SINAI 100 Ultramarathon: Last Call! 16k and 8k Trail Race Categories Still Open!

Sinai 100 UltraMarathon
March 18-19, 2017
Mt. Sinai, Pintong Bukawe, San Mateo, Rizal, Philippines

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The 5th edition of Coach Roel Ano’s birthday run will be one grand celebration as he is staging his biggest and longest races that includes a 100km and 50km road-trail ultramarathon plus side events for a 16k road and trail run and 8k trail run to be held at Mt. Sinai, Pintong Bukawe, San Mateo, Rizal on March 18 and March 19, 2017.

Slots are still open for the 16k and the 8k distances. If you’re contemplating in doing the ultra-marathon events, just PM Coach Roel as he may have extra slots for you!

Starting Times:

March 18, 2017 :  50k and 100k — 4:00am
March 19, 2017 :  16k — 6:00am / 8k — 6:20am

Registration Fees:

Regular Rate (February 11- March 10, 2017)

100k – Php 2,500
50k – Php 1,700
16k- Php 750
8k – Php 650
1k (Kids) – Php 400

Note:
– 100km and 50km registration includes Finisher’s Trophy, Medal, Bib, RFID, Event shirt and Finisher’s Shirt.
– 16km, 8km and 1km (for kids) registration includes bib, medal and event shirt

Registration Centers:
Online registration -> goorahna.com

Thru bank deposit:

Landbank of the Philippines
Account Name: Liziel Ano
Account Number: 1476 1050 36

BPI Family Savings Bank
Account Name: Roel Ano
Account Number: 5996 4763 77

Once payment has been made, email the scanned copy of your deposit slip with your name, age, contact number and shirt size to bbgrunevents@gmail.com.

In-store registration:

L Timestudio
– SM Mall of Asia
– SM Megamall
– Market! Market!
– SM Trinoma
– SM Marikina

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Race Kit Claiming Dates
March 11-12, 2017 (Saturday – Sunday), from 11:00 a.m. – 08:00p.m. at Events Place, 3rd Floor, 500 Shaw Zentrum, Mandaluyong City.

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100k Trophy

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100k and 50k medals

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TNF100: A Riveting Trail Run

L-R: Tagaytay Highland’s Alfredo labadan II, TNF Regional Brand Manager Ken Co, Majo Liao, TNF100 Female Champion, Primer Group AVP Dinah Yau Lim

The TNF100 was staged in Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna for the first time this year and winded through the scenic ridges of Tagaytay and through the rugged foothills of Talisay in Batangas. The runners were met with some of the most craggy and undulating hills that veteran trail runners have ever encountered!

At the start (22k) with Franc Ramon and the Running Atom

To say that the 100k run or even the 50k distance was very challenging is the understatement of the year! It can only be described as an epic pain in the arse ultra trail run as it was utterly debilitating even demoralizing at some points, according to my friends who ran both distances. True enough, statistics would tell. Out of the 231 starters of the 100km race, only 49 were able to finish the distance while for the 50k runners, a better percentage of 121 runners completed it out of a total of 162.

For the shortest event, the 22k distance, 458 runners finished out of a total of 570 runners. Results of the race could be found here: http://www.thrillofthetrail.ph/finishers

As a consolation, many of the veteran runners who have ran the 3 previous TNF100k stagings in Baguio said that the present course in Nuvali is trickier and more arduous than those staged in the former venue. The very hot and humid weather at Nuvali proved to be the downfall of many participants!

Assault to AS7

AS7

Clearly, the course was not designed for the average trail runner. And contrary to what many perceived as an easy course compared to that of its previous Baguio venue, this year’s TNF100 was a monster route, not designed so that everyone can easily finish. Many runners, took the course very lightly and few were prepared to race on one of the most technical trail routes for this event.

So while the ultra distances were very tough, one would expect that the short 22 km distance (which i participated in as a media/blogger observer) would also have its own bells and whistles of a killer course. Surprisingly, it was tame, very manageable and with as little a challenge as doing a speed training run on the roads. The course is mainly on single tracks with some parts surrounded by lush greenery, a small stream and some gentle rolling slopes of both ground and concrete.

I was able to run two-thirds of the distance with 3 other wonderful female trail runners, Vanessa who i was able to train with during the Mt. Marami Trail Test Run a few weeks ago, her friend, Tess and a hiker and mountaineer, Marissa. I sort of set the pace of doing a run-walk method which worked out really good because it kept us from walking too long or running too fast. It also let whomever was leading to choose when they wanted to walk, and for how long. Mostly it was just the steep hills that we would walk, but later in the race we started to walk a bit more (and laugh a lot more). Just keep on moving, that was our only goal– to finish the race before cut-off time.

L-R: Marissa, moi, Tess and Vanessa

And finished we did… more than an hour before cut-off time and it was great finishing the 4 of us with our hands clasped together as we crossed the finish line! It was reminiscent of my Mt. Sembrano Trail Run Challenged when i crossed the finish line with 2 other female runners.

With trail runner friend, Ricky Francisco

We start as a group of people…we finish as a group of friends!

