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Training = Stress + Recovery

19 06 2017

I really don’t know who started or formulated this formula on training. But in all the books and written publications that I have read, over and over, this formula is being mentioned repeatedly. In my own understanding of this formula is that, for me to keep on progressively and consistently improving on my running, I have to “use it or lose it” the God-given strength and endurance that I have developed through the years and mix it with the necessary rest and recovery so that my body would be stronger and better in my next period of training or running season or be “always ready” for the next race.

For this year, my successful finish at the 2017 Tarawera 100K Ultra Trail Marathon Race last February is a product of focused training since July of last year. After one month of recovery period of easy running and hiking the mountains of Los Angeles National Forest, I finished the 2017 Los Angeles Marathon with an impressive time of 4:24+ hours which surprised me, knowing that I did not have any focused speed training in preparation for this race. I guess, the stressed that I put in in my Tarawera 100K Race plus the rest & recovery that I did to my body prior to the Los Angeles Marathon, greatly helped for my body to breeze along and comfortably finished the event.

After I finished the LA Marathon, I went back to more trail running and hiking in my Playground on my own pace just to keep my body on the move on a daily basis except for Mondays which I consider as my Rest Day within the week. However, the first edition of the Lang-Ay Trail Marathon (42K) was already on my sight as my C-Race for the month of April with the objective/goal of simply finishing the race even if I am the last finisher. True enough, I was the last finisher and one of the “Pioneers” of this event which I consider as the hardest Marathon Trail Race in the country!

For the month of May, I registered for the Beast Trail 50K Run in Taiwan after I read a Race Report from one the runners who was a foreigner attending a conference in Taipei, Taiwan. I was just curious why most of the finishers had clocked in an average of 14-16 hours as finish times. And they had only 5 finishers in the 100K distance with a cut-off time of 30 hours! I trained a lot for the elevation in my Playground but I did not expect that I would face a lot of rock climbing, rope climbing, and rappelling plus the fact that it rained on the later part of the day that brought a very deep slippery mud on the trails. I still have two minutes to spare whether I would proceed to the 50K distance or shorten my race to 40K where I could still receive my Finisher’s Loot and get my UTMB points for the 50K distance. I opted to get the shorter route and took my time to finish the race. I even helped some of the local runners who got lost and asked for direction and another lady runner-participant of the 22K race to whom I helped in climbing those slippery uphill trails. Finally, on the last 4 kilometers, I lend her one of my trekking poles as I saw her trying to look for a branch of a tree/plant along the route to be used as her balance pole! The lady runner thought that I was from Japan! I finished the race in 14+hours just in time for the last bus to depart from the race venue to Taipei which is 1:15 hour ride. I was glad that I did not spend the whole day and night hiking and trekking in the mountains of Taiwan!

The Beast Trail in Taiwan had really put some beating on my body that I was not able to walk straight for two days! It was only after a week of rest & sleep, eating, and a 2-hour deep-tissue massage that made me back to my running and hiking form again!

Two weeks after the Beast Trail in Taiwan, I was one of the runner-participants/”sweeper” of my new running event which is the BR’s Quad Marathons. Though my finish times were slow, I and the rest of the runners are very proud that we all finished the event without any pain or injury. I guess, I would attribute the endurance and strength that I had in this event as a product of the “stress” I put in to my body during my participation in the Beast Trail Race in Taiwan.

Aulo Dam Mt Mapait

Training For The Mt Fuji Mountain Race In Nueva Ecija (Photo By Nel Valero)

After a two-day rest & recovery after the Quad Marathons, I am back again to start my training for the Mt Fuji Mountain Race (21K), A Race To The Peak which will be held on July 28, 2017!

I have six (6) weeks of training before my next race! I am sure there will be more “stress” on this one! Wish me luck! If ever I finish this race (or not), the recovery will come next…and the cycle continues!

However, in between those cycles of races that I join, I always make it a regular habit to have Mondays as my Rest Day. And every month or four weeks of training, the 4th week is my recovery week where I decrease the volume and intensity of my training workouts.

So, what is the message that I am driving at in this post? Keep on “stressing” yourself into something that you love and passionate to do and that you need to recover and find time to rest your body for you to get a better performance and full satisfaction for the work that you invested towards the attainment of your goal. In short, keep on moving forward because training makes us stronger and healthier person!

Lace up and go run!

