Runner Dies at Kuala Lumpur Marathon

Monday, 28 June 2010  |  Bullish Insights

This is tragic news.

Click HERE to read the article on The Malay Mail.

One of the Pace Partners I met during the KL trip, Armi, mentioned that she met a young male runner at the 10k who asked for directions on the course. She replied to him and he thanked her. She told him “See you after the race.” and he sped off. She says he was strong and fast. Shortly after, Armi was shocked to see him lying in a stretcher being carried into an ambulance.

I’m not sure if this is the man she was talking about. But, it’s just frightening how, in a split second, one’s life can be taken away. I’m certain none of us signing up for a 10k—heck even a 42k—even thinks this could happen to us. But, it can.

Stories like these simply remind us all to always practice caution when we run. Whether we signed up for a 10k or a 42k, or even if we’re just going on a training run, it’s important to ensure that we are physically fit (get a doctor’s clearance if necessary), we are eating properly, and that we know when to stop if something feels amiss.

It’s also a reminder to race organizers to have medical assistance at all times and at key areas of the race for quick response.

Careful on the road, guys!

Mary Grace de los Santos Bags 2nd Place at Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Half Marathon

Monday, 28 June 2010  |  Race Reports

I’m back from a fantastic Kuala Lumpur trip sponsored by Newton and CW-X where I joined the Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Half Marathon yesterday.

While I try to catch up on sleep (our flight was in the wee hours of the morning), allow me to share the good news: Mary Grace de los Santos, a Cebu-based 25 year old runner from Zamboanga, bagged 2nd Place female category at the KL Marathon.  Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

Mary Grace with medal2
– Mary Grace de los Santos wins 2nd Place Women’s Category KL Half Marathon –

It was a proud day for our small Filipino contingent. It was actually just Mary Grace, Renze of Newton, and myself in this video:

During dinner after the race, I asked Mary Grace if she felt any pressure or stress to win the race.  In all humility, she shook her head saying that she felt confident about winning.  She did admit that she was shivering as she stood at the starting line, but it was due to the cold from the slight drizzle. Hah!

Grace at starting line
– Grace at the starting line –

Mary Grace’s PR for a half marathon is 1:24 recorded at The Great Lapu Lapu Run last March 2010.  The winning time of the 1st placer at KL half marathon, a Kenyan, was 1:24.  The 3rd placer came in 2 mins. after Mary Grace.

Both 1st and 3rd placers had pacers by their side, but Mary Grace was all by her lonesome.  She said that she slowed down considerably when 42km runners and half marathoners filled water stations.  (I was actually surprised to hear that she even stopped to drink considering her time!)

Grace awarding

– Grace at the awarding –

Congratulations once again to Mary Grace who did the Philippines proud yesterday!  Hats off to Toby Claudio, Renze Banawa and the entire Newton and CW-X team who provided support and exposure to Mary Grace.  I was a witness to how Renze of Newton took good care of Mary Grace during the entire trip.  He contacted the race organizer to ensure that Mary Grace was included in the front line with the elite and woke up at 3 a.m. to accompany her for the elite warm up sessions before race day.  He did all that and still managed to finish his 1st half marathon with a time of 1:51.

More stories about KL Marathon within the week!  For now, I’ll leave you with this video of the awarding of the 1st Placer at the 42k Male division:

Kuala Lumpur: Pre-KL Marathon

Saturday, 26 June 2010  |  Bullish Insights

Hubby and I arrived in rainy Kuala Lumpur in the wee hours of this morning.  We did so much today, I feel like we’ve been here for a week.

We checked into Citrus Hotel at 2 a.m. where Renze of Newton and CW-X and our best bet for a half marathon podium finish, Cebuana runner Mary Grace, were already booked the day before. Citrus Hotel is a low-cost hotel with an old bathroom and a spider as special guest, hotel service that was reluctant to provide more than one extra pillow, and a carpeted room that just made me itch wondering if it was clean at all. I woke up at 8 a.m. on my hard mattress to receive good news: Renze was moving us to a better hotel. Thank. You. Lord!

– The only thing good about Citrus Hotel was 1) free wifi and 2) a good view of Kuala Lumpur from our room –

At 10 a.m., we rushed off to meet Pinoy running friends Pace Partners.  I was excited to see April again, one of the founders of Pace Partners who had recently moved back to Penang from Manila.  We had a filling brunch over great conversation at Central Market.  It was there that I learned that the Pace Partners are great runners, but even better eaters!

Together, we visited the race start at Dataran Merdeka…

– Race start is right behind us –

– There you go…the race start without us blocking your view –

– When you gotta go, you gotta go –

We picked up our race packets together at Stadium Titingwasa…

– Just one of our many photo op stops on our way to the Stadium –

– Once again, here’s the view that we blocked –

– Ang iniiiiit! Let’s hope it’s cooler tomorrow –

– Organizers provided free shuttle service for race packet redemption –

– Nice park near the stadium –

– Hubby and I after claiming our race packets. It was quick and efficient –

We shopped briefly at the small expo at the side of the stadium…

– Pace Partner girls definitely know how to shop –


We ate again at Suria Mall (told you PP know how to eat!) and parted ways with the Pace Partners. Thanks to the Pace Partners for the wonderful time!

