running in cebu

Cebu Run Route # 15: “The Cebu Farewell Run”

March 13 marked my third to the last day of stay in Cebu. What better way to bid farewell to my running playground (for nearly an entire year!) than with a farewell run.

Since I haven’t traversed the airport route for a long time, I decided to go for it again for one last time, as it might take a long while before I get to run the Cebu twin bridges again. And I might as well disturb some of the people in the airport. =P

Here are some of the pictures I took along the way.

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The ascent to the new bridge. That’s a LONG ascent.

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The other bridge in the distance, which I’ll pass by later on.

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At the bridge’s apex. Though it was around 4PM in the afternoon, the wind proved to be really strong and comforting to the skin.

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I took a little side trip to see how the new bridge looks like from down under.

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I’m not officially saying goodbye yet…

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Hello, we meet again. =)

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Another side trip – this time at the airport’s arrival area.

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Time to head back to homebase – and get packing. =P

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Now at the old bridge…

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Gazing at the coastline before nightfall.

Good times, Cebu. GOOD TIMES. =D Thank you for hosting my training runs, whether short or otherwise. It has been indeed an experience running along your roads, partying at your clubs, and eating at your best restaurants/food joints. Without a doubt, mingaw man ako gyud sa imo. =)

God willing, I’ll see you on CCM 2011. SRP highway, you’re next on my list.

Here’s a map of the route
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Plus my splits. Definitely done at LSD pace.
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Cebu Run Route # 14: “The Cebu Food Run”

WARNING: THIS POST HAS THE POSSIBILITY OF MAKING YOU DROOL. =P

If ever you’re in Cebu and consider yourself to be a hardcore glutton (don’t be afraid to admit it, everyone is in their own little way) – then this post is most definitely for you. =)

2 days ago I decided to make up something creative for my usual Sunday long run. In the end, it resulted to me making a route that will pass through all the best edible treats one can have while staying in Cebu. This route was simulated and completed today, January 24.

It would be too good to miss out the following restaurants/food chains that I will mention successively in this post. Wear your shoes and tights, folks, and load up on the petroleum jelly where it’s needed – because we’re running 28.02K worth of concrete, asphalt, hills, and food joints. I’ll be your tour guide for this run, so please hold all questions until the end of the run. Don’t worry, we’re accomplishing this at an easy pace. And we start off at strictly 430AM!

We’ll be starting off first at Sarrosa hotel, heading towards Hernan Cortes, then we go south to M.J. Cuenco. We’ll go straight all the way until Imus Avenue, so watch out for dark spots and small potholes! Upon reaching Maxilom, we’ll make a right, then go up the hills. We’ll be stopping first at Mango Square, though; your first not-to-miss restaurant is in here.

KM5.78: Sunburst Chicken
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PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Get the Sunduo Ribkeel (chicken breast) and Drumstick. Order extra coleslaw and have lots of catsup in hand. Their chicken has a distinct taste from that of Jollibee, McDonald’s, or even Max’s.
OTHER BRANCHES? Definitely. There’s one in SM, Ayala, and A.S. Fortuna.

After this we go down to F. Ramos and enjoy for ourselves a downhill ride until we arrive at Imus Avenue again. The Central Bank of the Philippines at the downtown intersection indicates that we must make a right. Again, we’ll be stopping before we reach the Fuente Osmena rotonda.

KM8.43: Crown Regency Hotel
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For those of you who have been to Cebu before, you might recognize this hotel for possessing the world’s first Skywalk and Edge Coaster. But there’s more to that! If memory serves me right, there is a restaurant on the 36th floor aptly named “Cafe 36″. You’ll be greeted by a glorious, sinful smorgasboard of Western and Asian cuisine, desserts include. This buffet is usually packaged with the Skywalk adventure, but if you just want to pig out with class, then this is a good place to do so.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Go for the Western section. Their servings of fish are outstanding. Oh, and load up on the sushi, salmon, yang chow fried rice, and desserts. If you’re lucky, you might even see a chocolate fondue fountain.
OTHER BRANCHES? Sorry, this is the only one.

We go straight down Osmena Boulevard, passing by the rotonda. Watch out for cars. Head straight to the capitol and make a left to M. Velez. Slow down upon reaching the V. Rama intersection. As we’ll be making a right here. We’ll go run the gradual uphill until we reach the northern endpoint of the road – and say a little prayer.

KM11.85: Guadalupe Church
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Once we’re done, we make a u-turn back to V. Rama. Peel your eyes for the next stop!

KM12.53: CnT Lechon
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Words cannot describe how scrumptious this lechon is. You can eat it even without any sauce! No wonder people from Manila take home kilos and kilos of this delicacy back home. This is by far the best one I’m ever tasted. Should you decide to try this one, don’t consume more than 2 kilos per week, lest you want your arteries to clog. =P
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Order 2 kilos of lechon, stock up on rice, and order a bowl of boiled oysters plus the cold bottle of Saint Michael. Make sure the oysters are boiled though, or you might end up in a hospital, like what happened to me before!
OTHER BRANCHES? There’s a small stall in SM and a big resto down at CIFC. It’s across SM. I prefer the latter because they never seem to run out of lechon there, unlike when you’re in the mall.

