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National Milo Marathon

"Kaya mo 'yan!"

I have first joined a Milo race way back on its 21st eliminations season on 1997 in Baguio. It was my second official running event, and my first time to join a 5K-race together with some Baguio kids in Elementary and some High school levels who were, unexpectedly a lot stronger than me. I still remember there were only few (around 150) 5K runners back then, my race bib was made from some kind of cotton-fabric (unlike our tyvek race bibs today), and almost everyone were running competitively with their whole heart and might!

After that 21st Milo eliminations, I said to myself that I will not join a Milo race again until I'm competitive enough to be called a Milo Finisher. This came to me because of the turnout of my 5k finish time, learning that a Milo race is not an event where I can just play around.

Meeting a Milo Marathon King

One evening of December 2010, having just finished a short maintenance run together with the aNR-Ortigas group, I was called by some of my running buddies for a simple gathering. Still in my running attire, I held a cab going to Tiendesitas. The driver noticed my attire and asked if I am an athlete. In my understanding, an Athlete refers to those who undergoes rigorous and formal training supervised by a certified and an equally or more competitive Instructor/Coach, which in my case, am not! So I told him that I'm just a leisure runner who enjoys the challenge of joining weekend races.

His name is Herman Suizo, and told me that he was once a member of the Philippine Team back in his younger years and was crowned as the National Milo Marathon King (with a time of 2:28:57) the same year when I first joined the Milo race in Baguio. I asked him about his training as a member of the Philippine team and he enthusiastically shared about it. Kennon Road in Baguio was their training ground. They train daily for 20K minimum going up the famous Zigzag road on a 10K-relax pace and another 10K race pace, of which he can still vividly remember how their Coach pushes them whenever they're on the verge of giving up. I wanted to ask more questions and know more about him but I've already reached my destination.

My further research showed that Mr. Herman Suizo has a listed Marathon Personal best of 2:19:36 at IAAF.org which he attained in Seoul Korea, has won gold medal twice in the Biennial SEA Games (1989-2:23:19, 1991-2:22:52), and that his name rings for lowering the National records in 15K, 16K, 20K, 21K, and 42K during the late '80s until early '90s (source: PinoyMiler).

The Milo APEX Running School

After that meet-up with Mr. Herman Suizo, I got inspired with his feat and at the same time found myself in doubt of my running capability. Then I hoped that time that Milo would also offer a Summer Clinic for Running, not just for their famous Summer Clinics in Basketball and Taekwondo.

By 3rd quarter of 2011, to my surprise, I learned that Milo was already having a Milo Running Clinic in BGC, Taguig. Due to the fact that I didn't knew about it beforehand, plus the venue was too far and schedule isn't really feasible for me, I didn't bother to enroll anymore. Fortunately last year (2012), the Milo Running Clinic (now named Milo APEX Running Clinic) is already offered in different locations within the Metro, and I was lucky to have one near our office in Quezon City Circle.

Although I intended to finish the whole 3-months course, I only managed to enroll for the Basic (1st month) and Intermediate (2nd month) programs for 21K-category which consists of 12-sessions per program. And even though the office was just near, our hours is until 6:00 PM so I always arrive late. My attendance wasn't also good and I've only managed to complete 11-sessions out of the 24-sessions for the 2-months program.

During one of our APEX training (with Doc Minnie on the right)
(Photo courtesy of Milo APEX )

In contrast to my non-completion of the Milo APEX course, I know that somehow my body and my fitness improved, I learned some new knowledge regarding nutrition, injury prevention, proper warm-up and cool-down, and the types of training and workouts that we should include during race preparation to make our body dynamic for any activity, not just for running.

The Milo APEX training is lead by Coach Jim Saret, together with the Country's top Athletes/Coaches and is really a great training program for anybody who wishes to become a better runner and gain overall fitness.

Eliminations

Despite not having completed my Milo APEX training, I was already enthusiastic to join another Milo eliminations leg for a 21K distance. Although I haven't improved much, somehow, I now have more confidence to join the flock of stronger and competitive runners, well... except with their own goal to qualify for the finals!

So on the 36th National Milo Marathon - Manila leg, armed with a few weeks of Milo APEX training and conditioned and body, I showed up at the starting line with only one goal in mind - to break again my 21K Personal record which I have just attained a few weeks ago during the HyperSports Get Fit Run 2012 (01:56:24).

And I did!

I was amazed that truly our body can achieve more than what we think we can!

Photo-op with some friends (para makapagpahinga) before reaching the Finish line
(Photo from Angelo Lagumbay)

I am also thankful for two other runners for this feat. One was the old man whom I silently paced with from the starting line until about 7th kilometer on which I wasn't able to keep up with his pace anymore when he sped up faster than our starting pace. Our starting pace though has helped me to maintain a faster pace almost all throughout. And secondly, a younger and newbie runner (Bib# 23056) who asked me to pace with him from the 18th-km mark where I was supposed to walk already.

