Heroes for Children Run 2016 – Registration Extended

Last year I ran the Heroes for Children Run alongside UNICEF celebrity advocate Anne Curtis, who did her first 21K at the event. This year I won’t be on course, but you can still join her!

Registration for the 21K has been extended until September 1 — that’s tomorrow, folks. Register now at Chris Sports SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, SM BF Homes, Glorietta, Market! Market!, Robinsons Place Manila and UP Town Center!

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Heroes for Children Run 21K registration extended

Anne is in training for the New York City Marathon and, knowing her, she will be putting her best foot forward on Sunday. Just like last year, the Heroes for Children Run will benefit UNICEF’s First 1000 Days programme that aims to provide prenatal and early childhood interventions to prevent undernutrition, including quality care for mothers, proper nutrition and complementary feeding, and life-saving treatment for severe acute malnutrition. The effect of good health and nutrition lasts well into adulthood and is a key ingredient in breaking the cycle of poverty.

The Heroes for Children Run is one of many activities slated in 2016 as UNICEF commemorates its 70th year helping to build a better world for every child.

If like me you can’t run on Sunday, you can still support the cause by donating on Anne’s personal SimplyGiving fundraising page at simplygiving.com/event/HeroesforChildrenRun2016.

UNICEF Heroes for Children Run 2016
Anne with UNICEF Philippines Country Representative Lotta Sylwander and Coach Rio dela Cruz

Sofitel Manila Half Marathon

When fitness coach extraordinaire Toni Saret offered me a race slot to the Sofitel Manila Half Marathon, I was in Germany taking stock of my health and crossing races off my calendar. I asked her if she had any 5K bibs instead. And so that’s how I found myself at the CCP Open Grounds last August 21 lining up to run despite being jetlagged and not having slept yet.

Sofitel Run
happy finishers

Continue reading “Sofitel Manila Half Marathon”

Road to Vietnam, Week #12: Final Preps

Last week was a bit of a blur as I battled jet lag, catching up on work, and making sure all systems are go for next week’s trip to Nha Trang for Challenge Vietnam.

Because I had my race registration transferred to a relay, I had to wait for my prospective relay teammates to register. With Challenge Vietnam, you can register as a relay with friends or indicate your interest to do one leg and the organizers match you up with potential teammates.

Initially only tapped to do the swim, I now also have to run the final half-marathon as our relay runner never got back to us. I don’t really mind though; my main issue is I’m not fit enough to be out on the entire course for what could take me longer than six-and-a-half hours to complete. With the bike leg taken care of, I’ll treat the swim as a morning warm-up and the run as my main workout for the day. At least I can still enjoy my hotel’s buffet breakfast after the swim!

Road to Vietnam Week #12
Bumping up swim mileage was easier than building long run fitness, though.

I felt a burden lift off my shoulders when I decided not to do the entire race as an individual competitor, which only confirms that it was the right choice. As a result, I found last week’s workouts much more enjoyable as well. It is after all the last two weeks leading into the race and nothing I do now will improve my fitness very much for what’s up ahead. All that matters is just keeping the engine turning over.

Road to Vietnam Week #12
Just keep moving.

Because I’m not doing the bike leg, I’ve done considerably less bike work. That doesn’t mean I’ve left my bike to rust, though. Thanks to the team at Primo Cycles as well as Jerry Santos of Ceepo, Aki is ride-ready.

This is Aki 2.0 because Jerry replaced my 2014 Katana frame with the 2015 edition. There’s no difference in the geometry, but it now includes two bosses on the top tube for easy installation of direct-mount bento boxes, as well as a CO2 cartridge holder on the chain stay. Glenn the master Retul fitter from Primo made sure the bike was set-up exactly as the previous one was so I could still have an optimized fit.

Road to Vietnam Week #12
Now all I need is to get on and actually ride the bike.

I’m not bringing the bike with me to Vietnam though; I’ll probably be back on it on the open road after the race. Until then it’ll just be me and my own two feet splashing in the water and hitting the pavement.

It’s been an interesting racing season with an unexpected conclusion, but I’m back and I’m still loving the lifestyle of being a recreational endurance athlete.

Road to Vietnam Week #12
Catch you on the road.

