Picture Of The Week #10

31 07 2012

Official Result: 1st FKT @ Taklang Damulag

29 07 2012

After finishing a 10K Race inside the Fort Magsaysay Complex yesterday morning (Saturday), I invited ultrarunners who joined this race for the 1st Official Fastest Known Time (FKT) Run at Taklang Damulag. The FKT Race started at the Fernandez Hill up to the peak of Taklang Damulag and back to the Starting Line/Area. The race covered a distance of almost 6.3 kilometers.

FKT RD With TD On The Background

Five (5) runners joined the event and the following was the result;

1. Danin Arenzana—–   59:32 minutes (CR)

2. Ronnel Go———– 1:03:20 hours

3. Bong Alindada—— 1:04:55 hours

4. Mar Marilag——— 1:12:46 hours

5. Stephanie Hefti (F)- 1:13:25 hours (Lady, CR)

The 1st FKT Runners @ Taklang Damulag

FKT Runners In Action From The Starting Area

Danin Arenzana Reaching The Finish Line

Ronnel Go aka Kampuger

Bong Alindada Approaching The Finish Line

Coach Mar Marilag

Stephanie Hefti, Lady Course Record Holder!

Prize/Award For All The Finishers—–Lunch @ Fernandez Hill!

….and Halo-Halo @ RAZON’s Caltex Metro Rest Area, NLEX

More of this kind of running event will be conducted soon!

See you at the Starting Line!

Olympic Fever? Who Cares?

28 07 2012

I am not sure if there is “Olympic Fever” among the Filipinos now that the 2012 London Olympic Games have just started. Well, after the awesome entertainment during the the Opening Ceremony, we will just wait for our athletes to come home without any Olympic Medal (again!).

Can You Decipher It? London Olympic Games LOGO

For me, I am not that interested to find out when is the schedule of each of the 11 qualified Pinoy athletes to competes in their respective discipline. It does not mean that I don’t support our RP Team but I would prefer to be running on the roads and trails in the mountains to maintain my fitness level.

Olympic Logo Hanging Inside A Shopping Mall

In the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, we sent 15 qualified Pinoy athletes where we rooted so much on boxing, taekwando, swimming, and athletics. Well, the result was the same, NO Gold Medal and there are lots of “fingerpointing” as to who should be blamed for the dismal performance of our athletes. NOBODY took the responsibility of our performance and within the next four years nothing happened! Everything was ALL TALK but NO ACTION.

There had been an election for the new leadership of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) immediately after the 2008 Olympic Games but it became too dirty and political that it caused divisiveness among the different NSA leaders/heads.

We moved on and we prepared for the Southeast Asian Games but sad to say, we did not improve in the 2009 & 2011 editions despite the fact that almost all the NSAs “vision” is geared towards more medal haul in these games. Predictions of Sports Official on the number of medal haul were too bloated as we ended almost to the bottom of the list of the country participants.

Four years after, we are still in the same shit—fewer qualified athletes (11) for the Olympic Games but I think the delegation of Officials & Coaches/Trainers keep on increasing. I really don’t know if we are rooting for a particular sports this time. Well, I’ve read somewhere that our BMX cycling athlete has the chance to reach the FINALS.

2012 Olympic Games Pinoy Athletes

Since I am into running/athletics, I am not optimistic that our two athletes will ever land as podium finishers in their respective event. Obviously, their ages (31-33 years old) are too old to compete with the best athletes ten years or more, younger than they are.

So, after the 2012 London Olympics, the same shit will happen again—

1. The Senate Committee on Sports will file a resolution for a Senate Hearing and find out the real cause of the debacle. Looking for the scapegoat will be the Game/Sports on The Floor! Hopefully, this will pressure the President to sign the law that will create an Executive Department devoted solely for Sports.

2. Opinion writers, armchair athletes/experts, and average athletes like me will publicly make their own analysis through the media and through the Social Networking world. Of course, we like to make some “noise” hoping that somebody will hear us!

3. Our Sports Officials will make some promises to do this and that just for them to be seen and heard. After a few weeks, everything will be calm and we wait again for the Southeast Asian Games, ASIAN Games, and the 2016 Brazil Olympic Games. In short, there is NO accountability for their failure to improve our sports excellence program.

