Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Great Wall Half Marathon Race

I first saw the ad at Runnr Store in Fort Bonifacio but thought it was too crazy to do for an ordinary road runner. But I keep going back to the store and I keep seeing the poster.

Price was too steep for a visit in China so I let it go and put it as one of my potential wish lists. It was even featured in Runner's World Magazine as one of the Marathons to do in a lifetime - Run a World Wonder!

But then came a price reduction in the China package. Nearly half the price from where it was originally quoted. And for this year only! Hmmmmm......

I gave the idea to Per. She gave me an "evil look" as she knows I'm injured but hard headed. Just like in Cebu. Just like in Condura. And this was worse - 7,800 steps for a 42.2km race starting in the high altitude air of China (meaning hard to breathe) and at a late starting time of 7:30am (when the sun is scorching hot!!!).

So we ended up meeting half way by me registering for the half marathon event. Figured it should still be fun and won't be too tired that I will rest at hotel instead of touring around Beijing. Per I kinda pushed to do the 10km as she is more than ready with a handful of 21km races finished in Philippine races already.

We met some hard core Filipinos at the airport, who were mostly doing the Full Marathon. To summarize, there's a hard core navy dude from Guam, a New York marathon finisher, 3 hard core runners focusing on Ultra Marathons, a Triathlete and us - A (leisure) RUNNING FATBOY and his RUNNING WIFE! See the difference???

But we were not intimidated. After all, I have more stored fat for that extra energy needed for the race! Haha!

And no time pressure as limit set at 8 hours for all race categories! A finisher medal will be placed around one's neck once he/she crosses the finish line. So how did we do? Well, I will let the photos describe it. After all, a single photo is worth a thousand words! So with these photos, I've essentially written a novel! Haha!

Race kits we got from our hotel lobby, which was the official hotel for this Marathon.

Per got her finisher medal but what did she have to do to attain it?

See pictures below taken from Per's camera:

That's a lot of freaking steps!

That's a lot of freaking UNEVEN Steps!


Scary toilet and trust me... you don't want to see what's inside!

Why a repetitive photo? Just to show what 42.2km runners had to do : Run the Wall TWICE!!!

Cool weather helped bring a smile to Per's face!

Fast runners slowly coming in to cross the finish line

21km route

Filipino group! Go Pinoys! Everyone finished this hard core race.

Perfect end for this race: China BEER!

Big thanks to Berns for negotiating for us the cheaper package rate. This race was just one of the highlights of our trip in China. I would think it's meeting all these wonderful people that made our trip more enjoyable.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Back to USA!

This time on the other side of the good US of A.

One more bridge to conquer!

One more medal to collect!

One more race to finish!

One unforgettable experience! (For Sure!)

New York Road Runners



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Big thanks to Vincent who will be running his 2nd 42km here.... unless he decides to do one in the Philippines again prior to November...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Adidas Originals Street Party - May 7, 2010

I was fortunate enough to get four invites to the Adidas Street Party that happened last May 07, 2010 at McKinley Hills so immediately I thought of two friends who are usually there for some of our out of town road races (NB Power Run in Clark, Cebu Marathon, Singapore Marathon) and had Per asked them if they wanted to come with. It was a definite "Hell Yeah" from Blanche and Janine.

In terms of running shoes, I favor New Balance over any other brand and have stuck to it since the very beginning. But when it comes to sneakers, Adidas takes my heart and where I spend my moohlah on. This is especially true when they had the Star Wars X Adidas collaboration! Being a big Star Wars fan, I get the best of both worlds with this shirts, jackets and shoes collection. There were times I would drive all the way to Trinoma just to visit the Adidas Originals store and see the latest models.... and wipe the drool off my chin!

Now, this party happened on a Friday night and we were there by 9:00PM with empty stomachs and emptier wallets. Good thing the former can be filled without needing a fuller latter as there were bottomless fishballs, hotdogs and barbeque all throughout the night. You can wash these food down with San Miguel light/ strong ice or even sodas/ water/ iced teas in case you didn't want to get intoxicated.

There was a fashion show showing the latest Adidas trends and had Darth Vader leading the Star Wars exhibit. Some breakdancing... some skateboarding....some drinking... some partying.... This was a street party at its best!

