TBR DM Story: Team Rock and Road

Tuesday, 27 March 2012  |  Bullish Insights

TBR Dream Marathon launches with registration in September, officially begins training in October, and culminates in March for race day. We’re together for 22-weeks of talks and clinics. It is inevitable that deep friendships and strong bonds are formed from our runners. They sign up as strangers and are bonded for life after they cross the finish. It’s a gift from joining TBR Dream, probably just as significant as the 42km finishers’ medal.

Here’s a story written by Allan Gregor Bulos, Bib #079 about his team: Team Rock and Road.


I have never written anything in my life. But something about my experience at the TBR Dream Marathon 2012 made me feel that I had to write. This is a story, no a journey of love, life, laughter and most of all friendship.

This is Team Rock and Road…

Allan Gregor Bulos (Bib# 079), Elvin Pastorfide (Bib# 17,Pacer), Goldy Dela Cruz (Bib# 159), Jonard Aries Gamboa (Bib# 210), Kristine Joy Cerame (Bib# 107), Riz Damaso (Bib# 141), Rosemarie Beltran (Bib# 063), Marie Joyce Negepatan (Bib# 365), Christopher Sta. Cruz (Bib# 517)

We are a small group of Runners/Mountain Climbers. Out of that small group, 7 first time marathoners (Me, Jonard and Joy – The Lovers, Joyce – Ms. Shy Ako, Riz – Ms. Estuar Legs, Goldy – The Female Mamaw & Chris – The Joker), 1 who’s looking for running her second marathon (Rose – The Experienced one), and a willing pacer (Master Elvin) ran The Bull Runner Dream Marathon last March 18. (I would often think of these monikers in my head when we were out running or just hanging around together,hehehe).

– The ever growing Pinoy Fitness Family –

Six months ago, we barely knew each other. We were just casual acquaintances over Facebook and members of the Pinoy Fitness Forum. We would occasionally talk with each other within a thread even though we haven’t really me each other. We technically registered separately for the TBR Dream Marathon. When the registration started, I signed up for myself. At the time of registration, some of us were already running since 2010 and some of us started just on 2011 including me (I started joining Fun Runs last May 2011). Luckily, all of us made the list, not knowing what will happen in the next few months.

Some of us, knew each other longer that the others. I only knew Joy, Jonard, Joyce, Elvin & Chris. Joyce only knew Rose, Goldy, Chris and Me. Rose only knew Joyce. And so on and so forth(I even remember clearly when I was trying to introduce Joyce to Joy and Jonard but being the shy person she was, was reluctant to do so, hehe).


– Joyce, Mr. Yakult (Gabe Mercado), Me and Rose –

The seed of the group was planted last November 30, after a run event at Ultra. The most of us, bound together by the love of running and the dwelling curiosity on Mountain Climbing, got together.

– Joyce and Joy (Magkakilala na sila dito, hehe) –

– With Jc,one of the members of the Team –

Then, the serious training for the Marathon came. We planned long runs together through UP & Nuvali. We sacrificed time and “alone” times for the event. We would change our schedules so that all of us could run on the same route. We would pace each other during races. We would look out for each other for posts in the TBR page. Luckily, we all managed to get slots on all of the Shuttle Services to and from Nuvali (I even remembered when we just got from mountain climbing that the sign-up sheet was posted, that we registered through the cellphone of Jonard), we even managed to get slots for the Gatorade test. It was one for all, and all for one!

– At UP just after the Holidays –

– Valentine’s Day LSD with other TBRDM Batchmates –

– LSD at Shotgun (Rodriguez, Rizal), that’s me crawling, hehe –

– We managed to get slots for the Nuvali Shuttle –

– At the Gatorade Sweat Test –

– With The Bull Runner herself (photo credits to Mark Tibo-oc & Luzel Franco) –

The Day before the race, we carbo loaded in an eat all you can restaurant. We talked about our planned race paces. We agreed that we would run with our own pace then would meet up at the finish buffet. Then we headed to the hotel where we have reserved for the event. We even had a film viewing of “One More Chance” starring John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo (current favorite film of the group, hehe), just to get our mind off what we will do the next day.

Then it was the race day itself. It was a very festive atmosphere. Picture taking here and there, everyone giving pleasantries to each other, laughter in the air, everybody was loosening up. We even had a picture of the Pinoy Fitness Family near the starting line. After which Coach Jim, Neville, Jaymie made their remarks, encouragements then set us off.

– Just before the start (photo credits to Active Moments) –

( I can only tell the story of my race because I, along with Elvin, ran at our pace)

We were off…

We were running at the planned pace, attacking the up hills properly, rolling along the down hills to conserve energy. We were giving high five’s, greeting and growling as we passed each other.

– Me and Elvin at one of the Dream Chasers Zone (Photo credits to Yongsky) –

We ran first half of the Marathon in only 2:03:00. But I soon found out, the real race really was at the second half. We were maintaining a good pace right until the 28th km when I started to tire and slow down.

By the 35th km, I finally got my second wind that lasted for only 1km before side stitches attacked. So I just decided the last few km’s of the run and not worry about any target finish time.

– One of the numerous walk breaks –

– Wrong timing on an attempt for a jumpshot (photo credits to Aquiz) –

But by the 40th km or so, while passing the Second Wind Zone, a friend sprayed me with a mist of very cold water. It suddenly recharged my drained batteries that I ran the remaining distance at a pace of 5min/km. (Spoke with Elvin that I will try to run at a 5min/km pace, he said, “siga una ka na, hehe”)

– After 5:00:57 (5:00:50 based on chip time), I finished my first marathon (photo credits to Active Moments) –

After finally crossing the finish line at a time of 5:00:57, I let out a grunt then waited for Elvin.

– Elvin sprinting to the finish line –

Shortly after I vaguely heard the announcer say “Here’s a runner from Pinoy Fitness, ay pacer pala sya, nasaan na yung pinapace nya, nauna na? Pero ganun naman talaga ang trabaho ng pacer, to ensure the one being paced will finish” (Job well done indeed)

After which, we posted for some pictures, got the loot bags, deposited them at the baggage and, being the first of our group, headed back for the others.

– Rose finishing her second marathon –

We first came across Rose, she was looking strong, and based on the blog she wrote last time after she ran her first marathon, and she was enjoying The Bull Runner Dream Marathon more. (Well, who wouldn’t??)
Upon passing Rose, we assumed that, Goldy, Jonard, Joy, and Riz had already made the turn at the 38th km that we didn’t see them.

– Goldy, all smiles near the finish line –

– Joy and Jonard sprinting to the finish line, together, as always (photo credits to Active Moments) –

– Riz, with the matching “closed eyes para feel na feel” finish, hehe –

Next we came across Joyce. I personally was happy for her; she was still running strong without any sign of pain. She had a case of runner’s knee just weeks before the Marathon and she was beginning to doubt herself. Good job Joyce!

– Joyce, finishing her first marathon with smiles all by herself (photo credits to Active Moments) –

After she left us, we decided to wait for Chris, the last of us. We walked right up until the first Dream Chaser’s Tent and waited for him there. Upon seeing him, we could already tell that his legs were already wasted (He had cramps on the 26th km). But he was undoubtedly enjoying the run (He was even smiling and laughing). We decided to pace Chris up to the finish. Unfortunately, chaffing suddenly developed between my inner thighs because my shorts and sweat had already dried up. I told them to go ahead and we’ll just meet at the club house. While Chris and Elvin took the right turn at the 38th km, I walked to the clubhouse where the others were waiting.

– Elvin pacing Chris this time near the finish line –

After the event, we headed back to the Hotel for a quick shower then headed off to Goldy’s house for some well-deserved post run celebration.

Truthfully, this run made so many dreams possible, it may not be my fastest but it may be the best marathon I will ever run. And I would be lying if I will say that I will never run this far again. In fact, we are already picking out from the rest of our teammates who haven’t run a marathon yet for us to be their pacer/chaser. We will definitely look out for this event every year from now on.
Yes, the Marathon will definitely humble you, but it will also teach you a lesson or two. And all that pain, suffering, hard work, training, sleepless nights, hundreds of kilometers, carbo loading, scheduled sick leaves (hehe), anticipation for the new posts at the TBR Site, the planned practice routes and the time spent on wondering what to wear is so much worth it, especially when you have a group of friends surrounding you.

I speak for the team that we would like to thank The Bull Runner, Ms. Jaymie Pizarro and Coach Jim Lafferty for creating an event like no other. Coach Lit and Neville for the lessons and tips we have learned. And for the rest of the TBR Dream Team for making us Dream Big and for trusting in us that we can Run Strong.

5 Things I Learned from my First Bike Out

Monday, 26 March 2012  |  Bullish Insights

To kick off the start of summer, I said yes to Patrick Joson’s invite for a Fondo Manila recon ride last Saturday.  It was to be my first bike ride outside of the secure village we’ve been training in the past weeks.  The only other time I ever rode out in the open was at Subic during last year’s Next Step Tri Camp.  Never again until last Saturday.

Here are 5 things I learned from that day:

1) Don’t look stupid. You’ll never know who’s watching.

It was my first bike out in cleats.  I thought we were going to be three or four in the group, but when I showed up at Starbucks Alabang, we numbered around 30.  30! And they all looked like pros.  Crap!

When everyone started to take off chatting and laughing, I was almost back in kindergarten replaying everything Pat had taught me about the basics: Step 1: pedal down, Step 2: two lock in, Step 3: pull pedal up…skate, skate, skate… (See the look of confusion on my face below)

Unbeknownst to me, it was oh no one but Richard Gutierrez on my left with perhaps this thought bubble in his head: “This girl is perfect for comic relief on Survivor!”


2) Ride like a school of fish…even if you feel like you’re drowning

A lot of people won’t believe me when I say this, but it’s the truth: I’m anti-social. I’m a solo flight kinda girl.  Don’t get me wrong. I like you! I like meeting people!  But, most of the time, I enjoy my independence, the solitude, and my time alone.


I learned from Pat that day that, to keep safe from vehicles, cyclists always ride as one, like a school of fish or a flock of birds.  And, if you’re lagging behind—which, in this case, I was—then you must always try your best to catch up.  Pedal away even if you’re tired, or out of breath, or dying of thirst because you still can’t let go of the handle bars to grab your bottle.

3) Biker dudes…or cycling dudes…or cyclists…whatever you call ’em are a friendly bunch.

Strangely, I always thought cyclists were a cliquish bunch.  They always biked in groups and always had shades on.  (Who would’ve known shades were used to shield them from the sun and dust and not to keep potential friends away?)


Most of the time, I kept to myself. Riding alone on the road even when the others biked in pairs. But, every now and then, a friendly biker would pass by and exchange a few words of encouragement or friendly chit chat. My next goal is to be able to chat while occasionally looking at the person I’m chatting with. Methinks it was quite impolite for me to talk to them with my eyes directed straight towards the road the entire time.

4) Saddle f&#@!! sores are a major bummer. I wouldn’t wish this upon my worst enemy. Okay, maybe I would since it’s just extreme pain in one day that goes away the next.

I have never screamed so many curse words in my head in such a short period of time.  As we were climbing up the road (I think towards Amadeo. I have no clue really because I was going insane by this time), I could not think of anything else but the pain down there.  Saddle sores are a soft word for such awful, excruciating, hellish pain.  I would rename it to: saddle f&#@!! sores.

I used thick-padded bike shorts. I used petroleum jelly and a bit of Hammer Seat Saver.  But oh noooo, nothing was enough to prevent saddle sores that day.  Friends said I just need more saddle time.  If that’s what it takes to drive this problem away, then let’s do it.

5) Have fun.

Despite throwing in the towel at 30k to prevent brain hemorrhage from the pain of saddle sores, I enjoyed myself that day.  I checked the time as I was headed home: 8 am.  I spent two hours out on the road.  My mind instantly thought: I should’ve used those 2 hours for a 21k run instead… But, I caught myself and realized that it was all in great fun.  Looking forward to my next bike ride…hopefully with a new saddle!


Thank you to Peter Capocao and Patrick Joson for the photos.

The Bull Runner and Beyond

Sunday, 25 March 2012  |  Bullish Insights

This is to officially announce that, from this day forward, you may expect a couple of changes from TBR. (No, I’m not doing a Charice, although a bull tattoo on the ankle would be cool, wouldn’t it?)


What changes you ask?  Just two things:

1) Expect to read more about triathlon.  Someone must have drugged me last December when I signed up for Ironman 70.3 Cebu in August.  Now that it’s summer, my training officially goes full blast.  I’ll be writing a lot about my training for cycling and swimming from a wanna be triathlete’s perspective.  In other words, you’ll be hearing a lot about my dumb discoveries and answers to questions you were always embarrassed to ask.  Aren’t you glad I don’t really care what you guys or these coaches think of me?!

2) Expect to read more about trail running.  All this Xterra talk has awakened my urge to run the trails.  I enjoyed my first trail run at TNF in Clark way back in 2009 and just never got the chance to do it again.  I’m hoping to do Salomon at Tagaytay Highlands next week.  I’m not sure if I can squeeze a lot of trails into my triathlon training, but I really, really want to.  And, you know me, when I want something, I pretty much stop at nothing to get it.

So, there should be a lot of interesting stuff to read about all the silly things I get myself into.  It’s gonna be one exciting summer and I hope you join me for the ride!

