3 Loops

After I found out that the 34th MILO Marathon Elimination Route was changed into a different route where the 42K runners will have to undergo a 3-loop run within the course, I planned to recon the place, most especially that portion of the race route.

At 7:30 AM, last Sunday, I started my run at a certain point within the loop course which have a direct access to the MOA grounds and located along the Pres. Macapagal Avenue.  From this point, I went westward towards the PICC Complex by turning left going to the old and abandoned Film Academy Building; turning right towards infront of the Philippine Plaza Hotel and went all the way to the Folk Arts Theater before turning right towards Roxas Boulevard.

I turned right at Roxas Blvd and did not dare to run along the flyovers at Gil Puyat/Buendia Blvd and EDSA but instead ran along the flat road of Roxas Blvd. Running along Roxas Blvd gives you the tendency to run fast while inhaling the smoke from all forms of vehicle passing the area; smell of garbage & drainage; and the dust of the road. I turned right at the Aguinaldo Blvd (Airport Road) before finally turning right at the Pres. Macapagal Avenue and ending my run where I started along the said road.

My GF 305 registered a distance of 10.4 kilometers with an elapsed time of 1:01:32 hours and an average pace of 5:55 mpk!

I have nothing to complain about the 3 loops every runner for the 42K race would undertake as long as it will result to an accurate distance for the 42.195K race. The relatively flat terrain of the course where the Flyovers will be considered as “speed bumps” (on flat streets) will be an advantage for the runners. For those who will be supported with their own family/friends’ Aid Stations, they could select a place where they could wait for their runner to pass without having the problem of following or “leap-frogging” with their runner. This loop system will also a nice way to keep an “eye contact” or good sighting to your “target” for this race due to the straight direction of the key roads of the route. I’ll be glad that runners within my age range will also use me as their “target”! But for the younger runners, I’ll be happy to see them way in front of me because they will be qualifying for a faster time!

MILO Marathon Elimination Race Route

In my race strategy for this event, I’ll have to visualize that I’ll be running along the oval track with each lap measuring to 11-12 kilometers per lap, instead of 400 meters. I should be able to complete each loop in 1:10 hours or less and finish the remaining kilometers in 40 minutes or less in order to be able to qualify for the  MILO Marathon Finals and register a Finish Time of 4:10 hours or less. This could be my most conservative strategy for the race but depending on the actual situation, my body condition, and external factors, I could go for a faster time. Having prepared for this race since the last week of March 2010 and my training in the mountains had given me the confidence of a nice result for this race.

Despite my long runs had been within the range of 25-30 kilometers, I tried to compensate the need for longer LSDs by training along the mountain trails and “sharpen” my training through hill workouts. Another bold experiment that I’ve done for the past months is the ability to sustain my pace without drinking any water or sports drinks on my 10K or less distance workouts. I tested and evaluated this experiment when I participated in the latest NB Trail Adventure 15K Run at Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna last June 20, 2010. It did not affect me whether the Water Stations were not consistently positioned along the route.

I’ll be using the MILO singlet provided for this race; running shorts (“RMWRS!”); DryMax Socks; ASICS Gel-Tarther Shoes; Oakley Sunglass; and my Bandanas!

Always remember, when you run the MILO Marathon Race, you have to give justice to this event as the “most prestigious marathon race” in the country. Do your best and prove to yourself and to everybody that you are a “RUNNER”!

See you this Sunday! Good luck!

I'll Be Donating These Shoes! My Race Singlet On D-Day
You Will Never Miss Me During The Race!

One Peso

Could you name an item which you can buy at the Grocery Store with One Peso? None!

Can you name a service that would be enough to pay One Peso? There is! When I was the Camp Commander at Fort Bonifacio’s Philippine Army’s Headquarters, I introduced the “One Peso Ride” using Multi-Cabs & L300 Vans donated by the AFP Financial Institutions and later introduced such service also when I was again designated as the Camp Commander of AFP Headquarter’s Camp Aguinaldo. Every passenger has to pay One Peso in going to any place inside the Camp. Such services are still being maintained with the same fare.

When I made a post about Joy whom I awarded her “1,000-Km” Club Finisher’s Club, I mentioned that she gave a donation of P 1,000 for my Elite Team BR as the total amount she was able to save by paying or putting One Peso for every kilometer that she was able to finish, whether in her practice runs or road races! I was really impressed with such initiative and thanked her for the donation.

During the NB Trail Adventure, I had a brief conversation with some Senior Officers of the Philippine Army who had become as regular runners in road races. These Officers had ultimately transformed themselves as “hardcore” runners and they are now leading by example to their staff and soldiers. Colonels Frank “Jonx” Delfin & Alex Luna are presently leading a running group inside Fort Bonifacio and their group is increasing in number.

Colonels Delfin & Luna have established a running program and project where every member of the club put in One Peso per kilometer that they run in their training and races inside a Box and every runner should be able to register in a tally form his/her name & the number of kilometers he/she finished & the corresponding amount of money he/she put in to the box. Their goal is to be able to finish 1,000 kilometers and be a part of the “1,000-Km Club” Finishers.

Register First, And Then Drop Your Peso/s In To The Box

“PISO KADA KILOMETRO”  is the name of this project and it already collected some amount as most of the coins had been accounted and properly packed in papers. It is unfortunate that I did not ask these two officers as to the total amount of coins collected so far.

Mabuhay kayo, Jonx & Alex!!!

"Jonx & Alex" With BR @ NB Trail Run (Photo Courtesy of Jun Bisnar)

Box Of Shoes

 Joe Matias, the owner of A Runner’s Circle Running Shop, is a native of Legazpi City (Albay) and now resides in Los Angeles, California. His shop is located near Griffith Park, a nice place to run, and his store’s staff are elite runners and champions of road races in Los Angeles.  Joe had been a consistent source of my Project Donate A Shoe by sending to me Balikbayan Boxes (BB) filled with slightly used shoes donated by his customers and friends.

Balikbayan Box From Joe Matias Of "A Runner's Circle" Running Shop

 Last week, a BB was delivered to our office filled with shoes which we intend to donate to other runners who can not afford to replace their old shoes. A quick inspection of the shoes showed that they are slightly used and there is a need to wash them first before we display or donate them to other runners. I have yet to find out the exact number of pairs inside the box but I am sure this effort from Joe is very much commendable. Thank you very much, Joe!

Slightly Used Shoes & Have Never Counted The Number of Pairs

Let me take this opportunity to mention some of the community services or “gimmicks” that Joe’s Running Shop had been sharing to the runners in Los Angeles. Aside from accepting Donated Shoes from runners, he conducts “fun runs” at Griffith Park and Silverlake Park on Tuesdays & Thursdays (afternoon) from 4:00-6:00 PM with a hydration booth with free candies & water. In these “fun runs”, he gives a brand-new running shoes to a lucky participant through raffle. He maintains an Elite Team of Runners who are his store staff. Lately, he has organized a Triathlon Club that carries the name of the shop.

Inside A Runner's Circle Running Shop

Mabuhay ka, Joe!


If you are a runner in the Philippines, the color “green” signifies the MILO Marathon Race! 

Last Thursday noon, June 24, 2010, I was one of the few “runner-bloggers” who were invited by MILO/Nestle, Phils to attend the media launching of the 34th MILO Marathon for this year. I think only four of us were there who were outnumbered by the newspaper/print publications, radio, and TV media personnel & reporters—Kikay Runner, Bugobugo85 aka frontRunner, The Bull Runner and I. It was really an honor and privilege to be a part of this memorable event. 

The event started with some personal chat and greetings with the members of the TEAM MILO under the leadership of Mr Afnan Ahsan, the new Senior Vice-President, Beverages Business Unit of NESTLE Philippines. Lunch was served immediately at noon time. 