We’ll continue down V. Rama. Take note that we’ll be making a left at the second intersection with a stoplight – that’s B. Rodriguez street. We’ll run all the way to Fuente Osmena, but make another stop shortly before reaching it to get ourselves a little snack. =)

KM14.95: Alberto’s Pizza
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Pizza lovers, you are bound to like this one for sure. The size of their pizzas are not as big as the ones you usually have in Pizza Hut, Shakey’s, Don Henrico’s, or Yellow Cab. What separates this pizza from the others is its distinct taste. It’s quite hard to describe it, honestly. But suffice it to say that you must try it out for yourself. With regards to toppings, they’re quite generous with it – in fact, it’s OVERFLOWING with toppings. =)
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Get their best-selling variant with lots of onions, ground beef, and mozzarella cheese (I forgot what it’s called). You won’t regret it.
OTHER BRANCHES? Definitely. Alberto’s is sporadically placed in Cebu. Ask them for the one nearest you.

We’ll go back to Fuente Osmena, make a left at Osmena Boulevard, and have another meet-and-greet with the capitol again. Make a right at Escario and enjoy the rolling path leading to Gorordo. Once we get there we’ll make a left at go uphill, so save your strength. Turn right at JY Square and start speeding, because it’s purehill from this point. Do stop when you see Cebu Northwinds, because 2 restaurants will be there for the taking.

KM19.23: Chika-an sa Cebu
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They’re well-noted for all-Filipino food, but with a twist. Some of the viands here are quite spicy and have a tinge of coconut milk, which makes it all the more delicious. =9
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Crispy pata, baked scallops, mongo soup with coconut milk, and kinilaw na tuna. Feel the need for more rice? Don’t worry, it’s unlimited! =D
OTHER BRANCHES? This is the only one.

Just a little after that is its sister.

KM19.26: Golden Cowrie
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The said restaurant offers almost the same menu as Chika-an, so if by chance it’s full, you can always drop by here.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Crispy pata and grilled fish. Not sure if the rice is unlimited also.
OTHER BRANCHES? If you need to eat before leaving Cebu, their other branch is located along the airport road.

We’ll go straight down until we make a left at the IT Park. We’ll be stopping frequently here as most of the good food finds are located on this very place. =)

KM19.88: Casa Verde
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Literally translating to “green house”, this restaurant offers big servings of Western food at a VERY reasonable price. If it’s your first time in Cebu, you have to try this out.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Bryan’s Ribs. For Php188 you get a huge – and I mean HUGE – plate of barbecued ribs that can be good for 2-3 people, or just 1 if you’re really THAT hungry. =P
OTHER BRANCHES? The other branch I know of is in the 3rd floor of Ayala Center Cebu.

KM19.97: Mooon Cafe (take note, that’s 3 O’s.)
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Located at the entrance of The Walk, Mooon Cafe is well-known for its Mexican delicacies. It attracts much people especially during the nighttime because of the al fresco dining experience – and the barrels of beer they offer.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Get some chimichangas and mojitos. Don’t worry about getting wasted. The mojitos are not as treacherous as you think.
OTHER BRANCHES? I think this has only one branch.

KM20.53: Patio Ecila
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PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: After having a party at Loft (a club located right behind it), stay here for a few more rounds and meet new friends. The ambiance is great. Worry not, the beer ain’t expensive.
OTHER BRANCHES? Its sister resto, Bistro Ecila, is located at Ayala Center Cebu, right next to Casa Verde.

KM20.78: Tara’s Cafe and Restaurant
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This is the ONLY restaurant I know of that serves a 24-hour buffet. That’s right, their buffet tables are heating up food ’round the clock. If you think Crown Regency is too far for you, then this is your other option. Breakfast buffet is at 179, lunch and dinner buffet go for 249. Not bad, right? Oh, if you plan on going on here soon, make sure you just came from a hunger strike. =P
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Eat EVERYTHING presented to you with a glass of juice. If you don’t end up full after this experience, something’s wrong with you. =P
OTHER BRANCHES? Sorry, this is the sole branch.

KM20.80: Ila Puti
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This quaint little restaurant offers a hefty serving of Asian fusion cuisine. Although it does take time to cook some of their treats, it’s worth the wait.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: For starters, mushroom soup with curry and chicken fingers. Then you can either match it with a BIG breakfast that is sure to beat McDonald’s or beef stroganoff pasta. Drink it all down with a glass of semi-sweet calamansi juice.
OTHER BRANCHES? I’m not really sure.

KM21.01: Abuhan Tres
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PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Pochero. That equates to “bulalo” in Manila terms. =)
OTHER BRANCHES? One is in F. Ramos, aptly named Abuhan Uno. As to the location of Abuhan Dos, I have no idea where it is.

Whew, that was a whole lot in the IT Park, right? We’re not done yet, though. We still have a few more to cover! Let’s exit the IT Park and make a left to Salinas drive. When you see a flyover in the distance, turn left. We’ll be tackling M. J. Cuenco, the final stretch of this run. We’ll head east-bound first to The Crossroads and stop for the following:

KM21.64: La Marea
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Primarily a dessert place, this cafe responds to the inner sweet tooth inside our mouths. Upon entry, one can’t help but look at and eventually crave for what they have to offer!
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Brownie cups. Nuff said.
OTHER BRANCHES? None, sorry.

KM21.74: Olio
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This is one of the few restaurants that is recommeneded by the Department of Tourism. You’ll know why when your gorge in their fares. It’s quite pricey, though, but if you’re after the experience, go for it.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Try out any pasta variant with a glass of wine.
OTHER BRANCHES? None as well.

Let’s exit The Crossroads and head eastbound again. Upon seeing Banilad Town Center, make a right and look for this:

KM23.32: Spice Fusion
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Much like Ila Puti, they also specialize in Asian fusion cuisine. As a confession, my officemates and I would default to this place when we can’t think of anywhere else to eat – it’s also good to try out this one.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Clam chowder, black pepper udon, stir fried radish cake, and pork belly. Get a roti as an appetizer.
OTHER BRANCHES? There’s another branch at the north wing of SM.

Now we exit Banilad Town Center and head left to A. S. Fortuna. Just deal with the little uphill path going to the following:

KM23.91: Giuseppe
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This restaurant offers a real taste of Italy. It can’t be seen easily, but when you do visit this place, you’ll be wanting to savor their pasta, pizza, and gelato.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Carbonara, pasta marinara, quattro formaggio pizza and baked fish fillet. Truly sumptuous! =9
OTHER BRANCHES? There’s only one of them.

KM23.92: Hola Espana!
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Craving for something Spanish? You’ve come to the right place. This restaurant offers nothing short of Spanish cuisine, from paellas to tapas – and even the best wines from select countries. =)
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Get a black paella with extra mayonnaise, roasted pata, and some chorizos roasted in olive oil and garlic. Match that with your drink of choice – preferably a beer. The Spanish love to drink beer, so you might as well yourself. Hehehe!
OTHER BRANCHES? A more suitable location can be found in The Terraces of Ayala Center Cebu.

Let’s go down a little bit to find this baby right here.

KM24.06: The Gustavian
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When you want to define class and distinction, this restaurant has got it all. From foreign cuisine to imported alcoholic drinks from all over the world, this one is sure to amplify your dining experience. Of course, such class and distinction does come with a price, so make sure you’re financially armed before entering. =)
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Go for the alcohol and taste their beers and alcohol mixes. You will end up drunk, though, but the memories will be all worth it.
OTHER BRANCHES? Yes! Should you need a shot before boarding your plane back home, there’s one before you reach the airport.

Let’s go back to the starting line and finish this run, shall we? But first, we’ll pause to check out this other place.

KM25.75: Cafe Georg
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Providing a ‘homey’ feel, this restaurant serves a lot of people every single day. Their salads, pastas, rice meals and desserts are sure to provide a wonderful taste to the palates.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: As an appetizer, have the mozzarella dip with spinach. Your main course can either be Singaporean-style steamed fish, carbonara, or Hungarian sausage with a small notch of salad on the side. For your dessert, make sure to get a slice of chocolate decadence. It was awarded as one of the best desserts in Cebu. Imagine a small slice of semi-fudgy chococake cake with whipped cream on top. Yummy, right? =9
OTHER BRANCHES? Only one I know of. It’s offshoot, ‘Oh Georg!’, can be found inside Ayala Center Cebu, near Metro Department Store.

After all that, let’s run back to where we started. At the intersection, make a left to Juan Luna, another left at F. Cabahug, and head back to the condominium. But wait, it ain’t over yet. There’s one more restaurant we haven’t seen!

KM28.02: Abaseria
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Also providing a ‘homey’ feel, this restaurant is managed by a family, and primarily caters Filipino food to village residents living near it. Sometimes it does get closed down for special occasions, but when it’s open, it’s worth your time to visit it. =)
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Order their monggo, grilled squid, and a plate of bangus. That should be enough to keep your belly satisfied.
OTHER BRANCHES? None. This is the only one.

Congratulations, we have just completed the Cebu Food Run! Now keep in mind the restaurants I have mentioned the next time you go back to the Queen City of the South. I hope I had stimulated your appetite! But alas, I cannot really chow down on these as much as I want to, for I am engaged with my running group’s Biggest Loser Challenge. As such, I have no choice to default to this:

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As parting words, I leave you with the following: Bakit masarap ang bawal? Kasi masarap talaga siya! =P

Here’s a map of the route

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And my splits. I’m quite surprised that I ran this one at a fast pace. =O

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‘Til Devastation – The FINAL Long Run Before Condura 2010

Matira matibay.

These were the two words lingering on my mind before doing this final major run for Condura 2010. After performing Project Cuarenta back in December there was still a need to extend the mileage so that somehow I’m close to simulating a full marathon. Usually, I would do long runs on a Sunday, but I did this one early Saturday morning instead. The Sunday that came after this run was the Sinulog parade – and I couldn’t afford to miss that one. =)

The night before the run it was raining heavily. In fact, it had been raining several times last week. I wanted to do this run immediately since I should be tapering for the remaining Sundays before the marathon. However, I became paranoid, as I was putting myself at risk of getting high fever, or worse – pneumonia. I had to get a lot of second opinions from my running buddies. The big question on my mind was if it was safe to run long on possibly stormy weather. Half of them said yes, while the remaining told me to keep myself safe. They had good points. But after several minutes of reconsideration, I skipped my after-work activites last Friday and headed back to the sack to get some early shut-eye. I will do this run no matter what.

Thankfully, when I woke up Saturday morning, it was only drizzling. It wasn’t raining as hard as I was expecting it to be. After 5 hours of frequent hydration, hardcore music, and running in tights, I ended up having this route, which took me from west to east and back. Total distance ran on foot – 36.22K, accomplished 16 January 2010.

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Unfortunately, upon hitting KM32 I was more than exhausted. That led me to walking the entire stretch of KM35. But I soon as I got passed that, my second wind suddenly knocked on my door and I ended up reaching the finish line with a smile. Overall, my splits were still favorable. =)

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My legs were tired my shoes were beyond dirty after completing this run. But at least there was no chaffing and more importantly, no injuries. I was feeling good in the end that the next day, I couldn’t help but party at the Sinulog festival. =)

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Now I seriously have to taper in the coming days. Sunday will still be long run day, but I won’t go beyond 30K.

For those joining Condura, I hope you have accomplished your farthest run. Let’s save our legs for the race and good luck to all of us! =)


Race Review, PART 2 – Cebu City Marathon, January 10

Finally, the long-awaited review of the Cebu City Marathon. Sorry it took some time to compose this baby. =)

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DAY 3 – January 10

After 2 days of carbo-loading parties and a night of fun with some of the takbo.ph running core, it was time run my first race for the year. Might I say that this race is very significant for me because not only did I run my maiden 2010 road race outside of Luzon, but also because I was once again reunited with my running playground. The route is highly familiar to me since I have treading on it for around 8 months so I somehow knew what to expect, with the exception of the downtown area and the SRP. While I was working in Cebu last year, the Marathon Foodie had told me that the stretch of the entire South Road Properties was a really nice place to run on. More than 20 kilometers of concrete will be greeting you along the way. The only problem is that there aren’t that much stores for you to buy water/energy drinks on, so it’s best that if you bring your own hydration source. Nevertheless, the SRP provided a good view of the coastal area – perfect for viewing the sunrise along the horizon.

As a result, I have set my sights on running along its roads. Unfortunately, you do need to secure a permit from the local government, so getting in there won’t be as easy as it looks. On this day, this little dream of sorts is about to become a reality. For the first time ever, I will be running along the Cebu stretch afronting the coastal area. =)

My alarm clock rang off at exactly 3AM. I got into my black takbo.ph singlet, got into my usual cycling shorts, which later on was covered by a pair a loose black running shorts having small patches of color matching that of the white and crimson in the singlet, and semi-high knee socks, with the NB1063s I use during practice runs. I was having second thoughts of not bringing along a hydration belt for this race. But since I anticipated humid conditions, I brought it nonetheless, being that I have learned that during some of my early morning runs in Cebu that it can get REALLY hot as early as 7AM. In addition, I packed in my iPod Shuffle to keep me pumped for the entire duration of the run. It has been a long time since I used that while running, hehehe.

I made my way to the starting line at the IT Park. Along those who were going to run this race – for the 21K category, at least – were Vic, Rico, and Luis. I met up with Vic initially, then later on saw Rico and Luis at the 21K coral. One of my running buddies, Noreen, a native resident of Cebu, greeted me while I was doing some stretching. She had told me that this was going to be her first half-marathon, and she’s running it along with a friend though she didn’t have that much long distance training. I wished her the best of luck on that one – and even agreed to come back and pace her for the last few kilometers after I have crossed the finish line. It was okay with me since I was planning to extend my run for a few more kilometers – I was still in Condura 42K training, and I needed additional mileage.

While waiting for the race to begin, we were greeted by this…

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How’s that to get your spirits up and at par? Nah, these aren’t actual fireworks from the race. Had I brought the Powershot that time I would have taken pictures. Since the D3000 was checked in at the courtesy booth this sample image would have to suffice. But if you were there, it was a wonderful sight. =)

On the final minutes before the gun sounded off, I patted my running buddies on the back and greeted them good luck. If memory serves me right I think I told them to enjoy the route also. =)

The race timer started a little after 510AM. We were now making our way out of the IT Park and into the halfway point at the SRP, with one lane cordoned off and entirely closed to traffic for those running along the route.

KM 1 to 5: Monstrous Splits!

At the first kilometer I was taking it real slow, since it was a gradual ascent to JY Square. I have told my friends that this was one of the hills that we will be encountering along the way, so it’s best that we keep at first gear as much as possible. Upon making the left at JY Square, it was a downhill path on the way to Escario. The first water station came in shortly before reaching KM2 – how convenient was that? EVen though if I didn’t bring in any hydration I would still survive this race! But it was too early too tell that time. I skipped the first water stop and kept on running downwards. As we were approaching UP Cebu there were students cheering for all the participants while giving water at the same time. That kind of support was very crucial for me, and it provided further inspiration for me to speed up. As a result, I kept myself at a really speedy pace, sustaining it even after making the right to Escario and attacking its hill.

While running, I have noticed that water stops were now occuring more frequently. Indeed, the organizers have outdone themselves!

We made a left at the intersection in front of the Capitol. From them on it was a rolling path all the way to the downtown area. I kept running at a fast pace, thereby leading to a sub-30 finish at the end of KM5. There was no stopping now – it was time to unleash the cheetah inside of me!

KM 6 to 10.5: Conquering the SRP

The approach to KM6 took runners to the downtown area leading to the Cebu City Hall and the site of Magellan’s Cross. Much like the first quarter of the route, the lane was still cordoned off to accomodate all those running along the area, water stations were still abundant, and there were even more cheerers being placards of positivity, like “Run your own race” or “Keep running” or “You can do it!” It was warming to see such support along the route. In addition, race marshalls ensured that there was no one that will enter along the cordoned area of the race. Anyone not wearing a race bib was forced out. Bike supports were allowed, but they were only to ride outside of the closed-off area. Even race marshalls didn’t hesitate to give hydration to anyone who needed it.

After crossing the city hall and Magellan’s Cross, we made our way to the SRP. Above the entrance was a banner indicating of one of targets: TO CONQUER THE SRP. We started off first at the coastal area and running above the bridge that interconnects it to the rest of the highway. Gulp, a bridge. Thankfully it wasn’t as hard as the hills of McKinley or the Kalayaan flyover. But the gradual incline was enough to put you down, so I shifted to gear on this one, and resumed to full speed upon reaching flat ground.

Before reaching the halfway point, there were some Sinulog dancers providing entertainment to those running the route. They had provided a little preview of what the Sinulog will look like, and it was enticing runners to stop for a while and touch the Sto. Nino for good luck. I did just that, hehehe! Again, I regret not bringing a camera.

The turnaround point was close to Kawit Point. There I saw Tiffin’s husband, Mark, who gladly took a picture of me before heading back to the finish line. Many thanks! Now I have proof that I ran the SRP. =)

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The GF 305 indicated that I have accomplished a sub-60 mark upon crossing KM10. This was a good sign for me. If I kept up with what I was doing now, I might be able to achieve a new 21K record. There was no stopping now – it was my moment to shatter my personal best!

And might I say, the turnaround point was quite accurate! It was off by around 40 meters, but that was negligible!

KM 10.51 to 15: I Have Conquered the SRP!

At this stage the sun had broken out of the horizon and making its way up. While running along the coastal area I couldn’t help but admire the sights – that helped me relax a bit. But there was no time to slow down. I kept within a 6:00/min pace to make sure that I’ll be able to beat my record no matter what. On the way back I saw Rico and Noreen making their way to the u-turn. Also, I caught up with one of our fellow triathletes, Jayson, who was at that time running the full marathon. I saw also Vic in the distance. He was a little ahead of me and I decided to catch up with him.

After crossing the final section of the bridge I saw the same banner that greeted us when we first entered SRP. But at its back, the words bore a congratulatory remark because we have conquered it! At the back of the banner was the following statement: “Congratulations, you have conquered SRP!”

Once again, runners were to pass the city hall. Cheerers once again were presented and they provided the much needed push for us to finish the race. However, before reaching KM15, I felt that I was running short of air and slowly decreasing in speed. This wasn’t good, but it will still end well. There was enough time to beat my record, even if I do it at a pace of 7:00/min. I planned to use the Galloway strategy for the remaining 1/4 the run route. This was going to work, I thought, since there were some hills that will come across, and I was slowly getting tired.

KM 16 to 21: Oh No, Not Again!

so far, so good. The Galloway approach was helping me indeed. I ran around 6:00/min to 6:30/min for around 6 minutes, making sure to stop to walk for a full minute before repeating the process all over again. Vic and I were running side by side at this time, and I was feeling great…

Until after reaching KM18.

I felt a major jolt on my right leg before making the final ascent to Gorordo. Without a choice, I had to slow down. Upon making the left, I walked towards the side because I wanted to stretch my right calf so that I wouldn’t feel that blasted jolt again. But when I was about to run and finish KM19, KABOOM!

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My right calf had cramped and I sat down on the sidewalk. The pain wasn’t as severe as the one I had at the QCIM before, but my right calf was hurting a lot nonetheless. A race marshall immediately attended to me and helped me stretch my leg. Another one approached later on and radioed an ambulance to come over. Support staff came a few minutes after and rushed to where I was. One of the members of the medical team compressed my leg with some bandage after helping me stretch my leg. That was a relief. Later on, the medical team asked me if I needed to be taken to the finish line. I adamantly refused and I told them that I will finish the race no matter what! Nonetheless, I offered them my gratitude for their immediate assistance. They helped me get up, and before you know it, I was on the road again, hellbent on accomplishing the run.

I checked the clock. There was no way I going to beat my record. The primary objective has been revised – FINISH THE RACE.

I was walking towards UP Cebu initially. Students were encouraging and cheering me to run. But I couldn’t just yet as I might have a relapse. So I continued walking until I got to the uppermost section of the hill. There I saw an overpass with a banner bearing the following words: “If you can read this, you will finish the race!” That was another useful, inspiration banner!

I later on felt the heat before reaching KM20. I ran again, but made sure to keep it at a snail’s pace. Thankfully the last few kilometers to the finish line had a downhill path. After 2 hours and 23 minutes, I stepped on the finish line, disappointed, but contented. I wasn’t able to beat my record, but what the heck. My first race for 2010 was completed, and I was looking forward to more in the coming months. Obviously, since I was injured, I couldn’t go back and pace for Noreen, much more extend my run. Instead I got my injured leg massaged and waited for those running the 42K to finish.

This was me with my bandaged leg. Oh well, you can’t win them all. =)

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While waiting there was also a presentation of top finishers in each category.

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Tiffin won 10th for the 5K race.

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Tina also came in 10th, but for the full marathon category.

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Sir Jovie was present watching the festivities…

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Along with Kenyan runners.

Later on, those who finished the 5K and the 21K went near the finish line to welcome those who did the 42K.

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The Marathon Foodie with her signature braids.

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Since she’s one of my idols, I couldn’t resist having a picture with her! =)

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Joseph with extremely short shorts!

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Now with his medal.

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Ah, these sweet taste of victory, as personified by Chris.

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Next up, Pojie and Gerard

Who are proud of their accomplishments.
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Of course, what would a running event in Cebu be with the following personalities:

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Mang Rening Ilaya, one of Cebu’s veteran runners, and…

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Miss Twinkle Ignacio, who ALWAYS wears a costume in every run – which she makes herself. =)

Finally, we waited for the head honcho of takbo.ph, Jinoe, who ran his first full marathon that very day.

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So who’s his biggest fan? =P
Oh, a little note. I made that banner. It was originally meant for Condura 2010. =)

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And here he is, looking strong!

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He finishes his first 42K in a little over 6 hours. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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Here he is again, with his wife, Que, and another well-known running personality in Cebu, Doc Raymond Reel Bontol of Reel Running.

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Now that we’re complete, it’s time for a class picture!

As a reward for our victory, we rewarded ourselves with lunch at the Golden Cowrie @ Lahug, best known for its crispy pata and its mouth-watering lechon. Hahaha, who couldn’t resist?

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Even Junrox matches that with a cold bottle of beer. =)

After all that, here’s my review of the race.

D (direction) – you start off at the IT Park, make your way up to JY Square, left at Gorordo, right at Escario, left at Osmena leading downtown, cross the city hall going to SRP and move straight until you move to the turnaround point and ran where you can from. The course is generally flat, with the exception of some hills, so I’ll give this one an easy to medium difficulty. To some of my running buddies, my bad when I said the course was completely flat. I should have known better. =P

Check out the route.
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R (registration) – Manila-based runners were allowed to register via RUNNR BHS. Claiming the race kit was a cinch – it was well-organized and race personnel were accomodating. =D

U (uhaw) – even if you don’t bring a hydration belt, water will be flowing at almost every kilometer! Good job! =D

M (money) – simply put, the money you pay for in this race is ALL WORTH EVERY SINGLE PESO. No need to expound on this one.

S (safety) – marshalls present everywhere, one lane closed off for runners, strict implementation of race rules/regulations, and immediate response by the medical team. What more can I say??? =D

Here were my splits. Too bad it got ruined at KM19 due to cramps… =(
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To team CCM, I hope you had fun as much as I did, and I hope you liked my running playground.
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And to those involved in the organization of this race, THANK YOU VERY MUCH! It is by far the best road race I have participated in and is now my benchmark for future races to come.

DAGHANG SALAMAT, CEBU! I will see you next year!!! =D
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Race Review, PART 1 – Cebu City Marathon, January 10

I bade goodbye to the Queen City of the South last year after 7 months of systems development projects and parties, but I mentioned that I will be back when it hosts its first ever international marathon.

On the morning of January 8, I took a plane back to Cebu – to be reunited with my running playground once again. =)

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DAY 1 – January 8

A little story before I continue: sometime in December I received an e-mail from my former clients that will be needing me back once again this year in Cebu. I was glad upon hearing this news because Cebu is a really nice place to stay in. That meant me heading back once again to my old condominium, although not necessarily in the same room. That was good news for me, because that would mean less damage – I wouldn’t have to spend much on hotel lodging. The one I previously booked – and the one which I recommended to my running buddies who will be flying in to Cebu over the race weekend – was REALLY close to the starting line. Anyway, upon landing at Cebu, I took a cab back to the condominium, where in I went to my assigned room for the duration of the project and rested a bit.

I was also happy upon receiving the news because that would mean I would get to see the Sinulog festivities. =) But that’s for another day.

In the afternoon, some of my friends had already informed me that they had already arrived at Cebu and were about to check in at their respective hotels. We later on agreed that we would be meeting up at the Ayala Center Cebu Terraces, the site where the carbo-loading party for the Cebu City Marathon will be held. Luis, Tin, and Rico had previous reservations at Cebu Northwinds, upon my recommendation. Jinoe and Que were staying at one of their college friend’s residences. The rest will be following the next day as they made their bookings on a Saturday and will be extending their vacation until Monday. Just before dusk I went to the Active Zone to get my race bib, timing chip, singlet, and the official souvenir shirt of the marathon.

We met up later in the evening to be part of the carbo-loading celebration. We saw some running personalities, like that of Sir Amado; Attorney Haide Acuna, who gave a speech that night; and Sir Jovie AKA Bald Runner. Others who I heard were present (and whom I didn’t get to meet personally) were that of Sir Jonel of Team Hardcore; Miss Jaymie AKA The Bull Runner; and Doctor Yong Larrazabal and his wife, Donna Cruz.

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Team Bald Runner and Sir Amado

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Totoy, myself, Jinoe, Sir Amado, and Sir Jovie

Also, on this night I got to meet one of my climbing buddies, Dess, who is now part of Team Hardcore, and Tina, also part of takbo.ph.

The CLP was well-participated in. Thank goodness it didn’t rain that night. There were 6 restaurants at that time that were offering pasta-based set meals for only 150 bucks. It was really cheap and from the looks of it, it’s really good.

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Mayor Tomas Osmena giving the opening remarks

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One of the restaurant stalls

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Another one

Luis, Tin, Rico, and I were later on deciding where we would get our carbohydrates that night. One of us had suggested that we eat at some restaurant that cannot be found in Manila. We ended up heading to the second floor of the mall to partake our dinner at Sunburst Chicken.

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Totoy, Jinoe, Luis

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Tin, Q, Tina

But later on we weren’t contented. Our dinner was so good that there was a need for dessert. Hence, we made our way to The Crossroads and taste some sumptuous desserts at La Marea, known for its brownie cups – BAD for those in a diet like myself. =P

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Trying to resist temptation =P

Most of us didn’t have that much rest the previous night, so after dessert, we went back to our lodgings and got some massive shut-eye.

DAY 2 – January 9

I was proposing a second round of the CLP to make way for those who will be coming in on this day. Since the running core is well-known for hosting its CLPs at The Old Spaghetti House, I told them that we could have our lunch there. But later on it was suggested that we eat once again at a restaurant that cannot be found in Manila. The first thing that came to mind? Spice Fusion located at the Banilad Town Center. When I was working back in Cebu last year my officemates and I would default to this place if we couldn’t decide anywhere to eat. The food is really palatable here, so I thought it would be a good idea for them to taste their specialities – and true enough, they did like it. Luis, Tin, Rico, and Totoy were first on the scene. I came in late because I had to deal with something that morning.

Unfortunately, Jinoe, Que, and Tina couldn’t be with us that lunch due to separate affairs, but they were replaced by Vic and Pojie, who arrived earlier during the day.

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They weren’t able to get race packs yet, so we immediately made our way to Ayala and looked for the Cebu City Marathon booth. We got to meet Dennis AKA The Running Fatboy and his wife along the way. =)

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Mar’s bib – look at the sponsor on top. PANGMATAGALAN!

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Sorry for the blur.

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Luis displaying the CCM singlet

Again, like what happened the previous night, a good meal at Spice Fusion must be followed with dessert. Since we were at Ayala, what better place to some sweet treats than the Dessert Factory. Geez, there goes my diet again. The cakes they offer here are nothing short of mouth-watering.

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After eating our rations, Wilnar, Joseph, and Ziggy (part of the running core who has Cebu for its homecourt) met up with us. Jinoe and Que also made their way to our location. By chance, Dennis was also near where we were seated. As a result, you get the following picture.

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To complete our day, we went to Crown Regency Tower at Fuente Osmena, home of the famous Edge Coaster and the Skywalk. Prior to releasing our adrenalin and letting go of our fear, we had a buffet. Carbo-loading part 3? You can say that. But the food was unavoidable. The buffet was part of the thousand-peso package which includes the Edge Coaster, the Skywalk, the 4D Theater, and a visit to the Gentleman’s Club.

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Look at that…

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Makes you want to eat, right?

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We had our fill. Seriously.

After eating, we first strapped ourselves in the Edge Coaster, where most of us uttered 4-letter expletives to combat our fear of heights while riding on the edge of a building tilting 55 degrees to the ground. Later on we walked the skies while enjoying the night lights of Cebu and gaining a little preview of the race route.

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Lying prone…

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Standing on one foot…

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And a ‘katorse’ pose. Syet.

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Showing off our certificates

Once we were done, we headed to the Gentleman’s Club. Well, you figure what happens. =P We were supposed to head to the 4D Theater afterwards but it was closed. Thankfully we were allowed to go to it the next day.

So how does all of this affect our performance at the Cebu City Marathon? That’s coming soon. =)


Race Review: 1st Jacinto Velez Memorial Run, November 22

This event marks my second to the last road race in Cebu. There’s a little story before I event to this event, actually… =P

The night before the event my office colleagues and I went out to a bar since it’s the last week for some of us temporarily based here. We went to the IT Park where we had ourselves a couple of rounds and practically danced all night long while holding bottles of alcohol on our hands. As a rule, a runner must not ingest any alcohol the night before the run as dehydration is highly likely to occur, causing him/her to weak for the most part. Even though the race was scheduled at 530AM, we still partied until 330AM Sunday morning. Being that it would be a stupid decision to get any more sleep, I decided to go shotgun – upon reaching home I immdiately got dressed, had myself half a liter of water to flush out any alcohol remaining in the bloodstream, and downed a bottle of Gatorade to get energy pumping into my system. Initially, I had that fear that something will go wrong while running, but what the hell – this was an important race so might as well gun it.

Upon reaching the starting line at 430AM, I immediately registered. Thankfully the folks there allow for onsite registration. I was starting to feel the morning chill while waiting for the starting gun so I had to keep myself moving. Good thing that the organizers pitched in a warm-up session – after that, I couldn’t feel any better. Suddenly I felt my blood rising. But even though I was pumped, I couldn’t risk getting heart failure after coming from a party without sleeping. Thus, I set the pace zones of the Garmin between 6:30 to 7:00 min/km.

The gun starts blasted around 615AM, with rainy skies hanging above our heads. This provided a cool start for all of us so it’s no wonder many runners gave it their all during the first few kilometers. It wasn’t that humid and their was a cool breeze blowing against us. I was surprised when I checked the splits during the first 3K – I went beyond the maximum pace zone, hahaha. On the next few kilometers I completed slowed down because it was an uphill course. Besides, I served as a pacer for a 10K first timer. We took the hills together gradually while keeping her company. I didn’t mind the slow splits we were having – it does feel good to be a pacer no matter how slow you might get. =) Upon reaching the apex of the course (and the halfway point as well), she thanked me for helping her conquer the hill, though she was panting heavily. From there I resumed my regular pace and sped on the downhill section of the race route, with rainshowers dissipating my body heat all the way until KM9.5. The approach to KM10 located at Mango Square was another uphill, steeper and tougher than the road to the halfway point of the course. It was also at this point that I realized that the course was going to be overshot, so I told myself to take it easy once the GF 305 reads its 10th lap. From then on I maximized the walk breaks I had until reaching the highest point of Mango Square. Once I was done I resumed running again back to the finish line, where I finished with a relatively good time of 1:18:54, covering a total distance of 11.39K.

Yup, it was indeed a good run. Though I had several amounts of contraband before this race and though I had no sleep at all, I still had the energy to run. In fact, after coming home from the race I couldn’t get sleep immediately, resulting to me being awake for more than 34 hours. =P My sleepiness only kicked on at sunset. But rest assured that I will never race after coming straight from a party. Although I have proven that my body can take it, what I did was quite risky. Don’t worry, it won’t happen again – for now. =P

Here’s my review of the race:

D (direction) – the route will take you to the following:
> from the starting line, right to F. Ramos
> right to Imus Avenue
> right to Osmena Boulevard
> upon reaching Puente Osmena, go right at Robinson’s leading to Maxilom
> left at Gorordo
> conquer the uphill route then go right at JY Square to Salinas Drive
> go straight downhill to access Juan Luna
> right at M. J. Cuenco upon reaching Mabolo Church
> right at Maxilom upon reaching Carreta Cemetery
> beat the uphill then left to F. Ramos again to access the finish line

Visual representation as follows:
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It’s a brand new 10K route, but difficulty is placed at medium due to 4K worth of uphill stretch. Still, it’s a route worth taking when doing training runs.

R (registration) – take your pick: either register onsite or one of the allocated registration centers. Either way, there’s no chance you can miss this race.

U (uhaw) – lots of water on this race so no need for a hydration belt.

M (money) – 150 bucks gets you your usual race bib, map, and singlet. Though its a good offer, I wasn’t able to get my singlet because they ran out of it. Oh well. =)

S (safety) – volunteers/marshalls from the Cebu Road Runners Club (CRRC) assisted all runners along the way in terms of traffic control and race guidance. They’ll even let you run on the middle of the road. Just look for that yellow flag and you won’t get lost. =)

Here are the splits that I incurred…

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Thanks again to Dr. Raymond Reel Bontol for organizing this race. Will see you soon (along with Atty. Haide) in the Cebu City Marathon next year.


Cebu Run Route # 13: “The Cathedral”

Another Cebu run route completed last night.

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When looked at a map, the route is really aptly named for its shape. =P

Total distance of the route covers a flat 10K, traversing on national roads. Be warned though, this is no easy 10K course. There are lots of gradual uphill roads here, especially once you reach Gorordo Avenue. You’ll need that strength and spirit – but of course, if all else fails, you can always go for a walk break, which I did before and after reaching KM6 and 7. Thankfully it was raining last night so the remainder of the route proved to be easy (add to the fact that it was a downhill track). Like always, I ran this one without the help of a hydration belt, so weariness and exhaustion came in just before I reached the halfway point.

I chose to run this course because there are some parts of it that comprise the official 10K route for my final race in Cebu this Sunday. (Yes folks, come this Sunday, I’ll be participating in my last race here in Cebu – my second to the last one, to be exact – before I officially go back to Manila. The official last race is slated for 10 January 2010 – the Cebu City Marathon, of which I plan to do 21K.) So might as well familiarize an re-familizrize myself with the route so that I don’t get shocked come race day.

Memorize these if you want to take on the course:
> condominium
> left to F. Cabahug
> right at Hernan Cortes upon seeing Alpa City Suites
> right at Lopez Jaena upon reaching the wet market/flyover
> straight to Mabolo Church
> right at Maxilom, slightly slowing down before reaching the fork
> right at Gorordo to reach JY Square
> right to Salinas Drive all the way to Juan Luna
> left at F. Cabahug all the way back to the condominium

Here were my splits. Again, they were very uneven. The pace times in the middle of the route indicates slow-but-sure attacks on the uphill portion. But I sped up again once reaching the downhill portions. =)

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This should be enough preparation for my 10K race this weekend. Hmmmm, maybe I can pitch up a 5K tempo run tonight. We’ll see.


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