TBR DM 2012 Story: The Half Hearted Runner by Jacob Divino, Bib no. 174

Friday, 23 March 2012  |  Bullish Insights

It’s become an annual tradition for me to post stories written and submitted by our fresh batch of TBR Dream Marathoners.  Every year, days after the event, it always happens that my inbox gets filled with emails—some short thank you notes, others long essays—all saying the same thing: how memorable and meaningful their first marathon experience was.  And so, this year we begin the storytelling with one of the most moving emails I’ve ever received from the past three TBR Dream Marathons.

It comes from Jacob Divino, TBR Dream Marathoner, Bib No. 174.  He finished TBR Dream Marathon last March 18, but writes, not about himself, but his friend, Dax.

Dax is a TBR Dream Marathoner who trained with us through our Bull Sessions, but never got to join the race.  Our TBR Dream Team spent countless hours debating and even arguing about his case, but, at the end of the day, he couldn’t provide us with the medical certificate we needed to give him clearance to join.  It broke our hearts, but, as Jacob will share, perhaps there was a reason for all of this.  Read on…


– TBR Dream Marathoner Jacob Divino –

Yesterday, 18 March 2012, I crossed the finish line of my very first marathon. It was a dream come true for me and it even felt more complete to have my wife and 2 kids greet me at the finish line and share in my success. Hugging and kissing them after the marathon never felt sweeter. By the way, I also crossed the finish line with my running buddy, Dax Jaurigue. And by the way, this half story is about him, not me.  

Dax Jaurigue is a :58 finisher at the 10k, and a 2:13 finisher at the half-marathon. During our last LSD in Nuvali, he finished 31 kms in 3:30. He is fast by average runners’ standards. He is way too fast by my standards. So why did we cross the finish line together? Well, Dax wasn’t allowed to run the TBR by his doctor. But instead of sulking at home during race day, and with Jaymie’s permission and of the TBR organizers, he decided to pace me and our running buddy, Joey Consunji, to ensure that we finish what we promised to undertake in this stage of our lives. We planned to race this marathon as the team “42@42”, a bunch of 42 year old geezers wanting to celebrate their 42 years on earth with a try of the 42km marathon. It is our way to celebrate our lives on earth, our blessings, and to achieve our dreams…

Let me backtrack a bit. Dax suffered a heart attack (myocardial infarction) in September 2004.  This unfortunate event has left at least 40% of his heart tissue scarred for life. Having said that, he only has a 60% functioning heart muscle.  Hence, I call him my half-hearted running buddy. 
During the first year after his attack, he ran out of necessity and to say the least, it was a chore that he FORCED himself to do to ensure his continuous recovery from an otherwise debilitating disease.  As the years went by, he took more and more interest in running and it came to the point that a day wouldn’t be complete without putting on his sneakers and running to his heart’s content.  By 2008, with the help of a reasonable diet and a change of lifestyle, he was logging at least 30 kms a week and enjoying every minute of it.  By 2009, I introduced him to organized runs, his first being the Nature Valley 10K of Runrio.  He had such a blast running in the event that from then on, he was hooked.  He would join at least one long run per month augmented by his regular daily runs.  He would run day or night, rain or shine,  hot or cold.  It never really mattered where he was nor what the conditions were, it was always about him and the open road! The thing is, with a half-functioning heart, he ran fast…and faster than most of us with fully-functioning hearts. He says that running has liberated him from an otherwise restricted way of living and whenever he finishes a race fast, especially with a flourish to the finish line, he feels as normal as the next Joe beside him. As is often the case, as he waits for me to cross the finish line, he surveys the field that he has passed, in thankful silence that his run has made him feel whole again just like the average Joe. 

Hence, it was a big letdown for him not to be able to run the TBR marathon (especially with all the love showered on that day). I can only imagine the intense feeling he would have felt crossing that finish line and having that medal hung around his neck. That would have been indescribable for him. But what is a half-heart to do? For him, it was doing the next best thing, be an instrument for others. 

I now understand why people associate a marathon to a life’s journey. The first half of the course was fairly manageable, as I guess all of us in the batch have experienced the threshold of a 21k. We knew how to run it…we knew how it felt. But to most of us first time marathoners who have had one LSD beyond 30k, the journey after that was like a journey to the unknown. You never realized that a 3rd gel taken on the 3rd hour tastes like paste that made you want to vomit, that the water you douse on your head slowly drips down your compression tights and down to your socks creating a mushy-blister-enducing feeling to your feet, that the logical becomes illogical when your mind tells you that the 2nd loop seems longer than the first, that after the 32k mark your body divides into 2 –the mind that wills and legs that say “no more”, and that your math becomes fuzzy math when from 4:1 you descend to 3:1 until you end up doing 30secs:2mins. Just like every man’s journey into the unknown, the journey in itself is a true test of the human spirit and the finish, a triumph of the soul.

