Posts Tagged ‘Condura Run

17
Dec
10

Condura Skyway Marathon 2011

One of the most exciting Marathon in the country is back, the Condura Run, with its signature Skyway route, but now more aptly named the Condura Skyway Marathon.  This re-branding comes in line as the event positions itself as one of the premiere marathon event in the Asia-Pacific Region by 2012.

(Continue reading…)

10
Feb
10

Condura Run 2010: Déjà vu

Condura Run 2010 realized the vision of the Concepcion brothers of having their own marathon race.  For many runners out there it was also the realization of their dreams of running their first marathon.  For me I just realized that I want to run this race—no pressure, no commitment, and no target—just enjoy the ride.  It was the first marathon in the country for this year, and it was also my first race for the year—after two months of slumber.

Socks, bibs, gels... good to go!

Coming into this race was like coming into my first marathon—I was practically unprepared.  During my first marathon I was essentially fresh off my first ultramarathon, TNF100, so my training was centered on endurance, not speed.  Likewise now my body is being prepared for yet another ultramarathon, BDM102.  No disrespect to the marathon, I wasn’t totally unprepared—prepared to endure but not to be fast.  As a regular person with no special genes for running I can only choose between endurance and speed—I can’t have both.  Just as with my first marathon this race was a mere test—a test of my “raw” skills.  This was why I refused to commit to any pacing duty.  This was why I didn’t have a specific target time.

For the first time in months I saw many of my friends that I missed dearly.  Not before long the marathon had begun.  It was 4AM and it was still dark. I was off to a great start and I was exceeded my expectations.  First 5K in 26 minutes, 10K in 54 minutes—I guess SIM was a good training after all for running blindly in the darkness!  13K, the Skyway ramp—here we go!  Gradually the ramps were sapping my energy, 15K in 1:24, still within a decent time but I was starting to eat away my early gains.  By that time I felt hunger—I usually get hungry after 21K and its early onset is not a good sign!  And I didn’t have my regular marathon food this time! The next 5K saw my pace drop to below 6min/km finishing the first 20K in 1:56—uh oh!  I wasn’t even completing the first half in 2 hours!  (But at least was able to beat my last year’s 21K time also on the Skyway albeit a slightly different route)  Energy gels are great but I was feeling the effect of lack of nutrition.  From that point I know that everything was going downhill for me, while the Skyway’s uphills had barely been covered!

Slowly but surely runners overtook me—I felt like I was exerting the same effort but looking at my GF405 I was actually doing my “cruise speed” during BDM Test Run!  My body had automatically switched to ultramarathon pace!

Uphills + ultramarathon pace + forefoot strike = plantar problem! I don’t know when and where exactly it happened; all I know was that I had this annoying feeling on my right thigh and by 30K I was totally spent, both my plantar was aching, and my pace was hitting the 7min/km mark. Goodness, I was craving badly for a banana.

Fortunately upon our return to Buendia it was raining bananas—or so it seemed!  I was just so happy to see so much friendly faces, many of which I do not know but whole-heartedly offered bananas and even massages to those wanting it—you all know who you are and to us you are all angels, thank you very much!

I love my banana! Courtesy Jinoe Gavan

Of course my pace didn’t improve immediately as I was starving for nutrients but I managed to hang onto 7min/km pace.  Steady as I went enjoying every bite from that banana I got when I suddenly heard someone from behind speaking loudly, “excuse me but could you spare me half of your banana?”  On my mind the thought of “but we just passed by those bananas…” came, but of course as a fellow runner I understood that you wouldn’t ask for something from another person if you don’t really need it, so I think you know how it went.

I think I had just swallowed my last bite of banana when I was upon the final stumbling block—the Kalayaan flyover.  This was when I enforced my ultramarathon rule, “walk during uphills.”  I’ve yet benefitted from that banana, the sun was starting to heat up the surroundings, I was exhausted, and it’s about 7K to go!  The result was a staggering 8 minute pace for 35-36K!  I think this can be referred to as the Galloway Method? 🙂

Final 5K, 32nd Street.  It was just a matter of time until our “ordeal” was over but even if the terrain relaxed the sun refuses to make running easier as it shines bright above us, and it was just around 8AM!  Of course it was obvious at this point that I wouldn’t be making any new personal record with this race, and just with my last long run (BDM Test Run) I just thought “let’s get this over with so I can eat!”

