Running Kit Of Thomas Combisen @ The 2020 HK4TUC

4 02 2020

Running Kit Of Thomas Combisen @ 2020 HK4TUC

The running kit of Thomas in last year’s (2019) HK4TUC did not change in this year’s edition except for his Hydration Vest and Shoes. Even for his nutrition and hydration, they had been the same but there are some things that we need to add.

Thomas decided not to use the Salomon S-Lab Sense 5-Liter Hydration Vest that he used in last year’s HK4TUC because it was already loose for him and wanted to use the one he always used in his trail and road ultras in the past which is the Mountain Hardwear Fuel 3-Liter Hydration Vest/Pack. If I remember right, I bought the same Hydration Vest three years ago at the Columbia Store in SM Megamall and it is still with me except that the zippers in the pockets are stuck and non-operational already. As I googled this item while writing this post, this particular model is no longer in the market and the brand had already stopped making them.

As compared to the Hydration Vests and Packs that the other runners used in this event, Thomas hydration pack/vest was very small in capacity but I was surprised that it was able to accommodate the Salomon Waterproof Jacket, his food, cellphone, a Windbreaker Jacket, Hydration bottles, handy water filtration unit, Headlights, and other miscellaneous things that Thomas needed in every trail leg. It is surprising to see the big back pocket with zipper could expand to accommodate everything. Since the hydration pack/vest has two mid-rib belts which are not stretchable, Thomas can tighten them to be always snugged on his body. Thomas did not use those Race Belts with pockets which is very popular among trail runners nowadays.

Thomas With His Mountain Hardwear Fuel 3-Liter Hydration Vest/Pack (Photo By Photo Guava)

Thomas shirts during the event are our PAU Shirts By Bluprint (Imported Brand) but the Logo is printed locally. He used 3 PAU shirts (white, dark gray, & black) during the event and a shirt from Kalenji/Decathlon. He did not change his NIKE Running Shorts with PAU Logo Patch and RP Flag Patch throughout the event but he always change his underwear with the Decathlon’s Kalenji’s Under Shorts every time he starts a new trail leg. Throughout the event, he was consistently using the Injinji Socks and changed them every time he starts a new trail leg.

The day before the event, Rowell Campos brought us to Cam2Sports Store in Mongkok to buy a new pair of running shoes for Thomas. He was looking for an ALTRA Lone Peak 3.0 which he intends to use for the event. Thomas was lucky to find the remaining one pair of ALTRA Lone Peak 3.0 shoes  available in the store which was ON SALE at 50% discount. This is the shoes that Thomas used for the 2 Trail Legs of the event (MacLehose & Wilson Trails). It was only in the Hong Kong and Lantau Trails that he used his old ALTRA Lone Peak 3.0 shoes. It was at the Hong Kong and Lantau Trails that Thomas started using his Compressport Compression Calf Sleeves. He did not use any shoe gaiters along the course.

Thomas With His New ALTRA Lone Peak 3.0 Shoes, Kalenji Shirt, & Salomon Jacket

As for his headlamp, Thomas was using a LedLenser Headlamp and another extra one which I could guess to be a regular Black Diamond Headlamp. He used his headlamp at the MacLehose, Wilson, and Hong Kong Trails. In his Lantau Trail, I gave him my Lupine Headlamp which he wore from the start until he reached the lighted portion of Mui Wo Road, near the Finish Line. The rechargeable battery was drained when Thomas gave it back to me. He could have used its High Beam which is 700 Lumens throughout his run/hike along the Lantau Trail. Thomas did not have any negative feedback on the use of his headlamps during those nights that he was on the trails.

Water Dispenser Near Public Comfort Rooms/Country Park

As for his hydration needs, Thomas did not have any problem where to replenish his hydration needs, in terms of water or sports/cola drinks. He used his portable filtration unit in places where he can get water in streams in the mountains and in Public Comfort Rooms/Toilets’ faucets. He uses also his Octopus Card to get or buy what he wanted in those Vending Machines available in the vicinity of the Comfort Rooms in each Country Park Facility that he passes. There are also Free Source of Drinking Water which he observed as new additional structure within the vicinity of each Comfort Rooms/Toilets along the trail. And there are commercial establishments in the villages along the trail that Thomas can stop and order some hot food. Thomas can also stop to buy or order some solid foods in commercial establishments in the MTR Stations. There is always a 7-11 Store or Convenience Store in these MTR Stations. It is necessary that a runner in this race has some some Cash and Octopus Card with him during the event.

