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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Milo Marathon Iloilo Chronicles: Reebok Classic Ultralite: A Purple Running Shoe

Hello hello hello.

I am supposed to blog about my Ensure to Endure 2 experience first but Riobebe is taking his sweet time uploading the results, so, instead I will just jump ahead and talk about my Milo Marathon Iloilo leg expedition.

You know what the capital rule in running a race is? Never try anything new on race day. Well. Milo Marathon Iloilo will be a lot of new things for me:

  • first time to run in Iloilo, first time ever to step foot in the roads of Iloilo, actually
  • first time to run a 21k road race
  • first time to run in my new Reebok Classic Ultralite

Yes, I am crazy but I have my reasons, so hear me out first before you mentally send me a raincloud over my head.

  • I am getting bored running in MOA, BGC and Luneta.
  • I have ran a 31k trail run so the distance is not really my issue but the impact that the road will have on my knees, hence...
  • I bought the Reebok Classic Ultralite because it has at least a little cushioning compared to my Zem Gear Terra which I have always worn for my races.

So what the heck is this shoe I am talking about? It is not famous and it took me a while before I spotted it in the shelves. Although Reebok is marketing heavily on Zigtech, I did not try it on because of the supertastic support it gives, it is, I think a stability shoe. I was left with the marshmallow sole Real Flex.

I tried on the Real Flex and the Classic Ultralite. One at a time. And then with one on each foot. On both cases, the Real Flex allowed my foot to pronate. Not good. It was a cushy ride but I don't want to undo months of work trying to correct my extreme overpronation. The Classic Ultralite was not that cushy, but, my feet were level when they landed. (To my friends who run on high tech rides: I know, I know, but humor me on this one, ok? Cheers!)

I checked the sole of the Classic Ultralite and found that it was wider than the Real Flex's. I was very keen on buying something that has a wide toe box and wide sole because my feet are like Magilla Gorilla's, I think I have opposable toes. Aside from my massive toes fitting in, other big plusses for me were the following: the Classic Ultralite has a sole with a very low heel to toe drop and it has a very minimalist upper. Well, I am tempted to cut off the tongue but still, the upper is made of breathable material, breathable as in when you blow from the outside, you can feel your breath inside the shoe. Ok so no one actually breathes into their shoes, but I just got this so it doesn't have feet gunk yet, clear? There is also very minimal cushioning and support at the Achilles area.

So anyway, I have yet to run any distance in these shoes, except for the tiny runs I made around the store, which I think mortified the two sales clerks because I looked like an elephant running amok, but anyway, I think the Reebok Classic Ultralite are really minimalist shoes! Well, well, well.

I will post photos as soon as I have time. I am dying of deadlines right now and my back is also acting up. Anywho, let us just say that it is so purple I look like I am running on purple yams. :D

My Tarahumara friends would approve of my purple yam shoes, I think.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hijab Run for Peace: A first and a third

Back when I was in high school, I was president of a club called the Religious Youth in Action. Yes, trust me, I was. But since our high school was in Cotabato City, I thought we needed to show diversity, all of us were Catholics and it felt absurd. So my friend Amer set up a sister club called the Muslim Students Association and I am proud to say that the two organizations made waves together. More than we could have done alone.

During our term there was a fire and war victims that needed our help. We organized donation drives and were able to fill up elf trucks. We even went to an orphanage and donated food and clothing as well. It was a good year.

Yesterday, I was lucky to be a part of something bigger but of the same tone as what Amer and I started back in high school. Yesterday we made history with the First Hijab Run for Peace. It was a solidarity run where females of all faith are invited to join. All of us wore our hijabs or scarves.

What is a hijab? It is simply a piece of cloth that covers the hair and neck of a woman. It is a sign of modesty, privacy and morality. It is not a sign of oppression. Mama Mary wore one and so do nuns. Why? Read this.

So then, it is a piece of clothing that symbolizes something. Other than that, it's basically a fashion statement too. And if we can allow hideous crimes of fashion, surely wearing a fashionable veil shouldn't offend anyone. I know this is putting it simply, but really, sometimes, it is that simple.

hijab run starting line
Starting Line: The Edsa People Power Monument, a symbol of freedom and peace.

hijab run race bib
My race bib.

hijab run shirt print
The Hijab Run Long Sleeve Shirt Print

We were asked to wear a hijab, whatever faith we had, pink was preferred but I had mine in red.
hijab run big turnout
A big turnout!

