12 06 2010

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.

PID Half-Marathon Ads

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!

Team BR-Professionals BR's Friends Before The Race Start

Most of the Runners Had Crossed The Starting Line Before The Race Started

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!

Lost & Frustrated As I Reached The Finish Line

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.

TV Series "LOST" (Photo from Wikipedia)

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”!!!

“Half-Naked” @ Century Tuna 21K Run

21 02 2010

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.

At The Starting Area With My Singlet

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.

"Half-Naked" Running @ Century Tuna 21K Run

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!

At The Finish Line

A Runner of takbo.ph accompanied me "half-naked" 200 meters from the Finish Line

 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.

CCM Pictures

12 01 2010

Alquin Bolivar Approaching The Finish Line

BR & Elite Team Bald Runner Approaching The Finish Line

 Note: Photos Courtesy Of Giovanni Salahog

“Perfect” Race in Cebu City!

10 01 2010

Cebu City Marathon 1-10-10

Cebu City Marathon was a perfect race for everybody from registration up to the awarding ceremonies. The registration and distribution of race packets gave us “no problem” as the race staff and personnel were so accommodating to every runner. There were no long lines to speak of. The carboloading party was also a “class act” to follow where the venue was at the newly-expanded “The Terrace” at the Ayala Center with choices of food available to everybody; orderly arrangements of tables and chairs for all the runners; nice Live Performance of Bands & Singers; and the very orderly and detailed conduct of the program during the party. I stayed longer in the said party because it was my first time to watch the movie “The Spirit of the Marathon” which was shown on a big screen that helped motivate the runners to finish the race where they registered or participated. 

Start of the Full Marathon @ 4:00 AM

On race day, I had to wake up at 3:00 AM to make sure the members of the Elite Team Bald Runner were ready to warm-up with a slow jog towards the Starting Line as we were coming from the CENTCOM Headquarters at Camp Lapulapu, Lahug. The distance from our place where we stayed was a good one kilometer, which is just the exact distance for a warm-up jog before doing some stretching exercises.

The Race Organizers really mean business on the day of the race. They started the Marathon Race at exactly 4:00 AM which is the published Gun Start. As always, John Pages and his co-Race Director were there at the Starting Line to make sure that everything was followed as scheduled. True enough, the Marathon Race started with a big bang! Lots of fireworks were released 10 seconds before the Starting Gun was fired by no less than John Pages. Fireworks before the Gun Start? Am I dreaming of a second New Year’s celebration? Aside from the start of the full Marathon Race, they did it again before the gun was fired off during the start of the Half-Marathon! It was my first time to experience such festive mood (with music & fireworks) in a Marathon Race during the span of my running career aside from the usual aerobics, loud music with a festive beat, and drum & percussion bands. (Note: Condura & MILO, if you read this one, this is a tough act to follow!!!)

Congressman Gilbert Remulla; Andrew Neri of MILO/NESTLE, Phil

 I have to wait one hour & ten minutes before the start of the Half-Marathon race. I was too cautious to my injury that I opted to run the Half-Marathon in order to test if I’ve recovered well since the Pasig River Marathon last November 8 last year. This Half-Marathon was my first road race after two months of rest and recovery and also my first road race for the year 2010.

While I was doing my second set of warm-up, I met Congressman Gilbert Remulla who is featured in the First Issue of the Front Runner Magazine and Mr Andrew Neri of MILO/Nestle, Phil. I had a brief chat with them and I found out that Congressman Remulla is a regular visitor in this blog. Thanks, Congressman! I hope you will greatly help us bring the sports of running down to the “grassroots” level.

A View From the Back of the Half-Marathon Runners @ The Starting Line

 It was not my intention to run the half-marathon to reach my previous PR or do 100% effort. My goal was to finish the race without my chronic muscle tear on my left calf and peroneus muscles to recur. It was a test to find out if my injury have completely healed and at the same time find out the status of my fitness level in running. This race is some kind of a “diagnostic test” after starting a training cycle for the past three weeks. In simple words, I wanted to finish the race in less than two hours without any injury with an average pace of less than six minutes per kilometer.

After the fireworks and the starting gun was fired off, I started to slowly jog until I was out of the IT Park. The first kilometer was a slow run for me as I was trying to warm-up before reaching my race pace of less than 6:00-minute per kilometer and the terrain was a slight uphill. I started to peak up my pace on my 2nd kilometer and from there I was on my “automatic cruise control” all the way towards the turn-around point at the SRP Road.

Everything you need in a road race was “perfect” as I observed during the race!  The race has a nice route passing through the city’s historical landmarks; terrain description of the course is relatively flat; lots of water stations and long tables with disposable cups filled with water, 100 Plus Sports Drinks; aid stations with sponges soaked in cold water; lots of road marshals along the route and in critical corners with flags used to point the exact direction of the runners to take; lots of traffic enforcers and police to man the intersections; exact location of kilometer markings properly marked and color-coded for the half-marathon and marathon distances; ambulance & emergency vehicles busy plying along the long stretch of the SRP Road; dancers and bands in every water station; cheerers along the route with placards written with words of encouragement; and the disciplined/cooperative drivers and riding public along the route. This is the only race that I have joined locally without hearing blaring horns of vehicles and bad words/curse coming from the mouths of drivers and the riding public whose vehicles were stuck on traffic due to the on-going race. The running or race atmosphere and environment in Cebu City was completely different from the races in Metro Manila. Moreover, the weather during the race was also perfect!

