Sunday, January 31, 2010

Book Run 2010 - Are Paying Runners Not VIP/Celebrity?


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Time flies! Today is the end of January and unlike in previous years, this year there had been a good number of races already since the beginning of the year. Even for today, there were 3 races simultaneously being held in Metro Manila. Two races are at the MOA and one at the Fort. For reasons already blogged before, I have chosen to participate at the Book Run 2010 at the Fort.

I arrived at the usual parking grounds at the Fort at about 5:15am, expectedly I noticed that there were not as many cars as we have gotten use to on past races in the same venue resultant of the other events. As the race was only scheduled for 5:45am, I had ample time to mingled with the crowd and checked out the activity area.



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My first stop was to check the RFID timing sensors at the start/finish arc. I noticed that the people from www.runningmate.ph who are the operators for the RFID have installed more sensors on the overhead arc compared to that during the “Fit and Right” when they first deployed the system. This time, I am not sure but considering the manner the sensors were installed, the operators I think will be using only the gun start time for the start of the race (not the actual crossing at the starting line) and when the RFID tag do cross the finish line as picked up by the sensor to determine the elapsed time. Straight forward, simplified, but, should be good enough for a timing mechanism. As I did move about, I took note that RFID tags ofrunners were noticeably stapled on the bibs of 10k and 5k runners. Result for the BookRun 2010 is still being awaited as of blog postin time, but, I hope that runningmate.ph will be able to master the system soon as this will be good for the racing community as a whole. RFID comparatively do cost much less. This system will be the cheapest to deploy locally particularly for small race events. On the other hand, Championship Chip has been mastered by Finishline since they debut last year and have been used on various big events with great success. The only downer on this system is the cost. It is still quite expensive to use thus jacking-up in the same manner the cost for race registration.



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The starting gun was sounded at 5:55am. The race proper itself was handled and controlled satisfactorily. There were marshals manning the intersections who I think did better by not closing the road for traffic itself but allowing one lane to be used by both incoming and outgoing vehicles which made the flow of traffic reasonably good without antagonizing drivers and commuters. There were sufficient water stations along the route and the distance markers were prominently displayed. The finish line was well managed. As you exit the area you are provided with your “finishers’ medal”. There were also giveaways and banana for those patient enough to queue. I do not have the exact number of participants but my best guess estimate should be 2500 the most. Overall the race address all the basic needs of a paying runner considering the cost was only P450.00, for this, congratulatons to the organizers.



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Even if the event was handled with flying colours, I have a basic concern to place on the table for the organizers to probably address in the future. The event had 6 portalets as to about 3000 persons on the ground which gives a ratio of 1:500 I do not know what is the correct ratio, but, my concern is that I saw 2 portalets that was “guarded” by a person whose main job was to prevent people from using the said 2 portalets as they were supposedly for VIP ONLY. I wish to remind the organizers that the REAL “VIP” and “Celebrities” of a road race event are the PAYING RUNNERS. These runners have duly paid for the registration and participation so much so that they are not supposed to be discriminated of the facilities and/or logistical requirements. It was event sad to note that they have wasted manpower by assigning a person whose main job was to tell people that unless they are VIP/Celebrity they have to use only the 6 portalets on the other side of the field. Worst, during most of the time, practically the 2 portalets were empty and not being used by any VIP-CELEBRITY. Had they used the two portalets for all, then the ratio could have been 1:375 a better figure and avoided the discmation issue. Please address this matter in the future.

As for my performance for the 10k event I completed the event in 01h00m03s for a distance of 10.10k as registered with my Garmin 310xt.

We are still awaiting the race results to be posted at http://www.runningmate.ph/ as of this posting.

UPDATE POSTING - as of 31Jan10 7:30pm

Received the following text message from +63 928 779 7696 on 31Jan10 6:04pm

Thank u Amado 4 Joining the Book Run
Event: 10km
Time:01:00:09
Pace:06:00 m/km

.=runningmte.ph Team
(Unofficial results)

CONGRATUATIONS FOR A GOOD JOB.To runningmate.ph will you be posting the complete race results in your website?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Condura 2010 Run For The Dolphins - Final Race Route


Global City (Click image to enlarge view)


Kalayaan - Buendia - Entry Skyway (click image to enlarge view)


The Sky Way - Watch out for the CONDURA HILL (click image to enlarge)

Just received from Patrick Concepcion aka runningshield the FINAL RACE ROUTE for the different race categories of the 2010 CONDURA RUN FOR THE DOLPHINS. Please refer to the three (3) charts above.

For the Full 42K, the directions are;

START (28TH STREET)
RIGHT AT 11TH AVENUE
RIGHT AT 26TH STREET
LEFT AT 5TH AVENUE
GO STRAIGHT TO LAWTON DRIVE
LEFT AT LIBINGAN ROAD
TURNAROUND AT (BLACK GATE) PHILIPPINE ARMY OFFICERS LADIE'S SCHOOL
RIGHT AT LAWTON DRIVE ALL THE WAY TO 5TH AVENUE
LEFT AT 32ND STREET ALL THE WAY TO KALAYAAN
DOWN BUENDIA
LEFT AT ESTACION ST. (BEFORE RAILROAD TRACKS)
RIGHT AT DELA ROSA STREET
UP BUENDIA SKYWAY OFF-RAMP
STRAIGHT TO BICUTAN
TURNAROUND
EXIT AT NAIA 3 INTERCHANGE
TURNAROUND 50 MTRS OFF TOLL BOOTH
BACK TO SKYWAY NORTHBOUND
EXIT BUENDIA OFF RAMP
RIGHT AT DELA ROSA STREET
LEFT AT ESTACION
RIGHT AT BUENDIA
UP KALAYAAN FLYOVER
DOWN 32ND STREET
LEFT UNIVERSITY PARKWAY
RIGHT AT TRIANGLE DRIVE
LEFT AT 10TH AVENUE
LEFT AT UNIVERSITY PARKWAY
RIGHT AT 32ND STREET
LEFT AT 5TH AVENUE
LEFT AT 29TH STREET (FINISH LINE)

For those doing the 42k, this early I would like to warn you of the "Condura Hill" this will be the exit and re-entry in the skyway leading to and from the NAIA Terminal 3. This is one segment of the race that will be quite interesting and I know will have a lot of feedback from the runners after the race.

To all runners may it be for the 42k, 21k, 10k, 5k or 3k ENJOY THE RUN FOR THE DOLPHINS! CONDURA 2010.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

January 31, 2010 Road Races - Test Your Choice





On January 31, 2010 runners will have 3 options to select which road race they would like to participate. It is now up to each individual which event they wish to support and participate into. Selections are as follows;

Takbo Para Sa Libreng Kolehiyo (1k/3k/5k/10k/21k) at MOA
Run Assumption Run (3k/5k/15k/21k) at MOA
Book Run 2010 (3k/5k/10k) at the Fort


The first two events will be at the Mall of Asia (MOA) and if their race route maps will be our reference, they will both be overlapping and using the same street at the Coral Lane just in front of the catholic church at the MOA. Who, How and Why such a matter was allowed by MOA administrators is an issue by itself. As of this writing both events are not giving in from one another so it is a definite ingredient for a chaos. Further, Takbo Para Sa Libreng Kolehiyo organizers have insisted on a projected figure of 50,000 participants! The figure is statistically improbable for a running event and an unrealistic venue and race route for 50,000 participants. As both and all events have worthwhile charitable causes, I still hope for the success of all. However, given the facts for the races at the MOA grounds, it is a sure formula for a chaos.

This now leaves “Book Run 2010” at the Fort. I do not say that this event will result to a better race come January 31, 2010. However, if marketing flyers and promotions will be the basis, this race will offer your money’s worth. For a registration fee of P450 it has a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for its timing mechanism, finishers’ medals for 10k participants and a singlet. Further, the race event will be the only event at The Fort on the said day. For these reasons, I selected this race to participate in.




I have already with me my race bib, race route, singlet and the RFID tag. Alas and behold, the RFID tag does not have any explanation or accompanying guide for correct usage except that it has been stapled to the race bib. This is the second time RFID is being used locally and we all know what happened and resulted during the “Fit and Right” run the first time it was used. There was no accompanying instructions so much so that runners did not even know what was that plastic strip stapled on their bib. Unlike the championship chips that uses the foot mat sensors for sure signal pickup, the sensors for the RFID tags needs to be in line with the overhead sensors that will be installed on the start/finishing arc. It also requires a runner to make sure that when he crosses these sensors either his head or hands are not blocking the line of sight. I just hope that the organizers will take extra effort to provide the required information to all runners without resulting to delay during the race day itself.

To fellow runners, it is now up to us to choose the race event to support. In the end, even if we have selected a failed race event, our consolation is that we have supported a charitable cause. Running is not only good business now a days, but, to these charitable organization it has been a open field. I just hope and pray that they do actually receive their actual share of the proceeds.

If none of the 3 events fancy you, then just RUN its FREE only RACE EVENTS cost money. For charitable purposes, allow P100 and give directly to your choice oof charitable instituton.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Volunteer Aid Station - To Be A Volunteer



Last year 2009, Takbo.ph and Reinier Pacific were given an opportunity to sponsor a Volunteer Aid Station on two races, the “Botak Paa-Tibayan takbo 100k” last June 28, 2009 and the Milo Marathon National Finals last October 11, 2009.

On both occasion the fruit of the labour was very rewarding. In sport as in any other aspect of life itself, “service” is the binding cord that enriches our passion and perseverance to a goal. Giving something back to the sport you love, providing a word of encouragement, handling water or banana to a runner goes a very long way to both the giver and the taker. We all know this by experience whenever we are on a road race. These things are what money can’t buy.

However, volunteering yourself to an aid station requires certain basic knowledge and mental preparedness;

KNOW YOUR DESIGNATED TASK – an aid station will have its purpose and defined specific functions as approved by the race sponsors and organizer. Restrict your aid station to that as agreed upon. Know your task as given to you. Do not hesitate to ask the team head to show you what you are suppose to do, speak up.

BE ON TIME – do not be late. Do what was designated of you and do your best. A lot of runners will be relaying on you and you don’t want to let them down.

BE ENERGETIC – move freely and swiftly. Be full of energy and enthusiastic as this will set the tone for the whole volunteer team. It is like a wild fire that will fuel the team to its service for the duration of the aid station.

BE A TEAM MEMBER – do not try to do everything yourself. Work as part of a team to make sure that everyone gets a chance to participate and do his fair share of work. If someone asks for help, lend a hand. If you need some help, ask your team member.

PICTURE YOURSELF ON THE RECEIVING END – we are all runners and have run a race ourselves. We all know what we need and appreciate during a race, try to see things through other people’s eyes. You serve as what you expect others to serve. There is no better teacher than your own personal experiences.

SMILE AND BE GENEROUS ON WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT – this is the most important tool that you should possess. A SMILE will go a long way and “words of encouragement” will be affirmations of your joy in providing a volunteer service. These two criteria you should bring with you in abundance and should not run short even if your material service will run out, these two should be readily available to ALL RUNNERS without being selective.

BE HUMBLE – this is the last criteria. Don’t brag or go around telling everyone about the good things you’ve supposedly done. Be happy knowing you’ve made others happy. If acknowledge, say thank you as well.

Takbo.ph and Reinier Pacific will once again provide a volunteer aid station during the CONDURA RACE on 07Feb10. The aid station will serve the 21k and 42k runners only. The exact location and its purpose are still being finalized. No matter what, one thing for sure Takbo.ph and Reinier Pacific volunteers will have all the smiles and words of encouragement to all runners.

See you at the Condura!!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The PSE 6th BULL RUN 2010 - Better than Last Year




The 6th PSE Bull Run 2010 “Takbo Para Sa Ekonomiya” was held today 17Jan10 at the Fort which as in previous years served only the short distance/ fun run events of 10k, 5k and 3k. This year there were approximately 4000 runners who participated combined in all event.

Contrary to the last two years that the event was held, this year was organized much better and a great improvement in the manner it was handled before. I still remember particularly last year, the Bull Run earned a lot of criticism in the manner the event was organized. However, for this year it was a totally a different picture. The sponsors, Philippine Stock Exchange have learned their lesson and employed a different organizer (Adevents)for this year.



A room for improvement that I have taken note of is that of the portalets wherein only six (6) units were utilized and considering 4000 participants and allow 2000 guests, the usage ratio for each portalets is 1:1000 maybe next time the organizers could add more portalets to a more reasonable ratio to that of the crowd that is expected to attend the event.

I was able to talk to PSE President FRANCIS LIM and I expressed disappointment to hear that he is retiring from PSE sometime February due to health reasons. If I a not mistaken he is the longest serving president of PSE in its existence. I wish you well my friend and maybe then we shall have again more time to play golf! Atty. Francis Lim will return to his practise of corporate law.



The 10k route registered only 9.89k in my Garmin 310xt and took me 01h00m39s. I didn’t stay any longer after the race as I had a breakfast appointment with the family. It was another fulfilling early morning made possible by our love for running.

Monday, January 11, 2010

CCM 01-10-10 (Part 3 of 3) - Race Day Its A "10"



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The Cebu Executive Running Club, the race event organizers billed the event as, Cebu City Marathon 01-10-10. The event has gotten only praises and approval from its web site, registration, race packet collections, and carbo loading party. In was therefore only fitting that the actual race day highlights be a resounding success. The CCM 01-10-10 was a perfect “10”.

There were 450 runners for the 42k, 600 runners for the 21k and 2500 runners for the 5k. The figure may be substantially less in numbers compared to other races held in Metro Manila, but, the quality and the manner the race was held has earned itself the rank right on top of the best if not the very best of any race events in the Philippines.

I participated in the 21k so could provide detailed account for this category, however, I have talked to more than a handful of those who participated in 42k and 5k that the unanimous verdict were only but praises and satisfaction.



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From the ground venue start/finish at the IT park, program stage, suppliers tents and courtesy booths, sound system, portalets, announcers, and logistical needs were amply provided. The race started on time as emphasized by the organizers. The marshals were not only visibly all over the route, but, were in full control of the traffic flow with flags on both hands to wave the general direction of the race. The roads were not totally blocked but only half of the road was made use for the marathon allow a regulated flow of traffic thus addressing as well the irritant for the motorized riding public. The water stations were more than enough and were serving water or 100 plus and the manner the hydration tables were set up was but perfect with no congestion. There were support bands, dancers and cheerers to give a festive mood during the running event. At the finish line it was but a smooth flow and a welcome atmosphere. And finally, the awarding ceremony was on time and prizes distributed in place. It was a successful race event, a fitting result for a hard earned labour by the organizers, the city government, the sponsors and private businesses who contributed their finances for the race event. As they say when all work together, any goal can be achieved. We salute the Cebu community.



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Feedbacks from those that participated this year will have a long lasting memory of the race event. I am pretty sure that these same people will the walking advertisement for the next Cebu City Marathon next year. While the race is a perfect “10” there will be always room for improvement and I have no doubt that the organizers will come up with more perks and attractions to ensure their hold in the top position. Let’s aim for a double number in participation? I for one will make sure to convince others that the Cebu City Marathon is a “MUST” in any runner’s calendar of events.

My 21K statistics was 02h43m54s nothing spectacular, but, was a joyful and enjoyable run with lots of memories to remember. It was worth the trip with the "Sinulog" school competition that we attented at the Cebu Sports Complex alsoon 10Jan10 from 2-6pm. The competitors were GREAT and the crowd was mammoth! A great experience.





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Viva Pit SeƱor.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

CCM 01-10-10 (Part 2 of 3) - Carbo Loading Party



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After collecting my race packet at the Active Zone of Ayala Center in Cebu, it was almost 6pm and the carbo loading party was about to start.

I have seen so many races in Manila which had held their own Carbo Loading Party. But, none so far can be compared to that of Cebu City Marathon 01-10-10. The organizers made sure for the success of the event. The venue was fantastic, at the Ayala Center Terraces complete with a huge stage, wide screen and blasting sounds.



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The event was opened by a welcome address by none other than the City Mayor of Cebu, Tomas Osmena. I have always said in the past that no matter how good an organizer may be, one critical aspect of a race event is the support of the local government. Without these people and their resources, a race event is doomed for failure. However, for the CCM 01-10-10 it was great to see that there was a good rapport between the organizers and the city government and even to the public themselves. I can only assume that this is typical of the "sinulog" mentality and cooperativeness of the Cebuanos. It was also heart warming to listen to the City Mayor welcoming all their guests something that is appreciated by any guest.

Of course there were ample choices for the guest to select their type of carbo load as prepared and offered by the different restaurant s and outlets within the Ayala Mall. The cost was minimal and reasonable enough.

Cebuanos being very good entertainers had a great band playing for the general public and on the early stages of the event there was even a samba drums.

The main part of the event was of course the briefing provided by the race organizers, Cebu Executive Running Club represented by Mr. John Pages and Mr. Jesse Taborada (am not sure if I got the name correctly). Information provident during the night were specific and comprehensive which would clear any doubts for any participants, particularly from those out of town.



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I did not stay longer after the briefing as it was close to my bedtime, but, again I was awed to what I have just seen and again have only but praises for the organizers. The pictures above will be more than justify my comments and observation during the Carbo Loading Party.

I shall be back for the Race Day accounts of CCM 01-10-10.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

CCM 01-10-10 (Part 1 of 3) - Race Packet Distribution



It has been ages since I last made use of Cebu Pacific. It was therefore a good opportunity for me to check on their budget airfare from Manila-Cebu and back. I found that their rate of P3,688.16 per person round trip very reasonable compared to others. I made my booking arrangement at their website without any hassle and was able to select my preferred seats ( row no 1 at that) in just over a minute.

Using Cebu Pacific requires me to make use of NAIA Terminal 3 which will be my first experience to use the controversial terminal. I found the terminal huge and its check-in facilities very passenger friendly and convenient. The facilities are still not completely in use and could only comment that the materials used where not that rigid and class so much so that I have my doubts as to their durability in years to come.

While we boarded the plane on time, the actual departure was delayed by over 30 minutes, requiring us to sit it out inside the plane while parked at the tarmac waiting for airport clearance due to air traffic congestion. Having gotten seat on row no. 1 was just like being on a business class with ample leg space. One incident that I will remember is when the captain was on public address system and announced, “welcome ladies and gentlemen this is your flight 5J-581 from Manila to Cebu, all of you are welcome onboard may you have a down syndrome or not” I would like to take it without offense rather on the context of being apologetic on recent Cebu Pacific legal fiasco regarding a passenger with impaired disability that was disallowed embarkation. I find his announcement was an acknowledgement of airlines shortcoming and wishes to correct itself.

Upon arrival Cebu we immediately proceeded to check-in at the Crown Regency Towers at Fuente Osmena and were caught in the traffic as the “sinulog” procession was on its completion stage and entry at the Cebu Sports Complex. Without wasting anytime, we proceeded to Ayala Center to collect my race packet at the Active Zone activity area.

I was very much eager to check on how the Cebu organizers were handling the process as this part of a race event has been a problem even to some big and known races in Metro Manila. I have only praises and good words to say after what I have personally seen. The venue used was just fantastic, strategically located and the best was the system and flow of race packet distribution. There was nothing special or technical on the manner the flow of distribution was being done, but, only knowing where the items are not being fuzzy on matters that those without claim stub were only required to present an ID to check on their muster list and presto you have your race kit. The whole process was about a minute or so giving you ample time to gaze around the area which had booths and race and souvenir items on sale. As what we are always been reminded a wheel need not be re-invented its just making sure that you know how to use it.

My congratulations to CEBU EXECUTIVE RUNNERS CLUB, Mr. JOHN PAGES and his team for a very orderly and convenient distribution of race packets for the Cebu City Marathon. We can learn a lot from you guys.

The pictures that I am posting with this article will surely provide a better description of the pleasant atmosphere during the event.

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Until my next blog on the “Carbo Loading Party at the Ayala Terraces”, Cebuanos way of welcoming guests and hosting a party!!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cebu City Marathon - Getting Ready




When Cebu City Marathon was announced sometime 3rd quarter of last year, it was something that I wish I could participate. The event will not only be the first official running race for the year 2010, but will be a first of its grand nature that will be held outside of Luzon. The route will also be using the (SRP) South Road Properties, a more or less equivalent of the Skyway we have in Manila. My eagerness was even heightened when the organizers came out with a very impressive webpage (http://www.cebumarathon.com/) which for sure has attracted more eager runners to participate. The webpage was even updated regularly as the race event came nearer.

December came and I was still undecided not because of anything else, but, for reasons only if my schedule will allow me when race day comes. After Christmas, Jinoe Gavan of Takbo.ph posted a reminder to all runners that they only have until 31Dec09 for registration. So on 28Dec09, I decided to register myself for the 21k just in case my schedule allows it and leave it to fate should things work my way or not.

Alas and behold on Monday 04Jan10, I more or less got a clearer schedule to allow me to participate and it was only then that I scrabbled to get an airline ticket and hotel booking for myself and my wife (not runner but an eager/willing Cebu tourist).

I have just completed my travel arrangements and will fly to Cebu on the afternoon of Friday 08Jan10. Then another shock jolted me, I could not find my registration and claim stub for the race! I sent my driver back to Runnr at the Fort to get a possible duplicate copy of my registration, but, copies have been forwarded to Cebu. They instead gave a contact number of Mr. John Pages. Immediately I called John and told him of my problem who was very accommodating and told me just to look for him and show ID proof and there should not be any problem to release my race pack. An invitation was even extended to attend the carbo-loading party which will be held at the Active Zone at the Ayala Center on Friday 08Jan10 at 6:00pm.

I just had a text conversation with Gen.Jovie Narcise (Bald Runner) that he and some members of Bald Running Team will also be in Cebu. I am sure there will also be some Takbo.ph members and other usual runners in Metro Manila that will be there so it would be a very nice way to open a running year with the group.

Cebu City here we come...............

PSC PHAS (Ultra) Oval Track - P35.00 Usage Fee



Effective January 4, 2010 entry/usage fee for the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Philippine Hall Academy of Sports (formerly ULTRA) track oval is now P35.00

I was surprised today when I bought new tickets for the track oval that the prices has been increase to P35.00 from P29.00 or P6.00 increase or 20.7% increase.

There was no advance notice posted regarding the increase prior to the implementation date. Further, tickets being issued are still marked as P29.00.

I have no complaint with the increase provided that the management of the track oval will do something about the sanitation of its toilet facilities particularly of the water supply to both CR and shower rooms. This is one aspect of the facility that needs urgent and drastic improvement.

So unless you are already a senior citizen (senior citizen are FREE), then be prepared for a P35.00 entry fee.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fort Bonifacio 2.35km Loop - 11th Ave./32nd Str. /5th Ave./26th Street



January 1, 2010 the first day of the year. What better way to start the year than an early morning run.

I arrived the Bonifacio High street area at around 5:00am will so many cars parked along 5th street as those celebrating New Year’s party are just about to complete their celebration. I was expecting an isolated place, but, instead found myself odd and out of place.

In the past and as most regular runners in the area, the most common loop is the Bonifacio High Street Loop which is a 1.3km distance. While the said loop is still quite popular to most runners, I find the same short in distance and crowded at times. Accordingly, what better way than establish a longer loop that I could use for this coming year on times that I will find myself at Fort Bonifacio.

The Loop that I have selected is bounded by 11th Avenue on the east, 32nd Street on the north, 5th Avenue on the west and 26th Street on the south.

The Loop is 2.35km using the pedestrian pathway. I started my run at 5:12am from 11th Avenue at the parking area at the back of Gap store and proceeded counter-clockwise to the direction of 32nd Street then left to 5th Avenue and left at 26th Street and let to 11th Avenue.

So guys should you wish to have an alternative running route at Fort Bonifacio try the said loop. 5 loop is already a good run of 11.75km which I complete in 01h24m01s on an early New Year’s Day.