Thursday, November 29, 2012

Whatever Happened to.... (Philippine Races that Disappeared)!

Below are some of the races that I don't mind doing again (if or when they decide to bring them back):

Botak Paa-Bilisan Run

There was a lot of series for these Botak races (Paa-bilisan, Paa-tibayan) and they were also one of the few races that ventured into the Full Marathon Category (42.2km). Venues for these races ranged from U.P. to Fort Bonifacio (previous name of BGC).

Reach Run - 5km run with Donuts challenge

Donuts and a Road Race? Yes, they definitely contradict each other but man, was this fun!!!

The task was simple: Do one 2.5km loop around Fort Bonifacio, get a box of Krispy Kreme donuts and finish these 6 donuts on the spot before running again to complete the second 2.5km loop.

Well, it was safe to say that a lot of us were disqualified for not being able to finish said donuts but good news was that we get to bring them home! Another plus here was that it was for charity!

Sadly, this race did not go beyond one event! :(

Pringles Run 3-miler
Same cool (and unhealthy) concept: this time you get Pringles when you cross the finish line.

Too bad it suffered the same fate at REACH race and had a total of 1 race only.
Mizuno Infinity Run

The Mizuno Infinity Run!  This race had always been there and even in 2011, it had a 21km race category.  There was even one year wherein they had two Mizuno Races (to make up for the first disastrous race).

Too bad there was no race for 2012 and the "Infinity" became Finite.

Men's Health Miracle Run 10k
The Men's Health as an advocate to healthy living (duh!) had three different races during one year.  These are

1) Urbanathon Race, wherein runners do not just run but have to complete a series of challenges in order to be a finisher for said race.  Some obstacles involve climbing over pick up trucks, crawling under nets, balancing on a plank, and the grand finale: climbing over a 10-foot wall!

2) All Terrain Race.  As the name implies, this is a trail running event by Men's Health and sometimes offer bike categories too.

3) Miracle Race.  A race for a charity, which unfortunately did not last long (but at least I was able to join and complete two of these races).

Market Market Run 10-miler

A unique 10-miler race (probably second race to have it aside from the popular Yakult Run) that revolves running around Market Market area. This too disappeared after just one race.

Not really a replacement but similar in that both races were named after the area that the race was held in was the recently concluded BGC Run, that had a unique 15km category. Coincidence? Hmmmmm....

Kenny Rogers' Urbanite Run 15k

Cool concept as a night race and event matches the product they were selling. Too bad it did not go beyond one race!

Auto Review Run 10k
This race lasted for a few years with 10km as the longest distance. But even with that history, it became a part of history! :(

Stallion Run 21k

Unique starting/finish line inside Xavier School and new race route around San Juan area. This 21km became 24km for all of us! But there were a lot of drinks and bananas at the finish line! Finisher medal was unique too. Hope they revive this race again!

Yamaha Run 21k

A good race: ample hydration, nice medal and good route by but did not go beyond 1 year.

There were other races that were done because it was the anniversary of the company sponsoring it, so naturally it was just once event.  Some of these were:

Inquirer's 10th year Anniversary Run
Goldilocks Anniversary Run

Then there were races that were held in other venues that disappeared too. Three years ago, there were a lot of races in UP and the route there was pretty standard. I was also able to join a race in Marikina too but now, most of the races are held in three main locations: MOA or Roxas Blvd area, Mckinley Hills, and BGC.  Even New Balance moved from its old location of Clark to BGC!

This just shows that not all races were successful, but for me, at least when I joined them, they were successful as they were good in organizing the races and giving me a memorable experience from them.

Did I leave any races out that you want to be revived from the grave?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hating Long Runs

I hate doing long runs and it seems my wife is hating it too. Our solution to this is to join some weekend long races to add in the mileages.

Case in point: today, there was a 15km race around BGC area, aptly named as BGC Run! Unfortunately, our personalized training program by always helpful coach Alvin requires us to do 26km today.

Our strategy is simple: do 5km run early morning, drive to BGC and run the 15km race, and complete the required distance for the day by running 6km after the race. Unfortunately, not all plans turned out the way that you wanted.

In the early morning, we were only able to do 3.5km before we ran out of time and had to head to BGC for the race. We found a good parking spot and jogged to the starting line, which was another 400 meters and heard the gun start for the 15km race.

But that was okay as we were there already, making it there just in the nick of time. Alvin was there to wait for us but as we crossed the starting line, he sped at his fast pace.

Which brings me again to the topic at hand as to why I (or we) hate long runs. If there was no required mileage for us today, then the finish line would end our run and we can rest and have breakfast after. We could finally relax, change clothes and take warm showers. But no, that wasn't to be.

As people enjoyed the post race activities and waited for their numbers to be called in the raffle draw, we had to do a few more loops around BGC. As runners got their loot bags and took pictures of themselves at the finish line and as they slowly walked to Pancake House, Starbucks or even Jamba Juice to reward themselves for a job well done, we had to continue running under the hot, hot sun (feels like SUMMER) and go through the pains of PF, ITBS, tired legs and being thirsty just to make our bodies used to running this distance.

We did two loops around BGC and by second loop, the organizers were packing the race equipment (race was successful by the way) but we STILL had to keep on running. Pretty soon there were only a small percentage of runners left at the finish area and still we kept going. SIGH!

We really hate long runs and can't wait when training would end and we could just join a 5km and 10km race for fun sake and be finished with our exercise when we cross the finish line. Can't wait!!!

Result of long run: Per's ITB acted up again and we stopped at 24km, two kilometer short of the required mileage. But it was too hot and we were just too exhausted. Oh well, better luck next weekend where we will do another long run. BOO!

Monday, November 19, 2012

2012 New Balance Power Run (Review)

2012 NB Power Run Edition
The New Balance Power Run 2012 was recently held in BGC.  It has moved here from its original location at Clark, where I ran the 25km distance back in 2008.  In 2008, that was my farthest distanced race after doing some half marathons and it was an unforgettable experience for me.  Per joined the 10km race that same morning while some friends joined the 5km race held the day before.  It was also the first race where I received a finisher medal from completing it.  Now, most races have finisher medals to go with their higher registration fees!

The second time I joined the New Balance Power Run was just last year and it has moved to its new location in BGC (probably to attract more people).  I lacked the proper preparations when I joined that race but by God's grace, I was able to complete it and add more miles after the race (as a long run needed for HK marathon training).

The third time I joined the New Balance Power Run 25km category wasn't by myself anymore.  This time I had my wife with me and just like my race back in 2008, this would serve as her longest distanced race.  I had given my promise that I would run with her all the way.  Good luck to the two of us!

11.11.12:  RACE DAY

We woke up early that morning but for some reason, left the house at 4:20AM, which was the gun start time for the 25km race!  Sigh!

So we quickly drove to BGC area, found a parking spot near Fitness First area and we jogged to the starting line where there were a few latecomers like ourselves.  No more time for stretching or bathroom breaks as didn't want to delay it anymore (we were already 12 -14 minutes late when we crossed the starting line).

Immediately Per ran off FAST in the hopes of catching the other runners.  Good thing I was there to make her slow down to our normal pace and maintain said pace.  The last thing I want to happen is for her to get burned out so early in this race and get traumatized by its distance.  I comforted her by saying that at least she wasn't running alone as I was there by her and we would have the water stations all by ourselves!  And there was a chance we would catch up with the other runners given that it's a long distance race.  Just follow our strategy and finish this race as strongly as possible.

So we moved from one kilometer to another and we were the only runners in sight.  We would see other 25km runners but they were on the opposite side of the road and heading back to where we came from.  Still, we kept going on our normal pace.  I had tightness in my legs and had to walk a few times to loosen it while Per kept on running.  I was supposed to be the one pulling Per but she ended up pulling me!  Hahaha!  I would also stop at water stations to drink but she kept on running!  What's going on here?  Hahaha!

At one point, I had to stop to take a toilet break and not the easy kind!  I told Per to keep on going and not wait for me (which she offered to do).  I didn't want to slow her down especially since she was doing good already.  I promised I would catch up with her after doing the nasty!  Good thing we were still far from the other 25km runners so had the portalet all to myself.  The lock was broken though but I wasn't worried as there were no other runners there.  A big phew!  It was there that I was glad we started off so late!  Besides, this race had a chip timer so we would still get our chip race time after the race.

The big issue for me was trying to catch up with Per.  She was in much better shape than I was and had a 5-minute lead time from me.  There was nothing for me to do but to run fast in the hopes of catching up with her. It took me quite a long time to even see her (probably around 4-5km more of running solo) and she was on the opposite side of the road.  I was relieved to see her and I saw her relief as well and we waved to each other but I was pretty much far from her current position.  The important thing was that she didn't get lost and she looked strong!  Praise God!

