Monday, January 20, 2014

7-11 Run 1000 21km Race - First Half Marathon for 2014

This was a race I wasn't that excited in running in due to:
1) No training for this distance
2) Some problems with regards to race kit collection

Another problem which came up was the lack of parking spaces as we drove around just to look for a parking slot!  Good thing Alvin and I were with two of my friends who joined the 5km category and they opted to park the car for us instead and just meet each other at the finish line. 

We were 14 minutes late once we got to the starting line (that 1km guesstimate walk didn't help us).  This was going to be a lonely race again as almost all participants were already running the half marathon and Alvin was just too fast for me (at 5:30 average pace!!!).

But one good thing here was the freezing cold weather!  It felt like I was running in another country.  It was also pretty cool running on a new route:  CAVITEX!  No SKYWAY this year (Condura Marathon announced recently that they won't hold the 2014 event) but there is CAVITEX!

The route was flat for the most part.  There were just a lot of smog from the trucks heading into CAVITEX but we had one or two lanes all to ourselves.  There were plenty of hydration stations here (water, Pocari Sweat, Gatorade) but no bananas, which was what I was looking for.  Luckily, I had some emergency GU gels with me and consumed both of these gels at the latter part of the race.

Surprisingly, I felt strong all throughout the race.  No leg pains, no PF pain and I was consistent for the most part and even going faster on the last 2km as I weaved through the 3km and 5km runners.  Not a bad start for 2014.  (I think the weather played a very big part for me in this race).

At the finish line, there were some problems as the lines were looooonnnggg just to get the medal and loot bag.  I was contemplating whether we should still line up or just go home.  But Kath found a shorter line and we were able to get our stuffs.

"cute" medal

Definitely some room for improvements by the organizers such as 1) more efficient race kit claiming, 2) more efficient loot bag distribution and 3) more parking area.  But it was still a good and fun race and I was glad to have joined it.

Finish time at 2:43:26


(Final Note:  Race titled Run 1000 to commemorate the 1,000th store opened in Philippines by 7-Eleven Group.  1,000th store at Greenfield opened just a few days ago).

Monday, January 6, 2014

2013 Running Report

Awesome 2013!
2013 came and went quickly but it was a lot of fun for me.

The best experience for me was the DISNEYWORLD MARATHON WEEKEND at the start of the year.  Per and I flew all the way to Orlando, Florida for her very first Marathon (and of course do some side trips there and in NYC).  Lucky for us, it was also the 20th year of the Disneyworld Marathon so we each received a very nice commemorative finisher medal.

There were also a 21km race event (Donald Duck medal) the day before the full marathon and a 5km Family fun run two days before the full marathon (Mickey Mouse and friends medal).   Of course, I had to do all three races and once I finished them, I received a Goofy medal (for completing a Half and a Full Marathon).

It was a nice and flat course made more exciting by the various Disney characters positioned along the route for which you could take a picture or two with them.  Of course, a lot of runners had the same idea and you may end up lining up for a bit (which in a road race where every second counts, this can be frustrating at times too).  I ended up lining for the shortest lines and skipping the long ones (such as that of Pirate Jack Sparrow, Beauty and the Beast, and super long lines for Mickey and Minnie!)

Chip or Dale? Hmmm

at Epcot Center with Stitch
Donald Duck 21km finisher medal
The first two races were by myself with the most difficult one with my wife, and I had to pace her!

we went through Disney Castle for the 42km race
We did it!
best MEDAL EVER!!!
This was definitely my best race of all time (not fastest but best in terms of experience) and something I hope to re-do again in the future, especially since they just announced that there is an additional 10km race so for people who completed all four events, they will get a special Dopey Medal along with the bonus Goofy Medal!  Disneyland or Disneyworld is really the Happiest Place on Earth!