SRP Road Towards 10.5K Turn-Around Point

Running along the SRP Road was a breeze. I really did not care the smell I was breathing along the SRP Road as the smell along Roxas Boulevard and along the Pasig River are far worse. However, I was entertained by the sight and scenery of the place plus the greetings I got from the runners coming from Manila. Most of the runners from Manila joined the Cebu City Marathon Race as part of their training and preparation for the 2nd BDM 102 which will be held on March 6-7. And before these “hardcores” will join again the Condura Marathon on February 7, the same runners will join the BDM 102 “test run” from Km #0 in Mariveles, Bataan to Km #50 in Abucay, Bataan on January 23. These runners are really “hardcores”. Other runners whose faces I’ve seen for the first time would greet me along the SRP Road and I know that they are not from Manila because they greet me as “Bald Runner”. As compared from the runners in Manila, they simply greet me as “B R”. It was also along this part of the route that most of the runners overtook me and I let them go until I overtook them one by one on the last 3 kilometers from the finish line.

With The Elite Team Bald Runner

 The reason why I became faster on the last 3-4 kilometers from the Finish Line was that the members of Elite Team Bald Runner who finished their respective races met me along the way. Everybody cheered, paced, and handed me water and Gatorade drinks placed in small ice candy plastic bags until I reached the last 500 meters before the Finish Line. Some of my runners would also take pictures of me running with the other members.

Last 1.5 Kms To The Finish Line

Last 400 Meters To The Finish Line

 I finished the Half-Marathon Race in 1:57:35 hours, Official Time, and ranked #53 among the 354 finishers. My average pace was 5:35 minutes per kilometer and with an average HR of 159 beats per minute. I was happy that I was able to finish the race in less than two hours without any pain or cramps from my past muscle injury. My target goals for this race were attained.

The Bald Runner is Back!!!

Cora Salcedo Won #4 in Women's 5K Race

Raul Lamprea Finished #8 and Jujet De Asis Placed #2 in the Men's 5K Race

Team Bald Runner Got #1-2-3 in the Men's 21K Race

Elmer Sabal Placed #5 & Rene Desuyo Placed #8 in the Men's 42K Race

 I can say that the performance of the Elite Team Bald Runner in this race was outstanding. In the Marathon race, Elmer Sabal placed #5 and Rene Desuyo placed #8. In the Half-Marathon, Alquin Bolivar placed #1; Crifrankreadil Indapan placed #2; and Gerald Sabal placed #3. In the 5K Men’s Category, Jujet De Asis placed #2 and Raul Lamprea placed #8 and in the 5K Women’s Category, Cora Salcedo placed #4. In due time and more focused training, we will beat the Kenyans in future marathon races. My runners are learning a lot from them.

In conclusion, the Cebu City Marathon was an outstanding road race that surpassed my expectations. From registration, distribution of race packets, carboloading party, race proper, up to the awarding ceremonies and the immediate posting of the official results, everything was “perfect”. It only proves once again the importance of the local government’s full support and involvement that makes a Marathon Race of such magnitude as a very successful event. In essence, it is the UNITY IN PURPOSE and COOPERATION of everybody that spell the difference to create an excellent result is the moral lesson in this event. Congratulations to City Mayor Tomas Osmena and his City Council, John Pages & his Co-Race Directors & Staff, Cebu Executive Runners Club, the Race Sponsors, Volunteers, and to all the Cebuanos for a job well-done!!!

Happy Sinulog Festival!!!

Team Bald Runner will be back for the 2nd edition of the Cebu City Marathon!

1-10-10…Cebu Prep!

8 01 2010

The following pictures say what is going on in Cebu City since yesterday. The Elite Team Bald Runner arrived in full force in Cebu City for the 1st Cebu City Marathon to held this coming Sunday. This is one way of showing our support to the growing involvement of running clubs outside Metro Manila & Luzon in coming up with their full Marathon Race.

After One Hour Run From Camp Lapu-lapu

@Vicinity Starting Line Area

Ready For The Cebu Half-Marathon

My personal thanks to John Pages (www.pages.ph) and the Cebu Executive Runners Club for coming up with this race in Cebu City and for the special attention he and his staff gave us when our team received our race packets.

See you at the Carbo-loading Party at the Cebu Ayala Center tonight!

Cebu City Marathon Poster

24 12 2009


"Official Poster"

Grab Your Pictures @ NB Power Run!

29 11 2009

21 K Start

21K Runners

Jollibee @ NB Power Race

Coach Rey Antoque @ 10K Finish

Coach Rio @ 10K

Anna Vargas (Tm BR), 2nd Place Women, 10K

Capt Amado aka Reinier6666

El Kyoshi

Bobbit Manzano

Junrox aka Tigerboy

George aka The Talkative Runner

Jonel aka Bugobugo85

Michelle Estuar

Jerry Karundeng aka High Altitude

Nolan Llanora

Luis aka Gingerbread

Jael Wency


Sam aka The Running Ninja

Margaret Jade

Ms Jaymie aka The Bull Runner

Jaymie aka The Bull Runner

Bobby Go



Col Oscar Lopez, PA



Neville Manaois of Pinoy Ultra Runners

%d bloggers like this: