Monday, June 9, 2014

Race: Run United 2 32km

My goal for this race was simply one:


That simply meant reaching the finish line from the starting line in one piece regardless if I ran or walked the entire way.  Pretty much relaxed way to go about it.  My end goal was simply to complete the Run United Trilogy for this year so that I can get the Trilogy Award at the end of the year (or at the start of the New Year).

No pressure right?

Well a day before the race, I read on Facebook they there is now a 7:30AM cut-off time for all runners!  For the 32km race category, that was a 4 hour 30 minute finish time requirement before roads are open to vehicles.  

Suddenly, I got a headache!  How do I go about this?  I started thinking what my pace should be like, how much GU gels I should take with me, what to eat the day before and the morning of the race.  

It has now become a race to finish it before the cut-off time!

On the race day, there was an update on their Facebook page saying that shuttle buses will leave CAVITEX (where the midpoint is located) at 7:30AM, so there would be plenty of time to get to the finish line before the bus comes and gets you!  But I wasn't sure how strict they were with the cut-off time.  Maybe I might finish after 4 hours 30 minutes, but then there won't be a medal.  Or I do get the medal, but I won't be in the official results.  

I can't let the leniency of the race director be reason for me to slack off during this race as that was the same kind of thinking that lead me to not getting a finisher medal in last year's Milo Marathon (when they became strict with the cut-off vs not being strict two consecutive years previous said race).  Not only was this race riding on my time, but on the entire trilogy too!

Now, add to this anxiety, was my 32km time a year ago which was at a horrible time of more than 5 hours and you get some idea of the stress I was feeling the day before the race.

My goal unfortunately has now been upgraded to


One good (and surprising) thing was Per offering to drive me to the race.  Wow, I was shocked as I know how much she lacked sleep due to her pumping and here she was, offering me a free ride to the race start.  That would eliminate added stress of finding a parking spot in Luneta Park!  Of course I took that offer and gave my thanks to her!

We left the house 30 minutes before gun start but even with that early departure (or was it late), we had a hard time going there.  The reason?  They closed off Roxas Blvd., to all traffic and we were forced to take the small, tightly spaced service road to reach our destinations.  Of course, there were a lot of cars on this single lane road.  The clock ticked.  Now I am worried about getting to the starting line before their starting line cut off time!

So that meant we had to get there before 3:15am (gun start at 3:00am).  Getting there past 3:15am meant an automatic disqualification!  Oh man!!!!

 This is definitely a race of stresses!

So my immediate goal was  (drum rolls please!):


We were caught in traffic once again but I saw more runners so I asked the security guard where Luneta Park was and he pointed to the Philippine flag nearby.  Yes, there it was.  I gave my quick goodbyes to Per, left the car and fast walked to the starting line.  The gun went off while I was still walking and I saw the 32km runners pass me by.  That is okay.  I am going to make it before 3:15am.  Hahaha!

Yes, last goal down!

I started the race around 3:08AM, so I had to mentally compute how much time I had left for the 7:30am cut-off (whether imposed or no).  Getting to race a tad later meant you had to run a tad faster as well!

The route for this race was different from all other Run United races of this year or that of previous years in that it started from Luneta Park (or Kilometer Zero) and headed toward CAVITEX for the U Turn back to where the starting line was.  A pretty straightforward route and one I liked.  Of course it still involved going up two flyovers twice but for most of the way, it was nice and flat.

Having the race start at 3am was good too in that we would be able to avoid the sun for at least the first half of the race.

What was unfortunate was that their banana stations ran out of bananas quickly so I had to make do with Gatorade and water (all cold Thank God) and my packed GU gels.

My pace was good in the beginning but at the second half, I was getting weaker and running slower.  My back was hurting at the last one third of the race and my feet were sore from running.  Still, I kept going because of the fear of not making it to finish line.

I slowly counted down the last kilometers and looked at my watch.  Looks like I am going to make it!

I crossed the finish line at 4:15:40 gun time (with chip time at 4:12:15), got my medal and finisher shirt!  And made it to all my goals!  Praise GOD!

Chip time wise I ranked 1262 out of 2794 runners with a 45% percentile!  AWESOME!!

Better news was me beating my last year's time by nearly AN HOUR!  


Some bad things though:
 1.  Ran out of bananas twice!  So didn't get a chance to eat it.  The last banana station was near the finish line so I decided to forego it and just finish the race.

2.  Slower second half of the race.  Positive Split.  BOO!

3.  Back hurt.  Feet hurt.  And I couldn't walk properly for the next two or three days.

But even with this, I gained so much more from a good time in this race.  Thank you Per for deciding to drive for me even though I didn't ask of it (was that the Holy Spirit talking to you?).  Thank You God for keeping me safe the entire time.

