EDSA, Traffic, Solutions, Incentives, Etc.

29 09 2014

Few weeks ago, I was able to read the Opinion Editorial in one of the daily newspapers. I don’t usually read the newspapers but with a brief stop to eat my breakfast in one of the Fastfood Restos along the NLEX, I got a free issue of the newspaper. What caught my attention in the newspapers is the Editorial about EDSA and the problem of traffic in the metropolis.

Few days ago, there is another “news” whose video became viral in the Internet which showed a fat guy in lavander-colored shirt slapping a MMDA traffic enforcer. I am not sure what made the guy got out from his car and showed outrage towards the traffic enforcer. I have the impression that it was a result of the traffic situation in the metropolis.

The bottomline and the BIGGER Picture in the Opinion Editorial and the “slapping” incident is the fact that for the past years and administrations, there is NO SOLUTION that is good in easing up the daily traffic in EDSA in particular and in Metro Manila in general. Not even the MMDA or the Office of the President could think of an idea and/or implement a measure that would sove the problem of traffic in Metro Manila.

(Note: I hope most of the people would have understood the SONA if the President should have included in his speech on how he woud solve the problem of traffic at EDSA, not about DREAMS and HOPES for the future!)

The volume of traffic had been growing in an unprecedented manner while the number of roads and mobility access have not increased and improved. Not even with the introduction of the Light Railway Transport (LRT/MRT) and increase in the number of traffic enforcers had improved the traffic condition of the city.

What could be the problem? What could be the solution?

If you observe, there are lots of transport buses and jeeps plying within EDSA and other main streets in the city. This is to include the Provincial Buses going and coming from the Northern & Southern Provinces. Maybe, reducing the number of buses and jeeps in the city would ease up the traffic in the city.

Do you still remember those “LOVE BUS” before? Why don’t we bring back those LOVE BUS and adhere to its time-tested system of having only ONE transport system for the BUSES in the city, not what we see as a “free for all” transport franchises for any corporate that has the capability to acquire a fleet of buses here and abroad. I would not deal on the details as I want to suggest an overall concept with regards of reducing the number of buses in the city. Simply put, stick to ONE transport company, private or government-controlled, with the best and excellent transport service to the public. (Note: It is worthy to note what the TransMilenio in Bogota, Colombia had solved the traffic congestion of in the said city since December 2000.)

TransMilenio Bus (Photo From Colombia Travel Blog By Marcela)

You might be wondering why I am trying to analyze the traffic situation in Metro Manila and trying to suggest some solutions to this perpetual problem of ours. It’s because there are solutions to be considered from the point of view from a runner/hiker/athlete and from me who gathered ideas from other sources.

Of course, as an athlete/runner/hiker, I would suggest that people would go back to what we would naturally do during the Early Ages—walk, jog, or run to reach from Point A to Point B. Let us not argue about the pros and cons about this suggestions. In the end, this suggestion has more advantages than disadvantages.

If you can’t walk, jog, or run and would like to have a faster time to reach Point B from Point A, you can ride on a bicycle. Of course, riding on a bicycle has also pros and cons but I am sure it has more advantages. (Note: It is worthy to note also what Mayor Enrique Penalosa of Bogota, Colombia had introduced like the Ciclovia and the First “Car-Free” Day to the world in 2001)

Ciclovia In Bogota On Sundays (Photo Taken From The Oil Drum: Local)

Have you heard about the carpool system that other countries use to ease up the volume of traffic in their streets? This system is applicable to corporate offices as well as government offices. One person in one office can share a ride for another 3-4 persons employed in the same office, provided they come from same origin or the person who drives can pick-up the remaining passengers where the route passes towards their destination.

Another option is for anybody or for you to try riding the bus/jeepney/UV Express in going to your office and going back to your home, at least, 1-2 times a week and leaving your car in your house.

These abovementioned suggestions are only effective if coupled with discipline, positive attitude, and commitment. But they are far more effective if we have some rewards or incentives if we commit ourselves to such suggestions. This is where leadership and management level would enter and be part of the soultion to our traffic problems.

Yes, incentives or rewards are the “carrot” that we need. The government could easily enact laws, ordinances, decrees, and rules and regulation but such “stick” woud not be effective if it is not implimented or enforced strictly.

A person who goes to his office by walking/jogging or running should receive some incentives from the management. It could be some cash enough to motivate him to maintain his running. Maybe, the cost of a brand-new running shoes can be collected by him every 3 months; a weekly registration fee for 10K to half-marathon race of his choice; or additional support for nutrition and hydration which is given on a monthly basis; or a new running kit (apparel) every 3 months!

For the cyclists, the same incentive as the runner is appropriate. It could be cash incentive or anything that he could use for his safety while riding his bicycle.

For the carpooler, he could be given some incentive in terms of additional allowance for the gasoline; repairs; and maintenance servicing of his personal vehicle. Better yet if the management could provide an all-expense trip for a family weekend vacation in any part of the country.

If you take the bus or public transport instead of your personal car, the management should double your daily fare and receive the incentive at the end of every two weeks. If you spend P50 a day for your fare, the management should be able to give you P100 as your daily incentive or maybe more.

You might ask me where will management get the money for the incentives. Well, I would assume that personnel would be healthier if they are more active by adhering to my suggestions. The management will be saving money for the medical and hospitalization of their employees, to include payments for medical and dental insurances. So, in effect, the management will be “front-loading” their savings for the medical expenses for their personnel in the form of incentives. It is easier to say than done but it is possible.

Now, it is for the government and private developers to come up with the needed infrastructure in order to impliment safety in running, walking, and cycling from Point A to Point B.

What could be more revealing is the fact that Colombia won 8 Olympic Medals in the latest London Olympics with Gold and Bronze Medals in BMX Cycling; Silver Medals in Road Cycling and Women’s Triple Jump and other individual sports. I wonder if there is a direct connection with how Bogota, Colombia solved its traffic problems and the encouragement for the people to have access to paved roads which are transformed into parks during the week.

Just maybe, this is a good model for us to emulate if we want to encourage more of our citizen to engage in endurance sports.

As they say, “you may never know”. What is needed is for us to TRY.





Result: 4th Fort Magsaysay To Dingalan 65K Ultra Run

25 08 2014

4:00 AM August 24, 2014

Start: Division Headquarters, 7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City

Finish: Purok Tanguige, Barangay Aplaya, Dingalan, Aurora

Starting Line (Photo Courtesy Of Reese Rogel)

Starting Line (Photo Courtesy Of Reese Rogel)

1. Lao Ogerio (Champion, Overall, Men)—–7:22:55 hours

2. Kristian Mark Ison (1st Runner-Up, Overall, Men)—–7:27:19

3. Jay Pagcu (2nd Runner-Up, Overall, Men)—–7:28:59

4. Elmar Bob Tolete—–7:55:34

5. Alfred Delos Reyes—–8:22:16

6. Gilbert Catacutan—–8:39:19

7. Patricia Serios (Champion, Female)—–8:48:22

8. Cristopher Magdangal—–9:01:07

9. Sheila Rose Elasin (1st Runner-Up, Female)—–9:10:19

10. Daphne Codilla (2nd Runner-Up, Female)—–9:10:22

11. Loradel Hanopol (Female)—–9:10:30

12. Reylynne Dela Paz (Female)—–9:40:50

13. Madison Trinidad Jr—–9:48:21

14. Khris Caleon—–9:55:41

15. George Ged-Ang Jr—–10:01:24

16. Ronnel Go—–10:16:11

17. Kathleen Fresnido (Female)—–10:22:58

18. Randy Miranda—–10:22:59

19. Joel Salvia—–10:34:48

20. Amor Gabriel Jr—–10:39:36

21. Manny Ocampo—–10:40:28

22. Bong Anastacio—–10:40:30

23. Michael Sastrillo—–11:08:40

24. Reese Rogel (Female)—–11:16:22

25. Gerson Yuson—–11:16:35

26. Christian Aisporna—–11:24:14

27. Mark Anthony Belariso—–11:25:10

28. Edwin Cruz—–11:38:46

29. Jeronimo Ventura III—–11:55:20

30. Jinky Yray (Female)—–11:56:27

31. Reinier Tatlonghari—–12:13:23

32. Emma Libunao (Female)—–12:43:13

33. Rolando Ramirez Jr—–12:52:59

34. Cherry Rose Betonio (Female)—–13:35:04

35. Michiko Joaquin (Female)—–13:35:05

Overall Champion Lao Ogerio

Overall Champion Lao Ogerio

Female Champion Patricia Serios

Female Champion Patricia Serios

Congratulations To All The Finishers and Support Crew!

