Posted in 10 kilometers, 10k, 42.195 kilometers, 42k, fun run, Marathon, Relay Race, running event

Funtastic for 4….ASICS Relay 2018

ASICS Relay first launched in Singapore in 2015. This year, it has finally made its way to the Philippines and it’s one of the most fun running events I have ever joined. This is the first time I joined a relay race and the rule is simple, form a team of four runners, the first runner runs a specified distance and after the completion of the distance, the first runner tags the next runner in the team by passing the baton (in this race, it’s a snap band) to complete the same distance and then passes it to the next until all four runners complete the distance. There are 2 categories available, half-marathon and full marathon and I picked the full marathon to maximize the experience. My team which I named Rogue Rebels (because I want my moniker to be plural) consists of my two office mates, Nelson and Juanepri, and a neighborhood runner and short distance podium finisher Marlon.

Marlon and I meet up at the bus stop in Mayapa, Calamba and will meet Neslon at Starmall Alabang. Despite some slight difficulty in catching a bus to Mall of Asia in Ayala Makati (usual lack of buses and too many stranded passengers), the three of us arrived early at the event site. Juanepri had a business to attend to said he will make it before the gun start (and he better because he is the second runner in the line up). I immediately claimed our race kits so we can have a lot of spare time to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the activity area.

Tri-Force! Photo from ASICS Relay facebook page.
Nelson photobombing the beautiful sunset.
Me, Marlon, Nelson, Juanepi (made it in time), and that smiling photobomber in the background. Unfortunately, they ran out of XL-sized green shirt so I picked an orange shirt for Juanepri.
Fireworks display to kick off the first ASICS Relay in the Philippines.
The snap band which serves as the baton that runners pass to the next runner at the transition area.
Ready Runner One.

As the Team Leader I was assigned as the first runner by default and I’m very nervous because I feel like there’s a lot of weight on my shoulders and I have to perform well as the opener. The distance to complete is 10.5 kilometers, but the route is 5.25 kilometers and the runners will run the loop twice. The first part of the route was within SM by the Bay and it’s very cramped and hard to slip through the other runners. Add the body heat to the humid temperature and you have a hot and sweaty run. I feel dehydrated early in the race and had to drink at the first hydration station in J.W. Diokno Blvd. Although I sweat a lot more than the average person, in this run it feels like it was even amplified. I mean, I can run 6-8 kilometers without taking a sip and feel fine. In this run, I felt like I will pass out if I don’t slowdown to take a drink. I barely finished 5 kilometers in 30 minutes and it gets worst in the 2nd half. There’s now a lot of space between the runners and it helped lessen the heat, but my stamina is drained. I can’t even run my normal 5:30/km pace. I just kept going to survive and finish my run. I had a slight boost when the dancing LED mascots gave me high fives, after that I walked, then jog, then walk again longer than usual. I started jogging non-stop at the last 300 meters, but a lot of runners behind me started sprinting. I kept moving at a steady pace just to be safe and didn’t mind my finishing time. I just want to reach the transition area and pass the baton to Juanepri. He wasn’t on the front line, but was able to make his way through quickly. I was able to make my exit safely, exhausted, but glad that my run is over. Nelson spotted me and gave me a high five.

Resting at the transition area. Check out my bloated belly. That’s 70+ kilos for you.
This is what the transition area looks like. Runners 2, 3, and 4 separated and the incoming runners posted on the huge LED screens.

Now that I’ve got a lot of time in my hands, I decided to leave Nelson and walk around the activity area to get some drinks because I’m still dehydrated. A bottle of Pocari Sweat and Nature’s Spring water and a few minutes of rest later, I went to the sidelines near the finish line to watch the other runners. Nelson joined me and I also spotted a former office mate and runner Rodolfo David. He was supposed to run at the event but due to an injury, he gave his race kit to a friend.

A wild fellow runner and former office mate appeared.

I enjoyed watching the runners, their efforts can be seen in their faces and the way they run. Some we’re confused and almost entered the finish line instead of the transition area. I saw one runner being carried and escorted, poor guy probably collapsed from the heat. Another one fell right in front of us due to cramp. He was immediately assisted, got up, and continued his run. That’s the heart to finish.

I easily identified my running buddy and marathoner-in-the-making friend Diane. I know it’s her because of her attire and running form. Nelson and I saw Juanepri about to pass by his first loop. We called him by shouting his name, but he couldn’t hear us because he was listening to music. He was running in a slow but relaxed pace.

My running buddy and trainee Diane finishing her 2nd loop. She was also confused and almost entered the finish line lane. She was immediately redirected to the proper lane.
Juanepri finally saw us as he finishes his 2nd loop.

I told Nelson to be alert and ready in the transition area as Marlon is about to make his run and it won’t take as long as we did. I went to meet Juanepri and he said he almost had cramps and had to slow down. He stretched, re-hydrated, and rest whilst I went to the sidelines again to watch the runners. It didn’t take long for Marlon to finish his run, I wasn’t able to catch him in the first loop, but saw him as he finish the 2nd one. I went to the transition area again to meet him and it’s all down to our final runner Nelson to close the show (our show).

I easily spotted Nelson before finishing the first loop and gave him the good luck middle finger. I estimated that it will take him 35-40 minutes to finish the 2nd loop so I tried to look for Diane to congratulate her for finishing her run. She sent me a message informing me that she’s in the transition area but I wasn’t able to catch her there on time. I found out later that she left to eat hotdog and she was calling me on my phone but wasn’t able to answer. Based on my estimate, Nelson could be approaching soon, so I had to get near the finish line to take his photo.

Nelson closing the show…
..and Nelson has left the building!

Nelson finished faster than expected and he ran shirtless as I suggested (because I told him that some of the runners probably just took off their shirt just to show their abs. I told him to do the same and show his singular ab). Way to go Nelson.

Our official race result. Rank 102 out of 302 teams and 41 out of 83 all male team. Yep, it was a tough race, my 10k PR in Mall of Asia is 53 minutes (PinoyFitness Sub1 10k Challenge 2015 chip time), but in this run I barely made it to Sub-1 and the last 500 meters took 3 minutes for me to complete. And even our fastest runner was slow at 50 minutes. At least all of us finished safe. There were multiple reports of people collapsing including the two runners I saw.

It was one helluva night for all of us, we all had a hard time, but we had fun. ASICS Relay is the best run I had so far this year. It’s fun because it’s a team run and it’s very well presented. There are only a few gripes I have with this run and first is the race kit distribution. It was rescheduled from May 24 and 25 to May 25 and May 26 starting 12 noon to 8 pm. I decided to pick up our race kit on May 25 because I’m on leave that day and will be coming from our office in Alabang after my shift. I was there early and when it was time to pick up the race kits at exactly 12 noon, we were told that there was a delay with the arrival of the kits and pick up will be at 1 pm. This got me worried because we have ticket reservations to see Deadpool 2 in Ayala Mall Solenad in Nuvali at 3:30 pm and I might not make it on time. Some of the other runners got upset and that person in charge gave us options to wait until 3 pm (they said 1 pm earlier) for the race kits to arrive because it was on hold at customs. Or we can have it delivered. The race bibs are available, but the shirts and other stuff are not. So, I decided to just get the race bibs instead and still made it on time to see Deadpool 2. As compensation for those who wait that day, they offer free printing of names on their race shirts. Another one is the lack of photographers. There are some in the activity area, but I haven’t seen any official photos posted as of today (June 4) and there are no photographers along the route. If you’re a serious runner, photos are not that important, but let’s admit it, we do want to see a photo of ourselves running and it is a big deal for those who run for fun. Those are just minor flaws of the event, everything else is well done and organized. I’m definitely looking forward to next year’s event.

One of the best-looking medal I ever had. Doubles as a bottle opener too in case you want to celebrate your run with beer.
The stuff inside this nice ASICS backpack.

This run is part 1 of my busy Memorial Day weekend. A few hours after ASICS Relay is my 2nd run of the week, Run 4 Ur Life with my other office mates and that story is part 2 and to be posted soon.

Posted in #runrio, 21.0975 kilometers, 21k, 42.195 kilometers, 42k, half-marathon, Marathon, Relay Race, running, running event, Running Soon

Running Soon: ASICS Relay Philippines 2018


Press Release

Pasay City, March 14th, 2018 – ASICS, the true sport performance brand, is set to hold the first ASICS Relay Philippines 2018 on May 26th, at the SM By The Bay in Pasay City.

Succeeding from the 2017 version, ASICS Relay 2018 will feature the additional of Philippines in its 5 countries relay series, among participating countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore. Kicking off its first stop in Manila, the capital city of bustling Philippines, the edition expects to attract 750 teams, each consisting of 4 runners.

ASICS Relay Philippines 2018 is the first night relay race in the country. It features two race distances – 42km Full Marathon and 21km Half Marathon. Each participating team can choose from three relay categories – Male, Female, and Mixed team.

The Asics Relay highlights the uniqueness of relays as it encourages teamwork among the participants over individual abilities. The concept is premised on the idea that running 21km and 42km is challenging to most aspiring runners, and the relay concept offers participants the chance to complete a half or full marathon with three teammates. Each team member is required to complete 2 legs of 5.25 kilometers for Full Marathon, and 1 leg of 5.25 kilometers for Half Marathon to meet the total distance. The preceding member of the team will need to hand the relay token to the next runner within the designated transition zone to delineate the changeover of runners.

Participants of the ASICS Relay Philippines 2018 will be rewarded with an attractive finisher’s medal, personalized race bib, and an exclusive ASICS branded race tee.

In addition to the cash and product prizes for winning teams in both full and half marathon categories worth over Php 790,000, the champion team of the Full Marathon race categories will also be walking away with a grand prize – team slots to any one of the ASICS Relay race held in another country, inclusive of flight tickets and accommodation.

“We’re always looking for new ways to expand the Asics Relay, and with the addition of Philippines in the 2018 relay series, all runners can expect an evening of fun and excitement coupled with a great running experience with their teammates,” said Andy Neo, sports marketing manager of Asics Asia Pte. Ltd.


The Relay Concept is explained in the illustrations below:



Registration Details


ASICS Store Promotion

  • Receive a complimentary team slot to ASICS Relay Philippines 2018 when you spend PHP 5,900 and above in a single receipt in any of the participating ASICS store. Valid from March 14 to April 14, or while promo codes last. (Terms and conditions apply).


Scenes from the Launching Event

The event was hosted by Vince Velasco and Dyan Castillejo.
Running teams can choose their preferred team shirt color. They also get a backpack for their stuff, snap bands which serves as the relay token, and all runners get medals for finishing the race.
I’m the red shirt guy on the edge, on your right. Photo from ASICS Relay facebook page.
The Powers That Be of ASICS Philippines (L to R) Managing Director Adrian Mok, Sports Marketing and Manager Andy Neo, and ASICS Ambassador Mary Joy Tabal.
ABS-CBN Sports’ Dyan Castillejo interviewing Mary Joy Tabal.
With one of ABS-CBN’s legendary Sports Caster, Dyan Castillejo.
With the first Filipina Marathon Olympian, SEA Games Silver and Gold Medalist, and 5-time Milo Marathon Queen Mary Joy Tabal.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, what if a runner doesn’t have any runner friends and what’s to join this event, ASICS got you covered. They will find a lone runner like you to team up with.

Visit the following sites for more information


Facebook, Instagram:     @ASICSRElay

Official Hastags:                #ASICSRelay  #IMovePhilippines


Posted in 10 kilometers, 10k, 16 kilometers, 16k, 21.0975 kilometers, 21k, 42.195 kilometers, 42k, 50 kilometers, 50k, 5k, 5km, 7-Eleven Run Series, 711, 7eleven, adventure, backpacking, fun run, guerilla race, half-marathon, Marathon, Obstacle Course Racing, obstacle run, places to run, running, running event, running locales, Trail run, trail running, travel, ultramarathon, Uphill Run, Yakult 10-miler

2017 Wrapped Up!

This is article replaces my 2xxx Bests series where I take a look back and rank the best events and moments of the previous year. For this year’s article, I decided to make it shorter by limiting it to just running events and honoring only the best singlets/tech shirts, finisher shirts, medals/trophies, and then finally ranking the races. I participated in 10 running events last year and here are the goods starting with…


Run United Exceed Tech Shirt


The blue color and overall design of the Run United Exceed makes it the overall winner. It’s very comfortable too and quality is very similar to the 2016 Condura Skyway Marathon Tech shirt which is an honorable mention from last year.



Yakult 10-miler Medal


Its minimalist design and stainless metal made it my favorite. No fancy use of colors or anything written or etched on front or back of the medal, just  a simple design the looks elegant. And that Yakult pillow is a nice finisher bonus too.



Hero 2 Hero Rizal Day 50k Ultramarathon Finisher Shirt


This one became my instant favorite finisher shirt. I like the use of colors especially the red color tone on the right and gray on the left. And the logo is nice too with Philippine hero Jose Rizal’s face and silhouette blending with the yellow-orange color. Another good addition is the name on the back of the finisher shirt to let everyone know that it’s yours, you worked hard for it, and earned it. Gotta mention that it comes with a nice finisher trophy too.


=== 2017 Races ranked from worst to best ===

I joined 12 running events last year, but one of them, My Little Pony Run, got cancelled and rescheduled and the other one is a trail running class, I’m only ranking 10 official races that I participated in last year. So, starting from the worst experience….

10. Sungay 50k Challenge Calamba to Tagaytay


Of all the races I ever participated in the more than 4 years of experience this is the worst. See that photo above? that’s the first time I (and maybe the other runners too) was stopped by highway patrol because we were running on a road where running (and cycling) is prohibited. Wait, what? then why was it part of the route anyway? what the hell was the organizer thinking? oh, and to top that, there are no finisher shirts and trophies for the runners to take home once they’ve crossed the finish line. The organizer said that the manufacturer made a mistake with the trophy design (and the finisher shirt? same manufacturer?), so all we got was the medals. The organizer said that he will ship the trophies and shirts once they’re made. So, it’s like more than 2 months of waiting now, still nothing. We’re not updated or even asked for the shipping address and contact details. Dunno if we will still get what we worked hard and paid for.

9. Run United Exceed


Run United Exceed seemed exciting for me at first, especially since the Run United Trilogy wasn’t announced at the time and it had all the good stuff like a nice looking medal, shirts, and the 2 1/2 time limit made it an exclusive for above average runners. I also convinced my college mate Ryan to join the event. But, when I found out that the race route is 2 loops around BGC, I was disappointed because I really hate repetitive loops. Still, it’s not that bad, I loved the tech shirt and the medal design is very good and a great addition to my collection.

8. Yakult 10-miler


Most running series don’t last more that 10 or even 5 years. Yakult 10-miler is the 2nd longest-running event in the country and that title alone is one of the reason for me to join at least once. I had a good time, it was one of my more relaxing runs and the finisher medal and finisher’s pillow are nice addition (especially with the affordable registration fee).

7. Eggciting Family Adventure Fun Run 2


This is definitely one of the best family-friendly events in recent times. There’s an option to look for easter eggs along the route that you can bring to the finish line in exchange for prizes. With the affordable registration fee and lots of freebies, this is one fun run you shouldn’t miss.

6. 7-Eleven Run 2017


This running event needs no introduction. Most people in the running community and casual runners already know the event’s reputation as a “grocery” run due to the fact that you can grab as many freebies as you can after the race. This year’s edition is as good as the previous ones and there are even better stuff you can get. What makes this race very memorable for me is that I was finally able to break the 5-hour marathon barrier, I’m now a Sub-5 marathoner. Since Condura Skyway Marathon won’t be returning for the 2nd year in a row, this is the only running event that allows you to run on the Skyway exclusively.

5. Resolution Run 2017


What I like about Resolution Run is its beautiful, but challenging route that covers Nuvali and the uphill parts of Baranggay Casile. You even pass by the famous Marcos Twin Mansion. This is my recommended January run for those who want to burn all those fats they gained from the Christmas season, this is your Resolution Run. Too bad I wan’t able to join this year’s event.

4. Rizal Day 50k Ultramarathon


To wash off the bad taste left by my previous ultramarathon I joined this event. I’m glad that I did because it’s a good event. It’s very challenging, but finishing it feels good especially since it’s already New Year’s Eve once you’re done. I might join this event again if there’s a new route and if the trophy and finisher shirt looks as good as last year’s.

3. Splendido Sunset Run Trio Edition


I’ve been eyeing Splendido Sunset Run since 2015 and I finally joined it last year. And I wasn’t disappointed. Set in Splendido Golf and Country Club, runners can enjoy the cool Tagaytay weather and the race route is just amazing, it’s beautiful. I love the downhill domination part and challenged by the uphill hell part. The 21k route has 2 loops and I really hate multi loops, and it rained adding more challenge, but with a route like Splendido’s, I’m not complaining. This is my highly recommended year-end race.

2. Guerilla Race Splash


Before the popular obstacle course racing series Spartan Race made its presence known in our country last year, Guerilla Race has been around for more than 3 years now and has become one of the most popular obstacle course race in the country. Guerilla Race has one advantage over its competitors, it’s an obstacle run that changes its location frequently. That is Guerilla Race why is so awesome, it doesn’t feel like the same race as before. Last year was the Splash edition, taking place in Splash Island and added water-based obstacles like kayaking. The registration fee is also reasonable as you get a free pass to enjoy Splash Island after the race. Looking forward to more Guerilla Races this year.


and here it is, my favorite and best race I’ve ran last year is….


1. Sandugo Pacific Ultra Coast 100 


I always prefer trail running over road running and the only reason I’m not joining more trail runs is because most trail races are held in locations far from my hometown. Sandugo Pacific Coast 100 is no different, it’s even farther than most trail events because it’s set in General Nakar, Quezon. But, since I was able to convince 2 buddies to run their first trail run and kept the budget at a minimum, I finally ran my best trail race experience since Valley Trail Challenge V. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed the incredible scenery and friendly environment of General Nakar. The very friendly race marshals and staff plus the reasonable registration fee (taking into account the free ride and freebies) round up the best parts of my choice as running event of the year. I have a feeling  that we might return for this year’s event. Could be the start of a new running tradition.


And that wraps up my 2017 races. For 2018 I’m not sure I can join as many running events as before, but I will still keep running and deliver more stuff about running, video games, photography, and more. Thanks for the readers who find my blogs useful and inspiring. I’m just here to share my experiences, I’m very thankful for your time to read, especially my articles that go way beyond 1,000 words. Thank you.

Posted in 10 kilometers, 10k, 21.0975 kilometers, 21k, 5k, 5km, fun run, half-marathon, Marathon, places to run, running, running event, Running Soon, travel

Running Soon: Five Fast Facts about Clark Sunset Marathon

I was invited to attend the media launch of the Clark Sunset Marathon yesterday morning and here’s what I learned…


1.) This is the first marathon event to be held in Clark Freeport Zone.

This is the first Clark Sunset Marathon and the destination was chosen so runners can enjoy running in a place away from city traffic and pollution. According to Noemi Julian of Clark Development Corporation fun runs has been done in Clark before, but this is the first full marathon event.

The official race singlet.

2.) Four distance categories

There will be four distance categories, a full marathon (42k) and a half-marathon (21k) for the long distance and competitive runners. And 10k and 5k categories for those who prefer to finish the running event early to have some time to chill and explore. The 42k race route will have portions outside Clark while the rest of the distances is within the vicinity.

Runrio’s Andrew Neri introducing the first Clark Sunset Marathon.

3.) The race route is AIMS / IAAF certified.

This is the first running event with a race route measured and certified by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) together with  International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The route is measured using The Jones Counter instead of a GPS device for accuracy.

Media and Bloggers’ Q&A portion.

4.) One of the main objective is to attract foreign runners.

The event is expected to attract 5,000 runners including foreign runners who wants to run on an IAAF-labeled route (which means it has the same certification as world class marathons like the Boston Marathon, New York Marathon, and Tokyo Marathon)  and promote tourism.

Runrio’s Franco Bambico, CDC’s Noemi Julian, and Runrio’s Andrew Neri presenting the official race singlet.

5.) A Music Festival after the race.

After enjoying the sunset and a nice night run, a music festival will be staged for a relaxing and more fun Saturday Night experience. DJ Ashley Rivera and DJ Tom Taus will be there to provide a memorable party for the participants.


That’s about it, feel free ask questions or leave comments in the comment section below. Online and in-store registrations are open. I will update this article once I get the digital copy of the press release.

Media launch at Burgoo SM Mall of Asia.
The singlet and the Finisher by Adidas.
Looks similar to the Gatorade Run shirt.



Registration Fees:

5K – Php 650 (Php 1,300 international fee)
10K – Php 850 (Php 1,700 international fee)
21K – Php 1,400 (Php 2,800 international fee)
42K – Php 1,800 (Php 3,600 international fee)


Racekit Inclusions:

Singlet, Finisher Shirt (for 21k and 42k categories only), medal, loot bag, and music festival ticket.


5K – 5:45PM
10K – 5:30PM
21K – 5:15PM
42K – 5:00PM

Posted in City Run, Gear Review, GPS watch, half-marathon, Marathon, Review, running, running event, Trail run, trail running, Valley Trail Challenge

Accuracy or Fu*K-uracy: A non-professional observation and analysis of GPS devices for running…

In the early days, runners use the stopwatch feature of their watches to check their Finish Time and it is assumed that the distance of the race route is accurately measured by the event organizers. Today’s generation of runners rely on the GPS functionality of smartphones and watches making it an essential feature. But, how accurate are the GPS of these devices? are they reliable?

I am not an electronics expert or engineer, I don’t know how GPS works technically, so don’t expect me to explain everything with scientific detail. I’m just a runner who relies on my GPS watch and smartphone app to record my performance and this observation and analysis is based on my experience in using them during training runs and running events. I use a Soleus GPS One watch and Samsung S7 Edge for tracking my runs.

The race course was said to be 5 kilometers. My GPS watch said it’s 4.88 kilometers.

Which is more accurate, a GPS watch or a smartphone app?

