Posts Tagged ‘Quezon City International Marathon

06
Dec
10

QCIM2 Race Results

I know you guys have been eagerly waiting for these race results, so without further ado here are the results of the recently concluded 2nd Quezon City International Marathon (2010), also known as QCIM2:

(View the results…)

09
Aug
10

My Marathon Wish

I may not have run the best marathons in the world, and I need not to, to know what makes a great marathon.  As a runner who has joined quite a few marathons locally and one internationally, I’ve had my fair share of good, bad, and noxious races.

Darkness that is SIMLast year I got tired of a string of heartaches from poor races.  The lone marathon that I’ve prepared for, the infamous Subic International Marathon, almost broke me into tears, literally, as I felt abandoned by the organizers in the midst of the race in the absence of the basic but dire need—water.  I knew for a fact that I would’ve reached my goal of a sub-4 hour marathon that night had the race been at least decent.  And that story was just one of the few.  If I can’t get “my race” in the Philippines, I might as well get it elsewhere—and I found it in Singapore.

(Continue reading…)

03
Aug
10

Double Millionaire

If meters were currency I would’ve been double a millionaire as I’ve earned my two millionth meter last night, or 2,000 kilometers, since I started running almost two years ago.

So many obstacles hampered this long sought after but very much delayed milestone of mine, mostly for reasons of injuries, but as I gradually recover, so did the kilometers.  And finally on the month that I started running two years ago I finally reached that target.

I really wanted to hit my first 2,000K by the end of July, but failed!  Then it was moved on August 1, and finally was able to do it last night, August 2, after one of those dreaded days at the office.  I think I had too much stress then that late in the afternoon my eyesight blurred for a few minutes, then replaced by a headache.  Add to that an hour of overtime!  Man, I almost thought that I had to postpone my run!

(Continue reading…)

04
Jan
10

2009: Year in Review (Part 2: The Bests and the Worsts)

Not all races are made equal and this is the time to give due credit to those that gave us great experiences.  Because of the ordeal many runners encountered during the period it was requested that penitent races also be mentioned (79% of respondents to my poll want bloggers to feature lowlights for the year).  As much as I want to satisfy this request, I would just like to focus on the faults:

The Worsts

Race organizers did a lot of morbid offense to runners in 2009, the worst I’ve seen since I started running in August, 2008.  When we signed up for a race there’s a mutual understanding between runners and organizers that both parties would act accordingly on their behalf.  In many races it seemed that only runners were fulfilling their end of the bargain.  Here are my list of the top five most neglected:

5. Fast and accurate race results. As much as we’d love real time race results (as seen abroad) we can settle for accurate ones at a reasonable time frame, meaning within the week.  Runrio was able to come up with same day race results while still using manual timing proving it can be done even without disposable timing chips.  Accuracy is the key word as we don’t need race results where we have our name, not our time.  It would be best if the date of release of race results be announced beforehand, or if there would be race results at all!  Of course it is common sense that tabular race results be sorted by ranking, not alphabetically.

4. Distance. No one can make a “perfect” course but it’s a different thing if it’s half a kilometer or more off.  Runners would know if the margin was notable because even PATAFA-certified courses get criticized (oftentimes inappropriately) particularly by GPS-equipped runners.  At this day and age there’s no reason for such huge inaccuracy especially in Metro areas nationwide because of the availability of free online maps with measuring tool (which is GPS-accurate).  A 1% margin of error is ideal (e.g. 100 meters for 10K, 400 meters for marathon) but anything beyond 2% should be avoided.

3. Punctuality. Runners do struggle to get up very early in the morning just to make it on time in a race.  It’s an utter disrespect of runners’ time if organizers delay the race just to let their sponsors talk about their product.  It’s the runners’ skins that get burned in the sun in the first place.

2. Protection. Runners aren’t demanding that the entire course be fenced (like those abroad) but they should have some protection when out on the street.  There were many that just let runners run on the street like there was no race.

1. Water. Basic need for life.  Basic arithmetic on how much you need.  If organizers don’t think they have enough for all they should mention it beforehand so that runners are aware.  Just attach the phrase, “runners are encouraged to be self-sufficient.”

The Bests

Finally here are my personal picks for the best local races for 2009:

Best Sub-Half Marathon: The Happy Run

At par with the best local races, this race was one of the most enjoyable while still having the low race fees of 2008.

Best Half-Marathon: Timex Run

One of the most organized and expensive local races of the year.  Excellent no frills course utilizing disposable timing chips with fun post-race area.  The huge heavy medal could’ve been more specific with the race though.

Best Marathon: 33rd Milo Marathon Manila Eliminations

The most hydrated marathon for 2009 beating all races for the year.  It was well organized but race marshals could have been more professional, typical for Milo races.

Best International Marathon: Quezon City International Marathon

It was far from being perfect but for this category it was easily the best.  If there would be a lone international marathon in the country, this would be my best pick.  Government and local community support goes a long way making this race one with the most potential of truly reaching international standards.

Best Ultramarathon: The North Face 100

It was my most expensive local race for the year, also the longest time-wise and distance-wise, and most difficult.  This was one race I was proud of finishing and the experience was well worth all the ordeals.  Combining trail runs and an ultramarathon proved to be the ultimate race.

Best Trail Run: The North Face Thrill of the Trail

There were very few races for this category but the natural and picturesque trails of Batulao were enough to make this my favorite trail run for the year.  It was my first and the reason I fell in love with trail runs.

Best Race Finisher’s Medal: Quezon City International Marathon

Personally I believe that a beautiful medal is one that needs no paint—it in itself is enough.  QCIM’s finisher’s medal is at par with those given abroad although the medal for 21K seemed to look better that for 42K.

QCIM Finisher’s Medal

Best Race Singlet: adidas King of the Road

For the second year in a row adidas gave runners the best race singlet that was the envy of runners and non-runners alike, and no other local race singlet even came close!

adidas KOTR 2009 singlets

Best Marathon Route: Quezon City International Marathon

There were so many marathons with excellent route in 2009 but the La Mesa Dam route was quite tough to beat.

QCIM Marathon Route

Best Race: The North Face 100

An ultramarathon combined with crazily difficult trails traversing mountains and with countless river-crossings—it’s an experience of a lifetime! Of course only a proud few have bragging rights of conquering TNF100 Philippines 2009, completing it was an achievement.

I hope that this year we have enough examples of which races to emulate, and which ones to learn from.  I just hope that organizers start paying attention to details, not just profit.  2009 proved that if you provide a good quality event, fees aren’t much of a deterrent.  It also proved that fees are not relative to the quality of races as many “free” races were much better than the majority. We should all demand for quality, not quantity—a good resolution for the year, agree?

28
Dec
09

runningpinoy’s 2009 Second Half Report

Before we look back at the year in its entirety let us first review the Philippine running scene for the last six months.  This period saw highs and lows as far as races were concerned.  Races reached all-time high in terms of participants while inversely its quality fell to all-time lows (since August 2008 when I started joining races).  We’ve also seen race fees skyrocket to outrageous levels but there were still great races from good organizers that gave free races.

July

July marked my marathon debut on one of the best organized race of the year with the 33rd Milo Marathon Manila Eliminations. It was at a caliber unseen before locally and although it fell a little short it served as an epitome on how races should be organized.  Globe’s Run for Home was also a milestone as it introduced disposable timing chips while being virtually a free race when prepaid loads served as registration fees.

Personal achievement: First marathon and half-marathon PR

Disposable timing chip used in Run for Home

August

Kenny’s Open Urbanite Run introduced the first organized night race in the Metro with disposable timing chips to boot.  It could also be credited with starting the steep rise of race fees that would ensue throughout the year.

Personal achievement: 10-mile PR

Scene from KOUR

September

Mommy Milkshake was one of the most organized fun run of the year and the only one to be really free!  It puts in question organizers’ “reasons” for putting up expensive registration fees with races.  It was also during this month when race distance accuracy became a serious issue when RotaRun’s 21K was 3K short.

Personal achievement: First provincial Milo race

Pink Power at Mommy Milkshake Fun Run!

October

International Marathon (IM) season has begun with Quezon City International Marathon (QCIM) followed the following weekend with Subic International Marathon (SIM).  The use of the words “international” and “prestigious” became in question when races that used these didn’t live up to their promises. This month also started the “Kenyan invasion.”

Personal achievement: First marathon pacer duty; first back-to-back marathon (second and third)

World-class competition at the QCIM

November

The Philippine International Marathon (PIM) ended the “IM” season and was also highly criticized for not rewarding marathon finishers with a medal (the only one to do so thus far). It was a month plagued with poorly organized races!  The month seemed to turn for the better when Timex Run came but was derailed when Fit ‘n Right Fun Run didn’t turn out to be fit or fun for many disappointed runners.  Fortunately Run Ahead in Laoag, Ilocos Norte reminded everyone of how races should be with a well-organized, fun, generous, and charitable race making Metro Manila-based organizers look very greedy.

Personal achievement: Fourth marathon; 5K PR

Team Logan during PIM

December

Corregidor was a breather for many local runners and although it wasn’t trouble-free it was definitely unique.  There were still plenty of races for the month but personally I’ve had my dose of preposterous registration fees with mediocre races so I decided to be in abstentia for the month.

Personal achievement: Fifth marathon and new PR (via Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon)

Takbo.ph in Singapore!

Lessons and Tips

There were a lot of lessons both runners and organizers can learn with these period.  As long as these points were taken we have no reason not to improve next year.  Personally here are some tips I can give to fellow runners especially those that are just beginning to join races here in the Philippines:

  • Time yourself. Not all races we join are “reliable” and if you intend to monitor your progress get a watch.  You don’t even need one with a stopwatch, you just you’re your common sense.  Buy an über cheap children’s digital watch for P20 (from sidewalk vendors; no reason not to have a budget), remember your time when you start and look at it when you cross the finish.  You should get a rough approximate of your time which not accurate but it’s much better than nothing (what do you expect for P20?). You may validate it later when the race results come out.  If you have some dough buy a stopwatch, but if you have some serious dough get a GPS watch!
  • Bring your own water/sports drink. You need not buy a hydration belt; just bring a small flask or bottle of water or your preferred sports drink in case the organizer didn’t fulfill his obligation.  Consider investing in one though but ask around fellow runners first before purchasing.
  • Don’t be a distance freak! A few meters off the mentioned distance doesn’t mean you’ve been ripped off by the organizers.  Here’s my point: try to make an accurate 1K route using any GPS device.  Run that same route at least twice and see if you can get an accurate 1K every single time.  If you do try to make routes in 5K, 10K, 21K, and 42K and do the same.   If you still have an accurate distance every time you can make yourself a race route director.

I hope that newbies don’t get intimidated by bad experiences from previous races and continue joining reputable races, especially those with a “real” cause.  Before signing up for a race, don’t just join because everyone else does—ask fellow runners about the reputation of the organizers or the conduct of its past races.  Even the “pros” have “bad days” while on the other hand everyone deserves a second chance.  Best of all follow your heart—regardless of what everyone says it’s up to you to decide where you’re investing your hard earned cash.  Remember that we are not only paying for our right to join their race, we are also paying for the experience.

Summary

It was a “one step forward, two steps back” half for the year.  Disposable timing chips definitely placed Philippine races forward at par with races abroad but the proliferation of unbelievably disorganized races with outlandish registration fees were really traumatizing especially to newcomers to the sport.  Even race results became optional as we saw some races with no official race results, and those that do have inaccurate, very much delayed, or alphabetically-sorted race results!  Common sense wasn’t very commonly applied as far as this half was concerned!

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)




Follow runningpinoy on WordPress.com

🌏 Visits

  • 1,236,951 and counting!
Flag Counter
Thank you for visiting!
🇵🇭
The MIRACLE isn’t that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the COURAGE to START
– John “The Penguin Runner” Bingham
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks Shop Amazon - Give the Gift of Amazon Prime Amazon Prime - Give the Gift of Prime

%d bloggers like this: