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Back in the High Life – Races (Part II)


The last few months had been quite hectic, both in my personal and professional life but it was also during this period when I started running more races with the kilometers stretching into the Milo Marathon last month. Let’s look back at my races, both road & trail, pre-Milo Marathon…

Runs.

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Dawn breaks by Taal Lake…

Taal 360 25KM. This we took up upon the invitation of friends Joseph Baltazar and Bon Aga of Prince Productions, last May 24.  We took a banca from Talisay going towards Taal Island where the race had just started at exactly 7 am. We followed the final pack of runners going up the Taal peak which was really just another lake in the middle.  But we never got to reach it for soon enough, we saw the leadpackers going down and promptly followed them. We soon found ourselves by the shoreline where the route circled the circumference of the island, more or less.  The place would have been enchanting with its semi-pristine greenery, cobalt blue lake waters and the awesome volcano as the backdrop. P1090590

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Too much human intrusion in one of nature’s hideaway…

Except for the fact that human migration to the island had rendered it molested and trashed, both in the water and the land. It would have been a pleasure running by the beach sans the fish pens, all sorts of domesticated animals and more wastes all over. It was a challenge to be running around the man-made structures that Van even got caught in a net by the shore. More eyesores were the three soaring towers of an SMDC condominium jutting out of the Tagaytay summit. So wander no more why Taal Volcano was recently removed by the UNESCO from its list of heritage sites. That’s human greed at its finest, I’d say.

Anyway we just kept trudging in the face of scorching heat and unstable sandy terrain. Soon we started traversing the island as the ascents started towards more verdant surroundings. At one point, we found ourselves in a black desert planet. The terrain was rolling consisting of cogon areas, rocky façades, plantations and sparse trees – mildly difficult and scenic in parts.

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Four hours later, we reached the finish line and took our poses, medals and packed lunch. Total distance of our run was at 28 kms. Across the island we took in a more sumptuous lunch courtesy of the mayor of Talisay, a friend of Bon.10363700_1508928222659798_7279538895707261844_n

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Back to mainland with Bon and the rest of our group…

Run United 2, 32KM. It’s my longest road race since last year’s Run United Philippine Marathon so I had a mix of excitement and trepidation. At 4 AM, we started the race across the Rizal Monument (Km 0). There’s quite a heavy volume of runners but soon we were sparsely spaced out across the gaudily lit Roxas Boulevard (think Sputnik lights galore).

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In the Zone along the boulevard of broken dream (& tacky lamp posts)…

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fly me to the finish…

My first 16 kms up to the Cavitex U-turn had a jolly steady pace, powered by songs from my iPod mini. At some point I was shimmying (okay, I was dancing) across the boulevard taking in all the positive vibes of the morning. It would have been perfect to have kept such a constant pace and attitude but in the last 10 kms, a cocktail feeling of boredom, sleepiness, fatigue and restlessness came upon me. Soon enough, I was doing some stops and walking more.

No injuries or discomfort were experienced but I was slowing down, perhaps due to under training. Or probably because once daylight had set in, I had a picture of the enormity of the task I had to traverse ahead. After 3 hours and 11 minutes, I finally reached the Rizal obelisk, quite satisfied with my effort for the day.10363933_845346928826767_5528595440542338242_n

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Back shot with Tagumpay Bros…

World Vision Run 10KM. Subtitlted: Unveiling TB to the World. Now this was a challenge presented to our newly set-up team, the Tagumpay Bros – to run 10 km, sub-1 hour. That day at BGC, we showed up in our colorful, new and nicely fitting blue shirts. The last time I took on an official 10 km race was during Buddy Race last year and was ably paced by buddy Van to a 48-minute PR.

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A veritable speedy start in the first 500 meters…

I wasn’t expecting that much actually with this one (just finish an hour or less) but I was also eager to test my mettle on speed runs. Throughout the race, I just kept hammering on the pavement, huffing like there’s no tomorrow. A few moments, I slowed down a bit but hardly stopped. Soon, the finish line came into view but I kept moving on, not knowing who my co-runners in the 10 km category were (the 5-km have joined in by then).10477954_1527223650839580_2986209684472437616_n

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With longtime running companion Dave Buban…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The finish line indicated I clocked in at 49 minutes! I was #14 – not bad for a Sunday morning last June 20. As a bonus, co-Tagumpay Bros McCoy Lontoc placed 3rd and all the boys of the team finished within an hour.10409750_1490394767864468_5795522434163957897_n

1900394_10154009165075226_1440365264_oSoleus Nuvali Trail Run 50KM. It’s my first ultra trail race (again) since last year’s TNF100 and surprisingly, a pleasant over-all experience, even with mild cramping in the final kilometers. The last time I ran this part was in 2012 with Team Kulit such that by this time, many new structures have risen and sprawling development was all over the area. At 3 am, it was a dark start but runners with their headlamps were bunched together so most of the path was relatively lit. In a kilometer or so, we would be forming a line as the trail narrows and the elevation rose and fell mildly.Medal+Lanyard

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I was still trying to rediscover my trail groove in the early portions of the race.  Soon enough, I was enjoying the sites and sceneries with the rising of the eastern sun.  We were moving across open terrains of cogon hills and snaking dirt paths.  Jogging gave way some hiking and walking when the going got tough.  It was a delight in seeing old trail friends after quite some time.  Of all my running friends, I feel closest to my ultra trail family and they were there in droves.

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Well, hello trails! I. am. back.

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In between trails, wide roads of most developing communities broke the monotony of the greens. The sun was dancing in its full glory when I reached the turn-around point at KM25. I didn’t the do the customary heat training before but the long sleeve white tops were doing their job to prevent me from frying. The long ordeal of retracing back the same path was broken frequently by runners on the other side, struggling towards the midpoint. By lifting their sagging spirits, I myself was powered by their smiles and appreciation.

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A cramping finish…

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With fellow Milo R2 Apex classmates…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the return trip, around 8 kms into the finish, the cramps came out of nowhere, slowing me down when I needed to push myself. I countered the discomfort by doing some heel strike running. It helped me pick up the pace and soon I was overtaking some of the walkers. The last few hundred meters had me struggling as the hardness on the calves doubled so I had no glorious shots to boot. At 6:57, I finally reached the finish line in one piece though slightly fatigued and broken. And my return to the trails had begun…

Recovery lunch at Little Tokyo with Van, Alfred and Noemi...

Recovery lunch at Little Tokyo with Van, Alfred and Noemi…

The amazing shots are courtesy of Red Knight, Takbo.ph, Flat Ironman, Tara Trip Tayo, Prince Productions and Running Photographers

 


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RU2 launch: R U ready for this?


The Sunday before my TNF100, I was invited to a unique and exhilarating race launch – the Run United 2 blogger’s launch at Chocolate Kisses in UP Diliman.  What sets it apart from your usual bloggers gathering is the time and location, both ideal for me.  Diliman is hardly 30 minutes from us and at 5:30 am, it’s a breeze to get there as we registered and put on our new super-comfy singlets from Active Health under Unilab.  It also got us drenched in sweat…

warming up to God knows what...

warming up to God knows what…

morning burpees...whew!

morning burpees…whew!

Before 6 am, Coach Rio gathered us around the Oval for some mean run drills to get our adrenaline pumping.  Everyone was up and about and dripping in sweat the time we started taking on the academic Oval.  By Coach Rio’s standard, this was another relaxed, easy jog but the pace was quite furious that after one round, most of the bloggers opted to just wait by the Carillon station.  Taking this as my final run before the Baguio ultrarace, I tried to keep up with the group’s pace and even exchange some words with CoachR.  One topic which came up was his memorable race during the Boston Marathon.  24 hours after, the bombs went off during the said race.

Mornings don't get any better than this...

Mornings don’t get any better than this…

 

sprint form fail (tilt forward, accdg to CoachR)

sprint form fail (tilt forward, accdg to CoachR)

After 4 rounds in the oval, we were again rounded up for our cool down exercises and a heart pounding timed routine involving 2 sets of burpees and sprints.  Eventually, we dried up (with towels c/o Unilab Active) and changed to new tops.  We then headed to Chocolate Kisses where we were rewarded to a hearty Filipino breakfast while watching the primer on the Run United 2.  Most notable are the new singlets and finisher shirts of RU2 which are a departure from the previous ones.  These shirts have a very fine and breathable fabric you’d want to keep using every day.  It’s been a favorite of mine.

bloggers all...

bloggers all…

Our loot bags also included samples of Enervon ION and Enervon Activ which I’ve been using ever since.  See you on June 2, guys!

Special Thanks to Running Atom for the great shots!

2013 RUN UNITED 2 FACT SHEET

Presenter – Unilab Active Health

Organizer – RunRio Inc.

Beneficiaries – Gawad Kalinga and Children’s Hour

2013 Run United 2 will be held on June 2, 2013 with Ceelin 500m dash, 10k, 21k and 32k race categories. All categories will have a start and finishline at the SM Mall of Asia.

REGISTRATION VENUES:

Online Registration: April 1 to May 12, 2013

In-Store Registration: April 15 to May 19, 2013

Priority Registration for Run United 1 21k Runners: April 10 – 14, 2013 (only at Riovana BGC)

RIOVANA

  • BGC –28th Street corner 9th Ave., Bonifacio Global City –Monday to Sunday from 12nn to 8pm
  • KATIPUNAN – 3rd Floor Regis Center, Katipunan, QC (infront of ADMU) – Monday to Sunday from 12nn to 8pm

TOBY’S

  • SM Mall of Asia – Monday to Sunday, 12PM to 8PM
  • SM North – The Block – Monday to Sunday, 12PM to 8PM

REGISTRATION FEES:

Race

Category

Registration

Fee

Inclusions

Pre-Race

Post-Race

500m

Php350

Singlet, Race Bib, D-Tag, 10% Race Day Discount on AH Apparel, & Raffle Stub

Active Health Ventilation Knapsack Kit, Drinks & Race Analysis

10K

Php800

21K

Php900

Singlet, Race Bib, D-Tag, 10% Race Day Discount on AH Apparel, & Raffle Stub

Active Health Ventilation Knapsack, Finisher’s Medal, Finisher’s Shirt, Drinks & Race Analysis

32K

Php1000

ASSEMBLY AND GUN START TIMES:

Race Category

Assembly Time

Gun Time

500m

6:00am

7:00am

10km

4:30am

5:30am

21km

3:00am

4:00am

32km

2:00am

3:00am

REMINDERS:

  • Registration is on a first come, first serve basis, and may end earlier than the announced deadline. Race kits may run out before May 19, 2013.
  • Singlet size availability will be on a first come first serve basis.
  • Singlet and finishers shirt samples will be available for fitting at the registration centers.
  • A timing device (d-tag) will be used by all participants during the race.
  • D-tag will be presented when claiming the finishers’ kits – no d-tag, no kit.

RACE DETAILS:

CONTACT DETAILS:

For In-Store Registration Inquiries:

  • Globe – 0927 347 7700
  • Smart – 0929 7178164
  • Landline – (632) 887 6194