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Epilogue: 1st BR’s Quad Marathons

15 06 2017

Having known an event which was experienced and finished by an ultra running friend in one of his trips/visits in the United States, I thought of the idea that local Pinoy runners can also do such an event without even going out of the country. What is really important in this kind of event is to have a period of 4 days which are declared non-working holidays and the place where one can have a varied routes for four marathons in four days. Of course, there is also the need to have some runners who are brave enough to try and experience what it is like to run one marathon distance each day for four consecutive days.

I though of my birthplace, Laoag City, as the place to conduct this event because it has a lot of road networks that converge to the center of the city. Having been familiar to the road networks in the place, I decided to have this event held in the city. There is no harm in taking the risk of conducting this event even if there is only one or two runners.

Laoag City

Landmark Of Laoag City (Photo by May Santos)

A simple Facebook Event Page was created just to inform the “Public” and my FB friends about this event. And I did not personally contact each and every ultra running friend to be invited to join this event. As I said before, I create an event and I let runners join my event in their personal volition. It is inherent that most of my friends were excited to find out that this Quad Marathons is a new event and most of them signified to join or simply clicked the button “Interested”. But knowing the real attitude of the Local Runners and even PAU Members, who are really good friends, I did not expect much that most of these people will be joining this event. The bottom line here is, I really don’t care!

After a simple coordination with the LGU of Ilocos Norte and the Provincial PNP of Ilocos Norte, the event was a GO! And the rest is history!

It has proven once again that Local Pinoy Runners can match the endurance and stamina of other runners in other countries. The Quad Marathons can be done even in simple logistics and needs for the runners. Additionally, it is proven once again that I don’t need Corporate Sponsorship if I want an idea to be implemented and put into action. To prove a point, the Bataan Death March 102K Ultra Marathon, the event that started all these “craziness” in ultra running in the country, had survived for almost 10 years without any Corporate Sponsorship!

I would like to thank the following ultra running friends: Dondon Talosig from Tuguegarao, Cagayan; Gibo Malvar from Piddig/Sarrat, Ilocos Norte/Paranaque, Metro Manila; Rod Losabia from Metro Manila; Tess Leono from Metro Manila; Rose Betonio from Metro Manila; Kathleen Piñero from Metro Manila; and Laurice Rogel from Metro Manila who were the “Pioneers” of this event. These runner-finishers will receive appropriate Awards & Commendations for their feat during the 2018 BDM & PAU Get Together Party. I would also thank May Santos from Marikina, Metro Manila for being the Recorder/Marshal/Official Photographer of the event. I would like also to give thanks and commend the support given by Numeriano De La Cruz and Joaquin Bordado of Team Kimat Running Club of Ilocos Norte. Lastly, to my Personal Staff and the Support Crew of each runner who made sure that all the Logistics/Administrative needs were made available during the event.

As a runner-participant of this event, I was able to prove my running philosophy in order to inspire others to run—“If I can do it, then, you can do it, too!” If want to create an idea, make sure you can do it so that you are a reliable and consistent person!

Day 4 Paoay

Turn-Around Point On 4th Day (Photo By May Santos)

As per my observation on the runner-participants, I could see that each of us have that tendency to be competitive with one another even if we were having fun, enjoying the environment & scenery of the route, having a “bonding time” among friends, and with the experience of being attacked by street dogs in some of the populated areas along the route. Each runner has a different style of dealing with these street dogs—some would shout back at the barking dogs; some would simply run faster away from the attacking dogs; some would bring a stick to ward off the dogs; and some would just blind the dogs with their powerful handheld lights. However, I would simply ignore and never looked at the dogs when I would pass infront of them. But the most effective way to prevent the dogs from biting you is to NEVER use any headphone or play your music/ playlist during this kind of event. I should know because in one of my adventure runs, I was bitten by a street dog while listening to my playlist on my iPod! Also, one of the runners have learned some lessons in marathon racing where one should be light and simple if you want to have a faster time in a marathon race!

Oh, yes, I was the official “sweeper” of the event to make sure that all my runners would be able to finish each event within the cut-off time of 6 hours and 30 minutes. I am glad all the runners had successfully finished the race! I guess, in my races, that is one of the duties of the Race Director!

Personally, this is how I felt during the period of four days. I think the rest of the runners would have to agree with me on my feelings. Before the start of the event, I was not sure if I would be able to have the stamina and endurance to finish the whole event. After I finished the first day Marathon, I was exhausted due to the hot and humid weather even if it was then in the evening and early morning. I was already thinking of a reason or alibi where I would simply sit back in my car and supervise the runners for the remaining 3 marathon races. But I though that ones personality is being tested here in this event. So, I was not at all excited for the 2nd day event. However, after 1-2 kilometers of running on the 2nd day’s route, we were met by cold air and winds coming from the mountains east of Laoag City and it was very refreshing. The cooler temperature made us faster to finish the event on the 2nd day. On the start of the 3rd day, I was silent and apprehensive as I told to the runners that the course will be darker due to the absence of street lights along the route and some portions have road constructions. But the runners did not complain and they registered a faster time, too!

After we finished the third marathon, I brought all the runners for a day tour along the last day marathon course and they were able to familiarize some locations and the overall elevation profile of the route. Aside from being the last event, knowing the course on a walk/drive-through boosted their morale to finally get things done immediately! The experience running in the rain for about 10-12 minutes at Km 5-6 was really exhilarating and enjoyable! There were no complaints from the runners and we finished the event with a much faster time.

For the first two days, we used the front portion of the Provincial Capitol of Ilocos Norte as the Start/Finish area since we did not cross the Laoag/Padsan Bridge or River. But for the two remaining days,we changed the location of the Start & Finish at the LAOAG Landmark at the foot of the Laoag City Bridge. The variety of the locations of the Start and Finish gave a very nice documentation on the exposure of Laoag City and the Province of Ilocos Norte.

These are my assessment and conclusion on this event: First, it takes a veteran marathoner or an ultra runner to finish this event. Two, even considering the difficulty of the elevation on each course, the tendency of the human body to be faster and stronger as the event progresses from day one to day four. Three, since the Aid Stations are the Support Vehicles of the runners which are mobile that “leap-frog” ahead of the runners, one has to be very good in his/her nutrition and hydration strategy. And lastly, our human body is a wonderful God-given “machine” that has a way of recovering from pain & exhaustion through proper nutrition and rest & recovery within a span of 24 hours.

Baliw

Congratulations To Everybody! (Photo By May Santos)

Next edition will the same schedule as we had this year where the last day event culminates with the Independence Day of the country.

Once again, congratulations to all the runners, support crew & staff, and to our volunteers/marshals.

Lace up and run!

 





Official Result: 2nd North Coast 200-Mile Ultra Marathon Run (2017)

15 05 2017

2017/2nd Edition of North Coast 200-Mile Ultra Marathon Race

Starting Place: In Front of the Provincial Capitol of Ilocos Norte/Laoag City

Gun Start: 12:01 AM May 11, 2017

Finish Line: La Perla Inn, Barangay Zinungan, Santa Ana, Cagayan

Finish Time: 12:01 AM May 14, 2017

Cut-Off Time: 72 Hours

Number Of Starters: 10 Runners

Number Of Finishers: 10 Finishers

Percentage Of Finish: 100%

2nd North Coast 00

Ten Runners At The Starting Line

RANK                    NAME                           TIME (Hrs)

  1. Bong Dizon (Overall Champion, Course Record) —-61:22:33
  2. Dondon Talosig (1st Runner-Up, Overall, CR) —–62:35:01
  3. Eric Cruz (2nd Runner-Up, Overall, CR) —–62:41:40
  4. Rhoda Caballero-Oporto (Female Champion, Course Record) —-62:48:16
  5. Rolan Cera ———————————– 67:19:15
  6. Remy Caasi (1st Runner-Up, Female) ———67:19:42
  7. Jon Borbon —————————— 69:06:14
  8. Gibo Malvar —————————- 69:37:45
  9. Fer De Leon —————————- 70:09:10
  10. Rose Betonio (2nd Runner-Up, Female) —— 70:48:28
2nd North Coast 01

Overall Champion & New Course Record Holder Bong Dizon

2nd North Coast 02

Female Champion & New Course Record Holder Rhoda Caballero-Oporto

Congratulations to all the Finishers and to their Support Crew.

See you in the next edition of this event (2018)!





Mental (Training) Preparation

23 03 2017

For a serious marathoner or ultra runner, the physical training in preparation for an event needs a lot of time, effort, dedication, patience, money, and hard work just be able to attain those number of miles, hours of training, and comply to the scheduled training one has to follow. It is already ingrained in us the importance of the following: Long Slow Distance running to develop our endurance; Interval Training and Hill Repeats to develop our power, strength, and speed; Tempo Running to develop a sustained pace for a certain period of time; and Recovery Runs to allow our muscles to recover after a certain more intense workout or after a block of weekly training. And most important of all, Rest, for our muscles and the whole body to recuperate and rebuild as a result of the stress the body had been exposed to.

Even if we think that our physical preparation is perfectly done, there is still a great possibility that we fail to cross the finish line. There are outside factors that will try to challenge our physical training. It could be the weather, the difficulty of the terrain (high altitude), injury, or if not, accidents! But what is most important during the race is how your brain works before and during the race.

Mental attitude during the race is the key to a successful finish in a race and it plays a lot in all my successful finish in the past.

Hiking 02

“Train Heavy, Race Light”

For a runner to have a positive mental attitude during the race, he/she should have done his/her assignment on mental training/preparation before and during his/her physical training preparation for the event. Only few of our elite or average ultra runners who would tell us in their respective blogs on how they mentally prepared themselves to podium finish or simply finish the event. Or maybe, they don’t know about mental attitude as it is already ingrained in their body system without them knowing it.

Here are my suggestions for anybody on how to mentally prepare for a certain running event, either you are a “newbie” runner or a hardcore ultra runner:

  1. Create a Blog——It is now very easy to create a blog or personal website where a runner can use it as a Daily Dairy. Just make sure that all your stories or entries are true and accurate. This is where you describe your physical training and the place where the training is done on a daily basis. In short, this is your Runner’s Logbook where you include what you think about your training for the day and how your body feels before, during and after the workout. Do not fabricate or manufacture your daily entry. If you missed a daily workout, say so! Nowadays, you can have your blog on Facebook! This “diary” will become your reference in your future races. And please don’t think that you will be “sharing” your “secrets” to your readers by showing to the world how you are preparing for your next running event. The key word in the present world of Social Media is “SHARE”. The more you share your experience, the more you inspire others!
  2. Shout It To The World——If you are dreaming a certain event for you to join, announce it to the world. If you are intending to Register to a certain event, announce it to the world through your Social Media accounts. If you have successfully registered to an event, announce it to the world. Announcing your intention to the World is too easy to be done nowadays. You can announce it to your Blog/Website, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. The key here is that as early as possible, announce to the world that you are participating a certain event and you announce it that you will finish the event. Announcing your participation to a race makes you accountable of the things you would do to finish this race. You are also accountable to your family, relatives and friends.
  3. Make A Bet——As if you are gambling, make a bet on yourself. If you finish the event, you must be able to reward yourself with something that is very significant and reminds you of your accomplishment. It could be something physical (object—-new shoes or new running gear/apparel or a trip to a place where you can rest and relax. If you fail in your event, think of of something that will penalise or punish you! Maybe, you could take a rest or simply do another sports which you hate most! Or maybe, punish yourself by volunteering to a race where you hate the Race Director! The key here is that you should challenge yourself to be the best you could be!
  4. Ask Somebody To Make A Bet——It could be your close friend or Friends on Facebook whom you would challenge to gamble with you. If you win, you get something from them and if you lose, you give something to them. Just simple as that! Challenge your friends to gamble with you!
  5. Ask for Sponsorship and Donations——If you are very good in convincing other people, most specially to your friends, in helping you finance your trip or provide you some of the needed support like water, sports drinks and food, you can ask for sponsorship or donations. In this way, you are adding accountability to your success (or failure) among those who have donated your needs for the race.
  6. Be transparent——Post anything on your Blog those evidence that you are dedicated in your training and in your quest to finish your event. It could be coming from your workout/s on Strava, Dailymile, Training Peaks, or any pictures of you doing your homework for the event.
  7. Read Race Reports of Finishers——Most of the runners abroad have their own blog and most of them are elite runners but most of them are average ultra runners. They would share their experiences and lessons learned during their race. These blogs would provide all the detailed information about the Race. However, do not try to attain their finish time and their split times on the different Checkpoints along the route. What is important is that you can pick-up and learn some details about their attitude and sometimes, their strengths and weaknesses (mistakes) during the race.
  8. Try to Mimic or Train In A Place Similar to the Event’s Course——By studying the Elevation Profile of a certain race, you can easily determine or locate a place where you can do your training. As I said in my previous posts, you have to compute the elevation gain in every 10 kilometres of the race and then find a place where you can train with the same total of elevation gain. If it is not possible, do mountain “repeats” or multi-loop runs in a course where it is hilly or in a rugged terrain. Make sure also to be observant on your time as some of the checkpoints have a very tight cut-off times in some sections of the course.
  9. Do “Brainstorming” Sessions——In the military, we do “brainstorming” sessions during the planning stage of a military operation. We write down the possible scenario that will lead to a successful attainment of the mission/objective and in the same manner, write down the scenario that will lead to the failure of the mission. In running an ultra, you have to do this also. As of this time, you know already your strengths and weaknesses in running an ultra race. Write them down and review them as you recall them in your successes and failures in your past events. Write down also your “time-tested” remedies/solutions when you hit some “issues” along the run. From all these data, you can now write a chronological list of things to do and/or things that you experience in your body in every section of the course or in every certain period of time that you are running in an event. Hopefully, you will create a very long list and while you are reviewing them every day, you will be able to compress them and come up with an outline or a shorter version. Remember that the things on the list are the things that you are EXPECTED to do and the things that your body would react or expect to experience, considering the weather, your pace, and the terrain of the course during the race. If there is a need to have a back-up Plan, then do so! Read these plans as often as possible!
Hiking 04

