Sunday, February 28, 2010

Takbo Para Sa Kalikasan Year 11 - Takbo Ng Masa

After being sidelined for most of the days the past week due to flu, it was a welcome relief on my part to put to test my recovery regiments. At 4:30am, I was already on my way to Quirino Grandstand in Luneta and had my radio turned on at 630 AM Frequency which is the sponsors for TAKBO PARA SA KALIKASAN which is now on its 11th year. The radio announcer was mentioning that the expected crowd participants for all race categories will sum up to about 5000+ runners. Considering that this race is one of the few remaining races that is on the P200 entry fee budget limit, I was a bit surprise that it did not attract more participants.

Entry to the holding pen was opened at 5am which was earlier than normal, but, was quite ok as there was an ongoing entertainment program just on the side of the starting line. I started to look around the holding area and could clearly come to a conclusion that the demography of the participants are not the same as those of the "commercialized races". There where a lot of contingencies from PNP and different government agencies, but, very distinguishing aspect is that there are more participation from NGOCC and running clubs. One particulars observation I could make is that there were more participants convoyed on public utility jeeps.

As I was early, I watched when Piolo Pascual was introduced to the public (God the girls did go crazy). Vice President Noli De Castro was the guest of honor and made a short speech and of course and head of the movement for Pasig River Miss Gina Lopez was present as well. A great relief while awaiting for the starting gun were the MCs whom I appreciate very much their comedy and entertainment at so early in the morning. But, as the event was a running event, the 10K participants were given a count down and released at 5:57am and these was followed in interval next by the 5K and lastly the 3K events.

The race route is the usual route along Roxas Boulevard only this time beginning and ending at the Quirino Grandstand. I have just taken the same route a couple of weeks before for the PSC "Run For Your Heart" and I am beginning to like this route. It is one of the simple routes to control so you do not have the risk to fight for the road with vehicles. And the best factor for this kind of event is the view of the Manila Bay with the usual Sunday morning crowd doing their thing at the "boardwalk" and at the "Cultural Center". Nice to see families bonding on their own simple and inexpensive way.

01h 02m 29s after the released from the starting line, I crossed the finish line for a total distance of 10K as per my Garmin 310xt.

There were still a lot of things going on the stage as I exited the holding area. I wanted to stay a little longer and watch the crowd as well as the program, but, I need to hurry up to catch my Sunday morning church mass.

I have always enjoyed these P200 races at Roxas Boulevard. They are very basic, but, are safe and complete with hydration stations along the route. I hope that others will support these kind of races as well specially if Rudy Biscocho is the race organizer then you are fairly safe to say that it will be a well organized race.

The race has placed me back to healthy state. Great Sunday Run. I hope that Mother Nature (KALIKASAN) was given its due importance by the race event. Congratulations to DZMM for the 11th year of TAKBO PARA SA KALIKASAN.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Running Sick - Road to Recovery

After running sick with cough and colds last Sunday at the Century Tuna Superbods Run as expected I have but only myself to blame for my health condition and it was payback time for abusing my body. I did not feel the pain and the misery immediately, it was only in the evening of Sunday that I could not breathe with my running nose and I was coughing heavily causing my body to jerk with each cough with radiating pain on the ribcage.

Monday morning came, Tuesday came and then Wednesday came with more or less the same condition. It was only in the evening of Wednesday that I felt my body has weathered the flu condition and is already on its way to recovery.

During these period I have missed three days of early morning workout which has been second to longest for the past three years. The longest being that of late January last year when I had my angioplasty in which I missed ten (10) consecutive days of early morning workout.

At 4:30am I was already at ULTRA, but, after alighting from my car I noticed the billboard announcement that the oval will be closed from 23-27th February to give way for the NCAA football events. I had my second thoughts if I should pursue my recovery run or postpone it for another day. Thinking that if I do postpone the run it will be more difficult on my part to convince my body to go back to my regular routine, I decided to proceed to Fort Bonifacio where I would do my recovery run.

At 4:45am I was already at Fort Bonifacio and told myself that I shall only do a 6km run to ensure that I do not have a relapse of my condition and just to allow my body to adjust. 42m30s after I have completed a 6.02km run and I was sweating heavily. I felt I could do additional mileage, but, fought the temptation instead and stocked to my original plan.

After the run, I was convince that I was on my road to recovery. You could feel the body talk to the mind.

Lesson to learn, when you are sick you are sick do not force the issue there will be other days to run allow your body to be your barometer to gauge you fitness and not your mind which in most cases will always overrule the state of the body.

See you on Sunday at Takbo Para Sa Kalikasan year 11 at Roxas Boulevard.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Superbods Run - Running Cold and Cough

With advent of summer and the sudden change of weather from cold to hot, it was regrettable that I have gotten my first flu for the year. Since Wednesday, I have been nursing a slight fever progressing to heavy and runny nose with unbearable cough. Knowing that the Century Tuna Superbods Run will be on Sunday 21Feb10, I stepped up on my medication and skipped with my workout runs for Friday and Saturday.

Saturday night, my cold and cough barely subsided that I had my doubts if I shall be able to run on Sunday. Nighttime, my wife was insistent that I should not run fearing that my condition would get worst. At 4am at the sound of my alarm, I immediately rose from bed and started "singing" to pretend that I was feeling well, however, as much as I was trying to conceal my real condition, I can not help by cough at times with interval of sneezing. Bottom line, I do not thing I really fooled my wife of my real condition. My mind was still fix on running the 21k, but with a self imposed condition that should I feel bad at any time during the race, I will stop and discontinue the race.

4:20am I was already in queue parking my van. The first thing I noticed was that there were a lot of cars already parked with still a long queue of vehicles heading to the different parking areas. This mean only one thing, a well attended race event. Thinking that the scheduled gun start for the 21k was still at 5:20am I was taking my time going to the starting line. Once at the starting line what immediately gotten my attention was the starting line stage (there where other stages) with a huge LCD screen. There were also two (2) LCD screens on the side of the starting arc. It was a great sight, signs of a great and successful event.

It was already inside the holding pen, when Coach Rio was within my area, I congratulated Coach Rio for a very impressive and amazing structures, stages, tents and layout of the race venue. Coach Rio was all smiles who was still nervous (according to him) hoping that the event will be a great success.

It was at this point that the MC announced that the event has generated more than 11,000+ runners. I did not remember what was the exact breakdown for each race category, but, it was a definite RECORD in the local race scene. We have really gone a long way in short time. Hopefully it continues and become more of a way of life rather than a fad. A common complaint in the running community is that entry fee for race events are getting more expensive. This is a correct observation, but, good things cost money. It is then on the individual to select his/her race. For me, what is important is that my hard earned money paid as entry fee should commensurate to the service delivered. However, I still do join P200 race, but, expectation and intentions are different.

A presentation of the 21k route was done on the two (2) LCD screen at the starting arc and was very informative and exciting giving each runner a foresight of what is in stored for them. After completion of the video presentation, the countdown for the start of the race was made. Ops, all along I thought that the race was to start at 5:20am.

At 5:09am the starting gun was sounded.

What I have seen along the route are all positive marks, hydration station are well manned providing water and Gatorade (as a side attraction you good looking gals and guys models of Century Tuna assisting, on these hydration station a portalet is provided in all station, on dark unlighted areas, a portable self contained generator lighting were temporarily installed, distance markers were well positioned (and of exact measurement at that), race category directional signs were prominent. There were sufficient marshals, but, as I have noticed on races in Metro Manila, no matter how many marshals you place, there will always be those irate, arrogant, and impatient drivers you encounter on intersections who insist on doing their own thing either crossing the path of runners or sounding their car horns intermittently. I just hope that such irresponsible actions will not result one of these days to a road rage accident on a race event. I guess it really is difficult to educate local motorist.

02h 39m 19s after I completed the 21k. I was glad that even with the runny nose and cough I was able to complete the race. The raw gross details of my run was recorded as follows;

Then it was time to queue for the finisher's shirt, medal and loot bag. There was a different line for each race category. Considering the great number of participants, the queue for each event was long, really long, just like a snake. It took me a good 30 minutes from end to end of the line. It was at this point that socialising with fellow runners was taken advantage of to while away the time.

On my way to my van, I came across the group of and was happy to have a group picture.

To all the runners that participated, I hope you had a nice time. To Coach Rio and his group CONGRATULATIONS. You have again raised the bar for all race organizers.

As I arrived home, I do not know for whatever reason, but, I started coughing! You could just imaging what my wife told me! I leave it to your imagination. I am grounded from today.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

PSC/FCAAF - Run For Your Heart

Considering that my home grounds for my daily work-out is at the ULTRA, I deem it was my duty to support the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Filipino Chinese Amateur Athletic Federation (FCAAF) running event which they have dubbed as “Run For the Heart”. The event is a joint celebration for the 20th anniversary of the PSC, a Valentine’s Day Run, and in celebration of the Chinese New Year which all fall on the same day, February 14th.

With so many race events every week, most of which we could classify as commercialized although they have charitable institutions or advocacy to support, there are but only a handful in a year that the sponsorship of a race event is being hosted by a government agency. The PSC “Run For The Heart” can be considered a simple run event with nothing much or fancy to expect on the commercial point of view for a running event. The event was held at Luneta grounds using Roxas Boulevard on all its race categories with the starting line at the Rizal Monument kilometer marker “0” and the finish line at the Quirino Grandstand. The event has three categories, 3k which is on FREE registration (you do not see anything free these days), 5K at P100 and 10K at P200. This I think will be one of if not the cheapest run when you consider registration fee. Of course when I registered, I got only a race bib although a finisher’s T-shirt can be collected upon completion of the race.

The Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines was the special guest of honour and gave a short significant Chinese new year message. Officials of PSC led by Mr. Ang Ping and those from FCAAF were at hand for a photo opportunity prior to the gun start. The race started as schedule and on time at 6:00am.

There is nothing significant on the race route as it is one of the most common race route if and ever the venue was at Roxas Boulevard. However, today was a special day considering it is “Valentines’ Day” and “Chinese New Year” so my attention was focused on the side line. It was a heart warming thing to witness individuals, couples, groups and families just enjoying a leisure stroll along the baywalk area. I am happy to see a great number of them enjoying the simplicity of life in itself. After the race, I even saw that on a certain portion of the Luneta grounds and aerobic class was ongoing for the general public. It is nice to see that Filipinos are more health conscious these days.

I finished the 10k run in 59m11s and was given a notification tag that I crossed the finish line being number 206th. Complete details and data of my run is posted hereunder:

I take this opportunity to congratulate PSC and FCAAF for giving the general public a good event, something affordable to all and even free for 3K participants. It was a good morning to celebrate 20th year of PSC, Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year. Nothing is better than a good morning run to start a celebration!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tribute To A Daughter

As I was preparing this blog posting, I had double thoughts if I should post this item on my running blog as the subject matter is not about running or sports related. The subject matter concerns more of family and life itself. However, I am just going through with this posting so that at least readers will also see me on a different angle of life, that of being a father.

Yes, life is not all about running, work, business, but, a great deal is also about family life. Tomorrow, February 10th will be the 33rd birthday of my only daughter (eldest is a 36 year old son and youngest is 11 year old son). This posting is to greet and honour her on her natal day. She is a practising medical physician in Moreno Valley in California USA and has now a life of her own.

As a father, I wish to dedicate this video clip as a sign of my love for her and hope that you parents out there young or old will be able to identify yourselves.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Condura Run 2010 - Reinier Paciic Volunteer Aid Station

For the 3rd time, and Reinier Pacific joined hands to provide a Volunteer Aid Station at the Condura Run 2010. With the purpose only of being able to serve the running community, Jinoe Gavan and I offered our voluntary services to the Concepcion brothers Ton and Patrick, who as runners themselves and could identify to the service motivation of the group.

The Volunteer Aid Station was positioned along Sen.Gil Puyat Avenue just after Chino Roces Street at Makati City. The service menu for the aid station consist of, providing 3000 pieces of BANANA to all INBOUND runners of 21k/42k, 5 bays of liniment spray with massage (on request as needed), 36 member Drums and Lyre Band (Sta Rosa Pasig) and an overflowing cheers and words of encouragement.

The Team arrived the scene of action at 3am to give sufficient time to receive/install the logistical needs such as tables, tarps, streamers, garbage bins, delivery of bananas and other bits and pieces that are essential for the operation of the aid station. As previously agreed upon, we set-up the tables on the “westbound” side of Sen. Gil Puyat making use of the inner most lane. When Jinoe and Que of arrived, I was so touched to see that posters for “first time” marathon runners and even season runners of who were prepared with their own individual unique posters to give words and signs of encouragement. Such a sincere show of support and camaraderie is a trade mark of the running community.

(Click on image for enlarge view)

Just when things were in-place, a race marshal comes and informed the team that we are to use the “outerlane” of the “westbound” portion of the avenue! This was also just about the same time that the lead pack of the 42k runners when approaching. With no alternative, the team dismantled the set-up and repositioned the tables, supplies, streamers, and what have you on the opposite side of the road. I still do not know how to analyse it , but, what took us initially to install for about an hour was repositioned and re-installed in 10 minutes! That’s what I could only surmise as adaptability to situation. My regret of this sudden change was that the original postings of the “unique posters” which were nicely laid out was disturbed and we could not get a better area of posting so much so that we have to make do and place some of them on the road itself. I hope those guys whose names were there were able to take notice of their names.

On a running event, the celebrities are the runners themselves. Each individual runner has his/her own story and moments of experience. And if you yourself is a runner, you then will be able to identify yourself on the faces, of the different runners as they pass-by with you only at the sideline. I could not compose words to give justice to the scene I have seen. Instead, I just wish to share with you raw and unedited pictures taken of the runners, team, supporters and captivating scenes at the aid station. Take a look and if you are on the picture, please feel free to just grab it. There are other pictures, taken from the camera of Jinoe which I know he shall also share with the public. andRenier Pacifi Volunteer Aid Station

(Click on image to view pictures at Picasa)

At 9m as planned, we close the services of the aid station and packed-up.

Overall, we thank the Ton and Patrick Concepcion for giving us the opportunity to serve the runners at the Condura Run 2010. To the runners, we hope to have been able to inspire and serve you. For whatever shortcoming we may have, bahala na kayo ang mag-puno!

Salamat po!

Friday, February 5, 2010

CONDURA 2010 - Important Update - Bar Code Problem 21k and 42k Events

The following was received via email on 5Feb10 at 12:45pm from Mr. Patrick Concepcion with respect to BAR CODE PROBLEM for 21k and 42k events.

Dear Condura 21km and 42km runners,

Greetings. Unfortunately, there was an error committed in printing out the race bibs. Some race bibs have a bar code and some do not have one.

Do not worry as you will still be able to run your event and you will still be timed accurately.

We have corrected this situation already with race bibs that have not yet been issued out.

For the race bib that have been issued out such as yours, may we kindly request you to do the following:

1. Write down your bib number on the perforated stub located at the lower left side portion of your bib.
The portion that says: "Give to finish official at the end of the race". "Do not pin spindle hole".

For example. If your bib number is 123, please write the number 123 on the perforated stub. Please see attached sample.

2. Please write clearly, legibly and accurately.

3. Please use a PERMANENT MARKER. Color BLACK. Be sure that it does not smear when wet as this will be exposed to water and sweat.
Do not use a pencil, ball pen, or white board marker. Only use a BLACK PERMANENT marker. (water proof if possible)

We are very sorry for this basic error. We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you. We are hoping for your kind understanding.

Upon receipt of this email and upon making the necessary changes kindly email us at or text us at (0908) 880-8354.

The Condura Run Organizing Committee

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Condura Run 2010 - Race Packet Distribution - IT CAN BE DONE IT HAS BEEN DONE

Today is the first day of the three days allocated by Condura for distribution of race packets for all runners in the different categories. Condura Run 2010 being one of the premier road races in the Philippines is expected to have a total of about 8500 participants. A sizeable number of participants by local standards in road race events. In the year that just past, majority of big events have failed in this aspect of a race event.

It was only during the Cebu City Marathon 01-10-10 that I have witnessed personally a successful and orderly distribution of race packets, however, the said event handled only a third of the Condura ran participants which in a way is a different ball game.

I have registered myself for 21k run, however, in view of the and Reinier Pacific Aid Station that needs to be attended to during the race event, I have instead made prior arrangement with the organizers to transfer my registration and bib assignment to Ms. Melinda Delos Reyes a protégé runner of Coach Salazar. I did also have to collect the race packet for my daughter-in-law Pam who is to run her first 21k and her pacer Cris Dalida.

I arrived at the “Condura Village” at about 4:30pm and was delighted to see a long row of tents numbering at least 20. Each individual tent has a designated series of alphabet assigned to correspond to the surname of the runner and the race category they are entered into. There is even a designated tent for those who have lost their claim stub receipts and posted detailed procedure to accomplish/show on what to do on such case, a tent for foreign registrants, and other logistical needs and requirements. Overall, each tent is manned by one person with a number of staff roving about to collect and address problems between tents. It was a joy to watch an orderly movement of people.

We have arrived! We have done it! What has been a problem in the past is now a thing of the past. With foresight, dedication and will, long queues during this stage of a race event is now at par on how they do it abroad. Certainly, it is not cheap to accomplish such a task with logistical needs and manpower requirement. However, CONDURA made sure they handled this matter correctly.

I hope runners will experience these developments on their own for the next two remaining distribution days. If the first day will be replicated in the next two days, then I am sure that all will have a unanimous approval for the race packet distribution. Such an accomplishment is already a barometer that the race event itself will be a success.

CONGRATULATIONS to the organizers of CONDURA RUN 2010.

It can be done, it has been done!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

34th National MILO Marathon - Nationwide Schedule

As early as February, I received today from Andrew Neri of Milo Sports Events & PR the nationwide schedule for the 34th National MILO Marathon. There will be in total 18 races. Details of the races are as follows;

To all the runners in the different parts of the country, you have 5 months on certain areas to as much as 9 months on other areas to plan and prepare for the qualifying events. Milo Marathon may not be the riches in prize money, but, it sure is the INSTITUTION in running in the Philippines. The event is now on its 34th year and has produced athletes who are now part of our history.PRESTIGE is the name of the game. Even just to qualify in the national finals is an achievement by itself, knowingly that only the selected elite in the land will be in the finals. These qualifiers are the best in the country having undergone a rigid elimination all over the land.

Plan your races!