Missing Out on The North Face 100

Last Valentine’s Day, I was supposed to run the Thrill of the Trail run in Nuvali, part of the TNF100 trail running series The North Face has mapped out for this year. Unfortunately my partner had to back out due to a foot injury, and I was still also recovering from my first 21K at Condura.

Nuvali was just a taster for the major trail event, The North Face 100 happening on April 24-25 in Baguio City. If Nuvali only had two distance categories (11K and 22K), TNF100 also has 50K and 100K categories. Just so you know, any distance above 42K qualifies as an ultramarathon (OMG!).

The North Face 100

Trail running requires agility and presence of mind as well as endurance. The route will take participants through Camp John Hay, the PMA grounds, Mt. Sto. Tomas and Mt. Tuba before finishing inside Burnham Park. The mountainous terrain promises to be quite tough on the legs and lungs, since the highest elevation is at 2,062 meters above sea level.

Yesterday I registered for Earth Run at Res Toe Run. When I saw the poster for TNF100, I was struck by pangs of envy and regret. I would have wanted to be at TNF100 as well (but only for 11K) if I had not already booked and paid for a vacation in Boracay with Jenny and Bianca from April 23 to 26. :(

If you don’t have anything planned for the weekend of April 24-25, you might want to give TNF100 a shot. Define your personal limits 6,000++ ft above sea level! Join The North Face 100 in Baguio-Benguet. Visit: www.thenorthface100.ph for more details, or check out The North Face 100 Facebook fan page.

adidas miCoach Launch

The day before Globe Run For Home, I found myself at Bonifacio High Street running on a treadmill atop a platform in front of bystanders and onlookers. No, this was not performance art.

adidas miCoach Launch: Treadmill Challengeadidas miCoach Launch: Sometimes a Forefoot Runneradidas miCoach Launch: Running in Placeadidas miCoach Launch: Sweaty
photos by Mark Cerbo and Que Sullano-Gavan

Members of the media (television, print, and online) had been invited to the launch of the adidas miCoach system, and we were given a chance to win one of these things at the treadmill challenge. This treadmill challenge had us running 10 minutes each at a speed we select ourselves. The person who runs the farthest distance in those 10 minutes wins a miCoach Pacer. Now since a huge chunk of the bloggers present were runners (and members of Takbo.ph), we had a grand time cheering each other on.

The launch program proper was hosted by my friend Rico Robles, who isn’t a runner except when he’s running away from angry boyfriends. Haha. *wink*

adidas miCoach Launch: with Jojo Macalintal
the non-runner, the triathlete, and the brand manager

miCoach stands for “my individual Coach”. The miCoach Pacer is a heart rate monitor, stride sensor, and training partner that you can link up to your music player so you can get personal coaching right in your ear as you run. With several different training programs to choose from, whether you want to get fit or run faster, the Pacer helps you run yourself better. I hate making comparisons between brands here, but the miCoach is adidas’ take on the Nike + system — except the miCoach can be used on all shoe brands and all mp3 player types. At P6,995 for the Pacer, it’s a good deal if want a training tool to measure how far and how fast you’re running, but aren’t willing to shell out for a Garmin just yet.

As it turned out, I was outrun by the boys. (Argh!) Sam and Rodel also did their best. Though my feet were flying and it was the fastest 2.4 kilometers I’d ever ran, we were no match for Natz’s 2.7, Mike Mamaril’s 2.71, and Wilnar Iglesia’s 2.89. Wilnar apparently couldn’t get enough of running that night and ran around BHS after he completed the challenge. Then the next day at Globe, he ran a sub-2 hour half-marathon! Adik!


Whatever happened to “tapering”?

I am extremely happy with Kiko, but I’m glad adidas has come out with the miCoach. I’m pretty sure running enthusiasts will be quite willing to add the miCoach to their arsenal of training tools.

Run for a Cause, Run for Home 2010

At the Globe Run For Home 2010 all my usual race practices were turned upside down. As pacer to Rico and friends, I had to maintain a pace that would bring them home around 2 hours and 20 minutes after the 21K start. We also positioned ourselves about 10 meters away from the front of the pack at the starting line, which is something my competitive self doesn’t like doing. However, the camaraderie with my Takbo.ph friends was more than enough to tame the beast. I settled back to enjoy the race for what it would be for me: a long run as part of my Milo marathon training. It would be an easy race where I could actually stop and smell the flowers, literally and figuratively.

