Comments From Runners

These are the comments/feedbacks from runners and runner-bloggers with regards to the Response of the Argent Network International Corporation and/or Full Shot Advertising to my critique on the conduct of the 2009 PSE Bull Run held last 18 January 2009 at The Fort:

From The Loony Runner—this is why you should continue critiquing races… it makes the organizers see what went wrong and thus hopefully improve on them in their future races. It’s funny though that they had to defend themselves, I think the best defense would have been to take the comments in stride and to shut us all up, come up with one great race!

From MarkFB—Yup, I agree Doc. There should have been no defense made. But it their right and BR posted their reply.

Those at the turn around point also made it difficult for runners to get their strings. As pointed out earlier, they missed one turn around. Oh well, hope to be in a better race next time. I hope organizers can also check on the coarse right before the race to remove possible obstacles. Im not blaming anyone for my mishap but if the big stone wasnt there on the roard, I wouldnt have been injured. I still cant run, maybe 2 more weeks. : (

From Lonerunner—One good thing abt the last PSE would be the water station. As I said many times before runners mainly just need 3 things water, safety and a good clock.

From Reinier6666—To the organisers, Argent Network International Corp/ Full Shot Advertizing, so many comment and review has been written by different bloggers rearding the PSE Bull Run, they are not meant to put you down, but, to highlight things for improvement (unfortunately there are a lot), however, positive things also have been point out which are to your credit.

I am a bit DISAPPOINTED on your comment asking for specifics with respect to circumstance/s that you have been “notorious for not being able to look for the safety and welfare o the paying runners/walkers” This is the major shortfall of the event, ROAD SAFETY, try to read the the different blogs of runners and do also conduct personal interview of participants, WE ALL HAVE TO RUN AND FIGHT FOR THE ROAD. The best evidence is look at the photo of  BALD RUNNER’S Blog entry dated Janaury 20th, the 4th picture showing runners sandwiched by vechiles! Do we need to say more?

From High Altitude—at least the race organizer are aware of our concerns. Several cases, race organizer didn’t care at all. And at least they know that we’re just not a mere runner who participate in a race, run and that’s it. we do care everything!

From RunMD—Regarding the strings, some runners were even asked by the marshalls to pick up the strings strewn on the road at our feet. Imagine running at race pace and suddenly stopping to stoop down and pick up a string! Recipe for disaster.

They were also very inefficient in recording the runners’ finishing times. Mine was not in the final list. It was a good thing that I have a watch and I always monitor my own time.

The race owner and the race organizers did not anticipate the huge turnout of fun runners because previous years records show a low trend for such type of race participants — this is an unacceptable excuse because they knew a lot of people were registering. They could have made some logistical changes a few days before.

This race was really bound to fail from the start. Registration was very difficult to start with. Singlets were not immediately available. Why ask people to pay 200 and not have their singlets ready? They could have opted to issue singlets in one size if the organizers are afraid of overproduction. Or just charge us PHP 100 and give out bibs only if you cannot provide singlets on time.

Oh and what about the unprofessional and uncouth emcee?

Some fun runs are not fun at all. This is a perfect example.

From Moljcy—Is this supposed to be an apology letter? or just a response letter? The last thing an accused should do is to start defending themselves. Less talk less mistake. This is just awful!

I personally did not participate in this race but i think if the people who attended it have the same sentiments, there must be some truth to it. Instead of trying to “defend” themselves, i think it would have been nicer or at least looked nicer if the organizers just took the comments in stride and offered to improved on their dismal efforts.

From Banana Running—“The content of program after the race was a decision made by the race owner – which is the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE). We have already communicated this with PSE.” – hmm dear organiser, if you listened to your emcee i seriously doubt that you would have put this statement out. He was heckling the UMAK cheerers while they were doing their complicated routine , he made fun of one of runners with a handicap. I really dont think that the Philippine Stock Exchange – The Race Owner – would have been pleased about it.

It’s a booming sport … we can all work to improve with every event. Goodluck!

