I guess you can call April my Boracay month, since I’ve logged a grand total of eight days on the island. The first visit from April 9 to 12 was for work (Women’s Health Beauty and the Beach), while the most recent one from April 23 to 26 was for leisure. But of course, since the Skyathon Boracay Beach & Surf Run was to be held on April 24, my girls Jenny, Bianca, Vanessa and I signed up for the 5K category.
Today is Earth Day. Last Sunday, there were two runs piggybacking on this commemoration of environmental awareness and conservation. I chose the run with the lower registration fee (P350), more accessible venue (the Fort), and better singlet (I usually use finisher shirts as sleepwear, never for running). OK actually the singlet design had the theme song for Captain Planet and the Planeteers reverberating in my head during the whole run.
After missing out on TNF Nuvali, I was really looking forward to the Merrell Adventure Run held last Saturday, April 17, at Wawa Dam in Montalban, Rizal. It would be my first trail run, and thanks to A&F Magazine and Runnerspeak I had a free 3K race kit and pair of Merrell Waterpro trail shoes.
Before the KIKAYRUNNER was a runner, she was (and is still) a beach bunny. So when Women’s Health Philippines invited me to join them in Boracay, how could I say no?
Beauty and the Beach was held last April 10 and 11, 2010 to mark the first anniversary of Women’s Health Philippines. The event offered fun beachside activities (dance, yoga, ATV ride, running) which I gladly partook of under the glaring summer sun.
(On a side note, I’ve been told I don’t look like a serious runner because I’m not tanned enough, so I took the opportunity to get as much sun as I could while still slathered in SPF.)
It was good to get away from concrete and pavement for a while and kick back with my newfound friends, particularly my roomies Hilary Isaac of Jam 88.3 and Mia Bayuga of Magic 89.9, and Ren Mangaban of the Philippine Star. (Drew Arellano may be in the photograph above, but of course wasn’t allowed in any of our rooms. Not that he wanted to be.)
I assume that because running is part of the active lifestyle Women’s Health promotes, Takbo.ph power couple Jinoe and Queenie Gavan were also there aside from myself. They had been tasked to lead the barefoot run on the beach on day two of the event.
There was no way of gauging how fit the participants would be, so Que and Jinoe had mapped a two-kilometer run from the event’s staging area in front of All Flipflops to Discovery Shores and back. But since Jinoe wanted to explore the trails on the island, I offered to help Que with the session — and inadvertently signed myself up as the person to lead our lovely participants through warm-up stretches. I also became the run’s de facto U-turn marshal, running ahead to Discovery Shores and telling people when to run back. Then I swept the rest of our run-walking participants back to the event site.
This month’s issue of Women’s Health comes with the inaugural issue of Runner’s World Philippines as a supplement, so it was just perfect for running to have a strong presence at this event.
After all those activities, I had just enough time to lay out and top off my tan before the sun slipped all too quickly under the horizon.
Beauty and the Beach was sponsored by Havaianas, Schick, Playtex, Banana Boat, Alo Youth, Cream Silk, Pond’s, Rexona, Sunsilk, Vaseline, and The Bar. Special thanks to Nestle and Sangobion, and to the official radio partners Magic 89.9 and Jam 88.3.
I’ve always noticed the streets are way less congested during the days of Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday, but this is the first year I’ve ever participated in a long run on those empty streets. I mean, two long runs, first on Maundy Thursday with a group going from Fort to Taytay, Rizal, and on Black Saturday with a group going from UP to Jollibee Greenmeadows and back. Yes, now you can definitely call me an adik.
Each of those runs totaled 21 kilometers, which is a mileage high for me. Previously I’ve only ever done one 21K in a weekend, during Sunday races. But long runs are a heady and exciting new experience for me — when else do you get to run on roads going places you only used to drive to? The pace was also an easy one for me, clocking at 7:30 to 8 minutes per kilometer. I could yakkity yack away with my companions and not worry about losing breath or steam, which took my mind away from the work my legs were actually doing. Long runs are a great way to increase mileage, especially as one trains for a marathon
The Fort to Taytay run was with a large group. After a short briefing, we started at 5am from the Every Nation building in Fort and then proceeded to run my most chillax 17 kilometers ever to Sweet Harmony Gardens in Taytay, Rizal. From there, a few of us opted to go onto a hill training route, adding five kilometers more to our mileage. We were treated to a complimentary Filipino breakfast from Paul Calvin’s Deli (yup, there’s a branch in Taytay!) thanks to our host and the organizer of the long run, Jay Em. Afterwards, there was a van waiting to drive us back to the Fort.
My Black Saturday run with friends from SecondWind Running Store was less plush and less populated, but more exciting since we would be running Katipunan and White Plains then return to where we started. No van was waiting to ferry us back in case our legs gave out; Hector only had a bike from which to hand us water and Gatorade. We had one long water break at Jollibee (our U-turn point). I bought some pineapple juice, and it was the best glass of pineapple juice I’ve had in my whole life.
After both those runs and logging a total of 47 kilometers during Holy Week, I’m now in my recovery week. Perfect timing, since I’m leaving for Boracay today to attend the Beauty and the Beach event organized by Women’s Health Magazine. I’m still dreaming of my next long run, though. Who knows where my feet will take me next?
By the time this is posted, I will most certainly be more than halfway to Taytay from Fort on my first long run. I’m putting in mileage for marathon training. However, it’s just more exciting and motivating to join races. April is a boom month for races, despite it being the peak of summer in this part of the world. The first weekend of April is taken up by Black Saturday and Easter Sunday, so no races have been scheduled then. However, it seems that race organizers are doing double time with the succeeding weekends.
On April 10 (Saturday) the Run for Wellness, Run for Awareness will be held at Mall of Asia. Organized by the project management students of DLSU College of St. Benilde, it’s a cheap race at P200. No singlet but if you’re looking to score a podium finish, they have awards for female and male finishers for the 5K and 10K events.
April 11’s major event is the Mizuno Infinity Run to be held at Fort. One of the key features of this race is the “Beat Your Time” challenge. The finisher who has shown the most improved time between their current finish time and last year’s wins something. (I don’t know what; I’m not registered since I’ll be in Boracay for Summit Media’s “Beauty and the Beach” event. *giggles*)
The weekend of April 17 and 18 has a combined seven race events between those two days. Saturday is jampacked with the Merrell Adventure Run (Montalban), SlimmeRun (Fort), and TailRunners: The Metro Dog Run (MOA). Sunday has two earth-themed races: The National Geographic Channel’s Earth Day Run (MOA), and The Earth Run 2010 (Fort). How confusing! I know many people who registered for one race but actually meant to register for the other one.
Now if all those races still haven’t tired you out, there are 10 races (OMG!) on the weekend of April 24-25. The Second Pocari Fun Run (Fort) is the only one that will be held in Metro Manila, though. TNF 100 (Baguio), Takbo 2010: Run for a Good Cause (Bulacan), and the Greenfield City Sunset Run (Laguna) will all be out of town. I’ll be back in Boracay on the 24th and will be at the Skyathon Run (Hotlegs Julie will also be there, yay!).
You might have a hard time picking which race to attend on April 25; my personal preference if I were in town would be the PGH Medical Foundation Fun Run (CCP). Rounding out this smorgasbord of races are the VSO Kabahagi Run (McKinley Hill), the Home Run Challenge (Filinvest Alabang), the Sunkist Healthy Heart Masters Run (Ayala Alabang) and the Highlands-Mizuno Fun Run Challenge (Tagaytay).
There is no shortage of races this month. (Hopefully there’s no water shortage for any of them, either. It is summer, you know.) Are you a fool for races? I know I am. I’ve signed up for three!
Check out a more comprehensive list of races this year at Takbo.ph.