Monday, November 17, 2008

New Balance Power Race 25Km

25Kms of hard running, some crawling but no walking!

The much anticipated out-of-town race of the year is the New Balance Power Race 25km in Clark. Everyone seems to have ticked off this event in their race calendar and rightly so, as this one of the really great races of the year. The venue was well-chosen and well-provision, weather-perfect and organizers up to par. As this is my first 25K and my longest run so far, it easily qualify as one of my great races.

The race was in Clark which is a new race venue for me, since I'd hate to drive there and find my way on race day I booked a hotel accommodation inside Clark Zone. On Saturday, I picked up Wayne from Makati and then hook-up with Mon Domingo and other members of Happy Feet (hehe, I managed to get myself invited to a pre-race party). We did a convoy, with me was Wilbert and Wayne (great conversation guys!). In Tarlac, we meet up with Jinoe/Queenie ( before heading to Tanya's place for one great pre-race party.

At Tanya's place, there was heaps of food, so much to eat, very little time. A special treat for me was the buro-lite and the stuff frogs, yummy bear! I haven't had those in years. Hehe, I got an invite to stay the night (with other Happy Feet) but I've already booked the hotel accommodation sayang (Tanya pretty please, can I get an invite again next year? :-)). After the party, we head back to Clark. Since I'm pretty clueless in this place, I just tailgated Rosselle and her friend Willy back to Clark. We had to circle SCTEX a couple of times to find our way, so a bit late when we got to the hotel.

Woke at up 3:40am, as this is my longest race to date, I kept to my my pre-run rituals. Over-hydrate (so I don't have to make a pit stop during the race), yoga/asana stretch, quickie download at the toilet, pre-race banana-load before heading out to the registration area. Saw a number of blogger-runner folks so took it as opportunity for photo-ops. Now this is where it always gets dicey. Over-hydrating means I gotta take a leak a couple of times before the race, normally I'd just find a wall and drill a hole in it with my superpowers (if no handy portalet or there's long queue). But today's race venue is closer to nature, a wide swath of greenery and foliage around us, down-to-earth so to speak. So walked further up, and under the cover of darkness, I took out my weapon of choice and gave Mother nature the shower of love.

After which, I headed to the starting area with the rest of the runners. There was a few minutes delay but that's alright, they're probably calibrating the RFID timing chips. Then we're off to a slow jog before runners found their own pace at the first kilometer. Prior to the race, I was thinking of using my old Timex watch for one last race, but I don't want to risk bonking out like at the last KOTR 21k so chuck it instead for spanking new Garmin 405. Yeah bebe! (Actually I wasn't too keen to use it since I haven't had the chance to tinker it - just enough to use it but not enough to be comfortable in it). First few kilometers was uneventful so I settled down to my race pace.

At kilometer 9th, I saw dyosa ng kagandahan and her sporting bib# 218x run past me. This was the very same super-chick who I run in to at the Adidas KOTR 21k and still looking divine in those very short shorts. For the next 6 kms or so, I tried to keep pace, run by her side, sometimes ahead but mostly just draft behind her. So there we are, couple of guys behind, thanking our lucky star for this flash of encouragement and inspiration. (But Honey baby, you gotta stop fiddling with your hair, you're driving us crazy, you're hot enough as it is). Soon she tired out of her blistering pace and had to slow down. Sayonara dyosa mia, next time, I'll slow down for you.

At kilometer 18th to 21st, I was running behind troika of Doralicious, Coach Rio and Bullrunner. Now this is the part where we had to run 4kms of straight but gradual ascent, grabe, ang lakas ng dalawang girls na ito. Killer looks na, killer legs pa. I thought I'd crawl up those supposedly 'manageable' uphills, barely kept up with the girls (actually they left me behind). Thankfully, there was the downhill after, where I manage redeem myself since these girls are still keeping up the same pace. Of course once the terrain flatten out, they run past me again. And to rub salt to my wounded pride, that super-chick with legs na nakakasilaw I thought left behind in kilometer 16th, effortlessly zing pass me... (Honey, we gotta stop meeting like this).

On the last 2 kilometers, I caught up with girls. Man! it was the last 2 kms, as lovely as these ladies are, no way I'm gonna get _chick_ to the finish line. A man's gotta have his pride. And so with my quads bursting, knees wobbling, and cramps about to kill me, I gave it my one last bestest shot, the HE-MAN finishing run!


By my watch, I clocked the following:
Distance: 25.07Kms
Time: 2:33:38
Pace: 6:08 km

Pheidippides my brother, hear me and rejoice, soon I will be with thee in spirit, for I WILL BE RUNNING MARATHON!

