Posts Tagged ‘Ohio


Patriot Day 5K

To all my readers in the USA, there will be a series of Patriot Day 5K races happening in 12 cities across the United States from September 07 to 28, 2013.  Here are the details:

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Experience the World through Sports: Sports Tourism

Given a chance, who wouldn’t want to travel?  But travelling for sports?  That’s a different story altogether.

We typically travel either for business or leisure, and if it’s the latter we usually have relaxation in mind.  And relaxation doesn’t usually involve moving too much!

Sports Tourism is a niche of the travel industry with sports at its core—either through spectating or participation.  You need not go abroad to watch the World Cup or Olympics, or be an athlete yourself to be called a sports tourist—you already are when you went out of town for that basketball game!  Indeed spectating is the most relaxed form of sports tourism, but why stay behind the scenes when you can be part of the action?

A year ago I went to Singapore for some hard labor—not for employment as typically expected with most Pinoys—I went to run a marathon!  Even Singaporeans that I met were surprised that I visited their country for four days just to run.  I was a perfect example of a sports tourist!

The Philippines has much more to offer than Singapore as far as tourism is concerned.  The latter despite being one of the smallest countries in the world it is frequented annually by a lot of visitors.  It is so small in fact that you can practically cover the entire island in less than a day!  So what keeps tourists coming back to Singapore?  Sports!  Aside from world class marathons, the country is also popular for its F1 races and now they even host a 70.3 Ironman race.  Imagine all the income these tourists bring to their economy annually?

The Philippines may not have as developed tourism infrastructure as other countries but as far as sports tourism is concerned we’ve got so much to offer.  Recently our surfing spots are becoming world famous and also a similarly world-class 70.3 Ironman race reached our shores. Even our local running scene attracts some foreign elite athletes.  It may not be as much as with other countries but it’s a good start.  Mainly fuelled by locals, Philippine sports tourism needs all the support it can get, but what’s in it for you?

With sports tourism you get to view a place in an unusual perspective—like watching a movie behind the scenes.  But don’t be contented with “viewing,” participate! Participation in sports allows you to “experience” the place—and you don’t need to be an elite athlete to enjoy it.  We can say that sports tourists don’t just “visit” the place, they “experience” it!  And the Philippine advantage is that you have a lot to choose from for every budget!

For starters you can try “jogging” along baywalk (or a nearby park).  Once you get started everything becomes easier, and before you knew it you’d be taking that six hour bus ride or that next flight out just to participate with your favorite sports!

I was once just like every yuppie out there stuck between the walls of the office cube during office hours but through sports I was set free!  Little did I know that aside from being good for health, through sports I’d be able to experience the world in a unique way!  Don’t just take my word for it; experience it for your own.  Stop thinking and start doing.  Are you ready to make your own experiences?

Note: This article was originally intended for print.


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:


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



LSD with

First winter run (Ohio, USA)


Condura Run: First 21K


Trail run at Montalban with

May goes climbing to Mt. Maculot

TNF100: First ultramarathon (100K)


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)


First Marathon via Milo Marathon Manila Eliminations


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

Ninoy Aquino Day Run


Mommy Milkshake


Reaching out through Angel Brigade

Pacer duty at QCIM

First sundown marathon via SIM


Chillax pacing during Timex Run

Running in Ilocos


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!


More Interesting Finds

Yesterday we managed to go to Dick’s Sporting Goods at Easton Town Center to find some sporting goods we can take back to the Philippines.  The store reminds me of R.O.X. in the Philippines except that it’s at least four times as large and it’s not exclusive to outdoor sporting goods.  Our timing may have been bad since there are only a few items on sale so I didn’t buy anything new, but before we left the store I noticed these items:

From left to right: energy gel, energy blocks, and energy beans

From left to right: energy gel, energy blocks, and energy beans

In the Philippines I can only find energy bars—everything else is as rare as a needle in a haystack.  Here in Ohio aside from the interesting finds I mentioned in my previous post I also found a variety of related items: energy gels, energy blocks, and energy beans.  These products provide the same purpose as an energy bar or gel but they were made for variety.  You’d normally get tired of having the same energy bar or gel over and over again that’s why they made it in various flavors.  It’s also tiring to only have only solid and gel form (which I already mentioned is rare in the Philippines) so manufacturers here have products that are “in-between.”  If you want your energy food for your race or training you have the energy bars, if you want it a bit softer you may opt for energy beans, if you want it really soft go for the energy gels, but if you want it a bit more solid but not as hard as energy beans you also have energy blocks.  All of these also come with different flavors thus expanding your energy food palate.



It’s always interesting to visit groceries and sport shops here: you’ll never know what items you’ll find.  Of course this may just be coming from a “tourist” point of view.  I hope that these products eventually reach the Philippines—all I see in the market are energy bars, even the selection for that is limited.  I didn’t even know that Snickers Marathon existed until that visit to Dick’s.


The Story of My First Winter Run

Finally after several days of running abstinence I was able to get back to running, despite the sub-zero (°C) temperature.  It’s still winter here in Ohio and although we don’t have several inches of snow on the ground we barely break 0°C during daytime, in fact the warmest temperature we’ve had these past few days was 2°C and the coldest was -14°C.  We usually have flurries at night but a lot of it melts during daytime when temperatures exceed 0°C so we don’t have much buildup, but if you walk around you’d see a lot of ice deposits.  There are also a lot of man-made ponds here and most of which are frozen (a few inches thick) but they usually don’t allow people to skate on it.

My running trail: notice the frozen pond behind.

My running trail within my hotel’s premises: notice the frozen pond behind (and my bottled water on the bench).

During my early days here I was frustrated to run—I don’t have any thermal clothes that I can use to run outdoors and it took me several days before I was able to get one.  Unlike in the Philippines you really need a car to get to the stores and malls so visiting a sports shop that caters thermal pants can be difficult.  Finding one was also a challenge since stores are transitioning from winter collections to spring so I really have to travel more than 50 miles to get my gear.

Here’s my complete winter gear: a runner’s beanie (or bonnet) as headgear, a normal t-shirt and windbreaker as top, a pair of windproof gloves as hand protection, Under Armour thermal tights as bottoms, regular Nike Dri-Fit socks and New Balance 811 trail running shoes as footwear.

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, a windbreaker on regular white cotton tee, a pair of wind-proofed gloves, thermal tights, cushioned socks, and trail running shoes.

I started my winter run on a treadmill in the hotel before I got my thermal pants.  You may use your denim jeans when running but wearing one isn’t really ideal so I settled for a treadmill for the time being.  When I got my thermal tights things started looking up—the “barriers” that hindered my outdoor run were no longer issues.

Winter Gear Explained
Let’s start from top to bottom.  Exposing yourself in freezing and windy air for sometime hurts your ear so a beanie is a need.  I think it differs from a bonnet that the latter is normally loose and big while a beanie is more fitting and sporty.  I got a thermal one so even if it’s almost an exact fit it’s very warm.

When I started running outdoors for the first time I was wearing a t-shirt, a fleece jacket, and a windbreaker as top.  Outside temperature then was -3°C so I was still testing my tolerance limit.  This was later reduced (a few minutes after I got warmed up) to just the tee and windbreaker as you really get warm and even start to sweat despite the freezing temperature.  A windbreaker is needed because of wind-chill—it tends to feel colder than it actually is because of the wind (e.g. it could feel like -14°C but in actuality it’s only -6°C because of the wind), and where I’m at it’s very windy, most of the time.

A water-repelling wind-resistant pair of gloves are useful to prevent your fingers from getting numb.  It’s not as comfortable and convenient as a free hand but in cold weather it’ s a necessity.

For the bottom I was wearing thermal pants and my regular running shorts (a Nike football short to be precise) but that was more for aesthetic purposes and later during that initial run I also removed it to test if it was warm enough, and it was.  Note that the tights that I got is thermal—it is specifically designed for use in temperatures below 55°F so it’s warm enough that you don’t need extra layers especially since your legs also get warmer when running.  It keeps you warm without sacrificing weight and performance so tights were the perfect solution for running in the midst of winter outdoors.

Any socks may be used in cold weather; it just depends on how warm you’d like to be.  For me a regular Nike Dri-Fit cushioned socks is warm enough and the NB 811 is not as “meshy” as other running shoes, plus since it’s for trail running it’s extra useful when running on ice which are especially slippery.  There’s a thing they call “black ice” that is the same color as the pavement (especially asphalt) so you don’t see it—you’d just slip on it, so the extra traction that trail running shoes provide is really useful.

I had planned on sharing this experience for several days now but it’s only recently that I got the chance.  As of press time I had already ran at least 20K outdoors, normally in the afternoon and on -3°C temperature.  The warmest run I’ve had was earlier this afternoon, 5.25K on 1°C.

The man-made pond within hotel premises.  It’s ice is a few inches thick and the white things on top of it are snow.

The man-made pond within hotel premises. It’s ice is a few inches thick and the white things on top of it are snow.

I look forward to more runs while winter is still here.  Pretty soon it would be spring and even before that my US trip would come to an end.  Don’t let some obstacles hinder your plans to run.  If you really will it, you can.  I was born and raised in the warm tropics (and spent most of my life between 17°C-35°C) and here I am running outdoors in USA in the middle of winter.  If there’s a will, there’s always a way, otherwise all you got are excuses.  Takbo hangga’t may lupa, kahit pa nagyeyelo!


runningpinoy OFW?

The longest travel time I’ve ever had to endure, after more than 17 hours, 4 airports, 2 plane types, and an International Date Line crossing, I finally arrived at my destination: Columbus, Ohio.  I’ll be spending sometime here for business, and for leisure I intend to continue running, even if it’s still winter, especially now that I find the climate here was within my tolerance limits (so far).

I arrived in the US via Detroit, MI with 30F temperature and just about everything was covered in snow.  That temperature was below the freezing point (of water) and that caused us some delays—all airplanes leaving had to go through a deicing procedure before flying.  Less than an hour later (via plane) in Columbus it was 35F, just above freezing but warm enough not to cause a build up of snow (although there were very little amounts of it) so it was a stark contrast—it almost looked like autumn here.  Because of the modest snow fall here I was only able to experience snow falling on my hands but not play on it (unlike in Detroit where it’s everywhere!).

A tram right inside Detroit International

A tram right inside Detroit International

Deicing a plane

Deicing a plane

Even if the temperature here just plays around 32F and no snow and ice on the road, wind-chill is still a factor to consider so running is really challenging.  We arrived late in the afternoon so I wasn’t able to buy thermal clothes I can use for running.  I plan on running real soon and don’t be surprised if I posted a picture running in jeans!

P.S. I’ll post more pictures real soon! 😀

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