Friday, July 30, 2010

Du-aw ta sa Dabaw! Dagan ta sa Kadayawan!

Practically all roads lead to Davao come August. The reason? Kadawayan.

Kadayawan is a celebration of Good Harvest, writes The term Kadayawan is derived from the Mandaya word “madayaw”, a warm and friendly greeting used to explain a thing that is valuable, superior, beautiful, good, or profitable.

Kadayawan in Mandaya means anything that brings fortune, a celebration of life, a thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, the wealth of culture, the bounties of harvest and serenity of living. Ethnic tribes around Mt. Apo usually gathered during the harvest-time when they had a bountiful harvest to give thanks to their gods particularly the the Supreme Being "Manama." Singing, dancing and offerings to their divine protectors are the highlights of this ritual.

Colorful costumes and warm smiles at Kadayawan's Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan
(photos from Davao and Blogalicious)

The bountiful display of fresh flowers and fruits, and "indak-indak sa kadalanan" or street dancing in colorful costumes are reasons for many to spend a day or two in Davao during Kadayawan. Me? I'm going there for the Kadayawan Festival Run.

Running in Davao
(photo from Dabaw Pinoy)
Set August 8 on an out-and-back course at the Roxas Avenue near the Ateneo de Davao University, the Kadayawan Festival Run features 3K, 5k, 10k and 21K events. It is presented by Adidas Phils. with Motolite and Hi-Smart Vitamins as the major sponsors.

Hi-Smart in particular will sponsor the 3K run. All 3K finishers will receive Hi-Smart t-shirts and vitamins, said organizer Kenneth Sai of Vantage Promotions.

All the runners will get a free singlet and a certificate of participation. Cash prizes, medals and certificates will be awarded. The finishers of the 21K will also each get a finisher’s medal aside from the medals for the top three winners of the men and women’s open categories.

Well, I have always wanted a shiny medal of my own for a run. That would be motivation enough for me to finish 21K.

(Registration for the race is still on-going at the Adidas Store of Gaisano Mall in Bajada and at the newly-opened Run Club Davao located at the Plaza del Carmen in Loyola St.,Bo. Obrero. The registration fees are P150 for 3K and 5K, P200 for 10K and P250 for 21K.)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fast times for women winners in Milo GenSan

It was the women's turn to register fast times in this year's edition of the Milo Marathon regional elimination race held last Sunday, July 25, in General Santos City.

Cebu’s running queen Mary Grace Delos Santos sliced some three minutes off her personal 21K record to top the race with a 1:21.15 finish. She came in 4th place overall.

Mary Grace delos Santos, her face bloodied after getting hit by a motorcycle in a road accident, finishes first in the women’s 21K race in the Mindanao eliminations of the Milo Marathon in 2008.( PHOTO FROM SUN.STAR CAGAYAN DE ORO, CEBURUNNING.COM)

Monaliza Ambasa was second at 1:30, faster than the 1:31:15 she turned in when she ruled last year's race, while Liza Jaro did a repeat of her third place finish last year but with a faster finishing time of 1:34:51. Jaro clocked 1:40:42 in last year's race.

The country's best time for 21K is held by two-time Milo national marathon champion Jho-an Banayag, who ran the half marathon distance in 1:20 in Davao City.

In contrast, the men's finishing times this year were slower than last year's. Davao City Joselito Dugos took first with a time of 1:13:07 while Elmer Bartolo, another prominent figure in Cebu’s running scene was second, clocking 1:13:53. Gerald Sabal came in third at 1:14:50.

Bartolo was also second in last year's Milo Marathon eliminator in the country's tuna capital but turned in a faster finishing time of 1:13:11. Junel Buncit of Tagum ruled the men's race last year with a blazing 1:11:11 finish. Brian Lupo who took third place also registered a fast 1:13:44.

Last year's race also saw 4th place finisher Gilbert Maluyo of Kidapawan City barge into the national finals after clocking 1:14:37 to beat the 1:15:00 qualifying time.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Milo Marathon in the Tuna Capital and in Durian Country

Mindanao regional eliminations for the 34th National Milo Marathon kick off tomorrow, July 25, with the General Santos elimination race.

GenSan News Online Mag reports 8,000 runners are set to answer the starting gun at the City Oval Plaza in the country's tuna capital.

As in past eliminations in this relatively flat course, fast times are expected from elite and sub-elite runners who are looking to finish within 1:15:00 for male runners and 1:35:00 for female runners to qualify for the 42.195-K National Finals.

Top three finishers in the men's and women's categories of the 21-K regional elimination run will receive cash prizes and trophies, plus an all-expense paid round trip to Manila for the national finals where they get a shot at being crowned MILO® Marathon King and Queen and grabbing the PhP 300,000 cash prize at stake.

After General Santos, Milo goes to Davao City on August 29.

Kenneth Sai of Vantage Sports Promotions, Milo's local partner in Davao City, says this year's Davao elimination race will be bigger and better. For one, timing chips will be used in both the 10K side event and 21K elimination run, a first for Davao City footraces. The event will also be run on a new course starting and finishing at Roxas Avenue near Ateneno de Davao University.

Registration center for the Davao City elimination race is at 2nd Floor, Tamayo Bldg, Lapu-Lapu Ave., Agdao, Davao City.

Northern Mindanao will have its regional elimination races for the country's longest running and most prestigious marathon in November. The Butuan City elimination race is set on November 21 while the Cagayan de Oro edition is on November 28.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

"The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner," as a short story published in 1959 and again as a film in 1962, has undoubtedly cemented the image of the distance runner as a solitary soul in pursuit of his sport, consumed by thoughts unknown to the rest of the world.

He could as well be envisioning himself racing for the gold to the cheers of a thousand people on the stadium stands. Or perhaps moving like a deer effortlessly through the foliage and over twisted roots on a mountain trail. He alone knows. He alone runs.

Those who wield gutted rackets share a laugh or two with each other as they pair off, exchanging volleys on the court. Friends who run dribbling and passing the ball tease and call out jokes while sweating it out in a game. And cyclists share stories and not a few laughs on a group ride. There is truly more joy and fun in all these it seems than in long distance running.

But as I ran this morning on my 8k loop, I asked myself - is the distance runner really lonely in his solitary pursuit of his sport? Or is it just an image seen by those who do not see beyond the single, sweating, solitary figure chasing that invisible something in the wind?

I have almost always run alone, and I suppose most other runners do. I have ran in a group a number of times, enjoying the banter over a variety of distances and weather. We even ran in a downpour once. But I am mostly the lone wolf, burning the roads and the trails by my lonesome. There was joy in my runs with my friends, the same joy i found in my solitary runs.

Running isn't a happy endeavor. It wasn't meant to be. The heart beats fast, the lungs burn, the legs and feet ache after a while from the constant pounding, the arms grow tired too. But in my running I rediscover what I can do, I am reawakened to my capabilities, I experience freedom.

While running in the woods by his lonesome in the film, the rebellious main character Collin Smith is seen with an unquestionable aura of joy. Like an unshackled deer fully one with nature and the very essence of his being, he runs with jubilant abandon.

Colin was a solitary soul doing what he loves to do best, and he was far from lonely in his endeavour, just like any long runner distance runner.