Wednesday, March 28, 2012

FIC Run - Couple 10km Race

This was the first couple race that Per and I did since way back in Sept. 2010 (it was so long ago that I had to re-check on the facts). Prior to this race, Per had joined a few 5km races while I usually did the longer ones. We would then meet at the finish line and share our running highs and lows from our individual races (new PR sets, leg pains, heat of the sun, cold weather, etc.)

But this was double the distance that Per is used to so I agreed to accompany her for this race. I had my camera with me as well so I can take some pictures of this race.

One thing I noticed about the 10km race category is that the back of the yellow race shirts had different advocacies on them and it was interesting to see the different causes this race category was contributing for. I was most curious about the Red Whistle advocacy as runners had red whistles around their necks as well.

The shoes that I wore for this event were Brooks Cascadia 7 Trail shoes, which I am slowly trying to break in but it still felt heavy and I had a hard time running in them. Hopefully, it will be easier when I use it in the Trail run in Tagaytay this coming Saturday.

While I had problems with my shoes, Per had worse problems with her legs and I can see the frustrations in her face at halfway mark (5km) as she had to slow down her running pace and even walk a bit. She said that her lungs were still fine but her legs were giving her some pain. She started to limp a bit too and her running form was out of synch. At one point during or near the 7km mark, a marshal even asked her if she was still okay to continue. This never happened to either of us before so you can imagine the pain she was going through.

There wasn’t much anything I could do to help aside from giving her encouragement and hydration when she asks for it. This is her race after all and only she can decide if she will finish it or not. But she was determined to complete her race and I was there just a few meters ahead of her, hoping that she could use me as her target runner.

By 8th – 9th km, Per’s leg pain subsided a bit and she was able to go faster. I counted down the distance to Per every 100-200 meters and hoped that it helped her to keep running.

Per successfully finished her first 10km race post-pregnancy and I couldn’t be more proud of her accomplishments. She didn’t reach the time goal that she wanted but given the situation, it was still a great performance.

As is the case for a Runrio races, there were ample hydration areas and we get to choose whether we wanted water or Powerade Orange or Powerade Blue. The route was nice too as it went behind International Schools and around BGC. There was a new part of the usual 10km route as we ran at Burgos Circle as well. The race started quite early too, which was quite good as it avoided the runners from the Summer Heat.

We finished our race early and I was able to add 10 more kilometers after that (and kept bumping into fellow runner blogger Roelle - Daytripped Running Blogspot, during that time).

Pictures I took from my own camera:

new route!

Congrats Per!

We are racing together again! Yay!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Run Against Raze 10k (Race Review)

The Run Against Raze was held last Sunday, March 18th at Bonifacio Global City (BGC). There were 3km, 5km, 10km and 16km categories for this race and finisher medals were given out to all 16km finishers. There were also finisher medals for the three shorter categories but this was limited to the first 100 finishers per category.

With the 10km condition imposed, I decided the night before that I needed to race this event with the simple objective of being part of the first 100 finishers.

I got to the race site early and proceeded to do a 1.5km warm up around the area and heard the emcee starting off the 16km runners. I have 15 minutes for my warm up run before my own race would start. No problem!

I got to the starting line just when my race started and even had a drink of water. My race was on!

At the start, I was careful with my pace by making sure that I didn’t go out too fast. I breathed long and hard as I slowly overtook some runners and built up speed. So far I was cruising at 6 minutes average pace and wondered if this was already too fast for me. I haven’t been racing for a while and there was a fear that I would burn out and start walking. But I still felt strong and even skipped the first two water stations.

For some reason, I just kept going faster and faster and not really feeling out of breathe or even thirsty. I kept skipping the water stations and just deciding to go for the next one but when I reached the next one, I skipped it again and just kept going.

By 5km, I was below 30 minutes which was a big surprise for me as it never happened in any of my recent races! I recalled the Nike 5km run I did more than a year ago and back then I finished above 30 minutes!

My pace was slightly below 6 minutes and I was hopeful that I could do a sub-60 10km again. I ran hard on the hills and harder on the flat or downhill course. And my pace went down a second or two more.

Now my goal changed from a sub-60 to a 10km PR. I had to do some mental calculations while running at 5:58 average pace and think hard on my last sub-60 pace and time.

The numbers popped in my mind: 10k PR pace was at 5:57 and 10k PR time was at 59:25 (BGC 10K) . I have 3-4 km to go even faster! And there was Kalayaan Bridge looming over and awaiting me! I imagined it sinisterly laughing and mocking me. “You will not be able to run me at 6 minutes pace”, it silently taunted me.

Unfortunately, it was right as my pace here was at 6:13!

So I did a very unconventional thing – I decided to skip ALL the water stations and drinking only after I had finished my race. I had a lot to catch up to after all!

I glanced at my Garmin a few times just to check on my average pace and just kept going. The distance closed in. I felt the finish line getting nearer and nearer.

Less than 2km to go… 1km to go… I had to sprint! I overtook more runners and pushed harder. My breathing became quicker and I had to move my arms and legs more. I had 500 meters to go and I stopped looking at my Garmin. I saw the final turn to the finish line and that motivated me to keep going. When I made the final turn, I ran even faster for the last 200 meters to the finish line and stopped my Garmin right after I crossed it.

I got the very nice finisher medal (yes, I made it for the top 100 finishers!) and walked a bit to loosen my legs and slow down my breathing.

After finally drinking my water, I looked at my Garmin watch and saw the results:

Distance: 10.03km

Average Pace: 5.55

Time: 59:17

Praise God!!!

What was even more surprising was when I looked at my average pace per kilometer and saw that my 9th and 10th km were the fastest for the10km distance with an average pace at 5:45 and 5:44. Negative split!

Goal #1 – Be top 100 finishers to get finisher medal

Upgraded to Goal #2 - Finish 10km in Under an Hour

Upgraded to Goal #3 - Achieve PR Time and PR Pace

There can’t be a more perfect race for me personally than this one!

Prayer works!

Very nice Finisher medal that now means a lot to this RUNNING FATBOY!

Thanks to Rhix Gabriel of Pep Squad Events and Marketing Services, Inc. for the complimentary race kit.

Thanks also to "Angelo's Photography" for some of the photos taken during the event. There are a total of four photo albums and all of these pictures can be found in their page at

Here I am nearing the finish line (at back of this photo) and verifying my time and/or average pace.

And of course, a big thanks to Coach Alvin for making me able to go this fast this soon :)

Race results are out now ( and I ranked #68 with a gun finish time of 1:00:41.

Too bad it didn't show the total number of runners for that race nor the chip finish time (which for me is more important). I'm just glad I have my Garmin watch with me :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

News: Doggie Run 2012

Here's an interesting run for all you dog lovers out there:

Official Press Release

Pet Express DOGGIE RUN 2012

It's another fun-filled day for dog lovers and their fur kids as Pet Express, your dog & cat shop, brings you year two of the biggest dog running event in Manila. Canine runners and their human running buddies are invited to troop over SM Mall of Asia grounds for the Pet Express Doggie Run 2012 on March 24 (Saturday). Participants may register in 1.5K, 3K, or 5K race categories.

Runners will get a dri-fit running shirt while the doggie runners get a dog bandana and dog race bib they can personalize. All dog registrants who crosses the finish line will get their very own doggie finisher medal and loot bag. Part of the proceeds of the Doggie Run 2012 will be donated to this year's chosen beneficiary, PAWS (The Philippine Animal Welfare Society). Come and enjoy the sponsor game booths, souvenir photos, and raffle prizes that are up for grabs.

Registration is ongoing in all Pet Express branches (Corinthian Hills, SM Cubao, SM Hypermarket Makati, SM Masinag, and SM Mall of Asia) until March 22, 2012. Registration will be continued in Mall of Asia branch from March 22-24. On-site registration during the race day will depend on the availability of race kits. Race fee is P450 for the Doggie Race Kit and P400 for the Human Race Kit.

This event is made possible with the support of Holistic Recipe, Beef Meal, Espree, Hartz, Pedigree, Cesar, Frontline Plus, Kong, DoggyMan, Wahl, Royal Canin, Bayer Advocate, Good Boy, Doggie's Choice, Ezydog, Virbac Nutriplus Gel, Novibac, Purina ProPlan, Pawsh Couture, Gavino's Donuts, and Focus Media.

For more Doggie Run 2012 details, visit the Pet Express Facebook page.

