Sunday, April 26, 2009

"Macau-Taipa Bridge" - The Second Time Around

Sunday – April 26, 2009 waking up at 5:00am I immediately look at my hotel window if rain has stopped. I noticed that the road was still visibly wet but no sign of rain shower. Thank you Lord. I hurried to prepare myself for the replay run at the “Macau-Taipa Bridge” all excited as in the previous day.

At 5:300am I stepped out of the hotel lobby shocked that the previous day temperature of 22C with rain at that has now dropped 4 degrees C and is now at 18C not really that cold but the wind was strong so it has a biting after effect. Well you cannot have all your wishes granted, some you get, some you don’t at least the rain is gone.

5:34am I started my run fully confident on which road to take having gotten the experience the previous day. As I started today’s run which much later than the precious day, it was already daylight when I reached the “Macau-Taipa” Bridge. It was either it was not raining or that it was a Sunday but today there were a handful of runners that I have came across during the bridge run unlike the previous day where it was then a lonesome run.

After reaching Macau Island, I tried to cover a run on the different casinos in the area, Wynn’s, Grand Lisboa, Galaxy, MGM and a couple more of casinos which I forgot their names.

I also went to a statue which has a striking resemblance to the Virgin Mary but in reality is that of the Chinese goddess A-Ma who they say has powers for those having fertility problem.

I then backed track to MGM Casino for the necessary photos.

Then it was time to make the return trip to Taipa Island and again experiencing the tranquillity and solace of running with a perfect scenic beauty of the bridge and the sea enhanced by the clean fresh air possible. Without knowing it was already approaching the end of my run at the Best Western’s Taipa Hotel.

Today’s run was a 10.60km distance, speed of 7.73km/hr and a pace of 7.77min/hr burning 700Kcal in the process.

Good bye “Macau-Taipa” Bridge you have enriched my running experience.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Macau-Taipa Bridge Run

Friday April 24, 2009 I and my staff departed Manila for Macau for our yearly company retreat. Even before leaving Manila I already have told myself that I shall squeeze in during the occasion my personal run/race walk. Given the two occasions for the year 2009 to have done the bridges run in Cebu-Mactan, it was a great opportunity and a must to do a bridge run between Taipa Island and Macau Island.

Macau and Taipa Islands are interconnected by three (3) bridges namely, “Sai Van Bridge” on the west, the “Macau-Taipa Bridge” on the center and the “Friendship Bridge” on the east. As per information provided by Best Western Taipa Hotel where I was staying, only the “Macau-Taipa” Bridge is allowed to be used for pedestrian crossing. It is also the oldest bridge of the three.

Armed only with very limited knowledge of the actual route to do for the run, on Saturday April 25, 2009 at 4:21am with light rain and air temperature at 22C and all pumped up I departed the Taipa Hotel trying to find my way to the maize of street in Taipa Island to lead me to the middle bridge – “Macau-Taipa Bridge”.

Just in time that I was entering the bridge, heavy rain started to fall. At this time, my mind was all set and nothing can stop me regardless of what. The only thing in my mind was to make sure to complete the bridge run. Even with the rain, I cannot but congratulate myself for doing the run as this is the cleanest air that I have experience with no pollution, with sea breeze, the just about the right air temperature.

Having reached Macau Island I went further passed the bridge to be able to take picture of Wynn Casino and the Lisboa Casino. Even at 5:30am the light display in the area was fantastic. Having completed my photo session, I headed back to the bridge to return to Taipa Island telling myself that I have done what I intended to do. However, just before completing my return run of the bridge my Garmin Forerunner 405 was only indicating a distance cover of a little over 8km which was below my usual daily run. Right there and then I crossed the opposite lane and reverted direction back to Macau Island for another crossing to satisfy my graving.

I have actually done four crossing and completed a distance of 14.30km for a time of 01h59m08s for a speed 7.20km/hr and a pace of 8.33min/km on heavy down pour of rain. To any of you guys who shall in the future be in Macau for whatever purpose, I highly recommend to you to do this run. It is all fresh air and great view of the bridges and the sea.

I still plan to redo the run tomorrow Sunday before going back to Manila. Hopefully, the rain will not be there.

Macau-Taipa Bridge great experience.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cebu Bridges Run - Second Time for 2009

Last Sunday 19Apr09, after completing the Greenfield City Run at Sta Rosa I have to rush back to Manila as I have to go to Cebu and catch my flight at 5:00pm. Feeling guilty that I have sacrificed my usual Sunday family day, I took the family for a quick lunch out at the Podium. Thenafter, I went straight to the airport for the flight to Cebu.

As usual PAL lived up again to its name of “Plane Always Late” as the scheduled flight for 5:00pm departed instead at 7:30pm. I am still lucky though as we have barely departed Manila when a light medical plane blew its tires while take-off causing the runway to be closed by airport authorities till the following day. Because of the delay, I was able to complete by blog on the Greenfield City Run and had it posted before 6pm. Nice way to make yourself busy, blogging.

As with my previous trip to Cebu last February, I already had it in my mind to squeeze in between business commitments a run within the City which I intend to do on Tuesday April 21, 2009 to allow me at least a day of recovery after the gruelling 21K of Greenfield City Run.

On April 21, 2009 at 0428 hrs with my hydration camelback and utility belt in place, I left my hotel at Cebu Midtown Hotel located at Fuente Osmena Oval. I started the run with no definite plan and just head for Ayala Center and do a couple of laps within the area and back again in the hotel. However, upon reaching Ayala Center my inner self was pushing to instead redo the Cebua-Mactan and the Fernan Bridges which I did sometime in February. As they say, runners talk to themselves a lot during their course of running and my inner self this time did prevailed making me to decide and proceed to the bridges.

In my initial run last February, I arrived at the Cebu-Mactan Bridge still in total darkness which was a downer then so I had to adjust my speed to ensure that I will have sufficient daylight for snap shots for blogging purposes. Upon reaching the Reclamation Road daybreak was at hand;

Reaching Cebu International Convention Center a good number of joggers were already in the make do circuit encircling the convention center.

As intended, I arrived Cebu-Mactan bridge with sufficient daylight. I mustered all my courage to stand at the middle of the road with a good volume of traffic to and from the bridge to take the best possible blog photo of the bridge (people watching were probably wondering what this crazy guy was doing).

Then upon reaching the middle of the bridge I took the opportunity to take a picture of the Fernan bridge which was my next destination. Then I crossed to the right side of the bridge to be able to take a daybreak picture of the City of Cebu from the Cebu-Mactan Bridge.

At the Mactan side of the run people were already all over the street and the public transport vehicles were already giving me a hard time to squeeze in my run. To allow passers-by I stopped and instead took picture of the Gaizano Department Store, no special meaning, but just to avoid the traffic in the locality.

At the foot of the Fernan Bridge it was of course a must to pass-by and pay homage to the statue of Justice Fernan;

Again as what I did in earlier bridge, I positioned myself at the center of the Fernan Bridge to take a good picture of the same;

Upon reaching just before halfway of the span, I noticed that the Mactan side of the lower bridge was being used by joggers in great number as a place to do their running (later I was told that this was indeed a popular assembly place for runners. I told myself that I should pass below next time I come back to Cebu to check-out the place) further, there were also swimmers within the area making an early morning

At the middle of the Fernan Bridge this time I made sure to take the picture of the old Cebu-Mactan Bridge in a distance;

Just before descending the Fernan Bridge, I made my last stop to take a panoramic view of the Mandaue City at the foreground and Cebu City at the background;

After completing the Fernan Bridge, I decided to just complete my run upon reaching the junction going back to Cebu-Mactan Bridge. I told myself this will already make a good route map when I do impose google map on my actual run. I did 15.59km at 02h04m05s on a racewalk mode for a speed of 7.54km/hr and a pace of 7.96min/km. Great run with no pressure this time being already my 2nd time to do the bridges route in Cebu.