Friday, August 29, 2008

Nike+ Human Race

Warning: The post below are toxic. If you're the type to get indigestions from caustic bloggers, move on, this post might give you ulcer. You have better things to do with your time than read someone else rant. But if you're a big boy/girl and up to it, then read with care and a cup of tea, it'll help you calm down. And just so you know, no happy endings on this particular post.

Nike is holding an event called Nike+ Human Race. It's a 10K run at the Bonifacio Global City to be held simultaneously in different parts of the world. This race have one of the most innovative concept and have the ambitious goal of being the world's biggest one-day running event. And checking out other running blogs, this race have caught on and is well anticipated. All well and good.

But there's a catch to join this event. You need to purchase expensive Nike accessories to join the race otherwise you're excluded from joining the event. And there in lies my issues with Nike and it's organizers.

Like most runners, I love running and running in events/races are something I'm passionate about. Running in races are more than just about PRs and clocking 3/10/21/42K on your Sunday run. Running races are community events and it is a way for you to connect to that community of runners that you have a strong sense of affiliation. It galls me to see sponsors and organizers turn an open community event into a exclusive party for people with the coolest toys, promoting a not-so-subtle theme of "others who don't have shiny new baubles from sponsors - need not join". And in the context of this 'exclusivity', I find it patronizing that sponsors are 'generous' with their gifts that 'lucky' runners may have the privilege of joining the party.

Lest my post be misconstrued, I don't have anything against runners joining the event. A good run is a good run whether it's run at Takbo Bayani or Nike+ Human Race. And let me state it clearly, I don't have anything against sponsors promoting their fancy whiz-bang gadgets and holding run events. What I do mind and feel strongly against are sponsors and organizers excluding runners from participating in a community events that is first and foremost about runners.

Considering the popularity of Nike+ Human Race and how it caught on with other runners, there goes my pogi points, say goodbye to getting freebies and invites. Such is life :-) But sometimes, it's better to speak up on things your feel strongly about and to say your piece (clearly and distinctly that people know where you stand), and hold your peace. And these are what I have to say.

So for those running on Sunday, I bid you well and good luck, have a great run (no sarcasms or voodoo chants). For sponsors and organizers... I hope that your next event are open for general public.

So... are there any happy endings in this affair? Sadly in this post, no. There's a number of good post about Nike+ Human Race but this is not one of them.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Very Special Love (review)

Hey, before I forget, just gotta rave this funniest movie I've seen.

Last weekend, we're supposed to see "Don't Mess With Zohan" but apparently they're no longer showing it at the theaters so we ended up watching Pinoy chick-flick instead. "A Very Special Love" featuring Sarah Geronimo and John Lloyd Cruz. Woohoo!

The short story of it is that there this cheeky executive PA (Sarah) and this mean, heartless and over-bearing big boss (Lloyd). In the course of their working together, they fell in love. And that's the best I can describe it. This movie was the usual cheesy Pinoy chick-flick movie, just heck funnier than usual.

I haven't really seen any of Sarah's movies or shows but this one, LOVED it! She's funny, bubbly and endearing and so kikay, you cannot not love her in this one. She's not über-babe that can grace FHM (she's really more like your sister) but her sheer verve and funny antics more than made up for it. I was just laughing loud!

And you gotta check out the rain dance routine, that is probably the coolest dance routine of the year. If that doesn't crack you up, you're a robot (go buy an emotion at 7-11).

Of course, there was a couple of mushy-mushy scenes like where the lead guy John Lloyd was belting out some love song under pouring rain (get this: it was pouring rain but it doesn't seem to touch him). But I suppose, it can't be help, it is a romantic comedy.

So dear readers, if you're at the mall this weekend and wanna go easy on those gimiks, check it out, it's a great date movie. A bit cheesy as most Pinoy movies are but fresh and rib-tickling funny, you'll have fun watching it.

Too bad we don't have Filipino subtitled movies here, otherwise I would bring the SFrunner when he comes over to visit Manila. That's as Pinoy experience as eating balot!

Hehe, deep down in my heart, super jologs talaga ko :-)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Blogger vs Wordpress

When I first setup shop for my blog two months ago, the idea is to blog all the things I find interesting. Running, life, stuff (stuff as in technical stuff I do). But as popular cliché goes, life happens. This blog more or less evolved into a running-theme blog with sprinkling of various musing, rambling and whatnots. And my technical blog was put on hold. Mmm... actually, I was just procrastinating (as is my wont) doing my techie blog just doesn't seem that interesting. But better late and dead than never.

Which brings me to Blogger vs Wordpress death match. (I've briefly considered LiveJournal and but those are too Web 2.0ish and too teenager-y for me). At the time I started blogging, I was already hook to google suite of services (ie. Calendar, Notebook, Reader, Picassa, iGoogle). And so it was a natural progression to use their blogging tool. I didn't bother checking the competition, my experience was such that I'm content to stick it out as is with Google service despite all the whiz-bang widgets and popularity of Wordpress/Multiply/LiveJournal.

All good in paradise until I noticed that all the blogs I subscribe to are overwhelmingly in favor of Wordpress (for both web service user or hosting their own domain), hmm... what am I missing here? So for my techie blog, I thought I'd head over to Wordpress, give it a spin and see what new features I can use for better blogging experience. So after few hours of fiddling, here's what I found out:

- There are plenty of themes and widgets to choose from. All nicey and cutesy.
- Built-in visitor stat which is very convenient. No drama or tinkering with 3rd-party applets, just turn it on and off you go.
- Contact form which I can't seem to find in blogspot. As it is, my reader would have to use the comment section and make a note that this is personal message and not for public consumption.
- Wordpress automatically include the IP address of readers who left a comment. Useful for tracing rogue commenter.
- Folder-like tabs for different section of your blog. So let's say you want to have 'About' info in another section of your blog that doesn't clutter your home page, it's a cinch and elegant in Wordpress , kludgey and ugly in Blogspot.

Wordpress do have their plus points.

That said, most of these features are really skin-deep (unless you're using -- more on that below). Some of their (critical) behind-the-scene components are so rudimentary as to be outright useless or just not available. You wanna track the minutiae location of your readers (or at least by the city) or perhaps where you're getting your traffic from? Or compare your new visitors against those returning? good luck! Wordpress doesn't believe in web analytics. You want to extend those theme with a few lines of html/css code? Javascript? forget it! Widgets you say? Well, compare that to 44,000+ gadgets you can used in blogspot. Adsense? They seem to have something against it, no easy does it button for you.

Think of Wordpress/LiveJournal/Multiply as glamour chick you'd like to be seen with at the mall, all nice and glittery. Think of Blogspot as girl-next-door chick you would normally hang out with. Not the beauty queen of Web2.0 just the basics but flexible and more fun to work with.

Of course, it would have been a different story if I opted for my own domain and use web hosting for my blog software of choice. Then I'd definitely go for which provides more customization. But as it is, I don't particularly like the idea of administering my own blog (ie. filtering spam, fiddling with third-party apps, etc) when it's done more efficiently by Google nor paying for the privilege when it's already gratis (well, the latter is not strictly true just a compelling one).

So in the end (or at least for the moment) I'm opting for which is just exactly what I need for my next blog.

PS: My other blog focuses on Linux and open source software, mostly setup and configuration I did. Nothing there at the moment, but if Linux and open source are your thing, come back in few weeks time, and see if you find it relevant or useful.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Men's Health 10,000Km Miracle Run

As far as registration fees goes, this is one of the more expensive races at Php 350.00. But I'm a sucker for a good cause and this one is for the benefit of GMA Kapuso Foundation. And it's always good to know that your running is helping in some small ways. Good karma na, pogi points pa.

But other than that, no drama really . The race was well organized as can be expected (as well as it should be and come to think of it, this is the second consecutive well-organized races, hmm organizers getting more organize?). A number of of race marshal at different juncture, plenty of water and Gatorade along the route, the sun is out which is always good (much as I had great time running in the rain at Milo event, twice is too much already). It was held at The Fort, which seems to be a favorite venue among race organizers. And the route for the race was the well-trodden route I used on my Saturday run.

As for turnout, it's quite decent I suppose (I was in front jostling for position so I didn't get a good look at the crowd of runners). Since a couple of races was held today, one at UP and one at Markina, it probably explain why it wasn't a blockbuster race event.

Minor pet peeve:
- No free parking :-( there was plenty of wide space, grassy field and road space around the race area, but guards are asking drivers to use pay parking.
- People wasting resources (ie. Gatorade) just because there's plenty to go around. When getting freebies, the least you could do is finish half of it. Don't sip and throw, that's bad manners (so ok, this is not a minor pet peeve :-))

Race bonus points: Plenty of eye-candies at the race. Most of the chika-babes crowd seems to have favored this race which is a bit surprising, I thought they'd all troop to Takbo Bayani run, girl power and all about that sexist faux pas by the organizer of excluding female runners in 21K event.

And the highlight of race event? After a long, hard race a photo ops with Sen Pia Cayetano! Man, she is the bomb! Saw her at the starting line but wasn't sure. And she probably put on her face sun block a tad too much, she was glistening even before the race started (I'm gawking I know, but I was star-struck :-)). Saw her again at the finish line, I clocked at 0:52:00 and was few seconds ahead of her (I ate dust at the last Mizuno race). I was gonna ask her kung pede pa-picture. Kaya lang na-shy talaga ako, pero nilakasan ko ang loob ko, sabi ko sa sarili ko what will Manny Pacquio do? At saka, naalala ko rin na maganda linya ng mga bituin kagabi, at may bagong buwan pa nuong makalawa oh makatlo. Kaya sabi ko nalang hala bira, bahala na! At ayun, pinagpala naman.

And here's the obligatory after-race picture:

"Sige pre, sama ka narin picture."

Claim to fame! with Sen. Pia Cayetano.

Posing at the finish line, si Manong naman nag-excuse na nga, ayaw pa rin tumabi :-)

See you all on the next race, Adidas Run for Love 10Km run.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Is George Sheehan running in heaven?

Do angels go for a run in heaven?

I was at the church this morning and really trying to focus on the gospel for the whole hour of the service, no can do jose. Don't think me bad, but there's only so much biblical enlightenment you could take in an hour before your mind goes haywire and head somewhere nice and cuddly. Since running is on my mind, here's a thought:

You love running and you're hardcore. Then one day while out running you got hit by a truck, and because you've been a good little boy/girl, you went straight to heaven and turn into an angel. Having attain nirvana, would you still bother to run in heaven?

Probably not. First, it make more sense to flap and hop around in your angel wings than go around running. Second, that endorphin rush you get while running and make you high... should be plenty of it in heaven without sweating it out. Third, all angels are pretty fit, that is pretty na fit pa, so it seem silly to run, grunt, and sweat to be a better you. In heaven, you are already a better you. Besides, all they do is play harp there, so you're really better off practicing your karaoke talent.

So, is George Sheehan running in the great beyond? Well, if you already have a perfect body, perfect soul, would you?


The Men's Health 10,000km Miracle Run is going to be next Sunday, it's for a good cause, check it out. Hope to see you all there! And if you're out to prove a point in Takbo Bayani run on Sunday, good luck and may the various deity of running be with you! :-)

Monday, August 4, 2008

32nd Milo (Manila) Elimination Race: Best Run

I love this race. And of all the races I've run, this is by far the most fun and memorable I've had and it was just so good.

It's been raining the whole the week, and it was raining this morning when we drove to Luneta. But that didn't dampen the spirit (well perhaps it did, but just a little bit :-), and there's festive mood in the air even with the gloomy weather. It's also by far the biggest run event I've joined, estimated to be around 16,000 runners. The rain stop when we got there but started pouring again before the race.

But no matter, off we run when the gun went off. Everyone enthusiasm was such that there was carefree and back-when-were-still-kids feel to the race that everyone enjoyed. Sense of camaraderie with fellow runners everywhere. Running in the rain for nearly an hour was one of the most exhilarating and refreshing thing I've done lately

Yes, it was good day and it was a good run :-)

And now for some obligatory pics.

At 5:45am, it was still dark and gloomy and the again started to drizzle but all runners are psyched up and no care in the world.

Putting on my Patella (kneecap) brace support before the race. I started wearing one since it help me on longer runs.

See that sign that say 10K? Yep, finishing strong at 0:50:43.

Horsing around after crossing the finish line.

Yep, you see it right. No shoes, it was soaking wet after the race so I had to take it off. Walking barefoot at the event and loved it!

Students at AMA school.

With my two posse, Paolo and CJ, they weren't able to run at the Milo event :-(

Saturday, August 2, 2008

#2 Todo stuff before getting married

Most people have a done a list or two of thing they want to accomplish before they pass certain milestone (ie. before hitting their 30s, before getting married, etc). Well, I did mine a few years back, made a list of stuff I'd like to do before settling down. So for posterity, I thought I'd post them here or at least those that I've manage to cross-out from my list :-)

In no particular order, here's the second in the series of my personal todo stuff before getting married: Climb a mountain! Go back to nature and plant a tree (hehe, the planting I have yet to do :-))

This was at Mt Beerwah and back there they call it bushwalking. The difficulty grade was "Class 5" which is basically mountain climbing with some rock climbing. Climb on friends!

The guys I climbed with.

The view from afar.

Definitely not for newbies.

Climbing up!

And it's sweet at the top!

Hanging-on on dear life on my way down!

[I've rename my entry from last 11th July as that one was also in one of my todo stuff]

On another note, tomorrow is the marathon event of the year, the Milo Marathon. It's been raining the whole week and the weather forecast for tomorrow is yet another gloomy day :-( but no way I gonna miss this run!

Good luck to all runners, have fun and see you all at the race!