Monday, August 30, 2010

1st Malacca International 12 Hour Walk - Dec. 11-12, 2010

Today 30Aug10, I received an email from Mr. KHOO CHONG BENG, Deputy President of RACE WALKERS ASSOCIATION OF MALAYSIA extending their invitation to foreign participants for the 1ST MALACCA INTERNATIONAL 12 HOUR WALK 2010 which is scheduled to be held at St. Paul’s Hill A-Famosa Malacca Malaysia from 8pm of 11Dec10 until 8am of 12Dec10.

It was in September of 2008 that I was introduced by email to Mr. Khoo Chong Beng by Capt. Ferdinand Espejo who coaxed me to participate in a 12 Hour Race Walking which eventually I did participated the 1st Putrajaya International 12 Hour Walk 2008 on 13-14 December 2008. I officially completed the Men’s Category 12 hour event at 45th place completing 62 km out of 263 competing men from Malaysia, Belgium, Ghana, Singapore, Hongkong, Japan and Philippines (solely represented by me). There were as well 175 registered female participants so its open to both gender.

I would like to encourage walkers, runners and those who are looking for a great adventure to try this 12 Hour Walk. The Rules and Regulations for the event is quite simple. The race circuit is a 1km loop. All participants starts on a Saturday at 8pm and last until 8am the following day. You CANNOT RUN/JOG but can only WALK ( there will be judges along the loop either to penalize or DQ a participant for violation) during the 12 hour period it is up to you when to take your rest, eat, drink, relieve yourself or just take a sleep rest. Each participant has a timing chip and every 2 hours a distance summary for each individual participant is posted in the track.  The event is of endurance and stamina and how to keep yourself awake during the night. To add trill you continue walking even if it rains (which normally it does). 

With cheap airfare between Manila and Kuala Lumpur either by Cebu Pacific or between Clark and KL via Tiger Airways the event is great incentive to participate. Those interested can download Entry Form which provides even early bird discounts.

What are you waiting for?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Have You Been To A RUNNING DATE?

With the increasing popularity of RUNNING to people of all ages, goals and motivation for each individual person is as varied as any under the sun. Others have embraced the sport for the physical challenge, others for medical reasons, others just for fun or the pure love and pleasure of the joy in running and the social friendship that it brings.

However, a very unique and impressive purpose or motivation that I have observed during the races that I have participated at is RUNNING DATE. We are pretty much aware of “Blind Date”, “Lunch Date”,  “Dinner Date, or whatever kind of usual DATE there are between two people in love or two people in the process of getting to know each other with the ultimate driven purpose of LOVE.

Yes, people of all ages have been having RUNNING DATES wherein a guy and gal instead of going to the usual date venues they have now embraced RUNNING DATE. For me this is great and wonderful, its not only healthy but you have the full attention of your partner for at least one and a half hour to a full two hours for a 10K event.

Today during the MILES FOR SMILES, I had a very close encounter of such date. I was entered in the 16k event and upon reaching the 15K mark I came close to two very loving young couple who were entered on the 10K event and were by then on their 9K mark. It was a sight to behold that I could not help but take a picture of the couple. As I was on my race walking mode then, they went passed by me only for me to meet up with them 300 meters to the finishing line. It was then that I decided to approach both couple and show them the picture I have taken and commented that they are a sweet couple. They had the same sweet smiles to acknowledge my comment. I then informed them that I shall blog on them of their “sweetness” which has gotten a much bigger smile from both. As it was still a race event for me, I then overtook them and left the couple in their sweet time to cross the finish line. I did not have the time to ask their names, but, when IN LOVE you need no identity as we were either once in the same road, now on the same road, or had been always in the same road.

The Miles For Smiles Event today was a successful event, it was well organized and handled. My congratulations to the event organizers and sponsors. I shall not go in detail of how the event was handled, instead just provide a mark of 8.5 out of 10. My only minor comment is that the 16k distance just recorded a 15.5K in my Garmin 405. It was a great morning having completed the distance in 01h55m44s.

With what I have observed the event was really MILES For SMILES. It is great to be IN LOVE!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

8th Avenue At The Fort And My 37th Wedding Anniversary

When the Ultra Oval Track was closed for public usage for the early morning hours daily (4am-9am) last 09Aug10, I had no alternative but revert to my good old reliable Fort Bonifacio streets considering the closure of Ultra will be until December 2010.

For training and exercise purposes, the streets of Fort Bonifacio it is of no doubt a favorite venue to most metro runners considering that the place is safe to any early morning runner and that the quality of air in the streets is quite fresh, carbon dioxide free as the vehicular traffic in the area is not saturated. Further and of primary importance is SAFETY. Runners are assured of road safety and undesirable elements of the society as practically every corner has a stationary or roving traffic/security personnel.

Of lately, a new route that is becoming popular to early morning runners/joggers/walkers at Fort Bonifacio is at the 8TH AVENUE starting from the 32nd Street at the LEXUS SHOWROOM all the way to just before the KALAYAAN Gate of Fort Bonifacio. The street was just completed and is a 6 lane wide road, newly asphalted and is still closed to traffic, as such, is becoming very popular to runners being free from traffic and the air quality being fresh. One single loop is 1.50km as measured from my Garmin 405. You can either limit yourself within 8th Avenue and do as much loop as you deem required to meet your mileage or when you get tired of the scenery you may want to exit and proceed to the usual routes in Fort Bonifacio and return to 8th Avenue to have a diversified route that will suite your personal needs.

One minor disadvantage of the area is that from 4:00am to 5:30am (while still dark) the streetlights are not working so you will have to make do of whatever natural lighting there is, although it is quite acceptable. The plus factor of the area are SAFETY, soft asphalt road, fresh air and a good number of other runners to motivate you during your run.

Meantime, I herewith share with you photos taken of the place;

On another subject, today is a very special day for me as it is my 37th wedding anniversary. God I am old! 37 years gave us three children and 3 grandchildren. It seems only like yesterday and I still love my wife HERMIE. I pray that we reach our 50th anniversary still alive and healthy. 

Happy 37th Wedding Anniversary to my wife Hermie........

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ultra Oval - Closed 4:00am to 9:00am Until December 2010

To all early morning users of ULTRA Oval Track, the management has declared the oval track CLOSED from 04:00am to 09:00am EVERYDAY from 09Aug10 to December 2010.
The oval track will be for the exclusive use of PATAFA athletes that will be training for the Asia Games.

This is a sad news for all early morning users (afternoon users is mostly RAINED OUT).
However, an alternative venue is as shown above. The route is making use of the access roads within the compounds of the DECS and PSC. Start at the ticket booth proceed east PSC Dorm area (ex-Brent) turn left at the Colombo Plan Bldgs. and proceed to the way to entry gate of DECS passing the motor pool area, make a u-turn back to PSC gate, turn right along the outer perimeter of the oval track, turn right at entry gate of oval track and proceed until the back entry of the Ultra Stadium, make a u-turn back to the ticket booth area. 

a)   Hilly route good for stamina and endurance training.

b)     Well lighted and safe route on early morning compared to running on public  roads.

c)      It is FREE. The oval usage fee is P35.00 so you have a good saving with no parking fee.

a)    The road surface is UNEVEN you need to be very careful.

b)    Try to avoid the motor pool area of DECS as there are two dogs that will try to intimidate you. However, when daylight sets in the dogs no longer will try to run after you.

A single loop is 1.45km

Monday, August 9, 2010

Cross Training With Golf

With no road race scheduled last weekend in Metro Manila, I decided instead to play the game that was once the center of my sports life GOLF.

It has been three years now that golf has taken a backstage in my sports life after having picked up running/race walking. Not that I have totally abstained myself from the game, it is just that while I use to play six times a week, now it is about once a month only. Running/race walking has taken my time five times a week, at least.

Last Saturday 07Aug10, I was back at the greens at Tagaytay Highlands with my regular golf buddies. Having not much of a practice, I had to make a hard negotiation for handicap index with my playing buddies. As the game moved on, I found myself to have better stamina and concentration. However, there is no denying that I have lost my crucial short game and touch due to lack of constant practice. After 18 holes, I submitted a 16 over par game not my usual good game, but, good enough to win me the bets amongst us. Moreover, it has given me the confidence that I still can manage a decent game. But, what is astonishing is that I can walk the course even how hilly it was, which unlike before I need a golf cart to ensure I will be able to last the 18 holes.

To my golf buddies, Nonoy Carpio and Jimmy Lardizabal, I guess a "Thank You" is in order for your “donations” that I shall now make use as registration fee in my next 10 road races! I guess a golfer/runner combination will be your waterloo. 

I had a great time guys and the bragging rights at that!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Discovery of the Day - Caption

While I was trying to find a worthwhile thing to do this coming weekend, I visited “LIST OF RACES” site and I came across two (2) discoveries.

Since the start of the year 2010 there have been races in Metro Manila every weekends either on a Saturday or a Sunday. Surprisingly, this weekend there is NO race scheduled within Metro Manila. This is my first discovery of the day.

For my 2nd discovery and of great importance, on the site LIST OF RACES when you click on any specific race schedule I took notice of the following footnote on the bottom page -


I could not find this entry on any other page of the website (only when you click to get details on a specific race event). I personally like this reminder. I do not know when was this made but in as much that the post reminder is way below the page it is not so visible nor noticeable that visitors might have not taken notice as well. The reminder/caption is worth a thousand words and spells out the advocacy of the community.

This is what is all about.  

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Rexona Run 2010 - Worth My Time And Money

The Rexona Run 2010 was held today 01Aug10 with 9200 participants an overwhelming success in another continuing local road race saga in the country.

The registration fee for the Rexona Run 2010 is one of the most expensive if not the most expensive (so far). However, even prior to the race itself, local runners are already wise and educated runners that they are willing to invest hard earned money for their personal enjoyment and fitness. The registration turnout would attest to this.

Race day came and Coach Rio did not disappoint majority if not all registered runners. From registration to the actual race day operation it was worth the money. D-tag was used for the first time locally as timing device for all distances. There were ample marshals, portalets, service teams, an organized loot bag distribution, safety and medical assistance, festive booths, and a medal for 21k finishers. But one very peculiar thing I would like to highlight during the Rexona Run was the supply of hydration fluid, there were ample supply of bottled water (cold at that – in a very unique packaging) as well as Powerade sports drinks. I even had the luxury to make use of the bottled water to dowse myself at every water station I passed particularly from 14k onwards to 21k which was very helpful indeed.

With the above observations, I think Filipino people are ready to part with their hard earned cash provided that they get the best service there is. It is also this very fundamental reason that all high end malls, stores, restaurants, hotels, concerts or what have you that are being patronized despite of the hard times.  

Bottom line, quality do cost money, but cost alone does not necessarily equate to quality service. 

So runners, be diligent and do your assignment before registering in a road race. RunRio I think is one of those that can be trusted.