Sports Unlimited: Sports Events from Bicol to Guam

By Jasmine Perez, Multimedia producer, Sports Unlimited

Posted at Nov 15 2011 08:11 AM | Updated as of Nov 19 2011 11:37 PM

Adventures with the Azkals

Sports Unlimited and the Azkals have experienced almost every possible adventure in the province of Albay.

Intense competitions, fun thrills and scenic spots---checked.

But wait, Sports Unlimited made sure that they saved the best for last!

Before they left the private island of Misibis Bay, they were told that they still had a remaining item on their agenda: they had to take a peek of their best view using their slick 4-wheelers.

Riding the ATV to the hilltop of Cagraray Island is always a must for adventure seekers. Even Matthew was unstoppable. The Azkals and Marc, meanwhile, had their boyish grins. This is the kind of adventure every speed junkie would love to do.

Reaching the top gets even better. The view was simply breathtaking that they all had to take their little souvenirs from their cameras. Their friends from Misibis Bay told them that this was just a taste of their long ATV riding. But before that, the Azkals taught marc a new kind of football called segway football.

From Cagraray island, Marc and the Azkals went to Legazpi City. Marc knew about the big surprise waiting for them, except their guests. They thought that they’d only head to the foot of mayon through an ATV. But when they reached Misibis’ hangar, a private chopper was waiting to take each of them closer to their destination.

Jason, Nate, Chad and Ace were all blown away by their bird’s eye view of the majestic cone. The volcano tour wasn’t just a treat on air but all SU’s guests had to land right smack at the foot of Mayon.

From the lava wall, Marc and the Azkals continued their quest for speed. This time, it was all about dirt, lava and traversing more dirt and lava! Marc and the boys didn’t mind getting dirty, as long as they’re wheeling their kind of thrill.

One look at our guests’ smiles and you’ll agree that this is definitely a man’s playground!

Camsur Dragonboat Festival

Hundreds of paddlers flocked to the Lago del Rey of the Camsur Watersports Complex for the 2nd edition of the Camsur International Dragon Boat Festival.

With a million-peso worth of prize money, the Camsur race was definitely a hotly contested one. Not only did it see great competition, it also featured world-class athletes, with seven of the country's world champions in attendance to defend their club team's pride.

With the majestic Mount Isarog as backdrop, this is the only dragon boat event in the Philippines run on a man-made lake.

The two-day event had two distances-- 400 meters and 250 meters, with 3 division titles up for grabs: the men's open, women's division and mixed category.

The weather in Camsur was punishing hot but the competition was scorching. Camsur known for its strong pool of paddlers, who are mostly farmers and fishermen, were out to give the men's defending champions Team Army a run for their money.

But the Philippine Army, backed by seven of the current world champions who saw action in the recently concluded International Dragon Boat Federation World Championships in Florida was determined to retain their two titles.

The competition may be fierce and may be serious business for Team Army but they sure did know how to entertain the crowd and their fellow paddlers. They came complete with a pep squad and a marching band.

Day 1 of the competition was the 400-meter race. The women's division was topped by the island paddlers of Team Aklan Boracay Bumshells. Bugsay Boracay came in second, with Team Triton coming in at third.

The mixed race saw the De La Salle University fight it out with Team Camsur for the title but the mighty Camsur paddlers prevailed in bringing home the top plum.

It was the Philippine Army against Camsur for the men's open 400-meter-finals. Team Army was the only non-Camsur-crew to see action in day one's final race, a testament to the depth of talent in paddling here in the province. But the mighty troopers stomped the competition, successfully defending their title as the first back-to-back champion of the festival. Team Buhi Boat Lake came second, with Team Camsur finishing third.

Celebrations were put on hold because day two of the competition featured the exciting 250-meter sprint for dragon boat crews.

The women's division, this time, saw Team Triton on top, followed by DLSU and Bugsay Boracay.

The mixed category was a battle between the Bicol River Hot Paddlers and Team Camsur. But once again, Team Camsur prevailed and finished first, with the hot paddlers crossing the finish line in second and the young DLSU Team rounding up the top 3.

The men's finals was a repeat of day one-- Team Army against three teams from Camsur. Unfazed by the determined Camsur paddlers hungry for their title, the Philippine Army once again lorded over the Lago del Rey to cap another successful mission, winning the 250-meter title in dominating style.

6th Koko Road Race

Every year, runners from all over the world visit Guam to race the country’s biggest half-marathon race, The Koko Road Race.

Named after Guam ’s territorial bird called ko’ko bird, this event organized by the Guam Visitors Bureau aims to save the Guam rail through increasing awareness to this endangered specie via a foot race.

This year, over 1,700 runners signed up for the sixth annual edition of the famous road race. Racers represent their different countries, each wanting not just to best a new PR but also to raise their flag through their passion. Our country’s representative was no other than the famous runner blogger Jaymie Pizarro, also known as “The Bull Runner.”

The largest contingent was of course the speedy Japanese. They not only came in complete running gears but they also showed up in huge groups. Also in attendance were Chamorros and Filipino Guam residents, who wanted a break from their usual routine.

Minutes before the race, everybody was game to warm up. Here, they not only stretch but they infuse a little bit of fun dance routines to pump up the energy.

As soon as the starting gun was fired, each runner was eager to cover Guam’s scenic 21.1 kilometers, never mind that it was still pitch-dark.

A few moments later, participants were all treated with a scenic sunrise along Guam’s coastal roads.

The course was breathtaking but it also involved a lot of slopy climbs--- a great challenge everyone prepared for.

This race wasn’t just for long-distance runners but also for beginners who wanna try out sprinting with their friends. One of the highlights of this run is the 4-person Ekiden Relay, where each member has to run over 5 kilometers each, and pass the sash to the next member on the three exchange points.

As these runners tackled half of the route, the rain started to kick in, meaning more challenge and louder cheers from the crowd.

Last year’s champion Masashi Shirotake showed that he was still the fastest of the pack, finishing the race 1 hour 12 minutes and 43 seconds, followed by another Japanese runner Ryuichi Sato 47 seconds later.

The fast Japanese also ruled the Ekiden Relay with Team Hokkaido University of Education sprinting the race with just a clock of 1 hour 8 minutes and 36 seconds!

Meanwhile, our very own Bull Runner showed her dedication, finishing the race despite coming straight from an injury.

0ctober 29, 2011