Thursday, December 31, 2009
The Rizal Day 32k Run at Camp Aguinaldo Quezon City today 30Dec09, officially closes the running events for the year 2009. The run was a welcome challenge particularly to burn the excessive calorie intake since Christmas and with the coming of New Year celebration.
As much as I want to complete the whole 32k distance, I told Bald Runner (Gen. Jovinal Narcise) that I shall only be doing two loops considering I was coming from a wake at San Pablo City and will stand as a wedding sponsor at 11am of the same day.
This was my second experience to run inside Camp Aguinaldo the last being the Master’s 15K Run also organized by Bald Runner last 06Sep09. And the experience then was great that you could only expect the same or even a greater event for the Rizal Day 32k Run.
I arrive at the GHQ grandstand at around 5:00am and surprising all the parking spaces situated left of the grandstand were all taken. I flowed with the traffic and joined others to park on the grass area inside the parade grounds. After finding my way to the assembly area, It was the opportune time for greetings and hellos to your running acquaintances. As I have blogged before, the best part in joining a running event is the ”hellos” before the race and the “how was your run” after the race.
Shortly after, BR was at the microphone announcing those that parked their cars at the grass to transfer their cars to the right of the grandstand were more ample parking spaces are available. I went to transfer my car as required, however, there were still owners who either have not heard the request or just did not bother to move. Strangely, five cars were park closing the exit gate of the parade ground leading to Capinpin Avenue that blocked the direct route of the race. BR after sometime announced that he will start the race even if the cars are there and the owners shall take the risk for themselves. The count of 30 was started to give warning to all that the race is about to start. Reaching the countdown at 9 BR played around to prolong the count then did the same reaching the countdown at 3. However, after a couple of words proceeded to 0 and then the gun start. About two cars were still blocking the exit at that time and the owners probable felt so silly to find out later that they really did blocked the race route. This could also be the cause for the shorter distance for each loop which I will deal on the matter later.
As the race started and just a couple of meters at Capinpin Avenue leading to EDSA you begin to realize that the street was in total darkness and that there were no lights on the posts inside the camp. It was kind of trilling and you need to be careful of your steps. The risks of tripping down as you run become greater as you enter Crame Avenue due to humps on the road. Correctively, runners ahead of you started to shout “humps” when they reach one to caution the runners at the back. What as great show of concern shown by the runners. Then at the corner of Gozart and Gen.Lim streets with no visible runners in front and immediately at my back, my foot hit a protruding manhole cover causing me to fall to my fours. Feeling more embarrassed than hurt, I stood up and proceed in my run. Only after I was on my run again did I notice I wounded myself on my right palm. It was part of the game and my only consolation was there were no witnesses to my dive/fall.
Daylight was already setting in when I reached Gen. Enrile Avenue. After turning left to Capinpin Avenue from Segundo Avenue I was expecting that runners will be turning right at De Jesus Avenue then enter the parade ground passing the start/finish arc infront of the grandstand to complete a single lap, but, we were instead allowed to proceed onward to Capinpin Avenue marking the end of the loop only at the exit at the parade ground. This was not the same route and distance we took last Masters Run nor was it the same as given on the route provided for the Rizal Day Run. My concern is that the loop has been shortened by at least an estimate of 400 to 500 meters. This will amount to sizeable distance in four loops.
As I was doing only two loops, I completed my run with a distance of 13.86k in 01h44m29s and burned 1001Kcal.
I proceeded to the grandstand area and was greeted by Bald Runner and I astonished to see that a lechon was ready for chopping for the runners. Again, this event is void of any commercialism and relied more on donations from friends and patrons. There were even fruits, snack items and fruit cocktail provided on certain water station. More so, I saw that finisher shirts and medals were being readied for participants as they cross the finish line.
Congratulations to BR for a great race specifically dedicated to runners of all categories.
It was a fitting race to end a good racing year! Happy New Year to all!!!!!
Monday, December 28, 2009
In line with my goal to visit various running route in Metro Manila, my destination for December 28, 2009 was the Quezon City Elliptical Road.
