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Tags: Amadeo Coffee Run, Pahimis Festival, Running
Categories : Pictures, Races, Running
7:56 AM 28 February 2009 @ Amadeo, Cavite
After the Bataan 52K “Test Run”, I was not decided yet to run the Coffee Run at Amadeo, Cavite as I wanted to put more time to run on the road with long and steady runs. Yesterday, during the “speed” training session at the ULTRA Oval Track, I found out that the elite members of Team Bald Runner will be joining the said race. This made me decide to run on this race and be with the company of Jonel aka Bugobugo85, Jan Imperio, and Ismael Ilagan of Team Bald Runner.
After coordination and arrangements, our convoy of three vehicles left Manila at 4:45 AM today and arrived at the Town Plaza of Amadeo, Cavite at 6:00 AM. We had enough time to register and look around the Poblacion. We tried to look for the advertised free coffee as the place is known as the coffee capital of the country plus the fact that the town is celebrating their Pahimis Festival. We found out that the coffee was being brewed and the people were prepared to serve every guest in the town. The place was cold and breezy that I had to wear my sports jacket while talking with the other runners. The air was fresh and clean in Amadeo and we enjoyed drinking our coffee with hot pandesal at the Town Plaza where there were tables and chairs for the guests.
As we waited for the race to start, more runners arrived from Manila to include members of the Fort Striders Club, Fitness First Runners, and members of Team Bald Runner (Professional Group). I was able to talk to Runner For Christ, Jazz Runner, runners from Sta Rosa, Laguna who reminded me that I gave them some of the “donated shoes” from Del Q, the members of Fort Striders, and foreigners from Orange County, California. Thirty minutes before the start of the race, we had our jogging/warm-up along the roads of the Poblacion and prepared ourselves for the race.
The race started at 7:56 AM after a short speech from the race organizer and host of the road race. There were about 250 runners who joined the race which consisted of a 3K, 5K, and 10K race. All the race distances started at the same time and it was very orderly. The race did not have any complications. The route was a straight downhill along a single road up to a distance of 5 kilometers and the remaining 5 kilometers towards the finish line was an uphill climb. For the rest of the distances, the turn-around for the 3K was located at the 1.5K and the 5K’s turn-around was located at the 2.5K and the water stations were located on these turn-around points. Cold water and strings were abundant and there were no problems for the runners in getting their cups of water and strings.
My race strategy for the 10K run was simply to finish the race as I was not confident with my “speed” training for the week. As soon as the race started, the downhill was so tempting to be fast for the 1st half of the race but I controlled my pace as I wanted to reserve my strength for the uphill climb on the last half of the race. For the 1st half, my average pace was 4:25 minutes per kilometers, however, on my way back to the finish line, I had an average pace of 5:15 minutes. The race was a unique one because of the route and I enjoyed it. I finished the 10K race in 47:11 minutes placing # 20 overall among the finishers.
I would say that the race was perfectly organized and executed. There were no frills but the basic needs of the runners were all provided to include medical assistance/ambulance and security by the PNP. The awarding were all done without any hitches or complaints. The people of Amadeo were friendly and appreciative of the runners as we passed their houses during the race.
I am sure I will be back next year to Amadeo for their 2nd Coffee Run because of the unique & simple route to break the monotony of the usual routes in Metro Manila.
Congratulations to the Elite Team Bald Runner for winning most of the podium awards and Thanks for the Support from the Professional Group of Team Bald Runner led by Jonel aka Bugobugo85, Jan Imperio, and Ismael Ilagan.
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Tags: Coffee Run, Pahimis Festival, Running
Categories : Insights, Jogging, Places to Run, Races, Running
It was unfortunate to know what happened to Jerry aka High Altitude while he was on his way back to Metro Manila after finishing the Bataan 52K “Test Run” whch was held last Sunday from Abucay, Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga. Due to the help of Jonel aka Bugobugo85 and the rest of his family, he was able to get an immediate medical attention at the Makati Medical Center. Read the rest of Jeryy’s personal account on the said incident at www.highaltitude.wordpress.com.
After consulting with his personal physician, it was found out that Jerry was a victim of heat stroke or hyperthermia. On the last 11 klometers of the test run, Jerry could have asked from the support vehicles of the other runners for Gatorade or water. While running alone on that stretch of the road, I saw the support vehicle of the Power Runners and asked Kevin to fill up a used bottle for water with Gatorade and brought it with me in my run. For the next 6 to 8 kilometers, I sipped the bottle of Gatorade, alternatingly drinking some water from a bottled tucked in on my back with my compression shorts. I really anticipated the heat of the sun on the last stretch by having at least two bottles and two wet-foams with me—one bottle of water tucked on my back; another bottle of Gatorade on my left hand; one wet-foam clipped on the upper back edge of my shirt; and one wet-foam on my right hand which I regularly squeeze to drop some water to my head to dampen my runner’s cap.
I hope the participants of the Bataan 102K Ultramarathon Race on 05 April 2005 will learn a lot of lesson from the experience of Jerry and from my prevous post (Lessons Learned: Bataan 52K “Test Run”). On our part as the Race Organizer, we will make some adjustments and put more Aid Stations with Salt & Salted Crackers/Food & additional Sports Drinks along the route and encourage the runners to carry with them “hydration system” for electrolyte drinks and water during the race.
Comments : 11 Comments »
Tags: Bataan 52K, Heat Stroke, Running, Ultramarathon
Categories : Insights, Jogging, Practice Runs, Running, Ultramarathon
LESSSONS LEARNED: BATAAN 52K “TEST RUN”
1) Race Strategy—The only “goal” in running an ultramarathon race is to be able to finish the race within the prescribed “cut-off time”. Depending in one’s training and preparation, a runner must be able to determine his average pace and factor in his time for his rest in every Aid Station and time for brisk walking and other interruptions along the race route. In my conversation with Jerry aka High Altitude, I told him about the differences between running a marathon and an ultramarathon race. I would like to share my insights about such differences to my readers. In a marathon race, a runner has a target time goal to finish whether it is sub-3 hours, sub-4 or 5 hours while in an ultramarathon race, the runner has only one thing in his mind—to survive the distance and be able to finish within the prescribed cut-off time. A marathon runner talks and tries to satisfy his programmed split times whenever he reaches the following points—10K, 15K, half-marathon, 25K, 30K, and 32K for his last 10K distance before the finish line while a runner in ultramarathon does not follow any split times along the way. In a marathon race, it is an embarrassing experience if you walk along the route as you need to finish your race within the targeted goal time while in ultramarathon race, incorporating walking in between runs along the route is a “wise move” for every runner. In a marathon race, a runner is expecting to reach his “wall” after running a distance of 32 kilometers for the simple reason that this is the longest distance he had reached in his long steady runs during his training while in ultramarathon, a runner does not force himself to reach his “wall” but instead tries to prevent that “wall” from coming to him.
2) Hydrate and Eat—It is important to drink water or sports drinks along the way. During the “test run”, I always make a habit to sip water from my bottled water every kilometer marker that I reach or pass making sure that I will not experience being thirsty along the way. However, once I reach the Aid Station, I see to it that I drink at least one cup of water or half of the bottled water. During the test, I always eat one boiled egg and one boiled banana every time I stop at the Aid Station making sure that I have a source of energy during the run. Gatorade and Propel Drinks had been helpful for my replenishment for electrolytes and I regularly drink them in every Aid Station. I observed that by eating something, whether it is a boiled banana, boiled sweet potatoe (camote), Sky Flakes Crackers, Cloud 9 Chocolate Bars, boiled eggs, or sports gels/sports bars in every Aid Station, I can run without any feeling of being tired and sluggish. I believe that by regularly eating some solid foods and drinking water in every Aid Station, it prevented me from reaching my “wall” and I did not experience any cramps or soreness on my body for the whole duration of the run.