From JDCanono—Seems to be a lot of excuses instead of measures to improve future events. This is also my second encounter with the emcee who fails to give info and is offensive with his comments. He was trying to make people check in at 5:00 am when many runners do not yet have their bibs and singlets since they were unable to get these in advance.

From Bugobugo—the experience we had at montalban last december with the same organizers and the foul-mouthed emcee seems to have happened again in this run. in montalban,we had to make do with water that tasted and smelled straight from the gutters that not even an animal would dare drink.there was no water station in the last 7 kilometers or so.there were no marshals especially after the turnaround that we had to run in the middle of the main road of montalban amidst traffic.our gripes go on and on.when will this organizer shape up?maybe,they should join their own race and see for themselves the agonies we go through.alas, by doing a point by point defense of their shortcomings,they instead exposed themselves to the flimsiest defense of all-empty talk.

and to the emcee,stop your blabbering and yacking needlessly because we are not amused by your antics.better take it to the peryahan.baka sakali doon mabili pa ang style make fun of other people.why not join us in the next race and we will let you eat our dust.

specifics you mean guys?- open your eyes and come run with us instead being at the comfort of your seats during race day.mahirap gisingin ang nagtutulug-tulugan.

Response To My Critique @ 2009 PSE Bull Run

Race organizers’ response to Bald Runner’s comments on the Bull Run 2009



First of all, we appreciate all the comments made regarding the conduct of the PSE Bull Run 2009.  Below are our answers to the said critique:


  • Water stations were positioned in several spots along the route as well as at the Start/Finish Line.  The water station at the Start/Finish Line is located at the far end of the finish line, left side facing the finish line arch. 


  • Road marshals were stationed at every turning point and street intersections.  They were riders and personnel from Fort Bonifacio Development Corp.  But we will still assess the performance of our road marshals in order to improve the management of vehicle traffic while the run is ongoing.


  • PSE owns the area where the start/finish line and program was situated.  That is the reason for the selection of the said area.  Given the significant increase in the participants for this year, it is best that the PSE considers other area/s for their race.


  • The digital clock is mounted just below the trusses of the starting/finish line arch.    Some runners may not have seen the clock mainly because of its height.  Positioning of the clock will be further reviewed so as to ensure its visibility to all runners.


  • We, Argent Network International Corp./Full Shot Advertising, are the organizers of the Bull Run this year.  Our company name is visible in all our promotional materials such as flyers and tarpaulin banners and in promotional activities such as TV guestings.  Furthermore, during the race day event itself, the main persons behind our company (Pablo Cay and Gay Maddela) are repeatedly acknowledged by the emcee.  We would want to know the specific circumstance/s that we have been “notorious for not being able to look for the safety and welfare of the paying runners and walkers.”  PATAFA officials are present because they are in-charge of the technical aspect of the run.  That is, the measurement of the course distance and result officials.


  • The content of program after the race was a decision made by the race owner  – which is the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).  We have already communicated this with PSE.


  • The announced registration period will end a 2 days before the actual race event which is January 16, 2009.  But due to the influx of runners wanting to register, the runners reached beyond the projected numbers thus, the race bibs ran out.  With this situation, we have to declare an early closure of the registration.  But we officially closed the registration on January 15, 2009, Thursday and not a week before the race day.


  • There had been a remiss in the releasing of the race packets, which include the race bib and singlet.  Production of the singlet was delayed thus, the race bibs were released even without the singlets.  There had been cases of missing race packets.  This we have to improve on.  Reasons for the delay are internal between our company and PSE.  Rest assured that we would review our registration and releasing procedures and implement a more efficient process in our next races.


  • There are assigned color codes for each race event – 10k (blue ), 5k (green), 3k Open ( violet )and 3K PSE (red0.  But due to the increase in the number of registrants, we were forced to transfer race bibs of one event to another event.  In order to ensure that the runners run the event where they registered in, we have added measures to identify such runners.  These added measures were communicated to the technical group.


  • Certificates of Completion were distributed at the Secretariat Booth situated beside the Technical Booth.  Distribution was announced by the emcee.  Most runners were able to get their certificates.


  • The VIP tables were set-up for the VIP guests of the PSE.  These were not intended to discriminate anyone but to accommodate the event sponsors, PSE officials, among others.  In most races, race owners do not give runners food.  Discretion on such matter rests on the race owners. 


  • We agree that walkers should not be mixed with runners in one route.  The race owner and the race organizers did not anticipate the huge turnout of fun runners because previous years records show a low trend for such type of race participants.  PSE and the next race organizer of the event will consider this in their future race events.

Race Report: 2009 PSE Bull Run 10K

Being the first road race of the new year, 2009, I really intended to join this road race irrespective who the race organizer was. After almost one month of no road race, I was excited to find out if my preparations during the Holidays in terms of my mileage and speed workouts will produce positive results in my finish time. Those past three weeks of training were full of mileages and kilometers covered that I reached my record of 127 kilometers per week run a week before the road race. The six days before the race were made as recovery days as I reduced my mileage by one-third and saw to it that I did a speed run covering 75% of the distance for race day with my race effort last Friday evening (two days before the race). I was able to run 7.74 kilometers in 35:58 minutes with an average pace of 4:38 minutes/km. On the following morning, I did a 30-minute run with 70% race effort but I need one  more thing to do before the race. I got my massage after lunch on that day and completely rested the whole night.

Few weeks before the race day, I had the dilemma on what to choose to do—to personally meet my arriving son, John Paul,  from Los Angeles at the Centennial airport or choose to run the first road race of the year in order to test the results of my training preparations. Choosing what to do last Sunday needed a lot of brainstorming on my part. In the end, I chose to join the road race and instructed my staff to meet my son at the airport and bring him to the Finish Area. My son’s plane arrived on the same time that the road race started! The moment I saw my son after I finished the race at the vicinity of the Project Donate A Shoe booth, he said, “The Bald Runner must run the 1st road race of the year and he must not miss it”. Thanks, John!

I woke up at 4:30 AM last Sunday and prepared for the run—shaved, took a bath, relieved myself from any toxic/waste matters in my big intestines, finished my coffee, ate cereals, and toasted bread with sandwich spread. I was brought to The Fort with the same vehicle that will meet my son and I was already at the Starting Area at 5:20 AM. At the starting area, I was surprised to be greeted by the Officers and Enlisted Personnel of the Philippine Army who were assembled doing their warm-up exercises. Even the Generals around were there to greet me. I was happy to see these guys whom I’ve been with during my military career. After locating the elite members of Team Bald Runner and Maj Espejo, I immediately had my warm-up jog on those vacant streets of The Fort where I saw Mari Javier, a student of the “speed” training, also doing his warm-up jog. We greeted each other and prepped him that he should break his best time in 10K in this race. Mari was my running buddy last Friday’s speed run and on the previous day for the “active recovery” run of 30 minutes with 70% effort at the ULTRA Oval Track. After 20 minutes of warm-up and stretching, I knew I was ready for the race and proceeded to the corral area.


The lady Senator Pia Cayetano in pink infront of all the runners at the 10K race starting line.


I was talking with the foreigner-runner with a stroller and his handicapped kid before the start of the 10K race.

In the corral area, I saw Amado aka Reinier6666 and his family, Jay aka Prometheus and saw and greeted other runner-bloggers, I was greeted by Mark from Nottingham, England who later donated 16 pairs of “used” running shoes from his running club in England, but I had a nice time talking to a foreigner-runner whom I saw in last year’s Subic Marathon pushing his “special/handicapped” kid in a special stroller while running the race. The foreigner lives in Baguio City and the kid had grown bigger, making the runner push a heavier kid this time! I was too near the stage and to those powerful big sound speakers that I could hardly understand what the other runners were saying to me. I just prayed that the program would end immediately and have the emcee shout the word, “GO”. This emcee even made a mistake of mentioning the race as the “2008 PSE Bull Run”. Well, as soon as I heard the word, GO, I started my GF 305 and took my short stride making sure not to step on others shoes and legs.


I was approaching the Bayani Road intersection towards the Gate of the Libingan ng mga Bayani.


I hope the Race Organizer would be able to see this picture where runners were “sandwiched” with all types of vehicle along the Bayani Road. Where are the Road Marshalls?