(Note: Pictures will be posted on Facebook) 

 





Results: Anteloop 50K/25K Trail Run

22 08 2014

6:00 AM July 6, 2014

Sacrifice Valley, Hermosa, Bataan

Result: Anteloop 50K Ultra Trail Run (In Hours)

1. Patrick Harvey Aquino (Champion, Men)—9:50:14

2. Epoy Poblete (1st Runner-Up, Men)———10:50:48

3. Roy Gracia (2nd Runner-Up, Men)———-10:51:36

4. Excelienieno Haloy —————————11:40:13

5. Tess Leono (Champion, Ladies)————-12:52:15

6. Ryan Garcia————————————13:18:54

7. Joyce Regalado (1st Runner-Up, Ladies)—14:28:18

 

Result: Anteloop 25K Trail Run (In Hours)

1. Ronnel Go (Champion, Men)——————5:41:19

2. Manny Ocampo (1st Runner-Up, Men)——6:17:54

3. Par Buenvenida (2nd Runner-Up, Men)—–6:29:58

4. Junar Layug————————————-6:36:40

5. Jun Soriao—————————————6:36:43

6. Jay De Jesus————————————7:00:53

7. Nica Tanjutco (Champion, Lady)————-7:04:49

The Few Brave & Strong Trail Runner

The Few Brave & Strong Trail Runner

Congratulations To Everybody!





Final Instructions: 4th Fort Magsaysay To Dingalan 65K Ultra Run

20 08 2014

1. Due to military-related activities in Fort Magsaysay scheduled for the weekend, all the Transient Facilities inside the Camp, to include the Special Forces Regiment and SOCOM Transient Facilities are FULL. However, runners who would like to spend Saturday night within the vicinity of Fort Magsaysay, they can avail of the hotels and commercial transient facilities in Santa Rosa-Cabanatuan City area. Most of these hotels are located along the Maharlika Highway. For those who choose to arrive early in the camp and rest inside their respective Support Vehicle, they can park their vehicle at the back of the 7th Infantry Division Headquarters and . Parking of Vehicles in front of the Headquarters Building is strictly prohibited. All the other roads surrounding the Headquarters Area is available for Parking.

Intersection Philippine Coast Guard/Pier And Umiray Road

Intersection Philippine Coast Guard/Pier And Umiray Road

2. The race will end on the shore of the Pacific Ocean at Purok Tanguige, Barangay Aplaya, Dingalan, Aurora. From the usual finish line at GINA’s Resort, follow the highway that is descending towards the Poblacion of Dingalan, Aurora. Runners would be able to pass the short section of commercial establishments and follow the road that leads to the Philippine Coast Guard/Dingalan Pier. Runners have to TURN RIGHT once they reach an intersection with a PETRON Gasoline Station on the right and a tarpaulin with an Iglesia Ni Cristo 100th Anniversary hanging across the said Gas Station. The road leads to Barangay Umiray.

Turn Left On This Alley With The Sign "Purok Tanguige"

Turn Left On This Alley With The Sign “Purok Tanguige”

3. From the road leading to Umiray, turn left on an alley which is a paved path, about 400 meters away from the PETRON Gas Station, good for one vehicle which is marked with PUROK TANGUIGE. Runner would see the seashore and the Finish Line will be few meters before the beach. On your right will be the Seaside Restaurant where lunch will be served and for the runners can have their shower.

Pacific Ocean's Open Water Swimming Pool

Pacific Ocean’s Open Water Swimming Pool

4. Warning for those Runners with Support Vehicle. There is a limited parking space along the shore and vicinity of the Seaside Restaurant. Runners should advise their support driver/crew to park along the road leading to Umiray. The road is safe with few vehicles passing in the area and with the Barangay Hall within the vicinity.

5. The 65-Kilometer distance will be short by about 500 meters. As I don’t want each of the runner to make an additional distance along the Umiray Road and somewhere have a U-turn back to Purok Tanguige, this arrangement might result to some confusion, most specially when the runner is thinking of a cold beer waiting for him once he crosses the Finish Line. Just reserve that lacking 500 meters for your open water swim on the shore of the Pacific Ocean once you cross the Finish Line!

Good luck and see you at the Starting Line!





Raising The Bar

7 08 2014

Next year will be the 7th edition of the Bataan Death March 102K Ultra Marathon Race (BDM 102) and I firmly believe that this running event opened the awareness of our local runners on the possibility to finish a running event more than the distance of a Marathon Race. Its historical significance and the experience of past finishers had lured a lot of new marathon runner-finishers for them to train and finish the race. And slowly it is becoming more prestigious that you can not call yourself as a “full-blooded” ultra marathoner among the local Filipino runners if you have not finished this race. Better yet, if you consider yourself as a Race Director/Organizer of a local ultra running event.

Almost yearly, the course record of the BDM 102 had been broken by what we consider as our “elite runners” and nothing happens after that for them to be exposed to other ultra running competitions abroad and find out how they would compare themselves to international runners. With the help of ultra running friends and former comrades in the military service, I was able to expose some of these elite runners in three instances but these were the notable results: (1) Alquin Bolivar, an active Philippine Army soldier set a National Record for 100K with a time of 9:04:23 hours and placed #6 among the fast ultra runners of Asia in an IAU-sanctioned Asian 100K Championship Road Race in Jeju, South Korea in 2010 and (2) Marcelo Bautista, a 9:45:59-hour finisher of BDM 102, who placed #15 in the 2013 Hongkong 100K Trail Ultra Race among 1,250 runners coming from different countries with a time of 12:08:42 hours making him a qualifier for the prestigious Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run in California, USA.

Due to different factors and reasons of which I don’t have any control, I could no longer afford to send such “elite” athletes to international ultra running competition. If TNF Philippines could not even afford to send the Champion of its yearly TNF100 to any of the Southeast Asian TNF100 events, how much more for a “pensioner” like me who does not have any profit from having less than 100 runners in my regular ultra races.

There are potential “elite” ultra runners among us who would like to be exposed to international races but I have the observation and personal opinion that they lack two of the most important considerations or attitude which are very paramount for me aside from the fact that they lack the financial resources: Loyalty and Humility.

Loyalty? Do I need to define what is loyalty? Humility? Do I need to define this word also? If you are one of the local ultra runners who know me personally or had been reading my blog since the time I created this, you would know what I am talking about. If you are new in this blog and don’t know me personally, you can always “search” for my rants and random thoughts in my past posts.

So, if you have the influence or the capability to send our elite ultra runners to international competition, you can do also your share in this effort. If you are one of the “Big Shots” in the Government Service or in the Private Corporate World, you can be a great help to these potential elite runners making sure to test them of their “loyalty and humility”.

For those who have the time, money and resources to participate in international races and considered as our “elite” ultra runners, the whole local ultra running community will be behind you to cheer and pray for your safety in your travel and for a competitive resolve to be faster and stronger than the other runners.

This brings me to a more focused observation to our “elite” ultra runners who are competing (not participating) in an international ultra running event. It is assumed that if you are an “elite” ultra runner, you are supposed to compete with the best of the other international runners. There is no doubt that your sole purpose and focus in this race is to be able to finish the race as fast as you could within the confines of your skill, talent, training and mental fortitude. It is assumed also that you have figured out, through your training and preparation, the best race and nutrition strategy for such event. There is NO point of thinking that you are there to simply to FINISH the race event. The ultimate aim of an “elite” ultra runner is to be able to land and place as one of the podium finishers (top 3 or top 10), period!

For the “middle-of-the pack”, their purpose and goal is to be able to pass or overtake as many runners as they can before they cross the finish line. These are the ultra runners who keep on coming back every year to improve their Personal Best or PR times for the event. They find satisfaction to beat a friend or an opponent or a training partner, whether their satisfaction is for bragging rights among other runners or silently praising himself/herself that he/she could improve some more. These are serious runners who always find ways and means for them to be faster, stronger and smarter ultra runners. They keep on improving with the end view of someday joining in one of the international ultra running events as part of their “bucket list” given with a well-balanced family and job/professional career. I can say in my opinion that these are the “Silver Medalists” in the past BDM 102 editions.

The “back-of-the pack” are mostly “whiners”, “fakers” in their training, pressured by their peers to join, old and aging runners who would like to put a tab on their “bucket list” before they fade away (that’s me!), non-believers to accept that they are little heavy in weight and very slow in running and ask a lot of unnecessary TLC in Aid Stations, those who don’t accept that they are injured in their training, and those who always have a laminated printed copy with them of their targeted split time in every kilometer post along the route in order to avoid being cut-off from the race. I call these runners as “hit or miss” ultra runners.

As more ultra running events, whether road or trail, are being organized in the country, there is a possibility of more runners being lured into joining ultra running events and you can easily distinguish them as the “elite”, “middle-of-the pack” or “back-of-the-pack” ultra runners. I just hope that their interest will not end once they finish the BDM 102. As for the elite runners, I am still confident that private individuals and/or corporate brands will be able to support and send them to prestigious international ultra running events, whether they are in Asia/Australia, Europe or in the USA/Canada, in the years to come.

If former President Marcos was able to invite past Boston Marathon Champions and Marathon Olympic Medalist in the past to be as special guest/runner and if MVP can bring a whole NBA Team to the country to play with our National Basketball Team or send our Basketball Team to play tune-up training games to a popular and former NBA Champion Team in the USA, I have the strong belief that our ultra runners will soon be running side by side with elite ultra runners worldwide or for these world’s elite runners to be running in our local ultra races.

I hope and pray that these things will happen before I finally fade away from ultra running as a “back-of-the-pack” runner!

Mountain Hiking, here I come!

Mt Whitney & PCT Within My Reach

Mt Whitney & PCT Are Within My Reach





4th Fort Magsaysay To Dingalan 65K Ultra Run

31 07 2014

This is the Fourth Edition of this classic PAU Ultra Road Race which starts in front of the Headquarters of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army inside Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City (Nueva Ecija).

For the past 3 years/editions, the distance was 60 kilometers. However, for this year we will try to add more distance to the event so that the race will finish in one of the available spaces/areas along the coast of Dingalan, Aurora and the Pacific Ocean. Finishers/Runners and their Support Crew will have a chance to dip their tired bodies on the shore/Pacific Ocean. Hopefully, we will be able to complete the distance of 65 Kilometers. Foods will be served to all the Finishers.

Starting Area: Headquarters of the 7th Infantry Division, PA

Starting Area: Headquarters of the 7th Infantry Division, PA

The race will start at 4:00 AM of August 24, 2014, Sunday, whether there will be only 10 runners. The cut-off time will be 12 hours. Podium Finishers (Top Three For Men & Ladies) will receive individual trophies. All Finishers will receive a Finisher’s T-Shirt; Finisher’s Medal; and a Certificate. Assembly Time and Processing of Runners will start at 3:00 AM on Race Day.

I encourage that all participants should review the rules and regulations of the past editions of this event. Such rules and regulations will be applied to all Road Races being organized by the Bald Runner’s Events/PAU Races. Support Vehicle is not mandatory. Runners who will be on “self-support” mode will be able to take advantage of convenience stores along the route.

Fort Magsaysay-Laur Highway

Fort Magsaysay-Laur Highway

If you are new in our races, you have to review the past posts in this blog. If you have any concern or clarification about the conduct or details of the event, you can post a status or comment on the Facebook Event Page of this Ultra Event.

The registration fee is One Thousand Eight Hundred Pesos (P 1,800) per runner. A runner can register by depositing the amount of money to the Bank of the Philippine Island Savings Account #0296-0673-22 in favor of Jovenal Narcise. Please send a photocopy of the Deposit Slip at e-mail address: jovie75@hotmail.com immediately and bring the said Deposit Slip at the Starting Area on Race Day. The Deposit Slip will be used to redeem your Race Packet. Registration is now open and it will end on August 22, 2014, Friday.

This road race is highly recommended to those ultra runners who will have their first taste and experience towards the 2015 Bataan Death March 102K Ultra Marathon Race (BDM 102).

Good luck and see you at the starting line!

Laur To Gabaldon: To The Mountains

Laur To Gabaldon: To The Mountains

Finisher/s and their Support Crew/Team

Finisher/s and their Support Crew/Team

 





Foam Rollers

31 07 2014

I am a “late comer” on the use of this item, most specially now that I’ve concentrated my running workouts on the mountain trails. How I wished I have this item as soon as it was available in the market.

For the past years since Foam Rollers were available in the market, I ignored them because I have my own staff/aide who had been giving me almost a daily massage. For a change, I decided to have a try using this foam roller.

I know that there are so many types of foam rollers in the market but I am more interested to have the “original” foam roller. So, I was able to buy one which I think the cheapest in the market.

It is very easy to use. The item has a booklet inside its package and the instructions on how to use are very easy to follow. Basically, you have to use the weight of your body to put pressure on your muscle to the roller foam. Whenever I feel a sore spot in the my muscle, I would spend more time to roll the foam on the said spot until I get a relief or the soreness is diminished.

After reading some posts on the Internet about its use and product review, I came up with the discovery and information that one should refrain from doing so much stretching on the IT Bands. You could “google” such topic on the Internet for more details. You could feel the pain or soreness of the IT Bands if you use the Foam Roller on them but because of the information, I try not to spend so much time “rolling” on my IT Bands.

I concentrate more in using the Foam Roller on my quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and gluteus muscles. Surprisingly, I am addicted in using it whether for my stretching routine or to relieve sore muscles in my legs. I usually use the Foam Roller at least twice a day; after a running workout and before going to bed at night. Thirty minutes per session will be a good and relaxing time for your legs!

It is highly recommended to use the Foam Roller with your Yoga Mat; a carpet; or on the floor. It is guaranteed that your muscles will be happy and relieved every time after your daily “foam rolling” sessions.

My RED Foam Roller

My RED Foam Roller

But wait, I have read somewhere that if the Foam Rollers are not available in the market or too expensive in ones budget, a piece of PVC pipe will be a good substitute. Although, I haven’t tried it, it would be nice to experiment on it.

Good luck and have fun in your daily runs!








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