–  Starting both devices and standing still, my S7 Edge using Nike Run Club app connects faster to GPS satellites than my GPS One. It usually takes less than a minute for the S7 to get a good signal, whilst the GPS One can take as long as 1-3 minutes to find a signal. The GPS One may also receive an unstable connection and deliver very unbelievable results like a running speed of 40-70 kilometers per hour which is impossible considering that Usain Bolt can run at a top speed of 44 km/h. The GPS One also has a tendency to lose signal in places where only a few tall buildings surround the area. There are times that the GPS One can yield better results than the smartphone like the time I ran the 2nd Philippine Marine Corp Marathon. When I entered the famous Kaybiang Tunnel, both devices lost connection, but the watch re-connected faster and delivered a more accurate distance. It should be noted that I was using a mid-range smartphone at the time, an Alcatel Flash 2, and not the S7 Edge that I’m using now. I mentioned this because high-end smartphones and GPS watches with superior hardware may be able to deliver more accurate results than entry-level like the GPS One and mid-range devices.

UPDATE (07-23-2017): I accidentally activated the mobile data of my S7 Edge instead of the GPS. Nike Run Club app relied on internet connection and due to the weak signal and speed, it resulted to a big miscalculation, counting 600-800 meters as 1 kilometer.

According to my GPS One, I ran a maximum speed of 72.9 km/h some time during my run. Wow! Good thing Usain Bolt is retired. I should probably go after Eliud Kipchoge then.

Distance Discrepancy?

–   Distance discrepancy between the two devices is not unusual. Sometimes it can be as short as 100 meters to as long as 2 kilometers with the GPS watch very likely to be inaccurate. One example of this was during Run United Exceed half-marathon last April, GPS One recorded the total distance of 23.45 kilometers, whilst the S7 showed 22.5 kilometers. The race route in Bonifacio Global City is surrounded by tall buildings and locking on to the satellites takes time, but I was able to get a signal for both devices before the gunstart. But, I’m very sure that the GPS One was inaccurate because it showed me that I passed the first kilometer in 4+ minutes whilst the smartphone app told me that I ran it at 5 minutes and 45 seconds. I’ve also seen social media posts from runners and most of them also covered 22+ kilometers. Others got results of less than 21 kilometers, but it’s very likely that they started their devices while it was still trying to get a signal and only got one after several kilometers (i.e. 18 kilometers of total distance was likely the result the device receiving a signal after 3 kilometers of running). During my usual Wednesday and Friday morning runs, it’s often that I get distance discrepancies and most of the time, the GPS One delivered inaccuracy.

3 minutes and 15 seconds in the first kilometer. If only I can really run this pace. I know for a fact that when I run below 4 minutes and 30 seconds, I start feeling cramps about to hit me. So, yeah I have never ran a 3-minute per kilometer pace before.

GPS devices or just trust the Organizer’s Race Route?

–   What you see in your GPS devices can also match the race course distance if you get a very good signal. But, the race route can be more or less of the total distance as advertised. It depends on how the organizer of the event measured the race route and there are some instances that could force the organizer to shorten distance like unfavorable weather or last minute changes due to traffic and other road-related incidents that is beyond their control. Other organizers will add extra kilometers as a bonus  or a slight change in the race route. If you really want a distance accurate race route, then look for an event sanctioned by an athletics organization like Philippine Athletics Track And Field Association (PATAFA).

It was supposed to be only 34 kilometers, but a small change in the race route added 3 extra kilometers.

Comparison with Car Odometer (FINAL UPDATE)

I did an experiment to compare if the distance displayed on a car’s odometer will yield the same or close results with the GPS devices. I did a quick google search and found out that GPS is much more accurate than car speedometers when it comes to measuring speed because it is affected by tire size and condition. But, I’m measuring the distance and disregarded speed, so we focus on the odometer. Stopping the car at 1, 3, and 5 kilometers, the distance difference is somewhere between 30 to 200+ meters.

Trial 1: Stopping at 1 kilometer with the GPS devices connected with good signal, the Nike app recorded a 40-meter difference, while the GPS watch showed a much bigger number at 110 (or more) meters.
Trial 2: I reset the odometer and stopped at 3 kilometers. Similar results from the 1 kilometer run with 30-meter difference on the app and 110+ meters on the GPS watch.
And just for comparisons sake, I did keep the car’s speed at 40+ km/h most of the time and sped up to 80+ km/h once to overtake a vehicle. I think the GPS watch got it right with the average (41 km/h) and maximum speed (83.2 km/h) reading.

This experiment should be taken with a grain of salt since gps reading is affected by the position and availability of the satellites (take note that the experiment took place on a road devoid of tall buildings). It’s likely that distance discrepancy will increase if I travelled farther.

The verdict: Accurate or Fu*k-urate?

–   So, are GPS devices like smartphones and GPS watches accurate when it comes to measuring distance and pace? the answer is yesbut, only if you get a good and stable signal. The advance technology in these devices assures you accuracy, but not always. There will be times that you will get unstable signal and even lose the signal especially in places surrounded by tall building or trees and that guarantees fu*ked up results. The reason why I use both a GPS watch and smartphone app is for cases when one fails, the other won’t (hopefully). A small distance discrepancy (like 100-300 meters) between both devices is acceptable, 500 meters or more is where you start to question accuracy and pick the one with less distance. In my usual training routes, I can tell which one is giving me the likely accurate distance because of the numerous times I ran on that place. Even if that devices failed to connect with the satellites, I remember where the kilometer points are.

My Personal Bests in Nike Run Club app. Guess which ones are fu*k-urate. Hint: I can’t run an elite marathoner pace.
Posted in 42.195 kilometers, 42k, Marathon, running, running event

What Marathon Dreams May Come (TBR Dream Marathon 2017)

When I join marathons, there are thousands of participants, and it’s the usual do your best for a PR, cross the finish line, and you’re done. A marathon is not a fun run, it’s painful, exhausting, and will test your mental and physical limits. It’s all about finishing strong. Or is it? maybe I just forgot that a marathon isn’t always about running fast or being competitive, it can also be a relaxing, laid back run just to have fun. That is exactly what I realized as a spectator at this year’s TBR Sunlife Dream Marathon.

