Kinderdorf Leben

A Runner’s Life

BF Pasko Run Comeback

I am back!  My last post was about the 15k Masters last September 2009.   Posts would have continued but Ondoy & Co. as well as work waylaid my appetite for posting.  I nevertheless continued to run but to a lesser extent – instead of logging 50k/week my monthly total dipped to 118 in October and 109 in November.

After the Eco Dash last September, my next race was to be the New Balance Power Race last November 29.  My runs in between consisted mostly of short and easy 6k to 10k runs, which were intended to keep myself fit.

It was at this time that I was able to run in Faridabad, India and Bangkok, Thailand.  But I would still consider our streets runner friendly notwithstanding our undisciplined drivers.  India is too dusty you need a mask to protect you from the dust and pollution while Thailand is too crowded.

The New Balance Power Run was my first run after a 2 month absence.  I had not accumulated much mileage so I just considered it as an easy long run.  My lack of mileage logged in showed its toll on me after 16kms.  This was compounded by the McKinley hill inclines.  I never expected the new route in McKinley hill.  Hence I felt spent after this segment and finished the race with a disappointing time of 2:36:25.

I began to have second thoughts about joining the full marathon of the Condura Race in February 2010 given my difficulty in logging in 60-70kms/week.  So I just had to play around what is practical and doable – 35 to 45 kms per week with tempo runs and short speedwork segments.

This type of workout immediately paid handsome dividends in the BF Pasko Run last Sunday.  This run was initially intended to be part of the usual Sunday easy long runs.  But it turned out to be a fast tempo 10k race that resulted in a sub-60 min time of 57:37.

My day started at around 4:20 am when I ran to the race area in BF Paranaque from my house in Alabang for a warm up.  I felt good throughout the run.  At the race area, I positioned myself at the rear (as usual) and started with a pace of 5:49/km, which I thought I will not be able to sustain.

As the race progressed, I was pleasantly surprised that my pace remained at the 5:35-5:50/km up to kilometer 9.  At kilometer 10, I tried and was able to accelerate to 5:25/km.

Its nice to be back in the circuit and be with the Takbo.ph and Happy Feet people again whom I sorely missed during my absence.

December 14, 2009 Posted by | Ramblings, Running | 3 Comments

The Masters’ Touch

Last Sunday, a project of Jovie Narcise aka Baldrunner came to fruition – the 1st Masters’ Run.  It was a unique running event where only male runners above 40 yrs old and female runners above 35 yrs old can participate.  The race course had a distance of 15kms, which covered the perimeter of Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

As announced the race had no frills or corporate sponsors.  It was simply an honest to goodness run where the old fogies simply compete among themselves.  While the spirit of competition was present, the atmosphere was more of a community event where everyone was there to have a good time.

I arrived at the race site at around 4:45 am just to make sure that I will be able to pay and get my race bib from the registration table.  As I arrived at the race site good ol’ Jovie was there supervising the minute details of the run and making sure that everything will be fine.  Then at 5:15 am the participants started to swell.  All were in high spirits and ready to go.  Not even the rains could dampen the participants who were in for a rain drenched race.

A brief opening ceremonies ushered the participants to the starting line.  The starting gun was fired right after the last minute instructions from Baldrunner.

Everyone had a grand time running to say the least.  The route was a combination of flat terrain and reasonable uphills.  Above all we were treated to the beautiful greens of Camp Aguinaldo.

The distance was exactly as announced – 15.06 kms.  A rarity in the Philippine running circuit.

Overall the race was well-organized and managed.  There were enough marshals who were assisted by the Military Police, adequate water stations, enough finish line chutes.  Above all, there were enough freebies for everyone at the finish line.  More importantly, the organizer Baldrunner was there at the finish line to greet all finishers for a job well done.  Only in the Masters Event!

Each participant can have water, Gatorade, ice drops, buko salad, bananas and of course, ice cold San Miguel Beer Pale Pilsen, San Mig Light, Red Horse and rum-cola.

For me the race proved that we can have a great race with a minimal fee of P100.00 and without corporate sponsors.  All that is needed is help from well-meaning friends.  Above all it proved that the Masters (aka Oldies, mga gurang or amoy lupa) still has what it needs to finish a race.  It was simply The Masters’ Touch”.

The Masters Run was a fitting way to get back to road races and blogging after a month’s hiatus.

