Monday, November 29, 2010

How I DISCOVERY Climbing A Building

Discovery Channels: Vertical Marathon

With a road race here and there, it is nice to try something different. When I first saw this, I got excited with it. The challenge is this: from the Starting Line, you would run into the E-Service building, go around and up 8 floors of parking levels, hit the stairs and keep climbing to the 25th floor, cross to the other side and go down and out of the building, where you have to run 500 meters to the finish line.

Sounds fun right?

The problem is that they didn't have any registration areas. I first thought it's the same place as where the BGC Run registration areas are, this being the first leg of the BGC run. Unfortunately, that isn't the case as the organizer for this race is different from BGC's. The only thing linking these races together was the grand raffle prize of a Chevy!

Eventually, I found out that registration for this race can be done via the internet ( For a fee of Php 650, it wasn't that bad given this one-of-a-kind experience, the nice blue singlet and loot bag at finish line.

But best deal of all for me was joining the Skechers contest on their Facebook page. I, along with 49 other runners, got our race kits for free!!! Yipee!!!! No cash out! AWESOME!

To train for this event, instead of hitting the treadmill at the local gym, I went instead to the elliptical machine and put the resistance at a high level (no stairmasters in this gym). Working on it for an hour was enough for me. (Yes I know, I'm lazy but why train so hard when I don't have a chance at the cash prize anyway?)


Being unfamiliar with the building, it took awhile for me to finally find it. Once I did, the next problem was the parking as both parking areas were packed already! I had to go a couple more times before I finally found an empty spot and rushed to the starting line. Time for my race would start at 6:30am and I wanted to be there in time.

As I got there, I saw that our race categories were further broken down into 20 smaller waves made up of 10-15 runners each. That was a good idea to ensure that it won't be too crowded in the stairways especially if there were 1,000 runners joining the race.

It was a good idea until I found out that I am part of Wave 14, which will start at 7:10am! GRRR!! (Maybe in the future, the organizer could post the different waves a day earlier via their websites so no time is wasted on your part?)

Rather than waiting out the 3ominutes and doing nothing, I decided to take an easy 10-15 minute easy jog around Fort Bonifacio area, where I stopped by the latest Starbucks Branch near St. Luke's Hospital which had a drive-through service. Now, I know where to get my coffee fix after a weekend run!

I got back in time and once it was our turn, the gun was fired and we were off. Ran to the building immediately and went inside the parking area and ran it and climbed the various ramps as I headed to the next parking level. Quite tiring for this and I just wanted to get to the stairwell quickly.

A nice thing here was that there was a marshal in each floor to make sure each person is okay and that he or she will not get lost. Same thing with the fire exit as a marshal was positioned on each floor. It was tiring but a fun thing to do. Knees got wobbly as I kept climbing the stairs. I slowly counted off the floors as I slowly but surely headed to floor 25. 22...23....24....25! Yes! I did it! I got out of the stairs and went to the water stationplaced in the middle of that floor. Then I hit the stairs again on the opposite side of the building. This time it was a lot easier as no pressure on the knees going down.

In a few minutes I was out of the building and sprinted the last 500 meters to the finish line!

Vertical Marathon conquered!

E-Service Building Conquered!!

At the finish line, there was a band playing (with band's name having something to do with Cockroaches), and a lot of interesting booths (One had bamboo bikes! Another had electric bikes). This race was by Discovery Channel after all.

I pretty much like the loot bag. No finisher medals but being a geek myself, I gotta love the Discovery branded water bottles and face towel not to mention the environment bag.

As of today the race results are out already! Woohoo!

BIB: 402
TIME 00:14:37

Hoping for more vertical races in 2011 ! Thanks again to Skechers for the race kit!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

RunRio Trilogy 2010 - Mission Accomplished!

Trust RunRio Inc. to make one of the best road races in the Philippines and the 3rd leg of RunRio Trilogy did not disappoint. In fact, it even exceeded our expectations!

Some of the things we've already expected from RunRio races:

1) Sufficient hydrations! Sports drinks and water aplenty. Long tables of these cold drinks make it easy for anyone to satisfy their thirsts. Sadly, some races still fail to meet this criteria (Adidas KOTR come to mind for the 21km runners!)

2) Races start on time

3) Enough Marshals to guide us and protect us from angry car drivers!

4) Photographers scattered all over the route

5) Accurate race distance! There are still some races that also fail in this criteria. Recently concluded Pink Run last October was one of them.

6) Finisher medals for the 21km and up categories! Yehey!

But here are some new things added in the last leg of the race:

1) Awesome screen countdown that they had at the beginning of the race. It made all of us excited when we saw the final 10 seconds flash and "explode" on the big TV screen!

2) Rio's running avatar as it goes over the route that we have to tackle. That way, we become familiar with the route and do not get lost running it.

3) Big activity center at the finish line! There's a massage area, body analysis, lots of photo booths, finisher loot bag areas (divided by race categories), food booths, sponsor booths and even this bungee ride in one of the areas.

4) The gigantic loot bag! Now, instead of a draw string bag, it is now a backpack filled with goodies including finisher shirt, box of chocolate powder, drinks, etc.

