Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Globe "Run 4 Home 2011" - Am Back on Big Events

After trying on and experiencing the small race events on weekends it was time to go back to big events and last March 27, 2011 it was the Globe “Run 4 Home 2011”

The Globe “Run 4 Home 2011” had the 21k/15k/10k/5k/3k events which practically catered to all types of runners. I arrived at Bonlfacio Global City (BGC) at 5:00am with plenty of time to spare for my 10k schedule gun start at 5:30am. While I was expecting a good number of participants my best estimate will be only around 5200 which compared to the Unilab Run United 1 last 6Mar11 which accounted for 17,000+ participants dwarfs this event. I could only assume that the Yakult 10 Miler at CCP got also a good number of participants as it was also held on the same day and with a very minimal entry fee.

The 10k event started as scheduled at 5:30am and took the reversed route of the usual BGC-Kalayaan-Buendia. On most occasions the route goes first to the different streets/avenues in BGC and University area before leading to kalayaan all the way to Buendia/Paseo before returning to BGC. This time, it was direct straight to Buendia/Paseo and returning to BGC before going to the University area at BGC. I personally like the route last Sunday as you have to tackle the Kalayaan flyover while still fresh and strong and adjust your pace in reaching the university area. The race proper was of course handle by coach Rio Dela Cruz and nothing much can be said as he always deliver an international standard race event. I was even surprised that just about a couple of hours after the race the results were already posted at the internet.

I completed the 10k at 01h03m04s with the following detailed posted race official result;

I normally do not stay around after the race and immediate head back home to catch my family Sunday Mass and this time it was even an extra effort to head back home faster as I was to pick up my daughter Dawn and her husband Alex who have not been home for 7 years. With them in Manila and until 17Apr11, I will be easing up on my usual weekend races and just hope that I would still be able to log my usual daily early morning runs.

By the way, I am not sure if Coach Rio handled the after race events i.e. distribution of loot bags and water at the finish line or if Globe handled this themselves but just heard that it was a little bit disorganized that collection was bunch up for all categories and the difficulty to get water after crossing the finish line. Anyways, whoever was task to this job we hope that an improvement will be done in the future.

See you on the road!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Casino Filipino Sang Takbo Run 2011 - "The Price Is Right - Come On Down"

With running in its peak of popularity in the country, runners now have an option to select their type of race. In my curiosity to experience the different types of road races available on weekends, I have tried small time races one of which was my last blog event the Race Against Trafficking (RAT) Race last 13Mar11 which turned out to be a good race considering it was small in numbers of participants.

Last Sunday I tried another unique race considering that the entry fee is only P300.00 for all category (3k/5k/10). It is the Casino Filipino 2011 “Sang Takbo” – Run For A Cause. The event was held at Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) with the 10k route going all the way to the SM Mall of Asia and back to Aliw Theater which is where start/finish line is.

Imagine only P300.00 this was like the going rate in 2007. Now a days, the 10k would be from P600-P1000. After having registered for the run, I was surprised to receive a singlet that is of good quality and design and the bib has a “gift bag” and “raffle stub” attached into it. Definitely already your money’s worth.

Race day came and I was already at the venue at 5:00am for a scheduled start at 5:30am. I was expecting a difficulty of parking in the area but was surprised that they have allowed participants to park their vehicles on the opposite road not to be used for running, however, parking fee was P60.00 it was a expensive but that is how the City of Manila charges for street parking.

The race started at 5:45am which was I think the actual schedule than the published 5:30am. Although the race lacks the magnitude and grand festival atmosphere of big time races, the Sang Takbo Run was handled and organized properly. The race marshals were more than sufficient to control the traffic and ensure safety of the runners, the distance markers are more or less the turn around points for the 3/5/10k events and the water station is more than adequate. Bottom line, P300.00 is feasible to have a decent road race. The next P300 race in the calendar will be next week for the Yakult 10 miler also to be on the same venue.

My only comment on this race was that it registered only 9.25km in my Garmin 310xt for the declared 10k route. Accordingly, I could not really say if my unofficial time of 01h02m33s can be considered a 10k run. Maybe a double check on distances can be done by the organizers.

In the end as they say a branded soft drink will cost you P240 on a five start hotel, P100 on a club, P60 on a restaurant and P20 on any convenience store. On each case they are one and the same soft drink, the same quantity, same product but only different venues. So it is up to the person where he prefers/enjoys to take his/her soft drink and how much he can afford in his pocket. Same scenario in running, its how much and how grand you want to take your race! Satisfaction is your personal feeling and experience.

In running, the best is still running on your own, it is free, no specific route, no cut-off time, with only you and the road to decide your ultimate satisfaction.

Happy Running to all.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

RAT Race - A Boutique Race

While I rarely miss major road races in Metro Manila, every now and then I do make selective small road races during weekends primarily because of the routes these small races are held and also to the advocacy that the sponsor of the races are supporting of which I personally do also support.

Today 13Mar11, I have selected to join the RAT RACE “Race Against Trafficking” sponsored by ZONTA of Makati and Visayan Forum Foundation, Inc. The race was held at McKinley Hills in Taguig City with 1k/3k/5k/10k categories.

Small races are like boutique stores/hotels which could be more personalized, intimate and cheaper (entry fee) which if handled correctly could be a good/great race on a weekend for any level of a running enthusiast.

RAT Race for sure had a great 10k route being at McKinley Hills. In my experience the Mckinley 10k route is the most challenging in Metro Manila. It starts at Venice Piazza at McKinley Hills through the hills in the area then to Lawton then backtrack and lo Bayani Road all the way to Heritage Park and back. The route is mostly covering up/down hill inherent of the venue topography.

The 10k category was flagged off at 5:28am with I roughly estimate to be no more than 400 participants for the category. Although small in number the organizers have provided a very dissent and acceptable start/finish and logistical supports. As we progress through the race I was fully satisfied of the number of hydration stations made available and the manner the road marshals have controlled the traffic.

Overall I would like to congratulate the sponsors and organizers for a good race. However, two minor improvements could be done in the future. First the distance for the 10k registered only 9.58k in my Garmin 310xt maybe a double check on the distance measurement to verify actual distance. Second, there were no distance markers along the route. Again, as I earlier mentioned, I am pretty satisfied on how the race when through and the comment is only for future improvement.

01h06m28s after the starting gun was sounded I completed my 10k (9.58k) run unofficial. Considering the hill climbs and terrain of the 10k route I would consider myself on one my stronger finish today.

Small races could be good races and such was the RAT Race which was a boutique in its own.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Unilab Run United 1 - Start of the RunRIo Trilogy and Series 2011

The Unilab Run United 1 last March 6, 2011 ushered not only the 1st leg of the RunRio Trilogy for 2011 but also opened the official running season of RunRio for the year 2011 and Runrio Series.

Even before the actual event of The Unilab Run United 1 it was no secret that the event will be well participated by the running community. A modest estimate of 17000+ runners showed up for three categories 21k, 10k and the 5k events. If figures are correct then this would be the biggest race for the year so far. When I arrived the venue at around 4:45am I was surprised by the volume of vehicles leading to Bonifacio Global City (BGC). There was the rush of cars looking for parking places. Wisely, BGC has converted vacant lots on both sides along 30th Streets into secured pay parking areas. It was sight to see a great number of cars parked at BGC early in the morning.
As I walked at 9th Avenue towards 28th Street I could see that the 21k participants were already corralled and the national anthem was already being played. This was followed by race route briefing and warm up exercises before being finally started at about 5:15am. Just shortly after that all 10k runners were required to proceed to the holding area and the same prerace formality was duplicated. With the huge number of participants, I could not hardly see the starting arc and if I look backward I still could see a good number of participants in my rear. At 5:30am the starting gun was sounded and it took me 02m40s before I was able to cross the starting line. Now that would give you a rough idea of the volume of runners in front of me. I just wonder how many minutes it took the tail enders.

The race route for the 10k was actually my daily 10k route at BGC so it was very familiar territory for me. For those who are not used to the venue it could be challenging route as it has twist and turns with equal ups and downs. 01h13m15s (unofficial) after I crossed the finish line a fully satisfied participant of the Unilab Run United 1.

RunRio has again established himself as one of the best if the not the very best in local road race organizers. I would limit myself to this comment not to sound as a pr man for coach Rio for all the logistical and operational needs of a road race was of world class standards.

United Laboratories being the sponsors of the event have definitely poured a sizeable amount of investment in providing the financial and logistical support. The event has so many side events that you could participate in after the race event. The partnership between RunRio and Unilab is indeed a match made in heaven for the running community to bring quality race event. Mind you it is now even going outside of metro Manila. For those who are in the province you could look forward to the following events to mark your calendar;

- August 14th Davao City

- October 2nd Iloilo City

- October 9th Bacolod City

- December 4th Baguio City

- December 18th Cebu City

That is a nationwide race event schedule. So for those in the province mark your calendars as early as now and braze yourselves to hit the road.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

RunRio Trilogy Awards Night - "Philippine Oscar in Running"

A day after the 83rd OSCAR Awards in Los Angeles, RunRio came up with its own RunRio Trilogy Awards Night on March 1, 2011 at the Decagon, Silver City Pasig.

The night was a fitting celebration in awarding runners who have completed the following Runrio races at 2010, Leg 1 “Century Superbods Run 2010’ (15Feb10) 21k, Leg 2 “Nature Valley Run” (30May10) 21k, and Leg 3 “Unilab Run United2” (21Nov10) 32K.

RunRio and its sponsors were great in coming up with a great theme for the awards night. Coach Rio and his staff being meticulous as they are did a great job with a great venue, OSCAR inspired props and d├ęcor, good food and equally great program. RunRio indeed is the name in local race organization.

It was also during the night that I heard the good news that RunRio has expanded its partnership with Unilab and that they are now going out of metro Manila and will be having races in Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon. I did not catch the specific places but what I could recall was Cebu and Davao. So for runners in this places better start your training and look forward to the arrival of world class races in your places. Good race events should not only be in Manila.

I would just like to thank “Kulit Runner” Vims Mendoza and her husband Art for being so kind and accommodating in keeping me company during the event, introducing me to runners, bloggers, guests and most of all for getting me an opportunity for a photo op with Miss Venus Raj. (picture below)

To Coach Rio, keep up the good work. You make us all Filipino proud of your achievements. It was nice of you to give something back to the runners. Only a real runner can understand a runner’s needs to be able to deliver world class service. More power!