However conditioned our body is, if our mind isn't conditioned to push ourselves, we would easily give up when we're already faced with much physical pain and resistance. With the physical training, I was able to condition my body, and the pressure of pacing with other stronger runners, I was able to push myself further. And with that, I broke my 3-weeks old 21K PR, finishing with a time of 01:54:44.

It wasn't much but I was really glad because out of xx number of my finished 21K road races, it was my first time to achieve a sub 1:55.

Then I settled for it!

There's this kind of attitude in me that I don't like: Of not striving for more once I already achieved a goal!

Aside from the circumstances that prevented me from being able to continuously train, I just got contented. Instead of honing and sharpening myself more, I just sit it down, and pat my own shoulder for a job-well-done but which can still be made MUCH BETTER!

One year have passed, the 37th Milo Marathon eliminations came and I still haven't made another record break for that one-year old 21K PR. I haven't been doing well anymore! Instead of staying on better personal records, I kept finishing 21Ks in more than 2-hours.

With Stradcom officemates and Running buddies
(Photo from Leo)

with some co-Six30 members and... a recruit
(Photo from Leo)

On the brighter side...

While walking around the Mall of Asia together with my office/running mates, I saw a Student who also joined the race wearing a white and green Milo shoes. Then I realized that this race wasn't really just for the stronger and competitive runners. With the fact that since the year 2010 at the 34th National Milo Marathon, Nestle started a "Help Give Shoes" advocacy for the benefit of underprivileged school Children.

The recipients of this advocacy are schools supervised by the Department of Education (DepEd) and as of July 28, 2013, the number of shoes that Milo, through the participants registration fees, has already distributed 27,200 shoes. For those who don't know about this cause, or who haven't watched any of the Milo Marathon commercials (because you don't have a Television set like me), here's a video below to give you an idea:


It's high time for me to answer this question:
"Iba-ibang pangarap, iba't-ibang hinahabol. Ikaw, ano'ng hinahabol mo?"

Would you care to share your own answer?
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What Could This Be?



Watch out... it's the Filinvest City's ENDURANCE WEEKEND 2013, happening on September! Stay tuned for more information...

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Safeguard-2XU Sole Racing Fastest Group Challenge



Do you and your running Team have what it takes to to outbest other running teams? Do you believe within yourselves that your group can be and will be the fastest among other running groups? Or do you just want to see if you can outrun some running teams in the Metro?



Then stop dreaming and register yourself plus 9 or more other members of your proud running group at this big call of the 2nd leg of Safeguard-2XU International Half-Marathon's Fastest Group Challenge and who knows if you can surprise even your own selves of how fast you can be at this big event happening on the 18th of August, 2013.



Mechanics are as follows:

  1. Register minimum of 10 members of your group/team via ActiveGlobal.com.

  2. All Runners in the group are entitled to a Php 1,000.00 discount, thus, the registration fee for each Runner in the group/team will be Php 1,500.00 only (regular registration is Php 2,500.00). This special rate only applies to those joining the Fastest Group Challenge.

  3. Registration for groups/teams will end on August 4, 2013.

  4. All members MUST enter the SAME TEAM NAME under the "Team/Company" field upon registration.

  5. This is only valid for registration via prepaid cards (you may purchase prepaid cards at Riovana).



Prizes:

  • Fastest time shall be determined by taking the average time of the fastest 10 runners of the group (based on chip time).

  • The group with the fastest average time will be awarded with: 1) cash prize; 2) a trophy; 3) and FREE registration for the Safeguard-2XU Sole Racing International Half-Marathon Leg 3 in Nuvali on October 27, 2013.



For inquiries, you may send an e-mail to: soleracing@runrio.com
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Skipping Breakfast Increases Diabetes and Obesity Risks

By Dr. Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

Compared to those who eat breakfast up to three times a week, those who eat breakfast every day gained 4.2 pounds less weight over 18 years, and were less likely to suffer diabetes, abdominal obesity, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and high blood pressure (Diabetes Care, published online June 17, 2013).

People who skip breakfast:
  • have higher body fat, particularly belly fat, a major risk factor for diabetes and heart attacks (PLoS One, published online Mar 8, 2013;8(3).
  • suffer increased diabetes risk; the fatter they are, the more likely they are to suffer diabetes (Am J Clin Nutr, published online June 12, 2013).
  • are far less active throughout the day and eat more fat (J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 Sep;105(9):1373-82).
Definition of Insulin Resistance

Sugar cannot enter a cell, unless insulin is there to drive sugar into that cell. (The exception is that contracting muscles can draw sugar from the bloodstream without insulin). Before insulin can do its job of driving sugar into cells, it must first attach on specific hooks, called insulin receptors on the surface of cells. Anything that prevents insulin from attaching to its receptors will prevent insulin from doing its job of driving sugar into cells. Insulin resistance occurs when insulin cannot attach to its receptors. Then blood sugar levels rise to high levels that can damage every cell in the body. The vast majority of cases of diabetes occur when insulin cannot attach onto its receptors.

Also, high blood sugar levels cause the pancreas to release even more insulin and blood insulin levels rise higher and higher. High levels of insulin constrict arteries leading to the heart which can cause heart attacks.

Skipping Breakfast Causes Temporary Insulin Resistance

A paper presented at the annual meeting of The Endocrine Society (June 18, 2013) shows that overweight women are far more likely to develop insulin resistance several hours after they skip breakfast. Blood samples from overweight women who skipped breakfast had higher insulin and blood sugar levels after eating lunch, compared with the women who ate breakfast. This is a sign of temporary insulin resistance.

The higher levels of insulin caused by skipping breakfast causes:
  • increased hunger to make you eat more
  • increased body weight
  • higher blood sugar levels that damage cells and cause diabetes
  • big fat bellies because high insulin levels cause fat to be deposited in the belly

Health Breakfast
Health Breakfast - whole fruits and whole grain cereals

What You Should Eat for Breakfast

A healthful breakfast does NOT include many of the traditional breakfast foods. Avoid sugar-added drinks and foods; eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices. Avoid processed meats such as bacon, ham or sausage, and other meat from mammals. Avoid fried foods and foods made with highly-processed grains such as pancakes, waffles or French toast, and many types of breakfast cereal. Oatmeal and other breakfast cereals made with whole grains, with no added sugars, rarely cause a high rise in blood sugar.

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Hewlett-Packard Run 2013





What: Hewlett-Packard Run 2013

When: 01 September 2013 (Sunday)

Where: Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Beneficiaries: Classrooms for Tenement Elementary School



Distance and Registration Fees*:


  • 3K - Php 400.00

  • 5K - Php 500.00

  • 5K Buddy run - Php 800.00

  • 10K - Php 600.00


Inclusions: Singlet, Race bib with timing device



Registration Centers:


Steps for Registering:


  1. Deposit Payment thru BPI Savings Account: Pierre Gabriel Ngo Dee - 9829-1854-98

  2. Input Payment and Registration details Online at RunningMate.ph

  3. Race kit claiming: To be announced


Actual Singlet:






Singlet Size Chart



Route Map:





For more information, visit the HP Run Event page in Facebook.
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Sugar in Fruit is More Healthful than Refined Sugar

by Dr. Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

This week’s Journal of the American Medical Association has an excellent article explaining why fruit, a rich source of sugar, is necessary for good health, while refined sugars in drinks and foods can be harmful (JAMA, July 3, 2013;310(1):33-34).

Sugar is harmful when too much of it enters the bloodstream at one time. The difference between sugar IN fruit and all of the refined sugars is that fruit contains many other components that markedly delay the entrance of sugar into your bloodstream.

Refined sugars are extracted from various plant parts (sugar cane, sugar beets, corn, grapes, apples, flowers, maple trees) and concentrated so all of the fiber and most of the other nutrients in the plant are removed. Once sugar has been removed from its plant source, it can pass very quickly from the stomach into the intestines and cause a harmful high rise in blood sugar.

Definition of Sugars

All carbohydrates are made up of sugars alone, or in groups of twos, three and fours up to hundreds, thousands and millions. Before any carbohydrate can be absorbed from your intestines, it must be broken down into single sugars because only single sugars can be absorbed through your intestines. Of the many single sugars, only four can be absorbed through your intestines: glucose, fructose, galactose, and mannose. Glucose is the only sugar that is allowed to circulate in your bloodstream. The other three go from your intestines to your liver where they are removed from circulation and are not allowed to re-enter the bloodstream.

How High Rises in Blood Sugar Cause Damage

When blood sugar levels rise too high, sugar sticks to the outer surface of cell membranes to destroy the cells. That is why diabetes damages every cell in your body. It causes heart attacks, strokes, blindness, deafness, dementia, impotence, loss of blood flow to your legs, and so forth. A major key to preventing diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and even certain cancers is to prevent blood sugar levels from rising too high.

Why All Sugared Drinks Increase Risk for Diabetes, Weight Gain and Cell Damage

When solid food enters the stomach, the pyloric sphincter at the end of the stomach closes to prevent food from passing into the intestines until it is turned into a liquid soup. Only then does the liquified food pass into the intestines. Since sugar in liquid form passes immediately into the intestines, all sugared drinks cause a high rise in blood sugar (Adv Nutr, 2013 Mar 1;4(2):220-5). Many studies show that fruit juices increase risk for heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity, while eating fruit appears to help protect you from these diseases (Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care, 2013 Jul;16(4):478-84).

Why Fruit Is Healthful and Refined Sugar can be Harmful

In whole fruit, the sugars are bound up with fiber that slows the absorption of sugar from the intestines and this reduces the rise in blood sugar when you eat it. Fruits are also loaded with antioxidants that help prevent the inflammation that causes insulin resistance. You need some sugar for energy, but unless you are exercising vigorously, you don’t need very much. Small amounts of sugar are stored as glycogen in your muscles and liver for future use, but then all left-over sugar is converted to triglycerides, fats that block insulin receptors and cause blood sugar levels to rise even higher.

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RunningAtom in Sand Art

Back in college when my creative juice was still soaring with curiosity, I've been somehow exposed to traditional, ethnic, and experimental arts which Mr. E.V. Espiritu - our Theater director in Tropang-Paltok, instilled on us as member of the group. We were divided in different pools such as the creatives, dancers, singers, and actors. I was in the acting group (no, not the one who can make you cry, I mime) but all of us were required to work as one with the creative groups in building our props, costumes, instruments, and stage backdrops. This is where I learned how to truly appreciate even the tiniest and smallest material that we can gather anywhere to create something useful as a tool for our shows.

But one of those arts that I haven't came across to, and only came to know about lately, was the Sand art (well, we don't really have sands in Baguio). Sand art, was made known to me by Jasmin Baptista of Masterworks Events through her young but really talented sand-artist Bryan Crespo.

Check out my own logo rendered under different light exposures in the magical sand-art table as rubbed by Bryan Crespo himself:

RunningAtom™ logo sand-art in yellow light

the same logo in white light

and in blue light

Here's the video shoot of the actual sand-art making of the RunningAtom™ logo:


From creation of one simple object, with a light touch and graceful hand movement, the artist creates another object until it achieves and unfolds a great story line behind a touching background music. You will never know that there's really magic in sands when held and spread out by a talented artist.

Here's a better video from Masterworks with a storyline, a sand-art interpretation of the "Earth Song" during the Green Dot Company's launching event held just last May, 2013.

Sand Art interpretation of Michael Jackson's "Earth Song" (video courtesy of Masterworks Events)
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Indoor Duathlon Challenge by Fitness and Athletics


RunningAtom Indoor Duathlon Result

Two years ago (2011), I have visualized myself that by now I should have already finished an Aquathlon event, but that did not happen as I can't give focus on swim trainings or even a regular dip on the pool. Last year, I bought an MTB (mountain bike) just to break myself from being on a regular hiatus from running and I thought that maybe a year from then, I would be able to join an off-road Duathlon already. But all those plans hasn't come into fruition yet aside from the separate events of being able to join a fund-raising-cycling event for different causes (one for the Pasig River, and one for the Cordillera Forest Building).

The Invitation

June 22, while claiming my race kit for the 2013 World Vision Run in BGC, I came across with the ever-cheerful Ms. Arleen Lindo, Marketing Manager of Chris Sports/Fitness & Athletics. She enthusiastically told me about the ongoing Indoor Duathlon challenge, of which one athlete has just crossed the "finish line" inside the Fitness and Athletics store in BGC. I have already came across this event a few days before but never got interest to try it since I know how boring the treadmill and stationary bike is.

But not until Ms. Arleen was able to convince me, so right then and there, I registered for the challenge and chose a schedule when I can start my own race. No pressure naman pala! =)

Duathlete

July 4 - After attending my Son's 5th birthday celebration in school, I grabbed my pack and headed towards BGC for my 4:00PM schedule together with a friend - Alvin who was forced by unplanned circumstances to also take part on the Duathlon challenge. Now there's an inner competition between us! We were first allowed to have a few minutes of warm-up on the treadmill, followed by a short briefing about the equipments that we're going to use - the Intenza full commercial grade treadmill for the run legs and Pro-Form Le Tour de France (LTdF) stationary bike trainer for the bike leg.

1st leg - 3K treadmill run

Unlike on running races, I don't know how to attack the first leg of the event, if I should go all out or conserve my energy for the upcoming bike and final run. Thinking that the bike leg will use a different set of muscle compared to running, I began to increase my speed from 11-12 kph at the first 1.5-kms up to the max speed that I can handle at 13-kph finishing the first 3K run in 00:14:50++ mins. I got a bit dizzy and all sweaty on this leg alone!

RunningAtom Indoor Duathlon Bike leg
2nd leg - 20K bike on the Pro-Form Le Tour de France

On the bike leg, I was fully surprised at how heavy the pedals felt even though my starting gear was just at 2x5 (2nd gear for the front, 5th gear on the rear), the maximum gear is 3x10. Immediately I adjusted it down to 1x3, and played it in between up to maximum shifting of 2x5 (in standing position). Mostly I couldn't even hardly maintain the gears at 2x3!

The very high-tech Pro-Form LTdF Bike trainer uses Google maps to mimic an actual route of the Tour de France

What's great about the Pro-Form LTdF bike is that aside from the gear adjustment on the monitor, there's also shifters on the handle bars, almost mimicking an actual bike. But what's hard about the LTdF trainer bike is that unlike an actual roadie, or even comparing it to my pedaling experience with my MTB, its distance and speed would go down as soon as you stopped spinning. There's much greater resistance and no free-spinning assisted by the speed and momentum that you have previously gained. My quads were already burning while I'm still at 10-km distance.

Alvin, on the other hand, was spinning on the bike much stronger at 2x8 gear. He finished ahead of me on the bike leg and was able to start his last 2k run leg while I was still cramming from the remaining 3-kms on the bike. Finally after 1:10:00++ hrs, I was on the 2nd transition, much more dizzy with burning quads and almost out of strength to even talk.

2K final chase to the Finish line

At the final 2K run, I would've wanted to run as fast as the first leg but my strength was almost already drained during the bike leg. It was hard for me to maintain more than 12-kph speed but I forced to retain it between 11.8 to 12.3-kph with the pressure I'm getting from Alvin who's already more than ahead of me. But lo, he crossed strong at the finish line with a total time of 1:31:xx hours while I still have about 800-meters to go.

I was already feeling heavy, right calves are having cramps but the inner me is saying that the competition was still on. After more than 10-mins for the 2k run, I also crossed the finish line still happy and amazed that for the first time, I completed such indoor distance without having experienced the boredom that I'm dreading!

Conclusion

The indoor Duathlon challenge is a great venue for both aspiring Duathletes and even for the seasoned ones. Although there's an absence of the surrounding views, varying slopes, terrains, traffic and all, the Pro-Form LTdF still proves to be a bike trainer that will really challenge your biking strength.

Officially, an Indoor Duathlete

I wasn't that happy with my finish time, so in the next coming weeks, I'll be going back to Fitness and Athletics to try and beat my own time. Will I see you there?

For those who have not yet tried or are curious about this first-of-its-kind event in the Country, head on now to Fitness and Athletics and join the challenge. There are still slots available until the end of August.

Check out a few more photos below, and also, watch out for my next post featuring our elite Triathletes at the Indoor Duathlon Challenge.

My Suunto Ambit 2S displays my heartrate at 166bpm on the bike

Alvin crossed the Finish line in 1:31:44

Together with Ms. Arleen Lindo

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Prevent Muscle Loss that Comes with Aging

by Dr. Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

A review article from The Netherlands shows that:
  • All men and women lose muscle as they age;
  • All men and women make new protein in their muscles in response to exercising and eating protein;
  • Older people cannot grow muscle as much or as rapidly as younger people do in response to exercising and eating protein;
  • The only known way to prevent loss of muscle with aging is to exercise against progressive resistance; and
  • Muscle growth in aging is enhanced markedly by taking protein and carbohydrates immediately after heavy exercise (Exercise and Sports Sciences Reviews, July 2013;41(1):169-173).

Exercising immediately before eating a protein- and sugar-rich meal markedly increases muscle growth and the increased muscle growth brought on by exercising before eating persists for up to a day afterwards (Am. J. Clin. Nutr, 2011;93:322-331).

If your muscles are becoming smaller and weaker as you age, you should set up a program of lifting weights or using exercise machines, and eating a meal that contains protein and sugar immediately after lifting weights.

  1. The sugar causes a rise in blood sugar that causes your pancreas to release large amounts of insulin.
  2. Insulin drives the protein building block amino acids into your muscles faster and you grow large and stronger muscles.
  3. For this program to work for you, you have to do workouts that are sufficiently long and hard to grow larger muscles.
  4. Any combination of carbohydrates and protein foods will increase muscle growth. You do not need to take supplements. You can eat beans and whole grains, or meat, fish or poultry along with plenty of fruit and vegetables.

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Merrell Adventure Run at It's Toughest

(This is a 3-months late post, but... better late than pregnant ika nga!)

This is already my fourth (4th) year of enjoying the brutality of Sir Thumbie Remigio's version of trail running adventure. It all started from my first 5k trail run where I placed 7th but didn't even reached the 1-hr 10-mins cut-off, then the following year I was able to grab the sweet spot of 2nd place for media category award at a 10k trail distance, then last year I went to a farther distance upgrade, enjoying the muddy 21k route where I took home a lot of Timberland's red-orangey mud.

For this year's new adventure, I was privileged at the last minute to have my slot upgraded from 10k to 21k distance, if it weren't for that, I would've just repeated the test run that we did previously, thanks to Ms. Kaye Ko of Merrell.

