Monday, November 2, 2009

My EDSA Educational Run

In the past, Jovie Narcise aka Bald Runner, Jonel Mendoza aka Bugobugo and members of “Team Hardcore” measured the distance of Epifanio De Los Santos (EDSA) avenue by running from one end to the other. How I wish then to be able to run the stretch of EDSA someday.

Of lately, I have already done EDSA from Katipunan Avenue in Makati to Santolan Road in Quezon City, however, a great length of the road is still unknown to me. So today 02Nov09, being a holiday I told myself that this will be a good opportunity as there will be less vehicular traffic because of the holiday. As I am doing the run alone, I decided to cover only from Monumento in Caloocan City to Paragon Plaza at Reliance Street in Mandaluyong. The distance will not be much and will be even lesser than my other daily runs but the trill and excitement is unknown to me and that it is a survival run with the volume of buses and cars in EDSA.

At 4:00am I took a taxi from Paragon Plaza at Reliance Street in Mandaluyong headed for Monumento in Caloocan City. The taxi driver was a “talker” from the time I boarded his taxi to the time I disembarked, it was like having a comprehensive orientation to the local politics and the forthcoming presidential election in 2010. The guy was really passionate of his politics giving me all his commentaries for each individual presidential candidate. Just before reaching Monumento, an unsolicited advice was given to me by the driver to use the southbound part of the road for safety reasons as according to him, more incidents of crime occurs on the northbound side of the road. Even if I have to run with the flow of traffic as against the fundamental of road running, which is to run against the flow of the traffic, I decided to follow the advice of the driver as he would know better the crime situations in the road.

By 4:25am we arrived at Monumento with the taxi meter showing P145.00 the driver wished me luck and off he went to pick up another passenger. Even this early in the morning Monumento is as busy as it is. I did a few minutes of stretching at the same time making sure that my Garmin 405 is set with satellite locked in. At 428am I was on my way.....

Monumento to Balintawak
Tried to start slowly to warm up my run. The first few meters I was on the sidewalk, but, decided later to use the curbside so that I could run smoothly along the road anyways cars and buses were using the other lanes. The stretch was poorly lighted with a good volume of garbage along the road.

Balintawak to Congressional
I was already getting the feel of how to run on the curbside. Approaching Balintawak I find there was no place for me to run even on the curbside as the two inner lane of the road is either being used by hawkers or vehicles are parked either loading or discharging their market goods. It was a sight to behold with so many people busy on their jobs at so early in the morning. 500 meters after Balintawak, I was again running n the curbside as I find a lonely, dark road ahead of me all the way to Congressional avenue.

Congressional to SM City North
The stretch has narrowed down to 2-3 lanes as construction of the MRT/LRT extension is in full swing. This was also the first time I did took notice that the infrastructure development is almost 70 percent complete that would connect MRT with LRT. This will surely be a welcome development for all commuters that would give a complete loop between EDSA and Rizal Avenue on both ends. I wonder then if authorities have any plan to limit the buses in EDSA as they are anyway running half empty even on busy hours.

SM City North to Quezon Boulevard
This sector of the road is quite isolated and lonely without much establishment thus lesser pedestrians are along the way. I have gained speed on this sector as there was a clear path ahead, further, the road was a slight descent that you could flow with the gravity.

Quezon Boulevard to GMA-7 Timog Avenue
This is the least pedestrian populated sector of the run and also the cleanest in terms of garbage/litter free maybe the absence of the pedestrians spells the absence also of the litters! I slowed down on the pace as the road was ascending all the way from Quezon Boulevard to Timog Avenue. It was at this sector of the run that sunlight was breaking in the sky and what a beautiful experience to see. A new day, a new beginning, a new opportunity in life. Thank you Lord for another day.

GMA-7 Timog Avenue to Cubao
From Timog to Kamias road I was running from curb side to pedestrian alley to even the inner lane as on this sector there are a lot of bus terminals and plenty of taxi parked picking/dropping passengers. I was like doing a “tinikling” dance in the road. The situation even gets worst as you approach New York street as the bus terminals even doubled in number. Just approaching Cubao area, you find a crowded street full of people busy of their task. This is life in Metro Manila. I just wonder what is in the minds as they go about. Some are smiling, some have heavy faces some have angry faces it is an education in itself top watch people.

Cubao to Boni Serrano
The road condition gets better as you leave the Cubao business area, however, with daytime already at hand there are already many people on the road. The descending run from TIP to Boni Serrano is a welcome sight as again pace can be increased.

Boni Serrano to Ortigas Avenue
This part of the road is already a know factor in my run as I have done this section many times and I was already feeling at home knowing already when to transfer from pedestrian side walk to curb side road. I decided to shift now from running mode to race walking mode to complete my training drills. Again where there is less pedestrian the same observation is noted that of the garbage/litter situation.

Ortigas Avenue to Shaw Boulevard
Another easy and familiar stretch of the run. It is only when approaching the Star Mall area near Shaw Boulevard that again you have to be adventurous in selecting your running patch and navigating yourself in the mob of people and buses. Buses are just waiting for passengers even on green light they are not moving.

Shaw Boulevard to Paragon Plaza Reliance Street
It is the home stretch run and as early as it was the MMDA traffic people were already doing their “killing” on cars using the bus lane area. Some of those that are waved stop but others just go their way ignoring the MMDA personnel. For the icing of the run, I have to cross the pedestrian overpass to bring me on the northbound side of EDSA.

The distance was 14.61km which took me 01h46m50s. A great way to spend a morning holiday. To complete my EDSA experience I still have to do the MOA to Kalayaan sector of EDSA. Maybe one of these days. The run did open my eyes on so many things that I could have not noticed if I was riding on a car. It was my EDSA Education Tour.


  1. wow! awesome experience! you are very brave to run along EDSA on the said time. my snappy salute to you! i can only imagine what transpired during your conversation with the taxi driver. he is right, the southbound is the safest way back yo your place. nice post & pictures

  2. Congratulations Sir for braving EDSA! Yes you do discover a lot by running a road by foot. You'd be shocked to know EDSA from the parts you missed (Makati area onwards are full of surprises).

  3. Dear BR - Thanks! Aral na ako sa iyo eh!

    Dear Dennis - Indeed the southern sector of EDSA is a must run and I do intend to do the MOA-Shaw Blvd next coming holiday or kung kailan sipagin.

    Dear Roelle - On C5 I have done already the Libis to Bayani Road stretch. I find EDSA more educational due to probably the number of people using the road.

  4. Nice one Sir AMado :) As a newbie who once didn't know any better, me and my friend ran from ortigas to west ave using Edsa. It was 10k, and at that time it seemed like a remarkable achievement haha :) Pollution killed us though!

  5. Dear Luis - Pollution is a given factor. I tried using a mask but it hinders my breathing so I have to take it out.