Energen - 10 km Race

The original plan was to run the Carbitrim All Women's Race in Filinvest but the mandatory tutu attire for the male runners who wish to join was just a tad too "skimpy" for me... So I decided to join the ENERGEN 10 km race at BGC instead.

The 5.30am gun start was good for it allowed me to get a little more zzzzz's. The weather was a bit cloudy but cool. Route for 10k was good - short but with everything on it - and the distance allowed me to satisfy my need for speed this time and wake up the legs just a bit. All in all, I must say Pep - Squad (organizer) came up with an excellent well-organized race
My hugging mate - Blas O.
Women are from Mars .... Mars Callo that is 
While Men are from Venus

its not about the mileage... Its about the journey

When Gaby Cohen found out she needed a C-section, she headed to the private bathroom in her labor room and jogged in place for 12 minutes. The 44-year-old didn’t want childbirth to end her 14-year record of running every single day.
“I know it sounds ridiculous and insane, but I think I would’ve been really, really upset, and I think I would’ve been really worried about it,” she says.
Cohen, a summer camp administrative director, now 51, will hit 22 years in November 2014, and she hardly holds the record. Some people have run daily for more than 40 years.
Cohen and hundreds of others live by a simple principle: Run every day. Period. Some of these “streak runners” call themselves “streakers,” and to avoid the forbidden skipped day, they’ve persevered through flu, whooping cough, and even the eye of a hurricane. The United States Running Streak Association defines a streak as “at least one continuous mile (1.61 kilometers) within each calendar day under one’s own body power (without the utilization of any type of health or mechanical aid other than prosthetic devices).” Treadmills are OK, but crutches and canes are not. You can’t run your mile in the pool, either.
Super-dedicated people who go at least a year can get on USRSA’s official list. It’s not clear how many U.S. streakers are out there, but the association’s numbers are increasing. USRSA’s newsletter listed 86 active people in the spring of 2002, but the website listed more than 430 in March 2014. The association’s Facebook group started with 40 members in April 2011 and now, with its counterpart Streak Runners International, it has more than 1,000. Some experts call daily running risky, and researchers haven’t formally studied the practice, but streak runners point to its benefits in their lives. 
Just like a signature Tom Hanks character, some of these people aren’t shooting for a particular tangible goal, says Michele Kerulis, director of sport and health psychology at the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago and a certified consultant with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. “I think about Forrest Gump,” Kerulis says. " HE JUST WANTED TO RUN." 
*  *  *
They all start for different reasons, but for everyone, streaking becomes a fixture of their existence. Former everyday runner Kevin Germino of Orland Park, Illinois, churned out two miles at about 12 minutes per mile the day after his vasectomy. That’s pretty good, considering he “felt like someone was pulling on my balls.”
Now, imagine streaking for 45 years over a distance about six times the earth’s circumference. Mark Covert, a teacher and track and cross-country coach at Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, California, ran through arthroscopic knee surgery, rotator cuff surgery, and a broken left foot, logging close to 150,000 miles during his 45-year streak. He’s a legend among streakers and has gotten the attention of Runner’s WorldCNN, and ESPN. Covert decided to end his streak in 2013 when midfoot collapse in his right foot—which he says resulted from flat feet—persuaded him it wasn’t worth it to keep going. “Many people would say that the streak controlled my life,” says Covert, 63. “I always thought that I controlled the streak.”
Juggling the daily commitment with work demands takes adaptability. When flight attendant Deb Brassfield-Zoltie has  a 4:45 a.m. check-in time, she wakes up at 1:15 a.m. to run. She’ll get to the airport by 4 a.m. The 54-year-old’s outfit distinguishes her, too—people around Los Gatos, California, call her “Pinkie” because she works out every day in a pink shirt, short, sunglasses, and hat. Brassfield-Zoltie’s license plate reads RUNRNUT, and she lives up to the title. She set a goal to run every day for 20 years, and she’s made it to year 16 already.
During any long streak, storms of life hit—literally, for David Walberg, who lives in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and has been going for more than 31 years. When the eye of Hurricane Frances passed over his neighborhood in 2004, he seized the serene moment to do a 1.2-miler. Cold weather didn’t stop him, either. The independent editorial photographer and former Schaumburg, Illinois, resident says he headed out in a Chicago-area windchill of -75 degrees. “It’s just part of my lifestyle to go out and run everyday,” he says.
Sometimes, the anti-streak hurdles originate from within. When shingles struck, Denise Eberhardt kept running. The 47-year-old, who works for a marketing research firm, hit year seven May 4. “I’m tougher than shingles,” says Eberhardt, who lives in Yorkville, Illinois. “I can run, therefore I will.”
