Eco-Waste Management Summit Held at Quezon City

Photo Caption: (From left to right) Under Secretary Noel Felongco, Executive Director Eligio Ildifonso, Commisioner Crispian Lao, Dr. Met Palaypay, Under Secretary Sylvia Ordonez, Mr. Diogenes Osabel and Deputy Chairman Frisco San Juan.

Photo Caption: (From left to right) Under Secretary Noel Felongco, Executive Director Eligio Ildifonso, Commisioner Crispian Lao, Dr. Met Palaypay, Under Secretary Sylvia Ordonez, Mr. Diogenes Osabel and Deputy Chairman Frisco San Juan.

Our Environment just got a major boost with a 4-day environmental summit last January 26-29, 2017.  Key speakers gave their take on the changes in the environment, best practives and emerging technologies to further educate the public in the importance of Nature.

3rd Eco-Waste Management Summit

Our environment is our concern as whatever happens to it directly affects us in so many ways.  We have the ever changing weather conditions. There’s the calamities.  We also are dealing with scarcity in some resources and a lot more.  It’s good the earth-warriors gather annually for the Eco-Waste Management Summit. This year’s summit was held at Quezon City Memorial Circle from January 26-29, 2017.

Keynote speakers like Senator Cynthia Villar, Under Secretary Sylvia Ordonez, and Director Eli Eldifonso of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-NCR (DENR) give remarkable and inspiring speech during the opening of the Summit with the theme “Engaging Response to the Changing Environment”, that opened last Thursday, January 26, 10 a.m., at the Quezon City Memorial Circle.

The four-day Environment Summit spearheaded by DENR comprise initiatives, best practices, and emerging technologies. Lectures and presentations by experts on varied subjects of interest were also conducted. The Fashion Designers Association of the Philippines and Yes-O Manila showcased their fashionable pieces made from recycled materials.

One of the highlights of the Summit was the “Walkthrough the Environment”, an interactive activity with 10 stations that will make you experience what the environment is going through right now and will help you reflect on what you can do to save Mother Earth.

On the 3rd day of the event, they had an ECO Concert or “Tugtugan Para sa Kalikasan” where Filipino bands such as True Faith, Kjwan, Spongecola, Sasaya, Alchemy, GNGBND, Where’s Ramona?, Avalon Beyond, Banna Harbera, and Papapeta were invited to perform and showcase their talents. The ECO Summit closed its 4-day event last January 29, 2017, Sunday with ECO-Bike Ride. The proceeds from the Bike Ride will benefit the environment. They also had a Free Zumba with Mr. John Arcilla.

This event was made possible by our major sponsors like LG Lopez JFE, Landbank, Cemex, Development Bank of the Philippines, Maynilad, JJ Esteban Enterprises, Cleanway, Metroclark Waste Management, Plantex, LG Lopez Industrial Sales and Services Inc., Eco-system Technologies Inc., and EEI Corporation. Our minor sponsors, Malabon Soap, Full Advantave Phils Int’l,… And our official media partner, WhenInManila.com and Buhay Pinoy at PTV4.

The Environment Summit aims to shed light on environmental and ecological issues that disrupt the processes of Mother Nature and the creatures living within it. In light of the celebration of the Waste Management Act anniversary and the Zero Waste Month every January, the summit seeks to educate the public on the destruction of the environment and what they can do to help alleviate this situation.

For more information, visit their website at www.environmentsummit.ph, follow them on Facebook, EnvironmentSummitPH2017, and on Twitter @Esummit2017. The event is free and open to the public.

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

Rizal Mountain Run 2017

15K Mission Accomplished

15K Mission Accomplished – Photo by Aquiz Minlay

Rizal Mountain Run 2017 is a really challenging course.  It gives you a variety of terrains and elevations to play with from suicide drops, long climbs and rolling terrains.  It’s not the easiest of runs but it’s really scenic exploring it and even more satisfying finishing it.

Read About:

Rizal Mountain Run 2017

Thanks to Suunto for providing the kits and letting me use the Suunto Spartan Sport.

Thanks to Suunto for providing the kits and letting me use the Suunto Spartan Sport. – Photo by Aquiz Minlay

I got a chance to join the Rizal Mountain Run 2017 thanks to Suunto, who also had me try out the Suunto Spartan Sport for the race. My mind kept flip-flopping on whether I should do 1 15K or a 30K distance but ended up with 15K since I like to experiment on several aspects of my run (including new shoes).  I did a recon and also joined several races along the route last year so this would be a familiar territory for me.  Of course, since this is my first trail run for the year, I’m definitely going to enjoy it.

Race Route and Elevation

Maps and Elevation is powered by Suunto Spartan Sport

Maps and Elevation is powered by Suunto Spartan Sport

Race starts at Base Kamp at Pintong Bukawe and it has a 2 kilometer road stretch heading to the trail head. It then goes on a two kilometer steep descent of 330 meters heading to Bajo River and another 1.5 kilometer short climb heading to Casile.  Casile is a lung-busting 3 kilometer climb with an elevation gain of about 300 meters.  It then goes on rolling terrain on the next 6.5 kilometers before going back to the road on the final 1.5 kilometers to the finish.

The Race

Ready to Race

Ready to Race – Photo by Aquiz Minlay

I left Makati at 3:30 am to fetch Aquiz, who would be covering the event for Pinoy Trails at Quezon City.  It was weird that waze had us go through to San Mateo but eventually sent us back to Marcos Highway for the longer route. Anyway, we’ve reached the race venue at around 5:20 am, enough time to get my kit and warm up for the gun start at 6:30 am. It was nice seeing a lot of familiar faces on the trails and if there’s one thing I appreciate in the trails, it has a more laid-back pre and post race environment.

Check out that sandbagger on the left side wearing neon yellow.

There’s a sandbagger on the left side wearing neon yellow.

The plan was to start slow since I’m having problem breaking in my legs because of shin splints. I headed to the back of the starting line so I won’t be pushed by the usual fast start of most people. I’ll make my move when my legs warm up. At gun start, everybody was off to a fast running start well for me, I had to run walk my way on the first 2 kilometers and I could count the persons on my back.

Photo by Jose Ramizarez

Photo by Jose Ramizarez

After 2 kilometers, we entered the trail head.  It was a steep descent which can both be fast and scary. I started to make my move when my legs warmed up.  I started to speed up with the gravity and trusting the traction of my shoes.  There were some bottlenecks on the descent but I was slowly passing through the runners. There were some technical part where I slowed down. The game plan was simple, keep moving.  I was trying to make up for lost times. After 2 kilometers, we hit the river.

River Crossing 101

River Crossing 101

There were several river crossing at Bajo River.  The first one, I used the advise of the locals who were pointing to a shallower stretch in the river. I made my way there and I overtook several runners who were in the more technical stretch of the river.  There was a short land before another stream of water. I slipped as I was too fast on that stretch but quickly stood up to resume the race.  Up next, was another river crossing with bigger stones and deeper river.

River Crossing - Photo by Jose Ramizarez

River Crossing – Photo by Jose Ramizarez

I tried balancing in the stones and walked in the river on some stretches.  I’ve been in this river before so it helps that I’m familiar with the river.  I slowly made my way over the river and I was ready to go.

Running on waters. - Photo by Jose Ramizares

Running on waters. – Photo by Jose Ramizares

As I crossed the river, I knew that I was heading to the next part of the race which is the climb part, I saw Aldean, who’s part of the organization team of the race and told him that the race was great.

Great Job Aldean! - Photo by Jose Ramizares

Great Job Aldean! – Photo by Jose Ramizares

I took out my trekking poles as it’s now on climbing mode.  There was a short climb before heading to Casile Road towards the 6th kilometer.  I took a drink at the aid station as well as refilled my simple hydration bottle.  The plan was not to stop during the climb.  It’s a 3 kilometers climb and I was training my mind not to quit, my legs to be strong, my lungs to endure and my whole system to learn to recover.  No whining just pure climbing.

With Majo of RMR Team

With Majo of RMR Team – Photo by Aquiz Minlay

Knowing the Casile climb, the steepest part was the first kilometer so I went on to brisk walk the first kilometer watching my heart rate and the altitude with my Suunto Watch.  If my heart rate was high, I would slow down to allow myself to recover.  If it went low, it was attack mode once again.  One kilometer after another until we reached the top of the climb. It helps that I’m familiar with the route and was determined not to stop.   I also slowly passed some runners who stopped along the climb.

Great to See you back in the trail Maui

Great to See you back in the trail Maui

We took a right turn towards the 9th kilometer and this was a new territory for me.  It was a rolling course with sharp climbs and some descent. I’d run some of the descent but whenever I see a climb approaching, I would slow down 200-300 meters before the climb to keep my heart rate low during the start of the climb.  Honestly, the rolling terrain felt more exhausting than the climb since it’s also a lot hotter already.  It was more than 6 kilometers with these terrain but I enjoyed the shifts in surface from fire tracks to single tracks and also enjoyed the view.  I also loved that I am able to pace myself well.

Back in the road - Photo by Aquiz Minlay

Back in the road – Photo by Aquiz Minlay

We’ve finally hit the road at the 15th kilometer mark. Obviously, the race is longer than the race distance but who cares. Cheers to bonus kilometers!!! Whenever I shift from trail to road, I always feel the change in surface. I can feel the much harder surface as compared to the trail but it’s also less drag.  I tried to run-walk my way to the finish line even on a slightly elevated roads.  As I made my final turn to the road, there it was the Finish Line and an end to an Epic Race. Great Job Baboy Ramo Gang and Race Yaya!

Shut up Legs!!! - Photo by Aquiz Minlay.

Shut up Legs!!! – Photo by Aquiz Minlay

I really enjoyed the race. I was nowhere near fast but I’m glad that I was consistent.  I was able to use the race to train myself to be stronger.  I was able to enjoy the company of trail running friends after the race. That’s one of the things I like about trail races is that people stay just to tell about the epic race experience and chat about future races. All’s well that ends well… or wait, I did have a flat tire on my way out of the area. I’m just glad there were some locals who helped me replace my flat tire.

Categories: My Runs | Tags: , , , , , | 25 Comments

Incoming: Run United Exceed 2017

Run United Exceed, a prestigious and exclusive performance based 21km race inspired from world marathon majors.

Run a half marathon with a World Marathon Feel.  Run United Exceed 2017 takes running to the next level.  It challenges runners to chase the 2:30 cut-off for a TagHeuer medal and even offers a Free Under Armour Shoes for those who meet the cut-off with a negative Split. Race day is on April 2, 2017 at Bonifacio Global City.

Run United Exceed

Run United Exceed 2017 Medal Design

Run United Exceed 2017 Medal Design

Run United has always been a progressive journey for the runners.  Like a jagged metal, we go through the rigorous process of smoothing on our way to be better.  We start raw and we progress to be something better. That’s what Run United has always been all about. It’s the running forum for you to exceed yourself.   ActiveHealth introduces a new Run United Exceed challenge.  It’s a prestigious and exclusive 21km race co-presented by Tag Heuer that will be held in BGC, Taguig on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The race is set to revolutionize the running landscape by introducing world marathon major inspired innovations that will push runners to exceed themselves.

The finisher’s medal and its design elements are inspired from an athlete’s journey in exceeding himself.

2:30!!! That’s what you have to remember for Run United Exceed.  You’ll have to chase the 2:30 cut-off to get the medal from Tag Heuer. The medal has a jagged to smooth design that symbolizes your journey as a runner from a raw one to a PR-breaking runner.  There’s also a negative split challenge. If you meet the 2:30 cut-off and your second half of the race is faster than the first, the top 15 runners with a negative split gets a FREE UNDER ARMOUR shoes. The biggest innovation yet to keep runners motivated is giving a World Marathon major feel. The course will be lined up with cheer stations in key locations to help boost morale of the runners.  There’s also a moving cut -off banner making sure runners make it in time.  All participants are also entitled to discounted privileges from partner merchants and a Run United Exceed Kit inclusive of race shirt, event shirt and other items. Guaranteed slots to Angkor Wat International Full Marathon or Angkor Wat International Half Marathon await 2 lucky finishers. Like any other world marathon major, Tag Heuer is the official timekeeper of Run United Exceed.

ActiveHealth’s complete sports nutrition system are readily available to help participants reach optimum performance in time for Run United Exceed. A race and training pack are available upon registration and exclusive deals are offered.

The concept is to shatter ones perception of time – To go against your greatest enemy, yourself. This race will give birth to the next generation of high performing Half-Marathoners that have the relentless drive and determination to exceed the time they have set for themselves through proper training and sports nutrition.

“We have been doing the progressive races for the past 6 years. For 2017, we believe that it is time to take it to the next level. We want to build a new generation of athletes whose objective is not to just to finish, but to EXCEED.” according to Lester Castillo, Brand Manager of ActiveHealth.

Lester Castillo of Activehealth presenting the medal design during the launch.

Lester Castillo of Activehealth presenting the medal design during the launch.

ActiveHealth has been in the forefront in providing an incomparable race experience. It is the only race in the country that offers an integrated holistic solution for progressive athletes, grounded by its 4 pillars – training, nutrition, gear and events. Run United Exceed participants are guaranteed that they are well taken care of in all areas from training, nutrition, gear to recovery. Connectivity to sports experts, running community, performance tracker are just some of the other special privileges provided to participants through the ActiveHealth Community Application.

Register, Train and see you on race day!

Race Details

Registration opens on January 30, 2016 at 5:00 pm.

Date and Venue:

  • Date: April 2, 2017
  • Venue: Bonifacio Global City

Fees and Inclusions

  • Regular Registration Period: P1,350 (January 30-February 28, 2017)
  • Late Registration Period: P1,550 (March 1 – March 12, 2017)
  • Inclusions:
    • Finisher’s Medal (exclusive to 2.5hour finishers)
    • ActiveHealth Race Shirt and ActiveHealth Event Shirt
    • Race bib with D-tag
    • Finisher’s Kit
    • Complimentary Entrance to the 3-day Race Expo
    • Raffle Entry to a guaranteed complimentary slot for 2 to Ankor Wat International Marathon or Ankor Wat Half International Marathon
  • Optional Add-Ons
    • Race Day Pack – Personalized Bib, 3 Carbgel, 1 Enervon HP Recovery Single Serve Pack and 2 Alaxan FR Capsule – P268.50
    • Training Pack – Personalized Bib, 8 Carbgel, 5 Enervon HP Recovery Single Serve Pack, 5 Enervon Activ Multivitamins  and 5 Alaxan FR Capsule – P843.50

The Run United race shirt is a performance shirt made from light breathable and quick dry fabric to help participants perform better.

Registration

  • Online (January 30 – March 12, 2017) via Activehealth.PH
  • In Store: (Early: February 14 – March 12, 2017) – To be Announced

Updates

For more information about Run United Exceed, ActiveHealth and ActiveHealth Community App, please visit www.activehealth.ph and stay connected through facebook.com/UnilabActiveHealth and @ulactivehealth.

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Specialized Concept Store Opens in Quezon City

Specialized Philippines is among the pioneers of changing the face of bike shops in the country with the opening of their first concept store in 2013.  With the growth in the cycling industry, they are reaching more territories with the opening of  their concept store in Quezon City located at 11 Congressional Avenue Extension, Barangay Pasong Tamo, Quezon City.

Read About:

Specialized Quezon City

If you love bikes, Specialized is always an easy recall with their fast and efficient bike designed to make the most out of your pedal. It’s a brand founded by riders for riders in 1974.  It has introduced new bike technology and the top-of-the-line bike accessories.  Specialized Philippines had their first concept store located at La Fuerza Compund, Pasong Tamo, Makati.  Cycling is a much bigger sport now with Triathlons being the ‘golf’ of the new generation, Duathlons having its own niche market and of course, both road and off-road cycling enjoying its own set of patronizers.

The Specialized Philippine family just got bigger with the formal opening of their second concept store last January 21, 2017. Specialized Concept Store – Quezon City is located at 11 Congressional Avenue Extension, Barangay Pasong Tamo, Quezon City. While the first concept store was a breath of fresh air because of its design and look, the second concept store features an updated global design direction.  The new store has been conceptualized to give the best and most inspiring experience to riders.  Whether you ride road or mountain bikes, or need something for your body or bike, you will certainly find the leading edge and innovative products in the store.

2 Wheel Nation

Specialized is pleased to work closely with 2Wheel Nation to bring a global standard of retail to the Quezon City market.

With the new store, we are excited to bring a new experience and focus on value added services for the customer, says Mark Rivera, Managing Director of 2Wheel Nation.

Dedicated Space for Women’s Cycling

There’s no doubt that there’s a lot more women joining the cycling craze.  In fact, getting chicked is getting a lot more common these days.  Specialized is among the pioneers in the industry to connect to women.  They have dedicated a space for women-specific bikes, equipment and apparel.

S-Works and Performance Products

The Specialized Concept Store will showcase some of the Limited Edition products that bear the S-Works name. Here, the most discerning riders can customize and build their bikes with their own unique tastes.

With this showcase designed “For Riders, By Riders,” The new Specialized Concept Store will Continue to be a place where riders will be inspired to ride longer and faster than ever.

Latest Specialized Bikes

While we’re at it, let’s meet some of the latest two-wheeled friends coming from the Specialized Family.

Epic Hardtail

  • Epic Hardtail takes hardtail allow XC bikes into the modern age with the most capable geometry out there and a build kit that’s all business.
  • Given its lightweight and ultra-stiff characteristics, M5 aluminun was the natural choice for the frame construction and when complemented with speed-focused XC 29 Geometry and internal cable routing, you get a bike that compromises nothing in delivering explosive speed, confident handling and hassle-free maintenance.
  • A custom RockShox Reba RL 29 fork offers up to 80/95 mm of smooth travel, while an easily accessible compression and rebound adjusts permits you to customize the feel according to the terrain at hand.
  • Shimano controls the 11-speed shifting with SLX shifters and ultra-crisp and reliable Deore XT M8000 near derailleur.

Epic Hardtrail Comp Carbon

  • With lighter, faster and better handling, the Epic HardtailComp Carbon is changing XC hardtails in a big way.
  • By Pairing FACT 10 m carbon fiber frame with our XC 29 Geometry, this Epic places a focus on tight tube angles and extremely light overall weight for explosive speed and nimble handling on the race circuit.  For good measure, they also gave it a 148mm rear spacing and all-new triangular post-mount brake mounts.
  • A custom RockShox Reba RL 29 fork offers up to 90/100 mm of smooth travel, while an easily accessible compression and rebound adjusts permits you to customize the feel according to the terrain at hand.
  • Shimano Deare XT 11-Speed rear derailleur is tough, reliable and incredible precise.

S-Works Roubaix eTap

  • We’ve been saying it for years—smoother is faster. But with the all-new S-Works Roubaix with SRAM eTap, this philosophy is taken to new, remarkable heights.
  • Featuring the Rider-First Engineered™ design that ensures every frame size has the same legendary responsiveness and smooth ride quality that you’d expect from a Roubaix. The S-Works FACT 11r frameset is their highest quality carbon frame, offering the ideal blend of light overall weight and targeted stiffness, while the all-new Future Shock “suspension” system at the cockpit delivers a revolutionary degree of comfort and control.
  • An S-Works Roubaix Disc fork is built from our top-end FACT 11r carbon fiber for supreme stiffness, strength, and reactivity, while a thru-axle design only stands to bolster all of the above.
  • SRAM Red® eTap 11-speed shifters provide a glimpse into the future of shifting, and double as brake levers for the SRAM Red hydraulic disc brakes. They communicate wirelessly with the front and rear derailleurs for a ground-breaking level of performance, while offering new, intuitive shift capabilities.

Roubaix Comp

  • When you’re rolling smoother, you’re rolling faster. And regardless of if you’re on the cobbles of Northern France or the chip and seal of your hometown, you’ll benefit immensely from the all-new Roubaix Comp.
  • Featuring their Rider-First Engineered™ design that ensures every frame size has the same legendary responsiveness and smooth ride quality that you’d expect from a Roubaix. The FACT 10r frameset is exceptional in every way, offering the ideal blend of light overall weight and targeted stiffness. Meanwhile, the all-new Future Shock “suspension” system at the cockpit delivers a revolutionary degree of comfort and control.
  • A Roubaix Disc fork is built from their top-end FACT 11r carbon fiber for supreme stiffness, strength, and reactivity, while a thru-axle design only stands to bolster all of the above.
  • This Praxis Zayante 50/34T crankset is perfect for tackling steep grades and rough roads.

Roubaix Elite

  • The idea of a perfect road is a myth, as there’s always a chip, a crack, a rough patch—you name it. But with our all-new Roubaix Elite, you’ll be taming wild asphalt without any extra effort. This is how road bikes were always meant to be.
  • Featuring their Rider-First Engineered™ design that ensures every frame size has the same legendary responsiveness and smooth ride quality that you’d expect from a Roubaix. The FACT 10r frameset is exceptional in every way, offering the ideal blend of light overall weight and targeted stiffness. Meanwhile, the all-new Future Shock “suspension” system at the cockpit delivers a revolutionary degree of comfort and control.
  • A Roubaix Disc fork is built from their top-end FACT 11r carbon fiber for supreme stiffness, strength, and reactivity, while a thru-axle design only stands to bolster all of the above.
  • This Praxis Alba 2D crankset is perfect for tackling steep grades and rough roads, and it also features supreme ramping for precise shifts between rings.

Ruby Elite

  • Who said that performance and comfort don’t mix? It sure wasn’t Specialized, because our all-new Ruby Elite combines the two in one seamless, unprecedented package.
  • The FACT 10r frameset is exceptional in every way, offering the ideal blend of light overall weight and targeted stiffness. Meanwhile, the all-new Future Shock “suspension” system at the cockpit delivers a revolutionary degree of comfort and control.
  • A Ruby Disc fork is built from their extraordinary FACT carbon fiber for supreme stiffness, strength, and reactivity, while a thru-axle design only stands to bolster all of the above.
  • Power to the pedals is provided by the exceptional Praxis Alba alloy crankset. It’s stiff and efficient, and the ramping of the chainrings ensures beautiful shifts between rings.

 

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Weekend of Eat and Run in Bacolod

Eat and Run Bacolod was a weekend filled with good food, wonderful people, scenic runs and a lot of wonderful memories.  Adventouristas Inc. gave us a one-of-a-kind tour to better appreciate the trails, nature and the variety of delicacies.

Eat and Run Bacolod

Matalan-og Falls

Matalan-og Falls

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

That’s one of the quotes posted in our homestay at Don Salvador Benedicto for the very first Eat and Run Bacolod.  I booked this trip organized by Adventouristas, Inc. upon the invitation of Maui Lopez last November.  Between then and now was a lot of overflow of stress from mounting a trail race, a fund-raising activity at work and some emergency situations before the year-end.  It was an escape I really needed to de-stress and refocus.  We get lost in the clutter of a busy life and it’s this escape that we re-discover that the best things in life are the simple ones.  Travel is the best ways to appreciate life.  It’s a big bonus when it comes with a fitness element and a lot of food.  It’s an adventure designed for people just like me who wants to make the most out of life and still enjoy it to the fullest.

Hello Ruins!!!

The Ruins

The Ruins

I’ve seen so many post about the Ruins and how beautiful it was.  Well, I can finally say that I’ve seen it up close and was able to explore it.  It was majestically built that even a fire couldn’t pull down its beauty.  The Ruins was our first stop coming from the airport.  While a version of me was looking forward to the dirt school part of the tour, there is always that traveler in me that gets awed by wonders like this.

Calea Cakes

Calea Cakes

After the ruins, we’re on our first stop on the eating part of the tour at Calea Pastries & Cake in Bacolod City.  Calea has the best cakes. I opted for the Blueberry Cheesecake since it’s been among my favorite cakes and their version was really such a delight to the sweet tooth in me.  Carla also shared her White Chocolate Cheesecake, which is among their specialties and I also liked it.  We also had coffee at Calea before heading to Salvador Benedicto.

Don Salvador Benedicto

Our assigned house.

Don Salvador Benedicto (DSB) is around 1 to 1 1/2 hours away from Bacolod.  It’s also a popular tourism hub especially with the Baguio-like climate, the higher elevation and the view of Mount Kanlaon.  DSB would be our home for the next 3-days.  We were welcomed with another round of food and of course the warm hospitality of the Ramirez Family.  It was cold, foggy and a really great weather just to chill and relax.  We got assigned to the red house and I had my bed at upper part of the A-shaped house.

Foggy Times at Don Salvador Benedicto

Foggy Times at Don Salvador Benedicto

It’s Time to Run

Ready to Run!

Ready to Run!

After a sumptuous breakfast, we are now starting the dirt school part of the event.  Coach Ige Lopez is the one handling the dirt school.  When it comes to trails, I really learned a lot from Coach Ige.  I still use some of his pointers when I attended his dirt school at Mount Makiling last year.  There were so many insights about trails on the lecture.  You get to learn on how to prepare for a race and the other essentials of trail running and mountaineering. We also got to do some drills to properly warm up and prepare for a run.

Let's Run!

Let’s Run!

We were enveloped by a foggy backdrop with slight rains.  It was a really good weather for a chill run. Of course, we’d also want the skies to clear up for us to better appreciate the view of Don Salvador Benedicto.  We still had some time in the morning so we did a 5 kilometer out and back run.  It’s always a unique experience when you are in the trails.  Since it was raining, we got to do slippery dirt roads and mud tracks.  We also had to deal with a rolling course. In short it was not easy but the trails were run-able.  I went at an easier pace on the first run since we still would have another run in the afternoon.

Thanks to Navigation features of Suunto. W found our way back.

Thanks to Navigation features of Suunto. We found our way back.

It was fun to run in the wet weather with slippery grounds to play around.  I was with the tail-end of the pack and ended in a fork with three separate directions. In short, we’re lost.  Thanks to the navigation features of GPS watches now, we found our way back.

Lunch Time!!!

Lunch Time!!!

In between runs, we had lunch. There’s the Chicken Inasal, there’s KBL (Kadyos, Baboy at Langka), Seaweeds and Buco Pandan.  After a good run, it was perfect to eat again. We would have a few hours before the next and longer run for the day.

Run # 2

Run # 2

It was a bit colder and rainy in the afternoon but we’re good to go.  Trail running is an all-weather sports and it’s a different experience on dry and wet trails.  The roads were muddy and getting dirty at this point is normal for us now.  We made a short turn on single tracks heading back to the main road.

While waiting for the rest.

While waiting for the rest.

After hitting the main road, we stopped after a kilometer on the road to do some tree planting.  We planted one tree per participant.  That’s another highlight of the event. While we were here to run, it was a good thing that they incorporated some tree planting.

Tree Planting!

Tree Planting!

After the tree planting part, we headed to long and winding descent along dirt roads.  While the trails were slippery, there were some solid spots in the trails that would be run-able.  It was a continues run for a few kilometers but you’ll have to adopt fast on the changing surfaces.  When we hit the lower part of the trails, we hit some sugar cane plantations and also some rice fields.

Slippery Trails.

Slippery Trails.

The trails also shifted slowly from fire roads to single track roads.  The roads got muddier as the rains kept falling.  It’s all part of the experience though.  It was also time to slow down and be more strategic on your strides.  It’s like a chess match that you have to plan two to three steps ahead.  Each stride was heavier with the mud adding to the drag.  As we made our way back in the upper part of the trails, we made a turn to single track descending trails and it was really slippery. We took it slowly at this stretch.  After the long technical stretch, we saw another fork so we opted to use the navigation system of GPS watches and found our way back yet again. Even on a foggy weather, I can see that there are a lot of scenic spots in the trails.

It was boodle fight after the runs.

It was boodle fight after the runs.

We had a good boodle fight after the runs.  We’re just so glad that we’ve been burning calories all day so we can enjoy the meal guilt-free.  It was a good mix and a good meal.  After the meal, we had bonfire before calling it a day.

Bonfire

Bonfire

Matalan-og Falls

Hello Mount Kanlaon

Hello Mount Kanlaon!

While we loved the cold foggy weather, we were hoping that the weather would finally clear up so we can appreciate the views.  We got our wish on our last day and we finally saw Mount Kanlaon.  It was great to be up early to just appreciate the view of the area.

Yana was such a trooper

Yana was such a trooper

We are also scheduled to trek Matalan-og falls, which was about 4 kilometers away from our area.  We started from our area to run / walk until the jump off point heading to Matalan-og Falls.  I took it slow as this was my time to appreciate DSB without the foggy effects. I was also making mental notes on the direction back.  From the jump-off point, there was about 1.3 kilometers of technical trails heading to the falls.  It was another lesson of navigating technical trails for all of us.  Charlle and I stayed in pace with Coach Ige and her daughter Yana, who was such a trooper for her age.  It was a nice pace as we had to deal with slippery and steep descents. It also gave us the time to appreciate the view.

It's a challenging route.

It’s a challenging route.

As we reached the lower part of the trail.  We had to navigate through several river crossings as well as going over some rocky terrain.  The destination is worth all the effort though as the falls was really a visual delight and the cold waters falling off was really refreshing.

Matalon-og Falls.

Matalon-og Falls.

We stayed for some time in the falls to enjoy the area while waiting for the rest of the pack.  It’s among the more beautiful falls I’ve seen.  After a while we headed back to the top and was again challenged with the climb and the technical terrain.  We had suman before running our way back to our homestay for lunch.

Craft Beer to Send us Off.

Craft Beer to Send us Off.

We had lunch and really cold and delicious craft beer after.  It was a chase to the airport after as I barely made the boarding call and was the last one entering the plane before it took off.  That was an epic weekend, thanks to Adventouristas, Inc.

Categories: My Travels | Tags: , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Incoming: RF Pilipinas Run

Why do you run? There’s always a purpose behind each step you make.  RF Pilipinas Run, with its Tagline, “I Run for a Purpose,” was conceived as a national footrace to promote wellness as a lifestyle and help indigent but deserving students pursue their education. Be part of that purpose on March 12, 2017 at CCP Complex in Pasay City with 5K, 10K and 16K distance to choose from.

RF Pilipinas Run

Get this plate free or at a discount depending on the category.

Get this plate free or at a discount depending on the category.

Running can bring you some many positive.  It keeps you fit and healthy. It helps clear your mind. It helps improve your confidence. Running is also a tool to reach out and help others.  RF Pilipinas Run is designed just for that with Cavalry Christian Life School in Tuding, Itogon, Benguet as the main beneficiary.  The run is happening on March 12, 2017 at 2017 at the CCP Complex in Pasay City.

Choose your distance.  Get a feel of the running lifestyle with a short but sweet 5 kilometer run.  Go for a challenging 10 kilometer run or go for a longer distance 16K run.   RenderFarms Sports brings you a race that’s suited for all types of runners.  It’s gonna make your heart healthy with the run and it will warm your heart that each step you make will go to a really good cause.

The major sponsor of the run is Rain International with its SOUL product.  SOUL is a seed-based wellness products that will help complement your active lifestyle.  It’s your race nutrition coming from safer and natural sources.

Whatever reasons you run, just run and RF Pilipinas Run would be a perfect venue to enjoy a feel-good run with a good purpose.

Race Details

Date and Venue:

  • Date: March 12, 2017
  • Venue: CCP Complex Pasay City

Fees And Inclusions:

  • 5K – 650 (singlet/finisher medal) the first 500 registrants will get “PROUD RUNNER” plate at a reduce price of 175Php
  • 10K – 750 (singlet/finisher medal) the first 500 registrants will get “PROUD RUNNER” plate at a reduce price of 150Php
  • 16K – 900 (singlet/finisher medal & shirt) the first 500 registrants will get “PROUD RUNNER” plate or Free.
  • All race kits will be sent by Courier for Online registrants starting from Feb 1 plus courier charges
  • The Cost of Proud Runner Plate is 500php for registrants only.

Registration

  • Online (December 15, 2016 – January 30, 2017) – Via Goorahna
  • In Store (February 1-28, 2017) – TBA

Race Updates

  • Contact via SMS RF Sports
    • (Sun) 0925-777-0956
    • (Globe) 0936-911-3845
    • (Smart) 0998-793-7976
    • (Pldt) 074 424-1869
Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Share Your #IWill Stories and Get A Chance to Win Under Armour Items

New Year! New You! That’s the strong theme of the 2017.  While you’re at it, why not get a chance to a full set of Under Armour Gear as you share your fitness resolution and #IWill Stories.

#IWill

Aim for a fitter New Year and Under Armour, the world’s top performance brand, is right there to support you.  Pledge a goal / challenge for 2017 and say I Will.  Tell them how you plan to achieve that goal and get support from your family, friends and network.  Let the #IWill story not only inspire you to be a better version of yourself but let it also inspire the rest to be fit, healthy and be a lot better in 2017.  Under Armour also has the full range of performance apparel that can help you reinforce that goal and you could win some too by joining the #IWill2017 giveaway.

Here’s how to join:

1. Think of a PLEDGE/GOAL/CHALLENGE that you would like to work on in 2017.
2. Show them how you plan to work on that PLEDGE/GOAL/CHALLENGE, in photo or video of yourself.
3. Post and tag @UnderArmourPH on instagram, include the hashtags: #IWILL2017 and #UnderArmourPH  (“ENSURE YOUR ACCOUNT IS SET TO PUBLIC”)
The TOP 3 most creative entries from the philippines will stand to win a full set of Under Armour gear (top,bottom,shoes) contest period till January 27 (23:59 PHT)
This is an Instagram exclusive contest.

Terms and Conditions:

  • Contest period: 16 Dec 2016 – 27 Jan 2017
  • The three winners from each country (SG, MY, PH, TH, ID) will be announced over Instagram throughout the week of 30 Jan 2017. Winners will be contacted via Instagram Direct Message.
  • Upon being selected, the participant has to provide the desired size of his/her top, bottom and shoes. Prizes have to be collected in-person in the respective countries (no authorization of another individual to collect on your behalf).
  • By entering, you are allowing UA Sports (S.E.A.) Pte. Ltd. and/or its affiliates to contact you via Instagram and Email.
  • UA Sports (S.E.A.) Pte. Ltd. reserves the right to amend or vary any terms and conditions at its sole discretion, at any time.
Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , | 8 Comments

Color Manila Run 2017

Another Colorful Start of the Year for Me!

Another Colorful Start of the Year for Me!

For the 5th straight year, I’m starting the year the colorful way.  It’s just mesmerizing to watch the colorful display at the color powder ceremony. It’s just pure fun being splattered with color powders along the different color powder station each having a unique theme.  Happy Colorful New Year to One and All!

Happy Colorful New Year!!! - Photo by RJ of Running Photographers

Happy Colorful New Year!!! – Photo by RJ of Running Photographers

Read About:

Color Manila Run 2017

5 colorful years of Color Manila

5 colorful years of Color Manila

Honestly, I woke up late for the run because my body clock is still on off season. It was a good thing that I set my alarm an hour earlier, which made it possible to still meet the 6 am gun start.  It’s always like that on my first race of the year but knowing that its a no-pressure, all-fun run makes Color Manila Run my first race of the year. In fact, it’s been that way for the last 5 years.  I haven’t missed the event since it started and would probably be present in the next stagings too.   This would surely be fun!!!

Race Route

Race Route is powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sports.

Race Route is powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sports.

The race starts at Seaside Boulevard and heads to the right side of Diokno Boulevard and Sunrise Drive for an out and back before heading to Macapagal Boulevard at the 3 kilometer mark.  The race then goes to Macapagal Boulevard and V. Sotto for the u-turn at kilometer 5.  The race heads back to Seaside drive for the next 2 kilometers before going to the left side of Diokno Boulevard for an out and back and the finish at Seaside Drive.

The Race

Before Gunstart with Spongebob Runner

Before Gunstart with Spongebob Runner

After arriving 30 minutes before gun start, I went around the village to check on some running friends.  I first saw Merl (Spongebob runner) and his son so I went with them before the opening ceremonies.  After the opening prayer, national anthem and warm up, it was gun start.  I was planning to start slow as I’m no longer built for road races having been on off season and spending most of the time on the trails.

Another Colorful start of the year at Color Manila – Photo by Rj of Running Photographers.

At gunstart, I started fast for the first 500 meters just to have more running space given that there are thousands of runners in the 10K distance.  After that it was all easy pace for me.  I really felt rusty for this one and even early in the race, I had shin splints so I went on a shorter run- walk pace just to ensure I would still be pacing at a consistent pace.  That’s one of the good things I like about Color Manila Run. It’s a no-pressure race and most of the participants are there just to have fun.

A-Ok!!! - Photo by RJ of Running Photographers

A-Ok!!! – Photo by RJ of Running Photographers

After the out and back at Diokno Boulevard, the Purple Station was located at Sunrise Drive.  Each color station had a different theme, which made each visit at the color station a unique experience.  We got splattered by purple powders and we’d be keeping that color for quite some time as the next color station would be at the second half of the race.

having fun - Photo by RJ of Running Photographers.

having fun – Photo by RJ of Running Photographers.

I started to get more comfortable running again when I reached Macapagal Boulevard. I also saw the early finishers in the 21 kilometer category by the other side of the road.  I went on a longer run interval in Macapagal and V. Sotto heading to the u-turn slot and just like that the race is halfway through.  I went on a consistent effort on the way back to Seaside Drive promising myself to just enjoy the color station at the last 3 kilometers of the race.

With the Great Jared, Spongebob Runner and Son.

With the Great Jared, Spongebob Runner and Son.

The first was the Orange station and it had a sporty theme with several minor obstacle. I said hi to Coach Mherlz, who was part of the Orange station.  It was party atmosphere at Diokno Boulevard starting with the Blue Station with a really upbeat drums being played throughout the event.  The next was the green station, which was my favorite station.  They had a really upbeat music and the volunteers were really gamely dancing with the participants.

We love of Vitamin Boost!!!

We love of Vitamin Boost!!!

The other side of Diokno Boulevard had the yellow station which was another lively themed station.  The last station was the pink station, which was also fully entertaining and fun.  It was then time to head to the finish line with the last 500 meters of the race.  That was really fun and except for the rustiness, it didn’t feel like a 10 kilometer run because I was having so much fun in the race.

With LJ of Running Photographers.

With LJ of Running Photographers.

I then spent the rest of the time meeting running friends and of course, watching the much awaited Color Powder Ceremony. Justine of Color Manila made the last two minutes before the festival a lot more meaningful by reminding us that 2017 is a new year, a new start and a time for change.  Powders up and it was another glorious color display that has continued to visually amaze my for the past 5 years. Great job Color Manila!

Thanks to my Sponsor Lightwater/Vitamin Boost for the pack of Vitamin Boost.

Thanks to my Sponsor Lightwater/Vitamin Boost for the pack of Vitamin Boost.

Categories: My Runs | Tags: , , , , | 34 Comments

Suunto Spartan Ultra is Definitely Progress Beyond Logic

Suunto Spartan Ultra is the ultimate sports and adventure watch. It keeps you aware of all the metrics you need on your workout.  It has a touch screen display, bluetooth connectivity and it’s an investment to a lifestyle of fitness and adventure.

Read About:

Suunto

There’s so many factors to consider in getting a sports watch.  You have to consider your budget, expectations and even long-term plans.  Different sports watches comes in different price range and features.  Low on budget, go for the basic features and it’s still good to go.  If you’re in for fitness and adventure for the long-term then having a Suunto makes lot of sense.  I’ve been a Suunto user since 2013 and that means covering thousands of kilometers running and biking with it.  Along the years, Suunto also got better from better features to an even better post work-out metrics and videos.

Aside from the video recap after the race. You can also save existing route and use it for navigation purposes on future runs.  You can customize your views and it can really help you on your race.  It’s really a mental edge being aware of the distance, pace, elevation, heart rate and a lot more.  I still use for Suunto Ambit 2 Sports for indoor cycling since it’s Ant+ compatible.  Starting with the Ambit 3 series, Suunto shifted to Bluetooth technology, which is more accurate when it comes to pairing of the devices. It’s also a watch that can go with you even on regular days as it can go as a lifestyle watch.

Suunto Spartan Ultra

What then sets Suunto Spartan Ultra apart?  The more obvious part is that it goes touchscreen and shifts to a colored display.  So it can go with a digital or analog display and you can vary your watch face.  It also has an activity monitor that allows you to monitor the calories and steps you make in a day.  I actually like this feature since I like watching my calories and activity in line with what I eat and do. Spartan Ultra can really make you more aware of your activities even on regular days.

Suunto Spartan Ultra has customized views per sport depending on the metrics you’d want to monitor.  You really don’t need to customize the views since you almost have all the metrics specially when you have 5 windows view available.   It helps having all the metrics in one view as you get to see everything already and saves you time shifting from one window to another. I actually discovered how to better customize the views with Movescount.

Just create a new sport mode and you can customize you’re views.  I prefer the average pace, heart rate, distance and duration on regular routes.  I would add the altitude and cadence on hilly routes.  The third view is the history of the laps in the run.  With that I’m good to go!!!

Operation Customize- Success!!!

Operation Customize- Success!!!

Suunto Sapartan Ultra In Action

Suunto Spartan Ultra powering my year-end climb to Mount Ulap

Suunto Spartan Ultra powering my year-end climb to Mount Ulap

If there’s one thing that I appreciate about Suunto Spartan Ultra is that it gives you awareness on the run or climb.  It’s really a mental edge when you know your elevation, your pace, your heart rate, your cadence, etc.  If you need to reach 1,000 meters of elevation, it helps to know that you’re slowly chipping in the elevation and  When you’re running a marathon, you’d like to know the distance and the pace to be able to control your energy reserves.  When you’re running a fast 10K, you’d like to know your heart rate to know if you can push yourself further.  When you’re an a rhythmic run, you’d like to know that you are maintaining your desired cadence.  Suunto Spartan Ultra can do all of that for you in real time.

