Running Clinic @ CITIBANK

23 07 2009

This is the 7th Running Clinic that the Team Bald Runner had conducted since it started this program. And we have maintained it to be FREE.

This time, the running clinic was done at CITIBANK’s Main Office in Makati City. The coordination was made by Owen King, one of the staff, through an e-mail he sent me. The e-mail which I received while I was still in United States started the “ball rolling” and final coordination had been made in a few days.

Finally, the Team Bald Runner conducted the 1st phase of the Running Clinic at the CITIBANK Tower in Makati City o/a 5:00 PM last Friday, 17 July 2009. The lecture was attended by 20 participants which consisted of officers, staff and employees of the bank. The lecture and open forum lasted for about 2 hours in one of the lecture/seminar rooms of the building.

The Best Seminar/Lecture Hall I've Seen

The Best Seminar/Lecture Hall I've Seen

Participants Listening Attentively During The Lecture

Participants Listening Attentively During The Lecture

Received Used Shoes For My Project Donate A Shoe

Received Used Shoes For My Project Donate A Shoe

After the conduct of the lecture, Nigel Romano, CFO of Citigroup Philippines and Owen formally had given to us the used shoes they have collected from the participants as contribution to my Project Donate A Shoe. Thank you very much!

At 6:30 AM, the following the day, Saturday, July 18, 2009, the CITIBANK running group started their practical demonstration and exercises at the ULTRA Oval Track. Coach Titus Salazar and the Sabal Brothers (Elmer & Gerald) of the Elite Team Bald Runner conducted the practical demonstration and exercises. Coach Titus demonstrated the proper running form, footstrike, and other important “basics” in running, to include stretching exercises, drills, and techniques. The session lasted for two hours.

Warm-Up Run Around The Oval Track

Warm-Up Run Around The Oval Track

Drills & Strides

Drills & Strides (Cathy Sy Doing The Drills)

Every Participant Was Required To Do The Drills

Every Participant Was Required To Do The Drills (Owen King at the Front)

Nigel From Trinidad-Tobago Doing The "High-Knee" Drills

Nigel Romano From Trinidad-Tobago Doing The "High-Knee" Drills

Display of Donated Shoes

Display of Donated Shoes

It was nice to see almost all the participants in the Running Clinic during the conduct of last Sunday’s GLOBE Run For Home at The Fort. I hope that the Running Club/Group of CITIBANK will grow in the number of members and will soon come up with their own corporate-sponsored road race.

Brian Stark: USA Transcontinental Trail Runner

22 07 2009

As I mentioned in my previous posts, I’ve been reading the book, “Getting To The Point: In A Dozen Pairs of Shoes” by Brian Stark who did his 5,000-mile solo trail run for 238 days from March to November 2008 along the newly designed American Discovery Trail from Cape Henlopen, Delaware to Point Reyes, California.

Since the activity was a solo run, he did not have any support crew or pacer during the run. He just carried with him a 10-pound pack which included his water hydration system, making sure to run along the trails across America.

What I admire with this guy was that he really prepared for the said run. It took him one year to coordinate with the organizations that maintain the American Discovery Trail; compile at least 500 maps; arranged for logistics drop-off point in selected Post Offices of towns & cities along the way; created his personal website for the event; and saved $ 10,000 cash to finance his trip. He even arranged for his shoe sponsor making sure that a brand-new shoes as replacement would be picked-up in a pre-designated Post Office along the way. Even media outlets (newspapers, radio and TV) were coordinated and informed about his running event.

Brian Stark, in his daily runs along the trails, would be able to finish at least 30-40 miles and then look for a decent place to stay if a trail is located near a town or city at the end of the day. Sometimes, he would sleep in parks, Fire Stations, churches, schools, and in the homes of strangers who are willing to offer dinner & breakfast, bed and shower.

To update his website and reply to messages in his e-mail address, he would go to Public Libraries along the way to use their computer. The following excerpts was taken from a post from the Internet describing the feats of Brian Stark:

After driving back from the Boston Marathon, where his dad had run, Brian Stark, then 7, got out to use the bathroom during a stop for gas somewhere in Pennsylvania. No one took note, not even when Stark ran up and banged on the family van as it pulled away. “When my parents stopped for breakfast 300 miles away, they noticed I was missing,” he says. These days, Stark could have just kept running until he caught up with them. In 1998, he ran 4,800 miles across the country on the American Discovery Trail, which runs along America’s trails and back roads. It began in a sleet storm in Delaware and ended 238 days later at the Golden Gate Bridge — followed by a drive to L.A. and an appearance on “The Price Is Right.” “I won eight stuffed teddy bears and two trips, one to Hawaii, one to Canada,” says Stark, 36, who frequently pulls experiences from his trek while teaching gifted language arts at Corona Foothills Middle School in the Vail School District. And yes, he sometimes jogs to school, all 35 miles. “I have to get up at 1:30 a.m.,” says Stark, who is married and a father to two little girls, ages 2 and 3. He kept a journal while on his run and afterward wrote a book about the experience, “Getting to the Point: In a Dozen Pairs of Shoes.” “I picked out 12 pairs of running shoes and mailed them to 12 post offices 400 miles apart,” says Stark. When he arrived at each post office — each about three weeks apart — a new pair of shoes would be there to replace his worn-out ones. Along the way, local newspapers and TV stations chronicled his trek through their towns and CBS “Sunday Morning” broadcast a brief telephone interview. Sometimes he slept in motels. Other times he slept under bridges, in barns, even in outhouses. More than once, he’d just knock on a door. More often than not, he’d be invited in for a meal, and maybe a bed. Not once, he says, did anyone slam a door in his face. “No one ever threw anything at me, or tried to run me off the road.” Eight policemen, however, did inquire as to what he was doing, the first in Kansas. “I was sitting on a guardrail looking at a map and he pulled up in his squad car. He asked me what I was doing in the middle of Kansas without a car. I said, ‘I’m running to California.’ ” Even though he handed the cop a card explaining his circumstances, “He still checked me out.” Born in Indiana, Stark ran cross-country in middle school, continuing through high school and then at Hanover College in southern Indiana. After graduating in 1995, he rewarded himself with a five-month, 2,000-mile hike from Maine to Georgia along the Appalachian Trail. In Massachusetts, he met a man who hiked nude every Tuesday. Naturally, it was a Tuesday. Even so, Stark continued on. For the next three years, he lived as a caretaker in a primitive cabin in southern Indiana. “There was no running water and the only heat came from a fireplace,” he says. “After that, I thought I needed a break.” The “break,” of course, would be running across the country. “I’d never been west,” he says. A brother dropped him off at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean on the morning of March 8, 1998. It was 43 degrees and sleeting. Stark was carrying a 10-pound backpack filled with a sleeping bag, jacket, water bottle, cheese crackers, credit card, maps and “one Band-Aid, just in case.” As his brother rolled away, he cracked the window and told him to call if he wanted to quit. Stark never did, aiming to get to the Rocky Mountains after most of the snow had melted. He mostly ran and sometimes walked about 10 hours a day, trying to space it about 25 to 35 miles between towns. That proved impossible in Nevada, where the towns were more than 100 miles apart and he had 37 mountain ranges to cross.

In 2001, Stark did the Arizona Trail between Mexico and Utah in 39 days. In 2004, he ran across Iowa.

While reading this book, the following thoughts came to my mind:

1) Did Cesar Guarin of BOTAK come up with a book or a written account of his Run Across America in the 80s? I knew that he is one of the consultants of Joy Rojas and Mat Macabe during their planning preparation for the Takbong Pangarap Run Across America. A running experience as big as Running the Continental USA is worth to be printed in a book.

2) I thought of Joy Rojas and I tried to find out from the Internet if there is any word about the progress of her Takbong Pangarap. Since I could not see any information after she started her run in Eagle Rock, California almost 60 days ago, I posted the question in my Twitter as to where she is right now. Ben Gaetos had the initiative to answer my question by sending an e-mail to Joy Rojas and it led to Mat Macabe’s call to him.

3) Why did Joy Rojas thought of not creating a blog or website on her own instead of relying to the website of After leaving Eagle Rock, California, POC had never updated her running activities. Being a news editor and news writer, she would have known the importance of the Internet in order to “journalize” her daily runs and let her readers know where she is and her daily experiences. In the book, Brian Stark would update his running journal in his website at the end of the day if he had an access to the Internet, if not, he would write his journal in a notebook and later wrote his updates whenever he had an access to the Internet. As compared now and the time when Brian Stark did his run across America’s trails, every town or city has its own public library with a computer, if not, there are so many Internet Cafes in every commercial establishment, even Motels now have Wi-Fi connections in every room with a very minimal additional cost. Access to the Internet right now is very common, cheap, and accessible. I am sure that every house in every big town or city has an Internet connection. Even cellphones nowadays have access to the Internet to include social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