I finally caught up with her before we reached the Kalayaan Flyover and started our ascent.  My legs had tightened again and had to walk going up while Per was running it.  So I had to chase after her again!  She was definitely pulling me but I was glad that she was strong that morning.

The route took us to Buendia Avenue all the way to the U-Turn right before the LRT Station.  I was able to run beside or behind Per during this part but after the U-Turn, I stopped to eat a banana.  Supergirl Per didn't need it and just kept on going.  Here we go again!

It became an interval run for me as I would run fast to catch up with Per, slow down or walk at one point, then run fast to her again.  Throughout this run, Per maintained a steady and strong pace.  This system went till we were back in BGC area and all the way till the 24km!

By that time, I figured it was time for me to go fast and try to pull Per in for the last kilometer!  It was the least I could do after she pulled me for 24kms!

And so I did and Per followed suit.  And we finished our 25km race with a big smile on our faces and high-fived each other!

Our chip finish time was at 3:31:40.  Unfortunately results were arranged by gun time.  If it was based on chip time, our rank would have been 200 persons higher.  But I was still glad we were late due to the toilet break and the important thing was that neither of us burned out in this race!

New Balance Power Run 2012 25km race - CONQUERED!


On Race itself:  distance was accurate at 25km, ample water and sports drink stations all throughout the race (with one having bananas too), kilometer markers, and nice finisher medals.  Race shirt was also nice!   Good job New Balance!

New Couple PR !

Some photos from previous New Balance Power Run events:

2008 NB Power Run Edition

2011 NB Power Run Edition

Saturday, November 17, 2012

News: Condura Marathon 2013!

Come 2013, Condura Skyway Marathon will be on its 6th year of holding a road race. This was how it all started:

2008:  First Condura Race (10km was the longest distance)
2009:  First year on the Skyway (First Half Marathon)
2010:  First Full Marathon!
2011:  Skyway up to Sucat Exit
2012:  Skyway all the Way!
2013:  The next Big RACE!

shirts designed by Team Manila

finisher medals for all race categories

I have been a loyal follower and participant of Condura Races, having been there since its humble beginnings.  Back in 2008, 21km races were unheard of and a 10km race was considered a big feat!  Running had just started to become popular and by the following year, Condura had its first half marathon category, for which I participated in again.

In 2010, Condura had its first full marathon and I joined that race category and got a Philippine PR time (for which I only broke this year in Subic). 

In 2011, I ran Condura again but scaled it back to the half marathon event as I wasn't properly trained and nursed  a foot injury.  The only time I missed Condura was for 2012 as it (unfortunately) was held on the same weekend as Hong Kong Marathon, for which I had already registered for.

But I did all the long distance categories here - from 10km, to 21km, to 42km, and back to 21km.  Based on this data, it would only be fitting if I would do a 10km for 2013 Condura Marathon!  But I'm sure Alvin wouldn't allow me!  Haha! 

Registrations (on-site and online) have already started and with only 1,800 limit for the 42km race, that may most likely sell out first.  Better not wait till the last minute to register for this unique annual running event!

Below is Condura's official Press Release:


The premier marathon event in the country, the Condura Skyway Marathon, Run for the Mangroves 2013 goes to the starting line on February 3, 2013 in Filinvest City,  Alabang. It will be the curtain-raiser for the new running year of 2013 - perfect timing for those who are serious in getting back to form after the long series of holidays and merry-making and for those who finally would like to get off that couch and find the fun and fulfilment in running.

Organized by Condura Skyway Marathon’s Founder and Chief Organizing Officer, Ton Concepcion and its running ambassador Patrick Concepcion,  the sixth edition of this much-anticipated yearly race event by runners for runners once again is out to prove that it is worthy of its bid to be the premier running event in Asia Pacific.

This year, the race will have the usual 10k, 21k and full 42k marathon categories plus the new 3.8k, 6k which are especially meant for the fun and adventurous runners who are not yet ready to take on the mid to long distance-races.

By the first hour of February 3, 2013, the Condura Skyway Marathon will again make the Skyway as the runners’ playground.  Originating from the Filinvest City in Alabang, runners of all distances will be taken to the Skyway as a major part of their race route – a major attraction that promises runners of an exclusive, traffic-free, clean and well-lit race environment.

