Was the Globe 21k Route Long?

Yes. And no.

While running the Globe 21k yesterday, I thought my Garmin reading was off when my distance reading was consistently longer by more than 600 meters everytime I’d reach a kilometer marker. I initially thought that I had problems with the GPS satellite signal due to the tall buildings in the Makati CBD and the short tunnel we crossed at the early part of the race. I later learned most people measured the course anywhere between 21.6 to 22 km on their GPS devices.

Upon checking the Globe website, I’ve concluded that the 21k route actually was 21k. However, the route that we were directed to was really longer by close to 700 meters.

Below is the route from km 2 to km 3: coming from Makati Ave. going towards the Kalayaan flyover, runners should have been directed to turn right to Paseo de Roxas then right to Buendia.

Globe planned race route

Instead, we went straight and turned right to Buendia from Makati Ave. Distance added: 213 meters.

Actual route

Inside Heritage Park, based on Globe’s route map, we were just supposed to loop around Filipinas Drive.

Planned route through Heritage Park

Instead, runners turned right to Bontoc and doubled back going back to Filipinas Drive. Distance added: 465 meters.

Actual route through Heritage Park

The distance added by the two route deviations totalled 678 meters. I measured the course at 21.73 km. If we deduct the 678 meters, the distance would’ve been 21.05 km, a perfect half marathon distance.

Although the race organizers planned for an exact 21k route, it seems that the marshals that were responsible for directing the runners along those crucial instersections didn’t do their job properly. It didn’t help either that the route was changed at the last minute.

Unfortunately for me, I was trying to meet a certain finish time which I almost hit at the 21km mark, I was just off by less than a minute. With the added distance though, my time was off already by 5 minutes. I still got a PR, but not the time I wanted. I’ll just have to try again in the next half marathon.

Condura 42k: Finally an Official Finisher!

I haven’t been blogging the past couple of months but it doesn’t mean I haven’t been running. I was hard at work all this time preparing for Condura. Condura was my second full marathon but it would have been my first time to appear in the finisher’s list, since I didn’t make the cut-off time the first time.

I actually had quite a case of performance anxiety for Condura, since my 2 previous Condura races in 2008 and 2009 didn’t go too well. I think I have a tendency to get too performance-conscious in the bigger races like Condura and end up not pacing properly, unlike in smaller races that I treat as a training run but end up setting PRs.

The Plan
My initial intention was to run by target pace in order to meet my goal time but 2 days before the race, I checked my Milo stats and realized that even though I was running at an easy pace from km 7-22 during Milo, my heart rate was way too high, close to redline, and that probably explained why I hit the wall as early as km 23 and I had to run-walk to the finish and endured cramps the last 10 km.

This time around, my plan was to make sure that my heart rate would not exceed the low 150s the first 32k and push hard only from that point on.

The Run
I made sure I didn’t exceed my heart rate target and to make sure, I walked through every water station I passed. I resisted the temptation to keep up with friends who passed me to make sure I had energy all the way to the end. I kept a good pace going until km 26 when I reached the NAIA exit ramp. I pass the skyway everyday and the ramp looks like any ordinary exit ramp but that morning, it looked like a huge mountain with the runners looking like ants trudging uphill. I decided to walk up the ramp since it didn’t make sense to exert all the extra effort to gain a few seconds.

I survived km 32 near the end of the skyway with energy to spare and luckily, Que was around to capture the moment.

Photo by Quennie Gavan

Now this is where the real marathon begins, at km 32. I tried to increase my effort but I couldn’t sustain the pace and I had to take walk breaks from this point on. At Buendia near Pasong Tamo, I finally reached the much-awaited Takbo.ph – Reiner aid station. A volunteer offered liniment spray and a leg massage which I gratefully accepted. I really wanted to linger around the station but I had to give way to other runners who were also in need of such treatment. I grabbed a banana and I was on my way again. By the time I reached Kalayaan flyover, it was close to 9AM and it was getting quite hot but I had to make one last loop around the International School area. I was tired and wasn’t thinking straight, and there were no marshals in the area to guide runners, so that from 38th Street, I almost made the mistake of running against the oncoming runners emerging from 10th Avenue, when I should be running counter-clockwise along Triangle Drive. I even saw a couple of runners make a left turn along 11th Avenue, when they should have run all the way to 10th Ave.

I finally emerged from 38th Street after what seemed like forever and pushed on for the last few hundred meters. Finally, I crossed the finish line in 5:28, besting my Milo time by 24 minutes, and finally earning my place in the finisher’s list.

I chatted for a few minutes with Vener, Cristy and Janine at the finish line, afterwhich my legs were so wobbly so I decided to walk to the car a few hundred meters away and go home. I was already headed out the parking lot when I realized I didn’t get my finisher’s medal! I didn’t have the energy to go back to the race area and decided to worry about it when I got home.

POST SCRIPT: The Finisher’s Medal

After asking around, I learned that you had to line up somewhere to get the medal, and something went wrong so even Ton Concepcion was personally handing out the medals.

By Monday, I read Pat Concepsion’s email in the egroups explaining the security lapse that happened that day and that if we emailed the secretariat our info, they would mail the medals to us. Lo and behold, I received a packet sent via courier by Wednesday! The packet included Monday’s copy of the Philippine Star that featured a front page shot of the Condura skyway run and a personally signed letter of apology and explanation from Ton Concepion explaining the medal incident. Condura showed a classy response by going out of its way to get medals to the runners as quickly and conveniently as possible and they diffused a situation where we might have heard runners griping through the blogs and e-groups about the “lack of medals”.

Congratulations are in order for Patrick and Ton Concepcion and the rest of the Condura team that made this race truly memorable and worthwhile!

T – 16 weeks

Today marks the start of another 16-week countdown to the first ever Condura full marathon scheduled on February 7, 2010.

I’ve printed out my new training program from Runner’s World Smart Coach and I’m ready to go. Smart Coach now conveniently allows you to select distance and pace in metric system so I don’t need to convert these manually anymore. The paces that Smart Coach crunched out seem reasonable, especially now that weather is a bit cooler in the morning. I’m just wary of the long runs I’ll need to do around the Christmas holidays, when I’m sure it will be a mental struggle to get out of bed and hit the road.

See you all at the Condura starting line!

A different PR

I recently completed my 3rd executive check-up in as many years. My executive check-up in 2007 was significant to me since that was my wake up call to start exercising; eventually, that led to my running and racing.

I don’t realy look forward to getting poked and probed all over but I like doing the stress test, more commonly called the “treadmill test”.

The particular test the clinic makes me perform is is called the modified Bruce protocol stress test. The test consists of 3-minute stages on a treadmill where each stage becomes exponentially more difficult as the treadmill speeds up and the incline increases. The test is stopped when the patient cannot go further or hits the maximum heart rate. The heart functions, blood pressure, heart rate are all monitored throughout the test.

mod Bruce

Basing on the speeds indicated above, it may not seem very fast but the 20% incline was pretty steep, comparable maybe to the steepest inclines at Maarat and nothing like the hills I’d normally encounter. Stage 6 felt like 10k race pace and Stage 7 felt like running 400m at maximum effort.

In 2007, I was able to complete half of stage 6, before I started running. Last year, I did half of stage 7 and the other weekend, I completed stage 7, a new PR! I actually felt I could go on to stage 8 for a bit more but I’m sandbagging for next year’s check-up 🙂

Double Race Weekend


I’ve never run back to back races before but last weekend I was faced with 2 races that I both wanted to join. I was already set to run Milo but I couldn’t ignore the Rescue Run, given that its a charity run that will help out the Ondoy victims. Plus, I’ve never run in MOA and I was curious about the flat course by the sea. I signed up to do the 10K.

I was planning to do a tempo paced run but I didn’t pay enough attention during the route briefing so when the race started, I realized I didn’t know where to go so I had to run faster to keep sight of the pace car.

A bit past halfway into the race, Vener, who was a marshal, encouraged me that I was in 11th place so I upped my pace a bit and I managed to overtake some runners. I ended up running faster than expected, although it was slightly short of my PR. I was conscious of saving enough strength for Milo the following day.

All in all, the Rescue Run was a new and enjoyable experience but more importantly, there was a good turnout of runners who all contributed to a good cause.


I had my doubts about starting in Milo. I didn’t get to rest after the Rescue Run and I was tired from being up and about the rest of Saturday, and besides, I ended up with a 10k bib, although I was really looking to do a 21k training run. To top it all, I also didn’t know what time the race would start. I thought these were signs that I shouldn’t even bother showing up but I knew that if I didn’t push myself, I’d never get a training run in that day and I’d hate myself for it.

