Green-Minded Running

March 15th, 2010 8 comments
It’s been a month now since I thought of changing my blogsite to greenrunner or runningreen not because I’m from La Salle but because I always wanted to have my own little way of saving the planet that by going green. I guess the time has come for me not to change my blog site but to post something for the benefit of our planet.

I am supporting Earth Hour. I will turn off the lights on March 27, Saturday at 8:30pm. I will encourage all my friends, contacts, students, etc to do the same. I hope you would do the same. Yet, more than this I will run- instead of taking the public transit i would opt to run/walk to save on fuel. Imagine every person running/walking…hmmmm? We have clearer skies, fresher air and healthier lives.

Three ways to get you started:

1. For kids, make our planet brighter by creating a lantern. Click here to join the Earth Hour Lantern Project.

2. For Facebook/Twitter users, talk about Earth hour on your status/tweet. Become a fan. Share it with you contacts! 

3. For bloggers like me, place a widget, banner or blog about Earth Hour. Post a video like this one:

Now I want to give you 7 ways to run green:
  1. Instead of taking the public transit run/walk if you can. It’s healthier too!
  2. Instead of buying 500ml Gatorade bottles, buy 1.5L and just refill my previous bottles. It’s cheaper also!
  3. Bring hydration during races so you do not rely that much on water stations- it would translate to lesser plastic cups thrown to garbage.
  4. When buying a juice/cola after the run, skip the straw.
  5. Next time you run try bring with you a plastic so you can pick up some non-biodegradable along the way.
  6. Use your running shorts twice. It will save a lot of fresh water.
  7. Bring your empty GU/Hammer with you, don’t throw it along the route.
Go green! Run green! Run green-minded!

Earth Hour Website here.
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Race Review: Pocari Sweat Fun Run

March 13th, 2010 8 comments

Ready, Get Sweat, Go! (3K/5K/10K)
March 13, 2010 (5:00am) at The Fort
Race Fee: Php250 for all distances 
Beneficiary: Philippine Society for Crippled Children & Filipino Athletes
Organizer: Evangelista Sports Management, Inc.
I’m still asking myself if I really have to do a race review on this one. C’mon James give me a break you’re just a newbie runner, you have run not more than 10 races and you are doing a race review? Yes, I run just 7 official races but I think I have something to say. I paid for the race and I think it is just fine to say something for the betterment of future races. I hope the organizers will be able to stumble upon this review.

5-Excellent   4-Very Good   3-Average
2-Needs Improvement   1-Terrible

Registration: 2
- Registration is not accessible to everyone. C’mon Pocari who would go to your office just to register. Good thing that you give the singlet, race map, bib number, and Pocari Swear bottle holder as we register. The website is not working during the first day of registration, good thing you manage to fix it. One thing more, it was my first time to use a tarpaulin race bib- very creative and I bet cheaper than the water-proof bibs used in most races.

Starting Time:2- The website information said that assembly time is 5:00am so we hurriedly went at the venue. Instead of taking jeepney we had to take the taxi. Too sad because we waited for more than 30 minutes before the race started. Good thing there where warm-up exercises and a short program- National Anthem and Prayer before the race started.

Route Markers, Marshal and Traffic: 1- No kilometer marker. Just a handful of marshals who doesn’t even know what to do. The race was not close to traffic. I heard some motorists bonking their horns on runners. I hope those motorists learn to run someday.

Start/Finish Lane and Race Clock: 2- I know this is only a P250 fun run but

hey I think a start/finish line is a must for every race. The clock was too small you have to see through the crowds when after you finished your distance.

Restrooms/Baggage Area: 1- This is the first time I looked for a portalet and I find none. This is very important race organizers. You said will portalets are provided but there was none. Next time I suggest that you station at least 3 person at the baggage area. It was tiring job for a single person considering that more than 2,000 runners registered for the race.

Hydration Station: 2- “Ice tubig” at Pocari Sweat on 350ml bottle inside the cooler. It was unhygienic for me to drink water from an ice bag just because I don’t know where it came from- too bad. Luckily I have a tough stomach. What

a waste of Pocari as the marshal pass 350ml bottles to every runner. We just need to sip some as we are more focused on our running. I actually brought a bottle with me at the last 2 kilometers to my detriment cause I’m used to running free hand. To make things worse, they didn’t follow the water stations as stated on their water station guide.

It was also chaotic after the race because the 3K and 5K runners rushed to the Pocari Station to get as more than they needed. I also saw some who are not registered getting drinks. I will not forgot someone wearing blue who get a box full of Pocari for his own. I feel sorry for the 10K runners who didn’t get a drink after the race. A claim stub or a mark on the race bib would do the trick.

Agawan ng Pocari (even those not registered had their share)

Singlet: 4
- A combination of white and blue. I just noticed that its heavier than my previous singlets especially when it is wet. I guess the cloth used is cheaper than the dri-fit materials used in most if the races I’ve joined.

Here’s my model (Gideon and AR) wearing the singlet.

Course: 4
- I heard that the 3K route was not followed as prescribed in their planned race route making it lacking some 500m. On 11th Ave the runners headed straight to the finish line forgetting to turnright to 30th street. The 5K route has a short downhill at 5th avenue which I enjoyed cause it is here that I was able to overtook most of the runners. The 10K route just followed the 5K route. You just have to run twice the loop. Luckily, i joined the 5K because i’m not a fan of loops- its kinda boring. I know of some who opted to run just 5K instead of the 10K because its tiring to get back on where you have run already.

Race Results: 4- Its good that the organizers admitted that they will only record the first 10 finishers in each category and you have to time, yourself to the finish line. Shame to those organizers that promised to publish results and as of today haven’t done so.

Freebies: 4- None. Wait, do you consider a bottle of 350ml Pocari Sweat freebie?
Okay, I understand as this race has no sponsor other than Pocari- that is why I’m putting 4.
Over-all Rating: 2.5

More photos (thanks Gideon for bringing your camera):

5K Winners: 1st Place- Jujet De Asis (16:22)
 5K Winners: 1st place-Maricel Maquilan (20:59)
 Runners from Los Banos (Me, AR and Gideon)

 Beneficiary of this Fun Run- The Philippine Society for Crippled Children

Special Mention: I just to thank Sir Toel Toel who registered us for this race. Sir, without you my friends and I will not able to experience how to race in The Fort. Thank you also for the Adination of runners registration form.

Summary. I enjoyed this race over-all because I was able to bring my running buddies from Los Banos. They absolutely had fun in their first time to experience running at The Fort. What I admire the the most from the organizers is that they invited the beneficiary to come to the event and even render a special number for the runners. They also gave a cheque amounting to Php150,000 for the benefit of Philippines Society for Crippled Children. This would give confidence to the runners that a certain amount of money they paid for the race indeed goes to the right hands- in their case- the right feet (they are crippled). It was a a small, simple race without much fun fare, festivities, corporate freebies, finisher’s medal, LCD screen or spectators but a memorable race indeed. After all what separates the best races from the common ones are the memories shared, experiences encountered, the strong finish you made and the thought that you made friends along the way.

Categories: 5K, Race Review Tags:

My "Unusual" Usual UPLB Campus Run

March 11th, 2010 No comments

The Unusual Pre-Run

So this is my usual night run at UPLB grounds. I usually start 6:30pm but this time I started 7pm. Running would start by buying my usual drink- Gatorade. As usual I brought with me P23 for a 22oz. at 711, SU Bldg.(20)  as usual they have the grape flavor. My run was unusual because when I’m about to pay the teller told me that Gatorade is now P25- It was affected by inflation- too bad, same with the rising registration fees of the races. No choice but to get the smaller 16oz. cup. which is P20. Putting twist to it which made it unusual you have to pick a color of the cup that you want to use (I think this is one of the geniuses they thought of this election season)- Green for Gibo, red for Erap, Yellow for Noynoy, etc. But my choice is the orange cup for Manny (not Pacquiao) Villar. I noticed that the UPLB students like the color green (does this mean they love La Salle?). Anyway, I just thought that maybe I was the only one who chose the orange one- ‘coz the masses cannot afford a bit pricey items from 711. But googling about this marketing genius I saw this:
The Usual Warm-Up
Since I already had my stretching exercise at home while watching American Idol (I saw Ellen D at the show, is she a main stay already?) I started to run on my usual route- starting off in front of the Baker Hall(25) where MacRunners congregate along the Upper and Lower Grounds.
The Upper Grounds is 800M
Upper and Lower Grounds combined would be 1.2K
A loop to both would have me 2K, a nice warm up run.
My Usual Tempo Run
I guess I’m now ready for my 3K tempo. If you have run at UPLB you would be familiar with what MacRunners and Trantados call the Campus Run which is 3K.

This is my usual route during my night runs

Some famous landmarks saw during the Tempo Run:

  • Baker Hall (25)
  • Carillion Tower (26)
  • Fertility Tree (26)
  • Engineering Dept (22)
  • St. Therese Chapel (5)
  • UP Main Gate (1,2)
  • Main Library (16)
  • DL Umali Hall (14)

The Unusual Cool Down
That was unusually fast for me but not fast enough if I would target a sub-25 5K race this Saturday. Anyway, I have to rest now. So I had my cool down walk and run inside the lower grounds(26) where footballers play during day time. It was cool and serene as I try to plan for my 5K race. It’s just sweet to feel the vibe, admire the hugeness of the fertility tree, the sweetness of lovers taking some rest on the grass and the frogs hopping freely. It was a nice and fun run tonight- yes it is usual but since i blogged about it- its unusual. I think one of my favorite runs as I focus not only on my training but those things around me.
Notes (especially for my non-running friends):
UPLB- University of the Philippines Los Banos
711- a 24/7 convenience store at
SU Bldg.- Student Union Bldg where the food lab is
800M- short for 800 meters
1.2K, 2K, 3K, 5k- 3 kilometers
Sub-25:00 – a 5K races with a time finish of less than 25 minutes
Categories: 3K, 5K, UPLB Tags:

a runner’s thanksgiving prayer

March 5th, 2010 No comments

Dear God,

First of all i just want to say thank you for giving me healthy (and nice) body, legs and feet- with this I can enjoy running.

Thank you for placing our family at Los Banos- I can easily run at UPLB- a very nice place for training, lots of green, cheap food, a healthy yogurt or chocolate milk after every Saturday long run makes my day.

Thank you for providing me work with a regular time (7:30am-5:30pm) meaning I can run early or during the night easily. I thank you because I can run from home to work. Very nice warm up before teaching Physical education. Thank you also for providing me work at Paranaque on weekends, therefore I can join races in The Fort before going to work.

Thank you for the my uncle who owns a condo unit inside Villamor Airbase- I stay there and I am very near The Fort and McKinley Hills where races are done regularly. I can easily join group runs too!

Thank God because since I started joining race I haven’t experience any injury. I’ve run 5 races and I had great experiences. As of today, I’m registered to 3 more races still hoping for an injury-free running.

Thank you for AR, Gideon, Omar, Dan and Deneb- my running buddies. they make the long runs and lack of hydration manageable.

I know that I’m not an elite runner but I thank you because I can finish the race. I know I’m not that fast, but I know I’m strong. I know I have much to learn in running, let me be teachable. I know I cannot buy the latest running shoe or the latest running gear, just help me to be content with what I have. I know there are many more races to come, give me the wisdom to choose what’s is good and what is not. Lastly, grant me the will, strength and discipline to achieve better goals.

You know very much that I dedicate my every run for You! Thank you.

Your Running Son,



PS. Lord, I pray that there will come a time that I can join Boston Marathon someday but even if not I still thank you.

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The more the sacrifice, the better the result…

March 2nd, 2010 2 comments
“The more the sacrifice, the better the result…”
-James Betia

It’s hard to sacrifice something. especially when you want it badly and you do it everyday- like a habit. But there are things in life that you really have to sacrifice in order to meet your goal. Actually, sacrifice is inevitable in our daily life. We sacrifice sleep to finish our deadlines, night-outs to save some money, don’t buy something in order to save up for something better. Some call sacrifice a delayed gratification. I think runners have to delay gratification in order to achieve- and achieve greater heights.

Why do you have to get out of the party before 11pm so you can wake up early the next day for a long run? Why do you skip Saturday booze nights because you have to get a PR on tomorrow’s race? Or if you are like me, I started drinking just water during lunch break instead of softdrinks. And go with chicken rather than the pork barbeque. You might not believe me but I sacrificed running everyday, as I run 5-6 times a week before I started serious training. Now I am more focused on doing my half marathon training which dictates only 3 times of run a week and rest in between runs.

I have tried this during my first half marathon and I’m very happy with the result- a 2:03 for a first-timer. My aim was just to finish the race at 2:30 and have a finishers’ medal and shirt but because of much sacrifice I was able to have a very decent time, if it wasn’t for muscle cramps on the 20th kilometer I could have made it a sub 2:00. Sorry for a little bit of bragging.

I just cannot imagine I was able to do 21k since I started joining races December of 2009. Yes, I am a newbie runner. I can still hear my gasping for air when I run more than 5k. Now, with much confidence and discipline I am targeting a sub 2:00 half marathon time. Of course an injury-free and enjoyable run. We will see if “the more the sacrifice, the better the result” will stand the test and give me a better PR (Personal Record). Come Sunday, March 7 (Sunday), I will run the Unilab Run Together for Wellness at The Fort. I think I am more inspired right now as I have my favorite number on my race bib- 0021.

0021 running 21k

Some things that could also hinder you from having a good race result:
1. Lack of sleep
2. Smoking
3. Dehydration
4. Starting too fast
5. Over-training.

Be sure to sacrifice night-outs, vices, being overly excited, and burn out. Have a wonderful run fellas!

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