Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Running Aid 3 - October 9, 2008

In cooperation with R.O.X., Pocari Sweat, Chris Sports and The North Face, Pinoy Ultra Runners presents Running Aid 3. A beginners guide to injury free running. After the last two successful running aid lectures, the team decided its already time to start running. We will bring in several treadmills provided by Chris Sports to demonstrate different running techniques and forms as well as other running essentials. For those who attend the last two sessions this is an opportunity to actually see and put into practice what we have learned. For those who will attend the running aid for the first time it will be a worthwhile experience. Invite your friends and other runners. Attached in this email is the event poster. We really hope you can attend.

See you there and thank you very much.

Best regards
Neville Jay Manaois
Team Principal
Pinoy Ultra runners

Takbo Breast Friend - October 5, 2008

I have already registered for this race along with fellow runners Per, Janine and Jeanne.

Last time I did an Ultra Fun Run was for the Exodus Run last March 16,2008 for the 10Km distance. My finish time back then was at 1 hour & 4 minutes so hopefully I can do better this time around. I need to push myself especially for the killer uphill portion near the motel area.

There is some doubt though on whether I can beat my Ultra 10Km record as training less speedwork these days and more focused on long runs at easy pace in preparation for the Half Marathon race. I will focus on running on treadmill at inclined pace this week for this race.

For Per, this will be her first Ultra run and for that, she will do the 5Km race. Last time here, she was the official photographer, spectator and video person so nice to know she will be an official runner in this event.

For Janine+, this would be her first Ultra 10Km run (after doing a 5Km last year). It will be hers and Jeanne's first year anniversary run so I am hoping they would treat us for breakfast! Hahaha.

Takbo Breast Friends... Forever!

Race Details
Assembly time at 5:30AM and race will start at 6:00AM. The 10Km course will be two 5Km loop from Meralco Avenue, down J. Vargas Avenue, C-5 area and back again towards Ultra. Entry fee is P200 and comes with race number, race info, and a shirt (size Large only). You may contact Emeline at 0922-8948728 for more details.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Botak Paa-bilisan Race - October 19, 2008

I am all set for this race to be held on October 19,2008 at Fort Bonifacio at 6:00AM. I was able to register for this event in last Sunday's PMI PROUDLY 60 Run for the 10Km race.

For a registration fee of Php 250, it comes with a race bib and that of a Botak Orange Singlet. According to the rules and regulations found inside the brown envelope, all runners MUST wear the singlet when joining the fun run. The problem I encountered here which was the same as what I encountered in the MILO race, was that the XL Singlet I got DOES NOT FIT me. There should definitely be a Running Fatboy Size or XXL size to fit on the ummm... big boned runners like myself! Well, they might still come up with an XXL sized singlet as I got the organizer's contact details for exchange of shirt.

Note: PMI's singlet also doesn't fit me but at least they don't require all participants to wear said singlet.

This will be a series of races that BOTAK will organize in different locations in the country but for 2008, this will be the only race they have. Other races they will do will be in Malate (Feb 15, 2009), Quezon City (May 10, 2009), Mall of Asia (August 2009), and back again to Fort Bonifacio (Nov 2009).

At time of my registering, they said there is 3Km, 5Km and 10Km categories but they are only taking participants for 5Km and 10Km so a guy had to get their contact details for joining the 3Km race with his family.

There will be cash prizes for first three finishers for each race and cash prizes for top three finishers in each age categories for each race.

My Recommendations: I hope they come up with discounted prices for those participants who have joined one of their races to have option of paying less minus the singlet on succeeding runs.. That would encourage us to join more of their races. Besides what would I do with four generic Botak Singlets that I can't do with one?

Joining and completing all four races successfully will reward participant with finisher medal, certificate or a finisher singlet for all races. Joining all four runs will lead to a total expense of P1,000 and four generic Singlets so it will be nice if there is special incentives for joining all of them.

On a personal Note: I will be doing my first half marathon on October 12, 2008, a full week before this event. I don't know how much I have recovered by then for this race so this might not be a personal best target for me but more of a recovery run. Will see how I feel after my half marathon. But will definitely aim to still finish this, whether to run or to walk. Per has also registered for the 10Km race so I may run with her as well to try and beat our joint finish time that we set in PMI PROUDLY 60 RUN. But again, that would depend on how conditioned I am on this day.

My race bib. Paa-bilisan: catchy name!

Botak registration booth at U.P. Campus

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Nike+ Sports Band Revisited...

I first did a review on this product a few months ago, which can be seen here:
At that time, I like it as a product as it is pretty light on the wrist and feels just like one of those baller bands we wear as part of fashion statement or based on things we support (Fight against Cancer, Fight Against AIDS, etc.).
It is a good product in that it gives you time, distance, calories, pace and at a very affordable price compared to that of Garmin watch (at just 35% the cost of a Garmin). Loading data to a computer is quite convenient too. All you need to do is pull it out and insert it in a USB port and you will see a graph of your progress.
But now, I don't like it anymore and hope that Nike would come up (and soon) with a better product. The recently concluded Nike+ Human Race shows how much sellable this product is to the running community so I hope they improve on this..
What went wrong??
Simply, it breaks down easily. I had my first one for a few months before the USB got damaged somehow and couldn't upload the runs I did. It was able to upload some data, then can't finish it. So ended up just charging battery of unit (with data error). Pretty soon, inserting device to computer again will not even charge the battery, much less transfer data to computer.
I had it replaced just last week and found out last night that my second one is damaged as well via the LCD display this time. I went back to Nike store but found out that it is out of stock for all Nike stores. So, I am stuck with my Nike+ Sportsband whose reading display I can't read but can just use to upload data. As of now, that is still operable...
Just to show that it isn't just me that this is happening to, my girlfriend had hers changed twice and so had my sister. Their problems revolve around the LCD display too and weird as it didn't get wet at any time.
I hope Nike would order these things soon and more importantly, fix the glitches in this product. They are nice enough to replace it for you but if they don't have the product in stock, then you will still be stuck with you Sports Band.
This isn't happening in the Philippines only because if you go to www.nike.com and search for Nike Sportsband, it only received an average of 3.4 stars out of 5 stars from 341 product reviewers. You can read some of reviews done by the people who bought this item in the United States.
For those people looking at measuring their distance runs, it might be safer for you to go for Nike+ Ipod Sports Kit which had average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 stars from 57 reviewers or the expensive Garmin watch.
For those people who already have this, I hope that you don't encounter the same problems I did with it as it is really a nice product to record your individual and weekly runs and see how well you did.
And if anyone sees this at a Nike store in Metro Manila, please let me know where as still willing to give this product a third chance and see if this would be the Nike Sportsband that would last a looooooooonnnnggg time. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

October runs

From a very lackluster September run wherein I joined one fun run only, October looks to be a busy month for me. My schedule will be as follows:

October 5 - Takbo Breast Friend 10k. This will be at Ultra, Pasig and I would expect this to still be the most difficult for me given the pollution of the cars here and very uphill route. Hopefully, the organizers can do a full road closure while the race is ongoing. Registration Fee P200. This would be a good training for me in preparation of the following weekend race:

October 11- Adidas 21k. Sadly it won't be this race as missing out on it. Was looking forward to this back in September but they moved it to this date. A lot of my friends will be joining this though and singlet looks really nice. All runners will also get 10% discount to Adidas products via coupon attached to race bib. Registration already available at SM Megamall and Podium's Adidas Stores.

October 12 - Kota Kinabalu 21k. My Longest race and in a foreign land (but one I am comfortable as been there three times already). Will look forward to lying in the swimming pool of hotel resort right after the race to relax my body. Looking at target of 2 hours and 30 minutes or less for this race. Hopefully, I am fit enough from the Ultra Race to be able to finish this at a good time.

October 19 - Botak Paabilisan 10k. Registered for this recently and more of a recovery run than that of a P.R. run. Registration Fee P250. More on this later.

So there you go. 3 runs, 3 different dates, 3 different places. All in the same month.

Monday, September 22, 2008

In good times and in bad times...

I didn't expect to do a run this month as most are located far from where I live (Milo Provincial Races, Subic Legacy Run, Makiling 10K Run to name a few). The only runs held near my place were the PMI PROUDLY 60 RUN in UP and Raising Hope 2 Run in Rockwell, both to be held on September 21, 2008.

I didn't expect to join any of these runs either as my Saturday was quite busy... busy going to Tagaytay with my girlfriend Per to eat at Sonya's Garden. The travel time alone takes a lot of patience given the long distance and the heavy traffic from road closures in South Super Hi-Way but make it we did for the salad and pasta buffet.

This was something Per and I planned for a few weeks now (and to which I secretly planned for more than a month) as a place to head to and have a good time. We have eaten here twice already in the last three years but we were both pleasantly surprised that it was still a crowd-drawer (nevermind how far it is) and it even looked better as it expanded its dining area to serve hungry customers and now has body massage and bed & breakfast options as well.

It was here that I popped The Question to her. My plan involved a secluded place, a game board and some added bonuses at the back of the car to still be given to her regardless of her answer. A camera is always handy too. If things turn favorable for you, you can have some keepsake memory. If things do not, well ..... said camera has an erase option. Haha!

Luckily, I didn't have to press that button as she said YES to my question, which made me a very very happy RFB! :)

Heading back to Manila, I came up with an idea that we should celebrate being engaged by doing a run together and finishing at the same time (I know, moment ruiner!). But that's what we still did. We chose the UP Run as wanted to do an actual race to motivate ourselves for a nice finish time.

I woke up at 4AM, picked up Per and we headed to UP. We got there around 520AM, registered for the 10Km race, put on our bibs and did some stretches at the starting line. My plan was to keep Per strong thoughout the race and running beside her the entire time. There was no sun and no rain either so weather was quite good. The course was mostly downhill and for the 10Km course, it's two 5Km loops to the finish line.
Running in U.P. Campus is still the best place for me given its nice road course and lots of trees that surround the area. Our race started at 6AM and before long, the 5Km race started as well with fast runners from that category overtaking us. But we ignored them as we focused on our own running. There were enough water to go around as well..
As in any marriage, there are always some good times and some bad times. You just got to figure out how to work things out. The important thing is doing it and handling it together.
As a symbolism of things to come, that is what we did in our race this morning: doing it together. And as for the good times and bad times, well, in this race, Per had her best time in a 10KM race, beating her goal of 1 hour 20 minutes by completing it in 1 hour and 18 minutes, a full 7 minutes faster than her previous 10Km record of 1 hour 25 minutes.
And as for me, it was my worst finish time, a full 20 minutes slower than my best 10Km time of 58 minutes. But that is okay, because finishing a race with Per, well, that would still count as my best time ever....
Relaxing the day before at Sonya's Garden.
Still at Sonya's Garden

Spur of the moment race the next day

My race bib

We got here quite early so took some shots before race began

First race we started and ended together...definitely not our last one.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Almost a year of running

Wow, nearly a year of running and still not getting tired of it. I started my first run at the Men's Health Urbanathon last November 2007 with friend Janine to challenge myself. What made this race different from a normal 10KM race was a series of obstacles one had to complete TWICE in order to finish the race. Failure to do so would mean a penalty of 2-3 minutes added to your personal time. At that time, my girlfriend and I were wondering what the importance of 2-3 minutes were. After all, that is nothing in the overall scheme of things. But Janine blurted out that 2-3 minutes is a BIG THING when it comes to running. "What the hell is wrong with her?", I asked Per. Now, we are eating our words as we realize she is right about that thing (she did have an advantage of running some 5KM races before this one so she knows better). Peace Janine! haha!

I had low expectations and put in goal finish time at 2 hours. I was able to finish the race at a good time of 1 hour and 7 minutes. By that time, I was exhausted, thirsty and dirty from all the running and climbing walls. My legs were in pain for the next two days. And I vow never to run again having completed this challenge. But then Janine mentioned there was a La Salle run the following weekend at Mall of Asia grounds.

"Another Run? Why do it again? Why? Why? Why?", I thought to myself.

Janine said it would be easy as just running on flat course and there will be no obstacles and wouldn't it be nice to get the La Salle singlet as souvenir from our college days? (huh? what the hell's a singlet? oh... a sando. So why not call it a sando?)

So I ended up running that one again.

Fast forward to today and I have joined 20 local races and looking to run a few more. I have reached my target of beating the 1 hour mark for 10k with my fastest time at 58 minutes 33 seconds. I ran a lot of races that exceed the 10KM barrier mark with my farthest at 16KM (La Salle). I ran in the hard rain (La Salle again and Milo) and in the scorching heat (Mizuno 15k and Nike+). I did the very hard Menshealth All Terrain Race in Timberland and Exodus Run in Ultra as roads were very inclined for these two races. I ran in some terrible races where there were no water, not enough marshals, and no finish time and some good races where everything was well organized and lots of free stuffs given out. I ran in a race where there were only 300 participants (Nike+, Dasma) and in a race where there were thousands and thousands of runners (PSE Bull Run, Milo).

Each run is different from the next and that is why I will continue running going forward. I have changed some of my goals as well, now opting to finish a long run via a half-marathon in October and maybe the New Balance 25k run in November.

I am looking to doing a full marathon at least once in my life but will see if that can be attained next year or not. I also hope to do one Asian run aside from kota kinabalu with focus on Singapore or Hong Kong as nearest to Philippines, and therefore the cheapest. Looking to do full Marathon at Singapore so at least that will hit two of my goals: probably the Adidas Night race so it won't be hot but might be hard too as starting at 12 midnight and I could be tired from lack of sleep. I want to experience the Human Race in Singapore should Nike decide to do one again next August. Ultimate Dream race will be the Disneyworld Half Marathon and that one I want to do with Per (she will do 10KM race). That should be fun with mascots everywhere and one can even get a Disney finisher medal.

Almost a year of running now... and already looking at my second, third, fourth, fifth year of running....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

RFB takes a break -Oktoberfest style

Running Fatboy takes a Break from all that running and waking up early (to the glee of Perper Oven) to have a busy Friday night.


First was watching the opening show of local production of West Side Story starring Christian Bautista and Joanna Ampil at the Meralco Theatre. A re-telling of classic story of Romeo & Juliet as two lovers encounter each other from opposite ends of two clashing street gangs.
I didn't know who Joanna Ampil was when I learned about this show but very glad that I saw her perform. She has a very good voice when it comes to singing the different songs of the musical. She is based in London and has done a lot of musicals there. So why is she here? West Side Story was her dream role so upon hearing it, she sent a video audition to the director to which she got hired, came back to the Philippines for practice staging and the rest is history. Taking turns with Joanna Ampil is popular actress/ singer Karylle. Musical director: Gerard Salonga.

Some Trivia: Audie Gemora (executive producer) and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (director) both had lead roles for this musical when they performed it some 25 years ago! Full circle for these two people.

Tickets for the show can still be bought at http://www.ticketworld.com/.


The musical ended at 10:00PM so it was off to San Miguel's Oktoberfest for us. An Oktoberfest in September? And first week of September at that! Well, San Miguel has a plan to make it 120 days of drinking, hence starting it way ahead of time. Not only that, but it attempts to break Guiness Book of World Records' umm record for world's longest bar by making it 600 meters long (current holder of title is Taiwan at 240 meters).

I was looking at trying to get into the general admission area but the time we got there, it was already closed for entry as at full capacity. The only option left was to go to the air-conditioned tent, pay the Php 300 entry fee and just watch the live concerts via a large projector screen (with grand finale Third Eye Blind set to perform).

For Php 300, it was worth it as entry fee gets you three specially made San Miguel's Oktoberfest draft beers (which tastes better than the regular ones), yummy food on a paper plate (very meaty spare ribs, lots of sliced sausages and ice-cream), and even some free games. Plus, it is quite comfortable as tent was very spacious, had a lot of vacant seats and tables and air-conditioner warded off the hot, humid night. All in all, we were glad we didn't get into the general admission until....

Third Eye Blind came up on the projector screen. That I didn't mind as can't remember what they looked like anyway! What irritated me was that they forgot to install speakers next to projector so Perper Oven and I were left trying to decipher what they were singing from the movements of their lips and the muffled sounds outside the tent. Oh well, guess there is only so much a P300 entry fee can do for you...

All in all a very good night and a memorable experience for both events.

Entrance to the tent

Ooohh Limited Edition = Rare, hard to find item! Ebay here I come! haha

Beer Exhibit

Perper Oven tried her hand at throwing darts, and hit the wall, the floor, and almost a guy's head (good thing he ducked in time). That's too much beer for you girl!

Beer Line-up

Who wants a cold glass of Running FAT BOY??

This is what it looked outside the tent. Another successful event for San Miguel Beer!

Closest we got to see a MUTED Third Eye Blind. What a disappointment...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Borneo Marathon - October 12, 2008

As most of the runners here in good ol' Philippines will join the Adidas Run on October 12, 2008 to be held in Fort Bonifacio, I will be doing my run in another place and in another country.

The Borneo International Marathon is happening on October 12, 2008 in Kota Konabalu. Since I do not have the confidence yet to do a Full Marathon (my longest race so far was the La Salle 16KM), I will do the Half Marathon instead.
This will be my very First Half Marathon and apparently Borneo's too as this will be the first race conducted here.

Some other Firsts for me:
1. First time to use a Chip Timer. I still don't have an idea on how to attach this device to my shoe!
2. First time to attend a Pre-race Pasta Party. Initially, I backed out of this as wanted to explore the other eateries in KK, but upon learning that this was the only venue where I can claim the race kit and that they will make this dinner FREE for first 1,000 runners, I immediately signed up for this event. Can't resist anything that is FREE! Thanks Sabah Tourism Board! So lots of carbo loading for this run!
3. Should I finish race within the cut-off time, I would get my First Finisher Medal.
Aside from the items above, the race kit would also include a Borneo Marathon singlet, a marathon bag and RM50 coupon for Adidas shoes. Hmm, I just might buy one pair to reward myself! There would also be a 10 minute free foot massage after the race so looks like I am going to be a very pampered RFB!
Race Organizer Shan was very prompt in all queries that I had with regards to this. Best of all was the Runner's Special Hotel Package they had with some of the best hotels in the city area. Through this package, we were able to get discounted room rates for three nights stay, which includes the following perks: Free Breakfast every day and breakfast as early as 4:00AM on race day, free airport pick up and drop off from hotel, free shuttle service to the starting line and shuttle service back to the hotel from the finish line. I applaud the race organizers and that of POLAR EXPRESS TRAVEL for making this event very convenient for us foreign runners.
The race would start at 6:00AM for the half marathon. Cut-off time to finish it is 3 hours and 30 minutes. I'm hoping to conquer this at 2 hours and 30 minutes but even at 3 hours, I still do not mind as I am here for the race experience.
The race route looks relatively flat and will go through the city center. It was slightly revised from the one sent out earlier but this one is better for me as it will pass by the hotel I am staying at. There is a small chance that my non-running friends would be up already by the time I get there.

Very excited and looking forward to this. Now, all I just need to do is work on my long runs, which I really, really, REALLY hate!
Registration is still open for all categories and you may visit http://www.borneomarathon.com/ for more info.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My favorite Run Picture

We usually have our own favorite Run picture: be it you holding a medal after winning one of the top three places, or it could be a photo of you finishing your first marathon after all the hard work you put into it. It might even be a shot with a celebrity at a race or a shot of you and your significant other as you finish your first race together.

For me, it is simply this one:

There were no marshals here, no race bibs, no water stations, no finish line and no rubber shoes! The distance was just about 200 meters. The place: Club Paradise Resort in Coron, Palawan (Philippines).
And our reason for running?
We were running away from a huge storm just a few miles back. It was the first time I saw birds flying sideways (wind was too powerful for their little wings). We can hear the storm coming and it was coming loudly! But instead of being scared, we were laughing and having a good time.
Two minutes later the storm hit us. Luckily, we were in the comforts of our cottage when it arrived.
Photo credit to friend Kervin who saw us running from afar and decided to take out his camera! Big thanks to you!
For more of Coron, click label below..

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New Balance Race, Clark - November 15-16, 2008

This race was always at the back of my mind ('coz done by New Balance so curious on how they organize this and what free stuffs they would give away.. hehe ) but not something I take seriously for a couple of reasons:

1. It's far - 2 hours drive from Manila means waking up 2 hours earlier for it. That means if I wake up at 420AM for a race in Fort Bonifacio, I need to wake up at 2AM for the Clark Race. Why even bother sleeping???

2. Distance of 25KM - Farthest I ran in a race was 16k via La Salle Run last July. Never done a full marathon or even a half-marathon so not sure if my legs and heart are fit enough to handle it. Remember, I am Running FATBoy and that is never a good sign!

But things have a way of working out somehow. I had dinner with my friends last week at Italianni's over at SM Megamall and everyone was interested in doing an out-of-town trip before the year ends.

That was when I brought up Clark Overnight Stay, saying it's convenient as just 2 hour drive (oh now it's convenient!!) and can be done over the weekend so no need for a day off work. Almost everyone agreed right there and then. Problem #1 solved!

Through the power of the web, I was able to find an affordable lodging area near Clark Airbase Main Gate and got two suites which had two Queen Size beds in each room. Costs about P2,800 net of everything and split to four pax is P700.00 per person. Hotel owned by German and has good reviews with regards to the food (sausage, sausage, sausage) and amenities of hotel (free wi-fi, swimming pool, pingpong table, karaoke, gym). Room has basic TV, air-conditioner, and hot and cold shower but that is all we need anyway.

So far 10 of us have confirmed for this trip. Out of 10 of us, 5 have confirmed to do the Clark run on Sunday morning with a possible 2 out of 5 doing the 25km. I am one of the possible 2 (Janine+ is the other one) and which race I would do would depend primarily on how I feel three weeks before the race.

I have a half marathon race (my first!) planned for October so will see how bad/good I feel after that one to assess this event. So problem #2 is still unsolved but at least this run, whether 10km or 25km looks good to go!

On the trip, we plan to go to Clark early Saturday morning and getting back to Manila Sunday afternoon. We might take a side trip to Subic on Saturday via the new Clark-Subic Highway and come back the same day.

I also checked out New Balance website (www.newbalance.com.ph) to get more race details but they do not have it yet. I did like their slogan for Running:

You are in a relationship with Running. A LOVE/ HATE Relationship. It's a balance between joy and pain, work and play.

For every runner, there's a constant struggle between pain and pleasure. Between good days and bad. Between LOVE and HATE.


So very true...