Top 20 Men: 2008 Pasig River Marathon

           Name                                        Time

1.   Kiprotich Birgen Geoffry           2:20:12  

2.   Eduardo Buenavista                   2:25:33

3.   Robert Kosgei                             2:29:06

4.   Allan Ballester                            2:31:05

5.   Bernardo Desamito, Jr.            2:32:41

6.   Juniel Languido                         2:32:52

7.   Cresenciano Sabal                     2:33:34

8.   Julius Kimuge                            2:35:44

9.   Rogelio Sarmiento                    2:38:56

10. Rolando Piamonte                   2:43:08

11. Raul Lamprea                          2:43:39

12. Ruben Samuya                        2:44:36

13. Jessie Ano                                2:44:57

14. Angelo Sibayan                       2:45:27

15. Rodolfo Tacadino                   2:45:36

16. Joel Bengtay                          2:46:00

17. Ramie Lacson                        2:46:30

18. Rabin Dalog                           2:46:51

19. Jerry Lindawan                    2:46:54

20. Marson Tarcelo                   2:47:08


“Cavite”: The Movie

When I last visited my family in Los angeles in December 2006, my daughter asked me if I’ve seen the movie “Cavite” and I was surprised to hear the title of the movie and I said “No”. That was the first time that I heard about that movie and I didn’t bother to ask further questions. However, my daughter recommended that I have to see it or look for a DVD copy of it.

On the day my daughter left Manila for Los Angeles last 22 February, she gave me a DVD original copy of the movie as a gift which she bought at Powerbooks at Powerplant. From its pack, the movie is an “indie” or an independent movie which was made by non-popular movie outfit, actor, producer, etc. I tried to play the DVD to my notebook but it could not play it because the DVD was not made for my notebook’s DVD player.

So, yesterday, I asked one of the officers at the Transient Facility to set-up a DVD player in our living room. Well, the movie’s story/plot is nice and I can relate myself with the movie as I was once assigned in Mindanao when I was a young officer fighting the MNLF in Maguindanao and lately, in Zamboanga City and Basilan fighting the Abu Sayaff Group (ASG).

I don’t want to tell the story/plot but if you are a  Christian or non-Muslim, you could see another perception/insight of what and why violence and terrorism still prevail in Mindanao in the eyes and minds of the Muslims.


Note: This movie is a “fiction”!

Next Road Race

After telling Patrick Concepcion a.k.a “RunningShield” that I am going to be at the 2008 Condura Run as an answer to his invitation in one of his comments in my Road Races Page, I was thinking of an “alibi” or reason to tell him why I could not join the said race. This is what I hate to myself because whenever I make or utter a statement, I tend to stick to it and do it no matter how things will affect on me and to other people. So, for the past days after the 2008 Pasig River Marathon, I’ve been moving a lot in my camp, inside our Transient Facility, walking within the garden and parking area of our Field Service Support Unit  Compound (where we repair and maintain our mobility assets, firearms, and equipment) while making calls to my wife, command staff and unit commanders, get a two-hour body massage (for the price of P 200.00), and lots of walking inside SM City (where I bought 3 DVD movies & ate at Ted’s Batchoy).

However, while I was still in Iloilo City, I got an invitation from my brother telling me to attend to his oath-taking ceremony with the President/Commander-in-Chief for his promotion to Major General (two-star General) on the morning of Friday, 29 February, in Malacanang Palace. As a member of his immediate family and as my younger brother, I have to attend the said occassion. Well, I have a valid reason again to be in Manila and be able to run in the 2008 Condura Run. Hopefully, with a short notice from my staff in Manila, I requested them to have me registered in the said race for the 10K run. Before I left Iloilo City Airport for the last flight to Manila, I just got a word that my race packet is already waiting in my quarters.

As of this date, Thursday, my body and leg pains are gone and can positively say that I’ll be running the 10K race this Sunday.

To my co-runners, I’ll be running as the bald runner, I mean, without my runner’s cap! See you there!

Back To Work!

