RUN DMD

I run…therefore I am


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Pacer Me


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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:

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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.

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

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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

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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