Globe Run For Home 2010: Hijinks at the Starting Line
These guys are funny.

A New Route

The first part of our route wound through Greenbelt, taking us through two tunnels before releasing us back onto Makati Avenue on our way to the Kalayaan Flyover. I’ve never been on foot through that area of the Ayala Center and have never run through the Makati Central Business District before, so it was an exciting part of the route. Too bad Kiko was freaking out because of all the tall buildings, which messed up the GPS signal. In comparison to the kilometer markers along the route, Kiko’s readings were off by at least 400 meters.

Tackling Kalayaan Flyover from the Makati side was easy, particularly since we had fresh legs in comparison with previous races beginning inside Fort which placed that part of the route at the end when our legs were already wasted. When we reached Rizal Drive, I commented to Sid, “Usually at this point patapos na ako eh.” (I would be almost done with my race.) But no, the wonders of Bayani Road and Heritage Park still awaited us.

That was yet another part of the route I would be tackling for the first time. As we entered the cemetery, I jokingly asked Timmy if we had remembered to bring the candles and flowers. “Don’t make this your final resting place,” I quipped. “Make it out of Heritage Park alive.” When we emerged from the cemetery, we came across Sam the Running Ninja, who had decided to DNF after feeling pain in his knee. In fairness to him, he had just finished the Bataan Death March Ultramarathon two weeks prior, so it was a wise decision to let this race go.

Fresh Legs, Bad Pacer

Rico was taking it slow and steady behind me, walking through his water breaks and generally dealing with the route his own way. (Later, he told me that the hilly course inside the park took a toll on him.) While this allowed me sometimes to take walk breaks, use a portalet (yes, I did along Lawton Avenue!), and chat with other friends, my legs began to itch to pull the trigger. I thought I’d killed their urge to sprint by participating in the adidas miCoach launch treadmill challenge the night before. But I had so much energy left over by the time we reached Bonifacio High Street.

Maybe it was the three Gu gels I’d taken over the course of the two hours and ten minutes we’d already been running. Maybe it was me being impatient. Yeah, it was mostly impatience. With three kilometers to go, I left Rico behind (bad pacer! bad bad bad!) and let my legs loose. I practically flew over Kalayaan heading back to Makati. I even sprinted to beat a guy to the finish line. I took those three kilometers in 14 minutes, but it still wasn’t enough to match the time we’d aimed for. Finish time: 2 hours, 24 minutes.

I stuck around waiting for my friends to finish. I even managed to get interviewed by the Run For Home website live streaming hosts Chrina and Ryu (you’ll find me 1 hour and 54 minutes into the saved video stream on the Run For Home website).


Oh, you want to talk to me?

In all it was a race I enjoyed running not because I was aiming for a PR, but because I enjoyed the route and the company (and the race’s advocacy). Maybe next time, when I pace someone again, I’ll behave better. *wink*

Globe Run For Home 2010: the Takbo.ph Family
the customary class picture

Race in Review

  • Route: Big props to Globe and Finishline for coming up with unique routes for this event. It was quite challenging though, particularly for the 15K and 21K runners. The first published version of the routes didn’t have Bayani Road-Heritage Park, so the change of routes with less than a week to go before the race irked many who had not trained for the hills. Perhaps a little more lead time next time, guys? And though I don’t trust Kiko’s distance reading for the route, Google Maps does say it still went over 21 kilometers.
  • Hydration: A station on every kilometer?! It kind of seems like overkill, but at least no one was dying of thirst. I loved that the energy drink was Powerade, so I could drink as much as I wanted without feeling bloated (I get gassy with carbonated energy drinks). However, there was one water station along Lawton that had no water anymore on our return. Good thing I was carrying a flask of Gu Brew with me, just in case.
  • Package & Freebies: Once I crossed the finish line a marshal waved us over to the tents on Paseo de Roxas where we were handed bottles of water and Powerade and a finisher’s shirt. I appreciated all the items, but will probably never wear the shirt because the fabric is too thin and the fit is loose and nasty (though I’d already asked for the small size). Plenty of tents inside the Ayala Triangle activity area offered free stuff, if I’d bothered to line up for them.The value-added service of the Champion Chip also updating my Facebook status was good, but during the bloggers launch we were led to believe that it would update our status not just at the start and finish, but also when we passed the other waypoint mats. Other people who had added the app and had given the correct info on their registration forms didn’t get updates. These are glitches that can be worked on for next time.