Thanks to Aileen Frugal, Media Relations Officer of the Primer Group of Companies for inviting me to run and observe the TNF100 proceedings, to the organizers and volunteers for putting together an outstanding race and to all the runners who toed the line, finished or not—job well done, guys!

TNF100 2015: Elevate yourself
The North Face 100 hosted the boldest trail running competition of the season, gathering the country’s top ultra-marathon runners to best it out in the Nuvali-Batangas challenge.

For five decades, The North Face remains to be the leading outdoor brand that supplies authentic, technically-innovative outdoor gear and apparel for active lifestyle enthusiasts. Whatever may be the nature of one’s outdoor inclinations, one can always find an extensive range of outdoor essentials at TNF.

Going beyond its position, at the heart of TNF is ensuring that outdoor recreation continues to flourish which ultimately inspires the brand to innovate as well as to reach out to various outdoor communities whether by sponsoring top athletes or raising the bars of a sport through its groundbreaking events. And one of the which is the biggest trail-running competition of the season, The North Face 100 or TNF100.

Hailed as the most challenging test of endurance for hardcore runners, TNF 100 was inspired by the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc race in Europe, a single stage mountain ultramarathon that takes place once a year in the Alps, of which the main sponsor is also The North Face.

Like the UTMB which is widely regarded as the most difficult foot race in Europe, it is TNF’s mission to elevate the standards of the community and urge runners to defy their limits. Once more, TNF100 did exactly that as it hosted the Philippine-leg of the competition last June 12 to 13 at Nuvali, Tagaytay, and Batangas.

With the first-ever TNF100 Philippines held in 2008, the race had gone from merely having a hundred participants to nearly 2,000 as it has come to be most highly anticipated trail running event that offers a truly unique experience and immensely challenging terrain. Over the years, TNF100 have had races in challenging and diverse terrains including ones in Clark, Batangas, Camsur, and Baguio, Benguet. This year, the route began and ended at Nuvali in Sta. Rosa Laguna, and encompassed the scenic trails of Tagaytay and Cavite all the way to Talisay, Batangas.

The race was divided into three categories – 100km solo, 50km solo, and 22km solo – for both men and women. On Day 1, the 100k began at exactly 4:00am while the 50km began at 5:00am which required runners to traverse the trail of Nuvali. Meanwhile, Day 2 saw the most competitive runners test their mettle as they race to the finish line from Nuvali all the way to Talisay, Batangas and back to Nuvali. The following day, another batch of runners gathered at 5am for the 22km race.

In the end, the toughest and most enduring runners stood out as they proved to be the very epitome of defying one’s limits. Recognizing what could be the most pivotal point of their trail running experience, the winners were awarded with medals and trophies as well as big cash prizes and TNF products to to equip them with the necessary resources they would need to continuously defy their own limits and elevate the community in the process.

Once more, TNF has held a wildly successful event that brought together the entire community of runners for a two day celebration of their unified passion for the sport and the great outdoors. The TNF100 2015 marks another significant milestone for the brand and the community as it paves the way for two important things. One of which is to showcase the breath-taking landscapes of the country to inspire everyone to go outside and explore and secondly, TNF had once again took part in raising awareness for the sport and elevating the community to a whole new level as it hosts a bigger and bolder race each year.

The North Face 100 was made possible in partnership with NUVALI, SEDA Hotel Nuvali, AXN, Gatorade & Summit as it’s official hydration sponsors, the Primer Group of Companies, R.O.X., Department of Tourism, LGUs of Laguna, Cavite and Batangas, Tagaytay Highlands, Municipalities of Canlubang, Tagaytay and Talisay . Thanks also to our media partners Business Mirror, Business World, Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin, MB Sports Digest, Speed Magazine, and Men’s Health.

(Press Release)

TNF 100: Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Join

Having established itself as one of the Philippines’ premier off road ultra running events, the 2015 TNF 100 Philippines is set to attract participants from across the world that will come to compete alongside fellow runners on this new spellbinding route.

TNF 100 Philippines’ main attraction is that all main trails have never been used in past races and as with previous TNF 100 events, you get to challenge climbing on mountain passes located in Tagaytay and Batangas. They traverse the foothills, ridges of mountains and climb atop the crater of Taal Volcano so all participants will be able to enjoy the views of the mountains, lake and vistas surrounding it.

The Taal Volcano which is often described as one of the smallest volcanoes in the world, is actually one of the largest. The entire Tagaytay ridge is the crater’s edge and the Taal Lake is the caldera of the volcano. The little ‘volcano’ you see in the centre of the lake is merely a ‘vent’! It is unique because Taal volcano is known as the largest island within a lake on an island within a lake on an island! –

As with past TNF 100 Philippines events, there will be a high level of support and hydration stations en route.

Here are 10 reasons why you should join this year’s TNF100 Philippines which will have its starting area at Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna:

1. Previous years’ wins do not define this year’s race.#TOP1Asia’s 1st and Longest Running Ultra Trail Marathon Series now spans 9 countries. Be part of the global community that breaks all boundaries and never stops exploring!

