Friday, July 29, 2011

News: Earth Run 2011

Here's another interesting run happening in August!


In its third year, Solar Entertainment Network’s fun run dubbed Earth Run goes nationwide with three legs to be held in Metro Manila, Davao and Cebu. After last years successful event, where over 8,000 runners took to the street to show their support for the environment, this year Earth Run looks to be even bigger and better. Divided between the networks three banner channels, ETC, 2nd Avenue and Jack TV, now runners and nature lovers from around the country can come together and run for a good cause.

For the 3rd consecutive year, Earth Run has chosen Greenpeace as its beneficiary. Greenpeace, is an international environmental organization that acts to change attitudes and behavior, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Here in the Philippines, the organization and its supporters are focused on promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency, a nuclear-free Pilipinas, and keeping waterways clean.

Kicking off in Metro Manila, 2nd Avenue: Earth Run 2011 will be held at the Bonifacio Global City Grounds this August 28, Sunday. Runners can choose from four different distances: 3k, 5k, 10k, and 21k. All races have a registration fee of P600 except the 21k which is P650. Upon registration, participants will receive race kits that will include a timing chip, official race shirt, race bib belt and race details.

Those interested to join the Manila leg can register starting July 10 until August 21 at R.O.X. at Bonifacio High Street and Chris Sports branches located at Glorietta 3, SM City North The Annex and SM Megamall. Online registration is available at Runner’s Runner (, Ad Events ( and the official race Facebook page (

Each race finisher shall receive a special Earth Run sling bag, finisher’s certificate and sponsor giveaways. Trophies will be given to the Top 3 male and female finishers of each distance category courtesy of Cherifer Premium Capsule, while medals shall be given out to all finishers of the 21k race.

For those living in Davao and Cebu, they can look forward to Jack TV: Earth Run 2011 on October 9, Sunday and ETC: Earth Run 2011 happening on December 11, Sunday respectively.

This is your chance to take part in standing up for Mother Nature not to mention an enjoyable way to stay fit and healthy. Starting July 10, sign up and be one of the thousands to join Solar Entertainment Network’s Earth Run 2011.

The Three legs for this year's Earth Run 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

2011 Finisher Medals

It has only been 7 months and a lot of races are now offering finisher medals either for 1) finishers of the longest distanced category or 2) for all finishers regardless of categories.

Other countries are also giving out finisher medals. Above two are from Singapore's 10km and 12km races. Very nice souvenirs from our visit there!

And now, for the Philippine Finisher Medals:

The only race that goes through the Skyway! It was always a pleasure to join this event and for this year, they gave out medals for every finisher!

There are La Salle Finisher medals...

... and medals from other schools (yes, I am biased for the Green Archers!).

There are Glass Medals...
... and wooden medals!

And let's not forget the RunRio Finisher Medals! These are for legs 1-4 of RunRio's Manila Series

So which ones do you have? Which ones did I miss? And which ones are your favorites?

Still 5 months to go to add to the Finisher Medal List! Let's keep on Running!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

News: Camp Run

A different kind of run happening in the Metropolis:

Different place (new route)
Different time (afternoon)
Different Run Experience!

No push ups required!

Special Treat to all finishers: Stainless Military Dog Tag!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Robinson's Buddy Run 2011 - Post Race

It was my second time to do Robinson’s Buddy Run and both times, they were exceptional races.

The first time I joined this event was way back in 2009 and then-girlfriend Per and I did the 10km event together. It was one of many of our races wherein we would start and finish together. Only difference here is that this is an actual requirement for this race. Hence the name Buddy Run!

For this year, I was supposed to go with Janine but at the last minute, she couldn’t join the event. In her place is her sister Jeanne. I’m all for it as this was the first time I would be running with a buddy since…. hmmm… I can’t even remember the last time I ran with a buddy!

And Jeanne was an awesome person to be with. It was only the two of us from the group who joined last January’s Animo Run in Clark. But it was our first time running together and we had different styles. For one thing, I would stop at every water station to replenish there while Jeanne would keep on running. I would run going uphill and use the descent to slow down by doing a slower jog or even walking. Jeanne would do the opposite. Jeanne was stronger at the start of the race while I was stronger at the end. But throughout all this, we still had a fantastic time and finished our first buddy run together.

This also marked the first time I used my NB Minimus in a road race. After doing a lot of 5km runs and using it for one 7.8km, I finally tested it out for a 10km race. It was definitely lighter and forced me to run mid strike or forefoot striking due to lack of cushioning on the heel. My knees were painful at the first part but quickly disappeared as the running progressed. There were no heel pains here. I had a satisfactory time using these shoes but will rest them for now from use in road races as don’t want to overexpose myself here and face the possibility of getting injured again. Besides, I don't think these shoes are ready yet for a Half Marathon event.

As for the loot bags, well Robinson Supermarket did not disappoint in this area! We stayed for a bit more and got a ton of other stuffs from the various sponsors’ booth here!

Race results are out already ( but rather than having them arranged by finish time, they were arranged by bib no.

TEAM BUKTU’s results as follows:

Gun Time: 1:16:07
Net Time: 1:14:18

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Help! Milo Dilemma!

I got to admit joining the Milo Marathon or Half Marathon race is a value for money race given the cheap registration fees and the nice things that come with it at the finish line (medal, finisher certificate, loot bag, finisher shirts, etc.). And as the oldest road race in the country, it’s definitely a “must do” in every Pinoy runner’s list. I have done a few half marathons before and now contemplating of doing another one here.

But I have gotten a lot slower than a few years back. Whereas before, making the 2:30 cut off time wasn’t even an issue to me. Now, I can’t even reach it. My average time for a half marathon ranges from 2:40 – 2:55.

So the question is: how strict is Milo when it comes to imposing the curfew time? Based on previous Milo events, they were not strict AT ALL. Half marathoners who cross the finish line at 3 hours were given a finisher medal. So too were full marathoners who finished the race but exceeded the cut off time. But back then, it was a different race organizer. Now, the Milo races were handed over to RunRio Inc to facilitate and take care of. It’s a wait and see approach if they will follow the same flexible rules that the previous organizers had or not.

If you were in my shoes, would you do the Half Marathon race knowing that yes, you can finish it but no, you cannot finish it in the required time. If you were not given a finisher medal, will you make an issue out of it as you still wanted to acknowledge your time and efforts on the road? But then again, why put a cut off time in the first place if the runners knew that it won’t be strictly enforced anyway?

I think a lot of runners ignore the cut off time and just join these races on a whim. If a marshal stops them from continuing a race (due to exceeding the cut off time), they may even get furious and ignore the marshal. This has happened before in this country and these runners were cheered at the finish line by their friends and family who came to support them. In another country, it was cause for disqualifications. (That is not to say that Philippine road races are always lenient in their rules or that other countries are that strict in their rules).

But is this right? Who is at fault here – the runner who ignored the rules and persisted in completing his/her race or the marshals/ race organizers for not being strict here? Maybe it’s a combination of both?

In the case of Milo, in the past, they let runners who still want to continue their race to go on even though it was beyond the cut off time. The runner gets a medal and all the glory that comes with it. The organizer in supporting his rule does not put the runner’s name in the official results. Both sides come out happy... but is this the proper way? For me, it is like a half baked rule wherein the race organizers just wanted to please everybody. They want everybody to come out happy, to feel accomplished and to go home with a nice souvenir to show for their efforts.

But at the same time, people will also talk about this “rule” saying that this isn’t really enforced and just for show only. And this isn’t just for Milo races only. As recent as just 1-2 months ago, another race put in a cut off time for their trail run. In order for you to get a finisher medal, you must complete your half marathon within the allocated time frame. I did not join that race because of that reason but found out after that they didn’t really impose the rule. I regretted not joining that race because of what I could have experienced but at the same time, I was frightful that it would be pointless if I was stopped from finishing the run. Some ultra marathon races here also had cut off times but ended up being flexible and allowing all runners to finish their races. It was the organizer’s consideration for the runner seeing as they had been training for months and been on the road for hours.

But why is it in other countries, the curfew times were strictly imposed? If the half marathon, full marathon or even ultra marathon had a cut off time, they will follow it. Whether you cross 5 minutes or 50 minutes after the cut off time, it won’t make a difference – you still didn’t finish the race. Everybody knows about those cut off times (example of races are Hong Kong Marathons, Badwater Ultra Marathon) and should you be one of the unfortunate people to not reach it, then... tough! That’s life! You go home empty handed but have a stronger desire to do the same race the following year and to reach that goal. You will train harder, you will work harder and you will do everything to reach that goal. Isn’t this the better way? At least when you get your medal, you can be proud that you not only finished the race but you did so within the allocated time. The glory is that much bigger.

