Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wanna Tri This?

Swim (750m), Bike (20km), Run (5km)

Body markings starts at 5:30AM

Race starts at 7AM

Awarding of medals and certificates will follow.

Registration Fee: P450 (Individual or Tandem/Relay)
(Inclusive of Tshirt, Race kit, Certificate, and FULL meal)

Race Day Registration: P500

For more info: 

Katrina - 09228218852
Joey - 09321519073

Registration forms available at Track and Field Stadium in Dumaguete City.


PLEASE DON'T FORGET TO INDICATE YOUR TSHIRT SIZE on the registration form! For those who will register on or before June 8, 2011, tshirts will be released on the race day!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ultramarathon virgin no more!

“Any idiot can run a marathon, but it takes a special kind of idiot to run an ultramarathon.” Anonymous

After running 65.33 kilometers last Sunday, I must admit I am already a special idiot myself. I joined the Labor Day Coast to Coast 65K Ultramarathon: Only the Strong with only one mission in mind – to cross the finish line in 12hours or less. I crossed the finish line at 11 hours, 23 minutes and 23 seconds. I was the 161st runner out of 219 starters. Only 187 runners made it to the 12-hour cut-off time.

This is the second ultramarathon instalment in Cebu brought by the frontRUNNER magazine and its editor-in-chief and publisher Jonel Mendoza. Sir Jonel added 15K from last year’s first ultra. This year, we started from the old municipal hall of Toledo, ran to Balamban town, and then traversed the killer hills of Cansomoroy to the long and winding transcentral highway and end up at the Cebu Capitol.

Days before I decided to run this ultra, my mind is already set that I will divide the whole distance into three. I told myself that I will ran three half marathons. The remaining 2-3kms will be a homestretch fun run.

First 21K: Galloway Method

My adoptive running brother Marvin Pangan aka Kuya Kim of Team CB (Cool Buddies) paced with me from the start up to the first 21K. We did the 4:1 Galloway method and it went very well. Our goal that time was to reach 40kms in 6.5hours. We made it at almost 7hours.

I wasn’t able to befriend the killer hills of Cansomoroy. They were my enemies that time. My left quads and right hamstring acted up. I can’t help but limp as I continuously walked the dreaded route. But I said to myself that I was lucky enough to do hill training at least twice in Busay and at Alta Vista. At least I was able to endure the 840-meter elevation of Cansomoroy.

On the other hand, the downhills were my friends. I’d make sure to run and keep up with the pace. I was clocking an average speed of 6:30 mins/km on every downhill run. It was just so hard for my knees and legs and feet to hold with my 80kgs weight. Fortunately, I didn’t suffer any injury during this experience.

Second 21K: LSS

When I was a kid, I used to sing at Church. One of the many songs I recalled when I was walking up the killer hills was “I’ve Got Peace like a River” which I’ve been singing since I was small. So when I was conquering a steep hill, this song was my Last Song Syndrome. And I repeated it six times each hill.            

This is the most gruelling and challenging part of the route. I remembered last year when I ran this route but that was from JY to Balamban. This time, it’s the other way around. I thought I’m done walking and running the hills but I was wrong. There were more uphills and downhills. I’m just that glad that the elevation was not as high as that of Cansomoroy.

Third 21K: Umbrella Hat

Weather gurus were right about the weather condition and temperature for May 1 -- cloudy skies in the morning to little drizzling to clear skies and sunny by noon. So I donned the official Ungo Team Ultra shirt, my TG zebra socks, white cap and black shorts, white sleeves, sunglasses and Halo headgear, and of course, my yellow umbrella hat. I figured that it will be really hot by mid-day so I bought one the day before the race.

Alas! The sun was up! It was a high 33.2 degrees Celsius and the heat was really painful. So my yellow umbrella just did the trick. It covered my face down to my shoulders. Since I changed my headgear when I reached the TG station at the Leyson Peak, cheerers, bystanders and even motorists can’t help but stare at me. Kids would laugh, smile and cheer. In return, I gave the chocolates I reloaded in my belt bag to them.


I felt relieved after seeing the Marco Polo Hotel in Lahug. I told myself that I will run as fast as I can and make a strong finish. I passed one runner after another. All in all, I passed 10 runners from the last 3kms down to the finish line. I passed barefooter-teammate Rodney Cabahug who was already injured. He was already suffering from ITBS. I tapped his back and told him I will see him at the finish line.

Elite runner Joel Cuyos approached me and poured cold water on my shoulders and nape. I continued to run. After a few hundred meters, I saw Joel running after me and poured water again to my neck and shoulders and saying that I can do it. He can already see my face crying in pain. My knees wobbled and my legs are hurt.

I knew that my family will be there at the finish line as I instructed Agatha to send a text to my brother. They were at the Capitol since 2PM waiting for me. Looking at my Garmin, it’s been more than 11 hours that I have been running and I am already tired. But when I reached Capitol, I saw my family waiting and cheering for me at the sideline. I was so overwhelmed that when I climb up the stairs, I readily took off the umbrella hat and my shirt, knelt and kissed the ground. It was just an amazing finish!

Outstanding Support

I am glad to have my better half Agatha Llamasares as my mobile support crew. She and Daryl Igot were on a scooter motorcycle braving the hills and continually giving me aid, water, energy drink, and anything that can make endure the route. They are my unsung heroes.

Teammate Adrian Catingub was also there to provide extra mobile support. Although he is officially supporting my fellow TG mates Kingking Perez and Ryan Gonzaga, he also provided me with anything I need on the way.

The Ungo Running community also fielded support stations throughout the route. They are everywhere – wearing the smiley shirts and you can’t help but smile when you see them.  They have everything you need from water, Gatorade, sponge, ice, chocolates, cookies and even a massage.

My TG support crew were strategically stationed at the Leyson Peak. You can see them scram from their station to help an injured runner, to spray water in our faces, to massage our tired limbs, to capture your running moment, and to simply put a smile on your face. I couldn’t help but laugh at a sign they specially made for me. It says “Bahala’g OPAW basta dili UHAW! Go Richie Al!”. 

What’s next for me?

When I shook the hand of Sir Jonel Mendoza and thanked him for the experience, he replied and said “Ano, 102 na tayo?”. (Obviously, he was referring to the next ultra this November). I was laughing but deep inside I was contemplating if I would run. But two days after the ultramarathon, I was one of the few runners who wrote on Sir Jonel’s Facebook page. I asked him to reserve the bib #116 for me this coming November for the Cebu Century Challenge. 
Thank you Agatha!

102K Birthday Run? Hmmmm..... 

Thanx to Alex Llamasares and Sydney delos Reyes for the photos.


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