Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Blogging - Sharing Knowledge, Experience And Even Mistakes

In the course of our lives there might be simple and even maybe very minute things that we have done that could touch the lives of others and in the process share experience, knowledge and even mistakes with the ultimate goal of being able to make use of these matters for the benefit of oneself.

Today I received an unexpected email from a certain JOHN FLETEMEYER of Germantown MD USA. I wish to share the following email;
Mr. Castro 

We happen to come by your blog on race walking. We found it very useful. My wife Mary Ann is from the Philippines. We adopted our daughter, Irene from there when she was 12. Although having never participated in athletic programs before, we put her in track. I am a track coach. She placed in the National AAU Jr Olympics in 3000m race walk her first season as a 13 yo. She also placed at 14 and 15. 
We plan to use all your suggested drills. She just entered HS and we plan to do some 1500m indoor events. I attached some pictures from the JO 2010 and 2009 seasons. 

Thanks for sharing your race walk knowledge 

The following are the pictures attached to the email.

I tried very hard to answer the email of JOHN, however, for whatever reason/s my attempted relies just bounces back and gets a fatal error. Another unexplained matter is that when I received the email it was incorrectly address (not my email) but I just found it in one of my email boxes as a message forwarded.

Anyways JOHN, I am making use of this blog post to reply and share your kind words with my readers and wish to take this opportunity as well to greet your wife, MARY ANN and all the best wishes to your daughter IRENE in her endeavors in RACE WALKING.

We all learn from one another. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The 34th Milo Marathon Finals - A Fitting Event To End A Season Of Running

The year 2010 has only but a few weeks more remaining. It is at this time of the year that I do as well end my running activities for the year and what better way to end the year than with the 34th Milo National Marathon Finals.

While there are now other road races that have gained followers and popularity from the local running enthusiasts, Milo Marathon is still by far the most prestigious of all the local road races. The regional eliminations conducted from 17 different areas all over the country are a testament in itself of the magnitude and prestige. Should you win on this event, your name will be etched side by side with the cream of the cream in marathon running for the 34 years it has been held.
Click on Screen to watch video

When I arrived Luneta grounds, I more or less sized up the crowd was not as many compared to the elimination based on the parked cars along the streets. It was easier for me to get a parking this time unlike during the eliminations when the parked cars was all the way to Taft Avenue.  It was just also about the same time that the 21K runners are being briefed before being gun started. I would estimate that the number within the starting area would not be more than 700.

After the 21k runners were started, the 10k runners were next and as scheduled the 10k was gun started on schedule at 6:00am. The route that was used was along Roxas Boulevard all the way to just before Buendia and back-tracked all the way to the Quirino Grandstand for the finish line. On my return track to Quirino Grandstand just after the Philippine Navy it was then that I noticed a huge crowd who participated on the 5k. Just a few kilometers after at Pedro Gil street, a much greater number of 3k participants were still in the road. These 5k and 3k crowds were mainly from the different schools in Manila. In the end the organizer provided a crowd estimate of 25,000 for all categories 3k/5k/10k/21k/42k.   

One thing that is very noticeable in today’s event is that it was much organized and well managed both logistically and control. The organizer had exceeded the norm. I would say that the Milo Marathon Team have made sure that all things were in place to avoid the ugly experience during the elimination. Problem could arise but if corrective measures are done, it gives you a feeling of professionalism and sincerity of Milo in their advocacy in sports development in the country.

I crossed the finish line in an un-official time of 01h04m59s for the 10k. It was a good run to end my road race season for the year 2010.

Veteran Eduardo Buenavista proved he is still the country's top runner while newcomer Flordeliza Donos surprised the field when they ruled the men's and women's category respectively.

While the road races have ended, the usual daily run will continue and maybe even built up more mileage to remove all the guilt feeling of the food, drinks and partying that will be attended from now to the end of the year.

To Milo Marathon Team congratulations and looking forward to next year’s event.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Caught A Flue - Not A Superman

One of the realities in life is that no matter how old, how strong and what gender you are there will come a time that your body will be affected by a common flue.

