Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Two Races


This race was forgetable for a lot of things. Power meter battery died before the start of the race. FD broke temporarily on the 1st few kms. Took a pee break. And I was at my heaviest weight coming into this.

The result? A dismal (but still decent IMHO) 1:26:09 finish time which is my worst to date.

Yup, forgetable.


The good:

  1. Good amount of race marshals
  2. Good amount of aid stations (and Gatorade!)
  3. Freebies after the race, especially the nice finisher shirt

For improvement:
  1. Racekit distribution should be done ideally when you register. Not on the day of the race so as not to cause delays
  2. Race didn't start on time because people arrived late (and had to claim their race kits). Supposed to be 6am but we were flagged off at 6.30am

My race:

I wasn't in tip top shape (still! ughhhh) so I had to race this conservatively. The week before I did a simulation (6-20-4, add an extra km at the end for insurance) and did baaaadly on Run2 (bonked actually).

On race day I was able to pull through. The overall time was bad (as expected) but I didn't bonk in Run2 as I was able to manage my gel intake beforehand (1 before gun start, 1 at km5 of Run1, and another 1 10mins before Run2).

Still a lot of work needed, especially on the runs. I still need to inject back those speedwork and tempo runs to have a better race time.

Up next? Possibly a half-marathon. We'll see....

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The First Noel

I was an hour or so early for my 10k race when I entered the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. It was my first race outside the Philippines but I didn't feel a hint of worry as I consider Malaysia as my home away from home, having lived in KL in the early 2000s for three and a half years.

As the 21k runners were flagged off to start, I sat along with a good crowd of 10k runners in the stadium while we waited for the 6am gun start.

It was about 40mins before 6am when I heard regular updates from the race host as to what was happening in the 42k race (which started 3am). I got excited when I heard him say that a Filipino he called simply as "Noel" was leading the race.

Now this doesn't happen very often so I just hoped that he will pull through. Thoughts like, "What if there are Kenyans a few meters behind him and just waiting for the last km to out sprint him?" I didn't know how many kms left exactly so this added to the tension as well.

About 10mins later the race host announced again. The leader of the race is now a man from Borneo, which meant that Noel was caught and might have lost it. The new leader maybe all too familiar with the race route and was well acclimated so it may have been right for him to win this one.

Then, about another 10 minutes after that, the race host announced that it was Noel again who took the lead. Damn it, this would've been nicer to watch if there was a full video race coverage, I thought. But I had to calm myself and hoped that this "Noel from the Philippines" pulls through up to the end.

At about 5:47am, all that hoping was worth it. The race host announced to clear the entrance of the stadium as the leader of the 42k race was about to come in. I fumbled for my phone camera, aimed at the stadium entrance, and clicked Record:

It is not common for Filipinos to win international marathons (outside the country). But for me having seated at "ringside" to see this proud moment unfold before my eyes, it was just a beautiful sight: a Filipino with a 7 minute lead striding into the stadium track in perfect running form not with a grimace of pain from the 2:48:10 effort, but clad with that trademark Filipino smile.

I managed to have his picture taken as he walked from the finish area and asked him about that moment when the man from Borneo took the lead. He said something like that the guy was a veteran but Noel kept within sight of him and guarded him until the right moment came. Noel did his homework, it seems, as his strategy paid off handsomely.

Not a sign of fatigue. What a guy!

I had to go as the 10k race just started. But after my run I stayed a while to see the awarding where Noel proudly stood at the top of the podium.

Noel Tillor (PHL) 1st. Ma Liang Wu (CHN) 2nd. Wincenbert Latius of (MAL) 3rd.

It is but unfortunate that the Philippine media may not have been aware of his achievement. I hope in future international marathons we could see our fellowmen from the media support our athletes as they compete (and hopefully, win) so that everyone here in the Philippines will know ---and be proud.

My hats off to you, Noel Tillor, for running strong and winning this race.

So Noel, will you be back in 2017, the 10th anniversary version, for a possible back to back win? ;)

Go for it parekoy! :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

10k Race Review: Borneo International Marathon

The good:

  1. Flat and fast course good for breaking PRs
  2. Organized registration (online and on site)
  3. Scenic race route by the sea
  4. Bus service (RM30) provided from and to the race venue at designated pickup/dropoff sites
  5. Brooks shirt included

For improvement:

  1. Inaccurate distance. Garmin GPS recorded my 10k race as only 9.6km
  2. Only water was given to the 10k finishers. Energy drink distributors were instructed to provide to 21k and 42k participants only

My Race:

The race setting was beautiful with a PR for the taking. The problem was me, as usual, as I lacked the speedwork and tempo runs to really prepare for this. Not to make excuses, but I was coming off from being sick several weeks prior which affected my then already improving CTL progress. Thus a PR was not in the books if I looked at my depressing training logs.

I approached the race with caution, aiming for a constant 6:30/km pace. In a nutshell, I started of well but faltered by km8, 9 and 10 (or 9.6k if you will). Finished the race in 1:04+ with 9.6km logged. Feeling "bleh!" was an understatement as I crossed the finish.

With the Duaman duathlon coming up in less than 3 weeks, I will need a lot of work from here 'til then.