

Here is the full report at Runner’s World:

Bewitched, Smitten and Bewildered!

I could name some of the most beautiful female tennis players that ever played in the last decade and those would include Maria Sharapova, Ana Kournikova, Ana Ivanovic, Mary Pierce and Maria Kirilenko, among many others. While they’re amongst some of the fiercest and competitive players around, not only do they possess beauty but also provide glamour to the sport and have attracted hordes of fans.

In the world of running however, very few, if ever has caught our imagination… maybe because of our perception that running is more of a masculine sport, less glamorous than tennis or running and beauty don’t mix? I disagree! Our local Runrio races will disprove this notion as the beautiful and glamorous (as Imelda would term it) have always been a fixture to these races.

I just discovered one such beauty recently and her name is KARA GOUCHER, one of America’s elite middle and long distance runners. Kara made her marathon debut at the New York City Marathon on November 2, 2008.  She finished in third place in a time of 2:25:53 becoming the first American on the podium since Anne Marie Lauck was third in 1994. She also placed third in the 2009 Boston Marathon in a time of 2:32:25. Coached by former marathon stand-out Alberto Salazar, she’s a 2008 Olympian in the 5,000m and 10,000m and holder of the American Women’s debut record in the marathon.
Her Personal Records include:

1,500m: 4:05.14 (2006)
1 Mile: 4:36.03 (2008)
3,000m: 8:34.99 (2007)
2 Miles: 9:41.32 (2007)
5,000m: 14:55.02 (2007)
10,000m: 30:55.16 (2008)
Marathon: 2:25:53 (2008) **fastest debut ever by an American woman.

She may not be as stunning as Sharapova or a Kournikova but she has this gentle charm, cheery disposition, a flair of elegance and a running physique to die for. A darling who attracts fans and crowds in the races she competes in, she’s a shoo-in for “crush ng bayan!”


Cover on March 2010 issue of Runners World


This is one lucky dude!

(Photos taken from her Facebook a/c)

My Training For Camsur Marathon Begins

This week marks the start of my training for the CAMSUR International Marathon ( here)  on September 26, 2010. Last Sunday, Betty and i cut loose from our original group of 5 and persevered until we finished 32k in about 5 hours. As usual, the run started at the Shell Station, corner C-5 Road and Julia Vargas Avenue and proceeded to The Fort, at McKinley Hills where we were running side by side with the participants of the Lactacyd Womens Relay Run.

With regular training partners, Dante, Betty & Mel at our regular meeting place at the Shell Station, C-5

I’ve been on a long, consistent drab of just doing short runs and races. I felt i needed to do some endurance runs so the Camsur Marathon would be just the opportunity to get out of this rut, gert some long runs going and train for another 42k. However, i didn’t expect last Sunday’s run to be that long but i was really hungry for it and i felt just fine hanging on with the group. Tonette, Mel and Chito had to limit their runs to 25k as they were already tapering for this Sunday’s Milo Marathon eliminations. I didn’t register for Milo but will probably be there for another LSD run and try to pace another running buddy, Darryl on the last 10k of his marathon run.

Stopping at Freedom Park, EDSA with Betty, Mel, Dante and Chito

After Sunday’s 32k, Monday was a relaxed recovery run of 4k around the UP Campus to loosen up the still tight muscles. Tuesday was cross-training day and had a 50 minute aerobic-TAEBO workout.

Yesterday morning (Wednesday) i had this crazy idea of running from UP to Rizal Park (Luneta) and take a glimpse of President Noy Aquino’s inauguration at the Quirino grandstand then run back again to UP. But then, i thought it would be impractical doing that with hundreds of vehicles stalled in traffic and inhaling all those fumes while everything was on a standstill. Instead, i just opted to run near home, the Ateneo Campus, Katipunan Road, UP (again) then out in Quezon Memorial Circle and Quezon Avenue towards West Avenue. It’s a measured route i usually follow when i want to run 21k. So 21k it was and ran it under 3 hours.

This morning, i just finished a 9k recovery run at 7:30 pace and afterwards, headed to Batangas for some work to do. That’s it for today’s post. Later tonight, i’ll just chill out and read the rest of the March issue of Runner’s World and munch on some Marty’s Cracklin Vegetable chips while reading.


Breakfast in a resto at Tiendesitas

This Guy Is Incredible!

George Hirsch, at left

Sports heroes are often celebrated with their incredible feats specially when they are in their prime. However, there are others who seem to be ageless in their sport that defy expectation, breaks barriers and inspire future generations.