I immediately placed myself within my running-comfort space after almost 100 meters from the starting area and I felt relaxed with my pace. Little did I know that I was running a 4:33 minute/km pace on the 1st kilometer which was much faster than the average pace I had during my last Friday’s pace and the terrain was uphill! Once I hit Lawton Avenue, I was running an average pace of 4:24 minute/km pace for the 2nd kilometer! However, I became faster on the 3rd kilometer where I timed in 4:13 minutes! I knew at this point that I was committing a grave mistake of not being conservative on my average pace for the 1st two kilometers. I planned to be faster in my pace after hitting the halfway mark as I wanted have a “negative split” on this race. On the 4th kilometer, I slowed down to 4:40 minute/km pace but on the way down towards the Heritage Park, I got a time of 4:38 minutes. On my way back to the Finish Line, I got the following time in every kilometer. My sixth kilometer was timed at 4:40 minutes but I slowed down when I was running that last uphill portion before reaching Gate 3 of Fort Bonifacio which is near the St Michael Chapel. My 7th klometer was timed at 4:57 minutes. However, a runner from the Fairview Running Club ran with me along the Bayani Road and I was able to increase my pace, finishing my 8th kilometer in 4:48 minutes. On the 9th kilometer, the runner from Fairview slowly went ahead of me while Coach Salazar, my official photographer on this race, was constantly shouting at me “to lift my knees some more and be light on my footstrike”. Those reminders made me finish the 9th kilometer in 4:44 minutes. Although I was overtaken by a young triathlete on the last 500 meters, I still managed to finish the last/10th kilometer in 4:31 minutes.


Towards my last kilometer of the race. The runner in gray on my right finally passed me on the last 500 meters from the Finish Line.

I finished my 1st road race (10K) in a PR best time of 46:17 minutes with an average pace of 4:37 minutes/kilometer. My race effort was best described on how my heart functioned where I had an average HR of 163 bpm and a maximum HR at 168. I could have exerted more effort as I was not able to reach my fastest speed training workout with a Max HR of 172 bpm. Neither did I reach the supposed target goal of 110% of my race effort which translates to a 4:21 minute/kilometer pace. On hindsight, I could have targetted finishing the race in 45+ minutes had I exerted an extra effort. Well, I think the presence of  “walkers” from the end of Bayani Road towards Lawton Avenue all the way to the Finish Line had contributed for my being slow for the last 2 kilometers.


My son came directly from the Airport to see the Bald Runner.


BR, my son John Paul, my brother General Samuel Narcise and Pam Castro (back shown)

Lessons Learned:

1)  It’s “harvest time”—The “speed training” at the ULTRA Oval Track and my shift to “speed-endurance” training on the oval track are starting to show its results.

2)  Familiarity of the Route—Generally, I am familiar with the route but with my almost daily workouts at the ULTRA Oval Track, I lacked some actual practice sessions on the actual route.

3)  More hills, hills, hills training—My trainng this week is geared towards more hill training as my body tend to slow down on the uphill portions of the route. The same route will be expected on this Sunday’s Happy Run 15K Race.

4) Sticking to a Planned Race Strategy—My excitement to produce a PR time on this 1st road race of the year (plus the hatred to the Emcee since I heard him in last month’s Patakbo Sa Kabundukan! yes, he was the same guy!) had made me out of focus to my pre-planned strategy.

5) (New) Newton Racing Shoes—For the first time, I used my Newton Racing Shoe in a road race which I bought when I visited USA last  August 2008. Not only did it make me almost fall (forward) on my face to the ground but it gave me that consistent midfoot and light footstrike throughout the race. Somebody asked me if it could be used for running a marathon distance. My answer was “yes’ as it was used by the 2008 Champion of the Kona IRONMAN World Championship Triathlon, Australia’s Craig Alexander.


My running legs and Newton Racer Shoes

6) Less Weight, Faster Time—Many of my friends who have never seen me for months were surprised of my thinner and leaner body. Well, I just told them that  I am now a “professional masters runner” who keeps on improving my finish time in every road race where I compete. Yes, it’s a proven fact, the lesser your weight is, the faster your finish time in a road race. I guess, I don’t need to explain further.

