RUN DMD

I run…therefore I am


Leave a comment

Pacer Me


13718_10206821581796231_5935745274463261445_n

Our promo meme which required a day of pictorial sessions.

And so the dust has settled and a day after playing Official Pacer at the Run United 2, 32 kilometer category, it’s time to incise and reflect on this business of pacing in races. Here are some insights one might consider before accepting this job, beyond the prestige, the free bib and all the privileges that come with the role:

IMG_7402

IMG_7564

Pacing requires preparation, both physically and mentally.

And so I got the invite from Ms. Vimz Mendoza to join the RU2 pacers group over a month ago and promptly took on the 32 KM distance with a 3:15 time. It’s my first time take on this role and excitedly recommended running friends Van (3:15), trail devil Dave (3:40) and Reylynne (who failed to show up). We were in the midst of our Milo R2 Apex running school (though we had minimal speed training and mileage) so I figured this would be easy peasy, keeping in mind my last full mary in February where I breached the 32 kilometer mark at around 3 hours.

markandrew

The RU2 pacer briefing coincided with the media launch of the Run United Philippine Marathon 2015.

daveadfa

Tagumpay Bros represented: with McCoy & David.

I was imagining the night before the race of our 3:15 trio egging, chanting and pushing a battalion of runners into the finish line, sounding like some lord commander battling the wildlings beyond the wall. Unfortunately, it remained only a movie in my mind…

10612855_10205794402010897_958305954735080580_n

Pacing means keeping an average, if not constant pace throughout a race.

So after a little research, I learned that pacing required me to maintain a pace of 6:06 throughout the race with some minor adjustments in between. Now this seemed simple enough, right? But then with someone like me who loves to take off fast at the start, adjust a bit in the middle and slow down in the final kilometers, this was a major issue.

But on race day, that’s what we tried to do. My 3:15 trio with Bobby Go & Van Denn Cruz tried to maintain a pace of 6 minutes per kilometers even if everyone was flying out like bats from hell. Armed with just a lap watch, Van stayed within our target pace (5 kilometers at 30 minutes, etc.). I latched on to him with Bobby a few meters away. We were targeting a faster pace in the first 10 kilometers for certain adjustments at the third hour. But owing to our slow start, we reached KM10 at exactly one hour. Now if we could only go a bit faster but kilometers 13 (1:18) and 18 (1:48) came and our pace remained at 6.  Bobby Go was nowhere in sight.

There were some runners who joined us a few kilometers later, but soon dissipated when the going got tough. And so it was with me. Around KM20, I couldn’t keep up with Van and I had to let him go ahead. Van, now the only 3:15 pacer on time, brought with him his loyal following (up to the finish at 3:14++). So at this time, all three 3:15 pacers were running separately.

Pacing is a selfless endeavour.

Soon I was taking more time to hydrate and recover. Buendia Avenue became my battleground as I combat fatigue and boredom (I forgot my mini-Ipod). At this time, I’ve been resigned to missing my target finish time, unless I suddenly developed the surge and run faster. All the while, I was mindful of the reason why I was there that Sunday morning. So whenever, some weary runner started keeping up with me, I tried to maintain my assigned pace and just kept going. I’d remind them that I was already running short but they still joined me even when I would slow down, every now and then. So thrashed as I was, I still found some energy to prod my equally tired minions.

the final struggle...

the final struggle…

Pacing can be fun, if not done alone (and the small c hasn’t reared its head).

By the time I entered the CCP area, cramping started to make its presence felt – first in increments and soon in big waves. I was reduced to lots of walks (and sudden stops) and short jogs that I had to rip off my pacer bib, lest some lost soul started hounding me, hopeful of a 3:15 finish. I had to vary my steps from heel strikes and strange plodding to ward off the cramping and was no longer eager to help others. Still, I managed to strike up some quick talks with certain walkers and push them to get running in the final 2 kilometers.

Soon, I chanced upon certain pacers who were already washed up, as well. We just kept burning the final meters until the finish line loomed from afar. The final surge was a full on attack and by 3:29 I finished my pacing duty. Not in the grand glorious fashion I had envisioned it but it was one soul-searching, core-scrutinizing experience (tagos sa buto) I wouldn’t trade anytime soon.

11407016_10204045046955789_3593262642056870753_n 11393005_10205794397810792_4530813950765037209_n

jon las

An endless buffet, confetti and finisher medals for the patient & brave pacers!

So would I take on another pacing duty again? Hell yeah. But first, I need to train more properly on the ways of strengthening, energy conservation and mileage planning. I just need to remember the care, sustenance and recognition we received yesterday and I’m there. Add up the smiles, admiration and camaraderie from the runners we’ve touched and and helped and it’s one duty that’s almost close to a calling. Or a religion.

