Posts Tagged ‘bandit

27
Jul
10

DNS 101: Registered, Plate Unavailable

How does a running community celebrate its anniversary?  By running of course!

Takbo.ph held its first Runfest to celebrate the occasion last Sunday.  It was the last race I signed up for before I got injured, one of the rare few that charged below P500 as registration fee, and definitely one of my most anticipated races for the year!  Unfortunately, the gods of running had other plans for me.

 

Since registration fees became ridiculously expensive for my budget and my knee was injured signing up for races had been the last thing on my mind, and as such became out of habit.  Running still is, but racing?  I’m not going to set new PRs with my knee anyway so there hardly any motivation to race.  And since it was no longer a habit there’s a natural tendency to overlook something.

Ten hours before the race I realized something—I had completely forgotten to bring home my race kit from the office!  There were three options then on my mind: (a) get my kit from the office, (b) run without a race bib, or (c) none of the above!

Bandit?

It seems anomalous to be in the office on a Saturday night, not to mention all the time I’d lose in the process, so it’s not very inciting.  Running without a race bib, a.k.a. “bandit” seems to be the more convenient option.  I’m registered anyway so I’m “eligible” to participate but people won’t know that since I won’t be wearing my race bib.  I don’t want to encourage anyone to run “bandit” on any race, particularly on a race celebrating running, so leading by example I discarded that idea.  So what’s plan C?  Sleep it off :(.  Sure I can still join the celebration as a volunteer but I knew I’d just be envious of those running that I might be tempted to run “bandit.”  Besides the temptation of a good, long sleep was too difficult to resist.

Tantrum Run

I missed the chance of running at “race pace” (which I haven’t done this year) but a resourceful runner always find ways.  So that the weekend will not be wasted I settled to just doing my regular easy run whenever I’m not racing—from home to SM Fairview (via Commonwealth Ave. and Regalado Ave.), slightly more than 6K.  This is actually longer than the 5K race I signed up for. 🙂

I actually started doing this run from a crazy “green” idea of saving money and carbon emission from the commute each time I needed to do the groceries or go to the gym. You helped save the environment and you got your run!  Too bad there’s little chance of me setting new PRs with this route either since each time I do it I always carry a bag with at least 1.5kg weight (700g netbook for surfing via Wi-Fi, 500mL of sports drink, change clothes, etc.) and the route is practically uphill.  And yes, that 6K run serves as my “warm-up” before pumping some iron. 🙂

Celebrate Running

Congratulations to Mr. Jinoe Gavan for a successful Runfest and thank you for your brainchild, takbo.ph.  Congratulations also to everyone that made this event a success!  To my takbo.ph family whom I miss dearly I hope to see you soon!

DNS is my name removing the repeating letters and vowels.  In the internet it could pertain to the Domain Name System.  In racing it is a term for a competitor failing to start the race (Did Not Start).  In this context however it may as well refer to Did Not Show. 🙂

10
Nov
09

Spontaneity at the Philippine International Marathon (Part 2)

Getting complimentary race kits literally just hours before race day comes with a price.  We were surprised at what we saw: a decent singlet, a piece of paper that looked like an event flyer, and… wait, that’s it?!  Apparently we were just a singlet away from a “bandit”—no race number to distinct us and for use at the finish.  The “flyer” served as a “generic bib”—if it was a cinema ticket it would be a gate pass.  It became official—we were complimentary runners!

Fortunately I still had some tricks under my sleeves—I still have the regular race kit from a fellow runner who incidentally registered twice so I’m still “officially” in the race.   The problem was that I need to get it on race day itself—another scenario for trouble.  I hate it when I’m right.

Pre-Race

Before 4AM the gang met up at a 24-hour fastfood a few hundred meters from the starting line.  We had our last minute “carbo-loading” and after a few minutes we were off for the assembly area.  It was such a quick stay that I only had a sip of my coffee, literally.  The trouble now is I still have yet gotten my race bib—the one with a number, that is.

Assembly

It was one of the most attended races so far, and with the backing of ABS-CBN, the assembly area was very lively.  In fact, the race was being broadcasted live nationwide.  The trouble is with all the runners around, I can’t seem to find my friend to claim my race bib.  Frustrating.

Gun Start

Just before 4:30AM the race officially commenced.  I still wasn’t able to get my race bib so I checked in my “generic bib” (prior to gun start of course) as proof that I started at the right place.  I even forgot to start my GF405 after gun start.  I thought that my friend was with Team Logan at that time so I waited for them to start, but after virtually walking for a while I got really bored and just decided to proceed without the race bib.  It turned out that Team Logan started a few minutes late, and my friend wasn’t with them.

Due to all the confusion I broke my targets so early in the race.  I decided to try to catch some time but unfortunately those that I was supposed to pace seemed to start slow as well.  As I mentioned earlier I decided to join this race as a pacer to have a more purposeful “bandit” run but apparently even that plan would fail.  I sure would love to correct my early mistakes but I know that I can’t force it to my “stakeholders” because that would mean doing a five minute per kilometer pace until delays were compensated—too fast, too early.   I also felt somewhat responsible because they probably waited for me.  Plans are being messed up, time for some compromise.

Back in the Game

What I didn’t realize was that my friend who had “my” race bib was indeed part of the relay team but would be starting not from the starting area but on the next relay station.  While approaching the area I heard someone call my name and to my delight it was the person I’ve been looking for all this time! Finally I got “my” race bib, and I’m an official participant of the race.

Running along Mendiola

The Grim Reaper’s List

The ETA list that I mentioned in a post a while ago is back.  That was when I realized the gravity of the situation—we were way off target.  The original plan was to set a pace of 6:30 (per kilometer) but we were running much closer to 6:55—even slower than the average pace needed to finish in four hours and 50 minutes.  We had a dire need to compensate!  My mind was getting nuts thinking of how I can effectively set the pace that would not burn my stakeholders out too early, while catching up for lost time, while still being able to give them their walk break!  If I was a calculator I would probably yield “E”—Error.

Sunrise over Manila

Confessions of a Grim Reaper

I wasn’t about to give up hope so early.  While I still can cover up the severity of the situation (we were gradually losing more time away from target) I would, if it would help motivate my “clientele.”  In fairness we were able be as little as a minute off schedule by skipping a walk break for kilometer 4-5, but eventually I had to give us a walk-break.  It was very difficult to tell them how much time we lost by not adhering to the 6:30 pace but I totally understand because even though the route was virtually flat and at sea level, bridges that we cross aren’t.  The consistently spaced water stations (that also served as relay stations for the 42K relay) didn’t help us get any faster as we tend to stop.  Eventually even the 10-minute buffer I planned to finish within cutoff of five hours ran out—and I can’t set the pace any faster.

Continued: [ Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 ]

08
Nov
09

Spontaneity at the Philippine International Marathon (Part 1)

Just about every plan I had with this race didn’t come to fruition—from registration to meeting targets.  At the same time some of the unexpected came to be, both pleasant and repulsive, making this one of the most stressful but interesting races I’ve had.

Decision at the 11th Hour

The previous “prestigious” event that I was really preparing for found me flabbergasted—with so much disappointment at that race I felt like I had to get redemption somehow.  Prior to the said event I wasn’t really thinking of sweeping all the “International Marathons”—all I was aiming for was to support our city’s initiative (QCIM) without sacrificing my dream of running at the SCTEX in a decent manner.  For the latter the goal was simple: aim to run my marathon with hardly any walk breaks.  Unfortunately even though I got a new PR I didn’t fulfill my “simple” goal.

By the time I truly decided on joining the race registration was already closed.  It really took me a while to decide to sign up because the day of PIM was the day after my birthday—would you run a marathon the day after your birthday after you had just finished two marathons back to back?

Desperate Runner

Knowing that registration was already closed I was seriously considering a last resort—yes it’s doing the “B” word that I don’t encourage.  It’s not a matter of not wanting to register; it’s just that I can’t.  I was so desperate to join that I event filed a leave from the office to go to ABS-CBN Foundation to try to register, but failed.  So when life gives you lemons make lemonade—in this case if I was to run as a “bandit” might as well make it a more purposeful act—be a pacer… again!

Meant to be

Heaven was hearing my prayers—I found a “legal’ work-around to my “B” problem by getting the race number of a fellow runner who registered double, one for the full marathon and one for the marathon relay with Team Logan (more on this later).  Although race bibs are not transferrable it at least allows me to join the race “legally.”   At that moment I was just ecstatic!  Finally just a few days before the race I’m “legal.”

Another “But Wait, There’s More” Moment

Barely 48 hours before the race I was offered complimentary race kits by Sir Rene courtesy of Quezon City Hall—at first I was reluctant because I already have a kit and didn’t know it was complimentary but due to the urge of fellow runners I again signed up with the idea that I’ll have a kit under my name—full legality and not just a workaround.  But wait, there’s a catch.

Continued: [ Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 ]

* * * * *

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my friends who greeted me for my birthday yesterday, November 07.  I was really overwhelmed and am sorry if I wasn’t able to respond to your greetings individually (greetings on my Facebook wall exceeded way beyond what can be conveniently displayed) but rest assured I read them all (through my email).  I’d like to thank as well Microsoft Philippines for giving me a licensed copy of Windows 7 Professional as a birthday present.

To my takbo.ph family as usual I’m deeply honored to have known you guys and one again was overwhelmed with the overflowing support you give me, fellow runners, and the running community as well.  I really appreciate all the efforts and the love you gave us earlier during the race.

To Craig, Michelle, and Justin of Team Logan once again you truly are an inspiration to a lot people, myself included, and thank you for giving me the honor of letting me run with the team.  We’ll miss you for the time being and have a safe trip!

God bless!




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The MIRACLE isn’t that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the COURAGE to START
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