Sunday, July 28, 2013

First Marathon DNF - Milo Eliminations 2013

The Milo Marathon is one of the cheapest races in the country so when slots opened up just three weeks ago, I immediately signed up for Alvin, Gigay and myself.

With no long runs or speedwork, this was definitely an "impulse" race.  What's worst is its 6 hour cut-off time.  I did some long runs by myself but my pace was pretty slow- average pace of 8:45 to 9 minutes.

Well, Per and i were worried that I wouldn't make the cut-off time but surprisingly, I was fine with it.  Of course I still prefer to be an official finisher of this race but if I didn't make it, well, I had nobody to blame but myself (I have Milo Medal from last year too so this year's race wasn't as desireable as that year).

But Of course, pride plays a part and I want to try and get my second Milo medal.

Alvin offered to run with me and I didn't mind the company. It was easy for us to find a parking space in MOA (Mall of Asia), and we walked to the starting line and had time to spare.

The race started on time but since we were at the very back end, we crossed the starting line two minutes after the gun start.  I didn't realize the importance of starting the Milo race at the front pack until after the race is over (more on this later).

The route was the same as last year's Milo Marathon in that we would run both sides of Roxas Blvd., before exiting to Buendia Avenue to head up Kalayaan Flyover, entering BGC and making the U Turn near McKinley Hills. Then it was a run back to Mall of Asia via Buendia Avenue.

I was fine at the first part of the race, taking one minute walk breaks at every water stations.  I took GU gels, bananas and lots of Gatorade too.  But none could help my legs as I felt them getting heavier at the second part of the race, and I ended up walking more. I was getting tired too and although pace was far from minimum pace required to finish race in 6 hours, I saw via my Garmin watch that I was getting slower.

But I wasn't worried as it was far from target pace of 8:31 for 42.2km 6-hour cut-off.  I was confident I would make it. So I walked some more.  

At 42km (via my Garmin), I was there at slightly under 6 hours.  But I walked the entire time because I realized beforehand at 38km (via my Garmin) that the direction sign was just 37km.  There was an extra km!  And I didn't factor that in my 6-hour computations. I didn't put that as buffer to finish earlier and paid the price dearly.

So I was discouraged by this "surprise" and didn't see the point of running anymore as either way I wouldn't make it.  My calculations were SO exact that I factored in a few seconds finish below 6 hours!

As mentioned earlier, the cut-off time was based on gun start so although we were at starting line when race started, it took us 2 minutes to cross finish line! So for 43km, we had to finish in 5:57 to be official finishers!  Oh, if only I thought about this early on.

I crossed the finish line at 6:09 (having walked the 43rd km). Alvin, pacing me, finished at 6:02 (his Garmin read 43.2km).  None of us got a medal or shirt as cut-off time was at 6:01.

Too bad, as I expected a little leeway for the added distance but rules are rules.

I'm just glad to finish this race safe and sound.

To God Be The Glory!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

News: HP Run 2013

HP Run is happening on Sept 1, 2013 at Bonifacio Global City with 3km, 5km, 5km buddy run and 10km race categories.

Registration is until August 9, 2013

Registration fees are as follows:
3km - Php 400
5km - Php 500
5km (buddy run - two runners) - Php 800
10km - Php 600

Registration fees would include singlet and bib with timing chip

More information can be found at (including registration details).

Race is for the beneficiary of Tenement Elementary School, Taguig

Friday, July 12, 2013

Bataan Death March

The Bataan Death March.
April 10-15, 1942.

American and Filipino prisoners of war captured by the Japanese are shown at the start of the Death March after the surrender of Bataan on April 9, 1942, near Mariveles in the Philippines.

Starting from Mariveles on April 10, some 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war were force-marched to Camp O'Donnell, a new prison camp approximately 65 miles away.

The prisoners, weakened after a three-month siege, were harassed by Japanese troops for days as they marched, the slow or sick killed with bayonets or swords. Filipino civilians on the side of roads who offered food/water to the soldiers, were also killed instantly by Japanese officers.

Thousands died from disease, starvation, dehydration, heat prostration, untreated wounds, and wanton execution. 5,000-10,000 Filipino soldiers died during the march; and about 1,000 American soldiers died.

The only place where the POW’s were allowed to drink was from a small dirty stream filled with maggots and a decomposing human corpse in the water.

When the March ended, any POW who survived was forced onto a train and sent away to a Japanese Prison camp, where many more would be tortured, killed, or die of hunger and thirst.

Soldiers who successfully reached San Fernando alive, were soon held in prisons. Those who lacked behind or refused to leave behind their possessions were executed.

The Bataan Death March was a very important event in history for various reasons. The march exemplified Japan's militarism, great determination, and perseverance to become a leading power during war time against the United States.

The immense brutality the Japanese inflicted upon Filipino and American soldiers only created more tension between the nations. Japan's nationalism and strong military contributed to the cruelty they imposed upon their enemies.

Also, this event altered Americans' views of the Japanese. Thus, Americans directed their hatred towards the Japanese people, resulting in future conflicts between the two nations. However, their cruel techniques did not always guarantee success.

