Monday, April 6, 2009

Ultra Oval - My Home Course

For the past one year now I have been using ULTRA OVAL as my regular training ground so much so that I found it right and fitting to feature the facilities provided by the sports complex.

For the sake of determining the actual time I have been spending at Ultra, allow me provide you with the following estimates. On a minimum, I go to Ultra 4 to 6 times a week. Allowing let’s say an average of 4.5 times a week that would mean 234 times for the past year. Allow 2 hours minimum for each visit that would mean 468 hours or 19.5 days that I have spent my time at the Ultra Oval. For this very reason, I think I can call the place “My Home Course”. After going through the mathematics of the time spent, I could now understand as to WHY my wife jokingly (I hope) refers to the place as my “mistress place”.

Ultra Oval is open to the public unless otherwise there is booked function (advance notice is posted) by a group or organization for the usage of the track and field oval or the football field. The track oval implements a closure period a day before Christmas until a day after New Year. Another period of closure is during the Holy Week from Maudy Thursday to Easter Sunday. The oval is open from 4:00 am to 10:00pm.

The complex charges a usage fee of P29.00 for the oval. However, the management has allowed FREE usage to all senior citizen and members of national athletics or sports federation affiliated with Philippine Sports Commission. Again for the sake of mathematical figures, having used the facility 234 times last year I would have contributed P6,786.

A funny (or not funny) related story about this was that about four months after being already a regular user of the oval, it was raining then and while awaiting the rain ease up, the guard make casual conversation to pass the time and after other topics have been talked about she told me that I should be proud being strong and fit and being able to do my daily routine. This was big boost to my ego. However, and I mean however, there was a rejoinder, she told me that I should not be paying for my entry/usage fee but instead just show her or get a senior citizen’s ID. At that moment, I felt that the rain just got falling harder. Reason, I am not yet 60 years old but only 58 year old. That’s the disadvantage of having very little hair remaining on your head! Anyways, I wanted to correct her, but, she was just having a nice conversation with me so I just told her that I do not have time to get my seniors ID and would be happy to continue to be a paying patron. I have not seen that guard after 2 months and swear to God that I got nothing to do if ever she is no longer employed! The truth I found out later is that she had a big round of shouting incident with her supervisor regarding parking issues. Moral of the story, not all bald man are senior citizen, if you don’t believe me ask BALD RUNNER (Gen. Jovie Narcise)!

Last January to the early part of February was the peak season of users of the track oval. It was also during this time that runners, joggers, walkers, UAAP athletes, others, have flocked to the oval so much so that even the tickets then run out that the management have to result to paper tickets with stamps. It was also during this time that certain discipline was needed to be imparted to the users as chaos in the track was being experience at times. Bald Runner (Jovie Narcise) took it to himself to initiate proper ethics in the usage of the oval and made three tarpaulin which he donated and posted on strategic places for the knowledge of all that the inner lane are for faster runners and that casual runners should take the outer lane. It was difficult at first, but, I am happy to say that those tarpaulins did help to disseminate the ethical usage of within the oval. However, today while taking pictures, I could only see one tarpaulin remaining, the other two are missing which were still there last week! Guys, please do place/return them.

The past year the management of Ultra completed the repair and road widening within the complex and the installation of street lights both of which definitely have cost a great amount. For these, I wish to extend my congratulation to the management. If I have a wish list for the management of Ultra the following will be in its order of importance;

1. Improvement on the toilets and shower rooms for both male and female.

2. Restriction of usage of “plastics” or other non biodegradable materials to be brought in and used at the complex itself.

3. Improve implementation of anti-littering within the oval.

4. Improve parking procedures and implementation within the complex.

Above list is a very SHORT LIST and other than item (1) will not cost much but more so on administrative procedure. Cleanliness will be the utmost importance in anyone’s HOME not that somebody is going to inspect or come, but that it’s the right thing to do.

Allow me now to take you to a series of photo tour of my home course, ULTRA OVAL....

Facing Southwest
Northside Uncovered Bleachers
View from Northeast
Facing West
Eastside Limited Parking
Entry Gate at Meralco Avenue
Newly renovated exit road (sad used as parking)
Main Entry to Oval (Limited Parking)
The Famous Wow Wow Wie "Death Gate"



  1. Looks like a good place to do your speed or interval training. Here in Markham, where I run, we make do with the neighboring school track ovals, with very uneven ground. Interesting blog.