Registration Fee:

• P450 Doggie Race Kit

• P400 (human race bib, dri-fit running shirt, insurance coverage, donation to PAWS only)

On-Site Registration Fee - P500


1. Register at any Pet Express branch.

(Corinthian Hills 696-7400, SM City Masinag 477-8659, SM Cubao 912-5924,

SM Hypermarket Makati 843-7174, SM Mall of Asia 836-8955)

2. Race kits will be given upon payment to Pet Express.

Pet Express Doggie Run 2012 Race Kit (P450) includes:

• Event Dri-fit Running Shirt

• Event Dog Bandana

• Race Bib (for human)

• Race Bib (for dog)

• Insurance Coverage

• Donation to PAWS (The Philippine Animal Welfare Society)

For Registered Doggie Finishers:

• Doggie Finisher Medal

• Doggie Finisher Loot Bag


5K- 5:40 A.M.

3K- 5:50 A.M.

1.5K- 6:00 A.M.

Pet Express Doggie Run 2012 Features:

• 1.5/3/5K Run

• Sponsor Game Booths

• Souvenir Photo Booth

• Raffle Prizes

Dog Runner Winners:

• 1.5K- 1st, 2nd, 3rd Place (only toy/small dogs are eligible to win in this category)

• 3K- 1st, 2nd, 3rd Place (all breeds/sizes)

• 5K- 1st, 2nd, 3rd Place (all breeds/sizes)


1. All participating dogs must be properly vaccinated (Please bring vaccination records).

2. Bitches must not be in heat.

3. Please keep your dogs on a leash.

4. Please provide a muzzle for unfriendly dogs.

5. Please be considerate and pick up after your dog’s waste.

6. Never leave your dog unattended. Pet Express will not be liable for dogs that are lost or missing during the event.

7. The organizers reserve the right to reject the participation of a dog that might cause disruption or disturbance in the event (i.e. dogs with aggressive behavior, bitches in heat, etc.)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bataan Death March Ultramarathon 102km

The Bataan Death March (Japanese:Batān Shi no Kōshin (バターン死の行進?)) was the forcible transfer, by the Imperial Japanese Army, of 76,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war after the three-month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of prisoners.[3]
Source: Wikipedia

To give importance to this significant event and to honor the fallen soldiers, an Ultramarathon event was formed some years back and used the actual route that the American and Filipino soldiers walked on some 50+ years ago. This race would start in Mariveles, Bataan and end at the old railway station (km 102) in San Fernando, Pampanga.

A second Ultramarathon event was created soon after with a longer route - 160 kilometers but in order to qualify for this race, interested runners MUST do the 102km distance first.

I did not partake in the actual race but I had the next best thing for this moment of history: as a support crew made up of one member for one Ultramarathon runner, that of Alvin Adriano, who has been my running mate and coach/good friend for the past few months now.

First tip here is to download the route map of the race as there are a few turns that a fellow runner/ support crew could miss if they had not consulted the route map. Below is a copy of route map of the race and of the actual route of the Bataan Death March.

Alvin's race started on a Saturday evening at kilometer 0, which had a marker on it and a statue of soldier's rifle with soldier's hat on it. It was next to fast food chain Jollibee in Mariveles, Bataan (and the only branch in this city) so if you want to look for it, just ask for this restaurant's location from the local people.

We got to Bataan on a Friday (March 2, 2012) so that both of us could have ample rest before the race starts. Even though I won't be running this race, it will also be taxing on me as I had to be awake for the same number of hours that my runner is and be ready to help him in whatever way that he may need to get through the night and finish the race.

Come Saturday night (March 3, 2012), we arrived at the starting line around 9:30pm and awaited the start of the race.

Alvin preparing his gear for the first 10 kilometers (water bottle, head lamp, etc).

Tip #2: Don't forget to reset car's odometer to zero so can monitor distance in the car. It would be easier on runner too as Alvin would tell me to wait on the next 3km, 5km or 10km and all I had to do was follow the car's odometer to get there.

Tip #3: For the runner, don't forget to charge your Garmin. Better yet, borrow a second Garmin and charge that too as one Garmin won't be enough for this race!

Tip #4: As a support crew, make sure car you are using is ready for the race too. That means full tank, spare tire, enough water and oil, etc.

Tip #5: For support crew, make sure you have stuffs inside the car to keep you occupied. This is a long race and boredom can easily hit you as you await your runner. I had books, videos and some games in my phone with me. I also had some chips and candies to keep myself awake.

Tarpaulin to put on car to let people know that there is an ongoing race. Makes for a nice souvenir too!
Ground Zero!

Sir Jovie N. aka Baldrunner, giving last minute details to both runners and support crews. There were also prayers made and anthems (USA, Japan, Philippines) sang.

Race started approximately 10:15pm to 10:25pm. I left early for fear that I would be caught in traffic with other support vehicles.

