Posts Tagged ‘Team Logan

14
Mar
11

How ‘Bout A Night Run? Presenting: Takbo.ph Nightfest

Have you ever tried running at night?  Cool weather, no sunburns, and no waking up early!  Those are some of the few things I look forward with a night run, and now you have the opportunity to do it in Filinvest, Alabang via takbo.ph Nightfest.

(More information)

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!

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
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