Posts Tagged ‘PhotoVendo

10
Jul
10

34th National MILO® Marathon: “I did it for the Shirt!”

This statement basically sums up the reason I signed up for the marathon.  The new routes, timing chips, donate a shoe program, potential new PR, and even the medal were not enough to entice me to join—only the 42K finisher’s shirt.  On the other hand I had many reasons why I wasn’t jumping for excitement to join the race: my right knee still hasn’t reverted to “normal” level, I wasn’t prepared, my final exam was on the eve of the marathon, etc. just to name a few.  It was only through a “Divine intervention” that my fate was sealed—registered a day before the deadline of the extended registration period.

After an “interesting” commute I arrived at Quirino Grandstand at around 3AM, an hour before the marathon gun start.  Last year I arrived 30 minutes early but ended up 10 minutes late, and I didn’t want a déjà vu.

This race served as a mini reunion for me with my takbo.ph family.  I thought that I’d be running like I was during my first MILO® race (alone) but surely enough, the gang was there, although I was surprised that Vener (run unltd.), a two-time MILO® Marathon qualifier, didn’t join this year.

I arrived so early the Start line is just being set up! (That’s the Km 0 marker on the right)

With my finish time out in public I think I’m going to raise some eyebrows when I say that I intentionally capped my speed to around 9kph (kilometers per hour) or 06:40/km pace, and aimed just to finish within 6 hours (the curfew).  With a “not-so-normal” knee and with just a single 10K run (on trails with an ultramarathon pace!) I had to play safe as I have every intention of finishing this race!  (Marathons never get shorter or easier no matter how many times you do it!)Crawl if you must” as my friend Jet described his marathon experience.

Speed Limit

The marathon leg started at 4:09AM (Garmin), nine minutes off which is atypical by Mr. Rudy Biscocho’s standard.  The new “timeslot” is beneficial with our climate as runners get to enjoy less of the sun, even just for 30 minutes!  If you ask me I would even prefer it to start around midnight!

Before gun start (courtesy Vener Roldan)

I started the race with Rico, a fellow ultramarathoner, as the rest of the gang sped away into the horizon.  It was like the good old ultramarathon times when we just chat away the kilometers, except we were faster (conscious monitoring via GF405).  Occasionally we exceed my cap of 9kph (which I never mentioned to anyone until this post) but I didn’t mind as long as I didn’t feel any pains.

Manila Eliminations route

Everything was smooth-sailing until the sun slowly greeted the runners with his warmth.  I think some of us were solar-powered as I noticed the improving pace of the runners in our vicinity.  I’m stuck on first gear so eventually I had to let my buddy go ahead with his race.  I don’t have a schedule to keep, just a pace to maintain, so cruise control it was!

I was delighted to see takbo.ph’s support station en route but after passing the first time on the one near Aliw Theater I thought to myself, “shucks, two more loops… I can still smile now, I wonder how I’d be on the next loop more than an hour from now… and the next one after that!”

First loop

First loop complete, two more!  MILO® really exhausted my tolerance on loops by having not just two but three loops of 10K length.  At my “cruising” speed of 9kph it would take me an hour and a half to complete one—it’s like watching a boring movie three times in a row.  The things I’m willing to do for that shirt!

Loop two, boring, and hot!  The loop section was pleasant as there were shade early in the morning and there were bananas and energy gels offered to runners.  Forgive my hoarding but I took two gels on my second loop as I instinctively know that there’d be none on the third loop!  (Which proved to be right)

Third loop, this is it!  To my surprise one by one I’m overtaking some buddies who were way ahead of me.  It hurts me to overtake anyone as I publicized that my target was just to do a “walkathon” of 6 hours.  As much as I’d love to stay and chat my “cruise control” was still intact so I had to overtake, sorry about that.

Completing the first loop

Approaching Aliw Theater for the third time I felt my body warning me of an imminent cramp—both on my quads and hamstrings! Luckily I was approaching takbo.ph’s support station so I asked for anything that could help.  As I approached I saw a runner that fainted, but he was already being tended to.  As much as I would like to stop and help I’d just be a nuisance since I wouldn’t know what to do anyway, so I just went on and got some of that liniment spray which effectively stopped the onset of cramps—or so I thought.

Just a few hundred meters later my hamstrings were really giving me some serious symptoms.  Fortunately the liniment wasn’t absorbed totally yet so I had to reapply it all over without stopping (I felt that if I stopped I’d get stuck!).  That time it worked but I had to tune down my cruising speed to 8kph with short walk breaks.  The walkathon had begun!

By the time I was running for that 42K turnaround point I was really hating those two flyovers—for the sixth and seventh time before turning back for more which made the 42K route having a total of 10 flyover crossings, a PR?  Now who says that the route was flat?

Walking… with a smile 🙂

Homestretch, around 5K to the Finish—no more water!  My worst nightmare has come.  It’s my first marathon all over again.  With an empty hydration belt on my waist and no water station in sight I was forced to walk.  This time around some of those I overtook earlier caught up with me, and even if I wanted to join them I simply cannot without water (call me Agua :)).

Cultural Center of the Philippines—an oasis as far as MILO® Marathon is concerned where one of the last standing hydration station serving sports drinks remains.  I wanted to refill my hydration belt then but they’re down to their last few cups so I just restocked with the contents of a cup (just a few sips worth).  A little more than 3K to go!

Walk-run combo was the theme for many runners during that last 3K.  Anyone who has run Roxas Blvd. would know how hot it can be, even as early as 8:30AM.  If you don’t have support it’s better to play safe.

Just crossed the Start line approaching the Finish (courtesy Rene Villarta)

Finally I can see the Start line, down to the last few hundred meters!  I wanted to run but I was so dehydrated that I can only manage short bursts.  And on that final curve to the Finish I saw Rodel (The Argonaut) who overtook me a while back.  As I approached him from the back I challenged him to run and unexpectedly he took the challenge!  And so, crazy as we were, we had a sprint showdown to the Finish, both of us on the verge of having cramps!  I jokingly said to him “unahan na lang mag-cramps” (it’s just a matter of who gets a cramp first) as we sprinted towards the finish line, no one willing to be the runner-up.  Like with my BDM102 power tripping, I won’t just hand over that ranking without a fight :).  Isn’t it better to feel you have earned the spot rather than been given to you?

Final sprint to the Finish (courtesy PhotoVendo)

That was the longest and one of the most enjoyable sprint to the Finish line I ever had!  I guess my competitive instincts got the best of me, thank you Rodel for giving me one challenge I won’t soon forget!  (I probably cut down a minute because of that crazy long sprint!)

In action (slower than real-time) 🙂

After crossing that shoot my finisher’s medal and certificate was awarded along with a loot bag and that most anticipated finisher’s shirt!  It’s a shirt that isn’t even branded but is worth that 42.2K trip.  Completing that MILO® Marathon experience was that ice cold MILO® drink that I missed last year.

The constraints that I endured were insignificant compared to the differently-abled runners which I witnessed performing their best with integrity, many doing way better than I did!  This proves that if we really aimed for something and worked hard for it, despite the odds WE CAN!  That’s MILO’s message for everyone with their slogan “kaya mo ‘yan.”

Marathons are always enlightening—how anyone handled their race tells a lot on how they live their lives.  To the enlightened ones, congratulations!

24
Mar
10

Team Runner’s World at Globe Run 2010 (Part 2: Race, Route, and Review)

5:40AM the 10K race started.  We “strategically” placed ourselves at the back of the pack as we’re not conscious of our time.  For me it was one of the few times I started at the back and it was a world of its own—the gun was sounded yet the people at the back were hardly affected—as if there was no race!

Just before the start of 10K

Presenting Team Runner’s World (10K Group): Abby, Mike, Me, Carly, Chris, Tracy, Ross, Mar, and Quennie

We were constantly chatting during our “pretty” pace—since we’re showing off our Runner’s World singlet we had to stay “pretty” for the camera, thus the name.  Despite the very, very slow pace (which was practically walking) we were still able to overtake many runners!  Unbelievable!  It was just about 500 meters into the 10K and yet we see people walking.  Eventually as the race progress this scene became more common, and as runners doing a “pretty” pace we had so much unused energy to maintain our speed (or lack of, hehe).

