Posts Tagged ‘Relay

18
Apr
11

adidas Launches Registration for ALL24

Do you belong to the 14-25 age category?  Do you like sports, music, or fashion?  If you do, then adidas has something for you called ALL24, a 24-hour event that will take place in six cities in the region including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines.  It’s not a running event per se, but it’s one of the activities in the local lineup.

[ More… ]

21
May
10

More than a Name Change: Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) 2010

Last year was my first ever marathon outside the Philippines during what was then called Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM).  This year, Standard Chartered, the event’s title sponsor, decided to give it some makeover by having a name change.  But the changes with this year’s event is more than superficial—new sponsors, Race Director, routes, and event are being introduced.

ASICS would be the official outfitter of this year’s SCMS under the three-year sponsorship agreement (until 2012) and as such will be offering 15% discount off regular merchandise at ASICS Concept Stores, located at Paragon, #04-44A and Marina Square, #03-110 for participants of SCMS 2010 from August 01 to December 04, 2010.  Singapore Sports Council (SSC), the organizer of SCMS, appointed Dave McGillivray, the person behind Boston Athletic Association’s (BAA) Boston Marathon, as this year’s Race Director, but the two major changes that would be introduced this year are the new routes and the new Ekiden relay.

Full marathon runners will run down Orchard Road, Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts building, followed by bustling Chinatown and the grand Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.  Half marathon runners will start on Sentosa Bridge through Universal Studios and 10K runners will start off at the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and will run past Singapore’s Financial District before moving over to the new Helix Bridge.

The Ekiden (long distance relay) is the new addition to SCMS where six runners form a team to cover the entire 42.195K.  The first runner will flag off with the full marathon runners while the rest of the participants will be allocated to their respective stations.

I would’ve wanted to set a new course record with SCSM but it seems that with SCMS that’s no longer possible, but it does offer the charm of a new route (I think I’m more excited with 21K route, unless the marathon route covers it too) and the promise of a better race.

Registration for this year’s SCMS is already open and if you register between May 20 and June 04, 2010 you get at least 45% discount.  There’s also a 15% discount if you use Standard Chartered Credit or Debit Card.  This year’s race would be on December 05, 2010.  More details of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2010 will be released within the next few months.

11
Nov
09

Spontaneity at the Philippine International Marathon (Part 3)

Eventually Team Logan was able to catch up with us with their consistent pace for a five-hour finish.  For a good distance we were all running with Team Logan, until fatigue set in.

Team Logan was on a 40-man marathon relay, two persons pushing Justin’s stroller for two kilometers with of course the presence of his loving dad Craig.  As such the team was able to set a consistent pace.  These fresh legs are great for pacing, but wreak havoc to those who have already run the miles.  Some relay members run much longer than their required distance and as such runners come and go intermittently and before I knew it I gradually lost my original stakeholders.  I was a big failure!  Now I’m no longer qualified to call myself a pacer—at that point I became a regular runner—being paced by Team Logan.  It was a humbling experience, but I learned a lot.  Once again my dilemma haunted me—should I have stuck with the plan, or should I have stuck with the people?  I felt like soldier abandoning his post.  It was a run of shame for me; at least I was at the company of good people.

Running beside Pasig River; Rockwell skyline at the background

The Band of Runners

Running is a solitary sport—or so they say.  It’s a sport that is not for spectators and is usually done for one’s self.  Being with Team Logan and takbo.ph made me believe otherwise—it was more than just “passing a baton”—it was camaraderie at its finest.

Team Logan along Buendia

The Heat of Competition

By the time we reached C5 we were really feeling the heat as there were hardly any clouds in the sky.  It was very commendable for the organizers to have provided runners ample supply of water so we were able to douse ourselves with it without worrying for the other runners’ supply.  Of course each water station marks changing of runners, fresh sets of legs.

Buendia Ave. was very pleasant for two reasons: first, there was shade from the skyscrapers that line the road; and second, the lively takbo.ph gang was there to cheer us up!  It was like an instant charge of energy—it felt like their enthusiasm was transferred to us in an instant.  The same energy boost was given to us by another set of the gang approaching Roxas Blvd.  Their rowdy cheers, encouraging banners, and loving support really was a refuge to the hardships we were facing.

Finally we arrived at Roxas Blvd.  This was one of the toughest parts of the race, despite being flat and straight, because there was hardly any shade there, and the scorching sun was very high in the sky.  We had some issues at this part as well because of the number of vehicles and bikers we had to divert (a biking event was being held on the road as well and a dragon boat regatta on the bay).  For the final four kilometers, at the last water station before the finish, it was takbo.ph’s first couple, the Gavans’ turn to push Justin to the finish.

The gang at Roxas Blvd.

The Finish

After more than five hours Team Logan crossed the finish line complete with Justin, Craig, Michelle, and the rest of the relay team.  Finally Justin had just completed his first marathon and I’m glad to have witnessed it firsthand.

Minutes later, one by one, the rest of my friends arrived at the finish including Running Diva who had just completed her marathon debut.  She had an unexpectedly difficult ordeal with PIM, but then again I’ve never heard anyone said that marathons were easy.  Surprisingly even Sir Jovie (Bald Runner) had problems with this race as for the first time I was able to see him finish the race (as he’s usually long gone by the time I finish my marathon), together with Sam (Running Ninja) who also had another mishap.

PIM actual route

Another Surprise

Arriving beyond the five-hour cutoff I wasn’t expecting that we’d have any finisher’s medal, but to my surprise even those who finished in sub-four hours didn’t have any as well!  It was the first marathon that I’ve joined without any finisher’s medal!  It was a very disappointing moment for me as it would’ve been my seventh medal from running, three from half marathons and three from full marathons, and this was my birthday marathon!

Why Do You Run?

Later on I kept asking myself why I did this marathon—had I known beforehand that there won’t be a medal would I still have gone through all that effort just to register for this race?  What was my goal for this race?  Was I only driven by the medal, or PR? – No.  I joined this run because I wanted to.  I was ready to run “bandit” just to run.  I was ready to be a pacer to make for a more meaningful “bandit” run.  I was even prepared to be envious of my friends receiving their finisher’s medal had I not been able to be an official runner.  Should I be affected by a medal that I may or may not receive?  Then I figured that I already received the medal I was hoping for—it came in the form of my family from takbo.ph.  For that I am very thankful, and I know this was one of the best birthday celebrations I had.

Spontaneity at the Philippine International Marathon [ Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 ]

10
Nov
09

Spontaneity at the Philippine International Marathon (Part 2)

Getting complimentary race kits literally just hours before race day comes with a price.  We were surprised at what we saw: a decent singlet, a piece of paper that looked like an event flyer, and… wait, that’s it?!  Apparently we were just a singlet away from a “bandit”—no race number to distinct us and for use at the finish.  The “flyer” served as a “generic bib”—if it was a cinema ticket it would be a gate pass.  It became official—we were complimentary runners!

Fortunately I still had some tricks under my sleeves—I still have the regular race kit from a fellow runner who incidentally registered twice so I’m still “officially” in the race.   The problem was that I need to get it on race day itself—another scenario for trouble.  I hate it when I’m right.

Pre-Race

Before 4AM the gang met up at a 24-hour fastfood a few hundred meters from the starting line.  We had our last minute “carbo-loading” and after a few minutes we were off for the assembly area.  It was such a quick stay that I only had a sip of my coffee, literally.  The trouble now is I still have yet gotten my race bib—the one with a number, that is.

Assembly

It was one of the most attended races so far, and with the backing of ABS-CBN, the assembly area was very lively.  In fact, the race was being broadcasted live nationwide.  The trouble is with all the runners around, I can’t seem to find my friend to claim my race bib.  Frustrating.

Gun Start

Just before 4:30AM the race officially commenced.  I still wasn’t able to get my race bib so I checked in my “generic bib” (prior to gun start of course) as proof that I started at the right place.  I even forgot to start my GF405 after gun start.  I thought that my friend was with Team Logan at that time so I waited for them to start, but after virtually walking for a while I got really bored and just decided to proceed without the race bib.  It turned out that Team Logan started a few minutes late, and my friend wasn’t with them.

Due to all the confusion I broke my targets so early in the race.  I decided to try to catch some time but unfortunately those that I was supposed to pace seemed to start slow as well.  As I mentioned earlier I decided to join this race as a pacer to have a more purposeful “bandit” run but apparently even that plan would fail.  I sure would love to correct my early mistakes but I know that I can’t force it to my “stakeholders” because that would mean doing a five minute per kilometer pace until delays were compensated—too fast, too early.   I also felt somewhat responsible because they probably waited for me.  Plans are being messed up, time for some compromise.

Back in the Game

What I didn’t realize was that my friend who had “my” race bib was indeed part of the relay team but would be starting not from the starting area but on the next relay station.  While approaching the area I heard someone call my name and to my delight it was the person I’ve been looking for all this time! Finally I got “my” race bib, and I’m an official participant of the race.

Running along Mendiola

The Grim Reaper’s List

The ETA list that I mentioned in a post a while ago is back.  That was when I realized the gravity of the situation—we were way off target.  The original plan was to set a pace of 6:30 (per kilometer) but we were running much closer to 6:55—even slower than the average pace needed to finish in four hours and 50 minutes.  We had a dire need to compensate!  My mind was getting nuts thinking of how I can effectively set the pace that would not burn my stakeholders out too early, while catching up for lost time, while still being able to give them their walk break!  If I was a calculator I would probably yield “E”—Error.

Sunrise over Manila

Confessions of a Grim Reaper

I wasn’t about to give up hope so early.  While I still can cover up the severity of the situation (we were gradually losing more time away from target) I would, if it would help motivate my “clientele.”  In fairness we were able be as little as a minute off schedule by skipping a walk break for kilometer 4-5, but eventually I had to give us a walk-break.  It was very difficult to tell them how much time we lost by not adhering to the 6:30 pace but I totally understand because even though the route was virtually flat and at sea level, bridges that we cross aren’t.  The consistently spaced water stations (that also served as relay stations for the 42K relay) didn’t help us get any faster as we tend to stop.  Eventually even the 10-minute buffer I planned to finish within cutoff of five hours ran out—and I can’t set the pace any faster.

Continued: [ Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 ]

08
Nov
09

Spontaneity at the Philippine International Marathon (Part 1)

Just about every plan I had with this race didn’t come to fruition—from registration to meeting targets.  At the same time some of the unexpected came to be, both pleasant and repulsive, making this one of the most stressful but interesting races I’ve had.

Decision at the 11th Hour

The previous “prestigious” event that I was really preparing for found me flabbergasted—with so much disappointment at that race I felt like I had to get redemption somehow.  Prior to the said event I wasn’t really thinking of sweeping all the “International Marathons”—all I was aiming for was to support our city’s initiative (QCIM) without sacrificing my dream of running at the SCTEX in a decent manner.  For the latter the goal was simple: aim to run my marathon with hardly any walk breaks.  Unfortunately even though I got a new PR I didn’t fulfill my “simple” goal.

By the time I truly decided on joining the race registration was already closed.  It really took me a while to decide to sign up because the day of PIM was the day after my birthday—would you run a marathon the day after your birthday after you had just finished two marathons back to back?

Desperate Runner

Knowing that registration was already closed I was seriously considering a last resort—yes it’s doing the “B” word that I don’t encourage.  It’s not a matter of not wanting to register; it’s just that I can’t.  I was so desperate to join that I event filed a leave from the office to go to ABS-CBN Foundation to try to register, but failed.  So when life gives you lemons make lemonade—in this case if I was to run as a “bandit” might as well make it a more purposeful act—be a pacer… again!

Meant to be

Heaven was hearing my prayers—I found a “legal’ work-around to my “B” problem by getting the race number of a fellow runner who registered double, one for the full marathon and one for the marathon relay with Team Logan (more on this later).  Although race bibs are not transferrable it at least allows me to join the race “legally.”   At that moment I was just ecstatic!  Finally just a few days before the race I’m “legal.”

Another “But Wait, There’s More” Moment

Barely 48 hours before the race I was offered complimentary race kits by Sir Rene courtesy of Quezon City Hall—at first I was reluctant because I already have a kit and didn’t know it was complimentary but due to the urge of fellow runners I again signed up with the idea that I’ll have a kit under my name—full legality and not just a workaround.  But wait, there’s a catch.

Continued: [ Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 ]

* * * * *

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my friends who greeted me for my birthday yesterday, November 07.  I was really overwhelmed and am sorry if I wasn’t able to respond to your greetings individually (greetings on my Facebook wall exceeded way beyond what can be conveniently displayed) but rest assured I read them all (through my email).  I’d like to thank as well Microsoft Philippines for giving me a licensed copy of Windows 7 Professional as a birthday present.

To my takbo.ph family as usual I’m deeply honored to have known you guys and one again was overwhelmed with the overflowing support you give me, fellow runners, and the running community as well.  I really appreciate all the efforts and the love you gave us earlier during the race.

To Craig, Michelle, and Justin of Team Logan once again you truly are an inspiration to a lot people, myself included, and thank you for giving me the honor of letting me run with the team.  We’ll miss you for the time being and have a safe trip!

God bless!




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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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