11425438_10206824240067608_4699139628523621999_n

A big salute to the RU2 pacers, courtesy of Active Health!

Photography by Dan Alvarez Sagayap, Les Letsky, Blue Zapanta, Jon Las Bruce, Mark Andrew, David Buban and  Art Mendoza


Leave a comment

Red Carpet Finish for All Marathon Participants


 

          Image

   Run United Philippine Marathon (RUPM), the third and last leg of the RunRio Trilogy, is even more in demand than its inaugural run last year. Only slots for Ceelin 500m dash are available, the rest are full.

             “Demand for this race is really high. The half and full marathon slots (21km and 42km) got full five and three weeks, respectively, before race date (Oct. 6). Most of our participants belong to the “progressive set” – runners who have been continuously challenging themselves with longer distances or better PR,” said Alex Panlilio, Head of Unilab Active Health (ULAH).

             RUPM, which is on its second year, will feature four race categories namely: Ceelin 500m, Hydrite 10km, Alaxan FR 21km and Enervon Activ 42km.

             “RUPM is also much-awaited as it wraps up our run races for the year. The runners are also excited to finally complete their United medal for Run United 1, 2 and RUPM,” added Panlilio.

42-year-old Ly Nary of Phnom Penh, Cambodia is among those who is hoping to finish strong at RUPM. “I hope to finish among the top three females in the 42km foreign category with a target of 3hours and 30 minutes.”

Nary was a finisher of Paris Marathon. Her participation at RUPM is supported by the United Pharma company in Phnom Penh. “I am excited to see the Filipino running community and to explore the Philippines after the race. I really look forward to this great experience with the United Filipinos!”

20th time Ironman finisher Dan Brown has also followed a regimen in preparation for RUPM. Brown, who is also one of the Unilab Active Health ambassadors, considers physical and mental preparation as key to achieving an excellent race.

“I am preparing by doing a short period of specific run overload. I have been increasing my weekly run distance by around 30% over the past month or so. I have been adding in some longer intervals at or just below goal race pace to simulate what my body will need to do at 3AM on October 6,” says Brown.

“I also start to prepare my mind to suffer a little towards the end. I know things will get tough as the body breaks down so I have to be aware and ready mentally for that,” he adds.

             The completed UNITED medal from the 2013 Run United Trilogy series (21-21-21, 21-32-21, 21-32-42) fits together with the RUPM finisher’s medal. According to Unilab Active Health, securing all these medals is a testament of the runners’ commitment to continuously exceed themselves in the field of running.

             The 3,000 Enervon Activ 42km runners and finishers will get a VIP treatment—before, during and after the race. First off, they will be among the first to try and taste Active Health’s latest offering in its Sports Nutrition Line – the Active Health Sports Gel, which will be launched at Run United Philippine Marathon. On top of Gatorade, ION Energy Drink, water, sponges and bananas will be given out at certain points of the routesImage

             This year, the red-carpet finish for the 42km finishers will be right inside the Active Health Village, through a short tunnel carved underneath the main stage. The runners’ companions can cheer at the cordoned-off spectators’ waiting area, and at the main stage audience area. All 42km finishers will be given an ice cold glass of Enervon HP Recovery Drink, a grooming station complete with staff will be on standby to make sure that they will look their best in the photo-ops at the finish line.

           After all the picture-taking and finish-line moments, runners can start their rest and recovery routines by attending a post-race talk and stretching at the Enervon Activ Marathoners’ Lounge where they will get limited edition RUPM commemorative slippers. The University of Santo Tomas College of Rehabilitation Sciences will provide physical therapy and stretching services inside the Active Health Village. 

           All categories except for 42km will have start and finish line at the SM Mall of Asia; the 42km category will start at Bonifacio Global City and finish at SM Mall of Asia. Gun starts are as follows: 500m dash at 7:00AM; 10K at 5:30AM; 21K at 4:00AM; and 42K at 3:00AM

          According to RunRio’s Rio Dela Cruz, “We have been offering the 42K category for only two years and we are happy that we have established a good reputation. RUPM has its own following now. It has become the last big run race for most runners for the year. We are looking forward to celebrating yet another successful running year with our loyal participants.”

            RunRio will hold a special awards’ night for participants who registered and finished the 21km category in Run United 1, 32km category in Run United 2 as well as the 42km category in RUPM. Awards will be given to the top three overall winners (women and men) in all distance categories.

             Besides gifts and certificates from Unilab and other sponsors, the top three male and female RUPM winners will also receive cash prizes: for 10km winners, (P4,000/P5,000/P6,000) and for 21km winners (P6,500/P7,500/8,500). There will be two categories for the 42km categories, Filipinos and Non-Filipinos. The top three winners in each category will get P25,000/P18,000/P12,000 respectively.

             RUPM participants and their companions can avail of activities, games, free product samples in various sponsors’ booths at the Unilab Active Health Village. Alaxan FR PBA Legends will also be around for photo-ops. Entertainment will be provided by True Faith and Evedancel of Sugarfree.

             Two more events are up ahead in ULAH’s active calendar—Tri United 3 and the Enervon Activ 226 Bohol Triathlon. Registration for both is still ongoing.

             Tri United 3 Elite and Age Group Championship in Subic will feature standard distance (1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run) for elite and age-groupers triathletes. It will also accommodate teen triathletes with age categories 15-16 and 17-19 years old.

             Enervon Activ 226 Bohol Triathlon, sponsored by Enervon Activ, organized by Bikeking, is slated for December 7, 2013. The 3.8km Swim – 180km Bike – 42km Run triathlon will be held in Anda, Bohol. 

            For more race information and results, interested parties may visit ULAH’s official website at unilabactivehealth.com as well as it Facebook and Twitter accounts. ###


1 Comment

Accounts from the Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2013: Putting my faith in the unknown (that’s the Active Heath sports gel)


 

The days leading into the Men’s Health Urbanathlon were dogged with doubt, apprehension and uncertainty.  It’s been marked in my running calendar for the longest time but I was wrestling with a bad case of flu and coughing.  The condition had me into a forced ‘rest and recovery mode’ so I hardly registered any mileage to speak of.  Factor in an erratic inclement weather and my eagerness level just petered out.

dark start, bright finish...

dark start…bright finish?

But I showed up anyway at 4 AM at the starting line, aware of the fact that I would regret it if I let a perfectly challenging race go to waste.  Their FB page stated that it was not a race to do a PR (personal record) so I told myself to just have a great time and enjoy every bit of 21 kilometers.  So I’m just going to wing it, go through the obstacles and cross the finish.  However, in the inner recesses of my subconscious, some kind of conspiracy seemed to be brewing.

At 4:30 AM, the first wave for the 21KM runners was released and I was successful in controlling my eagerness in starting too fast and burn early.  I really was taking pleasure of this race.  So I let those brawny big-armed runners go past me, envious of the fact that they won’t have any difficulty hurdling through the obstacles.  Now why didn’t I log in some gym hours last week?  Oh I was sick.

P1050619

floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee

The dark roads hardly tell of the great distance ahead so I made it around the old reclamation area in a jiffy and with minimal struggle.  Our first two obstacles came at the MOA area as we passed through the tire hurdles and rope climb surprisingly quite fast.  Soon we were heading towards the Paranaque area and as I remembered it clearly, this was where I almost burned out during the last Safeguard 2XU 21KM run.  Will this have a sequel today?, I could almost hear my mind.

Soon enough, it did happen.  Ah, the power of the mind, indeed.  I was huffing heavily and the coughing even made a brief appearance, I was ready to just walk the final 6KMs.  Now why would I torment myself on a 21KM race which isn’t even PR material?  But the competitive in me wasn’t ready to call it quits so I dug deep.  Guess what I saw in the inner recesses of my belt bag?  My Active Health sports gel.  It was given to us during last week’s RUPM bloggers’ night and I had almost forgotten about it.P1050577

So for the first time in a race, I tried out something new for me and the running world.  It was still to make its debut for next week’s RUPM but I’ll take anything to get me through this deadlock.  It’s been tested on seasoned runners and triathletes so perhaps it might just work me.  At the turning point, I downed 1 syrupy pack (tastes like yoghurt!) and just kept going like there’s no tomorrow, anticipating of the torture that lay ahead.

you have the power in your mouth...

you have the power in your mouth…

We reached the second set of obstacles and it was a breeze passing through the monkey bars and the metal barriers.   Some things are just more difficult when imagined than in my adrenalized reality.  Lessons learned.  Perhaps, surviving those hurdles with little difficulty had me rolling on the road.  I was on a roll as we reached the Arena area.  A right turn led me towards the finish line waiting for my splendid finish.

304578_10150305520699242_815349241_7798896_888037706_n

the barrier to glory…

But wait, where’s the dreaded final obstacle?  A slight turn to the right and there it was – 2 layers of vertical barrier.  The first one was conquered in a single bound while the higher one required a rope to reach.  It was going down from a 8-foot top that presented a problem, not to mention a bit scary.  But as in life, I let my guts take over and just take the plunge.  Soon, I was going down nimbly and trusting the guy down there would be able to take my sudden drop. 

He did and soon I was back on track, floating like a bee and buzzing for the finish line.  I’ve always envisioned myself finishing a race in all its glorious trimmings and noise but it hardly happened.  I’m usually too wasted that a slow pained jog was all I could muster but life can really take you by surprise.  So in a run I had set out to just play along and have fun with, I was smiling and flying as cameras flashed to give me a 1:53 finish.  Now who would have thought it’s going to be one glorius climax?