7) More exercises to my Core Muscles—The high mileage I did for the past weeks made me forget to strengthen my core muscles as I experienced “side stitches” during my last speed run last Friday.

8) Massage—The one and half hour massage with a professional masseur last Saturday made my muscles relaxed and pliable during the race. I did not feel any soreness or any pain in any muscle of my legs after the race.

9) Fashion Statement—I always prepare well with my running attire for road races because it is through my “looks” where I could send the message that I always mean business, to compete with myself and with the digital clock. So, for those younger runners who would like to beat me during road races, please remember that I am about 57 years old and I just run to bring back my glory days in the early 80’s and find out if I can still run a 42-minute 10K race. So, if you are in your 30s or 40s, you should be there running kilometers ahead of me and not trying to stalk or follow right behind me and try to wait for the chance or opportunity to overtake me. Ha! Ha! Ha!

“Ladies, Kids, & Children”, see you on this Sunday’s 15K run!!!

Lastly, congratulations to the members of Team Bald Runner and to the students of the “speed” training” (which means, you have not paid yet your membership fees! he! he! he!) for their “smiles” on their faces. Be proud of your accomplishments because you worked hard to follow your respective program. Wishing you for more PR best times in the road races to come.

P.S. Critique For 2009 PSE Bull Run

Additional observations on the 2009 PSE Bull Run:

The Bad

6)   No Kilometer Markings—-Sometimes when you observe that there are no kilometer markings along the route of the race, you immediately conclude that the race organizers are not competitive runners.They could be recreational runners or social runners or let me say, business-minded runners!

7)   Too many turn-around points—I think, this is the only 10K race where I joined with three (3) turn-around points. No strings were given at the first turn-around point at Lawton Avenue where a “cheater” would be tempted to turn left directly to Bayani Road. The second turn-around at the Gate of the Libingan ng mga Bayani is another point where a “cheater” would simply turn left towards the Heritage Park area. On these intersections, I did not see any road marshalls manning these points to prevent “cheaters”.

Final Overall Rating For This Race—-69%

2009 PSE Bull Run “Takbo Para Sa Ekonomiya”

Critique—The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: 2009 PSE Bull Run Road Race

The Good

1)  This is the first road race for the year 2009 and it took at least a month of rest for the runners (not for me!) to enjoy the Holidays and long vacation. Being the first road race for the year, it brought excitement to the regular and competitive runners to be back on the road again and try to assess their level of competency in running. For most of the runners, they want to shed off some calories and fats which they accumulated during the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.

2)  The best thing that happened in this road race was a 100% “customer satisfaction” among the participants of the “speed training” at the ULTRA Oval Track who became automatically as members of the Team Bald Runner. Each of the runner/member  attained their respective PR best times! Even runners who were exposed to only one to weeks of training had improved their finish times.

3)  I am glad to find out, according to the data from my GF 305, that the distance of the 10K road race registered a very accurate reading of 10.0K. I think, this is the second best thing that happened in this race as it is the first 10K race that I have joined for the past one year to be the most accurate.

4)  There were Lots of Water Stations along the route but I did not see a Water Station at the Start/Finish Line.

5)  At last, it was nice to see the Generals of the Armed Forces of the Philippines with their Officers and Men led by no less than the Chief of Staff AFP, General Alexander Yano, who is also a runner and athlete, joined the said road race. It was nice also to see the Philippine Army’s Biking Club composed of the Officers and Enlisted Personnel which was revived by its Commanding General, Lt General Victor “Bong” Ibrado. This is the same Biking Club that I organized when I was the Commanding Officer of the Counter-Intelligence Unit of the Philippine Army during the early 90’s. Did anybody see any contingent from the Philippine National Police?

6) The taste of “hot pandesal” being distributed by Melvyn of the Fort Striders Club from one runner to another was really a “new thing” to me in a road race at the finish area.

7) The Project Donate A Shoe received a total of 28 pairs of slightly “used” shoes after the race. A separate post will be published on the details and pictures with the donors.

The Bad

1)  Lack of Road Marshalls—or the Absence of Road Marshalls. After running 50 meters from the Starting Line, I knew that there was something wrong! There were no road marshalls on the street intersections and vehicles would freely and abruptly cut into the runner’s way. It became worst when the runners were along Lawton Avenue and Bayani Road. Runners were seen running side by side with vehicles on these streets/roads.

2)  Narrow Street For Starting/Finish Line—The race oganizer selected a street at The Fort which is very narrow for a lot of runners and walkers. The road where road races at The Fort usually starts and finish (last year) should had been an appropriate choice for a bigger crowd. The 3K Walkers almost filled the entire width of the Finish Line and that I had to shout at the walkers who suddenly crossed my path as I was sprinting towards the Finish Line.

3) No Digital Clock—I did not see any digital clock at the Starting/Finish Line. I have to rely on my GF 305 for my finish time.

4)  Race Organizer/s Not Identified—It would be nice if the runners know the “faces” of the road organizers or at least, know the name of the outfit that organized  this road race. It seems that this road organizer is already notorious for not being able to look for the safety and welfare of the “paying” runners and walkers. I have a suspicion that I know these people. I’ve seen the Director-General of PATAFA on the side of the starting line before the start of the 10K race but I just saw him there standing with his arms crossed on his chest. I just surmised that the race was sanctioned by PATAFA or the course distance was measured by PATAFA.

5) No Need For Entertainers—In road races, there is no need for singers and other entertainers after the race while waiting for the winners to be announced and awarded. The race organizers should have positioned these entertainers along the route of the race. Guys, this is not a concert, this is a road race!

The Ugly

1)   Lack of Registration Efficiency—I’ve heard complaints of registered runners being promised of their race bibs to be picked up only to find out that their race bibs were not yet ready. These runners sent their respective drivers and staffs to get their race bibs for almost four times without getting positive results. The announced outlets for registration had been closed a week before the day of the race. The race numbers for the 10K race have so many color codings which may confuse the other runners if they are really in the right road race. In short, from the the race bib alone, it already showed how confused and inefficient the race organizers were in doing their jobs.

2)   Prints of the Finisher’s Shirt—I dont’l like the quality of the print “PSE BULL RUN 2009” infront of the shirt. Anyway, I’ll donate this shirt.

3)   No Philippine Flag, No Singing of the National Anthem—I suggest that if there is no Philippine Flag on the stage, we should not be singing the National Anthem.

4)   EMCEE and Public Address System— I hate the EMCEE! There is no need for a loud Public Address System with all those powerful speakers directed towards the runners at the “corral” area. A “bullhorn” should have served its purpose. The PSE authorities should had simply “ring the bell” continouosly instead of the Emcee shouting “Ready, Set, Go” at the same time with the ringing of the bell. Seriously speaking, I did not hear the ringing of the bell!

5)  No Certificate of Completion—I did not receive any. Did you receive one?

6)  Nice Dining Tables inside Tents—Have you observed/seen those dining tables with white cloth covers inside those tents lined up at the sides of the Stage? I wonder who were invited to dine on those nicely prepared tables. In a road race, everybody is treated equally whether you are rich, VIP, or not. The race organizers should have simply spent for the road marshalls but not for those dining tables and foods to be served. Runners, after finishing a 10K race, would simply need a bottle of water and a Gatorade and their day is done. Guys, this is not a marathon (42K/26M)  where you need to eat after the race! How I wished PSE should have served boiled bananas, boiled eggs, and “hot pandesal” for the runners and guests.

7)  Presence of Walkers—There is always a problem on the race route when the race organizers allow walkers to be mixed with the runners on the same route. As soon as I reached Lawton Avenue after coming from Bayani Road, the route became clogged with a lot of walkers who almost occupied the lane for the race. I had to run in between these walkers and sometimes stayed at the edge of the lane while making sure that I am not being sideswept by a vehicle on the other lane. As I mentioned earlier, these walkers also clogged the finishing chutes/finishing line.

Overall Rating for this Race—-70%