Then you have Dax, a half-hearted running to feel whole-hearted, a guy who runs fast to experience the zest of life…and of course, a guy who has  experienced debilitating chest pain more than I was feeling in my whole body during the marathon.  And here I was the whole-hearted running what appeared to be half the effort I could muster. And I think when he saw me during the last stretches, he knew that my pain was bearable and that the remaining kilometers tolerable…for I after all had a full-heart, pumping blood at full capacity. So there he was egging and pushing (and teasing), until I felt that second wind and inspiration to sprint the last kilometer the fastest I could at that moment. There was that constant voice cheering “push, push, push”. As we neared the finish line, I took his hand and made sure that I raised his hand as we crossed the finish line. I wanted him to know that even if he crossed the finish line as a pacer, he was still a winner every step of the way– a half-hearted living the life of the full-hearted runner, trying to pursue a dream that was supposedly made only for full hearts. Funny and quite ironic, it is the half-heart teaching us full-hearts to live life to the fullest, run the fastest, and to finish the journey.   

– me with the half-hearted runner, Dax, at the finish line of TBR Dream 2012 –


Would you like to share you marathon story?  Download the template below to send your story to us.  Submit your story by emailing this directly to thebullrunner(at)gmail.com with the title: TBR DM STORY: your name bib no.

Click here to download the template: <<<< TBR DREAM MARATHON STORY >>>>

TBR Dream Marathon 2012: Where Everyone Who Crosses the Finish Line is a Winner

Tuesday, 20 March 2012  |  Bullish Insights

Two days ago, March 18, 2012, hundreds of runners became marathoners at TBR Dream Marathon 2012 in NUVALI, Sta. Rosa, Laguna.  (Official results is being validated and will be released soon.  Photos from ActiveMoments will be available for download within one week.)

– Daves came in first –

On this day, 22-weeks of serious training paid off…



Runners learned about their own strength in the face of pain or injury…



Strong bonds were formed and strengthened…




And, lives were changed as dreams became reality.







To all those who were part of TBR Dream Marathon 2012, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.  While this was a dream that started with Jim and I, it only became reality because of so many people who worked behind the scenes to give our runners the best race possible…

Thank you to my dearest friends and members of TBR Dream Team: Jim, Neville, Lit, Jun, Macel, and Creative Juice (Gary, Janice, Micky, Diane)  who worked tirelessly with me to try to make this the perfect race. As I’ve said a million times, TBR Dream is yours as much as it is mine.



Thank you to our presenter and my partner Unilab Active Health, especially Clint, Alex, Lester, and Zeny (It was a pleasure working with such a professional yet friendly team!), our co-presenters Runrio and Sun Broadband, our major sponsors New Balance, Oakley, Gatorade, and Otterbox, and our minor sponsors, Timex, Secondwind Running Store, Proactive, Nathan, Nutribar, Chris Sports, Blacksheep Manila, Robinsons Supermarket, Neat Feat, Milo 3 in 1, Runner’s Runner, Purefoods, Starbucks, Dole, Toblerone, Cetaphil, P&G, Crystal Clear, Messy Bessy, Forward Lean Running, ROX, and BGC, our Media Partners, Multisport and Ripple 100, our hotel partners, El Cielito, Paseo Premiere, and Laguna Technopark.

Thank you to NUVALI, the home of TBR Dream Marathon. To Jun Bisnar, Jenn Chua, and the rest of the NUVALI team, who have continuously been supportive of our race.


Thank you to our Dream Chasers, especially the DC Tent leaders, Miriam, Allan, Mark and Gene, and Edward Kho who cheered their lungs out and provided all that they could to get every runner to the finish.


Thank you to our Pacers, marshals, and staff who provided support to the runners and the organizing team.

Thank you to our friends, Christine Jacob-Sandejas, Maricel and Anthony Pangilinan, Kuya Kim Atienza, Tessa Prieto-Valdes, Alex Racho, Coach Jim Saret, Dr. George Canlas, Dr. Randy Molo, Mitch and Armand Mendoza, who took time off their busy schedules to cheer for the runners or speak during the Bull Circles.



Last but not the least, thank you to the runners for entrusting 22-weeks of your lives and your first or second marathon with us. It was a journey that we were glad to take on with you and we hope to be with you as you pursue even bigger (or longer) dreams!

CONGRATULATIONS to each one of you! May you continue to “Dream Big. Run Strong.” and inspire others to do the same.