PSC Plans For Sports Excellence

18 10 2009

I am posting the following media releases of the Philippine Sports Commissions (PSC) in order to improve our Sports Excellence Program and ultimately, to motivate our National Pool of Athletes to win in the incoming ASEAN Games to be held on the 2nd week of December of this year.

How I wish the plans to fund the training of the athletes will push through; that there will be no more additional “sports officials” for the delegation as “free-loaders”; that there will be no more “midnight appointed athletes”; and that their promises for the cash rewards for the “medalists” will be realized.

I hope also that the different National Sports Federation will be accountable and transparent on how their financial support will be spent to our athletes.

I will keep the following “media releases” in my blog as future references in our overall results and standing in the 2009 ASEAN Games:

PSC plans P900M fund to sharpen up athletes 

By June Navarro, Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:36:00 10/12/2009

Filed Under: Sports Organisations

QUALITY TRAINING and more foreign exposures for deserving national athletes and coaches.

These benefits were guaranteed by Philippine Sports Commission chair Harry Angping Sunday as he announced a windfall of almost P1 billion for the national sports development fund (NSDF) starting next year.

Angping said about P900 million for the training and international competitions of athletes will go to the NSDF. The cash will come from the monthly take of the PSC from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Bureau of Customs and Philippine Racing Commission.

With its P180 million debt to Pagcor expected to be fully paid by December, Angping said Pagcor’s monthly NSDF contribution will increase from P30 million to P53 million.

Apart from the Pagcor subsidy, the PSC will get 15 percent from the gross sales of the PCSO’s Lotto Scratch It! Instant Tama! game cards following a deal between Angping and PCSO general manager Rosario Uriarte.

“The bottom line is still performance,’’ said Angping. “If our athletes can prove that they deserve to be in the national pool, the PSC will give everything they need to perform well.”

The PSC had earlier announced that the national pool will be disbanded at the end of the year and a new pool will be formed through a series of competitions and tryouts to be conducted by the national sports associations.

Angping said the projected NSDF of P900 million would be spent mostly on the country’s preparation for the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou. The amount is separate from the P250 million the PSC gets from the General Act Appropriations.

Meanwhile, Southeast Asian Games chief of mission Mario Tanchanco yesterday said his committee has managed to prune down the number of national athletes from 250 to 160.

Tanchangco, also the sepak takraw president, said the list comes close to the maximum number the Philippine Sports Commission plans to bankroll.

“Our duty is to make sure we come up with a delegation to Laos and also make sure they are trained and well prepared,” said Tanchangco, adding that the list has been turned over to POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. for approval.

Last Friday, Angping said the PSC will only fund about 130 athletes, who have the potential to win gold medals in the Dec. 9 to 18 Games.

PSC funding no more than 200 nat’l bets

By June Navarro, Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:38:00 10/16/2009

Filed Under: Sports Organisations

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Sports Commission will stick to the original list of 153 athletes and 47 officials approved by the Southeast Asian Games selection committee and will reject efforts by the Philippine Olympic Committee to add more members to the roster.

“There will be no changes in the number already approved,” said PSC chair Harry Angping yesterday, adding that any last-minute additions to the RP contingent will be ignored by the government agency.

Set to compete in 21 events, the Filipino medalists during the Dec. 9 to 18 competition in Vientiane will be rewarded with another set of bonuses after Angping promised to match the original incentives of P100,000, P50,000 and P10,000 for the gold, silver and bronze winners.

“They are going to war, they should be properly equipped,” said Angping. “I will give them food every day and make sure they won’t worry about anything. There will be no reason for them not to succeed.”

Laos SEA Games chef de mission Mario Tanchangco said the RP roster needs the final approval of the POC board, adding he merely acted as observer during a meeting with Angping and PSC commissioner Joey Mundo that approved the size of the national delegation.

“So he (Tanchangco) went to the meeting not as a representative of the POC? Is that what they are saying?” said Angping.

“The list that we reviewed and approved was a product of the work of Tanchangco and commissioner Mundo. And that list came from the national sport associations.”

Tanchangco, the POC second vice president, has been at the helm of the negotiations, together with Mundo, in preparing the list of the RP delegation based on recommendations from the NSAs.

POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. had earlier announced that the Olympic body would look for sponsors to shoulder the participation of athletes who would not be supported by the PSC.

“Including athletes who failed to make the criteria will affect the morale of the team,” Angping said.

He said the agency saved P10 million by cutting the roster of athletes to the Games.

The decision to double the incentives for medalists came a day after Angping announced an extra training allowance of P7,500 for the Nationals on top of an extra $100 pocket money while they are in Laos.

SEAG champs to get more bonuses–Angping

By Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:23:00 10/18/2009

Filed Under:

MANILA, Philippines–There appears to be more bonuses coming for gold medalists in the Laos Southeast Asian Games.

Philippine Sports Commission chair Harry Angping hinted at providing more incentives, apart from earlier increases, to the 153 athletes slated to compete in Vientiane on Dec. 9 to 18.

“I tell you, I will really take good care of these athletes,” said Angping Friday after a pep rally with national coaches at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium. Last week, he shared lunch in a boodle fight with the RP national pool.

“I will shower them with love and affection, and financial assistance they have never seen and tasted before,” said the PSC chief. “Look, they are also human beings, you have to show them your concern, because we keep on pushing them to train so we must give proper consideration.”

In his talk with the national coaches, Angping also promised them the same training incentive he gave the athletes, amounting to P7,500 plus $100 additional allowances in the SEA Games.

He also doubled the reward for gold medal winner to P200,000 and promised to give P50,000 more to silver and P20,000 to bronze medalists. Under the law, gold medals win P100,000, silver P50,000 and bronze P10,000.

Angping also appealed for a “ceasefire” among national sports associations hounded by infighting, as well as the spat between the PSC and the Philippine Olympic Committee.

“I pity them (athletes) they become victims in this struggle when they don’t have anything to do with it,” added Angping.

“We can continue to disagree with each other after the SEA Games, but I hope during the duration of the Games, let’s just be fighting under one team, Team Philippines.”

He said the athletes must be spared of the intramurals, and instead be pampered.

“We can’t afford for them to compete in highest standard when the mother is sick, or if there’s problem with family,” he said. “All of these should disappear, at least in the next two months.”

(Note: All the abovementioned news reports were copied from

Who Listens to RUN RADIO?

16 10 2009

Run Radio Logo (Courtesy of

Run Radio Logo (Courtesy of

I DO!!! I listen to RUN Radio regularly since it started airing on the last Friday of July this year. I heard about this project/program at least a month before it was launched from no less than its Executive Producer, Ms Marga Deona.

The RUN RADIO is being hosted by Jaymie Pizarro aka The Bull Runner & publisher of TBR Magazine and Jay Nacino aka Prometheus Cometh. The program is regularly aired at FM Radio NU107 every 9:00PM to 10:00PM on Fridays.

It was funny that I had to look for my National/Panasonic transistor radio (battery-operated only) which I bought in 1995 before I was designated as the Battalion Commander of the 60th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army based in Ilocos Norte and later transfered to Ilocos Sur and then to Abra. I missed the first 10 minutes of the initial airing because I found out that the batteries were not working and had to buy a new set.

Well, the first airing was not perfect as expected but it was a learning experience for the announcers, producer/director, and guests. But in the later editions, the program had improved and it had served its purpose as the radio program for runners. But I never encountered or read any post from any of the running blogs discussing on their observations about RUN RADIO, other than the presence of a dedicated website for the said program where anybody could browse and hear its past editions.

However, I have the following observations and/or questions to be answered. Let these questions serve as “guides” for the people behind this program.

1) Who are the target audience? Having a Radio Program on the FM Radio limits the projection or signal reception to a limited area. I really do not know if FM NU107’s signal is being transmitted nationwide. When I was on my way back from Calamba, Laguna after a Running Clinic in one Friday evening, I tried to get the reception of the said radio station while we were on traffic but I was not able to get any signal. I missed the said program where Senator Pia Cayetano was the guest. If the target audience is for the people of Metro Manila, then fine! How I wish the runners in the provinces would also benefit from this running program. How about looking for an AM radio station with Nationawide Coverage that could air such program so that more people would listen to it? I am sure the runners in Cebu City, Laoag City, Baguio City, Davao City and other runners in key cities in the country would be happy to interact in the said program. With the presence of a dedicated website, anybody who has an access to the Internet would listen to the past editions of the radio program.

