Monday, April 30, 2012

News: Run United 2

Here are some details (and pictures) of the upcoming leg 2 of Run Rio Trilogy, happening on June 17th, 2012.

The race for the shorter distance (500m, 5km and 10km categories) would start and end at Mall of Asia while for the half marathon distance, it will be a point to point distance (from BGC to Mall of Asia).

Registrations are now open at various registration areas (Riovana Store BGC and Katipunan branches, Tobys in SM Mall of Asia and SM The Block) or interested participants can also register online via

Some of the things that will be received by a 21km finisher are as follows:

Active Health Sling Bag

21km Finisher Shirt
21km finisher medal (complete all three legs for one big @$$ medal)

All participants (regardless of race category) will receive the following:

Active Health Belt Bag (to be received at the expo)

Race bibs for various categories
Race Singlet (sample)

And here is Run United's official press release on this race:

2012 Run United 2 and Race Expo Slated in June

In Unilab ActiveHealth’s continuing efforts to promote an active and healthy lifestyle among families, 2012 Run United will have its second leg on June 17, 2012 at SM Mall of Asia.

Kids from age 5 to 12 years old can join the Ceelin 500-meter dash to jumpstart their journey to fitness. Moms, dads and older siblings can choose from the different race categories like 3km, 5km, 10km, and 21km.

Registered participants of 500-meter dash, 3km, 5km, and 10km will receive their singlet upon registration. The Active Health race belt bag, bib with timing chip, and Riovana 10% discount stub can be claimed during the 1st ever Run United race expo scheduled on June 13-16, 2012 at BGC Grounds Riovana from 2pm to 8pm on June 13 and 10am to 8pm on June 14-16.

The participants of the 21k category will have a different singlet color design which makes the runners extra special, aside from the freebies that they will get during the race expo in BGC and the 2nd piece of the collectible medal and finisher shirt. A personalized RunRio Timing Card will be exclusively given to them they just need to present their old IPICO timing chip during the registration to get the replacement.

21km runners will also get to enjoy running the Bonifacio Global City to Mall of Asia race route, giving them a chance to improve their PR for Run United 1. Shuttle service will be provided from MOA as pick-up point for 21km runners.

“Active Health delivers Unilab’s vision of providing active health solutions for Filipino families,” Unilab Active Health Head Alex Panlilio said. “We encourage families to start or continue leading active lives through our events like Run United.

Active Health Sport Events Executive Lester Castillo said, “As we have always done in the past, we continuously improve Run United series to give runners a better experience and encourage them to keep running. Through our partnership with Coach Rio dela Cruz, Run United has become one, if not the best, running event in the country.”

As a testament to the level of commitment that Active Health brings to the runners, it has brought in the Team Bike Boutique, the official merchandise partner of Ironman races worldwide, to organize the Run United Race Expo happening on June 13-16, 2012 at the BGC Grounds near Mercato.

The race expo completes the active health experience by gathering runners, sports enthusiasts and their families in this four-day event. Runners can hang out with their friends while checking out the coolest and latest sports apparel. Fitness and athletic brands also present their latest products and services, including gadgets, running gear, among others.

Coach Rio dela Cruz said the race expo brings Run United to a whole new level. “Major international marathons like the ING New York Marathon and Chicago Marathon hold their own expos days before the event. Together with UNILAB Active Health, we look at some of the best practices from international races, and apply them to the Run United Series to further enhance the race experience of the Filipino running community.”

Registration for 2012 Run United 2 is ongoing at the following stores

· Riovana at Bonifacio Global City and Katipunan, Quezon City

· Toby’s at SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City and SM North The Block, Quezon City

For online registration, check details at or Registration is until June 3, 2012 on a first come first serve basis.

2012 Run United 2 is for the benefit of Gawad Kalinga and Children’s Hour. For more inquiries, check out and

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The North Face (TNF) Baguio 22km - Worst Race!

All those weeks of training to tackle a hard trail run in Baguio City had gone to waste on that Sunday morning when the 22km race category was just at 13.5km according to my Garmin watch. Post-race I compared with other runners having the same bib category and their watches ranged from 13.5 - 14km for this "half marathon" trail run.

What happened to this?

No idea but there were some hearsay from some runners that a marshal wasn't in his assigned post so instead of us going down further in the trails, we all climbed up instead and headed out towards the finish line.

Another runner said that the organizers shortened the route for safety reasons. Safety reasons? What safety reasons?! There was an ongoing 50 and 100-kilometer race for this event. Why didn't we just follow their race routes as it was already plotted and ongoing?

If "safety" was really the reason behind it, why didn't the organizers inform the runners about this prior to the race? That way, they could refund the registration fees for these runners so these runners won't waste their time and effort to travel to a city 280-kilometers away from where they lived to run a 14-kilometer race.

The race was 40% short its promised distance! This is unheard of!

As of now, there have been no mention of this from the race organizers. Their facebook page account remains silent on this issue.

This was an international race (as part of The North Face Trail Run series that covers China, Australia, and USA among other countries).

To give examples of how I felt when I crossed the finish line, it's like

1) Watching a great movie and not seeing the last third part of the movie just when the action was about to start.

2) Watching a big concert and said band just performed for 15 minutes before leaving the stage

3) Ordering your favorite cake from the bakeshop, opening the box and seeing it had no icing on it or half of said cake was gone!

4) Reading a very nice book and finding out that the last 50 pages were missing!

I could go on and on about this but the best way to describe it for a runner is simply training hard for a marathon, travelling far for the said race and finding out that the distance was just 15 miles (24 kilometers) but just the same, you received a finisher medal at the finish line. Can you still say you were a marathoner after this happened?

So I still can't say I'm a half marathon trail runner given what happened here..

SUCKS right?

Still excited pre-race

the start and finish line

Friday, April 20, 2012

Baguio Bound for TNF 22km!

Baguio is considered as the Summer Capital of the Philippines and for April 21 - 23, 2012, we will be going there with some relatives. The last time Per and I were in Baguio was way back in 2010, when we attended a couple's retreat program. My, how time flies!

Some of the things we did back then were:

1) Took pictures at the famous Lion head (see above) at Kennon Road

2) Boat riding at Burnham Park

3) Ate at the popular Cafe by the Ruins

(NO Runners or Marathoners yet on their menu! - Maybe next time?)

4) Visited the very nice SM Baguio mall and bought a Starbucks Baguio Coffee Mug as souvenir

5) Visited Mines View Park and got some souvenir photos in native clothes..

6) Visited Good Shepherd for their yummy Ube Jam

This time, we will be going to Baguio City with our daughter (her first visit here) to do some of these things again.

But the main reason for our visit here is for me to do (and hopefully complete this):

Yes, I have signed up for the 22km some months back and this will be my very first North Face race and very first run in Baguio City.

My goals for this race are as follows (from best to worst):

1) Finish the race in less than 4 hours, 30 minutes. This is the official cut-off time for the race and should I get to the finish line before this happened, then I will receive a finisher's certificate. (Too bad there aren't any finisher medals here).

This requires an average pace of 12:15 per kilometer, which is very attainable in a normal road race. But that obviously is not the case here!

2) Beat Alvin by finishing in 5:25 or less. Alvin will run the Nat Geo 21km road race the same day I will be running this race. We have an outstanding bet that should I finish my race within 3x his Nat Geo finish time, then he would treat me to dinner. If I exceeded the 3x Nat Geo finish time of Alvin, then I have to treat him.

So if Alvin finishes his Nat Geo 21km in 2 hours, then I have to finish my TNF 22km in under 6 hours to win my bet. Of course, if Alvin runs his race faster, then my time leeway gets shortened too.

The prize: One Guliver's full bone steak in Makati Avenue!

3) If neither number 1 or 2 seem feasible, then the final goal is just to finish this race and get to the finish line in one piece!

Some hindrances to achieving my goals:

1) Right Plantar Fasciitis! It was there when I did the 5km Trail Run last weekend and I'm sure it will be there again this Sunday for the 22km race

2) Thin Air! Baguio is located North of Metro Manila and air is thinner in that area, making it more difficult to breathe and run fast.

3) Mountain Run! Hills are hard enough for me. What more for a mountain run? Yikes!

4) Heavy Trail Shoes! I had a hard time in these shoes in a regular road run so there might be some difficulty in this race too.

5) Bring Your Own Hydration = added weight! Not used to running with a bottle too so there would be some adjustments on my part. Not sure if there are re-filling stations here too!

6) Tired? We would be leaving for Baguio Saturday morning for a 5 hour drive. The race starts on Sunday morning so just wondering if I have enough time to rest and relax before my race starts.

Whatever happens to me on Sunday morning, I am sure this would be a memorable experience for this RUNNING FATBOY!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Running Two Races In One Weekend

I have done a few back to back races but for 2012, this was my first (and even in 2011, I did it twice only).

The reasons behind NOT joining back to back races are the following:

1) It becomes EXPENSIVE. Joining one race can already do some damage to your wallet with some race fees exceeding the P1,000 mark (US$25). That's still considered cheap versus joining races in the USA, Europe or Australia but we aren't living in these countries! We aren't earning the same amount of money as they are so yes, it can be considered cheap vs other countries but I don't consider that cheap for the Philippines given our income levels. So two races = double the cost.

2) Waking up early TWICE! So no late night movies, dinners or bar hopping (coffee drinking for people my age). You have to wake up early twice, set up the alarm clock twice and leave your house when the sun isn't up yet TWICE! In short, where did the weekend go? And whatever happened to my 7-hour daily sleep requirement?

3) TIRED! Doing one race is fun because afterwards you can relax, get a beer or two from the fridge and watch a TV series all day and all night long. You can eat your bag of chips. You can try some exotic food. Most importantly, you can rest knowing you've done your exercise. Having a back to back race means you have to get ready again for the following day, watch what you eat or drink and try to sleep early. You hope that your body (but especially your legs) have enough energy for you to finish another race. Come Monday morning, instead of coming to work rejuvenated, you are tired with muscle pains and tired from running and the lack of sleep and you ask yourself WHY DID I DO THIS???

Well for last weekend, it was for these reasons:

1) See my running capabilities against a horde of zombies! Can you avoid their deathly clutches, their drooling mouths, their crawling bodies and come out "alive"?

Yes, these zombies climb trees and jump in front of you!!!

All these things and I had to "protect" Per too, although I got to admit at certain points, I left her to try to fend for herself against these zombie attacks. Sorry about that hon! Haha! But we did finish the race together with "lives" to spare.

2) Run in Nuvali. I have always wanted to do a trail run in Nuvali but for one reason or another, my schedule conflicted with a run held here. Finally, after last weekend, I can say that I've tried the Nuvali trail run.

In this race, it was generally a flat course and there were some parts that had shaded areas.

3) Do a Trail Run. Finally, after two years of running on the road, I tried running on trail again and it was a different kind of (HARD) experience. You had to watch where you step and it was more tiring for the leg muscles too. Glad I was wearing trail shoes for this day.

Doing a trail run typically makes you 50% - 100% slower versus your normal road race time.

Reason is that there are more hills to run on and more stones and pebbles to avoid. Just happy that at least it didn't rain that day.

Additional note: Doing a trail run with zombies makes you 120 -150% slower versus your normal road race time.

Reason is that there are zombies to avoid!

4) Do some obstacle course. Yes, this is like the difficult Men's Health Urbanathon but it's on the trail road and there are zombies chasing you! Piece of cake!

5) Do a Half Marathon again. It has been a while since I did this and I was curious on how I performed. Well, from Saturday's run which lead me to fall down TWICE and sustain some cuts and bruises on my knees and having muscle soreness, it was hard for me in this race. I did a few walk breaks and it wasn't until 10km till I finally felt my legs loosened up. But at just P350, it was too good a deal to pass up!

Finisher Certificate for Earth Run 2012.

Not happy with my time/ performance but as Alvin texted me, "the important thing is YOU SURVIVED." And he was right!

My back to back race mementos: One "life" left from Outbreak Manila and Finisher medal from Earth Run 21km

Thanks to OUTBREAK MANILA and EARTH RUN Organizers for each doing a great race!

For those runners who joined OUTBREAK MANILA, pictures can be found in Total Fitness and Pinoy Fitness Facebook pages.

For those runners who joined EARTH RUN, pictures and official results can be found in Pinoy Fitness Facebook page and at

For those runners who joined both races and survived them, let yourselves be known so I won't think I'm the only crazy one here!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

First Back to Back Race Weekend 2012


Yes, I'm a "Walking Dead" and generally a Zombie fan (28 Days, Day of the Dead, even Shaun of the Dead, Resident Evil Series) so to participate in a Zombie run should prove to be quite interesting.

This is a 5km run and we are part of 8:15am wave. We is composed of six member (4 adults, 2 teens) and I still don't know our strategy for this 5km race (do we run separately or as a group?) but one thing for sure, it's going to be an exciting Saturday morning in Nuvali (my first run here EVER!)


This race had me at "super cheap registration fees"! At just Php 350 (early bird rate), the 21km race kit includes bib, singlet and finisher medal. Its cheap rate proved to be so popular that this race category ran out during the early bird rate! It pays to register early especially for a race this affordable!

I haven't ran a 21km race in a while so even I'm curious as to how I fare here. (The last 21km race I did was last February during the RUNew Event in Alabang and had a horrible time there).

Race route goes around BGC area and goes up and down Kalayaan Bridge too.

Looks to be a fun weekend for this RUNNING FATBOY!