Monday, April 19, 2010

Earth Day Run 2010 - In Celebration Of Mother Nature

The running community celebrated Earth Day for 2010 last Sunday 18Apr10 with two running events in Metro Manila. One was held at the Fort Bonifacio in Global City Taguig which was the “Earth Run 2010” sponsored by Solar Sports Entertainment and the other was at the Mall Of Asia (MOA) dubbed “Earth Day Run 2010” sponsored by National Geographic Channel.

While both running events were dedicated for Mother Earth, they provided alternative to runners when it comes to registration fee. “Earth Run” had a very reasonable registration fee of P250 for 3/5km and P350 for 16/21km. On the other hand, “Earth Day Run” had a tariff of 3km/P500, 5km/P600 and 10km/P700 more than double the cost of the other event. Given the situation, I was very much delighted for the running community as a whole as they now have two events to select depending on their needs, satisfaction and financial willingness.
Days before the race it was clear that both events have exceeded their expected crowd. It was but a testimony that the running community is Metro Manila is becoming bigger and bigger. It was then my wish that both events succeed and deliver the trill and promise of their individual events.

As I can only be in one place, on this occasion I decided to enter the “Earth Day Run 2010” sponsored by National Geographic Channel. In the past months I have specifically targeted and entered races that have the minimum registration fee. On these races that I have participated, I found that they were handle properly although they have the very basic extras, however, in the end what matters most is that the satisfaction in running was fully addressed. This time, I intentionally selected an expensive event and also the lure that the event was sponsored by National Geographic Channel who is known for their advocacy in saving Mother Nature.

Race day came and our starting gun was scheduled for 5:30am I told myself to come early based on my past experience that parking at the MOA is a hassle and that the expected crowd turnout is more than what was expected. At 5:00am I together with my son and daughter-in-law were already at the MOA grounds looking for a parking area and at 5:20 we were still looking and queued to enter the parking lot. It was then that I decided to let my son park the car and proceed on foot to the starting line; otherwise, I and my daughter-in-law will be late for the starting gun. True enough, we reached the holding pen with only a minute to spare. I found myself position almost at the end of the crowd that was huge and quite a number. When the starting gun sounded, it took me almost 45 seconds to cross the starting line. This will more or less provide you with an idea on how many were the participants and these were only for the 10km category as the 5km was started at 5:40am and the 3km at 6:00am.

From 0km to 4km marker it was like running on obstacle race as you need to navigate yourself on the sea of runners who were trying to settle on their own pace of running. I found these quite odd, but on this occasion I actually did not mind it as I considered this event a “Fun Run” and there were a lot of novice runners. On most part of the race I devoted myself on “people watching” and seeing the fun and excitement on the sea and runners.

By 4km post, more or less runners of 10km have settled on their own pace and you have now a regulated stream of runners, however, when we reached 5km mark we were back at the starting area and need to complete another loop of the circuit. By then the 3km category was just released and I found myself to an even bigger number of runners that you have to struggle for your piece of the road. The 3km category used 1/3 of the single loop for the 10km category so that by the time you have freed yourself from the 3km runners you have joined the tail enders of 5km runners with whom you have to struggle and share the same route until finish line.
As mentioned earlier, on this occasion although I find it odd and difficult, I am not complaining, however, on serious events I do not think it is wise and proper to have categories from different events share the same loop or circuit specially if overlapping will occur and that attendance will be to the maximum. One special thing I took note of the event was that on all water stations they were using PAPER CUPS instead of the usual plastic cups. At least it conforms to the advocacy of the run itself.

After 01h06m38s from gun start I crossed the finish line for 10km and had the following statistical figures for the record;

I have not read any feedback from the “Earth Run 2010” but wish that the event was also a success. In the end Mother Earth should be the beneficiary. Let us all not only be aware of the importance of nature and Mother Earth, but, contribute to the solution of the problems that we are now experiencing.

Happy Birthday Mother Earth!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Run United For Wellness - Post Race Courtesy Service

It has been more than a month since "Run United For Wellness" and nothing much was expected from the sponsors and organizers other than the memory that the event was one of the most well attended (more that 8000 participants) and a well organize event during the 1st quarter of the year 2010.

Yesterday I received by delivery mail (I assume all properly registered participants received as well) an envelope from United Laboratories with the following;




I have not in the past remembered that sponsors allocated a budget for post-race courtesy service. To UNILAB thank you for sharing your resources to the running community. We look forward to your event next year!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mizuno Infinity Run 2010 - A View From The Side Line

Sometime beginning March when I decided to participate at the Mizuno Infinity Run 2010 schedule for April 11, 2010 the registration for both the 15km and 10km were all filled up leaving only the 5km open for registration even a month prior to the event. I then decided to instead participate in the event as an spectator which will give me a rare opportunity to watch a race event on the side line.

As a spectator and part of those on the side line, I will not be commenting on how the race event was conducted but would instead wish to share three very important observations I have noticed that certain runners might find wisdom and correct their actions on future race event they might intend to participate.

(1) Running as a "Bandit"

The Infinity Run 2010 was a very well participated event. I just do not know what was the total number of participants on the three race categories, but, as I watched the wave of people that passed by where I was positioned (along Rizal Drive) it is safe to say that the event reached its maximum attendance. However, it was sad to take note that as you see runners duly registered with race bibs, there were as well a good number of runners running "without race bibs" which can only be assumed as "bandit runners". The Race Marshals even had a difficult time to weed out runners without race bibs and instruct them not to enter the finish line chute as it was only for the duly registered runners. The scene was quite embarrassing. Running is FREE but entry and running in a race event is NOT FREE. We could always run the same route as the race, but, we can always do so at some other time.

