Race Report: 2015 Clark-Miyamit 50-Mile Ultra Trail Run (CM50)

25 11 2015

There are three (3) important things or information that I would like to report on this challenging ultra trail run here in the Philippines: First, I finished this race with a faster time as compared to my last year’s performance; Second, This is my third consecutive finish and I am on my way of getting the most coveted Baddest Ass Award for this event with two more editions to finish; and Third, I am still the Defending Oldest Finisher for three consecutive years for this Event.

Even if there is no specific award for the Oldest Finisher for this race, I am sure that I will be the First Senior Citizen to have coveted the Baddest Badass Award before the end of 2017. And maybe, it will mark my “retirement” from ultra trail running. Just maybe!

As compared to my last year’s five-month training preparation, I have a shorter training period for this year which are mostly done on the road, oval track, and hiking in the mountains on the first month of my 4-month training period. However, on the last six weeks/peak period, almost all my training long runs were done on the road, specifically on the road races that I have Race Directed since the middle of September. My Mt Batolusong 25K Trail Run participation was a test to validate my new nutrition strategy and narrow down the things that I need in a hot environment. However, I had more time to work on on my core and to rest/sleep as recovery for my running on the pavement.

Last year’s Race Report on my second time finish on this event was very detailed and it was divided into four (4) parts and I believe that this is now considered as the number one resource or reference material for those “newbies”/”first-timers” for the CM50-Mile Event. I will not go through to the detailed description of the course and the usual “section-by-section” narrative of my experience on this Race Report but rather state or tell those significant things that made me faster and more efficient in my finish this time. The following are the things that I’ve considered and applied during the race:

  1. Simplicity and Being Light—One week before the race, I’ve decided to use my two-year old New Balance MT  Minimus 1010v2 Trail Shoes which is very light (240 grams per shoe) and it proved to be the best shoes for this kind of trail running. Believe me, there was no grain of lahar that penetrated its upper mesh and therefore, its lightness did not change throughout the race. I did not use any Hydration Vest but I’ve used three (3) Simple Hydration Bottles with only one bottle filled with my nutrient mix (Carbo Pro) diluted with water; one bottle of Carbo Pro Powder only; and one empty bottle as my previsionary “Water Cup”. It was only from the AS4 to the Peak that the three (3) Simple Hydration Bottles were filled with Carbo Pro Mix and Water. On my way back to the Finish Line from AS3, I have one bottle filled with Carbo Pro mixed with water and one bottle filled with Water Only. Stashed in my UD Waist Belt Pockets are two (2) Clif Meal Bars & Whistle. I was not wearing a pair of Calf Sleeves.
  2. Familiarity of the Route—One month before Race Day, I went up to the “peak” and Miyamit Falls for a training run. It was on this run that I was able to “program” and plan for my hydration and nutrition requirements. I was able to register also my Average Pace on this part of the course in order for me to determine the “timeline” on each part of the course (from Km #24 to Km #56). I found out that I must be able to leave AS3 on my way to the Finish Line not later than 2:00 PM (13 hours elapsed time) so that I have enough “buffer time” before the cut-off time of 18 hours.
  3. Simple/Light Nutrition—-Eating a Full Meal (Rice & Meat “Adobo”/Beef Steak) before the Start of the Race (30 minutes before) with hydration (water + Carbo Pro), proved that I could last for the first 3 hours without any hydration or food intake. I took two (2) packs of Clif Bloks and One Meal Bar for the whole duration of the race. I would place a Coffee Candy in my mouth regularly in order to maintain a little sugar to my saliva. In every Aid Station, I would drink a lot of water and Coke/Sprite and ingest a number of watermelon bites. I never used the two (2) Sports Gels stashed in my gloves during the race. I did not have any Drop Bags, instead, I used a “FlipBelt” where I stashed my CarboPro Powder Mix and Clif Bloks.
  4. Heat Training & Hydration Strategy Training—One month before the Race Day, I’ve conditioned myself to start drinking my water after running 10 miles (16 kilometres) under the heat of the sun. Yes, I would carry a lot of water on my vest and waist during my training runs but I would finish my workout with only one-third being consumed. I suspect that my practice of ingesting Succeed Salt Capsules (it started last August this year) during my training runs had helped conditioned my body to take in a limited amount of water even if I was sweating profusely without having a “bonking” feeling/situation.
  5. Focused On Moving Forward—I did not spend a lot of time staying on the Checkpoints and Aid Stations. I guess, two minutes of stay was my longest and it could be when I asked one of my running friends to take a picture of me at the “Turn-around” Point at Km #40 and another picture taking at the Miyamit Falls’ Checkpoint. The rest of my brief stops in the Aid Stations were purely on refilling my hydration bottles and mixing my nutrition powder. Instead of stopping in sari-sari stores for ice cold sodas along the populated areas, I opted to take a “quick shower” in a place where the locals were washing their clothes and it made my core and body to be more relaxed.

There are also things that made me slow down during the run. First, I’ve experienced “muscle cramps” on the groin area of my legs along the section AS4 to the Peak that I needed to slow down and hiked on this section. I expected this to happen as I knew I lacked the necessary total elevation gain in my training. This experience never happened in my previous two editions. Second, The heat of the sun slowed me down on the section from the Miyamit Falls to AS4 that I spent almost one hour for a section that is ONE MILE long, instead of power hiking it for about 25 minutes during my recon run. And of course, I carried all my gear down to the Falls from AS4 and back. From AS4 to AS3, I “power hiked” alone on the trail and started running downhill when another runner from behind was trying to pass me.

Looking at my Suunto GPS Watch once I arrived at AS3, I began to be in a “panic” mode knowing that I was registering an Average Pace of 3.0 miles per hour. I knew that it will take me five (5) hours to reach the Finish Line from this point. So, I started to run, jog and power hike until I was able to pass runners who were either lost, simply walking, resting on the side of the trail, or those who would stop in each of the Aid Stations or Convenience Stores along the way.

Finally, I finished the race with a time of 16:43:58 hours, faster than the time I had last year (17:50+), with a ranking of #87 among the 132 finishers within the cut-off time of 18 hours. I am still the Oldest Finisher of this race and I have the intention of defending this title for the next two years. Hopefully, I will get the most coveted Baddest Ass Award of this Event.

Crossing The Finish Line

Crossing The Finish Line With RD Jonnifer Lacanlale

Congratulations To All The Finishers and Thanks to RD Jonnifer Lacanlale and his staff/marshals/volunteers for a successful event.

The training for the next year’s edition will start next week. Keep on running!