The most painful race for me happened in 2013 as well!  Right after doing Disney Marathon and Condura Marathon at the start of the year, Alvin and I then attempted to complete the Bataan Death March 102km in March, which had a cut-off time of 18 hours.  I started out strong and even happy when I crossed the 50km mark but by 60km, I was having a very hard time running.  My hands became swollen later on and for some reason, my saliva dried up too so it was difficult for me to chew and swallow solid food.  Drinks weren't enough (and I was worried too that I was drinking too much because of my hands) and this affected my race.  I didn't make it to cut-off time by more than an hour.  But I was too exhausted to care.  I was officially DQ (disqualified) but that was fine.  At least I survived this ordeal and lived to tell about it!

the starting line at KM 00

posing with the local kids of Mariveles, Bataan

reaching KM 102!
BDM 102 was my first official Ultra Marathon, and it was traumatic!  Of course, it made shorter distance more doable for me.  So I signed up for a few more Ultra Marathon races within the year:

1.   T2N (Tagaytay to Nasugbu, Batangas 50km)

Garmin casualty
2.  L2Q (Laguna to Quezon) 50km

My road to Ultra Marathons was supposed to end with one 50km only (as a sort of redemption run to BDM) and also so that I could officially say I am an Ultra Marathoner.  But who could resist an Ultra Marathon falling on your own birthday? 

nice scenic background
finally reaching Lucban, Quezon!
finisher of 50km race with 3 bonus 3km!
my first running trophy!!
3.  T2K (Tagaytay to Kawit) 50km Race

The lure of a 50km is always there.  This time, Alvin and I are joined by Janine (in her first Ultramarathon) and Kervin (as our support crew).  First Ultra Marathon where I would be running solo as Alvin will be running at his own pace and also Janine.

Team Akala Namin 10k lang ito
Kawit, Cavite survivors!

bringing home the loot

4.  Hero to Hero Run 50km - unfortunately, wasn't able to run this as got sick.  So Alvin did it solo with his wife as his support crew.  Sorry!  :(

2013 was definitely me going the distance by exceeding the Marathon distance.  But there was a price for this as well as during this time, I rarely worked on my speed and focused on endurance instead.  This was a price I paid when I joined Milo Marathon and didn't make it to the 6 hour cut-off time.  I also did the RUPM 42km and since its cut-off time was more lenient, I was able to get a finisher medal at the end.

Milo Marathon

Run United Philippine Marathon 
Condura Marathon
Then there is Condura Marathon, my first rule breaker (of not repeating any Marathons) but also my fastest time for this year.

Aside from these big races, there are also a lot of good races for 2013!

One of my favorite races was Rexona Run 21km as it infused music in the race (via live bands and speakers), making it quite fun to run in.  Having it at 3AM gun start helped us avoid the morning sun which Roxas Blvd races are known for.  This race is also my longest current running streak as started doing it since 2010.

There was also the unique distance of 25km via New Balance Power Run

Another unique distance race was 34km Caliraya 360, which had a very nice view of Caliraya Lake!

The nice singlet offered by Adidas King of the Road 16.8km race!

The unique (and dirty) Mud Run in Filinvest:

This race aside from being intentionally muddy also had a set of obstacles that you had to conquer.

Of course, who could forget the terrifying Outbreak Manila for which I joined two events in 2013:

1.  Outbreak BGC

which of these will be a victim or a survivor?
cool Zombie medal
2.  Outbreak Missions Filinvest City (thanks Jann)

Probably the longest 5km I did in my life!!!  Pretty cool to run inside a shopping mall too at midnight with zombies lurking around.

For the final month of 2013, races were fun too from Greenfield's 21km Christmas Run to Mcdonald's unique 9km run (5km, 3km, 1km).

best loot in a 21km race!!!
A lot of exciting stuffs and races in 2013.

Thank You Lord for everything... for keeping me safe and healthy.  For getting me to the finish line in one piece. 

Thank You Per for your support in my running addictions and for putting up with me!

Thank you Alvin for all the long runs you pushed me to do (via text, being there, and literally pushing me! Haha!). 

Aside from all these events, 2013 will be forever memorable to me and to my family as it was also the year that Per gave birth to our second daughter, Alexandra. 

To God be all the Glory!

I can't wait to see what 2014 will bring!!