Here are some pictures that I grabbed from Jerry Karundeng (High Altitude), Bro J and Jonel (Bugobugo85)

Masters 3

Masters Run 2

Masters Run 1Masters 5

September 8, 2009 Posted by | Running | 5 Comments

33rd Milo Marathon – 21K San Fernando, La Union leg

It all started last year when I read the post of Jonel aka Bugobugo85 and Hardcore Runner about the San Fernando, La Union leg of the Milo Marathon.  I was full of envy then and yearned to run a race in my birthplace (San Fernando) and hometown (Bauang).

San Fernando is the capital of the province of La Union and is the place where most of Region I (Ilocos Region) offices are located.  It is around 51/2 hours away from Manila.  My hometown – Bauang – is 10kms away.  Both places are famous for the beach resorts, Poro Point Freeport, cultural places to name a few.

The San Fernando leg of the Milo Marathon was organized by Engr. Joseph Dumuk, a distant relative (kabagis) and the veritable Rudy Biscocho.  The 21k race starts from the City Plaza going through the Diversion Road, then the National Highway all the way to Bauang and back.  The organizers left no stone unturned on the preparations and logistical support.  They had the full support of the PNP, Red Cross, local governments of San Fernando and Bauang as well as schools and civic organizations.

I was worried that the race will not push through as it was Signal No. 1 in La Union.  No thanks to typhoon “Jolina”.  I texted Manong Joseph to inquire if it will push through or not.  But the prospect of running in my birthplace and hometown was too much to ignore.  So, I left Alabang at around 7:00 am after writing in Facebook that I will run the race rain or shine.  “In my religion there is no Signal No. 1 or Signal No. 2!”.

I got a sigh of relief when Manong Joseph replied “Its all systems go”.

I arrived at San Fernando around 3:00pm of August 1, 2009 and immediately went to the Sangguniang Panglungsod offices to register.  No problem during the registration.  Much to my surprise there were only 79 who registered for the 21k event and only 72 for the 10k event.  But the 5k and 3k events had more than 3,000 registered participants.

With this number, I surmised that those who registered for the 21k event were the elite runners of Region I and Baguio.  I was resigned to the prospect of finishing dead last.  But what the heck, I was there to enjoy the run with a 2:30 goal.

There was a slight drizzle on race day.  When I arrived at the race area, I was guided to the starting line and saw Team Logan (Craig, Michelle and Justin) in one of the tents.  After bidding each other the best, I went on to see Manong Joseph (Dumuk) to thank and greet him personally before the race starts.

A quick glance of the 21k runners made me nervous.  Most of them were indeed elite and varsity track and field athletes.  Only a few non-elite but young grizzled veterans.  To my mind, I was the oldest participant. 

The starting gun was fired at 5:29 am.  The runners in front literally made a mad dash towards the diversion road.  I was literally left behind together with 2 other runners. 

I was tugged along by the field and was forced to run at an average pace of 5:43/km for the first kilometer.  I was not able to maintain this pace so I slowed down to 6:12/km in the second kilometer until settling down at 6:39/km at the third and fourth kilometer.

Being the last has its perks!   A PNP vehicle and a support crew closely followed me.  This was to me a blessing as it made the trucks, buses, jeepneys, cars and tricycles careful to pass.  I was literally far from harms way.  Imprtantly I can concentrate on my pace and reminisce.

At the fifth kilometer, I slightly picked up my pace to 6:10  up to 6:32/km and able to maintain it up to the twelveth kilometer.  It was at this point that I was able to pass a runner.  He tried to pass me in return by walking and running.  I knew he would’nt last and left him before entering my hometown, Bauang. 

As we left the town proper and the turn around point, I spotted another runner in the horizon.  But nostalgia and happy memories took over as I passed on familiar houses and places.  I was simply savoring the pleasant memories as I left the town proper.

I did not notice passing the other runner as I slightly slowed down to 6:41 at the thirteenth kilometer up to the time that I entered San Fernando. 

By this time I knew that a PR was on hand.  However, I began to slow down to a 7:00/km pace after the sixteenth kilometer.  It was coasting along time at this point until the twentieth kilometer where I picked up speed to 6:57/km and finished the race with an unofficial time of 2:21:02.

The San Fernando leg was a well-organized race.  It started on time, there were adequate water stations, more than enough marshals, adequate support crews, a good number of finish chutes, great side-events, etc. 