From my Milo dilemma, an answer is presented. I will not join this year’s Milo race as a nod to their rules. I will respect their rules and obey it. And if they themselves chose to “amend” said rules at the last minute, then that will be their decisions.

I just hope that I don’t end up banging my head on the door when I hear that a lot of half marathoners finish their races in 3-4 hours and got all the benefits that come with the 2:30 finishers (or full marathoners finishing beyond 6 hours)! But again, that’s life and I just have to stick to what I believe in. In this case, that the cut off times are really true and not just something placed there “for show only”.

Hopefully, I can get better and faster next year so that this dilemma will not happen again!

What do you think? Did I make the right decision or should I head immediately to a registration area and sign up for the Milo Half Marathon Race? But more importantly, what do you think about the cut off time (and how the organizer use it) in a road race?

All the goodies I'm missing this year! Dang!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Xavier Stallion Run - July 10, 2011

This race was always on my mind as I was quite undecided on whether to do it or not.

On one hand, the race route looks really interesting! It was something I have never done before in any race but it was nostalgic in a way that this was the area I used to live before and my 3 times a week work out consisted of an hour or so run along this route (from my house to Wilson Road to Greenhills Shopping Center for a certain number of loops and back again). Back then, road races weren’t popular yet and badminton was the entire craze. I used running (back then we call it jogging) to get fit and to build endurance for badminton. In a sadistic way, I would run with no cellphone or cash in my pocket and with only one small bottle of water with me. That way, there was no other way for me to get back home than to run/walk back. And I had a time limit as had to get back quickly enough so that I still had enough time to shower and eat breakfast and NOT be late for work. All the while conserving what little water I had with me! But these workouts served their purposes. Who knew that I would do running on a regular basis! Aside from the route, the promise of a finisher medal for 21km runners was an added benefit (had there been no medals, I wouldn’t have even thought about this race).

But, having a baby changes the family dynamics entirely. There was always a fear if I could finish a half marathon race given the lack of sleep, lack of training and weight gain during that time. A 10km race is usually okay to do. A half marathon isn’t. But with the completion of the Yamaha race, it gave me enough confidence to do another half marathon.


First of all, it started raining and not just the light rain that would make you smile and enjoy the cooler weather. No, it was the strong shirt drenching rain! The kind that made you put your car’s windshield wipers on its maximum level just to see the road ahead. But I still went through it with a small hope that what is happening in Makati City isn’t happening in San Juan City. But it was the same here or there. Strong rains to the point that even the organizers were questioning among themselves on whether to push through with the race or not. We were all sheltered in Xavier’s gym, awaiting the final decision. The 5:00am gun time for 21km runners came and went. And still we waited. It was a good thing I spotted some familiar faces so I wasn’t bored during that time. There were also a lot of booths here (a total of 40) from various sponsors (I’m assuming all from Xavier Alumnus?)

By 5:25am, the decision was made! Rain or shine, the race would push through so we all walked out quickly to the starting line right in front of the school. By this time, the rain had slowed down so that was a good thing too.

By 5:30am, our race had started and I went with the last group of runners. For me, I didn’t want to rush with the fast runners and burn myself out too quickly. Because of the rain too, I opted to leave my Garmin and MP3 in the car and went instead with my GShock watch and activated its stopwatch mode. I felt a little bit helpless as I have gotten used (spoiled!) by the pace and distance measurement of my Garmin. Now, I only have the time. And no songs to distract me too! It was definitely back to basics for this RUNNING FATBOY!

On the race route, there were no kilometer markers so I didn’t know how far I had gone and how much more I needed to go to finish the race. At the beginning of the race, there were no marshals too and if there were, they seemed to be as confused as we were in terms of the directions of the race course. Right immediately after starting the race, we entered one of the Greenhills Villages, only to be met by the fast runners saying they all made a wrong turn. And there were one or two marshals standing there! With this lack of strictness, cheaters did what they did best! And there were A LOT of them!!! At the start, there were a lot of people behind me. In just a span of a few minutes, I was at the very tail end of this race. People were making very early U turns once they saw the fast runners heading their way. It seems nobody wanted to be left behind or be last so basically a lot of them made early U Turns and even laughing the entire time. Then it got worse. At one point, 21km runners were supposed to turn left and enter another Greenhills Village and run inside for 2-3km (by my estimate) while 10km runners were supposed to keep running on the road and skip this village altogether. I, along with some other runners, was surprised as a lot of 21km runners ran with the 10km runners (even though there was a sign, abet small, indicating 21km runners should make the turn). At one point, an older guy made a statement “they are just going straight (in Tagalog of course)”. He was debating whether to follow them or not as there really is a mentality to not be left behind. I simply replied “Honesty system na lang po and left him to make his decision as I made my turn to enter the village. I looked back a few minutes later and was glad to see the old man being honest. It was really hard to keep going as there were now EVEN fewer of us than at the beginning! Cheaters were really rampant in this race and marshals either didn’t mind it or didn’t see it happening. It was really disheartening to have this feeling. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there were some 10km runners who entered the village and then realizing it wasn’t part of their course. They were debating whether to continue on this route, to turn back, or to quit altogether. These were elite runners so that was harder for them as they were looking to get a top place in their category. In the end, they decided to push through with our route and see where it would take them. As you can imagine, it was chaotic! And all this time, the rain continued pouring!

We ran on Ortigas Avenue, we ran inside two (or was it three) private villages, we ran inside Greenhills Commercial Center, we ran on Wilson Road made some turns and came back to it two more times. We ran on big and small puddles, on the mud, on concrete, on grass. We ran and passed a building where tenants in their sleepwear were standing outside it as fire trucks came to stop the fire on the first floor. We ran on too many hills to count, twisting roads, a lot of U turns, and still no Xavier school in sight. This was indeed an adventure race!

I had hoped to finish this race in less than three hours but by the time I reached the three hour mark, I was still lost in the labyrinths of this city. I didn’t know how far I was from the finish line or how much more distance I had to conquer but I still kept going. I was doing the run-walk routine, and tired and exhausted already but still… no school in sight. Clock kept ticking but I didn’t care anymore. I just wanted to get this over with and sit down! The few guys I was running with looked as tired as I was and the steep hills did not help any of us.

Finally, we entered Roosevelt Avenue (in another village) which should lead directly to the school. We passed the clubhouse and I finally saw the school! I can’t wait to get in but why is there still a water station positioned here? Then, I looked at the building again. Yes, it was definitely a school, there’s no questioning that, but it was the wrong one: ICA, the sister school of Xavier! I got disheartened even more. This was really, really crazy. For me, this has turned into a never ending run and you can’t really give up on it because that would make all your efforts a waste! So I kept going, more walking than running, clearly disappointed at my performance.

I somehow felt I was stuck in The Twilight Zone and just didn’t know it yet. It was like we were in a race that had no endings, where we just keep going and going and going… an exaggeration? Maybe but it was just too painful for me. Shoulders and heel were acting up again. Knees were hurting too. But finally, the school appeared! Yes!!! I immediately saw the school gate. A guy in front of me saw it too but its gates were just half opened and people were coming out of it (instead of entering it). The guy stood still observing a bit more. Should he enter? Is this the right way? Then I saw another runner way ahead of us and still running on the road. Dang! This gate isn’t the right one! So I kept on going. The guy came out of his trance and ran with me. We were both too tired to even say a simple hello. We both wanted it to end. Please!

We ran amid the parked cars. We turned a corner and saw more people just chatting away (10km bibs). We were near! And I saw the next school gate which was widely opened and showed the view of the football field. Next to it was a marshal pointing the way inside. Finally!

The finish line was in sight but here lies the final challenge: a very, very wet and muddy football field where we had to make three loops around it to cross the finish line! I didn’t care anymore about my time so I put special attention to my shoes instead and walked the remaining distance, careful at where I was stepping on.

I crossed the finish line and got the medal (Yehey!!) and went immediately to the drinks and banana station where friend Will, who also did the 21km, asked, “How did you feel about the distance? Did it seem long for you?”

I was too tired to think about it. I just gave a shrug and replied “Maybe”.

“Well it was!” Will answered back.

“Really?” thinking it could just be longer by 200 meters or so but not really caring.

“Yes, it was at least 24km! And that’s based on two Garmins!”

“$#%^& !!!!”

