Sleeping On Post

28 10 2011

In the military, if you are caught “sleeping on post” during a guard duty, you will face a “military court martial” and if you are found guilty, it means the end of your military career.

Well, this is how an ultrarunner looks like when he is “sleeping on post” during an adventure run…and during those times when he misses his regular posts in this blog (joke!). The picture below says it all!

Sleeping In One of the Road Sheds In Iba, Zambales

To be continued…





WC 200: 2nd Attempt (1st Day)

20 10 2011

9:30 AM September 21, 2011 to 4:00 AM September 22, 2011

One week after I was bitten by an astray dog in San Narciso, Zambales during my first attempt on this adventure run, I was back where I started at the Remy Field’s Oval Track inside the Subic Freeport. I started the run at 9:30 AM which is 30 minutes earlier than the targetted 10:00 AM start time. As I was about to enter the Oval Track, I met some triathletes, Melvin Fausto and two others on their bikes who just had their running workout at the Oval Track. I told them about my event to start a run from the Oval Track all the way to Pangasinan. These guys wished me good luck and shaked my hand before I finally started the run.

Wearing Colored Red Attire For Luck!

One Lap Around The Oval Track

After a brief photo-ops and one lap around the oval track, I was on my way for my second attempt to finish what I’ve started. Initially the sky was clear from clouds but I could feel a colder wind coming from the sea. I walked the first 2 kilometers until I reached the Kalaklan Gate & Bridge and turned left as I entered the Olongapo-Bugallon Highway. You would notice in my picture that I was wearing the red ARC (Los Angeles) shirt and red Zhensa calf sleeves. I thought this color would mean “luck” for me on this attempt. It was also my attempt to run with my Hoka One One Bondi B  (courtesy of Joe Matias of ARC) and find out its comfortability in road runs. I’ll make a separate shoe review on this pair of shoes later in my future posts.

Walking For The 1st 2 Kilometers

Still Wakling Towards The Kalaklan Gate @ Subic Base

I was already confident and familiar with the terrain from the Olongapo City Public Cemetery all the way to San Narciso, Zambales. I became faster this time as I limited my “pit stops” and shortened my time to rest and eat solid foods. I never attempted to update my blog or opened my laptop as I wanted to cover much more distance this time.

Running On the Left Side Of The Road

It started to rain after I left the town of Subic and as I was approaching the town of Castillejos, Zambales. I had to bring out my The North Face “Venture” Waterproof Jacket and used it to protect my body from the cold feeling brought about by a damp shirt on my body. I’ve observed that even if my shirt was wet from my own perspiration, I could still feel a comfortable temperature that is being maintained on my body using the TNF Waterproof Jacket. The body heat that is trapped by the jacket balances the cold feeling that is brought by the damp shirt to my body. The jacket gave me the much-needed comfort during the downpour of rain.

About To Have A "Pit Stop" Inside The Waiting Shed

Quicker "Pit Stops" This Time!

And The It Rained But I Had to Push On

I never had a decent lunch this time as I ate some solid foods and tried to ingest some GU Gels in between my “pit stops”. In this manner, I was able to cover farther distance from my first attempt. As scheduled, I had again my decent dinner in the very same place where I had dinner in San Narciso, Zambales. This time, my crew and I stayed longer in the said “carinderia” and we had to engage them with some conversation. They were surprised to see us again for the second time and we told them about the dog bite incident. We later found out that the owner of the establishment is a retired Philippine Marines. Ultimately, they knew our purpose why we were there. However, we paid for our bill.

Second Time Around @ The Same Carinderia

A short conversion with the owner of the carinderia spread like a wildfire that every people along the route in the Poblacion of San Narciso knew that I was on my way to Iba, Zambales which is still 43 kilometers away by running through the night. I could hear the conversations among the people along the road and among the tricycle drivers waiting for passengers from arriving buses and pointing at me that I was running towards the capital town of the province. At this point, I was already on my 8th hour of running for the day.

Night Run In Action!

I brought out my headlight and my Surefire Flashlight and became wiser now from not using my Ipod during night run and for that matter, on this whole second attempt of this run! The highway was dark and I could only see some lights on the road in the center of each municipality. The road was silent and my support vehicle and crew were on my back “shadowing” me. There was no vehicle around except for the Victory Liner Buses that travel along the said Highway. I would observe that it’s the only Bus Transport Line that caters to the said route. I was already running on the right side of the road with my support vehicle on my back giving me more illumination on the road ahead of me.