After the Marathon Race, having done my post-stretching exercises and changed my wet running attire, I immediately left Quirino Grandstand and looked for a place to eat breakfast together with my staff/support team from a nearby fastfood outlet. I rested in my quarters after a cold shower and later had my lunch at Causeway. I spent the whole afternoon sleeping and fixing my things to be brought back to my camp.

At 5:00 PM, I was already on my way to the airport to catch my flight back to Iloilo City and while I was at the boarding area, I was able to post my picture and story about my run at the 2008 Pasig River Marathon. I did not have any limp while walking but my leg muscles were really sore! I still have my intermittent coughing which disturbed my seatmates inside the plane and I had to cover my mouth with my handkerchief every time I cough. A lady passenger sitted beside me was annoyed with my coughing and I tried to smile and said “I am sorry” at her but she just stared at me.

After an overnight stay in our Army Transient Facility in Iloilo City, at 9:00 AM of Monday, I attended a conference presided by the Presidential Assistant for Western Visayas and a staff of the Office of the Presidential Affairs on Peace Process together with the AFP Commanders and PNP Regional and Provincial Directors in the Region VI, in one of the Function Rooms of Hotel del Rio in Iloilo City. Our agenda was focused on the implementation of the Peace Agreement between the Philippine Government and the RPA-ABB (a breakway faction of the Communist insurgents operating in Western Visayas). The conference ended with a lunch and after leaving the Hotel, I was already on my way to my camp in Jamindan, Capiz which is 2 1/2 hours ride by land.

On the following day, rains fell hard in Jamindan but this did not prevent one of my visitors to visit tha camp. I received and entertained a regular officer (Lieutenant Colonel) of the US Marines who is a Filipino. Being an Ilonggo, he had been helping my Command by sending medicines and books for the people living inside the military reservation and camp. He even supported the repairs of one of the primary schools situated in one of those far-flung barangays located inside the military reservation. In the afternoon, I have to send-off one of my Battalions for deployment to Negros Island and gave them a “pep-talk” to inform and inspire them of their actual mission in their area.

For today (27 Feb), I am going to preside and speak as the guest of honor during the turn-over of command of my Military Intelligence Battalion in Iloilo City.

Later this afternoon, I’ll have time to do some brisk walking and slow jogging at the Iloilo City Sports Complex Oval Track.

After dinner, a nice Sauna and Body Massage to relax my muscles at Riviera Spa (Iloilo City) for P 200.00 would be most welcomed! 

Lessons Learned: 2008 Pasig River Marathon

1. Don’t be “mayabang”(boastful)—This was the exact words from my wife when I told her that I was coughing the day before the marathon. Travelling by land for two straight days in the island of Negros just to fulfill my mission to visit my troops and give them their specific mission in the island in person, made a “heavy price” on my health status barely few days before the D-Day. I should had rested when I reached Iloilo City and should had cancelled my oval track run where rains poured on me while running. Sometimes, I forget that I am almost 56 years old and my mind would tell me that I still have the body and strength when I was in my 30s whenever I have my daily runs. This is the most significant lesson I’ve learned in preparing for a marathon race—there is no way I could reach and attain my previous PR time when I was in my 30s! However, breaking sub-four hours in a Marathon Race will be a nice goal after my retirement from the service.

2. Taper and Rest—I guess, my 14 weeks of training for the Marathon Race were not enough to improve my time but just enough to finish the marathon without any injuries or illness after so many years of not training for road races. I should had made my last long run two weeks before D-Day and slowly tapered and rested in the next few days.

3.  From “low-tech to high-tech”—I thought my GF 305 does not have any backlight. It was my fault, I usually do not read the manuals of “high-tech” items, as long as they work, it is fine with me. My thanks to my blog-friends for telling me more about my GF 305.

4.  More mileage & “speed” runs—This is obvious! After retirement, I will try the Lydiard Method of Training. I guess, I have more time to run with no more pressing responsibilities to attend to. Having my grandchildren to “babysit” will be another story! Ha! Ha! Ha!

5.  Sports Gel & Enery Drinks—I have 100% belief that Sports Gel (Gu) and Energy Drinks (Gatorade/Red Bull) give a runner more resistance and strength in marathon races. I consumed at least 8 pieces of Sports GU (Vanilla & Chocolate flavors), a dozen of plastic-bottled Gatorade drinks (from 30 Km mark to the finish line), a dozen of bottled water, and one bottle of Red Bull!

6.  ASICS Running Shoes Forever!—This will be my running shoes, for training & road races, from now on. I have ordered an ASICS Gel-Kayano 14 from my wife as my “gift” to myself for finishing the 2008 Pasig River Marathon.

7.  Start Getting a Running Partner—Since I am alone in my training for the past four months, I didn’t have any training partner except when my son was visiting the country. However, in marathon races, I randomly look for runners whom I think would be a “companion” while running. Sad to say, they have a faster pace and compete with me and sometimes, other runners could not cope up with my pace. I tried picking up a 19-year old boy (with a nice running form) as my running partner at JP Rizal, Makati but after giving him a bottle of water, he just slowed down. At the Pandacan Bridge, I tried to run with a guy who is older than me but ultimately, he walked later along the way. I guess, I need to join one of the Running Clubs at The Fort in order to look for a running partner in marathon races.

8.  Going Back to the Gym—Definitely, I am going back to the gym again to strengthen my calves, thighs, and hamstring muscles. For the past 3 months, I avoided the gym and wanted to reduce my weight by 3-5 pounds and put more time to running. I found out that running is not enough to make your legs more responsive but I need light and high repetition workouts for my leg muscles.

9.  Always “be positive”—Even if I knew I was not 100% healthy & fit a day before the marathon, I knew I could finish the race based from my past experiences and training/preparations. On the last 10 kilometers or 6 miles of the marathon race, everything is about “positive attitude”. You should be able to bring out your “warrior” spirit from your body and pray harder that you will finish the Marathon.

10.  Support Team—You have an “edge” and positive outlook if you have a support team to give you the much-needed assistance along the way. You need a photographer to document the event. I really appreciate the wife and children of a runner, aboard a van, taking his still pictures and video along the route. Of course, if you are a blogger, having your pictures posted on your blog while you are running a Marathon  give/provide more credibility and fun to your readers.

Training Journal (18-24 Feb 2008)

18 Feb 2008—Rest/No Runs

19 Feb 2008—Rest/No Runs

20 Feb 2008—4.68 miles or 7.5 kilometers (Iloilo City Sports Complex Oval Track)

21 Feb 2008—4 miles/6.4 kilometers (inside Camp in Jamindan, Capiz)

22 Feb 2008—Rest/No Runs

23 Feb 2008—Rest/Sleep/Stretching

24 Feb 2008—26.625 miles or 42.6 kilometers (2008 Pasig River Marathon)

Total Distance Covered—35.305 miles or 56.488 kilometers

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Critique on the conduct of the 2008 Pasig River Marathon

This is not about the movie which was shown when I was 1st year in College (1968/69?) and this is not about Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach. Do you still remember them? I think these Actors are still alive up to the present. In one of the blogs that I visited, the writer/runner described his experience running a marathon by these three words and I am going to copy him in describing how the 2008 Pasig River Marathon was conducted. In one of my earlier posts, I described my experience running this marathon in 2006 which I gave a failing grade comparing it from the PAL and Manila Marathons in the ’80s-’90s. So, here are the things I could say and impression about this Marathon Race.

The Good

This is the eight annual rendition of the Pasig River Marathon which changes its name for the nth time. Seven years is a lot of time to improve the race and I was impressed that this 42K race had improved tremendously! First, the attendance of runners for the 42K had increased to almost four times from the time I first joined this race. This is a proof that Filipinos had become more health-conscious and they put more premium on having a healthy heart and being fit. Second, the organizers changed the course/route–from Marikina Riverbank to Quirino Grandstand as compared from the old route–from Intramuros to The Fort, crossing almost all the bridges that cross the Pasig River. The new route was very advantageous to the runners as nobody could be lost along the way in the first 20 kilometers even the surroundings were still dark because the roads are wide and easy to follow. In the old route, many runners got lost in the first 5 kilometers because the roads were narrow and dark. Third, starting the race at 4:00 AM was a “cool” idea! The roads from the start up to the 30 kilometer point were exposed to the sun but running on these roads were easy as it was still dark and cold. And the next ten kilometers were along roads that were shaded with fences, houses, and buildings except for that long bridge which was my first time to see in Pandacan. Finishing a marathon in four hours and the heat of the sun at 7:00-8:00 AM is still tolerable to the body even if the sun was shining. Fourth, I was happy to see kilometer markings every 4 kilometers placed on top of parked vehicles of the marshalls. Fifth, there were lots of water stations along the way and the supply of water was not a problem. People in the squatter areas in Mandaluyong and Pandacan were giving water in plastic bags to everybody which was not part of the organizer’s designated water station/s. I even saw some ladies offerring raisins and bananas to the runners. Sixth, there were lots of road marshalls and I was glad that the Philippine Army contributed with soldiers/Military Police lined up from the entry of Bayani Road near Heritage Park up to The Fort area and down to the old Gate 1 of Fort Bonifacio near Kalayaan Road. The Philippine Army Band was also at the Bayani Road playing lively music to the delight of the runners. Seventh and last, the weather was the “best” weather for a marathon race. It was cloudy and the sun did not appear at all!  Bottomline? The 2008 Pasig River Marathon was a well-planned and well-prepared marathon race.

The Bad

First, the traffic and road construction at the E. Rodriguez Jr Ave. made the runners inch their way in between trucks and vehicles, barely one kilometer from the starting line. Second, running along C-5 with the vehicles on your side and back was a scary experience for runners. Orange-colored street cones should had been placed along C-5 in order to separate the runners from the vehicles going in the same direction. I could still remember that these cones were present along C-5 during the past races. Third, I’ve never seen a “portalet” along the way. For drinking so much water/liquids before the start of the race, I had to “relieve” myself along Julia Varga St, barely 8 kilometers from the start, by approaching one of the plants along the road. Fourth, a gasoline tanker nearly bumped me, head-on, when the driver forced his way in a crossing passing through a “red light” in Pandacan. I was glad the road/race marshall and the traffic enforcers were there to stop and shout at the driver! Fifth, the traffic was so bad on the crossing Nagtahan Bridge and Legarda St up to the Quirino Grandstand. Sixth and last, there were so many multi-colored strings given along the way just to prove that a runner passed through a certain part of the route. This is our “primitive” RFID “runner’s chip” tool, but I didn’t see anybody at the finish line checking all of these (dozen of) strings in every runner’s neck or wrist. I guess, I was an insignificant runner/finisher finishing the race more than four hours! Although these were minor lapses, I knew these things will be corrected in the incoming races for the Pasig River Marathon.

The Ugly

First, the squatters area at Mandaluyong (along Pasig River) and Pandacan. Do I have to explain this? Do we have to show “our dirt” to our guests/international runners. It’s okey if the African (Kenyans & Ethiopians) runners are our only international runners because we have better living conditions than them, how about the US and European runners? Second, very poor quality of air and the carbon monoxide emissions from trucks & “jeepneys” that we breath while running in Manila. Third and last, it’s the foul SMELL of the Pasig River! I just hope that the proceeds and earnings from this Marathon Race will benefit the project to rehabilitate Pasig River. I was smiling when I overheard one of the runners beside me asking from his companion if there are fishes that thrive with the dirty waters of Pasig River. The other runner answered back laughing with the words “None”. 

P.S. I can not make any comment on what happened in the “Pasta Party” which was held o/a 4:00 PM of 22 February 2008 (Friday) at The Orchidarium, Teodoro Valencia Circle in Rizal Park because I did not attend to this. Instead, I brought my daughter, her boyriend and my mother-in-law to the Centennial Airport for their departure back to Los Angeles. I hope they have improved already on how to properly cook their “pasta”. Lastly, I did not observe any “cheating” along the way. The “long bridge” at Pandacan which every runner took going the North and then back going South has a divider that could be easily crossed was very tempting to “cheats”. I was glad I did not see anybody who dared to cross the said divider.

