Posts Tagged ‘All Terrain

16
Sep
13

Shoe Review: TevaSphere Speed

One of the more “interesting” outdoor footwear to arrive in the Philippines fairly recently is the TevaSphere Speed.  It is a trainer and it’s also all-terrain.  Here’s my review of this pair from Teva.

His and hers TevaSphere Speed

Continue reading ‘Shoe Review: TevaSphere Speed’

31
Dec
09

2009 Favorite Running Moments: In Pictures

Running has taken me to places I never imagined I’ll go to and for my first full year of running the year broke all previous records not only in terms of distance covered, and pictures taken!  2009 toll: about 20 gigabytes worth of pictures and videos, around 11,500 files.  Among these, here are some of my favorites:

January

Transition: from Bench Pedometer watch to Garmin Forerunner 405

TNF Thrill of the Trail: my first trail run and magazine appearance, Side Trip Magazine April-June 2009 edition

Happy Run: First 15K

February

EDSA: First LSD

LSD with takbo.ph

First winter run (Ohio, USA)

March

Condura Run: First 21K

April

Trail run at Montalban with takbo.ph

May

Takbo.ph goes climbing to Mt. Maculot

TNF100: First ultramarathon (100K)

June

Debut climb of the RunHikers at Pico de Loro

Back on trails with Men’s Health All Terrain

Back at ultra via Botak100 (as a pacer)

July

First Marathon via Milo Marathon Manila Eliminations

August

Repeat of Manila-Tagaytay ultramarathon long run (56K)

Ninoy Aquino Day Run

September

Mommy Milkshake

October

Reaching out through Angel Brigade

Pacer duty at QCIM

First sundown marathon via SIM

November

Chillax pacing during Timex Run

Running in Ilocos

December

Running in Singapore

2009 was a splendid year indeed for me, and hopefully yours as well.  Let us make 2010 a better year for everyone and be the change we want to be.  Happy New Year everyone!

01
Jul
09

runningpinoy’s 2009 Midyear Report

2009 is my first full year of running and with the first half completed its time to have a look back at some of my highlights for the first six months of the year.

January

The year started with “bi-polar” races: one was well praised and the other went in infamy.  Of course I’m referring to TNF Thrill of the Trail in Nasugbu, Batangas and PSE Bull Run in Bonifacio Global City, respectively.  While people can’t stop being enthusiastic about their wonderful experience with the trails of Batulao and the race overall (including myself), it was the complete opposite on the other side of the track—I’ve never heard of so much complaints about a race and it probably had the record of the longest queue at the finish.

Thrill of the Trail, Nasugbu, Batangas

The following weekend race was probably redemption for a lot of runners with the Happy Run—another RunRio event that was one of the most organized and fun race of the year thus far.

With some happy runners

It was also during this month that I acquired my Garmin 405—just a day before we were off for Batangas for the TNF Thrill of the Trails where it had an excellent stage for a debut.  Also having a debut on this race was my first trail shoes, New Balance 811.

Garmin Forerunner® 405

Garmin Forerunner® 405

February

February was the first month since I started running that I had zero races.  This was the first of two months that I was in Ohio, USA and in spite of being race-less I was not run-less: the below freezing temperature wasn’t enough to stop me from running outdoors—an experience that I suggest everyone try at least once in their lives.  While I was “chilling” on the other side of the world the race scene in the Philippines ensued the love month.  There wasn’t much high-profile races for this month making my craving for races more bearable.

My winter gear: a runner’s beanie, windbreaker with regular white cotton t-shirt, pair of gloves, thermal tights, cushioned socks, and trail running shoes

My winter gear: a runner’s beanie, windbreaker with regular white cotton t-shirt, pair of gloves, thermal tights, cushioned socks, and trail running shoes

Before leaving for the US I managed to have my first LSD (Long Slow Distance) run along one of the dreaded routes in the Metro—EDSA, from North Ave. all the way to the SM Mall of Asia grounds.

After finishing my EDSA LSD

After finishing my EDSA LSD

March

By the time race season was starting in the US due to the arrival of spring I was unfortunate enough to be packing my bags for home thereby missing the opportunity to participate in races stateside, but on the bright side I was back for one of the most anticipated races of the year—Condura Run.  This race was one of the rare opportunities to run on the SkyWay and was also my first half-marathon and first race medal.  Also first for this event was the Carbo-Loading Party of takbo.ph which they say was a first for a half-marathon race.

Running with friends at the SkyWay

Running with friends at the SkyWay

April

This was the month of LSDs for me as there were only a handful of races set.  Among these routes were Commonwealth Ave. to Bonifacio High Street via C5; Commonwealth Ave. to SM Mall of Asia via Quezon Ave., España Ave., and Roxas Blvd.; and my first LSD on trails in Montalban.

View from the summit of Montalban

View from the summit of Montalban

Arguably the highlight race of this month was the Greenfield City Run in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.  With its free shuttle service many runners were given chance to run outside Metro Manila and experience the fresh landscape of the rural areas.

Another finishers medal courtesy of Greenfield City Run

Another finisher’s medal courtesy of Greenfield City Run

May

May boasts the longest and one of the most difficult races in the country, The North Face 100 (or simply TNF100).  Many underestimated the trails of Sacobia, Clark before they even embarked on it so it was a shock for many, even seasoned ultramarathoners, on how difficult this race was this year resulting in only a select few proud finishers.  This was my first attempt at an ultramarathon and I am very proud to be one of the few finishers of this race.  It was also my longest distance-wise at 100K, and time-wise at 30 hours (raw time that includes eating, resting, and some dozing off).

Sunrise during TNF100

Sunrise during TNF100

May also sparked my return to trekking with our initial climb to the summit of Mt. Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas.  This became a “team-building” activity for me and my takbo.ph friends and because we had taken an unexpectedly difficult trail it also served as my training for TNF100 that followed two weeks after.

Having breakfast on the summit of Mt. Maculot

Having breakfast on the summit of Mt. Maculot

The month was ended by a rivalry of two high-profile races: The Earth Run at McKinley Hill and Microsoft’s IE8 Run at Bonifacio Global City.  It was a difficult time for runners on which “side” to choose but in the end The Earth Run came out with being more competitive and having more attendance.

Medal from the Earth Run

Medal from the Earth Run

June

The month kicked off with another high-profile and highly anticipated race, the Mizuno Infinity Run.  Coming from a popular footwear brand, this race has a good set of followers which were not disappointed with the race outcome as it became the first race to have a “Time Challenge.”  This year’s participants had their finish time recorded for next year’s race where they can challenge their previous record for a chance of a prize.

Kicking off June with Mizuno Infinity Run

Kicking off June with Mizuno Infinity Run

The second week of June was the Independence Week with the 12th of the month being the Independence Day of the Philippines.  For a change I left my running shoes home and put on my trail running shoes for the first Freedom Climb—40 summits nationwide simultaneously having flag raising ceremonies to commemorate the occasion.  It was the first official climb of our takbo.ph offshoot group, the RunHikers as a group, in Pico de Loro, Cavite.

On our way to Pico de Loro during Freedom Climb

On our way to Pico de Loro during Freedom Climb

If May brags of an ultra-trail race, June is not far with an ultra and trails.  More like a month-wide split of the TNF100, June had an ultramarathon road race: Botak 100, and two trail run (and bike) races: King of the Mountain (KOM) in Timberland and Men’s Health All Terrain in Sta. Elena, Laguna.

Sunrise over Sta. Elena, Laguna during Mens Health All Terrain

Sunrise over Sta. Elena, Laguna during Men’s Health All Terrain

The All Terrain race was a good race overall especially for introducing trail runs for beginners.  The race was well-organized flawed only by the fact that the trails were a little dull.  This was salvation for Men’s Health reputation from their abysmal past races.

Finally to close the first half of the year was Botak 100—the first ultramarathon road race in Mega Manila.  Despite Botak’s attempt to salvage their reputation from the last race that plagued them, it was “A” (H1N1) viral issue that hampers their efforts.  That issue led them to postpone the side events of this race to the dismay of some runners (myself included).  Fortunately enough the ultramarathon road race pulled their reputation forward that Botak could be proud to say that they “pulled it off.”  Surely there were still a lot of shortcomings but as an “active spectator” all these issues were negligible.  Welcome back, Botak!

Pacer at Botak 100

Pacer at Botak 100 (courtesy Marvin)

Truly it was a roller-coaster ride for the first half—events fell on either side of the poles.  From the best to the worst these races and other side events really made the first half of 2009 quite remarkable.  Now that the second half is about to begin, will it be able to outshine the half that was?  Or will the race organizers sit on their laurels and stop innovation?  I guess we’ll all find out soon enough.

21
Jun
09

Men’s Health All Terrain: Back on Trails

The All Terrain Race can be described as salvation for Men’s Health—the race was n a different caliber that everyone seemed to forget the past mishaps of races by Men’s Health.  This was of course made possible by the race’s new organizer finishline.ph and with that, blazing fast race results.