When all the dust had cleared up after the recent 2009 New York City Marathon, there were a few who were standing tall and had many heads scratching in disbelief. This story, by Amby Burfoot of Runners World will inspire may young runners and old farts as well that there is hope after our prime.

An author once described that if a measure of a person is how he lives his whole life and not simply his youth, then George Hirsch deserves our admiration for the pursuits he has done before in his prime and his astonishing feats at present.


Chairman of the Board George Hirsch Runs 4:06:14 at Age 75
Amby Burfoot
Photo by Victah Sailer, PhotoRun

In New York running circles, the great Irish miler Eamonn Coghlan has long been known as “the chairman of the boards.” But New York City running has another important chairman: George Hirsch, chairman of the board of directors of the New York Road Runners, as well as publisher emeritus of Runner’s World magazine and The Runner before that.

Oh, and marathoner extraordinaire. Today, to celebrate the ING New York City Marathon’s 40th running, Hirsch, 75, came out of a 5-year marathon retirement to run the event and finish in 4:06:14. “It was my toughest one ever,” he said shortly after finishing and hugging his wife, Shay, and race director Mary Wittenberg.

Through his performance today, Hirsch may have added a new truism to the world of distance running. The Hirsch Manifesto goes beyond “Run most of your miles at a conversational pace” and “Never increase your weekly training mileage by more than 10 percent.” It states: “If you are over 75, don’t run two marathons in a three-week period.”

At last month’s Chicago Marathon, Hirsch planned to run the first 20 miles as his last long run for New York. But he found the cold, windless running conditions to his liking, and plowed all the way through to the finish in 3:58:42.

Today he no doubt hoped to run faster. He didn’t talk about it, but Hirsch, a meticulous researcher, must have known that the NYC Marathon course record in his 75-79 division was 3:54. He had a shot at it if things went well. Paced for the first 6 miles by friend and two-time NY winner German Silva, he reached the halfway mark in 1:55. He knew that Bill Rodgers would be waiting for him at the 19-mile mark. Anything seemed possible.

He didn’t know I would be there for the middle miles. That was meant to be a surprise, and it was.

I caught Hirsch at 15 miles at the top of the Queensboro Bridge. I had hoped to fall in with him at 12 miles, but couldn’t pick him out of the crowd at that point. After letting enough time to pass that I felt sure he must have gone by, I jumped into the pack and started running hard, hoping against hope that I might catch him a few miles later. I got lucky.

I came up behind Hirsch, tapped him on the shoulder and announced, “Your midrace escort has arrived.”

George doesn’t lift his head much when he runs, keeping his gaze glued to the pavement directly in front of him. But this was an unexpected development.

“What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be in the press center,” he said. Then he immediately added: “Not feeling so good. I think Chicago took a lot out of me.”

I proudly showed off the race number that Mary Wittenberg had given me–it said “Amby” on it, just like the others that said “Meb” and “Ryan” and “Paula” and so on–and then stepped in front of Hirsch to break the wind. “Thanks, that’s good,” he said.

Three miles later on First Avenue, he said, “I’m cramping, I need to take a walk break.”

I was stunned. I had never known George to walk during a run. On the other hand, he has several times run past the point of being able to support his body weight, and collapsed to the road when his legs gave out. We were all hoping he would run his last New York and his last marathon, this very race, without that kind of a problem.

“Smart move,” I said. “Let’s save the legs now so they’ll be able to handle the Central Park hills.”

Hirsch loosened his tight focus briefly when Rodgers ran out to us, breaking into a big smile. “Good to see you, Bill. And thanks for joining me today,” he said.

Rodgers turned out to be a chatterbox. I had been running quietly beside Hirsch for 4 miles now, or more often in front of him as a wind shield. But Rodgers proved full of coachly advice. “You’re looking good, George,” he kept saying, “but don’t go too hard now. There’s a long way to go. And be sure to get Gatorade every chance you get. It will give you more energy.”

And then the road grew quiet … well, except for the thick screaming crowds on the sidewalk. “Where’s Bill?” Hirsch asked me at 20 miles.

“I don’t know but I’ll pull over to the side and do a scan,” I said. I returned shortly with my report: “I can’t see him anywhere.”

“That’s so weird,” Hirsch said. “I hope he’s okay.”

Hirsch was walking every mile or so now, though rarely for more than 30 seconds, after which he’d break into a slow jog that soon accelerated to sub-9:00 miles. We passed Anthony Edwards at 21 miles. I veered over to tell Edwards that George was just beside him at the edge of the road, aware that they were working together on the Shoe4Africa campaign. “He’s amazing,” said Edwards. “Tell him he looks great.”