Apart from the challenge and fun that this race has in-store for runners, participating in this race will also mean taking part in the Condura Skyway Marathon advocacy of helping with the reforestation of the Mangroves in Zamboanga de Sibugay in partnership with Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation (PTFCF) . Each runner through their registration, will get to donate three mangrove seedlings which will be planted in his/her name. In 2012, the first year that Condura Skyway Marathon adopted the mangroves reforestation project to its cause, a total of 39,000 seedlings have already been planted in Kabasalan Town through runners’ donation.

A very special treat also awaits interested Condura Skyway Marathon 2013 participants!  Get a chance to register for FREE to any race category upon buying a pair of an ASICS running shoes.

Registration to the race is from November 15 to December 23, 2012 at the Asics Registration Center in Greenbelt 3 Ayala Mall in Makati City. Each participant will receive, as part of the registration, an “I RAN FOR THE MANGROVES” quick-dry shirt designed for the event by Team Manila.

Whether a participant is a newbie or a seasoned runner, completing their chosen distance makes them an absolute winner  since each runner will receive a cool Finisher’s Medal whichever distance they have completed! For full marathon finishers, an “I CONQUERED THE SKYWAY” finisher’s shirt exclusively designed by Team Manila will also be given to them.

The Condura Skyway Marathon, Run for the Mangroves 2013 is Co-Title Sponsored by Skyway and presented by sports apparel and shoe sponsor Asics, hydration sponsor 100 Plus and venue sponsor Filinvest City. For more information on the race and its advocacy visit the official website or the official Facebook page

About the Condura Skyway Marathon
The Condura Skyway Marathon is an annual running event open to amateur and professional runners. From its simple beginnings in 2007 as a short-distance Condura Run race event in Metro Manila, the Condura Skyway Marathon has grown to be one of the biggest, premier running event in the country attracting more than ten thousand runners across the country who are interested to have a Skyway running experience.

Friday, November 16, 2012

News: Sin Tax Run for only Php 16.00!

No Typos here! It really is a race for just Php 16.00!

And even includes these items:

Race Bib

Sun Visor  

So Why Php 16.00? 

It is time to end 16 years of Abuse!

16 years the current system has in place!
16 years of the tobacco industry underpaying excise taxes!
16 years of too low cigarette prices leading the children and the poor easy entry into cigarette smoking!

This very affordable race will be held on December 16th, 2012 at Mall of Asia, Pasay City by RunRio, Inc. with gun start time at 5:45am. There will only be one race category here - the 6km distance.

The race organizers have set a cap limit of 5,000 participants so this race would definitely sell out fast!

Registrations will start from November 19 - December 4 at Riovana BGC, Riovana Katipunan and Toby's stores in SM Mall of Asia and SM North Edsa.

Cash prizes are pretty big too with Php 50,000 for first place FILIPINO runner, Php 30,000 for second place FILIPINO runner and Php 15,000 for third place FILIPINO runner.

Separate (and lower) cash prizes will be given to first, second and third FOREIGN runners to cross the finish line.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Run United Philippine Marathon Experience

"Just to finish" was my mantra for this race.

I had just signed up for the 42.2km event just THREE DAYS before the actual race and it was never in my plans to run the full marathon event. All I wanted to do was join the Half Marathon category and get the nice messenger bag and the biggest 21km finisher medal that I have ever seen! Unfortunately, a lot of runners had the same idea and by the time I went to Riovana in BGC, all of the 21km slots were sold out.

 I still didn't want to do the full marathon after having just done one exactly a month ago in Berlin and getting a scary experience out of it as I wasn't 100% recovered yet from my flu/colds/ coughs when I ran that race. I figured the next marathon I would do wouldn't arrive until 2013!

But dang, that was a nice medal!!!

At that time, a big factor to consider was that I still had coughs from our Berlin trip and there was a fear that it could be pneumonia or even TB. So our first order of business was to have myself checked up and figure out what that was. If it was pneumonia, I wouldn't put myself at risk by running this race and just take that time to get some bed rest. After a series of doctor visits, pneumonia was basically ruled out but I had to do further tests to assess whether it was TB or not. On the side, I was also taking antibiotics as it could also be an infection, which was the best case scenario in this situation. The doctor advised me against doing a full marathon to be on the safe side (which I kind of figured he would say) but I was getting better - the coughs were getting fewer versus a few days ago and it could really just be an infection.

A few days later, the antibiotics had done its job and the TB turned out to be negative. PHEW!

With no more excuses, I packed my running gear on a Saturday night and drove by myself to BGC. But this was still a full marathon and that was something I never underestimated. I prayed to God before and during the race to let me finish safe and strong so that I could see my family again.

 I made sure to take things slow here and conserved my energy as we passed through numerous dark roads in BGC. But this was an area I was quite familiar with, having ran here at least once a week with Alvin and Per. I was late once again and it took me a while before I caught up with some of the other runners. I walked at all water stations and finished my 6 GU gels, which was exactly what I had at home prior to this race.

I used the running as my "quiet time" to pray to God and to thank Him for all the blessings He has given us. The route started from BGC (right across Riovana store) and lead us around BGC area before exiting to C-5 highway and it was quite a long (and hilly) stretch here. Thankfully the runners' lanes were wide with two to three lanes while the cars had only one lane to themselves. Everything was going good for me until at one point, hydration had ran out! There was nothing to do but keep on going but the next one was empty as well. This was discouraging and I haven't experienced this before in a RunRio event. A lot of runners were going to 7-11 stores and buying Gatorade and mineral water. I didn't have any money with me so there was nothing for me there. I had to keep on going and hope the third station had some water as I was thirsty already.

Luckily, the organizers caught wind of this and reacted quickly by delivering liters and liters of water in the next station. I had two full cups of water and satisfied by it, started running again. After C-5, we exited to Bayani Road and went back to BGC and up Kalayaan Flyover and all the way from Buendia Avenue to make a left turn on Roxas Blvd. I felt near the finish line although that was just a mental game as I had about 22 kilometers to go! And it was here that we got hit once again with hydration issues. Two more water stations had ran out of water and since it was at a U turn area, it effectively became 4 stations! Feeling thirsty, I drank from the water which weren't that clean anymore. The marshals were saying that that water wasn't for drinking but for pouring on the body (the sun was burning us around this time). At this point, diarrhea from the melted ice was the lesser evil that being dehydrated. I was hoping that should I get diarrhea I would be safely in the comforts of my own house. Thankfully, that didn't happen!

But I was still cautious from it and took two small gulps of water and kept going. At one point of the race, I felt acid reflux and was having this vomit feeling although nothing was coming out of my mouth. I must have looked strange to the other runners beside me (with all that belching and burping sounds that I was making there). Good thing I had some ammunition left and opened one GU and ate it. The acid reflux disappeared and I was able to run again. The sun was really giving me a hard time but that was the end of the hydration problems and every kilometer or so, the long tables with cups of cold water was a welcome sight.

Alvin was waiting for me at the 40km mark (or was it the 39km mark?) with two more cups of water, which I quickly grabbed and drank from. I was tired but kept going. At this point, I know I won't be able to reach below 6 hours finish time but didn't care anymore. Alvin repeated my mantra to me, "Just to finish". And we ran/jogged/walked together. The finish line was getting closer and closer with every step I was making. And I felt running again for the last kilometer or so. The time was ticking slowly to the 6-hour mark. There was no way I was going to reach this but I was optimistically looking at sub 6:01 or 6:02 so I ran a bit faster. It was the final turn and there was the finish line but it was still far off. I looked at my Garmin watch and saw I had a few minutes left and that was when I sprinted hard (like I haven't been running at all)!

I heard Running Host announcing the people crossing the finish line and he called out to me, which gave me an extra boost to even go faster and to cross the finish line!!

Kulitrunner Vimz was the one who put the humongous 42km finisher medal around my neck and congratulated me for a job well done.

I walked a bit more to loosen my legs and looked at my Garmin, laughed at myself and waited for Alvin at the finish line.   (He had already finished his race more than an hour ahead of me!)

When Alvin saw me, I had a huge grin on my face. With a bewildered look, he only uttered one word, "Why??"

Silently, I showed him the screen of my Garmin watch:  


It was like a freaking time bomb, saved by one second!!!! The official chip time was even better at 5:59:51 !

Can't believe I did this but with Alvin's prodding and all the text messages he sent, I really did it!

9th marathon done and 5th marathon done for 2012!


Thanks once again to Alvin for making me strong to complete this distance.  Without you guiding me, I doubt I would have completed any of the full marathons for this year. 

Thanks also to Per for her support in my passion here.  Now, it's your turn and hopefully, I have your back in your training for your big event in 2013!

 And none of this would have been possible without God by my side.  As always,  Prayers really work!  What have you got to lose???

One huge one for my collection and one that our daughter can't get hands off from!