*  *  *
When it comes to sports, streaks are nothing new. Cal Ripken played 2,632 games without missing a single one, and NFL quarterback Johnny Unitas logged 47 consecutive games with a touchdown pass. As for running, the first known streakers started in the 1950s and 1960s.  
Ted Corbitt, who competed in the 1952 Olympic marathon, has the earliest start year on USRSA’s “retired” list—1953. He went for more than 14 years. Former Olympic marathoner Ron Hill from England has been running daily since 1964. Bob Ray of Nottingham, Maryland streaked from 1967 to 2005, and of course, Mark Covert started in 1968 and finished 45 years later.
These guys were streaking back before the first running boom, which started in 1972 and lasted until the mid-1980s, according to Ryan Lamppa, media director for Running USA. The national nonprofit maintains running industry data and aims to advance distance running in the U.S.
In 1993, George Messenger of Clarksdale, Mississippi penned a letter to Running Times magazine asking who had the U.S. record for running every day. In response, George A. Hancock of Windber, Pennsylvania, made the first known list of U.S. streakers, published in the running newspaper Runner’s Gazette in December 1994. It included about 50 people, leaving out individuals who didn’t want their names in print, says Hancock, a streaker and staff member at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
Later, an insurance agent and streaker named John Strumsky presented Hancock with an idea to start an official group for everyday runners. Hancock says he backed the idea but left the job to Strumsky because he thought managing the entity could create more work than he bargained for, with streak runners coming into the light. USRSA was incorporated in August 2000, and Strumsky and his wife ran the organization until 2011, when current president Mark Washburne took over. Unlike in Ted Corbitt’s days, a streaker community now spans the country. Brassfield-Zoltie says the group helps her see she’s not the only person with this kind of lifestyle, and it offers motivation from like-minded people. “We all think the same,” Brassfield-Zoltie says. “And there’s obstacles you have to overcome so when you see someone overcome that obstacle you’re like, ‘Oh hey, I can do that, too.’”
On Facebook, people write personal updates and inspiring posts on the USRSA page. Search “#runstreak” on Twitter to see runners keeping track of their stats. And yes, there’s an app, too: StreakTrackr, designed to keep tabs on any kind of activity, whether it’s running, exercising, or studying. Streaking isn’t a walk (or even a run) in the park, but people find their own ways to make it work.
Perfect example: South Bend, Indiana resident Dan Myers, who’s been streaking for more than two years. When a car hit him in 2012, he finished his run despite a bleeding elbow and a knee he says was hyperextended. Then, like all streakers do, he went out the next day. Once, on the way home from Boston, a storm stranded him in Logan International Airport. So, he crossed his two bags over his chest in an X-shape and ran up and down a tunnel for more than 30 minutes. Myers, now 48, even measured out the distance with a phone pedometer to ensure he completed his personal daily minimum of 3.1 miles. “People run through airports all the time, so it wasn’t really that weird,” says Myers, a professor and vice president at the University of Notre Dame. “It’s not like somebody actually watches you running for half an hour.”
Myers says he doesn’t like running itself very much, but he’s reaped benefits from streaking. He lost about 25 pounds within the first four months, his blood pressure has gone down, and he’s got more energy, he says. To him, the streak is a positive influence. “It makes me do things that are good for me,” he says.
With daily running, the miles add up, and keeping track is the trick. Liam Flynn, 55, of Palos Heights, Illinois, has 20 journals for recording how far he’s run each day since he began his streak in 1995. After his 18th year in 2013, he had gone more than 35,000 miles. Some runners make recording more high-tech: Diana Davis, 28, a postdoctoral faculty member at Northwestern University, uses a computer program to map the various places she’s run, including Oxford, England. When she lived in Providence, Rhode Island, she ran on every street on the city’s East Side, and now she’s working on streets in Evanston and nearby Wilmette. Although Davis has been streaking for more than five years, she can’t become USRSA-certified because she’s jogged in the pool.
For people who do get onto the USRSA list, their names are printed in “The Streak Registry”—the quarterly publication for members of USRSA and Streak Runners International. Besides the official USRSA active and retired lists, the newsletter includes runner updates and “streaking anniversaries.” USRSA divides people into groups based on how long they’ve run. “Legends” have gone 40 years or more. Streakers with less than five years are “Neophytes.”
Streak runner Yeraj Rust, now 14, started at age 11. He says he wants to snag that number one spot and enjoys reading The Streak Registry and looking at his name. Sometimes his peers don’t believe him when they find out that he runs every day, he says. “It’s in the book if they want to go check,” says the middle-school student from California.
In fact, Yeraj and both of his parents streak. “[Other people] get a little freaked out and I tell them, ‘Oh, we do it with clothes on,’ ” says Gary Rust, Yeraj’s dad. He has run for 30 years, and he says he has 20 pairs of running shoes that he switches up to ward off injury.
*  *  *
Although researchers haven’t examined streak running’s effects on the body, some experts say it’s not healthy. The body needs a day off to recover, says Dr. Lewis G. Maharam, chairman of the International Marathon Medical Directors Association.  “When God created the heaven and earth, he gave a day of rest,” Maharam says. “Anybody that runs every day without any rest is not smart.”
Mixing up different kinds of physical activity via cross training is key, says Stephen Gryzlo, head orthopedic surgeon for the Chicago Cubs and an associate professor in orthopedic surgery at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Otherwise, the repeated stress on the body could lead to overuse injuries like tendonitis or stress fracture.
Dr. William O. Roberts, a professor in the department of family medicine and community health at the University of Minnesota and the medical director for the Twin Cities Marathon, says he sees no problem with streaking as long as someone’s not getting injured and they’re feeling fine. “Cross training’s great, but if you don’t like to cross train, why bother? If running’s what you like to do and you like to run, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing that,” Roberts says.
But not everyone feels fine during the entire streak. Kevin Germino, who ran the day after his vasectomy, ended his streak in 2002 because he was suffering with chronic tendonitis. He started streaking in 1995 and trained hard for races throughout those seven years, averaging between six and seven miles per day. About six months before his last run, Germino’s knees started hurting. The pain got so severe that he couldn’t even kneel in church, and surgery in 2003 removed scar tissue from his right knee. Germino also ran throughout college and high school and suffered from Osgood-Schlatter disease as an adolescent, which created a permanent bump under his kneecap. He thinks this put him at risk for future problems. Still, Germino says streak running hastened an operation that was inevitable. “I was like, if I want to be able to walk as an adult, I better stop,” Germino says. “I could not bend down and sit on the ground and play with my kids with my knees bent.” But he says the streak’s benefits—running faster—outweighed its costs.
Roberts says no data indicates streaking has real costs or benefits. Jeffrey Ross, a sports medicine podiatrist in Houston, doesn’t think streak running is a good idea, but he still says we can’t automatically say it’s bad or good for everyone and it depends on the individual. Research is needed to reach more definite conclusions, he says.
*  *  *
Life happens, and streaks end. Covert says that when he called it quits after 45 years, he felt fine. But Gary Rust, the patriarch of the daily runner family, says if he ever had to stop, he’d mourn. He says he loves running, and even speaking about it reminds him of good times. “I think it would be psychologically devastating,” he says. “It would take me time to get over the loss of my neighbor. It would take me time to get over the loss of my spouse. It would take me time to get over the loss of my streak. Because it’s been with me so long.” Rust says he’s addicted to running. But he says his everyday record is not the most important thing in his life. If his wife required a kidney transplant, he’d give up a kidney for her, even if he had to end the streak.
Dedication and addiction aren’t the same, says Duncan Simpson, an assistant professor in sport, exercise, and performance psychology at Barry University and a certified consultant with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. To Michael Sachs, a professor of kinesiology at Temple University, addiction comes down to control. “If your life seems to revolve around making sure that your streak continues, then I don’t know that that’s necessarily a good thing,” Sachs says. He says he thinks researchers should investigate addiction as it relates to streak running.
Indiana resident Charlie Hart, 42, says he thinks streaking has helped him become a better dad and husband. His daily romp gives him the “me time” he needs as an introvert, so he can then go back and focus on his wife and two children. Lynette Hart, 37, says she still doesn’t completely grasp her husband’s streaking, but as she’s realized “it’s a part of him,” she says.
Streaking, as well as intense physical competitions like ultramarathon races and Tough Mudders, to Sachs seem like a way for people to test themselves and see what they can really do.
Whether or not streakers “can” may not be the right question, though. They need to determine whether daily runs are enriching their lives, says Jim Afremow, a mental coach and licensed professional counselor who has worked with professional athletes and Olympians. “Is it about the journey or is it just about the destination?”

Takbo.ph Runfest 2014

The Takbo.ph Runfest is now on its 7 th year.  It started in the year 2008, the same year that the Condura Skyway Marathon was born and also held its first race at BGC.  With the founding tandem of Jinoe and Que Gavan, Takbo.ph has raised the bar for running enthusiasts in the Philippines.  I believe they played a major role in promoting the running boom in the Philippines taking it to where it is today.

The weather was extremely warm; the race hasn't even started and I was already sweating profusely.  Seeing that there was a huge crowd for the 21 km distance as expected, my friend Paolo C. and I opted to stay at the back of the pack as we sometimes do in other races. The route took us around BGC, Kalayaan , South Super Highway,   Bayani Road with the last kilometer stretch passing through the so-called  "killer hill" at C5 road.  All in all, it was a good race.  Jinoe and Que of Takbo.ph have pretty much perfected this event to a T. 
Do I hear a Marathon next year? : - )

Thank you again for the free race bib and a wonderful race. 

 Takbo.ph year book - 2008


Get " HIGH " the Natural Way !!!!

The Cordillera Great Traverse (CGT) 2015 is an expedition which aims to establish the longest and the most scenic hiking/trekking destination in the Philippines by connecting the six provinces of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Philippines.

The Cordillera Great Traverse shall start from Sagada (Mountain Province), passing through Abra, Kalinga, Apayao, Ifugao, Benguet and finally to Baguio City, around 400 kilometers in distance with xxx thousand meters of elevation gain and loss through the mountain passes, forests, rivers, waterfalls, rice terraces, villages and ancient trails. It shall pass through and highlight scenic route and major  tourist attractions and will present hikers/trekkers, both local and foreign, the natural beauty of the Cordillera mountains rivaling some of the best trekking destinations in the world like the Appalachian Trail (3,500km, USA), the Great North Walk (250km, Australia), Drakensberg (220km, South Africa) and GR20 (180km Europe).


The idea started with one Facebook post inquiring whether there were connecting trails or natural pathways for the 6 provinces of the Cordillera Administrative Region as the ultimate venue for the longest trail expedition in the Philippines.  This would showcase the diverse natural beauty, cultural heritage and cool climate of the region.

The idea, both being novel and challenging, stoked the interest of almost everyone especially those who are nature lovers and have solid athletic background.

After several exchanges online, the CGT 2015 Team was formed and the first team meeting was held on June 7, 2014. 


The CGT 2015 Team consists of National Geographic explorers, adventurers, nature lovers, ultrarunners, environmentalists, mountaineers, and fitness enthusiasts.
As of today, we are a strong team of 43 members.  The CGT Team is currently on its planning stage spearheaded by its team members, contributing not just their solid athletic background but also their talent and skills as professionals in order to move the expedition forward.  (Please refer to the attached individual profile of CGT 2015 team.)
The CGT 2015 is in the process of securing appropriate registration with the government agencies and regulatory board.  We shall partner with NGOs, environmentalists, government agencies, the local communities and volunteers to achieve our goals. 