Raj Dilangalen leading the pack. Males were allowed to run. In the end it became a family and friends event where everyone went in and ran beside each other.

The AFP was in support of the Hijab Run. Male and female members of the AFP ran with us.

A run for the whole family!

The guests of honor.

And yes, this is probably the ONLY time I will ever get to be a podium finisher but there you have it, 3rd place. I am glad I made my podium run in a historic event. I may not be remembered but I am sure that the event will and that is good enough for me.

So there, my running friends. The Hijab Run for Peace was a first of its kind. And I ended up as the third placer. Goes to show that sometimes, we get more than we expect from joining a run for a cause. We think that we are giving too much of our time and effort to it when in fact it gives back more to us in return.

We may not believe in the same things but the key to life is maintaining a balance, coexistence, learning to run alongside each other without needing to criticize each other's running outfit or gait or breathing.

We must understand the things that are unknown or new to us before we label it as wrong or bad or oppressive. We can run in the dark if we bring a lamp to shine through it.

Tarahumaras' to the finish line!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Green Running 101: Upcycling hydration packaging

So you've received your loot bag at the end of the race and like a kid, you find yourself with juice and milk in Tetra Pak packaging inside your loot bad, together with other weird things like, say, feminine wash (and you're a guy). Everyone says Tetra Pak packaging is recyclable, but hey, you want to find out for yourself.

So, here's a cool thing that you can do:

Step 1: Unfold your Tetra Pak packaging.
Step 2: Cut into strips and fold into triangles.
Step 3: Connect the triangles with more strips of Tetra Pak packaging.
Step 4: Connect the dots! Err... the Tetra Pak hexs and pents.

This was designed by Ed Chew. And yes his name is quite apt for what he does, food packaging upcycling. Geek alert! 

Anyway, it does take time to create such a lamp, but remember, these materials take a LONGER time to decompose and get recycled. So if you have time, a lot of Tetra Pak packaging from your hydration (hint: you can now get Tropicana Coco Quench in convenient Tetra Pak bricks, sip and run!), you can just add one at a time and watch your project grow. Kinda like our training. We train a little bit here and there and we add more muscle, we get more endurance and that kinda good stuff!

Wanna see how it ends up? Here:

Oh and by the way, the pattern you see on the walls? That's made by the lamp itself! Pretty cool, huh? Hang this in your apartment and the pretty girls you bring home wont even notice the running stuff clutter strewn all over your walls, floors... ceiling???

If you want to read more about this, you can do so here.

Tetra Pak RFR -Recycle.Feed.Run

Of course if you have two left hands (ok I know you have great feet that have ran ultras but we're talking about hands here, hands that can handle craft scissors so cool it bebe), you can simply bring your Tetra Pak packaging, used, cleaned and flattened to register for the Tetra Pak RFR - Recycle.Feed.Run. Bring any two packaging to register. Bring any 5 packaging and get a 50 peso discount. How bout that? Find out more about the Tetra Pak RFR - Recycle.Feed.Run here.

So my dear green running friends, let's run like the Tarahumara!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Green Running 101: Shoot that Cup! Tetra Pak RFR - Recycle.Feed.Run

Bad publicity is bad publicity. Running events have their own share of paparazzi, some of them we love because they take photos of us while we are in action, photos we can upload on our social networks and be proud of. But some paparazzi can be critical and we have seen photos of hydration stations with no runners or marshals but with a lot of used cups on the road. These photos have even made it to the international news.
The New York Marathon has it's own share of trash problems too.
But this doesn't mean we should not do anything about it here.

We all know that the cups do get cleaned up after the race but the keyword is “after”. Nobody actually cleans up during the race because there are a lot of runners coming in for their hydration; and for the marshals to weave through them, picking up the cups on the road can be annoying and even dangerous. So runners rush by, drink, throw the cups on the road and the marshals wait for the race to finish so they don't get trampled on, before they clean up.

We can start by using
hydrapaks and bottles.
Now, there are two ways to lower the risk of having photos of littered hydration stations from leaking online. One is for runners to bring in their own bottles or hydration packs so that no cups will be needed in the hydration stations. Runners will just have to fill their bottles from the water or hydration source. Now, not all runners are comfortable running with bottles or hydration packs, and runners who are very conscious of their time do not want to spend precious minutes lining up for a refill. So that is something that is a bit hard to ask for runners, although it has been done in trail races here in the Philippines, but in road races where speed is the main goal, anything that keeps a runner from breezing through is considered a nuisance.

