February 28, 2012

Yellow Long Run: 25 February 2012

I went on a solo long run last Saturday to once again feel how it is to run the hardcore way, as my friends say. It took me more than five hours to navigate the route. I started at 5:00am and finished under the sweltering heat of the sun. I could still recall those times when my ultra running friends run the different roads of Metro Manila as part of their ultramarathon training, they scour the smoggy length of EDSA, the PUV-filled stretch of Marcos Highway and many more. During my ultramarathon training a couple of years back I also did try these routes, usually running alone and sometimes with fellow BDM aspirants.

To add some base and endurance in my running fitness I once again embarked on doing such journeys. The plan is to have back-to-back long run training on weekends (as much as I could) as I prepare myself for ultramarathon distances in the future. I started by joining full marathon races in December and treated them as primer for my endurance runs. There are also plans of doing long runs in the province (road and trail) during the summer.

Here is my route (and some photos) that took me to the cities of Marikina, Pasig and Mandaluyong before heading back to my place in Quezon City. Warning: this route is not good for weak-lunged individuals (you know what I mean).

Sunrise in Tumana Bridge, km. 13

Brief rest in Marikina Riverpark, km.16

People doing their fitness on both sides of Marikina River

Pit stop at Riverbanks Mall, km.20

The best 'careoca' in town. Three weren't enough.

Tiendesitas, Pasig, km.25

In celebration of the People's Power Anniversary

People's Power Monument, km.30

East Avenue, GMA, km.37

February 27, 2012

RU1 2012 Updates

Dear 2012 Run United 1 Participants,
Please be informed of the following updates:

21km Category

1. Starting gun
The gun start for the 21k category was adjusted to an earlier time from 05:00 am to 04:30 am . We are allowing a maximum grace period of 30 minutes to allow participants to start. Hence, by 05:01 am, the starting line will be closed to all runners. This is due to the limited time that the race organizer has been allowed to have the race route closed to traffic. We hope you understand that this is for everyone's safety and security.

2. Free shuttle services

We are providing free shuttle services for all 21k runners from MOA to BGC starting at 02:30 am. This service will be available at 15 minute intervals until the last trip scheduled at 03:30 am. After 03:30 am, the next shuttle service to BGC will only be available starting 06:30 am, at 15 minute intervals, with last trip scheduled at 09:30 am. No shuttle services will be provided after 09:30 am.

Designated pick-up point: Ocean Drive (in between ECOM Bldg and Blk12) at Mall of Asia complex
Drop off point: In front of Riovana store in Fort - BGC

Runners are recommended to plan their transportation in advance given these developments.

3. Baggage Counter

21k runners may leave their bags at any of the 2 designated Baggage Buses parked along the 9th Avenue near the Gun Start area in Fort BGC from 02:30 am until 05:00 am only. After the race, you may claim your items from the same bus at OCEAN DRIVE (in between ECOM Bldg and Blk 12) at Mall of Asia. Participants are strongly advised not to leave any valuables in their bags. The race organizer and any of its sponsors will not be held liable for any loss or damage to your personal items.

Below are key points to remember:

Starting line at BGC across RIOVANA
Baggage buses: 02:30 am to 05:00 am Assembly time 03:30 am
Starting gun 04:30 am Cutoff of start 05:00 am
Finish line at MOA Shuttle services:
MOA to BGC: 02:30 am to 03:30 am in time for the 04:30 am starting gun
MOA to BGC: 06:00 am to 09:30 am
  • all shuttle services are exclusive to 21K participants
  • in 15 minute intervals
5km Category

The 5k gun start at MOA has also been adjusted to 05:30 am. This will be simultaneous with the 10k category at a separate starting line, also in MOA.For inquiries, you may call the RU1 21k hotline 09159678717 from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm

The special RU1 21k runner hotline is valid until March 04, 2012 only.

See you all at the finish line.

February 23, 2012

Fox Channels' The FIC Run

Four Channels, Four Lifestyles, Four Races

Fox International Channels (FIC) provides a bit of each TV channel’s flavor and a whole lot of fun in the FIC Fun Run on March 25, 2012 at the Bonifacio Global City.

Participants can play dress up, hobnob with celebrities and support a worthy cause. The event gives runners the opportunity to choose and participate in any of the four races organized by FIC featuring different lifestyle themes representing its four key channels. It will have four race categories that include an advocacy marathon aimed at raising funds to support the various projects of partner non-government organizations (NGOs).

Participants may register in the 500m Fox Costume Run (PHP150), 3K Star Movies Blockbuster Run (PHP550), 5K Star World Lifestyle (PHP650) and the 10K Nat Geo Run For a Cause (PHP750). Those who are interested to join may register either via online or phone, at RunRio stores (BHS and Katipunan) and event partner stores. Participants may choose their singlet according to the channel and label they wish to run with.

Come dressed in your favorite character and run alongside fellow enthusiasts and sponsor mascots in the 500m Fox Costume Run. Fifty runners in costume will compete and make a dash for the finish line. Limited edition Fox DVD will be raffled off after the race.