Another Quick "Pit Stop"

My headlight served as my early warning light from incoming vehicles while my Surefire flashlight served as my weapon for barking dogs along the road, I have observed that the powerful illumunation from this special type of handheld flashlight is so strong that dogs would stop barking. I believe that this kind of flashlight is used among the police and military security forces to stun their targets through their stong and powerful illumination. So, for the whole stretch of the road, I was protected by this flashlight. However, from time to time, one of my escorts would come out from my support vehicle with a baseball bat just to be ready to use it if there is any brave dog who would attack me while I was running. Yes, I was well-armed and protected this time!

At The Cabangan, Zambales Arc Boundary

The next town was San Felipe after San Narciso, It was uneventful until I reached the Poblacion of Cabangan, Zambales. As I was about to take my “pit stop”, I was approached by one of the residents riding on his bike and a conversation started. I forgot to ask his name but I’ll just call him as “Cabangan Biker” (CB). Some portions of our conversation went this way: (Our converation was in Tagalog but I’ll have to translate it to English in this post)

Cabangan Biker (CB): It seems you are running through the night. Where did you start and where is your destination?

Bald Runner (BR): Yes, I’ve been running since 10:00 AM today and I started in Subic Base. I hope to reach Iba, Zambales before the day breaks.

CB: You are very strong! How old are you, Sir?

BR: I am already 59 years old. You are using a bike. Why are you still awake this time of the night?

CB: I have a small business which I own and operate. I am on my way home when I saw you running towards the Poblacion and I followed you and your support vehicle.

BR: You look very athletic. Do you run, too?

CB: I started running few months ago because a friend of mine invited me to run in one of the road races in Manila. I joined a 5K run and then a 10K run and lately, I just finished a half-marathon run in RunRio’s UNILAB Run. Now, we have a running club here among friends.

BR: That’s good! Congratulations on your first half-marathon finish!

CB: Our running club only join races in Manila when it is a Run Rio’s Event!

BR: Of course, you have to be selective in your races because it is very expensive on your part to be travelling from Cabangan, Zambales to Manila and back. Why do you like and prefer to run in Run Rio’s Events?

CB: Our group likes RunRio Events because there are more people/participants running the race. We find enjoyment if we see a lot of different people running along side with us. The more people to see, the better for us! However, I am a competitive cyclist and it is my favorite sports!

BR: So, you are a cyclist! Do you participate in cycling events, too? How often?

CB: We have cycling group/team here and we usually compete in Subic Cycling Events and to other provincial cycling events to include Duathlons!

BR: So you are very athletic and competitive also. That’s good! C’mon let’s eat!

While Talking To "CB" @ The Cabangan Public Plaza

The conversation went on as I consumed the hot noodles and boiled bananas prepared for me. I found out from CB, who is in his late 30s, that Cabangan Poblacion is the turn-around point for the cycling stage in the yearly White Rock 70.3 Triathlon. So, basically the route where I was running is the route of the White Rock 70.3 Triathlon. Very interesting!

After I finished with my “pit stop”, I resumed my run towards the next town—Botolan. CB was still looking at me as I left the Poblacion’s Public Park!

I could only see at least 10-15 meters ahead of me brought about by the light of my support vehicle and the rest on my sides was totally dark. From time to time , I had to check on my watch for my HR and I was surprised that I was having an average of 132 bpm during the run. I was running comfortably making sure to take a sip of water from my handheld Nathan “Sprint” bottle (bought from ARC Los Angeles). And everything was on “cruise control”. I would stop as I asked for my hydration bottle to be filled up with water. There are times also that I had to take some GU Gels every other hour. I was running an average of 6-7 kilometers per hour on this part of the route as I didn’t know if I was running uphill or downhill except when approaching on bridges. All the bridges on this part of the route have uphill approaches but as soon as you reach the end of the bridge, everything is downhill.

The distance and the road from Cabangan to Botolan took me sometime to cover it. It could be a half-marathon distance with lots of uphill and downhill on the last 6 kilometers from the town’s Poblacion. The best part of this route was that I could hear the sound of the strong waves coming from the beach on my left side and it became good “music” to my ears for almost 8-10 kilometers! The worse part is that on the last 3 kilometers from the Poblacion of Botolan, there is a road construction and widening of the road being done and the road was full of mud and loose soil. The feeling was that as if I was running on a trail for about 2 kilometers. I thought it was better to be running on muddy and damp ground rather than running on a dusty road. It was good also that there were only one or two vehicles that passed me along this part of the route.

