Monday, September 27, 2010

Camsur Marathon 2010 - My Personal Experience

Camsur Marathon 2010 is now history. September 26th 2010 was a big day in Camarines Sur. The local government and organizer made sure that no stones were left unturned that the day shall be a great success.  The result… was what was expected… a great success!

I have in the past written that any project, event, program that is envisioned locally cannot be a success without the support of the local government. Camsur Marathon 2010 had not only the support of provincial and city government, but, it has the full support of ordinary and well meaning people of Naga City. To you guys, there will only be but one direction and that is for the prosperity of Naga City. Congratulations!

The event generated 17400 registered runners. Majority of the number of participants are from Naga City. I asked the local people and they said that most were “requested and/or required” to participate either from local government offices, schools, private companies. It is not “hakot” as what we normally associate with, as these participants are “registered paying participants” and not “paid participants” (big difference in meaning). I was surprise that some people I have talked even said that those that were short of registration fee were provided by cash advances on salary deduction just to participate. However, these same people were unified and one in saying that they need to contribute their own share of sacrifice and input for the benefit of the province and local government itself. This is what I call a noble gesture of the local people of Naga as all efforts need to come from all direction. One local taxi driver justified the action based on their local experience that the people of Naga will eventually be the recipient of blessings. He made example of the tourism/job that has been generated by the “Ironman”, CWC , and now the “Camsur Marathon” should the latter be a success as the former. They already have a working model to pattern their efforts.

On my personal experience in my participation in the 21K run, The Camsur Marathon 2010 will be something to remember personally for so many reasons namely-

  • -       registered and got my race family race bibs/dtag as early June only to misplace all items. Thanks to Coach Rio and Jon Teves was lucky to obtain replacement bibs/dtags although costing me a sum. I now can confirm my memory weakness.

  • -       First time to travel by Bus, eight hours travel time. Found out that we have quality and comfortable buses that service the road. Got over my scare to commute by provincial buses in view of recent news accidents. The aircon was so cold and the lazyboy chairs were relaxing. There was even a CR onboard. The cost was reasonable P980/person.

  • -       It was a family fun event. A short vacation with my wife HERMIE, son DAX, daughter in law PAMELA and youngest son DENNIS. (Sorry for Dawn/Alex who are in Moreno Valley Ca.)

  • -       After so many cancelled/no show my wife HERMIE did her first 5km run. A milestone in the family if you know the efforts that has been made in the past to no success.

  • -       My daughter in-law PAMELA registered her 21k PR of 02h31m (unofficial) Hopefully my son gets to improve he is still on the 5k level.

  • -       My most unforgettable experience was my participation in the 21k. My time was one of my worst 3h00m19s (unofficial) but it was the cheers and the applause that I have received during the event that will keep me smiling on my own. The first 4k I was on my running mode but after that I shifted to my race walking mode. Race walking is already pretty strange to most, but, the barrios that we passed by on the 21k route in Naga were so amazed on the movements of race walking that I was like a celebrity being given applause and high fives that I could not barely respond. I had even other runners with me enjoying the cheers and applause.  Dave McGovern an authority in racewalking once wrote to me “ Dear Amado – if racewalking is not popular in the Philippines it’s your job to make it so! By walking in the local races you are a visible ambassador of racewalking. Don’t be afraid to be vocal. Let people know about the health benefits of racewalking….”  In Camsur, I think I just did that and had five feedbacks from individuals wanting to learn and adapt the same.
  • -       The food and hotel MANSION SUITES at CWC was great the Presidential Suite was very cheap for P3000.00 after an upgrade. 

  • -       The tri-cycle drivers, taxi drivers, waiters, cooks, shuttle service drivers, receptionist and the people of Naga were friendly and always with a smile.

  • -       As in everything there is a DOWNSIDE… it was waking up so early during the race day at 2am for a shuttle pick-up at 3am with a gun time of 5am. I never had it so early like this, but, life in this world is not perfect.

