“Angels Wearing Running Shoes”

30 04 2009

Have you seen “angels” wearing running shoes? Yes, they are all everywhere! They don’t use their “wings” to fly but they have their running legs and feet (with their running shoes) to help those who are in need.

Since Tuesday this week, I’ve been doing at least 30-minute active recovery runs in the afternoons and in these recovery runs, I met these “angels in running shoes” and each of them provided support to the projects being administered by the Bald Runner.

Last night, Jonel aka Bugobugo85, Jay Lee Cu-Unjieng, Charlie Chua and Armand aka Pinoy Mafiosi, members of the Hardcore Runners of Team Bald Runner donated eight (8) pieces of Bed Mattress to the members of the Elite Team Bald Runner. These guys will be joining the TNF 100 Sacobia’s Solo Event.

Javy Olives of Team Bald Runner-Professional Group and presently training for the Camarines Sur Triathlon Event this coming August 2009, donated five (5) pairs of used running shoes.

Jael Wenceslao of Team Bald Runner-Professional Group, who is leaving today for the USA, donated seven (7) pieces of “never-been-used” Finisher’s T-shirts and singlets for my Project Donate A Shirt. Jael is going to join the 2009 Eugene Marathon (Eugene, Oregon) this coming Sunday, 03 May 2009. After finishing his first Marathon Race at the 2008 SC Singapore Marathon last December with a time of 5+ hours, I told him that he can finish the race in less than 4 hours. Jael had been a regular member in our “runabouts” and he had shown a great improvements in his latest races.

To these “angels”, thank you once again. May the “Force” be with you always in your running adventures!





“Dirty Secret Tips” in Ultra Trail Running

28 04 2009

The following “dirty secret tips” are highly recommended to those runners who will be participating/competing in the TNF 100 Solo Run which will be held on 23-24 May 2009:

1) On problems of Bowel Movement & Gastro-Intestinal “Issues”—At least 1 1/2 to 2 hours before the start of a long race (marathon or ultramarathon distance), take one (1) tablet of Diatabs or Immodium.  An intake of one tablet will “stabilize” the food and fluids in your stomach/intestines for the next 24-36 hours or even as long as 48 hours. Just be sure that after the race, take a lot of hydration fluids/water and fresh fruits to lessen any problem of constipation.

2) On Pain Relievers—This is one aspect where nobody among the trail runners openly admit that they take “pain relievers” before or during the race. But I have a strong suspicion that these “hardcore” runners take Ibuprofen; Tylenol; or any pain relieving tablets during races. If you are joining the TNF 100 Solo Run, try to take one Alaxan FR after running your first 25 kilometers. That pain reliever will bring you to the finish line without any major leg pain or muscle cramps as long as you follow your food/hydration strategy and race strategy.

3) Dose of Caffeine—GU Roctane had always been my favorite sports gel that has more caffeine than ordinary sports gel. There are other Sports Gel which have the same properties and purpose like the Hammer Gel but I’ve never tried it. Try to take a GU Roctane sports gel every 10-12 kilometers. This regular intake will make you awake during night time and give you the much-needed energy during the race. (Note: Do not litter the trail with those GU empty packs)

4) Preserve Your Strength—On the first half (50 kms), maintain a slow pace and try to preserve your strength for the last 50 kms of the course. Brisk-walk while you are going for the uphill climb and then run on the downhill and level portions of the route. If you think you still have the strength on the last 10-20 kms of the route, then go for it for a strong and hard finish. Learn to brisk-walk and practice in the urban streets of Metro Manila through “walkabout”. Put more time on your feet to the ground. Expose yourself to the heat of the sun during your “walkabouts”.

5) Recon the Place of the Race—Get the map of the route and conduct a “test run”. Don’t wait for the Race Organizer/Race Director to call for a “test run”. Take the initiative and be the first to explore the route. Such initiative will give you the much-needed confidence to finish the race and apply your race strategy. “Knowing the Enemy” or “Know The Terrain” simply does the trick in ultra train running survival. You can also conduct a “test” if there is any cellphone signal in the area. By conducting a recon of the trail route, you will be able to determine your hydration needs and be able to adjust on what type of  hydration pack you are going to bring for the race. You will find out if you need extra clothing needs for the race if you conduct your “test run” in the race route. (Note: The place always rain in the afternoon) 

6) Energy & Chocolate Bars—Expect that there will be no solid foods or “hot” meals to be served in the Aid Stations. The most practical solution for this is to have Energy Bars and/or Chocolate Bars or dried fruits in your shorts pockets or in your pack. (Note: Do not litter the trails with those empty packs of your energy/chocolate bars and other thrash)

7) Extra trail shoes and socks—Through your “test run”, you’ll be able to find where you can have your drop bag located along the route. There is a need to change your shoes and socks as they will become wet due to river crossings and perspiration from the body. Try to look for running socks made of “Coolmax” or “DryMax” materials. I highly recommend them, as well as, from famous ultramarathon runners. During your “test run”, try to run with your wet shoes & socks after crossing those lahar-filled river and test how it feels to run with them (to include some lahar sands inside your shoes).

8) 3-Pocket Trail Shorts—If you don’t want to carry too much load on your pack, get a trail shorts with pockets where you can store your energy bars and sports gels.

9) 2-Bottle Hydration Belt—I prefer to use this type of hydration belt/pack rather than using a bladder hydration pack like Camelbak or TNF Thresher. I have an option of using one bottle for water and another one for sports drinks/electrolyte drinks. Alternately, sipping water and electrolyte drinks would be a nice hydration strategy during the race, making sure your hydration supply will last up to the next Aid Station. When I joined my first Bulldog 50K, I was using my “Small On The Back” Nathan Water Belt for my sports drinks and a “Quick Draw” Hand-Held Nathan Water Bottle for my water. It worked perfect for me.

10) Headlights & Flashlight—Be sure to have those lights during the race, most especially during your night movement. Bring fresh/new batteries just in case you need immediate replacements.

11) Petroleum Jelly and/or Body Glide—Blisters on your feet are prevented by applying petroleum jelly or Body Glide in-between toes and entire feet. This is also to include the crotch area, nipples, upper right arms, Heart Monitor strap area and armpits.

12) Runner’s Cap, Sunglass, OFF Lotion, Sunscreen Lotion, Watch, Bandana & Compass—Bring these items to the race for obvious reasons. Why for a Bandana? Aside from being a “coolant” on your neck when it is already damped and wet with your perspiration, you can use it to cover your mouth to prevent those small insects to get into your mouth as you inhale, on daytime or nighttime.

13) Run With A Group or Have a “Buddy”—Be sure to have somebody with you as your “buddy” during the run or come up with a group of 3-4 runners to make the trail run more fun and enjoyable. You must be running almost at the same pace. Alternately, act as “guide” or “pacer” for the group. Try to Help & Motivate each other to finish the race.

14) Do the “drills” and try the “100-Km Challenge”—One of the “drills” I’ve picked up from my readings and been doing for the past months is the one-leg squats or one-leg bending. Using only one leg, try to bring down your butt at the exact position when one of your legs land on the ground while running and then bring up your butt with the leg straight. Repeat this bending for the next 5 minutes. Do the same one-leg bending to the other leg with the same number of minutes. Try to increase the number of minutes until you are comfortable doing the drill for one hour or more. For your endurance test, find out my previous post on “100-Km Challenge” and try to experience it. 

15) Lastly, the Camaraderie and Helping One Another During The Race is the most important virtue to be developed and encouraged in ultra trail running races. Competition among runners and yourself is only second to the love of the sports itself. Try to develop that habit of asking a runner who is sitting or lying on the side of the trail of what is his condition so that you can relay such information about him to the next Aid Station. Try to share what you have for runners who are in need during the race. You will never know when you need also some help from the other runners. 

Do not “whine” during and after the race. If you “whine”, then you did not do your homework!

Good luck to all the TNF 100K Solo Runners!!!





Grab Your Pics @ Step Up Run!

26 04 2009

I opted to just watch the runners and took some pictures of the members of Team Bald Runner’s Elite & Professional Group and known runners during this morning’s Step Up 10K Run held at the Global City. This race was organized by GMA-7 and Q TV Networks.

Guys, please grab your pictures here and post them in your respective blog or personal file for your souvenir/personal collection.

Hardcores!

Hardcores!

