Gallowalking The Trails With Team Boring

Well, i suppose you could call this run a “fun run” or a “trail fun run” that had us laughing for most of the 15k route. It was planned to be a send-off run for our dear Julie (hotlegsrunner) who is migrating to the land of milk and honey in a few days time. It was also to be her first trail run and we were celebrating this occasion.

Doc T, Rod (rod-runner), Jet (jetpaiso) , Mar (forefoot) and Vic who call themselves “Team Boring” (they all got bored during their trip to Bataan to run the BDM Ultra 102k, thus the monicker) were also on hand, as well as Tere (elcapitana) and Aaron of  Takbo.ph.  Last Saturday, we made the short drive from Jolibee Philcoa to the Green Hills Estate and from there walked and jogged towards the trail’s entrance which was 2 kilometers from the outpost.

The estate, once sequestered by the former Marcos regime and now back with the Araneta’s was an undiscovered gem until me and running friend, June Santiago decided to explore the trails a year ago. I had to recommend this trail to Julie and the group because of its proximity to Metro Manila and it’s an easy-moderate trail. I made sure that the group would enjoy the route at a leisurely pace so they could take in its beauty without much huffing and puffing associated with a trail race. So all of us “Gallowalked” (run and walk) the trails.

We ran the route passing several rows of Ipil-Ipil and Mango trees and the aromatic Cadena De Amor plant. The trail also boasts a large naturally occurring strand of wild orchids and other exotic plants. Other than the fauna, we also encountered the usual grazing cows that seemed to like the presence of Julie who was feeding them with grass.

It was a perfect time to run on these trails–just before the onset of La Nina. Although it rained slightly the night before, the trails were in perfect shape except for a couple of short muddy stretches.

It was an enjoyable adventure, Gallowalking and all, capped off with a sumptuous lunch of grilled chicken and roasted pork spare ribs at Kenny Rogers.

Bon Voyage, Julie!:-)

Breakfast at Jolibee, Philcoa before our run

At the entrance gate of the trail while waiting for the others

L-R, Doc T, Mar, me, Aaron, Vic

With the whole group: Mar, Jet, Vic, Me, Rod, Tere, Aaron, Julie, Doc T

Mar gearing up as he leads the start of the trail run

Julie, taking her first running steps on a trail

No swerving, please:-)

Bored of running!

Taking it easy

Ultra T!

Julie completing her first 2k! 13k to go, Jules!

How could he extend his arms so straight?

Vic in one of his sexy post!

Showering him with love!

Stretching on one another!

Taking aim of the uphill ahead

Almost there, Julie!

Julie feeding her pets!

One of my favorite pics

One more obstacle lie ahead

El Capitana pushing the pace

Journey to the meadows

Nice place to take it easy

Rod on a hunt for pests and snakes?

Mar and Aaron atop the boulders

Another river crossing

Tere enjoying the scenery

Nice pose, Hotlegs Runner!

We'll try to run the trail at the right side which we haven't done yet and see where it'll take us.

Post run brunch at Kenny Rogers

42Kms Worth Of Memories

What makes a marathon finish memorable? There should be a dozen different answers from runners who have finished one. It may be experiencing a new challenging route that you dreamt of conquering one day. It may be the support you got with your running group that made the run easier, more exciting and more fun. Or it may be achieving your one main goal, to be able to finish your first marathon.

For me, it’s a combination of all the above, when you feel that your body and mind have worked alternatively or in tandem no matter how difficult or painful the experience was and feeling the exhilaration once you cross the finish line.

The Condura Skyway Marathon just gave me reason to celebrate again! It’s good to be back on the fray, completing my first marathon run in 17 years and my 5th marathon finish over-all.

It was a long hard climb, two years after deciding to make a comeback to running last 2008 although i wasn’t sure i would be able to sustain the motivation. We all know too well that half the battle of training isn’t the running itself, that it’s finding the resolve to run each day and it takes a lot of commitment, goal setting and having a training plan to carry out such a formidable task.

When i was at the starting line yesterday at the Condura race, i didn’t have a race plan. Feeling like a beginner again, my goal was just to finish below six hours and run the best way i can. My stomach was having double-knots and the pre-race nerves was getting into me since last Saturday. I could not really shake out the fear that i felt and that was the fear of “failure” even if i came fully prepared. I was logging at around 70-80 kms a week and running distances of 34 to 45 kms on my Sunday long runs.

So, at the very last minute before the gun fired-off, i decided to join a group of runners from takbo.ph who were doing the Galloway method of running for 5 minutes at an average pace of 6:30/km then fast walking for 1 minute, the 5:1 run-walk ratio. It was tolerable running it the first 3 kilometers but i couldn’t keep up with the fast run segments as we were sometimes going at a 6:00 minute/km pace. I knew that if i stayed with them, i could not have kept up with the pace and still have any energy left for the middle stages. Much worse, i would have had great difficulty finishing the race if i stayed on so i cut loose at the 4th km and ran my own pace thereafter.

The silent, eerie stretch of highway and the mixture of urban and rural vantage points atop the Skyway will make you forget your feet are pounding on hard cement. A good 15 to 20 kms of the Skyway was used for the route and i felt some kind of drudgery, running on one, very long, endless highway. The marching bands stationed along the Skyway who were supposed to play during the rush of runners who passed by them, didn’t help alleviate the boredom as they were just sitting and looking more tired and sleepy than we runners were. Some of the runners even coaxed them to play but it just fell on deaf ears.

The runner support was however, above par. There were adequate water stations not only at the Skyway but all throughout the route. The marshals were exemplary as they even handed out the water cups to the runners themselves. However, one sad note i experienced was when i saw some runners trying to revive two runners who collapsed past the 21k mark just before the turn-around bend at the Skyway but there was no roving ambulance on site! It was a scary moment. On my way back, i saw both sitting down on their own and somewhat revived.

At Buendia on to the Skyway

On my way back at 33 kms, i saw what seemed to be a transplanted banana plantation cum aide station at the middle of Buendia Avenue set up by Entrepreneur-runner Amado Castro and the takbo.ph group led by couple Jinoe and Queenie. The bananas were so plentiful that it could have fed the whole barangay of Pasong Tamo with still plenty to spare!

The last four kilometers was the most excruciating part of the run for me. After climbing up the grueling Buendia flyover on my way back to the Fort, i felt my body stiffen, my knees locked and couldn’t sway my arms as much as i wanted to. I haven’t drank water or Gatorade from my flask for the last 3 kms and didn’t feel like drinking at all although i knew i needed to. I realized then that i was crashing into the “Wall”. The only thing that was moving was my two feet which luckily were moving forward–but not by much. I began to feel a mild paralysis from my head down to my ankles. I knew that if i panicked, i might not be able to move my feet so i tried to stay calm.

I was still at Kalayaan Bridge, just about 250 meters away from 32nd Street, when i suddenly realized that i was at the exact spot where my running partners from Runnex, Betty and Tonette used to stop to walk and rest during our long Sunday runs. This time, they were not there to run with me (Betty had an urgent business call in HK while Tonnette had to attend to family matters). The 3 of us had paced each other, stop together when one felt like walking and each gave me their chocolate bars or bananas when i felt hungry. Now, i could barely move and not one of them was there to assuage me that everything would be fine. At this instant, i felt a little emotional and i was fighting back tears. I was getting frustrated because my body didn’t move as it should and i couldn’t think clearly.

In marathon running, you can program the brain for success or failure. It’s either the negative thoughts persists, like not being able to finish the race or you see the positive side that your hard work has brought to where you are now. I knew that my training was solid, carbo-loaded days before the race, that this run was just an ordinary Sunday long run and should treat it as such. I knew what to do and was able to focus on the physical and spiritual journey–the process–rather than a particular outcome. Slowly, i began to think of all the hard training i’ve done. Slowly too, my body began to move forward again. Clearly, my mind was taking over what my body could not do anymore.

There is such a thing as a second-wind. Just as i thought i would be trudging the last 3 kms to the finish, there is that sudden outburst of energy that’s just ready to be tapped from within when you need it the most. The last water station along the University Parkway was like heaven sent. I finally drank two cupfuls of the orange carbonated drink (i don’t usually drink them in races as it always upsets my stomach) and another cupful of water and it served like a jet-fuel that set me off to running form again. I realized then that all i needed was to hydrate myself which i avoided for the last 4 kms.

