Friday, March 28, 2014

I am in NYC Marathon 2014!

I am One of the 12% registered people for the non-guaranteed lottery for NYC marathon 2014! 

Praise GOD!

Monday, March 24, 2014

News: Earth Run 2014

Official Press Release:

This 12 April 2014, 4:30AM, at the Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Earth Day Network Philippines stages its first-ever fun run, PRO-EARTH RUN 2014. An advocacy run to encourage people to Protect, Respect, and Oversee the sensible and sustainable care for Mother Earth, it is presented by Malungai Life Oil – all-natural concentrated vegetable extract developed from pure Malunggay leaves and seeds ( and UPS – United Parcel Service (

A 3K, 5K, 10K race category event, with special 1.5K Run with Doraemon track, PRO EARTH RUN is also supported by PCSO, First Gen, Merrell, Globe, The Body Shop, Holcim, Free Food Co. Coco Dolce, Business Mirror, Malaya Business Insight, Business World, Manila Times, Circuit Magazine, 106.7 Energy FM, 107.5 Win Radio, SM Tickets, SM Cinema, Digi Post, and Mother Earth advocates and runners.

Earth Day Network Philippines is the local counterpart of the global Earth Day Network International. It is a network organization that campaigns for environmental citizenship, spearheading the annual April 22nd Earth Day Celebration by partnering with government agencies, non-government organizations, private corporations, academic institutions, religious groups, and environmental advocates (

RACE CATEGORIES                 RACE FEE        GUNSTART                  RACE KIT                    
10K                                          P500                 5:30AM                         Singlet | Bib | Freebies*
5K                                            P500                 5:45AM                         Singlet | Bib | Freebies*
3K                                            P500                 6AM                             Singlet | Bib | Freebies*
1.5K Run With Doraemon    P500                 6AM                             Singlet | Bib | Freebies*
* Sponsors’ goodwill freebies good while supplies last

Registration may be done three ways:
1) Pay and register at
2) Pay at SM Cinema Ticket Counter nationwide and register online at
3) Pay at MERRELL Sports Store in Market Market/ Festival Mall Alabang/ Trinoma/ SM ANNEX- North Edsa and register online at

Singlet Size
5km Route

10km Route

Finisher medal for TOP 3 FINISHERS!

Race: Yakult Run 10-miler 2014 Edition

Yakult Run is an almost annual event (there was a year where they didn't hold the race) and has been here for quite some time.  In fact, last Sunday was its 25th edition.  I had hoped that there would be a special finisher medal to commemorate this event but sadly that wasn't the case.

But the registration fee for 10-miler (16km) was affordable at Php 500, and with that fee, we got a good race, a red singlet, a cotton finisher shirt and a small bottle of Yakult at the finish line.

It was still a good race as course took us to both directions of Roxas Blvd., before the final turn to where the finish line was located.  Too bad it was short 600 meters! 

The kilometer markers were also put at the wrong locations (the first few were 300-400 meters more than where the actual km markers should have been and the latter were short 400 meters to where the km markers should have been - verified by my and my sister's Garmin separately). 

There were ample water here but no sports drinks offered, which was fine as race wasn't that long.  I also had one emergency GU gel with me, to which I consumed at the last 5km, where I would try and go faster than my average pace.

My goal for this race was to get a 6:50 average time, so that I could beat last year's pace of 6:54.  To do that, I have to maintain a 7:00 minute average pace at the first part of the race and go down further at the last 5km.

I had to choose wisely where I will drink my water because there were some stations that lines were long and would mean losing seconds or minutes in this race.  There were also some stations where the crew were still busy filling up the plastic cups so that was something I had to skip as well.

I was able to maintain my pace and when the time came where I had to go faster, I ate the GU gel I had with me and went out at a faster speed.  This worked for me until I felt pain in my right shoulder and lower back.  But I resisted the pain or the temptation to slow down because of the pain and kept going at the pace that I wanted.

I crossed the finish line at 1:45:19, with an average pace of 6:50.



Happy finishers

Sunday, March 16, 2014

2:30 21km time!