Again, Congratulations to Coach Rio and his team, Governor Villafuerte, the local government of Naga City, the Police/Military, and most especially to the people of Naga.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dementia - Lost Five Race Bibs And D-Tags Camsur

Dementia (taken from Latin, originally meaning "madness", from de- "without" + ment, the root of mens "mind") is a serious loss of cognitive ability in a previously unimpaired person, beyond what might be expected from normal aging.

Alzheimer's disease (AD), also called Alzheimer disease, Senile Dementia of the Alzheimer Type, (SDAT) Primary Degenerative Dementia of the Alzheimer's type (PDDAT), or simply Alzheimer's, is the most common form of dementia.

I got the above definitions in the web and I am afraid that I might be losing my memory!

Camsur Marathon is just a few days away and it is no secret that I have been excited to participate in the said event that I have registered myself and my family, five of us, as early as June. I have already posted twice about the marathon and the preparation for travel and accommodations. I was in possession of our race bibs and d-tags in June and in as much that it was still months before the event I just place the packets in my cabinet.

Last Sunday 19Sep10, I retrieve the packets and distributed the singlets to the different member of the family, however, I held on to the race bibs and the d-tags fearing that they might lose/misplace/forget to bring them when we do leave for Camsur. I even wrote on the back of the bibs our names so that the numbers will not be interchanged. On Tuesday 21Sep10, I was looking for the envelope where I placed all the bibs and d-tags. I started looking from 5am to 8am then continued from 4pm to 8pm. God I cannot remember where I placed them! I was already getting mad of why I cannot remember. I have emptied cabinets and drawers and the family also assisted me in looking for the items to no avail.

By 8:30pm I have already surrendered and told the family that in as much that we have already paid for the transportation and accommodation we better go ahead and even though we do not run there are a lot of things to do in Camsur. Before sleeping, my last action was writing an email to Coach Rio if he could assist me in getting a replacement number/dtags as late as it was and that I was willing to pay for the replacement cost. When I woke up at 4am the following day I saw an email from Coach Rio endorsing my request to Jon Teves to facilitate my request for replacement bibs/dtags. There was also another email followed by a text message from Jon Teves that I may collect the replacement bibs/dtags at CWC before noon of Saturday.

Coach Rio and Jon Teves, thank you very much for your assistance and accommodating to my request although it is going to cost me, I have only but myself to blame.

If you think my early symptom of dementia is only of the above incident, well its not and the worst is when also last July when I cleaned my cabinet I got a garbage bag and threw items that I was not in need of. At that time, I removed my Garmin 310xt from my wrist and placed it somewhere. After a day I was looking for my Garmin 310xt but could not find it. I tried my best to trace what I did the day before. I almost went crazy looking for the item but also in the only to surrender to have lost the item. On the hind side, I could only assume that I could have also placed the Garmin 310xt on the garbage bag. I have now a new Garmin 310xt but then it cost me the replacement.

God I hope that these are not early signs of an Alzheimer's disease.  

We will be leaving tonight for Camsur and the only thing I wish to forget and have a dementia are problems at work and wish only that the family have a great vacation and run on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Running/racewalking early in the morning has been my habit since 2007 and it has been part of my daily life. I have chosen the specific time between 4:30-6:30am as it provides a kickoff for my daily chores putting my mind and body ready for the day. Further, doing your run at this time of the day has a lot of advantages as the weather is cooler and the streets are still not as carbon polluted as when there are already many vehicles on the road.

However, the biggest risk is SAFETY. When I say “safety” I am not referring to safety in running that you have control of such as, running opposite the traffic, wearing luminous gears, running with hydration, or others of the likes. Instead, what I am concern is safety of the road from “trill seekers”, “drunks”, “thieves”, “muggers”, “high on drugs”, or simply “those that have no better things to do in life”.

I was shocked and angered to read from JONEL MENDOZA aka Bugobugo’s blog titled CHEAP SHOT  (read as well the comments of readers which is very interesting) that he had a very untoward incident last 11Sep10 wherein some stupid bugger threw a raw egg on him while he was running hitting him directly, a “cheap shot” indeed. What on earth was the purpose or satisfaction did the guy have? What is his mentality or state of mind that drove him to do such thing? Your guess is as good as mine. Such an incident like this is what I am more concern on safety in running.

I had my own share of untoward experience in the past. Sometime last December 2009 I wanted to try different areas in Metro Manila for my daily run and it was then that I decided to try Quezon City Memorial Circle. I arrived the area at about 4:15am and parked my car at the Quezon City Hall proceeding to run along the inner perimeter of QCMC, which is sparingly lighted, but in as much that it is a very busy street even on early mornings, I thought I was safe from hooligans, I was wrong. I have not even completed one lap while within the vicinity between North Avenue and Quezon Avenue Extension that I was surprised by a “flying paper bag” of “what have you” inside which almost hit me and landing just inches from my side. Shocked, I looked around and saw a speeding FX with noisy men inside. I was about to shout back when the FX stopped about 100 meters from me. I thought these guys really want to have “fun”. My anger immediately turned to fright. I stopped and positioned myself in the middle of the road so that all the vehicles passing by have a clear view of me. It was then that the FX knew that I did a safe and preventive move, rather than being exposed, the FX moved on. I must admit, it still took me a good 10 minutes to recover from my shocked. I had my doubts to continue my run, but told myself that doing so will just make those guys successful in their intention. I continued my run, until I finished 5 loops for a 10km distance. However, it was a lesson learned by me from then on.

For the above reasons, I stopped my street running in the early mornings and returned to ULTRA for my daily morning run. However, with the closure of ULTRA since early August for early morning users to give way to ASIAN GAMES athletes, I have no other recourse but go back to the street. The safest area is Fort Bonifacio.

To Run Safe, I now keep on the well-lighted area of the Fort from 4:30 to 5:15 am before venturing the outskirts of the Fort from 5:15am onwards. It is also quite reassuring to see ample security along the intersections. I must admit that the drivers within the Fort are more disciplined (maybe because of the securities posted). However, if I am not time pressed, I now start my run at 5am.

Nothing much we can do from these kind of people, but just exercise due diligence and AVOID them as possible. If confronted, move on and do not even bother to react. Turning your back is not an act of cowardice. We runners have better things in life to deal with and a fruitful life to spend.

Be safe in your runs.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Camsur Marathon 2010 - Travel Arrangement

It was as early as June 25, 2020 when I first blogged “The Camsur Marathon 2010 – Registered and Race Packet Issued”  to show my excitement and anticipation for this coming event. And now with only over a fortnight to go travel arrangement for the family needs to be finalized.

In the past month or so, accidents involving BUS TRANSPORTATION has been hugging the local headlines causing numerous death to passengers. Needless to say, there is still that much talked about BUS HOSTAGE CRISIS last 23Aug10. I do not know for whatever reason but INCIDENT/ACCIDENT involving public bus transportation doesn’t favor the present local travel scene. With this at the back of my mind, I tried to consider other alternatives as air travel or driving owns transport to Camsur. However, economics, practicality and convenience still tip in favor of bus transportation by a great margin.

The Camsur website provided me with a list of different Bus Companies (Penafrancia, Isarog Bus Lines, and Philtranco) that run a regular service from Manila to Naga. After much consideration, I decided on using PENAFRANCIA TOURS  for their Lazy Boy Coach which on the Camsur website showed to cost P750/passenger. However, the messenger whom I asked to buy me the ticket at their terminal in Cubao QC called me that the cost for one way travel is P980/passenger. According to the bus company, the P750 was only a promotional price when Camsur was still beginning their operation, but, now that they have a lot of tourist and the place is well established they have gone back/increased to P980. Another issue I was confronted was that they would not sell return ticket in Cubao as return tickets need to be purchased only from their point of destination (Naga) to avoid double/over booking of bus seats. Anyways, solution need to be done so I tried to find a friend who knows a friend who lives in Naga and buy our return ticket in Naga so I can be assured that my family has a definite return date. This I am still in the process of finalizing. Those who may want to consider the same travel arrangement may want to visit the website of PENAFRANCIA TOURS complete with video and details of where to get their tickets.

With race packets issued, accommodations arranged (Mansion Suites)  and onward travel tickets issued (PENAFRANCIA TOURS) I am on my way to CAMSUR MARATHON  schedule for September 26, 2010.