08 Feb ’09: Midnight To Sunrise Run

8 02 2009

This run was really for the hardcores and “crazy runners”. This was my first time to exprience this kind of running from midnight to sunrise and this event had brought us to another level of running experience.

Albert aka Run2Dmoon (http://run2dmoon.wordpress.com) had invited the participants of the 2009 Bataan 102K Ultramarathon Race for a Midnight To Sunrise Run/6-Hour Run for the past weeks at the MOA-PICC-Luneta and Back Loop. The Hardcores missed the first scheduled run as the group had a “runabout”  from UP Campus to Antipolo and back. So, the next scheduled practice run of Albert for the midnight run was fully attended by the registered participants of Bataan 102K and “guests” from across the seas.

As scheduled, the participants were already at the Blue Wave along Macapagal Avenue at 11:30 PM last night. I observed that the hardcores were punctual this time even if Jerry aka High Altitude had to come all the way from Silang, Cavite. The companions of Albert in last week’s Midnight Run were already at the assembly place. For the first time, I met Norio Tanaka, a 61-year old Japanese runner, who had been a permanent resident in the country for the past 10 years and married to a Filipina. Runner Rollie, who came from Tagaytay, was also there. The CAMANAVA Runners, Atty Jeffrey Abenina and Francisco Lapira Jr were there ready to run at least 10X around the loop. And for the first time, I met in person, Albert aka Run2Dmoon, the author and host for the said run. Kim O’Connell and Coach Jo-Ar were also there complete with their support vehicle. Of course, you would not miss the Hardcores/Team Bald Runners & Power Runners led by Jonel aka Bugobugo85 who had been always present in our past “runabouts”.

Of all surprises, my Pinoy Ultramarathon Trail runner friend, Ben Gaetos was also there ready to join us for the said run. Ben Gaetos and his wife just arrived last Friday evening from Los Angeles, California and with only two hours of sleep, he was with us for the 6-hour run. This guy is really “hardcore” par excellence! Just imagine how this guy (51 years old) finished the famous and challenging 100-Mile Angeles Crest Endurance Trail Run last September 2008 in 30 hours! (with 3 hours more to spare for the 33 hours cut-off time). The Angeles Crest 100-Mile Endurance Trail Run is one of the four “Westerm Slam” ultramarathon trail running events in the USA.

After a briefing from Albert and myself, we started the run at exactly midnight. From Blue Wave, we ran along Macapagal Avenue towards the PICC area, passing at the Film Center Building, Sofitel Hotel, Coconut House, Folk Arts Theater, CCP and towards Roxas Boulevard. At Roxas Boulevard, we passed by Baywalk and the US Embassy Area. We turned left to Quirino Grandstand at Kalaw Street and passed infront of Manila Hotel and waited for the slower runners at Km Post #0. After some photo-ops, we were back to our run towards Manila Hotel-Quirino Grandstand and back along the Roxas Boulevard. After running a distance of 13+ kilometers, we were back at the place where we started, Blue Wave.

At Rizal Monument, Luneta Park

At Rizal Monument, Luneta Park

Rizal Monument At Night

Rizal Monument At Night

After a few minutes of replenishing our water in our hydration packs, we decided to run along the MOA Grounds. At first, Albert led the group with what he calls the C-loop covering the perimeter roads of the MOA. The said C-loop had a distance of 7+ kilometers and after running through it, my GF 305 registered a distance of 20+ kilometers. After running 20K, we decided to have our first “pit stop” and ate spaghetti & yam burger at  Jollibee. After our food & water stop, we were back on the road and ran along a loop at the MOA grounds which has a distance of 3.85 kilometers. At this point, I missed counting the number of rounds on this loop as my mind was focused in finishing at least 42 kilometers for the run.

Two of our hardcore runners, Dr Joe aka The Loony Runner and George Dolores aka The Talkative Runner, joined us while we had our first C-loop run at the MOA grounds. All in all, there were 23 participants in this Midnight To Sunrise Run.

Jose Mari Javier & Charlie Chua of  Team Bald Runner, Tanaka, Raffy, Albert, Ben Gaetos, Rick Cabusao and the CAMANAVA runners were with me during the early rounds but they later increased their pace and went ahead running along the said loop.  As we got nearer to our 6:00 AM deadline, we were also nearing our goal of finishing 42K. With only few minutes left before the deadline time, I decided to walk along the loop for my cool-down until we were back to where we started. I was able to finish (by running & brisk walking) a distance of 46+ kilometers with an average page of 6:30 minutes per kilometer. All of us did not complain of any “cramps” during the run which was a good sign that we could last for more kilometers after running six hours.