Fast & Furious Mari

Fast & Furious Mari

Michelle of Fitness First

Michelle of Fitness First

Jonel aka Bugobugo85

Jonel aka Bugobugo85

Charlie Chua & Company

Charlie Chua & Company

Bro J & Baby

Bro J & Baby

Flying Mari

Flying Mari

Coach/Triathlete Gonzales

Coach/Triathlete Gonzales

Jay Lee C

Jay Lee C

Ilo

Ilo

My Nephew Lemuel Finishing the 10K Run

My Nephew Lemuel Finishing the 10K Run

Dr. Tommy Tan of Fairview Runners

Dr. Tommy Tan of Fairview Runners

Jess Sacayle of Fairview Runners

Jess Sacayle of Fairview Runners

Fast-Finishing Jonel

Fast-Finishing Jonel





Guys & Gals, Grab Your Pictures!

25 04 2009

I went to AAV to bring the Elite Team Bald Runner to participate in the Sun Fest Run 3K/5K/10K and at the same time take some pictures of the runners. I did not run as I forced myself to a much-needed rest and recovery.

Here are some of the pictures. Just grab them…

T2 Runners

T2 Runners

More T2 & Team BR Lady Runners

More T2 & Team BR Runners

Tiffin Is Getting Faster!

Tiffin Is Getting Faster!

Chuchay With Her Healed Injury

Chuchay With Her Healed Injury

One of the T2 Runners

Vicky of T2 Runners

Mark P Just Arrived From Oakland, CA

Mark P Just Arrived From Oakland, CA

Colonel Noel Miano of the Philippine Army

Colonel Noel Miano of the Philippine Army

My Iron Shoes

My Iron Shoes

Kathy of T2 Runners

Kathy of T2 Runners

The popular Craig With His Son

The popular Craig With His Son

Essie of T2 & New Team BR "Speed" Trainee

Essie of T2 & New Team BR "Speed" Trainee





Do You Need This? TNF E Race BOA Hydration Pack

24 04 2009

Do you want to look like a X-Men while you are running in the “jungles” of Metro Manila and trails of Sacobia, Clark and Batangas?

Do you want to look like the ultra trail runner-model of TNF 100’s website?

Do you want to carry a hydration bladder which is lighter than the regular hydration bladder?

Do you need more space/pocket to store your cellphone, keys, Credit Cards, Cash, Camera, sports gels and energy bars that are easily accessible to your hands while running?

Do you need a “no sound” of water slosh in your hydration bladder while you are running?

Do you need a “sleek and snugged-fitted” hydration pack on your back while you are running?

Do you love wearing trail running shoes from The North Face with the BOA Lacing System? 

Are you willing to pay P 5,990 for this latest hydration pack from TNF?

If your anwers to each of the question is YES, then go for it! Buy one and look good at the TNF 100 Sacobia!

Be One of the X-Men!

Be One of the X-Men!

TNF E Race BOA Hydration Pack Snugged to the Back

TNF E Race BOA Hydration Pack Snugged to the Back

The Bladder is Exposed. The Heat of the Body + Heat of the Sun Would Make Your Cold Fluids to Warm Faster

The Bladder is Exposed. The Heat of the Body + Heat of the Sun Would Make Your Cold Fluids to Warm Faster

Two Velcros (Chest & Belt) & Black BOA Screw Knob. Tighten the Screw & No-Slosh Sound of Water Could Be Heard

Two Velcros (Chest & Belt) & Black BOA Screw Knob. Tighten the Screw & No-Slosh Sound of Water Could Be Heard

Suggestion: When making a refill to the bladder, do not remove the bladder from the BOA pack. Just loosen the BOA screw knob and open the cover of the bladder and directly make your refills.
My Overall Rating on this TNF Product. I bought this TNF Hydration Pack two months ago and I used it once for my “runabouts” at least one month before the Bataan 102. Since then, I never used this product and it is just hanging in one of the corners of my study room gathering more dusts and maybe, waiting for my next “runabout”. I am giving a 4-Star Rating for this product. (Maximum Rating—5-Star)




“Death March Ultramarathon: Running To Honor, Help Vets”

24 04 2009

This is a news article written by Tina Arceo-Dumlao and published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s April 5, 2009 issue. It was posted on Page A4. Hereunder is the exact copy of the said article:

A RUN FROM MARIVELES, BATAAN, TO the 102-kilometer marker in San Fernando, Pampanga, 18 hours.

That is the daunting challenge that 82 hard-core runners, including eight foreigners and five women, will try to meet as they “run, endure and survice” the 1st Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race.

The “few, proud, and brave” runners would have taken off from the Bataan Death March Park at KM 00 at 1:00 a.m. today to retrace the route of the infamous “Death March” of April 9, 1942.