A few more Filipino and American veteran survivors of that fateful days of suffering are still around today and live to tell their harrowing experience.

- simoun (image: google / article:

To commemorate this event, there are two Ultramarathon races held every year with 102km and 160km distance and strict cut-off time.

I did the 102km this year and it was truly unforgettable!

My race experience:  BDM 2013 Edition

My experience as support crew:  BDM 2012 Edition

Those people willing to take the plunge, can now register for the 2014 edition via

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Race (and Singlet) Review: Adidas KOTR 16.8km 2013

On Singlet:

The Adidas King of the Road is one of the most anticipated road races in the Philippines as people like the great quality, fit and look of the singlets given out to race participants (up to now, I am still using the 2011 and 2012 Adidas KOTR singlets for training and for road races).

As this is the main highlight for registering for this race (I would think the finisher medal, regardless of how nice it is, would just be a bonus for running this event) and reason for the high registration fee (Php 1,300 for a 10-miler race IS expensive), this is something I should pay attention to.

There are good points and bad points to this year's King of the Road Singlets and this is based solely on my point of view and on my first hand experiences.

In terms of good points, there are separate Men and Women singlet sizes.  This was done in previous KOTR editions too and it is nice that they kept up with this trend as body sizes of men and women are obviously different from each other.

There is also a variety in singlet colors (three different kinds for men and three different kinds for women) and that is good too vs the KOTR of four to five years ago when it is just one color for all runners (they released a yellow singlet, then a black singlet the year after).  So choosing your singlet is now based on individual tastes and preferences.

The quality is up to par with Adidas singlets so that is a good thing too.  Like in previous editions, my singlet is wearable and fits me well...


 It took me FIVE tries to get the proper singlet size and color that I wanted!  And that is a lot of effort for me (luckily, I often pass by BGC area).

The first time I got my race kit was when I read an announcement that they would have an early bird race kit claiming at BGC area.  I went there on a Saturday morning but seeing the long (and unmoving) line, I decided to come back for it another time.  Attempt No. 1 - FAIL!

Attempt No. 2 is the following day (Sunday) when I decided to run by myself and put the claiming stub in my pocket.  There were no lines this time and I got the race kit that I wanted.  For the singlet, I got the color (Blue) and size (XL) that I wished for.  I even asked for XXL size but XL was the biggest they had for this year.  They assured me that it was big enough for me even though I wasn't 100% confident on that as my two previous Adidas Singlets were XXL.  So I was done with it....

Until I got home and tried it on!  It was crazy huge!!!  Per said it was unwearable and a waste if I didn't change it to a smaller size!

I agreed with her and I went back again for Attempt No. 3!  This time the race kit claiming was moved to Adidas store in BGC and the single line was long!!  There were a lot of unhappy people standing outside the store just waiting to go in (it was noon when I got there so you can imagine the heat!).  Since I was just changing my shirt size, I showed the store guard my singlet and went right in.  Unfortunately the blue singlet's biggest size was Medium (apparently a lot of guys dig this color) so I had no choice but to get the Salmon color and Large size.

I went back home again and tried the Large size and it fits me perfectly, which was good!  But I really wanted the blue color (I already have the salmon one from 2011).

That afternoon I read in Facebook that the race organizers decided to move the race kit claiming area to one location only and to close the four areas for claiming race kits (including the Adidas store in BGC) as there were a lot of complaints with regards to lack of colors and sizes!

So I was hopeful that I would get the large blue singlet that I wanted.  Alvin and I ran in BGC one afternoon and I asked if we could go to Adidas so I can reserve the blue singlet.  We went there at the end of our run but there were no large Blue singlets to be found.  Attempt No. 4 - FAIL!

I figured that was it but at least I had a wearable singlet!

One day before the actual race, I was in BGC area once again and just thought of passing by the race kit claiming area.  Surprise, surprise there are a LOT of Large Blue Singlets!  I had no idea where these new stocks came from as they weren't there when I tried to change my singlet (attempts no. 3 and 4).  Were they shipped late?  Did they misplace these things only to find it on the last day?  In any case, I was happy in getting this "lost treasure" and excited for the race the following day.

I think there there were problems in singlet distributions (out of stock for the longest time and then AVAILABLE on last day of race kit claiming!!!) and also on singlet sizes (are these made for giants?).  There were problems on logistics in claiming of race kits too (moving from different areas, long lines, etc). so these are definitely areas that need improvements!

On race day, I saw a lot of runners wearing the official Adidas singlet but have another shirt underneath it.  These are people who paid P1,300 for their singlets but ended up getting bigger sizes and rather than throw these away, decided to wear them but with a shirt inside!  There were runners who opted not to wear Adidas singlet anymore too (probably because of the same reason).  I was lucky enough to get the correct size for myself but I hope the organizers understood this situation and allow runners to change their singlets (whether used or unused) to the correct size and if possible the color they wanted too even after the race.  (I think this is a good solution especially since I saw there were a lot of stocks left last Saturday).

example of guy wearing shirt and singlet behind me!

