Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hats off to coaches in the Philippines

I made my way to Ultra again yesterday afternoon for a second training session. While warming up I was sitting across a man who was busy with the same warm up stretches. The coach was sitting in front giving instruction and helped where we got the stretches wrong. I was keeping an eye on the man across from me and thought by myself. Here is a man most probably in his fifties who is well known in the Philippines and is giving so much to the running community. This entry is about these guys whom I noticed coming from another country who will offer up their own in order for the sport to succeed and go forward in this country.

The man I am referring to is Sir Jovie, aka baldrunner. At the previous training session a week ago, my first session I went to I asked him about running in the Philippines and I was amazed by the efforts he makes in order to promote running here in the Philippines. He is involved in donating running attire, getting coaches to coach runners and so many more that we don't even know of and then he is even asked to help in the promoting of Olympics for the Philippines and also the endurance running in the Philippines. I could not believe that one person can put so much effort in for the gain of others. He is certainly one person to look up to and then he is such a humble person as well.

The trainig I am talking about is the clinic he offers free of charge to runners. Thanks baldrunner for your effort and also a huge thanks to the trainers. If you want to know more about the trainers as they are highly qualified you can read more on Baldrunner's site.

This is our training group with Team Baldrunner.

Another person which I would like to mention that also started a clinic for runners is no other than the future president sana Mr. Rio. Here is a man that knows a lot about all aspects of running. I can seriously call him any time of the day for any advice in running and he is willing to help me. He even helps me with my Tagalog. I was caught once in a nike shop between a few choices and the staff was not able to help me due to a lack of product knowledge so who are you going to call??? Not Ghostbusters but the running buster Rio. He was able to give me sound advice and 5 minutes later I left the store with the correct attire. Then coming to knowledge on how to organize a race successfully, one can ask Rio with confidence to do it or to give advice. I can only speak highly of him. Then there is the running clinic aid that he started. This is another sign of where he wants to offer up his own by giving and donating to the world of running for the sport to be a success in the Philippines. From feedback of other bloggers, his workshop is just like his races a huge success.

This is what I am getting at. I would like to make a hand of suggestion. Can we as bloggers bring ourselves to the table by helping with this effort of promoting running. I know you all are already by blogging but do an extra effort. Even if it is just by joining at least one fo the two running clinics of Rio or team baldrunner. They won't mind which one as this does not seem to be competition but more giving back to running and helping others. I wished I could divide myself in two and send one to the one group and one to the other as I am sure they are both brilliant and we can lear a lot. Can we also promote their running clubs to new runners as it will help them a lot with technique to learn from the beginning of their running career. Let's join and get people to join these running clinics or even pay them by joining their clubs permanently. We can also help by promoting things like the donate a shoe as so many of you have done on your blogs. And then lastly, I would like to organize with the help of Rio and Sir Jovie a bloggers run where we as bloggers can also give back to the community. It will be only way after the Singapore but any ideas would be helpful as well as any sponsors. Let's put the money and resources where our mouths are and make this one a success as well. We can then be introduced to the Philippines as the world of blogging. I also think that we should maybe go as far as start a body for bloggers whereby the blogs can be quite controlled or a list be if someone wants to know about blogging in the running world in the Philippines. I will speak to Jaymie about this as she is the one and only blog celebrity in the Philippines.

So bring the advice, ideas and brainstorming to the table and let's put on a run never to forget in the history to come of running in the Philippines. Please raise your glasses in a salute to the two icons I have mentioned and to all that are doing their part to promote running locally.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Unicef - Frustrating but yet fulfilling and worth every second or hour or so

So here we are, the whole family at Mckinley Hill and for once I am not feeling battered because of McKinley!!! Yep, I am going to do my very first 2km walk... I think the biggest struggle was to get the kids into bed early hte night before. And as the case with Jaymie, the kids was excited and the youngest (Philip jnr) told me:"Daddy I am going to win tomorrow, right" So if I would have the answer... But being encouraging parents we did not talk it down nor did I encourage speech like that, it was just we shall see Boeta (which means little brother in Afrikaans - his nickname), we shall see.
We arrived with the complete family and saw the end of the tail of the 10km runners starting and then the 5km runners. It was once we saw the first runners come in when my heart went out to them and longing for the open road seeing that I did not train since Wednesday due to taking our kids with their school class to the zoo on Friday (my birthday woowoo).
The feeling quickly changed when I saw the face of my little boy change when the robots of star wars and the jeti fighters came to the starting line. We took some pics and he has to look at the pic every night before he goes to bed. I think it is his coolest pic ever. It made the going and do the 2km walk all worth it. One of the coolest pics for me ever is Levy in his spiderman outfit. Great brother you looked excellent. Pogi na pogi!!! Sobre.

The new famous picture for Boeta

And here is my newest hero Spiderlevy
Well after some pic taking and thanks to all that came for picture taking with us as a family and our little ones, I can show a lot of photos to friends and family in South Africa so dont be surprised if someone phone you from South Africa and ask you to play in a movie ... :) After the photos we started our 2km walk. The kids could not understand why we started walking if it is a race. I think they were content by the fact to just dress up for the occasion so it did not take much to satisfy them.

The le Roux family

The le Roux's in action (I think my wife Vina is pointing to a short cut???)

The men of the family
It was when Jaymie aka bullrunner came running past with her girl (such a sweety and thanks for the pic) that Boeta said :"Dad why are we not running, they just want to beat us". I wonder where he got his competitiveness from? After the water station we decided to make a sprint for it and it was then when I saw the speed of my oldest daughter and now I have new plans for her... hmmm wonder what that might be, girls be carefull in a few years time...

The kids on stage after the race but got beaten by the new found hero of the foreignrunner which deserves the pize for the best dressed person, Mr. Levy and his spidergirl.

Met a lot of freinds (bloggers) as I call them friends by now as they are becoming like family and sometimes even better as they share the same love with me. (I must add we in SA is not as family orientated as the Philippino people).
All in all what a wonderfull organised race as ussual. This just makes me want to promote Rio more and more for president. I think he is able and I believe the elections is close. Is there anyone that can help me print his banner so we can put it up at the next races he organise?
The kids realy enjoyed it so much and it was a great family outing. thanks Rio and I hope there are many to come as my great friend Levy has put it. It was also nice and easy to put the kids in bed the same day as they had a lot of excitement for one day. I also had a bit of a problem and that was to answer my little boy where his prize was after I answered that he won. I will still work on that one as he did not ask me again so maybe I got of this time.
I want to close by asking you bloggers what you think of the idea to all come together one Saturday or so and do a nice easy run somewhere quiet and then go for a nice breakfast afterwards to close the year of? This was motioned by Nora the golden girl and I would like to second the motion? Any ideas?
Let me in the spirit of running end by "Stay fit and keep healthy!!!"

Monday, November 17, 2008

NB... What a horrible and unenjoyable race

I am sure I have your attention now. You see, everytime I opened a blog, I read how wonderfull the race was. I thought if I do the same I stand a chance of people just scanning through my blog as well. So, there you go, I cought you and now that you read this far no need to stop as I am not going to blog this time on how wonderfull the race was as we all know by now it was more than great, instead I will compliment some and thank others:
Firstly to two guys that helped me set up a good time -
Jerry, thanks for the pacing, it was bad luck though that you struggle to run and drink water as I am sure you would have overtaken me at the finnish.
I dont know how many bloggers know him and I am not sure how to spell his name and maybe someone can correct me in the comments and I will change it but it was Boyet, the training mngr at Gold's gym in Greenhills. Sinabi ko sa inyo kaya ko iyan sa tulong ninyo. He met me after app. 10km's and ran with me and sometimes in front of me the whole time. It is clear he know a lot about running as he knew when I will need encouragement.

Baldrunner for always giving me at least one tip when I see him.
Jaymie, for your enthusiasm in the sport of running and promoting it the way you do in the Philippines - keep that smile girl, it can take you far.
Ben for your photos and for your, Joms and Rio's friendship. After meeting you I understood the context of the Tagalog word "pare" the first time they tried to explain it to me.
Tanya from happy feet to keep inviting me to functions and being hospitible even though I could not make it the last time.
Jun C for all the photos you take of me and encouraging me during each run.

For great informative web pages about running and races here in the Philippines eg. etc.

Happy feet peeps that just put that extra umph in the running world and make the socials even so much better - Thanks Mon
Felipe for the encouraging words all the times.
Annie for keeping me pushing forward as I think you are on my heals all the time and boy you get closer every time.
As Jerry said, the guy at 8km of the NB race that gave such nice remarks other than "Hi Joe" as we white people are know here in the Philippines (glad my name is not realy Joe as I would thought I was a celebrity). I saw a white guy once with a shirt that had on the back "Hindi Joe ang pangalan ko" maybe it will be worth it to get a running shirt like that?!?
Thanks New Balance
Everyone that made an effort to speak to me or to make me feel welcome in your country, I solute you all, also the new runners at each race and people breaking their PR's - great stuff. I see it a privelage to be in this wonderfull country of all of you and share races with you guys. Keep fit and keep up the running. So if I did not mention your name, believe me your impact is noted and appreciated. If you ever just spoke to me and I did not mention yur name, please forgive me as it is hard if you are standing out in a country to remember all the new people introduced to you.
Lastly I would like to mention, if going to Clark and looking for a hotel, we stayed at the maharajah. It is a great hotel if you decide to stay in the new rooms. Opt for them as they dont offer them to the families. We were able to get a double occupance room (two double beds) for our family as we have three small kids and they easily fit on a double bed but they did not want us to stay there. The family room they offered us is more expensive but not the same quality, the new rooms are much better. They allowed us to stay in the new room with the two double beds after we told them we are willing to give up the extra money we paid for the family room as we thought the new room is better value for money anyway. So if you stay there, ask for the new rooms. Other than that it was great staying there as the staff is super friendly.
I found these great pics on other blogs and thanks for all of yu that took them and send them to me. Here they are - salute to all of you and God bless.

Before the start with Bullrunner and my running partner Jerrie and some others.

I thought she was going to sing the national anthem.. I could not believe it that I won third place in my age group.

With my new found running friend Jerrie
After about 10km I was told, Jerrie and Boyet, the fitness manager at our gym, Gold's gym in Greenhils.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Rio for President

Since my arriving in Manila in January, I was extremely impressed with the races that Rio put together. From the first runex at UP through to today with the VSO Bahaginan’s Kabahagi Ako FUNdraising race. The race results out on the same day, is this possible? Yes with Rio it is. You can get your results here.

It was perfectly organised. So many water stations and at good placed areas. Also the different distance categories was placed evenly and for once they were not a problem to us. I dont know how he did it but it worked. I think to my opinion, other race organisers can realy get him to give advice and together all the organisers can make it such a great experience. I am not saying this because I think the others was a wreck, it was all enjoyable on the cotrary, I just feel that Rio has the correct passion and talents for races and running.

Well done Rio, you out did yourself again. The race was great. I paced with Joemar from teh start to finnish and we had a great pace. We knew the route so we knew not to start to strong and what a difference that made to the latter stages of the races and MCKINLEY!!! I did not want to go to fast today as I wanted to train for the NB next weekend so today should have been a slow longish run. Looking at my time, it was great and I did not even feel I was going this fast. It is always great to pace with someone and that is why I decided to grab the opportunity with both hands when Taki suggested that we must run together. Thanks Taki and I will definately take you up on that offer.

Thanks for a wonderful run today, it was great and a great experience. I also met so many people and I think one of the highlights was to eventually meet Nora. I hope you had a great run Nora as I could not chat for to long, had other things to attend to. It was great seeing so many bloggers like Jaymie, baldrunner, highaltitude, Levy, Ben, Wayne,Vimz (for the first time) and so many others. If I did not mention your name, I did not forget you but there are to many to mention. You guys are great and thanks for making us foreigners feel at home.

Due to this once again excellent race, I wonder if anyone will second the motion to vote Rio for President? I made his first banner and we need someone to print it so we can start his campaign. Who is with me?