Picture I Took With Thomas & Photo Guava Before The Start Of Lantau Trail

His food in his pack consisted of “Tikoy” (Rice Cake) from Bicol which we personally ordered for him, “Rice Cakes” (Chinese) from the 7-11 Store, Sky Flakes, Snickers, Yakult, Springs Gels, and Apples. All of these were packed inside the Hydration Pack of Thomas!

Thomas had been alternately using a Visor Cap (during day time) and a Running Cap (during nighttime) to cover his head. However, I have never seen him use any Buff/Neck Gaiter in all his runs in the past and in this event, to include last year’s HK4TUC. 

Before he started the Lantau Trail, I gave him my GIRO Cycling Gloves which I know will give him warmth for his palms/fingers during the night and as he approaches the freezing winds of the Lantau Peak and Sunset Peak.

After the event, Thomas and I discussed the things that we should improve on and the things we should learn from his experience this year. He told me that he slowed down significantly at the Hong Kong Trail due drowsiness that brought him “hallucination” moments and the cold/freezing winds during the night. The strong, cold and freezing winds at the Lantau Trail had also slowed him down that he had to stop and take a nap, only to be awaken that he was already lying on the floor in one of the Pagodas/Rest Huts along the trail.

After a thorough discussion, I recommended him some solutions for his problems and we will use them in next year’s Thomas participation in the 10th edition of the HK4TUC.





Gear Review: Uniqlo Heat Tech Crew Neck Long-Sleeve Shirt

17 01 2020

Some of my subscribers to this blog have requested me to feature Gear Reviews on the Apparel/Running Kit that I am using in my races, running workouts and hikes. And so for this year 2020, I am featuring my first Gear Review whose brand name is not so popular as a Sports brand name and it is considered as a brand for Casual Wear. This is the UNIQLO brand which had been introduced in this country few years ago and had expanded in almost all the key cities in the country. This is a Japanese brand and it suits to us as Asians.

For this post, I am featuring the UNIQLO HeatTech Crew Neck Long-Sleeve Shirt which I bought few weeks ago purposely as a casual wear, an inside shirt, for my Business Suit/Coat which I intend to use during my International Flights outside the country. Actually, I bought three (3) pieces of this shirt. I got the Dark Green, Red, and Blue colors. Each has a tag price of P 790, a price which is very much cheaper than any of the long-sleeve shirts with a popular sports brand name.

UNIQLO Red Long Sleeve Crew Shirt

It says in its item specification that the shirt is light and warm but not bulky. It has cropped sleeves and stay hidden under shirts or jacket, if used as an undershirt when wearing under a jacket, coat or another buttoned shirt. The comfort features include bio-warming, insulating, moisturizing, moisture-wicking, anti-static, anti-microbial and self-deodorizing. The material of the shirt is stretchy and has a shape-retaining material. I got size SMALL and it feels comfortable to my body as it is not fitted like a compression shirt.

At noon time today, I went out from my house for a two-hour hike into the hills and along the slopes of Mt Roosevelt (the highest elevation in my Playground which is almost 2,000 feet above sea level). As a part of my training, I was carrying a backpack with a weight of 24 pounds of water bottled in four 2-liter bottles and an additional frozen water in one 1-liter bottle. I was carrying also some trail foods and a cellphone.

Having started at noontime, the sun was hot and the sky was without clouds, I was surprised that I started to perspire after two kilometers of intense hiking on a continuous uphill terrain. I usually start to perspire after running for one kilometer. But with the heavy weight I was carrying, I thought I would perspire after hiking a few meters from the gate of my compound. The shirt was very comfortable as I started to perspire as I was going up to Mt Roosevelt as I passed the distance of two kilometers. Even if the color of my shirt was in dark green, the feeling of my skin from the shirt was not too hot but it was cooler than what I expected. It was only after I reached the peak of a hill where the base of an electric power tower is located that I felt that I was drenched with perspiration. I reached this peak in 1:05+hours and I decided to have this place as my turn-around point.

I decided to bring down my backpack and bring out the trail food and my cellphone at the base of this electric transmission tower for some rest, hydration and ingest my nutrition. My UNIQLO shirt was entirely wet from my perspiration but I have observed that the damp of my shirt provided me the coolness to my body. After a few minutes of eating, drinking and taking some “selfies” from my cellphone, I started my hike again and back to where I started.

Even if it was too hot while I was on my way back, I still feel that my body was so fresh and refreshed by the damp shirt. The wet shirt has a cooling effect to my body and I felt I was not perspiring while I was hiking on the downhill and uphill. I finally reached the gate of my compound after 2:17+ minutes. As I removed the shirt from my body, I have observed that the shirt did not retain much moisture and it was very light as compared to other moisture-wicking shirts from popular sports brand names where they are very heavy once they are drenched with my perspiration.

With the price of 790 Pesos, the shirt has  eight (8) colors: White, Light Gray, Dark Gray, Black, Red, Dark Green, Blue, and Navy. I am planning to look for a white color for this Uniqlo shirt in my next visit to their store.

With its cheap price, comfortability, and lightness when wet, I am highly recommending this Uniqlo shirt for Ultra Runners, whether they are on the road or trails.

Mountain Hiking With UNIQLO Dark Green Long Sleeve Crew Shirt

(Note: I am NOT a Sponsored User of UNIQLO Products)

 





Shoe Review: Kalenji “Run Support” Running Shoes, White & Black

30 08 2019

Shoe Review: Kalenji “Run Support” Running Shoes White & Black

It took for my Running Friend Jon Las Bruce of Decathlon to post a picture of the said running shoes (White Model) for me to be attracted to the shoes. Maybe it was because of the color White or maybe I need a reason to visit the Decathlon Store for the first time after months that this Sports Store (From France) has landed in the country. But most importantly, it was the price of the said shoes that really nailed the coffin, so to speak, to get a pair of this shoes. With a simple Private Message to JLB, he was able to reserve one pair for my size of 9.5 (US). Once I was in Manila, my priority was to get and buy the said shoes. 

After about one week of running and testing the White Model in my training for the 2019 Boston Marathon which was two weeks before the event, I was surprised on its cushioning, fit for comfort, and lightweight of the shoes. The cushioning is better than the average feeling that I get from my other road shoes. The fit was perfect because the uppers are very light and there are holes or spaces that provide better ventilation for my feet as I can feel air would flow inside the shoes through these spaces. The upper mesh provided maximum comfort because it is stretchable and it has minimal seams. It feels also that I thought I was running with my lighter racing shoes as the shoes weighs 263+ grams for my size of 9.5.

My White Kalenji Run Support Shoes

Later, I found out that there is a Black version of the said shoes and I immediately contacted JLB of Decathlon to reserve one pair of the said color which I will get as soon as I visit Metro Manila. Who would be happy to have two pairs of this particular model of Kalenji Running Shoes when the price is equivalent to 1/3 of the price of the other popular brands of running shoes? Yes, I became a sucker for this particular shoe model of Kalenji. Cheap, durable, comfortable, light, with much cushion and a 2-year warranty of the shoes are enough reasons for me to have these shoes in my Running Arsenal. The price of One Thousand Nine Hundred Ninety Pesos for a pair is a stunner!

Well-Grooved and Sturdy Soles

I am not much of a technical person for me to mention to you the materials  used in the composition of the uppers, sole, linings, shoe laces, width of the forefoot/toe box, and stack height (difference on the thickness of the heel  and forefoot parts of the shoes). I have a feeling that the stack height of this particular model is 8-10 mm which is very good for my old feet. I had been bothered by my Achilles Tendinitis on my right foot when I run long distances on the road and I found out that the higher stack height would relieve the pain during my runs. That is one of bonuses or advantage of this shoes as compared to my other running shoes. The bottom line is that this Kalenji Running Shoes is a WINNER!

Reflectorized Kalenji Logo and Strip on The Shoe Tongue

Wait! Before I forget, these shoes have also reflectorized strips on the back/heel portion and front of the uppers. The Kalenji Logo with a strip on the tongue of the shoes would glow when a light is being directed to the shoes, the same with reflectorized strips at the back of the shoes. With these strips, you can be visible during your night running and thus, gives safety for the user from incoming faster moving vehicles at your front or behind you.

Up to this date, I have already ran more than 200 Kilometers for each of these shoes. Sometimes, I would combine the shoes, White on my right /left feet and the other Black on the other feet while running in my Playground! Yes, I usually use them also in my Trail Loop in my Playground and they give me much comfort and support to my old knees! By doing this combination of colored shoes in my running workouts, I would give them what they deserve on equal basis. After almost five (5) months of running with these shoes, I could barely see any wear and tear on their soles as compared to my Hoka One One “road to trail” shoes. Lately, during my running “stunt” at this year’s MILO Marathon, I used the Black Model of this particular shoes when I finished the MILO Half-Marathon running with a suit and tie.

My Black Kalenji Run Support (I am Size 43!)

It is a regret on my part not being able to decide to buy the RED model of this shoes when I saw it in the Decathlon Store in Mongkok, Hongkong. Maybe, I would buy this particular shoes in the future but how I wish I could buy and try their KIPRUN Trail shoes, too!

I highly recommend this shoes for daily running workouts, as well as, in short distance races. They are my GO running shoes when I decide to hit the paved roads when I do my tempo runs in preparation for my ultra tail events.

Why not? Running With the Kalenji Run Support Shoes White & Black At The Same Time

(Note: Buying my first Black Kalenji “Run Support” Shoes was my first visit to a Decathlon Store in the Philippines and since then I have been going back to the same store at Tiendesitas, Pasig City and when I go abroad, the first thing that I would ask “Google” is the location of the Decathlon Store in the city! Since then, I would buy some of my running attire from Decathlon. They are very cheap and you can get the best quality in terms of durability and comfort. Wow! Thanks to Jon Las Bruce and to the rest of the running staff of the said store for their immediate assistance whenever I visit the place. Of course, I paid for these Kalenji Shoes and I never had thought of getting FREE items in the store for my reviews. And one more thing, all the Decathlon Stores have a customers lounge where one could sit and relax, and also enjoy their Free Wi-Fi. Whenever I visit Hongkong, the Decathlon Store in Mongkok is my favorite “meet-up” place for those Pinoy runners.)





Why I Love “Onitsuka Tiger” Sneakers

29 08 2019

Why I Love “Onitsuka Tiger” Sneakers

It was in the later part of December last year that the Onitsuka Tiger Page on Facebook appeared in my News Feed and I found out that the famous Japanese sneakers brand had re-created my first ASICS Running Shoes in the early 80s as their California 78 Model (and later as Ultimate 81 Model) which was their new model for the year-end season. The following day, I tried to recall where I stored those old Onitsuka Tiger sneakers that I bought few years ago in the US which had been with me for the past 15-20 years. I was able to bring out two pairs of them, one for trail running and another one is a complete replica/copy of the GT model that was very popular as cushioned running shoes of ASICS with the popular Red and Blue Logo of the brand. I found out that I had these two shoes repaired by stitching the sole with the uppers by a local shoe repair guy making them more durable in the coming years of use. I consider them as my Vintage Collection of Onitsuka Tiger Sneakers.

Vintage OT Mexico 66 (USA)

Vintage OT Mexico 66 Trail Running Shoes

I tried using them in my casual wear for the next few days and they were still comfortable using them with some concerns if I use them for a longer period during the day, like driving and walking in the Shopping Malls. I observed that the cushion of the insoles are no longer the same when they were new and they seem to be in shorter size as I suspect that my shoe size had increased by half an inch for the past years that I have been running ultra trails and roads. So, I decided to look where I could find and buy the latest models of the said shoe brand in Metro Manila. However, to add more curiosity about the brand, I would join the Facebook Group of Onitsuka Tigers users in the Philippines. (Note: I will mention my observation about this group on the later part of this post).

In one of my stays in Metro Manila, I finally decided to visit the Brand Store of Onitsuka Tiger at the Shangrila Mall which is located at the 2nd Floor. On my first visit to the store, I was able to buy two pairs of their classic models: Red California 78 Model, a re-creation of my GMT shoes in the early 80s and their White Leather Mexico 66 with the Red and Blue Stripes Logo. These two models had a great and significant history in the world of running. You can “google” them if want to know more of the details, most specially if you are an average and competitive runner. The Onitsuka Tiger’s Mexico 66 Model became popular as the running shoes of Champions and Medalists in the Olympic Games 1968, 1972, and up to this date. (Note: NIKE would not be in the world of sneakers and running shoes without the Onitsuka Tiger and the rest is history).

