Posted in 32 Kilometers, Afroman Distance, fun run, running, running event, Runrio Trilogy

32 kilometers, 75 kilos, 3.5 hours… Runrio Trilogy leg 2

It’s my heaviest weight before a race.

In my quest to finally complete and graduate Runrio Trilogy, leg 2 proved to be quite challenging as I ran the race with my heaviest weight yet. I usually weigh around 67 to 69 kilos (147 – 152 lbs.) and I’m very comfortable with that weight range since it doesn’t pose any problems while running and I don’t get injuries after a race. After the previous night’s shift at the office, I only had very little sleep (3+ hours) and when I stepped on the scale, my weight on race day is 75.1 kilos (165 lbs). Add to that my pre-race jitters which make me feel like I need to poop (and I think I did twice that day) and I already have a lot of insecurities.

I arrived at SM Mall of Asia around 12 midnight, the weather was windy, cold, and some raindrops, it feels like there’s a storm coming. A good running buddy of mine, Odip was there. He wanted to run, but since he wasn’t able to join leg 1 and not qualified to complete the trilogy, and just decided to hang out and see some running friends. He offered to take my baggage to his car, so I don’t have to line up at the baggage counter. He also introduced me to some of his acquaintances from Team Rundom Warriors. Before the race, he let me use his brand new Xioami Huami Amazfit Stratos GPS running watch that I recommended to him (instead of a Garmin). Of course, I couldn’t say no and I plan to buy an Amazfit watch too, so it was the perfect opportunity to test run the product.

With Odip before the race.

The race started at 2 am (the earliest gun start of my recent races). Because the weather is quite good (none of that torturous humidity of ASICS Relay a week ago), I moved at my usual pace of 5:30 to 6 minutes per kilometers. I had to take a leak at the first portalet I saw (the one near GSIS in Diokno blvd.) and my first drink at the aid station in Macapagal blvd. I was able to hold a decent pace for the first 10 kilometers by reaching it at 58 minutes. I moved at a relaxed pace and to be in optimum condition, I drink a cup of Gatorade and then water at every station. My extra weight finally takes its toll when I reached the Kalayaan flyover. Going up is an exhausting experience and I feel like my stamina is depleting rapidly. I had to slowdown and walk a lot even on the flat parts of the flyover. I only ran when the flyover goes downhill. Since the route is restricted only to the entry point of BGC via the flyover, we had to pass through three U turns. First U turn at the end of the flyover then go back up (and down) again to take another U-turn just a few hundred meters away from the flyover entry point. Then go back to Kalayaan flyover again (this time at the opposite lane) all the way to the end for the last U turn back to the finish line. After the dizzying Kalayaan flyover route, I was able to relax and let the music on my Sony mp3 player dictate my pace. Although it was slower at 6:30 to 7 minutes per kilometer because of fatigue, I’m at ease.

The last 6 kilometers was the most excruciating experience. Crossing the road back to the area near World Trade Center and CCP Complex can be stressful because the runners had to sprint against the road vehicles (both parties want to cross the road first, but the marshals were able to handle the situation just fine). I started to feel a sting on my crotch area, chaffing made its presence known. At that point I was alternating between walking and slow jog (compared to walking and stopping only when I reach an aid station to re-hydrate). The hardest part was running on Macapagal blvd (after passing World Trade Center) and back to Mall of Asia. When I try to run or jog, it was only because my heart was pushing me to do it, but my body couldn’t keep up any more. I feel so tired that I just wanna sit down for a moment and rest. But, I didn’t because if I stop, I will lose momentum. My heart is dragging my body. And then, approaching Diokno blvd (GSIS street), one of my favorite power song, Van Halen’s Jump played and it gave me a much needed temporary boost. Then I slowed down again in the last 2 kilometers.

With less than 2 kilometers left, I forced myself to smile. Photo by Pinoy Fitness.
Last kilometer at Seaside Boulevard. My thoughts at the time, I just want this to end already. Photo by Starting Line PH.

When I saw the Finish Line timer at 03:23, I think I still have a shot to finish this at 3:30 or less. So, I still gave it a push, short bursts of run, walk, repeat. Last 300 meters, me and the other runners around me (I think there’s 7 or 8 of us) slowed down a bit to make sure that the photographers get a decent shot of us in action (like pretending we’re not tired or about to pass out).

My final action pose before crossing the finish line. My hand gesture is that of two guns about to shoot someone who doesn’t want to stop. hahaha. Photo by Bicolano Runner.

And I finally finished the race in … dum dum dum…. 3 hours and 30 minutes, well 3:29 for the chip time. I’m very satisfied with the Sub 3.5 finish because despite weighing 75 kilos, I was able to finish the race with a decent time.

Trying to figure out how to stop and save my run in this Amazfit Stratos. Photo by R30N Photography.
Special thanks to running buddy Odip for lending me this beautiful Amazfit Stratos.
The Official Time.
With Team Rundom Warriors after the race.

I wasn’t able to take photos of the winners of the Barkada Run and Buddy Run categories because I was taking a dump at the time (and it felt good). But, I was able to catch the winners of the major categories.

Winners of the 21k category Female.
Winners of the 21k category Male.
Winners of the 32k category Female.
The Kenyan-dominated winners of the 32k category Male.
And the Leg 2 lucky winner of the Garmin watch.
Closing show by The Voice’s Team Sarah.

I enjoyed leg 2 of Runrio Trilogy. It was challenging, but finishing the race with my heaviest weight ever without any major problems or injuries after the run feels like sweet victory.  The event is well-handled, but I heard that some 32k runners weren’t able to get medals because they ran out. This is a recurring problem in some running events and should be dealt with fairly. Looking forward and very excited for Leg 3 on September, the final race and to finally become a graduate of Runrio Trilogy Class of 2018.

Two down, one more to go.
The medal is beautiful, but the only drawback of the design is that you have to remove the lanyard to connect them.
I prefer milk over coffee though. A generous loot bag which also included a mineral water and Gatorade.


Posted in 10 kilometers, 10k, fun run, running, running event

Who cares? PCCI cares! Run for a Cause 3…

So, this is McKinley West.

Every once in a while, serious seasoned runners should take it easy, relax, and run for fun. PPCI Cares Run for a Cause 3 is once again handled by Aldenver Events (who is best known for the awesome obstacle race series Guerilla Race and Eggciting Adventure Family Fun Run) and for that reason I know it’s going to be a very good event.

Hours before the event, I wasn’t feeling well because of cough and sore throat and I was contemplating whether I should run or not. I woke up around 1 am, feeling okay, and finally decided to go. I had to leave home early because this is the first time I will run in McKinley West and I don’t know how to travel there via public transportation. I was able to board a bus going to Alabang around 3 am and then the bus from Alabang to Cubao before 4 am. I alighted at Magallanes because an office mate told me that I can ride a jeepney there. It’s too early and taking some time for the jeepneys to pass by, so I walked around a bit and finally spotted one. I asked the driver if he is passing by the Gate 3 terminal and he told me that he isn’t, but I can walk a few hundred meters from where he will stop. I walked towards the intersection going to the terminal and saw the Philippine Marine Corps. HQ to the left. Since I have a lot of time before the 5:15 am gun start, I decided to walk towards McKinley West which is 3+ kilometers away according to google maps. Some parts of the road is dark and someone was walking behind me and when I stopped to let him pass, he was walking so slow that I was able to overtake him. It was a long and slow walk and when I finally reached a point where I can take a right turn or straight ahead (with a sign that says McKinley straight ahead), I decided to turn right because I thought that’s where google maps is pointing me to go and I’m not very familiar with the place. I stopped to check the distance and the guy who was walking behind me asked if I know where the running event site is. I told him that it’s straight ahead and little did I know that I was going in the wrong direction and therefore led him to the wrong direction as well. It took a kilometer and a half when I finally realized that and when I asked a nice old man for directions and my idiocy is confirmed. I went back to where I came from and asked a guy who was setting up traffic cones where McKinley is just to be sure and he pointed the same direction that the old man did. I was looking behind me to see if the guy was still following me, but I don’t see him, it’s either he boarded a jeepney or took a shortcut if there was one. But, I was also expecting him to suddenly appear in front of me as I turn like GhostFace about to stab his victim. Too bad that didn’t happen.

It was already passed 5 am and I’m drenched with sweat when I finally found McKinley West. Since I’m not in my best condition I decided to downgrade the distance of my run from 15 kilometers to 10 kilometers.

10k runners. Photo by Bicolano Runner.

For safety reasons, the race started late. The 15k run started at 5:30 am instead of 5:15 am and we followed at 5:45 am.

What I look like when I’m running and not feeling well. Photo by Abi of Active Pinas.
Rogue Leader… Photo by I Can You Can Photography.

The first part of the route is around McKinley West before going out and towards the main road and then a left turn to the road where I got lost.

This is the road where I got lost earlier. I realized that I’ve been here before, it’s called Bayani Road and it was part of the Financial Fitness 2016 route.

I was taking it easy on the pacing since the weather is hot and there are a lot of uphills along the route. My sore throat is a big annoyance because when it dries up it feels like I’m going to vomit. Breathing isn’t smooth and there are times that I had to walk when I start coughing. It’s not a comfortable run, but I’m doing my best to stay on track.

My smile says I’m feeling great, but my sleepy puppy eyes say damn I’m tired and just want to finish and rest. Photo by Abi of Active Pinas.
Preparing for a risky jump shot. Photo by I Can You Can Photography.
The photographer didn’t capture the whole body photo because he’s using a telephoto lens. This is a crane kick pose (because I recently saw the Youtube Red series Cobra Kai and it’s a nostalgic tour de force). This is memorable because when my right foot landed first, I felt a cramp moving up in my right calf and almost made me land off balance. Good thing it the cramp didn’t made its presence all the way because I would’ve fell on the ground and crying for pain. And that would’ve been embarrassing. Photo by I Can you Can Photography.

After the U turn from Bayani Road and Heritage Park, the next part of the route goes to  McKinley Hill for another u-turn and then back to Mckinley West. At that point, I’m very tired and mostly walked a lot.

Closing in on that finish line…. Photo by Bicolano Runner.
…. any minute now. Photo by Bicolano Runner.

I finally tapped a bit of my reserved energy when I finally saw the inflatable obstacles near the finish line. At first I almost neglected it as I walk towards the finish line (because the obstacles are optional for the leisure runners), but a marshal encouraged us to go for it.  So, I mustered up whatever is left in the stamina tank and just climbed up the inflatable slide. And I’m glad I did because I had fun.

Huge soccer ball that you have to avoid by running through.
Slide Slide Slippity-Slide.
Bringing out the inner kid in me.

I took my time on the obstacles, I wanted to repeat it, but there’s some runners coming in so I moved towards the finish line. There’s no timing chip (because it’s a fun run where you can take as much time as you want to have fun, duh!), my GPS watch shows that I finished the whole race (including the obstacles) at 1 hour and 9 minutes. The time doesn’t matter though because what’s important is you have fun and I had a lot of that on the inflatable obstacles.

The hard-earned fun-earned medal.

As expected, Aldenver Events delivered another solid fun run, it’s got a nice and challenging route for experienced runners, fun inflatable obstacles for everyone, and lots of freebies (talking about bang for your buck stuff here). I’m glad that I participated the event despite my condition at the time, it was worth it. Let’s see what they have in store for fun runners next year.

The usual loot bag you get from an Aldenver Event. Lots of stuff inside…
And some supplements you can grab from the sponsors. There’s a lot more, but I wasn’t able to line up.
Still had a hard time figuring out the public transportation around the McKinley area. So, i decided to walk from McKinley West to Market Market (3 km away) in BGC to ride the bus to Alabang. It was a beautiful (a bit hot) day for a walk.
Posted in 16 kilometers, 16k, fun run, run for a cause, running, running event

Fired Up, Fired Down! (Fire Run 2018)

You don’t literally run on fire, but in summer time does make you feel on fire.

Pinoy Aspiring Runners’ Fire Run is the first of their Takbo PARa sa Kalikasan series of running events all of which are nature or elemental-themed. The next of the series are Water, Air (Wind), and Earth. Sorry, there’s no ‘Heart’ theme, so Captain Planet won’t be summoned by the time the series ends (better wait for a Valentines Day 2019 run, I guess). The beneficiary of the run for a cause is The Haribon Foundation.

I encouraged Diane (the runner I was training for her first half-marathon) to join this event as a tune-up run for NatGeo Earth Day Run 2018. She offered me to join the race as well and I couldn’t say no because it’s the best time to assess her health condition and overall fitness.

Race day (April 15). I woke up around 1 am and prepared for the event. I left home before 3 am and managed to board a bus to Alabang. It was way passed 3:30 am when I arrived in Alabang and it’s taking too much time to fill up the bus going to Cubao. If I remember correctly, I arrived in Makati at 4:20 am. Unfortunately, very few buses going to Mall of Asia drive by at the time and when I finally got on a MOA-bound bus, I only have 30 minutes or less before gun start. Since I’m not familiar with the jeepney commute from MOA area to CCP Complex, I had to travel on foot, which is at least 3 kilometers. I alighted near Blue Bay Walk with only 18 minutes to spare before gun start. I ran, but the weight of my backpack is slowing me down. I was near World Trade Center when Diane called to inform me where she’s at and the race is about to start soon. She was calling a 2nd time when I was near Star City and only 2 minutes left before gun start, but I was unable to answer it because I was jogging. Then I heard the gun start from the distance and saw the 16k runners already running. I’m probably 5 minutes late (deja vu?) and still took some time to get my backpack to the baggage counter. Everyone had a 7 minute (or more) head start.

I couldn’t see the tail end of the 16k runners and tried my best to catch up. I almost got lost by turning left to Roxas boulevard (cause I saw a U-turn sign), but the marshal there pointed me to the right direction. I finally saw the tail end on the dark road before the flyover and going to Buendia. I was looking for Diane and slowed down to check every runner I see. I was approaching the 4th kilometer (6+ kilometers if I include the 3 kilometers I ran earlier) and still couldn’t find her. I texted her and ask if she was ahead of me or behind, but I’m sure she is ahead because I looked at every runner along the way (even saw Anne Curtis). It was near the 16k U-turn when I finally found her and she already made the turn (approaching the 6th kilometer). I told her that I’ll catch up and boosted my pace. She’s moving faster than I estimated, I thought I will see her at the 3rd or 4th kilometer, but she was already approaching the 7th kilometer when I finally ran by her side. Gotta admire her motivation and endurance, I was slowing down to recover some stamina but she suddenly sprints whenever she see an intersection or traffic light. That’s how she’s Fired Up and I’m Fired Down. She also reached the 10th kilometer mark at 1 hour 9 minutes, faster than our training runs and close to her fastest 10k PR.

The sun is up when we got back to CCP Complex and the heat can be annoyance as we dehydrate faster than usual. I grabbed her water bottle and run ahead to refill it whilst she keeps moving. She told me that on the 12th kilometer she started to feel jello legs and we had to slow down for some recovery time.

Some like it hot. She gets furious (Fired Up) as I wipe the sweat off my face (Fired Down). Photo by Calvin Nadua Photography.

The PICC part of the route caused confusion to some runners,  first you take a U-turn and back to the other side of the road and then go around the rotunda (near Coconut Palace) and enter the PICC road again then finally take the left turn to the finish line. I saw some runners stopped and asked the marshal about the turn and probably asked how many times it should be done. We only did one loop as per our understanding and told the marshal that we already looped around the rotunda and he pointed us to the left turn.

After completing the PICC road-Coconut Palace Rotunda loop…
She still got the energy to smile…
whilst I’m trying to exert a small amount of energy to smile. Photos by Calvin Nadua Photography.

She still have a good amount of energy left and we jogged the last hundreds of meters non-stop.

Her resiliency is on fire!!! Photo by W30N Photography.

We crossed the finish line with an unofficial time of 1 hour and 47 minutes. But, it’s possible that the actual distance is less than 16 kilometers because Diane told me that her Apple watch recorded the distance of 15+ kilometers and my smartphone using Nike Run Club app got 18.1 kilometers including the 3 kilometers I covered from Blue Bay Walk to CCP Complex.

The total distance I covered including 3 kilometers from Blue Bay Walk to CCP Complex.
Happy Finishers!

Fire Run 2018 is a good running event. It has its flaws like the confusing race route (I heard a runner along the way talking on her cellphone saying that it’s not 3k because she’s already in the 4th kilometer, probably got lost), insufficient supply of water in some stations, and the messy line in the activity area. The medal’s design and quality is good and I like the fabric and simplicity of the finisher shirt. And it’s a run for a cause, you’re not just running, you’re doing it for awareness and the environment.

The Haribon Foundation’s Philippine Eagle mascot. The Philippine Eagle has a life span of 30 to 60 years. Unfortunately, they are a critically endangered species…
Let us all be responsible human beings and take care of nature and the endangered species.
Contents of the loot bag.
16k Finisher Shirt and medal.
Thanks Diane and Russel for the buffet breakfast at Bayview Park Hotel Manila.          


Posted in #runrio, 21.0975 kilometers, 21k, fun run, half-marathon, run for a cause, running, running event, Runrio Trilogy

Rogue Rebel Redefinition (Runrio Trilogy 2018)

Now’s the time to finish the trilogy.

When I started joining running events I always do it alone. I run alone and when I have friends or somebody I know joined the same event, I don’t pace with them, it’s either you finish first or I do (we’ll see each other at the finish line). Gone rogue or going rogue is what defines my moniker since the first time I did it in a team-based run by going my own separate way instead of sticking with them. Until recently I started running with buddies and enjoyed it. To be honest, it’s more fun than running alone and I got tired of training hard just to shave a few minutes off my Personal Best. And that feeling of helping others finish their first trail run or ultramarathon by running along with them is just a feel-good moment to yourself. And that is why I am currently training someone to help her finish her first half-marathon next month. Sure, it destroys the whole concept of being a Rogue and Rebellious Runner, but times change.

Every now and then, there’s a feeling that I want to run alone, purely for myself, and maybe even go for breaking my PB. The feeling isn’t that strong as before, but sometimes I just wanna go back to my old ways and this year’s Runrio Trilogy is the right event to go Rogue Rebel again. And besides, I’ve been trying to join and finish the trilogy years ago, but the issues with 21k of leg 1 selling out quickly (due to some runners hoarding just to sell their slots online for a higher price) and the recent price increase of registration fees prevented me from achieving my goal. Luckily, this time I have the resources.

The event hosted by Rizza Diaz and Vince Velasco.

I haven’t really trained for serious speed for this run. In fact, the last 3 training runs I did were short (not even a 10k) and slow runs. But I was able to sleep well for the race at the cost of waking up late (10:40 pm) and almost missing the last commuter van to Alabang. I was able to reach the event site at around 1 am and had some time to rest and eat before the 4 am gun start.

National anthem before the race. Photo from Runrio facebook page.

I spotted Richard Salaño positioning himself in front and wished him good luck. The race started on time as always with the Runrio races. Fueled by excitement, I ran the first kilometer a bit faster than my usual 5:30/km pace. It was around 4th kilometer when I slowed down to make sure that I don’t burn too much of my stamina early. I was able to reach the 5th kilometer around 28 minutes (according to my GPS devices), slowing down at the 6th kilometer to take my first sip of Gatorade, and it was smooth sailing all the way to the 9th kilometer. Going to the 10th kilometer is where things get a bit tough as we go up the Kalayaan flyover which is a bit taxing because it’s a curvy uphill with very little lighting. It’s hard to see the road and it’s very likely that you’ll trip and fall if you’re not focused. There’s an opportunity to speed up during the downhill going to the U-turn at the end of Kalayaan flyover, but my pace dropped to 6+ minutes per kilometer on this part of the route. Returning to the flat road of Buendia Avenue, I was able to return to a sub 6 minute per kilometer pace from kilometer 12 to 15. Then things get a bit more difficult as more motorists enter the roads and there are times that we have to stop at intersections to give way to the impatient motorists (some even defied the traffic enforcers). Adding more challenge is the fact that we are now running with the 10k runners and congestion builds up since we can only use one lane and the rest are for the motorists which are on a stand still because of the traffic caused by the run. Nearing the intersection going to World Trade Center, we were at full stop because the motorist are getting hot-headed and the noise of the vehicles’ horn are overwhelming the traffic enforcers so they had to let them pass. By the time I reached Macapagal Blvd, I was already exhausted but still trying to up my pace because my GPS watch is telling me that I can make a Sub-2 finish, but my Nike Run app on my smartphones disagrees with a discrepancy of more than 400 meters, and the kilometer markers along the road not matching the distance on my smartphone app. I still tried to push it regardless of what I hear or see from my GPS devices. Unfortunately, I started to feel cramps on my calves when I finally reached Seaside blvd (which is probably the last 2 kilometers). I was trying to prevent them using the jog-walk method and I did walk a lot because a pinch of pain worries me a lot, making me think that of the worst possibilities. When I finally saw the traffic light and the finish line just 100+ meters away from it, I made one last dash (well more like a slow jog) to the finish line. And that was it, I finally finished the race not with the results that I want, but also not disappointed.

Well, my fastest half-marathon is 2:06 from last year’s Eggciting Fun Run (assuming that the distance is indeed 21k and not 20.6 km that my Nike Run app recorded), 02:07 isn’t so bad. And Rank 182 out of 2,000+ runners is good enough.
Aside from getting bitten by a vampire along the way (kidding, my hand hit a sharp metal along the route), my GPS is the other annoyance for making me think that I reached 21k at 01:59:38 and the total distance is 22.04 kilometers. To be fair, I’m starting to have doubts that my entry-level Soleus is inferior to the more expensive brands considering that Anne Curtis’ Garmin recorded 22.1 kilometers (saw it on instagram and I’m not a stalker). Also saw similar posts by runners on instagram resulting at 22 kilometers and more. My Nike Run app recorded 21.59 km. If only I could test more GPS devices for accuracy to update my experiment.
Bumped into Paulo Gabriel who finished the run at 01:41. Whoa!
Given but Earned! Yeah! Photo from Runrio facebook page.
Spot me and my neon green Kinvara 7 shoes. 2,000+ 21k Runners. How many will be able to complete the trilogy? Photo from Runrio facebook page.
Fastest 5k Barkada Runners (group of 4)
Fastest 5k Family Runners (2 adults and 2 kids).
Music number by all-girl band Rouge. Fun Fact: In the press conferences I attended, people misspell Rogue (read as ‘rowg’) with Rouge (‘read as rooj’).
The Top Three 10k Buddy Runners.
The Top Three 21k Runners Female Category.
The Top Three Male 21k Runners. Fastest is Kenyan Alex Melly 01:12:09 and 2nd place Richard Salaño at 1:12:12. Just a 3 second difference. Very similar to Salaño’s 21k result at 7-Eleven Run 2018, just 3 seconds behind another Kenyan.
And the lucky winner of the Garmin GPS watch. Why can’t it be me?

I enjoyed the run. I have a strong dislike with running events in the Pasay area and the same old route, but I probably liked this run because it has been quite a while since the last time I ran this route. And it is slightly different because the last time I ran it was the same old MOA to Roxas blvd to Baclaran and back. I hated the intersection between World Trade Center going to Sen Gil Puyat Ave though. Too many vehicles on the sides and there are potholes along the road that almost tripped the runner beside me. Kalayaan flyover is also not properly lit, but it’s good that there’s an ambulance on standby in that area. With that said, I have finally made my decision to finish the trilogy. The Afroman distance, 32 kilometers is up next in June and I will train properly for that. My mindset before is back, finishing the trilogy is like graduating a prestige running event. This is it, the opportunity, my chance to finally complete the trilogy, the right time because it’s been long overdue. Oh, and a big congratulations to my running buddy, Diane, whom I have been training to run her first half-marathon next month. She finished her 10k at 01:08. Big improvement from the 01:10 training run we did the week before. She’s improving faster than I did when I started joining the running community.

Got the first piece of the TriForce! yeah!
Probably the reason for the pricey registration fee. Adidas Running shirts ain’t cheap ya know.
Contents of the loot bag. Loved that Bear Brand Sterilized Milk with Ginseng and Kit Kat Gree Tea.
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 #runrio, 10 kilometers, 10k, 21.0975 kilometers, 21k, 5k, 5km, fun run, half-marathon, Press Conference, running, running event, Running Soon, Runrio Trilogy

Running Soon: Runrio Trilogy 2018 (Press Conference + Awards Night)

Here for the rundown and the runners for the dress up.

For several years the Runrio Trilogy race series became the Run United trilogy. Last year Run United became a separate event called Run United Exceed and the classic Runrio Trilogy Race Series returned last year. The traditional Awards Night also returned to honor all the runners who completed the trilogy distances of half-marathon 21k, 32k or better known as the Afroman distance, and the full marathon 42k. Completing the trilogy is the runner’s equivalent of Graduation Day. I have never joined any of the past trilogy runs, but I was invited to witness the Awards Night and the press conference to see what it’s like and what they have in store for runners this year.

With the members of the press. Photo from Runrio facebook page.
Classy venue.


The Awards Night ceremony held in Okada Manila is classy, most of the runners are dressed up for the occasion, and very good food was served. All completionists of the trilogy get a commemorative medal hanger and there are also special rewards for the fastest runners overall and on each age group. The fastest male and female runners gets the ultimate reward of an all-expense paid trip and entry to the 2018 Chicago Marathon. All of the runners are called on stage just like Graduation Day.

Coach Rio congratulating the graduates.
If you ran your first marathon in the trilogy, you might just cry on stage.
A Street Dance presentation to entertain us during the intermission.
A running mate, Rick Frias (7th from the left) with his batch.
Another running mate, Mark Ponteres (5th from the left) with batch.
Meet Gil Brazil, the fastest runner in the age 60 category. He is 65 years old and finished 21k at 02:07:23, 32k at 03:28:27, and 42k at 04:46:08. Yes, he is faster than some of the younger runners present at the event.
Fastest female runner is Philippine Marathon record-holder Cristabel Martes who wasn’t present at the event.
The fastest male runner Jojie Daga-as.
Through Runrio and the runners who participated in the events, the beneficiary YesPinoy Foundation received PhP500,000 donation. Thank you.
Congratulations graduates of Runrio Trilogy Class of 2017.



From Left to Right, Pebbles Sanche-Ogang (Exec. Director – YesPinoy Foundation); Coach Rio Dela Cruz (President of Runrio), and Andrew Neri (Managing Partner – Runrio)

A press conference for the announcement of the races for the Runrio Trilogy 2018 was held after the awards night. A major addition to the series is the expansion to Cebu. The first leg will be held on March 4 in Cebu and on March 18 in Manila. The second leg will be on May 6 for Cebu and March 18 in Manila. The last leg will be on August 9 in Cebu and September 23 in Manila.

New running categories are also added to make it more fun for runners who prefer to run with friends and family. There’s a 5k Family Run for a group of four consisting of two adults and two kids. A 5k Barkada Run for a group of four adults age 16 years and above. And a 10k Buddy Run which is also for runners age 16 years and above. Group registrations are entitled to discounts on the registration fees.

“This year promises to be exciting for us and for all those who went to join our runs,” said Coach Rio Dela Cruz, RUNRIO President and CEO. “Running enthusiasts can look forward to the 2018 RUNRIO Trilogy not only as an avenue to push their limits but also to spend quality time with friends and family.”

The RUNRIO Trilogy was made possible by its other partners, namely, Gatorade, Maynilad, Garmin, SM Mall of Asia, Nyxsys, Inside Manila, Fitbar, KitKat, Efes, Nizoral, Salonpas, and Milcu Deodorant Powder.

For more information on the registration fees and online registration schedule, visit

A look at the new tech shirt and medal.
A closer look at the interlocking medal. During the Q & A, Runrio Inc’s Andrew Neri said that if you missed a leg due to instances beyond control or schedule conflicts but still want to complete the medals, you can try to get a medal from a different venue (Cebu or Manila) because the medals from both are the same and interlocks without compatibility issues. So, in video and video game terms, the medal is “region-free” 🙂
The 21k and 32k (Afroman Distance) medals.
With running mate and 2017 Graduate Rick Frias.
With the ever awesome Coach Rio Dela Cruz.

I had a good time at the awards night and press conference. Special Thanks to Sir Alvin Marayan and Mam Lyn for the invitation and transportation. As for this year’s event, I will be running the half-marathon and we’ll see after the run if I will be continuing with the series (which I actually planned years ago but always had the misfortune of  registering too late because the 21k category of leg 1 always sold out in just a couple of days) and be part of Runrio Trilogy Class of 2018. In-store registration starts on February 10, for more details go to See you there.

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.