Monday, January 30, 2012

Subic Marathon 2012 - Part 2

The Subic International Marathon had the 10km, 21km and 42km events for January 22, 2012 (Sunday) and the 3km and 5km events for January 21, 2012 (Saturday).

For the full marathon, the registration fee was quite affordable at just Php 800. Of course, once you factor in other items such as gas, lodging, toll fees, etc, then it becomes expensive too. Haha!

The race kit includes the official Subic Marathon singlet, bib number and guidelines for the race (such as race map, rules & regulations, etc). Since I registered late, I didn’t get the singlet size that I wanted but luckily, it fits Per perfectly!

Our hotel (Poca o Poca Hotel) was just a few hundred meters away from Remy Field and we did an ocular the night before on the starting line, just to be sure we won’t get lost on the race day. My carbo-loading dinner was done at the very delicious and very cheap Xtremely Xpresso Café, which was also near our hotel and near the race venue. They served big portions of pasta and pizza and the place was crowded when we got there (but we were still lucky enough to get a table).


On race day, Per drove me to the starting line, leaving the baby and yaya at the hotel to sleep some more. This was our daughter’s first out of town trip so it was also a milestone for her!

Since we got there early, Per decided to stay a bit and see the event being set up. It was kind of a scary feeling being there as everyone was fit and slim! Oh man, I hope I didn’t join a marathon where only elite runners were part of it!

One of the fast runners we saw was RunUnlimited Vener!

The starting line was held inside the oval track and once the race was on, we had to run 200 meters around it before leaving the area.

One last photo taken by Per! Thanks!

The course was quite straightforward: out Remy Field and pass Subic Bay Yacht Club and Pure Gold before turning right here. Then straight all the way to Ocean Adventure for the U Turn back to Remy Field (with a minor detour in between). (It was only after finishing the race did I realize how far Ocean Adventure was from main Subic area – 20km!)

As is usually the case, I started the race slow and at the very back of the pack (I think there was just one guy behind me and he seemed to be in his 50s!) but I didn’t care. The important thing was to finish this race strong and not burn out mid-way. So, it was slowly and surely for me.

What I didn’t expect was how hilly this race was! It has got to be the hilliest long route that I ran in my life! So many uphill climbs! And it doesn’t seem to end. Once the road leveled off and flattened again, it would just last for a few 100 meters before we had to climb again. It was tiring and that worked hard on my knees and calves! Luckily, Coach Alvin incorporated some hill training in our weekly workouts and that helped a lot in this route! But even with the training that we did together, the hills here were just too much and there were instances (to my frustration) that I had to stop running and just walk on the road to catch my breath again. But I caught up with some runners and that motivated me to start running again, albeit at a slower pace.

In between, I would pray and talk to God, thanking Him, praising Him, and worshipping Him. I would thank Him as I cross each KM mark, knowing that I had to run one less to reach my goal.

The water stations were ample in this race, being placed every 1.5km and there were Pocari Sweat drink stations too. The weather was nice and chilly so these were things that helped us get through this. Of course, the nature scenery with its ample trees, bats flying overhead, the ocean to the right of us, etc. made me appreciate the works of God more and I was glad to be running this race and seeing all of His creations before me. Who needs to listen to an IPod when you can just listen to nature around you?

I took my first GU gel at 12km and my second at 17km. By that time I was nearing Ocean Adventure and seeing a lot of runners heading back already. A lot of strong military guys were part of the pack going back. Of course, Kenyans were at the front again as is usually the case when they join any local race. Vener was part of the front pack as well!

There were bananas and crackers being offered at 19km, along with the usual water and Pocari Sweat drinks and I ate a banana before going off again. It was here that I first saw Barefoot Daves and we were both surprised and happy to see each other in this race. We shook hands and wished each other good luck before we separated again.

I ran downhill to Ocean Adventure and to the beach area for the U turn back to Remy Field. Walked for a few seconds here to enjoy the ocean view and see the various marshals cheering the runners. Halfway done! 21km more to go!

There were some hills here as I climbed again from Ocean Adventure and did some run-walk strategies. A guy ran with me and told me that it will be downhill soon after. I didn’t quite believe him as there was another hill in front of me! So we both ran-walked it till we reached the top and I saw a bit of a descent. It was here that I ran again, sprinting and enjoying the speed. I figured that I might as well sprint now and make up for some lost time and try to bring my pace lower. At that time, my average pace was close to 8 minutes per kilometer and with the run, I was able to bring it down to 7:45 before another hill emerged. This was really a difficult race!

But I can’t complain as just being part of this race was an awesome experience. Pretty soon, the road started descending and I went running again but not as fast as the first time as I was already tired. But I was able to bring the pace further down. More good news: I was feeling strong!

I crossed the 32km mark and just kept going. From that moment on, that was the farthest distance I ran for the past two years! What a wonderful feeling! Praise God!

So I kept going even with the sun out already and little shades available. I kept thinking to myself, “I am going back to see my family!” and that motivated me to run more and walk less.

Slowly, little by little I closed the distance between me and the finish line. I went pass the airport again. I went pass the car dealership area, pass the Yacht Club and pass the Pure Gold store. It was the final stretch but I was tired too.

I walked again and stopped at various water stations to drink or to pour water on my head. But I kept going and just looked at the time.

I told my wife that I should cross the finish time between 10:00am and 10:30am so it would be great if she was there with Dani. So it was my fault when I crossed the finish line at 9:45am and didn’t see her (she came at exactly 10:00am and I was able to meet her at the parking lot).

I got my finisher medal and bonus finisher dog tag and walked a bit inside the Oval Track to loosen my legs. There were no loot bags given out but I didn’t mind it as for me the important thing were the ample hydration stations inside the route and the finisher medal (of course).

From my usual 2:45 – 2:55 half marathon finish times doing races by myself just a few months back to a 5:08:53 full marathon finish time, I owe A LOT to Alvin for training me and getting me into shape!

I wouldn’t have thought this finish time would even be possible!!! My goal back then was for Alvin to train me for a sub-6 finish time. This definitely goes above and beyond a sub-6 finish time for an IMPROMPTU MARATHON! A VERY BIG THANKS TO COACH ALVIN FOR MAKING ME GO THE DISTANCE AGAIN! (I guess all those vomit-mode speedwork and interval training works!)

Thanks also to Per, who never complained in any of my training runs! Without a supportive wife, I don’t think doing a marathon would even cross my mind as a lot of time and effort goes into it. Training for a marathon has to be 100% committed!

Thanks to Extribe too for making this a very nice and memorable race that I have nothing to complain about. This would surely go down as one of my best races EVER - Negative split and a strong finish! (Having a 2nd best PR for a full marathon doesn't hurt too!)

A very big thanks to God too for making me enjoy running and racing again and for giving me this wonderful Blessing! It is through this race that I was intimate with Him and I hope to continue that intimacy all year round and throughout my life.


The family finally arrives! Yay!
Two for the price of one!
(Obviously) very happy with my race!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I never thought I would type these words least not until after February 6th. But sometimes, things happen for a reason. Just like my last marathon nearly two years ago, I felt a strong Divine Intervention for me to join this race category.

It’s really weird how things turn out. This was supposed to be my last long run before Hong Kong (actually as Hong Kong was just two weeks away, I thought it should be my taper mode). But Coach Alvin said I should try and do a 35-km long run that Sunday and to look for a race that would help me. The only thing I found was the Timex Run, which had 16-km as its longest distance. So even with this category, I still had to run 19-km to complete my long run! And running alone for this distance was never my thing… I would get bored, I would burn out, I would hate running, I would feel bad, etc etc etc. Solitary running is good for me but usually at just 10-km max! Anything beyond that would ruin my day!

Alvin and I kept switching plans on what to do for this weekend: do we run together in BGC, do we go to Subic together and run that same day, do we spend the night in Subic and run the race the next day? I was apprehensive with this distance as having hit the wall in both my 32km races (RunRio 3rd leg and Rizal Day Run). What more with a distance of 42km?

So I consulted my better half to see what she thinks too. I was expecting her to tell me to run in BGC and just do the required distance (35-km). I was surprised to see how supportive she was and even suggested that we all go there as a family and spend the night in Subic. What? I couldn’t believe my ears! She was okay with me running the full marathon distance two weeks before my full marathon distance race?

With both Alvin and Per agreeing to my idea for the weekend, there was nothing else for me to do but sign up for the race and book our hotel room.

It was after I got my race kit and showed it to Per that she realized that I was doing a full marathon! All that time, she thought that Subic had a very odd 35-km race!!!! Well, I definitely took that as a sign from God. If there was no resistance from these two people, then HE wants me to run this race.

I was afraid that this might be considered as overtraining. I was worried about recurring shoulder pain and Plantar Fasciitis. I was worried about “hitting the wall” early on and wanting to quit. I was worried about the hilly route of this race.

I wasn’t even ready physically as just got well from a virus I got somewhere and the last run Alvin and I did just three days before was a slow and steady 10-km, to which I vomited six times during and after the run!!

But I also remembered one of my favorite biblical verse:

1 Peter 5:7 - Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

So I prayed for a strong and safe finish, for a strong run, for a happy run. I continued praying and vowed to myself that I would use this race to talk to God and have an intimate conversation with Him during that time. Our very own quiet time: Just me, God and the long road!

But first, we had to drive three hours to Subic on a Saturday afternoon, check in at our hotel and settle in…

To Be Continued...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

News: Rainbow Run @ McKinley Hill

Come in your most creative ensembles and celebrate individuality in a race where you can freely express yourself regardless of sexual orientation.

Rainbow Run 2012
January 29, 2012 @ 5:30AM
Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill, Taguig City

Registration Fees:
3K – PHP 450
5K – PHP 550
10K – PHP 650

- Register at any registration venue in a group for you to avail the 5 plus 1 promo
- Racekit includes, Timing Device, Singlet and Giveaways

Registration Venues: (November 25 to January 28, 2012)
- ON SITE registration is also available

- ROX, Bonifacio High Street, BGC, Taguig Ciity
- Royal Sporting House, Level 2, Glorietta 4, Makati City
- Reebok, Level 2, Festival Supermall, Muntinlupa City
- Reebok, Upper Ground Floor, SM Megamall Building A, Pasig City
- Reebok, Level 2, Trinoma Mall, Quezon City
- Royal Sporting House, Level 2, Padre Faura Wing, Robinson’s Place, Manila
- A Running Circle (ARC) Aloha Hotel Unit H, Aloha Hotel,
2150 Roxas Boulevard, Cor. Quirino Ave.,Malate, Manila Tel# 567.iRun
- Ladlad Party-list Headquarters

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First Race for 2012 - Run for Pinoy Glory (01.07.12)

As a new year begins, so does setting new records. The record books are wiped clean again. So, it's time to set new PRs for different race categories (5km, 10km, 15km, 21km, 42km) with the hope that one of these 2012 PRs will beat one of my all time PR records.

And what better to start the year with than with a Half Marathon Race? It was time to burn off all those fatty, high-calories, high-cholesterol food that we had over the Christmas break and start training hard again.

I initially wanted to join the PSE Bull Run but the 16km and 21km categories were finished quickly and rather than run that race bandit style (that thought did cross my mind!), I was lucky enough to see another race for that weekend held at BGC and on a Saturday morning! PERFECT!

The organizers for this run were new though. Simply called Shadowfax, I knew nothing about them or their experiences in handling a road race. But nevertheless, it was still a half marathon and I needed that for my long run that weekend. So I joined for the 21km category and registered Per for the 5km category.

I had low expectations on my race performance given that I always seem to burn out in my long runs (happened twice already) and wasn't really excited for this one. The route won't help me too as it was a hilly one (going over Kalayaan bridge to Buendia Avenue and back again, going up the British School area, going up and down over the long road near Merkado Centrale) so all I was hoping for was to finish this run at a slow and steady pace and do little walking in-between. I need to run the entire thing and not fade at the halfway mark.

And here comes an added challenge: I need to do 28km for that morning! Sigh!

With the 21km already reserved for the actual race, I divided the remaining 7km into 4km for the pre-race run and 3km for post-race run (if I am still able to do it). That way, I don't have to finish too late and I can also avoid the morning sun.

The 4km pre-race run was at a comfortable 7:18 pace and I got back home right after to change my clothes into dry ones and to eat again.

Then Per and I were off to BGC for our respective races where I saw some familiar faces at or near the starting line (Patrick C., Titanium Runner, Vicky R.). As in normal races, I positioned myself at the very back part of the starting group and waited for everyone to go ahead of me.

At the back of my mind, I kept thinking that this is just a 21km race but at the same time, contradicted it by thinking that my overall distance would be 25km. The race started about 10 minutes later from the scheduled gun start (dang, I could have added one more km there instead of waiting for it).

When the 21km race started, I went off at an easy 7 minute pace but by 2km, I stopped to walk already. Oh no! Not this early please!! I used that time to drink some
water at the station nearby and went off again. I felt the tightness in my legs but as I ran and added more mileage, the tightness loosened and I was able to run faster.

The first obstacle in the form of Kalayaan Bridge came and went by quickly. It was almost pitch black when I got there so having no sun helped me to overcome this flyover (I had to watch where I step though).

Then, it was the long stretch of Buendia Avenue but it, being a flat road, wasn't giving me a hard time. There were bananas handed out at one point but rather than eat these fruits, I took one GU instead and ran again. I finished 12km by the time I got back to Kalayaan Bridge and still felt strong (surprised too as usually burn out by 15km and I had exceeded it if you count the 4km I did prior to the race) but I had to walk a bit here to loosen my legs. But my average pace was a surprising 6:58 minutes/km. Wow! But I wasn't that optimistic yet as I have a lot more to cover and the WALL can happen at anytime!

The water stations were numerous in this race and the ice cold water were a big welcome to me. I also drank a lot of the 100 Plus drinks that were placed on these stations. My pace got quicker. Was this possible? This never happened before!

I kept going and counting the km slowly as ran near the International Schools and on the long, hilly road near Merkado Centrale. Then I had 2km to go and I still felt strong. Yes, my back was giving me problems like it always does. Yes, I was feeling my right Plantar Fasciitis again but these pains were manageable and I was able to maintain my sub-7 minute pace. My goal was simply to finish this race at 6:59 or below pace. But as the distance to the finish line got shorter and shorter, I felt that I could still go faster than what I was going and sped up some more. This was freaking crazy!

I was going fast but for some reason my breathing were still fine. Then I saw the finish line and even went faster to finish the race at 2:21:01 but it was short 500 meters (20.6km only)! Argh!

So I had to run some more to complete the 21.1km distance and upon reaching the required distance, I stopped running and stopped my Garmin watch to see it hit 2:23:37. A new 2012 21km PR and one that beat all of my 2011 21km race times!

Wow, the bar was just raised high for my first race of the year!!!

After the race, I gave my race bib to Per for her to get my loot bag and finisher shirt (too bad that L is their biggest size), and I walked 1km before running 2km more around BGC area.

28km distance for the day - DONE!


Some Final remarks:

1) The organizers did a good job too in handling this race - from the nice, hard route, to the cold, cold drinks at the water stations and to the many cheerful marshals situated at various points of the race. But they have to be more accurate with the race distance and with their gun start time and more sizes for the singlets and finisher shirts (I didn't get the right sizes for both these shirts). But the good points outweigh the bad points for this race. Congrats Shadowfax!

2) Race results are posted already at

Our results are as follows:

Dennis Que Pe, Ranked 145/238 runners, Gun Time Finish (2:21:18)
Jennifer Que Pe, Ranked 404/562 runners, Gun Time Finish (0:34:19)

3) The 5km Distance was also short by 500 meters based on Per's Garmin watch

Thursday, January 5, 2012

News: Todo Response Run 10k

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Time 5:00am until 9:00am

Where: Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City



10K - php 350.00 / 6:00 am

5K - php 300.00 / 6:15 am

3K - php 300.00 / 6:25 am

- NO Freebies, NO Timing Chip, NO Singlet. Just BIB #

- First three finishers will have medal in all categories (3k/5k/10k)

Registration starts on January 6, 2012 / Friday


- ROX at Bonifacio Highstreet, BGC

- ARC (A Running Circle) Unit H, Aloha Hotel,

'2150 Roxas Boulevard, Cor. Quirino Ave. Malate, Manila

'Contact Number: 567-iRun

- RUNNR - ATC, Alabang

Just last December 16, 2011, Tropical Storm Sendong (with and international name of Washi) took Mindanao by surprise and ravaged it with flash floods and landslides that left Cagayan De Oro and Iligan City in deep devastating disaster. According to Red Cross, the deaths have already reached 917. Most of them were asleep in the middle of the night on that fateful day when raging floodwaters crushed their homes from rivers and cascaded from mountain slopes, following 12 straight hours of heavy rains in Mindanao. Drowning has been identified as the main cause of death. Typhoon Sendong affected 29 municipalities, 278 barangays and 53,240 families (161,437 persons), with 1,194 injured and 636 still reported missing. 24,681 houses were totally or partially damaged and there are still 39,414 persons housed in evacuation centers to date.

We all agree that a child is a gift from God, and we are certain that Rafael Carlos is heaven sent to his parents, Richard and Cecilia. He was born last August 22, 2011, three months shy from his due and he stayed in the hospital since then. Because of much needed medication for him to survive, it causes a tremendous rise on the hospital bills in which his parents are now struggling to pay for. Richard, a runner, is the only one working while Cecilia is taking care of Baby Rafael Carlos. A total of Php200,000 has already been paid, but Right now, Baby Rafael Carlos is still at Pediatric ICU. Let us complete God’s gift to Richard and Cecilia by helping them pay for their dues so they can take Baby Rafael Carlos home.

As our answer to this call, we organized this event, “Todo Responde Run”. Get your body and your soul fit by running and extending your blessings. With race categories of 3K, 5K and 10K to be staged at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig on January 14, 2012, families and friends can enjoy the route and at the same time, extend their help as well. The proceeds will be fully turned over on the very day of the event to the beneficiaries, in cold cash. 20% to Baby Rafael and 80% for the Sendong Relief Operations handled by ABS-CBN’s Sagip Kapamilya and Philippine Red Cross. 100% of the registration fees will go directly to the beneficiaries, indeed a Run For A Cause.

TODO RESPONDE RUN, the story behind.

Francis Razon of EatPrayRun Sportswear, thru Facebook, made a call to respectable names in our community, to unite and launch a fund raising run event for the Sendong victims and baby Rafael. Great people responded. Michelle Estuar & Renan Morales, Raffy Santos & Edwin Soriano of, Raul Acuna of ARC, Rovic Canono of Greentenial, Jonel Mendoza of Front Runner, Jinoe Gavan of, Jeff Lo of Pinoy Fitness, Team BGC. Running Host Boy Ramos, Tia de Guzman of Pepsquad events and even our Rio Dela Cruz of RUNRIO pledged to help the noble event. Hence, “TODO RESPONDE RUN”. And the chain of support continues to grow. However we are still calling upon other teams, organizers and institutions to be one with us in launching a noble grand event that will raise significant funds for the Sendong Victims and Baby Rafael.

This is OUR race, this is OUR event, this is OUR RUN FOR A CAUSE!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

News: Alabang Race

For those people interested to do an out of town race or tired of always doing a race in BGC, here's one for you:

It also serves as a perfect race distance for those runners doing the Condura Full Marathon or Hong Kong Full Marathon as it's a week before said marathons and serve as their taper run...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Last Back to Back Race for 2011

Race #1: 3rd Rizal Day Run (32.63km)

This would be my 2nd 32km race for 2011 and also my second time to run inside Camp Aguinaldo.

As a first timer for this event, I wasn't sure what to expect. Are there sufficient hydration stations here? Are there toilets readily available for use? How big or how little is the crowd here?

I was scared for this distance because of the return of my lingering body pains (back/shoulder pain, Plantar Fasciitis on both feet) plus the fact that the blister on my left foot was still there.

And there is always a fear of doing a long distanced race for me as the two recent 21kms I did gave me a disappointed/discouraged feeling at the end.

I hoped for that to change in this race and to renew my confidence level in finishing a full marathon.

Unfortunately, that was not to be. It started so well - with the cold wind breeze as the race started at 5:30am and no leg or foot pains. I ran at a comfortable 7:15 to 7:20 pace but slowly, the feet started to hurt. I was feeling the blister and the PFs!

I tried to motivate myself but it was hard to do when every step I made gave me some pain. Doubts crept into my mind. Why am I doing this? Was it worth it? How far more do I need to go? It was pretty discouraging and I felt like crap.

Worse was looking at my Garmin and seeing that the distance I had just done was a little over 15kms! I had a looonngg way to go!

By 17km, a new kind of LOW hit me. I Wanted to QUIT! Not running altogether but this particular race! I wanted to DNF which I never thought of before. More self doubts surfaced to my mind... "If I continue running and pushing it, I will get injured more". "It's not worth it to continue. Just quit and fight another day." "32km is a hard distance and it's okay to say that I tried but just couldn't handle it".

I was frustrated and wanted to throw away my shoes, blaming them for the lack of cushioning and the pain that's causing my feet. But truthfully, I was just exhausted from running. There were pains all over my body and I just didn't see any good reason to continue this so-called self-torment.

But as I looked around in one of my walk breaks, I saw that I was ahead a lot of people and even people in front of me were walking too. I started thinking that it was okay to walk. It was okay to feel tired and exhausted as the sun had risen and the temperature rose as well. It was okay to walk given the many hills that we had to run on. It was okay to feel discouraged as route repeated itself 4.5 times.

Besides, I had a feeling if I quit then, I could possibly be the only quitter in this race! So pride and a mild case of encouragement took over and slowly I started running again and walking and running back.

My goal reverted to "just finish this run" - a big scale down from my original goal of getting a PR but a big improvement from me wanting to give up this race.

So I kept going: walk, run, walk, run. I ate GU gels every 6-7km and even stopped to eat the instant noodles in one of the stations. I drank a lot of water (and some Gatorade and Coca-cola).

My pace slowed down significantly but I didn't care for it anymore. What I looked at instead was the distance I had finished and that one slowly went up - from 21km to 25km to 28km. I was counting the distance down. The hardest of course was the last 4kms. By that time I had exceeded 3 and a half hours and my feet were giving me a hard time.

Still I kept going - slowly but surely until I did the final loop around the route. At 32km, I saw Alvin standing on the road with a cup of water in his hands. I drank the water and saw BR pass me by (he started much much late than we did).

Man, I really wanted the race to end and thought of stopping my Garmin there and then and just walking the remaining distance (as I had reached the 32km mark but clearly the race was not yet over). But I changed my mind and ran again and pushing myself to run all the way to the finish line.

To which I did and awarded myself with some water at the finish line.


I wasn't able to get my Pink finisher shirt or medal (as limited to first 120 finishers). But I didn't care as I was just glad to have finish this super hard race. I was that close to quitting and I am glad that I didn't and pushed myself for two hours more to come home to my wife and say,

"I'm a 32km Finisher"

And to answer my questions prior to the race:

1) Yes, there are water stations here. Said stations also offered food like eggs and instant noodles and drinks like sports drinks and soft drinks but all (except water) were finished by the time I was on my 3rd loop. But water was sufficient during and after the race.

2) I used the toilet prior to gun start and didn't see nor felt the need to use the toilet again. It doesn't mean there aren't any!

3) The crowd for this race was a total of 189 finishers and I ranked 142 from it. Not sure if there are no-shows or DNFs here as I based this on official results found on That finisher list will be saved and archived in my computer! Haha!

Race #2: Rescue Run for Sendong Victims (5.08km)

This was a good race as proceeds went to Typhoon Sendong Victims. The route was two loops around the hilly McKinley Hills and prior to joining this event, I told Per that on a worst case scenario, we can just walk the entire distance.

It will be a very relaxed, recovery run especially after what I went through the previous day.
Surprisingly, there were no muscle pains in my leg that morning (that came later in the day) and I figured that maybe we could jog it on the flat part of the course and walk it on the hilly parts.

We ended up running the first loop of the race and doing a run-walk for the second half before sprinting the last 600 meters.

Unlike yesterday, I had an awesome time here! Now, this was a fun run! Oh how I missed short runs like this!

There were a lot of drink stations here and they also offered Pocari Sweat bottled drinks. Saw some familiar faces in this year-ender race.

A lot of photographers too (which can be seen at facebook page of Greentennial Photos).

A job well done for both BR for pulling off Rizal Day Run and for Greentennial for the Rescue Run. Truly a memorable back to back race for Running Fatboy!

Onwards to 2012!