The Finishers

The Finishers

Rico, BR, Ben, Jerry, Arman & Rollie

Rico, BR, Ben, Jerry, Arman & Rollie

Ben Gaetos Giving An Angeles Crest 100-Mile Endurance Trail Run Finisher's T-Shirt

Ben Gaetos Giving An Angeles Crest 100-Mile Endurance Trail Run Finisher's T-Shirt

To all the participants in this run and to Albert, thanks for the company and the invitation. Congratulations for a good and fufilling run! Guys, if we were able to run at least 45 kilometers for the past 6 hours, I am assuming that we could also finish another 45 kilometers in 7-8 hours! This means that you need to finish the remaining 12 kilometers in less than 4 hours in order to finish the 2009 Bataan 102 Ultramarathon Race within the cut-off time of 18 hours. To Kevin and Anne, thanks also for being the “official photographer” of the group.

To Ben Gaetos, thanks for the “gifts”, most especially to the 100-Mile Angeles Crest Endurance Run T-Shirt. This morning, you met the future ultramarathon runners in the country and I am sure some of these runners will be joining the ultra trail events in the USA in the future. These guys consider a marathon race as their “snacks” and I could see in their eyes for more running challenges and ultra run adventures in the future. We look at you as our “inspiration” in ultramarathon running. See you on the Bataan 52K “test run” on 22 February 2009 in Balanga, Bataan. Enjoy your stay in the country! 

Guys, Congratulations!

Guys, Congratulations!

My 2009 Resolution: Register Early!

25 01 2009

The Simpler, The Better!!!

The Bald Runner is just an ordinary runner and pays attention to announcements that The Happy Run had closed its registration as early as Thursday afternoon. So, there is no point of forcing the issue even if my staff were trying to communicate with the race organizer for the accommodation of my son who is visiting from the United States and myself. But I was surprised to learn that the elite members of Team Bald Runner are running the Resolution Run at MOA. So, I decided to run with the elite team for the Resolution Run this morning together with my son.

The Running Father & Son

The Running Father & Son

My son, John and I arrived at the MOA grounds at least one hour before the start of the race as Maj Espejo handed to me our race packets. The surroundings was still dark but the breeze coming from the sea was so refreshing and cold that I had to wear my sports jacket while having my slow warm-up jog along the wide streets at the back of the MOA. I decided not to bring my water belt this time and planned to slow down at least on two water stations for my “water breaks”.

40 Seconds Before The Emcee Said, "GO"!

40 Seconds Before The Emcee Said, "GO"!

The race started at 6:04 AM with about 500 runners where all the race distances (10K, 5K & 3K) were mixed together. But I found out that there was no problem with the mixed start at one time as the street was too wide for all the runners. I have to say that the EMCEE and the Public Address System were better than the last two races I’ve joined. The voice of the EMCEE gave some sort of a relaxing mood for the runners and the music (hip-hop) were pleasing to my ears. There were no program and speeches or unnecessary remarks from the EMCEE. He just announced that there are 40 seconds before the start of the race and before we knew it, the EMCEE just said “GO!” and off we went to our 10K run.

I was serous in my run while my son was having fun!

I was serious in my run while my son was having fun!

The Route Was Flat & Fast

The Route Was Flat & Fast

Finally, We Got Separated From The Main Group

Finally, We Got Separated From The Main Group

The route is relatively flat and fast as it went along the road parallel to the Promenade area at the back of MOA and the route took us to the PICC area up to the Sofitel (Philippine Plaza) Hotel and made our turn-around infront of the Film Academy Center Building where the marshalls gave us one ribbon colored blue and took my water sip on a water station located near the turn-around point. Going back was easy but we have to pass along the road where the “Globe” is located infront of MOA. The presence of the plying buses and vehicles made most of the runners to slow down as we tried to run directly as much as possible to the next corner or pavement of the streets. This is the only disadvantage I could see in running wide streets, it is hard to visualize which part of the road you have to run in order to mnimize distance up to the next road where you need to turn (to the left or to the right) towards the finish line. When I knew that I had only the last kilometer ahead of me before the finish line, it was the only time that I looked at my watch and I was surprised to see that my GF had registered 40+ minutes. On the last 400 meters, my son passed me and reached the Finish line at 43:18 minutes (in his GF 405) and I finished the race in 43:30 minutes (in my GF 305).

18 Minutes

John Passing The Finish Line In 43:18 Minutes. He admitted that this is his 1st 10K Race in his running career after finishing the Los Angeles Marathon For Four (4) Times.

BR Passing The Finish Line

BR Passing The Finish Line

The distance registered in my GF 305 was 9.6K (short by 400 meters). Even if I ran an additional 400 meters with my average pace for the last kilometer, I could have finished the race in 45:15 minutes. My average pace for the said race was 4:32 minutes/kilometer (as compared to my last week’s pace of 4:37 minutes/kilometer in the PSE Bull Run). Which means that I was able to improve my time for the 10K distance for almost one minute for this race. Whoaaa! Another PR again!

A Picture After The Race. Finally, This Race Made My Son As An "International Runner"

A Picture After The Race. Finally, This Race Made My Son As An "International Runner"

So, for those “stalkers” to the Bald Runner, if only I could have joined you in the Happy Run 15K, you might not have any chance of passing me along the way. According to my Pace Race Chart, with my 10K Finish Time today, I should have finished the race in 1:07:40 hours. Ha! Ha! Ha! Even with those hills at the Happy Run, I’ve really prepared and practiced on the same route last Friday morning together with my son.

Evaluation on the 2009 Resolution 10K Run

The Good

1)  Nice EMCEE and Public Address System with good music. The sounds were pleasing to every runner’s ears!

2)  Wide streets with less traffic.

3)  Abundant water station & water supply along the route and at the start & finish line.

4)  No unnnecessary program before the start of the race.

5)  I still consider the start time as punctual.

6)  No “traffic” of runners at the Finish Line

7)  I got to know more runners from the Manila area. More runners are calling me “Idol”.

8) It was a simple and decent race. No “commercial booths” for runners. I simply call this race as “Run, Finish, & Vanish” Race!

9)  Definitely, there were no “walkers”.

The Bad

1)  I did not see any digital clock/timer.

2)  Lack of Marshalls at the PICC Area as there were so many turns along the streets.

3)  As always, no kilometer markings.

4)  I did not know if there was a booth where I could claim my certificate of completion.

The Ugly

1) There were so many runners making “shortcuts” on the streets of the PICC area.

2)  Some of the lady elites got lost on the 5K turn-around point.

3)  The foul odor as one passes the bridge along the Macapagal Avenue. My son’s sense of smell was “jolted” by the stench on the said river. He said that he nearly “threw-up” while running along the bridge.

Overall Rating For The Race: 85%

Lessons Learned:

1)  Register early in a race where I plan to run.

2)  “Speed” Training is really producing its results on my road races.

3)  Recovery & Body Adaptation—After reducing my weekly number of kilometers I’ve finished from 127 kms to 72 kms last week, I further reduced my running totals for this week to 65 kilometers for my body to recover and adapt to the training. However, the “speed” training session last Friday afternoon (even if it was raining hard, remember?) prepared me for a faster pace in today’s race.

4)  Supplementary Weight Training—I had two workout sessions at the gym this week where I concentrated my time to my chest, shoulder, and core muscles.

5)  Protein Drinks & Vitamins & Good Diet—All those pains and soreness simply vanished by consistently taking my protein drinks, Vitamins, and proper diet with more vegetables, fish, and “tofu”.

6)  Massage—I did not have my massage for this week. I could not imagine what could had been my time if I had my regular massage for this week (before the race). 

7)  Racing Attire—Using a runner’s short with side-slit or running compression shorts during this 10K race did not make any difference at all in terms of comfort and speed.

198 Days: 16K @ Mall Of Asia & ULTRA Run

19 09 2008

Yesterday afternoon, I visited The North Face Store at the Mall of Asia Mall and bought the “Escalada” backpack with provision for a hydration pack. I intend to use this small backpack for my “runabout/walkabout” which could carry my food provisions, water/sports drink supply, windbreaker/jacket, towelette, extra socks and dry clothes, cellphone, sunglasses, medical first-aid kit, and my Sony Vaio Notebook just in case I decide to bring it with me. This will be useful in my ultra run practices in the North, in Antipolo & Tanay, in Tagaytay, and within Metro Manila area. (Note: To High Altitude & Aldz, I’ll be joining your mountain trail run soon!!!) Read the rest of this entry »

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