2. Pain is temporary pride is forever. #TOP2As early as now, we congratulate all #TNF100Ph2015registrants. See you on the trails. Let’s make a legendary history on June 12-13. Break all boundaries!

3. See Taal Volcano like never before. #TOP3#TNF100Ph2015 prides itself for bringing participants to previously unexplored terrain. Get a unique vantage point of Taal as a bonus! Get your slot now.

4. Another reason to join #TNF100Ph2015? It’s historical. A surprise landmark from the 70’s appears from the fire roads at KM 16. You can’t miss it! Registration still ongoing. Visit any TNF stores today! #TOP4

5. Don’t come back with just words to tell. Share your experience at the trails as it happens. Re-discover yourself at KM 68 with wilderness as the background? Only at #TNF100Ph2015!

6. Match your words with actions. You say you conquer trails? #TOP6#TNF100Ph2015 is your chance to prove it. Register online via http://bit.ly/1H8iqlZ or visit any TNF stores near you. “Early bird” registration ends on May 15. Hurry!

7. Strength is the product of struggle. #TOP7The long running tandem of  #TheNorthFace Athletes, Coach Gado and blind runner Aga Casidsid, challenge the limit of human potential as they plan to conquer their first 100KM trail run. How about you? Will you conquer #TNF100Ph2015  too?

8. Represent the country! #TNF100Ph2015 gunstart happens on Independence Day—June 12. #TOP8 Showcase Pinoy endurance against nationalities from the world over and break boundaries all together.

9. True to being innovators in the industry#TNF100Ph2015 will be the 1st Ultra Trail Marathon to offer real time tracking through your own mobile phones! #TOP9Now your family, friends and supporters can see your progress real time as you conquer the trails!

10. Be the first to explore the trails! #TOP10 Hardcore pioneers got first dibs at Nasugbu, Clark, CamSur and Baguio—Benguet, the new course of#TNF100Ph2015 Nuvali—Tagaytay—Batangas is the most accessible yet. Don’t miss the chance to claim, “I am one of the firsts!”

Dare to Break All Boundaries
The North Face 100 2015

Press Release

On its 7th year, The North Face 100, Asia’s 1st Trail Running Ultra Marathon Series and the Philippines’ mother of all trail runs continue to break boundaries and challenge everyone to Never Stop Exploring.

After 3 years of high altitude running and massive elevation gains, 215 ushers in a “fast course” where speed and multi –terrain adaptability play much bigger roles. This provides a welcome opportunity for ultra road runners to try and experience the trails in a more accessible, controlled yet still challenging environment.

The outdoor pioneers have shown that with fundamental skills, proper training, and reliable equipment extreme trails can be conquered, now we challenge the greater majority to level up their game, be counted among the ranks of trail runners and be one of The North Face in Breaking All Boundaries.

So whether you are an aspiring trail running beginner or a seasoned racer looking for new challenges, unparalleled experience is offered in each competition of this season’s largest trail running series.

Break All Boundaries, and Never Stop Exploring!

The North Face 100 was made possible in partnership with NUVALI, SEDA Hotel Nuvali, AXN, Gatorade & Summit as it’s official hydration sponsors, the Primer Group of Companies, R.O.X., Department of Tourism, LGUs of Laguna, Cavite and Batangas, Tagaytay Highlands, Municipalities of Canlubang, Tagaytay and Talisay . Thanks also to our media partners Business Mirror, Business World, Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin, MB Sports Digest, Speed Magazine, and Men’s
Health.

The North Face is exclusively distributed in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia by the Primer Group of Companies.

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

So last Wednesday was one of the most unforgettable days ever! This is all thanks to RD Jonel Mendoza when he was able to pull all the stops and bring to the country ultra running’s towering living legend, Scott Jurek to talk about his experiences in the sport of ultra running and his take on his strict vegan diet which has sustained his unsurpassed feats of running for many years.

The entrance to the Asian Development Bank Compound was strict so we had to go through a lot of checks and verifications from security personnel before reaching the small auditorium where Jurek would speak. I was able to secure a ticket from Jonel despite knowing that tickets were already fully reserved days before.

Scott starting the lecture

Jurek is a personification of what a truly ultra-marathoner should be, disciplined but open to many options and ideas, strong-willed yet listens also to the demands and limits of his body and most importantly, a true gentleman.

His lectures has a zen-like structure that incorporates experiences derived from his races, diet and enormous thirst for adventurism. His “goal-setting” is a classic example of examining one’s attitude toward the sport. He said that to be able to succeed, you have to want it, you have to know it, be able to tweak it and really want it some more!

Talking about calorie intake

I was a bit fascinated about him recalling that a week before running the Hard Rock 100, the world’s toughest 100-mile trail race,  he sprained an ankle while playing soccer with kids but continued to run the grueling 100-mile race even taking more than half an hour off the course record! He wore an ankle brace to help him survive Hardrock’s grueling trails and 33,992 feet of cumulative elevation gain, and finished in 26 hours, 8 minutes! This record has since been broken.

Book signing (photo by R. Belen)

The sprained ankle did not deter him from running in one of his best races which also taught him how to turn setbacks into advantages. He advises to take stock of the situation and accept emotions, remedy the situation in real time and put a positive spin into it.

These were just some of the bits of wisdom Scott imparted and it was awesome really hearing him on. He’s such a great guy and kind of embodies the spirit of a great champion!

Finally, a picture with the man himself!

And a picture with Scott’s better half, Jenny Jurek

A memento

Running in the streets of Metro Manila (SJ’s Instagram post)

 

What Questions Would You Ask Scott Jurek During His Talk Here In Manila?

Scott Jurek is our sport’s towering living legend! He is one of running’s catalyst not only in the U.S. but all around the world and ultra running is what it is today because of him! He has been acclaimed as the best ultra runner of his time, won almost all of the prestigious ultramarathons in the world and changed the whole sport.

Jurek. (Photo from running.competitor.com)

As many of you are aware, Scott Jurek will be coming to Manila on December 10 and to Cebu City on the 12th, to give lectures about his rise in the sport of ultrarunning and about his famous vegan diet. His book, Eat and Run relays his experiences competing in 100-plus-mile ultra races and thriving on a plant-based nutrition where he shares the advantages of embracing this diet.

He is considered a pacesetter, an icon of distance running. His passion, brilliance and energy is the source of many an inspiration for ordinary runners to pursue the world of ultra running!

Meanwhile, i was pondering on what questions to ask him after he gives his lectures and this will be during the Q and A portion of his talk. I’m pretty sure that all sort of questions have been thrown his way about his vegan diet, training, ultra races, injuries, victories, running gear, nutrition, etc. so i’ll deviate a little and go for something off-base in my questions.

Here’s five (5) questions i would like to ask him:

1.  Who among the present crop of ultra runners impresses you most? What accomplishment did he/she do that made you really impressed?

2.  Who would you consider a “hero” in your life and why?

3.  Has your wife Jenny, or your mother-in-law Lee, cooked any Filipino vegetable dishes that you liked? Have you tried the Ilocano dishes “Pinakbet” and “Dinengdeng”? (Jenny is half-Filipina, half- Japanese. Her mother and grandfather are from Ilocos Sur.)

4.  If invited to run an ultra race here in the Philippines, would you oblige accepting running in one, let’s say a race organized by Frontrunner Magazine? How often do you accept offers when you race abroad?

5. What other sport would you have competed in, if you were not running ultra distances?

My “bonus” question:

6. Are you aware of boxing great, Manny Pacquiao? Do you think Manny can beat Floyd Mayweather if the latter accepts the challenge? 🙂

So, if you are attending his lectures, what questions are you going to ask him?

Please do share your questions on the comments section below and i just might include to ask these after his lecture.

From his Facebook page today, November 27, 2014.

And by the way, tickets for these lectures are still available. See poster and details at https://jazzrunner.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/scott-jurek-philippines-live-lecture-series/

 

K2C 50K: My ‘Rathoner’ Experience

The scene in front of the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite last night, December 29, felt like New Year’s eve, people were on the streets reveling on some kind of festivity that was happening except that there were no deafening noise of fireworks, no church bells ringing, no hooting of horns, no banging and booming of pots and pans.

Minutes before the start

Instead, residents were greeted with the tumultuous presence of runners! And when me and the more than 600 of us took off at the starting line in front of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s ancestral home to tackle the Kawit to Calamba 53k Ultramarathon (K2C), it was like a “parada of runners” invading Kawit’s streets with different blinking lights adorning our foreheads, waists and caps to illuminate and guide us for the dark streets ahead that also looked like Christmas decors on our bodies.

When Judith Staples of Soleus, Head of the most popular GPS running watch in the country invited me to join this race, i was a bit hesitant knowing that my training has not been sufficient to tackle the distance. But then, the ribbing  and pressure mounted by friends followed and insisted that they too have not been training well but are joining just the same, so i gave in! Talk about peer pressure!

Goofing off with running friends while preparing our gear for the race

I’ve heard good things about Runmania Events, the organizers of this race that have been staging various ultra races in the south of Manila and attracting hordes of both regular and newbie ultra runners. I’m running their race for the first time and will soon find that out.

I arrived at the race venue 3 hours early with friends Vladz, Carlo and his friend, Michelle with the facade of the late Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s home all lit up in glitters and color. It was Christmas atmosphere on the parade grounds as we waited in line at the grandstand to claim our bib nos.  The energy and excitement from the grounds was just awesome.

With Team Soleus

The 11:00pm start was a bit delayed because people were still lining up to get their numbers but as soon as the race started, our huge journey to Rizal’s home town also began and we were all very excited!

The route is a mixed-bag of sorts. From the neighborly street near the shrine up to busy Tirona and Aguinaldo Highways, it was a challenge keeping up pace specially in dark areas where i had to adjust my headlamp many times and watch-out for drunks that come out of bars. I almost bump on one who was oblivious of the runners as he crossed our path.

At the 7th km mark, I had to leave my hydration backpack on our support car as the right strap was sliding off my shoulder so i used my reserved belt bag instead. I never worried about running out of water as the water stations were adequate as it came at every 5-7 kms as expected…and it was ice cold water at that! At around 11k, i made a pit stop at a Shell Gas station as i was experiencing some stomach discomfort and felt relieved after, even if i lost about several minutes of time there.

The best routes were in Daang Hari and Daang Reyna where the roads were quiet and you run in many diverse subdivisions. There were marshals stationed along strategic cross-roads and with them were route markers so you’ll never get lost along the way. The PAR running team was amazing as they offered their water and chocolates to any runner who happens to pass-by their aid stations. Thank you guys!

By KM35, i was already feeling exhausted which was probably my lack of long runs while training. The longest i ever did was a 27k LSD done 2 weeks before this race and i felt my energy dwindling when i reached past 32k. At km42, my thighs and quads were already screaming in pain so my walks became longer and the run part shorter. Thankful that a friend, Ener Galang decided to pace with me at this point and the stories we exchanged sort of distracted us from our discomforts.

The best thing that probably happened along the route was at an aid station when marshals were passing out ice cream in cones! That was really refreshing! While handing them out, they would ask your race number so you probably can’t get more than one piece. I could have probably finished 5 of those as it came at a time when you felt already exhausted, hungry and dehydrated!

I finished the race in about 8 hrs and 3 minutes and recorded in my Soleus Fit GPS a total distance of 52.8 kms. I came in at 379th out of 674 runners. I was surprised to see an ultra race this huge, and the organizers say this is the biggest ultra race staged so far in the country.

Finish Line of the K2C 50k Ultramarathon

When everything was over, the finishing experience was smooth and organized as you would expect.  The finish line tape, medals, nice dri-fit shirt and huge trophy were systematically given to all the finishers with properly rationed food and drinks for everyone.

There’s really very little negative to say about this ultra race although that’s not probably what you’ll be thinking when you reach km45 when your lungs and legs will be screaming in agony! The only negative i can think of is the claiming of the race packets a few hours before race time. With more than 600 runners, they should have distributed it days earlier so as not to delay the actual gun start.

But this is minor compared to the over-all experience which was great, and it’s pretty amazing how much planning, sweat, and security went into organizing this race. And i would highly recommend events of RunMania to anyone who is running their 1st or nth Ultramarathon.

Thanks to Judith Staples of Team Soleus and Pat Maranan and company of RunMania for this opportunity to run this race! To my co-runners Carlo, Bel and Vladz–you guys are great and to our support team Jarry, Edgar, Flor, Michi Ko and Michelle–you all are the best! Last but not the least, my team, Team 90%, my partners in crime!

Leaving you with some of the pictures during the run. (Thanks to my photographer friends).

This medal forms part of another medal, the other being an earlier race staged also by RunMania. I missed the earlier one.

With Flor, Bel and Michi Ko

With Lucky Jackie and Running Jack-PapaDyak

With my running partners

With Zaldy and Gia of Ayala Triads

Paced with this great guy during the last 11 kms, Ener Galang

With multi-awarded runner, long time friend and ultra finisher, Mommy Nora Del Rosario

With Mayette of Ekek Runners

Receiving my medal and the guy on the right seems impressed! 😉

Running Cheaters: Their Amazing Race

Rosie Ruiz, the first globally publicized marathon cheater

Despite the hostility and abomination the majority of runners feel about runners who cheat during marathons, this shameful act is still prevalent that bring with them an honorary lifetime of curse and contempt. Running–or running a long distance race like a marathon or ultramarathon is supposed to be a pure, honest sport where patience, sacrifice, courage, solitude, victory and defeat are components of what this sport is about–an honest assessment of oneself.

Yet, this noblest of sports is robbed of its purity when some cheapie runners succumb to temptation and flaunt it without shame. I was a bit sad when i heard that last Sunday’s Tagaytay To Kawit 50k Ultramarathon was marred by a few cheaters, making this new ultramarathon race another breeding ground for these pests to lay their eggs on.

Unbelievable that some of these runners were brazen enough to cross the finish line when they were seen being dropped-off at a point near the finish from a vehicle and sheepishly continued their run.

The start of the T2K 50 K Ultra Marathon (Photo by Tong Pascua)

Too, some Milo Marathons in the past and even the BDM 102km Ultramarathon which is supposed to be the foremost ultra race here was not spared by these cheats. All the tricks in the books have been employed and here are some of the methods used by these charlatans:

1.  Taking a lift from a vehicle (usually their own support vehicle) when no one is watching to take them nearer the finish line.

2.  Riding in a bus, taxi, jeepney, tricycle, motorcycle or other public transportation after taking off their race bib nos. or putting on another shirt to conceal it and getting off near the finish, replacing their bibs and continuing their run.

3.  Taking short-cuts, applying trick no. 2, pretending to jog by their lonesome (oblivious to their surroundings) then joining the race again after the short-cut has been made.

4.  Stepping off the course, hiding in a building or gas station or making a stop-over at a fastfood joint to eat while killing time to re-join when runners have come back from the turn-around point.

5.  Stopping at a designated place then taking off their official bib or timing chip and giving it to a faster runner to officially record their progress along the course.