The Classic OT Mexico 66 With The Red & Blue Stripes

By wearing these two classic shoes, I thought I was brought back to those years that I was starting to be a runner and being a competitive marathon runner in late 70s and early 80s. Although, I could only muster to have a best time of 17+minutes of 5K; 45-minute plus in 10K; 1:30+hours in half-marathon; and 3:30+hours of Marathon, I did not have any dream then of becoming a faster runner because of my work then in the military service. But at the back of my mind, I tried and failed to reach the qualifying times for my age in the prestigious Boston Marathon. The ASICS shoes and the Brand Logo of Red and Blue stripes were symbols of durability and comfort to all the runners then which I think up to these days are being maintained by the company.

It was in the first quarter of this year that I intently researched on the models of this brand which brought me to buy more of them. Oh, well, I bought more of their classic ones like the “Kill Bill” Yellow Leather Shoes (Mexico 66 Tai Chi) and the OT Shoes (Corsair) that was copied by NIKE which came up as the CORTEZ Model which is more popularly known as the NIKE Forrest Gump Running Shoes. I bought this OT model at the OT Brand Store in Causeway Bay, Hongkong last February 2019. (Note: Only to find out that this particular model shoes was available in the local market after two week from my trip to Hongkong).

OT Nippon Made That I Bought

Not being able to wait to make a trip to Japan this year, I decided to buy a Leather Shoes Made In Japan  (Nippon Made) of Mexico 66 Model at the OT Shangrila Store before I left for the Boston Marathon last April. The price is more expensive than buying this particular model in Japan but I promised myself that this will be my last pair of OT. I have lost count in the number of pairs that I bought before I had this pair that is Made In Japan (Nippon Made). Most the shoes being sold in the local market are  Made In Vietnam but they have the same comfort and durability that the brand is known for.  

The leather Made In Japan shoes that I bought is already my favorite shoes for my casual wear most specially if I am wearing my Red Pants. I used it during my trip in USA & Italy and I found them very comfortable and classy. I will be using them again in my next trips to Europe and the United States.

I broke my promise not to buy anymore of these shoes after I purchased the OT Made In Japan. I think I bought two pairs again two weeks ago.

I have removed myself already from the OT Facebook Group so that I would not be tempted to buy again. It is also irritating to see some members posting their OT finds in “Ukay-Ukay” asking the members if they Legit or not and some are posting Fake ones For Sale.

Wearing Mt OT Sneakers In My Trips

It is my plan to buy another pair of Made In Japan (Nippon Made) among its Classic Models if ever I will have a chance to visit Japan again, maybe by next year. Wearing this brand, aside from its comfort and durability, this brand looks classy on whatever I wear in my casual clothes. And also remember those days that I was a young, faster, and stronger runner. Wow!





Carl Don Rudas, Jr: The Running “Security Guard”

27 08 2019

Carl Don Rudas, Jr: The Running “SecurityGuard”

It is not my style or habit to be asking the personal life of each runner who joins my Running Events even if they become a regular member of the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU). However, one of my consistent participants in all my ultra road races for the past two years had been asking from me the permission for him to finish the race in a Security Guard attire and I usually give him the approval. Through these requests and his Facebook posts, it is obvious that he is really a Security Guard.

Carlito Don Rudas Jr is one of the few awardees of the PAU 100-Mile Grand Slam Award since its creation. He got the Award for all the 100 Milers Finishes for the year 2018 when he finished the Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Race; West Coast 200K Endurance Run; Antique 100-Mile Endurance Run; and the 2019 Bataan Death March 160K Ultramarathon Race. He is consistently at the “Back of the Pack” but he makes sure that he finishes his races within the prescribed Cut-Off Time. So many stories and observations about the grit and tenacity of this runner speak volumes of the character and attitude of this guy.

It was in the 2018 West Coast 200K Endurance Run, where I shortened the cut off time from 48 hours to 42 hours, that I personally met his Boss who came all the way from Valenzuela, Bulacan to support and crew for him during his run on the last 100 kilometers. He finished hours before the cut off time and he was a Podium Finisher, Overall 2nd Runner-Up! Through my conversation with his Boss (a Chinese-Filipino businessman in Valenzuela, Bulacan), I found out that he is an all-around “assistant” in a warehouse and is considered and treated as a part of the family. Through his Facebook posts, I could see that there are times that Carl would be in his Boxing Gloves doing some Boxing drills and spars by himself. He would post also some pictures of him carrying heavy loads in bags inside the warehouse where he works. This guy had been busy doing all those Cross Training Workout while he is doing his job and in preparation for his races.

Aside from joining our PAU Races, he is a popular running figure in shorter running distance events being held in Metro Manila because he starts and finishes in a Security Guard attire using the authorized Dress/Duty Shoes, instead, of using a pair of Road Running Shoes. He told me that he ran in last year’s MILO Marathon Manila Eliminations in the said attire but he finished beyond the cut-off time. However, for this year, he came back with a vengeance and he was able to finish the Marathon Race few minutes before the cut-off time of 6 hours. This shows the character and attitude of this guy where failure makes him more motivated to come back and finish the job with flying colors! 

In the first edition of the Manila To Pagudpud 580K Ultramarathon which is now considered as the Longest Footrace in the Philippines, Carl finished the said race with almost 10 minutes before the cut-off time of 135 hours last June of this year. He is one of the 14 runners which started the race in Rizal Park in Luneta, Manila and finished as the last runner among the 6 Finishers of the race. As told by one of his support crew, he wanted to change to his attire as a Security Guard on the last kilometer of the course but he was advised not to do so because of the tight buffer time for him to be able to cross the finish line. He finally crossed the Finish Line heeding to the advise of his support crew.

FBEFE56E-467F-48C1-B723-5AC64335999B

In last weekend’s Antique 100-Mile Endurance Race, I saw the frustration in his face for the first time when he finished beyond the cut-off time of 32 hours. He finished this race last year but the course was modified where it started in Guimbal, Iloilo and ended in Culasi, Antique. Last year’s course was more challenging because of the elevation profile (more ascents and descents at the boundary of Iloilo and Antique) and the whole time it was raining and the runners were challenged with strong winds throughout the course. As compared to this year, it was raining hard on the first 15 hours where some sections were flooded until the sky became cloudy as they reached the boundary of Aklan. The last 20K uphill climb from Nabas, Aklan to the Finish Line was a surprise to all the runners. This section is always the “waterloo” for all the runners in this event. 

In one of my conversations with him after he finished one of my races, he told me that by wearing the Security Guard attire in his races, he would be sending the message to all the Security Guards in the country that he is proud to be one and his job does not prevent him from taking care of his healthy body even if he works more than the required number of hours they are being paid on a daily basis. Being an owner and operator of a Security Agency for almost 4 years after my retirement from the service, I know the life and challenges of being a Security Guard. Through my experience and observation, this job and the people in this kind of service need more strict implementation of the Labor Code and better treatment for them to support their respective family. Next time you see a Security Guard, treat him with much respect because they contribute for your outmost safety in the establishments where you work, stay with your family, shop, and to where you bring your family out in public, as well as, in private areas and they remind you that there is orderliness and rules and regulations to follow in places where they are employed to protect.

If you ask me who are our heroes? I can safely say that the Security Guards are my heroes and Carl Don Rudas, Jr is more than special to me because he is an example of one of the best “warriors” that I have as an Ultramarathon Runner of PAU.

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“Running In A Suit” @ The Manila MILO Half-Marathon Race

26 08 2019

“Running In A Suit” @ The Manila MILO Half-Marathon Race

I have seen a runner dressed as a Butler/Waiter when I accompanied and cheered my Son during the time when he joined the New York City Marathon few years ago. I was impressed about him and I was more impressed when one of my running friends informed me that he had been a yearly participant in the said event for the past 10 years or more. Later years had passed, I saw a picture of the Japanese Runner Champion of 2018 Boston Marathon, Yuki Kawauchi, dressed in a Business Suit while running one of the Marathon Races in Japan to show or send a message that he is an elite runner who has no Corporate Sponsor but I am not sure if he is complaining or asking the corporate world of Japan to sponsor him in his participation to marathon events and support for his training. But more than that, I have seen news reports and stories in popular Running Magazines about the Guinness Record for the Fastest Runner In Business Suit.

The said “challenge” about setting the record of the fastest runner in a business suit inspired me to attempt and experience what it is like to run in a suit with a necktie. It is far from my mind to be the fastest in this attire. I just wanted to experience the feeling of running with the said attire knowing that I am already old for this feat. Actually, it had been months before that I planned to do this after I have bought the necessary pants, white shirt, necktie, and jacket/suit. I bought those things that are cheap and readily available to be worn, in short, ready made. I was not too technical and scientific about the materials used in my attire and I did not have to find out if my attire are appropriate by doing some training runs. 

It is not my intention to send the message or have the goal to be in the Guinness World of Records for being the Fastest or Oldest Runner in Business Suit or have the intention for my feat to featured in the traditional media, thereby, making me a popular topic among the runners and the public. I just wanted to experience what it is like to be running with a suit in a half- marathon and through my Facebook account and in this blog, I could encourage those in the Corporate World to embrace and start running as a form of exercise or part of a routine to make everybody healthier and more active.

After I finished the Cortina Trail 48K Ultra in Cortina D’Ampezzo, I decided to join the MILO Marathon Manila Elimination Race Half-Marathon distance. I could have joined the Marathon distance but I felt that my body was still weak after I had a flu after I finished my trail running event. Actually, I was still recovering from the run and flu when I ran the half-marathon race.

On Race Day, I purposely entered the starting area few minutes before the start of the race and tried not to be noticed by most of the runners as I was the only one who was not in the usual running attire. I positioned myself at the back of the pack and waited a few minutes for the usual pre-start activities before the race started. It took me almost two minutes to cross the Starting RFID pad to activate my start time.

I walked about a few meters as I crossed the Start Line and Andrew Neri of RunRio Events saw me in my attire and he was surprise. When the runners in front of me thinned out, I started to jog and made sure to maintain a running space all around me. After we left the MOA Complex, the road was very dark that I was not easily noticed by the runners. It was when I was running along the Roxas Boulevard that somebody shouted at me with the word “Attorney” and I just waved my right hand at him.

After running for about one kilometer, I started to feel the hard feeling of breathing through my nose and mouth because of the restriction made by the uppermost button of my white long-sleeved shirt and the necktie. The neck button and necktie were not too tight but as I breath harder with my faster pace, I felt that somebody is trying to grip his hand around my neck and sometimes I felt like I was choking. I have also maintained my suit to be buttoned with my Race Bib being pinned on top of my buttoned suit just to make sure I would not accidentally or have the urge to unbuttoned my suit/jacket. Once my visor was wet with my sweat/perspiration from my head, my sweat went down to my shirt and jacket/suit. In addition of the sweat coming from my upper body and arms, I felt I was running slowly despite the effort that I was increasing my pace.

I was able to finish 10K in 70 minutes and I thought I could maintain the pace until I finish the race even if it was far from my mind that I would be able to finish the race in 2:15 hours. After 12K, I felt that all my attire to include my socks and shoes were already wet and became heavier. My pace slowed down tremendously as if I was running uphill along a trail in the mountains. Once I reached Km 15, I was already mixing walking and jogging just to be able to reach from One Water Station to another for the much needed hydration to replenish my sweat. At Km 18, I was feeling the start of cramping on my calves that I had to stop jogging. And just walked until the cramping would disappear.

On the last two kilometers as it was already sunrise, most of the faster Marathon runners would pass me and greet me. They are surprised that I was wearing a suit during the race. One Kilometer before the Finish Line, I started to walk due to exhaustion and cramping of my calf muscles. On hindsight, I was too confident to finish the race without any problem that I brought only 4 pieces of Power Gels as my source of nutrition during the race. I should have brought twice the number of Power Gels to be able to sustain my pace and try to offset the heavy weight of my suit once they are wet from my perspiration. I crossed the Finish Line at 2:45 Hours and my legs were cramping that I had to stop and stand still for a few seconds.

With the proper training and nutrition, I will be able to pull it off again this stunt in the next running event even if I will be using a dress shoes as my running shoes. There is no need to have a “high-tech” suit to finish a Marathon or Half-Marathon Race  as I am not attempting the goal of having the fastest finish time. Who knows, there might be an Award for the Oldest Runner Finishing The Fastest Marathon Race Wearing A Suit.

As of now, I am the First Runner In A Suit who have finished the MILO Half-Marathon…and also the Oldest One!

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Trip To Hongkong (2nd Trip For 2019)

21 08 2019

Trip To Hongkong (2nd Trip For 2019) August 12-15, 2019

This is my second trip to Hongkong for this year (2019). I was in Hongkong during this year’s Chinese New Year to support the participation of Thomas Combisen in the Hongkong 4 Trails Ultra Challenge on the second week of February. Unfortunately, Thomas was not able to make the cut-off time for him to reach the last leg of the Lantau Trail during the race. I promised to Thomas to bring him back to Hongkong purposely to run the Lantau Trail which has a distance of 70 kilometers.