Race Route: 34th MILO Marathon Elimination Race/July 4, 2010

 As soon as the attendees had their lunch, the formal presentation of the media launching of the event started. What impressed me most is the presentation of the TV commercial film, “The Gift” for MILO’s project HELP GIVE SHOES. I can relate with this new advocacy of MILO because I’ve been a witness of runners in marathon races who are still using “old and tattered” running shoes and I was able to do something, at least, to solve the problem. My personal observation led me to come up with my “Project Donate A Shoe” which I started by donating four (4) pairs of my slightly used running shoes. Little did I know that my readers have the same observations too that they started donating their used shoes to my project. So far, I have received and distributed a total of almost 1,000 pairs of used running shoes coming from my friends in the country & abroad and my readers residing in Great Britain, United States, China, Japan, and the Middle East! 

Team MILO/Nestle, Phils During The Media Launching

 After the prepared presentation about the 34th MILO Marathon Event, the key members of Team MILO were presented to everybody and they emphasized the importance of their advocacy by sticking “footprints” on the wall. Key figures in Philippine Sports (PSC & POC), Race Organizer, and MILO Executives were seated in front of the audience as each of them were asked some questions and clarification and the Press Interview/Open Forum started. 

When a reporter who is not a runner ask a question, most likely, the question is a dumb and stupid one. They don’t read the written Press Release given to them once they enter the venue before they ask a question because the answer is already on those printed pages. Almost all their questions start with the word “Why?” However, I was impressed when a recreational runner-reporter asked the question, “Why MILO thought of such advocacy (Help Give Shoes) now, after 33 years of conducting a nation-wide running events?” Well, the Team MILO answered that they have the same observation as I have expressed in this blog. 

Team MILO Marathon with TBR & BR!!!

This year’s 34th MILO Marathon Elimination is totally different from the past yearly event because of their “Help Give Shoes” advocacy for the underprivileged children; the introduction of qualifying times according to one’s age category; increase in registration fees but with better quality of race singlet, finisher’s t-shirt & finisher’s medal; better support services to runners in terms of safety, hydration (water & Gatorade), food replenishments (fruits & sports gels); increase in cash prizes for the winners; accurate timing with the use of the RFID Champion Chip; and a new race course (which I will discuss in my incoming posts).  

“Green” means the Environment! “Green” means MILO! “Green” means GO! Run the MILO Marathon! 

See you on July 4th!


It is supposed to be entitled “Thinner”!

Most of the people, friends, and other runners had the same observation of me when they saw me for the past few days. Most of the time for the past 2-3 months, I’ve been always going to the province outside Metro Manila and training with my elite team. Seldom my friends and other runners would see me in the usual places where runners would do their workouts in Metro Manila.

Last week, I weighed myself naked and I was surprised that the weighing scale registered 136 lbs! During the start of my training in preparation for the 34th MILO Marathon Eliminations on the last week of March, I had a weight of 143 lbs. It was my weight when I participated in the Jeju International 50K Ultramarathon Race. After this ultramarathon race, it marked the start of my training.

The reduction of my weight by 7 lbs could be attributed to my regular runs to the “Brown Mountain” (BM) and long steady distance (LSD) runs along a hilly paved road during weekends. I have also joined the elite runners in their training which included two running workouts a day—hard training in the morning and another recovery run in the afternoon. In between such workouts, it included at least 2 hours sleep after lunch.

Even if I slept 7-8 hours every night and eat a balance diet in my food intake, it appears that I consume more calories when I run and I was able to burn more of my body fats!

Having said that the ideal weight for a runner (male) competing in a particular race is equivalent to his height in inches multiplied by 2, it would be best to apply this formula to myself, 67 inches X 2, is equivalent to 134 lbs! It appears that I have to reduce another 2 lbs in order to meet my ideal weight for the MILO Marathon. Well, I think my present weight of 136 lbs is already enough for me.

Actually, I really don’t worry about the observation and comment of my friends about my being thinner this time as the MILO Marathon is fast approaching. I always think that this condition is only temporary. It is faster for me to gain weight than shaving off those unwanted fats from my body. I am looking forward already to my rest & recovery (one month) after the race before I start again for my training for the 34th MILO Marathon Finals scheduled on December 12, 2010 with the hope of finishing the elimination race in less than 4:10 hours.

Whether I am thinner or lighter, I hope this will be an “edge” for me to register a faster finish time in a marathon race this time.

