Marvel Run Philippines 2018

10K Marvel Run

It rained in the road and it was so much fun. That’s my 10K Marvel Run experience in a nutshell.

Marvel Run Ph 2018

It’s a rare day for road runs for me when I joined Marvel Run Philippines 2018. The hardest part of the run was waking up early and catching the gun start. I actually was late for gun start, fortunately it also started a bit late plus I’m just looking to enjoy this run. It’s a simple run around Mall of Asia, which would be a good way to earn some mileage.

After arriving at about 5:30 am, I immediately rushed off to get my kit. I was able to catch the last part of the warm up and there it was gun start. It was a crowded start line since there’s about 8,000 participants for the event. I’m good with the volume of the runners since I don’t plan to go all out on this one. I went at a slow jog and went on to stop with several cos-players around the area.

I would go on several run segments and walk several segments. No pressure really! My cadence has been slow lately especially on the road so the kilometers were just slowly trickling in. I guess, I’m no longer used to road runs but it was good to have some Marvel characters along the route.

It’s an out and back route so it’s 5K out and back starting at Seaside Boulevard with loops in Diokno Boulevard and finally Macapagal Boulevard. It was about 3K into the race that it started drizzling. It was good that I brought a ziplock for my phone. I went on with the remaining loop headed to Macapagal. It was a sea of Marvel fanswearing various Avengers-inspired costumes, such as Iron Man, Thor, Spiderman, Captain America, Black Widow, among others along Macapagal.

The rains went pouring after the u-turn and it was really fun. Running in the rain. I caught up with Jeff Lo, Chiqui and their friends and pace with them for a while. The rain was pouring and I was soaking wet. It was great that my On Cloudace had a good grip even on rainy grounds. I was a bit faster here as it’s mostly interval running.

Nice meeting Chiqui along the route.

I guess I needed it to rain to remind how fun road running can be. It was now counting down the remaining kilometers so the second half of the race felt a lot quicker. I was back in Diokno and down to the last 2 kilometers of the race and I didn’t mind running in puddles of water along the road as the rains was even stronger.

Running in the rain.

It started to mellow down getting to the last kilometer and it was cool down from here on as I just went slow until the finish line. That’s a fun 10K in the bag. There was a color powder ceremony after the run and the usual post-race party by the Color Manila Team.

ColorManila’s upcoming events include the CM Challenge Clark, to be held on August 5, 2018, at the Clark Parade Grounds. While Proactive Sports, ColorManila’s sister-company will host the first Tough Mudder to be held in Asia, on July 21-22, 2018, at Portofino Amore in Alabang.

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Another 5 Coffee Places to Try in Baguio City

Brewing my own coffee to Grindosetamp Cafe

I have this simple itinerary whenever I am in Baguio City. Trails in the morning and coffee in the afternoon.  With its cool climate, sleepy weather ambience, pine-rich surroundings, Baguio has also been a home of a lot of wonderful coffee places.

Coffee in the City of Pines

My own coffee shop vibe at home.

Coffee is not only my go-to drink to keep me awake but it’s also something I’ve grown to appreciate.  I’ve slowly veered away from the typical mainstream coffee shops to get to experience the hole-in-a-wall type of feel that the different coffee shops around the city.  Baguio is my favorite place not only because it’s HOME but it also has a lot of coffee places to appreciate and comes with the cooler climate to match my warm drink.

This is a sequel to my original post below.

Sessions Gallery Cafe

First plus is accessibility as it’s located 411 Jose De Leon Center III, Session Road, Baguio City.  Up next is the artsy ambiance filled with wall paintings and artist works.  The best part about the place is its cozy and relaxing ambiance complete with oversize pillows and bean bags for lounging around while enjoying a good cup of coffee and cake.  They have a full range of coffee to choose from and like most coffee places in Baguio, the price-point is affordable.

Facebook Page: Sessions Gallery Cafe

Studio Cafe at PhotoTech

For those who grew up in Baguio like me, PhotoTech is known for being one of the main photo studios for our then grad picture or every time we’d want to have a good studio photo.  Aside from a studio, it has now a Cafe with select portraits and photographs around you.  They also have specialty coffee blends and different espresso shots plus a whole line of pastries.  It’s also easily accessible at 201 Antipolo Building, 89 Session Road, Baguio City.

Facebook Page: Studio Cafe at PhotoTech

The Coffee Library

The Coffee Library is located at Rex Hall, Upper Bonifacio St., Baguio City, which is just nearby schools like SLU and UB and also just a few hundred meters away from Baguio Cathedral.  With a Library type of feel, it also makes a great hangout for students in the area as well as nearby residents wanting a coffee break.  They have a wide range of coffee to cover different preferences among drinkers and I also like the food and most especially the dessert offering.

Facebook Page: The Coffee Library Baguio

Vanilla Cafe at Kamiseta Hotel

Vanilla Cafe brings you a bright ambiance and a lot of inspirational quotes all over the walls.  It’s like you’re living in a world of colorful cupcakes.  Each corner is IG worthy and also has an overlooking view of the Pine Trees and the Mountains outside.  It’s located at #20 Villamor St., Brgy. Lualhati, Baguio City.  Aside from their wide range of coffee options, they have food and also a lot of colorful cupcakes.

Facebook Page: Kamiseta Hotel

Grindosetamp Cafe

Me and my Selfieccino

Grindosetamp is my favorite as of late because it does have single origin coffee options where you get to appreciate the different taste of coffee blends.   You can even brew the coffee yourself for a more immersive experience. They also have a selfieccino where you can have your photo printed in your coffee.  It’s a small cafe but it’s also complete with meal options and a simple ambiance, which includes a painting that depicts the origins of coffee.  It’s located at #1 Villamor Street, Baguio City.

Facebook Page: Grindosetamp Cafe

And here’s a bonus for the Chocolate lovers – Tsokolateria

It’s not really much of a coffee place but they do have some chocolate infused coffee.  It’s actually everything about chocolate that has been infused into their meal and drink offering.  It’s located at the Igorot Stairs, Upper Session Road, Baguio.

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Soleus Cross Country Challenge 3

3 Years of Soleus Cross Country Running

Soleus Cross Country Challenge has been an annual adventure. It gives a fiery downhill blitz in the first half of the race and an endless uphill assault for the second half of the race. The rain and the mud made the trails extra exciting this time.

Soleus Cross Country Challenge

3 years, 3 different flavors of Soleus Cross Country Challenge. The first year, the trails were wet and muddy. Last year, it was fast and dry. This year, it was wet, muddy and raining. You can visit a trail several times but its never the same experience. For this race, I always go for the 12K distance even If I did recon the longer distances several times. I just want to test how I can push myself in the same distance with each passing year.

Lolodis in the House – Photo by Glairold Recella

Early start with usual trail buddies in Rene and Jun, who are also doing the 12K distance. It was raining even before the start of the race, which makes the race exciting. I prefer more extreme conditions when it comes to races because it’s a lot slower and just about my pace. I’m also coming from a long lay-off from joining races which is about 2 months now. It’s always nice to see familiar faces to start the run.

With Joreb and Don of Active Pinas – Photo by Glairold Recella

It was a short warm up for the 21K before they took off and then our categories was up next a few minutes after.

The Race

Wearing the trusted Amihan Hauler

The first 2 kilometers was a mud fest with the soft muddy grounds of trails near Mount Sinai. The descent wasn’t as fast as I wanted as the mud was slippery. It was good that I had a good traction with Hoka Speed Instinct 2. I made use of the more solid surface near the side of the trail to go at a brisker pace. I love the mental aspect of the slippery trail as you have to react immediately to the surface to move faster and not fall too much. The second half of the Sinai trail was mostly climbs and I have adopted to moving on mud-filled shoes. The drag though can really be energy-draining. I’ve finally reached the road part of Pintong Bukawe headed to Kasili.

Sea of clouds

There was about 300-400 meters of paved part leading to the descent in Kasili. I took the chance to go on active recovery by going on brisk walk instead of runs. I wanted to be fresh once I hit the downhill trails of Kasili. The next part of the trails was about 4 kilometers of descending trail to Mapua bridge by the river. The trails here were mostly fire roads with a few rocks but was definitely more solid than the previous set of trails.

Downhill fun – Photo by Jaja Ferrer

I started running again when I hit the trail area in Kasili. I then realized that I was having side stitch since I wasn’t used to running on longer intervals lately. I need to relax a bit and do proper breathing. I tried to run in burst so I’d go on a 30 seconds to 1 minute run then take a walking break to normalize my breathing. In this way, I still save some time on the descent. I was also making a mental note on the flats and ascents in the first half of the race since this would be areas where I can recover when the race goes uphill.

There were some muddy stretches along the route where I had to slow down because it was slippery. I would resume running when the surface is a bit more solid. This is a really run-able area even on rainy days as the surface is soft and the grainy surface has a better traction compared to mud. The last 2 kilometers was a lot steeper and I was slowly mentally preparing myself for the uphill part of the race.

Heading back – Photo by Jaja Ferrer

I was able to hit the u-turn slot at Mapua Bridge, where I had to queue for a photo. The few minutes of rest on the queue could really reserve my energy on the climb. I took one slice of Bico and I was off to the second part of the race, the Climb.

I’m in my Happy Place. Photo by Glairold Recella

I also was mentally tough for this one after enduring a lot tougher Mount Semeru climb a few weeks ago. I also tried counting my steps just to distract my mind from the unlimited climb. I usually would count to 100 then I’d decide if I would go for another hundred steps or rest a few seconds. Fortunately, I had minimal stops as I made my way out on the steeper part of the climb.

Photo by Glairold Recella

When there were segments that had flat areas, I knew the tough part was over. Partly exhausted, I was just thinking that I’d rather be here on the upper part than the bottom part of the trail. I met the faster 21K (Noy, Chard, Don) and was also able to overtake some 12K and 8K runners. I wasn’t really trying to be competitive but I just wanted to push myself hard after being away for quite some time. With a steadier pace on the second half of the climb, I’ve finally reached the road stretch again.

Nearing the finish line. – Photo by Glairold Recella

I walked on the paved surface since I knew I need to reserve my energy on the last 2 kilometers, which was the muddy part. The first part of the muddy area were mostly descents. This time, I was moving a lot faster as I am now comfortable moving on the mud tracks. The last part heading to the finish line was another unlimited climb on the muddy part. I just went at a consistent pace had a few breathers and moved forward. It was another steep climb to the finish but seeing the finish line always gives you a burst of energy to finish the race.

Glad to have my friend Nicole being the one to give my medal.

I’m happy with my time given the trail condition. I really did miss the finish line and I’m just glad to be back in the race again. It was a totally different adventure from the previous Soleus Cross Country Challenge. I also love that it rained since it’s always fun to run in the rain. Great job to BBG events on a well planned race.

Running in the Rain – Photo by Glairold Recella

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Ayala backs National Track Team through Vermosa

Ayala hopes to bring back the golden days of Athletics by throwing its all out support to our National Track Athletes.  Team Philippines would now enjoy training in state of the art facilities of Vermosa Sports Hub giving them a new home to prepare them for international meets and competition.

Ayala x PATAFA

Ayala Corporation (Ayala) has reaffirmed its support to the development and training of the country’s national track and field athletes, giving them access to the facilities of its newly opened Vermosa Sports Hub in Imus, Cavite.

Ayala had recently linked up with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) and served as title sponsor of the just-concluded Ayala Philippine Athletics Championships in Ilagan, Isabela.

“We believe in our national athletes’ potential to inspire, drive and instill collective nationalism through sports,” said Ayala’s John Philip Orbeta. “One of the biggest gaps is an internationally certified athletics facility which the Vermosa Sports Hub provides as a means to improve their performance and competitiveness.”

