Thursday, December 20, 2012

News: Run For 10 Set for January 13

A nationwide run will be mounted on January 13, 2013 for the benefit of thousands of Filipino schoolchildren nationwide, who have yet to have classrooms where they could effectively listen to their teachers and learn lessons.

“Run for 10” will be staged for the benefit of TEN Moves!, the social mobilization campaign of Bayanihang Pampaaralan that seeks to raise funds for the construction of 10,000 classrooms nationwide by encouraging individuals to donate Php10 everyday for 10 months or a lump sum of Php3,000.

In Metro Manila, Run for 10 will start off at the Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati City, with 2.5 km, 5 km, and 10 km race distances. Simultaneous runs will also be held in at least 10 other key areas nationwide: Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Dipolog, Dumaguete, Legazpi, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zamboanga, and Zamboanga Sibugay.

“Run for 10 is a way for us to significantly ramp up support and donations for TEN Moves!,” explains Rapa Lopa, Executive Director of the Philippine Business for Social Progress and one of the primary movers of TEN Moves! and the 57-75 Education Reform Movement. “Through this event, we hope to attract more and more Filipinos, especially the younger ones, to be part of our advocacy of helping build classrooms and a brighter future for schoolchildren.”

“Since we launched in October 2011, TEN Moves! and its mother campaign, Bayanihang Pampaaralan, have raised funding for nearly 3,000 classrooms,” explains Mario Deriquito, Senior Director of Ayala Foundation and another primary mover of TEN Moves!. “While our collective efforts to date have been commendable, we still have a long way to go in reaching our goal of 10,000 classrooms, and we are finding ways to reach our goal within two years since launching. Through Run for 10, we hope to be able to create more awareness and generate more anticipation for this cause.”

Run for 10 expects to gather 2,500 Filipinos in Metro Manila alone who will lace up their running shoes and make their move for education. The Department of Education, a key partner in the TEN Moves! advocacy, welcomes the initiative.

“TEN Moves! has shown to us just what the Filipino youth can do,” says Br. Armin Luistro FSC, Secretary of the Department of Education. “Run for 10 further harnesses their energy and desire to make the Philippines a better place to live and learn. With everyone’s participation, we are confident that we can finally resolve the classroom backlog by 2013, and provide adequate facilities for students everywhere.”

All registration fees for Run for 10 will go to TEN Moves!. The registration fees are as follows: Php200 for 2.5 km, Php400 for 5 km, and Php500 for 10 km. To register, interested individuals may visit The T-Shirt Project branches located at Glorietta, Trinoma, and Market! Market!. Registration starts on December 20, 2012. For more information, please email or visit

Thursday, December 13, 2012

RFB's Best Finisher Medals for 2012

As 2012 draws to a close, it was time for me to look back at some of the races I joined for 2012.  

As I am particularly fond of collecting finisher medals as the symbols of my achievements, here is a list of what I think are best finisher medals for 2012 (including some International Races that I got to join as well):

10.  Tanay Trail Run 21km (May 27, 2012)

To be honest, the medal here is quite ordinary in that it is circular in shape and size isn't that big.  There are better medals out there for me (such as New Balance Power Run) but to get this medal ranks high on the achievement list!

I had to climb up and down two mountains, do various river crossings, crawl, run on mud, run on stony roads and fell countless times.  Yes, that is what trail running is all about but my usual limit is up to 10 kilometers only.  This was the first (and only) time that I did a Half Marathon Trail Run so the finisher medal and accompanying shirt holds a special place in my heart!

9.  Run For Integrity 2 15km (May 06, 2012)

A very colorful (and thus eye-catching medal).  It was my first 15km race for 2012, and not only did it establish PR Time for 2012 (and still unbeaten after three or four more 15km races within the year), but I also beat all my 15km races for 2011 (with an average pace of 6:25 and finish time of 1:38:15).  :)

Race itself was pretty good around BGC area and race organization was excellent here!

8.  Rexona Run 21km (September 23, 2012)

Both Per and I got a medal each, she for being part of the 21km Relay finishers with another friend of ours and me as a 21km Solo Finisher.  Shape is unique and the size for the solo finishers are larger than that of the relay Finishers.

It was also nice that we got a medal each even though we joined different race categories!

7.  Subic 42.2km Marathon (January 22, 2012)

My first marathon for the year garnered a Philippine Marathon PR time, which is still unbroken up to this day.  It was my first time running in Subic and race course here was pretty straightforward (figuratively and literally speaking).

The medal was nice as an achievement but what I liked here was the bonus dog tag given to us at the finish line.

6.  Berlin 42.2km Marathon (September 30, 2012)

My first European Finisher Medal!  Pretty nice as not only did it act as a souvenir for my race there but for my entire European trip too! 

Too bad my experience at the marathon was horrible as I was still sick when I ran it and experienced nausea, cold chills (I was the only runner there wearing a jacket and having the zipper all the way up to my neck while the other runners were in short shorts and singlets!), dizziness, and diarrhea during the actual race!  But Thank God, I still crossed the finish line safe and sound (although quite pale in color when I did so as testified by my wife)!

Course was quite nice but unfortunately, it was longer by one kilometer, which I really DID NOT NEED at that time!  Haha!

5. and 4.  Run United Trilogy Series (21km - 32km) (June 17, 2012 and September 16, 2012)

I only did two legs of the trilogy and the medals given out at the finish line were pretty much the same:  triangular in shape with the details on the medals.  What was pretty cool here was that you can put them together to form a bigger medal!  It was a new concept in the Philippines that was introduced by Runrio, Inc.

Per and I did the second leg together and got a finisher medal each so that was what I used to complete the "circle", so to speak!

It was big too as individual pieces so imagine the size of it when all three pieces were combined! More on this later...)
the circle is now complete!

couple 21km run

3.  Hong Kong 42.2km Marathon (February 5, 2012)

 The medal here was very, very nice and one that I am quite proud of getting due to the strict cut-off time that HK Marathon had for runners (with shuttle buses being used to pick up slower runners).

A medallion was also included with the race kit to entice the runner to get the finisher medal (or used as a consolation prize for those who weren't able to finish the race).

One of the hilliest marathons (if not, the hilliest) I have ever ran in my life but ironically my second best PR time for a 42km race, thanks to Alvin who trained me (hard!!) for it.

Year of the Dragon medallion

As you can see, the attention to details for both medallion and finisher medal were really, really EXCELLENT!  One of my prized possessions!!

2.  Run United Philippine 42km Marathon (October 28, 2012)

An impromptu marathon (Damn You Alvin! haha) that I joined amid fears that I may have pneumonia from Europe (thank God, I didn't).

The medal was huge!!!  It was like a huge plate and it's size is the combination of medals from Run United Trilogy!

This time, big is definitely better!!!

1.  Milo 42km Marathon (July 29, 2012)

Just a few minutes from the cut-off time to get this huge medal!  Never mind whether organizers chose to be more lenient to runners and extend the cut-off time (not an issue for me as it is their prerogative as an organizer whether to be strict and follow rules "by the book" or give runners a chance to go home happy).

I just wanted to get the medal within the official cut-off time and say, "I am a Milo Marathoner!" 

I can safely say I have come full circle as not only a Milo Runner (started running 10km distance in Milo) but as a Filipino runner (having complete the country's premier race).

And these are my top 10 best medals (and best and/or hardest races as well) for 2012.

So what could come in 2013?

I have no idea... but Alvin keeps shoving this to my face!

Thank you Lord for making me complete all these races safe and sound!  Thank you for protecting me and giving me strength!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

36th Milo Finals - A Warrior is Born!

21km bibs with medal stubs still intact

John Bingham: 'The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.'

The 36th edition of Milo National Finals held last December 9th, 2012 came and went quickly.  Per and I had signed up for the Half Marathon event as the Full Marathon is only reserved to those runners who were able to qualify from the various Elimination legs that Milo had all over the country (not that we wanted to run the full marathon!).

As Philippine's premier road running event, there is a certain prestige in completing this race especially since there is now a cut-off time of 2 hours and 30 minutes for the half marathon event that would entitle the finisher to a finisher medal.  This would require a runner to run at an average pace of about 7 minutes per kilometer for the entire 21.1km distance.

Our objective was simple:  complete the race, regardless of our time or pace and run 9km more for the needed 30km we had to do for this weekend.

Unfortunately, Per developed some severe skin rashes at the beach during the week and was in pain when said rashes spread out to her legs and soles of her feet.  We were able to contain the rashes on the legs but the big problem was the rashes on her feet as it made walking (never mind running) difficult for her. 

There were times she would tiptoe inside the house to go from one place to another.  We applied some medicine but there wasn't enough time for it to heal given that the race was just one day away!  If just walking a few feet inside the house was giving her problems already, what more would running a 21.1 kilometer road race!

I was contemplating foregoing this race entirely and just having the feet heal naturally but Per was insistent that she could do it.  When I asked how she felt walking on the skin rashes and having her entire body weight on top of it, she answered back that it was like walking with pins and needles that just won't go away!  Crazy to still push through with the race but it was Per's decision and all I could do was back her up and be there by her side for the entire race.  If needed, we can just quit the race anytime and just run another day!

(To describe this skin rash, imagine both the soles of your feet covered 70- 80% by large red marks that goes from the heels to the toes of the feet and having full body weight on these things as you merely make a few steps.  Sweating would irritate it further too.).

We were at the starting line few seconds before the race started and moved at a slow pace.  98% of runners were in front of us but I didn't push Per to go faster as she was having difficulty with each foot that she was putting in front of her. 

Given the circumstance and this happened to me, would I still continue or quit altogether?  The most likely answer for me was that I wouldn't even run this race and just lie in bed that day!

But Per didn't quit and we kept going...

One step ahead of another and even a toilet break at 4km!

Our pace was slow but Per was still determined here and so we kept moving.

I was having problems of my own with my Plantar Fasciitis but didn't speak a word of it to Per.  She had her own problems that day and I should be there to lift up her spirits and not the other way around.  And so we kept going.

The sun coming out around 6am wasn't helping but still we trudged on the road.  At the 18km mark, we went a little faster, overtaking some runners who were walking on the road.  We were definitely going to finish this race!

And we did at 3:16++, our slowest time ever.  So slow that we barely made it to the Milo loot bags having received the last batch there (a runner right behind us got the final loot bag)!  No finisher medals (duh!) but getting the loot bags was a testament to our achievement that day. 

I was so proud of Per that day that she still pushed herself to start AND finish the half marathon race in that condition and I thought to myself, "I married a Road Warrior!"  Wow!  REALLY,  REALLY IMPRESSED with her!  UNBELIEVABLE!

Well, we didn't complete the required 30km distance but rewarded ourselves (but more for Per) by having a nice buffet breakfast while watching the Pacquiao match vs Marquez.

The skin rash is now nearly 100% gone from her legs and feet and that's something both of us are happy about!