5th “Runabout”: 51K For The Pasig River


5:23 AM to 1:45 PM 08 March 2009 in Metro Manila

After posting the details of the 42K “runabout” last Saturday, I expected that at least 30+ participants will be joining the said event. This is the 5th edition of the Hardcore & Power Runner’s adventure in Metro Manila and the last practice long run for the participants of the 1st Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race which will be held on 05 April 2009 from Km 00 in Mariveles, Bataan to Km 102 in SanFernando, Pampanga.

Having announced that the assembly time was 4:30AM at the Oblation in UP Diliman Campus, I arrived at the place at 4:10AM and it was followed with the arrival of Sid Vildosola, one of the elite members of Team Bald Runner, who ran all the way from ULTRA, Pasig City to UP. He told me about a car with drunk teen-agers trying to follow him while running along the road fronting the Corinthian Gardens which he didn’t bother to notice or get attention to it.

The number of runners increased as we neared the time of jump-off from our assembly area. Once the ABS-CBN TV crew arrived led by Ms Amor Reyes of the ABS-CBN Foundation, the camera started rolling towards the group of runners as we started to give a briefing to them. I started with the background and purpose of the “runabout” and gave a welcome greeting to those who are new in the said adventure. Jonel’s & Rico’s briefing followed with the description and details of the route and the pre-designated “pit stops” and “assembly areas” for the faster runners to wait for the slower runners. Accounting was done before we finally started the run and we had twenty-nine (29) runners. From 23 runners in our last run adventure, we increased to 29 runners. I was happy to note that the participant on the Bataan 52K “Test Run” were there to join the event. Guys, you are really hardcores and strong “warriors”! There is no doubt that you are ultra runners!

Briefing For the Runners
Briefing For the Runners

Accounting On The Number of Runners
Accounting On The Number of Runners
Group Picture Of the 29 Brave "Warriors"
Group Picture Of the 29 Brave "Warriors"

We started the run at 5:23AM and we proceeded towards the Balara area. It was my first time to run in the said area and passed in this upscale subdivision. The average pace was 6:45 to 7:15 minutes per kilometer. It was a “talking” pace and I enjoyed the company of Jay aka Prometheus on the first 5 kilometers. Later, we left the subdivision and were headed towards the Marikina Riverbanks. I remember this place as the running route in last year’s Champion Run which was organized by Coach Rio. From the Marikina Riverbanks, we proceeded to C-5 Highway running on the left side of the road. We had our first “pit stop” at the Petron Gas Station near Brgy Bagong-Ilog, Pasig City. At this point, we had covered 17 kilometers. It took us 15 minutes After 15 minutes to replenish our water & electrolyte drinks and for us to wait for the slower runners to arrive, we were ready again for the continuation of our run. The ABS-CBN TV crew was with us from the Marikina Riverbanks to the C-5 Highway and in our “pit stops”.

Running Along Marikina Riverbanks
Running Along Marikina Riverbanks

At C-5 Near Diego Silang, Taguig City
At C-5 Near Diego Silang, Taguig City

The heat of the sun was becoming a great challenge for every runner as we continued to run along C-5. We ran along the flyovers and the TV crew was waiting on top of the Pasig Bridge along C-5 for more “running shots” with the participants. From C-5, we turned right towards the Heritage Park and went along the Bayani Road and later to Lawton Avenue. The 7-11 Store at the McKinley Hill Commercial Area became our 2nd “pit stop” for more water and electrolyte drinks. At this point, we were able to run a distance of 28 kilometers. After waiting for the other runners, we had our breakfast at McDonald’s and I was able to meet some “friends” who were also having their breakfast. After eating my breakfast, I tried one of the “tips” given by Ben Gaetos of taking salt with Coke. Most of the runners would also take salt as they drink their water. They also placed some ice on their heads with their running cap just to “cool off” the effects of the sun to their bodies.

At McKinley Hill Area
At McKinley Hill Area

Near The British Embassy at McKinley Hill
Near The British Embassy at McKinley Hill

We resumed our run inside the roads of McKinley Hill and towards the British Embassy and later back to Lawton Avenue. From Lawton, we proceeded to The Fort, passing along Essensa and towards the Serendra area and to the road infront of the International School. I thought we would go directly to Kalayaan Avenue and JP Rizal but the front runners decided to stop in one of the 7-11 Stores for more water and sports drinks. It was already 10:30 AM and the group was starting to run slower.

From the JP Rizal Road, we crossed the Guadalupe Bridge going to Mandaluyong and had another “pit stop” at the Caltex Gas Station for about 5 minutes. From there, we had to compete with the pedestrians on the use of the narrow sidewalks at the crossing Shaw & EDSA and the heat of the sun became hotter as we ran along EDSA fronting the Camp Aguinaldo area. Some of the runners beg off to finish the run since they were able to cover the distance of 42K when we reached the Petron Gas Station at the North Greenhills area. It seems that running along EDSA was the hardest part of the run as we exceeded the 42K distance of our run plus the heat of the sun and pavement was really a big challenge for everybody.

It was a relief when the members of the Elite Team Bald Runner and staff of the ABS-CBN Foundation were waiting for us at the GMA TV area along EDSA and joined us for the last stretch to the office of the ABS-CBN Foundation. After another kilometer or more of running, we finally reached ABS-CBN and we were warmly received by the Deputy Director of ABS-CBN Foundation, Girlie Aragon and her staff together with Amor Reyes and the TV Crew. At this point, my GF 305 registered a distance of 48.4 kilometers. The ABS-CBN Foundation staff prepared cold drinking water, lots of bananas, and cold sliced Valencia Oranges for all the runners. We were able to collect an amount of P 9,047.00 from the participants for our contribution for the Kapit Bisig Para Sa Ilog Pasig Project which was officially received by Ms Girlie Aragon in the presence of all the runners and Elite Team Bald Runner.

Turn-Over Of Contribution To "Kapit-Bisig Para Sa Ilog Pasig"
Turn-Over Of Contribution To "Kapit-Bisig Para Sa Ilog Pasig"

The Interview
The Interview

After an interview about our “runabout”, the advocacy of Team Bald Runner and the projects this blog with the staff of ABS-CBN Foundation, we resumed our run towards EDSA and turned right along Quezon Avenue until we reached where we started our “runabout”. We were able to run a distance of almost 51 kilometers for about 8 hours on the road to include our “pit stops” and activity at the ABS-CBN Foundation Compound.

The Finishers/"Survivors"
The Finishers/"Survivors"

I would like to express my thanks to all the runners who joined in this “runabout”, to Girlie Aragon, Amor Reyes, Josow, and the rest of the staff and TV crew who warmly received us during our brief “pit stop” at the ABS-CBN Foundation. We hope that the TV network will continuously cover our running events as we promised to support their “Kapit Bisig Para Sa Ilog Pasig” Project as part of the advocacy of this blog.  

At the finish line, Maj Espejo and I awarded the Cerificate of Achievement  to all the runners who completed the Bataan 52K “Test Run” held last 22 Feb 2009.  Congratulations to all of you!

Awarding of Bataan 52K "Test Run" Certificates
Awarding of Bataan 52K "Test Run" Certificates

I am glad that the participants of the 1st Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race learned their lessons as a result of our “Test Run” and this final practice run validated whatever problems or concerns they have for the final race.  I consider this “runabout” as a success as our runs are starting to support a “cause” for the improvement of the environment.