What sets this year's edition apart aside from the new route and its picturesque views were the slimey-waist-deep rice-field stinking mud (or was it carabao poop?), river crossings, elevation gain and loss that were aplenty compared to the previous adventure runs. The starting line was situated at an overlooking view in Mt. Sinai at an altitude of 436-masl and dropping the 5k and 10k runners to down to 361-masl and 354-masl respectively, while the 21k runners went down to as low as 73-masl upon reaching the Kasili and Wawa rivers. This much of uphills made the course difficult that in return most of us made more walk, the steep downhills with crevices in the middle also made it difficult for us to balance our run.

Sir Thumbie -- the race Director, still wasn't contented with the natural obstacles that were presented to us along the route as he went much farther with more obstacles which includes the log-hop, his famous mud-crawl (thankfully there was no longer "imburnal" this time), the bamboo barricades situated at the final 4k -- a really good location to annoy and challenge our already aching body (but a welcome massage for the butt). The muddy, stenching rice-field has also become an obstacle with its waist-deep "kumunoy" (quick-mud). We could've went easy on this one if we've been allowed to just pass on the paddy instead on the middle of the rice field where the mud seemed like it was a water-buffalo's bath tub that made it really deep and slimey.

The last part of the route, that final 1-km to the finish line was the most trying times for me -- where runners already have a glimpse of the finish area, the giant stone tablet of the 10 Commandments atop Mt. Sinai, hearing the voice of the event host, and all while watching other finishers waving their hands at you or seeing them already seated at the mountain-side while watching us struggle and crawl towards the final uphill to the finish line under the heat of the sun.

For a better view, watch the video in higher resolution
(pardon as I'm still looking for better video editing tool)

Each of my Merrell adventure experience has its own and unique story with unique challenge and surprises. It has always fulfilled my hunger for a trail run adventure despite some minor disappointments from the early editions. This time, the elevation from Wawa and Kasili River towards Mt. Sinai has me reached my physical limit and almost touched my emotional, cry-baby, self-pitying state with the tough uphills and burning sun which I haven't experienced from the previous routes of the Merrell adventure run. I could say that this race has become one of my hardest trail run, second (2nd) to my experience with PhilSky's 1st Mt. Ugo Akyathlon, even almost surpassing the hardship that I experienced from the 24K Mountain run in Tagaytay highlands.

Race Profile:
Distance: 21k
Official Time: 03:25:49
Official Ranking: 94th out of 386 overall 21k finishers

Race Info:
When: Apr. 27, 2013.
Where: Pintong Bukawe, San Mateo, Rizal
Event: Merrell Adventure Run 2013

The 2nd uphill just before reaching the 2nd km mark

Before the first river crossing

Runners crossing the taro-filled Wawa river 

Another Wawa river crossing

This one's at the Kasili river

Sir Rene mudded from the mud-crawl on his way to the rivers

One of those dreaded and endless uphills

The 10k runners emerged here, no more river crossing to wash the muds off

Forced to run after seeing Sir Thumbie

A peek at one of the peak

Last 10k for the 21k runners, my battery died here already

Sir Thumbie and Merrell really did a job greatly done to ensure the adventure and success of the event. Thumbs up to the Organizer and the people behind who made this race, this tough! *wink*

Thank you also to the Marshalls and staff of Merrell for taking care of us before and during the event and congratulations to all the finishers.

On the side note, I haven't seen the Agatep ladies (Misses Nicole, Glaiza, Ei, and Johanna) who've been my angels from the past adventure runs!

Race results may be viewed from Strider.ph
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Cobra Energy Drink Supports Bigger Ironman 70.3





(Manila, Philippines) It’s only a few more weeks until the toughest race in the nation, and athletes are girding themselves for another round of extreme triathlon action. Pushing the limits has never been so personal, so palpable, so potent, but for the second time in Cebu, it’s just another test of survival of the toughest.



Now on its 5th successful year, Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines is back on the shores of Cebu for a one-day-only race this August 4. With more than 2,000 participants from all over Asia-Pacific, the country’s premier triathlon engages athletes in a 1.2-mile swim, a two-loop 56-mile bike course, and a 13.1-mile two-loop run course.



“Cobra has been a long-time partner of Ironman 70.3 Philippines. From Camsur to Cebu, we have supported this sport and its warriors since it first started in 2009. We’ve witnessed how these athletes thrive, persist, and survive, and Cobra Energy Drink is proud to be celebrating another milestone of empowering their minds, bodies, and spirits,” imparts Abe Cipriano, AVP for Marketing, Non-Alcoholic Beverages.



The Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines is a race like no other, which takes a lifetime to commit, months to prepare, and a day to conclude. Cobra Energy Drink takes pride in this adrenaline-rush experience where the mind, the body, and the spirit will be tested, and Cobra will be there to sustain the energy needed to survive this game.