Do Your Homework Diligently

Since this post is for one’s mental preparation and training before a running event, I leave it at that and more to come on how we can sustain a positive mental attitude during the race. If you have any suggestions, feel free to make a comment/suggestion on this blog.

Thank you!





Official Result: 2017/7th Bataan Death March 160K Ultra Marathon Race (BDM 160)

26 02 2017

2017/7th Bataan Death March 160K Ultra Marathon Race (BDM 160)

Starting Area: Bataan Death March Shrine, Mariveles, Bataan

Gun Start: 5:00 AM February 25, 2017

Finish Area: Capas National Shrine, Camp O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac

Finish Time: 1:00 PM February 26, 2017

Cut-Off Time: 32 Hours

Number Of Starters: 95 Runners

Number Of Finishers: 73 Finishers

Percentage Of Finish: 76.8%

RANK                            NAME                                    TIME (Hrs)

  1. Thomas Combisen (Overall Champion)—-22:41:55
  2. Jaspher Galanza (1st Runner-Up, Overall)—-23:07:47
  3. Ralph Andrew Gabat (2nd Runner-Up, Overall)—-24:10:46
  4. Sherwin Bargos ————————–25:16:17
  5. Doris Manguiat (Champion, Female)———-25:34:57
  6. Mark Anthony Redondo ——————–25:36:35
  7. Renz Aninag —————————–26:22:19
  8. Gibo Malvar ——————————26:59:48
  9. Kelvin Castro —————————–27:28:58
  10. Melody Arce (1st Runner-Up, Female)———27:46:06
  11. Ronnie Gurrobat ————————–27:47:43
  12. Johnny Borlagdan ————————-27:59:19
  13. Shuji Nakano —————————–28:17:45
  14. Rod Losabia ——————————28:25:21
  15. Ma. Theresa Basallo (2nd Runner-Up, Female)–28:29:15
  16. Jeffrey Garcia —————————–28:34:22
  17. Jonathan Moleta —————————28:42:16
  18. Gevaert Paul Papa ————————–28:50:04
  19. Fiel Violeta ——————————–28:55:37
  20. JP Ocampo ——————————–29:02:05
  21. Constantino Dellova Jr ———————-29:13:04
  22. Samuel Maniaul —————————29:22:39
  23. Tess Leono (Female) ———————–29:23:51
  24. Roby Amil ——————————-29:25:40
  25. Russel Hernandez ————————-29:27:10
  26. Dennis Ryan Nava ————————-29:27:22
  27. Rodolfo Velasco Jr ————————-29:28:14
  28. Mary Clairyfel Paner (Female)—————-29:29:40
  29. Ross Lim ——————————–29:37:50
  30. Noel Diaz—— ————————–29:39:50
  31. Allan Del Monte ————————–29:41:33
  32. Mark Hernandez ————————–29:45:10
  33. Carlito Rudas Jr —————————29:48:38
  34. Meljohn Tezon —————————29:52:52
  35. John Robas ——————————29:53:21
  36. Rowena Dagdag (Female) ——————29:53:28
  37. Emma Gabriel (Female) ——————-29:54:00
  38. Jemel Aguilar —————————29:54:39
  39. Maricris David (Female) ——————29:54:48
  40. Fernando Cabañero ———————-29:59:05
  41. Ryan Garcia —————————-30:02:06
  42. Leo Ano ——————————-30:05:03
  43. Rayel Daza —————————–30:16:56
  44. Eduardo Magpoc ————————30:21:00
  45. Nick Diaz ——————————30:27:56
  46. Ronel Medina —————————30:27:58
  47. Lourdes Maghuyop (Female) —————30:29:57
  48. Elmar Bob Tolete ————————30:30:47
  49. Rod Lanorias —————————30:31:28
  50. Regil Gella —————————–30:32:25
  51. Mely Maraganas (Female) —————–30:32:26
  52. Roni Turla —————————–30:33:02
  53. John Michael De Jesus ——————-30:33:41
  54. Che Che Magramo (Female) ————–30:39:32
  55. Efren Gregorio ————————30:42:59
  56. Kathleen Piñero (Female) —————30:52:52
  57. Emma Libunao (Female) —————-30:52:53
  58. Marlon Santos ————————30:52:54
  59. Elmer Caballes ———————–30:52:55
  60. Fernando Onnon ———————30:55:59
  61. Laico Tolentino ———————-30:58:56
  62. Oliver Cavinta ———————–31:05:18
  63. Frederick Peñalosa ——————-31:08:30
  64. Gamaliel Tayao ———————-31:17:21
  65. Reden Rodriguez ———————31:18:34
  66. Tina Aldaya (Female) ——————31:21:21
  67. Rem Baltazar ————————31:25:06
  68. Ariane Legarte ——- —————31:27:02
  69. Rexie Vaflor ————————-31:31:03
  70. Gerly Santos (Female) —————–31:42:21
  71. Junmar Que ————————-31:47:29
  72. Teodoro Mallen ———————-31:51:29
  73. Isagani Zuniga ———————–31:59:58

Congratulations To Everybody!!!





Race Report: 2017 Tarawera 102 Ultramarathon Race (Part 2)

24 02 2017

Race Report: 2017 Tarawera 102K Ultramarathon Race (Part 2)

Airbnb For Accommodation

Whenever I join ultra races abroad, I usually make my bookings on motels through their websites. I never had the experience to bring my camping gears and set up my tent in camp sites near or within the Starting Area of a trail ultra race. Since I was planning to join the CCC @ UTMB this year (but I was not lucky to be picked on the lottery) and try to stay on Airbnb in Chamonix, France, I looked for “homestays” in Rotorua, New Zealand on the Internet. Staying in New Zealand in an Airbnb accommodation would be a nice “first-time” experience for me prior to going to other races in Europe.

After some browsing on the Internet, I found a place which has so many positive feedback from the people who stayed in the said house. Considering the cheaper amount to be spent as compared to staying a Hotel or Motel in Rotorua, the house is located near the start of the event and the place is quiet and affordable. Looking at the Profile Picture and the name of the owner of the house, I was able to conclude that they could be Asian and it would much easier to communicate and to be relate to them since we belong to the same Continent. So, I made the decision to book for my accommodation in this place. For a duration of stay for 8 days, I was able to pay almost P 20,000 to include some fees.

Upon my arrival at the Town Center of Rotorua, NZ, I called for a Taxi which was waiting for passengers as the right side of the building. The driver is a 75-year old guy and he took some time to look at the address of my destination and glanced at his reference of the places of the city. Then another Taxi Driver asked him if he has any problem on our destination since it took him a couple of minutes to move his Taxi from where I boarded. The other Taxi Driver told him what street to take and the old guy realised where the house is located. It took the Taxi Driver less than 10 minutes to reach my destination.

It was already 9:00 PM when I arrived at the house and the Hosts, Gillian and William Ma were waiting for my arrival. They are very nice hosts and very helpful in giving me some directions to go to some places in the city; very responsive to my needs in the house; and give me some information about the city. They had been in the said house for the past 5 years and they are still childless. I told them about the reason why I was in Rotorua and they were surprised to know that there is such an international event happening in their neighbourhood without them knowing it. Much more surprised when I told them that I will be joining the 102K distance event and they could not believed it since they have known that I’ll be turning 65 years old in 3 months. Of course, I told them also that I am a retired officer with the rank of Two-Star General of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on the second day of my stay in their house. On the early morning of the second day of my stay in their house, I had a lengthy conversation with Gillian and we had to get to know more about her and her husband and the things/places to visit in Rotorua.

gillian-airbnb

Gillian Ma, My Host

william-airbnb

William Xu, Husband of Gillian

My room has a Double Size Bed with a view of the frontyard of the house with a wide glass window draped with a rolling curtain. It has a locker room and equipped with an electric fan. I was wondering why there was no air-conditioning unit for the room but by opening the window with a small space, I can feel the cool air from the outside to be entering the room. However, I was warned by my Host to close the window during nighttime because some flying insects would be attracted to enter the opened space of the window because of the light from the room. The bed, comforter, and the pillows are very clean and comfortable. However, I have to walk for about few feet outside my room for the toilet and bathroom. The toilet and bathroom are separate rooms but there was no problem for me as they are considered as “common” bathroom & toilet for the guests. I was lucky that I was the only guest for the first three days when a Lady from Switzerland occupied another room in the house for an overnight stay after I finished the race.