2) Why Do the Announcers Have to Speak In English? I believe that running is a “mass-based” sports and for us to promote running to everybody, the running program’s messages/information should be delivered in a dialect/language that could be understood by everybody or majority of the people. Why not speak in Tagalog or “Taglish”? This is the reason why popular & famous TV and Radio news programs and other informative programs are delivered in Tagalog, in order to reach more audience to the “grassroots” level. If we want to encourage more runners, then we have to communicate easily to them through the local dialect. With the presence of technical and scientific terms in running like, “fartlek”; glucose; calories; stride frequency; footstrike; names of running-related injuries; pronation; supination; parts and types of running shoes, and others, I think there is no need to look for translations for these terms in the Tagalog dialect. Speaking in “Taglish” with these terms is acceptable.

3) Is there anybody trying to find out the History of Running in the country? Research, research, and research. How I wish that somebody should be doing the research about the history of running in the country and reminding the younger audience about how running was conducted during those days. My blog would be a good source for such information and I really don’t have the intention of being a guest or resource person in this program as I would like to give way to more popular and authorities/experts in running as guests like the President of PATAFA, our Race Organizers, our past athletes/runners who gave glory & pride to the country (the likes of Lydia De Vega, Elma Murros, Isidro Del Prado, Roy Vence, Rey Antoque, and other past Champions of prestigious Marathon Races) in past International Games.  It would be nice to invite Mr Rudy Biscocho for him to share to us the history of running in the country, too. (Note: After saying “No” or looking for alibis for me to be excused as guest for the radio program, Marga had consistently talked to me and invited me whenever I met her in my workouts and during races. Finally, I was out of reasons not to visit the station. Thus, I was the guest on last week’s 10th edition of the program).

4) Why don’t they try to  invite the Running Clubs in the 70’s and 80’s who have survived through the years? The RUNNEX, CAMANAVA, Sta Rosa (Laguna) Runners and RUNCPI Running Clubs or maybe, the HING’s Running Club are the “old ones” whose experiences in the past years in running are good source of running information due to their experiences and exposures in road races in the past.

5) Why is it that this program does not give any critique to previous road race/s for the week? There should be a way to give feedback on previous road races for the weekend, whether positive or negative, so that Road Organizers or Events Managers would be able to improve the way they conduct their road races. It is in this forum that runners would be able to expose “problems/concerns” during the said race and for the Race Organizer to have also an air time to explain his/her side. Writing a post on blogs in order to criticize or give feedback is not enough as the Race Organizer do not have a chance or opportunity to explain his/her side. At this point, it would be a nice suggestion for Ian Alacar, the people, and the Rotary group to be the next guests for them to explain to the runner-listeners about their side on the last race’s problems/concerns ( like the short distances, limited parking areas, thefts in parking areas, etc.).

6) Did you know that the MILO Marathon Finals in the 90’s were broadcasted “LIVE” on DZFM SPORTS RADIO 738 AM BAND? How I wish the RUN RADIO could have this capability in the future.

7) How much do the sponsors pay for the one-hour air time on the said FM Station? I observed that the announcers kept on repeating Advertisements of this and that running store and business facility during the program.

8) Why is RUNRadio selective in promoting road races? I hope that all road races published at and/or at would be advertised or announced during the airing of the radio program. It would be good if the Race Organizer of each running event would be invited to talk about their race in the said program. Whether it is MILO Marathon or Pasig River Marathon, everybody must be equally treated to announce their Road Race.

9) Invite Sports Editors of our daily newspapers and appeal to them to reserve a space for a Running News & Photo Section in their Sports Section. We should not be reading about the conduct of a road race in the Lifestyle Section of the newspapers. Sports writers/reporters who cover running events & road races should also be invited to this program. At least, these newspapers are widely distributed throughout the country.

I know this post will raise “eyebrows” again and hope to receive comments from my readers who have different views from what I’ve written. But at the end of the day, we are all runners who would like to spread the benefits of running and be able to enjoy and have fun in this sports that we love.

I’ve written the abovementioned post a few days after the conduct of the ROTARun last month but I did not publish it due to other stories.

Well, I finally had a chance to be the guest in last Friday’s edition (October 9, 2009) with the condition that the interaction will be in Tagalog or Taglish and the “script”/guide questions be given to me thru my e-mail at least two days before the day of interview. And so, Marga did a wonderful job of sending me the list of questions in Tagalog and I immediately answered them with sentence outline as my “guide” during the interview.

Minutes before my interview started, Marga, the Executive Producer of the Program and I had a serious conversation about my suggestions & feedbacks about the program. I mentioned to her the items that I discussed in this post plus my “honest-to-goodness” impression about the program. I emphasized to her that running is a “mass-based” sports that even the “poorest” class of our society should be able to do and this is where the future elite runners come from. I have the impression that “Run Radio” is a running program for the elite class of the society and this is the reason why I suggested to Marga to invite runners in the past and ordinary people and persons who run as part of their daily lives. 

