Archive for July, 2008

Wake Up, Sleepyhead

July 30, 2008

I set my alarm for 5:00 this morning with the intention of running for 45 minutes on my treadmill for the scheduled V-Run today.  I was to run a bit earlier than my virtual friends hoping to run my last kilometer with them as they started at 6:00 a.m. Manila time. (Mommy duties beckon for me at the strike of 6.)

So, the alarm did ring. And, I swear I heard E-rod drop his martini on the white sands of the Bahamas just to free his hands and holler out to me “Get up, sleepy bull-headed runneeeeer!”

Unfortunately, it didn’t work.  I got up only to turn off the alarm and get back to bed to get my much-needed shut eye.

I should be excused.  I was a bit tired from last night.  I ran a total of 8km at Bonifacio High Street, my farthest since recovering from my shin splints. Woohooo! First, I ran 4.5k with Happy Feet peeps Ben, Aljo, and Tin (welcome to HF, Tin!) then another 3.5k with Ben and Marga. I also bumped into ultimate race organizer Coach Rio, Unang Hirit’s Drew A., Active Achiever Vince, and Eds Ochoa of OneSport. Phew, a full night of running and chatting with running friends, plus an hour of traffic on the way home, made The Bull Runner sleep like a log.

But, I know…there is no excuse.  Sorry to disappoint you fellow V-runners.  I promise to make it up to you in our next V-Run. I’ll provide everyone’s virtual water or preferred sports drink, hand out virtual bananas and peanut butter after the run, and even give virtual foot massages for your tired feet. Until the next V-Run!

Read about fellow V-Runners’ experiences here:

  1. DATC – Philippines
  2. Caloy – Davao, Philippines
  3. E-rod – Freeport, USA
  4. Stephanie – NY, USA
  5. Hitme – QC, Philippines
  6. Nora – England
  7. Jinoe – Makati, Philippines
  8. Chefsy – Philippines
  9. Chaia – Australia
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Virtual Training Run No. 6

July 28, 2008

It’s back.  The Virtual Training Run that a few of us crazies so happily took part in last year.  (Search for “Virtual Run” in my archives if you want to read V-Runs 1 through 5).  Now, the headmaster of our V-runs, E-rod, is back from hibernation and is raring to go again.  

This is how it works:

Runners separated by geography do a training run “together” wherever they may be in the world. We set a distance (more or less) and meet at a specific time, so 6:00 am Manila time makes it 6:00pm US East Coast a day before.

DATE: 30 July 2008, Wednesday (Manila time)
TIME: 6:00 A.M. (Manila time)
DISTANCE: 10 km/6 miles (or whatever you wish)

The following are past participants and most of them have already committed to joining us. After the training session, each participant writes a quick recap of the session so that each of us benefits from this collective effort. If you don’t have a blog, fret not, just comment on one of our blogs about your experience.

  1. E-rod – Newport Beach, USA/Freeport, Bahamas
  2. HitMe – Quezon City, Philippines
  3. Banggi – Makati, Philippines/Saigon, Viet Nam
  4. Ben – Manila to Makati, Philippines
  5. Renz – Metro Manila, Philippines
  6. Marga – Parañaque, Philippines
  7. Caloy – Davao, Philippines
  8. TRF – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  9. Gretchen – Truckee, USA
  10. Rick – San Francisco, USA
  11. Nora – Kent County, UK
  12. Steph – San Diego/New York, USA
  13. Runningmom – Philippines
  14. Doc Oknoy – Philippines
  15. Bartlby – Philippines
  16. DATC – Alabang, Philippines
  17. Jinoe – Philippines
  18. Bobby – Philippines
  19. Caloy – Philippines
  20. TBR – Paranaque, Philippines

So what are you waiting for? Lace up those shoes and come join us.  Comment on this post with your city/country to let us know you want in.  

*If you have an injury that keeps you from running, participate by cycling, swimming, blading or anything that involves self-propelled constant motion.