It is very seldom that I have experienced a flue in as much that I have my regular yearly flue vaccine. However, last Monday 29Nov10 when I woke up at 4:30am I was already feeling sore all over my body with sore throat. On times like this in the past, I made sure that I do not fall on the spell and temptation of foregoing my daily run, otherwise, sickness will surely befall on me. My belief is that rather than taking a rest, I go ahead of what I normally do to arrest the soreness and pain that I do feel in my body. So off I went to Bonifacio Global City even though the temptation was twice as much since it was a local holiday then.

I started my run 5:33am hoping to complete the usual 10k, however, after the 4th kilometer I decided to cut short my run and completed only 5.38k as I could feel heaviness on each stride that I make. I went home hoping that by afternoon I should be feeling well. In deed by afternoon I was feeling strong and recovered so much so that I decided to join the family for an afternoon shopping.

It was just before going to sleep at night that I felt again soreness in my throat and muscles. Still hoping that things will go well in the morning. Morning came and the reality in life faced me, I was having a runny nose, coughing and muscle ache all over. I could not stand up and surrendered myself for a day off. Wednesday came and it was just the same, however by Thursday I was on my way to recovery and already feeling restless. It was a three day ordeal.

As experienced in the past, getting yourself back to your rhythm of daily work out after more than two days of break is difficult as laziness set in that you find yourself with heavy legs and debate within if you should run or not that day. Today Friday was such a day to me, it was really tempting to tell myself not yet today, tomorrow na lang! Luckily, I was able to wakeup, dress-up and proceed to BGC. By 5:16am I was already running and debating if I should make only 5k or go for the 10k. I told myself to go for the 5k only, but when I reached 4.5k I was still feeling good so decided to take it all the way to 10k. I did complete 10.04k in 01h17m22s.

I could now say I have recovered! Thank you Lord for the recovery.

I wish to share the following links on the subject of RUNNING SICK which I think will be a good resource for running enthusiast out there.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

28Nov10 A Buffet Of Races - Run BGC My Menu Choice

Today 28Nov10 is a very special day in running in the Philippines. There is a "buffet of running events" in the Philippines. Believe it or not, there are ten events ( six with metro Manila and four in the provinces – data taken from Takbo.ph blogsite on their List of Races)  all holding their own events at the same time. These events are the following;

Within Metro Manila

1-    Greenovation Run at MOA
2-    Knowledge Channel KaRUNungan at Ortigas
3-    Takbo Laban Sa Droga at UP Diliman QC
4-    Run BGC at Bonifacio Global City
5-    Resort World Manila Fiesta Run at Pasay
6-    2nd McHappy Day Fun Run at Mckinley Hills

Out of town events

7-    34th National Milo Marathon Cagayan De Oro Eliminations
8-    Powerade Fun Run at Davao City
9-    Takbo Para Sa Karapatan Ng Mga Bata at Davao City
10-Run 4 Ur Rice : Save Rice, Save Lives at Laguna

Now what can you say about that? It’s a buffet for your own choosing!

Having highlighted the menu of runs available, I have selected the 10K for the Run BGC at Bonifacio Global City on the reasons that (a) I have since July of this year made BGC as my daily venue in my running and what better way but support the place where you do your daily run (b) the event organizer is RunRio and with their vast and recent good performances are assurance of a well organize event (c) 10K as I have just done the 21K last week and my body is no longer that young to take two 21K a week apart and lastly (d) for the third time (in a span of 3 months) I was able to convince my wife and son to run the 3K event to get them continuously exposed in running.

The family arrived the venue at 5:10am just in time to witness the start of the 21K event. I wanted as well to take the opportunity to see a gun start for the strong event also I wanted to see what effect the various races has on the attendance. While I would say that the various selection of races did have an effect on the attendance, I still saw a good number of participants for all the events which if considered on the figures last year would be on the average, but, for this year what can you expect if six events are all holding a running event at the same time. 

At 5:30am the 10K run started on time as scheduled. Just barely half a kilometer from the starting line I cannot but help myself an be astound to a very BIG CHRISTMAS TREE just before turning right at 5th Avenue. Above is a picture taken which unfortunately is a little blur but what can you expect it was taken while running.

The route has one new variation from the usual route at the BGC as from the 5.5Km mark it took the runners to the newly constructed 8th Avenue going to Kalayaan and back tracking and leading to the usual route to Rizal Avenue.  After 01h 07m 52s (un-official)I completed my 10K run. Again, nothing spectacular for others, but, a good time for my standard.

