International Speed | Guam Ko’Ko’ Road Race

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I’ve been joining races and runs for some time now, starting from the Star Magic Run in the then-new Mckinley hill, then the first Century Tuna Run in BGC, then the numerous Condura Skyway Marathon(s) which eventually piqued my interest towards triathlon and you could say the rest is history. I’ve always been a believer in health, fitness and sport (cue Pain and Gain soundtrack) but I never thought I’d be this excited to join a half-marathon out of the country. Guam Ko’Ko’ Half Marathon and Ekiden Relay has been happening for ten years now, to bring awareness to the plight of Guam’s territorial bird the Rail or Ko’Ko which was brought to near extinction by brown tree snakes, pesticides and other introduced detractors. The community involvement and ongoing public efforts has helped the cause tremendously .

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At first I was ready to treat the Guam Ko’Ko road race just like any other, but then it dawned on me that Chuckie Dreyfus, Jeff Lo and I were to be the very, very unofficial Philippine representative runners, with that realization I knew that I had to push that fateful Sunday on Guam. Equals carb loading, very responsible carb breakfast loading at Denny’s!

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Followed by a very respectably carb packed lunch!

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The night before. I always do this whether my race is triathlon or a run, so less psychological traffic in the morning. Also, flat lay means business. I’m sure if someone from the cleaning staff of Hilton Guam Resort and Spa they’d think the person staying in the room was downright obsessed! No matter. I readied my Ford Forza Gear, 2xU visor, Rudy Project shades and Shotz energy gels.

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Here I am with Chuckie and Jeff. As you can see I am still trying to shake off the morning sleepiness. I am excited in this photo I promise. This could also be my sleepy gameface.

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Ready to go with Gatorade to sip before the race!

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Course maps can tend to look like hieroglyphics the morning of the race, so I suggest you study them a few days prior to figure out how far hydration stations are, which part you should push, recover and flat out. Knowing is half the battle!

course-map-2015-20151103Right before the 10k turnaround point, Carmel our “official” race photographer took this! haha!

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Too fast for the camera! Haha! Pulled up my shirt because I think I started out too hot!

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The volunteers assisting the race were very cheery and helpful. Which improves the vibe of the whole race. Which I believe helped my performance that day.

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After a seemingly flat hilly race, the cold air, seeing the difference running styles, pacing with a number of faster than me people, and drafting behind others, I made a sprint to the finish! This was my first half marathon outside of my triathlon 70.3 races, so I am pretty happy with my results! My results are on the right by the way (how I wish it was the 1:05:15 but that would be insane)

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The Boys Guam Out conquer the Ko’Ko’ road race!

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Myself with 2015 Miss World Guam. My arm is like that because I was drenched after really pushing it out on the race!

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Our 21K finisher smiles!

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The international half marathoners!

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With the Guam running crew! Spotted a lot sporting Jeff Lo’s hard to miss Pinoy Fitness running shirts.

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Of course a run isn’t complete without a groupfie!

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All in all, the Guam Ko’Ko Road Race and Ekiden Relay 2015 proved to be a real treat. The weather was perfect, the course well plotted out, the organisation top notch and the support that the city really gives to the runners is a great example of how races should be organised. Thank you to the Guam Visitors Bureau for letting me race in such a beautiful setting and showing me around the breathtaking sights around the island. Hope to be back again next year to better my new personal best!

 

 

#WANDERBUFF: Let’s Go For A Spin | Spin Hostel

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My first impression when it comes to the word hostel, isn’t too good especially after seeing a few hollywood movies centered around said the said theme. Imagine my surprise when I saw how well designed and laid out Spin Hostel was! Alright. It’s not exactly a hostel, the word I was hearing being thrown around was “designer” hostel. So that explains why it’s like a hostel on steroids, every nook and cranny is super instagrammable.

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This is from their site, and believe me it looks exactly how it does in the photo. It has a very scandinavian on an island sort of vibe. More clever and convenient ideas exercised rather than having blatantly expensive materials and finish. Aircon was also incredibly cold, I had to set the thermostat to the middle else I’d turn into a popsicle. The design of the place also allows for free flowing air, so I cracked open the windows a number of times also.

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The sun wasn’t all that great but that didn’t stop us from having a great time! The waters of El Nido really are something else, the only time I’ve seen such turquoise coloured water was when I was Santorini, Greece. A little further than a stone’s throw. Luckily, Palawan is only an hour or so away.

I love their Nest area, which is the common area which is the most happening area of the property where one can see various nationalities conversing, playing Uno, internetting [sic], reading a book or just lounging around. SPIN also has sharing rooms which bring the wallet footprint down a couple of notches without sacrificing quality of stay. The unisex bathroom for the sharing rooms is actually airconditioned!

The folks had left once I started playing guitar, I wonder why?!

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After a restful sleep (no worries of roosters crowing!) we were off to explore jagged limestone cliffs, secret caves and such.

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Standard kayak shoot in an extraordinary lagoon setting. I literally could not sit still in this place. When you get the chance to do the boat tour, make sure Small Lagoon is in your itinerary. You’ll know you’re there when you have to squeeze your way in through big limestone rocks either by kayak, paddleboard or sariling sikap ie: swimming.

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Swapped out the kayak for a paddleboard a number of times. Great exercise and core work. The water is also a little cooler here, so it’s nice to take a dip and cool off. I always bring my swim goggles so I did a few laps as my defacto triathlon training for the day (yes, I am obsessed)

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On the kayak again.

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Waiting for the sun. Photo ops everywhere.

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Standard issue equipment for snorkelling and exploring the islands’ rich marine life and underwater flora.

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I literally caved in to the beauty of El Nido.

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When in El Nido, be sure to try out staying in SPIN. I am sure the 75 bed designer hostel will both inspire and impress you with it’s own brand of hospitality and design atmosphere.

Spin Hostel Contact:
Mobile: 09175667746

http://www.facebook.com/spinhostel