The Tough TNF

July 28, 2008

For weeks, I was mourning the loss of the opportunity to join The North Face 100.  In fact, as I’ve said, I ran the Robinson’s Buddy Wellness thinking of how much fun all the other runners were having at TNF in Batangas.  Little did I know that I should’ve been glad I didn’t join (only because I’m not a mud-loving, rock climbing type of girl.)

Word is out that it was a tremendously tough course reserved for the more experienced runners.  There were four river crossings, dilapidated bridges and snakes!  They say it was more of an adventure race than a marathon.  For the 100km, of the 90 teams (including relay) that joined, I heard that only 30-40 crossed the finishline.  An HK runner who finished the Gobi Desert Ultra Marathon didn’t finish either.

But, despite the toughness of the course, there were runners that did finish and conquer the trails. All of them deserve a big congratulations and a warm cup of hot chocolate: 

– The first runner for 100km crossed in at 13 hours male and 15 hours female.   

– A Singaporean couple joined for the relay.  The first was the man who arrived late in the afternoon.  The woman should have been next, but it was too dark already and the course was dangerous.  So, the man ran another 50km loop to accompany his partner. 

– Jeremy Go, my unofficial editor in this blog, who I met only a few weeks back and came across as an unassuming guy (who I thought at that time was a newbie runner) finished the 100km beating the 30 hour cut off time by 10mins.  While other runners had quit and gone to sleep, he trekked throughout the night without anyone to accompany him.  

– My friend Annie won the 20km despite it being her 1st trail run.  She split four times and ran through slippery, narrow trails yet came out unscathed.  Congrats again Annie!  I’m so proud of you.

How about you?  What’s your story?  Would you do this again?

Robinson’s Buddy Wellness Run

July 28, 2008

We almost didn’t show up for this one.  I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to the sound of rain outside so I immediately consulted my team mate a.k.a. The Hubby who was quite conveniently half awake on the other side of my bed.  “Do we go?”  (Yawn)  I wasn’t particularly excited about this race as, I’ve said before, I had TNF thoughts on my mind.  “Do you want to go?” he asked although I knew he didn’t want to run under the rain again. I told him we should go on two points: 1) The rain could stop by 6 a.m. and 2) We spent a whopping P1000 for race registration.  Sayang naman diba?!  So, with that, we decided to get dressed and show up at NBC Tent.

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– TBR and Team Mate aka Hubby –

The assembly area was a welcome sight from the overwhelming OROFOLS crowd.  By this time, the rain had stopped and there were a few hundred runners waiting for the race to begin.  Before that, we were treated to uhm a dance warm up courtesy of Regine Tolentino who seemed to be the only one wide awake during that time of day.  (Yawn) Oops, sorry there I go again.  I just wasn’t into this race for some reason.

When the gun went off, “Team Pizarro” ran together at too fast a pace at around 5 min/km.  I sort of knew that we couldn’t keep this up together.  By km2, we slowed down a bit to 5:30.  By km3, we slowed down even more.  And, you don’t have to guess what happened at km4 and 5.  

We finished the race side-by-side, a strict rule imposed by organizers, at a ho-hum time of around 32 minutes for 5.4 km. 

This was, suprisingly, fine by me.  It was not a big deal that I couldn’t ran faster, beat my PR, or we didn’t win that trip to Cebu (although a suprise win wouldn’t have hurt).  It did matter that we didn’t argue at all, we didn’t leave each other behind, and he got me my own water to drink at the station.  (I wished he could wipe the sweat off my face too but that may have been asking for too much.)   

After crossing the finish line, I ran another 2km around Bonifacio High Street and met my bestest team mate in the car. Then, we went straight home eager to meet the rest of the team, the two kids who were still fast asleep.

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– Our lootbags can feed our family of four –

The North Face 100 Update

July 26, 2008

I texted Neville Manaois of Pinoy Ultra Runners last night wishing him a great run for tomorrow’s TNF (which I am still moping over since I forbade myself from joining due to the risk of re-injury).  He replied from Batangas with this SMS:

“Raining hard here. River rising daw. Winds picking up.  And temperature dropping.  This will be fun.”

Followed an hour or so after with this update:

“River is rising really fast.  Really cold.  Good luck to us. hehe.”

Neville added that there are 90 runners joining the 100km (that’s a lot eh?), 100+ for 21km, and 210 for 10km.  It sure sounds like these 400+ runners are going to have the time of their lives tomorrow.  Good luck to you if you’re running at TNF…especially my friends Annie, Coach Jo-Ar, Taki, and highschool buddies Bau and Tin.  (Who else is joining?)  Stay safe!

As for me, I’ll be at light, easy and wholesome Robinsons Wellness Buddy run with the hubby with thoughts of TNF on my mind.

Salad for the Stomach (and the Soul)

July 24, 2008

In an effort to banish the blues this week (caused by tactless people, mischievous househelp, chaotic schedule, etc.), I decided to put on my frilly, pink TBR apron—the one I own only in my delusional Martha Stewartesque world—and whip up a Salad Nicoise for dinner last night.

You must know that this was a special occasion due to the fact that I never cook.  Never.  The closest I ever get to our kitchen is when the kids and I cook their gelatin.  And I don’t even boil the required 1 cup of hot water myself!  For me to actually pick a recipe from a magazine was a feat in itself.  Well, in this case, it wasn’t too difficult since the magazine was my favorite, Runner’s World August issue.

I stumbled upon the recipe a few nights ago soon after I had felt guilty, bloated, unsatisfied by all the junkfood (read: jalapeno cheetos) I’ve been devouring for the past month.  As I browsed through the recipe (over my bulging belly), I knew that I should start eating healthy again.  Tomorrow was the day, I thought.  And, it had to start with nothing else but a totally enticing and delectable sounding salad:  the Salad Nicoise (my favorite salad actually).

The following day, I headed for the supermarket to purchase the red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, lettuce, and other ingredients.  Oh, I forgot to mention my favorite capers which was an added treat to the TBR version of this salad recipe.  And, last night, after a 7km run on the treadmill (yes, I’m back on the machine), I whipped up the meal in no time and munched on it like a ravenous little rabbit.  (I ate it so quickly, in fact, that I was halfway through when I thought of taking the photo below.)  

 RW Salad Nicoise

– TBR version of RW Salad Nicoise, August issue. Admittedly, it doesn’t look appetizing in this photo, but my photography skills are to blame for that. –

Needless to say, it was delicious (although no one else can vouch for my claim).  Yes, it did alleviate the stresses of the week.  It made me feel strong, healthy, happy—just like Martha Stewart…after she was released from prison, that is.

Nike+ Virtual Race

July 24, 2008

Nike Human Race

First the BAD NEWS: Manila wasn’t chosen as one of the 25 cities where the Nike Human Race would be held. The lucky 25 are: 

  1. Austin
  2. Bogotá
  3. Buenos Aires
  4. Caracas
  5. Chicago
  6. Istanbul
  7. London
  8. Los Angeles
  9. Lima
  10. Madrid
  11. Melbourne
  12. Mexico City
  13. Munich
  14. New York
  15. Paris
  16. Quito
  17. Rome
  18. São Paulo
  19. Seoul
  20. Shanghai
  21. Singapore
  22. Taipei
  23. Tokyo
  24. Warsaw
  25. Vancouver

But, the GOOD NEWS for us Pinoys is this: we can still join the Nike Human Race without booking a flight to nos. 1 to 25 above.  One can join the race by joining VIRTUALLY.

All you have to do is track your run with a Nike+ Sport Kit or Nike+ Sport Band (yes, you can only join the Nike+ Virtual Race if you have the Nike+ kit or band) then sync your run to nikeplus.com.ph. You can run anywhere at any time of the day starting 12:00am until 11:59pm on August 31.  Just run a total of 10k throughout the day to contribute to the global mileage on August 31, 2008.

Now even BETTER NEWS for Nike+ members: A little birdie told me (okay, it’s Coach Rio) that Nike Philippines is organizing a local Nike+ Virtual Race to be held on the same day, 08.31.08, to gather all Nike+ members to run together instead of having to run alone. Coach Rio emphasizes it will NOT be an official race, hence registration is free. However, it will definitely feel like one with prizes for top placers, race bibs, water stations, raffle prizes (drool drool), and more. They’re still deciding on the course: Bonifacio High Street or U.P.  Details to follow.  

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– Pining for a new Nike+ Sport Band?  TBR is giving out 5 Nike+ Sport Bands to lucky readers. –

And, more GOOD NEWS…or perhaps the BEST NEWS for you guys: I will be giving away 5 new Nike+ Sport Bands (retail price of P3,295) in the days leading up to the race on August 31.  I’m still brainstorming how to give these out to deserving runners but let me warn you: it will not be easy.  More on this in future posts.

MORE INFO ON THE NIKE HUMAN RACE:

Nike celebrates runners and their sport while uniting athletes all over the globe through the world’s largest running event. On 08.31.08, join a million runners worldwide for a 10k event like no other at the Nike+ Human Race. By combining Nike’s digital running world with the physical, the Nike+ Human Race is open to anyone, anywhere.

Besides running the Nike+ Human Race physically in any of the 25 host cities, participants can choose to take part in the virtual race. This means you can run anywhere at any time of the day starting 12:00am until 11:59pm on August 31, track your run with a Nike+ Sport Kit or Nike+ Sport Band, then sync your run to nikeplus.com.ph. Just run a total of 10k throughout the day to contribute to the global mileage on August 31, 2008.

Furthermore, Vote With Your Feet (VWYF) allows all virtual runners to log their miles from the day they register themselves on the website. Once the participant signs up for the virtual race, he can choose one of the three global charities to donate to. The cumulative miles run for the individual charities will result in what the allocation of Nike’s contribution will be among the three charities September 1, 2008.

VIRTUAL RACE FAQs

Why did Nike decide to organize this event?
Simply put, Nike is celebrating runners and their sport. This is going to be the World’s Largest Running Event and provide a global connection point for every athlete. By using tools that Nike created like Nike+ and the Nike+ SportBand, people can now participate from anywhere: a country road, an urban sidewalk or at one of the 25 designated Nike+ Human Race cities.

If I’m not running in a Nike+ Human Race city, can I still join the Human Race?
Anyone that registers for the Nike+ Human Race can participate. If you’re not running at the host city, you can participate through the virtual race. By registering for the race at nikeplus.com.ph, runners can simply run from their home, track their run with Nike+ iPod or Nike+ SportBand, then log their miles and contribute to the global mileage occurring simultaneously on 08.31.08.

How can I sign up for the virtual race?

Participants merely have to register for it here to join the virtual race with Nike+

Step 1: Ensure that you have a Nike+ SportKit or Nike+ SportBand to track your miles. Both can be purchased from any Nike retail outlets.

Step 2: Select to join the race with Nike+

Step 3: Train for race day with Nike+

Step 4: Race and sync your 10k run on 31.8.2008

What is the difference between the physical and virtual race?

Difference 1: The physical race requires you to be present at any of the 25 cities worldwide on 31st August 2008, closest to the Philippines is in Singapore. The virtual race on the other hand requires you to run anywhere, anytime, before 11:59pm on August 31, 2008.

Difference 2: The physical race requires a registration fee, depending on your respective category and city. The virtual race requires no entry fee.

Difference 3: The physical race participants will run with a ChampionChip device whereas all virtual runners simply need to log their miles with a Nike+ SportKit or Nike+ SportBand.

If I signed up for the virtual race, do I have to complete the 10KM?

Yes. You have to run a 10K or more on August 31 for you to be count in the Human Race. You can run in blocks, like 5KM/5KM or 2KM/3KM/5KM, as long as your total is at least 10K.

What benefits do I stand to enjoy as a virtual race participant?

Virtual race participants get to enjoy:

 A Nike+ Finisher Bracelet for the first 250 Filipino participants to log their 10km on to http://www.nikeplus.com.ph by 11:59pm at August 31, 2008.

 15% off* on purchase of a Nike+ SportBand or Nike+ Kit. (I may be giving out 10 discount coupons I’ll confirm this later.)

*At selected Nike retail stores only. Offer is valid until August 30, 2008.

How do I contribute to charity by running the virtual race?

Once you join the race as a Nike+ participant, all the distance loaded via Nike+ prior to and on the race day will be tracked. Vote With Your Feet (VWYF) allows all virtual runners to log their miles from the day they register themselves on the website. Once the participant signs up for the virtual race, he can choose one of the three global charities to donate to. The cumulative miles run for the individual charities will result in what the apportionment of Nike’s contribution will be amongst the three charities.

What if I would like to donate to charity?

Virtual racers can also make direct money donations to charities using the Nike+ Pledge Tool.

 

 

My First Brick

July 19, 2008

Bricks, in the triathlon world, is defined as training in two disciplines during one workout: bike/run, swim/bike, or run/bike.  Most triathletes practice bike/run as their brick workout with minimal interruption in between as if they were in a real race.

It was Sen. Pia Cayetano who first introduced me to bricks when I interviewed her for my Runner’s Interview (a portion of my blog that I think I should resurrect).  Running was the only thing on my mind then.  No way would I have guessed that, in less than a year from that time, I would be having my own mini brick session today.

This morning, Annie and I met at the same time and place for our usual Saturday run.  But, this time, we were going to bike.  She arrived late and so did I.  Both of us were distracted: she was pumping air in her tires, I was tightening my helmet, then I too had to pump air.  Aaaaah!  We agreed that life was so much easier when we would just jump out of our cars and run.  “Tara, takbo nalang tayo?” she joked.

Off we went on our bikes, er, well I used my hubby’s mountain bike.  Annie used her racer and led the way.  It was a smooth ride through the rolling hills of village roads, most of which we were very familiar with since it was our regular long run route.  Yes, it was enjoyable but half the time I was wishing I was running instead.  I believe Annie felt the same.  “Annie, gaano ka tagal tayo dito?” I asked.  “30 minutes?” she replied.  “Then, let’s run?” I said with a smile.  

After 27 minutes and 8 kms, we parked our bikes and wobbled our way into running.  (They say they call it “bricks” because your legs feel like bricks when you get out of your bike and start to run—so true. It’s great that they didn’t call it “poop” because that’s what seems to be stuck up your butt once you get out of your bike and attempt to run.)  

Just as we were about to start, we bumped into Patrick C. again (this was the 3rd time I saw him that morning) as he ended his 15k run.  The three of us running freaks spoke about our undying love for running and how nothing—nope, not even biking—could compare with the adrenaline rush it gave. 

Annie and I ran easy for just 3.5 kms, a distance that was all too short for this running buddy of mine but was just right for my slowly recovering shins.  We were able to chat again as we always do and laugh out loud in the middle of the road as if it was our own.  Oh, how I missed those days!

My first brick session was short—just a little over an hour—but it was a great start (considering it was unplanned!) I was ecstatic over the intense workout I got from both disciplines combined since an easy run or a short bike trip just didn’t do it for me the past few weeks.  Oh, I think I’m going to be doing this regularly from now on.  Uhm, I’ve actually penciled it into my training journal already.

Nike Human Race, Anyone?

July 16, 2008

Nike_Human_Race

On August 31, 2008, Nike will be conducting The Human Race, a 10k run to be done simultaneously in 25 cities around the the world.  

Here in the Philippines though it seems as if they’re still gathering a list of interested participants before they organize the Manila leg.  (What for?!  Singapore is all set to go!)

If you’re interested in joining, you should raise your hand (perhaps a bit useless if you’re not within sight of any Nike manager), post a comment here, or email feedback@runrio.com to let them know you’ve actually started training already.

As for me, I only have one thing to say to Nike people:  Just Do It!

* Thanks to Passion Runner for info.

One La Salle, One Wet & Wild Race

July 14, 2008

Despite the gloomy weather, over 5,000 runners showed up for the One La Salle run at The Fort yesterday. As I viewed the sea of green before me, I wondered if I had registered for a race or unwittingly signed up for one big La Salle family day.

