Too Many Runners & Joggers…

30 06 2009

2nd GIG Run & BOTAK 100K Paa-Tibayan @ UP Diliman Campus/28 June 2009

Yes, there were too many runners and joggers…and even walkers and bikers at the UP Diliman Campus last Sunday, 28 June 2009. Aside from the fact that there were two major road races (2nd GIG Run & BOTAK 100K) during the day, UP Diliman Campus is becoming a favorite workout place for runners, joggers, walkers, and bikers during Saturdays and Sundays.

This is a good sign that more people are into physical activities and engage themselves into an active lifestyle. If only most of our populace are into any kind of physical activity, we could be resistant to any kind of disease, being healthy & strong, relieve the stress we encountered for the past days and even to the point of having a positive attitude in life.

Last Sunday, I joined the 2nd GIG Run as a part of my personal commitment to support the advocacy of the UP Mountaineering Club to plant trees at Angat & Ipo Dams. If not for the “balding” mountains & hills that surround the said dams, the Philippine Army Detachment providing security to the said installations would had never been “washed away” as a result of excessive water from rainfalls during one of the typhoons. Such incident resulted to the “missing in action” of one of the soldiers up to the present. It is suspected that the soldier got drowned and washed away by the strong current of water coming from the dam. Joining this race is my yearly commitment to honor the “MIA” soldier who happens to be under my Command when I was the Brigade Commander in Central Luzon.

The race started at exactly 6:00 AM for the 10K runners and after a few minutes, the 5K runners started their race. The route for the 10K consisted of two loops arounf the major streets of UP Campus which were very familiar to me. The race was uneventful for the first loop but I became slower on the second loop because of the vehicular traffic as well as the presence of so many runners, walkers, joggers, and bikers along the route who are not part of the road race. The traffic condition was compounded with the slower participants of the 5K runners. Aside from the traffic, I felt my body was sluggish because of “jetlag” and sudden change of environment & temperature.

A Pose With Members of the UP Mountaineering Club

A Pose With Members of the UP Mountaineering Club

Talking With Some Runners At The Starting Area

Talking With Some Runners At The Starting Area

At the Start of the Race

At the Start of the Race

My first loop was timed at 23+ minutes and I tried my best to maintain my pace with the target of finishing the race in 47-48 minutes but due to the reasons above, I finally finished the race in 49:04 minutes (based from my GF 305). It was a slow finish but I was happy to be back to the local running community and be able to talk to the usual runner-bloggers and got to meet the new ones.

Under Armor Shirt; CW-X Tight Shorts: & ASICS Hyper-Velocity Speed 3

Under Armor Shirt; CW-X Tight Shorts: & ASICS Hyper-Velocity Speed 3

After the awarding ceremony of the GIG Run, I had a chance to visit the Start/Finish Area of the BOTAK 100K Ultramarathon Race and I was able to talk to Christian Alacar and Neville Manaois, the Race Organizer & Race Director, respectively, and to some of the early finishers of the 100K race and newly-arrived 50K finishers.

Brief Chat with Christian Alacar, Race Organizer of BOTAK 100K

Brief Chat with Christian Alacar, Race Organizer of BOTAK 100K

Awarding Ceremony For The BOTAK 100K/50K Finishers

Awarding Ceremony For The BOTAK 100K/50K Finishers

I observed that the conduct of the Ultra race was a very successful one. This is a good sign that ultra distance running is getting a headway in the country. It is a matter of time that more of this kind of event will be conducted on a regular basis. My congratulations to the finishers of the 100K & 50K for being qualified to be called as “ultra runners”  and to the BOTAK management for their untiring commitment to promote ultra running in the country.

It was already about 10:00 AM when I finally left the UP Campus and there were still a lot runners & joggers along the major streets of the campus. I was all smiles when I left the campus knowing that more and more people are into running. How I wish that all people must be united to run or jog in order to provide themselves a venue or activity to be involved in an active lifestyle and relieve themselves from stress, thereby making them more healthy despite of what is happening around us.

More power to the runners!!!





Rick Gaston: The Ultratrail Runner

29 06 2009

I happened to “virtually” meet Rick Gaston through the blogsite of Ronnie aka Runner For Christ in his Comment section and later started to read his blogsite at Blogger, only to find out that he is a “hardore” and the “best” Pinoy ultra trail runner guy residing in California. I started making comments in his blog and later, we started reading each other’s blog and leaving comments in every post published.