4. Of course, most of the older generation will again float for the revival of the Project Gintong Alay as the solution of our dismal performance in international sports competition. The Project Gintong Alay had been a time-tested system that had proven to be successful that even China and the rest of the ASIAN countries had copied and implimented. Now, we are the ones trying to copy their system well in fact it originated from us! (Note: It took China almost 30 years for them to develop and progress in Sports Excellence and be the No. 1 in the number of medal haul in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games)

So, what could be the problem why we could not progress in our Sports Excellence Program and be able to win a Gold Medal in the Olympic Games?

Because we LACK the LEADERSHIP that has the POLITICAL WILL to impliment CHANGE & REFORM in our Sports Excellence Program.

This is self-explanatory. I rest my case!

See you at the Starting Line!

Taper Run For MILO

25 07 2012

I am inviting runners who would like to have a “taper run” on Saturday morning before the MILO Marathon/Half-Marathon Elimination Race on Sunday in Metro Manila. I will be personally joining this race together with ultrarunning friends and some of my Team Elite Bald Runner.

Taper Run For MILO Marathon Manila Elimination Race

If you are interested to join this race, I will make sure that you will have a chance to “peak bag” Taklang Damulag after the race.

Starting/Finish Area is in front of the Headquarters 7th Infantry Division (Starting Area of the Fort Magsaysay-Dingalan 60K Ultramarathon Race). There will be On Site registration before the start of the race. Other details of the race can be seen at the above event’s ads.

This event is a fitting and deserving tribute to the newly-promoted Commander of the 7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, Major General Alan Luga whom I have the chance and opportunity to pay a courtesy call on the very same day that his promotion had been signed by the President to Major General (Two-Star General). Congratulations General Luga!

General Luga is always supportive in Sports to his officers and men. Upon his assumption as the Commander of the Division, he gladly supported my request for the Command to be part of “Operation Linis” in the Mountains that I had been visiting within its Area of Responsibility as well as to promote these mountains for eco-tourism.

Major General Alan Luga, BR, & Brigadier General Rolly Atendido

See you at the Starting Area!


24 07 2012

In almost seven (7) days, I got 11,000+ hits because of “Marcelo, The Champion”.

I was overwhelmed with the number of people/readers who shared my story/blogpost on Facebook and Twitter and for those who made their comment/s on the blog itself. Thank you for those kind words and shower of support to Marcelo Bautista, Champion of the 1st Marcos-Kennon 50-Mile Ultra Road Classic.

Mayor Bellarmin “Red” Flores of Rosario, La Union and Former Mayor Larry Flores will be bringing Marcelo to Manila to join the MILO Marathon Manila Elimination Race which will be held this coming Sunday, July 29, 2012. Wap Forbes Flores had also told me that a new complete set of running kit had been delivered personally to Marcelo in Baguio City.

Andre Blumberg of Hong Kong had also committed to support the registration fee of Marcelo to the 2013 The North Face 100K Endurance Race.

Jerome Bautista and other ultrarunners as well as marathon runners had promised also to donate shoes and running apparel to Marcelo.

I hope by this time Marcelo had already received some shower of support and became an instant celebrity as a result of my story.

Marcelo Before The Start of the MK50 (Photo Courtesy of Ryan Jucutan)

Good luck and See you at the MILO Marathon Manila Elimination Race!

Marcelo, The Champion

17 07 2012

He arrived at the Starting Area two hours before the Gun Start. I personally don’t know the man but looking at his physique, I already knew that he is an elite runner. I just observed him walking around and within the Assembly Area of the Race inside the Rosario Municipal Plaza (Rosario, La Union) and I was trying to figure out his running kit. He was wearing the usual running shorts with an upper garment which seems to be a midrib attire usually worn by elite lady runners as well as the men’s elite. He was wearing those colourful ladies’ hose/socks whose length is up above the knees and the color on one leg is black and the other one leg is a combination of light green, pink and cream. The socks must be functional for him as a combination of the usual socks and calves sleeves! He was wearing an old shoe which I suspected to be a worn-out racer flats.