3) Listen To Your Body—I perspire a lot during my runs and it gives me a warning to drink more water/sports drinks if I observe that I am no longer perspiring. Sometimes, the color of my urine would also determine if I need to hydrate myself. A yellowish color of my urine would warn me to drink more water along the way. If you can’t urinate and perspire for some time during the run even if it hot, it is a sign that your body needs more water and there is a need to drink more water/sports drinks. If you feel some pain in any part of your body, try to observe by slowing down. And if the pain persists, you better walk and observe if the pain will go away. If something happens to your stomach and you need to take your crap, immediately drop by in one of the gasoline stations and use their toilet. If you feel a hot sensation on your head and starting to have a slight headache because of the heat of the sun, take a water-soaked foam/sponge and drip some water on top of your head and let your runner’s cap to be damped/wet as a coolant..
4) Rest But Keep On Moving—You can rest in the Aid Station but keep on moving your legs. You can sit but don’t take so much of your time sitting as your legs would become more stiff after standing from the chair. Try to rub or massage part/s of your legs where there pain or soreness while resting. Also, try to stretch the muscles which you think had contracted in the course of running for some time.
5) Respect The Sun—It was surprising to observe that the sun was on our backs while we were running from Abucay, Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga. The heat of the sun was our main “enemy” during the run. I had to use my special “bandana” which have some “crystals” in it that expands when soaked in water and have it soaked in cold water every time I reach the Aid Station. I usually tie this “bandana” around my neck when I run with the heat of the sun. Aside from the bandana, I place a water-soaked foam on my upper back to cool-down the effect of the sun’s heat on my back. My running cap with a cover for my nape had also helped me a lot. On the last 15 kilometer of the “test run”, I also use another water-soaked foam to put water on top of my head by slowly squeezing the foam. The cold water doused my head made me more relaxed and focused with a “cooler head”. The use of a sunglass is a must to protect the eyes from the glare of the sun and the road. It also protects the eyes from dusts and debris caused by wind and vehicles passing along the road. The sunglass was also helpful in protecting our eyes when we passed by a burning field where the embers were scattered by the wind and were moving towards the runners.
6) Running Apparel—When dealing with the sun and running in longer duration, I usually use any white long-sleeved performance T-shirt. I have such shirts from NIKE, The North Face, and Patagonia. However, I chose the Patagonia shirt because it is soft and it would easily dry up while I am running. The running cap with a cape on the nape is a must. It was my first time to use a tight compression shorts for an ultra distance and it worked well during the run. However, it was my first time to experience a “burning” sensation on my crotch while I was seated inside the car on my way back to Manila. I guess that my crotch was not fully ventilated while I was running the distance with the use of the tight compression shorts. I never experienced such “sensation” or feeling whenever I use my TNF or Patagonia Trail Running Shorts. I hope to have more time to run under the heat of the sun with the use of my trail shorts in order to validate my observation that such shorts is better when running an ultramarathon distance as it promotes more ventilation to the body. During my dinner-conversation with Ben Gaetos, he observed that some of the runners during the “test run” were wearing dark-colored shirts and some were wearing tight compression pants up to the ankle underneath a running shorts. He advised that runners must be wearing light-colored long-sleeved shirts that do not absorb much heat from the sun and running attire must not be layered. On Running Shoes, for the entire run, I used the ASICS Gel-Kinsei 2 for the comfort and stability of my running feet and it passed the test. I’ve been using this shoe in my long runs, “runabouts”, and midnight to sunrise run and I am satisfied with its performance. I was surprised to see lots of melted asphalt on the outsoles of my shoes which shows how hot the sun was during the run. As for the running socks, my local PUMA thick socks protected my feet from blisters.
