Sunday, May 3, 2015

64 Years Old and Getting Older Each Day

May 3, 1951 - I am now an Old Man at 64 Years Old

Yes my friends I have officially turned 64 years old. Before everything else allow me to thank the Lord Almighty for all the blessing, the trial, the joy, the sorrow, the successes and failures of the 64 years in this world. To my wife, HERMIE whom I have lived shared a single bed for the last 42 years thank you for the love and understanding and standing by me on all the weather conditions we have sailed together. Our gift of joy and blessings for our children DAX (rip) DAWN and DENNIS, my children-in-laws ALEX, TINTIN and PAMELA, my grandchildren KIRSTEN, MAXINE, GABY and BENEDICT, my 86 year old mother LEA, My brothers/sisters and their spouses, My in-laws and relatives on the DE CASTRO CLAN, my office managers and staff, my support group in Couples for Christ, my friends in Golf, Running and Biking and those that have touched my life in one way or another, I would have not reached 64 years without your support and I praise God for just being part of my life.

Thank you to all who have greeted by phone, text, email, facebook and in person.

Allow six (6) of myself to THANK YOU for the 64 years.

All 6 of us say "Thank You"

My Birthday Song

As has been customary all over the world a birthday is always celebrated by a birthday song. However, for this year I have chosen a special song which I wish to share to all and should you have the time and patience it would be great to listen carefully to the lyrics;

When I Am Sixty Four - performed by Barbershop Quartet (A Cappella)

How it feels to be 64 years old

Getting old is a reality in life and no amount of exercise, medication or surgery will REVERSE ageing process of nature. Age reduces our physical capabilities, but, it is of utmost importance to keep ourselves moving about and engaging in whatever exercise we might find joy and relaxation as only through continuous exercise will we REDUCE THE MAGNITUDE OF THE DECLINE IN STRENGTH DUE TO AGEING. I have learn to come into terms with the reality in life that in everyday that I grown older my strength and capabilities is diminishing. I am not as strong as I was yesterday compared to today, but, I have promised myself to continue my enjoyment in Running, Race Walking, Biking and Golf as it has made my life today at 64 better, bearable, enduring and mobile.

Different Sports I find Joy and Happiness

 "Black Beauty"
"Black Beauty" and myself at Tagaytay Highlands

Sunday, July 29, 2012

36th Milo Manila Elims - From A 10k Perspective

After being out of circulation in the local road races, its was a welcome sight for me to return and what better time to return on the road than via the 36th Milo Manila Eliminations at the Mall of Asia (MOA).

On my way to the venue at the junction of EDSA and Roxas Boulevard, I could see sillohuettes of runners at the flyover bridge. I assume these should be the 42k runners which was supposed to be flagged off at 3:00am and at that time it was around 3:50am There was no rain but you could feel it in ypur bones that rain should be dropping in any minute.

By 4:15am I was already on queue at the northern open space parking of MOA and as expected it was full and I was one of the last vehicle that was allowed to enter the parking area.

By 4:25am I was already at the starting area and the emcees were briefing the 21k runners and about to send them off. At exactly 4:30am the 21k runners were released which I had the opportunity to witness. God there were a lot of runners. 31/2 minutes after the start, there were still runners crossing the starting line. I leave it up to you to estimate how many were there.

At 4:45am all 10k runners were allowed to enter the holding area and the usual pre-race formalities, briefing and what have you were done by the emcees. As per the announcement, this event was more than the 42k and 21k events in term of participants. At exactly 5:00am 10k runners were released using the usual Diosdado Macapagal Avenue to Sotto Avenue in Cultural Center then to Roxas Boulevard until the crossing of Vito Cruz and back to MOA area for a good distance of 10k.

01h25m15s after, I crossed the finish line on race walking mode a good 5 minutes ahead of the sweeper time of 01h30m on running mode. It was not the best of my race walk time but I feel good that there were still a big number of runners behind me who were running and walking in the process.

Milo Marathon is already an institution and what more could you expect except that it is getting higher and higher in its degree of excellence in the matter the race is held. To think that they are doing this almost every week on different regions in the Philippines to make sure that the be able to bring the sport all over the island which is to highlight of the 36th Milo Finals at Manila sometime in December. To the Nesle group and their brand Milo THANK YOU. They have done so much to the youth and those who are needy and wanting. To Coach Rio dela Cruz who has handled this event on the race technical side for the last two years congratulations as always.

From the finish line to where my van was parked it was a good 3/4km so I took the said distance to cool down. A minute after I arrived my car a heavy downpour of rain finally came. It was heavy in every sense of the word. Another race that spared me from the rain, but, not the others as most of the 42k and 21k were still on the road.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

PATAFA Grand Prix Road Race 2nd Leg - I Had Roxas Boulevard For My Own

Philippine Amateur Track & Field Association (PATAFA) conducted today July 1, 2012 the 2nd Leg of PATAFA Road Race Grand Prix.

I arrived at Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park at around 5:10am and was worried on parking availability and safety at the venue. To my surprise I was able to enter and park just opposite of the Grandstand as there were only a handful of cars. Considering that the gun start for the 10k event was scheduled at 5:35am there were not so many crowd. A short while later, I found out that the 21k event has not yet been gun started so I was wondering how this event was going to transpire.

I was approached by a foreign participant and was asked if it was the norm locally that race scheduled are late as he was entered for the 21k event and it was already 5:30 and still awaiting for their start. I was embarassed to reply that it is not so and that local races do start on time and I just do not have any idea why this race was running late. Anyways, at about 5:45am the 21k event was gun started and to my surprised I saw that there were no more than thirty (30) participants all in all for the 21k event.

At 5:51am the 10k event was started and again there were no more than 30 participants in our group. About 2 km from the starting line, although I felt bad that there were so little participants, I could not complaint as the route was well supported by hydration, marshals and police force to ensure the safety of the route. From the Cultural Center of the Philippines all the way to the Japanese embassy (the turning point) marshals have strictly enforced that only registered runners are on the road. This was something new to me. I have no traffic and have the road all by myself. I could even close my eyes and not worry to trip or bump on something. No bad.

From the Cultural Center until back to Quirino Grandstand although the road was primarily for runners, non registered runners and bicyle enthusiasts were as well using the route. I do not mind sharing the road with them as the atmosphere was pleasant and encouraging.

01h23m47s I crossed the finished line on my race walk mode. It was a very pleasant workout with the route all by myself.

To PATAFA it was a good event, but, I hope they could have marketed the event more as they could have made more runners happy . Other than the late start things were well handled and managed. I shall support you again on the 3rd leg and hope that you will be able to generate a bigger crowd.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Run United 2 - Spared by the Rain

For the last two years (now on its third year) Run United sponsored by United Laboratories has built a reputation of its own as one that is well organized and generous in its give-aways to the runners. The event runs trice in a year and has been dubbed as the RunRio Trilogy. Today 17Jun2012 is the 2nd part of the trilogy for the year 2012. As expected the running community were there to support the event even with the rain threat from the tropical storm "Butchoy".

An hour before midnight I was still at Mall of Asia (MOA) having just attended the formal opening of the MOA Arena with a musical concert of various big named local artists of different ganre called ICONS AT THE ARENA. It was a great musical concert to formally open THE ARENA which also highlighted a tribute to HENRY SY the founder and grandpatriate of SM MALLS and its buiseness empire. Great as it was, but that is another story. Five hours after I was back at MOA this time for the RUN UNITED 2.

Leaving my house it was raining hard and with the lack of sleep, I was not really in great shape for the run. Minutes after my arrival at MOA for whatever reason the rain stopped. Belive you me, the rain never came back allowing the 10k/5/3f/500m events be completed free from rain. The 21k event started at Bonifacio Global City and I just assume that haft the route the runner on this event experienced rainshowers.

Just before the gun start I decided to do the 10k event on RACE WALK to sustain whatever energy I have due to lack of sleep. 01hr 25m 09s after the gunstart I crossed the finish line.

There is no need to critique the race as it has excelled in past and nothing else can be expect from Coach Rio which was the case this time around. While the event ranks as one of those that is highly participated, the threat of the rains could have prevented other runners and be a NO SHOW.

Congratulation to United Laboratories and what can I say prayers were heared in heaven sparing the Run United 2 from being washout by rain of tropical storm "Butchoy".

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Brooks Run Happy 2 - Summer Has Ended

For the last two months running has become an ordeal in view of the summer weather condition. Temperature has been on the limit of bearable with humidity on the 90’s and above so much so that after a run one can expect to be soaked on his own perspiration.

This condition has now changed with the onset of the raining season just a couple of days back. The first road race this raining season is the Brooks Run Happy 2. For whatever reason the organizers of the event have deviated to the usual distances and have instead catered to 21k, 12k and 6k events. 12k and 6k seems to be odd choice of distance.

I wanted just to enter the 6k event but when I tried to register myself at Riovanna last May 22nd the only available distance then was the 12k leaving me with no other option.

I arrived at the venue today June 3rd early at around 4:45am with ample time for the gun start of the 12k scheduled at 5:30am. However, I just barely made myself checked in at the holding pen at 5:28am after going to the ordeal of finding a decent rest room within the High Street complex to relieve myself. Fruits are good but you don’t take it the night before a race otherwise you will find yourself in a very compromising situation. A lesson to remember on my next road race.

At exactly 5:30am the 12k event was gun started. The route took us along the artiliar roads with Bonifacio Global City. I would kike to congratulate the sponsors and organizers for a well organised event. All the logistical needs for the race were well provided and attended to. While there were not that many participants, it was a great event. Thanks to Brooks and hopefully we shall have the 3rd sequel next year.

This race has been particularly memorable for me as from the 8th kilometer onwards until the finish line I was joined by a brother in my field of profession Chief Engineer Vic Esta of ScanPhil who is also a senior runner as I am. It was just like going with the tide as we were exchanging pleasntries and complaining to ourselves why our tummy are still big despite of the rregular running workouts. The talk and company made the run easier down to the finish line.

01h39m57sec after the gun start I crossed the finish line on a race walking mode for the 12k distance. As always nothing spectacular but a great day to welcome the raining season.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ensure To Endure Run - The Weather Factor

In the past "weekend road races" have been an integral part of my workouts. However, due to injuries and sickness in the past three months, I have barely participated on any road races which has been a big void in my regular life. Blessed lately that my injuries are recuperating and with the ultimate goal to find oneself back to my regular routine, I decided to participate in ENSURE to ENDURE 10k event sponsored by Abbott Laboratories.

ENSURE to ENDURE Run has a very unique form of registration. Instead of the usual cash registration fee for the road race, the sponsors opted that a participant purchase any ENSURE products and with a pre-determined amount of purchase, this qualifies a person either to the 5k, 10k or 15k event category. At least registration fee is converted to a product that you can enjoy and benefit from.

To qualify for a 10k event I purchased an ENSURE “Gold” 400 grams chocolate flavored energy powder and a 250ml ENSURE Liquid Nutrition the cost of both is about P810 which about equal amount should a registration fee been collected.  The purchase receipt served as proof of purchase which I did my registration at Riovana at Fort Bonifacio.

Today 20May2012 I arrived the venue at Fort Bonifacio BGC at around 5am and you could easily determine if the race is well participated by the difficulty of obtaining a parking space, which on this occasion was quite easy which translated to a forecast of not so well participate race. Overall with the three different categories, I would guess that there were no more than 2300 participants. Anyways, it is not the number but how the race was to be handled and executed.

At 5:23am the 10k event was gunned off which brought the runners lonly within the Fort Bonifacio Global City circuit of roads. With what I have seen and personally experienced, I would congratulate the organizers of the event as all logistical needs for a good race have been duly taken cared of. The any thing missing is the volume of participants.

The weather was hot and humid but was much better than the previous days. 01h24m21sec after the gun start I crossed the finish line on my racewalk mode dripping wet all over. It was a very slow 10k for me but I would take it gladly considering the weather condition and the long hiatus on my weekend road races. The race name I think more than describe my performance for this event, ENSURE to ENDURE. Yes, I just barely ensured myself to endure the event on a very humid and hot morning. A weather factor indeed.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Celebrating 61 years with 16 Km

Today May 3rd 2012 I turned 61 years old! God I am old! To celebrate the day I think and wish that my age is numerically reversed … 16 ….. what better way to convince myself but do 16km workout early today at Fort Bonifacio which took me along the streets of Bonifacio Global City (BGC) then to Lawton Avenue to Bayani Road until Heritage Park then to C5 all the way back to Market Market and end at 26th Avenue and 5th Street. On a racewalk mode I completed16km in 2.5736 Hrs . It was my worst 16k time. It is the sad reality in life that age is catching up on my body. A lame excuse is that it was too hot and I did not have the right preparation.

I shall be limiting my road races from now on to 10k distance and probably do only the 21k during the Condura events. I still foresee myself to do work-outs on the road but now with a modest distance log of 30-35km/week or 100km per month (use to be 200km/month a year ago).

With the reduction of my road workout, I intend to dedicate more time in my old passion....golfing. Since I picked up running I sacrified a great time of my golfing to running.  I could still remember that between 1994-2006 I was practically playing golf six (6) times a week and that there was a time that my handicap was down to single digit (+9) compared to present which is +22. My problem is that practically all of my golfing buddies either have, passed away, too sick to play or have aged that I need to make new golfing buddies. But, I still love my golfing buddies in Valley Golf and Tagaytay Highlands. They are down to earth and we have shared lots of jokes and laughter during a game and most of all they allow me to win.

I have stopped my oil painting….. since last quarter of last year for whatever reason all the inspiration and drive that use to push me to be prolific and produce a painting a day has died down… the urge that just came all of sudden from no where then has all of a sudden vanished life a wind… I just could not explain why I can not lift the brush now…I pray that the inspiration and talent would come back on another cycle in my life while I still have vision and strength.

To all the people that have greeted me on my birthday, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR REMEMBERING. I hope and pray that in my own simple way I was able to touch your life as you have touched mine and you being a part of my life in that 61 years span. Certainly you were somewhere in that span of 61 years. We may have laught, cursed, fought, smiled, ate, drunk, work, golf, run, played or just talked and shared stories but without you people my life would have been empty. Thank you for being there! Let me continue counting till 100 and I will still be meeting more people till then.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

NatGeo Earth Day Run 2012 - 10k Racewalk Mode

After having been absent in the local road races for almost two months, the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL EARTH DAY RUN 2012 held today April 22,2012 at Bonifacio Global City was a much anticipated comeback event for me. Since the middle of February I suffered stress fracture on my foot then was followed by cough and cold  sickness and just about when I was getting better I did a stupid decision of running before getting 100 percent well which resulted on a relapse which eventually prolonged the healing process.

Prior to today’s event I had logged only about 40k of training so I am a bit apprehensive on the outcome for the event. Last night, I decided to go easy on myself so instead of running the event, I decide to use my RACEWALK mode.

When I arrived at the venue at Fort Bonifacio Global City the 21k event has already been started. As with events that are well attended, finding a parking is a struggle, this event was such.  Only after about 15 minutes of queu at the parking entrance was I able to find a parking space.

At 530am the 10k event was started and took us from BGC to Kalayaan flyover to Buendia until Ayala junction and then back track all the way to BGC for the finishline. The event was well handled, however, I wish that the organizers have used different routes or minimize the distance where the different events converge particularly for the 3k and 5k runners who were more or less just strolling along the route which hampered the 21k and 10k runners. Anyways, it was great to see people trying their best to improve their health in running.