The ladies: Abby, Ross, Carly, Tracy, and Quennie, courtesy Tracy Carpena

The gents: Mike, Chris, Me, and Mar, courtesy Tracy Carpena

Race and Route (10K Perspective)

This was one of the most organized races I’ve seen so far.  Hydration stations finally reached international standards with long tables, adequate water and sports drinks, and close intervals.  Distance was a bit over but the route was my favorite particularly when it went through the “tunnel.”  Both sides of Kalayaan flyover were also used so it was a chance for us to run on the “other” side.  Some route markers were a bit confusing though but as far as 10K is concerned it wasn’t an issue.  Finally who wouldn’t appreciate the convenience of starting and finishing in the middle of Ayala Center.

The 10K route (notice the inaccuracies near high rise areas)

Strong Finish

We wanted to ensure that our presence is known, particularly in the finish, as we were there to promote our sponsor Runner’s World Magazine and so on the last few hundred meters of the race we “showed off” by running in our agreed formation, encouraging loudly those ahead of us to run, and crossed the finish with big smiles and loud cheers!  And yes we were really running the last parts as we saw the clock approaching an hour and a half into the 10K—finishing at 1:29:35 (1:27:46 chip time).  It was probably my slowest race ever (even slower than my BDM102 average pace) but it was definitely one of the most enjoyable one.  Thank you Summit Media and Runner’s World Magazine Philippines for this opportunity!

Tradition: With the rest of takbo.ph gang, courtesy Carlo Serrano

Review

This year’s Globe AyalaLand Run for Home successfully reinvented itself by still introducing new “features” that enhanced the overall race experience while still pushing the level of local races to international standards.  Of course this “upgrades” didn’t come free as fees also went North but on the bright side there were a lot of ways to get discounts, and it still is a run for a cause benefiting Habitat for Humanity.  The experience would’ve been “perfect” had the perpetually delayed race results been resolved.  If you had activated the Facebook live update though you had pretty much a good idea of your time (involves some Math) right after you finished, but for the rest it was a very long two days (detailed Runpix results still unavailable as of press time).  Overall I give this race a Very Good (4/5) rating.  Real time race results? Almost, but not quite—maybe next time?

Updates

After some procrastination, detailed Runpix race results are finally available via http://www.runpix.info/mnc10/ge.php.  Your in-race photos courtesy of PhotoVendo are also now available via http://free.photovendo.ph/.

17
Nov
09

PRs at Timex Run

Timex Run, the most expensive sub-marathon road race in the Philippines thus far not only set the race registration fee higher, but also introduced a lot of new PRs.

PR = Piolo + Rio

One of the possible reasons that the race became a huge success despite the steep price was due to the celebrity factor—Piolo Pascual.  He is undoubtedly one of the most popular television and movie actor in the country and apparently tapping on his huge fan base was a great idea.  Of course we can’t say that the Rio dela Cruz factor didn’t have an added effect on the race’s success, I mean who can’t resist the charm of an afro?  Who knows better how to organize a running event but a runner himself?  (Peace Coach Rio!  I really admire your hair).

PR = Posh Race

Timex Run is definitely at a different caliber as it’s one of the few races in the Philippines that utilize timing chips.  It also has one of the better race singlets with Timex Ironman mark at the back which I really love.  Celebrities also dot the course of various events making this a very star-studded race.

The grand start gate of Timex Run

PR = Pretty Route

Timex Run’s main event, 21K, went to places no other races went before, literally, making this a discovery race for many who haven’t been to the unpopular running areas of Bonifacio Global City.  Even familiar routes were given an interesting twist keeping the event fresh to seasoned BGC runners.  But more than a pretty route, the distance was almost GPS-exact 21K so taking into consideration the topography of the route it’s more than valid for those distance-conscious runners.  Even the distance markers were freakishly accurate by Garmin standards for most of the time.

Sunrise at Rizal Drive

PR = Pace Required

For the nth time I was again a pacer, an optional one.  It was a pretty loose pace—just aiming to finish in a decent time so it was for the most part an easy duty.  Because of the relaxed attitude I was able to take some pictures in-race making this also a “picture race.”