The Quezon City Elliptical Road also known as R-7 is a 2 kilometer road which encircles the grounds of Quezon Memorial Circle which houses a monument and a park as bounded by the elliptical road. The Quezon Memorial Monument was started in the late 1950s and was only completed in 1978. The monument is structured of three vertical pylons, representing the three main islands groups in the Philippines, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. It is 66 meters (217ft) tall which was the age of Quezon when he died.
Staying in Mandaluyong City it was a good 20 minute early morning drive to the place. Not knowing where to find a safe parking area, I needed to turn one loop at the elliptical road before deciding to park my car at the Quezon City Hall parking area for security purposes. Later on as I was taking my run, I found out that there are a pay parking areas inside the circle itself with entrances at the East Avenue Road and Commonwealth Avenue sections of the circle. However, parking areas only opens at 5:00am.
I started my run at 5:07am, it was still dark then, however, the jogging pathway at the elliptical road was well light by vehicles using the road. Although the elliptical road is 2.0km in distance for a single loop at the inner most lane, it only registered 1.85 km at the jogging pathway. Having determined the distance of the loop, I decided to make six loops for the workout.
Should you be within the Quezon City area then this alternative running route is great for you. The distance is just right and for an 11km run, it will only require you six loops. The early morning air is quite fresh and is not affected by the vehicles along the elliptical road. In fact, the flow of vehicles makes the run easier as your mind gets entertained by the flow of traffic. Security wise it is a little concern as there were a lot of homeless people sleeping inside the park area, but, in as much that the jogging path is at the elliptical road itself, calculative risk is on the positive side as the pathway is exposed to vehicular flow making it a security advantage.
Before I forget, today was my first experience to use the Belmonte Underpass which connects the Quezon Memorial Circle Grounds to that of the Quezon City Hall area. The underpass is quite new and is well lit with guards on both ends for security purpose of users.
As a recap, my Quezon Memorial Elliptical Road Run covered a total distance of 11.02km in 01h18m42s burning Kcal of 763.
It was another running adventure completed this holiday season. I am now thinking which will be my next run.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Whenever I have to treat a foreign guest, I usually take them to Tagaytay Highlands and an onward visit at the Taal Volcano. On 26Dec09, my family have to host our friends from New York and given the opportunity for a different running venue, I decided to run the Taal volcano trail route from "Tabla Boat Station" all the way to "Taal Volcano viewing deck".
The distance will be less that 2.5km one way, but, will require a rapid ascent of 771 feet for the distance. The trail route is powdery dust and constantly used by horses being used to haul tourist from the boat station to the viewing deck. The horse ride cost P500.00 plus tip to the horse handler.
My party arrived at the Flamengo Resort at Talisay at around 10:30am. After dressing up for running with hydration belt secured, we immediately took the 20 minute boat ride to Tabla boat station at Taal Island/volcano. Upon reaching the island, I just turnover my guests to the resort guide to provide them with their horse transport to the viewing and I was on my way to my Taal Volcano Trail Run.
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Dressed in running gears and with trail shoes fitted, I started my run at 11:18am as expected, the ascent was not only back breaking, but, very dusty and most of the time you have to compete with the horses for the right of way as the trail on certain areas can only accommodate single passer either those ascending or those descending. Further, although running is faster than the horses speed, it is difficult to force your way and bump the horses aside they being robust and stronger than you are. Although it was almost midday the temperature was not that bad as it was somewhere on the 30 degree C.
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00h24m27s after I accomplished the 771 feet climb with a distance of 2.22km. I arrived the viewing deck way ahead of my guests so I had to wait for them before taking our photo opportunity at the viewing deck. Having satisfied with the needed rest, I again begged my guests to start ahead in the descent and will meet them at the boat station later.
(Click on image for enlarge view)
The descent although does not require much strength was more dangerous that the climb as the trail is slippery and you need to be precise where to land your foot. It does also require you to apply constant foot brakes with the trail horses on the opposite side. The descent took me only 00h18m04s for a distance of 2.16km. Overall the run covered 4.38km in 00h42m31s for an elevation rise/fall of 771 feet and burning 442 kCal in the process.
(Click on image fr enlarge view)
The run is short in distance but the elevation, route and scenery more than compensates for the trill and excitement the run generates. I strongly recommend this experience run for those who will one day find themselves visiting the volcano. Do not take the horse ride, instead run the distance and save yourselves the P500.00 cost.
Friday, December 25, 2009
When PSC Ultra Sports Complex announced that they will be closing the oval track from 23rd December to 03rd January for the holiday season, I have no other option but look for an alternative running venue. Fort Bonifacio was an easy choice being readily accessible from my place, so I did my run on the said venue last 23Dec. It was then that an idea crossed my mind to instead be innovative and try other venue within the city during the holiday season to break the monotony of running always on the same venue and at the same time updating myself of recent developments within the city.
Today 25Dec09, Christmas Day, I selected a run along Roxas Boulevard in Manila. I arrived at the Quirino Grandstand area at about 5am and parked just on the northside of the grandstand.
By 5:09am I was on my way passing through Manila Hotel then onward southbound at Roxas Boulevard. It was still quite dark, but, there were already so many people at the Luneta Park area whom I presume spent their Christmas Eve there. My intended run was 10k so I told myself that I will just keep going south until my Garmin 310xt signals that I have reached 5km and then back track to complete the 10k run.
The lighted seaside pathway of Roxas Boulevard from the US Embassy to the Cultural Center of the Philippines was an improvement from the past. The area is now free from eating and drinking stalls that use to cluster the boardwalk along the seaside. However, a disappointment is that the area although free from fixed structures have now mobile hawkers flying their trade. Also the place requires a little sanitation as there are patches of areas that stink of urine. Further, a little street sweeping is needed which I hope the litters that I have seen are because only of the previous night’s Christmas eve celebration and is not a normal early morning sight.
Reaching Roxas Boulevard just after the junction of Sen. Gil Puyat, the place was dark and I had my apprehension in proceeding, but did so as I was less than a kilometer in reaching the 5km turn-around. It was here that a good number of street homeless people have bunked themselves along the curb side for the nightly sleep. It is a bitter reality in metro living and the sight of them will move your heart. You then after realize that God has been good to you and you feel thankful that what we might disregard as usual are the very basic needs of these people.
On my way back it was daybreak when I reached the Manila Yacht Club. A few hundred meters further northwards, I cannot help but feel a little nostalgic seeing the Aristocrat Restaurant on the opposite side of road. It was here that I had my wedding reception in August 19, 1973. The outer structure has not change and looks the same. Back then it cost us only P23.00/head for a full breakfast reception. Such an amount cannot even buy you a cup of coffee these days. How time flies!
Reaching the US Embassy on my way back I could not help but notice that the place was desolated. Normally on any usual day the area is full of US Visa applicants waiting for their turn as early as 4am.
Nearing the Rizal monument I decide to cross over the road to have a close up view of the monument as we shall be celebrating Rizal day in a few days or specifically on 30th December. It was here thatI had my picture taken by the security guard as a souvenir shot of the run.
Then it was long to reach my starting point registering a run of 10.01 kilometers in 01h08m51s. I am glad I did this route on a Christmas Day, it has updated me a lot of the place which has not been a regular fixture for me for the past many years.
The following pictures will describe better the route that I have taken. Just click on the image to enlarge the view.
Where will my next run be?
Sunday, December 20, 2009
With 5 days before Christmas and with Christmas parties almost daily, at certain times 2 parties in a day, it is quite difficult to maintain a good diet and restrict your alcohol intake. You then begin to take a justifying stance, “anyway its Christmas time”. However, the good nature side of you start feeling the guilt of falling into old habit and gaining weight in the process.
As an antidote, the Philstar.com Celebrity Christmas Run today 20Dec09 was a needed activity during this holiday season. The event offered a wide variety of categories from 3k/5k/10k/21k. I entered myself only for the 10k event.
When I arrived the venue at the Bonifacio High Street, a good number of participants were already doing their warm ups and exchanging pleasantries to their friends and acquaintances. The event was dubbed as “Celebrity Run” so I was trying my best to look for known celebrities but could not find any. They were just probably so outnumbered by the runners.
The 21k event was supposed to be fired off at 5:30m but the actual start was done at 5:40am. I took note that there were a good number of runners for the 21k. Surprisingly, I noticed a sizeable number of female participants. After the 21k participants were on their way, 10k entered the starting pen and the number double as expected. Bald Runner later on told me that the 5K was of even greater number than the 10k.
(Click on image for enlarge viewing)
For us 10k runners, we were started at 5:50am. The route was the usual 10k route using the dreaded McKinley Hills. From the start up to the 8th kilometer the distance markings from my Garmin 310xt was registering the same as that of the visual markers provided, however, much to my surprise something went short from the 8th to the 10th kilometer so much so that my measurement was only 9.80 kilometer. I do not know if others have the same observation as that of mine. I crossed the finish line at 01h01m47s.
Other than the delayed start of the event, I find that event was on the acceptable level in its delivery. There were ample water stations for the 10k, however, I would not be able to provide feedback for the 21k and other distances. Also just a little advise to Ian Alacar, maybe next time try not o give direction instructions when the runners are already at the starting pen and awaiting the gun start, particularly if the start is already delayed as the runners tend to be restless . It is just like you do not keep race horses locked up in the starting gate more than necessary before the a gun start, otherwise, it create a mood of restlessness. But, overall the race was handled properly.
After I crossed the finish line, I noticed that runners were still congregating amongst their circle of friends each with their own story to tell for the distance they have run. For me this is what the fun of running is all about, they joy of sharing your personal experience of the race. It is you against yourself. And I think the “celebrity” in this run was each and every runner.
I take this opportunity to extend my warmest greetings this holiday season. A Merry Christmas to all!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
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In my usual weekend long slow runs that take me to Bayani Road at the Fort, a very interesting scene that has gotten my attention is that of at the Heritage Park in Taguig.
The residents of Taguig City just south of C5 road have practically no open spaces to do their running, jogging, walking or even just relax on a park like atmosphere due to congestion in the neighbourhood. However, with the ingenuity of the Filipino people and the kind hearted attitude of the management of The Heritage Park, an improvised oval is now being used by the general public at The Heritage Park along Bayani Road.
The Oval is roughly about 400 meters (same as any official sized oval) that encircles the East and West entry gates of Heritage Park that is crossed in the middle by Bayani Road. To be able to take a complete turn you need to cross Bayani Road twice! Surprisingly, even with the difficulty and hazard the oval imposes, the place has been very popular to local residents. The crowd can run to hundreds at times. Young and old people alike are happy doing their own individual version of a morning exercise. There are families with infants to savour the early morning sunshine. On the side of the improvised oval, you will see vendors selling the famous “taho” , water/sodas, or any other street food. The atmosphere is a park like festive mood with people running on a counter clockwise direction in unison.
My heart is filled with joy wherever I pass this area. You could feel the raw and unadulterated meaning of a morning exercise may it be running, walking, or just plain family bonding. The great about all of these, it does not cost a single peso. You need not worry if your attire is the latest or in fad. You need only to come as you are and what you have.
I wish to congratulate the Management of Heritage Park for allowing such a convergence of people in the morning and late afternoon in their premises. You are doing a great thing for the local residents of Taguig. Your business might be catering for dead, but, certainly you have shown concern and care for the living and not necessarily those that are your clients, but, the public in general.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
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It’s a DOUBLE GOLD for JHO-AN BANAYAG and EDUARDO BUENAVISTA at the 25th SEA GAMES in the female and Male Marathon events. With Jho-an Banayag registering a time of 02h 46m 34s and Eduardo Buenavista registering at 02h21m10s. The finals event was held on December 15, 2009 at 06:15am at Main Stadium, National Sports Complex at Vientiane Laos. With these medal finishes, running which has been experiencing resurgence and popularity this year, will definitely inspire more to take up the sport. We still have more young and able men and ladies out there who have been hitting the roads on weekend races that show great potential for serious development. Next step is idenifying these assets and providing support and training to built up our pool of runners. To EDUARDO BUENAVISTA and JHO-AN BANAYAG you both have made us proud of your accomplishment. MABUHAY KAYO!
Coming in 6th in the female marathon event was also a Filipina CHRISTABEL MARTES with a time of 03h00m31s this will just highlight that we have great talents in running.
On another event in athletics which is for the Male 20km Race Walk event our entry and my dear friend MICHAEL EMBUEDO was only able to land the 4th place with a time of 01h 41m 54s. Michael might have missed a podium finish this time, but, given the trials and obstacle that he went through just to be included in the National Team was already a feat in itself. Congratulations as well to you Mike.
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I pray that sports authorities give more support and exposure to MARATHON EVENTS AND RACE WALKING eventS that we as Filipinos can definitely excel given the right backing.
Those who are interested on what and how is race walking executed, please click on my side widget of ICABOD and a video on Race Walking can be seen.
Friday, December 11, 2009
My age and physical restrictions in running has not prevented me from joining marathons, however, I need to be selective on marathons that are “people friendly” rather than those of serious competitive marathons as in the case of Boston Marathon or its likes.
The two marathons that I have joined in 2009, the Los Angeles Marathon and Singapore Marathon are what are commonly known as “people friendly”. The marathon is more geared and set on the individual goal and capability of the runner to test and help them achieve their own purpose in running a marathon and having fun in the process.
For 2010, I have set a personal goal of joining another two marathons for the year. How I wish I could do more, but, physical restriction limits me to a maximum of two per year, that is of course excluding the local road races in Manila with distances of 10k/15k/21k.
First on my list is the 13th SAN DIEGO ROCK and ROLL MARATHON scheduled for June 6th 2010.
The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon is an annual marathon held in San Diego, California, USA. It was established in 1998 and has been run every year since. It is the original race in the Rock 'n' Roll series of marathons and half-marathons managed by Competitor Group and held around the United States of America.
The marathon commences at 6th Avenue at Palm and concludes at Parade Deck in Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Runners have seven hours in which to complete the marathon. Since its inception, the marathon claims to have raised in excess of $100 million for charities. The 2006 marathon had 21,159 participants—17,339 of whom successfully finished the race.
As of 2009, the other races in the Rock 'n' Roll series are:
• Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon - held in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe
• Rock 'n' Roll Mardi Gras - held in New Orleans
• Rock 'n' Roll Dallas Half Marathon
• Country Music Marathon - held in Nashville
• Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon
• Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon
• Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon
• Rock 'n' Roll San Jose Half Marathon
• Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Marathon
• Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon & 1/2 Marathon
Below is a film clip of the 12th San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon held last June 2009.
2nd on my list is a repeat of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon which will be held sometime on the first week of December 2010. The event is very friendly and considering its proximity from Manila is a must attend.
Christmas holidays is coming, but, as they say when you enjoy running it is an everyday affair to hit he road.
Monday, December 7, 2009
The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) which has capped its participation at 50,000 runners for logistical reasons, is now one of the biggest marathons in the world. The organizers are very ambitious and there is a possibility to expand the event to make it a people’s marathon.
The other famous marathons around the world feature far lower numbers. The Boston Marathon, which is the only marathon apart from the Olympics that requires a qualification time, averages 20,000 participants. This year, 90,000 applied to run the New York Marathon. The number of entrants was capped at 30,000. In Asia, 27,075 signed up for the Beijing Marathon. The Tokyo Marathon scheduled for February 2010 is expected to attract 30,000 participants.
Singapore Marathon started in 2002, when only 6000 took part then. What distinguished SCSM from the other marathons is that it has focused on the average runner, there were young people, older ones and even people running the race pushing prams with their own individual reasons and purpose competing primarily against themselves, raw pleasure of running.
Kenyan Luke Kibet won this years’ SCSM with a time of 02hr 11min 25sec and received US$35,000 (P1.6m) and Albina Mayorova of Russia clocked 02hr 32m 49sec who as well received US$35,000 as cash prize.
For my personal experience, the SCSM was enriching and a wishful dream that someday such an event would be a possibility in the Philippines. I have been to marathons abroad, but, by far SCSM is the most organized on all aspects of the race logistically, technically and on crowd control management.
At 5:00am entry to the holding pen for participants of the full marathon was opened. It was a sight to behold, elite runners were on the forward section, the sub-4/5 on the middle and those over 5 were at the 3rd sector of the pen. For the full marathon, there were 17,500 starters and just imagine the long sea of runners waiting to be started. One minute before the start there was total silence as required by the organizers so that when the starting horn is sounded it can be heard by all. Then at 5:30 the starting horn was sounded and again festive sound played. From where I was positioned at the start it took me more than 5 minutes to finally cross the starting line. You could just imagine the long line.
42.195 km is a distance to respect and lots of things could happen along the way. I would like better share to you the event in pictures hereunder which would do actual justice to the scenes and happenings during the event.
It took me 06hrs 15m 30sec (chip time) 06h 20m 21sec (clock time) it was way over my LA Marathon finishing time of 06h 00m 15sec. Just to accept the fact that as time passes by at my age, you just get slower. Slower does not necessary translate failure, but, something to be thankful to God that he has still up to now blessed me with good health to enjoy running in its raw form. I pray for more years of injury free running.
The SCSM was as great event to close my personal 2009 running adventures.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon is one of Asia’s top marathons and a highlight of Singapore’s sporting calendar. A new record was set this year with 50,000 runners registered in under six weeks. Along the route, there will be over 100,000 enthusiastic supporters and volunteers to add colour and vibrancy to the event, truly one for the whole community and country of Singapore.
Just imagine, how do you distribute race packets to 50,000 participants? In the Philippines we even have problem leading to chaos to just distribute 3000 race packets to participants, what more if the number is 50,000!
SCSM had convenience and order in their vision so much so that they have allocated three days for the distribution of race packets and holding the same at a massive venue which is at Singapore Expo. At the same time as the distribution dates (03-05 December) a wide array of runners apparels, shoes, gears and what have you concerning running were provided as a runners fair.
I am sharing hereunder pictures taken at the Singapore Expo when I collected my last 05Dec09 at about 2pm.
Race will be tomorrow 06Dec09 with gun start at 5:30am. I am trying to control my excitement and hopefully I do get a good nights’ rest. Meantime, it is time for some exercise, not running, but, shopping. Till my next blog on the actual race see you!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
For those who will be participating in the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2009 scheduled for December 6, 2009, sharing to you the following information. See you at the starting line!
4 more days to SCSM 2009. Let's Move It!
Follow the rhythm and be part of the action! Check out the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon moves at http://youtube.com/watch?v=kkHEvC91h84. Dance to the beat and groove along with us on 6 December 2009!
Race Entry Pack Collection
Reminder to all runners to collect your Race Entry Packs!
Date : 3, 4 and 5 December 2009
Time : 10 am to 8 pm (3 – 4 December 2009)
10 am to 6 pm (5 December 2009)
Venue : Hall 5, Singapore Expo Convention and Exhibition Centre
For runners who have balloted successfully but did not managed to pick up last weekend, please collect from Hall 5 too.
Click here for more details.
Catch SCSM’s First LIVE Telecast on SuperSports
For the first time in the history of the SCSM, the event will be broadcast live on StarHub’s SuperSports (Channel 22) on Sunday, 6 December 2009. Catch the inaugural live broadcast from home at 5.15 am to 8.30 am, and a repeat telecast on the same day from 7:30 pm onwards.
All You Need to Know
Runners’ alert! Important information which you should note in preparation for the big day:
Display your bib number clearly on the front of your T-shirt at all times during the race. Remember to enter your personal details on the reverse side of the bib (e.g. name, emergency contact number, blood type) with a permanent marker or ballpoint pen.
Disposable ChampionChip will be used at this year’s race. You can keep it as a memento after the race as there is no need to return them. Click here to find out how attach it to your shoe correctly.
Write a word of encouragement for your fellow runners or get your loved ones to pen their encouragement message for you! Display it proudly at the back of your running top or even your shorts!
Click here to read on other essential information.