36th MILO Marathon Manila Elims

Last year, I ran the MILO Marathon Manila Eliminations but I DNFd at Km 23 because of my injury on my left knee.

This year, I did not have plans or intention of joining the MILO Marathon Manila Eliminations as I was out of the country when the media launching activity was held. However, my friend, Jonel, informed me through FB that he was able to register me to run the Half-Marathon distance which I thought to be a nice event for me to see the runners and at the same time to be seen by new runners after I’ve been busy going to the mountains and enjoying the beauty of trail running and hiking to the peak of mountains.

It was also a chance to expose one of my elite runners whom I’ve been training/coaching for ultra trail runs in the province. Danin Arenzana had been with me for 3 years and he has been consistently training for mountain runs. In his debut race at the Mt Ugo Trail Marathon Race (42K) by Jonel of FrontRunner Magazine last April of this year, he placed First Runner-Up, competing with the fast runners of Baguio City. I registered him for the MILO Half-Marathon distance as a test run on flat and paved surface.

Danin Arenzana At The Center, 2nd Place Overall in the FR Mag’s Mt Ugo Trail (42K) Marathon

As I said, I joined this race to be seen by other runners and also try to look for Marcelo and give him whatever I could receive from friends which they committed to be given to him. After giving some advice to Danin and making sure that he is positioned infront of the starters, I positioned myself at the back of the pack and find out how my body would perform without any structured training program as a preparation for this race.

The day before this race, I finished a 10K race in Fort Magsaysay where I finished in 1:02:15 hours. The course was relatively flat but there are hills to overcome which made the course very challenging. (Note: I will make a separate Race Report on this run). While traveling to Manila, I could feel some pain in my knees but with some massage, full sleep/rest and “voodoo” drinks, I was ready for a half-marathon race the following day.

On Race Day, I was surprised to find out that it took me almost one minute to cross the starting line from the back of the pack. It showed how many runners had registered and started for this race. I was informed that the number of runners had reached to 38,000+ making it the most attended running event in Metro Manila/in the country so far. This makes the MILO Marathon to be consistently called as the “most prestigious running event in the country”.

Crazy Old Guy Wearing A Trail Running Attire In A Half-Marathon Race

Well, going back to my performance. I was too slow and I understand that my age is slowly catching up with what is in my mind. My mind would say that I am still fast and strong as if I am 40 years old but my legs and my breathing were saying the reality—that I am already slow and getting older! On the first 10K, I was averaging a pace of 6:15-6:30 minutes per kilometer but on the 2nd half of the race, I began to slow down and had to walk before and after drinking water at the aid stations. My last 5 kilometers were really painful as I would experience some cramps on my calves. I had to walk on the last kilometer of the race.  I would finish the race in 2:25+ hours. My slowest finish time so far for a half-marathon distance!

Walking @ 200 Meters Before The Finish Line

There are no alibis or complaints about my performance. I simply did not prepare for this race. At least, I was able to gauge the level of my running fitness with this race. Which means, I lack the endurance and speed to sustain a consistent pace for the distance. Damn those swimming laps which I’ve done as cross-training to lessen the pain on my knees, hoping that I could improve my swimming endurance coming from a zero and a non-swimmer for the past months and weeks. I guess, I am a land animal and not a runner trying to glide like a fish in the water.

It’s a blessing in disguise that my road races last weekend (10K & 21K) have started again my focused training in running with the hope of joining more road and trail races in the coming months. Running and hiking to the peak of the mountains will still be a part of the training. My knees are still in pain but some adjustments in my training will have to be done for me to be back in consistent training.

Danin, my elite athlete, surprisingly landed #9 overall in the Half-Marathon Race with a time of 1:30+ hours. He performed well and he has the potential to run faster as I advised him to restructure and make some adjustments in his training program. We will see him more in trail running events!

Danin Arenzana Along Roxas Boulevard

It worthy to note also that my Elite Team Bald Runner/Philippine Army runners, Elmer Sabal and Gerald Sabal placed 2nd and 3rd Overall in the Marathon (42K) Elimination Race, respectively. Elmer finished in 2:45+ hours while Gerald finished in 2:46+ hours. I hope these runners will train some more to be able to win in the MILO Marathon FINALS in December. Danin will run again the Half-Marathon Race in the Finals, hoping to improve his time and ranking.

Congratulations to MILO Philippines and to Coach Rio De La Cruz (RUNRIO) for the successful conduct of this year’s Manila Elimination Race. You did a splendid job! No doubt, this running event will stay consistently as the “most prestigious running event in the country” in the years to come. Plus the fact that you have provided more running shoes to more students and potential runners around the country through your “Donate A Shoe” Program!

See you at the FINALS!


“Hi-Tech” In Ultra Running

Just like in any sport, technology is coming into play as an edge over your opponent or competitor. In endurance sports like long distance running/ultra marathon runs, technology plays on the runner’s kit (shoes and apparel), nutrition, and hydration. This is in addition with the technology devoted on the running form and body/physical structure of the runner; and other training-related “ways and means” in order to win in a certain race.

In the newly-concluded Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, interest had been focused on the training/preparation and the equipment/kit & nutrition that the Champion, Kilian Jornet, had used during the race. On the training/preparation, we all know that Kilian Jornet had been all around Europe and the world, so to speak, since his 3rd finish in last year’s Western States 100 to compete in ultra trail races and documenting his “Kilian Quest” as sponsored by Salomon. Last May, 5 weeks before the WS 100, he won and registered a course record for the TNF 100K in Australia.

Kilian's Shorts & Shirt (A close-up with my picture with him reveals its Gel pockets) Source: Competitor.com

In his attire during this year’s WS 100, we was wearing a loose “muscle shirt-type” upper attire which is colored white and combined with a loose trail shorts which has an inseam of about 3-4 inches. But if you noticed closely the upper white portion of his shorts, you could see a belt-type pocket all-around his waist where you can see GU Gels in it. It appears that the belt/waist portion of the shorts is lined-up with secret pockets where the runner can store/carry gels or powdered electrolytes. Wearing loose apparel was a way to solve the the hot temperature on the canyons along the route of the race.

I did not see Kilian using a hydration bottle when he reached the Placer Oval Track. He was not holding anything during his last 300 meters to the finish line. However, in his pre-interviews, he stated that Salomon had made a special hand glove water bottles for him which he can hold while running. Kilian was a victim of lack of hydration and electrolytes on the last quarter part of last year’s WS 100 as he experience muscle cramps. As you can see in his first attempt in the WS 100, he was not holding or wearing a hydration system during the race.

In an article at Competitor.com, the hand glove bottles were featured as shown below:

Hand Gloves With Water Bottles & Food Bars (Source: Competitor.com)

As for the running shoes, he used the lightest Salomon Trail Shoes which is considered as a prototype to be tested in the said race.

Salomon Trail Shoes (Source: Competitor.com)

And he was running without any socks!!!

Looking at the physical structure of Kilian, he was very light in weight. His height could be 5 feet and 6 inches with a weight of about 130-135 pounds. Using the lightest apparel and equipment and proper nutrition and hydration, could result to a well-trained and prepared athlete for the Championship in this race.

Of course, he has the Salomon Team on his “back and sides” to fully support and finance him just to be able to win the most prestigious 100-Mile Trail Run in Northern America.

This is an example and mark of what we call, “Sports Excellence”.

If you are wondering at what age he started to be trained and his exploits in the past, you can read his story and other related topics about him at www.kilianjornet.cat.

On the latest interview of Kilian Jornet after his win in the WS 100, you can read about his insights here at Running Times.