carroll-place-house

Frontage Of The House

Their address is: 11 Carroll Place 11, Rotorua, Bay Of Plenty 3010, New Zealand.

airbnb

Advertisement From Airbnb On My Room

Warm-Up Run To Redwoods Park

After a breakfast of hot coffee and quaker oats, I prepared for a brief run to the Redwoods Park from the house which is about 2.5 kilometer-distance to its entrance and there is another one kilometre to run from the Gate/Entrance to the Visitors Center of the Park. I surveyed the actual place where the Starting Area of the event is located and I had the chance to inspect the trail of the park not knowing that the first kilometre of the race will follow the asphalted road towards the mountain.

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Entrance To Redwoods Park

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One Kilometer Distance From Entrance To The Visitors Center

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Redwoods Park Visitors Center/Starting Area Of The Race

After some picture-taking of those things inside and within the Visitor’s Center, it was time to engage with the personnel of the park. This is where I met Katrina who told me that she has two other Pinoy personnel working with her in the Park. Before we ended our conversation, we had a “selfie” where she approved of it.

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Katrina, A Staff At The Redwoods Park

I returned to the house jogging with a faster pace and I found the weather and the cooler breeze to be like Baguio City during summer time. I knew already that we will have a very hot weather on race day. While I was jogging, I was able to pass a commercial centre which is called Redwood Center which is about 50 meters from the entrance of the Park. From what I’ve seen within the Commercial Center, I knew already where I would eat my lunch for the day.

Bus Rides

I had my second shower in Rotorua and prepared to walk again for my lunch at the Redwood Center. After lunch, I took a Bus Ride to the Town Center for some shopping of souvenirs from Rotorua. Bus Rides are very efficient and orderly in Rotorua. All you have to do is remember the Bus Route Number and pay NZ$ 2.35 for the said route and have the option to transfer to another Bus Route Number within 30 minutes after you are being dropped by the first bus you have taken for FREE. All you have to do is to inform the Driver that you are transferring to another Bus Route after alighting from the Bus, so that he can give you your ticket for the next bus transfer you will be taking. As you board to the transfer Bus, inform the driver that you are transferring from another Bus and give your ticket. The Bus Route goes only on a One Way Loop which means that the next scheduled ride always comes from the Town Center and not from the Turn-Around Point of the Bus and pass on the same road where I was picked up! All the Bus Stops have the scheduled time of arrival posted on a pole adjacent to the Shaded Bus Stop. I have observed that the Bus arrival on the Bus Stop near the house where I stayed was always prompt and on the dot. The Bus Stop near the house where I stayed is only 50 meters away!

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Bus Schedule Posted On Bus Stops

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Typical Picture Of A City Bus In Rotorua

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Picture Inside The Bus

When I learned about the Bus Transport System in the area, there was no need to take the Taxi. However, the schedule of the Bus starts at 7:00 AM and ends at 6:00 PM. If you want a ride after 6:00 PM, take the Taxi by calling the number 07-348-1111 as you could hardly see any Taxi roaming around the streets/roads in Rotorua. Once you call the number and state your location where you can be picked-up, the Taxi will be there with you in few minutes!

(Note: It is advisable to buy a Sim Card for your Cellphone at the Auckland International Airport as soon as you arrive for the cost of NZ$ 39.00)

Change Of Schedule/Itinerary

Even if I have friends on Facebook who are presently living or residing in New Zealand, I did not send them any PM or give them a hint that I need some help or need answers from queries I would like to ask from them. I just patiently read the instructions stated on the Souvenir Program of the Tarawera 100 Ultramarathon Race and then use the Google/Google Maps to get answers from concerns and queries where I need some answers.

My stay in New Zealand was focused in joining and finishing the race where after the race, I would go back to Auckland and board my flight back to Manila. Just simple as that! However, a sudden change has occurred in my schedule.

A PMA Cavalier (PMA Alumni Class ’81 and former Officer of the Philippine Navy) whom I had the opportunity to work with during my assignment in the Philippine Military Academy as a Tactical Officer and member of the General Staff of the Headquarters PMA as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence and Security, sent me a message and welcome greetings for arriving in New Zealand safely. After an exchange of messages on Facebook, I called him using my cellphone. I found out that he is now residing in Wellington with his family and he is inviting me to visit their place before going back to Manila if there is a way that I can squeeze his invitation in my schedule. I said, Yes, why not?