It felt like running an International Race in the 3rd leg. Too bad I wasn't able to do the 32km Afroman distance as still injured up to now. But running a race on a Saturday is really much better for this RUNNING FATBOY!

Keep up the good work guys! Looking forward to the Awards Night for the Trilogy (but no details yet on this) and RunRio Trilogy Year 2 in 2011!


Monday, November 22, 2010

BGC's Vertical Marathon

So excited for this race!

After doing RunRio Trilogy last Saturday (more on this later), I am looking forward to another exciting race.

This time it is for Leg 01 of the BGC Race. Leg 02 will be on November 28th at Fort Bonifacio with another 21km race (and another finisher medal). Both races will raffle off a Chevy on November 28.

Leg 01 of the BGC Race, to be held on November 27th, is more exciting as it involves climbing up a building with 25 floors! And that's the easy category (Half -Century Run)!

For the harder and more hard core one (Century Run), the race involves going up and down the same building... TWICE! Unfortunately, in order for you to qualify for that race, you have to have a personal best of sub- 40:00 for the 10km which is very far from my Personal Best time!

Race kit includes race bib, race mechanics and guidelines form, and an Accel blue singlet (design is the picture above).

Looks like this will be an exciting race. Only thing I am worried about is that there are no water stations inside the building and no liquid allowed inside the stairwell too (so can't bring own hydration gears). Hopefully, they could amend this by putting at least one water station on the top floor.

Time to train at the stairmaster!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

All about the (Finisher) Medals!

Finisher medals - you gotta love them. They are easy to store, easy to display and serves as a remembrance of the races you've conquered. They have all the details in that small circular thing - the date of the race, the name of the race, the race category, the venue (and sometimes the time), and the most important thing - the word "Finisher".

For me, this is more important than the race singlet. To note, a race singlet is something given out before the race begins to encourage the runners to wear that attire on race day and be the "uniform" of the day. Of course, it isn't required so you can always ditch it for one of your other running shirts. There were some races before that require you to wear the singlet or you will be disqualified! Good thing that was changed and they now only require the bib number to be worn at all times (to differentiate a "paid" runner to that of a "bandit" runner).

Much as I like the singlet, the sizes aren't usually right for me. It is usually too small, too tight or maybe the size is just right but the arm holes are too small. Also, some uneven sewing could lead to chafing too. So I usually stick to my old running attires rather than the ones given out on the registration areas. Wearing another shirt also makes it easier to spot yourself in the numerous photo albums uploaded in facebook, running websites, etc.

But a singlet is given to everyone who registered and paid for the race - whether they finished it, whether they ran the race or not, whether they cheated on the race, they have the singlet as it is easy to attain - just bring out your wallet and pay for it.

But a medal is only given out once you finish the race! It is harder to attain. If you quit midway, you will not get it. If you cheat, you will not get it (if this is strictly enforced). And of course, if you were not there to begin with, you will not get it! This is something you have to work hard for, especially if it is a long race like a half-marathon, a full-marathon or an ultra marathon. You have to train for it. In international road races, there is even a time limit so that if you did not reach the allotted time limit (even though you still finished the race), you will not get a finisher medal.

To combine both the finisher medal and the singlet, some races give out finisher shirts. This, for me, is just as important as the medal and I wear it too. This has the same requirements as the finisher medals and it is something you have to work hard for.

But personally, I still love the medals and is usually the main reason I join a road race. One thing I use these things for is to decorate our Christmas tree and since Per has her own collection of finisher medals, let's just say our Christmas decors keep growing each year! Now, that is what I call a runner's Christmas Tree!!!

I'm happy to say that I got 3 finisher medals to add to the Christmas tree in just one month's time (and looking to add a 4th finisher medal this Saturday at the RunRio Final Leg Trilogy). To note:

1) I conquered the Adidas King of the Road 21km and got a finisher medal!

2) I conquered the Men's Health 10km Urbanathon (doing all the obstacles!) and got the finisher medal.

3) I conquered the Anson's Rhythm and Run 10km Race last weekend and got a finisher medal.

Woo Hoo!!!

Hopefully, a lot more races will have this at the finish line :)

What we've collected so far... :) Onwards to the Christmas Tree!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

McHappy Day Fun Run Race

A run that is indeed a FUN RUN! Looks exciting! Can't wait to see Ronald at the finish line.

McDonald’s McHappy Day Fun Run
November 28, 2010
Venice Piazza at McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
500m / 3K / 5K / 10K
3k Family Category
The group or family should be composed of 2 Adults (regardless of gender) and 2 Kids (12 years and younger)

Registration Fee (non-refundable): Individual – P350; Group of 4 – P1,250. Any individual excess of 4 will pay P350 each.

Proceeds of the Run will go to RMHC.

Registration Fee Includes: - McHappy Day Fun Run Race Kit: 1 Race Bib (4 Bibs per race Kit for Family Category), McHappy Day Reminders with Route Map- Meal Stub

Race Schedule:
- Assembly Time: 5:00 AM-
Gun Start: 10K – 5:30 AM;
5K – 5:50 AM;
3K – 6:00 AM (Individual and Family);
500m 6:30 AM

For more details including which Mcdo Branch to register, click the link below: