Monday, October 25, 2010

The Adidas KOTR 2010 - A Gathering of Runners

The ADIDAS King Of The Road (KOTR) has been one of the local road races that have triggered the popularity of running that it does enjoy at present. When KOTR for 2010 was opened for registration it did not took long before all slots for the different race categories were taken.

So on Sunday 24Oct10 all roads were leading to Bonifacio Global City (BGC). It is not often that you will experience traffic at BGC at 4am, but on this day it was expected due to the volume of runners and galleries for the event. I was expecting a raining morning but heaven was cooperating with the event. Unlike the night before when heavy rain was experienced throughout the city.

I was entered for the 10K category and needed to wait until the 21k runners got flagged off. I took the time to observe on the procedures the organizers have taken and I was quite impressed on the systematic procedure it was done. On times like this, it was a great experience to see different runners of their enthusiasm and excitement in the manner of their body languages and manner they speak to one another.  It was a great sight to see the volume of 21k runners being flagged off. I do not have the official count, but would safely estimate no lower than 10 thousand. Am I right or wrong?

Then it was the turn of 10k runners. The organizers have strategically positioned signs on the pace time for runners to choose on their projected pace time to ensure that the flow will be fluid without the slower runners slowing down the faster runners and triggering a stampede. But, a lot of runners either were unaware of the importance of the signage or simply over rated themselves to have positioned on the wrong pace time. I was positioned at the 8 minutes per kilometer pace signage, but for the first kilometer was zigzagging all over the road to overtake slower runners. Just about that things were getting in place at the 0.75 kilometer marker or upon reaching 34th street along the vicinity of PNOC and leading to The British School, the road has narrowed drastically being still under construction and with the rain from the previous night was patched with pools of water making the runners select for dry road. This situation was compounded by the fact that the 21k runners were meeting up with the 10k runners so you could just imagine the volume of people. This is the only fault I could find of the event and I rather think of the overall impact of KOTR, which I think was a well-organized event.

The route took the 10K all the way to Buendia in Makati passing through the Kalayaan flyover until Hydra Street before back tracking to BGC to finish at 9th Avenue. Crossing the finish line to the point of exit of the coral was a good 10 minutes. I was expecting that the end of the line was for the breakfast meal coupon, but was instead only for the distribution of bottled water. The Breakfast distribution line was on another place and another snake line to hurdle.

Overall I wish to congratulate ADIDAS Philippines and the organizers and those involved in the KOTR for a job well done. The event has lived to the expectations of the running community. The small hitches I hope can be noted and remembered that a possible solution be made in the next KOTR.

See you on next year’s KOTR.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bonifacio Global City - Not Only For Running But Art Works As Well

Fort Bonifacio is now my regular place for my daily early morning workouts and as time passes by I discover and learn more of the place.  Today I discovered the different public art pieces that Bonifacio Global City (BGC) has got to offer to the general public.

BGC has opened up a photo competition for the month of October in which the 2010 Theme : “Photography. That’s the passion in me … The BGC in Me”. As photography is one of my many hobbies in life,  I woke up earlier than usual today and was already at Fort Bonifacio at 4:10am. I was dressed up in my usual morning work-out gears but I was not there to run, but to  capture in photo the different art pieces. With my Canon 7D I was walk to the different locations which is quite a distance as well to cover by foot.

I wish to share the following beautiful Art Works within Bonifacio Global City.


Ang Supremo

The Trees




Kasaysayan Bawa't Oras

Bearable Lightness



Tinsteaj #85

Specific Gravity

With the above Art Works it was a great feeling to exercise the spirit. At times we need not only have a physical exercise, but, an inner mental and spiritual exercise for a holistic life.

Back to running on Sunday for the Adidas KOTR.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Global City Fort Bonifacio - Measured Running Routes

In Metro Manila finding ones self an ideal venue for a daily running workout is becoming difficult should conditions for personal safety, pollution free, traffic, road condition, and environmental conduciveness be taken into account.

Global City or Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City is one of the ideal if not the most ideal place in Metro Manila to do your daily running workouts. The locality has been the haven of local runners in as much that the Fort Bonifacio Administration has been very supportive to running and has open its doors to local weekend road races. The best the place could offer is the security of a runner as practically there is a security and/or traffic officer in every major intersection of the compound. Further, in view that the traffic regulation within the compound is strictly enforced, drivers have been observed to be more road safety concern… following the traffic lights, not a usual thing in the Metro Manila.

In this light and to share with other runners my usual route within Fort Bonifacio, I made distance measurement on three LOOPS that can be used. Knowing the actual distance will provide any runner without the usual GPS and/or running aids possible for them to evaluate their run.

The following conditions were noted in the measurement of distances;

  • -       Garmin 310xt was the tool used.
  • -       Running was done always opposite the traffic flow at the curve side along the road within a meter or two in and out of road but never on the pedestrian alley.
  • -       There is no back tracking anywhere in the loop.
  • -       You can start anywhere within the loop provided you finish at the same place as where you started to complete the measured distance.


Start at 11th Avenue heading toward 28th Street
Left at 28th Street head towards 7th Avenue
Left at 7th Avenue head towards 28th Street
Left at 28th Street head towards 11th Avenue
Left at 11th Avenue and end where you started ……….. 1.3 Km Distance

THE MEDIUM LOOP – 3.2 kilometers

Start at 11th Avenue head towards 32nd Street
Left at 32nd Street head towards 5th Avenue
Left at 5th Avenue and head towards McKinley Parkway
Left at McKinley Parkway and head towards 11th Avenue
Left at 11th Avenue and end where you started ………. 3.2 Km Distance

THE GREAT LOOP – 7.4 kilometers

Start at 11th Avenue head towards 32 Street
Right at 32nd Street and head towards C5
Left at 38th Street (University Drive) and head towards 8th Avenue
Left at 8th Avenue (new road) and head towards 34th Street
Right at 34th Street and head towards St. Lukes at 32nd Street
Cross 32nd Street and proceed straight to 3rd Avenue towards Rizal Drive
Upon reaching Rizal Drive turn right and head towards 32nd Street
Right at 32nd Street and head towards 5th Avenue
Right at 5th Avenue and head towards Old Lawton Avenue
Left at Old Lawton Avenue and head toward McKinley Parkway
Right at McKinley Parkway and head towards 11th Avenue
End at 11th Avenue at the point where you started your run …. 7.4 Km Distance

Run safe and see you on the road.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10.10.10 Pasig Run - Awesome 101,000 Runners / 116,812 (?) Phil. Star

Sometime early August during one of my early morning workout at Ultra Pasig, Coach Rio informed me that he just signed a contract to handle the race operation for the A Run For The Pasig River 10.10.10 with respect to the 10k/5k/3k events (21k event is a Ceremonial Run for the Armed Forces and the National Police). Coach Rio was very excited about the event as it would be the first time that he is going to be involved in this magnitude of an event, an attempt to break the GUINESS WORLD RECORD for the LARGEST ECO-FOOT RACE being 110,000 runners at the "Bay to Breakers" race in San Francisco, California in 1988.

In the Philippines, I am not sure what is the record, however, I am pretty sure that it cannot even be half of the figure. Further, it is going to be a mammoth task just to handle the logistics, security, traffic, race organization and all the basic needs of a decent running event and the gargantuan task of crown control.

Starting point for the 21k was at SM Marikina, 5K at CCP Complex and 3K at MOA with all categories to finish at SM Mall of Asia (MOA).

I was entered at the 10k event and the starting line was at Ayala Avenue corner Makati Avenue (Manila Peninsula Hotel area). I was at the vicinity by 5:00am and traffic was already building up at the corner of EDSA and Ayala, which was already closed for traffic. Immediately I noticed that designated CLUSTER AREAS 1-7 were posted along Ayala Avenue. I was not aware what it was for nor where I was supposed to position myself. I looked at my bib number and it started with number 3 so I inched my way to Cluster No. 3. While awaiting for the gun start it was then that it came to my mind the logic of clustering in the starting line, as with the magnitude of the runners, it was for the safety purposes that runners are dispatched by batches to avoid stampede. I noticed that all efforts were made by the organizers to cope and handle for the various needs of the runners. Impressive indeed. Over and above I was greatly impressed on the safety and security handling which was very visible within the staring area.

Even before the race it was an establish fact that race of this magnitude is more of a FUN RUN in nature rather than of a competitive nature. There is no way that you will have a clear running field on our own. At 5:40am the starting gun was sounded. It was not until 5:47am or 7 minutes after the 1st cluster was released that cluster no. 3 where I was positioned was released. You could just imagine the volume of runners. It makes me wonder what time was cluster no. 7 was released.

From 0km to 5km mark it was zigzag running or jogging to be precise, as I doubt if any runner has a clear field to run. However, it was A GREAT FEELING to see and be part of a massive volume of runners like a flow of human being in the streets. Awesome is my only word for it.

From 5km to 7km or from the junction of Buendia and Roxas Blvd all the way to Macapagal Highway was a WALKING STRETCH. It was at this point that the 5km runners and 10k runners join on one route and now the volume has quadrupled.
From 7km to 9km marker the 10k runners deviated from the 5k runners and a little legroom was experienced.

Finally from 9km to the finish line it was a parade of a sea of people. Now the 3k, 5k and 10k joined on the same route to the finish line. It was around 7:28am by this time and the temperature was at about 31C and very humid with volume of people around you. I could hear then a band singing in the stage and a great number of people looking for their lost friends and relatives. After crossing the finish line, it took me a good 10 minutes to inch my way to the exit area where a number of marshals are doing a hand counts of the runners as they exit. I assume this is to verify the number of running finisher participants against the number of registered participants but may have not actually run.

After my exit (and being counted) it was another 15 minutes before I could reach my car. My daughter-in-law PAM who was also entered in the 10k actually had to walk from MOA all the way to their residence at Makati for another 7 kilometers. I was joking her that her event was more of a 17km.