Near the finish, i was greeted by the hollers and shouts of encouragement of friends and running mates until i crossed the finish, just behind running friend, Doc Marvs who sensed that i was inching my way to overtake him and sprinted until he was clearly safe a few meters ahead.

At the finish

I finished with a time of 5:44 (5:42:43 Official Time) and just thankful i was able to cross the finish. I know that i can still improve on this, but that would not be so important at this time.

5:42:43 Official Time

So what now? In every experience like running a marathon, we always learn something about ourselves. We are always in the midst of an adventure, an inner challenge and learn to face fears and adversities that presents itself. On certain occasions, we push the edge of the envelope. Hopefully we become wiser, more confident and well-armed for the better.

Till the next great marathon!

Group pic

With Obet Alano, team mate from Runnex who also finished the 42k, his 12th, i think.

(Thanks to Brando and McCoy for the pics!)

Memorandum: To All Employee Runners

FOR:  All Employee Runners

Date:  January 29, 2010

EFFECTIVE January 29, 2010

DRESS CODE/PAY INCREASE:

1.  It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary. If we see you wearing Newton Running Shoes and using a Garmin 910XT or a Soleus 3.0 GPS watch, we assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a pay raise.

2. If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a pay raise.

3. If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a pay raise.

SICK DAYS/ABSENCES

We will no longer accept a doctor’s certificate as proof of sickness/injury due to running. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.

HOLIDAY DAYS

1.  Filing of vacation or emergency leave to rest for a couple of days prior or after your running a marathon/ultramarathon will no longer be accepted.

2.  Requesting to work under-time to attend a carbo-loading party, catch a bus to run an out-of-town race, press/bloggers race launch or meeting with friends for a run prior to closing of office hours will no longer be allowed. Likewise, an employee who arrives a minute late will be considered absent that day.

Remember that each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturday and Sunday.

COMPASSIONATE LEAVE

This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or co-workers who died because they were hit by a speeding truck while running or die of a heart attack while doing so. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend to the arrangement.

In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.

STRETCHING

Stretching your muscles, doing contortions on any part of your body and performing other forms of exhibitionism will no longer be tolerated in the office premises. Likewise, running up and down the stairs of our office building should be stopped immediately. Our building is not a track and field oval nor is it a vertical run route.

TOILET USE

1.  Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilet after you leave the office specially when changing to your running attire when you go for a run. There is now a strict three-minute time limit in the cubicles.

2.  At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the cubicle door will open, and your picture will be taken whether you are caught with your shorts down or still fitting your jogging bras.

3.  After your second offense, your picture will be posted on the company notice board under the “Chronic Offenders” category.

4.  Anyone caught smiling in the picture will be sanctioned under the company’s mental health policy.

LUNCH BREAK

1. Skinny people (those who habitually run marathons or ultra marathons) get 30 minutes for lunch, as they need to eat more so that they can look healthy.

2.  Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure.

3.  Chubby people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that’s all the time needed to drink iced-green tea.

INTERNET ACCESS

1.  Access to internet sites will now be limited. If an employee is caught browsing running websites or blogs like Takbo.ph, Pinoy Fitness, i Run Far, Baldrunner, Runblogger, Running Shoes Guru, The Trail Running Blog, CoolRunning and most specially Jazzrunner–even on their personal laptops, tablets or cell-phones, they will be reprimanded for first offense and warned accordingly. Subsequent offenses will be suspension for up to a month, without salary.

2.  At any time an employee is caught uploading pictures or posting a status of his/her running exploits at Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, their employment will outright be terminated and all benefits due them will be forfeited!

Thank you for your loyalty to our company. Remember we are an employer of equal opportunity and we are here to provide a positive employment experience that cares for your physical well-being and promotes an active and healthy lifestyle.

Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations and irritations about PRs, running shoes, diet, LSD training, marathons, ultras, CLPs, cross-fit training, trail running, running bras, loot bags, etc. should be directed elsewhere!

Hoy, It’s My First Year of Blogging!

Before i make another move or another step to run, i am reminded that today marks the first year of my running blog, The Jazzrunner.

It was on January 13, 2009 when i wrote my first article and it was through the encouragement of my running buddy, June Santiago that i should document my return to running which started the year before (April, 2008) and write about our out-of-town running trips and trail runs. Since then, it has been a whirlwind of races and adventure running. Thank you, pre!