My 10k racewalk resulted with a time of 01h23m43s. Hopefully this will jump start to my full recovery and be back to my usual weekly workout of 30-40k distance log.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Mommy

                                                            My mother in her early 30's

It has been quite a while since I have last written and updated my blog, the last being February 5, 2012. This blog I have mainly used for my passion in running and race walking. However, since February I suffered stress fracture on my right foot which has prevented me from joining weekend road races thus finding myself with no subject to write at. I am just about fully recovered now and I am back again in my daily morning workout but have tapered down my weekly distance from 40-45 km/week to 30-35 km/week to allow my body to recoperate. Not getting any younger.

                                                             My mother in her 80's

I am turning 61 this coming May and as much as I could like not to count the number they do tell quite a lot in a man's life. I am veering out from my usual topic on running and would like to dedicate this blog to my mother LEA CASTRO WHELAN. Yes, I still do have a mother! She is turning 83 years old (born March 22, 1921) she may not be that healthy right now but has had a number or series of operations, you name it she had had it. Praise God, she is still alive and is now living in Sydney Australia with her 2nd husband KEITH WHELAN.

My father in his 40's

Last March 15th was my father's AMADO CASTRO SR. 32nd death anniversary (died March 15, 1980) which I would also like to take recognition of what and who I came to be. Unfortunately God did not grant him longer life in this world as he was only 59 years old when he passed away.

But this blog is for my mother, just imagine being 83 years old! She hates me reminding her of the years. You must have out lived 90 percent of your classmates, playmates, friends and contemporaries. Mommy might not be that physically strong right now but she is very strong in character that you will but lose any argument with her under the sun. Sometimes I find her too hard headed and could just see myself in her 20 years from now, that is if I am as God blessed as she has been.

To my mother, I and my wife Hermie, with my children Dax/Pamela, Dawn/Alex and Dennis, together with my grandchildren KC, Maxine and Gaby,  wish you a very Happy Birthday and we contineously pray for healing and good health. We love you Mommy.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Condura Skyway Marathon 2012 - Running is more fun in the Philippines

For  only a short span of five years Condura Marathon has gained popularity and respect as one of the premier race events in the Philippines. This year Condura Marathon has for the third sucessive years made use of the Skyway and has added the word SKYWAY in its official race event as “Condura Skyway Marathon 2012” with this years’ theme “Run For The Mangroves”. This years’ race categories 42/21/16/10/5/3 all made use of the Skyway an achievement in itself.

When the venue for the event was made known to be shifted to Ayala Alabang I had my apprehension because of the distance from Metro Manila but after witnessing the way the race was organized and handled the event, the manner in which the organizers has made use of the natural layout of skyway entrance tunnel as chute for wave starting formation it was a genius conceptualization of an ideal race event.

Another first for this year was the starting time for the different race events which has the full marathon flagged down at mid-night, 21k at 3:30am, 16k at 4:00am, 10k at 5:30am, 5k at 6:30 and 3k at 7:10am was a great idea to have full control of the road and race at all times. This may have entailed more time, money and manpower, but, the organizers are willing to spend to deliver an ideal race.

I wish to congratulate the Concepcion brothers, Tonton and Patrick for been the driving force behind the race advocacy of Condura. I have witnessed the development of Condura Marathon in the last five years and have only admiration of their commitment to deliver a race for runners by runners being themselves.

I have only one wish for Condura Marathon for 2013, that is hoping that the Department of Tourism (DOT) will adapt this event as an official tourism event for the month of February 2013. Condura Marathon 2013 could showcase that race events in the Philippines are not only handled at par with those of the world but even better. They could make use of the slogan “ RUNNING – is more fun in the Philippines”.

Nature even was with the race event today as the temperature was really cool at 22 degrees centigrade making it another contibutory factor for an ideal race event.

Congratulations to the Condura Team!
“RUNNING – is more fun in the Philippines”