Knowing my advocacies in running, we continued to communicate through e-mails and I was happy to receive a news of his willingness to help other runners in the country. He immediately sent a boxful of  finisher’s t-shirts, jackets, runner’s apparel, runner’s caps and ultrarunning magazines. Most of the shirts are still brand-new.

Rick, in his latest ultrarunning competition, he finished the San Diego 100-Mile Endurance Run last 6-7 June 2009 with a record time of 20:00:25 hours, missing at least 25 seconds for a sub-20 hours, placing him 6th Overall out of 82 Finishers. He also finished the Miwok 100K Run in 46th overall among 260+ finishers which was held on the first Saturday of May 2009 on a rainy and wet condition. Rick has also been active as volunteer/pacer/crew to new ultra runners and ultra races in the Pacific Coast Trail Events in Northern California.

In the box he sent, he enclosed a personal letter and copies of Ultrarunning Magazine. I am going to publish in this post the letter he sent to me.

Greetings Sir Jovie

I’m glad to be able to donate these items for you. My mother has politely declined to receive any more race gears so I’ve been collecting shirts, jackets and other pieces of gear for the last 3-4 years. I’ve been successful in giving some away but not all.

The Lord has outfitted me with all that I need to be successful in this sport and I am thankful and more than willing to share the extras. I race 10-12 events a year and I volunteer to just about as many, as you can imagine I tend to accumulate stuff. I don’t donate used shoes however because when I’m done with them the bottom are tattered and ruined from the trail. I am also a pronator and wear out the outer edges, thereby changing the mechanics of the shoe which would alter the way someone walks or runs and possibly cause them injury.

Again thanks for the opportunity to donate these items. I’m happy to be able to donate clothing to another ultra-marathoner’s foundation. Besides being a capable runner yourself, you are a great ambassadoe and mentor for the sport. One who is constantly spreading the good news about running, participating in workshops, run clinics, offering critical analysis of the races and their organizers in Manila, a sponsor of running teams and a race director of an ultra-marathon. I wish you and your family further success in this great sport.

Sincerely,

Rick Gaston

Hereunder are the pictures of the box and some of the items sent by Rick Gaston.

Box From Rick Gaston

Box From Rick Gaston

Some of the Contents, New Shirts, Once Used Shirts & Others

Some of the Contents, New Shirts, Once Used Shirts & Others





Arby’s 5K Race In 19:42 Minutes!

26 06 2009

Finally, after going through my my old notes and files dumped in the garage trying to clean all the trashes, I was able to get hold on to a very simple running magazine published in Georgia, USA which I bought in one of the weekend races I attented to during my military schooling in Fort Benning, Georgia. The magazine is entitled “RUNNING IN GEORGIA”, published in May 1984 with a price of One Dollar.

In the said magazine are articles about running in the State of Georgia and the Results of all Running Races for the past months. I bought then the said magazine because my name was listed as one of the finishers of the road races while I was in Georgia.

On March 10, 1984, barely two months after I finished the 1st Infantry Marathon in Fort Benning, Georgia, I joined the Arby’s 5K Race in Columbus, Georgia. As a result of the race, I finished the race in 19:42 minutes with an average pace of 3:56 minutes per kilometer. Out of the 89 Finishers, I was ranked #39 with the Champion runner finishing in 16:09 minutes. I was then about to reach the age of 32 years old and I believe this was the time when I was breaking the 40-minute barrier finish time for the 10K run. Well, those were the days when I was still young! 

By the way, Arby’s is a chain of restaurants featuring roast beef sandwiches. Arby’s was very active in sponsoring 5K & 10K races for the whole State of Georgia during those times.

RUNNING IN GEORGIA Magazine

RUNNING IN GEORGIA Magazine

Misspelled Fist Name But It Was Me!

Misspelled Fist Name But It Was Me!

The 1st Runner Was 3 Minutes Faster!

The 1st Runner Was 3 Minutes Faster!