(2) Race Bibs To Be Pinned in FRONT Of Runners Singlet or Shorts

Watching the Race Marshals identify "bandit runners" approaching the finish line, they have called the attention of runners without race bibs to leave the chute and there were about twenty or so runners that either had their bib numbers at the back or even some had there numbers in their pockets. Wearing a race bib properly is one of the basic responsibility of a runner its position is in FRONT and visible at all times.

(3) Bringing a PET DOG To A Race Event

As a general rule it is not the proper venue nor the proper event to bring your pet dog to a race event. You might be attached so much to your pet, but, again there is a proper time and place to show off, exercise and train your dog. Definitely a Race Event is not the right place and time. There was a 5km runner who did so and even passed and entered the finish line chute. Surprisingly, the race marshals were stunned that before they could do something the runner with his dog were on their way to cross the finish line. On this issue, I would put more the blame to the organizers why such an incident did happen.

The above are but only minor observations which unless you are on the sideline you will not have the opportunity nor time to take notice.

I wish to share hereunder pictures during the race. From the sideline the Mizuno Infinity Run 2010 was a great success.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Getting Back On the Right Track

Vacation time is over! Back to reality! these are only but two phrases that we usually utter after long days of vacations. As we dread to go back to our individual endeavors in life, it is more difficult to revert to our usual physical workouts, exercises and daily runs and fight the temptation of laziness.

While I was able to run last Saturday and Sunday at the Fort, my state of mind would not accept them as getting back on my daily routine as these were still days during vacations. Therefore when Monday came I told myself that this will be the day to return to my daily morning run. But it was not meant to be. I was still suffering from the hang-over of the vacation and the mental pressure of rising in bed and putting on your running gears was too much for my corporal body. I eventually ended up returning to bed and giving in to the temptation of laziness.

Today, Tuesday I promised myself to fight the temptation. At 4am my alarm clock sounded and after taking my daily reading of blood pressure and blood sugar I immediately dressed up and proceeded to PSC Sports Arena (Ultra Oval) which is my usual daily venue for my run. At 4:41am I started my run, the first few steps were the heaviest, but, as you get into the groove, things became routine and just like a hamster it took me 25 laps to attain 10.32km distance running 75% at lane no.3. Details of my run as as follows;

Now I am back on the right track....... morning runs at the Ultra Oval.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

My Holy Week Mis-Adventures and Adventures

Months before the Holy Week I had already fixed my family plans for the occasion. Sometime December of 2009 I received a notice from my Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club that I have 60000 miles which was due to expire by January of 2010 which needs to be book, otherwise, the mileage will be forfeited. The equivalent was a three round trip tickets Manila-Hong Kong. I then booked the family for the trip from 31March to April 4th 2010. Then hotel accommodation was conveniently fixed by me through Internet. When the final day of departure came on 31st March 2010, I knew that travel time to the airport will be traffic so I told the family that we better allow sufficient time for our departure at 1:30pm so we left the house at 11:00am by 11:30am we were already in the airport with plenty of time to spare. Ops then the shocker in my life hit me when we were just about to enter the check-in area, the 1:30pm was not the departure time but the arrival time in Hong Kong and the real departure time was 11:05am! We missed our flight! And the mistake was totally mine. In as much as the tickets were free and are only awards for frequent mileage, it has very limited seats for each flight. I need not pay any penalty and can sill rebook the trip until end of December 2010. In the respect it was not disheartening and was a great consolation to me. However, when I called the hotel to cancel my four nights booking I was informed that I need to pay for one night or US$120 for the cancellation, there was no choice but to accept. My wife and son were so disappointed of my mistake but after a while we all had a good laugh and made fun of ourselves returning missing a flight. Upon returning home we then decided to proceed after an hour rest to Tagaytay Highlands to spend a couple of days of substitute vacation.

I did plan to take my usual morning runs in Tagaytay, but, instead did a cross training in golf as I have missed the game for quite sometime. Surprisingly, I was still able to hit good shots although on the two rounds I played had a score of 98 and 97 which was way above my usual handicap of 18. For the whole day of Thursday and Friday it was more spent sleeping and eating with the daily “visita iglesia”

When we returned to Manila on Friday night, I was already feeling bloated for eating too much and could not wait to go back to routine morning runs. On Saturday 3Apr10 at 4:30am I was already headed to Fort Bonifacio. At 4:51am I was off and running with no fixed directional plan except to make a distance of 10 km. The first km was quite difficult with stiff muscle and heavy joints and became only comfortable after 3km. Then at 5.5km my stomach started grumbling I was then at Rizal Drive and fortunate enough to have a Jolibee store within the vicinity and immediate made my pit stop. I think I really did ate a lot the last two days that had to relieve myself along my run. Then back to running with no more untoward incident. By the way, the crowd at the High Street by 6am was quite large, it was also here that I was greeted by Cris Sabal and Aileen Tolentino who were both doing the training runs. I have the following recorded running figures for the day;

Easter Sunday, I plan to do the same run at the Fort. More or less this was how my Holy Week Adventures and Mis-adventures had been.

Happy Easter to all.