Up Close and Personal with Macca

He looked like an ordinary sunburnt white guy just returned from a vacation in Boracay as he stood at that Greenbelt Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf counter ordering a coffee. Nobody gave him a second glance. Well, nobody except me.

Because he isn’t any ordinary guy: he’s Chris “Macca” McCormack, Ironman World Champion in 2007 and 2010, with 12 Ironman victories, has won 76% of career events, five-time International Triathlete of the Year, ESPN World’s Fittest Man, and is the only person ever to be Olympic course and Ironman World Champion. And of course, I’m not an ordinary girl; I’m an age-group triathlete who just spent a weekend at a triathlon where he’d been in attendance, and I’d gone to his talk and book signing the next day. What else can I say? I’m a fan!

“You’re still here!” I said, my voice squeaking a little. Funny thing is, I wouldn’t have been there in the first place if I hadn’t just come back from the Alaska/Sunrise office to pick up my consolatory 4th place trophy and an autographed copy of Macca’s book I’m Here to Win.

“My flight’s tonight,” he replied amiably. I told him I’d just gotten my autographed book. He stepped out with his coffee and sat in the al fresco area.

He’d written a very generic “Best Wishes” in the book. Now he was in front of me so I could ask him to write more!

I didn’t know I was about to get so much more than an autograph. Continue reading “Up Close and Personal with Macca”

37th Milo Marathon Kick-Off

Milo Marathon na! Follow @kikayrunner on Twitter as I live-tweet the media launch. #kr

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The Milo Marathon holds a special place in my heart. I may have started joining races in 2009, but training for my first marathon in 2010 opened me up to the longer distances beyond 10K. (And it was during recovery after that marathon that I decided to try triathlon. The rest is history.)

Now that Milo Marathon is on its 37th year, I’m still glad to take part in getting the word out about it. As the country’s longest-running footrace, Milo Marathon has discovered and fostered our homegrown running talents and has inspired thousands toward excellence in running. At the media kick-off yesterday in Bayview Park Hotel, Milo revealed its new developments for the races.

race director Rio dela Cruz and Milo sports executive Andrew Neri

Continue reading “37th Milo Marathon Kick-Off”

Inside My Head On Race Day

Alarm clock. Time to get up. Fuzzy brain but body’s gotta move. Going through the motions until I flick on the light switch. Awake. Drink, eat, shower, dress. (Don’t forget to tweet.)

Drive to venue. Butterflies in my tummy. Every race is special. What’s gonna happen? Who’s gonna be there? If it’s a new distance for me — am I gonna finish?

Say hello. Smile. Happy to be here, feeding off energy of others around. Chit-chat, laughing, talking. Excuse me, bathroom break!

Warming up. This is “me time”. Everything else around me seems muted. Focusing. Calming. Preparing. Waiting for gunstart. Looking around at fellow competitors. Ah, a Kenyan. Ah, an elite runner. Ah, a friend beside me! This will be fun.

Start! Hit watch timer. Pace self, no need to go too fast. Breathe, get warmer first. Bye, rabbits, I’ll see you in a few minutes. Relax, relax, find the rhythm. Sweating. I’m ready to push. Here we go.

Overtake. Overtake. Can I overtake this guy? Steady pace, it will happen. Overtake. Form check — am I overstriding? OK, good. Overtake.

How are you, Noelle? How do you feel? Thirsty? Drink. Hot? Pour water. Muscles are okay; effort is in all the right places. Trust the training.

Stronger runners now. Can I keep up? Fall into their rhythm. Breathing is calm, emotions are calm. Satisfaction. Competition. Can I surge ahead? Yes, I can. I am overtaken. This one looks strong. Stay focused and run my own race. Pick up the pace. I’m flying!

Hello! Hello! Friends in other race distances are on their way back. Every smile, every wave, every call from them lifts my spirits. Refreshed. Ready to finish this.

Sun is up. Finish line in sight. Should I sprint, or should I stay pretty for the cameras? Footsteps behind. Finish fast!

Good race. Every run is a good run. And I can’t wait to do it all over again.

Vote for Kikay Runner for Best Sports Blog at Tatt Awards 2013

Hi runners! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. I’m so excited to announce that once again, Kikay Runner is a Best Sports Blog finalist at the Tatt Awards!

Vote Kikay Runner for Best Sports Blog at Tatt Awards 2013
How to Vote for Kikay Runner for Best Sports Blog at Tatt Awards 2013

Also in the running are last year’s fellow nominee Chappy Callanta, last year’s winner Takbo.ph, Pinoy Fitness, and Fire Quinito.

Here are some photos from last night’s presentation of finalists!

At the Tatt Awards 2013 presentation of finalists! #tattawards2013 #kr

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Kikay Runner at the Tatt Awards 2013 photo wall

with fellow nominees Jinoe, Jeff, and Chappy. I’m the only girl!

Also, check out the finalists from the other categories, including my Nuffnang friends The Googly Gooeys for Instagram Phenom of the Year, Camille Co and Laureen Uy for Best Style Blog, and Jenni Epperson for Blogger Phenom of the Year.

You can vote once every hour per category. Public votes comprise 10% of the total score used to determine the winner. If you feel that Kikay Runner has helped you in your active lifestyle, please do take the time to vote for me at the Tatt Awards. Voting is until June 20 extended to June 30. VOTE NOW! Thanks!

Triathlon Training Weekend at Subic

I’m back from Subic with a deep tan and stories to tell!

The difference between triathlon and running is in the training. With running, you can just roll out of bed early in the morning, lace up your shoes, and step out of your house for a long run. Because triathlon has three disciplines (four, if you include the discipline of putting it all together on race day), managing training for all of them is just that more complicated.

In the last three years that I’ve been doing triathlon, I’ve always found weekend triathlon training camps super helpful whether it’s a professionally organized camp like The Next Step Triathlon camp series I attended last year, or Team ENDURE’s pre-race camps I’ve been attending since my first SuBIT sprint distance. I had to miss out on the ENDURE camp due to work, so I was super thankful when my Thursday morning run buddies (which I’ve taken to calling “The Breakfast Club”) let me join their training camp this past weekend. It was meant to prepare us for the upcoming 5150 Triathlon, and was a stepping stone in fitness for Ironman 70.3 Cebu.

Cheeky #selfie while at a pitstop during the long ride… and this is just the beginning of the training weekend!

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a cheeky selfie while at a pitstop

Coach Miguel “Ige” Lopez set the training agenda for our two days in Subic. He’s known to push his athletes, so I knew I was in for quite a laspagan trip. Continue reading “Triathlon Training Weekend at Subic”

Launches Around Town: Defy 123 Triathlon, Big Book of Marathon

It’s been a busy few weeks and I have a huge backlog of information I’d love to share with all of you! If you want to get real-time updates about the latest in running and triathlon, follow me @kikayrunner on Twitter and Instagram!

Defy 123 Triathlon

The growth of triathlon in the Philippines in the past few years has been fueled by the boom of running. We now have a whole range of distances for triathlons, from the minisprints and sprints for newbies to standard and long-course events for those looking for more challenge. Of course, just like in the run races, we’re now seeing unique formats and race distances for local triathlons.

At the cocktail launch of Defy 123 Triathlon. Details of the race soon to be revealed!

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Defy 123 Triathlon cocktail launch at Bellevue Alabang

Defy 123 Triathlon sets itself apart from other tris because of its unique distances: 1-kilometer swim, 110-kilometer bike, and 12-kilometer run. It will allow speedsuits on the swim (even those that aren’t of “legal” length — so full body speedsuits are allowed) and drafting on the bike. The only thing disallowed are tri cockpits on bikes, so bikes need to have drop bars and at the very most short ITU-legal aerobars.

Coach Guy Concepcion doing the briefing for Defy 123

I heard from fellow triathletes that it’s a cyclist’s triathlon, given the short swim distance, long bike leg, the help that drafting gives strong cyclists, and the (relatively) short run off the bike.

Slots are limited to 300 participants for Defy 123 because for the first time in the history of tri in the Philippines, the transition area will be indoor and airconditioned. Big deal if you’re coming off a bike ride in the heat!

airconditioned indoor transition area!

Defy 123 takes place on October 13, 2013 starting from Bellevue Resort on Panglao Island, Bohol. Registration is P5,000 for individual entries and P6,000 for relay (two- or three-person teams). For more information, check out Defy 123 Triathlon’s Facebook account.

Runners’ World Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon Training

It bowls me over when new runners ask me, “How do I prepare for a half-marathon? By the way, it’s this weekend already.” That’s not enough time to prepare properly!

Thankfully, Runners’ World has come out with the localized edition of their Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon Training at the very affordable price of P350. The book cover also features Runners’ World cover guy Arland Macasieb (look at it if you ever need inspiration to run, haha).

Stacks of Big Book of Marathon at the launch w/ @arlandmac on the cover :)

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Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon Training

This book is a must-have for every runner’s bookshelf. It’s got training plans and the science behind the training so you actually understand what’s going on in your body when you’re training for the long distances.

RUNNR co-presented the book launch and also took the opportunity to announce the first batch of their store personnel certified as Newton Natural Running coaches. Arland (a Newton Natural Running coach himself) conducted the training and presented the certificates to the coaches, who will be assigned to RUNNR stores.

Coach @arlandmac talks about Newton Running's coaching certification program.

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Arland Macasieb talks about Newton Natural Running

Newly-certified Newton Natural Running coaches. @nikkoperalta

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spot these coaches at RUNNR stores soon!

With a good training program and good running technique, anyone can enjoy success at running half-marathons and beyond. Ü

Just a short note of congratulations to Filipino elite triathletes Noy Jopson and Monica Torres and national triathlete Nikko Huelgas for becoming the ambassadors for the Samsung Smart Camera. Here are some photos from the launch:

Nikko, Noy, and Monica with event host Boom Gonzales

Wilier. *drool*

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Wilier bikes on display

With Samsung NX300 ambassador @noyjop

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thanks to Noy Jopson for inviting me to the launch!