It was great discovering new places, specially trails that i wouldn’t imagined existed. The highs of running through dirt paths, mountain terrains, wildlife, fauna and all else that nature presented was the ultimate in my running experience and a great visual stimulant, to boot!

It’s been such an amazing year of blogging and i got to know so many great people with the same passion for running. And the runners that come and greet you, many of whom are total strangers is one of the highlights of being a blogger, being appreciated for sharing my running adventures that they too would want to experience someday.

To all who have visited my blog, read, made comments whether nice or nasty, my heartfelt thanks! I’m not sure what the figure means (64,697 visitors as of today) but whether the number of visitors are minuscule or not, i still feel gratified that it has inspired a number of people to run and join their very first races. The e-mails expressing their appreciation are touching and greatly cherished.

I’m not to forget my co-BLOGGERS for their support and encouragement. Ditto with my club mates at RUNNEX and Takbo.ph for the running activities we all covered together–it was great running with you.

Through pictures, here are some of the highlights that capped my first year on the blog. See you all again for the next year coming!

Tanay, Rizal

Angat Dam

Parawagan, Montalban

Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife

Marikina Riverbanks

Angono, Rizal

Backwoods of Angono

Binangonan, Rizal

Angono Petroglyphs in Binangonan, Rizal

Batangas City

First Takbo.ph LSD, March 2009

Baywalk, Roxas Boulevard

First Condura, at the Skyway

With the Bullrunner (Jaymie) and Runnex Chair, Art

At the 1st BDM 102 as a pacer

At The La Mesa Ecopark

Montalban mountain trail run with takbo.ph runners, April 2009

Ciudad Real, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan

All Terra race, Timberland Heights, San Mateo, Rizal

Trails of Aquarry, Bulacan

Christmas Trees of Pintong Bocaue, San Mateo, Rizal

Run For Home, July '09

Kenny Rogers Video Shoot, August '09

Urbanite Run!

Pamulaklakin trail, Subic Bay Freeport

June with Aeta children

At the race For Life with Rica and Donita

Press launching QCIM

LSD Run at C5!

Timberland Trails revisited

LSD - Commonwealth, September 09

QCIM - October 18, 09

Carbo Loading at Joey Pepperonni

Weigh-in BLC

Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

Corregidor Run, December 09

With BR at the Rizal day Run

Sta Rosa, Laguna trails

Of Cardiac Hills, Trails and BJs

It was an auspicious run to start the New Year! When the 35 of us runners decided to tackle what is known as Cardiac Hill at Sta. Rosa, Laguna, little did i know that we would be running on trails, dirt roads, unrelenting hills and that we were sharing these trails with bikers.

While the trails, located just past South Forbes Golf City is originally a bike trail, it offered many runners who have not experienced running on trails the opportunity of hitting the off-road dirt paths, inner rural roads and experience the tranquility, beauty and fresh air of moving through nature.

Paseo de Sta. Rosa

Doc T, Emil and I arrived at the Paseo De Sta. Rosa at about 4:30am with our usual running group from takbo.ph. The drive from Quezon City was quick and snappy as the South Luzon Expressway was still deserted at this early hour. we had light breakfast first then prepared our hydration belts with Gatorade and water.

I had worn my red Nike Human race dry fit shirt in anticipation of things warming up and had to stack another bottled water in my belt bag, just in case. I brought some chocolates and a GU and was ready for the long haul.

At the start, Paseo De Sta. Rosa

Short briefing from Brian

While waiting for the arrival of others

The first 2 kilometers followed the road inside the South Forbes Golf City. I was with the group of Doc T, James and Rico at the tail end with our escorts, Chelly and RJ who were riding mountain bikes. James had to make an early pit stop so Doc T accompanied him to what looked like a clubhouse so i was left with Rico and the 2 bikers.There was some confusion on what route to take as the lead runners overshot the course instead of turning right on our way to Cardiac Hills.

Rico, with flashlight in tow tackling the hilly portion of South Forbes

Jon's friend

The hill was probably the high point on the course and it was about 300 meters of straight uphill which many of us walked half-way through. We were exhausted but exhilarated when we reached the top. We had our picture taken up there and it was all fun just to be able to make it there.

Atop Cardiac Hill

Cardiac rest!

Getting ready for some more running

Start of the trail

Earl, Lorie & Carly

Dyule!