The first 6 kilometers would be the hardest part of the route given its very steep climb to the top and lack of street lights, making it dangerous to runners as cars, trucks and buses go down here often. A lot of support crew's cars were parked here awaiting their runners.

A nice midnight snack for me. There were two more of these around the route. Best thing is that it's open 24 hours!

This was a really weird statue in the middle of a plaza. I had to stop and park my car to get a picture of it. Wonder what it means?

Course was hard given the lack of shade for most of the 102km. At night, that was fine but come day break, it adds to the challenge of finishing this race within the cut-off time of 18 hours.

Tip #6: Pack excess food and drinks not just for your runner but also for those runners who need it too. In this race, I was able to offer water on three different instances. Alvin said later on that he was able to get some water from other support vehicles too. PAY IT FORWARD!

Tip #7: Bring enough cash and spare change. At various points, Alvin wanted me to look and buy more water and ice for him. And I had to look for these things while he was running. Since it was early morning, don't expect them to have change for your Php 1,000 bill!

The original Razon's at a gas station

Less than one kilometer to go..

Two-time 102km finisher!

Better time and ranking second time around :)

Job done! Time to rest!

Actual notes taken during the 102km event:

10:40PM - Just parked at the 10km marker along with 5-7 cars behind me. Took a brief stop at 6km marker to see other support vehicles and take a picture of the 6km marker.

11:08PM - First two runners just passed the 10km mark... less than an hour from when the race started!!

11:12PM - More runners coming by as seen by blinking of their single white headlamps. BR's van just passed by me. More support vehicles are coming up and parking few meters behind me. The race is on !

11:25PM - Alvin came by and left quickly again. On to next marker point.

11:48PM - Parked at 20km mark Odometer.

12:34AM - Alvin came by, drank water and Gatorade and ate pizza. Seemed tired. Have to go on to the next pit stop - 30km.

1:00AM - Burger Machine stop over at 28km.

1:10AM - 30km marker with runner few meters behind me. Lead runner gone. A minute later, a runner went by me. Lead pack I did not see anymore.

2:00AM - Alvin came to refill bottle and drink and eat pizza again. Tired looking! Too fast? Stayed 5- 10 minutes here at car. Spotted him quickly.

2:26AM - 35km mark. Bought 2 liters water and 2 liter Gatorade at local bakery.

2:31AM - 35.4km mark. Stopped by church to take pictures of it. BDM 35km marker across it. Three support cars parked here. Leaving again.

2:40AM - 38.8km mark. Stop over. Four runners just passed my car by. Drove with hand break up but thank goodness just for 3km and at slow speed. Will try to nap a bit or I will just be useless here.

3:25AM - woke up when Alvin came over. Looked better now. Second wind. Onwards to 50km.

3:37AM - 41.6km. Saw huge hand with blood tipped sword in the middle of a plaza. So weird that I had to stop and take a picture of the statue. Sign nearby says "Welcome to Pilar" but not on BDM map so will just write it down... unverified town!

4:10AM - 49km. Guess this is the 50km mark as lots of cars parked in this open field and I even asked one guy and he confirmed it. Hope it's right!

4:55AM - Alvin found car. Apparently it is the RIGHT PLACE! I heard Alvin say park but what he really said was PARKING. Glad I did a U Turn! From now, Stop-overs are every 5km (from 10km up to 50km distance).

5:01AM - Parked at 54km. Alvin arrived at 5:30AM.... moved on after he left

5:43AM - 59.1km mark.

6:17AM - Sun is coming out and Alvin got here.

6:24AM - 64km mark right by a gas station. Runner some 300m ahead of me.

6:56AM - Alvin got here. Time to go again. Turned off emergency lights and head lights as day was breaking out. Alvin put on his makeshift cap with towel.

7:07AM - 69.1km mark. Main Highway I think.

8:45AM - At 78.8km mark. Just parked waiting for Alvin. Got his ice and water and able to withdraw cash at nearby ATM machine. Getting sleepy too. Getting hot too.

9:20AM - 84km marker at the bridge. Nearly missed the right turn to Guagua if not for the blinking car! Thank God for guiding my path. Only 20km to g.

11:54AM - 97.1km based on odometer but 99km on BDM marker. Alvin now run-walking with 3 other guys as he closes in to the finish line.

12:18PM - 99.6km (odometer reading) parked near the finish line.

12:20PM - Alvin crosses finish line at 14:05++ and got 26th place. Railway station and 102km marker were both here too.