While most of the people who have something to share to the victims of the Flooding In Metro Manila are busy helping in the relief operations, I made my “very private and personal” experience to share the collections of slightly used running shoes and finishers’ shirts sent through Balikbayan Boxes from my ultrarunning friend, Benjamin Gaetos of Los Angeles, California to the Officers and Men of the Special Forces Regiment of the Philippine Army who are based in Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City.
These soldiers had been helping me in the conduct of the First 100-Mile Ultra Trail Run in the country dubbed as the “Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Trail Run” and the “Taklang Damulag 50-Mile/50K Trail Runs & Half-Marathon Races”.
More than 50 pairs of running shoes and more than the same number of Finisher’s Shirts were received by First Lieutenant Tony Abay, Commander of the Soecial Forces Regiment School and his men in a simple ceremony.
It was a very simple event but it was memorable to everybody.
Thanks to Benjamin Gaetos for his untiring efforts to pack and send these shoes through Balikbayan Boxes from Los Angeles, California! My snappy salute to you and to the rest of your ultrarunning friends out there in California, USA!
I happened to “virtually” meet Rick Gaston through the blogsite of Ronnie aka Runner For Christ in his Comment section and later started to read his blogsite at Blogger, only to find out that he is a “hardore” and the “best” Pinoy ultra trail runner guy residing in California. I started making comments in his blog and later, we started reading each other’s blog and leaving comments in every post published.
Knowing my advocacies in running, we continued to communicate through e-mails and I was happy to receive a news of his willingness to help other runners in the country. He immediately sent a boxful of finisher’s t-shirts, jackets, runner’s apparel, runner’s caps and ultrarunning magazines. Most of the shirts are still brand-new.
Rick, in his latest ultrarunning competition, he finished the San Diego 100-Mile Endurance Run last 6-7 June 2009 with a record time of 20:00:25 hours, missing at least 25 seconds for a sub-20 hours, placing him 6th Overall out of 82 Finishers. He also finished the Miwok 100K Run in 46th overall among 260+ finishers which was held on the first Saturday of May 2009 on a rainy and wet condition. Rick has also been active as volunteer/pacer/crew to new ultra runners and ultra races in the Pacific Coast Trail Events in Northern California.
In the box he sent, he enclosed a personal letter and copies of Ultrarunning Magazine. I am going to publish in this post the letter he sent to me.
Greetings Sir Jovie
I’m glad to be able to donate these items for you. My mother has politely declined to receive any more race gears so I’ve been collecting shirts, jackets and other pieces of gear for the last 3-4 years. I’ve been successful in giving some away but not all.
The Lord has outfitted me with all that I need to be successful in this sport and I am thankful and more than willing to share the extras. I race 10-12 events a year and I volunteer to just about as many, as you can imagine I tend to accumulate stuff. I don’t donate used shoes however because when I’m done with them the bottom are tattered and ruined from the trail. I am also a pronator and wear out the outer edges, thereby changing the mechanics of the shoe which would alter the way someone walks or runs and possibly cause them injury.
Again thanks for the opportunity to donate these items. I’m happy to be able to donate clothing to another ultra-marathoner’s foundation. Besides being a capable runner yourself, you are a great ambassadoe and mentor for the sport. One who is constantly spreading the good news about running, participating in workshops, run clinics, offering critical analysis of the races and their organizers in Manila, a sponsor of running teams and a race director of an ultra-marathon. I wish you and your family further success in this great sport.
Hereunder are the pictures of the box and some of the items sent by Rick Gaston.
The following “Angels Wearing Running Shoes” had been consistently supporting my “projects” by donating their “old shoes” and their road race “finisher’s t-shirts”. Again, I am featuring them in this blog to acknowledge their effort of “bringing back” something to the sports they love by benefitting the less-fortunate members of the running community. Almost 60 pairs of donated used shoes are awaiting to be distributed for the MILO Manila Eliminations on July 9, 2009 as I wanted these shoes to be distributed at the Luneta Park with a wider cross-section of recipient-runners coming from the neighboring provinces of Metro Manila.
Moreover, the donated “finisher’s t-shirts” had been packed and ready to be sent to the Gawad Kalinga Communities of Laoag City and some municipalities of Cagayan Province.
To all the “Angels Wearing Running Shoes”, thank you very much!
Jayson, one of the latest recipients of the “1,000-Km Club” Finisher’s T-Shirt, also donated one (1) pair of his “used” running shoes.
Have you seen “angels” wearing running shoes? Yes, they are all everywhere! They don’t use their “wings” to fly but they have their running legs and feet (with their running shoes) to help those who are in need.
Since Tuesday this week, I’ve been doing at least 30-minute active recovery runs in the afternoons and in these recovery runs, I met these “angels in running shoes” and each of them provided support to the projects being administered by the Bald Runner.
Last night, Jonel aka Bugobugo85, Jay Lee Cu-Unjieng, Charlie Chua and Armand aka Pinoy Mafiosi, members of the Hardcore Runners of Team Bald Runner donated eight (8) pieces of Bed Mattress to the members of the Elite Team Bald Runner. These guys will be joining the TNF 100 Sacobia’s Solo Event.
Javy Olives of Team Bald Runner-Professional Group and presently training for the Camarines Sur Triathlon Event this coming August 2009, donated five (5) pairs of used running shoes.
Jael Wenceslao of Team Bald Runner-Professional Group, who is leaving today for the USA, donated seven (7) pieces of “never-been-used” Finisher’s T-shirts and singlets for my Project Donate A Shirt. Jael is going to join the 2009 Eugene Marathon (Eugene, Oregon) this coming Sunday, 03 May 2009. After finishing his first Marathon Race at the 2008 SC Singapore Marathon last December with a time of 5+ hours, I told him that he can finish the race in less than 4 hours. Jael had been a regular member in our “runabouts” and he had shown a great improvements in his latest races.
To these “angels”, thank you once again. May the “Force” be with you always in your running adventures!
A week before Ben Gaetos left for Los Angeles, California, I received the Balikbayan Box (BB) he sent in the middle of January 2009. The BB contains nineteen (19) pairs of slightly used running shoes, lots of finisher’s t-shirts, lots of basic neccessities for ultra runners to include “noodles”, copies/back issues of Trail Running Magazine and red wine for Major Espejo & staff of the office.
Ben, thanks for supporting my projects—Project Donate A Shoe; Project Donate A Shirt; and my Ultra Running Events. Extend my thanks also to Carmela Layson who contributed and sent her running shoes through the Balikbayan Box. Good luck on your future ultra running adventures!
I might as well mention in this post what Ben Gaetos had written in one of his comments about his experience running in ultramarathon events and his advise to the participants in the Bataan 102K Ultramarathon Race.
First, thank you Sir Jovie for conducting the training runs. I wouldn’t want to miss both night run and the test run. I ran both with a couple of hrs sleep coming from international flights. In the words of Jeff and Jun, “I’m also in need of serious psychiatric treatment”.
I myself suffered heat stroke at ‘07 Mt Disappointment 50M (80k). I took off early and on the crucial part may have taken contaminated (mold) Cytomax. From M38(60k) to the finish, I threw up. My blue shirt turned white due to electrolyte loss and finished almost dead last due to dehydration. Lots of DNF in the race. My will got me to finish. We had a 100 deg temp. Last year, I redeemed myself finishing 1 hr 40 mins faster.
At the Bataan Test Run, aside from my hydration I kept drinking every opportunity I had. I thank TBR and other support crews who offered. I poured water in my head all the time. Use Gatorade or any stonger drinks such as HEED, etc. You may also mix your energy gels with water. Avoid wearing dark clothes. The albedo (reflectivity ratio) of concrete is much higher than dirt. Our body generates all those heat. Some of you must have noticed me running on the dirt shoulder. It lessened the pounding on the joints at the pavement and at the same time less reflection. A high spf lotion is also ideal + application of body glides at your nipples and sensitive body parts (below under arms, crotches, butt, toes). All these are susceptible to blisters on a hot day. Remember the first part of Bataan is hilly. You should pace properly and start slow as possible. Throw away your marathon pace splits. You don’t have to be a speed demon to complete an ultra. You just have to run a smart race. I divide my race in 3 segments (warm up, target pace and finishing kick). The last one I even divide in 2 parts. Lots of psychological game here so you need to be mentally tough too. There will be lots of down times and ready to give up. Just imagine how you always bounce back whenever you’re down.
Check http://www.badwater.com and http://www.run100s.com for heat training tips. You won’t believe this but sometimes during summer, I turn the heater on my car or don’t open the windows at all. That’s my self improvised sauna.
Again, thanks for a wonderful time running with all of you. I can’t remember all your names but you showed the determination and fun of running an ultra. The camaraderie at ultra is uncomparable. I’ll be cheering for you at the Bataan 102. Lastly, don’t forget to taper 3 wks prior to Bataan 102. From this point do your long runs and possible back2back long runs. Walk or easy run on one of the two using “time on feet principle”. Good luck!!
Feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Once again, thanks Ben for everything. As they say, “ultramarathon could be a stupid sports but it does not need a stupid runner to finish one”.
Jay Nacino aka Prometheus Cometh donated nine (9) pieces of his Finisher’s T-Shirts last week while we were having our “speed” training at the ULTRA Oval Track. Most of the shirts were not even used as they were still in their plastic bags!
After the Happy Run 15K at The Fort last 25 February, Jerry Karundeng aka High Altitude donated eight (8) pieces of his sports shirts and Finisher’s T-shirts.
Rene aka Jazzrunner also donated a T-Shirt for my Project.
To all the donors, thank you very much for your support! Your T-Shirts will be donated to the families of GK communities in Laoag City and to the families of the farming community of Barangay San Lorenzo, Iguig, Cagayan.
A few weeks after I launched the Project Donate A Shoe last year, I started another project where I encouraged runners to donate their Race Finisher’s T-Shirts which I know are just washed and folded in their closets after being used only once. So, I started donating my collection of Race Finisher’s T-Shirts which I dubbed as Project Donate A Shirt. Such shirts had been donated to families residing in Gawad Kalinga Communities in Laoag City—GK Bacsil and GK Talinga-an.
After collecting 50+ pieces of assorted Finisher’s T-Shirts from DelQ in California and from runner-bloggers & members of Team Bald Runner for the past months, I visited GK Bacsil in Laoag City this mornng after a short notice and coordination with Mr Robert De Los Santos, the Project Director. I donated these donated shirts to the wives of the different families residing in the said GK as their husbands were already tending their respective crops and some were already working outside their respective houses.