Finally, I reached the Poblacion of Botolan and it was about 3:30 AM of September 22 and I was on the road for the past 17 hours! I did a slow run once I passed the Municipal Hall and started to walk and be ready for a short “pit stop”. After eating boiled banana and eggs, I felt sleepy and it started to rain. I decided to get inside the vehicle and look for a decent place where I could change to dry clothes and sleep for awhile. From this point, I still have 6 kilometers to go before reaching Iba, Zambales!

The rain was so hard that I could hardly see the road while I was inside the vehicle. Moreso, it was harder to look for the names of the establishments on the sides of the road. It took us sometime to find a place as most of the resorts did not have a personnel to man their registration offices at 4:00 AM. Finally, we checked in to a new motel which has the amenities of a hotel. I guess, the name of the establishment is “Circles Inn” which is located in between Botolan and Iba, Zambales! I went immediately to bed once I changed to a drier clothes and my support crew just did that. We were all tired after 18+ hours on the road

The plan was to sleep for about 4 hours, take a bath, change to a new attire, have a decent meal, and we were ready to continue the journey for our second day! So far, everything went well and I was able to cover a distance of 73 kilometers!

Lessons learned:

1. I could run and walk as far as 73 kilometers in 18+ hours to include “pit stops”.

2. I could run on the run & bike legs of the White Rock 70.3 Triathlon Event and I am now familiar with it. It does not mean that I will try also to swim its swimming course at the Subic Bay in the future. But, who knows?

3. A simple conversation from the local residents creates a fast news to everybody along the road.

4. It is nice to engage to people along the road and find out more about the place and the people.

5. Local folks would like to run in Metro Manila (and Run Rio’s Event) for the fun of being part of a bigger crowd & running community.

6. All night running is very relaxing and silent. The cooler temperature made my Average HR to be in the lower 130’s and it kept me going without any muscle cramps or soreness on my legs.

7. And last, Surefire Flashlights are really good for barking/attacking dogs along the road!

To be continued.





2012 BDM Updates: Lists Of Invited Runners

15 10 2011

The lists of invited runners are now posted in this blog. Please click the appropriate BDM Race PAGE above to view the list.

Official BDM 102/160 Logo

Invited runners are encouraged to follow the instructions stated in the Letter of Invitation. There will be no extension of deadline for the payment of Registration Fee. (Remember that you paid your Registration Fees immediately when you applied to join in one or in every road race like, the Standard Chartered Singapore/Hongkong/Kuala Lumpur Marathons; New York City Marathon; San Francisco Marathon; Portland Marathon; Big Sur Marathon; Boston Marathon; Los Angeles Marathon; or California International Marathon—I am registered in this race and I paid last June and this race will be held yet on the 1st Sunday of December!).

Guys, your BDM Race had always been an International Road Race!

On the rules and regulations, we are updating some of them. Updates on this matter will be published on this blog and/or at the BDM site at www.bataan102.blogspot.com.

Good luck and train hard!





Award-Winning Ultra Run

13 10 2011

1st Mayon 360-degree 50-Mile Ultra Marathon Run had been adjudged and awarded as the 2011 Best Sports Tourism Event (Provincial Level Category) by the Association of Tourist Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) during the newly concluded Convention among Tourism Officers and Agencies in Capiz City (Roxas) last October 3-6, 2011.

This kind of running event in the “grassroots” level should be a good example to be emulated by the local government. It was a very successful event due to the full support given by the leadership of the province through the Office of the Governor of Albay. Governor Joey Salceda was totally supportive of the event in terms of cash prizes and for the logistics needed to implement the event. The JCI of Legazpi was instrumental also in creating and organizing this event but what matters most was the cooperation and “volunteerism” by the members of the Provincial League of Barangays and other government entities in the province.

I don’t need to mention particular names of those who were involved in the planning and implimentation of the event in this post as I had mentioned them already in my Race Director’s Report after the event.

Congratulations to everybody! See you next year on the 2nd edition of the race!

1st Prize ATOP Award/Trophy On Sports Tourism





Results: 3rd BR’s Barefoot & Minimalist 6K Run

10 10 2011

The following are the results of the 3rd BR’s Barefoot & Minimalist 6K Run held at the Philippine Army Grandstand & Parade Ground’s Jogging Lane o/a 4:30 PM October 8, 2011 (Saturday):

BAREFOOT
Rank Bib # Name Time
1 222 Andrico Mahilum 22:28
2 223 John Quinones 22:53
3 205 Johndiel Bastatas 22:56
4 218 Enrique Sundiang 23:50
5 202 Randy Rubio 25:08
6 204 Erik Talagtag 26:08
7 228 Elmer Toledo 27:56
8 214 RJ Gavina 30:28
9 226 JohnCuestas 31:32
10 210 Edsel Enriquez 32:19
11 209 Mike Logico 32:48
12 221 Harold Lorete 33:04
13 217 Raymond Alcantara 37:07
14 225 Gerda Summerian Cuestas (F) 39:10
15 215 David Drilon 40:02
16 219 Loreta Llamado (F) 41:50
17 203 Michael Galas 41:52
MINIMALIST
Rank Bib # Name Time
1 212 Fernan Recopuerto 22:23
2 224 Michael Mendoza 23:38
3 211 Archie Salmone 25:06
4 206 Robert Alvarez 25:12
5 208 Noel Dimabuyu 25:14
6 229 Ben Silva 26:55
7 220 Jessie Llarena 29:57
8 207 Carl Balagot 30:59
9 230 Mark Arroyo 32:43
10 213 Takumi Reyes 40:07
11 216 Rexie Saldivar (F) 44:26

Podium Finishers (1, 2 & 3) for the Men’s and Ladies Categories for each Barefoot and Minimalist Events may now claim their respective VFF Prize/VFF Shoes from Cherry Ermita at cellphone #0917-807-0330 or send an e-mail at cherryermita@gmail.com. Please use these results as your reference.

Whether we have 10 or less runners for this event (and rain or shine), we will continue the effort to sustain this endeavor in order to promote barefoot/minimalist running.

Once again, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation and thanks for the continued support of Carlos Abad & Cherry Ermita of VFF (Vibram Five Fingers) Philippines; A Runners Circle Philippines Specialty Store; FrontRunner Magazine; Mike Logico and the Barefoot Running Philippines; and the Philippine Army.

Start Of The 6K Run

Mike Logico of BFR Philippines. Nice Shirt!!!

Vibram Five Fingers' Runner!

Champion: Barefoot Runner

Note: Photos Courtesy of John “Jepoy” Avellanosa





Something Was Wrong!

8 10 2011

WC 200: First Attempt

As you all know, I stopped this run after covering the distance of 40 kilometers after being bitten by an astray dog at the Poblacion of San Narciso, Zambales at around 7:40 PM of September 14, 2011, Wednesday. However, I would like to relate what transpired, in detail, from the time before I started the run up to the time when I reached the Poblacion of San Narciso.

The day before I started this first attempt, I was having some problem with my stomach as I’ve been having a LBM for the past days and I was taking Loperamide tablets on a daily basis but to no avail, my condition did not improve. I was wondering if I had a stomach virus that was keeping me from being cured from such predicament. The solution that I could think of was to take a Loperamide tablet every time I have to eat and drink something few hours before I took off. Such move relieved me somehow.

Not Smiling While It Was Raining

However, my aggressive drive was not there when I started for my “photo-ops” inside the Remy Field’s Oval Track at the Subic Freeport. You can’t see a smile on my face and for the first time in my adventure runs, I was nervous of the uncertainty of the challenge I was going to face. I guess, my biorythm was not synchronized with what was in my mind. But it suddenly rained while I was about to finish one lap on the oval track and my mood changed a little with the fact that this could be a “blessing” from heaven that it was a “GO” for me to continue this run. I finally started my run at 9:50 AM which is barely 10 minutes earlier from the usual 10:00 AM Elite runner’s realease for the Badwater Ultramarathon. (Note: If ever this will be an official running event, the race will start at exactly 10:00 AM)

I purposely walked while I was leaving the oval track and making my way to the Kalaklan Gate which is located on the northern end of the former US Navy Base of Subic. As I passed the Gate, I waved to the Security Police that was guarding the gate, he responded with a smile and I was out of the base. As I passed the bridge and turned left towards the Olongapo-Bugallon Highway, I was still walking and I was on the ascending portion that goes to the Gate of the Olongapo City Public Cemetery. I came to realize that the whole portion of the hill occupies the

Once I reached the peak, I started my slow run in the descending portion. I was always on the left side of the road making sure that I can see what is infront of me. The road to Olongapo City was a busy one and I was very careful of the incoming traffic because the road was wet due to the brief rain in the area.

Busy Road On The Stretch of Olongapo To Subic

My support vehicle was prepositioned in front of me in every 3 kilometers and I had to stop and cross the road to the other side in a careful matter in order to refill my handy Nathan “Sprint” Bottle and eat some solid foods. I was fortunate enough that the sun was covered with clouds for the first hour of my run. The first 4-5 kilometers was a “roller-coaster” where I strictly followed walking on the ascending portions and then running the descending ones. However, I have to regularly check on my Heart Rate Monitor Watch to be able to maintain a certain range of beats per minute. I made 135 bpm as my upper limit on my first 10 kilometers of the run.

Along the stretch from Olongapo City to the town of Subic (actually I was surprised that there is a town named after the former US Naval Base/Facility) which is a distance of about 10 kilometers, I could see only two things along the road—entrance to the beach resorts and bold & colored names of night clubs/bars. There are also commercial establishments and cafes where you can see “senior white” guys drinking their coffee and smoking their cigar (not cigarettes!). A typical “Cool”-look of retired US servicemen who knew their way around in the country and in Subic/Olongapo area. They are good contributors to the economy of the place. You could just imagine how they could spend their monthly retirement pay with a business to manage, a young wife/partner, a nice house with maids, a nice car, and a beach/sea where they could relax. Such kind of life way back to their country of origin would be a fortune and luxury only for the rich and famous!

Waving To A "White" Guy Who Was Hiking On The Other Side Of The Road

It is along this stretch where I made my first status on Facebook, telling something about being “horny” while running on the hot and humid stretch of the Olongapo-Bugallon Highway and I received a lot of comments immediately after I posted it. Actually my feeling during the run was the complete opposite of what I’ve posted. I was trying to entertain myself and taking some positive vibes as the sun was already hot and it was noon time already. My hydration and nutrition strategy was strictly followed in order to last for the distance and I was feeling fine and strong.

No Need To Explain..I Was Simply Tired Due To The Heat

I have to rest in waiting sheds along the road and most of them are located on my right. After eating and hydrating myself, I have to open my laptop computer to find out if my Internet connection is strong. I was glad I was able to post a brief summary and some pictures about my run where the signal is strong. It took me at least 30-35 minutes for these “pit stops” and had only a few remaining minutes to complete my targetted number of kilometers in every hour of my run. At least, I would be able to run or cover a distance of 5-6 kilometers per hour to include my rests/”pit stops”. For the next hours, this ritual had been repeated all the way as I covered more towns of Zambales. But I did not meet the required targetted mileage as hours passed by.

Resting Outside A Cemetery!!!!

After Subic, the next place to go was the town of Castillejos, the birthplace of the Former President Ramon Magsaysay. The place is clean and it has paved sidewalks. I did not bother to pay attention that the preserved old house of the former President was on my side which I learned later on my next attempt. The next town would be San Marcelino, a big towm which serves as the meeting point/junction for the towns of San Antonio and San Narciso. If you turn left from the junction of the town near its Municipal Hall and Public Market, you would go along the Old Route that goes to the town of San Antonio but if you go straight, it will lead you to the new highway which is a “shortcut” to the town of San Narciso. This stretch of the Highway is wide, flat and with lesser traffic but the view of the ricefields on both sides of the road was very refreshing. On the east you would see the Zambales-Tarlac Mountains and the west would be endless sight of ricefields and some hills.

The Entrance To Castillejos, Zambales

Favorite Picture Of The Day

After my hourly “pit stops”, I was already on the boundary of San Narciso but I need at least 6 kilometers more to reach the Poblacion and it was starting to get dark. I had to use my Eddie Bauer Headlamp and hand-held flashlight to illuminate the ground about 2 meters ahead of me and I was comfortable with my run. As I slowly reached the Poblacion of San Narciso, I told my support crew that we need to have a decent and “hot” dinner along the first eatery (carinderia) that we could reach. That would be my first complete meal for the day. I decided to pass on the first one because there was a loud Karaoke with an out-of-tune and out-of-beat singer/performer. The place is crowded, too! So, I have to stop on the next eatery where there is no customer.

Scenery Refreshing To The Eyes

Time To Update My Blog & Post Status On Facebook

Getting Dark Approaching San Narciso

The owner of the carinderia was generous and kind that she allowed us to charge my laptop and heat up our electric thermos. For meals that cost us P 120.00 (rice and pork sinigang) and free use of their electricity for about an hour, it was something to cherish when you are in the province. I took some time to update my blog in this carinderia while talking to the owner and to the waitresses who happen to be the nieces of the owner. From our conversation, they were informed that I was running from Subic all the way to their place and hopefully end up in Iba, Zambales. (I did not tell them that I’ll be running further north from their province and end up in Alaminos, Pangasinan!).

Inside The Roadside Carinderia

Fresh from a decent meal and after changing my wet ARC shirt to a dry one, I was ready to continue my run. After almost one kilometer from this carinderia, I was attacked and bitten by an stray dog along a dark portion of the highway, barely 500 meters from the Municipal Hall and Public Plaza of San Narciso. “Houston, we have a problem!”

My first instinct was to stop on a lighted part of the road and see the wound clearly with my hand-held flashlight. I asked for some wet wipes from my support crew and immediately cleaned the wound as there was no blood coming out from the wound. One thing that I failed to prepare and bring was my basic first aid kit. This could be one of the reasons why there was something wrong in me! We had to rely on the services of an open drug store where we bought Betadine, Cotton and Bandage. After buying such medical needs, I walked to the Public Plaza where the park lights are stronger. I just sit on the steps that lead to the park while treating and cleaning my wounds.

My Souvenir On My 1st Attempt

It was time to call the doctors whom I know. Not only one but three of them and they gave me identical recommendations and procedures to follow. After I dropped my phone, I immediately decided to stop the run and go back immediately to Manila for my immediate treatment. In less than 18 hours, I had my anti-tetanus shots first and then my first anti-rabies shots, not after going in 3 different branches of Mercury Drug Store. The anti-rabies shot is not being carried by all Mercury Drug Stores and they are very expensive! For a 1/2 cc of injectable drug that costs P 1,630.00, the company that manufactures it would be making a lot of profit.

As of this writing, I was able to complete the required number of shots within 14 days after the 1st injection and the scars of the dog’s bite leave as a memory/souvenir of my first attempt to run the WC 200.

Stupid as it may seem, I put the blame on me for deciding to use the Ipod Shuffle during this run. For years, I’ve stopped using any wires on my runs but I brough it back last June of this year. (Reading Phil Maffetone’s training influenced me to go back to hearing music during my runs). As I said in previous post, using some kind of music on one’s ears disrupts ones depth of perception on his/her surroundings and it brought me to be complacent on the threat of the barking dogs. Thanks to the late Steve Jobs for inventing the Ipod as I owned a lot in the past and gave them as “gifts” to those who would like to have one when it came to the point that I finally decided to stop having wires during my runs. (It’s amazing that this post ends up to the visionary Steve Jobs! May he rest in peace.)

To be continued.





“Good Samaritan”

4 10 2011

I never met this guy, Andre Blumberg from Hongkong,  in person but we are “friends” on Facebook and I’ve seen him joined in this year’s TNF 100K in Bicol through pictures of other runners posted at Facebook. He had been travelling to other countries just to participate in TNF’s and other Ultra Races and he also finished the TNF 100 in Australia last June of this year. We were supposed to meet at this year’s MIWOK 100 last May at the Marin Headlands in San Francisco, California as he got a lottery slot for the race. But it never happened as he can not make it to the United States due to work commitments.

Last September 6, he sent me a message on Facebook which I’ll repost in this blog and it is self-explanatory:

Dear Sir Jovie,
 As you may we aware we will have the second Vibram HK100 event here in Hong Kong, along the famous MacLehose trail. 100km distance, around 4.5k vertical. It will take place on 18/19 Feb. Last year Lizzy Hawker joined, and no doubt next year there will be some good international presence as well. I am not directly involved with the event but know the RDs well and would like to support the race since it is the only 100km solo event currently in HK (we have many other events including a very tough 156km one, but they are all team events with at least 2 members to a team).
 I am very proud about the work you do for the ultra community in the Philippines. Whilst I did not have a chance yet to join any of your events (hopefully BDM160 next year), I cherish the Pinoy ultra community, largely because the people I met are all very friendly. I’ve worked in Manila for 6 months in the late 1990ies (but didn’t run at the time), so always keen to go back.
Anyhow, purpose of my note is the following: I would like to consider sponsoring one or two athletes in your team to join the HK100 event in order to give them international exposure. I have no specific arrangement in mind yet, but I could help out with sponsoring the entrance fee and/or hotel and/or flight, or parts thereof. I know there are many talented and very hard working runners and that many of them may not be able to afford traveling overseas for a race, hence I would like to support perhaps one male and one female athlete to join this event, ideally this would be runners that have good potential and who would “grow” by participating internationally. The HK100 is a qualifying event for UTMB, Comrades and Western States, so it could be a stepping stone for one of the truly big events. Would be interested in your thoughts on the above.

Thanks,
Andre.

I immediately sent this reply to him.

Dear Andre,

Wow! I am amazed with your gesture to help/support one/two of our pinoy ultrarunners. I could not imagine a foreigner offering such support. All along my blog and status at Facebook had been sending the message to my readers to support our elite athletes to international exposure and I am really surprised that you understood the predicament we have here.

Your offer is very timely as I am in a venture to send at least one/two elite runners to WS100 in 3 years time. I’ve talked already to two of my athletes and they have started training for the said goal. They wll be competing in the IAU Asian 100K Championship in Jeju on the last Saturday of March 2012 (1st weekend of April).

However, I have another 2 elite ultra runners whom I have to talk about your offer. I will update you on this matter in the coming days.

I will be sending an e-mail soon for us to discuss the details.

Thanks! God bless!

Sir Jovie

Why am I posting these exchange of messages in my blog? Because for the past THREE YEARS that I’ve been promoting ultrarunning races on the Philippines, nobody cared to have the INITIATIVE to offer any kind of support to our elite athletes for INTERNATIONAL exposure. Except for those “usual suspects” in ultrarunning whom I’ve been asking for support, I was able to bring two (2) of our elite long distance runners to the IAU Asian 100K Championship in Jeju, South Kore last year. Alquin Bolivar of the Philippine Army was able to set a National Record of 9:06+ hours for the said event where he placed #6 beating other countries.

I don’t want to mention the names of corporations and private institutions/Race Organizers who had been engaged in promoting their products and corporate names through running, and who should/must be at the forefront of having the initiative to help our elite athletes in international exposure. I am sorry to say that our ultrarunning as a sports could not be supported by the government as the different Sports Federations in the country are competing with each other for the funds coming from the Philippine Sports Commission. As I said before, the VISION of our Sports Federations only goes up having a Podium Finish at the SOUTHEAST ASIAN GAMES! And the government ONLY recognizes an athlete or a team if he/she/it wins a World’s or International Event.

Have you noticed that Race Organizers in our Marathon Races could not even send their (Pinoy) Winners to some of the prestigious Wold’s Championship in Marathon like Boston, New York, Chicago, Berlin or London? I don’t know the reason why, BUT they could send an AVERAGE competetive runner to these Marathon Races through sponsorship! It boggles my mind as I am not envious with this kind of arrangement. It is simply a waste of resources sending such runners instead of sending our top elite runners who can really compete with the world’s best runners! It is the truth and I am sorry that, reality bites!

I had experienced “begging” to the government (to include politicians) and to some of the known private corporations in the past, most specifically when I planned to launch the 1st BDM 102 and most of them did not offer any support and as a result, I made a promise to myself that I will never attempt to do it again. I am satisfied and contended that I have “friends” who can understand my message in this blog and willing to support in my endeavors for the simple reason of promoting the sports of Ultra Running.

To Andre and to the “usual suspects” in ultra running, thank you for your INITIATIVE to support our Sports and to our elite athletes! God bless!

Andre Blumberg In Action (Taken From Andre's Facebook Wall)

So, if you are awaken to what I am driving at in this post, then I will be glad to accept voluntary offers to support our elite athletes in order to bring them to international exposure, whether in Asia, Europe or in the United States. You can send a message on Facebook or send me a note to my e-mail address at jovie75@hotmail.com. It’s about time we have to hear from you. Don’t wait for a foreigner to be more generous to us than from a full-blooded Pinoy. Let us help one another!








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