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With My Host In Wellington, NZ, Captain Virgilio Velasco, Philippine Navy (Retired), PMA Class ’81

Looking at my schedule that if I can finish the race before midnight of Saturday, I would take the first trip by bus on Sunday for a 7-hour bus ride to Wellington to rest and at the same time enjoy the view along the route, have a brief tour of the city immediately after arrival, stay overnight in their house, then have another bus ride back directly to Auckland on Monday and then depart for Manila on the morning of Tuesday. It was a hectic schedule that played in my mind but it is doable. However, my friend has a better suggestion for my schedule. The bus ride from Rotorua to Wellington was fine as I will be seeing the sea, the different city centers and landscape of the North Island of New Zealand while I was resting in the bus and have a chance to have some picture-taking during the brief stops in the Bus Stations along the way. Upon our arrival in Wellington, my friend would bring me to their house and have a home dinner with his family and then Rest Overnight. He suggested that I would take the last Jetstar Flight from Wellington to Auckland on the following day, Monday so that I he can bring me to a city tour the whole day before my departure. The schedule was perfect! He advised me to simply book my trip On Line through the websites of the Bus Company and Jetstar. He even generously gave the details of his Credit/Debit Card for me to use for this purpose. Of course, I declined since I have an e-card prepared for this trip.

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Prominent Mountain On The Road To Wellington

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Bus Stop For Lunch

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Kiwi Burger, So Far, The Best Burger I’ve Tasted

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Last Bus Stop @ Wharepaku Before Wellington

So, in a matter of few minutes after our conversation, I was able to book for my bus ride to Wellington and Jetstar Flight back to Auckland. My excitement to finish the race became secondary objective and my trip to Wellington became the primary objective of my remaining stay in New Zealand.

Little did I realize that this change of schedule will greatly affect or have an impact on my performance during the race.

To be continued….





Official Result: 2017/3rd Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra Marathon Race

20 02 2017

Official Result: 2017/3rd Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra Marathon Race (Solo/Single Stage)

Starting Area: Km Post #0, Rizal Monument, Luneta Park, Manila

Finish Area: Rizal Park, Baguio City

Start Time: 10:00 PM February 16, 2017

Finish Time: 12:00 Midnight February 18, 2017

Cut-Off Time: 50 Hours

Number Of Starters: 37 Runners

Number Of Finishers: 24 Runners

Percentage Of Finish: 64.8%

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Group Picture Before The Start

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Few Seconds Before Gun Start

RANK                     NAME                                             TIME (Hrs)

  1. Lodovico Librilla (Overall Champion) —43:03:49
  2. Bong Dizon (1st Runner-Up, Overall)—-43:25:25
  3. Ryan Fabie (2nd Runner-Up, Overall)—-44:49:22
  4. Remy Caasi (Female Champion, Course Record)—-46:12:10
  5. Aldrin Pallera ———————–46:24:16
  6. Jocel Lañas (1st Runner-Up, Female)—–46:26:27
  7. Rhoda Caballero (2nd Runner-Up, Female)—-46:44:24
  8. Rolan Cera————————–46:51:42
  9. Armando Olan———————–46:51:42
  10. Jon Borbon————————–47:02:45
  11. Dondon Talosig———————-47:03:10
  12. Fer De Leon————————-47:26:46
  13. Rod Losabia————————-47:26:58
  14. Rose Betonio (Female)—————-47:28:50
  15. Jemfil Ramos————————-47:58:59
  16. Dennis Guidao———————–47:59:15
  17. Glenn Rosales———————–48:40:46
  18. Ken Molina————————-48:50:15
  19. Gibo Malvar————————-48:50:16
  20. Rasette Pesuelo (Female)————–48:50:18
  21. Raymond Nable———————-49:17:50
  22. Ildebrando Yap———————–49:18:55
  23. Chris Linawagan———————49:21:50
  24. Maui Toraja————————-49:46:50
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Overall Champion Lodovico Librilla

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Overall 1st Runner-Up Bong Dizon

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Overall 2nd Runner-Up Ryan Fabie

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Female Champion & New Course Record Holder Remy Caasi

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Female 1st Runner-Up Jocel Lañas

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Female 2nd Runner-Up Rhoda Caballero

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Most Coveted Finisher’s Buckle

Congratulations To Everybody!








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