7) Safety, Potable Water, Medical Assistance, Manpower, and Logistics Support—As the race organizer, these are the things that should be taken cared of for the benefit of the runners in an ultramarathon event. The race organizer must be able to feel and experience what the participants are experiencing while running the race so that he can predict and anticipate the needs of the runners. There are no frills and festive mood at the start and finish areas of an ultramarathon race. There are no Emcees, no festive music and loud speakers, no balloons, no late registrations and walk-in participants during race day, and no politics involved. What is more important is to support the needs of the runners in terms of food, water, medical support, safety, and motivation to finish the race..
8) Ultramarathon Support Costs A Fortune—Whether you are a runner-participant or the race organizer, managing and running an ultramarathon race event cost a lot of money, time and resources. The participants in last Sunday’s “Test Run” could attest the degree of logistical support given to them just to be able for everybody to successfully finish the run. It is my objective and overall interest to help each one of the participant to finish the ultramarathon event within the required cut-off time of 18 hours on D-Day. Even if I announced that runners must be able to support their own participation for the “test run”, I also prepared the basic support for those runners who did not have any support vehicle just to make the run as orderly and efficient as possible for everybody.
9) “Lapses” and Other Concerns Identified—It was through this “test run” that we were able to identify some lapses and problems in the conduct of the ultramarathon race. We are making some corrections and adjustments to make the needs of the runners more responsive during race day. Much to my desire to require each runner to monitor their weight before, during and after the race to determine if they are losing more water from their body and needs to be hydrated but I was advised by experts that there is no need to monitor each runner’s weight in a 100-Km race. Such medical protocol is usually done in 160-mile or more endurance runs. But just in case, there will be a simple and brief check on the weight of each runner at the starting area and at the finish line to determine if a runner is a victim of dehydration. A reduction of 3% of the runner’s weight at the finish line means that the runner is dehydrated and he needs to drink more water or sports drinks.
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Tags: Bataan 102, Bataan 102K Ultramarathon Race, Running, Ultramarathon
Categories : Insights, Jogging, Runners' Training, Running, Ultramarathon
Earlier this month, Richard Gomez, a famous actor in movies, TV, popular product endorser through advertisements, and a sportsman was having his running workout at the ULTRA Oval Track. After his brief workout, we had the chance to greet and talk to him through the efforts of Coach Salazar. I’ve known “Goma” as a Basketball player with other movie stars like Philip Salvador when I was still assigned in the Headquarters Philippine Army. The Philippine Army’s Basketball Team composed of Officers was always engaged in friendly match games with the basketball team of actors at the Phil Army Gymnasium.
As everybody knows, Goma is an athlete and had won medals in Fencing in the National as well as in the Southeast Asian Games. He is also an outstanding golfer who hosts the annual “Goma Golf Cup”. Lately, he is into Baseball. I was surprised to know that he was also a track athlete before as he competed in the sprint events like 100, 200 & 400-meter runs.
I personally told him about the program of Team Bald Runner and our advocacy to promote long distance running in the country. He gave us a word that he will be joining the Team Bald Runner for his training in long distance running.
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Tags: Richard Gomez, Running
Categories : Insights, Jogging, Pictures, Running
My kids, John Paul and Jovelle are starting to love trail running at the Bulldog Trail in Malibu Creek State Park in Calabasas, California. This is my daughter’s first experience in the said trail. Aside from their regular trek to Mt Wilson Trail routes, they have plans to join their first trail race along this famous Bulldog Trail 25K loop. Hereunder are their pictures in last weekend’s run to the said trail.
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Tags: Bulldog Trail, Running, Trail Running
Categories : Jogging, Pictures, Places to Run, Running, Trail Running
6:30 AM 22 February 2009 @ Bataan Death March Kilometer Post # 50 in Abucay, Bataan
All the runner-applicants for the 1st Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race to be held on 05 April 2009 were asked to join the 52K “Test Run” from Km Post # 50 to the Finish Line in San Fernando, Pampanga as a requirement for each runner in order to orient them on the actual route and have them experience the feeling of running under the heat of the sun and over the “hot” paved/cemented roads of Bataan and Pampanga. The “test run” was announced through my posts at www.bataan102.com and this blog. Other runners reached to them through the words and information from the other runner-bloggers and the “Hardcores”.