See you on July 4th.

Latest Pic @ frontRunner Clinic (June 24, 2010). Photo Courtesy of frontRunner Magazine

Running Lecture & Clinic @ MAXIM

1:00 PM June 19, 2010 General Trias, Cavite

This is not what you think it is! This is not your favorite MAXIM Magazine. This is the MAXIM Philippines Operating Corporation, an IT/Semiconductor Company located at the Gateway Industrial Park in General Trias, Cavite.

Tom Mark Obach, Chief of the Test System Support & Services of the Company and President of the Team Maxim Runners, sent me an e-mail two months ago requesting me to conduct a lecture & clinic to the personnel of the company. The lecture was initially scheduled last month but due to conflict of schedule on the part of the officers of the company’s running club, it was rescheduled for this month. After some exchange of e-mails and coordination, the lecture was finally implemented. 

Waiting For The Lecture To Start

The Elite Team BR and I were fetched by Tom and company at The Fort on the morning of Saturday, June 19, 2010 for a two-hour trip to General Trias, Cavite. We arrived at the company’s ground before noontime. After the usual inspections and clearance protocol by the security personnel, we were escorted to the lecture area. The Team Maxim Runner officers were very hospitable as they served us with a sumptous lunch, complete with vegetable salad and lots of rice. They really prepared for the practical side/clinic of the activity.

Lecture: All They Need To Know About Running

 The lecture started at exactly 1:00 PM and the audience was attentive with the lecture and presentation. An open forum was conducted after the lecture and also gave them tips on hydration, nutrition, shoes, training, safety/etiquette, and techniques in road races. The lecture was followed with an actual demonstration of stretching exercises led by the elites. The audience were requested to follow what the elites had demonstrated. The stretching exercises were followed with running “drills”. It was good that the lecture room was spacious that everybody was able to do the suggested running “drills”. I received feedbacks that it was their first time to know the stretching exercises and the running “drills” that the elites have demonstrated to them.

Tom Obach, Maxim's Running Club President, Generously Donated Cash For The Elite Team BR

 After one hour of stretching exercises and running “drills”, we ended the activity with snacks together with the Team Maxim Runner! Before 5:00 PM, we left the Company’s grounds and we were on our way back to The Fort. Because of the strong rains and traffic along the way, we finally reached The Fort at 7:30 PM.

Post Lecture & Clinic Photo-Ops With The Maxim Running Club

 The Elite Team BR and I would like to express our thanks for the hospitality of the Team Maxim Runner led by Mark Tom Obach, Alex Amores for sending the pictures & for being the official photographer of the event, and to the rest of the officers and members. Thank you also for the “memento” as your donation to the Elite Team Bald Runner. Thank you also for your plan to contribute to my Project Donate A Shoe.

With The Running Club's Officers & Elite Team BR

 Hope to see you in future road races! Good luck & Stay safe always!

(Note: Pictures Courtesy of Alex Amores)

NB Trail Run Pictures

 New Balance Trail Adventure 15K @ Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna; 20 June 2010

With Totoy, Rene, & Rene's Friend
With Ultrarunner & BDM Veteran Abby Jocson
With Ultrarunner & BDM Veteran "Gingerbread Man"/Luis Arcangel
Boarding The Bus To The Finish Line
Who's Afraid Of The Water? (Photo Courtesy of Tommy Lee)
On My Way To The Finish Line

Running In The Movies

You can predict that there is always a “running” scene in every action movie. It is very basic that the main character is being hunted or he is the one trying to catch up with somebody. Running will always be there!

Last week, I watched the movies “The A-Team” and “Karate Kid”. “The A-Team” was a TV-series which started in 1983 and lasted for about six years or seasons but it was never been produced or filmed as a movie. While the “Karate Kid” was a motion picture released in 1984 which was followed with two films as sequels to the first movie and another film, “The Next Karate Kid” which featured a girl as the main character. I was a consisten fan of “The A-Team” as I was in the United States for my military schooling when it first hit the TV screens. As compared with the Karate Kid, the first movie was considered as the best movie of the said franchise and I did not mind watching the sequels.

The "Original" A-Team

 What endeared me with The A-Team was the fact that I was able to talk and meet Mr T who acted as “BA Baracus” in person at the Los Angeles Municipal Court. Yes, he was wearing those 20+ kilos of gold chains on his neck and wearing an overall denim clothes with his trademark haircut.

The "Original" Karate Kid

Well, for the 1st Karate Kid, I could remember the simple story and the famous phrases, “Wax On, Wax Off”!

Fast Forward…In the movie, The A-Team, you could see Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith, after he escaped from two corrupt Mexican officers, running along the trails of US-Mexico border trying to save Lt Templeton “Face” Peck from being executed by Mexican “thugs” and drug dealers. In the middle of the film, you could see again a lot of running and chasing on foot from Brock Pike, the leader of the Black Forest Group, and the rest of the A-Team along the streets in one of the cities in Europe.

In the movie, The Karate Kid (aka The Kung-Fu Kid), you could see a lot of running after Dre, the main character, did his own way to get even to the group of Cheng, the bully & protagonist in the story, by splashing them with “waste” water from the drainage. Cheng chased Dre running along the streets and alleys of the town/city until Dre was cornered in a court near their residence.

Action movies are not fun and exciting when there is no running scene incorporated in the story. It only proves that running is a part of life and without running, our life is not fun and exciting as it can be.

You better watch these two movies on the widescreen! Enjoy & have fun!

“On Your Left”

5:30 AM June 20, 2010 @ Nuvali, Santa Rosa, Laguna

Event's Ads @ The New Balance Website

The first reason why I joined this trail run was to have a glimpse of the “new” running playground outside Metro Manila. I heard about this trail running course last February 2010 when TNF sponsored a trail run on Valentine’s Day. I opted to register the 15K distance which is the longest distance available. Second reason is that it is a part of my preparation for the incoming MILO Marathon Eliminations on July 4th.

I drove all the way to Nuvali with some of my elite athletes who volunteered to pace me for the race and make this run as their workout. We arrived at the area one hour earlier from the scheduled time posted for the runners to be picked-up at Solenad area to the Starting Area. The waiting time was an opportunity to meet other runners, chat with them and pose for some photo-ops. I was happy to see a lot of junior and senior officers of the Philippine Army who had been consistently joining road races as they joined the 15K race. At 5:00 AM, two buses filled with 15K runners were transported to Montecito area which is about 4K away from the Assembly Area and at the same time the Finish Line.

At exactly 5:32 AM, the race started and I was at the mid-pack with the intention of trying to follow the faster runners ahead of me as this was my first time to run in the said area. The trail does not compare with the trails of “Brown Mountain” (BM) with regards to elevation and steepness of the trail. In short, the race is simply a trail run with going down towards a river for a one kilometer of running along its waters and rocks and finally climbing out into a slippery trail towards a leveled area. And the rest was a combination of a dirt road, winding single track trail with cogon grasses on both sides, and some loose soil coming from the erosion brought about by the land developments in the area.

The first 500 meters of the race was some sort of a warm-up run for me trying to size up the trail as the dirt road led us to a slippery and single track trail. Before I reached the 1 kilometer mark, I started to pick-up my pace by overtaking one runner one at a time. I saw to it that I pass each runner on parts of the trail that are inclined and I started saying the words, “On Your Left” or “On Your Right” to give a warning to the runner ahead of me of my desire to overtake him/her on his/her left or right side. But I guess, most of the runners do not know what I was talking about or they do not know what was my message to them. However, there are also runners who would know what I meant that they immediately give way for me to overtake them.

While on the river, I ran with my shoes completely submerged in the water. Practically, I was running with the flow of the river where I was able to pass some runners who opted to tip-toe on rocks on the side or banks of the river. As I went up along a steep trail from the river, I know that my legs and feet have survived those slippery rocks and loose soil on the river and I could feel that there is not much of sand that enetred my wet shoes.