ASICS Tiger Ultimate 81

25 06 2009

If you still remember and was able to use this kind of running shoes in the late 70s and early 80s, you could be within my age group of 55-59 years old this time or maybe you are a little older.  In the early 1984, I was using the ASICS Tiger X-Caliber GT and I was able to use the said shoes in finishing three (3) marathon races then. Later, it became as X-Caliber GT II and it was then the start when ASICS used Gel in their running shoes. The X-Caliber GTs just vanished in the early 90s and they were replaced by the GEL models. 

Now, Onitsuka Tiger revived these shoes last year/early this year and it is now popular among the younger generation as casual shoes. If Frank Shorter was able to use this kind of running shoes in the 1972 Olympic Games when he won the Gold Medal in the Marathon and make this shoes as the cover of the popular book by James Fixx, The Complete Book of Running in 1977, it is worth to have one of these retro shoes and bring back the memories of the 70s & 80s running “boom”. The ASICS Tiger Ultimate was considered as the “sports car” among the running shoes during those times. 

I don’t recommend this kind of retro ASICS Tiger shoes to the “newbies” , “non-hardcore” runners and those who are prone to feet/legs related injuries. However, these retro shoes are highly recommended as casual shoes with your dark blue denim jeans or summer shorts & casual shirts.

I hope to use it in my tempo runs at the track and on the road. We will see how it feels to run again back to the 70s and 80s!

Top View of Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate

Top View of Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate

Nice Drymax Running Socks!!!

Nice Drymax Running Socks!!!

I bought this shoes at the Finish Line Sports Store located inside the Beverly Center Mall in Los Angeles with a price of $ 49.95 + tax.





Miyazato & Semick: Champions in the 23rd IAU 100K World Cup (2009)

24 06 2009

I’ve been reading the published prizes of the winners for the BOTAK 100K Paa-tibayan Race which will be conducted this coming Sunday, 28 June 2009 and I was amazed with the list of prizes for the ultramarathon distance races (50K, 100K relay and 100K solo).  With the amount of cash prizes published and the offer for  trips abroad to compete in international ultra distance races, I conclude that  more sponsors are ready to cash-in and support our ultra runners and ultra running events in the country. This is a good sign that finally, ultramarathon is a sports that is being developed and promoted to everybody.

In one of the prizes, I found out that any runner who would finish the 100K solo race below 8:30 hours will be given a free trip and a chance to compete in an ultra running event in the USA or Australia. This is a nice incentive for the top runners of this event. I commend the Race Organizer of this event of thinking and offering this incentive for the winners.

As of the 1st BDM 102K, Eduardo Villanueva, the Champion of this race, finished the event in 9:09:54 hours but it was a 102K distance race. Assuming that his average pace was 5:24 mins/km for the entire race, Ed Villanueva could have finished the 100K distance in 8:49:30 hours. Almost 20 minutes short of the 8:30 hours limit but the BDM102 had a harder course in its 1st half and the weather during the day on the 2nd half was hotter then.

If there is a runner-participant who has a record finish time for the marathon distance of 3:15 hours or lower, he could easily finish the BOTAK 100K solo race within or less than 8:30 hours. If Ed Villanueva is running this event, I hope he could make it below the 8:30 hour limit.

Below is an article of  Nadeem Khan, the Director for Communications of the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU), published in their website which could be an added information for the ultrarunners and participants of the BOTAK 100K Paa-tibayan Road Race.

Is there anybody interested to participate in the 24th IAU 100K World Cup in Gibraltar in November 2010? Please leave a comment.

Miyazato and Semick win the 23rd IAU 100km World Cup   (Nadeem Khan, 23 Jun)
  Yasukazu Miyazato (JPN) and Kami Semick (USA) won the 23rd IAU 100 km World Cup. The race was held on June 19th – 20th in the beautiful town of Torhout, Belgium one hour away from Brussels. Teams from Japan and USA won the men’s and women’s team divisions respectively. Jonas Buud (SWE) and Irina Vishnevskaya (RUS) won the European Championship. Italy won the men’s team title and Russia won women’s.  On June 19th-20th, Torhout, Belgium was the site of the 23rd IAU 100 km World Cup and European Championship. The race was hosted by the ‘Night At Flanders’, a historic race that celebrated its 30th Anniversary during the festive weekend. There were over 200 athletes participating from 28 countries in the World event and there were a several others contesting the race in the open section. The race was unique in its setting as the run started at 2000 hrs having the runners through the night.