As the race organizer for the ultramarathon event, I had to make coordination for the support requirements of this event, to include the conduct of this “test run”. This includes security, logistics, administrative and other miscellaneous requirements. Aside from those runners who have the capability to provide themselves with their own suport system, I also prepared a general support vehicle which served as our “mobile” Aid Station throughout the duration of the “test run”. An ambulance with a Medical Team was also available courtesy from my brother who is now the Commander of the Light Armor Division of the Philippine Army based in Camp O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac. My staff prepared 100 bottles of Gatorade; 100 bottles of Propel Drinks; 100 pieces of Sponges/Foams; Cloud 9 Chocolates; lots of boiled sweet potatoes and bananas; hard-boiled eggs, and packs of Sky Flakes. Runner-participants Arman Fernando & Jonel aka Bugobugo85 donated 500 bottles of bottled water.
My staff and I left Manila at 4:00AM yesterday morning with all the prepared logistics support for the “test run” and the personnel needed. We arrived in Balanga City just in time for the opening of Jollibee where 12 of us had our breakfast. At 6:30 AM, we arrived at the pre-designated assembly area which is a 6-km drive from Balanga City. There were almost 20 runners and their support vehicles were already there. Some of the runners had to take the bus from Pasay City as early as 3:00AM just to be able to be at the place before the assembly time. From one group of runners to another, I had to personally greet and ask their names of the new faces I’ve seen in the area. I tried as much as possible to extend my thanks to each runner for their support and attendance to this “test run”. At 6:45AM, all the runners were already prepared and we had to get and list their names for accounting purposes.
I requested the runners to gather around for my personal briefing for the “test run”. In my briefing and remarks, I personally extended my thanks for their support in this ultramarathon event and told them the very purpose of this “test run” and warn them on the preventive and safety measures to make this run as a success and meaningful to each one of us. Details of the route and the support arrangements were explained to them. We had an accounting of the runners and the “test run” consisted of 38 runners with two (2) Japanese runners—Norio Tanaka and Hiroshi Takei. Three of the 38 runners are not runner-participants for the Bataan 102K Race. Coach Salazar led a simple stretching exercises. We had a photo-ops at the Kilometer Post # 50 and then Coach Salazar (again!) led a simple prayer for everybody.
The run started at 7:23 AM (GF 305 time) with me leading the group of 38 runners with a slow and comfortable pace. The sun was already shining and the sky was cloudless when we started the run and it maintained to be cloudless throughout the run. The running group ran with the traffic making sure that each runner whould run along the very edge of the paved road or along the dirt road on the sidewalk. After running for five minutes, Albert Salazar aka Run2Dmoon, Hiroshi Takei and a lady runner overtook me with a fast pace and after ten minutes, Victor Ting, a 63-year old and 30-year veteran of road racing and another companion runner overtook me and these runners led the group and later went ahead of the group for almost 2 kilometers.
My plan for this tes run was to maintain an average pace within the range of 6:45 to 7:00 minutes per kilometer; brisk walk at least 5 to 10 minutes every 12-15 kilometers; and spend at least 3-5 minutes stop on the “mobile” Aid Stations to eat and drink; have my “bandana” dipped on the cold water; and place a soaked foam/sponge on my upper back & clipped with the upper edge of my white Patagonia long-sleeved shirt. I decided not to wear my Nathan Water Belt or my TNF Water Pack but I saw to it that I have a water bottle tucked on the “small on the back” portion with my tight compression shorts and have the option to have another bottled water on my hand.