For the details of my interview with the Run Radio, please visit the blogsite at

Overall, this is a commendable project/program where our running community could interact and share information with one another. My congratulations to Marga, Vimz, Jaymie, Jay, and Bards for their unselfish acts of promoting running in the country. Keep up the good work!

(Note: Please provide a chair for the older runner-guests in this program. Runners have strong legs but they could not withstand their legs standing for a long period of time. If you invite Mr Amado Castro, Jr, Kim Ong, Rudy Biscocho, Victor Ting or Norio Tanaka, I think they need a chair)

BR, Jay & Bards During the Program

BR, Jay & Bards During the Program

Run Radio & QCIM Guest (Ron)

Run Radio & QCIM Guest (Ron)

These Guys (Jay, Bards, & Marga) Are Great!!!

These Guys (Jay, Bards, & Marga) Are Great!!!

33rd MILO Finals Pictures & Results

14 10 2009

Thanks to Ben Chan of Photovendo for the following pictures:

Up to Km 30 Point

Up to Km 30 Point

Instead of my usual bandana, I was using a “Buff” bandana on my head to absorb my sweat from my head and keep my eyes & face from the dripping sweat. As I passed the Water Stations, I usually grab two cups of water—one cup for drinking and another cup for dousing water on my head. The wet/damp “Buff” bandana also served as my head “coolant” most especially when the sun’s heat brought higher temperature during the race.
The race bib’s size was too big that I had to fold it on both ends to make it better looking with the MILO singlet. I had been consistently pinning my race bib on my breast and never been using some “race belts” and either pinning my race bib on my running shorts. Why? That’s is the proper way I know that even world elite athletes in international competitions would do to display their race numbers.
The MILO singlet was nice and I did not experience any “chafing” on my arms, nipples, or any part of my upper torso. You must have noticed the “ice candy” plastic bag filled with water on the side pocket of my running shorts! These are my “hydration containers” in marathon races! Yes, my running shorts from The North Face is now my favorite running shorts for the marathon distance because it has side and back pockets. One side pocket can accommodate two pieces of Sports Gel packets. I usually carry 4 Sports Gel packets during marathon races and this running shorts fits well with my needs. As for the back pockets, I used them as my “thrash bag”. Each side pocket could also accommodate at least two “ice candy” bags filled with water. I started using this TNF running shorts during the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon and I used it again during the MILO Marathon Eliminations.
On My Last Turn Before The Finish Line

On My Last Turn Before The Finish Line

I was using ASICS-Gel Hyper Speed 3 Racing Flat shoes with Drymax Socks and I found comfort and blister-free with the shoes and socks!
Last 20 Meters To The Finish Line

Last 20 Meters To The Finish Line

On my last 8K as the sun’s heat was too much to bear, I adjusted the way I wore the “Buff” bandana in order to cover my head and at the same time my nape. I usually tie around my wrist the blue-colored string given in one of the turn-around points instead of wearing it as a necklace! Lastly, the “ONE” White Wrist Band is always there on my right wrist as my “symbol” for my part or  contribution in the worldwide advocacy to “make poverty a history”.

Thanks to the Finish Line of Coach Rio De La Cruz & Vince Mendoza for the Timing Chip & for the fast publication of  the following RunPix Results:

Gun Time: 4:03:55 hours

Net Time:  4:03:43 hours

Finisher #92 out of 125 Finishers. I wonder what happened to the other 112 runner-qualifiers for the Final Race! They must have DNFed!

Finisher #82 out of 112 Finishers in the Male Category.

Average Pace: 5:47 minutes per kilometer or 9:18 minutes per mile.

Time of Finish & Average Pace:

From 0K to 9.8K—-57:32 minutes @ 5:52 minutes per kilometer

From 9.8K to 25K—-1:30:08 hours @ 5:56 minutes per kilometer

From 25K to 35K—-54:51 minutes @ 5:29 minutes per kilometer

From 35K to Finish—41:12 minutes @ 5:44 minutes per kilometer

So far, so good, this was my 4th Marathon Race for the year. Not bad for a 57-year old Bald Runner!

See you on the next Marathon Race!!!