I have a ridiculously fast metabolism but for some weird reason bananas don’t “kick-in” as fast as I wanted.  The half banana I took about 8K ago was just starting to take effect at 40K but late as it came it was a welcome boost for my final kilometer—finish strong!  41-42K at 5:56 and the last few hundred meters at 5:10 pace!

The Marathon Route

Crossing the marathon finish line is always special no matter how many times you did it before.  That was especially true if you had a particular difficulty with the race.  “Easy” races make you proud, but it’s the “difficult” ones that keep you groundedreminding you that you’re still human—breakable.  In the end I was able to keep the time I mentioned to be my “target” to all that kindly asked: between 4 and 5 hours finish (safe, whew!).  Later on I found out that my average pace luckily was still within my recommended long run pace.  A marathon ran with ultramarathon pace ending as a long run—interesting!  Now my only problem is how to get back that 3,000 calories burned…

Lessons Learned

  • Don’t try anything new on race day (yeah blame it on the socks, hehe)
  • Eat properly and hydrate well before the race (you don’t want to run hungry quite early)
  • You can get away with any races without training, but not with marathons!  (Unless you want to finish in 8 hours or more)
  • There are always lessons to be learned (as long as your cup is not full)

Special thanks to Sir Amado Castro, Reinier Pacific, and the volunteers for the bananas and their wonderful service.  Thank you as well to my takbo.ph family for the cheers, support, and of course pictures!  Thank you Sir Ton and Pat Concepcion for a memorable race and to the race volunteers, race marshals, and everyone involved that made this race possible.  See you next year!

08
Feb
10

Condura Run 2010 Review

This year’s Condura Run went full throttle by finally having a full marathon route, a first in its short history and as with last year the Skyway route was its signature.  This event was handled by Race Director Rudy Biscocho of RACE.  Here are my afterthoughts of the overall race experience:

Pre-Race

Condura Run had the most efficient race packet collection I’ve ever experienced in the country, fast and easy, although its perfect score for efficiency was tarnished by a minor flaw—they forgot to put barcodes in some of the race kits (including mine).  Their personnel at the claiming area were friendly and knowledgeable so they were a real help.

Someone forgot something...

The Marathon

The route was excellent highlighted by the Skyway giving runners an interesting and picturesque route, not to mention a very challenging one.  The lowlights was having no lights!  The race started promptly at 4AM and although it was an ideal time to start, some of the roads that the marathon took were unlit so it was like SIM all over again.

Hydration-wise I doubt that the promised 2.5K distance between water stations were strictly met, but each station had sufficient water for everyone.  The sponsored sports drink was nice although many still don’t prefer carbonated ones, plus its supply en route was limited to only a few stations that weren’t evenly spaced.  Bananas, boiled eggs, energy gels, or the like would’ve been highly appreciated, but it’s not promised so it can’t be demanded.

Distance markers were sadly inadequate.  Without any measuring device you won’t be able to tell your pace as distance markers appear sporadically.  There were also some route markers that should’ve been placed in some locations, but in fairness the route isn’t that complicated that would make it critical.

GPS-wise my GF405 registered a distance of 42.19K but other GPS devices registered more, and most likely it is more because of the terrain.  In terms of difficulty this was definitely not a walk in the park but the date and start time of the race made it a bit easier in terms of the weather.

The Marathon Route

Post-Race

Every finisher is a winner—that’s what Condura Run emphasizes but unfortunately not all were given their well-deserved finisher’s medal.  Some who stayed longer in the activity area eventually got theirs, but if you’re one of those not-so-lucky ones, e-mail the organizers at secretariat@condura.com on details on how to get your medal.  (Read this announcement from Condura Run 2010 website)

The Finisher’s Medal

The activity area was excellent with free product samples from sponsors and food vendors were also conveniently placed in the area.  As for the Asics Expo, their shoe lineup was excellent!  Unlike most discount expos the shoes they offer are current and not outmoded and discounts vary depending on the model.  I didn’t even know that there’s already a Kayano 16, and it’s on sale!  If I was in the market for new shoes I may have gotten a pair or two (my Kayano 13 refuses to retire as my trainers).

To marathon runners, did you know that there were goodie bags?  I didn’t know either until some of my friends who ran half marathon informed me.  It appears that distribution was an issue so by the time the majority of marathon runners arrived, no goodie bags were left!