I wish to congratulate (getting a habit now) Coach Rio for a well-organized run in all aspect, a race event of again international standard. I take this opportunity in particular to salute Bonifacio Global City Administration for being at the forefront in supporting running in the country. BGC is the safest place that any runner can find within metro Manila. When I say SAFEST it goes to personal safety from bad and ill meaning individual and in general road running safety and traffic control. Please continue your support to the running community. However, I do take note that there are some local residents of condominiums within BGC that do not appreciate the running events every weekend. To these people, we hope for your understanding and thank you for sharing the beauty and availability of BGC to non-residents. Thanks for sharing.

I had a very good fortune that happened to me today during the event and wish to share it to all. For unknown reasons I left the rear window of my Prado open upon parking the vehicle and only found out when we returned after the race to be approached by the head of the security who made known the situation to me. The head of security was so kind to position a guard to ensure that no one took advantage of the situation while we were at the race. THANK YOU for the guards, I was unable to take their names, but, it was so good of you and what you have done just attest to the good management of BGC as a whole. With my wife’s purse, my wallet and so many valuable items inside, not a single item was lost. Praise God and again thank you to the security details of BDC.

Run BGC was a very good race with very extra blessing to go with it.  

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The 34th Milo Marathon Finals - December 12, 2010

The following was received from Mr. Andrew Neri of Milo Marathon which I would like to share with the running community;
Our 34th National MILO® Marathon will culminate on December 12, 2010. We have about 400 qualifiers (http://www.nestle.com.ph/milo/marathon/race_qualifiers.html) who will be competing in the said event. To help them in their preparation, we will be holding the Carbo Loading Party on December 9, 7:00 PM, at the Papa Bear Activity Pod (Near NIKE Store), The Fort, Bonifacio Global City.  Given this, we’d like to invite you to join us in the celebration as we acknowledge all qualifiers nationwide. (“,)

On separate note, our registration for the other categories (21K, 10K, 5K, 3K) is now open. Interested runners can visit the following stores to register:

1.)  Toby's SM North The Block - Mrs. Cecille Monteclaro/ Tel. 442-0163
2.)  Toby's Greenhills - Yang Oberez/ Tel. 725-7112
3.)  Toby's MOA - Lea Delena/Tel. 556-0445
4.)  RUNNR - Erica Sabandal/Tel. 403-1787

Registration in these stores will only be until Nov. 30. Others who won’t make it till then will have to register at Mckinley Park, North Greenhills, San Juan City.  Registration will officially close on Dec 8, Wednesday.

They can also register via HOTLINE Numbers.:

793-1777 (press 2)

See above image to view Manila Finals race route.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Run United 2 - Saturday Edition

I would not have imagine three years ago that running events in the Philippines will be as popular and numerous as they are now. To even bolster this observation Run United-2, the final part of RunRio Trilogy for 2010 is using two days to hold their event.

For Saturday 20Nov10 the following events were scheduled 21k, 10k, 3k and 500 meter dash for children. For Sunday 21Nov10 the following were scheduled 32k, 15k and 5k. These events only but attest to the magnitude Run United-2 was planned.

I have entered myself on the Saturday edition of Run United-2 for the 21k event. Not wanting to be time constraint, I woke up early and was at Bonifacio Global City by 4:30am to give myself ample time before the gun start. I was amazed on what I saw when I arrived at the venue, I think Coach Rio has prepared well for the event and that United Laboratories have provided a big budget for the event with the different structures and equipments rigged.

At exactly 5:10 as published the starting gun for the 21K was sounded. I do not have the exact number but definitely the number of runners were quite large and to consider that 21K is only one of 7 events to be held for the 2 day event.

From the start to the finish of the 21K event I have only good words and observations on how the race was managed from road lighting, water station, marshals, banana station and medical assistance along the race route.

After crossing the finish I was stunned on how the medal, hydration and loot bags were distributed. Unlike on other races I have experienced before where in a long queue or snake line will discourage a tired runner to collect his items. However on this event the distribution system was well organized and well manned that you will not experience any queue to collect your items. The loot bag was well stuffed with so many things that you could imagine and with a finisher’s t-shirt at that.

