Part 3: Berlin Marathon – Team Pilipinas!

Monday, 8 October 2012  |  Bullish Insights

The day before the marathon, we met up with other Pinoy runners who were signed up for Berlin Marathon.

– Team Pilipinas! L to R: JaneJane, Drew, Nica, Ton, me, Lit, Chicho, Riza, Miriam, and Angel.  All of Team Pilipinas—except myself—were sponsored by New Balance for apparel and shoes –

We had our carbo-loading lunch followed by, umm, a sugar-overloading dessert feast with wonderful couple, Chicho and Riza Mantaring.  Riza is the President and CEO of Sun Life who we featured in TBR Magazine – Jan/Feb 2012 issue.  She was deep into training for Berlin when a freak accident (during Ironman 70.3 Cebu, she came only as spectator for her son but got sideswiped by a jeepney during her long run) left her injured, but she still came to support Chicho.

– Lit, Chicho, Riza, Angel, Mir, and Ton chatting about running over sumptuous desserts and coffee –

We were also joined by world marathon travelers and Cebu-based owners of the popular Leona’s bakeshop, siblings JaneJane, Nica, and Drew Ong.  The Ong siblings are the best travel and marathon companions. Super fun and, yes, super fast. We ran California International Marathon together last year.

We walked from the restaurant to the Brandenburg Gate, the marathon’s start and finish area. We covered the last few kilometers of the actual race course.

– Walking through a portion of our race course –

– Spotted fellow marathoners on the streets. Two of them carrying the race kit in front of us –

The Brandenburg Gate was a sight to behold. I couldn’t believe we’d be running the last few meters of the marathon towards it!

– with the Brandenburg Gate behind me –

– The last few meters of the marathon –

– Team Pilipinas at the Berlin Marathon –

We entered the race area to find a festive atmosphere the day before the race! There were food stalls and benches for people to eat and drink beer.

– Now, how far exactly from the Brandenburg Gate until the finish line? –

– After this, it’s 0.195 to go! –

– Eat all you want bratwurst, currywurst, and other German specialties –

– Drink all you want! –

– Aside from running, in line skating was also part of the event. Hey, hey, we women aren’t complaining! –

– Chicho, Lit, and Angel checking out the finish line –

– Ton must be saying a silent prayer for a great marathon. Or just checking out the girls near the gate –

Previous: Part 2: Berlin Marathon – Our Pre-Race Run and Segway Tour
Next: Part 4: Berlin Marathon

Thanks to Unilab Active Health for my great Berlin Marathon adventure!

Part 2: Berlin Marathon – Our Pre-Race Run and Segway Tour

Monday, 1 October 2012  |  Bullish Insights

Friday morning in Berlin, two days before the race, we went on our last easy run before the big day. We took off from Cosmo hotel, which I highly recommend should you ever come to Berlin to run its marathon. The weather was p-e-r-f-e-c-t. It was cool enough to make us feel like a 5:45 min/pace was effortless without having us shivering like tourists from the tropics.

– We, and our running shoes, made it to Berlin! Woot woot! –

– Miriam, Angel, myself, Ton, and Lit –

– The streets we ran were runner friendly. They were clean, wide, and practically vehicle free –

We ran easy while chatting and laughing. Then, we came upon these colossal works of art in Gendarmenmarkt Square.   Now, what do Pinoy runners do when they chance upon great sites? They stop and ham it up for the camera of course!

– Ton, Miriam, and Angel –

– The Französischer Dom (French Cathedral) –

– Konzerthaus am Gendarmarkt –

– On the steps of Konzerthaus am Gendarmarkt, concert hall in Berlin –

We went on and ran through some streets which were marked as part of the marathon route.


Ran through parks…


Beautiful tree-lined roads…


…and even some beer for Ton!


After a quick stop over at the grocery, we had a wonderful breakfast of cheese, scrambled eggs with bacon (ooh lala), and yummy coffee in front of the concert hall.  It was a bit chilly but the restaurant provided blankets!  (How cool is that?!)  Perfect morning, really.

– Illy coffee is served! –


Later in the day, we knew we had to tour Berlin but we didn’t want to tire our feet. Lit had the awesome idea of going on the Berlin Segway tour!

We met our tour guide, Marriet, who quickly taught us how to use the Segway, then immediately took us through the roads of Berlin and its major sites: Unter den Linden, Branderburg Gate (marathon start and finish), Bebelplatz (site of the famous Nazi book burning), and Museum Island.  (Fantastic tour. Again, I highly recommend this!)

– Team Berlin on our Segways with the great Berlin Cathedral behind us –

– with the Brandenburg Gate behind us –

After our tour, we headed for some schnitzel and currywurst at Roccos.

– The boys try to figure out our way through the subway –

– Authentic German dinner for carbo loading –

– Ton and Miriam’s liquid carbo loading –

– Evening cap at the lobby of Cosmo Hotel.  We bumped into fellow Pinoy runner and renowned architect Manny Minana and his photographer wife Denise –

Previous: Part 1: Berlin Marathon: The Race Expo
Next: Part 3: Berlin Marathon: Lunch with Pinoy runners

Thanks to Unilab Active Health for my great Berlin Marathon adventure!

Part 1: Berlin Marathon – The Race Expo

Saturday, 29 September 2012  |  Bullish Insights

After a flight that felt like forever (10 hour layover in Doha, baby!), Team Berlin from the Philippines—that’s Lit, Ton, Angel, Miriam, and myself—arrived in Berlin last Thursday. As soon as we landed, we checked into our hotel, washed up, and headed straight for the Berlin Marathon expo to claim our race packs.

– Lost in the subway with the boys hauling our luggage. Thanks Ton and Lit! –

– Bromance in Berlin. Roomies Ton and Lit –

– Outside the race expo at Flughafen Tempelholf (say what?!) –

– Balloons (and German boys) to welcome runners! –

– Friendly staff welcomed me as I claimed my kit –

– We’re all in for Berlin! Ton, Lit, me, Angel, and Miriam. Behind us is the 42k course we run on Sunday! Woohoo! –

– That is exactly how the race will look on Sep. 30 with the assembly at Brandenburg Gate! Of course, I’ll be in running clothes and lost in the huge crowd of 40,000 runners –

The Berlin Marathon Expo was huge with booths of most running brands represented. There were a lot of official marathon merchandise from adidas, but I couldn’t find anything that interested me. Absent as well from the expo were the brands that I usually go crazy over: Cliff Blocks, Gatorade for pre-race fuel, GU or Hammer gels, and other items that I don’t normally find in Manila.

I ended up buying only one thing: Phiten discs which work very well for me to alleviate minor aches and pains. (Some friends used to make fun of me over this, but they freaked themselves out when, after trying, it worked for them too!) I usually buy the plain ones, but there were limited edition Berlin discs this time! Cool!

– Limited edition Berlin phiten discs. Pretzels and beer on my toes!  (Yes, I know my bunions are big!)

When we got home, I checked out all the loot in the bag.  First thing I always do is keep the important race items safe and secure.

– My check in bag, reusable BMW timing chip (It’s that tiny BMW chip on the left of the bib. So sosyal!), and personalized race bib –

– Official Finisher’s Shirt of the Berlin Marathon. Love it! –

– Most of the items in the kit. A box of pasta, Powerbar sample, chocolate. Most of these were marathon flyers I collected as well during the expo –

– adidas provided a mi time wristband which you can engrave with your finish time after the race –

– Anyone who trains and finishes a marathon has every right to receive this in the race kit. Yum! –

Next article: Our pre-race run through Berlin roads

Thank you to Unilab Active Health for sponsoring my Berlin Marathon adventure!

TBR Dream Marathon 2013 Announcements

Monday, 24 September 2012  |  Bullish Insights

To all TBR Dream Marathon 2013 Participants:

Most of our announcements and news for the race will be posted on our website:  Please check that often for upcoming events or information pertaining to the site.  NOT all race info will be posted here on so as not to bore all other readers hah!


Just to let you know:

Over the weekend, we posted the following:

1) Final list of registrants for TBR Dream Marathon 2013

2) List of TBR DM Weight Management Program participants.  For those on the list, please attend your first TBRDM Weight Management Session at 7 tonight in Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Bar, 3/F Gap Building, BHS (on top of Gap and Muji). Thank you to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Bar for hosting!

Flach, Schnell Und Unvergesslich

Sunday, 23 September 2012  |  Bullish Insights

Say what?! Don’t ask me to verbalize that. It took me a while to just type it!

It’s how the organizers of the Berlin Marathon describe their race. It means: “flat, fast and unforgettable.”

– Map of Berlin Marathon on my bulletin board –

In seven days, I, along with four of my running buddies, will be running those flat and fast roads of Berlin, the fastest marathon course in the world.  WOW!  To say I am excited would be an understatement.

Earlier this morning, some of us in Team Berlin (yes, that’s what we’ve been calling ourselves for the past months.  I told you we were excited about this race!) ran our last weekend run together.  Looking back, I told a friend I felt like we breezed through those long runs together.  We ran consecutive Sundays hitting 21k, 24k, 28k, then 35k until we tapered off.  Today, we capped off our marathon training with a 12k run.

For me, it was bittersweet.  While I was glad to have ended training, I do have to admit that I’ll miss those long runs, the company of friends, and the sumptuous breakfast after.  I can’t help it.  I’m just one of those people who love both the journey and the destination when it comes to marathons.  I just live for long runs!  (Hey, I can make  t-shirts with that line!)

For the next few days, I plan to just do one more run, one Bikram yoga session, and one bike trainer session.  That’s on top of trying to finish work, tutoring the kids for exams, and packing.  Waah!  After all that, I fly out on the 26th for what I’m sure will be a flach, schnell und unvergesslich marathon on September 30!

* Wish us all Pinoy runners luck!  We’re around 40 from Manila.

** Piolo (yes, Papa P) was supposed to join us, but he had to back out because of work. Boo! (Funny side story: He personally told me this in the Shangrila Cebu elevator.  I entered.  He was inside and called me by name.  Me?!  My jaw dropped.  He spoke matter of factly about not making it to Berlin and I managed to listen without drooling or fainting.  Hay life is good!)