Posts Tagged ‘Commonwealth Ave.

07
Aug
17

Ode to the Trees of Commonwealth Avenue

For us living north of Metro Manila, the construction of the MRT-7 is a dream come true.  Finally, we’re making progress!  But this progress comes at a huge cost: the trees of Commonwealth Avenue.

20170805_180226.jpg

One of the last remaining trees along Commonwealth Ave. (taken August 05, 2017).
It won’t be long until all of them are removed for good. 😥

It breaks my heart to see all these beautiful trees go.  It’s just a matter of time before all of them are gone from the center of Commonwealth Ave.  Hopefully, the firm handling the construction stay true to their words and relocate most, if not all, of the trees there.  The ones I saw were cut near the roots so I have my doubts.  I really wish that those big property developers adopt some of the trees that can still be salvaged.

To the trees of Commonwealth Ave., thank you for giving us oxygen to breathe, shade from the heat, and help in reducing air pollution all these years!  May all that have been replanted elsewhere survive.

25
Sep
13

ABS-CBN Stages Simultaneous 5-City “One Run, One Philippines”

(Press Release) Thousands of participants are expected to take part in the “One Run, One Philippines,” the five-city simultaneous advocacy run of ABS-CBN in the Philippines and the United States this October 6 as part of ABS-CBN’s 60th anniversary celebration.

Continue reading ‘ABS-CBN Stages Simultaneous 5-City “One Run, One Philippines”’

24
Aug
12

I Run: A Run for Tahan-Tahanan

Updated September 19, 2012: Here’s a run for a cause called “I Run” by Infinity Events and Activation Co. to be held in Quezon City for the benefit of Tahan-Tahanan.

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26
Aug
10

Rediscovering Quezon Memorial Circle

During weekends when I don’t do races I usually have a preferred northward route from our home to SM Fairview, a 6K course via Commonwealth Ave. and Regalado Ave.  Last Sunday though, I decided to change course and head southwards, still originating from home but this time towards SM North EDSA (also via Commonwealth Ave., then via North Ave.), a slightly longer course at 9K.  Living in Quezon City it’s quite inevitable that you’d end up in a mall. 🙂

(Continue reading…)

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. 🙂

29
Oct
09

QCIM Chronicles: A Pacer’s Story (Part 2)

Six hours was a pretty long time to run, and to run it at a consistent pace makes it more difficult.  This would be one of the longest races I’d have done, surpassed only by ultramarathons.

UP Diliman Campus

The good thing about running on major roads was that as long as there’s electricity there’s light so even if it was still dark when the marathon started you’re not running blind, especially with competitive and casual runners running side by side on very wide roads.  From Elliptical Road the road got considerably narrower entering University of the Philippines Diliman Campus but since the fast runners were already way ahead of us it was very spacious for us laggards.  Before we were able to leave UP for Commonwealth Ave. the leaders of the 21K leg were already entering the campus.  It’s always exciting to see the leaders of races—at that time we were simply “spectators.”

Competition

While running along Commonwealth Ave. I was startled by a very fast female runner that dashed very close on my right side, followed by another—they were the female leading pack of 21K, a Kenyan was leading chased closely by a Filipina.  Amazing!  It was competition happening right in front of my eyes!  Yet another spectator moment.  All we can do was just enjoy the show as our ordeal had barely just begun.

By the time we reached Commonwealth Market the leading pack for the marathon was already on their way back!  Of course this was the most exciting pack to see so us “spectators” can’t help but stop and just watch like we were in front of our TVs, only this was happening live in front of us.  A world-class level competition and we got front row seats.  Who says being slow at races meant being last?

World-class competition at the QCIM

Community

All along the route the community was also made aware and got involved with QCIM.  This actually made the race more festive and interesting which I thought was very nice.  By doing this QCIM successfully brought the sport closer to the masses and hopefully create more interest.  On the other hand I also do hope that the local government would provide the facilities for the sport.

