Posts Tagged ‘Roxas Blvd.

02
Nov
16

My Halloween Weekend

The Halloween long weekend finally gave me some chance to have some much needed sleep.  I didn’t go out of town as many people may have done, but I dedicated a day to do some long easy run around Manila.

The start of my trip: Rizal Park

Continue reading ‘My Halloween Weekend’

01
Sep
14

Manila to MoA on Foot

It was one of those weekends when I got the urge to revisit some old routes that I’ve not been to for quite a while.  This time I thought of running along Manila Bay via Roxas Blvd. from Quiapo, Manila to the SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City.

This tour includes a magnificent view of the sunset at Manila Bay!

Continue reading ‘Manila to MoA on Foot’

03
Apr
11

Fun Back in the Run: The Hyundai Fun Run Chronicles

It’s been a while since I’ve run in Roxas Blvd., much more run a race with no expectations—just for the pleasure of having fun while running, and Hyundai was able to bring that with its first fun run.

[ More… ]

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!

16
Jun
10

34th National MILO® Marathon

It was like yesterday when I had my first marathon with the 33rd National MILO® Marathon last year as I remember vividly all the trials and lessons I learned with that wonderful experience of a lifetime.  I remember that it was one of the best races in the country that year outdone only by the MILO® Marathon Finals (which I didn’t qualify for, unfortunately) with the introduction of timing chips.  You haven’t seen a crowd until you see MILO® Marathon’s crowd.  Despite being well attended MILO® Marathon keeps improving itself, and this year a new cause and higher levels of competition are being introduced.

This year MILO® continues to up the ante by introducing a more competitive age group qualifying time.  Previously there were only two sets of qualifying time, one for men and the other for women, regardless of age.  Here are the new qualifying rules:

For the 21K provincial elimination races to qualify for the National Finals competing in 42.195K:

  • Male finishing the race within 1:15:00 and female within 1:35:00 will qualify for an all-expense paid round trip to Manila; or
  • Runners finishing the race within the specified age-bracket and time (all expenses to be covered by the qualifier):
    Age Group Men Women
    18-34 1:30:00 1:40:00
    35-39 1:35:00 1:45:00
    40-44 1:40:00 1:50:00
    45-49 1:45:00 1:55:00
    50-54 1:50:00 2:00:00
    55-59 2:00:00 2:10:00
    60-64 2:10:00 2:20:00
    65-69 2:20:00 2:25:00
    70 & up 2:30:00 2:30:00

For the 42K Metro Manila elimination race, all runners finishing the race within the specified age-bracket and time (all expenses to be covered by the qualifier):

Age Group Men Women
18-34 3:45:00 4:20:00
35-39 3:50:00 4:25:00
40-44 3:55:00 4:30:00
45-49 4:00:00 4:35:00
50-54 4:05:00 4:40:00
55-59 4:10:00 4:45:00
60-64 4:15:00 4:50:00
65-69 4:20:00 4:55:00
70 & up 5:30:00 5:30:00

The number of registration sites has also improved.  Aside from the familiar Ground Floor of Vasquez Madrigal Plaza in Annapolis St., San Juan, Runnr (Bonifacio High Street), and Toby’s (The Block, SM North EDSA; Greenhills; Park Square I) joined the list of registration sites for the Manila Eliminations.  Here’s the complete list of registration sites for the nationwide events.

MILO® Marathon Singlets

As usual one (1) MILO® label (minimum of 300g) must accompany each accomplished and signed Official Entry Form.  Here are the new entry fees:

Provincial Races

  • 21K Half Marathon Elimination Race – P500
  • 10K Run – P500
  • 5K Fun Run – P50
  • 3K Kiddie Run – P50

Metro Manila Races

  • 42.195K Elimination Race – P500
  • 21K Run – P 500
  • 10K Run – P 500
  • 5K Fun Run – P100
  • Student Runners (3K & 5K) – P50

Since its first run in 1974, the National MILO® Marathon is the country’s longest running and most attended running event.  Its nationwide coverage allows “grassroots” talents to be discovered from all around the country from all sectors of society.  If we adults enjoy running for personal reasons, we could only imagine how much joy it brings to children. Joining many races I’ve seen some really talented kids outrunning adults but unfortunately some of these talents don’t have the support they need—some of them don’t even have shoes to wear!  These kids may one day win us that elusive Olympic gold medal, but that vision will remain a dream if we don’t help them now.

“The root of this advocacy lies in our belief that we’re not just giving these children running shoes.  We’re giving them something that they can wear to school, for sports and other activities.  It’s definitely a step to help them reach their true potential and be the best that they can be.”

MILO® realized this potential and as such a portion of each participant’s registration fee (P5 to be exact) will be donated to the Run-For-A-Cause which in return, MILO® will donate an equivalent amount to the total fund raised.  The money collected from all the participants will be used to produce running shoes that will be donated to selected public schools in the areas where the 2010 MILO® Marathon will be held.  Here are the complete details of the cause.

The Manila Eliminations is on July 04, 2010 and the National Finals is on December 12, 2010, both starting at Km 0, Roxas Blvd., Luneta Park, Manila.  Here’s the complete race schedules nationwide.

Race routes (click to zoom)

For more information about the 34th National MILO® Marathon visit the official website at milo.com.ph.

29
Oct
09

Philippine International Marathon 2009: A Run for the Pasig River

The Philippine International Marathon 2009, a Run for the Pasig River to be held on November 08, 2009 is being managed by Gran Obra, Inc. under the supervision of Race Director Rudy Biscocho.

The event includes a marathon, marathon relay of 20 or 40 runners, 10K, 5K, and 3K races which have been approved and certified by the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (PATAFA) and will be carried out in accordance with the regulations and sanctions of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).  Water stations will be situated every 2 km from starting line to finish line according to the organizers.

Route

For everyone’s convenience I’ve rendered the text-based directional map into a visual one via Google Earth (unofficial):

Rough rendering of PIM Marathon Route (consult your race kit for the official route)

Registration

Registration fee for each individual runner is Php250 for all categories.  You may register for this race through the following:

Kapit Bisig Para Sa Ilog Pasig 3/F ELJ Building, Mother Ignacia Ave., Quezon City
ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. Head Office Mother Ignacia Ave., Quezon City (Guard House)
Izod Boutiques SM City North Edsa
SM Mall of Asia
The Podium
Trinoma
Ayala Center, Cebu
Robinsons Place, Manila
Gateway Mall
Van Heusen Boutiques SM Megamall
SM Southmall
Gateway Mall
Greenhills, The Shop
Shangri-La Mall
Gold’s Gym Glorietta, Makati
Alabang
Robinson’s Galeria, Ortigas
Wilsons Greenhills
R.O.X. Running Store Bonifacio High Street, The Fort, Taguig City
Second Wind 88 Maginhawa St., Teacher’s Village, Quezon City

Race Packets Claiming

  • Registrants from September 1-30, 2009 may start claiming their race packets from October 17, 2009 until November 4, 2009
  • Registrants from October 1-15, 2009 may start claiming their race packets from October 24, 2009 until November 4, 2009
  • Registrants from October 16-30, 2009 may start claiming their race packets from October 31, 2009 until November 4, 2009

Race packets may be claimed in the same outlet/registration center where they submitted their registration form.

All unclaimed race packets after designated dates will be turned over to the Kapit Bisig Head Office, Mother Ignacia Ave., Quezon City with telephone nos. 416-1911 or 415-2272 loc 3797 and may be claimed on November 6, 2009.

Reminders

Here are some reminders from the organizers:

Assembly:

Km 0, Roxas Blvd.

Starting time:

42K (including relay): 4:30AM
10K, 5K, 3K: 6:00AM

Cutoff Time:

42K (including relay): 5 hours
10K: 1 hour, 30 minutes
5K: 1 hour
3K: 30 minutes

Parking:

Vehicle parking is available at T.M. Kalaw and the South drive of Quirino Grandstand.

Restrooms:

Portalets are located at the assembly area and at the finish area at the Quirino Grandstand.

Check-in service:

42K: South wing of the Quirino Grandstand
10K, 5K, 3K: South wing of the Quirino Grandstand and at the start area on Roxas Blvd.

Only clothing will be accepted for check-in. No bottles, coolers, or other items. We assume no responsibility for the items checked-in.

Finishing:

Upon crossing the finish line, you will be video recorded, timed, and directed into a chute where the barcode tag on your number WILL BE REMOVED.  Move through the chute as quickly as possible but do not pass other runners or transfer to other chutes or your time and the other runners will be displaced.  Please do not talk to the timers while the race is in progress as distraction can result to errors.  Please exit as soon as you are able.  To facilitate your exit you may remove the bar code tag yourself while in the chute and hand them over to the tag puller at the end of your chute.  Once you have passed through the finish area, do not return.  Be courteous and make room for other runners.

14
Sep
09

Back on the Road: Traversing Metro Manila

It has been a long time since I was running on the road and since I had no race or group runs for the weekend I decided to do one of the routes I’ve long wanted to do: traverse Metro Manila from East to West.  Like my first road run along EDSA which followed MRT-3 this long run followed the route of LRT-2 closely except that I skipped the first station (Santolan) which was a bit off my route, and it didn’t follow the tracks to the service line but instead included the original LRT-1 route for some distance.

Background

This run was supposed to start early Sunday morning but early morning rains ruined my plans so I decided to use the rainy weather to my advantage and defer it for another afternoon run.  Unfortunately with this change of plan and time constraints I had to cut my route by a few kilometers from the original target of SM Mall of Asia to UP Manila.  Nonetheless it was slightly compensated by starting in Commonwealth Market instead of the original Ylanan Gate of UP Diliman.

The Route

2:58PM I started my long run adjacent to Commonwealth Ave.  This would be an exceptional time to start a run which was only made possible by the very cloudy weather.  I had a little difficulty starting this run because of strong winds that blew against me so you may think of it as a unique challenge.

To make this route more interesting I also included one of my newly discovered routes, Zuzuaregi, to get to Katipunan Ave. and from there it was straight towards Katipunan Station of LRT-2.

LRT-2 goes below ground towards Katipunan Ave.

Following LRT-2 via Aurora Blvd. was interesting but immediately I realized that it wasn’t easy—sidewalks were ample but the problem was the air quality.  It was very difficult to breathe along Aurora Blvd. because of the huge traffic that goes on this narrow road.  Then there was Cubao—people traffic was a concern so running was virtually impossible.

Crowded Aurora Blvd. below Cubao Station of LRT-2

Cubao is a highly developed urban area in Quezon City and with so many structures covering the road there’s hardly any sky in the area of Aurora Blvd. in front of Gateway Mall and as a consequence there’s no GPS signal in the area.  I was only able to restore my GPS signal after the Cubao Station of LRT-2.

A common sight in Aurora Blvd. are jeepneys known as “patok.” These jeepneys are not for the faint of heart.

After the crowd and traffic of Cubao Proper Aurora Blvd. which leads to…

…the infamous Balete Drive

Gilmore—the best place to buy gadgets in the Metro

After a few meters from Gilmore I enter San Juan where there are hardly any changes.  After San Juan I re-enter Quezon City where most of the changes in the route occurred.

One of the newest landmarks of Sta. Mesa (Quezon City) is the Mezza Residences (with a passing LRT-2 train below) which is one of the tallest residential buildings in the country…

…which is just across SM City Sta. Mesa (still in Quezon City), one of the oldest SM malls

Just after SM City Sta. Mesa is the border with the City of Manila.  Sta. Mesa, Manila is close to my heart as it was a second home for me for about 10 years.  Here Aurora Blvd. ends and continues to Ramon Magsaysay Blvd.  This segment of the route from Cubao brings back a lot of memories as I used to pass through here, riding a “patok,” everyday during my College days.

A typical LRT-2 train which looks a lot like those seen abroad

The new trains of PNR—looking a lot more like an LRT train

The very busy intersection of Nagtahan

Eventually I reached the very busy Recto Ave.  Even on a Sunday there are so many people here reminding you that indeed you are in the City of Manila—the densest city in the Metro.  To be honest I was afraid to run in this area because I might look like I was running away from something.

LRT-2 Recto Ave. Terminal Station

LRT-2 service tracks crosses the LRT-1 line

For some distance I was able to follow LRT-1 and amazingly my GF405 was able to track my location (to a certain extent) despite the limited GPS reception in the area.  Unless you ran on Rizal Ave. itself you’re basically running indoors in this area.  Finally after Carriedo Station (Quiapo) of LRT-1 I can see the sky again.

Finally a view of the sky

Crossing Pasig River (can you see how dirty the air was?)

The Post Office Building as seen from Pasig River

View from the front

The newly re-painted clock tower of Manila City Hall

From Manila City Hall it was the typical Roxas Blvd. route for me and like I mentioned earlier I ended this long run near UP Manila via Padre Faura, 23K in total distance, 1,400 calories burned.  Here’s the complete route:

My Route

It was more difficult than I expected (humidity, air pollution, very bad sidewalks, people and vehicle traffic) and I wasn’t able to maintain a decent speed throughout this route (“pic-stops” and walking)—but it was worth it! Despite gobbling up more dirty air than all my previous road runs I was able to revisit routes that I no longer pass through and my dream of “traversing” Metro Manila from East to West was now a reality.  Frankly I don’t think I’ll be doing a re-run of this route but for those who’d like to give it a try you have my full support! I hope you had a great weekend as well, run safe!




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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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