My overall rating/grade for the 2008 Pasig River Marathon—90%

Things To Be Done After Marathon Race

1.  Cool-down and make your usual stretching exercises slowly as your muscles are still sore.

2.  Drink a lot of water/liquids.

3.  Take a cold shower, not a warm one. Studies had proven that cold shower would make the muscles more relaxed.

4.  Eat carbohydrates and “hot meal” with soup. My favorite after a race/run is a “Mami Noodle Soup with Beef Briskets & Tendons” at Causeway Restaurant (C-5, near Jollibee Green Meadows) coupled with “Lychees w/ Almonds in Sweet Syrup & Ice” as dessert. Don’t forget to bring with you your “support team” to this occassion.

5.  Sleep early at night and take some more time to rest with your sore legs elevated. Remember the word R-I-C-E to treat muscle soreness/injuries—Rest, Ice, Compression (Massage), & Elevate.

6.  Let your muscle sores/pains treat itself. I don’t recommend pain relief medications to solve this problem.

7.  Keep on moving when not in rest or in bed.

8.  Start to take a long walk on the second day after the marathon race.

9.  Evaluate your running performance.

10.  Take a vacation and relax with your family.

11.  Give thanks to the Lord for finishing the race without any injury or problems.

12.  Reward yourself with something…maybe, a new running shoes, a new running attire, Ipod, DVD movie, or something that will remind you on finishing the Marathon Race.

P.S. I should had posted this immediately after the marathon race. Sorry, guys! However, you can still follow my recommendations #5 to #12.               

D-Day: 2008 Pasig River Marathon

24 February 2008

Yesterday morning, I went to Marikina Riverbank to familiarize myself with the route of the Pasig River Marathon. I happened to meet a certain “Robert” who was wearing a runner’s attire and looks like a seasoned runner at the Marikina Riverbank. He happens to be a regular runner of the Pasig River Marathon for the past seven years and we talked for awhile. He noticed that I was coughing while I was talking to him and he tried to tell me that it will be a hard and difficult situation for me to finish the marathon with my condition. I just smiled and he later oriented me with the starting area and the route.

Knowing the route, except for the Mandaluyong-Sta Mesa-Pandacan area, I immediately took some of my medications and was able to rest the whole afternoon of Saturday and slept early at 8:00 PM. I woke up at 2:00 AM, took a shower, shaved, had my last “crap”, ate oatmeal, applied petroleum jelly on my inner thighs/feet/inner part of my upper arms/below my armpits and wore my running attire. At 3:00 AM, I was already on my way to Marikina Riverbank.

The race program started at 3:30 AM and the race started on time at 4:00 AM. Nobody among the runners were paying attention to the remarks/speeches of the VIPs on the stage except for the singing of the National Anthem. In my estimate, there were about 1,500-2,000 runners for the 42K to include members of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.


Getting in line for the check-in before runners could enter the starting area. It took at least 30 minutes for marshalls to mark all the runners. Runners were lined up while the race program was on-going. 


I thought I started very slow on the first 10 kilometers but when I reached the 20 kilometer mark, I was surprised to see that my GF 305 registered a time of 2 hours! I was running too fast, contrary to my final plan of running conservatively. There was no way I could see what was going on with my GF 305 because it was still dark and there was no bright light/lamp post along the route.


A fast pace at the C-5 Bridge, near Kalayaan Avenue where my staff had a problem getting a better picture of me while it was dark!


Crossing one of the bridges in Mandaluyong


I need to “shuffle” and take little steps just to prevent my legs from getting cramps!


One of my security men recommended me to wear my runner’s cap while passing at the squatters area in Mandaluyong and Sta Mesa for security reasons. Once I was already at the Nagtahan Bridge, I removed my cap and wore my sunglasses!


And then I had to walk briskly as I was about to experience “cramps” on my both legs (calves & hamstrings). I started to experience muscle cramps at Km # 36!


At last, I could see Manila Hotel from this point and I knew I could finish the race.


Every runner should smile after passing the finish line. Before passing the Finish Line, I heard some of the runners in the audience shouting “BALD RUNNER”. One of the marshalls at the finish line told me that she is a regular reader of my blog.


The Bald Runner trying to copy the picture of Lance Armstrong after finishing the 2007 New York Marathon!..Ha! Ha! Ha!