Monday, 22 March 2010

Tour of Hope - Clark to Luisita leg

Woohoo! I survived the 107-km from Angeles City to Cory-hometown in Luisita, Tarlac. I joined the second leg of the annual GSK Tour of Hope which is a five-day 500-km ride to raise awareness and to support the prevention of cervical cancer in the Philippines. This year, the ride kicked off in Makati and ended in Baguio City.

Did you know that every eight-min a woman dies of cervical cancer ? said a representative from the Cervical Cancer Prevention Network Alliance (CECAP) during the dinner before the Tarlac leg. The program included lectures on cancer prevention and vaccination conducted by CECAP doctors.

The ride was very organized thanks to Joyette Jopson and GSK's Vernon. The problem was the sweltering H-E-A-T. We had three pit stops every 30-km. The purpose of the stop was to re-group the bikers as well as to rest and re-charge. I am so glad that David Charlton, his wife and his Team David Salon bikers were there. There were two support vans following and his wife was in a van with a gigantic cooler filled with ice, gatorade, water, sponges plus muffins, bananas and sandwiches. I drenched myself with ice cold sponges in each stop. It was so hot that at the last lap (around noon) I was pouring water from my plastic water bottle on my head, nape, and legs.

Good thing we brought coach Ernan Ajena (previously with the national team and now teaches Physical Education to special children in Cupertino) who helped us along the ride. I was left cruising with my now favorite bike crew - the CLARK boys! The boys were teaching me how to draft and taught me how to speed at one point to 40-42kph.

Downside of the trip: Pia Cayetano campaigning. I could still hear the Pia-Pia-Ca-ye-tano rap jingle blaring in my head.

Upside: burned 4,788 calories!!! Here's the map of our ride: