Wednesday, November 20, 2013

711 Run 1000 on January 19, 2014

WHAT: 711 Run 1000
WHEN: January 19, 2014 (Sunday)
WHERE: Aseana City / Cavitex
RACE CATEGORIES: 3km, 5km, 10km, 16km and 21km

711 Run 1000 Assembly and Gun Start Times

- 3km: P400
- 5km: P500
- 10km: P600
- 16km: P700
- 21km: P800

- Singlet
- Race Bib with timing chip

711 Run 1000 Singlet Design
- Finisher Medals for ALL categories
- Finisher shirt for ALL categories

711 Run 1000 Finisher Medal Design
711 Run 1000 Finisher Shirt Design
711 Run 1000 Race Map

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

BGC Cycle Philippines Shifts to High Gear

MANILA, PHILIPPINES 16 November 2013 – BGC Cycle Philippines hits the road on 15-17 November inside Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City, with more than 2,000 cyclists ready for three days of thrilling action and activities in the tradition of highly successful Cycle Asia events staged across the region.

The event, put up by title sponsor BGC and organized by Sunrise Events, Inc., is the latest addition to the 2013 Cycle Asia calendar. Cycle Asia is the network of premier cycling events that offers riders the rare opportunity to ride in major Asian cities.

"Cycling continues to enjoy strong growth in the Philippines and we are naturally thrilled to introduce the event at Bonifacio Global City," said Manny Blas II, head of Commercial Operations, Fort Bonifacio Development Corp.

To guarantee safety among participants and ensure the smooth staging of the event, organizers will keep the routes partially closed.

The novel event, featuring cyclists of all ages and abilities, will have participants test their skills in The Tricycle Ride, The Kids’ Ride, The Community Ride (20km and 40km) and The Challenge (40km) capped by the “Ride with Australian Robbie McEwen.” All kids’ ride will be on 16 November while the mass participation rides will be held on 17 November.

McEwen, who also serves as the Cycle Asia ambassador, is a three-time Tour de France winner in the sprint category and considered as the fastest sprinter in the world at his peak. A former Australian BMX champion, McEwen switched to road racing in 1990 at age 18 and raced as a pro from 1996 to 2012. He last rode for Orica-GreenEDGE on the UCI World Tour after competing in the 2012 Tour of California.

“SEI’s goal is to stage world class events and promote a healthy lifestyle among families. We have seen the growth of triathlon and running and we see cycling to be moving in the same direction,” said Wilfred Uytengsu, president of SEI, which also organizes the annual Ironman Philippines, Xterra and IronKids events. “On its debut, the event attracted 2,100 cyclists of all ages. It will be one great weekend of cycling fun.”

A Cycling & Lifestyle Expo has also been lined up for this weekend’s cycling festival to keep the entire family entertained over three days.

"While the unique venue will certainly offer local cyclists a fantastic riding experience, we also look forward to hosting visitors from around the region as they enjoy the unique thrill of participating in the very first BGC Cycle Philippines,” said Blas.

Aside from the cycling action during BGC Cycle Philippines, Bonifacio Global City also offers a huge range of activities for tourists to take advantage of during their stay. The district is well known for its open-air lifestyle retail and dining concept and public art program, as well as a world-class science museum and parks.

Owned and organized by Spectrum Worldwide, Cycle Asia has already staged two hugely successful events in 2013 – OCBC Cycle Malaysia and OCBC Cycle Singapore, which attracted over 5,000 and 11,500 participants, respectively. The Gold Coast Festival of Cycling was also held last September.

“We are delighted to be expanding Cycle Asia to the Philippines and we look forward to working alongside Sunrise Events who have built an outstanding reputation for delivering first-class sporting events,” said Chris Robb, Managing Director, Spectrum Worldwide.

Other backers of the event, also held for the benefit of the Firefly Brigade, are F2P, Felt Bicycles, Garmin, Gatorade, Intercare, Lexus, Manila Water, The Philippine Star, Red Garlic, Rudy Project, Seda, Walter Bread and MMDA.

Monday, November 11, 2013

New 25km PR at the New Balance Power Run 2013

The last 25km race I joined in was the New Balance Power Run 2011, where I got a decent 2:36 finish time. Since the 25km distance would seem an annual thing only, I was really eyeing for a new PR. Days before the race, I was psyching myself up. I really wanted a new PR just before the year ends (on whatever category I could manage), and this looked like the perfect opportunity on doing so.

Recent events brought about by typhoon Yolanda threatened this year's race. It even affected the race kit claiming a few days prior. I remember running in strong rains on NB Power Run's 2011 edition, making me wonder what's with this event and the outpour.

We were fortunate the race pushed through. The gun start's back to the normal time - 4:30am for the 25km category, which is just right and not too early in my opinion. Starting line is at 30th Street corner 9th avenue, a new location to start a race. I parked at the back of Seda Hotel which is strategically near the assembly area. I had to wait for a few friends who asked to leave their belongings at my car - Ryan, Rom, Joshua, Jake and Rhon. Just in time, the light rain stopped when we were off to the assembly area.

No pacer duties this time for me. It's run-your-own-pace day so mindset's I'm running alone. I was feeling good so it's a good sign that I'll enjoy the race and be able to meet my target, which is a sub-2:30.

Photo courtesy of Art Mendoza - quick stop at a hydration station
However, a few kilometers into the race, I came across Team Alpha1 teammate Joric (Redcapguy) so I called him up to greet him. Surprisingly, he told me he's not on race mode and that this is his first 25km race anyway so I had instant company (and an instant pacer too!). The only problem is that his relaxed mode (also known as chika pace) is sort of my race mode already. Haha! So when he was talking, and I was talking back, he didn't know I was already beginning to go out of breath and every reply already was an effort for me.

Photo courtesy of Lestsky - great snap making us look like Gatorade endorsers! Haha!
I quite struggled on the latter half of the race, requesting for more frequent walk breaks and longer stops at the hydration stations. Joric didn't mind the breaks but I still tried to push whenever I can. It didn't help either that lower race categories were merging with the 25k runners - the 10k and 16k runners were just a tad too many. Then again, I realized how Joric's unofficial pacing helped me continue to run, whereas if I had been alone, I would have just walked and gave up on my PR target.

Photo courtesy of KB Photography - that lens! Awesomely cool shot!
And so as we turned the final turn to the finish line, I was ecstatic to see the timer displaying 2 hours and 25 minutes! It was a new personal best, slashing off about 9 minutes from my previous time. Woot!

Of course, it was now time to meet runner friends at the activity area. So I took the camera from my car after we got our loot, and went to the race village to take some snaps.

Team Alpha1 teammates Joric and Marvin (who did a 1:52 25km! Wow!) I did not wear my alpha singlet because I knew these two were running and I am slow. Haha!
With Ally Lim of Runrio
With Barefoot Runner Loyce and Cheetah Rhon
With runner friend Dwight - Good luck on your Macau Marathon!
Photo courtesy of JP - From L to R: Mary Ann, Loyce, me, Rhon, Jake, Ryan and JP
With Rom, Joshua and Ryan
I was famished and craving for some IHOP goodness. IHOP was just a few steps away from the race area so it was expected a long queue would meet us. We were 20th on queue, but patience has its rewards - I really enjoyed my hash brown stack with mushroom, spinach and egg. Yummm!

At IHOP with Rom and Ryan
After breakfast, on our way back to the car, we met Coach Rio and congratulated him on staging another EXCELLENT race... 

...and of course we did not miss the photo op with him!
Until next year!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Meeting a Gold Olympic Medalist: Allyson Felix in Manila

I got super excited when I saw an invite on my email - an event by Nike - a special visit by Allyson Felix, one of the brand's ambassadors, to Manila! It will be a quick visit as she will be visiting three Asian cities in a span of a few days.

I was an avid fan of the coverage of the recent London 2012 Olympics, especially the track and field games, and of course I watched Allyson's 200m dash, winning her the coveted gold Olympic medal.

Here's Allyson's profile:

ALLYSON FELIX is an American track and field sprint athlete, who competes internationally for the United States. Her specialty is the 200 meters, winning the 2012 Olympic gold, two Olympic silver medals and three world championship golds. She also competes at the 100 meters and the 400 meters distances, winning three Olympic gold medals as a member of the United States' women's relay team, two at 4x400 meters and one as part of the world record 4x100 meters team. Her three gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics are the most a female track athlete has won since 1988. As a participant in the US Anti-Doping Agency's "Project Believe" program, Felix is regularly tested to ensure that her body is free of performance-enhancing drugs.

Allyson Felix is a four-time recipient of the Jesse Owens Award from USATF signifying the Athlete of the Year. She won the award for the first time in 2005, and then again in 2007, 2010 and 2012. She is only the second woman (after Marion Jones) to win the award three times. Felix also won the IAAF female athlete of the year in 2012.

Now isn't that impressive? And how often do you get to be face-to-face with an Olympic Gold medalist? I'm so lucky!

I was there at the venue (Planet Sports, BGC) early, and of course took shots so that I could share with you the experience.

Photos of Allyson as Nike endorser
Ally Lim from Runrio passed by the event; she headed to Ayala Triangle - Allyson's next stop after the media conference
The event setup at the 2nd floor of Planet Sports, BGC
Allyson's special photo wall (and her chair for the interviews)
Group shot with Que and Jinoe Gavan of TAKBO.PH!
Courtney Cole-Faso, Country Marketing Manager of Nike Philippines, gave the introductions for the special guest
Courtney interviewing Allyson Felix
Here's a snippet of Courtney's interview with Allyson:

Allyson Felix, before the media were given time to meet her and take some photos with her
Shaking hands with Allyson gave me super chills! It's as if she transferred to me some of her speed. Haha! I wish.
Allyson Felix and her photo wall
It was such a surreal experience meeting an Olympic Gold medalist! Thanks to Nike and PRC, Inc for the invite and for the opportunity to meet an athlete so down-to-earth and inspirational.

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