Weeks prior to our trip this month, news had been around about the Protests and Demonstrations that had been occuring in the different parts of Hongkong. Sine we have purchased and made our reservations for our accommodation weeks ahead, we decided to take the risk and continue with our scheduled plan for this trip.

It was supposed to be a trip for four trail runners, including myself, but two of our companions were not able to make it due to personal circumstances. The overall plan for the trip was to recon the Lantau Trail starting from Original Trailhead and from the End of the Trail going on a reverse route. We planned to do this in one day and the rest of the days will be devoted to food trip, shopping, and side trip to Macau.

We left Manila at 5:50 AM of Monday, August 12 and arrived in Hongkong at 8:00 AM. After loading some money into our Octopus Cards, we took the regular bus to Mongkok, where our regular hostel is located. We had been a regular client/customer in the said hostel since I have started joining trail running events in Hongkong. Although I have stayed in more expensive hotels in Tsim Tsai Tsui, Kennedy Town, and Jordan, I always prefer to stay in Mongkok for the authentic Chinese cuisine which are very cheap and lots of shopping in the nearby streets and Nathan Road.

Another interesting reason for this trip to Hongkong is for my new hobby of Seiko Watch Limited Edition Collection! Before this trip, I have been asking some of my FB friends who are residing in Hongkong as to where to buy these Seiko Watches and they gave me some tips. Earlier this year, I was fond of the Onitsuka Tiger sneakers and I had to look and buy a particular model in Causeway Bay. I am done already with the OT sneakers and now I am crazy with Seiko Limited Edition Watches!

Starting At The Trailhead LT Post 001

On Tuesday morning, Thomas and I took the MRT from Mongkok to Central and then walked to the Ferry Terminal Port #6 for our trip to Lantau. After one hour and half, we were at Mui Wo and walked along the Tun Chung Road going to the Trailhead of the Lantau Trail and it was already 9:30 AM. The distance from the Mui Wo Bus Terminal to the Trailhead is about 2 kilometers which is an uphill road. As we reached the trailhead, we were already sweating because of the hot/warm weather in the area. Thomas and I made an agreement for him to proceed and run the trail as fast as he can while I would hike and jog to the next trail camp and try to follow him. If in case he would determine if his target mileage for the day is done, he can just backtrack along the trail and try to find me. From there we could take the bus in going either to Tun Chung or back to Moi Wo Bus Terminal.

So, that was what we had done. From the trailhead, it was an uphill climb to Sunset Peak and then descend to the next trail camp/rest area and then cross the National Road in going to Lantau Peak. It was a very hard hike for me because of the heat and lack of training. I had to rest for three times before reaching the Sunset Peak and stopped every flowing stream to douse some cold water to my head and body. There is also a water reservoir where there was a faucet on its side that gave me lots of water to fill up my bottles and rehydrate myself. A white guy in trail shorts and shirt passed me on the first 2 kilometers of my ascent; I met two white guys and a lady going down from Sunset Peak; three white guys with big backpacks on my descent from Sunset Peak which I found later that they are from California, USA for some Para-Sailing activity in the area; and two local young guys who were taking selfies on my way down near the trail camp/rest area.

Descending From Sunset Peak

I attempted to start hiking the first kilometers towards Lantau Peak but I could no longer endure the heat of the sun and I was already exhausted due to lack of training. I went back to the waiting shed at the trail camp and wait for Thomas to arrive.

I really don’t know how many minutes I was able to doze off when Thomas arrived. Thomas was also complaining of the heat and humidity but he was happy to recon the place. He was longing for an ice cold Coke that we decided to walk towards the next village along the National Road. But to our surprise, the village was still too far that we decided to stop our hike in a Bus Stop and waited for our Bus Ride to Mui Wo.

In a few minutes, we took our Bus ride and immediately changed to dry clothes at the last row of seats inside the said bus. We went directly to the McDonalds at Mui Wo  for our first meal of the day with a Large Ice Cold Coke and Double Cheeseburger! 

After our McDo meal, we waited for our ferry ride back to Central. This time, the Ferry was an Air- Conditioned with higher fare BUT with NO Wi-Fi as compared with the slower one, cheap with Wi-Fi which we rode on our way to Lantau.

Thomas and I @ The First Resting Camp

It was good to be back to Lantau Island to run and hike after finishing the Translantau 100K for two times in the past. Well, I was then a younger and a stronger trail runner then!








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