Bintan Triathlon 2016

I haven’t raced a triathlon at all this year due to my marathon focus. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to return to the Bintan Triathlon, a race I had “slayed” two years ago by placing second in my age group.

Bintan Triathlon 2016
Getting to this finish line was tougher this time around.

Doing a triathlon out of the country is always bound to be an adventure, but I made it harder on myself by scheduling it the week before the Phuket Marathon. I’m the kind of person who wants to give everything I’ve got, but these two races so close together meant that if I wanted to do well in one, the other would have to suffer. Continue reading “Bintan Triathlon 2016”

Nike Women’s Half Marathon

I’m no stranger to racing in an all-women field, but last Sunday was a shock as 4,000 women lined up for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. While there was the odd man acting as supporter on the day, women clad in the orange Nike official race singlet were all I could see. In fact, it took a bit of effort calling each other for my buddy Monika and I to find each other pre-race.

Dispatch 19

Parking and bag check-in were a bit of a riot, but once that was done with and we got into the start chute, the race experience was par excellence. Continue reading “Nike Women’s Half Marathon”

NatGeo Earth Day Run 2016

I think the only thing running through my head at the NatGeo Earth Day Run the other Sunday was: it’s too darned hot!

NatGeo Earth Day Run 2016
Can you see my thought bubble?

I have gotten way too used to 6:30am triathlon and 5K fun run gunstarts, so the 3am gunstart for the 21K at the NatGeo Earth Day Run completely threw me off. Pre-race adrenaline kept me up until 12:30am, and then I had to get up by 1am to make my preparations and travel to Bonifacio Global City for the 2am assembly time. Continue reading “NatGeo Earth Day Run 2016”

Run for Life was Unfair to Women

Today I crossed the finish line first female overall at Run for Life: A Love Run, clocking in at 50 minutes 30 seconds.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t good enough for De La Salle University’s ENGLICOM organization. They had decided not to have separate men’s and women’s categories. And so out of the nine podium finishers in the 3K, 5K, and 10K distances, there was only one woman. Not me, but a marvelously fast female track athlete in the 3K who beat all but one male. By rights, she should have won first place female.

Run for Life: A Love Run on February 14, 2016

There are reasons why men and women compete separately in physical activities and sports. The primary reason is biology: due to the testosterone that circulates in male bodies starting from the first week after conception, male humans develop with more muscle and bone mass, larger hearts and lungs, more oxygen-bearing red blood cells, longer limbs, and less body fat than female humans on average. If you think cyclists shooting up with additional testosterone in the doping scandals was unfair to the non-dopers, men have been doping with testosterone since even before birth, compared to women.

Among the best of the world’s best, the physical advantage of male elite athletes is also apparent. Across dozens of sports, women’s world speed records fall 10% short of the men’s records. In sports where speed and strength determine the win, this trend remains even as more women have begun to compete.

(Granted, in ultra-distance competitions, the men’s advantage diminishes due to women’s higher pain threshold and endurance on average, plus the higher amount of fat in women’s bodies. But here we’re talking about a 10-kilometer race.)

To make men and women compete against each other when the men have an obvious physical advantage is unfair and contributes even further to discrimination against women. The way to ensure equality and a level playing field, then, is to make men compete with other men, and women compete with other women, and offer the male and female winners the same prize money/items.

It was such a lovely day and I felt awesome from start to finish. From the technical side, Pep Squad Events/Pinoy Fitness did a really great job manning the course and hydration. I was just bothered by the fact that only the men’s leaders had a motorized escort — that should have been my clue that not was all was right with the world.

So it was such a downer that all the good stuff was overshadowed by Run for Life and ENGLICOM’s gender insensitivity. Furthermore, they didn’t even disclose on any of their publicity materials that they were only awarding top three overall regardless of sex. To add insult to injury, this was supposed to be a Valentine’s Day run and anyone would have thought they’d give as much importance to women as men.

I approached the people from Run for Life and ENGLICOM post-race and gave them a piece of my mind. I told them not having a women’s podium was disrespectful to the women athletes, and that I was disappointed in what they had done. (I can’t even imagine why the women in that organizing committee thought this was in any way a good idea!) It is my hope that ENGLICOM and other race organizers take note and not make this same mistake in future races.

Run for Life: A Love Run
Thanks to Lightwater, T***, and Salice Eyewear Philippines for their support in my training and racing.

I’m sorry, I really wanted to like this race and have a great race report for you to read.Β Who was given awards may not have mattered to anyone but the fastest women across the three distances, so I suppose they thought they wouldn’t be offending too many people with this policy. Unfortunately, I stand for empowering women toward pursuing an active lifestyle. I believe a level playing field for all is key. Had I known, I would not have recommended this race to my readers at all.

On a High at McHappy Day Stripes Run

Every year I hear about the McHappy Day Fun Run organized by the Ronald McDonald House Charities Philippines, but I’ve usually gone into offseason at that point and lost interest in racing for the year. This was the first year I got the opportunity to run.

McHappy Day Stripes Run 2015

This year’s McHappy Day Stripes Run cause was children’s literacy, which is close to my heart. As a child I lived for my books and had a rich inner life and active imagination as a result, something I carry with me to this day. Every child should be so blessed to learn to read, and the fun run aims to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House Charity program “Read to Learn”. <3 Continue reading “On a High at McHappy Day Stripes Run”

Bataan International Triathlon: “A tough little race”

What a whirlwind of a week it’s been! After about five days in Phuket it was time to come home to the Philippines to race my last triathlon of the year, the Bataan International Triathlon. I missed out on its inaugural edition last year, but glowing reviews plus the presence of three-time Ironman World Champion Mirinda Carfrae tipped the scales in its favor and I knew I wanted to be on the starting line.

I decided to be gentle to my body in this last quarter of the year, opting to do just the Rapido distance: 750-meter swim, 30-kilometer bike, 5.5-kilometer run. That turned out to be a really good decision as even Rinny described the Bataan International Triathlon as “a tough little race” even if she made it look easy over the Largo distance of 1.5-kilometer swim, 50-kilometer bike, and 12-kilometer run.

Bataan International Triathlon
Mirinda Carfrae tackles the hills at the Bataan International Triathlon (photo by Mary Ann Saquing -IC3)

Continue reading “Bataan International Triathlon: “A tough little race””

The Laguna Phuket Triathlon 6K Fun Run

Hello again from Phuket! In two days I fly back to Manila and then drive off for this weekend’s Bataan International Triathlon, but yesterday it was nice to revisit my first international race experience at the Laguna Phuket Triathlon. (Read my race report from two years ago.)

Because I’ve only just managed to get healthy again, when I was finalizing my trip plans I decided not to sign up for the whole triathlon. Instead, I joined the 6K fun run option, which was nice because I got to partake in the whole race day experience without totally killing myself. Also, I had a score to settle with that run course because last time, I had been unable to run it the way I wanted to.

On to the race experience!

Laguna Phuket 6K Fun Run

Continue reading “The Laguna Phuket Triathlon 6K Fun Run”