Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” In Running

When I was in the military service, this was my “Bible” and had read this book for a hundred times. This compilation of essays written by Sun Tzu (a Chinese General & Philosopher) was translated by Samuel B Griffith in 1960 and they were written more than 2,400 years ago. It is considered as the oldest writings on the conduct of warfare. In all my military trainings, from a young officer to the generalship, the treatise in this book had been repeatedly discussed and explained to us. Being a former Commander of different units in the Philippine Army, from the squad-level (leading 9-men team) up to a Division-size Command (with almost 10,000 soldiers under me), the “treatise” of this book had been very effective in leadership; winning the “hearts & minds” of the people and at the same time in subduing the enemy.

The Book: Sun Tzu: The Art Of War

Lately, there had been books that were published in adopting the different treatise of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”  in relation to Business and Politics but I have yet to read these books.

I have the assumption that some selected “treatise” of the book, “Sun Tzu: The Art Of War” are very useful to all the runners. My favorite passage in this book is the following:

“Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril.

When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal.

If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril.”

Translating these passages into running, it would be like this:

“Know the race route and train yourself properly; in a hundred races you will always finish the race.

When you are ignorant of the race route but you trained yourself properly, your chances of finishing the race or DNF are equal.

If ignorant both of the race route and proper training, you are certain that in every race you are DNF.”

On a grand scale, of which could be directed and understood by our Sports leaders and authorities in our quest for Sports Excellence and our First Olympic Gold Medal, my favorite passage of Sun Tzu’s “The Art Of War” would be very relevant and appropriate. I guess, there is no need for further explanation on this.

It is no wonder that the Chinese today are on top of the Olympic Medal Standing in the latest 2008 Summer Olympic Games!

My Prediction Coming True!

My prediction that the Senators/Congressmen will come out with a formal inquiry on the dismal performance of our athletes and Sports Officials during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games is coming true!

My prediction on the result of this Senate Inquiry? I predict that nothing tangible will happen as a result of the inquiry! The inquiry will be a forum for “grandstanding” politicians—it will be a clash of ideas and full of recommendations and promises but I doubt if these things will be implemented.

The Bald Runner’s solutions to our sports debacle and problems are the following:

1) Political Will

a) Replace all the Commissioners of the PSC, change the leadership of the POC, and replace all the Presidents of the National Sports Associations. Designate non-political figures. A lot of “political will” is needed to do this!

b) Implementation of our Sports Program/Strategy and its Continuity whoever is the Chairman of the PSC, Chairman of the POC, and Presidents of the National Sports Associations.

c) Establishment of a Sports Academy or Sports Institute—I heard this concept during the administration of former President Fidel Ramos but up to this time I don’t know if we have one.

d) Accountability and Tranparency of Finances and Expenses.

2) Money, Money, & Money 

a) Appropriate more financial support to athletes, not to sports officials!

b) Private/Corporate Involvement is highly encouraged. Special Sports Projects like the NIKE’s Project Oregon, Team Running USA, and Brooks-Hansons Distance Project of the USA should be adopted. Such projects could be supported by Lucio Tan, Henry Sy, Reghis Romero, Ayalas, Gokongweis, and those personalities who promised cash rewards to our first Olympic gold medalist.

Anyway, read the following news report from Continue reading

“The Same Story Goes On And On”

The reason why I could easily predict what these politicians, sports officials, columnists, and sports fans would say and do is because I have read and heard the same story (plans, strategy, actions and what have you) repeated over and over every time we don’t win any medal in the Summer Olympics.

Read the following news story…Very sad, indeed! Continue reading

Opinion: On Philippine Sports

The column below by Mr Recah Trinidad shows his dismay in the dismal performance of our athletes in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games through the comments he got from sports fans and from his friends. It seems also that our athletes were just used to represent our country in the Olympic Games and thereby letting our sports officials, politicians, and their friends/supporters to have a “free ride” to watch the Olympic Games in behalf of the government’s and taxpayers’s money.

I made a prediction that the Philippine Team will not win any medal this time for the simple reason that our athletes’ qualifications before the Games are not considered within the Category “A” of Olympic Standards which means that there are more elite athletes on top of them and our athletes are not even Gold Medalists in the past Asian Games. And the other reasons are just personal impressions and opinion from what I have read, heard, seen and personally experienced. Continue reading

Results: Men’s; Women’s 10,000-Meter Run; & 20K Men’s Racewalk @ 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

Tirunesh Bibaba of Ethiopia won the Gold Medal in the Women’s 10,000-Meter Run in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games with a time of 29:54.66 minutes in a new Olympic Rececord, breaking the old Olympic Record of Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia with a time of 30:17.49 minutes in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. This is the complete results of the said run in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

On the Men’s 10,000-Meter Run in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia won the Gold Medal with a new Olympic Record of 27:01.17, breaking his old Olympic Record in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games with a time of 27:05.10. This is the complete results of the said run in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

On the Men’s 20K Racewalk, Valeriv Borchin of Russia won the Gold Medal with a time of 1:19:01 hours. His time is faster than me running the 20K distance! This is the complete results of the said event.

Top Ten: Statements During The 2008 Beijing Olympics/Part #1

The following are the top ten (10) statements made by our Filipino Olympians and our Sports Officials during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games/on the first 3-4 days of competition:

10.  “Nagulat ako sa galing ng mga kalaban ko. Ganito pala ang Olympic Games. My score is a disaster in these Games. I could have done better but I lack experience competing against the veterans, some of whom are in their fourth or fifth Olympics.” (C’mon, Eric, you’ve been exposed to World Championships in Practical Shooting since you were still 19 years old! You are already a veteran in shooting!)

9. “Babalik ako at sisiguraduhin kung tatalunin ko silang lahat pagbalik ko” (That’s the attitude, but attitude alone does not win a Gold Medal in Olympics!) Continue reading

Conversation With My Son

After John Paul picked me up at the Malibu Creek State Park last Saturday noon, I started telling him about my early prediction for the 2008 Philippine Olympic Team of not being able to win or bring home our first Gold Olympic Medal. This was the details of the conversation:

John Paul: Dad, why does the Philippines give so much attention/importance and reward for the Filipino athletes to win and bring home a Gold Medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games?

Bald Runner: We don’t have any gold medal yet and it is for the country’s national pride. Continue reading