Archive for March, 2012

Team Rock & Road Logo Studies

Posted: March 23, 2012 in Personal

So the guys from the 1st Pico de Loro Climb thought it would be best to form our own subgroup within the Pinoy Fitness community. We needed a name and a logo that are suitable for runners-turned-mountaineers who may also dabble in other outdoor adventures in the future. The name chosen was “Team Rock & Road” (which hits the spot given the group’s obsession with ice cream). A call for logo entries was made with the prize being a marathon race kit worth P2,500 (which I’m hoping can be converted to a seed fund for trail shoes, LOL). Since I’ve missed tinkering with Adobe Illustrator, I joined this contest with glee. I don’t have any formal training and I’ve never made any submissions of my work so this was all for fun. Tons of fun, really. I came up with the following designs:

The Mountain Runner

The Minimalist Branding

The Big and the Bold


A total of 8 entries were up for consideration, and after a week of voting, the final winner is… my Logo Study #1! The Mountain Runner! The last time I won in a design contest was for a poster in grade school, almost 20 years ago. Haha. It’s nice to win again. Thank you to my teammates for choosing my work.

I have a feeling that t-shirts are coming soon. Look out for us on the roads. 😉


Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Posted: March 12, 2012 in Random
Tags: ,

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.


You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t.
Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

Batch 3 poses for a "class picture" at the send-off party - the most enthusiastic TBR DM batch according to Coach Lit ^_^

We’re just counting down the days before the big 42K. The batch has been training for TBR Dream since October and soon we will be putting ourselves to the test. It’s a relief that I got this far. Many times I’ve contemplated dropping out because of an injury that kept hounding me. Thankfully, I discovered by chance that the pain stops when going up steep uphills. Most runners dread hills but since they seemed to be my only hope, I ran exclusively on them until the knee problem subsided. I was only too happy to get moving again. Two weeks ago, I was able to complete a 30K – our last and farthest scheduled long run prior to tapering. So while my training had a rocky start, I’m confident that I’m in the best shape of my life. We’ll find out for sure on March 18. *deep breath*

My team Rock & Road with host & triathlete Tessa Prieto-Valdes, photo from Joyce

What a journey. The guys from Ripple100 made this video that summarizes the last few months – the running clinics, the inspirational talks, the self-discovery, and the new friends we found along the way. Note that 90% of the batch are first-time marathon runners, the remainder being second-timers. This is what makes this event so special. Jaymie pulled out all the stops to create an unforgettable run for beginners, from Day 1 of training until race day. The support from the organizers, sponsors, and alumni is phenomenal. The spirit is one of camaraderie rather than competition. It’s not about seeing who’s better and there are no prizes for top finishers. What for? In the Dream Marathon, everyone who crosses the finish line is a winner. Lives will change. Now that’s awesome.

The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) is a race across the Alpine mountains along the borders of three countries – France, Italy, and Switzerland. It’s 166km of bliss and blisters, sometimes less, sometimes more depending on the weather and the conditions along the course. The winners finish in a little over 20hrs. Most participants take more than 35hrs, if at all. UTMB is notorious for high drop out rates. The mix of stunning course, top notch organization, and competitive field has made it the unofficial ultra trail World Championships.

Learning more about the race and the runners who compete in it like Lizzy Hawker and Kilian Jornet makes me wish I could be fast enough and strong enough to take on the challenge myself. There’s just that joy of running on the mountains, of negotiating the ups and downs, that makes me feel like I’m a kid playing outdoors – something I rediscovered at Pico de Loro. And with a course as breathtaking as this, how can anyone resist?

How to Get to UTMB

Here in the Philippines, the nearest local equivalent is the TNF100 in Baguio held every April (though previous TNF races have also been held at Camsur and Sacobia). Finishers of the 100K category get 3 points. UTMB hopefuls need to collect 7 points from a maximum of three races to be considered. Where do you collect the other 4 points? The UTMB website has a list of recognized races. The bulk is located in Europe but there are lots in Hongkong and one in Malaysia (none yet in Thailand and Singapore). There is also a new 100 mile (160K) trail run called Taklang Damulag 100 (TD100) by Bald Runner which is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. Though as of the moment, only one person has ever crossed the finish line within the cut-off time of 30hrs at the inaugural race. Maybe TD100 will also get recognition as a qualifier for the UTMB in the near future.

If the UTMB point system seems daunting, you’d be right. It’s difficult by design and almost makes the Boston Marathon qualifying times look humane. I guess, like in any ultra marathon, you don’t agonize over the distance but just put one foot in front of the other and go as far as your legs can take you. I’d love for a Filipino to qualify for Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. Who knows? Maybe it’s going to be you. Start dreaming. 😉