I used my Adidas Adizero Mana, which is road racing flat shoes, for this trail run! It is light even when it is wet and the mud that sticks on its soles could be easily removed when I run. Sometimes, my feet tend to slide on muddy parts of the trail but I am glad that the slight tractions on its soles do not accumulate so much mud in them. I could say that this particular Adidas shoes had passed the test for my trail runs even when I do my runs at BM.

After the Km 4 point, everything was a slight rolling terrain and I was able to gain my speed. But trying to overtake some runners in a single-track trail who do not know what I meant by “On Your Left/Right” made me break my tempo if they do not give way for me. But I became patient with such runners that I have to overtake them when there is an ample space where I could squeeze in my body. It was repeated again and again as I overtook more runners on the second half of the course.

Last 500 Meters of the Trail Run
Frank (Left) Joined Me At Km 13; Raul (Right) Joined Me The Whole Race

I was wearing very light running shoes and apparel without any hydration belt. I was wearing an Adidas running shorts; The North Face trail shirt; Eddie Bauer gray trail socks; and ingested one Hammer Sports Gel at Km 8 point. There was no problem with the Water Aid Stations as there were enough for everybody and the route marshals were so many as they were located in key parts of the trail. Ribbons, markers, and pointers were placed along the trails, too! There is no reason for any runner to be lost along the trail route!

Getting Used To Untucked Singlet

I finished the 15K trail run in 1:30:12 hours (unofficial) based from my GF 305. After passing through the finish line, I was greeted by Neville Manaois, the Race Director, and I congratulated him for a nice route and organized race. I did not stay long as I proceeded to the shower facility to clean up myself before changing to my dry clothes.

This is my last tune-up race before the MILO Marathon Eliminations on July 4th and from here my daily routine will be geared towards tapering and mentally preparing myself for the race.

See you on July 4th!

(Note: This is my 1,000th post in this blog! My humble contribution to the 200 million posts at WordPress.)


I had my long run last Sunday morning and I was able to finish a distance of 25 kilometers. I did not carry my hydration belt or brought with me any sports gel. I brought only a small amount of cash wrapped in small platic bag and tucked inside the small pocket of my running short.

I had already planned out for my pit stops/stores/fastfood chains along the roads of the The Fort, McKinley Hill, Lawton Avenue, and Bayani Road. However, my favorite pit stop is always that small convenience store inside the Philippine Army Golf Course along Bayani Road which is specifically located at Hole #1. My hardcore running buddies know this place.

Suman From Pangasinan (Google Images)

Whenever I stopped in this place, I usually eat boiled banana, boiled egg, and drink one bottle of Gatorade drinks. However, last Sunday, instead of eating the usual food being displayed, I ate the local suman, two pieces, and drank the usual one bottle of Gatorade drinks. The food I ate and the drinks filled my hungry stomach and I was back on the road to continue my run.

Suman Sa Lihiya (Picture From Google Images)

I observed that the suman whose ingredients are glutinous rice, salt and/or sugar, and coconut milk with the Gatorade drinks had given me an extra boost for my run! It could be that the food was enough source for my carbohydrate intake (rice & sugar), protein (coconut milk) and the salty taste (sodium source) for my running workout. I am not a nutritionist but I felt differently as I had more strength for my last 10 kilometers due to the aid of this local food called suman.

It is easy to prepare this kind of delicacy if you have the time but they (cooked/finished product) are also available in malls in Metro Manila. There are so many sites in the Internet that will guide you on how to prepare suman depending on the locality where it is made or sourced.

I still have more time to experiment on the effects of eating suman and how fast I could eat them during my running workouts. This will replace my practice of eating hard boiled eggs and instant oatmeal at the halfway mark in a marathon race. I intend to eat at least one or two pieces of suman every 10 kilometers during the MILO Marathon Elimination on July 4, 2010 which will be prepositioned by my support crew instead of ingesting those expensive sports gels and other usual foods that I take. The suman ingested to the stomach could be heavy but I think it will be the best food for my endurance runs.

If my idea and experimentation will work, I will add suman as one of the foods to be served in my ultramarathon races under the auspices of PAU. Runners could try eating suman also in their running workouts or marathon races and try to observe if it works for everybody.