I was very happy with the results of my race.   The great finish by the Logans made my day complete.  Michelle finished third in the women’s 10k event.  Craig was able to run a sub-60 minute 10k.  Congratulations!  Their hill training is definitely paying handsome dividends.

While I am saddened by the fact that the running boom has not yet picked up in Northern Luzon, I am confident that with more short races in the area it will pick up.  There should be more races in Northern Luzon!

To all those who made the San Fernando leg possible, Diyos ti agngina kadakayo apo!  See you next year.

As an Epilogue, the race again showed me that I have to improve on my endurance, stamina and speed.  Its time for hardcore training. 

August 3, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Globe Run for Home

I originally planned to join the 10k segment of this race but when I registered online, I mistakenly pressed the 21k button.  So I registered for the half marathon without even knowing it until the eve of the race.  But deep inside I was planning to do a long run on Sunday by completing the 10k race and running an extra 8 kilometers.

However, when I claimed by race pack on last Saturday, the people manning the booth asked what distance I am registered and I sheephishly told them “10k but can I upgrade to 21k”.  They told me “yes” and gave me a 21k race kit.  So no more turning back.

I planned to treat the race simply as a practice run.  No PRs to chase except the bliss brought about by running with friends.  I would be happy to finish the race in 2:40.

I arrived at the race area at around 4:30am.  After doing some stretching routines at the parking lot, I proceeded to the corral which was full of familiar faces, Jay Nacino aka Prometheus Cometh (an official 5:30/km pacer), Don Ubaldo (official 7:00/km pacer), Vener aka Run Unlimited, Mesh aka My Iron Shoes, Jonel aka Bugobugo85, Mark and Tiffin Parco aka Mark’s VO2, Tisha Generoso, Tina Narvaez, Mon Domingo, Mel of Lost Command and of course the Takbo.ph posse – Sam, Jinoe, Carlo, Rico, among others.  Knowing my lack of preparation and my goal for the day, I positioned myself near the rear.

The race started at 5:01 am.  I had a goal to run the race at a relaxed 7:00/km pace for the first 18kms and try to pick up the pace thereafter, if I still have something left.  And so it was.  At the first 4 kms, I was running at around the 6:50-7:00/km pace.  More than enough time for picture taking and sightseeing.

For some strange reason, I slightly picked up the pace to 6:30-6:50/km up to 10km.  But on the way back to the Fort I slowed down slightly to a pace of 7:00/km (10km) until the Buendia flyover (12km).    I slightly picked up the pace until 15km at Fifth Avenue where I slowed down at the uphill to McKinley.  At this point my legs felt heavy so I just coasted along and took brief walk breaks up to 18k.  Thereafter, I just ran a relaxed pace of 7:50-7:30/km.  I crossed the finish line at 2:30:10.

At the finish line was the usual comparing notes and picture taking with the Takbo.ph people.

After the Buendia Flyover with the Parcos (photo courtesey of Mark Parco)

After the Buendia Flyover with the Parcos (photo courtesey of Mark Parco)

Along Lawton Ave (photo courtesy of Mark Parco)

Along Lawton Ave (photo courtesy of Mark Parco)

Takbo.ph posse (photo courtesy of Carlo Serrano)

Takbo.ph posse (photo courtesy of Carlo Serrano)

Takbo.ph posse (photo courtesy of Carlo Serrano)

Takbo.ph posse (photo courtesy of Carlo Serrano)

While the race proper was well-organized.  There were issues that arose, which would stick out like a sore thumb if not properly addressed:

  1. Globe VIP Parking – Amado Castro, Jr. personally experienced being asked by Globe security officers to park elsewhere as the parking lot near R.O.X. was reserved to Globe executives.  That was a pay public parking.  Unless Globe has prepaid for the slots.  It turned out that it was not pre-paid.
  2. Prizes not being given on race day –  This was raised by Jovie Narcise aka Bald Runner.  The cash prizes won by elite athletes were not given on race day.  Instead the runners were instructed to claim their prizes on Tuesday, July 21.  To my mind this is not acceptable, prizes should be given on race day.  The winners are elite runners who train daily.  Its not fair to ask them to go back and claim their prizes some other time.  These elite athletes are part of the national training pool should not be given a shabby treatment.  To sum it up this is poor customer service, which I hope is not typical of Globe.
  3. Race Results –  The race distinguished itself with disposable electronic timing chips, which would ensure accurate times and tracking.  Also I have heard that the results would be released on the same date.  As of today the results were not yet released.  Broken promise?