Pineapple plantation

6th km trail

The techni-kulay runners!

Had any of you had a BJ while running? Before our run, Doc T mentioned that he would have a BJ when we reached a certain section of the trail. I knew he was kidding but when i half-seriously asked if there was a brothel somewhere on the route, he laughed saying that there was a nipa hut where we could stop and buy fresh BJ or  “Buco Juice”  (Coconut Juice).

At the BJ station, finally. Aleth and Emil

Rodel with his Coco-gato drink

When we continued running downhill towards the boondocks, we encountered children who had a mantra every time we passed by them. They would say “Good Morning!” Seems that the front runners would greet everybody the same and when it was our turn to pass by them, the children would automatically initiate the greeting! We would then acknowledge them.

By the 5th kilometer, we came about the first of the trails until we reached the nipa hut with an old man selling fresh BJs. There were heaps and heaps of the coconut fruits strewn in the ground and one has just to buy from the old man and he’ll crack it open for you with his bolo. The scene could not have been more humorous and the funny thing did not escape us when the old man was also selling Gatorade (placed inside an improvised cooler) on the side. Selling fresh BJ side by side with Gatorade? Amazing!

Mang BJ doing his thing

The future Mang BJ!

Near the 10km mark

Tackling the uphill

Doc Eire and Ellen in a manger

The rest follow suit

Dirt road at the 15k mark

Last trail stretch

Last stop over at Tagaytay highway

We finished our 20km run in about two and a half hours and we were back at Paseo De Sta. Rosa. The post-run activities were now familiar: the runners described their ordeals, round and rounds of more picture taking, munching on breakfast and the usual ribbing and cracking of jokes.

Enjoying breakfast at Jolibee

Not one runner seemed unhappy about anything. There were no complaints about the heat of the sun, no excuses about pains in the legs, just all good vibes. I felt the camaraderie of one another. Absent are the distractions that sometimes interfere with the enjoyment of running. It was just a bunch of runners, a scenic but challenging course, a tremendous day.

We even got a mini “loot bag” of chocolate pretzels! Thanks, Junrox!

Philstar Celebrity Run- Dec. 20

Race kit all ready

This run was just the break i needed. After 3 sessions  on the Physical Therapist’s room treating my Piriformis Strain (A condition in which the piriformis muscle becomes tight or spasms, and irritates the sciatic nerve that causes pain in the buttocks region, lower back, hips and thighs). (http://www.thestretchinghandbook.com/archives/piriformis-syndrome.php)

The thought of getting out on a long run to check if there was some improvement on my hips-buttocks-leg pain was a prospect i would like to see. I’ve been experiencing this pain for the past 8 weeks now and though the pain is not that intense, i have been limited to short runs at a slow to moderate pace.

The Philstar-Celebrity 21k Run last Sunday was the sort of long run i had wished for. This half-marathon which would again pass along Ayala and Makati Avenues in the Makati CBD area made me want to come back again and run at a more leisurely pace. The distance might be stretching it too much, but not if i won’t race it or try to set a PR.

Running buddy June Santiago made the drive with me and parked where we usually park, just a the back side of ROX. The sky was still dark as we made our way out unto the course for a 10-minute warm-up jog. By the time we got back to the race area, my stomach started to churn and i had to go to the restroom and do a number 2. Thank God for those clean Fitness First restrooms! When i returned back, the race was about to start. I was standing at the middle part chatting with Takbo.ph runners as the verbal countdown was made. No starting gun was used on this race.

As with many of the Fort’s races, it started at 28th Street as we quickly descended into 11th Avenue then right to 26th Street. I coasted my way with the field looking for June but with the crowded start and 600 plus 21k runners, i couldn’t find him. From 26th Street, instead of going straight to Rizal Drive, we turned right to 5th Avenue (they apparently altered the course) on the way to 32nd Street and the Kalayaan Bridge.

After the moderate climb to Kalayaan Bridge and having to move at a fast pace with the group i was with, we went through the first 3 kms at 18 minutes. The run through the Makati business district were at a constant 6:30 pace and i was slowing down when we reached back Buendia Avenue.

