Thursday, October 31, 2013

Race Recap: Rexona Run 21km 2013

Rexona Run 2013 was held last October 20th at Mall of Asia Grounds.  The 21km race had a super early gun time of 3AM (for a regular 21km race, the usual gun time is at 5AM to 6AM).  So it was sort a night race.  I didn't mind it as at least I won't feel the dreaded heat that is always linked to running on Roxas Blvd.


I had zero mileage for the week of Rexona Run.

AND I had zero mileage the week before Rexona Run!  So two weeks of no running equals two weeks of zero miles!

Plus we just got back from a family trip the night before so no chance for me to get enough sleep for this race!

Luckily this race didn't have a cut-off time so I will just treat it as a fun run (if such a thing is possible for a distance this far) and didn't have any time expectation goals.  When my wife asked me my target finish time, I just replied, "probably around 3 hours 30 minutes", with no hesitation at all.

I was just banking on the Full Marathon race I did two weeks ago and hoped that I still had some fitness from that race.

So on Sunday early morning, I woke up groggy, ate a sandwich and drove to Mall of Asia to park in their building.  I was late for the first wave but had enough time to stretch and started with the second wave crowd.

I took it slow with a simple strategy of dividing the race into three parts, roughly 7km per part:  with first part being super slow that it would feel effortless, second part a bit faster and third faster still.  I would use time in the first part to analyze my body to see if everything was okay.   I walked at almost every water stations and walked the uphill climbs so as not to burn myself out. 

It was humid when we started but I was thankful that there was no sun heat here. 

21km bib

Rexona Run 2013 had a motto for this race:  Run To Your Beat!  And they did this by providing music (recorded or live via DJs) in a lot of parts of the route.  This worked for me and I ended up enjoying running this race.  It was a lot of fun especially at the DJ stations where there were also live performers (acrobats, dancers, etc) in front of the DJ.

We also entered a light tunnel and it was here where all runners cheered, shouted and waved their hands in the air.  It was a lot of fun and I was reminded of the Rock N Roll Marathon Series that USA has annually.

We were entertained and pretty soon I crossed the 7km without any hard effort.  Who would have thought that providing music would make running on Roxas Blvd. more interesting and less boring?

My pace was a bit faster but I was conservative as I didn't want to walk at the last part.  I changed my goal to below 3 hours as thought that was doable.

I kept going and felt good.  I definitely missed running a Half Marathon race.

I crossed the finish line and got a really nice finisher medal plus a loot bag.  I had a great time in this race and glad to have joined it.  I got a high not from my own performance but from the great music played here.  THIS IS DEFINITELY ONE OF MY FAVORITE 21KM RACES!

Good job and to Rexona Group for this unforgettable race!

I may not have reached any PR here but at least I still finished it in 2:50:38 with no running for two weeks (which I never did before for a 21km race! Although that is something I would really advise against.)

By completing this race, I set a new record and that is having the longest current running streak of doing four consecutive annual races (and tied with Condura).  Should there be a Rexona Run in 2014, I hope to do it again so that will be my new record of five consecutive annual races.


Friday, October 25, 2013

News: Burger King Stacks Burgers - challenge accepted

I love burgers!  This is something I can have for three to four times a week.  For a take out meal in a movie, this is my choice of food... Burger King is one of the joints I visited for my burger cravings (Glorietta 4 branch).

So it is pretty cool once I heard about their new Stack Burgers and the challenge they had recently:

Official Press Release:

Are you Man enough?”
Burger King Philippines Presents

“Are you man enough?” was the resounding question posed by Burger King Philippines to all those men AND women out there who are brave enough to take on its newest burger offering, BK Stacks, and vie for the BATTLE OF THE STACKS KING title.

BK Stacks is Burger King’s made-to-order burger where anyone can choose 1, 2, 3, or 4 flame-grilled beef patties for their burgers! The BK Stacks is made even more satisfying with melted American cheese in between and crispy bacon on top, a generous smothering of the special BK Stacks sauce, and all held together by a toasted sesame-seed bun. Your manhood is tested by how many BK Stacks you can handle.  A Single Stack is labeled as a “Dude”.  Have a Double Stack and you’ll be known as the “Boss”.  A Triple Stack promotes you to someone people look up to—the “Chief”!  And last but definitely farthest from the least is the Quad Stack, a burger only fit for the “King”! 

Burger King launched the burger-eating challenge entitled Battle of the Stacks King to see who is man enough to take on the enormous BK Stacks where the man who can eat the most number of King Stacks burger in 15 minutes wins a whopping P50,000 in cash and crowned as the BK STACKS KING! People sent a lot of funny videos to the BK Facebook page to enter the contest.

The top finalists contended for the Battle of the Stacks King crown last October 19 at Burger King 2 E-Com Center at SM Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City to see who is the manliest of them all.

Burger King Philippines is part of the global chain of restaurants specializing in 100% flame-grilled beef burgers and other finger food & dessert complements.  Burger King currently has 29 American Grill-themed outlets within the Greater Metro Manila area where Filipinos can enjoy dining every day.  It offers delivery via 667-7171.

For more information on Battle of the Stacks King, visit the Burger King Philippines Facebook page or check out our promo video on YouTube, “Burger King: Battle of the Stacks King”.  Check us out in social media:


I may have missed out on the Burger Eating Contest (Darn It!!!!) but I can still try if I can finish a Chief or King burger (Dude and Boss are just too easy for this RUNNING FATBOY!)


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Marathon No. 13 - Run United Philippine Marathon 2013

For my 13th Full Marathon, I chose it to be Run United Philippine Marathon for a couple of reasons:

1.  It starts at BGC instead of Mall of Asia so it is nearer to my house and more convenient to get to.  Bonus is that only 42km runners will start in BGC while for all other race categories (500m dash, 5km, 10km, and 21km) will be at Mall of Asia (MOA) Ground.  So parking would be easier too for me and place would be less crowded as well.

2.  Milo Redemption!  After not making it to the cut-off time of Milo Marathon by a few minutes, I didn't want that to be my last marathon for the year.  So, along came this race, with a 7-hour cut-off time and a nice uniquely shaped finisher medal, and I immediately wanted to run it!

3.  This is Year 2 for this event and my 2nd year of running it.  I wonder how long I could keep this going!

Sunday Morning

I had about three hours sleep, which was good enough for me given that this race would start at 3AM.  My quick breakfast composed of a peanut butter sandwich and two bananas.  Unfortunately, I think the bananas may be overripe and after forcing myself to finish them (sayang kasi!), I ended up vomiting four times afterwards!  That definitely wasn't a good sign for me.

At BGC, with still about 15 minutes to spare, I couldn't find an unlocked toilet in that area.  I ended up foregoing it as the only open one had a long line and there were less than 5 minutes to go before race start (yes, it took me four attempts before I found an open toilet - Section B8 for your future reference).  Again, not a good sign for me.

I did a few quick stretching at the parking lot adjacent to the starting line before I met some fellow runners and had a quick pre-race photo with them.

with fellow 42km runners Elmer and Carlito
Race Begins

I took it easy this time around, hoping that the second half will make me stronger.  I prayed every kilometer, thanking God.  And I followed the crowd as we went around BGC area.  Chatted a bit with fellow marathoner Leila, who is off to do Toronto Marathon in just two weeks time!

My legs were okay and my stomach wasn't acting up (Thank God)!  I saw some familiar faces on this race but not that much. 

The run around BGC passed by quickly and effortlessly.  Then we headed up Kalayaan Bridge and out towards Buendia Avenue, where it was the long stretch to Roxas Blvd.  Here, I was doing good too and was consistent in my pace. 

Along Roxas Blvd., we made a left turn and kept on going.  My enemy, the sun is slowly coming up to taunt me.

We passed the 21km mark and I reached it in under 3 hours.  If I was consistent or even a bit faster for the second half, then I could make the goal of sub-6 hours.

But unlike Milo, I wasn't that pressured here anymore and didn't force myself to run at a pace I wasn't comfortable with.  I just kept going, stopping at times to eat a bananas or GU gel or to drink water or Gatorade.

still happy at Roxas Blvd.

Then at 25km, I started to falter.  Tiredness suddenly hit me and I walked a bit.  I forced myself to run again and I prayed for strength.  And God was there and I felt good again.  But it was getting hotter and I was now stopping at water stations not only to drink but to pour water on my head.  Luckily, all the water and Gatorade were served cold here and sponges were also offered to us.

At 30km, I felt tired again.  There was 12km to go and that felt F----A----A-----A-----R!

Oh my, what is happening to me!  But as I looked around me, I knew I wasn't the only one as almost everyone was walking too.  The heat was making it worse for all of us.

I had become grumpy and wondered why I was running this race.  I wanted to just sit somewhere and not move. At. All.

I gave up on my time goal and changed my goal to finish below 6:30.  And where did I get the magic number?

Because the free shuttle bus from MOA to BGC will end at 9:30AM, 6 hours and 30 minutes after our race started.  I wasn't sure how strict they would be with the bus time but no way was I risking it! 

Even with this thought at the back of my head, I still walked more than I ran in the last 7 km.  I was spent and I was afraid I may have over hydrated as well.  Then, it became a safety issue for me so I was careful too.

The last 2 km took forever!  Even near the finish line, I was still walking!  It took Vener to shout out my name and encourage me to run the few hundred meters that I ran again.

A small Philippine flag was handed to me by a marshal (only 42km runners received one).  And I was able to cross the finish line.

Not with a big shout or smile but with a very tired look.  But I still felt proud when the finisher medal was placed around my neck and the word, "Congratulations", was said to me.  Then I felt happy and excited to go home!

There was a red carpet walk for the Marathoner finishers, free drinks and some photos as well.  I didn't linger long as there was a bus for me to catch so after gathering my finishers' kit, I went directly to the bus stop!

It wasn't much of a Milo Redemption as my finish time was similar to Milo at 6:09:30 (vs Milo's 6:09:34), but at least this time, I got a medal and finisher shirt out of it.

Marathon # 13 - Done!

Praise God!