 

The men’s division was won by Yasukazu Miyazato (JPN) in 6:40:43. He was followed in by Jonas Buud (SWE) and Giorgio Calcaterra (ITA) in a time of 6:41:49 and 6:42:04 respectively.

 

Miyazato ran a very strong and consistent race running in the front of the pack from the very start. He had a tough run through the third of the race battling with his Japanese team-mate Masakazu Takahashi who finished 5th.

 

Buud on the other hand, ran a very tactical race, as did Calcaterra coming from behind in the latter stages of the run and making solid ground over the other runners. Calcaterra was the returning champion having won the 22nd edition of this race in Tarquinia last year.

 

This race also doubled as the European Championship with Buud taking top honours with Calcaterra in 2nd place and Marco Boffo (ITA) taking the bronze medal.

 

The women’s race was won by Kami Semick (USA). Kami was the top runner coming into this event from last year and lived up to the pre-race hype and expectations. She ran a time of 7:37:23.

 

She was followed into the finish line by last year’s 4th place finisher Irina Vishnevskaya (RUS) in a time of 7:46:25. 2007 bronze medalist, once again grabbed the 3rd place, Monica Carlin (ITA) came in a time of 7:53:57.

 

Carlin had the early lead, but about 40 km into the race Kami took the lead and never relinquished it. Vishnevskaya ran another tactical race coming from behind to grab the silver medal.

 

Vishnevskaya won the gold in the European Championship. Carlin grabbed the silver while Helena Crossan (IRL) got the bronze medal.

 

In the team competition, Japan won the men’s division followed by Italy in the silver medal spot and France getting the bronze. Italy won the European Championship men’s division. France grabbed the silver medal and they were followed by Spain.

 

USA won the gold in the women’s team competition followed by Team Russia and Japan. In the European Championship, Russia took the gold in the women’s division followed by Teams from Germany and Italy.

 

The race was enjoyed by all and running through the night did bring a unique experience to the weekend of festivities. Athletes, Team Managers and Officials are looking forward to the 24th IAU 100km World Cup in Gibraltar in November 2010.

 

 





Lessons Learned: 1st BDM 102K

23 06 2009

1st Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race: April 5, 2009 (Mariveles, Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga)

After reviewing my past posts, I found out that I did not post the usual “Lesson Learned” from my participation in the 1st Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race. What I posted in my blog immediately days after the conduct of the race was the lessons I’ve learned as the Race Director/Race Organizer of the said Road Race.

In view of the incoming BOTAK 100K Paa-Tagalan Ultra Race this coming Sunday, I am posting this “Lessons Learned” from the BDM 102K to guide the “first-timers” in ultramarathon race with the hope of helping these runners join the ranks of ultra runners in the country.

The following are the lessons learned in the said race:

1) Think always “the end-goal”—Finish The Race. Ultramarathon race is an endurance sports, just like a marathon race but the distance is longer which usually covers the standard distances of 50K, 50 Miles, 100K, or 100 Miles. For a runner who have finished his first marathon race and jumping in to the ultramarathon distance, he knows what to expect and what he has to do to last up to the finish line. As a runner, I always believe that if you run a marathon race, it is a “sin” to walk within the said distance and you can not afford to hit and experience the dreaded “Wall”.  But in ultramarathon distance running, walking during the race is a good strategy in order to conserve your energy and have the enough endurance to finish the race. The “Wall” to me is just a word and it does not hit a well-trained ultra runner. At this advance age of running technology and research, the “Wall” should be removed from the articles and stories of runners. If a runner knows his training, hydration, food, and possesses the right equipment, there is no chance that a runner would experience such. If you are trained for the ultramarathon distance, you should have experienced in your training at least running for about 6-8 hours under the heat of the sun. In my training for the BDM 102K, I had to experience running for a maximum of at least 8-9 hours at my easy pace which is 70% of my total effort. If I can not run, I saw to it that I would walk around Metro Manila during day time for a maximum of another 8 hours just to train the body to be exposed under the heat of the sun.  Remember, speed is not considered and what counts most is a proper & positive attitude for you to finish the race.

2) Don’t ever think of quitting—Most of those runners who quitted after running more than 50, 60, 70 kilometers in the BDM 102 could hardly slept, ate, and focused their minds few days and weeks after the race because they committed the gravest mistake in their running careers—to quit the race! It is easy to say that there will be another ultra running event in the future where you could redeem yourself but the damaged had been done because you are already branded as a “quitter”. Don’t ever, ever, do this…don’t quit. You must remember that ultra running is NOT a battle in between you and the other runners or the course, but it is a battle between you and yourself! So, if you quit in an ultra running race, don’t whine and blame the weather, the race organizer, your shoes, your blisters, your body “issues” and others reasons, but instead, you should be blaming yourself ALONE. In the BDM 102, I prepared for this race not to quit but to finish the race and be an “example” to everybody with the saying/idea, “If I can do it, you can do it, too!”

3) Be prepared and have the necessary “equipment/tools“—Think and prepare for your needed equipment for your hydration system, food support, lighting system. running apparel (to include night running attire), shoes, socks, medicines, salt tablets, and other miscellaneous needs like cash, communication device, & sunblock. The number one mistake that I committed during the BDM 102K was my hard-headedness to use only one running shoes for the whole duration of the race and using only one pair of socks! (I used my ASICS Gel-Kinsei 2, Eddie Bauer Coolmax Running Socks, Patagonia Trail Shorts & BDM 102 Long-sleeved race shirt)Though I did not have any blisters or any foot-related “issues”, using a fresh and dry running shoes and socks every 50 kilometers or 35 kilometers would be highly recommended to ease some numbness or pain on the feet. Wearing a fresh pair of socks and running shoes along the race has a psychological effect. You think that you are just about to start another race if you wear a new set of running shoes and socks. I also consider wearing another fresh set of running apparel once you change your shoes and socks as highly recommendable to ultra runners. In the use of medicines, please refer to my earlier post on the “dirty secrets” of ultra trail running.

4) Recon, recon, & recon the route—The “test run” for the BDM 102, which was conducted almost two months before the day of the race, had greatly helped most of the finishers and participants. Aside from knowing the general terrain of the last 52 kilometers of the course, they also experience what to expect on the weather and the intense heat of the sun during daytime in Bataan and Pampanga. However, I still advised the participants to find time to, at least, conduct a “windshield” tour aboard a vehicle on the the first 50K of the course just for them to know what to expect during the race. Knowing the overall terrain and actual walk-through of the race route will enable the runner to come up with his race, hydration and food intake strategy. This item or lesson learned guidance is always my number 1 advise to runners who are participating their ultramarathon distance races, whether it is road race or mountain trail run…run or walk-through the course!

5) Drink, drink, drink & eat, eat, eat—In one of the ultrarunning books that I have read for the past weeks, ultra running is best described as a running event with lots of food to eat and fluids to drink and lots of miles to finish. I think, it’s true! But the very essence of running an ultramarathon distance is for you to determine the limits of your body’s endurance and capability and after finishing the said race, you will determine and find out of what you are capable of. For you to finish the race, you have to replenish your body sweats and body minerals by drinking water and sports drinks. Your body would be able to use your muscles and you burn some calories in your body. These burned calories should be replaced immediately by eating some solid foods or else you will be exhausted and tired, thereby, making yourself quit from the race or making your pace slower. During the BDM 102, I had to alternately drink water and sports drinks every two kilometers, making sure that my sweating is continous. If my sweating stopped, it was a sign that I need more water to my body. What is good about my body is that I sweat a lot and that is a good barometer if I am fully hydrated or not. Since the course, have an Aid Station every 20 kilometers and at the 50-Km point where solid foods are served, I had to take in a considerable amount of food to provide fuel to my body aside from the GU Roctance Sport Gel I’ve taken every 10 kilometers. These rtiuals of hydration and eating of solid foods along the way helped my a lot to finish the race. By the way, while running, I have to wear my Nathan (Small on The Back) Water Belt and a Hand-held Water Bottle. The Nathan container held my sports drinks while my hand-held container held my water supply. Since there was a “Roving Aid Station” during the race, these containers were easily replenished with their contents along the way in-between Aid Stations. I just hope BOTAK 100K Race Organizers will be deploying these “Roving Aid Stations” during the race. Anyway, since most of the roads will be wide, it is wiser to have your own support vehicle tagging along with you or “leap-frog” along the course. Correct hydration does not only mean drinking water and sports drinks. It also means lowering your body temperature when running under the heat of the sun. Unable to maintain your normal body temperature would result to dizziness, hallucinations, cramps, shortness in breathing, and “heat stroke” or even death to a runner. Maintaining your normal body temperature takes a lot of ingenuity—some runners would pour cold water on their head/runner’s cap regularly, some would place water sponges on their napes and backs, some would use wet bandanas on their wrists and necks, some would regularly pour cold water on their groin area, some would wear two runner’s caps on their head and in between them, they place crushed or tube ice, to provide coolness on their heads and some would simply shower cold water to their body. All of these, I’ve done them in the BDM 102K in order to finish the race. Scott Jurek, at one time in his Badwater Ultramarathon Race where he won, he totally immersed his whole body to a big ice chest filled with ice in order to stabilize his normal body temperature when he started having some “issues” with regards to the effect of high temperature in the desert of Death Valley to his body.