“I need the money…I need to buy vitamins”

13 10 2009

“Yes, I’m a candidate for ejection from the Philippine team,” said the four-time champion Martes, the youngest Milo winner at 21 years old in 1999. “I’ll just talk to them and explain. I need the money. I’m having laser therapy for my old injuries and I need to buy vitamins.” (Note: Copied from news report at

These were the exact words from the mouth of Christabel Martes, Lady Champion of the 33rd MILO Marathon FINALS held last Sunday, for her reason why she ran and finished the race despite an strict memorandum from PATAFA (Philippine Amateur Track & Field Assosiation) that National Pool Athletes are restricted from running more than a distance of 10K competitive Road Races at least 3 months before an International Games/Competition Meet. The reason for this memo is to make sure that our National Athletes do not divert themselves to their training program in order for them to “peak” during the competition period/date and at the same time, prevent them from becoming injured.

In the reaction of the PATAFA officials, as published in the news, Martes will be definitely removed from the list of National Athletes slated to be included in this coming Southeast Asian Games which will be held on the first week of December 2009 in Laos. For winning a cash prize of Seventy-Five Thousand Pesos (P 75,000)  or equivalent to $ 1,595.00 in the MILO Marathon FINALS, her chance of winning the Gold Medal in Marathon in the ASEAN Games is gone!

 Money versus Pride For the Country? Present Reality of our Athletes versus Present Situation of our Sports Excellence Program?

Now, let us try to discuss the present condition of our National Athletes basing from the title of this post/comments from Christabel Martes.

It appears that our National Athletes are not properly or adequately supported by our Sports Federation or the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC). As per PSC’s guidance, for an Athlete who won Medal/s (Gold, Silver, or Bronze) in the previous ASEAN Games and other International Competition Events and presently training to compete in an International Games, he/she receives a monthly support of   Fifteen Thousand Pesos (P 15,000)  or $ 320.00 inclusive of food, vitamins, training needs, and stipend. While on training, with the guidance of their coach, they are left on their own and stay/live in Sports Facilities being managed by PSC. It is also concluded that the athletes had to deal with their own injuries and have to get the services of professionals to cure them for a considerable fee. Which means that our Sports Support Services (Sports Medicine, Nutrition, Sports Psychology, etc) are lacking! In short, 15K Pesos is nothing if we want our athletes to be “world-class”. The same amount of money is equivalent to a ONE-DAY MEAL for Michael Phelps, I guess!

For a potential medal placer and a “newbie” in the National Pool of Athletes, he/she receives a monthly stipend of Six Thousand Pesos (P 6,000) or $ 128.00. This is translated to P 200.00 per day meal for the athlete and he/she could not even buy vitamins and sports drinks for his hydration & electrolyte resplenishment needs during his training. And if he/she wants to compete in weekend road races, he/she is selective as to where he/she will compete because the registration fee will be deducted from this amount of money. But our athletes are “brave warriors” because they have to risk in investing their training money to weekend road races that have Cash as Major Prizes for the Top Finishers! If they loss and don’t get any cash prize, the more that they will train harder but their training money is now draining and they are forced to spend their money to their barest needs. In essence, our athletes are on “survival” mode!

This situation is not only applicable to our runners but to all our athletes in other sports!

Now, you know already why our runners in our National Pool of Athletes are only good for our local Road Races with Cash Prizes, not for the ASEAN Games, not for the ASIAN Games, and never for the OLYMPIC Games!

33rd MILO Marathon Finals: “We Are All Warriors”!

11 10 2009

4:29 AM 11 October 2009 @ Luneta Park

In last year’s MILO Marathon Finals, I was able to peak for my marathon training and I was able to register a finish time of 3:48:32 hours. I was not able to join the Marathon elimination run last year but I was able to make some arrangements with the Race Director for me to join the Finals, hence, I was able to participate in the said race.

This year, I was able to participate in the MILO Marathon Eliminations but I was not able to qualify because I finished the race in 4:20:45 hours. This was due to the fact that I participated in the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon five weeks in between two marathon races. However, with the popularity of this running blog, I was able to make some arrangements (again!) to run the FINALS as a “guest runner”. But I have to “pay back” for such request as I was requested by the Race Organizer, my friend, Mr Rudy Biscocho to deliver an inspirational message to the Finalists of the Marathon Race during its Carbo-loading Party last Thursday evening at North Greenhills Clubhouse.  The gist of my Inspirational Message speaks well of the title of this post.