I was starting to feel a little hurt before the climb back up to Buendia Bridge and after running towards the crest, i decided to slow down then walked as i told myself to conserve energy as it was still 12kms to go. With the very minimal training i had the weeks before (except for the 16 miler walk-run-walk i had at Corregidor Island) i began losing steam and dropped to a slow 7:00-7:30 pace.

The pain kept creeping through during the rest of the course specially on the way up Lawton Ave. and Bayani Road. After making my turn-around at Bayani Road on my way back to Lawton, i saw June just coming in who was unusually relaxed and having a chilling-like demeanor while shouting encouragements at me. I was just a few hundred meters ahead of him. When i got to McKinley Hill, it was a series of see-saw runs for me–running hard on the flat surfaces then slowing down or walking on the uphills.

Finally exiting McKinley, the last 2kms was now a breeze. I just kept a constant moderate pace as i passed runners who seemed to be  straining themselves to finish strong. I crossed the line in 2:37. June was not far behind, finishing 10 mins. later. The race was well organized, with adequate water stations and the friendly staff manning these stations.

We hung around a little, got to bond with the Takbo.ph group and talked with co-bloggers, Ronnie (Runnerforchrist) and Jovie (TheBaldrunner). I was also able to register for the December 30, 32K Rizal Day Run organized by Jovie, himself.

My Piriformis strain is holding up well and with continuous therapy and following the prescribed stretching at home, i’m hoping for a better week and more long runs ahead!

At the parking lot after the race

With Ronnie, "Runner For Christ" (thanks for the pix, Ronnie)

Thumbs up from June

Biggest Loser Contest / Party

Firstly, congratulations to all contestants of the recently concluded 1st Biggest (Weight) Loser Challenge last Friday. Frankly, i was really in awe and at the same time envious when these participants showed their new body figures. Most were very lean and bubbly while some looked gaunt, like drug addicts trying to break from the habit:-).

However, this contest did inspire everyone–that no matter the sacrifice and self control these runners had to endure and with very little time given to lose those excess weight, all came out winners, each a victor who would reverse our doubts that nothing in this world is impossible. Most importantly, these gallant warriors have reminded us of that simple saying, “if there’s a will, there’s a way!”

I hope everyone who made the effort to lose those excess poundage will persevere to maintain (or lose more) on those new-found figures. Special mention goes to Marga who i had rooted for since the very start. Seeing her weight before, you couldn’t imagine that she’d be able to shrink a vein even if she was running regularly. But now, the transformation has been palpable. More than 18 lbs has dissolved in a matter of 41 days and with continuous healthy dieting and exercise, she could become the new sex-bomb! I said, “could!” Go girl!

Congratulations to Brian, our eventual winner who lost a whooping 34 lbs! Ditto to Allan who came in a very close second only losing to Brian by 1 percentage point!

Here’s hoping too that the 2nd BLC will be launched soon. Also, i wish the organizers would reduce (pun intended) the joining fee of P1,000.00 which i find too hefty, to maybe, P300-400 per entrant so more will be encouraged to join. I would have wanted to join this contest myself as i have ballooned to 180 lbs as of now, but like a newly bought pair of jeans, my physique has already plateaued and “pre-shrunked” so not much will be lost if ever i diet and continue with my running.

By the way, the Christmas party was a sizzler, probably the biggest get together yet for the Takbo.ph runners. Decent food, raffle prizes, (i won 2 gift certificates from Starbucks, thanks to Dyule), rousing fun games and the Milo give-away singlets, none of which fit my size, for crying out loud!

Here’s to a blessed Christmas season and continuous good health for the New Year ahead!

Happy running and reading to all!

(Thanks to Pio & Leandro for some of the pics!)

Group pic last night. Biggest gathering of takbo.ph members i had attended so far!

Brian, last Oct.30, 2009 at 200 lbs.

After a month and 11 days, Brian (L) last night at 166lbs. At right is second place biggest loser, Allan

Posing before dinner

With the good guys

Trying out my high tech, top of the line "SLR"

The cast!

Girl Power!

With Tim's group

Lining up for dinner

Rushing to pose

Thanks for the Milo caps

Carbo Loading For…Whatever

The Takbo.ph runners has a knack for organizing get-together events, for reasons being civic, leisure or the endless socials that are almost always related to the sport we love, running.  The get-together sorties after a race is always a ritual, whether it’s held in the small confines of a McDonald’s branch or a nearby watering hole which transforms into one lively party! And there’s always a reason to celebrate.