The test run went well as planned where our “mobile” Aid Station had be prepositioned every 2.5 to 3 kilometers along the route. Our Ambulance was positioned at the back of the last group of runners. Our staff had to check each runner as they pass on our “mobile” Aid Station and they had to monitor also how far are the lead runners. As the runners had completed 10 kilometers and about to reach the boundary of Orani and Hermosa, Bataan, the runners’ location had stretched within the range distance of 4-5 kilometers of the race route. I was beginning to suspect that this “test run” was evolving to be a road race for everybody! I was in the company of Jerry aka High Altitude, Norio Tanaka, Mari Javier, Gene Olvis, Rollie and Ralph “Raffy” Salvador along the stretch from Abucay to Hermosa, Bataan.
After running 17 kilometers, I saw one of the lead runners walking and I had to walk with him and started to ask how & what he feels on the progress of the run and the effect of the heat of the sun to his body. The runner answered that he is okey and just needed to walk. Talking while walking with runners was my way of advising them of hydrating and feeding themselves with the food needed to fuel their body. After 5 minutes, I was back on the road, running towards the junction of the Dinalupihan-Subic Road where Km Post # 68 is located.
The next 15 kilometers along the highway from Dinalupihan to Kilometer Post # 83 was the hardest part of the run because of the heat of the sun and the overstretched location of our “mobile” Aid Station. From every 2.5 to 3 kilometers of distance where the Aid Station would prepositioned itself, it became to almost every 5-6 kilometers. The lone “mobile” Aid Station became two after the pick-up of Jonel aka Bugobugo85 volunteered as support for the slower runners. At this point, the span of the spread of the runners almost covered a range of 6 kilometers when we reached Kilometer Post # 75.
The faster runner were directed to stop and rest and wait for the other runners at the Petron Gas Station in Guagua, Pampanga where the Original Razon restaurant is located. At this point, we were already at the vicinity of Kilometer Post # 91 and we still have 11 kilometers to go before the Fnish Line. The first 25 runners were treated with the famous Halo-Halo at Razon’s courtesy of the Bald Runner. We had at least a 45-minute rest in this area and I just kept my GF 305 running to get the overall elapsed time for the duration of the test run. As we resumed our last leg of our test run from this point, my GF 305 registered an elapsed time of 5:46+ hours.
The last 11-km stretch was also a hard part of the run but each runner had to condition into his mind that this is just a simple 10K run for him. It was already about 1:00PM and the heat of the sun was really taking its effect to every runner as our strides became shorter and our breathing became faster. Our “mobile” Aid Stations were there in every kilometer along this last segment and we had to drink a lot of water and Gatorade in order to last up to the Finish Line. Finally, along this stretch, every runner could see from a distance the next Kilometer Post marking as he passes one kilometer marking until the last kilometer post on the Highway which is Kilometer Post # 101. Seeing the grounds of the Pampanga Provincial Capitol was a sight of relief as it would be almost 200 meters before the Finish Line.
I finished the “test run” in 8th place with an elapsed time of 6:52+ hours (including the 45-minute rest at Razon’s). All the Thirty-five (35) runner-applicants finished the “test run” with more time to spare before the 9-hour decent time to finish the run. Without the mandatory 45-minute “rest & stop” at Razon’s, each of the runner must have registered a faster time.
My congratulations to the finishers of this “test run”. I now consider and pronounce you as the “new warriors of Bataan”. You had passed the test and you can have the bragging rights as an “ultramarathoner” or ultra runner in the country. I know most of us had learned some lessons in this run and I hope you can continue to train and prepare for the final race on 05 April 2009.
My sincerest thanks to those people who have helped and supported us in this “test run”. May you help us some more in our advocacy to promote ultramarathon events in the country and at the same time commemorate events in the history of our country for the benefit of our heroes and to the younger generation.
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Tags: Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race, Running, Ultramarathon
Categories : Insights, Jogging, Pictures, Places to Run, Practice Runs, Running, Ultramarathon