Kikay Reviews: A Week with the Moto 360

I love gadgets that help track fitness and training, so when I got a chance to try the new Moto 360 smartwatch for a few weeks, I pounced at it. I mean, just look:

Moto 360
the new Moto 360

The Moto 360 comes in Black Leather, Rose Gold, and Sport styles. The Moto 360 Sport is available in Black, White, and Flame colors, so I chose white.

The Moto 360 is powered by Android Wear™, is Wi-Fi enabled and runs with a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 400 with 1.2 GHz quad-core processor. It also features Moto Body, is water resistant with IP67* rating and features scratch-resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass. It is compatible with both Android and iOS platforms, but because I’m already an Android phone user getting the Moto 360 to work with my phone was a breeze. Continue reading “Kikay Reviews: A Week with the Moto 360”

Road to Vietnam, Week #11: Everything I Missed

In the scramble of my trips to and from Cebu and then to and from Germany, I missed mentioning a few significant events that happened for the Philippine sports community.

As a side note, I couldn’t watch the men’s triathlon on Thursday night because I was up in the air on the final leg of my flight back to Manila. It was streamed live on one of TV5’s nine Youtube streams. So, I thought that they would do the same for the women’s triathlon. Boy, was I wrong! I had to scramble to find an online stream and only managed to watch from the final lap of the bike leg. TV5 meanwhile on the other eight streams was showing taekwondo (on two streams!), indoor diving, some canned Olympic show, javelin, and other things I had no interest in. Nine streams, and no triathlon — the sport where we got two gold medals at the most recent SEA Games. How could they think we had no interest in triathlon even if we didn’t have any medal contenders in it?!

Anyway, Hidilyn Diaz won our country’s only medal this year, a silver in weightlifting. This makes her the first Filipino to medal since 1996, the first Filipina to earn an Olympic medal, the first to earn it in weightlifting, the first non-boxer to medal for the country since 1936, and the first to come from Mindanao.

Also of note is our very own marathoner Mary Joy Tabal, who qualified on her own initiative with the backing of her sponsors and finally received PATAFA’s blessing in the last few months leading into Rio. She didn’t have a stellar race, but she fought to finish.

I think my favorite bit of news, and the one closest to home, is Omar Paredes’s finish at the Norseman Triathlon. Continue reading “Road to Vietnam, Week #11: Everything I Missed”

Road to Vietnam, Week #10: Health vs. Fitness

Hello, folks! Sorry for the long blog post absence (two weeks!). I’ve just gotten back from Germany which was a much-needed break from routine. I know I was supposed to be in the heat of training for Challenge Vietnam at that point. However, in my life while things don’t always work out as intended, they do always work out for the best.

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

I have a confession to make: my body hasn’t felt the same since I completed Challenge Roth 2014. Continue reading “Road to Vietnam, Week #10: Health vs. Fitness”

Road to Vietnam, Week #8: Go With the Flow

Last week was pretty good just easing myself back into physical activity again. I had a run and core training session on Monday, a swim on Tuesday, and an indoor bike session on Thursday before flying off to Cebu — but not to compete. Instead, I went to cover the pro women’s race for Witsup.com, participate in IronGirl, ride with Ceepo, and support my Endure teammates and countless other athletes in the biggest event of the Philippine triathlon calendar.

Ironman 70.3 Philippines Asia Pacific Championship
with a few of my Endure teammates post-race

While I did feel a twinge of envy seeing the participants pick up their awesome loot bags (that yellow dry bag stands out!), this was also the first year I was in Cebu with no pressure to perform. It was nice not to be a bundle of nerves for a change — to be the calming influence on my teammate who was doing her first half-Ironman and to think about how others were doing instead of focused on myself. Let me tell you, the challenges of being a supporter are different, but there is a lot of satisfaction seeing athletes’ faces light up when you offer them aid or encouragement.

Ironman 70.3 Philippines Asia Pacific Championship
nice to keep the shades drawn and sleep in for a change!

Ironman 70.3 Philippines Asia Pacific Championship
“carbo-loading” (not mine!

Being out there for the lead-up to the race and watching the race itself, I’m reminded how much I love this sport whether I’m competing or on the sidelines. I’m reminded how it brings out the best and worst in me and how it pushes me to do better and be better not just as an athlete, but as a person.

But I think being on the sidelines lets you get in on the fun without all the suffering. ;)

IRONGIRL 2016 from HeXaCam Media Manila on Vimeo.

Here are a few snaps from a memorable weekend: Continue reading “Road to Vietnam, Week #8: Go With the Flow”