November 24, 2010

Another Try At The Ultra Distance

It was about four days to go when I get myself to register for the upcoming ultra race. The venue is the cool, high-altitude vicinity of Tagaytay more than 50km from Manila. I haven't been in races for the longest time, my last was the complimentary rexona run on August 2010, and the desire to participate in this race was practically high.

Having minimal mileage made me think, not just twice, in entering the race. Fifty, ultra kilometer is not a walk-in-the-park, it is a highly respectable distance where only a few dare run. Barely five weeks before, I started training by increasing my mileage, doing back-to-back weekend long runs, just like what I did in my last bdm 102 preparations. Ultra races needs ultra training and it took me about three weeks to get myself back into it again. It was inside this training program too where I reached my 6,000th kilometer.

People's Park, Tagaytay City
3:00 am

Two hours before gun start, we were already at the starting point, the cool and windy people's park. The route will traverse the national highway going to Nasugbu, Batangas. The first 15km was an uphill section with the view of the majestic taal lake and volcano on the left side. The sun slowly showed its way up glittering the waters of the lake as I made my way through it. I was on an easy pace, as relaxed as I wanted it to be. Support crew were lined on either side of the road as they wait for their runners and to take a glimpse of the beautiful scenery. It was after km.10 when I increased my pace and shifted to my planned marathon pace where I sustained until km.35.

Tagaytay-Nasugbu Boundary Marker
7:00 am

In about two hours I reached the cool and foggy place where the Tagaytay-Nasugbu boundary marker is; shortly we were greeted by the race director handing out race band, food and ice-cold water. Fine weather, downhills and cool winds helped a lot in my running but not until I felt the seemingly baking heat of the sun. Although shade of trees along the winding road provided some respite, huge buses coming toward each runner added some difficulties in maneuvering the rolling and winding road. Most of the time I ran alone at this section; in ultramarathoning one practice one must learn is to run alone. The long and vast distance do not compromise of having someone to run with.

Palico Junction, Nasugbu
9:00 am

Ten kilometers to finish line, the sun was shining hot, my pace went down from tempo, and walking was inevitable. I found comfort running in the company of ultra-runner friends who caught me at this section. Together we braved the last portion of the route exchanging stories and plans (believe it or not) for the upcoming bdm 151. At the junction of Lian and Nasugbu, some 3km to finish line, we parted ways and ran on each own. After empty bottles of hydration, food, sun block and three full rosary prayers, at 10:30 am, I was receiving my PAU T2N trophy at the town plaza.

More photos here.

November 8, 2010

Haile on the 2010 NYC Marathon

Haile Gebrselassie, the greatest all-round distance runner in history, said farewell to the sport he has so obviously loved and has served with such brilliance in action, and such grace in his personal conduct and manner. Gebrselassie had an MRI done on his right knee yesterday. It showed fluid build-up. Gebrselassie ran with the lead pack until stopping at 16 miles, on the Queensboro Bridge.

He spoke for two or three minutes with increasing emotion, finally wiping tears away. It took several moments for the media to grasp that he had announced his retirement.

Someone said, "Are you saying that you are retiring?"

"Yes," Geb said simply.

Read here for more.


The Emperor Cedes His Crown
Posted by ScottDouglasRT at 11/07/2010 2:42 PM
By Roger Robinson, Running Times