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– A sea of green –

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– One brave soul.  Runmd proudly wears his Ateneo singlet –

Just as hubby and I found our way to the crowded assembly area, it started to drizzle and then pour. Runners huddled under tents while others allowed the rain to drench them from head to toe. We were part of the latter group; why shield ourselves from the rain when we were definitely going to get wet anyway?

Soon after the 16k and 3k runners started, we 5k runners were off. (Yes, all of us 5,000 runners started practically at the same time.) I bid my husband goodbye and went ahead not in an effort to break a PR but more to find some room to breathe. This was, after all, a training run for me; my first 5k after the shin splints.

For the first half, I ran at a comfortable 6:00 min/km pace, intentionally slowing down when I found myself reaching 5:00 to 5:30. No way was I going to reinjure myself for this race! It felt awesome to race under the rain, something I’ve never done. I didn’t feel as tired and I felt like I could go on to the finish line without ever taking a sip from my amphipod. Boy was I wrong.

As I closed in on the 3km mark, I suddenly felt depleted. I knew that there were two things to blame for this pathetic scenario: 1) staying up late the night before to read books with my daughter (that’s the life of a running mommy!), and 2) lack of training (my longest run was a 5k during my past 1.5 month imprisonment in shin splint hell.)

I swallowed my pride. I began to walk (argh…a mortal sin in the TBR world because no one has ever caught me walking in a race—much less a 5k!) and, in an attempt to appear strong and cool, I made it look as if I was just taking a water break.

It turned out to be a futile strategy since a runner suddenly appeared beside me, almost like an angel from the sky. How I wished that he looked like Gabriel with long blonde hair, unblemished skin, with his chiseled chest shining through his white robes staring at me with his blue eyes saying “Be strong. I shall run with you.” But, this man was old, dark, chubby, and short and he said to me in the gentlest manner “Maganda ang pace mo. Ituloy mo lang yan. Sasabayan kita.” And, with those words, despite his non-angelic features he became a blessing to me. We ran together.

God, all that drama. You’d think I was running marathon. Or, at least, you’d think that the man ran with me the next two kilometers to finish the 5k race. Soon after he uttered those words, we made a left on the road along with the rest of the 5k pack to discover that we were at the finish line. Whaaat?!  According to my Garmin, the 5km race had ended at 3.3km. Was the route inaccurately measured?  Did all of us make a wrong turn?  Did they miss a sign along the route?  Did they lack marshalls (I didn’t see any!) to point us in the right direction?  I don’t know.  All I knew was that it was the shortest 5k of my life. 

We were in for an even bigger surprise: a long line for us to pass through the finish line. I bet we were lined up even longer than the time it took us to run the race. I apologize for being sarcastic. But, my sarcasm was a lot lighter than the complaints from the crowd. One veteran runner repeated himself like a broken record as he waited in line “Terrible. Another badly organized race. Terrible. Terrible.”

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– Runners waited in line to claim race giveaways being distributed from a truck. The scene reminded me of a NFA rice allocation. –

After my 5k-run-that-was-actually-a-3k, my hubby and I met up with my nephew (who I, unfortunately, didn’t see before or during the entire run) and my three bodyguards, uhm, actually they are my three kuyas, who just came to watch.  We chatted for a while, took a few photos, then called it a family day.

Thank God for the drops of water from heaven.  Running in the rain was perhaps one of the few, if not the only, positive experience I gained from this race.

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– TBR’s biggest fans: my hubby, my nephew (center), my three brothers –

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– Big smile from Mr. Mike Enriquez of GMA7. He looks so friendly but don’t be fooled. He’s scary. –

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– with Rorie, Joy, and Cat from Binan, Laguna.  I bet they feast on putos before every race. Lucky them! –

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– Paparazzi shot of Nina Huang and Fernando Zobel. –

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– Finally get to meet Jhamfrens –


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– Active achiever Vince and his cousin –

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– Bumped into Okaido (am I right?) who reminded my husband about how lucky he is to have me (thanks! I owe you one haha) and her friend –


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– Great-looking couple, Gelo and Cris –


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– Mark P. of Happy Feet is all smiles after his 16k.  Goodbye injuries, hello long runs! –