The runners are expected to cross the San Fernando finish line at around 7 p.m.

According to World War II accounts, over 90,000 Filipino and American soldiers captured when Bataan finally fell to Japanese invaders were marched out of Bataan. Around 5,000-10,000 Filipinos and 650 American soldiers collapsed and died from exhaustion or untreated wounds during the three-day ordeal in the scorching summer heat. Those who culd not keep up were beaten or shot. Some managed to escape; some died trying. The 54,000 who managed to reach Pampanga alive were then placed on board on a cargo train to Camp O’ Donnell in Capas, Tarlac.

Retired Maj. General Jovenal D Narcise, the brains behind the ultramarathon, told the INQUIRER that he organized the country’s first competitive ultramarathon to commemorate the dead and surviving heroes of the Bataan Death March.

“We would also like to raise some funds to support the needs of World War II veterans who are now under the care of the Veterans Medical Center,” he said.

Narcise said a similar ultramarathon is held every year in New Mexico in the United States in support of the American survivors of the Death March. He felt that it was just right to organize a counterpart event in the Philippines.

“By the number of fatalities on the side of our Filipino heroes of Bataan and Corregidor, we should be the one who should be doing this memorial service by way of retracing the route they had taken,” said Narcise.

He said the race would help imbue in Filipinos the memory of “the sacrifices that our forefathers offered in the name of defense of the country and freedom from foreign invaders.”

Man known as Bald Runner

Narcise, called Bald Runner in the running circuit, said that with the race, he hoped to put the Philippines on the world map of ultramarathons and make it part of the schedule of adventure tourists.

He said the Bataan 102K race had the potential to be as popular as the Comrades Ultramarathon in South Africa, Badwater Ultramarathon in the United States, Marathon Des Sables in Morocco, Libyan Challenge in Libya, Jungle Marathon in Brazil and Gobi March in the Gobi Desert, China, because of its historical significance.

Narcise said ultramarathons are gaining popularity around the world. A 100-km ultramarathon will be featured as a demonstration sport in the 2012 London Olympics.

Qualifying race for Olympics

“In envision this Bataan 102K as a qualifying race for our future Olympic athletes,” he said.

The 56-year-old Narcise, who boasts of having the same 29-inch waist that he had as a cadet of the Philippine Military Academy, added that he was also inspired to organize the event to get more people to embrace a healthy lifestyle through running—an inexpensive yet effective way to keep fit. 

Narcise, who retired last year as commander of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, has been running since he was a cadet and his passion pushed him to put up the race even without government support.

No support from promoters

“Sad to say, I was not supported by those government offices which are promoting sports development. I was also not supported by those who are promoting tourism in the country. Moreso, I got negative response for help and assistance from people and politicians whom you always see telling the public that they are going to support our quest for sports excellence in the Olympics,” he said.

But far from being discouraged by the lack of support, he went into the project with even greater enthusiasm. Those who encouraged him were fellow running enthusiasts and former subordinates in the AFP who believed in his mission to celebrate heroism by running in the heroes’ foosteps.

Picture of the News Article

Picture of the News Article

My sincerest thanks to Ms Tina Arceo-Dumlao for writing this news article and have it published on the day the race event happened. I really appreciate those countless telephone calls, SMS, and e-mails between us.  How I wished this news report would have been published with www.inquirer.net. My appreciation goes also to Kim O’ Connell who took the initiative of making sure that this event would be known to everybody through her “contacts” and friends.

I had the chance to read this news article when my brother, General Samuel, met  and paced me on my last 9-10 kilometers of the ultramarathon race. I was then brisk-walking while I was reading this article and it gave me the energy-boost to finish the race.

On my way back to Manila after the race, I found out that the Chief of Staff of the Office of the President called me twice on my cellphone during the time while I was running along the stretch of SanFernando-Dinalupihan Highway, within the vicinity of Lubao, Pampanga.  I tried to return the call but it was not answered. Maybe, he was too busy attending the Birthday Celebration of the President and/or preparation for the President’s attendance to the Araw Ng Kagitingan to be held at Mt Samat the following day. 