Nothing connects these runners like a good week night of bonding and talks vary from their recent marathon finish or plans to run another one in the foreseeable future. Last Wednesday evening, the group decided to meet up once again for an early Carbo Loading Party (CLP),  to prepare those who were running the Subic International Marathon,  the North Face 100k relay in Singapore,  the Race for Life at the Fort, the Adidas King of the Road , an upcoming LSD and for whatever reasons.

joeyjpgVenue of the CLP was the Joey Pepperoni Pizzeria, located in one isolate corner of the Bonifacio Global City. Aside from Pizza, JPP serves great pasta and for the amount of P150.00, you can have unlimited servings of their Carbonara, Spaghetti Festo or the meat-tomato sauce variety.

After having our tummies filled up with pasta, the group headed off to Pier One for some booze loading that knocked our brains off into oblivion, myself included.

Here are our pictures:

Seats at the Joey Pepperonni easily got crowded

The place got easily filled up

Waiting for our orders

Waiting for their orders

These guys just took a few minutes to down the first servings!

These guys just took a few minutes to down the first servings!

All smiles:-)

All smiles:-)

Preparing for a bigger war ahead

Preparing for a bigger war ahead

Aside from eating, Tim has other interests

Aside from eating, Tim has other interests

We got the first table and the first stab of the food served. Waiting for the 3rd serving.

We got the first table and the first stab of the food served. Waiting for the 3rd serving.

More poses, more smilies

More poses, more smilies

I see red!

I see red!

Doc Art and friend

Doc Art and friend

No Coke, no rice!

No Coke, no rice!

Another round here, please...

Chelly’s request: Another round here, please…

Cute guys, huh?

Cute guys, noh?

Ryshel (L) and friend

Ryshel (L) and friend, Angge

With some of the pretty ladies

With some of the pretty ladies

At the other side of the resto

At the other side of the resto

Doc T, James and Tim

Doc T, James and Tim

james and Cindy, pacing with their drinks

James and Cindy, pacing with their drinks

With Vic and Doc T

With Vic and Doc T

Ryshell and Doc Pinx

Ryshell and Doc Pinx reading the TBR Mag, kuno:-)

A toast to all drinking halimaws!

A toast to all drinking halimaws!

Lau, our official tang-gera!

Lau, our official tang-gera and a look of concern from Pat who would be running half of the 100k relay 3 days later

Drinker's high?

Runner’s high?

Dennis gets ready for his turn

Dennis gets ready for his turn

Kenny Rogers Video Shoot

I thought i got to the wrong location but finally found where McDonald’s branch along Valero was which was at the back of the Eastern Telecoms Offices at RCBC Plaza. It was about 6:30pm. The occasion of my discovery was a video shoot for the Kenny Rogers Roasters website to drum up their URBANITE Run this coming August 15, 2009 at Fort Bonifacio. I had earlier received a text message from Marga Baula, a member of Takbo.ph runners to be present at the video shoot that night.

KR roaster

At McDonald’s, (ironic choice to meet for a Kenny Rogers occasion) i was greeted by a dozen of my co-running addicts from Takbo. I’ve never been greeted and smiled so much and it was nice to meet the new faces i’ve only seen and heard. It didn’t matter if i almost got lost looking for the place, only that i should be wearing my Takbo singlet already. The comfort rooms inside the resto were full so i had to change to my running attire inside Carina’s car at the parking lot which had tinted windows. Thanks, Carina!

Runners began arriving, some coming direct from their offices, the others from home. It swelled to about 65 members. We were all now at the parking lot fronting McDonald’s and the pre-shoot warm up consisted mostly of commenting on our new set of uniforms, when the next LSD will be, the Q.C. Marathon this October, the BDM Ultra race next March and about the latest in running shoes. As always, there were lots of picture taking, laughing, good natured badgering and some more picture taking.

Finally, after about 1 & 1/2 hours of merry making while waiting, the video cameraman arrives and we were led unto Valero Street and the herd began to move. Mr. camera man began shooting from his video and took footage’s of the group vaulting into the streets of Salcedo Village while we were running alongside vehicles, some honking the “Cory, Cory” cheer, thinking this was another tribute run for the late President. We were running at a 6:00-6:30 pace. Two hundred meters before reaching our first loop, there was a mad scramble back to McDonald’s which would have shamed Haile Gebrselassie had he seen the dash of the runners in record breaking time!