Just before completing this blog, I heard from an ABS-CBN newsflash that the 10.10.10 Run for Pasig was able to have 160,000 registered participants with 101,000 counted actual runners as per SGV tally. It was a Philippine Record, but, it was short to break the GUINESS RECORD of 110,000 runners.

I am proud to have taken part on this event, I am proud of the different schools, corporations, individuals, organizations, Armed Forces and National Police who were part of the event, I am proud of race organizer (Coach Rio) and I am proud of ABS-CBN to spear head this event.

In the end I only pray that the event would awaken the people to save Pasig River and our environment.

What better way to communicate the message than via our love for RUNNING.

Post Script : Oct. 11, 2010 0940 hrs.

I have just gotten hold of the Philippine Star and on their front page they have a captioned of "116,812 join Run for Pasig River" . The figure quoted was certified by Sycip, Gorres and Velayo (SGV). At this stage I am a bit confused as to the actual recorded participants. Anyways, the official figure should be out in a few days. hereunder are scanned copies of the front page photos from the Philippine Star and The Philippine Daily Inquirer.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Running A Therapy In Life

Everyman has his own favorite nook in a house where he spends most of his daydreaming, meditation or just passes the time. To me my favorite place is our sitting area with a panoramic view Metro Manila and even a view of the Corregidor Island on a clear and smog free day.

It was during one of my lazy time last weekend that a question pops out in my mind. “What is really the reason why a person gets hook-up into running?” I wanted to find an answer and I need not go any further and have only to find out from myself why I keep on running?

To better understand and explain matters let me first provide you the meaning of THERAPY which I think is the keyword.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Therapy (disambiguation).
Therapy (in Greek: θεραπεία), or treatment, is the attempted remediation of a health problem, usually following a diagnosis. In the medical field, it is synonymous with the word "treatment". Among psychologists, the term may refer specifically to psychotherapy or "talk therapy".
Preventive therapy or prophylactic therapy is a treatment that is intended to prevent a medical condition from occurring. For example, many vaccines prevent infectious diseases. An abortive therapy is a treatment that is intended to stop a medical condition from progressing any further. A medication taken at the earliest signs of a disease, such as at the very symptoms of a migraine headache, is an abortive therapy.
A supportive therapy is one that does not treat or improve the underlying condition, but instead increases the patient's comfort.[1] Supportive treatment may be palliative care.
RUNNING is a THERAPY and the cheapest form at that. When I run, my inner self has the undivided attention as to my worries, problems, needs, and expectations may any or all of these be concerning a family member, a friend, myself or any person under the sun. It is during my run that I talk to myself and find solution or plan to address situations or just ignore situation at hand. It is my psychotherapy or "talk therapy".
Running has been my Preventive therapy or prophylactic therapy at it is then that I am able to evaluate and see things as they are. Running has been my An abortive therapy as in running I do plan corrective measures or just address the issues at hand. Running has been my supportive therapy while there are times or even most of the time, the things that goes into my mind do not actually get solve or do improve the issues at hand, however, my just talking to myself in running makes me open up to reality and see issues as they are. My state of denial is overcome making  me acceptable to the situation or just ignore the whole issue.

I tell you all runners talk to their own selves whenever they run, knowingly or not. I think by some unexplained chemical or biological reasons our body when put on the stress of running reacts by opening our mind and allows us to talk in within. Does this sound crazy or logical? To me it does and I think to most if not all runners. It is this very reason I think that makes running additive and high. It is a time to be on your own, a chance to talk one on one with oneself. You can be honest, realistic, open and acceptable to issues or just take the opposite stance of all the good characteristics and play the devils role without actually causing any immediate damage to anyone as everything is still only in the mind. It is a MENTAL EXERCISE. Running makes your mind awake and active either you like it or not.

On your regular run, begin with a short prayer and meditation of POSITIVE actions and dreams so that your mind would have been primed up for positive actions. Anyway, your run will not only test your physical well being, but, will keep your mind moving and wandering with each stride your make.

All these for what they say “sound mind and a healthy body”.

Friday, October 1, 2010

10,000 Km Club

Yes, as of October 1, 2010 I am now a member of the 10,000km Club.

I started my daily running on April 27,2007. After 3 year 5 month and 5 days (lapsed time not running time) I have logged a total of 10,010.23km. I started documenting my daily run with a NikePlus and after 4 months shifted to Polar and a year after shifted to Garmin. Presently I am using a Garmin  310xt.

While I feel great to have reached the 10,000km mark, I find that my age is catching up on me. I do not feel as strong as I was 3 years ago. Not that I am sickly at present, but, I could just feel that as I am about to enter my 60 years of age, my legs are getting heavier and my lungs are getting smaller. With these in consideration, baring any major health problem and with God’s guidance, I hope to reach the 20,000km by October 1, 2015. I have given now a time frame of 5 years due to conditions provided earlier.

To those of you who are still young, make good use of your youth, easy on the liquor, night outs and invest on healthy foods and exercises so that you will have a much stronger and healthier mature life when you reach your 50’s and 60’s. How I wish that I could have been as health conscious then as I am now.

See you guys on the road!