To Coach Rio I would say that you reached a different level that even runs abroad that I have participated can learn from you on race organization and execution. Great job Coach Rio! To United Laboratories who have provided a substantial amount of their funds for the running community, thank you for sharing our funds and we hope that you continue doing so for the coming years.

On my 21K race performance unofficially I registered 02h40m20s not a fascinating time for others, but it was a good time for my standard.

I hope that the Sunday edition will be as successful as the Saturday edition of the RUN UNITED 2.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

HSBC 135 Run 2010 - A Saturday Run

November is full of running events so much so that even Saturdays are now being use as race days by event organizers. There are even two different events that have made use of two consecutive days (Saturday/Sunday) to hold their events (Run United / BGC Run). I guess one day now is not enough for a single event.

Meantime last Saturday 6Nov10 was a break from my usual golfing day and was instead a Saturday in the road for the HSBC 135 Run at the Bonifacio Global City. My decision to participate in the HSBC 135 Run was more on their charitable organization Hands On Manila.

The day before and throughout the night before there was very heavy rain all over metro Manila so much so that I was apprehensive that the HSBC Run might be affected. However, when early morning came although the streets were still wet and the skies overclouded, the weather was cooperative to the delight of the participating runners.

While inside the holding area while waiting for the starting gun I could not help but notice that a good number of the banking and business executives of Makati were at the starting line. This was maybe because the run was sponsored by HSBC for the 135 years of operation in the Philippines.

At 5:50 the starting gun was sounded and it was the normal hassle of jockeying for position and road space in the initial 2km of the run. However from thereon it was more or less to each on his own pace. The route was nothing special as it was only within the confined streets of Bonifacio Global City. For me, whose main intention was only to have a decent 10k run on Saturday, I find the event good and acceptable.

The RFID timing mechanism made use for the event which was handled by runningmate.ph To my surprise and satisfaction, I received an email from running mate on Sunday afternoon providing me the my race result. Well job guys!

See you more on the remaining running events for November.

Monday, November 1, 2010

ADOBO Run After Dark 2010 - A Good Race And A Great Family Time

After the Camsur Marathon wherein I was able to convince the whole family to run, it was time to follow-up their involvement in running with another run. It was then a good excuse to register the family for the ADOBO RUN AFTER DARK 2010 which was on a Saturday evening and a Halloween weekend at that.

This time unlike the Camsur Marathon, I had even the three granddaughters join the family not running on an event but joined us to be on the sideline and be able to be exposed to the scenarios of a race event and just do their thing as the adults do the run. The handicap I have like on this occasion is that I am towing along the whole barangay so much so that just having to dress up and getting all individuals ready to leave the house was already a task by itself.  With the grandchildren, yayas, driver, sons, daughter-in-law and wife constantly being chased of the departure time in the house, it was like having a race by itself before a race. To my surprise, we arrive Mckinley Hills with plenty of time to spare at 5:20pm. Parking was already becoming a long queue and participants dressed in the running attire as well as Halloween getups were starting to arrive.

The grandchildren were getting excited as they could see many children and even adults dressed in different costumes walking around and within the Mckinley circle it was indeed a festive mood. The weather was even very cooperative as it was unusually windy cool just like Christmas season. Mind you even the public speakers where playing Christmas carols, it was just like Christmas.

My daughter-in-law Pam, who is the best runner in the family was relegated to be the care taker of the grandchildren as she just had a molar tooth extraction the same day. Prior to the race, It was also nice to take the opportunity to greet running friends and acquaintances.

Just before the start of the race a spectacular firework display was made for about 5 minutes and the more the atmosphere became festive. Only problem was that the stage was facing with its back from the starting line that you cannot hear what was being said on the stage. Then all of a sudden I heard a gun start and you just then flow with the crowd, the race was on.

The 10k event took us around the dreaded hills of Mckinley then turning right to Lawton street until just before the access to Libingan Ng Mga Bayani and making a U-turn and proceeding to Bayani Road all the way to Heritage Park and back tracking to Mckinley hills. There was the usual traffic and fumes experienced at Bayani Road, but it was much better than the usual seen on road races in the area and  the traffic or drivers wre more patient this time and manageable. To my great surprise or because of the windy weather and festive atmosphere, I crossed the 10k finish line in 01hr 06m 26s for a logged distance of 10.19k. It was a good run for my standards.