Star Movies rolls out the red carpet for movie aficionados in the 3K Star Movies Lifestyle Run where writers, film producers and movie directors are expected to show their support to the event. For a bit of a movie trivia and a tad of inspiration, popular quotes from movie characters will be setup along the course. A home entertainment system is up for grabs in the raffle draw.

Run with panache – this is the battle cry of lovers of fashion and fitness when they run the 5K Star World Lifestyle Run featuring a red carpet along the route to mimic the paparazzi scene. Brush elbows with models, celebrities and other prominent personalities expected to show up in their running shoes. If you’re feeling lucky, you might just bring home gift certificates for a shopping spree at the end of the race.

Have fun while reaching out to others in the 10K National Geographic Run for a Cause. The race is in partnership with 10 select non-government organizations and seeks to raise awareness for their respective advocacies. Among the partner NGOs are Physicians for Peace, ICANSERVE Foundation, Virlanie, Greenpeace, Philippine Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, World Vision and Gawad Kalinga. The first 500 registrants will compete in the name of their advocacy.

In-Store Registration Sites:
February 22 to March 21, 2012
  • RIOVANA Store, BGC /Mon-Thurs : 11am to 9pm /Fri-Sun : 10am to 10pm
  • RIOVANA Store, Katipunan /Mon-Sun, 12nn to 8pm
  • ATHLETE’S FOOT, Robinson’s Galleria /Mon-Sun : 10am to 8pm
  • TOBY’S, SM Mall of Asia /Mon-Sun, 12nn to 8pm

February 15, 2012

Weekend Races That Go Big

Camp Run
Train - Race - Serve
Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City
March 24, 2012

5Km (Php400), 10Km (Php600)

This event is for the benefits of Educational Benefit Systems Office (EBSO), HERO Foundation, Adopt-A-School, e-media and 57/75 Movement.

Race Against Raze
Fun Run For A Cause
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
March 18, 2012

3Km, 5Km, 10Km, 16Km

Site Registration:
R.O.X., A Runners Circle, Royal Sporting House Glorietta, Ali Mall), Reebok (SM Megamall, Festival Mall, Trinoma)
On-line Registration: www.pepsquadevents.com

Proceeds of this event will be for the benefit of Philippine Children's Medical Center, Child Neuroscience Center, PIQCAA Scholarship Fund and to provide new equipment to fire fighters in Manila.

23rd Yakult 10 Miler
CCP Complex, Pasay City
April 1, 2012

3Km, 5Km, 16Km

Registration Fee: Php450
(inclusive of a starter’s singlet & finisher’s t-shirt)

Registration Centers:
Mizuno Stores (Trinoma, SM Megamall, Festival Mall, Bonifacio High Street)

Race Route: Starting and ending at the Vicente Sotto St. inside CCP, the run will use the southbound side of Roxas Blvd. from P. Burgos in the City of Manila to MIA road in Paranaque City passing Pasay City.

February 10, 2012

Coffee And Marathons: The Condura Skyway (Midnight) Marathon 2012

It's exactly two weeks past from the Subic International Marathon when I entered the starting line of the Condura Skyway Marathon. I haven't had ample recovery period from the previous race (well, this was no match to the bdm warriors who did the 100miler a week ago) but the excitement to once again run toll-free at the skyway excites me most. I ran the full distance during the run for the whale sharks in 2010, but intentionally skipped the 2011 race due to lack of training. Read my earlier posts here, here and 2011 pics here.

Shortly before 8:00pm I entered the skyway in Makati bound to Alabang and paid PhP 166.00 at the toll gate before exiting. I arrived early at the venue and had the opportunity to chat with running friends at the carpark in Filinvest Alabang. The evening was calm and so was I. As the night went deeper, participants slowly arrived in droves, hundreds, maybe thousands. Shortly before 11:00pm, the carpark was filled with runners and the excitement got higher when I saw these people prepared themselves for the race. After changing-up, preparations and a short warm-up jog with friends, we made our way to the corral. The corral were divided into sections for the different waves. The atmosphere was festive. I thought newbie runners comprises the majority of the full marathon participants.

Pre-race photo with friends.

After a short program, runners (by wave) were led to the starting line, located at the depressed portion of the skyway entrance, some 150 meters away from the corral. Here, each wave were again divided by two, with a start time interval of 4 minutes. I was at wave A-2. At 12:04, we were flagged-off.
The South Metro Manila Skyway is a modern six-lane elevated toll expressway built above the existing at-grade highway from Buendia in Makati City to Alabang in Muntinlupa City that spans 16.41 kilometers. It is an integrated toll road network that is easily one of the country’s most significant infrastructure projects to date, aimed at helping decongest Metro Manila’s major road system and increase the area’s economic opportunities.
Known as the Skyway System, SMMSP effectively doubles the road capacity to accommodate 300,000 vehicles daily, easing the flow of traffic between the country’s major urban centers and the industrial heartland. Designed in accordance with various national and international construction standards, it can withstand strong earthquakes, seismic threats common in the Philippines, which lies in the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Who wouldn't love to run at the skyway?