So, this was how a 2:30 21km race feels like: back is sore, legs are sore, shortness of breath and wanting to quit.  It has been a long time (too long) since I hit a 2:30 half marathon time that I have forgotten what it felt like.  1 and a half years to be exact!  So I beat my half marathon times for this year AND for 2013.  God is Good!!

The race was Leg 1 of Run United Trilogy.  Should a runner complete all the legs in the long distance categories (minimum of a Half Marathon distance), he will be entitled to a special reward via Runrio Awarding Ceremony, to be held at the latter part of the year.  

I have never completed the Trilogy as I usually miss out on the first leg of the race.  I hope that this year will be different for me.

Route is typical for Runrio races: starting and ending at Mall of Asia Grounds and going through Roxas Blvd., before heading back to the finish line.  There were water stations every 2km, and upon completion of the Half Marathon, the runner received a finisher medal, a bottle of Gatorade, bottled water and finisher shirt.

Having the race start at 4:00AM is also good as most runners will end by 7:00AM, which is good to avoid the sun (especially since race course offers little shade).

I am happy with my time and happy too on how I achieved it- by doing a sub-7 average pace for the last 5km.

Thank You Lord!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

RU1 Race kit collection - FAIL!

It is faster to run a 10km than to line up to get your race kit.  Definitely room for improvement!

This was taken at 11:00AM at Mall of Asia Music Hall.

The line was super long on this hot day!

They could separate online registered lines from that who registered onsite.

 Also, there should be separate lines for different race categories.  None of that happened here:  FAIL!

Didn't want to wait anymore so left the area.  Hopefully it won't be as crowded come Saturday.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Clark Full Marathon 2014

As I write this, my entire body is sore as just 36 hours ago I joined and completed the very first Clark Animo Full Marathon.   In previous years, the organizers have staged 10km and 21km races but this was the first time they decided to step out of their comfort zones and do a full marathon distance.  This will be their 5th time hosting a race.  So how did they fare?  Read on..

Per and I drove to Clark on a Friday morning as I wanted this to be an out of town trip.  We booked a room at Holiday Inn hotel in Mimosa, which was super convenient as it was just walking distance to the Starting Line.  No more parking stress when we can just walk there.  Plus I could wake up at a later time given the proximity of the hotel to the race venue.

That Friday, we exited Angeles and headed to Marquee Mall for yummy (and heavy) lunch at Xtremely Xpresso Cafe.  It was in this mall that I also claimed my race kit at ROX.  Inside the race kit was an official race shirt, race bib (which had a detachable 20% coupon for all New Balance footwear! Can you say "Shoe Reward?"), the map of the race, and terms and conditions of the event.

Saturday was spent relaxing some more as we watched a movie at SM Clark, had lunch at C's Italian Restaurant and dinner at a korean restaurant in Korea Town.  Then we headed back to the hotel to rest for the reminder of the night.

The gun start for the 42km race on Sunday morning was at 3:30AM, and we were there at around 3:20AM, good enough for some last minute stretching and toilet break.  Per accompanied me to the Starting Line and took some pictures there.

To be on a safe side, I decided to bring a bottle of ISO 100 with me as wasn't sure what was included in their water stations aside from... well, water!  I chose this as can easily be disposed when I don't want it anymore vs. my own water bottle which I had to keep during the entire duration of the race.  I also packed 7 GU gels to be used at every 7km and one extra one in case of emergency.

At 3:30AM, there was a nice firework display in front of us and when that ended, our race started.  Almost immediately, everyone was running fast!  I literally became the LAST runner here and pretty soon, an ambulance was trailing behind me.  This continued for the next 2km!  There were moments I felt tightness in my legs and wanted to stretch or walk them off as opposed to running but with the pressure of being the last runner AND having the sweeper car right behind you, well that made me continue running instead.  

"Was I really going out this slow?", I started pondering.  By this time, the next runner in front of me was about 400-500m away!  I looked at my Garmin watch and saw that my pace was around 7:30-7:45 per kilometer.  If anything, I was going out too fast!  

"Aha!  That is what they were doing!  Eventually, they will slow down and walk and I will come up from behind and overtake them!", I arrogantly thought to myself.  Sadly this did not happen on the 3km or even at the 4km mark.  I was STILL the last runner and I was STILL being followed by the sweeper ambulance.