Yellow Trails with Suunto Spartan Ultra

Yellow Trails with Suunto Spartan Ultra

Another clincher is the battery life. At best GPS accuracy, you’re good to go for 18 hours and it can go on for 65 hours at a lower GPS accuracy.  That’s a perfect watch for an Ultramarathons or for those going for overnight climbs.  GPS detection is fast, you’ll barely notice the watch searching for GPS when you start your exercise.  Having your watch on full power can really help you notice your progress especially on those seemingly endless trails and runs.  Suunto Spartan Ultra has also navigation features you can use when you get lost. You can also upload a route and the watch would guide you in terms of direction.

Tanay with Suunto Spartan Ultra

Tanay with Suunto Spartan Ultra

Suunto Spartan Ultra is your ultimate adventure watch and can go with different sports.  With it’s bluetooth connectivity, you can easily link it to your phone for easy loading of your work outs.  It also prompts you with messages from your phone and different apps even on workout mode.  Suunto Spartan Ultra is an investment to a lifestyle of fitness and adventure and that to me is priceless.

SUUNTO Spartan is distributed by Time Depot and retails at the following prices:

  • Spartan Ultra All Black Titanium P45,000
  • Spartan Ultra Stealth Titanium 40,000
  • Spartan Ultra Black 40,000
  • Spartan Ultra White 40,000

Available at the following stores nationwide:

Metro Manila

  • Time Depot Rockwell, Shangri-La, Festival Mall, SM the Block, SM Mall of Asia, Robinsons’ Manila,
  • Maximus Athlete’s Café Shop

North Luzon

  • Time Depot Harborpoint Subic

Visayas/Mindanao

  • Time Depot SM Cebu, SM Davao, Centrio Cagayan de Oro
Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , | 33 Comments

Year of The Franc XI

2016 was a year of change. Change does not come easy.  It’s a road filled with struggles and failures but when you own up to your responsibilities, you’ll always find a way to succeed.  Lessons were learned and those would come in handy in 2017.

Year of The Franc XI

Towards the end of the year, I got a chance to visit my Lola at Bario Mamat-ing in La Union.  It was the site of a lot of childhood summers fun. Things were simple. We’d wake up, play all day, get dirty and call it a great day.  Well, my life is far from simple. In 2016, I made it even more complicated.  I started my own Company while still working full time.  I started a new website.  Through the website, we organized our own race.  I still had my training load as well as regular races.  To this day, I don’t know how I got past everything but I do feel how difficult it was to try to juggle so many things.  Having the Annual Year of the Franc post makes me appreciate the past 12 months including people who lent a helping hand along the way.

FrancRamon Enterprises Inc.

The first few months of setting up my own corporation was humbling. It was a big feat being able to start but the first lessons of business I got was reality is always far from expectation.  It wasn’t a walk in the park as I am the President, CFO, Accountant, Messenger, Driver and a lot more on my own Company. I hope it will expand one day but I am learning a lot from this venture.  Business is a game of innovation and always learning and finding ways of reaching out to your market.  I need to spend more time growing the business come 2017.

The Trail is My Playground

The Story of 2016 was my growing love for the trails. For the first quarter, I still was doing my routine races but when I started building up for Cordillera Mountain Run in June, it was trail love all over.  I was in the trails on a weekly basis and I was happy to visit a lot of new trails and growing my Tale of The Trail database.  Whether you are fast or slow on the trail, you learn to adopt faster the longer you stay in the trails.  Even after the race, it became routine now spending weekends at the trails or joining races.

PinoyTrails.Com

Pinoy Trails was born out of the love of the trails.  Together with several like minded persons, we founded Pinoy Trails.  We wanted it to be a forum where trail runners, mountaineers and trail enthusiast can share their stories and create a trail database to further promote the trails.  It’s always difficult to start but we’re slowly sending out message.  We’re slowly expanding our presence in trail events and also had our very own event, Sierra Trail Adventure Race to raise the brand awareness of Pinoy Trails.

Sierra Trail Adventure Race

Sierra Trail Adventure Race gave me the highest and lowest moment of my year.  Having your event cancelled by the typhoon was really depressing.  We got rid of the negativity, regrouped and started planning a great race.  The highlight of that journey was having people around you who are passionate enough to help without expecting anything in return. Honestly, we didn’t have much to offer since all the budget was gone even before the first staging.  With the very light environment and happy runners on race day, it made all the tough times before worth it.  We did learn a lot but I’m glad we had a group who took ownership of the responsibility and made it successful.

The Running Lifestyle

If there was something that partially took the backseat, it was my running lifestyle.  I was able to join 20 races but the bulk of it were on trails.  I opted to rest my injuries towards the last quarter of the year in preparation to bigger and badder 2017 races.  Even with less races, I still ensured that I still get my regular dose of calories burned.

FrancRamon.Com

While I still get my regular traffic, my own site has also taken a backseat with my busy schedule.  Though somehow, it’s also something I wanted.  I don’t want to over post on my site that it loses it’s personal touch.  I also invested time on my site in previous year that it can generate its own traffic.  I guess we’re in for a leaner and meaner Francramon.Com in 2017.

Bucket List

I had several out of the country trips during the year with trips to Taiwan, China, Singapore and Japan.  Japan would be the highlight of my year in travel.  While I don’t really officially have a bucket list hiking Mount Fuji is definitely worthy to be included in the list.  I personally make sure I do get at one big vacation or out of the country hike per year.  2016 would be the year for Fuji.  I was also able to visit Catanduanes, which was a beautiful as Batanes.

Towards Year 2017

A year always starts and ends in my home town, Baguio City.  Family will always be the one constant in your life the you can count on.  Honestly, I feel tired and burned out towards the end of 2016.  Having to mix up so many things can really take the energy right out of you.  The lessons came in 2016.  2017 will be smoother with the right focus and the right mindset. It’s time to make life a lot simpler.

2017, I’m Ready!

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , | 34 Comments