It is almost the end of the year 2012 and this is the only running event (outside the BR’s Events & PAU Races) that I am going to endorse in this blog.
The organizers in this running event are my “brother-in-arms”; my main supporter/sponsor when I launched my first edition of the Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race almost five (5) year ago; and those who have served under me when I was still in the active military service. It is fitting and proper that I have to endorse this run to everybody through this blog.
I am happy that most of the Major Branches of Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are opening their respective Command to the sports of long distance running where it is open for the public. It is a wise move where all the instrumentalities of the government and not only from the sponsorship of private corporations should be involved in grassroots development of sports.
If not for an ultra running event which I organized to be held on the same day (Tagaytay To Nasugbu 50K Ultra Run), I would be in this running event to join the participants for the Half-Marathon Race. However, I know that this event will be a success and it will be held annually as a way to open the camp to the public and at the same time, for the public to get to know more of the Philippine Army’s Officers, Enlisted Personnel, and Civilian Employees.
Aside from being the cheapest running event nowadays as shown from the listed registration fees, this running event will give some “surprises” for all the finishers making it as one of the significant running events for the year for everybody.
If you want to know more about your Philippine Army, you have to join this running event and experience what is like to run and finish the race with your soldiers and defenders of the Republic!
Last year, I ran the MILO Marathon Manila Eliminations but I DNFd at Km 23 because of my injury on my left knee.
This year, I did not have plans or intention of joining the MILO Marathon Manila Eliminations as I was out of the country when the media launching activity was held. However, my friend, Jonel, informed me through FB that he was able to register me to run the Half-Marathon distance which I thought to be a nice event for me to see the runners and at the same time to be seen by new runners after I’ve been busy going to the mountains and enjoying the beauty of trail running and hiking to the peak of mountains.
It was also a chance to expose one of my elite runners whom I’ve been training/coaching for ultra trail runs in the province. Danin Arenzana had been with me for 3 years and he has been consistently training for mountain runs. In his debut race at the Mt Ugo Trail Marathon Race (42K) by Jonel of FrontRunner Magazine last April of this year, he placed First Runner-Up, competing with the fast runners of Baguio City. I registered him for the MILO Half-Marathon distance as a test run on flat and paved surface.
As I said, I joined this race to be seen by other runners and also try to look for Marcelo and give him whatever I could receive from friends which they committed to be given to him. After giving some advice to Danin and making sure that he is positioned infront of the starters, I positioned myself at the back of the pack and find out how my body would perform without any structured training program as a preparation for this race.
The day before this race, I finished a 10K race in Fort Magsaysay where I finished in 1:02:15 hours. The course was relatively flat but there are hills to overcome which made the course very challenging. (Note: I will make a separate Race Report on this run). While traveling to Manila, I could feel some pain in my knees but with some massage, full sleep/rest and “voodoo” drinks, I was ready for a half-marathon race the following day.
On Race Day, I was surprised to find out that it took me almost one minute to cross the starting line from the back of the pack. It showed how many runners had registered and started for this race. I was informed that the number of runners had reached to 38,000+ making it the most attended running event in Metro Manila/in the country so far. This makes the MILO Marathon to be consistently called as the “most prestigious running event in the country”.
Well, going back to my performance. I was too slow and I understand that my age is slowly catching up with what is in my mind. My mind would say that I am still fast and strong as if I am 40 years old but my legs and my breathing were saying the reality—that I am already slow and getting older! On the first 10K, I was averaging a pace of 6:15-6:30 minutes per kilometer but on the 2nd half of the race, I began to slow down and had to walk before and after drinking water at the aid stations. My last 5 kilometers were really painful as I would experience some cramps on my calves. I had to walk on the last kilometer of the race. I would finish the race in 2:25+ hours. My slowest finish time so far for a half-marathon distance!
There are no alibis or complaints about my performance. I simply did not prepare for this race. At least, I was able to gauge the level of my running fitness with this race. Which means, I lack the endurance and speed to sustain a consistent pace for the distance. Damn those swimming laps which I’ve done as cross-training to lessen the pain on my knees, hoping that I could improve my swimming endurance coming from a zero and a non-swimmer for the past months and weeks. I guess, I am a land animal and not a runner trying to glide like a fish in the water.
It’s a blessing in disguise that my road races last weekend (10K & 21K) have started again my focused training in running with the hope of joining more road and trail races in the coming months. Running and hiking to the peak of the mountains will still be a part of the training. My knees are still in pain but some adjustments in my training will have to be done for me to be back in consistent training.
Danin, my elite athlete, surprisingly landed #9 overall in the Half-Marathon Race with a time of 1:30+ hours. He performed well and he has the potential to run faster as I advised him to restructure and make some adjustments in his training program. We will see him more in trail running events!
It worthy to note also that my Elite Team Bald Runner/Philippine Army runners, Elmer Sabal and Gerald Sabal placed 2nd and 3rd Overall in the Marathon (42K) Elimination Race, respectively. Elmer finished in 2:45+ hours while Gerald finished in 2:46+ hours. I hope these runners will train some more to be able to win in the MILO Marathon FINALS in December. Danin will run again the Half-Marathon Race in the Finals, hoping to improve his time and ranking.
Congratulations to MILO Philippines and to Coach Rio De La Cruz (RUNRIO) for the successful conduct of this year’s Manila Elimination Race. You did a splendid job! No doubt, this running event will stay consistently as the “most prestigious running event in the country” in the years to come. Plus the fact that you have provided more running shoes to more students and potential runners around the country through your “Donate A Shoe” Program!
In connection with the celebration of the 50th Founding Anniversary of the Special Forces Regiment of the Philippine Army in June of this year, the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU) & Bald Runner’s Events had scheduled the conduct of three (3) trail races inside Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija on June 2, 2012.
These races will serve as a “recon or test run” for those who are intending to join in this year’s 2nd edition of the Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Trail Endurance Run which is scheduled on December 15, 2012.
The following are the details of the races:
Date of Race: June 2, 2012
Place of Assembly and Starting Area: Infront of the SOCOM Headquarters, Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City
Assembly Time for 50K & 50M Races: 3:30 AM June 2, 2012
Assembly Time For 21K Run: 4:30 AM June 2, 2012
Gunstart For 50K & 50-Mile Runs: 4:00 AM
Gunstart For Half-Marathon: 5:00 AM
Cut-Off Time For 50-Mile Run: 16 Hours
Cut-Off Time For 50K Run: 10 Hours
Cut-Off Time For 21K: 4 Hours
Registration Fee For 50-Mile Run: P 2,000.00
Registration Fee For 50K Run: P 1,500.00
Registration Fee For 21K Run: P 1,000.00
***Included in the Registration Fee: Dinner & Accommodation Inside Fort Magsaysay on Friday night, June 1, 2012.
Registration Period: May 2, 2012 to June 1, 2012
Registration Center/Area: ARC Running Store OR Deposit the Registration Fee at BPI Savings Account #0296-0673-22 in favor of Jovenal Narcise OR at the Dinner/CLP & Race Briefing on or about 6:30 PM of June 1, 2012 at the SOCOM Headquarters. (Note: Please bring your validated deposit slip to the CLP/Race Briefing)
I did not qualify for the 35th MILO Finals this time as I did not have the time to qualify in the regional/provincial races. But with the start of my training season for my next year’s running events to attend to, I need to join road races which can serve as my training runs and make them as my guide in my training preparations. Thus, QCIM and MILO Races were part of the training program to build-up my endurance.
At the 3rd Quezon City International Marathon which was held a week before the MILO Finals, I opted to join the Half-Marathon event and I finished it in 2:20:50 hours. It was really a long slow distance run for me to start my training period. I was happy with the result.
After a one-day rest, I started to resume my “30-minute” daily runs; maintain my “30-minute” swimming drills at least 3 times a week; two visits at the gym where I did some light weight lifting (deadlifts, dumdbell exercises, and lunges) and stationary cycling for “30 minutes”. A massage on Friday evening and some brisk walking on Saturday completed my tapering for this event.
As in past MILO Finals, there was a festive mood at the Starting Line and I positioned myself at the farthest back among the Half-Marathon runners. I thought and planned of doing ala-Dean Karnazes style in this run—an LSD run from the back of the pack and slowly gaining some speed along the course with the objective of passing as many runners as I can along the route until the finish line. I have observed this kind of approach in running when I joined the Los Angeles & San Francisco Marathons with Dean Karnazes in the past years.
As soon as the Gun was fired, I started to walk brisky from the back and I was sure I was the last runner. I started to ring my mini-cowbell continuously which brought the attention of the MILO VIPs on the stage. Coach Rio, the Race Director of the Event, approached and greeted me. I thanked him for giving me the complimentary race packet for the event.
It was a very slow start for me as it was still dark and with lots of runners infront of me. As soon as there was natural light, runners would recognize me and I got a lot of greetings. Some runners would recognize me and see me in person for the first time and tried to start some conversation. Others would try to pace with me. Others would make me as their “target”.
At the Km #9, I briefly stopped and walked after I was fed up hearing the sound of dangling keys and coins from one of the runners behind me. The runner asked me why I stopped and I answered him that I could not stand the noise from his noisy keys & coins! When the runner was about 50 meters away infront, I started to run again. At Km #11, I passed the runner and increased my pace. I would never see him again.
On those fly-overs, I would pass more runners! I asked one of the runners who was pacing with me to pass two runners in triathlon suits as we attacked the fly-overs. The other runner nodded and we attacked the fly-overs and I left him halfway on the uphill portion while I overtook the two triathletes. I never saw the runner and two triathletes after that incident.
Believe me, I was having fun during the run. I overtook more runners in the Aid/Water Stations as I would not stop because of the handheld “Sprint” Nathan Bottle on my left hand with my cowbell on my right hand. To add more fun to the run, I would ring my cowbell to most of the ultra runners whom I would meet along the route. I even cheered to the top Pinoy runners using my cowbell. In short, I was running and at the same time cheering everybody with my cowbell!
Soon enough, I was nearing the Finish Line. I tried to be relaxed as much as possible after I thought of those previous deaths in running events. One runner died last year in the MILO Finals Half-Marathon; another runner died in the Los Angeles “Rock N Roll” Half-Marathon last October; two runners died in the latest Philadelphia Marathon (one is in his late 20s and the other is a triathlete in his mid-40s); and another runner died in the latest SC Singapore Marathon. All these deaths happened on the last 2 kilometers of the race and/or after crossing the Finish Line. I found out later in my readings that experts would suggest not to “sprint” or do your “extraordinary fastest pace” on the last 800-1,000 meters of the race. Such action might do harm to the heart’s functioning. Don’t pay attention to what the EMCEE is telling to all the runners that “you are almost there” which would trigger you to start sprinting to the Finish Line. Runners should be calm and relaxed as one approaches the finish line!
What could be more relaxing than having a smile, ringing my cowbell, and waving my other arm/palm to the other runners and crowd as I approached and crossed the Finish Line? None! I finished the race in 2:09:25 hours which is a great improvement from my QCIM Half-Marathon result. After I got my medal, swags, and certificate, my day was complete!
I found out later in the results that I placed #343 overall among the 1,432 runners who finished the race. I could not believe that I was able to overtake/pass 1,089 runners during the race. So far, so good!
So far, MILO Marathon is still the premier marathon race in the country! Congratulations to Nestle, Phils and RunRIO for a job well done!
Note: Thanks to Angelo Lagumbay & Angelo Maravilla for the Pictures
Last year, I finished the 2nd QCIM Marathon in 4:30+ hours and I liked the very challenging route where runners would experience running inside the UP Complex, on the wide and rolling terrain of Commonwealth Avenue and within the La Mesa Dam Area. I did not have much training in preparation for this event as I wanted to experience running through the whole course. You can read my Race Report here.
As a QCIM “loyalist”, I really wanted to join the Full Marathon but due to my rest and recovery after joining the 1st Bakersfield Ultra Marathon Madness (BUMM) 32-Mile Trail Run in Bakersfield, California, I had “zero” training for the said distance. Instead, I decided to join the Half-Marathon event. I treated this race as part of my “base endurance” training in preparation for future events in the coming year. This is an event that would “kick start” my incoming season of running. (Note: If you noticed in my pictures that I was wearing a Running Visor, that could be a hint for a serious training to come!)
The race started at 4:30 AM and I focused on my plan to treat this event as a LSD run. I always remind myself at the starting line to stay relaxed as much as possible during the race. My first 5 kilometers were very relaxing as I joined most of the average runners at the back. I was averaging a pace of 7:00+ minutes per kilometer on those first 5 kilometers and I was having fun!
Sometimes I break some time-tested “lessons learned” in running. Whenever, I run the QCIM, I always use newly-bought running shoes and most of the time, these shoes are not categorized as running shoes on paved roads. Last year, I used the New Balance MT 101 trail running shoes and it passed the test on my feet and legs. No soreness, blisters and injury using a light, thin-soled, and almost “zero-drop” trail shoes. Last Sunday, I used the New Balance XC 700 which is considered as a Cross Country Running Shoes. It has some rounded-tipped “spikes” on its sole which one could feel as it is being used for the first time. However, after a few pounding on the ground, the feet would be used to the feeling and it would eventually disappear.
From Km 6 up to the Finish Line, I gradually increased my pace within the 6:20 minutes to 6:50 minutes, average pace per kilometer. I barely took a glance on my GF 305 watch as I was running on how my body feels during the run. Basically, I was having fun and tried to be relaxed as much as possible. My first two swimming lessons had greatly contributed on my ability to run on a more relaxed manner! For the first time, I was surprised to experience the feeling of being relaxed throughout the run. No pressure, no competition, no whining, no “target” time to think of, no cursing on the lack of water cups on the Aid Stations and no “target/s” infront to overtake. The feeling was just like running as if I was alone in a trail and enjoying the views around!
With such experience and relaxed running, I did not know that I was already approaching the Finish Line! Finally, I crossed the Finish Line with an official time of 2:20:50 hours. It could be my slowest Half-Marathon Race but the feeling of running relaxed and following/focusing my race plan was a great experience.
Thank you, RUNNEX, SMDC and Quezon City for a successful conduct of the 3rd QCIM Marathon.
Note: Thanks to LeStSky Runner and Pinoy Fitness for the Pictures they posted at Facebook!
4:30 AM December 5, 2010/2nd QC International Marathon
Last year, I ran the Half-Marathon of this event with my daughter, Jovelle, and I was on a pacer-crew mode. This was my last long run before I tapered off for the 2009 Subic International Marathon where I finished in sub-4 hours. The route was totally different then as most of the runners would run towards the Trinoma Mall area before reaching the Finish Line inside the Quezon Memorial Circle. Continue reading →
I got qualified for the MILO Marathon FINALS to be held on December 12, 2010.
I registered for the MILO Provincial Qualifying Half-Marathon Race in Tarlac City which was scheduled yesterday, Sunday, November 7, 2010. My plan was to use the MILO Half-Marathon as my Performance Evaluation Test for the training adjustments I’ve made after my 4:39+ hours Marathon Finish at the CAMSUR Marathon last September 24th.
After comparing my past marathon times for the past years, I was able to make some conclusions and observations about some flaws in my training since I’ve started doing ultramarathon races. I decided to return to my training workouts during the year 2008 and strictly followed Jack Daniels Running Formula. One of the salient points in my adjustments is to make sure that my “Easy Runs” should have an average pace of 5:45 minutes per kilometer and gradually decreasing it by 3-5 minutes every week until I was able to reach 5:12 mins/km pace few days before race day. Obviously, my tempo runs’ and interval training average paces had been adjusted, too! My tempo runs would average to 4:55-5:10 mins/km pace through my regular 5K tempo run repeats.
After six weeks of consistent training and being focused to my average pace in my workouts, I was able to finish the MILO Half-Marathon in 1:47:47 hours (unofficial) with an average pace of 5:07 mins/km. I still have 12:13 minutes to spare within my qualifying time of 2 hours for the said distance. I think I am in the right track again with my training to become faster and stronger in my future races. I was satisfied with the result of my Performance Evaluation Test on this race.
I was surprised to see that there were a lot of runners in the Tarlac City MILO Qualifying Leg. My ultra running friends were also there to include some of the BDM 102 “veterans”. But what made me amazed and impressed was the presence of MILO/Nestle, Phils Executives/Managers who were directly manning the Start/Finish Area making sure that control and orderliness were being followed. MILO’s Andrew Neri and RACE’s Rudy Biscocho were there to see to it that the schedule of activities was being followed on the dot. At the turn-around point (10.5K), I saw MILO’s Pat Goc-ong who was personally handing out ice-cold Gatorade drinks to every runner that approached him. He even cheered each runner! I could not believe my eyes seeing these top executives of MILO/Nestle, Phils., doing such stuffs to the runners! To MILO/Nestle, Phils., my congratulations for another successful MILO event!
I have to admit that this is my first time to be a “legitimate” MILO Marathon FINALS qualifier. In the past, I failed to qualify as I joined the Full Marathon Qualifying Races and failed also when I tried to qualify in the Half-Marathon which was held in my hometown, Laoag City in 2008. It was an accomplishment to be finally qualified to the most prestigious marathon race in the country.
June 12, 2010 112th Independence Day Celebration @ The Fort
My last road race in Metro Manila was the Century Tuna Half-Marathon on February 21, 2010 which was held at The Fort. However, I was able to finish a 50K Ultramarathon Road Race in Jeju Island, South Korea on March 27, 2010 and since then I stopped joining 10K, 15K and Half-Marathon Races. After the Jeju run, my running workouts were geared towards my preparation for the 34th MILO Marathon Elimination Race on July 4, 2010. As part of my training, I decided to join this Half-Marathon Race in order to break-in my running shoes (ASICS Gel-Tarther) and apparel (ASICS running shorts & singley) for the MILO Marathon. The cheap registration fee and my plan to test my race strategy for the next full marathon were also the reasons why I joined this race.
I am a sucker for running events that celebrate historic events in our country plus its advocacy to end poverty ( the white “ONE” band that I am using on my right wrist is the world’s symbol for the advocacy to “make poverty a history”) which I am trying to adhere to with the small contributions I’ve been doing through my projects like “Donate A Shoe”; “Donate A Shirt”; and my Elite Team Bald Runner. In short, I just wanted a simple road race to assess my training and at the same time celebrate a historic event for the country.
But from the Start of the Race, it showed some signs of “dangers” to come! All the runners (21K, 15K, 10K, & 5K) were mixed together in the coral which means that all the runners shall start at the same time. And it happened. Some group of runners started the race ahead without any command or the sound of a starting gun. Although the race started a few minutes late (5:36 AM), the rest of the runners just simply started running from the starting line without even hearing a countdown from the Emcee!
From the start, I was able to maintain my pace within the 5:15-5:40 minutes per kilometer average pace except at Km 3 & 4 where I was able to register a pace of 4:45 mpk. The race strategy was to be able to finish the first 10K in 55 minutes and slowly picking up the pace on the last 10K of the race and be able to finish the race in slightly above 1:45 hours. However, when I and the other 21K runners reached the 15K mark, we were lost! We tried to ask for assistance from the route marshal but they could not give us the correct directions. There were ignorant of the race route. They just simply told us to proceed to where the runners were going!
That was it! The runners were lost. I was lost, too! I was already out of focus and just simply wanted to finish the race! My companion and I went around the “bigger loop” at The Fort for two times before reaching the Finish Line. My GF 305 registered a distance of 18.2 kilometers!
I got my Finisher’s Medal but I was not proud to wear it. After I changed my wet running apparel, I went nearer to the event stage to find out who is the Race Organizer/Director. I was not surprised to hear from the Emcee that the Race Organizer/Director was Mr Franco Atienza…again? Well, the “usual suspect” is confirmed to be responsible with “fucked-up” race routes in the past road races and the traces of lack of water cups and short length of water aid stations for a thousands of runners were still there despite the complaints from participating runners.
My GF 305 registered a time of 1:35:18 for the distance of 18.2K. It is not a fast time/PR but I know I can be faster if I did not relax and slowed my pace after I was lost. My running shoes and apparel were great and they passed the test. I am confident that they will help me in another successful marathon finish on July 4th.
Race Organizers/Directors who do not learn from their past mistakes and “lapses” should get LOST from conducting races that honor “heroes & patriots” of our country. This road race was supposed to be a “Gathering Of Patriots” not a “gathering of LOST runners”!!!
The race started 12 minutes ahead of schedule and I liked it. I checked-in very early at the starting line thinking that I could meet some friends as I stayed at the middle portion of the runners. A number of runners greeted me and after a few seconds before the starting gun was fired, I moved at the front area talking to some of the elite runners.
As soon as the gun was fired, I removed my singlet and threw it to my staff at the sidelines and started my GF 305 as I passed the lined up carpet for the RFID Champion Chip tied on my right shoe lace. From the starting line, I was running “half-naked”. I started too quick so that I could not be bothered with the rest of the runners. Immediately, I was able to maintain an ample space where I could run at my pace without being crowded by other runners. It was still too dark that I could not identify the faces of those runners who would pass me and those who are on my sides.
At the first 5 kilometers, I could sense that I was running faster than 5:00 mins per km and tried to slow down to preserve my strength for the second half of the race. I tried to maintain my pace at 5:00 to 5:15 mpk but my pace would reach up to 5:30 mpk when I ran uphill and during my brief run at the Heritage Park.
At Halfway, I was joined by Jonel & Junrox but Jonel went ahead of us as he increased his pace at Lawton Avenue. While inside the Heritage Park, Natz joined us up to near the Finish Line. The picture above was taken by one of the takbo.ph peeps. Thanks for the picture.
I started and finished the half-marathon race “half-naked” as what I promised to do in my previous post. Nobody cautioned me. Nobody from the road marshals tried to stop me. But I received a lot of cheers from bystanders and audience once I entered the Heritage Park. I also received favorable comments from my runner-friends as I met them along the route. Maybe it’s because I am totally different from the others or maybe, I looked “funny” as an old bald man running “half-naked”! hahaha! Other runners would ask me if I am the father of Derek Ramsey! Yes, you are right, dude! hehehe!
I finished the race in 1:47:51 hours (unofficial time) based from my GF 305. My average pace was 5:06 mpk and the distance registered at 21.1 kilometers. My finish time is a big improvement from my Cebu City Half-Marathon by almost 10 minutes.
This race gave me so much confidence that I am back in road racing again after my injury last November 2009. Basing from the result of this race, I could already train for my next full marathon and try to qualify for the 2010 MILO National Marathon Finals. The previous Condura Marathon last February 7 was considered as a long run without so much speed-endurance and it prepared me for my “adventure run” from Manila to Baguio City. The objective in the MILO Marathon Eliminations is to be able to finish the race in 3:45 hours!
On the winners of the different races, the Elite Team Bald Runner did not win any place in the top 3 runners of the 21K Race. The race was won by Ed “Vertek” Buenavista and two Kenyan runners were ranked 2nd & 3rd Place. In the 10K Race, Alquin Bolivar & Frank Indapan of Team BR won 2nd & 3rd Place, respectively. In the 5K Race, Gerald Sabal & Jujet De Asis of Team BR won 1st & 2nd Place. In the ladies category, Cora Salcedo of Team BR won 3rd Place in the 3K Race.