Evaluation Report: Newton Running Shoes

17 07 2009

After reading some blogs of runners using this kind of running shoes, I ordered a pair of the Distance-Neutral Racer model from their website at www.newtonrunning.com as there were no available shoes for sale in any sports/running specialty store in Los Angeles or website stores in the Internet last year. Finally, I got my order when it was delivered right on my door steps on the last week of August last year.

I immediately used it in my short runs around the neighborhood and along the jogging lanes of Echo Park and Silverlake Water Reservoir. I also used it during my “walkabout” activities while I was in Los Angeles last year. I guess, I only used it for about 3-4 times after it was delivered to me while I was in the United States.

After I arrived back to the Philippines last year, I think I had used it for a half-marathon race and a couple of 10K races and I finally stopped using it.

The following were my observations about the shoes:

1. The shoes will force the user to use the midfoot strike while running. If a heel-strike runner would use this shoes and goes back to his/her usual running gait and footstrike, there is a tendency that the heel portion of the shoes would easily worn-out. The heel portion is the softest part of the shoes. Although I am a mid-foot striker, I still have the tendency to go back to heel-strike when I am already tired in my long runs and marathon races.

2. The shoes is very light in weight as compared to other racing shoes available in the market last year. But lately, there are more racing shoes which are lighter than the Newton Shoes. ASICS and New Balance Racing Shoes are lighter than the Newton Shoes. My new ASICS Hyper-Speed Racer 3 weighs only 6.3 ounces.

3. If you are not an elite runner, don’t buy one. If you are a competitive runner, you must use this shoes during your tempo runs, speed runs, and long steady runs at a race pace. You should adjust with the midfoot strike which the shoes was made for and if you have a hard time adjusting to it, then it would take time for you to adjust with the shoes.

4. The price is too expensive. You can buy at least two pairs of shoes with its price—one as your training shoes and the other as your racing flat shoes. Before, you can buy this shoes by ordering direct to the company but it is already available in one of the latest running specialty stores in Metro Manila.

5. Experience Calves Tightness/Injury. If you are a newbie or intermediate runner who is planning to run his/her first half-marathon, using this kind of shoes will cause tightness in your calves and eventually cause muscle cramps on your calves. I experienced this when I used it during the 2009 Condura Half-Marathon Race where I experienced muscle cramps on my last kilometer of the race. Since then, I never used the shoes in road races.

6. Not because the shoes is being used by a Lady Senator who is a runner & triathlete and advertised as the shoes used by the 2008 Kona IRONMAN Men’s Champion, it does not mean that you would look like a “politician” and a triathlete champion. I am sure that this shoes will not make you faster in road races.

Where Is Joy Rojas?

16 07 2009

At present, I am reading a book entitled, “Getting To The Point: In A Dozen Pairs Of Shoes” by Brian R. Stark. This book is about the personal account of the author as a “Transcontinental Runner” by running along the newly designed American Discovery Trail (ADT), starting at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, Delaware to Point Reyes National Seashore (50 miles north of San Francisco, California). It was a solo trail run without any support and crew covering a distance of 5,000 miles which he completed in 238 days (8 months) from March to November 1998.While reading this book, I thought of Joy Rojas of Takbong Pangarap Run Across America as to where she is now after starting her 120 days run from Eagle Rock, California to New York City on the 2nd week of May this year. She is already one-half of her scheduled duration to complete her feat and there is no available update about her. This is the very reason why I asked a question on my Twitter about her whereabouts.Yesterday, I received an e-mail from Ben Gaetos, an ultra runner friend from Los Angeles who ran with Joy Rojas for 5 miles from Eagle Rock Plaza (start of the run), informing me that Mat Macabe called him and Ben relayed to me the salient information about the progress of Joy Rojas run across America.Joy Rojas and Mat Macabe are presently somewhere in the plains of Kansas after crossing the high mountain ranges of the Rocky Mountains which means that they were able to cross the states of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Colorado.

According to Mat Macabe, Chuck Crisanto, one of the crew/support, abandoned them in Las Vegas, Nevada. I think Mr Chuck Crisanto was supposed to be the PR guy and driver of their support vehicle and at the same time alternate support crew to Mat Macabe. Moreover, Chuck Crisanto brought with him his wife and his 2 toddlers in the trip. Mat also claimed that Chuck was out all the time shopping and when on the run, he’s nowhere on the road as he uses the Freeway instead of  following Joy’s run on the side roads. The worse is that Mat also said that Chuck is in his possession 70% of the donated money to support the run. Fortunately, Joy and Mat found someone to support them after Chuck Crisanto abandoned them. The “Good Samaritan” is an editor or owner of a Pinoy newspaper who provided them with a support vehicle.

The abovementioned information came from the side of Mat Macabe who is in constant contact with Joy Rojas being her pacer & support crew. I really do not know personally Mr Chuck Crisanto as he should be able to explain his side about the said information about him and his family’s whereabouts. 

 Yesterday, I sent an e-mail to Joy Rojas as she requested Ben Gaetos to find out and send to her my e-mail address. I hope Joy Rojas will be able to respond to my message. If you have the time and want to send a message of support to Joy Rojas, you can send your e-mail message to www.thepoc.net.

The picture of Joy Rojas was taken from the following news report of Joseph Pimentel of the Asian Journal Los Angeles dated July 11, 2009.

Joy Rojas In Kansas

Joy Rojas In Kansas

Joy Rojas in Kansas

Sunday, 12 July 2009 23:49 Joseph Pimentel / AJPress Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – THE text message read, “We are in Great Bend, Kansas, staying on highway 50 and 56.”

She followed it with a phone call to this reporter.

“We’ve made it to Kansas,” exclaimed Filipina marathoner Joy Rojas to the Asian Journal last Thursday July 9. “It’s totally different running here than it was in Colorado. Kansas is flat and hot with lots of corn and wheat fields, lots of sun.”

She says the Midwest sun gets as hot as Manila in the summer.

The 44-year-old Rojas is less than halfway from her goal of running across the United States of America.

Waking up at 6am everyday, Rojas has been running 30 to 35 miles a day since she began her Trans-USA run called Takbong Pangarap or Dream Run at the Eagle Rock Plaza in Los Angeles, California on May 10. She made a quick stop over in Las Vegas, Nevada where she was celebrated during Western Union Customer Appreciation Day on May 23 and another stopover at the Western Union headquarters in Denver, Colorado. Western Union is one of the sponsors of her Trans-USA run.

She says that she’s on her way to reaching her goal of arriving at the Philippine Consulate in New York City on September 8.

So far, Rojas and her trainer, Mat Macabe, have run for more than 40 days now, crossed five states, jogged over 1,000 miles, and touched the lives of many people who see the two running on highways and streets across America.

While passing through Arizona, a couple saw Rojas and Macabe running. When they found out the reason for Rojas’ run, they immediately invited the Filipina and her partner to their home for dinner. The same thing happened in Colorado. Rojas recalls how before reaching Denver, a Filipino man read the words “Can we ignite the Filipino spirit across America?” on the Western Union support vehicle. He then immediately introduced himself to Rojas and Macabe. After the day’s run, the Filipino man came over to their hotel where he cooked them dinner consisting of elk and deer that the man had hunted.

“Can you believe that? All of these strangers that we meet everyday have been so kind and generous to us,” said Rojas. “I’m a vegetarian but when he asked if I was eating elk and deer I said ‘for you, I will.’ You have to be a gracious guest.”

Another time in Colorado, Rojas met a group of cyclists on the road like her but they were biking across the US from San Francisco to New Hampshire.

Rojas and the cyclists took pictures and wished each other well.

The experience has been so far so good, says Rojas.

Rojas also admits that the run sometimes is a bit unforgiving. In Colorado, she had to withstand the high altitude and steep roads that at times, required her to stop and walk but she continues to persevere.

Despite being tired at times after a long day’s run, she says that by the time she wakes up the next morning, she feels refreshed and ready to go.

A survivor of tuberculosis, Rojas’s is running for her beneficiaries: a Division of the Philippine Heart Center and the Anti-TB Program of the Inner Wheel Club of Quezon City, District 378

Rojas said that after Colorado, her run should be smooth as the flat plains of Kansas.

Running Clinic @ APL Pricing Administration Center

15 07 2009

Insular Life Corporate Center, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City/10-11 July 2009

Mr Mark Parco, the Director of the Pricing Administration Center of the American President Lines (APL), invited the Team Bald Runner to conduct a Running Clinic to its staff & subordinates through the efforts of Mr Allan Martin who consistently acted on the details of this activity. After coordination through e-mails, a Running Clinic was conducted to the employees of the said office at the Seminar Room “B”, Tower 1, at the Insular Life Center Building at Filinvest City in Ayala Alabang.

The running clinic was divided into two phases, a lecture and an actual demonstration of running, exercises, and drills to the participants. The lecture on the Basics and Principles of Running was conducted at 3:00-5:00PM last July 10 and the actual demonstration and practical exercises were done the following day at 6:00-9:00 AM, July 11.

The lecture was attended by almost 40 employees to include Mr Mark Parco and wife, Tiffin, who are competitive runners who are permanent “fixtures” and participants of weekly road races in Metro Manila. The lecture of the Bald Runner was complemented with more explanations and examples from Mr Parco as he was a former Captain of the UP Diliman Track Team. It was a very fruitful lecture to every employee.

Mr Mark Parco, Director of the Office, Introduced Me to the Audience

Mr Mark Parco, Director of the Office, Introduced Me to the Audience

Around 40 staff & employees attended the lecture.

Around 40 staff & employees attended the lecture.

Another View of the Seminar/Lecture Room

Another View of the Seminar/Lecture Room

On the following day, members of the Elite Team Bald Runner helped in the conduct of the actual demonstration and practical exercises in running. The participants were made to warm-up through jogging, did some stretching exercises, ran along the roads of the Filinvest City, did some running drills, and finally, did a short competition of a shuttle run where the group was divided into three groups. The actual demonstration and practical exercises on running were highly appreciatedby the employees as they requested from their Director the conduct of running activities at least two times a week among them. The Director, in return, voluntarily promised to provide them with a running program for them to finish at least a 5K road race and that he will support their registration fees.

Warm-Up Run with KC, daughter of Mark Parco

Warm-Up Run with KC, daughter of Mark Parco

Proper Stretching Exercises

Proper Stretching Exercises

Drills & Strides Were Done

Drills & Strides Were Done

2-Km Run Along the Roads of Filinvest City

A 2-Km Run Along the Roads of Filinvest City

Everybody Is A Winner!!!

Everybody Is A Winner!!!

I highly appreciate such heads/directors of offices who are responsive to the needs of their employees for them to be motivated to adhere to physical activities and a healthy active lifestyle. By doing so, I think these employees will be more productive and more focused to their assigned tasks. My congratulations to Mr Mark Paco for being a good example of a corporate head who, aside from being a good “running” example to his wife and kids, he is also a good example to his employees…a true mark of a good leader!

2009 Badwater Ultramarathon

14 07 2009

Before participating the 2008 San Francisco Marathon, I purposely went to the United States ahead of time in order to witness the start of the 2008 Badwater Ultramarathon and finally meet in person Dean Karnazes and Pam Reed after reading their respective books about their experiences at the Badwater Ultramarathon.

On this very moment, the 32nd Edition of the race had just started. The popular elite ultrarunners had just passed Furnace Creek after starting the race at 10:00 AM (PST). To review my post last year, please click here

For those who are interested to know the progress of the race, please click their Live Webcast here. You can follow the progress of the race through Facebook and Twitter.

Anf finally, for those who are planning to join the 2nd BDM 102 this coming March 6-7, 2010, please read the rules and regulation of the Badwater Ultramarathon as this will be the basis of the New BDM 102 Rules & Regulations which will be strictly applied in 2010.

I am predicting Jorge Pacheco and Jaime Donaldson to win and defend their titles as Champions in the Mens & Ladies’ Overall Categories with better finish times.

Jaime Donaldson & Jorge Pacheco At The Start of 2009 BW (Photo Courtesy of www.badwater.com)

Jaime Donaldson & Jorge Pacheco At The Start of 2009 BW (Photo Courtesy of http://www.badwater.com)

Meeting With Jim Lafferty

13 07 2009

I finally met the CEO of Procter & Gamble Philippines in a lunch meeting at the California Pizza Kitchen, Glorietta last Friday. I really admire this guy for being straight, frank, sincere, and honest to his words. Listening his accomplishments and the things he is presently doing in the field of athletics as a coach and athlete made me conclude that he really means what he had written in his response to the incident that happened to me last Sunday’s MILO 42K Marathon Eliminations.

All is well that ends well. The lunch meeting I had with him will be the start of more meetings to come as we both have so many things to discuss in connection with our passion and love to the sports we love…which is running.

Finally, I met a man who has the (same as mine) desire and sincerity to help for the Philippines to have its first Gold Medal in the Olympic Games in the sports of Athletics.

Mabuhay ka, Jim Lafferty!!!

A Handshake...

A Handshake...

Lunch @ CPK & Conversation While Eating

Lunch @ CPK & Getting To Know While Eating

More Exchange of Ideas After Lunch

More Exchange of Ideas After Lunch

Jim Lafferty & Bald Runner

Jim Lafferty & Bald Runner

Jim Lafferty, Nina Gallego, Coach Titus Salazar, & BR

Jim Lafferty, Nina Gallego of P & G, Coach Titus Salazar, & BR

Note: Details of our conversation will be posted on later posts.

“Elite Team Bald Runner” Prevails

12 07 2009

After I officially formed and organized the Elite Team Bald Runner for the past one year, the members are still trying their best to improve their training and performance towards the quest for excellence in long distance running.

In today’s road races, the following are the results:

A) 2nd Tic-Takbo at UP Campus:

Elmer Sabal—Champion Overall & Men’s Category in the 18K Distance at 56:48 minutes. Received P 4,000 Cash & Medal

Marecil Maquilan—Champion Overall Ladies Category in the 18K Distance at 1:11:25 hours. Received P 4,000 Cash & Medal

Rey De Los Reyes—3rd Runner-Up Overall & Men’s Category in the 18K Distance at 1:05:08 hours.

Alquin Bolivar—1st Runner-Up, Overall and Men’s Category in the 6K Distance at 17:45 minutes. Received P 2,000 Cash & Medal

Gerald Sabal—2nd Runner-Up, Overall and Men’s Category in the 6K Distance at 18:05 minutes. Received P 1,500 Cash & Medal

B) MILO Half-Marathon Elimination Race in Tarlac City

Anna Vargas—Champion, Overall Ladies Category at 1:28:00 hours. Received P 10,000 Cash Prize and Trophy. She is qualified for the MILO Finals.

Team BR Won In MILO 42K Elims & More Pictures

11 07 2009

The following members of the Elite Team Bald Runner won in the top rankings of last Sunday’s 33rd MILO 42K Elimination Race which started and ended at Luneta Park, Manila:

Rene Desuyo—Overall Champion in the Men’s Category for the 42K Race with a time of 2:33:38 hours. He won a cash prize of P 30,000 and Championship Trophy.

Alley Quisay—2nd Runner-Up in the Men’s Category for the 42K Race with a time of 2:37:00 hours. He won a cash prize of P 10,000 and 3rd Place Trophy.

In addition, I am posting the following pictures taken before and during the 33rd MILO 42K Elimination Race:

Hardcore Team with Bald Runner

Hardcore Team with Bald Runner

Stretching Exercises Before the Start of the Race

Stretching Exercises Before the Start of the Race

Start of The Race

Start of The Race

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