Next race:  Independence Day 50km!  GULP!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Per's first 5km for 2014 - Etude Run

For Per's first race for the year, I decided to pace her early on when I registered for her race.  It will be a 5km race starting from 9th Avenue and heading towards Kalayaan Bridge for the U Turn on top of it to head back to the finish line. 

It was supposed to be a simple 5km race but we made a big mistake thinking that the race was on a Saturday!

On Saturday morning, Alvin and I did a short 2.8km run around the village before we drove with Per to BGC.  Another friend joined us that morning.  Everyone was willing to wake up early that day and to run with Per in her race.

But, we didn't see anyone else wearing the pink race singlet.  Nobody was wearing the race bib too.  Uh Oh!

I was still optimistic about it as we slowly headed our way to the starting line, where it was devoid of any race set-ups or of any runners!  $%#%& !!!

I couldn't accept that I got the date wrong and thought that the starting line was somewhere else but when I saw that the road to Kalayaan Bridge was open to traffic, I knew we made a mistake!

So what now?

Well, we were all there so might as well do a short run.  We all did a short 3.7km jog around BGC area and while they headed to Pancake House for breakfast, I added some more mileage to my run.  Thank God the weather was nice that morning but it was lonely to run by myself.

I was able to run a total of 19km before I went back to them.  Drank some water and got left behind again as had to 6km more!

Then there is Sunday to talk about!

All our legs were sore that morning but we still decided to push through with the race.

Of course, I checked on the race information that Saturday night to make sure date, time and venue are now correct.  And finally, we saw a lot of runners in their pink singlets and in their pink bibs!

Now to do the race!

The 10km race started around 5:45am, about 15 minutes delayed from the official gun start time as they had to wait for some celebrities to go at the start of their wave.  Per's 5km race started 5 minutes later with Dingdong Dantes running in the lead (and with a lot of screaming girls behind him, and a lot of serious runners making him their target).

As luck would have it, Per's Garmin died on her and I didn't wear my Garmin that morning too.  I did have a stopwatch with me and that should be enough.  Good thing there were markers every kilometer of the way and I was able to do some computation on pace we are on and on our target finish time.

My goal for Per was a sub-40minute 5km time.  I just hope that yesterday's run didn't make her legs tired for this day.

At the halfway mark we were below 20 minutes, so that was good to achieve our target.  We kept going and rather than have Per stop at the crowded water stations, I brought a water bottle with me and offered her drink whenever she needed it.  Kerwin and I were running in front of Per and trying to pull her towards us.

The distance to the finish line was getting shorter and shorter and it was nice to see Per still continue running and not burning out.

Before long we saw the finish line at the bottom of the road and I told Per to go faster.  We overtook some runners in Cosplay outfits (man, they must be superfans to be wearing those costumes on that hot Sunday morning!).

Per crossed the finish line at 38 minutes and 4 seconds and with a big grin on her face.  She finished strong and happy!

The finisher medal was really nice and big.  Plus there was a pink water bottle to which we gave to our daughter.  Some drinks too at the finish line.  All in all a good race!

Congrats to Per for reaching her target especially since she ran two days in a row!

Praise God for keeping us safe and strong during these two days!

Monday, April 28, 2014

I'm Registered for RU2

...and one step closer to completing the Trilogy!

How about you? 

Registration opens today (via online at or by visiting Riovana stores)

Luckily, I was able to register early due to participating in RU1 21km.

Now, how to do my long runs in this Insane Hot Weather??!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Earth Run 10km 2014

This was a hilly course as it went through Kalayaan Bridge and onto Buendia Avenue which is rare for a 10km race.

There were also some small inclines on BGC which we had to tackle too.

But aside from the course being difficult, it was nice in that it was pretty much straightforward and didn't have a lot of turns like most of 10km races held in BGC.

When we ran the 10km race, there was another ongoing race (St Luke's Hospital) and for the last 3 km, we would run on the same route so it was difficult to weave through all these runners!  

On the hydration aspect of the race, it was more than enough as it was placed every 1.5km and aside from water, they had Pocari Sweat too (but since there was another race, I wasn't sure if this all belonged to our race).

Still, it was a good race and one to test your speed and endurance.

Quite surprised with my finish time but very happy too!  Praise God!  Not only did I beat this year's 10km PR of 1:04 but I also beat last year's 10km PR of 1:01 (6:08 pace), which was my ultimate goal for 10km for this year!

Having finish this race at sub-60 (although technically short 200 meters) is another bonus for me!

Thank God!  To Him all the Glory!!

Thanks Alvin for all the speedwork and tempo you made me do.  I hated it every single time but it is nice to see some good thing come out of it! Ha ha!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Extreme Back to Back Race!!


Considering this is an Outbreak Mission, there are less running and more walking but it was still a tiring one as we walked on the uneven walls of Intramuros, do quick sprints as we try to avoid the Zombie Horde and try to solve the mission.

Our race started around 9:30PM...

at the beginning

 And we were a team of 5, but one of the rules of the game was to group ourselves into 10-15 members so we found two more groups and designated ourselves as TEAM CHOPSUEY!

Immediately after we were released into the Zombie Infestation, we all ran separately as we would do our best to avoid their Zombie hands on our precious "red tape" lives.  It lasted two minutes and most survived with all three red tapes intact.  Unfortunately that wasn't the case for Per as she lost all three lives in that two minutes.  How that happened we had no idea!  She was dead in this game!

But at least she had no pressure to run against the zombies!  Haha!

There were a few more attacks inside the walled city and there was a new gimmick as well:  we would follow the red light on the ground and we would be safe.  Of course we didn't expect the red light to disappear mid-way and there was a big panic as zombies headed toward our direction! 

As in previous Outbreak Races and Missions, casualties were bound to happen and one of our team members fell to the ground early on and cut her knee and elbow.  There were also some people who couldn't handle the stress and wanted to quit the game altogether.

So from 9:30pm start in a 5km race, we ended at 12 midnight!  Two and a half hours!!!

team Chopsuey

Luckily Alvin found an extra life and gave it to Per, who needed it badly  This time she kept it intact till the game was over and got a dog tag out of it.

Definitely not the end!

We haven't eaten anything yet for dinner so off we all went to Binondo for some authentic Chinese food!

Forgot the name of this place but it was really really good!  Thanks Alvin for the nice recommendation!

After having our midnight dinner, it was time to go home, take a shower, and sleep for two hours because at 5:45AM, it was time for


 My legs were tight from Outbreak and I lacked sleep.  Still, I managed to wake up at 4AM and took that as a sign that I could do a 10km race.  Not sure on the pace though as I wasn't 100% that morning.

I wanted to at least do a sub-7 minute per kilometer pace all throughout the race and beat my 7:34 average pace that I did in a 10km race last January. 

Even with the tight legs which thankfully got looser at the second half, I was able to maintain a 6:45 average pace and even brought it down to 6:31 average pace and do a negative split!  I beat my previous 10km record for the year by more than 10 minutes!

PRAISE GOD for this!

Too bad I didn't make it to the top 100 finishers for the10km category and lost my chance to get one of the finisher shirts but it was still a fun event!

10km Route Map

two conquered races over the weekend!

Of course with all the running and lack of sleep, I ended up sleeping for more than 10 hours Sunday night!!

Thank God for keeping me healthy, safe and strong!

Thanks Alvin for the ride to Luneta and for the race kit for Sunday's Run!

Friday, March 28, 2014

I am in NYC Marathon 2014!

I am One of the 12% registered people for the non-guaranteed lottery for NYC marathon 2014! 

Praise GOD!

Monday, March 24, 2014

News: Earth Run 2014

Official Press Release:

This 12 April 2014, 4:30AM, at the Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Earth Day Network Philippines stages its first-ever fun run, PRO-EARTH RUN 2014. An advocacy run to encourage people to Protect, Respect, and Oversee the sensible and sustainable care for Mother Earth, it is presented by Malungai Life Oil – all-natural concentrated vegetable extract developed from pure Malunggay leaves and seeds ( and UPS – United Parcel Service (

A 3K, 5K, 10K race category event, with special 1.5K Run with Doraemon track, PRO EARTH RUN is also supported by PCSO, First Gen, Merrell, Globe, The Body Shop, Holcim, Free Food Co. Coco Dolce, Business Mirror, Malaya Business Insight, Business World, Manila Times, Circuit Magazine, 106.7 Energy FM, 107.5 Win Radio, SM Tickets, SM Cinema, Digi Post, and Mother Earth advocates and runners.

Earth Day Network Philippines is the local counterpart of the global Earth Day Network International. It is a network organization that campaigns for environmental citizenship, spearheading the annual April 22nd Earth Day Celebration by partnering with government agencies, non-government organizations, private corporations, academic institutions, religious groups, and environmental advocates (

RACE CATEGORIES                 RACE FEE        GUNSTART                  RACE KIT                    
10K                                          P500                 5:30AM                         Singlet | Bib | Freebies*
5K                                            P500                 5:45AM                         Singlet | Bib | Freebies*
3K                                            P500                 6AM                             Singlet | Bib | Freebies*
1.5K Run With Doraemon    P500                 6AM                             Singlet | Bib | Freebies*
* Sponsors’ goodwill freebies good while supplies last

Registration may be done three ways:
1) Pay and register at
2) Pay at SM Cinema Ticket Counter nationwide and register online at
3) Pay at MERRELL Sports Store in Market Market/ Festival Mall Alabang/ Trinoma/ SM ANNEX- North Edsa and register online at

Singlet Size
5km Route

10km Route

Finisher medal for TOP 3 FINISHERS!