"21k" Race Route


After getting home, eating a hearty breakfast, sleeping for 30 minutes or so and getting laughed at by my wife for this unfortunate race, I pondered a bit and realized, “this is the farthest I’ve gone to for more than 17 months! It’s actually a momentous event! And to think this was the only time I decided not to wear my Garmin and the distance is longer by more than 10%! If I had worn it, I would have been discouraged as I passed the Half Marathon mark. I probably would have quit or walked the remaining distance, being furious at this misfortune. But I was unaware of this mistake… thinking the whole time it was just me coming in unprepared for this race. Wow, God must know what’s in my heart and didn’t want to discourage me. He knows my limit isn’t just 21km and made me realize I could do more if I wanted to”.

Then I thought about the finisher medal. If it had the words “Half Marathon” or the numbers “21km” on it, I wouldn’t appreciate it as I knew I did more than that. It would be rubbish for me. I peered at it and saw only the words “Stallion Run”. That was good enough for me!


Final Surprise: My time was at 3:14:19, super slow for 21km but for a 24km? That translates into a pace of 8:06, faster than my past two half marathon races! Wow!

Isn’t God Amazing?

Post-note: Results are out on their FB page. I finish at 3:15:29 (maybe, based on when they got my tag which WASN'T at the finish line) and rank 167/193 runners for this event. Percentage wise that's 86.5% ..

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Third Milestone

Whenever there is a milestone in my life, I used a race event to celebrate it. Sure, there have been a couple of birthday runs, PR runs, marathon runs, etc. but for the truly big events, there have just been 3 so far (as far as being connected to running is concerned).

Milestone #1

The first milestone was when I proposed to Per in 2008. It was a Saturday and venue was done in Sonya’s Garden in Tagaytay. Seeing as this was the city where we first met and this was the restaurant where we enjoyed going to and eating a couple of times, using this as a venue seemed appropriate at that time. I was nervous as hell and could only utter a few words but she caught on and gave a YES to my question to her. We decided to extend our celebration together by doing a 10km race the following day. And completing one of our many couple runs!

Link to this event:

In Good Times and In Bad Times

Milestone #2

The second milestone was for our actual wedding day, which fell on a Sunday. No, I wasn’t crazy enough to run on the actual day I will get married but I was crazy enough to join a race for the night before!

It was for Kenny Rogers Night Run and I registered myself and some family members and friends for various race categories for this run. For myself, I did the 15km event and friend Benny opted to run with me. We had a great time (although I was wheezing and panting by the time I finished) and celebrated the soon-to-arrive big day by having a few beers at the parking lot. You can just imagine how crazy that night was when not only did the groom ran a race (that alone was crazy!!!) but also the sisters and brother of the groom, the bride’s maid, and a lot of wedding guests. Yes, we all loved running and attended the wedding almost injury free (said bride’s maid tripped post race and got a nasty cut on her knee)!

Links to this event:

Kenny Run: Post Race

Kenny Run '09

Milestone #3

Then we have last week: my third milestone (notice how milestone races keep increasing in distances as well). It was to celebrate the birth of our first child: Daniella Joy, who came into this world on June 27, 2011. Extreme lack of sleep and no running made me think twice about joining this race. After all, it was a half marathon and joining one (with no training or preparations) had some risks involved. But at the end of the day (and after consulting with the wife), I decided to push through with it. The good thing about me was that I had done a lot of half marathons before so I already know what to expect and how to pace myself. But I was still very cautious and goal was only to finish strong and safe. There were no time pressures for me (I set a very wide range of 3 hours 30 minutes for my finish time) as reason for this run was to celebrate life. I was here to enjoy the race and reflect (and give thanks) on the blessings we received (as a couple) from God Himself.

For each Kilometer Mark I crossed, I whispered a silent prayer thanking God for letting me complete that many kilometers already. I ran slowly and I walked at every 1km/ water station. I didn’t make it to the banana distributions but I had my GU as back up supplies and used it there. I had my I Shuffle with me but didn’t use it as decided instead to enjoy the sounds and sights in this race. There were no vomit feelings (for the first time) and I was able to complete my 21km race. My worst 21km time for the year (in terms of finish time) but that wasn’t important. What’s important was I did it and set my 3rd milestone.

And now, I have my Yamaha Finisher Medal and very nice Yamaha Finisher Shirt to commemorate this very special week.

Here’s hoping for more good milestones for all of us!

My race results are as follows:


BIB NO. 151

Time: 2:55:23
Overall: 1,430th out of 1,773 - 81%
Male: 1,288th out of 1,545 - 83%
M30-39: 477th out of 574 - 83%