Cobra Energy Drink is a proud title sponsor of Ironman 70.3 Philippines leg for 5 years straight. Containing world-class B Vitamins, it powers up the body and the mind to perform any dynamic passion better, faster, and with sustaining power.



Triathlete icons expected to join this year’s race are Alaska’s Fred Uytengsu, Fernando Zobel, Pia Cayetano, David Charlton, and celebrities Matteo Guidicell and Drew Arellano. Also back in the race are Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines titleholders Pete Jacobs, Cameron Brown, Mathieu O’Halloran, Bree Wee, and Belinda Granger. As well as the country’s own Filipino Elite Triathletes, Monica Torres and Arland Macasieb.





About Cobra



Cobra is the Philippines’ number one and best-selling energy drink, powering the country to progress. It contains world-standard quality ingredients like B-Vitamins sourced from Qualiblends, the world's leading supplier of pharma-grade vitamins, as well as ginseng, taurine, inositol and other ingredients to help Filipinos achieve more in a single day, everyday. It has three variants to serve different energy needs, namely: Cobra Original for instant energy, Cobra Fit with ActivBurn technology plus L-Carnitine to burn calories, and Cobra Smart with gingko biloba for instant brainergy. For more information on Cobra visit www.facebook.com/cobraphilippines.
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Celeteque Releases Back Acne Solutions Spray


Having back acne is a reality almost everyone has to face. Heat, sweat, high humidity and the fact that the back is more often covered makes this area susceptible to pimple breakouts. Not only is back acne irritating, it’s also quite an unsightly problem for both males and females.

According to top New York Dermatologist, Eric Schweiger, "back or body acne is a more common skin problem than we think and it's a good thing that Celeteque DermoScience has an effective solution to treat it. The Céleteque Acne Solutions Back Acne Spray contains Hydroxy Acids that exfoliate dead skin cells and keep your pores clean."

The back acne spray is clinically proven to significantly reduce back or body acne as early as the first week of usage. It also contains an anti-bacterial ingredient called ACNACIDOL BG that inhibits the development of bacteria that infects clogged pores and causes pimples.

Usage is simple, rather than using topical products, which are difficult to apply in hard to reach areas. Simply spray it on the back and other areas of the body affected by acne in the morning and evening. The product dries and absorbs quickly too. Just make sure to let it dry before dressing up.

Now you can get rid of back and body acne with Céleteque DermoScience Acne Solutions Back Acne Spray.

Aside from the Back Acne Spray, Céleteque DermoScience offers a whole regimen to treat your Acne problems with its Acne Cleansing Gel, Acne Clearing Facial Moisturizer Gel, Oil Control Toner and the Acne Spot Corrector Gel.

Céleteque DermoScience products can also be purchased online at http://service.healthfirst.com.ph/celeteque/

Celeteque Acne Solutions Back Acne Spray is now available at the following: Watson’s, SM Department Stores, PCX, Landmark Department Stores and Robinson’s Department Store.

Suggested Retail Price: Php 320.00

*Celeteque DermoScience is a skin care brand manufactured for Innovitelle, Inc. a subsidiary of United Laboratories, Inc.
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Suunto Ambit2 Sapphire Receives Renowned Red Dot Award

Suunto has got it, the 2013 Red Dot Product Design, Best of the Best award for the precision GPS watch Ambit 2 Sapphire.



The 37-member jury of experts from red dot were won over by its 'smart design' and the 'impressive product creation'. The watch will be on exhibition in Germany and Singapore Red Dot Museum from August 2013 onwards for one year.



Congratulations to Suunto!



Press Release:






Red Dot Design Award


Established in 1955, the prestigious red dot award honors product designs that stand out for their innovation, functionality, ergonomics, ecology and durability. The Suunto Ambit2 Sapphire was one of only a few select products from a competitive field of 4,662 entries to be awarded the red dot top award.



With its advanced features and stylish look, the Ambit2 Sapphire is a hallmark of Suunto design. It is made of the best materials for both form and functionality. The brushed steel bezel and sapphire crystal glass not only add a premium look, but another level of robustness, while the strong, glass fiber reinforced casing is shaped to ensure comfort on the wrist. A process of 'confident reduction' involves concentrating the design into key elements, such as the signature four compass points that draw on Suunto's heritage.



The Suunto Ambit2 Sapphire is part of the Ambit collection of watches for adventurers, explorers and multisport athletes. It offers route navigation, barometric information, altimeter with FusedAlti™, 3D compass and other outdoor functions.



Design Manager Antti Kujala comments: “We’re thrilled to receive this prestigious award. As a perfect example of Suunto design DNA, the Ambit2 Sapphire combines skilled craftsmanship and attention to detail with reliable functionality. The award is a fitting tribute to the hard work and intuitive approach of the whole team who made the Ambit2 Sapphire what it is.”



Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, initiator and CEO of the red dot, comments: “The winners of the 'red dot award: product design 2013´ are the protagonists of a highly developed design culture and industry. These days it is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish between well-designed products. It is often only in the details that the special qualities become apparent.”



The red dot design award is the latest honor for Suunto's Ambit collection, which comprises the Ambit, Ambit2 and Ambit2 S. Earlier this year the Suunto Ambit and Suunto Core Alu won a Good Design award while last year Suunto won a red dot design award for the elegant ocean-inspired lines of the Suunto D9tx dive computer.



About red dot design award:

With the red dot design award, the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen created one of the world’s most acclaimed competitions. The prize, the “red dot”, has established itself internationally as one of the most sought-after quality marks for excellent design. The Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen displays the award-winning products in the red dot design museum for at least one year.

In order to appraise the diversity in the field of design in a professional manner, the red dot design award breaks down into different disciplines: the “red dot award: product design”, “red dot award: communication design” and “red dot award: design concept”.



About Suunto

Suunto was founded in 1936 by Tuomas Vohlonen, a Finnish orienteer and inventor of the liquid-filled field compass. Since then Suunto has been at the forefront of design and innovation for sports watches, dive computers and instruments used by adventure seekers all over the globe. From the highest mountains to the deepest oceans, Suunto physically and mentally equips outdoor adventurers to conquer new territory.



Suunto's headquarters and manufacturing plant is in Vantaa, Finland. Employing more than 400 people worldwide, Suunto products are sold in over 100 countries. The company is a subsidiary of Amer Sports Corporation along with its sister brands Salomon, Arc'teryx, Atomic, Wilson, Precor, and Mavic.




More about the Suunto Ambit 2 and 2S watches may be read from here and here. You may also read about the Red Dot Product Design Gala from this link.
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Treatment of Low Back Pain

by: Dr. Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

Your choices for treatment of back pain are surgery, steroid injections, pain medications, exercise strengthening and stretching programs, and techniques that place external force on the back such as deep massage, manipulation and passive stretching. Because surgery has such a high failure rate, it is usually recommended only when there is danger of permanent injury such as loss of feeling, loss of muscle control or intractable pain. Steroid injections offer temporary relief, but almost never cure back problems.

When possible, first line treatment is a program of active exercise to strengthen and stretch belly, back and leg muscles along with manipulation and deep massage, which is far more effective than bed rest. Strength training requires supervised exercising against progressively greater resistance one to three times a week. Stretching includes daily stretching of the back and leg muscles. Deep massage can be so painful and so irritating to the skin that it often is done only once a week. Superficial light massage has not been shown to help cure back pain. Manipulation can relax muscles that have gone into spasm and help to relieve pain effectively.

Anyone with presistent low back pain should check with his or her doctor to rule out a serious cause.

Back pain infographic image from A Health Blog)
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Freelancer.com Presents Manila Dev Challenge




MANILA, June 13, 2013: The leading outsourcing crowdsourcing marketplace continues its tradition of support for information technologies by hosting a software development contest in Manila.

With operations in Makati, Freelancer.com has been a staunch advocate of IT studies and training in the Philippines, sponsoring and judging numerous events in the past year, including the WebGeek DevCup and AngelHack Manila. This year, in recognition of the growing developer community in the country, Freelancer.com will hold the Manila Dev Challenge. The event will be held online on July 20, 2013.

The contest, designed by the Freelancer.com Engineering Teams, will distinguish run of the mill coders from those with innate talent and the keenest of critical thinking and problem solving skills. Regional Director of Engineering, Adric Schreuders, has high expectations for the participants. “This competition is not for the faint of heart,” he intones. “Those who can rise to the challenge will be the real innovators of the field, in league with the top developers in the world. We’re not just looking for people who can code; we’re looking for engineers who can drive the evolution of the industry.”

The Manila Dev Challenge will consist of a preliminary round to assess general software development knowledge and ability, and a final round to evaluate more intricate problem solving and algorithm implementation skill. Developers with the top results in the preliminaries will be invited to compete for ₱200,000 in prizes at the finals in Makati.

To register, go to http://challenge.freelancer.com.
Stay tuned for details of a pre-event meet-up on the site.

About Freelancer
Triple Webby award-winning Freelancer.com is the largest outsourcing and crowdsourcing marketplace in the world. Freelancer.com connects businesses with nearly 8 million independent professionals globally, specializing in fields as diverse as software development, writing, marketing, engineering, and the sciences. The average job is completed for under US$200, making Freelancer.com extremely cost-effective for small businesses unable to justify the expense of hiring full time.

For more information, contact:
John Arce Consultant
Email johnarce@freelancer.com
URL http://www.freelancer.com
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