The Gran Cordillera is the highest and largest mountain range in the Philippines. It is known as the cool highlands of the Philippines, an escape in the North from the sunny weather that covers most of the islands of the Philippines.
But more than that, it has much more to offer.
The region is a home of a varied set of cultures from Benguet’s Kankanaey, the Ifugao and Kalinga and  the Isneg in Apayao.  The ethnic groups are distinct having kept the mountains their home for centuries. Each of the seven major ethno-linguistic groups has its own family of languages and cultures. 
Cordillerans view land as the source of life, an integral part of their cultural identity that traces its origins from the land.
In terms of natural resources, it is the richest region in the Philippines. 11% of the total area is agricultural rice fields, orchards, pig farms and pasture lands. 60% of the country’s temperate vegetables are produced in the area. It is the country's premier mining district. CAR provides ecosystem services to a large portion of Northern Luzon.  It supplies most of Northern Luzon’s irrigation needs.  The headwaters of many of Luzon’s major river systems originates in these mountains and serves as irrigation for the plains that surround the Cordillera Mountain range; Chico River, Agno River, Abra River, Siffu River, Amburayan-Naguilian-Aringgay River System, Ahin River, Abulog-Apayao River system.
The region is a home to the Banaue rice terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the famous hanging coffin and limestone caves of Sagada. Kalinga is known for the Chico River, the longest river that spans 174 kilometers.  The mountain trails runs through farm fields, rolling hills, picturesque vegetable and fruit farms, gorgeous greenery and aquatic medley of streams and rivers.



                  JOURNEY                                          EXPEDITION                              TRAVERSE

               July – October                        November – March                              April
      plotting . research . coordination     mapping . route recon . immersion                        expedition


CONNECT THE TRAILS.  The traverse shall allow the team to establish the longest and most scenic trekking/hiking trail destination in the Philippines.  This shall be done through research, mapping, immersion with the locals, and actual reconciliation of the trails of each province.

EXPLORE  The traverse shall allow the team to learn the culture of each of the ethnic groups who’ve held the mountains as their home for centuries.  The locals shall act as our guide to establish the trails and lead us to discover more about the region.

PROTECT  The traverse shall be our means to mutually exchange knowledge with the locals on how to protect the mountains.  As we map the trails during the traverse, we shall aim to be the advocates of protection of the Cordillera Mountains and its beauty.

The journey through the beauty of Cordillera has started.  We shall connect, explore and protect.


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Contact us at:


Link to websites of established trails mentioned:
Drakensberg (South Africa)
Appalachian Trails (US)
Great Northwalk (Australia)
GR20S-N (Europe)

Soleus Valley Trail Challenge

" I love the smell of Wet grass in the morning " :-).

    I enjoy racing and try to make it a point to participate in at least 2 to 3 races a month. Though a majority of these races are run on the road,  I occasionally like to come out of my comfort zone and give myself a chance to get down and dirty by joining a few trail runs. I believe a nice dose of trail running is good for the soul; an opportunity to savor the great outdoors, take in the fresh clean air and absorb a natural dose of vitamin K from the sun.  Being 51 (and still recovering from a leg injury), I do have to be careful in the trail races I choose to join to prevent any unfortunate mishaps. In addition, it also helps to join races organized by reputable race organizers like Judith Staples of Soleus Philippines and Race Director Jonel Mendoza of Front Runner Magazine. With that in mind, I did not hesitate to sign up for the Soleus Valley Trail 15 km Challenge at Nuvali. 

Gun start was at 5 am for the 15 km race which wasn't so dark on the trail and still allowed me some visibility as to where I was going and/or stepping on.  The trail route wasn't as muddy and I love the combination of the steep hills going up and down. I did have to tackle a bridge crossing and getting down on my hands and knees to go under a fallen tree ( with a little help from my fellow runners ).  It's  not unusual for runners to get lost during a trail run and as luck would have it, I did lose my way  3 times... but was able to correct myself and head back in the right direction.  The few times I had to run on flat road helped to get the mud off the shoe and stretch the legs.

When I finally crossed the finish line, my watch indicated a mileage of 16. 07 kms.  That's approximately an excess of 1.07 km more but that's all cool with me.  All in all, it was a good race, a great experience and I had a lot of fun. On a side note, I did check the finisher's  standing and I think I finished at the top 20! Not bad for a old fogey like me.

Thank you again to Josh Arnold - Soleus Running Sales Director, Aimer Reed - Soleus Brand Director. Judith Staples - Soleus Philippines and Jonel Mendoza - Race Director.

Excellent race and I'm definitely going to do it again next year! 
Judith Staples - Soleus Philippines,Josh Arnold - Soleus Running Sales Director, Aimer Reed - Soleus Brand Director. and Jonel Mendoza - Race Director.
Champion Runner - Roel A.
Goof Friend - Mars Callo

Thanks Asics for the excellent Trail Shoes