In truth, he didn’t. Hirsch’s running form would never be described as poetry in motion. He doesn’t glide over the road; he forces his legs ahead in a determined, long shuffle. He runs with his heart and his
steel-tough mind, telling his skinny, cramp-prone quads and calf muscles that they simply don’t get a vote in the matter. Nevertheless, Hirsch has been getting the marathon job done for a long time. In 1979, he ran 2:38 in the Boston Marathon. In 1976, he finished the first NYC Marathon in 2:49, and the next year improved to 2:40. In 1984, at 50, he finished New York in 3:03:45. Ten years later he ran 4:43 to accompany his son David in his first marathon. Now, at 75, he was running his final marathon, a promise made to his wife and family.

On the long uphill on Fifth Avenue before Central Park, Hirsch yelled up to me several yards in front of him: “Come closer Amby. I’m starting to wobble.”

I looked back quickly, alarmed. He was wobbling. He was also running dangerously close to the curb on his right side. I was worried that he would scrape it, fall, and hurt himself. So I fell back beside him, and moved inside him to force him away from the curb.

We slowed on the uphills, and increased pace on the flats and downhills. Entering Central Park, we encountered a grinning Rodgers, waiting for us. He floated into the pack again, and renewed his coaching. “We’re almost at the 24-mile mark, George, and you’re going strong. Stay relaxed. Don’t push it too hard.” He also explained that he had gotten separated from us on First Avenue, and figured Central Park was a good place to find us.

We walked for the last time at about 24.5 miles. From there, Hirsch the Determined kept his legs going. On Central Park South, he began passing others runners on a hill for the first time in the race. On the uphill grind to the finish, he ran even stronger. “Take it easy, George,” I said. “Let’s finish looking good.”

At the finish, Rodgers went to his left and I to his right. We raised his arms overhead, and passed under the finish banner. Then we braced ourselves for a possible collapse.

It never came. “That was my toughest marathon ever,” he said right away. But he kept walking strongly, looking for his family and friends. As soon as he found them, he sounded more like a New Yorker than a New York City marathoner. “Let’s go get some coffee and cheesecake,” he said.

Running Log: What It Can Do For You

As i pack my things every time i go on out-of-town trips, i always put my Training Journal/Log into my carry on bag. It’s a Runners World training journal given to me by running buddy June early this year. Ever since i had it, it has always accompanied me everywhere i go and enabled me to record all my running sessions and keep track of the place, time, distance as well as personal notes on how i felt during the runs.

I’m not a stickler for any training routine nor do i have any existing training program to prepare me for a race. But when i made my comeback to running last year, my objective was just to go out and run–if i felt good, i would run farther than planned and if i felt sluggish, i would just go for an easy, short jog. I never wanted any one workout to count that much as i wanted my running to simply mirror the broader picture of my experiences; that there will be good days and the not so good others.

However, as my runs intensified and the races were getting to be weekly rituals, the need to improve was inevitable. Having a data of your daily runs, you’re able to analyze the type of workouts you do, how you physically felt about these workouts and this can give you some gauge on what to improve and tell you when to back off to avoid overused injuries.

I’ve always believed that the key to successful training is to understand the progress and failures of your every workout and to strike the right balance. Coming home from every workout, i always look forward to getting myself to sit, open my journal and write all details and experiences of the just concluded run, whether it’s positive or negative.

There are lessons learned in every run. There was a new route i took somewhere in South Triangle and passed a quiet street not knowing that there were dogs ready to pounce on me. In my training log, i would write: “Do not ever run on this street again!” On some occasions, i would wonder what i ate the day before that caused me to take a No. 2 on an abandoned building! And i’m still looking for that vendor who sold me a rice cake somewhere Quezon Ave which i ate after my 2nd hour of running which gave me some extra boost of energy to complete another hour of running!

Any kind of information helps you adjust on your preparations and workouts so you can track what’s best for your body. The journal may also help you see the “red signal”: it acts as a sounding board and helps you avoid some of the land mines of training and racing.

With all these information at the palm of your hands, a journal can do wonders to enhance your running. Firstly, it has given me motivation to run farther, faster and set for myself reasonable and attainable goals. More importantly, it has given me inspiration–setting back the calendar on my progress when i was just starting again to where i am at present, take stock on the weight i’ve lost so far, the generally good health i have, the new energy it has given me and the improved times (though modest) i have achieved while running with others.

See you at the races!