After the run was the best part for me. It was then that I was ale to spend quality time with the whole family (less my daughter DAWN and son-in-law ALEX who lives in Moreno Valley CA- I am looking forward to your visit on April 2011) As they say there are things that money cannot buy and that night was something special and no amount of money can buy the happiness for someone old like me. I had a good whiskey drink over dinner, great conversation with adult family members, played games with the grandchildren, and stories and stories to tell over dinner. The dinner on open air was great and the atmosphere was really inviting.

It was a great ADOBO RUN AFTER DARK and a family bonding time. Thank you Lord for the wonderful time!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Adidas KOTR 2010 - A Gathering of Runners

The ADIDAS King Of The Road (KOTR) has been one of the local road races that have triggered the popularity of running that it does enjoy at present. When KOTR for 2010 was opened for registration it did not took long before all slots for the different race categories were taken.

So on Sunday 24Oct10 all roads were leading to Bonifacio Global City (BGC). It is not often that you will experience traffic at BGC at 4am, but on this day it was expected due to the volume of runners and galleries for the event. I was expecting a raining morning but heaven was cooperating with the event. Unlike the night before when heavy rain was experienced throughout the city.

I was entered for the 10K category and needed to wait until the 21k runners got flagged off. I took the time to observe on the procedures the organizers have taken and I was quite impressed on the systematic procedure it was done. On times like this, it was a great experience to see different runners of their enthusiasm and excitement in the manner of their body languages and manner they speak to one another.  It was a great sight to see the volume of 21k runners being flagged off. I do not have the official count, but would safely estimate no lower than 10 thousand. Am I right or wrong?

Then it was the turn of 10k runners. The organizers have strategically positioned signs on the pace time for runners to choose on their projected pace time to ensure that the flow will be fluid without the slower runners slowing down the faster runners and triggering a stampede. But, a lot of runners either were unaware of the importance of the signage or simply over rated themselves to have positioned on the wrong pace time. I was positioned at the 8 minutes per kilometer pace signage, but for the first kilometer was zigzagging all over the road to overtake slower runners. Just about that things were getting in place at the 0.75 kilometer marker or upon reaching 34th street along the vicinity of PNOC and leading to The British School, the road has narrowed drastically being still under construction and with the rain from the previous night was patched with pools of water making the runners select for dry road. This situation was compounded by the fact that the 21k runners were meeting up with the 10k runners so you could just imagine the volume of people. This is the only fault I could find of the event and I rather think of the overall impact of KOTR, which I think was a well-organized event.

The route took the 10K all the way to Buendia in Makati passing through the Kalayaan flyover until Hydra Street before back tracking to BGC to finish at 9th Avenue. Crossing the finish line to the point of exit of the coral was a good 10 minutes. I was expecting that the end of the line was for the breakfast meal coupon, but was instead only for the distribution of bottled water. The Breakfast distribution line was on another place and another snake line to hurdle.

Overall I wish to congratulate ADIDAS Philippines and the organizers and those involved in the KOTR for a job well done. The event has lived to the expectations of the running community. The small hitches I hope can be noted and remembered that a possible solution be made in the next KOTR.

See you on next year’s KOTR.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bonifacio Global City - Not Only For Running But Art Works As Well

Fort Bonifacio is now my regular place for my daily early morning workouts and as time passes by I discover and learn more of the place.  Today I discovered the different public art pieces that Bonifacio Global City (BGC) has got to offer to the general public.

BGC has opened up a photo competition for the month of October in which the 2010 Theme : “Photography. That’s the passion in me … The BGC in Me”. As photography is one of my many hobbies in life,  I woke up earlier than usual today and was already at Fort Bonifacio at 4:10am. I was dressed up in my usual morning work-out gears but I was not there to run, but to  capture in photo the different art pieces. With my Canon 7D I was walk to the different locations which is quite a distance as well to cover by foot.

I wish to share the following beautiful Art Works within Bonifacio Global City.


Ang Supremo

The Trees




Kasaysayan Bawa't Oras

Bearable Lightness



Tinsteaj #85

Specific Gravity

With the above Art Works it was a great feeling to exercise the spirit. At times we need not only have a physical exercise, but, an inner mental and spiritual exercise for a holistic life.

Back to running on Sunday for the Adidas KOTR.