At PATAFA’s new official home, athletes will train in the only International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) certified track & field oval in the Philippines with specifications and standards equivalent to those they will compete with internationally. Aside from the existing oval and Olympic- sized pool, upon completion of the Sports Hub’s first phase, PATAFA will also have access to the 600-square meter Sante Fitness Lab, a first-of-its- kind combination of facilities in the country, which will feature a strength and conditioning fitness facility, sports rehab areas, a Sports Science Laboratory, a dance studio, a spinning class area, bike shop and services, a nutrition and fitness café, VO2 max/lactate testing, plus conference and lecture rooms. Future plans include a provision for a 3,000 seat multi- purpose indoor sports arena.

Manila Water Company, Inc., through its subsidiary Manila Water Total Solutions (MWTS), will also be supporting this project with Ayala through a hydration sponsorship of Healthy Family Purified Water to the PATAFA athletes. Healthy Family will be supplying 4,000 bottles monthly of its 500ml variant to PATAFA for the duration of their training at Vermosa.

With fellow Sports Bloggers

As advocates of environmental sustainability, MWTS will also be working together with PATAFA on a program called “Toka ng PATAFA”. This program is an advocacy on environmental stewardship and responsible consumerism that helps promote the value of waste segregation through the recovery of used PET (polyethylene) bottles. This is an initiative to be spearheaded by our athletes as champions for health and wellness, as well as, staunch partners for the environment.

Ayala will provide financial support to facilitate and strengthen PATAFA’s recruitment and training programs.

“Ayala’s support will help the athletes train better, perform better and hopefully bring more medals and recognition for the country,” said PATAFA President Philip Juico.

The eagerness to help improve the skills and international ranking of our national athletes has spurred the Ayala Group to do its part in helping Filipino athletes achieve excellence in their respective sports and succeed in various international competitions.

To learn more visit www.ayala.com.ph

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IRONMANph 2018: The BEST & WORST day of my Triathlon Life

There are different stories that happen in an Ironman event.  There’s the battle for the top for the Pros, Elites and the Age Groupers.  Then there’s the inspiring story of cancer survivor Frdz Encrnacion who conquered the distance and earn the title, Ironman.

 

Guest Post Profile: Frdz Encrnacion

Frdz has been a schoolmate in college and I’ve followed his journey as he started from running all the way to triathlon.  Frdz shares his Century Tuna Ironman event as a guest post here at Francramon.com.

Frdz Encrncion is a businessman in Tarlac selling agricultural tractors and equipment. He also plays badminton aside from Triathlon. He was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer in the year 2000 and underwent thyroidectomy (removal of thyroid gland thru surgery) and a series of radiations. He engages in sport to keep himself fit and away from the big CANCER. He is a living testament that with God’s grace, prayers, family support and a positive attitude… “We CANCERvive”.

Ironman Philippines

June3, 2018, Traveller’s Hotel, Subic Bay Philippines.

I woke up at 2:50am, 10 minutes before my alarm. I was more anxious than excited for what lies ahead. It’s D-day for me and more than 1200 triathletes that aims to conquer the inaugural full distance IRONMAN race in the Philippines. Took a quick shower, prepped our gears and ate what could be my last breakfast with my co-athletes Harley David and Dr Dodi Sanchez.

5:00 am, BIKE TRANSITION AREA

By this time, the transition area was buzzing with athletes and support groups. I can hear the IRONMAN theme song “Hall of Fame” from the loud speakers. It was both calm and chaotic as athletes wish each other the best of luck. I took advantage of taking photos with my wife and team mates while my phone was still at hand.

Selfie pix at the transition area after a goodluck kiss with my wife Cindy.

Groupie before the race with my team mates Robbi Chua and Doc Elmer Sanchez.

A sea of athletes prepping their gears for the race.

6:00 am, ACEA’s Beach Front

After checking my bike named JARVIS and other gear. I and Doc Sanchez descended to ACEA’s beach front. We were right in time for the flag ceremony and opening prayer. At this moment I realized that this is not a dream or a nightmare. This is it, there is no backing-up now. In a few moments, I will be swimming 3.8kms, Cycling 180kms and running 42kms to finish the race and be called an IRONMAN for life. That thought somehow made my knees tremble. Good thing there’s a hydration station within reach. I was able to suck everything in with the help of a cup of water.

The flag ceremony was spearheaded by our very own SEA games Triathlon Gold medalist MR. NIKKO HUELGAS

At the swim start, we were grouped according to our estimated swim finish times, I belong to the 3rd wave where I saw another team mate, MR SID VICENTE. He just finished his first full distance Triathlon Race at TABUELAN226 – 2017 and ranked 2nd on his Age Group. I wasted no time asking for race tips to help cool down my nerves.

Athletes wait for their turn as we are release via a rolling start.

As our wave was closely inching in to the start line, I tightened my mirrored goggles. The ceramic buckle at the back of my head snapped and was broken. Good thing I had a spare goggles in my pocket. Otherwise, my race would be finished before it even started.

6:39 AM, Start of my 3.8km SWIM, 2 loops, Counter-clockwise

The swim course was a 2 loop x 550m x 850m x 50m x350m x 100m

Half Arrow in shape. The tide was a bit crazy brought by the brewing storm on the eastern seaboard.

So it begins. We were like mad dogs, running to the beach before diving into the water. Almost half of the athletes were already in the water as I was just about to start. Swim traffic was everywhere. I positioned myself far away from the swim rope to evade traffic. 400 meters into the swim, a breast stroker kicked me in the head causing my goggles to leak. I swam to a boat marshal 50m on my right but as I was inching in, the marshal drove away. So I had to swim back to my left, towards the safety rope to fix my leaking goggles.

The 850meter lap was an eternity of abyss and heavy tide mixed together. Swim sighting was beginning to be a challenge as the distance grows.  My shoulders became heavy by the minute as fear of uncertainty plays on my mind. I have trained for this moment, I said.  I can do all things with God who strengthens me, I said. Those words were strong enough to brush away the fears of uncertainty.

Swimmers fighting for position from start to finish.

Finished my 1st loop in 46:24 and a spinning head upon walking at the beach. I saw Kuya Kim Atienza and he gave me a high-5 along the way. That gave me the much needed boost as I started the 2nd loop. For some reason, the 2nd loop was somehow easier than the 1st. Everything was pretty smooth. Finished the whole swim leg in 1:34:47 still lots of energy at the tank but with heavy shoulders.

Finished the swim leg with a smile.

8:00 AM, Start of my 180km BIKE, 2 loops, SCTEX

The 180km Bike leg is a 2-loop rolling terrain at the scenic roads of SCTEX.

We had a honeymoon stage at 1st 5kms of the bike with flat roads going to TIPO exit. From there, the hills were unrelenting. We just had to console ourselves by saying, “What goes up must come down”.

All smiles as I see a snapper 😉 – Photo by Rickpets Lens

At the early stages of the bike course, the summer heat was trying burn as out. I made sure to keep my engine cool by filling 1 bottle with ice cold Gatorade and 3 bottles of ice cold water. The 3-ice cold water bottles was placed on the bike bottle cage, on my back pocket (lower back) and my simple Hydration bottle on my upper back. There were aid stops to refill the bottles for every 15kms so I liberally pour water on my head and legs all throughout the bike course. It was a technique that works wonders as the heat was pounding us until around 11am. Before high noon, God intervened and heard our prayers for a cool weather. He gave us even more than what we asked for. Heavy rain poured on us for less an hour with some crosswinds that made us slow down a bit.

Somewhere at the 80km pit stop, I asked a marshal to please hand me a Gatorade bottle. To my surprise, the marshal was no other than MR FRED UYTENGSU (Alaska CEO and the man responsible for bringing IRONMAN brand in the Philippines). He handed me a bottle with water in it saying “tubig only, no Gatorade available”. I was shocked for a bit and said, “Thank you very much sir, this bottle is more than enough because it came from you”.

And so the fight resumes, by the 100km mark the rain had already stopped. I was so hungry that no gu gel can relieve it. I am now at the Special Needs Aid Station where I deposited my spam sandwich for lunch. It was right where I wanted it to be. Took a 7min break to stretch my aching back and believe me when I say this… “It was the most delicious lunch I ever had – A spam sandwich on the side of a road”.

The 7-minute break gave me a full reset as I conquer the 2nd loop. The weather was perfect with thick clouds covering us and the road has dried up by now. Just like in the swim, the 2nd loop was easier than the 1st loop due to its familiarity. At the 140km mark, with God’s grace for bringing us a cool weather, I knew deep inside from this point that the swim & bike leg was in the bag.

Finished the 180kms BIKE leg at 7hrs, 2mins, 35sec.

3:30 PM, Start of my 42km RUN, 2 loops, Subic Bay

The Run course was relatively flat with some false flats along Argonaut highway. Hydration and Aid station were placed approximately 1 to 1.3kms apart. Perfect to counter the heat conditions during the first kilometers of my run. It was all mind over matter from this point on.

Seeing my wife CINDY and getting that much needed hug along the run course was a big motivation for me to finish the run leg. There were hundreds if not thousands of people cheering us on from different triathlon teams and support groups. Some Tri Force members traveled all the way from Tarlac to show support. Thanks guys, you’re the best. Their energy definitely rubbed into us as we face the difficult task of running a marathon under fatigue.

They say that the IRONMAN race starts at the Run leg. I kept that in mind right from the beginning of the race. “Slow is fast was my Motto on the swim & bike course”. It worked wonders, my legs was tired at the run but could still manage to run a 5:50 to 6:30 pace/km on my 1st 10km Run. Lots of gratitude to the energetic Hydration stations manned by different Tri Teams. The marathon was more of a run party because of you guys.

At the 7km mark. My favorite Aid station, the TRI FAM tent.

Stopping for a quick groupie shot at TRIFAM tent while on the run with Mam Claire G., Mike C., and Diana David.

At the 12th km mark, my legs turned heavy from lactic build up. I had to slow down and watch my nutrition. It is also at this part of the race where I started seeing athletes vomiting from over fatigue or wrong nutrition. Fearing that I might be next, I decided to slow down the pace a bit more to 6:30 to 7:30mins/km. To lift my spirits up, I thought of the previous races that I’ve joined to build up for this race. My wife, family and friends following me online and on the course was also constantly in mind.

As I am nearly closing into the finish line, a train of thought starts to pour in. From the very first time I jumped to the pool to learn how to swim, to the very long rides and ultramarathons. All the triumphs and failures along the way. The mixed emotions were so overwhelming that fatigue took a backseat. I have lived-up to my training quote. I have set a goal so big that is impossible for me to achieve, and I was able to grow into the person who can. It is by crossing that finish line that I discovered the true meaning of an IRONMAN. I have realized what lies beyond my limits. That there are NO limits. That nothing is IMPOSSIBLE.

This is why, the IRONMAN race was the Best and Worst day of my Triathlon life.

Finished 42km Run Course at 5hrs, 28mins, 19sec. TOTAL TIME – 14:18:58 RACE TIME OF DAY – 6:39:54am to 8:58:51pm

With my IRONWIFE Cindy upon crossing the finish line. Her support from the very start of it all is unbelievable. The IRONMAN medal is truly hers. Lots of love to you honey.

It was an honor crossing the finish line with my humble TriForce teammate, MR SID VICENTE.

With TriForce teammate Doc Dodi Sanchez & family. Kami ay naging IRONMAN sa sariling bayan.

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On Running Delivers an Ace in the Cloudace

On Running Philippines have brought out an Ace upon their sleeves with its newest shoe on the block, the Cloudace. The Cloudace is designed with ultimate cushioning and comfort without sacrificing speed. #PhGameOn #SeriouslyAce #OnRunningPh #DansPh

On Running

Testing out the Cloudace

I’ve a long history with the On Running brand since its among my first road running shoes I had years back. I also got to realize the difference of having a more run-specific shoes On as you progress as a runner. There are runner needs that is important to note when it comes to running shoes like cushioning, comfort and support among others. Those are also the categories that On Running has a lot of check marks.

What I like about On Running shoes is how it evolved to continue to address runner’s needs. They have models for runners with different needs. I personally have evolved when it comes to my needs as a runner. I use to go with lightweight models but as the mileage poured in I’ve shifted to more cushioned models. On has got me covered whether I go lightweight with the Cloudflow or if I go for cushioned with the Cloudace. I also have the CloudX, which is an all around fitness shoes and the Cloud, which is a hybrid of a lifestyle shoes and a running shoes.

CloudAce

Let’s talk about Cloudace, which is the newest member of the On Running family. First the good news, it’s now available locally at On Philippines first concept store at SM Aura and also available at Secondwind Running Store in Ayala Malls The 30th.

It’s a premier brand and is billed as the Porsche Cayenne of running shoes. It’s a good investment for a running shoes that provides ultimate in comfort and support without compromising agility. Its ultra-plush, 3D form-fitted padding hugs the heel, while a technical mesh provides efficient ventilation and enhanced stability.

Cloudace’s extra soft, Zero-Gravity foam clouds cushion the impact in the heel and midfoot, combining with responsive Rebound Rubber in the forefoot for a proprioceptive push-off. Designed for brisk long runs and fast marathons, the ON Cloudace uses an extra wide and stiff Speedboard for enhanced agility and stability.

The ON Cloudace retails for P10,650 and is initially available in Men’s sizes (Shadow/Rust).

On Cloudace In Action

I was among the first to try the Cloudace for a run along with several media friends and fellow athletes. We had a nice loop that started at Serendra to McKinley Parkway heading all the way uphill to McKinley West and back via the BGC Greenway Park.

It was easy to adopt to the Cloudace since it’s a really cushioned shoes and the impact per stride is less. I didn’t feel rusty on the run, which usually happens when I’ve been away from running or when trying on a new shoes. It felt soft when we were walking as we were warming up and it felt even better when we were running. The CloudTec® pods can really give you the cushioned landing with each footstrike, reducing the wear and tear on the legs. The pods not only acts as a cushioned but an agile push-off to power your next strides.

Of course, with more cushion comes an added weight at 11.8 ounces.. The Cloudace is a really a good long distance shoes. What it adds in weight, it compensate with a good heel fit that keeps your foot firm and steady as you run. A good fit and an added push off can really help offset the added weight as you get proper rhythm in your run. It also has a breathable mesh upper to keep your feel cool as you run. Also, like all of my On Running Shoes, the Cloudace looks really great when running or even just as an everyday shoes.

I’m sure to get more of the Cloudace experience as I run more mileage but it’s love at first run for me. I’ll be doing a more comprehensive review on this but so far so good. It felt good to run again and earn my way to hearty Breakfast.

On Running Concept Store

Can’t get enough of On Running Shoes? You can check out all the different On Running Shoes and apparel at On Philippines very first concept store located at the 4th Level of SM Aura in Bonifacio Global City. You can choose from a variety of models and colors. They have trail specific models too. They also have running apparels too. Check the store and you’ll surely see how I’ve grown to love the On Running brand.

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Incoming: Maxicare Run 2018

Maxicare Run is back with a run for EVERYONE on July 8, 2018 at SM Mall of Asia. There’s a run and distance for everyone in the family, even a 1 kilometer Senior-Sprint for participants above 60. There’s a 200 meter dash for kids and the regular 3K, 5K, 10K and 16K distances for novice and experienced runners.

Maxicare Run 2018

An HMO provider can really provide a big lift for us or our love ones when it comes to health care. Maxicare has 3 decades of taking care of its members on their healthcare and hospitalization needs and is the leading HMO provider in the country. They are now back again promoting a different kind of fitness with a feel-good, family-friendly kind of run that’s designed to be enjoyed by everyone… and I mean absolutely EVERY ONE. Kids from 3 – 12 years old get to dash their way to a 200 meter distance, novice and experienced runners gets the regular 3K, 5K, 10K and 16K distance depending on their comfort level and even senior citizen gets a category on their own, 1 kilometer Senior Sprints.

Maxicare Run 2018 happening on July 8, 2018 at the North Fountain SM by the Bay in MOA will bring in a #familyfunday from the kids, teens, the adults and even for our Lolos and Lolas. The run is open to all and is expected to excite beginners and seasoned runners alike as it is geared towards engaging and uniting everyone to a single goal: fitness.

“Coming from the success of last year‟s Maxicare Run where we attracted more than 2,700 participants when we were only targeting 1,000, we envision this year‟s run to be a bonding activity between friends and families so we added a new category for the elderly. This year‟s run will also extend the health benefits of Maxicare to others through our chosen beneficiary, Pusong Pinoy Foundation,” said Sean Argos, President and CEO of Maxicare.

Maxicare Run 2018 is for the benefit of Pusong Pinoy Foundation Inc., a non-profit organization subsidizing diagnostic and therapeutic cardiovascular procedures for less fortunate Filipino patients based at the Philippine General Hospital. It is being held in partnership with one of the most recognized run organizers in the country, LeadPack. With this benefit run, Maxicare offers the complete experience of advocacy, an active lifestyle, and triumph. Furthermore, the Maxicare Run 2018 has set itself to be a game-changer in the health and fitness community.

Run to celebrate, run for a cause, and run to be fit! Mark your calendars as the #MaxicareRun2018 has tons of bigger and better activities in store!

Race Details

Date and Venue:

  • Date: July ​8, ​2018
  • Venue: North ​Fountain, ​SM ​By ​The ​Bay
  • Categories: 200m ​/ ​1K ​/ ​3K ​/ ​5K ​/ ​10K ​/ ​16K
  • Gun Start:
    • 200 m dash – 7 am
    • 1K Senior Sprint – 6:30 am
    • 3K – 5:20 am
    • 5K – 5:10 am
    • 10K – 5:00 am
    • 16K – 4:30 am

Fees and Inclusions:

  • Fees
    • 200 m dash – P 400
    • 1K Senior Sprint – P 500
    • 3K – P 600
    • 5K – P 700
    • 10K – P 800
    • 16K – P 900
  • Inclusions
    • Inclusive of race bib, timing chip, medal, singlet, and loot bag for all categories
    • Finisher shirts for 16k finishers

Registrations

  • Online: via ActiveGlobal
  • In Store: Chris Sports – (until 7 pm)
    • Glorietta
    • SM Megamall
    • SM Mall of Asia
    • SM North Edsa
    • SM City BF
    • Market Market

Race Updates:

Race Maps

 

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Incoming: Filinvest Endurance Weekend 2018

Do you love to bike? It’s time to explore the trails and roads of Filinvest in a 6, 12 and 24 hours course designed to test your biking skills and endurance.  Filinvest Endurance Weekend in back on July 7-8, 2018.

Filinvest Endurance Weekend

Can you bike a 5 kilometer loop? How about doing it again and again in 6, 12 and 24 hours?  That’s the concept of Filinvest Endurance Weekend, which is happening on July 7-8, 2018.  So bike for fitness, bike for fun and bike for as long as you want while you get awed by the mix of cosmopolitan feel of Filinvest and the natural aura of its trails.

Filinvest City Endurance Weekend will once again challenge all elite and amateur MTB racers to test their endurance on July 7–8, 2018. On its sixth year, Endurance Weekend is now one of the toughest endurance races in the metro. Experience a more exciting race course and attempt to beat your personal records on the trails!  The race is open for bikers of all ages and experience level.  You can even go as a relay team.

Register now, only limited slots are open!

Race Details

Date and Venue:

  • Date: July 7 and July 8, 2018
  • Venue: PACIFIC RIM, FILINVEST CITY, ALABANG
  • Gun Start:
    • 24 hours: July 7, Saturday, 12:00 NN
    • 12 hours: July 7, Saturday, 5:00 PM
    • 6 hours: July 8, Sunday, 6:00 AM

Fees and Inclusions

  • Solo
    • 6 hours – P1,800
    • 12 hours – P2,300
    • 24 hours – P2,800
  • Team
    • 12 hours – P4,000
    • 24 hours – P7,000
  • Inclusive of Race bib, Race Jersey and Medals for Finishers

Registration

  • Online via Goorahna
  • In Store:
    • Cycling Zone (Shell Pacific Gas Station, Alabang Zapote Road, Muntinlupa)
    • Storck Store Manila (The Portal, Greenfield District, United Street, Mandaluyong)
    • Paulina’s Bluebay (Bluebay Walk, Macapagal Avenue, Pasay)
    • Celeste Cycles (188 Congressional Av, Project 8, QC)
    • South Cycles (Greenworld Plaza, President Av, Paranaque)

Race Updates

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#TaleOfTheTrail Mount Semeru and Mount Bromo (Java, Indonesia)

Life is One Crazy Adventure or Nothing at All.

Mount Semeru and Mount Bromo was an all-out adventure with a tale of two summits, the mystical Ranu Kumbolo lake, a 4×4 adventure along the sand dunes and a whole lot more. #TaleOfTheTrail

Mount Semeru and Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo is the one on the left, while Mount Semeru is the tallest peak in the back.

Unlike my previous hikes with Trail Adventours, I didn’t know what to expect with Mount Bromo and Mount Semeru trip. I had a short briefing with Coby a few days before the trip and it dawned upon me, “What have I gotten myself into?” Semeru was a tough one. The Summit Assault takes about 6 hours on Scree surfaces and on steep slopes. Those thoughts would linger on the actual assault as my legs did get a shock when I was cramping midway and barely moving forward on the scree surfaces. Well, that was my toughest moment that made the summit even more worth the climb. The story does not end there as we’re in for several days around the volcanic trails of Java, Indonesia.

Read about:

Trekking Mount Semeru

Got a lighter back pack with my Amihan Hiking bag.

It took a long way just to get to the start of the tour as I had to fly in to Singapore via Jet Star and take the flight to Surabaya the next day. It took another 3 more hours heading to Tumpang Village, where we arrived early at around 3 am just a few hours before our start. After breakfast, we went for the medical clearance, where it took time for me to reach the regular blood pressure to be allowed to climb. Credit that to lack of sleep. After the medical, we went to Ranu Pani for the start of the hike at around 10 am.

Ranu Pani to Calimati

The first hike is about a 10 kilometer hike from Ranu Pani to Ranu Kumbolo for lunch and followed by another hike from Ranu Kumbolo to Calimati Camp Site for dinner and short sleep before the summit assault early the next day. It starts about 2,100 MASL until 2,800 MASL with about 1,300 meters of elevation gain for this section.

With Ed and Cathy

The trail starts with about a kilometer of paved roads before heading to the trail head. Starting from the trail head, the route shifts to single track dirt grounds with slight ascents. I joined the second group consisting of Ed and Cathy of Trail Adventours with the first group consisting of Yuan (tour coordinator from Rani Adventours), Max, Shiela and Fabian. The trail is heavily forested with short ascents and flat surfaces. Because of the slight ascent, we were able to go at a faster pace.

Semeru on the background

We had our first break 3.5 kilometers into the route in one of the rest stops. The views from the trails was even better from this point as we were already at a higher vantage point. We also had some peeks at Mount Semeru and the sea of clouds at some area. The ascent still was moderate so we just kept on our consistent pace. There were also section that were rolling with some descents and another round of climbs.

With Cathy

We had another break before a short stretch with a steep climb. This is the last steep climb before a rolling terrain and as we slowly descend to Ranu Kumbolo. This stretch got even more scenic as we were about 2,400 – 2,500 MASL and we also were getting closer to Mount Semeru. We even got witness some minor eruptions of Mount Semeru.

Ranu Kumbolo

About 10 kilometers into our hike, we’ve reached Ranu Kumbolo. The lake was special, which was about 2 kilometers in diameter. It was such a serene and mystical site. This is where we had our lunch break all set up courtesy of our Indonesian guides. We had a comfortable setup near the lake.

Team Semeru

We had about an hour of lunch break before we resumed at 2 pm. It was another 5 kilometer climb heading to Calimati Camp Site. There was the hill heading out of Ranu Kumbolo, wherein if you can finish it without looking back and stopping, you’re wish would be granted. I was able to do it without stopping but was too occupied by the effort to think of a good wish.

Ranu Kumbolo

After the climb, we headed out to a large open field. It was a nice view because of the rich backdrop of lavender plantations. We went fast on the flatter parts and rested before the climb started.

Rest stop

It was continuous climb from hereon. We kept a consistent climbing pace with a few rest stops. The climbs at this parts are a lot steeper so we went a bit slower from our previous climbing pace. The trails were dry and the routes were mostly open, which made us feel the warmer weather. The climbs headed to a view deck seeing Mount Semeru and we needed another kilometer of descent heading to Calimati Camp Site.

Mount Semeru

You can actually see the scree surface from here and it’s on a steep incline. I really wouldn’t know how to approach this one as it’s my first time I’d be trying out that surface with that steepness. We arrived at Calimati Camp Site at 4:30 pm, which was about an hour and a half than our expected arrival. This was really a fast group.

Calimati to Summit and Back

We had dinner at 6 pm and I was already asleep at 7 pm. We had to wake up at 12 midnight and start climbing at 1 am. If there was a time that I was really afraid of the climb, it was at this time. How can a less than 3 kilometer loop take 6 hours average to climb? It must be a really tough one. We shifted to our assault pack but added more layers of clothes as it was really cold early in the morning.

The first part of the climb were forested trails with moderate ascent. The trail was a bit technical as you have to hang on some twigs and branches at some area. Compared to the scree surface, this was the easy part. This was about 1-1/2 kilometers before we entered the Kree surfaces. We were given the instruction to follow our guides and not to tap rocks as it could fall of and can be dangerous. It was also a bit dangerous as you can fall of at some areas.

I just went on with my stride and it every step, you end up sliding half a step. I tried to be patient and was able to crawl my way through half a kilometer of the Kree Surface. Since I was trying to stop my downward momentum every time I slid, I ended up straining my calves. I was cramping halfway into the climb. I had it relaxed and stretched by our porter in one of the rest stops. It remained sensitive as I had a lot of bouts of almost fully cramping in some of the steps.

 

I was barely moving, cramping and was now really frustrated at my pace. This was shifting to be a mental battle and I was losing it. There were some points I wanted to just go down and give up and there were times that I tried digging into my mental bag of tricks just to keep my head distracted from the idea of quitting. There were really not much surface or trails that was similar to this one. Good thing Cathy always stayed with me all through out.

Scenes from the Indonesian movie, 5 cm

I was looking at my watch just to have an idea on the remaining elevation so that’s the best trick I had my sleeve. I was counting down the meters of elevation that I needed to ascent. Out of the total, 1,200 meters, I was down to the last 500, then to the last 400 and then to the last 300. I also found a better way of moving faster as I let my guide take a 5-6 steps before I then took another 5-6 steps. Taking it one at a time left me unable to start a good momentum in the climb.

It was good that it was dark as you are not overwhelmed with seeing how far the summit is. It was nice to see the quarter moon at one side. I was already going at a much better pace before the weather went really cold and foggy. I had to stop once in a while to wipe my glasses. Everything has come to a close and so was these torturous climb as I’ve reached the summit in 5 hours and 13 minutes and it still below the expected 6 hours.

Foggy Summit

The summit was extra cold and foggy. We were not blessed with a clearing to appreciate the beautiful view of the summit. I’ll take as I was just happy to reach the summit given the difficulty of this one. I was able to reach the highest peak in Java at 3,676 meters above sea level.

Thanks Cathy of Trail Adventours for spending those difficult hours with me on the climb.

It was really cold in the summit so we had to descend the summit after our group shot. It was really fun going down as the uphill struggle became a fast skid going down. It felt like skiing on the loose scree surface so in no time, we were already at the middle part of the scree surface.

We hang out in the area to appreciate the scenery as we were overlooking the forest. There was a sea or rather an ocean of clouds to our right. The summit remains a foggy site. It was just great to hit the pause button after the experience.

Skiing

We then headed to the forested trail area after a lot more skiing in the scree surface to be back in our camp for breakfast. The descent did bring up the kid in us.

Hanging out in the middle of the Mount Semeru

Calimati to Ranu Kumbolo

We had breakfast after our descent from Mount Semeru. We had a few chats before we went to catch up sleep again. We were supposed to leave at 2 pm but ended up leaving at 1 pm because it looked like it would rain. We would then just have our lunch at Ranu Kumbolo.

Ranu Kumbolo

The first kilometer was a climb out to the viewing deck of Mount Semeru. We stopped a while to have a last look at Mount Semeru before heading on the descent. It was quick hike and we reached Ranu Kombolo in just over 1:30 of hiking from Calimati.

Ranu Kumbolo would be our home for the night. We had lunch at 3 pm and dinner at 7 pm. The lake was just beautiful and felt really calming. Visiting Ranu Kumbolo is really one of the highlights of the trips as it gave us a lake-side abode in the middle of our adventure. It was raining in the afternoon so we slept between meals and woke up early to catch a glimpse of sunrise.

Ranu Kumbolo to Ranu Pani

After having breakfast at the lake, we were then off to Ranu Pani to culminate the Semeru Part of our adventure. It was a long 10 kilometer hike but it’s mostly downhill. With the tougher part of the hike over we just went on to enjoy this one. The first kilometer and a half was pure climb so we just went at a steady place. We did appreciate the view of the lake from several vantage points. Mount Semeru was also visible along some points of the route along with the sea of clouds along the way.

After the climbing part came the partly rolling part until mid-way of the climb. We had two stops with a lot of daddy joke time in between. I guess it’s a lot different on the way back as we were a lot more comfortable with each other now. The hike felt like a breeze especially as it went downhill on the forested time.

After 10 kilometers of hiking, we were back for Ranu Pani for lunch and we’re now off to the Bromo part of the tour.

Trekking Mount Bromo

This is the 4×4 part of the adventure as we made our way from Ranu Pani to Ngadisari Village. This part was the sightseeing part as we had different vantage points of the view of the nearby Volcano and mountain range. We also had a sand dunes adventure before heading to our village.

The village was full of tourist as Bromo is the more tourist friendly volcano with just a short hike to the summit. It was nice to explore the village before dinner, which was at 7 pm. It was also a welcome relief that we are now back to our rooms after being on tents for the past two days.

View from Mt. Pananjakan

We were up early again the next day starting at 4 am heading to Mount Pananjakan for a sunrise view. What I like about this was the view of the nearby volcanoes including Mount Bromo and Mount Semeru.

Up next, we were allowed to play a bit in the sandy part on the wide area at foot of the volcanoes. It was a bit chilly at this time but it was fun playing around in the wide area. These were also sand dunes so it was fun as well going around via 4×4 vehicle.

We then headed to the foot of Mount Bromo, which was already packed by tourist. There were options to go on the summit via horse but it’s a very short climb and also, poor horses. There was a long walk to the start of the climb probably to put some separation among the climbers.

We started walking our way to Mount Bromo and it was really dusty because of the surface and also the foot traffic. It’s a really short climb and you can probably reach the summit in 20-30 minutes walking. There was a long stair climb towards the summit wherein you can get to explore the top of Mount Bromo.

Mount Bromo

It was nice to see the summit of Mount Bromo, especially since we didn’t have the clearing at Mount Semeru. There was a thin trail along the caldera. I explored only a short portion of the caldera since I was not that confident moving around the volcano. It was still a nice view from our spot.

With Cathy

After waiting for our group, we then run our way back to our car to cap this adventure at Mount Bromo and Semeru.

With Cathy and Sheila

I started a tour with no idea on where is Surabaya (it’s already near down under in the Globe) but I was really impressed by how well the tour was planned and also how complete our adventure is. I really enjoyed this one and I’m glad that I went out of my comfort zone and just booked the trip. Thanks to Trail Adventours and Rani Adventures for the wonderful experience.

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Incoming: 42nd MILO Marathon

The Country’s biggest and longest running footrace is back on its 42nd edition. Milo Marathon is back to crown this year’s Milo Marathon King and Queen with a 11-leg event including the National Finals happening in Laoag on December 9, 2018.

42nd MILO Marathon

MILO Marathon has been the biggest. longest running and most prestigious foot race in the country which has immortalized running legends throughout its 42 years of existence.  Leading beverage brand MILO has officially launched the 42nd MILO Marathon with an 11-leg event season in search for the MILO Marathon King and Queen.  Reigning MILO Marathon King Joerge Andrade and five-time MILO Marathon Queen Mary Joy Tabal will go head to head with the top contenders to defend their titles for the Finals on December 9, 2018.  It gets extra special for the MILO Marathon King and Queen as they get to participate in an international marathon and a chance to be a part of the pool of PATAFA contenders for the 2019 SEA games.

“Magsama-sama, Tumakbo, Matuto.” MILO strengthens its legacy with a values-driven race experience for runners through out the race season.  They wish to capitalize the character-building aspect of a running for its 150,000 expected participants.

“The 42nd MILO Marathon continues to center on life lessons that runners can learn and take with them beyond the finish line. We are committed to delivering an inspiring season as we highlight the values of discipline, resilience, determination to help runners be molded into true champions,” said Lester P. Castillo, MILO Philippines Sports Executive.

All Road Leads to Laoag

The 42nd MILO Marathon would be having 11 legs with Laoag hosting the finals.  The city of Laoag promises to offer a unique running experience for the participants as the National Finals would be a part of the city’s bicentennial culminating celebration.  Aside from the festivities, the runners would be treated to the beauty of Laoag as the race route goes along some tourist hotspots including, the Paway and Laoag Sand Dunes in the longer distances.  Laoag can also be an excellent race-cation destination with several places of interest like Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, Kapurpurawan rock formation in Burgos, the windmill farms of Bagui and the beaches of Pagudpud.  Vigan, a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Center is also just 80 kilometers away from Laoag.

A Race for A Cause

MILO has played an active role in helping underprivileged Filipino youth reach their dreams by giving them brand new pair of running shoes through Help Give Shoes Advocacy.  This year, with the help of Department of Education, MILO will donate 1,500 pair of shoes to deserving public schoolchildren across the country.  MILO will also be donating an additional 2,500 basketball to deserving public schools nationwide to expand the reach of their advocacy of getting them into sports, not just running.

Race Details

Date and Venue:

  • Urdaneta – July 15, 2018
  • Metro Manila – July 29, 2018
  • Tarlac – August 26, 2018
  • Batangas – September 16, 2018
  • Lucena – September 30, 2018
  • Iloilo – October 7, 2018
  • Cebu – October 14, 2018
  • General Santos – October 21
  • Butuan – November 11, 2018
  • Cagayan De Oro – November 18, 2018
  • Laoag – National Finals – December 9. 2018

Fees and Inclusions

  • 3K / 5K – Student P110, Adult P160 (Inclusive of race singlet, bib and MILO Sachet)
  • 10K – P850 (Inclusive of race singlet, bib, MILO Nutri-Up Sachet and Drawstring Bag with Finisher Medal if within cutoff of 1:30)
  • 21K – P950 (Inclusive of race singlet, bib, MILO Nutri-Up Sachet and Drawstring Bag and Finisher Hoodie after the race and finisher medal within cutoff of 2:30) – Medical Certificate Required
  • 42K – P1,050 (Inclusive of race singlet, bib, MILO Nutri-Up Sachet and Drawstring Bag and Finisher Hoodie after the race and finisher medal within cutoff of 6:00) – Medical Certificate Required

Registration

Race Updates

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