Archive for the ‘running routes’ Category

A Barefoot Runner’s Playground   Leave a comment

When everyone else was running the Condura Marathon, I took the opportunity to run along side the Marikina River. If you’re a barefoot runner, or maybe you’re trying to start running barefoot, then I suggest you try running that route, too.

From Marikina Riverbanks, I walked my way to the, er, river bank and ran on the left side of the river. Even though I’ve heard a lot about people running this route, I was still surprised by the number of people running with me. Marikina is definitely into the fitness.

The route is definitely a scenic one, with statues and gardens and murals everywhere, not to mention the river itself. Sadly, many of them have been vandalized.

They still helped with the run though, I couldn’t wait to see the next sculpture or painting, or even the plants. I think they made me run faster!Did you know there’s a corn farm there?

So what about barefoot running?

I always believe that if you want to run barefoot, you have to expose your feet to as many and to as rough a terrain as possible. This is to build feet strength. It also helps in improving the running form.

Don’t worry, your feet can take it. Unlike what many shoe companies would tell you, your feet are actually tougher than you think. Just remember to always listen to your feet, and to relax, relax, relax.

Now back to running along the riverbank. Let me take you through the route I took last Sunday.

go to the far left

When I went left, The surface I was running was on pavement much like what you’d see on sidewalks. Smooth, straight, clean (this is Marikina after all) pavement. The only thing to worry about are the other runners, walkers and bikers; with the occasional small rocks.

After about three kilometers, you’ll get to a school/military facility. I’m not sure which it was, but it had barracks (one building had a board which said “barracks”) and a lot of strctures used for exercise (pull up bars and ropes, etc). Going past that, you’ll see a sign which said “no vehicles allowed”.

Then you’d notice the path start getting narrower and narrower, being replaced by thick grass and shrubs. Now you would have to watch out for stray sticks.

this is dessert

Then the pavement disappears altogether and you’d be running on grassy dirt path. This would go for another kilometer until you get to the dead end.

road less traveled

The dead end:

a cliff!

Going back, you run a kilometer or so, waiting for the next bridge going to the other side of the river. The metal bridge was cold to the feet, and maybe a bit too smooth.

On the right side of the river, after crossing the bridge, you’ll be running on unfinished road.

You’ll encounter dirt paths:

nature, baby!

Gravel-y dirt paths:

eyes on the path.. a must!

Newly paved roads:

nice group of people.. and they're on the way.

And gravel!

can you say "ouch"?

It’s amazing how your running form will suddenly change with each terrain. You almost don’t have to think about it because the body adjusts automatically. And if it doesn’t, your feet will immediately teach you the right form. Yes, that’s what that sharp pain is for.



Barefoot 23k Done: My QCIM 2 Experience   Leave a comment

the 21k finisher's medal

A REALLY late post! Well actually, I have been planning to write about my experience during the QCIM but the activities during the holidays just stopped me. It’s not that I didn’t have any time, it’s just that I’ve been lazy. And that explains why I’m not able to remember a lot of the details about the event. Hehe..

Note: Finisher’s medal courtesy of Ged Garcia

Claiming of Race Kits

I was finally able to get race kits for qcim2 November 23. no XS-sized singlets for Michel (what she ordered). Apparently, they didn’t produce XS sizes even though it was one of the options in the race registration form. She got an S-sized singlet instead. There was also no Championchip for 10k (we had one last year).

Stuff inside the Race Kit (there’s also the race bib and race course map, but I wasn’t able to take pictures of them):

the timing chip

the singlet

Note: Race kit stuff pictures courtesy of Rex Tan

A Run with Friends

Before the run, I already knew that I would not be gunning for a good time. My intention was just to have fun running with my Runnex running buddies. A great decision because had fun, we did. It definitely made finishing a lot more fulfilling. There’s really nothing like crossing the finish line being cheered on by family and friends.


my running buddies!


This was it. My longest barefoot run ever. 23k. 23K is a distance that’s really far for me. For one thing, it’s a couple of kilometers longer than a half marathon. Imagine, the original EDSA MRT track is only 17k. It’s like running from the Trinoma station all the way to the Taft Avenue station, then running all the way to MOA and back to the Taft Avenue MRT station.

Yes, it was really supposed to just be 21k but there was a problem with the race distance and it turned out to be 23k. A lot of runners complained about that (because they were really concerned about getting a PR). The turn around should have only been by Batasan rather than Dona Carmen.

I’m glad to say that my naked feet never failed me that day. I didn’t suffer any injuries at all. Just look at that smile on my face. I was even able to do a little sprint towards the finish line!

It felt really weird when race marshalls kept shouting “go, barefoot runner!” when I passed them by. To all of you, a great big thank you. Your encouragements really lifted a lot of the fatigue and helped to push me to keep on running.

Sad to say, even though I saw a couple of runners sporting VFFs, I didn’t see anyone else running barefoot. Well, except for this guy who took off his shoes during the race. Go go go!

Note: Pictures courtesy of Bossing Carlo Arcenal


One of thie bigger complaints the first QCIM received was hydration. Apparently, those runners that ran the longer distances didn’t have enough water available for them running close to the finish line.

I’m sure nobody who joined this race can say that now. There was just too much water! And not just water, Powerade was also overflowing.

The hydration stations were also regularly placed along the route and even though you don’t bring your own hydration when you ran this race, I’m sure that even way before the first sign of thirst, you would have already seen the next water station. Yes, they were that many.

Aside from hydration, Bananas were also available in certain aide stations. I wasn’t able to get any, but it was a great touch.

Oh, the Rolling Hills!

I ran the first QCIM so I knew what to expect when running along Commonwealth. I knew what to expect, but that doesn’t mean I found it easy. The inclines were just too long. Fortunately, the reverse is also correct. The downhills were lengthy too. And this time, I was able to run on top of the..

Tandang Sora Fly Over

This was the first rime that I was able to run on top of a fly over. I was very thankful of the uphil training I did prior, which definitely helped running up the fly over.


Much like last year, QCIM 2 was dominated again by the Kenyans, bagging most (if not all) awards. Many Pinoy runners didn’t like that. But I don’t see anything wrong about it. I mean, this should be a challenge for our local runners to train more so that they can compete better with these foreign athletes. It’s a sport, after all.

the mighty Kenyans

Note: Pictures courtesy of Henry Ren

The Mandatory Race Pros and Cons List


1. Lots of water stations.

2. Great route. There’s still nothing like running along the very wide Commonwealth Ave.

3. Traffic along the route was well managed (compared to last year’s).

4. Free Photovendo and Runpics Analysis.

5. Sprinkler along the route.

6. Great running marshalls and marching bands along the route.


1. Inaccurate distance for the half marathon. I didn’t mind it, but it was still a huge deal to many runners.

2. No timing chip for distances below 21k.


My race time: 2:52 chip time. Actually, my goal was just to finish earlier than 2:45 so I just made sure that I was always running ahead of the 2:45 race pacer. Unfortunately, I don’t know what happened, the 2:45 race pacer crossed the finish line way above the 3-hour mark. So my strategy was not effective at all! Also my fault though, I should have brought a watch with me.

By the way, Michel joined the 10k event and finished at a very impressive 1:24 time. Very proud of you, Mommy!

See you guys on QCIM 3 when I will run the full marathon!


sole mates?

A New Running Route   Leave a comment

Looking at Google Maps last week, I came accross this new route from the office to our place. Yep, now you know where I live (note: we don’t have money/food/expensive stuff)!


It’s a couple more kilometers farther from my usual EDSA route so that’s great. Wednesday morning, I was able to try it out.

It was mostly a straight route and, in most of the way, lonely at 4:30 in the morning. There was almost no traffic except for the occasional jeep and bus. Nobody can be seen walking the streets (well, it is 4:30 in the morning..).

I love that the roads are really clean and smooth, very well kept. Although there were stretches of uphills, they were short and far between. I had to keep myself from running all out because I wanted to look at the sights first.

There’s more time for fast running later on. Or maybe I’ll try to bring a camera next time and take pictures.

I got home in less than 40min. Not bad for an easy 7k I think. I hope to be able to run this route again the next week, that is if I don’t focus on my uphill running route.

Decisions, decisions..

Posted August 28, 2010 by Barefoot Yayan in running routes

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