Though the provisional results haven’t been released yet after 24 hours (unlike at the previous Finishline/Runrio races), I think overall the organizers have done a great job. I give it FOUR KIKAY PINKIE FINGERS out of FIVE. Ü

(Photos from Jazzrunner.)

Reminders for Run for Home 2010

Yet another race Sunday is coming up — Globe-Ayala Land Run for Home. I’m excited! It’ll be my second 21K. I’m pacing with some of my friends from Takbo.ph: Rico, Timmy, Sid, and Rene for a 2-hour, 20-minute finish. I’ll be the only rose among the thorns, but at least the distance won’t seem so lonely.

Route Maps

I hope you’re running with friends because all the routes are interesting and unique. You might even want to take photos, if you’re not chasing a PR. *wink* I’ve taken the liberty of screencapping these route maps from the Run For Home website for easy reference.

UPDATE (03/17/10): How annoying. They changed the route maps — and they’re pretty drastic changes as well! I’ve updated the screencaps below with the new maps.

Run for Home 3K
Globe Run For Home 3K

Run for Home 5K
Globe Run For Home 5K

Run for home 10K
Globe Run For Home 10K

Run for Home 15K
Globe Run For Home 15K

Run for Home 21K
Globe Run For Home 21K

The 10K, 15K, and 21K routes will all pass over the Kalayaan flyover, but it’ll be something new because we’ll be approaching it from the other side of EDSA. I for one am really stoked about the sights on our 21K. Ü

Parking

Since the race begins and ends at the Ayala Triangle, you’ll have to be very early or very creative with your choice of parking. These parking areas will be open on that day, but slots are limited in the ones closest to the venue. I’m planning to park at Greenbelt, walk to Ayala Triangle, and just stash a change of clothes at the baggage counter.

    Open 4am to 10am:

  • De La Rosa 1
  • De La Rosa 2
  • Valero 2
  • Makati Stock Exchange
  • 6750 Steel Carpark
  • EDSA Carpark
  • Open 24 hours:

  • The Link
  • Glorietta 4
  • Greenbelt

Assembly and Gun Start Times

Your race kit should have a list of assembly and gun start times per race category stickered to the plastic containing your bib and timing chip. There’s a lot of wiggle room between the assembly and gun times, so try to be in the area at assembly time to do your warm-ups, stretches, and last-minute trips to the restroom. Don’t be caught with your pants down at gun start!

UPDATE (03/19/10): This is bad. They changed the start times three days before the race! What if you’re someone who doesn’t have regular access to the internet to read these updates? Grrr…

  • 21K: assembly at 4:40am, gun at 5:10am
  • 15K: assembly at 4:55am, gun at 5:25am
  • 10K: assembly at 5:10am, gun at 5:40am
  • 5K: assembly at 5:25am, gun at 5:55am
  • 3K: assembly at 5:40am, gun at 6:10am

Timing Chip, Facebook Updates, and Live Video Feed

Don’t forget to tie your chip to your shoe! The rule is no chip, no time. And if you haven’t yet, add the Globe-Ayala Land Run For Home ChampionChip Update to your Facebook account so you can get updates posted to your Wall every time you pass a waypoint mat. (NOTE: Don’t just be a fan of it. You have to approve a set of permissions for it.) You can also tell your couch potato friends to watch you cross the finish line through the live video feed on the Run For Home website.

Hope to see you at the starting line!

Runnerspeak Segment Hosting

Runnerspeak!

Yesterday I had the chance to prove my mettle as segment host for RunnerSpeak. I was at Mall of Asia bright and early to cover the Pinay In Action Run.

Last week I had a co-host to banter with. Yesterday I was left to my own devices and had to come up with my spiels on the fly. Ugh, that is definitely something I should improve on. Still, it was a pretty productive production day. I got to interview a handful of very interesting and strong women, particularly the Bull Runner. Yup, would you believe it was the first time we’d been introduced? She is awesome.

If you find yourself at home on a Sunday morning, tune in to RunnerSpeak, 9am on QTV channel 11. This morning’s episode featured the Century Tuna Superbods Run. I think my Unilab episode airs next week already — EEK!

Unilab Run United Pictures and Analysis

Runpix analysis and Photovendo are up for the Unilab Run! I’ve been waiting for these since Sunday because I like knowing how I ran, and how I looked when I ran. Ü

Runpix Analysis

Unilab Run summary for Noelle De Guzman
But I thought I finished in 48:40?

Like I said in my previous post, I started at the front of the pack so there’s not much of a difference between my gun and chip times. However, starting in front made all the difference when you check my net time against everyone else’s.

Unilab Run result vs. entire field
Unilab Run result vs. women

If this race’s outcome had been determined by chip time instead of gun time, I wouldn’t have been in third place. There were far faster men and women in the entire field, but unfortunately they had longer start delays. Lesson learned? Start in front if you want a shot at a podium finish.

Unilab Run split timeUnilab Run passers

I always have positive split times, faster at the start then fading at the end. However, thanks to Kiko showing me my pace in real-time, I was able to keep a steady pace from start to finish. (Every time my pace slowed beyond 5:00 min/km I saw Zorro with his whip shouting “Faster! Faster!”) I think the three people who passed me are negative splitters, whom I envy for their slow-twitch endurance muscles.

Unilab Run finish bird's eye view
Check out how close the competition was.

Photovendo

Most or all the photos were taken within the last few meters to the finish line. Because the 3K and 5K runners were waved to the left and 10K and 21K to the right, I had a clear path right in front of me. The photographer was able to snap a whole sequence of me huffing and puffing and trying to blow the finish line down with my pucker. Here’s the least unflattering one:

Unilab Run United: Sprinting for It
My eyeballs were bursting out of their sockets here.

My favorite photo from the whole race is something that wasn’t taken by Photovendo, but by Doc Marvin. It is also my only photo with a celebrity at the Unilab Run.

Unilab Run United: with Aga Muhlach
BAGETS!

A Marathon for My Birthday

Ever since I started telling people I’m planning to run my first marathon this year, I’ve been getting suggestions which one to join. I was planning to build up slowly, to overprepare for it, which is why Joel and I had a deal to join our first marathon at the end of the year.

With apologies to Joel for breaking the deal, I allowed myself to be salestalked into training for my first marathon at the Milo Eliminations on July 4. In so doing, I’ve only given myself less than 16 weeks to prepare mentally and physically for it. Um, yikes?

To keep myself from chickening out, I’m announcing to the world what I intend to do, and the reasons for doing so.

KIKAYRUNNER’s Top 4 Reasons to Run the Milo Eliminations

  1. Milo is the fastest marathon in Metro Manila. According to i2Runner’s statistical analysis on Metro Manila’s fastest marathon, runners tended to have faster finish times at Milo. The hypothesis is the route is flatter and therefore easier on the legs, but it could also be because people were trying to qualify for the Milo Finals by beating the 4-hour qualifying time. In any case, I’d like to finish my first marathon in 4 hours and 30 minutes.
  2. Milo will have plenty of water. My fear of dehydration turns me off from races that have a recent history of water shortage. This includes the Subic International Marathon and the Quezon City International Marathon. Milo, organized by Rudy Biscocho of RACE, has always been one of the better-watered races.
  3. Milo is a cheap race. Last year, the registration fee was 250 pesos. Even if you allow for the general rise in fees charged at races, it will still be cheaper than the 800 pesos Condura charged for its 42K route.
  4. Milo will be held on my birthday. Yes, you heard that right. July 4 is my birthday. Therefore I’ve already requested my friends and family to have a party waiting for me at the finish line complete with poppers, balloons, and a birthday cake. Takbo.ph members will also be waving placards bearing my name. It’ll be one hell of a party (pun intended?).

So, here goes…