On the race results side, Condura Run could be proud that despite the absence of timing chips they were able to release an accurate set of race results within hours after the race.   Excellent!

Conclusion

Hands down, Condura Run 2010 was one of the most organized races in recent history, although there were still some kinks that crawled its way.  The flaws were quite minor as compared to the overall experience that the race delivered.  It’s also the earliest marathon in the country by starting at 4AM, and I think that it’s better than the typical 4:30AM start.  Hopefully this race would serve as an example to future marathons in the country.  My verdict: Very Good! (My highest rating of a local race thus far)

Photo from Condura Run 2010 on February 8, 2010 edition of The Philippine Star

Congratulations to the brothers Ton and Pat Concepcion for a very successful event, and thank you for exerting effort in delivering a quality race for runners by runners!  Your dream of having your own marathon race in the country has come true, and you shared it with us with flying colors!

07
Feb
10

Condura Run 2010 Race Results

Congratulations all finishers!   Official race results for the Condura Run 2010 are now released.

Condura Run 2010 Finisher’s Medal

For distance freaks out there the full marathon distance registered 42.19K on my GF405 (official marathon distance is 42.195K) but with all the elevation gains/loss it is more likely over that (as with most other GF305 readings).

Condura Run 2010 Marathon Route

See Also: Condura Run 2010 Review

05
Feb
10

Pre-Con (Pre-Condura Run 2010)

Yesterday was the first day of race packet claiming for the forthcoming Condura Run 2010, Run for the Dolphins, and I couldn’t think of any way it could be better.  I arrived pretty late in Condura Village (across ROX, Bonifacio High Street) at around 8:30PM and I feared that claiming is already closed for the day since on the claim receipt it states that claiming is only until 8PM that day (11AM – 10PM on Friday, February 5 and 11AM – 6PM on Saturday, February 6), but to my surprise there were people still manning the area.  You can’t miss it because the booths are plenty, reminiscent of SCSM, and was very, very organized, clustered by distance and sorted by last name.  There’s even a dedicated area for international runners.  Going back, I went to the 42K area and looked for letter “R” (my last name) and asked if it was still okay to claim my packet.  Without any hesitation I got a “Sige Sir” (surely, Sir) response and I presented my claim receipt.  Their method was as efficient as it can be and in just a while I had my race packet—very easy!  They even offered me this Sunday’s copy of Condura Run 2010 Special section of The Philippine Star dated February 07, 2010 (now that’s what I call an “early edition”).  Make sure to get one because it contains the detailed route of all events plus more information about the race.

As for the race packet, it comes in a big brown envelope containing another smaller envelope with two race bibs (one containing your number and another blank one for some messages) with eight safety pins; a section of March 29, 2009 edition of The Philippine Star containing last year’s race results, flyers and product samplers from sponsors, a reflector, and a very nice finisher’s shirt (which I really love!).

Condura Run 2010 finisher’s shirt (courtesy http://www.condurarun.com)

One thing I noticed though was that the lower left section of your race bib where a barcode containing your number should appear doesn’t have any markings!   Make sure to write your race number there using a waterproof-permanent marker just to be safe on the results aspect.  While you’re at it fill up the information at the back of the race bib.  You’ll never know if it may come in handy!

“Look Ma, no barcodes!” I highly suggest that you write your bib number here

Carbo-Loading Party

Last night also saw one of the biggest takbo.ph gatherings as we met up for the Condura Run Carbo-Loading Party (CLP).  This race would be one of the most attended race of takbo.ph members with over 50 running the full marathon (many of which attempting their first) and much more doing the side events.  It was a great time to meet new faces and be reunited with familiar ones.  It was a blissful dinner with pastas being served everywhere and the night was even made more memorable by free photos and prints courtesy of Bong Yu’s phötöböngböng during its run-through.  Good luck BY on your new venture!  Expect to see more pictures from this new photo service soon.  (If you happen to pass by phötöböngböng inform them that runningpinoy referred you :))

Powerpuff Boys?!

I really enjoyed the night and to the new faces I met it was a pleasure to meet you all.  To those who had asked to be paced or asked for my target time I’m sorry if I wasn’t able to give my commitment promise or gave a definite answer as I really just intend to enjoy this race—no pressure, no expectations, just fun!  Just give this race for me to savor and next time I promise to be of service to fellow runners.  This would be my comeback race after two months of hibernation so I hope you all understand.  Good luck to all Condura runners!  Run safe!

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.




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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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