6.  Have another impostor run on your behalf or make him run the first 42k and hand back the identification back to you so you could finish the last 195 meters!

7.  Scanning an original race bib and making a counterfeit bib out of it with exact size, text and color giving the semblance that you are officially registered and therefore running the race legally! (I’ve witnessed this personally being fabricated on a Photocopy shop near POEA. The race was for a Runrio event!)

These are some of the scam i have witnessed personally and heard from co-runners and if you have other more to add, please do so. Race Directors should have the option of either exposing these cheats publicly if they are confident that cheating has occured or informing them privately that they are being banned from their future races.

Distance running and bus riding do not mix—unless you are competing in the “Amazing Race”!

Cesar Guarin’s Sets For Global Run

Cesar Guarin has been an old fixture in the local running scene as he first emerged during the first running boom of the late 70s. When i started to take up running during the early 80s, he was already in the limelight, running in various local races until he set to run his first of many ultra running feats starting with the Trans-Pilipinas Ultramarathon, covering a total of 2, 251 kms from Zamboanga City to Baguio City which he did in 37 days.

Considered the “Father of Ultramarathon”  in the Philippines, he is now set to conquer another 30,000 kilometers across the world in the Global Run: Takbong Alay sa Pilipino at sa Buong Mundo.  Guarin is undertaking this near-impossible feat to pay personal tribute to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).

Likewise, Guarin is dedicating his global run to Filipino street children, raising funds to help them through his group’s “Batang Pangarap” program. Guarin’s group teamed up with Overseas Filipino communities and various agencies to get underprivileged kids into running, and provide them with their basic needs and social development programs.

Backing Guarin on his worthwhile quest is the Philippines’ leading low-cost carrier, Cebu Pacific. In a special event held recently at the Xin Tian Di of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, the airline expressed its full support to the man known as the “father of ultra-marathon” in the country.

Guarin on one of his ultra runs in Europe

“Cesar Guarin is very inspirational. He is trying to do something that no Filipino has ever done before, which is to run around the world, the equivalent of a thousand marathons,” said Alex Reyes, general manager of the Cebu Pacific Long Haul Division. “He’s also reaching out to all the OFW communities in the countries that he’s visiting, reaching out and bringing a little bit of home to them.”

Reyes also expressed that not only is Guarin’s cause a worthy endeavor to support, his global run is aligned with Cebu Pacific’s core mission, which is to serve the Filipino overseas communities. “Today there is no Filipino carrier that flies to the Middle East.  We’ve chosen Dubai as our first long-haul destination to cater to Filipinos based there,” he said. “By making fares so much more affordable, OFWs can come home much more often or their families can visit them there.”

Alex Reyes (L), General Manager of the Cebu Pacific Long Haul Division, Cesar Guarin and Candice A. Iyog, VP for Marketing and Distribution during the launch of the Global Pinoy Run last week

“Through Cebu Pacific’s low-fare, great-value service, we hope that there will be more frequent reunions for overseas Pinoys and their families,” Reyes added.

With Filipino OFWs in Europe

Guarin’s goal to circumnavigate the world on foot started with a dream: he wanted to be the first Filipino to bring home the Olympic gold marathon medal. After failing to qualify for the 1980 Moscow Olympics because of an injury, he channeled his frustrations to completing the Trans Pilipinas Run, covering 2,251 kilometers from Zamboanga to Baguio in 1983.

Guarin followed this achievement with the Trans USA Run in 1985, running across 14 states in 48 days non-stop, from Mondays to Sundays, literally from the east to the west coast.

These ultra-distance runs gave him the training he wanted, and improved his strength and endurance. He joined the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, but was again thwarted by an injury. Rather than feel defeated, Guarin persisted on and was back on his feet by 1992.

Cesar talking about his upcoming global run during the launching of his Global Pinoy Run at Crowne Plaza Hotel last week

He set out for the Trans Europe Run, covering a distance of 3,756 kilometers from Barcelona to Rome in 67 days. His Europe run was filled with challenges. Their corporate sponsor backed out at the last minute and they had to improvise using a mountain bike instead of a support vehicle. His long-time friend George Tan had to carry 50 kilos of supplies across 6 mountainous European countries for two months on bike.

Now 57 years old, Guarin continues to challenge himself and is determined to conquer the rest of the world. His next stop, the Middle East, is seventh of his 15-stage worldwide run. While the tough weather conditions and rough terrains may intimidate regular runners, Guarin considers them part of the challenge and is looking forward to the adventure that awaits him.

Next Challenge: 1,265-km Solo Run in the Middle East this 2013

Guarin will now embark on his Middle East Run challenge, referred to as “the toughest extreme distance run” among Cesar’s 16 stages of his global run. To finish this ultra-marathon  Cesar will have to complete the total distance in 6 countries in the Middle East (UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait).

Next stop, the Middle East

Finished (1983 to 2011) –

Stage 1: Trans Pilipinas Run                             2,251 km   37 days   1983

Stage 2: Trans USA Run                                    4,960 km   87 days   1985

Stage 3: Trans Europe Run (6)                         3,756 km   67 days   1992

Stage 4: US–Canada Run                                 1,272 km   29 days   2009

Stage 5: Trans Australia Run                            2,053 km   36 days   2011

Stage 6:  Finland–England Run II (7)              1,820 km   45 days   2012

In Progress (2012 to 2017) –

Stage 7: Middle East Run (4)                            1,265 km   31 days   2013

Stage 8: USA – Alaska Run (2)                         3,134 km   74 days   2013

Stage 9: Japan–Korea-China Run (3)             2,857 km   68 days   2014

Stage 10:  Austria–Greece Run (3)                  3,065 km   60 days   2014

Stage 11: Russia–Hungary Run (6)                 2,539 km   60 days   2015

Stage 12: Egypt–Jordan Run (3)                      2,290 km   50 days   2015

Stage 13: Brazil–Argentina Run (3)                 3,144 km   75 days   2016

Stage 14: India–Nepal–Bhutan                        2,223 km   48 days   2016

Stage 15: Myanmar–Singapore Run (3)         3,766 km   90 days   2017

Stage 16: Brunei–Philippines Run                   2,067 km   50 days   2017

The runs will be on desert roads and around an oval course in regions or areas where road running is prohibited or illegal. At 1,265 kilometers, it’s going to be a challenging run, which may take 40 or more days to complete.

Global Run Middle East will surely be one of the most memorable and exciting global run stage that Cesar and his team will venture. For Cesar Guarin, global running is an incredible life changing experience where he challenges himself against some of the most rugged and beautiful landscapes in the world. Once he finished this run he will be the first person to have run an ultramarathon of this magnitude in the Middle East.

At the launch with fellow bloggers

Yours truly with the man himself

“I’m happy that Cebu Pacific is backing this global run. This started as a very personal project, so I’m really delighted that we’re getting more support,” said Guarin. “Choosing Dubai as one of their first long-haul destinations and offering low fares show that Cebu Pacific, like me, is a supporter of Global Filipinos,” he added.

My T2N 50K Ultra Marathon Finish

It’s been two days since i ran my first 50k ultra-marathon but i’m still savoring the ride after such a wonderful experience! Although i’ve been feeling pretty sore specially my calf muscles and left heel, i can’t help but smile and shake my head in disbelief every time i think about all that i went through last Sunday.

At the finish line

So now, i’m sitting here icing the sore legs, trying not to over-fantasize last Sunday’s events in my head but it’s hard not to do so. The T2N (Tagaytay To Nasugbu) 50k was a great humbling, learning experience. I had trained with my very supportive group, Team 90% and went through with all the hard work like doing 35k+ Sunday runs, hill training, mountain trekking, the works…so i thought i was well trained for handling the distance. Apparently not so.

I was fighting off cramps on my left calf muscles and hamstrings from kilometer 25 and had to stop several times just to stretch and have it massaged. The heat was almost killing, specially during the last 10k. I had to forgo taking in some food (except for bit-sized bites) and had to pay for it at the latter stages. My whole legs went dead specially in the last 3 kms and if not for the prodding of my aNR co-Team Leader, KB Runner and my support team (HBK-UP) i would have walked out those last 3 long kilometers. My foregoing of food eventually got to me and what missing-out on foods didn’t do, the heat sure did!

I even kept cursing on that Jolibee Arc sign which was the marker indicating that i was nearing the finish because the more i ran nearer to it, the farther it seemed to be as if someone has been pulling it away from me!  Talking about being delirious!:-)

That said, the experience was all worthwhile. I had the best support group in the world, the UP Heartbreakers Team and our own Team 90% Support group.

In summary, i finished in a modest time of 7:18:42 coming in at 182 out of 275 finishers. Even though running T2N was a struggle, i’m very glad and satisfied that i ran it. The route was refreshingly scenic, the race wasn’t the least bit crowded, it had a great friendly vibe to it, was very well organized and the party atmosphere at the finish line was awesome.

I’m looking forward to running more ultras in the future!

Here are some photos before, during and after the event:

A pit stop somewhere in Laguna on our way to Tagaytay

The view from our hotel room

Last carbo-loading dinner with Team 90%

The morning of the race at the hotel lobby

Foggy start at People’s Park, Tagaytay

With Race Director Gen. BR (r), Ninang Tonet and Tita Betty

With the Maybankers, Darryl, Alexis, Chips

Somewhere near Alfonso, Cavite

Near Taal Vista Lodge

Pacing with Leo and Chito (photo by Running Atom)

One of my two support teams. Simply the best! L-R: KB, Ai, Glo and May (Photo by Running Atom)

The typical Race Director BR’s handshake at the finish!

Happy! (Photo by Yet Severino)

Team 90%. Eight for eight finish! L-R: Betty, Leo, Mel, Chito, Sylvia , Tonet and Jazzrunner. (Elaine not in photo as she had to leave early)

Other Photo Credits: J. Avellanosa Photography

Mayon 360 50 Mile Ultramarathon: The Legend of Darang Magayon

There is a legend to this world famous Mayon Volcano citing that the grounds where the volcano now stands is the grave of two lovers, those of Darang Magayon who lives on the volcano, and her lover, Panganoron who lives on the clouds, kissing her every time he passes by.

To those running (or planning to run) the Mayon Volcano 360, 50 Mile Ultramarathon this coming April 21, 2012, you will be running around a great legend of a love story which resembles the immortal love stories of Romeo and Juliet or Anthony and Cleopatra.

Here is the story:

A long time ago, there lived a young woman named Daragang Magayon. She had many suitors because of her beautiful face and fair skin. Her father, Rajah Makusog had consented to Magayon marrying someone. Afterall his daughter was already of right age, he says. But Magayon was quite picky as she said she would only marry someone whom she surely loved.

One day, while Magayon was bathing in the river, she suddenly slipped and fell into the deep part. She didn’t know how to swim and would have drowned if not for Panganoron who saw her fell. Panganoron, the brave son of Rajah Karilaya, was hunting that day when he heard the cries of Magayon. He hurriedly jumped into the water to save her.

Panganoron was smitten by Magayon’s beauty that he courted her and the woman also fell for the brave man who rescued her from drowning. Soon, the engagement of Magayon and Panganoron was announced all over the kingdom and the date for marriage was set.

However, Pagtuga, a suitor of Magayon heard the news and devised of a plan to stop the wedding. He kidnapped Magayon’s father, Rajah Makusog, and refused to let him go unless she agrees to marry him. Magayon loved her father very much and could do nothing but agree to Pagtuga’s conditions.

She went to Pagtuga’s place to give herself in exchange for her father. Panganoron heard of what Magayon did. He gathered all of his brave warriors and went after Pagtuga. 

A great battle happened between the two camps. Pagtuga was no match for Panganoron; he was killed by the great warrior. When Magayon saw that her sweetheart had killed her captor, she rushed to Panganoron. But before they could even get close to each other, a stray spear struck Magayon’s back. As Magayon fell down lifeless, Panganoron was also struck down with a machete by Pagtuga’s trusted warrior. Rajah Makusog saw what happened. The Rajah ensued the person who struck Panganoron and killed him. 

After the battle, the rajah took home Magayon and Panganoron’s lifeless bodies. He buried the lovers together in a grave he himself had dug. 

A few days after, the people noticed that the grave of the lovers had risen up. It grew high and turned into a huge land form with a shape of a cone. The people named the beautiful new land form Mayon after their beautiful princess Magayon. At times when the Mayon roared and shook, the people says it shows the love that Magayon ang Panganoron had for each other. 

Press Release:

The race around Mayon Volcano is back

The Province of Albay, home of Mayon Volcano, will be hosting its second edition of Mayon 360° Ultramarathon this coming April 21, 2012. This world-class race is an 80km ultramarathon around Mayon Volcano, also known internationally as “A 50-Mile Run around the World’s Most Perfect Coned Volcano”. It is the first ultramarathon event in the Bicol Region, wherein an ultramarathon means a running distance of more than the traditional marathon of 26miles (42.195 kms).

Mayon 360° Ultramarathon began its concept in the Junior Chamber International-Legazpi City Chapter and it was only through the partnership with Liga ng mga Barangay-Albay Chapter, Philippine Association of Ultrarunners and the leadership of Governor Joey Sarte Salceda that the project was funded and successfully implemented. The event was held in support of the various tourism programs of the Provincial Government of Albay and featured as one of the highlight events of the Magayon Festival celebration every month of April.

In its second edition, the event will be dubbed as MAGNOLIA PUREWATER MAYON 360° ALBAY ULTRAMARATHON. The change of event name reflects the entry of a major corporate sponsor – Magnolia Purewater, signifying that Magayon Festival events are gaining market traction!

Runners will be taken across the circumferential scenic mountain side of the Mayon Volcano, through the Pan-Philippine Highway, Sabluyun Road, Karangahan Blvd., and Tabaco-Legazpi Highway, crossing 7 municipalities, 3 cities and 77 barangays of the province of Albay.

Through the efforts of the local barangays, runners will be welcomed with aid stations every five kilometers of the race. Local folks along the route will showcase their local hospitality, tourist related info about their barangay, and provide much needed encouragement and support as the runners challenge themselves to finish. This same support at the grassroots barangay level, with close to 700 volunteers, helped the 1st edition of Mayon 360° Ultramarathon won the Philippine’s Best Sports Tourism Event, awarded by the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP).

Magnolia Purewater Mayon 360° Albay Ultramarathon will be giving cash prizes of more than P230,000.00 with separate categories for local and international runners. The event is currently the cheapest ultramarathon in the country, with a registration fee of only 850 pesos. Said race is sanctioned by the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners  (PAU) as one its official races.

A pre-race briefing will be held on April 20, 2012 at 5:00PM at the Albay Provincial Capitol Building, where the participants will be treated to a carbo-loading party. The race, with a 15-hour cut-off, will start at 4:00AM on April 21, 2012 at the Peñaranda Park, Legazpi City. For more information, please visit Mayon360.com