Monday, October 31, 2011

(Nike) We Run as (Adidas) Kings of the Road

The eternal rivalry between big brands Nike and Adidas - even in race events they're both trying to outdo each other. Nike We Run Manila was scheduled October 15, 2011 - a late afternoon Saturday race; Adidas King of the Road follows one week after, October 23, 2011 as a normal early Sunday morning race. Both are international events, with legs in other Asian cities. Both also have (outrageous) race kit claiming events. The most peculiar commonality though is that both races have the same organizer - Runrio.


Both WE Run and KOTR had 3-day race claiming events in BGC area, with two days overlapping. Imagine the surge of people queuing up on the claiming locations after work hours.

First stop: KOTR at the NBC Tent, October 10, 2011. I and two TA1 teammates Daves and Rolly met-up and had a sumptuous dinner at Itallianis (and yogurt at Hobbes) before getting our hands on our KOTR race kits.

Cibo delizioso! Pre-birthday celebration of Rolly:Normal hair, afro hair, long hair, no hair (LOL!) - with Coach Rio:
Next stop: Nike We Run Manila race kit claiming in front of Nike Park BGC, October 13, 2011. Met up with Daves and claimed our (better-looking) race kits/bags.
With Pinoyfitness folks Ms. Mars and Jeff:
Compare: Nike and Adidas race tops. I posted this in Facebook and Nike was the clear winner.

October 15, 2011 - Nike We Run Manila. 8000 runners queued up at the starting line. Imagine that. No waves whatsoever. At 5pm gunstart, everyone started the long walk and attempted to squeeze through other runners (and walkers). It took me more than two minutes before reaching the start arc! That's how congested the area was.
Me and Earl - the only picture I have for this event - taken minutes before gunstart.
The race for me, was a disaster. 8000 runners for a single race category was simply too much to handle in BGC. I still managed to clock in at 1 hour 2 minutes, but I know I could have done better given better running space (and if race participants knew about running etiquette).

The fun part: post-race! TA1's got talent! Videoke at Red Box with the team is pure bliss! Haha! Best song of the night: Martin and Rocky's rendition of Careless Whisper. Such a classic!
October 23, 2011 - Adidas King of the Road. With different race categories offered - 10k, 16k and 21k, this one's obviously better-managed. I was really looking forward to this 21k event, but unfortunately, I caught a bad case of flu days before. Friends advised me not to run anymore, but I just couldn't resist to get my hands on that three-striped medal.

Strategy: Take 1000 mg of Alaxan 1 hour before the race to make my body numb. It worked! I still managed to finish in 2 hours and 13 minutes, though I really hated parts of the race when I had to deal with runny nose, my breathing definitely was affected.

Here's me running in my singlet! Got thinner after just a few days of being sick. :(
I wore my KOTR singlet after the race. Here's me and the rest of the TA1 KOTR runners after a hearty breakfast meal at Kabisera.
AND THE WINNER IS: Adidas KOTR! Sorry Nike, but there are a lot of improvement areas you need to focus on next year. KOTR has learned a lot from the previous years, and the KOTR medal this year is one of the best in my medal collection, so I am quite biased. :p

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Octoberun Festival 2011

A hybrid team - Team Alpha 1 Max, composed of 25 well-oiled machines (or runners), joined the 21k team event. I joined the run to support my halimaw teammates, and to pace my TA1 teammate Rocky in this event.

Here's Rocky and I on the last few kilometers - Rocky smiling, and me forcing one. Haha!
Post-race, while waiting for the 25-runner team category results (Martin and Gian not wearing their TA1 singlets):
Rocky, Armbanded, Sprintingswine, FFS, Eugenator, Martian, Deemen, Chad:
TA1 Max did not place due to some race technicalities, but an average time of 1 hour and 40 minutes for its 25 runners is a feat worthy of a win.

Camsur Marathon: I am Ferdinand (What?!)

What a weird blog title. Haha! Let me explain.

Since my running comeback, I've been regularly attending Team Alpha 1's weekly race events. A surprising text message from Bryan (FFS) arrived early week of September telling me one of the supposed participants has backed-out of the trip, and I could use his plane ticket. Free airfare to Camsur? I didn't need much convincing.

The dilemma? I need to pose as this person during the flight so I had to present a fake identification in the airport. My god, am I really blogging about this? Haha! And you guessed that right, his name's Ferdinand.

With the help of a 'master' forger, I was able to get my hands on a very convincing fake identification card (let's just leave this person's identity secret; he might get apprehended). Haha!

Let's fast-forward to our arrival at Naga. Runners were greeted at the airport with much hospitality. I really felt the government's effort in making CamSur one of the premier race destinations in the country. The welcome party didn't disappoint and is just a precursor of things to come.

Here's the team upon arrival at the CWC reception:
We had a lot of food trips (or carbo-loading to lessen the guilt). Here's us after dinner and sound trip (!!!) at Triboo Grill.
Race day finally came. Numerous shuttles brought runners to their respective starting points. The wait time was long, but the atmosphere was festive. Fireworks lit the sky before gunstart (a little too close for comfort I'd say), the countdown commenced, and off we go!

I was pacing with Philip (BBR) at the start of the race. I think by kilometer 7 he told me to go ahead so I was mostly on my own after that. There were no U-turns, the route was basically one big loop, so there was no opportunity to get to see the other TA1 members.

It was an all-terrain race - I ran on cement, asphalt, wood (bridge), metal (bridge) and soil and mud. The scenery was tops and the air so fresh (with occasional smell of cow poo, lol!). A lot of locals were on the side streets cheering racers on, and I particularly like the kids giving runners high-fives along the way.

The last few kilometers, I paced with Daves. There were still some crazy hills before we reached the finish line. Here are our finish line photos taken by Kathy:
Team pic (BBR still missing) - all wearing our "sili" 21k medals:
Our post-race breakfast with a killer wait time! We just cheered full marathon runners on while waiting.
Dinner at Bob Marlin - best food award! Haha! Ms. Mars of Pinoyfitness graced the occasion (parang celebrity lang, hehe!).
The following morning was a different story! Typhoon Pedring arrived, signal number 3 was declared and all flights were cancelled. It's as if Sunday's great running weather was a thing of the past, and the winds were howling crazy as we were scrambling on deciding what to do next. But the odds were still in our favor - our van driver's wife works in bus dispatching, so we were able to buy first class bus tickets going back to Manila that night. It'll be a long 8-hour trip, but we took the risk instead of waiting for the typhoon to leave (which might take days).

Presenting the Team Alpha 1 bus:
Everyone arrived safe and sound early Tuesday morning. This out-of-town trip with TA1 was a blast and will be fondly remembered. And I have to thank Ferdinand for it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Jump of a Lifetime

Last September 21, 2011, I finally crossed one of the items from my bucket list - do a bungee jump! I did this on the highest commercial bungee jump in the world - Macau Tower, with a drop of 233 meters. I've been to Macau 5 years ago for a quick side-trip from Hongkong, and this is when I started the dream of doing that crazy jump someday.

So here it is, in all its video glory! The day I braved to jump the jump of a lifetime! Given the chance, I'd do this again in a heart beat.