He seems to have a problematic face and trying to look a familiar face within the crowd. After few minutes, he figured out whom to approach and asked about the race. He came to me and asked me if he can join the race. I said, yes! I pointed where my staff was located to show him where he should register and get his race kit. But his facial expression showed some problem. He was telling me that he was to be sponsored by another runner and he was waiting for the said runner to arrive for him to pay the registration fee. He told me that he “hitched a ride” in one of the vegetable cargo trucks from Baguio City to reach Rosario, La Union and be able to join the race. He pleaded to me that he is interested to join the race as he knows the route and he would like to test his running capability for an ultra distance. He was showing me some folded bills of money (Fifty Peso bills) which he said is not enough for the registration fee. (I found out later that he has only 450+ pesos tucked in his running shorts) He told me that this is the first time for him to run an ultra distance of that long.

I can see on the face of the runner that he is serious. I told him to wait and he should see me before I conduct the last briefing for all the runners. (I was thinking of giving him a free race kit before the start of the race!)

Bernadette Schleuter from Guam, USA came to me and asked if I will allow her to sponsor Marcelo to join the race. I was surprised and little embarrassed to find out that Marcelo approached the lady runner to support him in the said race. I said “yes” to Bernadette. Bernadette gave him P 1,000 and I accepted the money as his registration fee (50% discount rate). I told him to keep his own money for any contingencies during the race and for his fare in going back to Baguio City.

Marcelo In Red Running Kit Bought From “Ukay-Ukay” & Eating His Food Few Seconds From the Starting Line

I allowed him to run without any lights and reflective vest. I told him to be very careful of the incoming traffic and warn him about the dangers of falling rocks and constructions being done along Kennon Road. He gave me the assurance that he will run responsibly and carefully during night time and take extra careful along Kennon Run. He assured me that he is very familiar with Kennon Road.

I was touched when almost all the runners from Baguio City offered him Gels, fruits, power bars and other bite foods before the start of the race. He was not wearing any hydration pack or “fuel” belt! He just simply tucked the gels, bars, and fruits on his running shorts and started eating and drinking some water few minutes before the start of the race.

Once the gun was fired, he positioned himself at the front and he maintained his position throughout the race. He reached the Checkpoint at the View Deck of Kennon Road in 5:15+ hours! The next runner to reach the Checkpoint was more than two hours behind him. As he predicted to finish the race in 7 hours, he crossed the finish line in 7:56:50 hours!

Marcelo At The Center Receiving His Trophy From Mayor Flores

My staff offered him some drinks and food after he crossed the Finish Line! I congratulated him for setting a Course Record for the route and told him to rest/sleep until the rest of the runners would arrive at the Finish Line. After eating, I asked one of the staff of the Mayor to bring him to the house where he left his things which is one kilometer from the Finish Line by riding tandem on a motorcycle but he refused the offer. Instead, he jogged to the house and returned to the Assembly/Finish Area after 40 minutes. He slept and later waited for the rest of the runners to arrive.

After breakfast the day after, I had the chance to talk to him together with the Municipal Mayor of Rosario. I found out that he is thirty-two (32) years old, married and residing in Baguio City without any children. He works as a “segregator” with the Waste Management of Baguio City with a monthly take home pay of P 2,500.00. He is known by the Mayor of Rosario to be a consistent winner in their annual 5K Run where the latest run/race was during the birthday of the Mayor last April. He was awarded some Cash Prize for winning the event. He is also a consistent Podium Finisher in running events in Baguio City. At present, he is among the top 5 runners of Baguio City. He won the latest Race to Mt Cabuyao from Burnham Park. Among his prizes was a new running shoes which he sold to a cheaper price due to lack of money to support his training.

When I asked about his hydration and nutrition, he told me that he only drinks when he is thirsty and eat when he is hungry during races. On a regular day, he drinks hot coffee in the morning after his early morning run and that’s it! No breakfast, lunch and snacks! He eats once a day for his dinner after having his running workout in the afternoon. He explained that he eats a lot of rice with only one viand for the dinner, his only decent meal for the day.

He works as a waste segregator from 7:00 AM up to 3:00 PM and he has time for his early morning jog and late afternoon running workout. He sleeps early in the evening after taking his dinner. He has no vices and he intimated to me that he had no running-related injuries so far!