Inspirational Talk @ MILO Carbo-Loading Party

Inspirational Talk @ MILO Carbo-Loading Party

I arrived at the Luneta Park at 4:00 AM and I immediately set my GF 305 and made a slow jog in order to warm-up. After a few minutes, I joined the members Team Hardcore and Finishers of 1st BDM 102. We had “photo-ops” and brief chat with one another. From there, we proceeded to the Starting Line. At the Starting Line, I was able to meet the other runners and Executives of NESTLE/MILO who are joining the 42K Race.

Group Picture With Team Hardcore & 1st BDM 102 Finishers

Group Picture With Team Hardcore & 1st BDM 102 Finishers

At exactly 4:29 AM, the starting gun went off and I placed myself at the back of the runners. I planned to run with an easy even pace for the whole race and I was hoping to have an extra strength at the last 10 kilometers to have a finish time of less than 4 hours.

After running through this course for so many times, I was already confident to finish the race right from the very start and did not mind about the terrain of the route. The thing that kept me worried was at what point or distance where I will encounter my first “muscle cramps”? Three weeks before this race, I did a 40K long steady run as part of my preparation for this race and I never had any cramps during this workout. As compared during the last Elimination Race, I had my muscle cramps at Km #16 and it affected my finish time.

@ Bayani Road

@ Bayani Road

I finished the 1st 10K in 56:15 minutes and I was confident that I could meet my objective for this race. After running 20K, I was still within my planned finish time but I started to slow down while I was on my way back to the Finish Line. The heat of the sun and the humidity made me slower but I was able to maintain a sub-6-minute per kilometer pace on the last 10K. It was only at Km # 36 that I checked on my GF 305 and my time registered at 3:22+ hours. I started to panick and tried to increase my pace. At this point, I knew I could make it but every time I increased my pace, my legs would act otherwise and they became heavier. I did not feel any cramps but I could not simply lift my knees higher and drive my arms faster.

@Lawton Avenue-Essensa Area ( See the Background!)

@Lawton Avenue-Essensa Area ( See the Background!)

@ Roxas Boulevard/2K to the Finish Line

@ Roxas Boulevard/2K to the Finish Line

Along the last 3K before the Finish Line, I was distracted by a number of cyclists who were going on counter-flow right where the exact direction of my run. I could not understand why these cyclists would meet head-on with the runners while the road is too wide for them on my right side. I had to shout at these cyclists and told them to clear the path for the runners. I even dared one of them to collide with me! But, on the last few feet, they had to avoid me. It was a better option for them to avoid me rather than the cyclist falling to the ground.

@The Luneta Near The Finish Line

@The Luneta Near The Finish Line

Except for this negative observation/experience during the race, the MILO Marathon Finals have improved a lot. At last, I was able to see long tables filled with lots of water cups up to the last water station before the Finish Line. There were lots of route marshals and Traffic Enforcers of each City were properly briefed on what they have to do in order to give way for the runners and at the same time decongest the traffic brought about by the Marathon Race. The presence of Reinier Pacific & Volunteers and Aid Station at Gil Puyat Avenue (Buendia) was very helpful to all the runners which offered chopped fresh fruits (apples & oranges) and efficascent oil spray for the muscles. My sincerest thanks to Mr Amado Castro, Jr for having the initiative to bring to the country what he had observed and experienced when he “racewalked” the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon last May. How I wish that those “more influential” runners who have experienced running Marathon Races in other countries would also take the initiative to offer support to runners in Marathon Races. “Mayayabang kayong sabihin sa mga “media releases” ninyo na natapos ninyong tumakbo ng Marathon Races sa Europe at America, pero wala naman kayong ginagawa para tulungan kaming mga mahihirap na mananakbo para pagandahin natin ang Marathon Races dito sa Pilipinas”.

Not only the presence of abundant water stations, MILO’s Race Organizer made good in making it standard to have “Gatorade Stations” along the route which were located in between the Water Stations. I also appreciate the presence of a Fruit Stand/Station at the corner of Lawton Avenue and Bayani Road.

Gone are those Maynilad Water Lorry Trucks that we always see parked beside the Water Stations! Instead, I was able to see lots of Nestle Bottled Water containers and I assumed that we were drinking bottled water during the race as briefed by the Executives of MILO during the Carbo-Loading Party. This was a nice improvement!

So far, the most commendable innovation in this edition of MILO Marathon Finals is the RFID Timing Chip! I was happy to see the “sad faces” of identified consistent cheaters of this marathon race as I met them near the turn-around points along the route. However, I got an information that one of the top 15 finishers in the 42K race was “caught” cheating (by making the race as a relay run of two runners).


I finished the race in 4:03:54 hours (based from my GF 305), a few minutes from my target finish time of sub-4 hours! I did not encounter any muscle cramps during the run and I was fully satisfied with my performance. My average pace was 5:44 minutes per kilometer with an average HR of 152 bpm. However, I don’t complain this time that my GF 305 registered a distance of 42.46 kilometers.

Congratulations to Mr Rudy Biscocho, to the NESTLE, Philippines and to the Volunteers for a “world-class” marathon race in the country. MILO Marathon Race proved it once again that it is the most prestigious and well-represented marathon race in the country today. I just hope that NESTLE/MILO would bring back those times when the Champion/s of the Marathon Finals were sent to Marathon Races in key cities in the United States/Europe. Who knows another Manny Pacquiao or Efren “Bata” Reyes would emerge as Marathon Champion in one of these International Marathon Races. This is a dream but it could be done!

See you at the Starting Line in the next Marathon Race for this month of October!

i am surprised with my latest race

10 10 2009

Last Sunday was the 5th edition of the Octoberun which is a yearly road racing event organized/managed by the members of the Fort Striders Running Club. My high respect goes to this running group as it had been consistently holding their running practices and workouts with their members at The Fort for the past years since the place started to have wider streets and vertical constructions.

Few days before the staging of the race, I asked Felsie from the Fort Striders if the race will push through because of the threat that Typhoon “Pepeng” would hit Central Luzon and she answered positively. I had predicted that this race will push through because I know the people who are behind this running group—they are dedicated & “hardcore” runners who are serious and know what & how it takes to manage a good road race.

Runners who decided to join the race were surprised to see that the weather was perfect for a road race. The atmosphere at the starting line was very personal and casual as runners would flock with their respective running club members and involve themselves with conversation about running, the typhoon/flooding, and the incoming races.

After a short prayer, singing of the National Anthem, and brief instructions from the Race Organizer, the 16K race started and we were off. Feeling from the way I lifted my knees and saw how my feet hit the ground, I knew I was starting with a fast pace. I tried to maintain my pace all the way along the streets of The Fort until I started to run uphill towards Essensa. Knowing the course, I tried my best to maintain a pace below 5:00 minutes per kilometer along the Lawton Avenue and towards to the turn-around point at C-5.

While running along the route, I’ve observed that the race was well-managed—long tables for the water stations, presence of route marshals, and the traffic of vehicles was not bad at all when the race is done as scheduled. It was good also to see the faster runners on the other side of the road for two times because the route has two turn-around points. I had the pleasure to see the members of the Elite Team Bald Runner battling it out on the lead pack. It was my chance to assess how these athletes/runners carry themselves and maintain their running forms and their ranking as compared with the other fast runners. By looking at their running forms and facial expressions, I could already assess if they are running with confidence or not.

Stronger and younger runners would overtake me along the route but I just maintained my pace as I knew where I could speed up and recover on the road. I would consider this race as tune-up race for the longer road races in the coming weeks and maintained a “tempo run” pace for this race. After all those positive thinking, counting of pace/strides, and mental “mantras”, I was already nearing the finish line and I found out that I still have extra energy to propel myself to the Finish Line.

I finish the race in 1:14:20 hours with an average pace of 4:52 minutes per kilometer (or 7:50 minutes per mile) but my GF 305 registered a distance of 15.3 kilometers instead of 16 kilometers. Being dismayed about the lack of distance, I did not mind or thought of comparing my finish time with my past races. After a few days, I realized that I was able to improve my time after comparing it with my past races in the 15K and 16K (10-mile Race) distance races. In fact, I was able to improve my time by 2 minutes for the 15K or 16K distance. I would attribute my improvement with my longer distance speed runs at the Oval Track ( 3 X 2,000 meters up to 3 X 5,000 meters) and my weekend long runs.

Team BR & Team Hardcore @ The Start

Team BR & Team Hardcore @ The Start

Picking Up My Pace Towards The Finish Line

Picking Up My Pace Towards The Finish Line

Podium Finish For Elite Team Bald Runner

Podium Finish For Elite Team Bald Runner (5K)

Podium Finish For the 16K Runners & Elite Team Bald Runner

Podium Finish For the 16K Runners & Elite Team Bald Runner

After the race, I took some time to chat with Jonel aka Bugobugo and the members of Team Hardcore at the TKO 250 booth. I was able to meet also the Jinoe, Quennie, and the rest of the people who are also involved in the TKO 250 project for the victims of Project Ondoy. I promised to myself that I will be putting in Ten Pesos (P 10.00) for each kilometer that I will run in road races starting with the 5th Octoberun 16K for the said project. So, on this road race, I was able to donate Two Hundred Pesos (P 200.00).