What is worse is that my distance to the next runner seems to be getting wider too!  What is going on? My next km pace was at 7:27 and that was still too slow for these runners.  I decided not to chase them anymore and to settle at my normal pace.  This was, after all, a full marathon and it was dangerous to go all out at the beginning of the race.  Hopefully my luck would change later on.

Around 4km mark, the ambulance left me and went straight to the next runner.  Was I even too slow for them?  I really didn't understand anymore!  Boo!

Then a group of cyclists sped along and one slowed down and biked next to me.  "What time did you start?", he inquired.  "3:30AM", I answered back thinking he was just making conversations.  But he didn't leave my side.

I looked at him and saw he was wearing a biker's helmet and traffic aide vest and then I knew. 

 "Are you a marshal?", I asked him.  To which he said yes.  So, I had my own escort for this race!  Sigh!

But at least I had someone to talk to so it wouldn't be that boring.  We had small conversations and he stuck with me.  At 8km, there were two runners in front of me and I slowly overtook them.  I expected the bike marshal to go with them but he stayed with me.  Maybe he was enjoying my company too. Haha!

Our route took us from the starting line to Clark's Main Gate (where SM Clark is located) for the U Turn back to where we started as route brought us next to the back of Fontana and on a long stretch of road to another Toll Gate.  A U Turn will be made there and a short detour along the Sacobra Bridge as runners will race toward the finish line but not before hitting Clark's own version of "Heartbreak Hil

It was at the Main Gate where I had a chance to overtake two more runners but later on when I walked at a water station, they came and overtook me again.  Sigh, last runner syndrome indeed!

Near the Starting Line, we merged with 10km runners and ran with them for the next 5km before they made their U Turn back while we kept going straight.  It was lonely on the road again till I noticed the 21km runners heading back too.  All this time, we didn't see any 42km runners which was strange as a Kenyan was the one leading it and it was more than an hour already.  I then realized that our route won't be the same with the 10km or 21km runners.

The bike marshal biked next to me most of the way.  The only times he would bike ahead of me was when he needed to go to the toilet or because it was an uphill climb and he had a hard time biking at my pace.  But then he would wait till I got there and bike with me again.  Pretty awesome!

At Sacobra Bridge, I was able to surpass more runners as they walked in this exposed area.  The sun was dampening our spirits around this time but the view was beautiful and distracting at the least.  I was now at 32- 33km mark when I ran on the bridge.  With a quick toilet break at the guard house at the end of the bridge, I continued on.

I was tired and just wanted it to end. Haha!  By that time, I was down to my last two GU gels and had finished my ISO 100 drink at 28km mark.  The water stations here were ample enough and they offered Gatorade drinks too.  There were two banana stations and the latter stations also had Sprite and Royal so that was a welcome treat.  And ALL the drinks were COLD, which I really appreciated.

Then it was down to the last 8km, but it wasn't going to be an easy one as we had to conquer the Hill first.  But after that was done, it was smooth sailing as it was downhill to flat to the finish line.  I tried to maximize this opportunity and go faster but my feet were hurting and sore already.  I continued running as we passed by Holiday Inn Hotel and I knew that we were near. 

One final right turn was made before I saw the finish line.

Yes, I did it.  PRAISE GOD for letting me cross the finish line safe and sound!  

To Him Be All The Glory!

Congrats to all the finishers and to the organizers for a well executed race.  I am glad to be part of your first Marathon event.

Thanks also to my "support" crew AKA bike marshal.  I bet he is as happy as I am that I crossed the finish line so he can rest too! Hahaha.

My time of 5:30++ wasn't that bad but in Clark, it's one of the bottom!  Very humbling experience. :)

And this was the reason I joined this race in the first place!  ANIMO LA SALLE!! My first La Sallian Marathon Finisher Medal!

Thank You God!!!

03/13/13 Update:  Results are out for this race.  Based on the 42km results, there are a total of 140 finishers for this distance, and I place 106th here for a ranking % of 76% and a time of 5:38:20... not bad considering my situation early in the race :P

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Why I join 50km Ultra Marathons:

The ice cream at 40km mark!  Super worth it!


Thanks to for the brilliant idea!