Along 5th Avenue

The 21K leader

Entering Heritage Park

PR = Postmortem Report

Timex Run was easily one of the best races for 2009, period.  Despite the higher registration fee the cost was pretty much worth it because of a very good quality event, a lot of giveaways, excellent activity area, a finisher’s shirt and medal, all while still able to generate funds for charity.  Indeed Timex had proven that with the right pizzazz cost may not be a barrier to having a well attended event.  It was also another proof that celebrities really make good endorsers, especially here in the Philippines.  I just hope this isn’t the start of more expensive races, but instead the start of quality races.  Congratulations Runrio for consistently delivering excellent and successful events!

The nice but generic finisher’s medal

PR = (Personal Record)

I’ve seen a lot of PRs with this race and as for my Personal Record (PR) I also set a new one, a negative one as I set the longest 21K race so far surpassing the two hour 20 minute mark, but it was worth it as I bore witness to another 21K dream turn into reality.  Congratulations Carol!

PR = Pros + Rejects

Pros:

  • Good quality race singlet
  • Timing chips
  • Punctual start
  • Excellent route
  • The longest water station yet seen in local races (that never ran out of water and even supplied 100 Plus)
  • Practical placement of timing chip sensors
  • Excellent finisher’s shirt
  • Huge and heavy (although generic) finisher’s medal
  • Finisher’s certificate
  • Free breakfast
  • Excellent goodie bag with products from sponsors
  • Lots of portable toilets for everyone
  • Lively activity area
  • Same day accurate race result (unseen for quite a while) with fancy presentation
  • Race photos courtesy of PhotoVendo
  • Part of the proceeds went to charity
  • Very Good race (4/5)

Rejects:

  • High registration fee
  • Lack of cones at some areas
  • Lack of marshals after 8:30AM (three hours and 15 minutes 21K gun start)
  • Medals could’ve been more customized to reflect which event it was given

Timex Run 21K Route

PR = Pacquiao Reloaded

As a bonus perk to everyone Timex was kind enough to provide everyone free viewing of Manny Pacquiao’s match versus Miguel Cotto live via satellite from Las Vegas, USA.  We were so lucky to have witnessed history being made by now seven-time world champion, Manny Pacquiao.  Thank you Timex and congratulations Manny!  He’s definitely the best boxer our generation has ever seen.

I would like to thank Doc Art who made it possible for me to join this race.  Thank you very much Doc and congratulations!

23
Jul
09

Thank You, PhotoVendo!

I would like to thank PhotoVendo for capturing a really nice photo of me during Run for Home:

My Run for Home photo courtesy PhotoVendo

Run for Home pictures are free for download for all registered runners, all you have to do is supply your bib number in the space provided from Globe’s website.  You may also view the very informative race results there while you’re at it.

See Also: Globe Run for Home 2010 photos from PhotoVendo and Runpix results

18
Dec
08

PhotoVendo Moment

Each race is unique and memorable and capturing those moments are made easier by PhotoVendo, the brainchild of Ben M. Chan (photographer on the run).  You can’t always bring someone along to take your photos and not everyone has an SLR camera, and it’s definitely difficult to bring a camera along in-race and take photos along the way, but just about every runner wants to have a photo of themselves while running—this is where this service comes in handy.

PhotoVendo has been around several races already and is quickly becoming part of the norm.  The previously concluded UP ICTUS Run gave more runners an opportunity to enjoy their services by giving free prints of photos taken on their area.  This was my first race photo printed from PhotoVendo and it definitely won’t be the last.  I sure would love to order the high-resolution copy of that photo but it wasn’t available on their site (hope they would, our group photo from Unicef Run wasn’t available either).  There was this photo from PhotoVendo that I really liked:

Struggle

Struggle

This race was a struggle for me as I was running with an injury at the time, and I think you can see that from this photo.

Thank you PhotoVendo for your services, although I’m not paying a customer yet, I’m definitely sold!  I just have a few “requests” or “unsolicited suggestions:”

  • Be able to order photos from different races.  I like it better to order many items at one time since I won’t be using a credit card for my purchases.
  • Be able to order our group photos.  I tried searching for our group photo last Unicef Run using all the race numbers of everyone in the photo but I didn’t locate it.
  • Probably have an account system so we could just log in and not type our delivery address every time we place an order or make alterations to our orders.

Sorry for being a demanding (but non-profitable) client, I’ll be one soon (promise!).  I look forward to more great photos from you guys.  Keep up the good work!




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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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