6) If you think you can’t make it & don’t want to quit, then do not cheat!—My experience and observations as a runner-participant during the conduct of the 1st BDM 102K confiirmed reports of cheating of some of the runners. Some took advantage of riding in their support vehicles under the cover of darkness in the early stages of the race and some also missed or lacked with them the correct number of bands as a “sign” that the runners passed on a certain checkpoint which means that they took a ride in their support vehicles on the last few kilometers before the finish line. I could not believe what I’ve observed among these runners whom I considered as “cheaters” in the said race. One case of cheating was for a runner infront of me for about 100 meters in Hermosa, Bataan to just simply “vanished” along the stretch of Dinalupihan-Lubao Highway (where I could see the back of the runner infront of me for about one kilometer) and seeing his back again inside a poblacion, 12 kilometers from the finish line. Another case of cheating during the race was for a certain runner who was checked on the last station as number 29 runner and this runner was able to overtake another runner along the way on the last 9 kilometers to the finish. Instead of this runner finishing # 28, he finally finished # 30 without any runner overtaking him on the last 9 kilometers. Somebody had overtaken this runner by riding in his support vehicle and alighting from his vehicle at least 2-3 kilometers from the finish line. Another case of cheating is with a runner who could hardly cope up with our regular “runabouts” in Metro Manila and even practically did not finish our “test run”. It was a surprise that he was able to develop an aerobic stamina/endurance and strength on his legs for a period of one month before the race for him to finish it. This guy was so Amazing! Some of the runners made also a “shortcut” on the route on the first 50 kilometers and even went to the extent of questioning or correcting the Road Marshals’ instructions to the runners on intersection along the highway. In the end, these “cheaters” did not win any awards but they seem to be legitimate “finishers” of the said race. Why am I telling all these things? Because in any group of 13 people, there is always a “Judas Escariote” who will undermine or betray the very noble intention or mission of the group or activity. No amount of “safeguards” and “ways and means” to deter these cheaters in road races but they are always there taking the risks. If you are reading this post, make sure to be honest with yourself and to others. Please respect the route and the Race Organizers because it took them a lot of time, money, and effort to plan and prepare for a certain road race. In the first place, you run and compete in a road race because you want to enjoy the fun and savor/celebrate the experience. This is just a GAME and this is not a BATTLE where you want to SURVIVE and let the losers DIE on the road! By the way, if you cheat in a road race, whom do you think you are cheating?

Good luck to all the BOTAK 100K Runners and “soon-to-be” ultra runners! Wishing you the best of luck & my prayers will be with you!

Just “shut up & no whining” and by all means finish the race!!!…but please, don’t cheat!





More Pictures @ LA Lakers Parade

19 06 2009

These pictures are dedicated to the Hardcores and Pinoy Fans of the LA Lakers.

Kobe Bryant's Fans

Kobe Bryant's Fans

Kobe Bryant, NBA Finals MVP

Kobe Bryant, NBA Finals MVP

More NBA Championship Rings To Come!!!

More NBA Championship Rings To Come!!!

LA Lakers Cheerleaders (To The Hardcores, Any Comments?)

LA Lakers Cheerleaders (To The Hardcores, Any Comments?)

More Pics of the Lakers Cheerleaders

More Pics of the Lakers Cheerleaders

More LA Lakers Cheerleaders

More LA Lakers Cheerleaders

2,000 Police Personnel Were Deployed To Secure The Activity

2,000 Police Personnel Were Deployed To Secure The Activity

Note: Pictures Posted through the Courtesy of Mr Victor Lazo, a friend of the family. Thanks, Victor!





“Walkabout” @ LA Lakers Parade

19 06 2009

The people here in Los Angeles love to see parades, most especially yesterday when the LA Lakers paraded themselves on top of  firetrucks and two-deck buses in celebration for winning the Championships in the 2009 NBA Finals. This event had been customary for the LA Lakers to have this kind of Victory Parade from the City Hall to the Staples Center and last one happened in 2002. After seven years, the Lakers got the NBA Championship back but instead of the usual route of the parade, they made it to start at the Staples Center and ending at the LA Coliseum which is about a 2-mile distance along Figueroa Street.

Thousands of fans lined up along the edges of Figueroa Street up to the LA Coliseum and I was there to observe and take pictures. Most of the people in the parade were wearing LA Lakers Jerseys and LA Lakers T-shirts and I was one of the few who was wearing a different attire for the day. I positioned myself about 100 yards away from the starting point of the parade which was the entrance of the Staples Center. After waiting and standing for at least 20 minutes, the parade finally started at 11:22 AM. It was a sunny day and there was a festive mood everywhere at Figueroa Street.

Thousands more of fans were waiting at the LA Coliseum as a Program was prepared for the fans to celebrate the victory of LA Lakers as the 2009 NBA Champions. Reports and estimates from the LA Police showed that the LA Lakers Victory Parade was attended by 250,000 fans coming as far as San Diego and other cities near Los Angeles. After almost few minutes of the firetrucks and two-deck buses where the players rode had passed my position, I decided to go back to my “walkabout” routine for the day.

I did at least 3 hours of walking along the different streets at Downtown Los Angeles and it was my workout for the day.

The following were the pictures taken during the parade.

"Go Lakers" at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel (Under Construction)

"Go Lakers" at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel (Under Construction)

Lakers Fans Walking Towards The Staples Center

Lakers Fans Walking Towards The Staples Center

BR at the Vicinity of Staples Center

BR at the Vicinity of Staples Center

LA Lakers Dancers & Cheering Ladies (?)

LA Lakers Dancers & Cheerleaders

Fisher on the Left Side

Derek Fisher on the Left Side

Gasol On the Right Side

Other LA Lakers Members

Glimpse of Kobe On the Right Side

Glimpse of Kobe BryantOn the Right Side

It's Time To Go Back To My "Walkabout"

It's Time To Go Back To My "Walkabout"

Kobe Bryant @ 2009 LA Lakers Victory Parade (Photo Courtesy of Ben Gaetos)
Kobe Bryant, His Family & Mayor of Los Angeles at the 2009 LA Lakers Victory Parade (Photo Courtesy of Ben Gaetos)
Pau Gasol @ 2009 LA Lakers Victory Parade (Photo Courtesy of Ben Gaetos)
He’s Sasha Vujacic, not Pau Gasol at the 2009 LA Lakers Victory Parade (Photo Courtesy of Ben Gaetos)




BR’s Running Plans & “Dream” Runs

17 06 2009

The following are my running plans and “dream” runs until I am still strong to run:

1) Boston Marathon—They say that you are not an ultimate marathoner or runner if you don’t experience the “Holy Grail” of Marathon Running on Earth. First, I have to look and join for a fast marathon race which is Boston qualifier for me to have a finish time of 3:45 hours in my age category.

2) Manila to Baguio City Run—I made this announcement during the Awarding Ceremony of the 1st BDM 102K Ultramarathon Race. This will be a 3 to 4 -day multi-stage run along the McArthur Highway. There is no registration fee as each runner must have his own support system.

3) Mt Arayat Traverse Run—With the approval of the security forces within the area, this will be a one-day affair. There will be no registration fees. Each runner will have his own support system with him during the run.

4) Mt Tirad Trek & Tirad Pass Run—The run will start infront of the Candon Elementary School in Candon, Ilocos Sur and runners will go to Salcedo, Ilocos Sur up to the peak of Mt Tirad, where General Gregorio del Pilar died, and then back to the starting area. The distance is approximately 80-90 kilometers. No registration fee. Provide your own support.

5) Ilocos Norte Sand Dunes & Beach Run—From as far as the boundary of Ilocos Sur & Ilocos Norte (Badoc, Ilocos Norte) to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, running along the sand dunes and the coastal beach of Ilocos Norte. There is no need to participate in the Marathon Des Sables and spend $5,000 for registration fees for each runner. Instead, runners will run the sands of the Ilocos region, from South to North direction and end with a beach party in Pagudpud’s Blue Lagoon. No registration fee. Provide your own support.

6) Fort Magsaysay to Dingalan, Aurora Run—This is entirely a trail run that starts from Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City (Nueva Ecija) to the shores of Dingalan, Aurora with the Pacific Ocean. This trail has been used for the training of the Philippine Army’s Scout Rangers and Special Forces. No registration fee. Provide your own support.

7) A 100-Mile Trail Run in California—I hope this will be the ultimate test in my running career.

Any takers? These running adventures will ultimately make our Metro Manila “runabouts” as part of our past. You can signify your intentions by making your comments. Have fun and we’ll keep on exploring through running!





Pilates @ Gold’s Gym

15 06 2009

My daughter, Jovelle, brought me to her Pilates Class at the Gold’s Gym at 7th & Figueroa Streets in Downtown Los Angeles at 1:00 PM. The class was held inside one of studio rooms of the Gym where it could accommodate at least 30 people. We entered the room a few seconds before the class started where I was the only male in the group. After taking some yoga mat, roller tube foam, foam blocks and light dumbells from the equipment room of the venue, the class started immediately.

It was my first attendance to a formal Pilates class and it was a new experience for me. There are exercises that seem to be easy but after doing them for more repetitions, I felt that there are muscles on my core and back that are not fully used and stretched.

It was a non-stop transition from one exercise to another and I started to sweat after 15 minutes. I hope I could explain in details the different exercises where you have to use those hard foam blocks, those hard ball weights, and those hard foam tube that you roll on top of your body and arms while making those sit-ups from lying position on your back and other exercises which are mostly on the mat.

Aside from making the core muscles strengthened, the back muscles and spinal bones were also given some exercises to make them in their original alignment and make you sit tall.

I’ve observed that there are some pose that resembles yoga positions but I think Pilates exercises are more intense, though they emphasize also correct breathing cycle through a rythym of inhale and exhale. I like that pose where you lift your back & head & both legs/toes straight up in the air while your straight arms are pumping (and your butt is only the one that touches the mat) while breathing with a rhythm. This exercise really hardens your abdominal muscles!

The ladies, to include my daughter, in the class were very graceful in their movements as if everything to them was so easy but I was there at the edge of the room moaning, breathing heavily and sweating. And I realized that all the ladies, to include the instructress, were all in their 20s, 30s, and I was the only guy who is in his late 50s!!! Ha! Ha! Ha! Well, the instructress noticed me in my predicament and she just made a general statement that “to take it easy if you are new to the Pilates class”! It was nice to hear it and I slowed down with my exercises after hearing her words of warning. (To the Hardcores: Guys, I was surrounded with beautiful ladies!!! Ha! Ha! Ha!)

Due to the smooth transition and continous instruction from the lady instructor, the class and different exercises passed so fast that I wanted to have more of them. The class lasted for one hour. It was a nice experience to attend a formal class in Pilates. I hope I will be able to make Pilates as part of my running exercises. In fact, in my readings from the training of top ultrarunners, they recommend Pilates exercises to strengthen the core muscles and be able to maintain a good running form.

After the Pilates class, I had an additional 30-minute workout with the machines and kettle bells in the gym.

I hope I could attend more of the Pilates classes in the coming days.

If you haven’t tried Pilates, find time to do it in your Gym workouts or better buy those DVDs where you could play and imitate the movements while watching it. This is not a guarantee that it will make you faster in your runs immediately but I am sure it will strengthen those hidden muscles in your core & back which you haven’t exercised before and prevent your body from injuries related to your running and other physical activities.

I Was Shy To Ask Permission For A Photo During The Pilates Class

I Was Shy To Ask Permission For A Photo During The Pilates Class

A Pose @ Gold's Gym (7th & Fig) Los Angeles

A Pose @ Gold's Gym (7th & Fig) Los Angeles

Lunch @ Panda Express After Pilates Class (Beijing & Orange Chicken)

Lunch @ Panda Express After Pilates Class ( With Beijing & Orange Chicken)








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