July 20, 2009 Posted by | Ramblings, Running | 6 Comments

Robinson’s Buddy Run – My way of getting rid of a cold

I was looking forward to this race as it was the first time for me to run with a buddy and to test how far I would go with a bothersome common cold.  I was paired with Mon Domingo, a veteran of numerous marathons and races.  Pressure was I should keep pace with him.

At the outset I told Mon to take it easy as I was nursing a cold and my nasal passages were blocked.  To make matters worst, I had a post nasal drip which made me cough.  But knowing that running will produce endorphins that would further boost my immune system, I went on to race and tried to follow Mon’s pace.

I arrived at the race venue at around 5:30 am and had ample time to chat with Happy Feet, Takbo.ph and Hardcore friends.  The atmosphere was homey but competitive.  The runners were simply too happy to see their buddies.

The 5k runners answered the starting gun first and the 10k runners followed suit at 6:15 am.

My buddy immediately switched to high gear at the 1st kilometer where we had an average pace of 6:12/km and a max pace of 5:28/km.  At the 2nd kilometer, our average pace increased to 5:49/km and a max pace of 5:19/km.  It was after the 2nd kilometer that the colds and its accompanying coughing started to hamper my breathing and slowed me down to an average pace of 6:42/km and a max pace of 5:15/km.

At the 4th kilometer (British School/32nd Street area) my breathing became difficult because of the colds and I had to slow down just to catch my breath.  This resulted in an average pace of 6:40/km and a maximum pace of 6:04/km.  At the 5th kilometer, our pace increased slightly to 6:33/km and a max pace of 5:23/km.

At the 6th kilometer (Rizal Drive and 5th Avenue area) my nose got clogged which made my breathing to became really difficult.  I had no choice but to take walk breaks.  This accounted for a slow average pace of 7:40/km and a max pace of 5:55/km.  I was able to clear my nose by the time we reached the 7th kilometer and tried to make up for lost time.  The average pace was 6:23/km and the max pace was 5:33/km.

The 8th and 9th kilometer, my nose started to get clogged so I had to slow down.  This accounted for a slow average pace of 7:07/km and 7:09/km.  At the last kilometer, I decided to see how far I would go.  I picked up speed and stuck to Mon like a leech.  It paid up as the average pace was 6:16/km and max pace was 4:46/km.  We finished the race with a time of 1:06:29.

Me and Mon Domingo

Me and Mon Domingo (photo by Mark Parco)

While analyzing my stats in Garmin Connect, I realized that I can maintain an average pace of 5:49/km and reach a max pace of 4:46/km.  The race also underscored the importance of pacing.   I should have maintained an average pace of 6:30/km at the first 5kms,  picked up speed at Rizal Drive, the 6th kilometer and give it my all from the 9th to the 10th kilometer.

The finish line had a festive atmosphere.  All finishers were given a bag full of grocery items.  This was followed by the usual picture taking and exchange of thoughts about the race and of course my first breakfast at Pancake House.

With the Hardcore Runners

With Tiffin Parco and the Hardcore Runners Jonel aka Bugobugo86, Lester Chuayap, Mari Javier and Ivy Macainan (photo by Mark Parco)

Takbo.ph posse (photo by Bryan Rivera)

Takbo.ph posse (photo by Bryan Rivera)

Breakfast @ Pancake House

Breakfast @ Pancake House (photo by Art and Vima Mendoza

After the first breakfast, I joined my buddy Mon Domingo and the Lost Command (LC) runners for a sumptuous breakfast at Amber’s Best, Pasong Tamo.  It was a unique combination of rice, soup, barbecue, sisig, chop suey fried chicken and pichi pichi.  The LC group just finished their 3 hour long run and I’m not surprised that they were able to gobble up all that food.

I ended the day with another 10k run around AAV in order to recover from the morning run and the colds.  As I write this post, my colds are practically gone!  Keep on running and see you on the road folks.

July 13, 2009 Posted by | Running | 1 Comment

Running Addict – Exhibits “A” and “B”

While browsing through the Takbo.ph shared items, i bumped into the post of daytripper1021.   You’re addicted to running when . . . .  you hang your race bibs on your office cubicle wall!

How true!  To the best of my knowledge Jinoe and myself hang our race bibs in our office wall.  I know there are others out there who proudly display their race bibs, certificates and medals on their office walls.

When I came to know that Jinoe Gavan hangs his race bibs on his office cubicle wall early this year, I immediately scoured my house and car for my race bibs.  I was only able to retrieve a few from my races in 2008, which I immediately hang on my office wall.  My race bibs and medals for this year are however intact.

My Race Bibs

Exhibit "A" - My Race Bibs

My Medals

Exhibit "B" - My Medals

I consider the Doc Fit Takbo Para sa Puso race bib no. 598 special as it always reminds me of the race that I finished dead last among the 197 particiants in that 10k race – NEVER AGAIN!!

These memorabilias however make my SOS kids who drop by my office curious and interested in running.  I just hope that someday one of them will become an elite runner.

July 10, 2009 Posted by | Running | 6 Comments

33rd Milo Marathon – My 10k Story

This is the first Milo Race that I joined since I started running.  I decided to join its 10k side event as a preparation for the San Fernando, La Union leg.  I am registered for the 21k Half Marathon event where I have a modest target time of 2:25.

Knowing that most of my friends have registered for the 21k or 42k event, I knew that I will be running in the midst of strangers.  It gave me time to focus on the race and to check my progress.  I simply planned to maintain an average pace of 6:30 p/km.  No PR attempt although deep inside I wanted to run a sub 60 minute 10k.

I woke up at 3:50 am and after a the morning rituals and finishing one boiled “saba”, proceeded to the CPP complex where I would park my car.  I arrived at the Star City parking at around 5:15 am.  After a brief walk and stretching, I proceeded to take my warm up run to Km 0.  On my way I caught up with the group of Mon Domingo, Tina Narvaez, Tisha Generoso and Mel of the Lost Command.  We had a good chat on the way to the starting line.  But first things first – we will have breakfast at Chow King Star City, period.  I found out that they were registered for the 21k segment.  But given that it was already 5:30 am, I told them that they should be at the starting line.  They simply told me that they will just join the tail end and run the route but only up to the CCP Complex.  They left me as soon as we met the tail end of the 21k runners.

I arrived at the Km 0 at around 5:40 am.  I saw a sea of humanity lined up for the 10k event.  I got worried as I remembered the advice of Vener (aka Run Unlimited) that I should position myself ahead of the students or we’ll be bottled up last.  I positioned myself in the middle.

After a few speaches, the race started at 5:55 am.

Km 1 (6:42/km) – I just ran a relaxed and easy pace at this time and follow the pace of the pack, which I thought was a bit slow so I had to maneuver and zigzag my way through the slower runners.

Km 2 (6:26/km) – By this time, I broke free from the slower runners and ran at my own relaxed pace.  The temptation to run a faster pace kept crossing my mind but I just decided to maintain the easy pace.

Km 3 (6:26/km) – I caught up with a runner of my age group and we exchanged chats on our running experiences, which ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous.  I thought that he was just trying to dare me to slug it out and tire me early as he stuck to my pace as a leach.

Km 4, 5, 6 and 7  (6:31/km, 6:32/km, 6:31/km and 6:44/km) – This was within the Buendia Flyover.  It was at this point that I slowed down a bit due to the flyover climb, turn around point and the water stations.  It was also getting warmer.

Km 8, 9, 10 and 10.52 (6:30/km, 6:30/km, 6:24/km and 6:03/km) –  I started to slightly pick up speed prior to the dash to the finish line.

As soon as I crossed the finish line and got my certificate, I ran back to the CCP are hoping to meet some friends who ran the 21k or 42k events.  I did meet Raymond Martelino, Zimm, Roselle, Jun Llanes and the Lost Command, Mel and Tina N., Eric de Belen of Takbo.ph, to name a few.  I am really bad at names.

Looking back, the race was to my mind well organized.  The 10k and 21 k runners were blessed to have the entire Roxas Boulevard for themselves.  Water stations were reasonably spaced and there was no tabo at timba.  However,  I envied the 21k race participants.  How I wish I was running with them!  But there is time for everything.  See you at the San Fernando, LU leg!

July 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

2,000 kms Logged

Last week, I attended our 24th Senior Co-Workers’ Meeting at our SOS Children’s Village facility in Zarraga,  a third class municipality in the province of Iloilo.  Zarraga is a sleepy town 16 kms from Iloilo City which is famous for its “Pantat” (Catfish in English or Hito in Tagalog).  Zarraga Pantat is reputed to be the tastiest in the Philippines and if properly prepared, its skin can be as crispy as freshly roasted lechon de leche.  It is also here that you can buy one sack of talaba or oysters for only P150.00.