The other way is easier and simpler but it takes a lot of discipline from runners. So what do we do to make sure that hydration stations do not look like mini dump sites during a race? Well, we have to shoot that cup in the trash bin! It's a very simple solution but really, it is all that is needed to solve the problem. It is easier to just throw the cup wherever after drinking from it but if the trash bins are numerous enough and are spaced evenly so that runners don't have to crowd to throw the cups, then runners will have no excuse at all and no reason why they could not throw the cups in the bins.

Seriously runners, if this dog can shoot that kalat, surely we can train ourselves to do the same!
To all runners out there, if we have the discipline to train hard for races, then we also have it in us to condition ourselves to throw cups where their supposed to go. Ask your race organizer to provide enough trash bins and to space them well to avoid crowding.

In the end, our goal should be to minimize waste and if we can take the time to bring our own reusable hydration containers, then all the better for us and the environment. Remember, we run for a healthy body but we must not forget how important it is to run in a healthy environment.

Tetra Pak RFR - Recycle.Feed.Run

If you want to help more, join the Tetra Pak RFR – Recycle.Feed.Run on November 18, 2012. By joining this event, you will participate in a massive effort to recycle Tetra Pak packaging, feed underprivileged children and run a green race.
Learn more about the event and how to register here.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Night of Goodwill The Tetra Pak RFR - Recycle. Feed. Run Media Launch

Guests started trickling in at around 5pm in the beautiful MegaWorld Showroom at the McKinley Hill Information Center in Taguig City.

There were a mix of bloggers, running enthusiasts and members of the press. Mars Callo of, Jazz Runner Rene Villarta and the avid followers of HyperSports Philippines were all there to show their support and excitement for the upcoming event.

The arrival of Bearwin Meily, known as Runtarantantan the running community, lit up the room with smiles and laughter. He was the perfect host for the event as he provided the entertainment as well as first-hand knowledge of running as a sport.

HyperSports VP for Marketing, Lawrence Macalinao welcomed everyone to the event and VP for Business Development and Race Director Engr. Ralph Waldy Soguilon discussed the details of the event including the race mechanics and highlights.

Soon after, the dinner buffet was opened and everyone enjoyed a quick break of good food and good conversation.

But the light conversation soon gave way to a more formal press conference as Mr. Macalinao, and Mr. Soguilon were joined by Ms. Shiella Sorrel, Communications and Event Coordinator of Tetra Pak Philippines and Mr. Fritz Cruz, Senior Account Executive of Alouatta Group PR to answer the questions of the guests.

The questions raised were mostly focused on Tetra Pak and its intentions with the event. The members of the press were assured that Tetra Pak was in it for real and that this was only one of the many efforts that they make each year to disseminate information not just about the brand but on how to recycle their products.

Tetra Pak has recycling projects in schools in Metro Manila with expansions slated in the future to include more provinces and more schools. Tetra Pak packages are recycled into notebook paper, boxes, tissue papers and even roofs! It is interesting to note that Tetra Pak makes an effort to create end-user campaigns on how to recycle their products because there are not a lot, if any at all, of packaging companies that will go to such lengths.

With the Tetra Pak RFR - Recycle. Feed. Run, Tetra Pak hopes to engage runners and their family and friends on the company's efforts on recycling and reaching out to the community. Upon registration, runners will have to present at least two (2) clean and flattened Tetra Pak packaging. To encourage runners to bring more, they will get a 50peso discount on their registration fees if they present five (5) clean and flattened Tetra Pak packaging. 

But to those with a heart for children, they might want to bring even more because for every Tetra Pak packaging runners present, Tetra Pak will donate one (1) 200 or 250ml milk in Tetra Pak packaging to underprivileged children. The donation will be turned over to the beneficiary on the day of the event itself. This is in line with the worldwide Feed-a-Child program of Tetra Pak.

The launch ended with the guests receiving loot bags containing milk in Tetra Pak packaging and gift certificates for the race itself.

All in all it was a successful event and HyperSports and Tetra Pak were both hopeful that on race day, they will receive the same warm reception from the runners.

Register for the Tetra Pak RFR - Recycle. Feed. Run at Toby's, Runnr, ARC,ROX, SecondWind and online at