Even with the above mentioned empty wallets, we didn't go home empty handed as all of us got the 2010 Africa World Cup FIFA Mascot as a take home present. And lo and behold, the tag attached to him does not say "Footballer" but "Runner". How's that for awesome!

We also got some free shoelaces from Adidas and tried the very comfy seats of Vespa being exhibited there (for our photo sessions).

All these things were freaking great but what made my day (or night if you want it to be literal) even more complete was the free customization of Adidas shoes. At that time, I had white Superstar Adidas on and wanted something done to it to commemorate this wonderful event. Unfortunately, I had to leave the pair of shoes with the artist and get it a week later.

Without a second thought, I told Per I had to go home to bring a second pair of shoes to which she agreed to accompany me. Janine joined in the joy ride too while Blanche was left with our good friend Mimi (who came with her own group) and her bestfriend Miguel (San Miguel that is).

Back again in 20 minutes for more drinking, eating and chatting with buddies!

Got a massive hangover the next day so forfeited the day's scheduled trip to the gym.

As for the shoes, here is what became of it:

BEFORE (less white as quite old already)


How's that for a customized street party shoe? Just requested date on one shoe and name on the other and artist gets free reign on everything else.

OUTSTANDING!!! THANK YOU ADIDAS FOR HAVING A GREAT GREAT PARTY! I don't think anyone went home with a frown on his face (unless it's the people from the Swoosh brand who were "coincidentally" there too).

Sunday, May 9, 2010

RUNew Alabang 16k Race

It was a wonderful day at Alabang for Per and me as we decided to make it a field trip seeing as there's no work the following day. We brought some extra clothes and took a shower at Gold's Gym Alabang (felt like a country club here), went to church at CCF and even watched the sequel to Iron Man at Alabang Town Center.

We were in Alabang for a total 12 hours starting from 5:00AM as we easily found a parking spot and walked to the starting line, where I saw my siblings already there and's main man Vince doing some last minute check ups for this race.

I got to say that this race was near perfect for me for the following reasons:

1. It started on time
2. Lots and lots of water stations
3. Accurate distance
4. Chip timer and Race analysis
5. The wonderful wonderful pictures from Photovendo
6. Awesome Alabang route as it went inside Ayala Alabang Village, passed by Ayala Alabang Country Club entrance and went to University Avenue to pass by De La Salle - Zobel (Hail! Hail!) and exited out of the village again and towards the finish line.

The only problem here for me was the hot Summer Heat, as evidenced by some of the pictures below. That and lack of training for this Running Fatboy. But it was still a memorable event.

Looking forward to RUNew 2011 !

Saturday, May 1, 2010

First Labor Day Run - May 01, 2010

I honestly did not know what to expect from this race, either the race itself or my performance.

For my performance, it could be easy as usually would run the long distance race events but it could also be hard as haven't been training lately due to bad foot injury. It could also be hard because it will become a tempo run for me. Only one way to find out!

For the race, I did not know what to expect as I know it's just a small race and haven't joined this kind for some time now (I'm usually biased for Runrio races given the nice pictures, finisher medal and chip timer). Will there be adequate marshals? Enough water stations? Organized handling of race event?

Well, I'm glad to say that it is YES on all counts!

The marshals were quite cheerful and encouraging as each runner will head towards them. There were ample water stations (3 for this 5km race!) and lots of free stuffs at the finish line. For the first time this year, the shirt actually fits this RUNNING FATBOY! What more, I got a second shirt upon finishing the race, a razor and there were lots of water, fresh milk and coffee at the finish line! Sooooo worth the Php 300 registration fee!

Per decided to stay on the sidelines as she didn't want to tire herself out before the race tomorrow morning but she accompanied me to this event and said the exact same thing.

We realized too how much we like running on a Saturday as it gives us one more day to rest instead of going back to work the following day.

For its inaugural event, this was indeed a successful event! Hope they have it again next year!

As for my personal race performance, I had a semi-hard time and ended up stopping at all 3 water stations and feeling the tightness in my legs (the song "No Air" in my IPOD did not help at all)! But still managed a sufficient finish time of 26:52 minutes (Pace of 5:50) and distance of 4.61km.

How I wish I was as fast as this runner! See the difference below:

The wife who was glad to be watching instead of running this race!