Waiting Shed proudly announcing Zarraga as "Pantat Country"

Waiting Shed proudly announcing Zarraga as "Pantat Country"

Zarraga town hall or 'presidencia"

Zarraga town hall or 'presidencia"

The gastronomic delights of Zarraga gave me a good reason to run in order to burn the excess calories.  Otherwise, I will have to suffer the consequences.

I only had two runs in Zarraga.  My first run was a leisurely run along the highway to Barotac Nuevo and back where I logged in 9.11 kms in 1:06.  The second was a faster paced run at the town plaza which had a circumference of 410 meters.  I had a warm up of 400meters @ 2:51, a 4km run at 25:33 and a cool down jog of 1.09 km at 7:31.  It was at the Zarraga town plaza that I completed my 2,000th kilometer!

SOS Children’s Village – Iloilo is our seventh facility in the Philippines.  The other facilities are in Lipa, Alabang, Calbayog, Davao, Cebu and Tacloban.  Our 8th facility is SOS Bataan, which is located in Mariveles.  SOS Iloilo  has 12 family houses headed by a house Mother who has 10 children under her care, a Social Center for our community outreach programs, a Kindergarten School for the poor children in the community and a Youth facility for our boys who are at least 13 years old.  The Youth facility prepares our boys for independent living.

Facade of SOS Iloilo

Facade of SOS Iloilo

The 12 Family Houses of SOS Children's Village Iloilo

SOS Children's Village Iloilo - 12 Family Houses

Typical Family House that has 10 children headed by an SOS Mother

Typical Family House that has 10 children headed by an SOS Mother

The Youth Facility that houses boys over 13 years old.

The Youth Facility that houses boys over 13 years old.

SOS Social Center and Kindergarten

SOS Social Center and Kindergarten

Having completed 2,000 kms. I decided to reward myself with this Garmin Foreruner 305.  I could have gotten the 405 or the 310 but the 305 has better reviews than the 405.  I can’t wait to test my 305.

My new running aide - Garmin Forerunner 305

My new running aide - Garmin Forerunner 305

See you fellas at the races!  Keep on running.

June 16, 2009 Posted by | Running, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

The Merry Month of May

It has been quite sometime since my last post – I Can’t Wait to Run My Next Race.  I usually post an article almost immediately after my race.  But May was different.  After the Southern Race last May 3, 2009 and Pacquiao’s total domination of Hatton, I was ecstatic to the point that I found it difficult to get my thoughts organized and write a post.

Anyway, May will always be a milestone in my running career.  It was in this month that I started to record my runs.  I joined my first race (Active and Fitness Run), I had my first 10k run (Champion’s Run Along the River) and my first lesson in humility – I finished last at the Doc Fit Run just before my birthday.

This year was pretty much different.  I registered a time 1:05:03 at the Southern Race, 1:09:45 at the Botak Paa-Bilisan, 1:03:48 (a 10kPR) at the Botak-Baguio Run and a 1;41:57 (a 16k PR) at the Earth Run.  I have also successfully reached my ideal running weight of 138 lbs from a high of 168 lbs in January 2008.  These would not have been possible without God’s abundant blessings as He made me injury-free the past year.

Southern Race

The Southern Race was more of a run for the cause of children in need.  It was organized by the Alabang Town Center for the benefit of SOS Children’s Villages.  It had a 3k, 5k and 10k segment.   The race was well-attended and went through the streets of Ayala Alabang Village.  The race was more of a community event but never lacked the spirit of intense competition particularly among those vying for top honors.

The 10k event was slightly short because of a sudden decision of the race director to change the route.  Instead of turning right after the Mindanao Avenue gate and then making a U-turn at the Ayala Alabang-Filinvest boundary, runners were made to make a left turn.

It was also the Pacquiao-Hatton fight.  As Barangay Ayala Alabang offered free viewing of the fight live at the covered courts, I passed the word to my Takbo.ph buddies.  We had a great treat – free lugaw and coffee plus the best seats in the house to watch the fight in widescreen.

IMG_0449

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Part of the crowd that watched the fight

Part of the crowd that watched the fight

Crowd cheering when Pacquiao sent Hatton to dreamland

Crowd cheering when Pacquiao sent Hatton to dreamland

84737838MW031_Manny_Pacquia

Botak-Baguio and Sagada

I also had the chance to have a high altitude runs in Baguio and Sagada last May.  I had fun running with my buddies Mon Domingo, Totoy Santos and Roselle Dadal (aka RunningDiva) at the Botak – Baguio Race.  I simply treated this race as a training run where I will just run at a relaxed pace of 7:00 to 7:30 minutes per kilometer.  But the temperature was perfect and I no longer had the usual shortness of breath associated with the thiner air of Baguio.  I felt stronger after I negotiated the first hill so I decided to increase my pace.  Little did I know that I was then running at a pace of 6:00 to 6:30 per kilometer.  I was able to gain much ground and finished the race at 1:03:48.

baguio botak

After the Botak-Baguio Race, I proceeded to Sagada where I stayed for 3 days before going back to Baguio for the return trip to Manila.  It was an adventure and had great runs at the place.

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Sagada - a view from St. Mary's Church

St. Mary's Church

St. Mary's Church

Hanging coffins at Sugong, Sagada

Hanging coffins at Sugong, Sagada

Lumiang burial cave

Lumiang burial cave

Sumaging Cave after entry from Sumaging burial cave

Sumaging Cave after entry from Sumaging burial cave

One of the uphill roads I ran

One of the uphill roads I ran

Baguio oval

Baguio oval

The Baguio and Sagada runs prepared me to confidently face the dreaded McKinley Hill and Bayani Road at the Earth Run.  I felt strong throughout the 16k race where I started slow and  gradually increasing my pace as the race progressed for a strong finish.  I started to pass folks whom I never thought that I would and finished the 16k race at 1:41:57 with plenty to spare.

I would not have gone this far without the help and advice of runner friends.  Mon Domingo, the Happy Feet and Takbo.ph people were always there for the carbo loadings, kulitans and gigilans that kept me going.  Jovie Narcise through his blog Bald Runner has always been a source of information and an inspiration for newbies like me.

Too bad May is over but the adventure continues!  Keep on running!

June 4, 2009 Posted by | Running, Uncategorized | , , , | 9 Comments

I Can’t Wait to Run My Next Race!

This I wrote in my previous post on the Sun Festival Run moments ago.  It started to rain again in Alabang and whenever it rains nostalgia creeps in.

I cannot help but reminisce the Hope In Motion Fun Runs that I organized for SOS Children’s Villages for the past 2 years, which influenced this year’s Southern Race a fun run advocacy event organized by Alabang Town Center for the benefit of SOS.

Only a few of you know my involvement with SOS as Deputy National Director and what SOS does.  SOS is an NGO dedicated to provide family based care to orphaned, abandoned and neglected children.  The children entrusted to its care are provided with a Mother and a House where they grow up as “brothers and sisters”.  SOS provides for their basic needs and education until they are ready to face the world.  Currently we have a thousand children under our care in facilities in Alabang, Lipa, Cebu, Calbayog, Tacloban, Iloilo, Davao and Bataan.  SOS prides itself in having produced among others, a doctor of medicine, architect, airline pilot, nurses and a police officer.

The first Hope in Motion was a rag-tag event with only a few runners and mostly walkers.  I still did not have the know how of how a run is to be organized given that I was still an occasional weekend runner with no racing experience at that time.  But we made it.

The second Hope in Motion was held at a time when I had just recovered from laryngitis.  It had a semblance of a run as runners increased number.  I wanted to join the run but my condition prevented me.   I just had to content myself with the walk segment, which I enjoyed.  My deep longing to join the run propelled me to train and be a runner.  Hope in Motion had the trademark of the post race breakfast and fellowship.  Arroz Caldo, doughnuts, coffee, native dishes such as puto, kutsinta and kakanin were served for breakfast.

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The third Hope in Motion was definitely an improvement.  By this time I had joined some races and have learned from these races.  I also tried to incorporate them in this run.  It was not a perfect run but the fun and fellowship plus the support of the running community was heartwarming – you know who you are.

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I’m so glad Alabang Town Center organized the Southern Race for the benefit of SOS.

You may be wondering why I made this post.  Well it is simply to promote the cause of my SOS children who once had nothing but were given a second chance in life.

If you believe in the cause of these children and children in need, join us in the Southern Race!  Its one race you’ll never forget.  If you’re not into running; its about time!

April 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 8 Comments

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