The involvement of the community makes for a more lively race

Water(less)

Before we knew it we were back on my favorite part of the QCIM route, La Mesa Eco Park.  Not only because that the view here was spectacular, the cleanest air in the Metro is here.  The exciting part was that we finally got to pass through areas that were usually restricted to the public.  Ironically, there were no water station for the entirety of this section.  Luckily I was able to grab a bottle of water from a water station back in Fairview, but due to the rising temperature and the distance already covered it was also running out.  The water station at the Quirino Highway exit seemed promising, but alas, still no water.  Now we can really feel the heat.

Entering La Mesa Eco Park

Dangerous

From Quirino Highway the race passes in front of SM City Fairview, through Mindanao Ave. and eventually back to Commonwealth Ave.  By this time the roads were partially opened so it meant a slightly dangerous run for us at the back pack, not to mention unhealthy.  We were suddenly running side by side with buses and trucks, among others inhaling their fumes as they pass us by.  Thankfully conditions improved by the time we were in Commonwealth Ave. as there was a wide space between us and passing vehicles.

Courageous

I was virtually alone along Commonweath Ave. maintaining my pace for the six-hour finish and while I was cruising-along I stumbled upon a celebrity—Nene from the reality show Pinoy Big Brother.  Since it was practically just the two of us might as well have some conversation to help pass the time.  To my surprise she was actually very nice and I was very amazed at her feat—she’s never done any shorter races but instead just jumped off into a full marathon!  That for some could be considered “suicide” but for me I find it “courageous”—doing a marathon is not a walk in the park.  As much as I had wanted to stay, eventually I had run ahead of her to maintain my pace.  Duty calls.

The vastness of Commonwealth Ave.

Five hours into the race, around six kilometers to go

Grim Reaper

The downside of being a pacer near the end of the spectrum was the heartaches it causes.  Being an official race pacer I was virtually “married” to the time I signed up for.  The worst feeling I had during this duty was whenever I pass a runner—somehow it gives me a feeling of a heart break.  I am like the Grim Reaper of QCIM—whenever I pass by a runner somehow I felt like I killed his aspiration to finish within six hours.  Because of that I usually hold back to avoid overtaking runners but whenever I am a few minutes behind schedule, I had no choice but to keep up.  I was practically the personification of a six hour finish—if you spot me the six hours finish is near.  I had hoped that I’d be able to pull runners near the last parts of the races but sadly the most I see were already walkers.  On the good side though I was able to push those that are slacking—if I catch them they’d finish in more than six hours.  For the last 10 or so kilometers it was countless heartache for me, but it was a feeling that I had to endure if I was to reach my target time.

Finish

I was again alone at the last two kilometers of the race.  I kept looking at my GF405 to maintain my pace, and then I realized that I had assumed that the race would only be 42.195 kilometers long—what if the actual course was slightly longer? With this in mind I started to increase my pace and when I saw the digital clock on the finish line it was already a few seconds after six hours!  It was much faster than my GF405’s time which was based on gun time.  Naturally I’ve no choice but to haste and cross the line as soon as possible.

Final two kilometers along North Ave.

Since it was six hours after the race you won’t expect a lot of people at the finish line.  This was a new experience for me because the only time this had happened to me was during my finish at TNF100 (at 30 hours).  Fortunately there were some familiar faces there so I had a feeling of relief.  Vener (run unld.) was there to take my finish line picture and to my surprise the clock face facing the other side reads only six hours and nine seconds!  My GF405 was right after all!  Too bad, I was actually aiming to finish in 5:59:59 but due to the wrong clock face up front display that didn’t happen.  My actual finish time (gun time) was 5:59:48.

My finish line picture, courtesy Vener

The area near the finish line six hours into the race

Conclusion

In the end I had mixed feelings with being a pacer.  It was good because never before had I exercised so much control over my pace and patience for a very long time run.  It was bad that I felt awful passing several runners.  I didn’t know either if my decision to stick to the target pace and time regardless of other runners was right.  All I know was that it was easier to pace with specific persons than to be a pacer on a race.  I’m still willing to do it all over again though, and not just to get a free race.  Being a pacer is doing a public service to fellow runners, should they view me as the Grim Reaper or a chance to reach their target remains with their perspective.  As for me, it was a task successfully completed.  I sure hope though that that those that saw me beforehand were “pushed” into finishing their goals.  This has been the Grim Reaper, I mean, six-hour pacer, QCIM thank you for the opportunity.  Congratulations to all finishers!

Takbo.ph meets Nene of PBB

My proud QCIM finisher’s medal

23
Oct
09

QCIM Chronicles: A Pacer’s Story (Part 1)

A pacer is someone who sets the pace of a runner, or runners, to help them achieve their goal time.  His main responsibility is to finish as close as possible to his designated time so that those who avail of his services would achieve their target.  Having pacers are optional both for runners and races but QCIM went all out to make this international marathon a “finisher’s marathon”—one that does not set a cutoff time.  This is a story of a pacer—this is my story.

Origins

I never had prior experience of being an official pacer before, nor do I have a long marathon track record.  In fact QCIM was just my second marathon race, the first one during 33rd Milo Marathon Eliminations earlier this year.  And I never imagined being a pacer, especially for a marathon.

The rising costs of joining races were taking its toll on my budget, but despite that I was never deterred from joining.  When I first heard of QCIM I knew I want to run it, especially that I am a resident of Quezon City and it goes through the road I regularly pass, Commonwealth Ave.  When I heard that QCIM was employing volunteer pacers without hesitation I immediately signed up—I get to run the race that I want for free, and I get to be of service to my fellow runners.

Cutting costs doesn’t mean cutting races to join

Pace

Being a first time pacer wanting to do his duty properly I knew I had to pick a pace I’d be comfortable running for 42K.  Based on my lone marathon time of 4:47:XX I can sign up for a five hour finish—but that’s not my only consideration.  The weekend following QCIM the Subic International Marathon would be held passing along one of my dream route, SCTEX, which I dare not miss.  Why pick one when you can choose both?  Thus it was settled, a six-hour finish would be my goal—an “easy” pace suitable for beginners and those who don’t want to be spent.  I gave my commitment to the time when I realized that it was actually an 8:31/km pace—unchartered territory for me so it would definitely be a run for endurance.

During the bloggers’ launch where I officially signed up as a pacer

Prelude

Traffic flow was rerouted very early in the morning along Commonwealth Ave.  This spelled trouble for me as I was dependent on public buses which were rerouted far from the starting area in front of the City Hall.  Fortunately I was able to alight at the closest possible location near the assembly area, but unfortunately it was about one and a half kilometer away!  Because of the distance I had to cover and I was running out of lead time for our pacers’ meet I had no choice but to run—running late literally!  By the time I arrived at the assembly area I my sweat were already dripping—a forced warm-up you might say.

Runners eagerly awaiting the start of the race

Fly

There were numerous pacers for QCIM in various finish times for both 42K and 21K.  For runners to promptly notice us we wore a different singlet and for our finish times it was stuck onto balloons that we tied to our clothes.  If these balloons had helped us by reducing our weights or hindered us aerodynamically with drag I don’t know but one thing is for sure: kids want those balloons!

Fellow 42K pacers with our running partners (photo courtesy Marvin Opulencia)

The 21K pacers from takbo.ph with Sir Rene (JAZZRUNNER)

Race

Finally, the race that many (including myself) had been waiting for was about to start.  Five seconds before 4:30AM on my GF405 the race was started.  It was either Elliptical Road was very wide or the number of runners was less than anticipated as there was no overcrowding after crossing the starting gate.  This is it!  The start of the longest marathon race of my life was about to begin.  Six hours—that’s a pretty long time to be running.

A few minutes into the race, still at Elliptical Road

(Continued to Part 2)




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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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