Unlike other marathon events, TBR Dream Marathon focuses on the development of runners who want to run a marathon for the first time. It’s about helping people achieve their dreams of running a marathon in ways that don’t involve the torture of excessive and unguided training. Running 42 kilometers is an intimidating thought, but the TBR program seemed to be effective in encouraging and motivating the runners that finishing a marathon is achievable with little or nothing to worry about.

The event is only limited to 800 participants. The reason for this is to make it easier to prepare the runners and focus on their progress. And because the event does not have a large volume of marathoners, every one can have their near-the-finish-line moments like running with family, friends, pets, and finally, their own finish line victory pose. Runners like me, those who join competitive marathons with thousands of participants are usually deprived of moments like that. We can’t have our loved ones waiting for us near the finish line to run with us to glory because of restrictions and there’s just too many runners around you. And it’s very rare that we get excellent race photos because there’s a big chance that the photographers will miss you (it’s hard to shoot when there’s thousands of people running and approaching even if you have a fast camera). And this is why TBR Dream Marathon is a special event, it gives the runners the moment and fun. Most of the runners who run towards then finish line with their kids, loved ones, friends, or even pets have bigger smiles and off-the-roof runner’s high than most of us who just made a new PR. There’s just too much good vibes, feel good and happy moments in the event, that I enjoyed taking photos and witnessing the joy of these new marathoners. Congratulations to the marathon graduates of TBR Batch 2017.

Here are some heart-warming photos I took at the event. (Apologies for the quality of the photos. They’re taken with my camera phone and cropped because I couldn’t get near enough to take better up-close photos.)

So nice of you to ‘Grace’ us with your presence.
Happy Mommy of Three.
Photographer, check. Cheer Leader/Motivator, check. Sweeper, check.
Now that’s just cheating… nah, just the photographer
Finish line is so close, he can almost taste it.
It rained during the event, but the big smiles made it go away.
The dedicated video/camera man
Marathon Graduation Day!
Running with your daughter to the finish line is more fun than a walk to the aisle.
More fun than running alone.
My favorite photo from the event. So much smiles, too much happiness.
Waiting for mommy.
Blazing, Blitzing Blue team.
Smooth (camera) Operator…. Smooooooth (camera) Operator…
Will she make it to a Sub-6 finish?….
… She didn’t. But, it doesn’t matter because she finished her first marathon and 6 hours isn’t so bad.
This kid is a hero, a Runner’s Hero! =)
I’m happy because you’re happy =)
My money’s on the dog.
Mexi-CAN finish a marathon.
The Runner Family. There’s Daddy Runner, Kid Runner, and Mommy Runner.
Tee off!
Yellow vs Blue.
Supporting Tito… Sportito!
Race signs to boost motivation. “Run Like You Stole Something” very good motivation, indeed.
Drag Me To …
Leeeeeeerrrrooooooooy…. Jenkins!
High Five for a boost in Runner’s High.
Man’s best pacer.
Runner’s Hero finally spotted mom and he’s finally unleashed
And off he goes to run the day!
Smile a little… then smile big at the finish line.
It made me smile to see a runner’s entourage trying to catch up with their runner.
The guy on the left’s sign reads iRUN because #YuanIsLove.
Let’s dash to the finish line. But first, let me take a #selfie.
When you’re so happy that you don’t care about PR anymore.
Most of the runner dads here have a daughter or two.
Run With Me is sweeter than those trending “Follow Me” instagram photos.
A pacer and spectators encouraging an exhausted and injured runner towards the finish line (just a few meters away).
Ignore the pain and keep going. Smiling Guy’s got your back.
Wave and say hello to WINNER.
Like a dog parade in a running event.
Baby girl is experiencing her first run without actually touching the ground and running.
Fight the pain or walk with loved ones, just keep going.
Let’s try to beat Dad.
Grandma is one of the most cheerful spectator. She cheers for everyone especially when she found their runner. A few seconds off your PR is worth it for a photo with a wonderful person and loved one.
PR doesn’t always matter. You all did it. That’s all that matters.
Mom’s best escorts.
Jesse Quick! A marathoner in the making right there.
When the gang’s got your back.
Running for Mr. RUNiverse 2017!
You don’t have to finish strong, just finish happy. And when you’re happy and smiling, even the spectators are happy and smiling. It’s infectious.
Game face still on. Go Jen!
It rained several times that day, but it didn’t stop the runners from making their marathon dreams a reality.
GoPRO Hero got nothing on GoPAPA Hero.
As a 3-time marathoner, I will never have the chance to join TBR Dream Marathon. But, I will always be happy to watch it every year to feel the good vibes and see the joy of the new marathoners.
Posted in 21k, 42.195 kilometers, 42k, 7-Eleven Run Series, City Run, Marathon, running event

Fun and Competition rolled into one… (7-Eleven Run 2017)

Running events these days can be classified into two categories, a fun run and a competitive race. For those who just want a good and fun time with friends without the need to worry about being athletic or fast, a fun run is the most popular choice. For fast and elite runners who want to test themselves and compete for prizes, competitive races is the serious choice. A lot of organizers made a good effort to combine both, a running event that can be fun and competitive at the same time. But, none has reached the level of achievement that 7-Eleven Philippines and their partners has done. By creating a race that can still be fun even after you crossed the finish line and entered the activity area. It is the absolute definition of a ‘fun’ run for everyone.

Before I share my opinion about this year’s 7-Eleven Run, I wanna tell the competitive side of the event, the experience of running my 3rd marathon. This is the third time I joined the 7-Eleven Run series and for the first time, I joined the 42k category (I ran the half-marathon categories of the previous events, Run 1500 and Run 2016) to celebrate my first anniversary of running a marathon. My first marathon experience was joining last year’s Condura Skyway Marathon and since CSM is not available this year, 7-Eleven Run got their traditional first weekend of February date. And I’m very thankful for their presence so I can run a marathon handled by a different organizer for a different and better experience (because to be honest, last year’s Condura Marathon was just average at best).

Hours before the event, I was very excited. I have 3 objectives that day, make a new PR, break the Sub-5 hour PR, and come close to Anne Curtis’ New York Marathon PR (which has been an inspiration and motivation for this PR quest). I tried to sleep, but I can’t because my mind kept thinking about the race, what I’ll do, and what could happen. My only focus was the run and I’m so focused that I made a mistake of entering the RFID lane of the toll booth in Filinvest City. The guard/enforcer was about to give me a ticket, but he probably sensed that I’m in a hurry and just let me off with a warning.

I arrived at the event site before 10 pm and had some spare time to walk around and check out the sights and sounds of the activity area.

A look at one the booths before the arrival of the huge crowd.
At 10 pm, the activity area is mostly populated by over a thousand marathoners.
Like any big event, security is very important for the safety of the participants and guests.
Beach-themed booth done right.
The Slurpee Truck before it gets mobbed.
The road that I walked on daily as an employee going to the office. That night, it’s the road that marathoners walked on to the starting line.
Waiting for our wave to be released at 11:05 pm.

The race started on time at 11 pm with the Elite Wave leading the pack. There was no warm-up and most runners are ready to rip the road anyway. I’m on Wave B and set for release 5 minutes later. As planned, I initiated the run at a manageable pace, not too fast and not too slow whilst setting up the the music player of my smartphone.

I ran the first 5 kilometers in 29 minutes. It wasn’t slow enough as planned because I was trying to imitate Anne Curtis’ pace at the NYC Marathon which should be 33 minutes, 52 seconds for the first 5k. I probably got carried away and tried to slow down a bit more to conserve my stamina and as a result, I reached the 10k mark in an hour. I didn’t hit Sub-1 for the 10k and that means I’m on the right pace as planned, but still not slow enough to match Anne’s 1 hour, 6 minutes. I slowed down at kilometer 12 to walk a bit more and re-hydrate. At kilometer 13 to 20, I kept the pace within 6-7 minutes per kilometer which is still not slow enough and could affect my running efficiency in the 2nd half of the race. But, I feel fine, I can even run the uphill segments of the Skyway continuously, and just kept going. And that is why I had the opportunity to break my 21k (half-marathon) record. Looking at my GPS watch, there was a possibility to cross 21 kilometers at 2 hours, 10 minutes or lower to break my 2 hour, 13 minutes 21k PR (from 7-Eleven Run 1500) if I speed up. But, I hesitated because I know that I have to be patient and follow the game plan if I want to be successful in breaking the Sub-5 barrier. I decided to keep moving at a manageable pace and enjoy running with the beat of my music player (which helped a lot by distracting me from exhaustion). It’s worth noting that in this year’s race route, the uphill road going to NAIA Terminal 3 was not used because it was under renovation, so the U-turn going back to Makati was extended. Some time between kilometer 25-28, my body started heating up. A bit dizzy and starting to feel like I’m about to have a headache and fever, I slowed down and walked, using the time to eat, re-hydrate, and let my body cool down. Then speed up a bit at kilometer 29, taking advantage of downhills, only to slow down again at kilometer 30 because of exhaustion and the stress of running uphill. From kilometer 30 to 36, my pace dropped to 7-8 minutes per kilometer, with the slowest time close to 9 minutes per kilometer. My body finally started to break down, I managed to avoid calf cramps and blisters, but I feel pain on my thighs, just above the knee when I run uphill and slow down to walk. This prevented me from regaining momentum and the pace I ran earlier, so I had to walk and re-hydrate a lot (though I wasted a lot of Pocari Sweat because I had to take a sip only and not a whole cup to avoid the heavy, bloated feeling). Seeing the ‘Last 2 Kilometers’ sign, I had a renewed vigor (especially after taking a leak for the third time and drinking a cup of cool Del Monte Pineapple juice) and gave little bit of push to cover the distance faster. But, I was so exhausted that the thigh pain comes back and I can only do short bursts. The last 2 kilometers doesn’t feel that short at all, I feel dizzy again, feeling weak, and had to walk.

A selfie before running down the last 300 meters of the Skyway.

With less than 800 meters left, I managed to run 300 meters down the Skyway, but slowed down to walk again because the pain on my legs and foot are preventing me to keep up the pace. I want to assure myself that I can cross the finish line safely and knowing that I will accomplish the objectives, I accepted the slow ascend to victory.

It had to be like this, the last 300 meters to the finish line has to be an uphill. Playing it safe by walking.

With the Finish Line seen just a hundred meters away, I shifted to a slow jogging speed for one final charge to glory. The timer for the 42k doesn’t seem to be displaying properly, I can’t see the time, so I just kept going until my foot hits the finish line. I hit the stop button on my GPS watch and see that my unofficial time is 04 hours, 50 minutes, 46 seconds (42.34 kilometers). And that’s it, not only were the 3 objectives met, the 3rd objective of coming close to Anne Curtis’ PR (4 hours, 56 minutes, 58 seconds) was even better, I actually bested it.

The official results from is even better. 04 hours, 48 minutes, and 31 seconds is my official PR.
Rushing to the finish line. (slow kind of rush, really) Photo credit: MyRunTime
All smiles for the new PR. Photo Credit: MyRunTime.
ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: Sub-5 Marathon PR. Photo Credit: Phillip BF.

Running a marathon is hard, it’s not fun, it’s painful. But, completing your objectives made it a painful good feeling, crossing the finish line is like having fun with pain without being a masochist. And that is why I have a paradoxical love with running a marathon.

I returned to the activity area (walking another 100+ meters) where a Pocari Sweat booth greeted the finishers with their first taste of re-hydration. I went to the claiming booth to get my medal, finisher shirt, and loot bag (which is heavy and full of nice freebies). I decided to go to the car to rest, relax, and savor the moment. My whole body is in pain, I was having thoughts of just going home and forget about grabbing free stuff at the activity area. But, it won’t be a complete experience if I skipped the ‘grocery run’ part of the 7-Eleven Run series. After 30+ minutes of rest, I got up and prepared myself for the next fun part of the event. Then I realized I made one big mistake, I forgot to bring a grocery bag or any container to use for the free stuff. I went back to the activity area hoping that I can find something I can use to store my groceries. Luckily, the ATC Healthcare Corp. still have enough carton bags and I was able to get one. Roaming around the area, I saw what other people use for their loot, some would use empty stock boxes laying around the booths, others use a garbage bag, and I even saw a baby stroller used as a shopping cart. It’s how people become creative in times of ‘free stuff’ needs.

The best way to store your freebies, find a box and carry it around.
Though the 16k and 10k categories started and most runners are still on the Skyway, the activity area is already crowded at 4:30 am.
This 7-Eleven booth was giving away Batman v Superman tumblers and zombie-theme straws. Take as many as you want,they seem to have thousands in stock.
The Dole booth is the coolest (literally) booth with mist sprayed all over the place and ambient lights for a relaxing environment. Games booth offers the chance to win free stuff, free massage, and free hugs?
Still crowded at sun rise.
Premiere and Trust Condoms booth never ran out of grabbers.
Bottomless ice cream at the Selecta booth.
They’re giving away free samples of ‘man’ supplements for endurance and enhanced performance in bed. Not that I need it though <_< . But, it’s free so…
I think one of the problems in the event was the queue in the medal and loot bag claiming area. This affects the lower distance categories like 3k because of the high volume of participants and the majority of runners finishing close to each other or at the same time.
My loot. I could’ve grabbed more, but I wasn’t in full strength after running 42 kilometers. I’ve seen other people’s loot and they’re much much more, almost 3 times more than this.
The contents of the 7-Eleven Run loot bag. It was quite heavy.
The new gold-plated medal design. Looks good and a nice addition a nice addition to my collection.
I like the new 7-Eleven logo design. The shirt is still cotton though.

It was another great event from 7-Eleven Philippines, it’s bigger and better than last year. It’s also the most competitive event as seen in the marathon and half-marathon results, there are new winners with faster finishing times. I think this is the result of some elite runners, regular participants of Condura Marathon, joining the event (the total number of participation in the 42k category doubled).

I once asked my office mates why they don’t join running events and they all have the same reason and that is because they would have to pay just to get tired. I can explain in a lengthy conversation why they should even if they have to pay. But now, all I have to say is two words, “7-Eleven Run.” The 7-Eleven Run series brings both the fun factor and competitiveness of a running event in the highest level. No other run series has come close to what they have achieved. The spirit of competition is felt during the race where runners can do their best to go for the cash prize and the chance to race in an international event (fully sponsored by 7-Eleven Philippines). And even if you don’t win the race, you will still be rewarded in the form of grabbing all the stuff you can at the activity area. Not only do you get more than your money’s worth, you will feel great after knowing that you did your best in the race for a PR and got something extra for your efforts. Whoever said that you can’t have the best of both worlds (fun and competition) in a running event probably never joined a 7-Eleven Run.



  • In preparation for the event, my training consists of 3 to 4 minute planks (which includes different variations), burpees, push-ups, 24-27 minutes 5k speed runs once a week (Wednesday or Friday morning), a slow 5-7 kilometer run once a week (Wednesday or Friday), and a long run on Sunday mornings. I also joined training run sessions by AHC Mentor Carly (who joined the 16k category of 7-Eleven Run) and participated in a flip the bottle challenge game at the office with punishments for the loser include clap push-ups, 300 jumping jacks, and push-up burpees. For a tune-up run, I joined Resolution Run 2017‘s 34k category.
  • In a strange easter egg-like setting, there are tables along the race route that have a bottle of Booster C (my favorite energy shot) in the middle. I thought it was an advertising gimmick that goes along with the product’s tag line “One Shot Energy” hence the single bottle on the table. No one was grabbing it, so I did while running (I actually dropped it instead of a perfect grab) and found it empty. It was one of my ‘sucker’ moments in recent times.
  • Like last year, Bacchus is not the sponsor of the 42k category (had to mention this because the cold Bacchus drink gave me a boost in Run 1500). The honor of the 42k sponsorship still goes to Summit Drinking Water. Also absent this year is Gatorade, last year’s 16k sponsor. This is probably because they have their own running series now and probably don’t like the presence of competitor Powerade (it’s like having DC comics and Marvel Comics in one event). Dole took over the 16k sponsorship this year.
  • Celebrities spotted at the event: Robi Domingo, Valerie Concepcion (ran 10k), Gretchen Fullido (ran 16k), Rovilson Fernandez (ran 16k), Bubbles Paraiso.
  • The race route was measured and certified by Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA). No wonder both my GPS watch and Nike Run Club app measured it at 42 kilometers with only little discrepancy.
  • While going home, I was still having a hang over from the success of making a new PR and the fun of grabbing free stuff, I accidentally entered the wrong lane and ended up taking the Manila bound road. I took a U-turn at the Sucat Exit. So, like drinking and driving, extended runner’s high will mess with your focus on the road.