On Race:

As bad as the race kit and singlet claiming was, the race was perfect, and compensated a lot of angry runners by giving us a good race.  There were a lot of marshals for this event to guide the 8,000 plus runners properly.  The distance was pretty much accurate (my Garmin registered 16.95 km) and the water stations were plenty and were long enough that we it was easy to get a cup or two of water.

I like that there were a lot of cheerers in this race and it made the race more festive!  It also made you run faster (unless you stopped to take pictures with them) as they would encourage you to run faster.  There were mascots too in different places, from Elmo to Jollibee!

I enjoyed the route of this race and hope one day that they would return the half marathon distance!  There was also a banana station at the U Turn area along Buendia Avenue.

It was good that the race started on time too so it allowed most of us to finish before it gets too hot (I was able to add 4km more after the race due to good weather).

At the finish line, we got our very nice medals and loot bags and there were various sponsors giving out free food, drinks and photos too.  The lines were long but the ice-cream was the one that interested me the most and one that refreshed me.  Race results came out quickly too and ranking based on chip time (which is best measurement for me).

There were a lot of photographers at different parts of the race too so you might get a nice photo of yourself.

One small complaint on the race was in terms of parking management.  It was traffic everywhere, lines were long and a series of parking spaces weren't open to cars as they were used as the finisher area of Adidas.  I ended up parking at Market Market and just jogged to the starting line (good thing I was early).

16.8k finishers - she's a lot faster than me :)

near finish line

fave picture!
  Congrats to all the runners who joined this event and for organizers for a nice race (although I'm still hoping for some sort of remedy for wrong singlet size claiming of runners).

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Impromptu big race!

The Milo Marathon is happening in a few weeks time.  This is one of the cheapest road races in the Philippines (and as the oldest road race, it is the one of the most famous too).

Famous in a number of ways:

1.  It is the only road race in the Philippines that imposes a cut-off time for 21km and 42.2km runners (2:30 for 21km race and 6:00 for 42.2km race).  Failure to cross the finish line before the cut-off may deprive runners of things such as loot bag, finisher medal, etc.

  I say "may" as organizers (Runrio for the past three or so years) have been lenient in past Milo events and given medals out even after the cut-off time.  But they didn't have to do it (and might not do it for this year), and if you are joining this race, your mindset should be to complete the race within the required time allocated for it.  

2. It is the only race that has multiple legs all over the country, so you can do a Milo race in most of the major provinces in the country.  Those legs can serve as destination races too, so you can plan your vacation with a weekend race.  Said legs will culminate in one big race at the end of the year, where only those people who qualify via fast cut-off times (think Boston qualifiers) may join the full marathon category.  It's the best of the best in Philippine's premier race.

So, you can understand the drawing power of a Milo Race, particularly the Milo Marathon.  I was able to come full circle in 2012 when I was able to complete my Milo Marathon and cross the finish line a few minutes shy of the cut-off time.

That remains my favorite Philippines finisher medal because of the pressure I had in completing the race, and the satisfaction I attained once they put the medal around my neck.

And here we are again: me, with not enough hard training, a lack of mileage and requiring an average pace of 8:31 minutes per kilometer to be a Milo finisher again.

There was NO PLAN whatsoever to join this year's Milo Marathon but with a 50km race down the road, I needed some mileage.  Alvin recommended I do this to which I resisted!  I told Per about it and she agreed with Alvin (wholeheartedly pa!). Rare is it two against one and against me!  

But I still downloaded the race map, looked at gun start time and some other details like 32km cut off at 5 hours.  Then, news came out from my sister that it was sold out as she wasn't able to register online.  Various comments at facebook and Pinoy Fitness websites had people clamoring for more 42km slots.

So it was sold out, when all other categories were open.  And that was it.

Until Friday night that is!

On Friday night, I went to Riovana to ask whether they would open 42km category, to which they said that they have bibs available right now!  I was caught off guard as there were no announcements on this.  I even read comment from Riovana facebook account that 42km was closed for registration.

Of course, I was delighted and went to reserve 3 slots immediately for Alvin, Gigay and myself!  Riovana even had Milo packs for sale there (at higher price of course) so I bought Milo packs and emptied  contents in zip lock bags, which they sold there too (for Php 5.00).  Count on Rio's business skills.  Hehe!  But you have to admit, it's very helpful for us runners too!

I ended up paying for three race kits that night.  With only a few weeks to go, each of us has to strategize in his/her own way on how to complete the full marathon in 6 hours or less.  As the slowest runner, the pressure is on me!

I hope I won't DNF (did not finish) or DQ (disqualified) because I didn't finish it in time.

One important rule to running a full marathon that was thrown out here is this:


I hope I am strong and fast enough physically and mentally for this challenge!

No turning back now....Marathon No. 12 is a go!

Good vibes everyone and I pray that God will protect all of us in this race!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Why Run? Reason No. 12

So today, I had a lunch buffet and boy did I eat a lot!  Up to now, I am still full (and still burping)!

I didn't want to run, with my full tummy and the very nice lazy feeling weather but then... I ate a LOT!

So, I ran 6km (and nearly vomited in the process).

Hence, the reason to run: TO TAKE AWAY THE GUILT (of overindulgence).

Some food photos from lunch:

Definitely hard to resist, don't you agree? 😛