Posts Tagged ‘Ylanan Gate

05
Oct
09

Quasi Course of an International Marathon (QCIM)

Despite the threat that Parma (“Pepeng”) imposes upon the Metro several days of ruined runs made runners more enthusiastic about completing a long run that partially simulates the race route of the forthcoming Quezon City International Marathon (QCIM). This long run (LSD for some) started 4:30AM within the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Campus unlike the actual race that starts in front of Quezon City Hall.

runningpinoy’s Perspective

The lack of mileage for the past few weeks really made it difficult for me to get out of bed so early on a Sunday, but the idea of finally breaking the vicious cycle and finally increase my miles for the month eventually snapped me back to reality. Since the long run route passes several hundred meters away from home I decided to simply meet the other runners along the route saving me money and time for travel (at the expense of distance of course). I was supposed to meet the group near St. Peter Parish but due to early morning sluggishness I was actually able to meet them at the pedestrian overpass near Sandiganbayan.

First “Pic-stop” across Fairview Market

Entering La Mesa EcoPark

Entering La Mesa EcoPark

This way please

This way please

At that time I was unaware how big the group was—it wasn’t exclusively made of takbo.ph runners. Eventually as we meet other group I realized that we were also with runners from Runnex and Fairview Running Club which really made the run more interesting. We were all able to meet at La Mesa EcoPark where we all got stuck—we weren’t allowed to pass through the water processing area of La Mesa so we had to revert back to Commonwealth Ave.

As we merge with the other runners

As we merge with the other runners

Can you count how many we were?

Can you count how many we were?

Oooopppsss…

Oooopppsss…

Very high water level at La Mesa Dam

Very high water level at La Mesa Dam

Going back to Commonwealth Ave.

Going back to Commonwealth Ave.

Back at the hills

Back at the hills

We headed towards SM Fairview via Regalado Ave. after leaving La Mesa EcoPark. As we got near SM Fairview strong rains poured down on us but nobody was deterred. This was where many of us went our own ways, but for the takbo.ph runners it’s back to UP!

Running around SM Fairview compound

Running around SM Fairview compound

Did I mention that running on the road IS dangerous?

Did I mention that running on the road IS dangerous?

After some time we were back on Commonwealth Ave. (approaching Litex area)

After some time we were back on Commonwealth Ave. (approaching Litex area)

By the time we were heading back the sun was high in the sky which was peeping through the clouds. It was cloudy but at the same time it was very hot. To avoid sunburns, dehydration, or any heat-related illness we had to change routes once again and redirect the course back to UP via Ylanan Gate. From there we headed towards the Academic Oval, ending in front of the Runnex office where Arroz Caldo and Tofu and Pork were served.

Since I had less mileage than I planned I did another loop around the Academic Oval to end at 28.8K. I wanted to do more but my rumbling stomach was telling me to do otherwise and in the end, it prevailed so I joined what remained of the group for some “emergency carbo loading.”

Academic Oval is always pleasant to run onto even late in the morning

Academic Oval is always pleasant to run onto even late in the morning

I would like to thank first and foremost Sir Rene (Jazzrunner) for making this long run possible. Thank you as well to James for the banana, Running Diva for the “taho,” Runnex for the food, all the runners that I ran beside with , and all the running groups that joined us during this run (I hope I didn’t left out anyone). To the people that I met for the first time, it was nice meeting you all and hope to see you in more runs!

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
– John “The Penguin Runner” Bingham
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