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I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

April 15, 2014

2014 MAYON 360 ULTRA: Running Red Condoms Day in the Sun

EmoticonNovember 30, 2013 was the day of our running of the Lake Bato Ultra (http://www.bicolanopenguin.blogspot.com/2013/12/lake-bato-ultra-matira-ang-matibay.html). It was also a day of monsoon. 

As such, it was raining the proverbial cats and dogs which resulted in the  16 runners being drenched to the max and looking like running red condoms. Despite the cold and the wetness, the condoms persevered thru the 55 kms it takes to run 360 degrees around the largest lake in Bicol.  

The RRCs in all  their wet splendor last November 30

The RRCs waiting for the start of the 2014 Mayon 360. A bunch of color and impatience.
Fast forward to April 5, 2014 and 9 of these hardy bunch were on another circum-running quest. This time it was around the most perfect coned of volcanoes, the magnificent Mayon. And this time around, it was not to be in the cold of torrential rain but under the fierce heat of the Bicol sun. No matter, the Running Red Condoms proved hardy and trusty not to DNF. 

As a matter of fact, the Lake Bato ultra runners were all over the place in the rankings among the 396 proud finishers of the 2014 Mayon 360. From Top 10 (row 1)  to Top 100 (row 2) to middle of the pack (rows 3 & 4) and to the back of the pack (row 5). Literally and figuratively, we had our day in the sun. Hereunder are our standings:

Marino Lagyap                       4th place (6 hrs & 32  mins)                               
Mariano Basagre                    5th place (6 hrs & 39 mins)                                          
Nino Monte                            6th place (6 hrs & 42 mins)                                           
Bob Castilla                         29th place (8 hrs & 49 mins)

Kevin Moral                      167th place (12 hrs & 10 mins)

Ric Lozano                        270th place (13 hrs & 48 mins)

Joji Asis                             271st place (13 hrs & 49 mins)                                           
Vicboy “BP” de Lima        350th place (14 hrs & 55 mins)
Noel “Ghibz” Guevara      355th place (15 hrs flat)
Despite getting sick a week before April 5, Mariano retained his 5th place finish which he first got last year in his first Mayon 360. He even cut some  46  minutes from his 2013 finish time. Not to be outdone, Nino upgraded his placement from 9th overall in 2012 to 6th this time around, erasing  more than an hour from his previous time. Bob was aiming for a sub-10 and he came up with a sub-9 performance. In the process, he shaved roughly an hour and a half from his previous best in the event. Kevin was running his first Mayon 360 and he was not bashful in ripping up a promising maiden  finish time. Lozano was gunning for a PR but his compassion had him assisting/pacing a fatigued  running buddy  but his 2014 finish time is much better than his 2013 by almost an hour. Joji was not supposed to run given a low BP but he was still able to finish at the middle of the pack. The BP was on pacer duty but still managed to slice  a minute from his 2013 finish time. Ghibz’ is a whole different  story of bravery (sob), worthy of a whole article all its own.   

4th placer Marino, small but el terrible

5th placer Mariano in his exuberant pose

6th placer Nino, displaying his winning form

The ever cool and quiet but consistent strong finisher Bob 

Kevin, tasting his first Mayon 360

Ric's moment after breaking the wind for a wounded comrade

Joji, the Old School warrior

The BP, rarin' to run his 4th Mayon 360

Ghibz, vanquishing a hard fought battle

Two other Running Red Condoms, Ed Balcueva and Allen Tolledo, volunteered and performed admirably as support crew for the back of the packers.  

Allen, providing aid and comfort to the battle-weary Ghibz

Support crew chief Ed, beaming with pride with his Mayon 360 conquerors

Evidently, the Lake Bato Ultra runners lived up to the battle cry “Matira ang Matibay. Matira ang Bato.” 

Truly, the hosts and organizers (Jaycees – Legazpi Chapter, Liga ng mga Barangay – Albay Chapter, Philippine Association of Ultrarunners, Bald Runner & crew, A Runners Circle, the governor and people of Albay) of the 2014 Mayon 360 lived up to the  fabled hospitality of the Filipinos. These include private citizens (Dr. Malu, the Mediavillo  family, Bodjie & wife, Liza, nurses Kristina & Angela) who are generous with their  support and succor.  
The “Running Red Condoms” will be back for more next year.  Hasta la vista baby.

Thank you to the beautiful...

...people of Albay.

The BP with Yves Yu  of Jaycees – Legazpi Chapter


Although not actual participants of the LBU last November 30, Ernie Badong (85th place) and Mau Gines (349th place) are considered RRCs as they were invited to the bootleg ultra and actually given the ARC red shirts. Ernie performed smoothly at the 2014 Mayon 360 as he registered with his trademark killer smile a time of 10 hours & 45 mins, an improvement of almost 3 hours from his 2013 finish time. Newbie Mau showed fierce courage in gutting out a finish an hour before the 16-hour cut off time despite pestering blisters on both feet. Check out her story at http://wanderingjouster.com/2014/04/10/mayon-360-2014-where-beauties-and-beasts-abound/Emoticon  

Ernie with his trademark killer smile

BP proud of the gutsy Mau

Photo Credits:

 Custer Cano Photography at https://www.facebook.com/Mayon360/photos 



  1. my words will be profuse, yet will not be enough to express my thanks for accompanying me again in my recent quest, vicboy. i hope you will not tire yourself in helping me conquer whatever run i have set my heart on.

    again, thank you very much. my family and friends are grateful as well for making sure that i will cross that finish line still in one piece and in my best form. hehehe.

  2. Your welcome Mau. We enjoyed running with you. We admire your determination.

  3. Bawi ako sir Vic next year, ang goal is dapat top100 na. Will give up the good and go for the great..

  4. Congrats everyone!!!! Till nexttime po, see you again :)

  5. Hi Kevin, splendid feat. You are blessed to have gotten the passion for running at a younger age. But your words belies a certain coming of age of wisdom. Carpe diem.

  6. Thanks Nino. Congratulations on a top 6 finish.

  7. Certified oragons kayo. Congrats sainyo.

  8. Maraming salamat Anonymous. Puwede man garo ma-araman mi ang ngaran mo?