The group

The group

 

Starting the run

Starting the run

Saying hello

Saying hello

With KR motorcycle escorts

With KR motorcycle escorts

 

Posing at red light

Posing at red light

The Forefoot and Jazzrunner's shoes

The Forefoot and Jazzrunner's shoes

We broke into a jog as we reached the starting point. The time of the run was 11 minutes and 55 seconds for the 1.8 loop. Mr. Camera man who was riding in a motorcycle stopped. “Tapos na,” he said. We were finished. After running on a 1.8 km loop in 11:55 minutes and making us wait for 1 & 1/2 hours for the video shoot to start, we were finished? Sheesh!:-)

End of the run

End of the run

Kenny Rogers at McDonalds

Kenny Rogers at McDonalds?

Not one runner seemed unhappy about the abrupt ending but some decided to run another loop. Since some of us had already ran that morning, we decided to just stay put and wait for the others as they continued with their run. When everybody had re-grouped, we all went for a late dinner at the nearby Tokyo-Tokyo restaurant where we had their usual pseudo-Japanese food–all in celebration!

Time to go at Tokyo2

Time to go to Tokyo2

 

One more time

One more time

I hope to see you all at the Urbanite Run on August 15. We’ll run the whole 10k or 15k as fast as we want to and i’ll buy you a KR meal after the race. Just bring your meal stubs!:-)

See yah…

(Pics courtesy of Rodel (Argonaut). Thanks!)

Run For Cory- U.P. Campus Group

Symbol of Tita Cory

Symbol of Tita Cory

Words of grief, sadness and praise has been said about former president Corazon C. Aquino whose passing away last Saturday up to her interment today has brought an outpouring of love, support and tributes for the beacon of democracy and “mother” to all Filipinos. I was very saddened to hear the news of her passing as i was among the thousands who manned EDSA with some friends at the height of “People Power”  that swept Mrs. Aquino to power.

Funeral cortege on the way to the manila cathedral

Funeral cortege on the way to the Manila Cathedral

People waiting at the Manila Cathedral

People waiting at the Manila Cathedral

Inside the Cathedral

Inside the Cathedral

Cory being honored at the Manila Cathedral last night

Cory being honored at the Manila Cathedral last night

In remembrance of her struggles, trials and selfless leadership, the local running community is paying tribute to this well-loved leader. A series of “Run for Cory” road runs has been organized for today, Wednesday which has been declared a national day of mourning and a special non-working holiday to mourn her passing and for people to have a chance to pay their respect before her interment this afternoon.

Run For Cory, U.P. Group

Run For Cory, U.P. Group

Front of Oblation

Front of Oblation

This morning, running buddy June Santiago and i decided to join the UP Campus group, composed mostly of Takbo.ph runners. It was raining intermittently when we arrived at the campus at about 5:15am and started our warm-up run. While we saw a group of runners bundled up the shaded stairs of Palma Hall waiting for the others to arrive, June and I continued our run around the academic oval and its outskirts.

By the time we returned back to the academic oval, the groups were already complete. All in all, there were about 30 runners, most wearing the I Am Ninoy technical shirts. Around the campus, yellow ribbons were tied on Acacia trees.

Yellow shirts!

Yellow shirts!

At the academic oval

At the academic oval

The run was a symbol of our appreciation for the courage she faced in the midst of tragedy to restore democracy and her humble moral crusade in leading this country.

June posing in front of the Oblation with flowers for Cory

June posing in front of the Oblation with flowers for Cory

Although many of us (sila lang) may have been too young or were not even born yet during the upsurge of “people power”, the influence and legacy of Tita Cory has not been lost in them–that her sacrifices for the country and her determination to restore democracy will forever be embedded in their minds.

Remembrance run for Cory

Remembrance run for Cory

The first Cory Run

The first Cory Run

Run to Times Street

Run to Times Street

Cory's residence at Times Street

Cory's residence at Times Street

Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden

An outpouring of love

An outpouring of love

While our future leaders have promised to sustain all the moral ideals, courage and inspiration she installed, hers is still a tough act to follow as moral values are still lost to some who intend to lead this country.

We will never forget you, Tita Cory!