To make a long story short, I was at the Rizal monument by 5:00 AM and it turns out that the start time for the 21k was 5:30. Surprisingly, my run went better than expected. My legs were not sore as they tend to be after a faster than usual run. I also met up with Jaymie at the start and I ran at a chika pace with her for the most part.

I particularly enjoyed the aid station of takbo.ph where I took an apple slice from Milo finals qualifier i2runner Natz. I thought the apple was particularly juicy and refreshing until I learned the day after that it was actually kept in pineapple juice to keep it from turning brown! Although I didn’t avail of the leg massage from the volunteers, the whiff of efficascent oil was stimulating enough to give me an extra push too.

Around the 17k mark, the sun was shining bright already and I was starting to feel worn down, and I was blaming it on my 10k the previous day. I told Jaymie to go ahead and push her pace, knowing how she was training for a marathon this December. On the other hand, I took it easy for a kilometer or two before I resumed my training pace.

I finished at an estimated 2:17, which is a guesstimate since I forgot to start my garmin immediately during the start of the race and I didn’t bother to run through the chutes, since I was wearing a 10k bib. It was a so-so racing time but a good training run for me. I didn’t expect that I could actually run two races over the weekend.

Thanks to Photovendo for the great pics!

Thanks to Photovendo for the great pics!

Look up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s….

I was at SLEX last night when I saw this:

timex billboard

So who’s that guy beside Coach Rio? 🙂

Coincidentally, this will be my wife’s first time to join a race. I finally got my wife to register! I wonder why…

Join the Rescue Run on October 10, Saturday

No one can be apathetic and do nothing in the aftermath of Typhoon Ondoy. I’m sure we all did our share by contributing our time or donating goods and/or money through the different organizations helping out. Here’s one more way we can help while doing what we all love to do: running.


TRR is an organized run where, in lieu of registration fees, donations will
be collected for the distance you will run. This is not a race so there will
be no souvenir t-shirts, no swag bags, no finishers medals, and no prize

There will be no water stations since we believe that water must be given to
those who need it most: victims of Ondoy. Needless to say, it will be KKB
(kanya kanyang bote or kanya kanyang belt)

A registered participant will receive a RESCUE RUNNERS race bib, which the
runner can wear during the race and in sustaining events currently being
planned for the entire month of October to raise funds for rehabilitation.
(Info will be posted on this blog)

October 10, 2009, Saturday
Assembly: 5:30 a.m.
Race start: 6:30 a.m.

DISTANCES: 3km, 5km, 10k

Individual: P200 for any distance
Corporate: P5,000 for 20 runners

VENUE: SM Mall of Asia

– open to all athletes, their families and friends
– anyone who is willing to help while getting a few minutes of exercise
– participants are encouraged to collect pledges from their family or
friends who cannot make it to the event

All proceeds will be donated to the Philippine National Red Cross for the
Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) victims. Our goal is to help provide a continuous
supply of food and water to the stricken areas.

We are in need of volunteers for road marshals and secretariat. If you are
interested, pls. contact: RESCUE RUNNERS | 0917 -8374204 | 02-2168521 |

Starts October 5, 2009 at the following venues:
– The SecondWind Running Store (Maginhawa St., UP Village)
– Recreational Outdoor eXchange (ROX, Bonifacio High Street)
– All Terra Bike Shop (Club 650, Libis)
* There will be on site registration starting 5:30 a.m.


Effort comes in many forms. Not everyone has access to go to a relief or
evacuation center to help out. While everyone wants to help or pitch in,
their jobs, families and other factors make it difficult for them to do so.
We are organizing the run as a means to help. It¹s purely voluntary.

Meager resources are poured into the effort. This run is a no-frills run.
The only add-ons such as the tents, p.a. system and race bibs are
contributions from volunteers that will help in organizing the run, nothing

Help isn¹t a one-time, big-time effort. Undoubtedly, help is needed
immediately. But with the extent of devastation that the floods have
caused, the need for aid could be overwhelming. Instant relief won¹t give
people their homes back. The victims still need the means to rehabilitate
damaged property and rebuild their homes. That takes time and a steady
stream of resources. The Rescue Run is a means to help in that regard. We
hope to be able to provide aid in other ways down the line­be it through
food, rehabilitation or construction material.

Visit THE RESCUE RUNNERS website at http://run4change.com/rescuerun/