The Trails

It’s either I’ve had too much trails under my feet or I’m just too demanding—I find the trail route of this year’s race, to put it bluntly—pretty boring.  I know it’s very difficult to find good trails to hold a race but coming off TNF100 you can pretty much understand what I mean.  The trails were dull because it was virtually flat and man-made—nature still is best when it comes to outdoor activities.  In fairness to the organizers, this was in fact the first “real” trail run I’ve ever had because you can really run 100% of the route—you can even set a new PR since it is much like running on unpaved roads except for the winding course and mud puddles.  It is excellent for a trail run but the degree of difficulty is very low making this race an excellent venue for beginners to be introduced to trail running.

My Story

We arrived at the assembly area more than an hour before call time so we had a lot of time to spare—taking pictures!

With my takbo.ph family: Carina, Mar, Chelly, Jinoe, Me, and Vicky

With my takbo.ph family: Carina, Mar, Chelly, Jinoe, Me, and Vicky

One of the nicest sunrises I’ve ever seen

One of the nicest sunrises I’ve ever seen

For a race this size there surely are quite a lot of portalets

For a race this size there surely are quite a lot of portalets

The start line

The start line

That’s a lot of feet!

That’s a lot of feet!

The 15K trail run started at 5:41AM.  We initially planned for the “picture-taking pace” but the narrow trails and numerous runners eventually got us separated.  Add to that the lack of interesting views to take pictures, before we knew it we were running on our own.

15K race start

15K race start

Entering the trails

Entering the trails

The first of several mud pools along the trails

The first of several mud pools along the trails

The view of the long line of runners along the trails

The view of the long line of runners along the trails

Not before long I realized that the trail may not be as interesting as I had expected—there were no mountains nor hills in sight—only tall grasses and the ridiculously winding trail that was made specifically for bikers.  It was nice that the air was fresh but eventually you’ll tire of the endless grass.  There were a few interesting spots along the way though.

A view of the golf course where the trail was just outside of

A view of the golf course where the trail was just outside of

Being a bike trail there were bike-oriented features along the route, including my favorite spot on the course, the bike ramp.

The bike ramp which was my favorite spot on the course, too bad I’m not on wheels.

The bike ramp which was my favorite spot on the course, too bad I’m not on wheels.

One of a few bridges that line the trails

One of a few bridges that line the trails

Noted.

Noted.

The course wasn’t completely within the trails—the route crisscrosses the asphalted road that it runs parallel to.

The course wasn’t completely within the trails—the route crisscrosses the asphalted road that it runs parallel to.

As if the repetitive view wasn’t enough we had to endure the first 5K of the 15K route again for the final 5K leg.  The most surprising thing about this race was getting to the 15K mark—it’s not the finish line!  The 15K mark was well within the trails—the 15K route was actually 15.4K!

View of the finish line

View of the finish line

Coincidentally I met some of my friends running the 10K course on the road leading to the finish line so we were running side by side for a good several meters.  I didn’t want to ruin their “photo-finish” so I sprinted ahead to be able to take their pictures.  So there I was sprinting to the finish and there was a person ahead of me, walking.  Of course right after crossing the finish line I’d inevitably overtake him because of our difference in speed but I was a bit ticked off by one of the lady “marshal” that said “no overtaking please”—it’s not like after a sprint to the finish line I’d stop dead on my tracks to avoid overtaking the person ahead of me.  Besides our time were already logged so it wouldn’t matter.  To those who may potentially encounter such in the future, don’t stop!  Stopping abruptly may cause injuries on your part, just make sure that you don’t bump into the person (or any object) ahead of you.

15K Route

15K Route

Post-Race

For the first time I had a free massage after the race.  There were also some free items from sponsors and raffles.  There was also a live band to keep the crowd entertained as the bikers arrived.  Of course PhotoVendo was there to take our souvenir pictures, and as a part of takbo.ph we even had a group picture (although with a small group set as the others haven’t yet arrived at that time).  Overall this was one of the better post-race assembly areas I’ve seen, although for the bikers it was their pre-race.

Conclusion

Good:

  • Easy trail perfect for introducing trail running to beginners
  • Accurate kilometer markers along the route
  • Lots of marshals along the route
  • Plenty of water stations
  • Excellent location
  • Lively assembly areas
  • Quick results

Bad

  • Trails had low level of difficulty (for me at least)
  • Trail distance was longer than announced (for 10K and 15K)

Overall Rating: Good




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The MIRACLE isn’t that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the COURAGE to START
– John “The Penguin Runner” Bingham
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