Memorable Moments:
- Running the whole 25Km race. F**king Awesome Experience!
- Meeting new folks from the running/blogging community. Johnny (Johnny's Run), Baldrunner, Levy (Happy Hour), Philip (ForeignRunner), Vener (Run Unltd), Jinoe/Queenie (, Wilbert (vballrunner), Jerry (HighAltitude), BugoBugo, Annie (the perennial age category winner), Mon Domingo, Tanya, Roselle and other folks from Happy Feet. Actually, there's more but I don't recall
(my bad) all their names. Very Nice! Some of the supermoms I was hoping to meet but didn't the chance was Annalenemb (meekrunner), Nora and MJ (but I think they skip this race).

Couple of things strikes me at this race:
- One thing about the local races these days is that they're _all_ kickass, well-organized, well-provision race. If you backtrack the last 10 races or so, you'd be hard-pressed to find a race that didn't deliver. Man, woe on the future race organizers who can't keep up and deliver on race day.
- One of the off-shoot of the running boom community is parallel boom in runner blogger community. If you check, most of the rockstar running blogs made their debut last year, with the rest following suit this year. Probably safe to say that one of the many tell-tale tipping point in today's running boom is the number of runners blogging it.
- Since it always good to see and bump into a familiar face (even if it's virtual) at the races, there's an air festivities (I suppose all those after-race endorphin rush) among runners. Really, weekend races are more like catching up, beso-beso, after-race run with other runners and breakfast. All fine by me.
- Maybe it's just me, but _most_ of the runner-bloggers seem to be more or less on the same level of running (except for some like baldrunner). A lot of them got serious about their running this year and run their first long 10k race, then proceeded to their milestone run of 21k and 25k this year (a few will be will running their first marathon late this year or a number of us early next year). Give or take a few minutes difference in their run time for a given distance.

Here are some of the pics for the New Balance Power Race at Clark:

What can I say? I got an uncanny talent for getting invited to the coolest parties :-) Wayne with Happy Feet.

Yummy Pics:
1. Smörgåsbord of Filipino delicacies, plenty more that wasn't shown on the pic.

2. Tanya said these are called Ben10 (or something). Basically, these are little frogs that you skin and deep fry with some stuffing. Supposed to taste like chicken but really tasted more like a pork. We have something similar in Pangasinan, but we cooked it Adobo-style but I like this better though. I had 3 or 4, would have come back for more, kaya lang after my 4th round, na shy naman ako, (pero ganuon talaga ako, mahiyain kung minsan).

3. That's my first round plate. There's grilled hito, ben10, paella, buro-lite with mustasa leafs, plenty of green salad. Veggie load before the race, carbo load after the race. The buro-lite was a really nice touch, I thought that was a delicacy peculiar among Ilocanos/Pangasinan. The version that we have in Pangasinan is a bit stronger, more oily and leave a weird aftertaste (heads-up though, those buro we have in Pangasinan is an acquired taste, its not as lite or cosmopolitan as those served by Tanya. Really, this is the first time I've seen it served in cold hors d'oeuvres with mustasa leafs and a bottled of wine- in Pangasinan we normally eat it with rice, viands, sabaw and softdrinks). Love your cooking Tanya! Merci pour le soir enchanteur.

4. Happy Feet digging in. Galit-galit mo na.

Woot! Woot! Ms Tanya Lara! The very lovely and gracious host of Happy Feet party. 'missed your cooking already! Alam mo, na shy naman ako when you ask me if I wanted to bring home some pabaon from your very sumptuous handaan. But if you ask me twice, mawawala din yun. Muchos gracias for the take home bananas, baguettes, driving us back to SCTEX and for the invite!

With Roselle, the Running Diva. I loving singing too, kaya lang I sing mostly when I'm in church, where people are more forgiving.

Philip (ForeignRunner) and his lovely friend from the Missionary (I think), *sigh* ... just as well Lord. But Philip my good man, that was one mean running, not too many of us runner-bloggers can catch up with you. And to think you used to have weight problems.

Roselle, Johnny, Wayne, yours truly, Dindo and his signature bandana. Hey Johnny, just to let you know, meron din akong konting naitatagong acting talent (I won a couple of acting awards when I was in Grade 2 school), baka lang kailangan ng Star Cinema ng mga kontrabida, pede tayo duon.

Whoa! Doralicious, you look luscious :-) And looking hot in those singlet! Where did all those Crispa Pata and extra rice go?

Loved this pic (stolen from Doralicious' blog). That's me, a true-to-life pic while I was about to cross the finish line. Behind me was Coach Rio, Doralicious, unnamed runner, Jaymie (Bullrunner).

Happy people of Happy Feet! It was great hanging out with you guys.

See those dreadlocks? Ito ang tunay lalaki na may tunay na dreadlocks. Sing bangis ng mga Habigis! (iconic singing group in the 70's)
Don't mess with this dude, this is one mean hombre. Hehe, ser Edwin kita uli sa next race :-)

See that small watch on my left wrist? Garmin 405, yan ang sikreto ng mga gwapo, hindi skin whitener! Gagandang lalaki ka pag yan suot mo.

One of the icons in Manila's running scene. Paglaki ko gagayahin ko si Baldrunner! (pero actually may edad na ko eh).

Santa baby, I've been a good boy this year, can I have these two sweetheart for Christmas? Promise, no spanking unless they've been naughty and bad. And Santa, is it OK not to share?

After race breakfast with Wilbert, Dindo, and Wayne.

Mga kapatid, see you all at the next race!


Jinoe said...

Interesting recap. May mystery girl pa. Nice to see you at Clark Gene. Til the next run.

sfrunner said...

Congrats Gene in the 25K! Didn't the last two km feel good. We were fortunate to have good weather for this one. There have been several of the NB races that didn't feel as good as last Sunday.

Thanks again for everything. Leaving you and the Philippine running community was very difficult as you saw Monday night. However, 2009 will soon arrive and hopefully me with it. Please take care.

lonerunner said...

nice recap bro! galeeng. :)

gigie said...

hi kuya,

This one i really like. Just what i need right now. what can i say, congratulations on your first 25k...keep running!

ading ;D

run unltd. said...

Hey Gene, great meeting you at NB Clark. Congrats on your run. Nice recap too. I like the humor in you, in born talent ba yan? See you again.

vballrunner said...

gene, congrats on your great finish. salamat nga pala for being our driver...hehehe. til the next race.

Dorothy said...

hahaha... funny ka talaga! Killer looks -- thanks ha! :O) ... Yeah. I think we were just running close by the whole stretch of the race. During the first half, we were just 2 meters behind you the whole time, di mo lang alam :O)

Congrats Gene!!!

Hmmm... sino kaya si "diyosa ng kagandahan?" ... If she ran past us towards the last few km, parang naaalala ko na. There was only 1 female who overtook us approaching our last 5km eh. hmmmm ... :O)

The foreign runner said...

Hi there brother, I laughed so much while reading your blog today. Great stories man. Thre things:
Sorry I missed the food at Tanya, was looking forward to it, but next time!
Congrats on your first 25km! You did well on the first one and good luck with the 1st marathon.
I am quite concern that you had so much to write about the girl that was running in fron of you but when you caught up with Jaymie and the others with Rio, there are no distractions for you? OOPS. Biro lang...

It was great to meet you and will look out for you at the next races.
God bless and keep fit.

the meek runner said...

hi Gene,

what a terrific recap!

Congratulations not only for conquering your first 25K but for depending the order of His before woman...hehehe

i hope to see you soon.

take care!

Running Diva said...

Ey Gene,

I enjoyed reading your recap ha. Galing naman... may pa-mysterious inspiration ka pa diyan... Yup, I would really like to get the photos and will post that in my blog. :) don't know how to send my e-mail but I hope I click the right identity here... Thanks, Gene and it was nice to meet you shirt 10 (if you know what that means) ... ;) wala bang kakambal 'yun?

Nora, the golden girl said...

Gene, bakit ba ang hilig mo sa microscopic na pictures? Pwede ba next time, enlarge mo naman!!!

Where art thou, Gene, in the VSO Run? I missed you there!

Congratulations for one great race and one super duper funny recap, Gene!

Sayang talaga. I missed all the fun in Clark. Maybe next year.

Congrats, too, for the new garmin 405. You deserve it, barracuda runner.

Gene Ordanza said...

Hey Jinoe, great to finally meet you man! Kita-kits next race!

Wayne, no worries, glad to be of assistance. 'hope the jetlag is not too brutal :-) Take care and see you next year man!

Hehe, thanks lonerunner. Dapat takbo ka na rin sa races, para ka naman others :-) You running at Unicef or Milo?

Ading, I'll see you later.

Hey Vener, hehe, nataon lang :-) See you at Milo and good luck on your 42k!

Hey Wilbert, that's me your friendly neighborhood driver :-) Hey saw your post about your last volleyball, hanep ang lupet!

Gene Ordanza said...

Hey Dorothy,grabe ang lakas mo. If it was longer distance, I don't think I would've caught-up with you guys. Hehe, baka naman kilala mo yung Dyosa ng Kagandahan, sabihin mo dami sya na-inspire sa race :-)

Hahaha, hey meekrunner, sayang I missed you at Clark, pakalat-kalat lang ako duon, photo-ops sa lahat ng mukhang bloggers :-) Hey are you running at Milo?

Hey Roselle, hehe, dyosa ng kagandahan nagpapakita lang pagka meron races :-) btw saw your recording, galeng! Bayaan mo next time I get a shirt with similar design, I'll get you one.

lonerunner said...

Gene, naka sama mo na yung mga HF... Meron kasi ako lagi injury(code name lang).. di ako magising nang before 5am... kya I often miss races eh... Unicef try ko. C u bro!

MJ said...

Congrats! Very nice account, very vivid, I felt while reading like I was there myself! Hehe.

I'm also green with envy! Kelan kaya ako makakatakbo ng 25k? Basta, I'll do it in this lifetime. I swear!

Congrats again :-) Syempre, full marathon na ang kasunod, right?

the meek runner said...

hi Gene,

The family will be out of town from 29 Nov to 01 Dec...our next race will be on 07 Dec at the Runnex in UP. Will you be there?

See ou soon!

Gene Ordanza said...

Hey Philip, yeah you missed out on Tanya's party. Good food, great people. Haha, actually I was 'distracted' as you put it by the two lovely bloggers, kaya lang I have to be strong :-) still few kilometers to go. Hey man, hope to bump into you again at the races!

Lovely Nora! you missed out a lot! And I missed meeting you again. Pero di bale from your last post, you guys had lots of fun at VSO. You need to use Firefox browser para mag display properly yung mga pics, hindi kasi maayos yung IE. Uy dapat kita tayo next race, may balita ako syo hehe.

Gene Ordanza said...

Thanks MJ! hehe, medyo vivid talaga yung impact nung race, kaya dapat race kana rin! You should try Unicef or Milo at least bago mag-start yung klase mo uli. Yeah, first marathon next year, I'll be there!

Hey Annalene, yeah probably at the Runnex, I'd like to do at least 1 race on December to close the year. Grabe noh, nowadays, races are really part of runner's weekend plan.

highaltitude said...

my goodness! i was just laughing reading interesting and funny recap... Gene, that was really great to see you! I'll be joining Animo run in MOA tomorrow, how about you?

Gene Ordanza said...

Hey HighAltitude, thanks :-) Nope, still recuperating from that 25km run, I thought I'd give it a week's rest just to be sure. But I'll probably be at Milo for 10k. If you're running marathon at Milo, I'll catch you there.

highaltitude said...

I would love to join this milo full marathon but unfortunately i didn't join the manila full marathon qualification.
Perhaps i will run my own full marathon or go ultra again.

Well, good luck for your first full marathon. Looking forward to read your recap again!

Johnny Sy said...

Hi Gene -- wow!! great recap -- I've been delinquent in reading and writing since posting my report -- daming trabaho and I had to nurse my knees back to health after the run.

Star Cinema material -- definitely -- let's arrange for an audition. Kaya lang, wala pang plano for action pics -- so far puro love stories -- but maybe we can come up with one on running, crushes on your mystery girl but eventually going for the girls in your pictures (sino sila!!!!)!

It was great meeting you!! Hope I can get to know more of your Happy Feet crowd and maybe be part of it in the near future.

Ingat bro!! said...

gene, nice recap with all the food and pictures. nice pecture with me, too! keep on running. join our speed trainng at ULTRA. see my post in my blog for the details. hope to see you there!

bald runner

Gene Ordanza said...

Hey Johnny! Love stories ok lang yun, kung kailangan ng kontrabida sa mga sexy scene nila Angel Locsin at Kristine Hermosa, I'm your man! Kahit anong torrid scene gagawin ko! Kahit na kami tatlo pa sa iisang sexy scene, kakayanin ko. Kahit walang bayad, gagawin ko!

Btw, I'm not with Happy Feet, just crashing their party hehe. But yep, definitely great people and hope to run with them more. Thanks to Mon Domingo and Tanya Lara for the invite for the coolest pre-race party!

Hey take care of the knees and see you at the races!


Hey baldrunner, thanks! Wuhoo! I'm there for the training! Thanks for the invite!