Hubby and I shopped to our heart’s delight at Suria and Pavillion Malls.  Well, all I took home was lipstick (so if I mess up tomorrow at least I look good…kidding!)

– At Pavillion Mall with aching feet. Wish me luck tomorrow. I’ve never done this much walking before a half –

– Whoops…wrong sport. KL is going gaga over soccer…like the rest of the world –

Then, we had a fine dinner with Renze at an Italian restaurant in Pavillion Mall before we moved into our new hotel, Impiana Hotel which is just wonderful.

– with Renze, our gracious host and sponsor, and hubby –

Mary Grace was probably the only one who was doing the right thing the night before the race.  She was resting in her hotel room.  We dropped by to wish her all the best for tomorrow…

– Thanks to Newton and CW-X, Mary Grace can take a shot at a podium finish for half marathon at KL Marathon –

I’m all set for my half marathon tomorrow…and so is my gear…


Hubby is fast asleep, so I better get some shut eye too.  Otherwise, he might outrun me! Sssshhhh…


– Love the name that Renze put on the bib! –

Milo Marathon: Getting Ready for July 4

Thursday, 24 June 2010  |  Race Announcements

Less than 10 days to go until the 34th Milo Marathon!

I attended the Milo Marathon press briefing this afternoon at Bayview Hotel, a sea of green press people and guests filled the entire room, a preview of the runners clad in green on July 4, 2010 at Roxas Boulevard.

– Good thing they gave me this so I can blend in with the crowd next time –

As I’ve said, this 34th Milo Marathon is unlike any other marathon Milo has staged in the past. The way I see it, they managed to maintain their image as the premier race in the country (Milo Marathon is almost an institution, really), while proving that they can compete with the newer, world-class urban races.

As they plan to provide runners with all the perks of a contemporary race—bananas, portalets, timing chips, Gatorade, bands, and even gels—they were careful to remind us that their focus is still their new advocacy: to give shoes to public school children in every city where a Milo race is held.

We learned that the 4,000 school children who will benefit from Milo Marathon will actually be running 3k on race day with their brand new shoes! How cool is that?

After the presscon, I had the pleasure of chatting with Nestle executives Afnan Ahsan, Andrew Neri, and Lester Castillo.  We discussed the new route along Macapagal-Roxas Blvd. and the feedback from most runners concerned about the convergence of the various race distances. It was nice to know that the 3k and 5k will be in an entirely separate route from the other distances. I do hope they can do their best to keep the 10k, half marathon, and marathon runners’ course free from traffic upon the inevitable merging on the road. Having to weave through a crowd of runners during a road race can be exasperating (flashback: my Singapore Half Marathon 2008)

– with Nestle execs Afnan Ashan, Pat Goc-Ong, myself, Bald Runner, Andrew Neri, and Lester Castillo –

– with Mr. Ashan and Cris Sabal, defending champion of Milo Marathon with a time of 2:32:56 last year –

Mr. Ahsan also shared with me his dream of making Milo Marathon as big as Boston Marathon some day. “If we do that,” he said, “we’ll make our mark.” Well, nothing is impossible, really. As they say, “great things start from small beginnings.”

See you at Milo on July 4, 2010.

For more info, click HERE to visit the Milo website.

Running Booms in Davao

Thursday, 24 June 2010  |  News + Promos

It’s great to know that running is booming not just in Manila, but also in the provinces.

I was a witness to the active running community in Cebu and I was fortunate enough to participate in my all-time favorite race, Cebu Marathon 2010, and the Great Lapu Lapu Run.  In Cebu, I met a group of runners from Bacolod.  I was also told that running is growing in Iloilo.

In Davao, a new running specialty store, RunClub, will open tomorrow to cater to the growing community of Dabawenyo runners. Former PSC Chair (presently, PTF Chair) William “Butch” Ramirez, and Nike Philippine’s Country Commercial Director Ms. Loulette Quinio will be there to inaugurate the new store.

RunClub will have Nike, Adidas, Mizuno, Asics and New Balance footwear and apparel.  For accessories, Nike watch and eyewear, Rudy project, Fuel belts and Optic Nerve will be available.  While for nutrition products, they’ll have Gu and Power Foods.

Address: Plaza del Carmen, Loyola St., Bo. Obrero, Davao City
Store hours: 10:30 – 7pm, Monday- Saturday
Contact number: (082) 222-8786

It would be great to visit Davao in August when they celebrate Kadayawan Festival.  Every single weekend of August will have a running event! (thanks to Ester for sending):

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about running in Cagayan de Oro!  Stay tuned…