The sprawling 6-lane width of the skyway can accommodate thousand of runners at the same time. The creation of waves at the start was just to segregate runners since the uphill entry to the skyway was just a two-lane road. At the onset, I ran side-by-side with runners in wave A-2 until I closed-in with those from wave A-1. The Condura Skyway Marathon was the most celebrated, most attended local running event of the year. About 13,000 runners registered for the race with 1,700 participants going the full 42km distance and running among these many was electrifying. Mile after mile I closed my first 10km in 54m13s.

The rolling grade of the skyway was difficult to negotiate, the only consolation were the greetings from friends that I had chanced upon. The challenge from the faster runners was also instrumental to my desire to finish in a respectable time. I kept on going up and down until I crossed the 20km mark in 01h44m19s. My second 10km was slightly faster than the first, (siguro nag-init na). Bananas were available at the second turn around point and hydration stations were strategically located at every 1.5km or so. There were gels too somewhere near the 32nd kilometer.

As I reached the 3rd turn around point, the lead runners were on their way back to the finish line. Ahhh, the joy of running fast. I wish I had their skills. Motivated and challenged, I continued on my game and headed-on to the 4th and last turn around point somewhere in Makati. At this section I already finished one rosary and was on my second. I kept on going and was running for 02h34m25s when I reached the 30km mark. I was just on time.

After km30, came the long and vast stretch of the skyway, the killer stretch in running jargon. Dito 'yung lugar na hiwa-hiwalay na ang lahat. This stretch separates the men from the boys. There were just a few runners in sight, maybe 500m ahead. At one time they are visible, the next moment they'll disappear from the declines. Concentrating on a lone runner ahead of me, I continued to run. At this point in time I'm talking to God. In all of my full marathon races I always recited the rosary. The runner ahead was just an inch tall from my point of view, but I kept on going. Maliwanag naman sa skyway, napakaraming street light. Sa Subic nga na napakadilim, nagawa kong takbuhin, dito pa kaya.

To keep my sanity, I just directed my sight to the roller coaster-like, weaving pattern of the skyway lights. Sometimes I took a glance of what's happening below, the bars, the vehicles, and the dim lights of residential houses. Ang sarap siguro ng tulog ng mga tao rito? At this unholy hour, I felt sleepy and craved for coffee, I just kept on moving to stay awake. I even cast jokes to every hydration station personnel if they serve coffee too. With coffee in mind, I caught on a few runners more ahead of me and crossed the 4okm mark in 03h36m40s. This lap was the slowest for me.

With just a few miles separating me and the finish line, I relied on my reserves and ran faster in the last 3km, I was averaging somewhere in 6 meters per kilometer. There were a couple of runners who ran with me but eventually slowed down before the toll gate. The cheers and good wishes from the 21km runners that were just released added inspiration. Napakarami rin nung 21km participants na nasalubong ko, some friends who recognized me shouted my name and cheered on me. May narinig pa ako na "good luck, ang lakas mo, halimaw!"

I ran the exit lane of the skyway in an increased pace and reached the at-grade level to the performing drum and lire corps who were welcoming the would be finishers. But after the left turn towards the finish line, another gradual climb was still ahead, hindi pa tapos. I slowed down and took it easy until I reached the finish line, the icing on the cake, as my good friend Jon always say. I ran the last 2km in 13m06s and finished strong.

After a short recovery and chat with fellow finishers, I changed to my street wear and head back to the venue, texted Xty saying I'm done, it's past 4:00am. I hanged-up near the finish line, congratulated arriving friends and waited for some to finish. At 6:30am I was home eating breakfast with my family, which was very unlikely. Odd because I usually don't eat that early from my past marathons. But, it was a midnight marathon event, eh!

That was again another spectacular event from the Condura Marathon organizers. Congratulations Ton and Patrick Concepcion for making it happen. And to the thousand of runners.

Three marathons in three months time, done. I think I can have a cup of coffee now. Ciao!

Still hoping for a self photo running at the skyway.

February 5, 2012

Run United 1 2012

Registration Details:

Start of Online Registration
- www.runrio.com
–January 30 to February 19, 2012

•In Store Registration Partners
–January 30 to February 26, 2012
–Riovana Store BGC
–Riovana Store Katipunan
–The Athletes Foot
–Unilab Special Registration until February 17, 2012

•Discount Scheme
–10% discount for series registration

Shuttle Service:

•RunRio/Unilab Active Health will be providing a Shuttle Service for 21km participants. The service will have the SM Mall of Asia as its pick-up point and will bring the 21km runners to the 21km starting line at the BGC.

•Why SM Mall of Asia as pick-up point? The race owners and organizers considers those 21km runners who may have other members of the family who will be running a shorter distance so SM Mall of Asia is a more feasible originating point. Besides, there are more available parking areas there than in BGC.

•More details and mechanics for the Shuttle Service will be posted once available.

Baggage Area/ Service:

•Baggage Services will be available at the BGC race area in the form of Roving Baggage Service Vans which will be on standby prior to race start and will move to the SM Mall of Asia to bring these checked-in baggages to the designated Baggage Claim Areas.