On the day after the activities at Mt Samat, the Chief of Staff called me while I was in my hometown celebrating the 85th Birthday celebration of my late mother. He informed me that the President saw the runners and myself during the ultramarathon event. However, the main reason why he called me was because of the abovementioned news article. The President read the news article and she was touched by the objectives of the race event even without positive support from the government and personalities who advocate sports development and sports excellence. But, the Chief of Staff tried to help and appease my concern about the lack of support as more time must be neded to process such requests. I told him that I received formal letters from sports & tourism authorities and “personalities” outrightly denying my request. My friend became silent at the other end of the line after telling him that I still have those letters. So, we just talked about other things and the things I am doing to help others.

Ok. Let us move on. On the 1st weekend of March next year, it will be 2nd edition of the BDM 102 and it will be within the Election Campaign Period. I predict that these “jokers & comedians” and wannabe “actors, singers & dancers” will be looking for events where they will be known by the people. The BDM 102 event will never be used for politics and commercialism. Let this be a running event to honor our heroes and a venue for us who are “crazy” and hardcore runners to test the limit of our body’s endurance.

So, train now and have fun!

(Note: I will post the letters from Philippine Sports Commission, Department of Tourism, and some of the “presidentiables” in response for some support to the BDM 102 in due time)





Race Report From Ben Gaetos

23 04 2009

The following is the Race Report of Ben Gaetos on his participation to the Leona Divide 50-Mile Run:

 

LEONA DIVIDE 50 MILE RUN

Lake Hughes, CA

April 18, 2009

 

Is it me, or are the races these days just get tougher and tougher? This thought came to my mind as I climbed the infamous hill at Mile 28 of Leona Divide 50 Miler. Changes were made to the course this year to comply with United States Forest Service safety issues. As if the course was not hard enough, the revision turned out to be a survival race.

 

In previous years, weather has always been favorably cool. Happy days were over, my friend. Mother Nature has a surprise in store for us. Co-race director Dennis Trafecanty started the race exactly at 6am in low 30’s temperature. A slightest delay would have resulted damage control procedure as temps rose to high 80’s at mid day.

 

This year, long out and back climbs on exposed fire roads were laid in the early stage. I looked at the faces of runners. I didn’t have to be a mind reader. They were all telling me that we’re here for a long day. After a couple of weeks of cold and windy weather, this blazing heat was a surprise. Immediately, I backed off even on tempting downhill sections. I had to save something for the big climb at M28.

 

At M28 AS, I was treated with wet wipes in my face, hot noodle soup, Coke, potato and salt, pretzel, ice on my hat, etc. I took a couple of salt pills too. This is it, time to get down to business in these seven miles of straight uphill. Light headedness struck me a few minutes later. I checked my GF305 and it was only M30. No leg cramps but what did I do wrong? I let a couple of runners pass. Slowly, my power walk put me back in the race again. Luau signs on the trail meant M32 AS was just around the corner. That was stimulus energy for me as they had popsicles. Volunteers were even dressed up in Hawaiian outfits. That was a much needed relief to finish up 3 more miles of rolling hills before the turnaround.

 

Coming back, I waited until M38 to make my usual downhill sprint at the single trail. There was no question my previous 10 hr finishes was already in the clouds. Give it my best shot anyway. At the bottom of the hill M42 AS, it was festive moments again as my buddy volunteers tended to my needs. They gave me lots of energy and encouraging words for the final 3.5 miles of climbing. It was steep without the luxury of slightest wind breeze. My legs were tired but I was also closing in to the runners up ahead leading to the last aid station. It kept me going. And guess what, they had ice cold Corona beer. That was all I needed to shift to higher gear.

 

Finally, the finish was in sight. There was no mind reading this time as happy faces and cheers greeted me in 11:52:–.

 

Congratulations and Thanks, Ben for sharing us your experience on ultra trail running in California. More of our runners here are now interested to try the ultra runs after the BDM102. We hope to see you again next year. Good luck!

 

(Note: The LD50 has a cut-off time of 13 hours)





Elite Team BR “Back-To-Back” Wins

20 04 2009

The following were the winners of the Slimmerun 16K held last Saturday:

Overall Men’s Category

1. Alley Quisay—Team Bald Runner—-49:36 minutes

2. Mendel Lopez—Cebu Runner—49:43 minutes

3. Elmer Sabal—Team Bald Runner—50:00 minutes

Overall Women’s Category

1. Marecil Maquilan—Team Bald Runner

2. Ailene Tolentino—Team Bald Runner

3. Janet Lumidao—Fairview Running Club

Elmer Sabal of Team BR

Elmer Sabal of Team BR

Marecil Maquilan of Team BR

Marecil Maquilan of Team BR

The following were the winners of the Greenfield City 21K Run held yesterday:

Overall Men’s Category

1. Alley Quisay—Team Bald Runner—1:14:34 hours

2. Bernanrdo Desamito, Jr—Team Bald Runner—1:14:35 hours

3. Cresenciano Sabal—Team Bald Runner—1:14:39 hours

Desamito, Quisay, & Cris Sabal

Desamito, Quisay, & Cris Sabal

Overall Women’s Category

1. Marecil Maquilan—Team Bald Runner—1:29:56 hours

2. Ellen Tolentino—Team Bald Runner—1:40:11 hours

3. Belle Grandinetti—None—1:46:57 hours

Tolentino, Maquilan, & Lumidao

Tolentino, Maquilan, & Grandinetti

The following were the winners of the Greenfield City 10K run held yesterday:

Overall Men’s Category

1. Elmer Sabal—Team Bald Runner—33:00 minutes

2. Gerald Sabal—Team Bald Runner—33:01 minutes

3. Alquin Bolivar—Philippine Army—33:58 minutes

Gerald, Elmer, & Bolivar

Gerald, Elmer, & Bolivar





Latest Donors: Project Donate A Shoe

20 04 2009

Two weeks ago, I received a Balikbayan Box (BB) full of slightly used running shoes from Joe Matias aka A Running Shoe Guru, the owner of the A Runners Circle Sports Store in Los Angeles, California. The BB contained twenty-six (26) pairs of running shoes. These shoes were received by Joe from the runner-customers of his store located near Griffith Park, Los Angeles.

Balikbayan Box From Joe Matias aka "A Running Shoe Guru"

Balikbayan Box From Joe Matias aka "A Running Shoe Guru"

A View of the Well-Packed Shoes

A View of the Well-Packed Shoes

ASICS-18; Brooks-4; New Balance-2; Saucony-1; Nike-1

ASICS-18; Brooks-4; New Balance-2; Saucony-1; Nike-1

Last week, Mark Robinson from Nottinghamshire, England arrived in Manila and he brought with him sixteen (16) pairs of running shoes for the Project Donate A Shoe donated by his running mates at the Southwell Running Club of the same city where he resides. These shoes were handed to me when he had his running workout at the Mall of Asia last 12 April 2009.

Mark Robinson of Nottinghamshire, England With The Bags Of Shoes

Mark Robinson of Nottinghamshire, England With The Bags Of Shoes

Displayed Running Shoes From Mark Robinson

Displayed Running Shoes From Mark Robinson

To Joe and Mark, thank you very much! These slightly used running shoes will be handed over to our runners in the neighboring provinces of Metro Manila.





Greenfield City 21K Run & Water Station “Tips”

19 04 2009

5:00 AM 19 April 2009 @ Greenfield City, Santa Rosa, Laguna

I have the following impressions when I was running the Greenfield City 21K Run this morning:

1) I thought I was transported to Venice Beach or Costa Mesa, California when I saw the business establishments at the Paseo, Greenfield City

2) A 21K Run seems to be a “speed run” if you consider yourself as an ultramarathon runner. Thus, making a Marathon Race as your “Tempo Run” workout.

3) Runners would congratulate you for organizing and finishing the 1st Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race and they “idolize” you as a “hardcore” runner. Others who could not believe what we have done two weeks ago think that we are “crazy”. That’s the reason why our favorite song is “CRAZY” by Patsy Cline (a Willie Nelson song in 1961).

4) Runners would think that this run was a LSD workout and part of our recovery from the BDM ultramarathon race.

5) Running “Back-to-Back” (Saturday & Sunday) road races is really a “Hardcore” Runners’ Event ( 10-miler & 21K races). 

After running a 16K race yesterday morning, I had to rest the whole day in preparation in today’s 21K race at Greenfield City in Santa Rosa, Laguna. I slept early last night and was already preparing and doing my pre-race ritual at 3:00 AM. At 3:45 AM, I was already on the road to Sta. Rosa and reached the Starting Area at 4:20 AM.

While I was doing my warm-up run around the parking area, I saw the members of the Hardcore Group of Team Bald Runner (those who finished the BDM 102K Ultra Race) who were also doing their stretching exercises. After few minutes of stretching exercises while sharing stories about the race yesterday, we finally proceeded to the Starting Area.

The Hardcore Runners-Team Bald Runner Before The Race

The Hardcore Runners-Team Bald Runner Before The Race

Group Calisthenics Before The Race/ I was in Black!

Group Calisthenics Before The Race/ I was in Black!

There were lots of runners already at the Starting Area and the program started with some Group Exercises and Calisthenics. I did join the exercises and there was a festive mood in the air. The exercises were brief and I immediately positioned myself a few meters from the elite runners and I was in the company of Jonel aka Bugobugo, Lester, Mari, and Michelle. In the true tradition of Coach Rio’s races, the 21K race started very early. It started at 5:00 AM and it was still dark. The 10K and 5K runners would start 30 minutes later.

The Race Started At 5:00 AM For The 21K Runners

The Race Started At 5:00 AM For The 21K Runners

As the place was still dark, I tried to be conservative on my average pace on the first 5 kilometers of the route but the slight downhill terrain would push me to run faster. Nevertheless, I really controlled my pace and I knew that this race is a long one with no uphills on the first half of the race. After running for about 30-40 minutes along a combination of cemented and asphalted roads and entering to other newly-developed subdivisions, the sun started to rise on the horizon and the whole place became clearer…and hotter!

There were lots of water stations along the route but I was pissed off on the first water station when I picked up a water cup without any water in it. I had to pick up another one with water in it while I was still trying to maintain my forward momentum. Sometimes, Murphy’s Law comes into play when the personnel in the water stations thought he/she filled all the water cups with water placed on top of the table but he/she could have missed some. Well, I could not blame them and could not blame myself because it was still too dark when I reached the first water station. There was no way for me to see if the cup was filled with water or not.

Anyway, let me talk about “tips” on how to get a cup of water from the water stations if they are taken/picked up from the table. Due to the positive reponses of Race Organizers about the observations of runner-bloggers on the lack and location/presence of water stations during the races, I could say that the races have improved a lot with regards to water stations up to the point that water cups are already handed by the water station personnel to the runners. This is the reason why I don’t have to bring and wear my Nathan Hydration Belt in road races up to the Marathon Race. The following “tips” are just suggestions if you want to improve your finish time—(1) If you are intending to get water in a water station, try to move to the edge of the road, 10-15 meters before reaching the water station. (2) While maintaining your pace, at a distance of 3-5 meters from the table, fix your eyes to the particular cup of water you intend to pick up, it could be at the near, middle or far edge of the table. (3) Focus your sight to the water cup you intend to pick-up as you get nearer to the table. (4) Extend your arms and pick-up the water cup withour stopping and drink the water, one gulp at a time, as you move away from the table. (5) Never stop  infront of the table as the incoming runners would be prevented from getting their cups while they are in motion. (6) If water cups are being handed by water station personnel, keep on moving forward as you receive your water cup. Don’t stop infront of the water personnel once you receive your cup of water. (7) Before throwing a cup with water in it, be sure that there is no runner on the side where you want to throw it. It would be better to drink all the water in the cup before throwing the cup. (8) Learn & Practice to drink water from the cup while running. 

I was glad the succeeding water stations did not give me any problems. The first 10 kilometers was a breeze as I was able to overtake some of the runners and later picked up my pace from Km #11 up to Km #13.5, the last turn-around point. From that point, I was already on the “speed mode” and wanted to finish hard on this race. But the uphill climb on the last 2 kilometers slowed me down as I joined more runners from the 5K and 10K distance races.

Mari Javier of Team BR-Professional Group Finishing The Race

Mari Javier of Team BR-Professional Group Finishing The Race

At The Finish Line!

At The Finish Line!

I finished the 21K race in 1:48:03 hours with an average pace of 5:08 minutes per kilometer. My GF 305 registered an accurate distance of 21.01K. It is not a PR time for 21K  but I consider it as a “speed workout” for the TNF 100 or for the 2nd BDM 102K Ultramarathon Race! Ha! Ha! Ha! I enjoyed the race as it was a change of road racing/road environment away from the usual race routes in Metro Manila. I also shared nice stories with the Hardcore-Team Bald Runner after the race and I was able to meet new “fans” and friends while waiting for the Awarding Ceremony.

Lastly, I am happy that the members of the Elite Team Bald Runner won almost all the top awards in the 21K (Men’s & Ladies) and 10K (Men’s) Races.

Guys, keep on running and see you soon in the future road races!








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