He said that he can still run a sub-38 minutes 10K race with the proper training and preparation. He was challenged by the Municipal Mayor to run a Full Marathon with a finish time of 2:45 to 2:55 hours in this coming MILO Manila Marathon Elimination Race by the end of this month.

The Flores Family, to include Wap Forbes Flores, had promised him a new racing shoes, running apparel (shirt & shorts) and running socks for the said event. To top it all, his transportation, food and accommodation needs will be provided by the Flores Family. He promised me that he will not sell whatever running kits he will get from the Flores Family.

The Pink Reebok Shoes Was The Shoe That Marcelo Used During The Race. He Changed To Another Tattered Brooks Shoes During Breakfast & Awarding Ceremony

You might ask, why I am telling this story about Marcelo. It’s because he is your typical fast and strong Pinoy runner who is unknown from those glitzy and “very promising” road races in Metro Manila. “Very promising” because there are Race Organizers who promise some cash prizes or travel abroad to compete but nothing comes out for the winner in the end. They are unknown because they are poor and could hardly afford the registration fees not unless they are sponsored by others. These “unknown” elite runners will never land on the pages of your typical runners’ or sports magazines!

There are more “Marcelos” in the provinces who could be Champion in Road Races and Running Events. All we need is to bring the races in to the provinces and allow these unknown runners to join and prove their mettle even if there are no cash prizes. Ultrarunners have the heart and passion to help these runners, this trait makes us above than those runners who only care for themselves and their own personal interest!

Thanks to Bernadette Schleuter and to those Ultrarunners who helped Marcelo achieved his goal as the Champion of the 1st Marcos-Kennon 50-Mile Ultra Road Classic. Please continue helping these “poor & unknown” runners!

We hope to look for more “Marcelos” in the provinces throughout the country and let them join our ultrarunning events.

(Note: If you have an extra new/slightly used running shoes with size 8 1/2, feel free to contact me and we’ll give your donation of shoes to Marcelo. Thanks!)

Result: 1st Marcos-Kennon 50-Mile Ultra Road Classic

16 07 2012

2:30 PM July 14-15, 2012/Rosario, La Union Via Marcos Highway To Baguio City & Back To Rosario, La Union Via Kennon Road

R A N K N   A     M   E T  I  M  E
1 Marcelo Bautista 7:56:50
2 Almar Danguilan 10:25:52
3 Henry Laron 10:25:54
4 Bob Castilla 10:42:09
5 Michael Fabian 10:44:33
6 Marlon Ponce Ian Zarate 11:00:24
7 Edilberto Yonzon 11:04:45
8 Arman John Jison 11:07:01
9 Bernadette Schleuter (F) 11:07:44
10 Smile Ellasus 11:39:53
11 Ryan Jucutan 12:14:18
12 Jojo Dela Cruz 13:44:06
13 Jorell Paringit 13:53:33
14 Carl Balagot 13:53:34
15 Jonathan Navalta 13:58:58
16 Calvin John Escandor 14:02:26
17 Jonel Mendoza 15:07:59
18 Ron Yllana 15:08:00
19 Randy Racho 15:34:28
20 Fernando Sy Jr 15:34:29
21 Stephanie Hefti (F) 16:51:23
22 Roger Villareal 17:29:01
23 Joel Balagtas 17:38:43
24 Carmeli Ortega (F) 17:43:18

Congratulations to the 1st Batch of Podium Finishers/Finishers of this historic event who realized that the route for cyclists is now a favorite route for runners/ultrarunners!

BIG thanks and snappy salute to the Local Government of Rosario, La Union under the leadership of Honorable Bellarmin “Red” Flores III, Municipal Mayor; former Mayor Larry Flores; Wap Forbes Flores, a friend and ultrarunner; PNP Rosario Chief of Police Supt Erwin Dayag; PNP Sr Supt David Lacdan of Baguio City; PMA Superintendent Major General Nonito Alfredo Peralta Jr AFP ; and to all the staff & support personnel of the Office of the Mayor of Rosario, La Union for their “all-out support” to make the event as a memorable experience to all the runners.

See you at the Starting Line!

25 Brave Warriors/1st Batch of MK50 Runners

Champion Marcelo Bautista with a Course Record of 7:56:50 Hours

Lady Champion Bernadette Schleuter of Guam, USA With a Course Record of 11:07:44 Hours

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