Official Result: 6th Mt Pinatubo 50K Trail Challenge

9 11 2015

6th Mt Pinatubo 50K Trail Ultra Challenge

5:00 AM To 5:00 PM November 8, 2015 (Sunday)

Cut-Off Time @ The Crater: 6 Hours

Cut-Off Time @ The Finish Line: 12 Hours

Start/Finish Line: Barangay Hall, Barangay Sta. Juliana, Capas, Tarlac

Number Of Starters: 34 Runners

Number Of Finishers: 32 Runners

32 Starters + 2 Late Runners

32 Starters + 2 Late Runners

RANK                             NAME                                   TIME (Hours)

  1. Ryan Mendoza (Overall Champion) ———— 5:39:51
  2. Ian Goff (1st Runner-Up, Overall) ————– 6:32:35
  3. Nel Valero (2nd Runner-Up, Overall) ———- 6:46:48
  4. Roy Garcia —————————————– 7:15:54
  5. Alain Vincent ————————————– 7:30:53
  6. Martin Jardbo ————————————- 7:31:03
  7. Lao Ogerio —————————————– 7:55:14
  8. Duckie Labayan ———————————– 8:26:03
  9. Rod Losabia ————————————— 8:26:04
  10. Julie Ann Luchana (Female Champion) ——- 8:33:13
  11. Khris Caleon ————————————– 8:37:12
  12. Nino Edison Guerra —————————— 8:37:27
  13. Ron Ilana —————————————— 8:56:13
  14. Jerry Peralta ————————————– 8:56:15
  15. Joseph Ryan Serano —————————– 9:00:47
  16. Oliver Banag ————————————–9:00:49
  17. Loradel Hanopol (1st Runner-Up, Female)—-9:39:26
  18. Maricris David (2nd Runner-Up, Female) —-9:40:49
  19. Richard Reyes ————————————9:41:29
  20. Gene Parchamento ——————————-9:49:57
  21. Jeric Miranda ————————————-9:49:58
  22. Jawe Rivera —————————————9:49:59
  23. Benjie Dantic ————————————-9:50:20
  24. Adel Laking (Female) —————————10:08:21
  25. Bren Bulso —————————————10:08:23
  26. Rimberto Del Rosario ————————–10:11:09
  27. Ricardo Gregorio ——————————–10:18:41
  28. Kenneth Dela Cruz ——————————10:41:06
  29. Ryan Garcia ————————————–10:41:08
  30. Cleo Gevero (Female) —————————11:11:56
  31. Fernando Torres ———————————11:19:49
  32. Ted Araullo —————————————11:58:43
2015th Edition Champion Ryan Mendoza

2015th Edition Champion Ryan Mendoza

2015th Edition Female Champion Julie Ann Luchana

2015th Edition Female Champion Julie Ann Luchana

Congratulations To All The Finishers!!!

Trail Running Etiquette & Reminders

13 10 2015

First thing that a person should learn and keep in mind if he/she plans to engage in any activity or sports is to know the rules, regulations and the etiquette that go with it. Rules and Regulations are there to ensure orderliness and safety for everyone. Etiquette, whether they are written or not, are accepted norms which translate to good manners and courtesy among a group of individuals which encourages discipline and respect to one another.

In trail running or hiking the trail, a person’s etiquette gives some impact to himself, to others who are using the trail, and in general, to the preservation of the beauty of nature, the outdoors and our surroundings. If you know and apply etiquette on the trails, it is a reflection of who you are and the attitude you show to other persons and to the nature around you. In a broader aspect, you also try to maintain or preserve the nature around you.

For the past days, I’ve been reviewing my blog posts and trying to see if I was able to post a list of etiquette for persons using the trails. I found out that I simply made a link to a website where a Trail Etiquette was listed but that link is no longer available nowadays. So, it gave me the idea to come up with a list of Good Manners to observe while enjoying the trails so that anybody would have a reference or as a reminder. Most of the list of etiquette I will be posting are generally accepted practices but there will be some which are also emphasized for the local (Pinoy trail runners/hikers) to ponder and apply due to our culture and traditions in the locality/area.

  1. Strictly adhere to “Leave No Trace” Principle——This is the “umbrella” practice that should be strictly observed which covers almost all the detailed etiquette in the outdoors. It does not simply mean that you should dispose your waste properly but it should also mean that one should plan ahead and prepare properly before hitting the trails; do your running/hiking on established and durable surfaces; leave whatever thing/s you see or find along the route; respect the wildlife, whether they are plants or animals; and always be considerate and courteous of other visitors or co-users of the trail. In essence, do not alter or disturb the “cycle of nature” in the mountains, forests, and outdoors. Always consider yourself as a “guest or visitor” of the outdoors and you should stop the practice of getting “pasalubong” or gift for your friends or souvenirs for your collection or getting a physical evidence to brag about. A “selfie” picture with nature speaks a thousand words of appreciation or envy from your friends!

2. Stay On Marked And Established Trails——In the Philippines, most of the established trails were made by our tribal ancestors which they repeatedly used in “foraging” or hunting for food. Later, these trails were extended when they explore and expand their reach to other territories and lands or when they transfer from one place to another due to survival from the elements, wildlife, or from other tribes or factions. Except for the established communities and villages of our Mountain People/Tribes, most of these trails are single-track that became deeper and wider due to “flash floods” or raging waters coming from the peak of the mountains during the rainy season. These trails were used during those times when our forefathers were fighting against our foreign invaders during the Spanish, American and Japanese occupation periods. Now, insurgents, bandits, and illegal settlers/loggers/miners are the ones using these trails in the unexplored mountains, deep forests, and some of the known trails in the country. It is sad to observe that most of the trails do not have any names or any markings. There is no initiative from the central government as well as from the local government to establish these trail markings. Maybe, it will take another one or two generations for these trails to be properly marked. In short, in the Philippines, it is safer to run or hike on trails which are often and usually used by the locals and tourists. If one has to make some exploration, a runner/hiker must have an appropriate land navigation/map reading skills.

Pacific Crest Trail Marking

Pacific Crest Trail Marking (Cycling NOT Allowed)

3. Leave Your Itinerary To Your Parents, Relatives Or Friends——Whether you are going to the trails alone or with a friend or group of group of friends, make sure that somebody who is left behind in your home/house knows your itinerary. Let him/her know how many hours or days you will be in the outdoors and if possible, provide an information on the expected time of the day that you will be arriving back in your house. In this age of Internet and fast communication or GPS technology, it would be easy to communicate to your loved ones through mobile cellphone connections or through the Social Media. In a group of hikers/runners, it is mandatory that at least one among the group is very familiar on the trail systems in the area who will be automatically designated as the official guide of the group. If not, get a local guide at the nearest barangay where the trailhead is located. In the Philippines, it is mandatory to inform the Barangay Captain or village chief or his/her designated representative of your presence in the area. Most of the barangays have a registry or logbook/journal where each of the visitors are required to sign in upon their entry to any of the trail system in the area. It is also a part of the protocol to inform the Barangay upon your exit from the area.

4. Weather Forecast Means Everything——Whether it is sunny or with a chance of rain or thunderstorms, one must be able to prepare for any eventuality or contingency that may arise as a result of the situation. When it is sunny or dry, one has to prepare for hydration and appropriate nutrition. Depending on your rate of sweating (as per experience) you can determine the volume of water that you will be bringing with you. If you have planned for your route and know of sources of potable along the way, you can at least arrange for the proper re-supply of your hydration needs. In case of chance of thunderstorm, decide properly if you intend to push through or not with your outdoor activity, most specially if the place where you are heading is under the Area of Influence of the rain or thunderstorm. In crossing rivers and streams during thunderstorm, it is better not to cross the river and decide to look for a higher ground and establish your camp or look for a nearby village where you can rest and wait for a better weather condition. If you are with a group of trekkers/backpackers, make sure to always bring a considerable length of rope which could be used in crossing rivers. If you plan to be in a place where there is an occurrence of daily rain or thunderstorm, a water-proof jacket is a must in ones pack. Bottomline, do not fight with nature, it always win in the end!

5. Stay On Switchbacks——This is related to #2. It is with ease, comfort and feeling of being relaxed to be running and hiking a switchback towards the top/peak of a mountain. It is more energy-sapping and mind-breaking to be slogging it out on a direct, assault and steep trail towards the peak as compared to going along a switchback. However, on the way back from the peak to the foot of the mountain, it is very tempting to cut the switchbacks and take the direct route down the mountain taking advantage of one’s gravity/weight and this is where most of the violations occur. Aside from altering the landscape of the mountain and creating a footpath for others to follow, it will also have a great impact on one’s knees and quads to be overworked and stressed due to heavier load on the downward motion of the body. These additional paths due to making shortcuts on switchbacks will ultimately become another trail in due time and ultimately, the starting point of erosions during flash floods or heavy rains.

6. Warn & Say Something Before Passing A Runner/Hiker——If you intend to pass a slower runner or hiker on the trail, make a distinct sound to warn that you are behind the person. The sound could be a “fake cough”, a “tweet” sound from your lips, or a sound from the pounding of your feet on the ground. or a simple clapping of your hands. Once you are few feet or “hearing distance” from the back of the person, you can say that you are passing him/her on the left or right. Simply say, “On Your Left” if you are passing him/her on the left or “On Your Right” if you are passing on the right. If the person would stand aside or give way for you to pass, don’t forget to say “Thank You” or “See You Later On The Trail” just to be polite and very encouraging to the runner that somewhere along the trail, the person whom you passed will be able to catch you. If you are meeting somebody head on along the trail, the slower one should step aside from the trail and give way to the faster runner. This is best exemplified if the faster runner is going downhill on a single-track trail while the slower person is going uphill. Don’t try to impede or distract the speed and momentum of a faster runner you meet on a trail. Also, It is customary to greet anybody whom you meet along the trail with simple greetings of “Good Morning”, “Good Afternoon”, “You’re looking great”, or simply say, “Good Job”. It is best if you say such greetings with a smile! If you can’t speak, just simply nod or wave your hand with a smile to the other runner/hiker.

7. Know The Capacity Of The Trail——If you are a Race Organizer, you should know the Capacity of the Trail or the number of persons that could pass or use the trail without causing any damage, erosion, or that will cause the widening of the trail or establishing another new parallel trail from the old one. If the trail is single-track, make sure that the runners are spaced on a single file in running/hiking through it. Have a good judgement in conducting a trail running event if the trail can accommodate more than 100-300 runners without endangering the original condition of the trail. In my observation in the Philippines, trail running events shorter than a marathon distance with hundreds of participants is not “healthy” to the preservation of our trails, most specially of the event is held during the rainy season/months.

8. Expect To Be A Dirty Trail Runner——Expect a lot of dirt, dust, mud, debris, and skin scratches in a trail running event. It is a given fact that a clean runner at the start will become the dirtiest and most obnoxious runner at the finish line. This is true in the country due to our extended rainy season/monsoon rains and the presence of stream and river crossings. To add to the dirt & mud, we have a lot of leeches, snakes, mosquitoes, ants, ticks/biting insects and sharp grasses & thorny bushes in our mountains and forests. If you are a victim of leech-attacks, expect to have your blood to be flowing on your body. If you fall on slippery and muddy trails, expect your shorts and shirts to be dirty and your butt to be full of bruises. However, there is always a chance to come out clean if the trail passes through a flowing stream or river where one would have a dip and a chance to wash the dirt and mud from ones apparel or body.

10. Unload Your Body Wastes Properly——I am already an expert in urinating while I am trotting or jogging on the trail provided nobody is around to see me doing it. As for the ladies, it takes a lot of guts for them to pee on their tights while running. As practiced by many, a person would look for a place where he/she could hide while urinating in about some distance from the trail and this is a good practice for everybody. However, if the time on how fast one can do it will be considered, there are a lot of techniques that one could follow to pee efficiently. These techniques are efficiently done if one is using the traditional running shorts. For men, one way to do it is to pull down the front waistband of the shorts and bring out ones “thing” and let the urine flow. The other way is to pull the inseams of the shorts (bottom of the shorts) inward and let ones “thing” out of the panty-liner of the shorts and allow the urine to flow. If you want to be nearer to the ground, you can take a “lunge” position or kneel to the ground while peeing. For the ladies, it is fast for them to bring down their shorts as they squat nearer to the ground and once the shorts is clear from the flow of urine, their problem is solved. The other way is for them is to grab and stretch the inseam of their shorts while they squat nearer to the ground until there is no impediment as to the flow of their urine. If these techniques are put into practice during training, there will be lesser time to be wasted during the race. For the more difficult task of taking a crap on the trail, it is either you do it in the Aid Station (if there is a facility) or do it along the route but it should be far enough that the smell of your crap & fart would not affect the breathing of the other runners passing the place where you take your crap. You can prepare a shallow hole or depression on the ground where you can “shoot” your crap and then cover it with soil, debris, dry leaves, or anything that you could see on the ground. Make sure to bring your toilet paper or used “wet wipes” with you for disposal at the next Aid Station. If there is a stream or river along the trail or near the trail, it is the best option to relieve yourself on the water and let the flowing water clean your butt!

11. Of Burps, Farts, and Vomits——Whether you are a casual or serious trail runner, hiker or outdoors lover, you will not miss having some GI (gastro-intestinal issues) due to what we are eating or drinking during our activity. Drinking carbonated liquid or sodas results in burping, as always. Last year after one of the many treks to the peak of Mt Baden-Powell in Wrightwood, California, I immediately drank one can of ice cold Coca-Cola from my Ice Chest at the back of my car parked at Vincent Gap and took a sit at the baggage compartment. In a few seconds, I had the loudest burp in my life that it created an echo within the parking area. A lady who was fixing her things in her car after coming from the mountain had an immediate reply to the sound by saying, “I heard that!” I immediately replied, “I am sorry!”. She was laughing and brought out her arm with a thumb’s-up sign! If you are in a company of other runner or hikers, you can burp while covering your mouth with your buff or hands and if you can not control the sound, just release the sound and then say that you are sorry. Farts or farting on the other hand are totally different matter or situation that could be dealt with properly with “class” or proper demeanor. Whether your fart has sound or not, you must step aside from the group or go behind the group but make sure that nobody is behind you when you release the air! If you can not control the release of the air, you can alert the group that a “good fart” is coming! It is best to accept that you are the source of the “bad air” if you are the “silent-type” of hiker/trail runner. You can also jokingly say that you stepped on a frog or you can create a loud sound while doing your fart. As for vomits, simply step aside from the group and the trail and let your “food burst” come out of your stomach and mouth. There is no harm with nature if you just leave what you vomit on the trail, the liquid form will be absorbed by the ground while your digested food will be devoured by the insects and/or animals around the forest/mountain.

12. Be Courteous To Others——In the country, while in the mountains, you will encounter locals in the area who are involved in farming/“kaingin”; illegal loggers; charcoal makers; hunters; other hikers/backpackers; firewood gatherers; armed security guards in private areas; patrolling soldiers or policemen; or if you are lucky, you can meet also armed insurgents or bandits. It is for this reason why one has to register at the nearest barangay hall (local government unit in the area) where the trailhead is located upon arrival and then upon departure from the area. The best way to deal with these people is to greet them and communicate with them briefly by telling them that you are a visitor in the area and that you want to share the use of the said trail. Talk to them nicely with respect and good intention. In other countries, you could meet bird watchers; painters; photographers; equestrians; shepherds; mountain bikers/cyclists; hikers/backpackers/campers; rock climbers; and other outdoorsmen. Simply greet them if they are on your way or pass them with “Good Morning”, “Good Afternoon”, “Have a good day”, or “Good Job”.

13. Right Of Way——In other countries, there are trail markings that states who has the right of way. These trail markings could be seen in most of the Parks in the United States and in other countries which is depicted in a triangle which says that a Hiker gives way to an Equestrian; a Cyclist gives way to a Hiker and an Equestrian. However, there are also trails that are exclusively for Hikers Only.

Trail Markings (USA)

Trail Markings (USA)

14. Follow The Rules——In countries where I have visited, like Hongkong, Taiwan, Singapore, and the United States, the use of the trails is FREE but each user is responsible to strictly follow the rules stated in the trailheads. If there are no rules/regulations posted in the trailheads or in the Park Stations, “common sense” and good manners is the way to go for you to enjoy the outdoors. In the United States, there are Parks within the City and populated areas which are FREE but one should be able to park his/her car on designated parking areas or street curbs without red or yellow paint (No Parking areas). In Mountain Parks, there is a need for a Permit or Pass which is displayed on the Dashboard if one needs to park his/her car/vehicle in the trailhead/Park Station. Such permit/pass is called “Adventure Pass” (California) which is worth $5.00 for a single day-use or $35.00 for One Year to any of these Mountain Parks. In higher elevation mountain parks, one has to make a request for a schedule of visit in the park through On Line or e-mail on the Park’s Website. Such request is efficiently answered if your request is approved or denied. Just the same, always bring with you your Adventure Pass.

15. Help & Give Back Something To Others-—In my exposure to trail races abroad and in the company of trail runners, I have observed that they stop and ask the condition of a runner who is on the side of the trail resting or simply sitting. In one of my races abroad, I have experienced tripping with my knees and arms landing on the ground. The runner behind me immediately stopped behind me and asked if I am okey and if I am hurt. I immediately forced myself to stand with his help and answered him that I was alright. Whenever I stop at the Aid Stations, I would be greeted by my FB/Ultra running friends and ask what I need to eat or ask if I need a refill to my hydration bottles. If I am being passed along the route, they would leave me with encouraging words like, “You got this!”, “See you at the next Aid Station”, “You are looking good and still strong”, or “See you at the Finish Line”. One time in a mountain race, I saw a pack of unused Amino Acid Liquid Mix and a Power Bar on the ground which I think was dropped from the pack of a runner ahead of me. Since there was no runner within my sight, I picked it up with the intention of leaving it in the next Aid Station. However, after trotting for about 15 minutes, I saw a runner ahead of me and asked him if he dropped the said liquid mix and he said “No”. So, I offered him to have the liquid pack and the energy bar since I observed that he was walking along the trail. He accepted the offer and thanked me. He said, “This is why I love this sports, runners take care with each other!” And I replied, “You are right, my friend!” There are so many ways for these ultra runners to give back something to the community. They volunteer as support crew and/or pacer to other runners new to the sports; they serve as marshals or personnel in the Aid Stations in Races; they help in the marking of the trail as well as in collecting these trail markings after the race; they also act “sweepers” for the last runner and race; they also provide HAM Radio Communication for the event; and volunteer as “cooks” for the food served at the Finish Line. What is good about these ultra runners is that they BLOG about their detailed experiences whenever they finish or do not finish their race. I think this is the only sports where the elite, average, and “back of the pack” runners SHARE their experiences through a blog on their training, nutrition, racing strategy & techniques, and racing experiences.

Always remember, be good to nature and nature, in return, will be good to you! Everything about etiquette is COURTESY & COMMON SENSE.

Key Lessons On Ultrarunning From Ann Trason

2 10 2015

If you don’t know Ann Trason, then you are not an Ultrarunner. Before you type her name on Google, I would like to briefly mention that she was the Lady Champion of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run for 14 times after failing to finish the race on her first two attempts. She has also broken twenty (20) World Records On Ultrarunning during her career.

She is now a Running Coach of a Middle School in Berkeley, California; coach for a High School Track Team; a Race Director; and an On Line Ultrarunning Coach. She is also a columnist/writer for the Ultrarunning Magazine where this post was taken/copied. The following is the complete copy of the “Ask Ann” Column in the said magazine.

Ann Trason

Ann Trason

Dear Ann,
Now that you’re a coach, are there some, key lessons you pass down from your own coaches?

Dear Michael,

I have always loved being a student of the sport—reading, asking questions, trying new things and learning what worked for me. I have been fortunate to have had several coaches who helped fill in gaps in the complex puzzle we call ultrarunning. Your question gets me thinking about the one who did the most to make me the runner and coach I am. Here are 17 lessons I learned from my favorite coach.

Consistency My coach made sure I would get out and do something every day, every week, every month, year after year. Sometimes a lot, sometimes just a little, occasionally fast, often very slow. Consistent training yields consistent racing.

Smile Happiness is infectious. She taught me that no matter how tough the day, there is always something to smile about. How can I mope about something going wrong when it makes such a great story to tell my friends?!

Passion I learned that a good coach must be as passionate as her runner. She made it obvious that she shared my passion for running.

Adaptability I always admired her instinctive ability to accept and instantly adapt as situations changed. We all have that ability buried inside us. I’ve worked hard to let it out.

Running is play, not work I have no idea how many miles I’ve run in my career. I can thank my coach for that. She viewed running as a chance to play. For her, there was no focus on checking the pace, tracking the miles, counting the hills. A good run was being out there having fun.

Positive attitude My coach never scolded me, never barked orders. She did give me a sly look occasionally when I did something wrong, but it was always to encourage me to do something better.

Relax let yourself run free. My coach had a naturally beautiful running form. Just watching her glide along, no tension, no unnecessary motion, made me a better runner.

Keep it simple My coach was always about simplicity. She was not into fancy gear. It was simple running.

Don’t overthink things She taught me to never overthink my running.

A steady trot is the fastest way to cover ground I’ve never been the fastest runner, nor the most talented. My coach helped me learn to run steady, mile after mile, never worrying about the other runners or the terrain ahead.

Enjoy the journey For my coach, it was always about the journey, not the destination.

Explore new places My coach made sure we searched for new trails, trotted across green meadows and bounded up hills just because they were there.

Stop to sniff the flowers My coach taught me to look around, smell the fresh air and feel the breeze blowing my hair. No matter how long or hard a run I had scheduled, there was always time to take in the unexpected view.

Get wet Every stream, every lake is a chance to refresh yourself with a quick dip.

Enjoy the moment There are times in life when we need to run long and hard. There are other times when the best thing to do is sit quietly at the edge of a meadow. In either case, enjoy the moment.

Passing the torch Seeing her love of running increased my desire to give back to the sport by mentoring and coaching others.

Unleash your potential There are times to hold back, but there comes the moment when you need to take off the leash and let yourself run free.

Things That Went Right During The Zamboanga 50K Run

1 10 2015

Since it is the first PAU-sponsored event in Zamboanga City and being the one who suggested this event to be conducted, I have to join this race as one of the participants. It is also a part of my “evaluation runs” to test if my training program is working and to determine some feedback on the improvements of my speed, endurance, and nutrition. Lastly, it is also a way of sharing my experience to my readers, hoping that one day they will be a part of this race.

The following are the things that went right (nothing went wrong) during my race:

  1. Nutrition & Hydration——It is the most important thing that one have to plan and have a strategy to be strictly followed. Although there are Aid Stations along the route, I was not well-informed on the details and what kind of drinks and food that are available in the race. Although, I have a general idea of what to expect in those Aid Stations. So, I brought my own “mini-nutrition pack” stashed in my Ultimate Direction (UD) Belt. I had 2 Packs of Clif Bloks (one pack in the UD Belt & one pack in my shorts front pocket); one Meal Bar (in my UD Belt); and two (2) GU Gels stashed in my shorts back pockets. I have also a CarboPro mix (with water) in my Simple Hydration Bottle and 2 Packs of it in my other Simple Hydration Bottle and in a tiny 3-oz bottle (without liquid). I brought with me two (2) Simple Hydration Bottles where one of it is filled with CarboPro Mix without water and the other one with water mixed with CarboPro. Both bottles were clipped with my UD Belt and placed on the back of my waist. A reserve CarboPro powder was inside a 3-oz bottle which is stashed in one of the pockets of my UD Belt.

My Nutrition & Hydration Strategy went this way: Eat 3 pieces of Clif Bloks every hour or when I feel hungry; sip my Carbo Pro mix every time my GPS watch makes a “beep” sound which tells me that I just finished one mile which is approximately equivalent to 14-16 minutes; drink at least 16-oz of cold water in each of the Aid Stations; eat something solid and fruits in the Aid Stations; take one Succeed S-Cap Capsule every 1.5 hours; and then mix the remaining CarboPro mix with Gatorade Drinks. The routine was repetitive and boring but it was the key for having successfully finished the race without any issues or problems.

CarboPro Powder Mix

CarboPro Powder Mix

2. Run Light——I did not use a hydration vest in this race and I only used my UD Belt where I stashed my IPhone and my food/mix powder. I was practically running with one Simple Hydration Bottle with liquid in it entire the race. I would have been lighter if I did not bring my Clif Protein Bar and two (2) GU Gel Packs but these food were my “reserves” just in case of any “bonking” during the race. I was using my Hoka One One Huaka which is more of Road Shoe but it is the lightest shoes that I can use for this race. No need for Calf Sleeves; Arm Sleeves; or Gaiters for this run.

3. Metronome——For the past months, whether it is a trail run workout or speed workout on the flat paved roads, I would use the Metronome Application stored/downloaded in my iPhone. This is the very reason why I had my IPhone with me with only one earbud on either on my right or left ear during the race. Metronome Application is now available Free for download and it is very useful in my making sure I was consistent in my running cadence. My Metronome is set at 180 steps per minute and the “tick-tock” sound could be easily followed every time I step each foot on the ground. Since my steps are short, quick and fast, I could easily keep in step with the beat. In the early 70s whenever I join Marathon Races, I’ve been using a metronome which was installed in earlier models of TIMEX/CASIO Running watches where there was no need for earphones. The continuous beat would remind or motivate you to keep up with your cadence during the run. Try it in your training runs and you will be surprised on how fast you can keep up with your pace. Additionally, it will generate constant reminder and at the same time distract the pain and suffering you are experiencing during the run. Whether I am the in the ascending or descending parts of the route, the metronome reminded me to maintain my cadence even if I was power hiking on the ascents.

The Actual Metronome

The Actual Metronome

4. Heart Rate Monitor——As soon as I reached the first peak of the course (Km #7), my HR reached its highest Average Record of 163 beats per minute (bpm) which happens to be my Maximum Heart Rate as shown by my Suunto Ambit 3 Peak GPS Watch. I made a quick stop and rest at AS 1 by drinking some water and eating a suman (rice cake). It was a quick stop just to lower my HR and after about a minute, I continued the race by walking and only started to jog again when my HR was lowered to 150 bpm. Throughout the race, I was monitoring HR every mile and I was satisfied that I was able to maintain an average of 150 beats per minute and would not exceed my Maximum Heart Rate of 163 bpm in the steep ascents. Through my HR Monitor, I did not feel any tiring moments even when I was hiking up the “Gulod de Medyo” area.

5. Electrolytes & Salt Tablets——Aside from the CarboPro mix, I used one tablet of GU Electrolyte Tablet every bottle of mixed drinks and constantly orally had taken Succeed S-Caps Capsule every 1.5 hours throughout the race. While my drink mix maintain the continuous replenishment of electrolyte loss through excessive sweating, the S-Cap Capsules made me pee regularly and try to give some feedback on the color of my urine if I am dehydrated or not. This combination of Electrolyte Tablets and S-Caps had been very effective to me in my training for the past 2 months.

6. Quick & Short Stops In The Aid Station——Except for the “turn-around” points where I refilled my bottles (with the CarboPro & Electrolyte Tablet inside) with Gatorade, ate some foods, and drink at least one bottle of 16-oz mineral water and some Cola drinks, where I would spend at least 3 minutes, the rest of the Aid Stations were short and quick to pick-up some bottled water to drink and then leave to continue the race. I think I spent not more than 2 minutes in these remaining Aid Stations during the race. I ate my Clif Bloks and then drinking my CarboPro mix while I was hiking the ascents.

7. No “Selfies” & Unnecessary Picture Taking——Taking some pictures with ones camera or IPhone is very cumbersome and very irritating sometimes as you have to bring out and bring in your camera to your race belt’s pocket or hydration pocket. If it is wrapped with Ziploc or some plastic pouch, the opening and closing of this protection from being wet and damped would entail some unnecessary movements that result to being not focused to the main task of running efficiently. Even if it takes a few seconds to “point and shout” ones camera, if these seconds are totaled or accumulated, it would add up to more minutes of delay on the course. Since there are members of the Running Photographers in the race, I just let them, as the experts with better cameras, take my pictures and just wait for them to post their pictures on Facebook.

In a nutshell, proper training/preparation where one has to test his apparel, hydration system, nutrition & hydration strategy and positive mental attitude is the key to a successful finish in an ultra running event. Although, running is an experiment of one, I hope my experience will guide you or test the above mentioned factors if you can adopt them or incorporate them in your running style or manner of finishing an ultra running event/race.


Round Trip Ticket (Cebu Pacific)——P 1,200.00 (Promo Fare/Sponsored By ZRC)

Hotel Accommodation & Meal——P 4,000.00 (2 Days)

Gratuitous Expenses (Tips)—-P 500.00

Total Expenses——P 5,700.00

My Running Kit (Picture By Running Photographers @ Km #17)

My Running Kit (Picture By Running Photographers @ Km #17)

Even if I am not an sponsored athlete, I would mention the things that I’ve used during the event:

Running Shorts & Shirt——ASICS

Running Shoes——Hoka One One Huaka

Runner’s Cap & Compression Shorts——Under Armour


Buff/Neck Sleeves——BUFF

GPS Watch——SUUNTO Ambit 3 Peak

Hydration Bottles——Simple Hydration Bottles

Race Belt & Pouch——Ultimate Direction


Nutrition——CarboPro Powder Mix; Succeed S-Caps; GU Electrolyte Tablets; Clif Bloks; Water & Gatorade (@Aid Station); Rice Cake (Suman), Boiled Banana, Ripe Bananas, Watermelon, & Hotdog Sandwich (@Aid Station)

My training continues…Go out and run!

Four Weeks

4 09 2015

I did not realize that I’ve been through with four weeks of my training since I’ve started for the 2015-16 Ultra Trail Running Season. I started my training on August 3, 2015 and the first day was a Rest Day with some stretching exercises.

I am still following a training schedule program which I’ve been using for the past two years with a little adjustment on my weekly training volume which I’ve increased within the range of 5-10 miles per week which are mostly done in my weekend LSDs. Before, I was doing an average of 50-55 miles per week but for the past weeks, I’ve have reached a peak of 66-67 miles per week. I feel okey, healthy, and pain-free from my knees and legs and had no bouts of leg cramps or “bonking”. I guess, there must a lot of good reasons why at my age of 63, my knees are still holding up and I could still hike some steep mountains.

Surprisingly, the bottle of Aleve that I bought lately have not been opened yet and for the past four months, I’ve never taken any pain-killer tablet in my races and trail running workouts.

My past failures to finish a 100-mile mountain trail run were caused by nutritional and hydration problems on my part. It took me two or more years to experiment what is good for my body. I really don’t have any problems with 50Ks, 50-milers, and 100K trail races with regards to nutrition but when I join 100-milers in higher elevations, my nutrition just put me down on the last 30 miles of the race. Following my experiences in the 100Ks that I’ve finished, I would only take in Energy Gels and Water and some solid foods offered at the Aid Stations and I would finish the course without any problem. I bought some nutrition books for endurance athletes and made some researches on the Internet. In addition, I was able to get some suggestions and advise from the Filipino veteran ultra runners residing in the United States. These suggestions from them confirms the studies and researches that I’ve read on books and on the Internet.

On this new training season, I’ve concentrated on my nutrition, not only before during, after my workout, but completely observed my daily nutritional intake to my body. I don’t count the calories of the food that I ingest but I make sure that I have Carbohydrates, Fats, Proteins, and Vegetables/Fruits in my 3 meals a day. Snacks in between meals would be anything, whether it is a fruit juice, milk, fruits, yogurt, or snack bars. I’ve never drink milk when I was in the military up to 2 months ago. Lately, by accident, I found out that Organic Fresh Milk does not give me stomach trouble caused by lactose intolerance. I’ve indulged myself in eating avocado as part of my meal or snacks and ate more foods rich in fats.

On my nutrition before my runs, I would have a breakfast of coffee, oatmeal or cereal with milk, avocado with milk & sugar, yogurt or fruit juice.

During my runs, I would hydrate every time my GPS watch would beep to indicate that I’ve covered a mile and have to strictly do the said “drill” every time I hear a beep. For my runs less than 8-9 miles, I would just drink water and ingest one 1 capsule of S’Cap every hour and after the workout. But for my LSDs on weekends which are more than 9 miles, I would carry with me a Tailwind Mixed with water in two bottles and purely Water in my 1.5-liter hydrapak on my backpack. I would alternately, drink Tailwind and water every other mile. I would also ingest 1 capsule of S’Caps every hour. At the turn-around or after finishing the first half of my run, I would eat any solid food I brought with me like, boiled potatoes, power bars, dried fruits, and some baby foods (fruit/vegetable).

I’ve stopped using Energy Gels in my runs since the start of this training but I still carry at least two packs just in case of emergency. I’ve have observed in my past races that Gels, after ingesting about 10 pieces, I would end up throwing up even if I use different flavors and flavors that I liked that didn’t give nauseated feeling in my past ultra runs.

My post-nutrition intake would be immediately after the workout——lots of water, one can of coke or one bottle of Ensure and a Power Bar. Once I arrive home, I would eat a complete meal. For the rest of the day, I would continuously hydrate myself with water, sometime consuming 1.5 gallons of water, and strictly adhering to my complete meals—carbohydrates, fats, protein, vegetable and fruits.

I have also incorporated “speed” workouts in my weekly program. Wednesday is usually my “speed” day where I do it on a flatter ground and paved road. This is the only time that I don’t go to the trails and mountains. Since there is no oval track near my place, I would go to a Public Park (Echo Lake Park) where the streets that surround it has a total loop distance of exactly one mile. I would do 1 mile X 5-6 repetitions or 2 miles X 3 repetitions with at least 5-6 minutes rest/jog intervals in between repetitions. In the mountains/trails, I usually do some “strides” or fast & quick leg-turn-overs on flatter portions within a distance of 50-100 meters just to give some “wake-up” drill to my tired leg muscles.

Once or twice a week, I would go to a mountain which has an “up and down” route where I have measured on each way (2.5 miles up & 2.5 miles down). I would wear my hydration vest full of 2 water bottles and 1.5-liter of hydra pack on my back with solid foods. I would practice “power-hiking” on the UP portion of the course and never attempt to do any run or jog. I would register the time from the start up to the time I reach the peak of the mountain. I have observed that I had been improving my time to reach the peak every week. The 2.5-mile distance has a vertical distance of 1,280 feet and my best time so far is 43 minutes for the power hiking in the UP direction.

On the ridge of the mountain, I would continue jogging and hiking for about 2 to 3 miles. On my way back, I would start my fast “downhill run” on the measured portion where I had my “power-hiking” workout. My attitude here in the fast downhill run is a “go for broke” one! A fast and continuous downhill hill run for 2.5 miles would “thrash” my legs! I am surprised that my old knees can still withstand the hard pounding of my feet on the ground. Every week, I would improve on my time on this downhill run! My fastest time for the downhill run is 20 minutes!

Power Hiking and Fast Downhill Running made me register a faster pace and speed for my daily runs!

Two years ago when I shifted to trail running, I did not give any attention to the vertical distance (total ascent/descent) in my workouts but it was later last year that I have concentrated more on the vertical distance of the trails I’ve been into. However, since I’ve started this new training season, I made sure that my weekly totals on the vertical distance will not be lower than 6,000 feet.

On Mondays and Fridays, I would do some stretching and calisthenics/core strengthening exercises. I would also do “foam rolling” to my legs for about an hour with more concentration to my calves, hamstrings, quads, and butt muscles. I stopped my lap swimming for the past weeks and by the end of the 7th or 8th week, I would incorporate (stationary) cycling in my weekly workouts.

On my weekend LSDs, I don’t eat a heavy breakfast (ingesting only coffee) as I want to simulate how I would apply my nutrition and hydration strategy when I am about to reach my “bonking” period which is about 1-2 hours after the start of my run. This is where I would observe how my body would react to any food or fluids that I take in, whether it is water, Tailwind, S’Caps, solid foods (power bars/baby foods/power bars/dried fruits), electrolyte mix, or Clif Bloks. So far, my maximum LSD distance was 20 miles in 6 hours, carrying a heavy load of water in my hydration vest (2-20 oz of water bottle & 1.5-liter hydrapak on my backpack + solid foods). However, if I use my 2-16 oz Simple Hydration bottles (tucked in my race belt with power bars) and one hand-held 12 oz handheld water, that same distance of 20 miles is usually done in 5 hours or less!

On the technical aspect and the monitoring of my body’s feedback on my performance every workout, my Suunto Ambit 3 Peak GPS Watch, had been very useful in monitoring my Heart Rate, VO2, Cadence, Calories Consumed/Burned, and Recovery Period. From these data, I would be able to know on what to do for my rest and recovery for the next workout. My daily workouts are properly recorded in a notebook/journal that I would religiously write every time I finish a workout, to include, what I feel before, during , and after the workout.

In summary, I attribute my faster and better performance in my 4 weeks of trail running due to the following: (1) Better nutrition before, during , and after every workout; (2) Constant hydration with water every mile with Tailwind every other mile; (3) Speed workouts on Wednesdays and incorporation of “strides” in my daily runs; (4) Adapting my body to ingest S’Caps/Salt Sticks during the run on hotter days without any negative reaction to my body; (5) More vertical distance and higher altitude hiking/downhill running would acclimatize my respiratory system; and (6) “Foam Rolling” & Stretching with Core Exercises twice a week.

I’ve been using my Hoka One One “Speedgoat” Trail Shoes for my LSDs and most of my daily runs while my Inov-8 Race Ultra 270 Trail Shoes and Hoka One One Challenger ATR would be used in my recovery and tempo runs.

Monthly Mileage (August 2015): 238.65 Miles or 381.84 Kilometers

Monthly Vertical Distance (August 2015): 41,605 feet

"Leave No Trace"

“Leave No Trace”

Robberies & Thieves In Running Events

25 08 2015

…And Also In Other Outdoor Sports & Activities

Whether you like it not, being robbed by somebody is a part of ones life. If you have not experienced being robbed, then you are an insignificant person. Try to remember your childhood days; your schooling years, from elementary to college/university days; at work; and your relationships with your own family, siblings, relatives and friends, and you will know what I really mean.

Robberies in Sports Events had been very rampant in the past years. And most of these robberies are done in cars/vehicles being parked in Parking Areas near the Venue of the activity. In running events in Metro Manila, there had been many reports of robberies for the past years and these incidents were not openly discussed by the Race Organizers to the Running Community. Whether you are parked in Bonifacio High Street, MOA, McKinley Complex or at the CCP Complex or Luneta Park, the cars of runners parked on designated parking lots are not safe from these thieves. There had been an instance when a trail running event outside Metro Manila with few runners was marred with reports of robbery of things left in cars of some of the runners/support staff of the event. Up to the present, I have not yet received any progress report or information as to what happened to these robbery reports in the past running events.

Lately, I just received a report from one of my runners that he and together with some of my running friends were victimized by these robbers in a running event that was held in one of the neighboring provinces from Metro Manila. Their car was parked in a designated parking lot for the runners in the said event and when they returned to the car to change their attire after finishing their race, they found out that their things were gone! I have yet to know the progress of the investigation being done by the local police in the area if they have already arrested or have identified probable suspects to this incident.

A Thief Trying To Open A Locked Car (Picture From Google)

A Thief Trying To Open A Locked Car (Picture From Google)

Why do we have such robberies in our running events? Why do thieves “disguise” themselves as legit runners and do their business of stealing one’s property left in their cars in running events? I think the answer is very simple, “It’s the economy, stupid!” The more we have running events and more runners, the more we have dumb runners who don’t think about “security” and become super excited to toe the line and be together with friends at the Starting Area! They eventually become the targets of these thieves in running events. Of course, everybody is excited to show to everybody their individual fashion statement in running——new shoes, new tights, new compression shirt, new compression socks/calf sleeves & arm sleeves, new GPS watch, iPhone 6 with BOSE earbuds, new Head Visor, and Oakley Sunglasses. Wow! That is an impeccable form of a runner ready to be posted on Facebook! Most often, this is the reason why we are very lax in terms of securing what we left behind in our respective vehicles when we run. In short, the more runners in running events, the more targets of opportunities for the thieves!

Other sporting events and outdoor activities are not spared from these thieves. In the past, I’ve received reports of stealing/robbery incidents in Duathlon, Triathlon, MTB rides and even in Camping/Backpacking/Mountaineering events.

What should we do to solve or prevent these robberies from happening in our running events? I have the following suggestions/advise and I would like to entertain your comments if you have additional advise or suggestion to what I will mention in this post:

  1. Prevention Starts With Us, The Runners!——If you are using your car/vehicle in going to the running event, make sure that there is NOTHING seen inside the car from the outside. Hide your things in the trunk/baggage compartment! Better yet to hide your things in the compartment before you leave your house or place of residence. Thieves (among your co-runners) would observe your move in transferring your things from your car’s seats to your compartment if you do it in the designated parking area for the running event. Make sure also that you have parked your car in the designated parking area for the running event. If you have the luxury of a driver, let him stay in the car if you have “diamonds and gold bars” stashed in side your car. Remember that your Finisher’s Medal and Shirt purchasing costs would be cheaper than the salary of your driver per hour!

    Nothing Should Be Seen Inside Your Car (Picture From Google)

    Nothing Should Be Seen Inside Your Car (Picture From Google)

  2. Carpool——It is nice to see public transport vehicles, like Jeepneys, SUV Express and buses being used by running teams coming from other provinces and cities/suburbs around Metro Manila area. Since these transport vehicles have drivers, instruct these drivers to secure and look for the things of his passengers instead of going to the Start/Finish Area as an spectator. If you belong to a Running Team or group, it would be wise and practical to carpool to the venue of the running event, provided there is a driver to look for your things.
  3. Multi-Event vs. Single Event——There were suspicions in the past robbery incidents that these thieves are also legit runners but they join the shorter distance events, like 3K or 5K races. After they finished their race, they go back to the designated parking areas or any parking area with their running attire, race bib, finisher’s medal and shirt and then take the opportunity to do their acts to the cars of those who are running longer distances like, half-marathon or full marathon. If you are 4-hour finisher or more of a full marathon and these runner-thieves would finish their 5K race in 30 minutes, then they have enough time to select their targets and do their acts. In selecting a running event to join, one of the factors to consider if you want to eliminate the possibility of being robbed with your properties in your car is to select a single event race. However, this is not a 100% solution or prevention technique because the runner-thieves could also “drop or DNF” on the first few miles and then go back and have access to the parking areas while the rest of the runners are still out there on the road. Actually, these runner-thieves do not train to improve their endurance capability but they would rather train better on how fast they can open your car and run faster carrying their loot towards their vehicle. In road ultras, there are no cases of robberies because the runner’s car is used as support vehicle with a driver and support crew in it. As far as I can remember, I have not yet received any reports of robberies in road ultra marathon events in the country.
  4. Get A Driver/Personal Assistant——If the Parking Area of the event is not guarded, then get a designated Driver or a Personal Assistant to guard or stay in your car. Before you register to a running event, make sure to make the necessary planning as to who would be your driver/assistant. Better safe than sorry!
    Commute or “Walk Instead”——If you reside 3K radius distance from the Event Venue, you can walk or jog and make it as your warm-up exercise to get yourself to the Starting Area before the start of the race. Take the Bus, Taxi, or Uber in going to the Event Area. Sleep early the night before the race and wake up early making sure you have a buffer time for adjustments in case of some traffic delays.
  5. Belt Bag & Other Related Running Bag Accessories——I remember my ultra running friend, the late Cesar Abarrientos with regards to using such running bag accessories. He usually comes to a race (coming from his work) in his running attire with a “drop bag” used as a mini-backpack where his things are stashed. He would run with the said backpack throughout the race. What was good about it was that the bag that he was always using was the “drop bag” that I gave to all the “pioneer” participants of the 1st Edition of the Bataan Death March 102K Ultra Marathon Race. At present, there are running shorts with multi-pockets, runner’s belts with pockets/slots, compression apparel with pockets, and even hand-held bottles with zippered pockets where one can stash his things during the run.
  6. Operational Security On Social Media——Most of the runners are in the Social Media for so many reasons. Obviously, the runner-thieves are also there to find out their probable targets. Without you knowing it, these thieves would be able to know your personal profile, your lifestyle, your race schedules, running times, and other “bits & pieces” about your daily life, to include the plate number, model and type of your personal vehicle. In a matter of time, even if it will take them years to follow your posts, there will be a time that you will regret what you had posted in your Social Media’s personal account. Believe me, they are out there lurking every move and status you post on your FB Wall. So, always think Operational Security, keep to yourself about your activities, plans and schedules!
  7. Race Organizer’s Security Responsibility——Do we still have a lot of “bouncers” with big muscles dressed in tight-fitting black T-shirts in our BIG Running Events? If so, then I suggest that Race Organizers would redeploy them to our Parking Areas and patrol in tandem or in addition to the thinly spread force of the Security Guards. They need to walk around at the Parking Areas and not just to stand at the Starting Line/Starting Arc as a “fence/wall” as if the runners are there to make a stampede before waiting for the Race to start. In big running events, additional marshals should be deployed to patrol the designated Parking Areas for the event to deter these thieves from doing their acts. They should be trained also to detect and make a quick profile to runners who just finished the race. They should know the signs and body language of a runner who just finished a race even if he/she is wearing a finisher’s medal and/or shirt. And they should be ready to ask questions to these runners as to what happened along the way or ask about the route just to test if they really joined the race.
  8. Simplify——Be simple. Do not brag. Do not announce to the world about your running achievements and plans, not unless, you are an elite and sponsored athlete of a big corporation or establishment.

    Not The Best Way To Steal A Bike (Picture From Google)

    Not The Best Way To Steal A Bike (Picture From Google)

Let this post serves as a wake-up call or warning to every runner, athlete, or outdoorsmen & women to be security-conscious and aware of their surroundings and their actions.


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