Before the team left at the venue of the road race, I was able to award the “1,000-Km Club” Finisher’s T-shirt to Junrox aka Tiger Boy. Congratulations, Jun! I hope this program was able to make you a stronger and faster runner!

@TKO250 With Team HC,, & Team BR

@TKO250 With Team HC,, & Team BR

Junrox aka Tiger Boy Receiving his 1,000-Km Club Finisher's Shirt

Junrox aka Tiger Boy Receiving his 1,000-Km Club Finisher's Shirt

I was doubly surprised when Carrey, my favorite supporter/sponsor of Elite Team Bald Runner handed to me bags of groceries for my runners. Thanks for supporting my elite runners! Yes, we are also victims of Typhoon Ondoy!

Thanks, Carrey!

Thanks, Carrey!

Masters In Marathon (M.I.M)

6 10 2009

While reading the back issue of the magazine “Running Times” dated November 2003, I came upon an article entitled “A Master’s in Marathoning: Choosing the Education of Running” by Mike Tymn. The article stated that running a marathon race is in itself a post-graduate education degree that has a curriculum and subjects to be attended to. For a student who enrolls in this Graduate Studies on Marathon Running, it would take years before he/she could complete or graduate depending on the goal/objective to be attained—to simply finish or finish within a desired time or improve one’s PR or qualify for the Boston Marathon! The following is some of the excerpts from the said article:

The marathon curriculum begins with courses in anotomy, physiology, and medicine. We learn about cardiovascular endurance, anaerobic threshold, oxygen debt, target heart rate, maximal oxygen uptake, running injuries, pronation, supination, to name just a few. The curriculum continues with courses in Physical Education as we are schooled in the principles of adaptation, overload, progression, specificity of training, recovery and rest. We are exposed to interval training, fartlek, LSD, circuit training, stretching, tapering, pacing, peaking and overtraining. We learn about diet and nutrition, finding out what to eat and what not to eat. We are introduced to carbohydrate loading, electrolyte replacement, and proper hydration.

The marathon curriculum includes lessons in psychology, as we must better understand how to deal with problems in goal setting, self-motivation, mood swings, errors in anticipation, regression under stress, and fear of failure. We learn about such things as mental rehearsal, visualization, and self-reward reinforcement.

There are also lessons in planning, time management, and conflict resolution, especially for the runner who is attempting to balance family and occupational responsibilities with the demands of training.

I see the marathon as a microcosmic lesson in life. We learn to commit ourselves to a goal, to discipline ourselves to the demands of that goal, to develop, adapt and evolve, to pace ourselves for both the short and the long haul, to cruise, to struggle, to overcome, to struggle again, to push on, to slowly “die”, (as oxygen is depleted), then to be “reborn” (as we cross the finish line).

There are so many lessons.

We learn that we can work a lot harder than we had ever realized possible, but we also learn that we can work too hard and set ourselves back.

We learn that we can start too fast and never finish, and we can go out slow and never catch up.

We learn that winning or achieving our goals can be fun and fulfilling, but we also learn that winning can bring unwanted pressures and harmful stresses.

We learn that being a poor loser is better than being a poor winner.

We learn that our fiercest rivals can be our best friends.

We learn that success can instill pride, but it can also bring an abundance of humility.

We learn that we can get slower with age but faster with adaptation and experience.

We learn that there are a lot of contradictions in running, just as there are in life, and the key is a balance mixed with just the right amount of patience, persistence and perseverance.

More than anything, marathon running is a course in philosophy, an attempt to answer the essential questions of life. To what end? At what price? The questions and answers are endless.

Whether you are an elite athlete who makes running as your source of income or a competitor who finds challenge in trying to find your body limits or a runner who wants to engage in an active healthy lifestyle, running in itself is a way of life.

So, if you want to graduate in this course of Masters in Marathon, you have to “pay your dues/fees”, study your lessons, do your assignments/homeworks, and above all, pass your quizzes and comprehensive examinations!

(Source: A Master’s in Marathoning: Choosing the Education of Running by Mike Tymn. Running Times Magazine. November 2003. pp. 29-30)

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