4) One of my readers made a comment in my post about Joy Rojas and he/she has doubts about her running adventure to the point that she is suspected to be riding and running along the way. There goes the another “controversy” again! The following is the comment from cutierunner about Joy Rojas’ run from Las Vegas, Nevada to Denver, Colorado:

i too wondered where she was after she reached las vegas on may 23 and then silence until she pops out in denver for the western union shindig on june 23/ is she running or riding part of the way? google maps say that from las vegas to denver is a good 844 miles / from reports she says she takes a break every six days that leaves her with only 25 running days going from the desert to the state with the highest mean elevation in my country/ that’s uphill all the way to Colorado (during a season when flash thunderstorms occur), at 30 miles a day which is more than a marathon a day, she would still be short by 94 miles, so she must do something like 20% more to be statistically in denver by the date/ To set records, it would have been better if she wore one of these tracker gps items available here so that we do not have to rely on the word of her trainer who i hear is her boyfriend anyway and guess whether she is actually running or riding part of the way – also strange is having a crew of one

(Note: In my previous post on the pictures of Joy Rojas, I did not notice if she is wearing a Garmin watch, have you?)

I strongly believe that Joy Rojas could also do ala-Brian Stark running adventure across America if she has the necessary preparations, contacts along the way, and updated information about her daily activities.

5) In one of the Ultrarunning Magazines that Rick Gaston gave me, I read about Dean Karnazes plan to run across America using the American Discovery Trail from San Francisco to the East Coast and it is presently on the “drawing boards”. I guess, this will be fully supported by sponsors, marketing stuffs, and good PR support. What I like about Brian Stark is that he did it on his own without any “gimmicks” or marketing stuffs and even without any crew or support and pacer along the way, most especially while he was running the winding roads and trails of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains reaching an altitude of 12,000 feet above sea level.

6) Brian Stark did not set a deadline for him to finish his run and he did not pressure himself to reach a designated place. He had to take a lot of rest for his body to recover during the early part of his run and as the days and weeks have passed, he became stronger. He would find time to visit museums, tourist attractions, historical places and even enjoy the food distinct to every place he stayed while recovering from his rigorous runs. This a good example of a running adventure where you have enough time to explore the places you are passing through by visiting their tourist attractions, museums, and other historical places. Hence, he was able to write a book with all the pictures and clippings of newspaper accounts on his run.

If you have plans of running a multi-stage/multi-day running adventure, Brian Stark and his book is a good inspiration and source of experiences and a guide to a successful running adventure. I am highly recommending every runner to read this book.

Week #1: Start Of Marathon Training

21 07 2009

13-19 July 2009 (1st Week)

After completely resting for the whole week after the 33rd MILO 42K Elimination Race the other Sunday, I am starting a serious training cycle for a marathon race to be held before the end of the year and ultimately, in preparation for a “possible” experience in an ultramarathon race which will be held on the last week of May 2010.

Monday—A Long Run of 1:30 up to 2 hours

Tuesday—Easy Run of 60 minutes

Wednesday—Tempo Run. Start slowly; after 20 minutes, hold race speed for 30-40 minutes, then end with easy run for 20 minutes.

Thursday—Hill run, Easy Run

Friday—Easy Run of 60 minutes

Saturday—16-20K at Race Pace

Sunday—Rest Day

This training schedule is supposed to be a guide. There is no specific target on my weekly mileage as this week and the  following weeks will be part of my endurance phase.

Comparing the abovementioned training schedule from what I’ve actually done for the past days/week, the following was my actual training workout:

Monday—I was able to run for two (2) hours with an average pace of 6:30-6-45 minutes per kilometer. It was a “runabout” along the major streets in Metro Manila. The run was done early in the morning covering a distance of 17K.

Tuesday—It was supposed to be a One Hour Easy Run but it ended as a Run at Race Pace. I finished 12K for one hour at an average pace of 5:02 mins/km. I need to control myself when I run at the ULTRA Oval Track. The run was done at 4:30 PM and had enough time to rest & recover  from the long run yesterday.

Wednesday—I had a tempo run. First 20 minutes at a easy pace at an average pace of 5:40 mins/km; followed with a tempo run for 30 minutes at an average pace of 4:55 mins/km; and then finished with an average pace of 5:45 mins/km for 20 minutes.

Thursday—It was supposed to be an easy run along rolling hills at McKinley Hill but opted to do the “stairs” at the ULTRA bleachers after running for 45 minutes. I did 15X on the stairs. It was raining hard.

Friday—I was able to run under the rain for about 35 minutes in the morning. And did “stairs” for another 30 minutes

Saturday—Did not have a chance to have a long run at race pace because of a running clinic the Team Bald Runner conducted at the ULTRA Oval Tack. However, I was able to run for a duration of 32 minutes with an average pace of 6:00 mins/km after the said running clinic. Had a massage in the afternoon.

Sunday—Did a long steady run during the GLOBE-ALI RUN FOR HOME with the distance of 21 kms. I finished the race/run in 1:51+ hours with an average pace of 5:15 mins/km. It was a “diagnostic” run and I did not force myself for the speed. However, I need more time to strengthen my legs and build-up again my aerobic endurance by doing more long steady runs in the coming weeks. I had another massage to my legs in the afternoon and slept early in the evening.

Total Mileage For The Week: 75 kilometers

Pictures of Joy Rojas’ Takbong Pangarap

21 07 2009

Joy Rojas was able to read my post about her present location and at the same time read the e-mail I sent to her. While I am waiting for her permission to post or make a story about her side on the incident that happened to them after she and her pacer/support crew, Mat reached Las Vegas, she sent me some pictures showing her running along the route she is taking towards her destination.

Enjoy the view and imagine yourself running with her.

Joy Rojas at Lake Mead, Nevada

Joy Rojas at Lake Mead, Nevada

Joy & Mat Running Together

Joy & Mat Running Together

Running Along The Mountains of Kanab, Utah

Running Along The Mountains of Kanab, Utah

Joy Rojas On Her Way To Walsenburg, Colorado

Joy Rojas On Her Way To Walsenburg, Colorado

Elite Team BR @ GLOBE RUN FOR HOME & M.O.V.E. Manila Run

20 07 2009

The following were the standings of the Elite Team Bald Runner in yesterday’s road races that were held in Metro Manila:

Elmer Sabal—2nd Runner-Up, Men’s Overall, 21K with a time of 1:13+ hours

Marecil Maquilan—1st Runner-Up, Women’s Overall, 21K Run with a time of 1:28+ hours

Alquin Bolivar—Champion, Men’s Overall, 10K Run with a time of 32:28 minutes

Gerald Sabal—2nd Runner-Up, Men’s Overall, 10K Run with a time of 34:00 minutes

Frankreadear Indapan—2nd Runner-Up, Men’s Overall, 5K with a time of 16:15 minutes

Anna Vargas—Champion, Women’s Overall, 10K MOVE Manila Run @ UP Diliman

Reynaldo De Los Reyes—2nd Runner-Up, 10K MOVE Manila Run @ UP Diliman

The Elite Team Bald Runner members who won in the MOVE Manila Run which was held at UP Diliman were able to receive their cash prizes, medals and gifts during the awarding ceremony after the race.

Attention, Coach Rio!

20 07 2009

Please clean your mess and trash at the back of the Philippine Army Grandstand along Lawton Avenue! There is a lot of trash and used water & 100 Plus cups along the edge of Lawton Avenue.

I saw the cups littered when I had my 3-hour “runabout” early this morning as I passed Lawton Avenue.

Your staff at FINISHLINE should be able to act on this matter. Sana wala na naman “hugasan ng kamay” sa bagay na ito.

I am sorry, since you are the Race Organizer in yesterday’s GLOBE’s RUN FOR HOME Run, you should be responsible for keeping back the cleanliness of the streets immediately after the conduct of the race. I think this is very “basic”.

Note:I am glad the PULIS OYSTER personnel assigned to clean the Lawton Avenue was able to clean the trash few hours ago.

Breach of Publicity @ GLOBE RUN FOR HOME?

19 07 2009

Is there a word like “Breach of Publicity”? I know, there is such word like “Breach of Promise” or “Breach of Contract”.

In today’s GLOBE RUN FOR HOME, the members of the Team Bald Runner and other elite runners who won in the top rankings in the 21K, 10K and 5K races were not able to receive their cash prizes, trophies, medals, and supposed to be TIMEX Watches.

It was published that the cash prizes for the 21K Run are P 15,000; P 10,000; and P 5,000 for the First, Second, and Third Finishers, respectively. For the 10K Run—P 10,000 for the First Finisher; P 7, 500 for the 2nd Finisher; and P 5,000 for the 3rd Finisher. As for the 5K run, the Cash Prize ranges from P 5,000 to P 2,000 for the Top Three Finishers.

These cash prizes were supposed to be received by the winners during the awarding ceremony after the road race. But the Race Organizer did not give any of the published prizes to the winners as they were only called to proceed to the stage. And that was it! No medals, trophies, and even those prepared TIMEX Watches for the winners were not given.

A certain Christine Aguilar from Globe Telecom instructed the winners to proceed to the GLOBE Office at GLOBE TOWER on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 to get their cash prizes. This is not the usual norm in awarding of prizes for road races. Prizes are supposed to be given immediately after the race. These elite athletes are busy on their training during weekdays and they have to shell-out some money for their fares in going to the GLOBE office and back to their homes. The fact is that these athletes are in dire need of money. So, you can just imagine the frustration on the faces of these athletes as they go back to their homes after the race’s awarding ceremony.

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