Meet a Triathlete: Gelo & Drew Arellano

Saturday, 3 August 2013  |  Interviews + Features

“Meet a Triathlete” is a series of interviews with age-group triathletes that I’ll be publishing for the next few days leading up to Ironman 70.3 Cebu.  For all these interviews, I collaborated with my Coach Andy Leuterio of Alpha Tri.  To read more interviews, search “Meet a Triathlete” in the search box.

Gelo and Drew are brothers who are into marathons and triathlons. We featured them on TBR Magazine – Sept-Oct 2012.  The photos you’ll see here are taken for the magazine by Ben Chan of Blacksheep Manila.


NAME: Angelo Arellano
Number of years in triathlon: 5 years
Age: 42
Job: HVAC Contractor / Entrepreneur

NAME: Drew Arellano
Number of years in triathlon: 6 years
Age: 33
Job: TV Host

What do you like about triathlon?

G: Triathlon keeps me focused on continuous self-improvement.

D: Triathlon steers me to the right direction in life. Conditions me to have the proper dedication, perseverance, discipline, time management, among others. It gives me an opportunity to inspire other people to get up, move and live a healthier lifestyle.

– Gelo and Drew hamming it up for the cam. Drew is just hilarious –

Why did you decide to sign up for Ironman 70.3 Cebu?

G: I wanted to see if I could improve on last year’s performance knowing that my 2013 schedule will be more challenging. I also enjoy joining races that have a vacation feel to it.

D: IM 70.3 Cebu is probably everyone’s A-race this year including mine! Besides showcasing an awesome race course with beautiful scenery, the fantastic energy during the weekend is contagious!

Give us three words to describe your training with Coach Andy for Cebu.  Please tell us why you chose those words.


  1. Flexible – Coach Andy’s program is dynamic and takes into account this thing called life.
  2. Challenging – Coach Andy’s workouts are not only based on time and distance but also heart rate, power, etc.
  3. Inspiring – There are days when things don’t go your way. Coach Andy will be there to give you just the right amount of challenge to pick yourself up again.

– Gelo is part of the Fitness First Tri Team –

Can you share what your training week looked like the past weeks?

G: My main workouts last week were a long swim and race simulation. I failed to execute on the run leg and so Coach Andy made me do a long brick the following day instead of a recovery ride. His message after my “failure to execute”: Stay Focused!!! The race doesn’t care about your problems, soldier!!!

D: Coach would kill you, if i told you. Scary noh?

– Drew is a member of Team Unilab Active Health –

What is your goal for IM 70.3 Cebu? Do you feel confident in achieving your goal?

G: The obvious answer is to improve on last year’s performance but given my SBR result last week, I admit I am a bit concerned. Hopefully, slapping Coach Andy’s butt on the run can give me the added boost I need! J

D: My goal is just to finish… NOT! haha! Will let you know once i cross the line 🙂 Do i feel confident? I guess i should feel confident because i put in the hours. Luck would probably prevent tire punctures but hard work and dedication will get me across the finish line with a fulfilled smile on my face.

If you could only give one tip to people who want to get into triathlon, what would it be?

G: Find the perfect balance between family, work and triathlon because that is a challenge in itself.

D: Prepare to feel sexy in your spandex! Don’t worry about the unwanted bulges, they’ll soon disappear!

Meet a Triathlete: Corporate Guy Javy Olives Believes Hard Work Pays Off

Monday, 29 July 2013  |  Interviews + Features

“Meet a Triathlete” is a series of interviews with age-group triathletes that I’ll be publishing for the next few days leading up to Ironman 70.3 Cebu.  For all these interviews, I collaborated with my Coach Andy Leuterio of Alpha Tri.  To read more interviews, search “Meet a Triathlete” in the search box.

In this interview, we feature my Unilab Active Health teammate and friend, Javy Olives.  Javy is a corporate guy and family man so he’s a 1-workout/day guy, 10-14 hours max/week because of his other commitments. Among his recent accomplishments:

  • 1st 35-39 AG Tri United 1
  • 1st 35-39 Tabuelan Tri (70.3-distance)
  • 3rd 35-39 AG Tri United 2
  • sub-12 @ 2012 Timex 226
  • Oh, he’s also a TBR Dream Alumni.

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– Triathletes Javy and Levy finished strong at the inaugural TBR Dream Marathon in 2010 –

Number of months/years in triathlon: 2013 is my 5th year
Age: 35
Job: Product Development Manager

What do you like about triathlon?
I like endurance sports in general since it’s where you really get to see what you’re made of. There is no hiding from yourself when you are out there grinding it out for close to 12 hours.

Why did you decide to sign up for Ironman 70.3 Cebu?
I like to do 2 Half IMs and 1 Full IM a year, and until recently there has only been White Rock & Ironman 70.3 Philippines. Personally I enjoy ‘small city’ races like White Rock, 226, and most recently, Tabuelan 111 more, as it has less of the glam and its more of what the sport is really about.

– At Timex 226 Bohol –

Give us three words to describe your training with Coach Andy for Cebu.

  1. Epic – There were sessions that made you think WTF? Then you get thru it and are glad you did it.
  2. Nerve-wracking – Is that one word or two?  Since we usually just get a week’s worth of plans at a time, you never know what you’re gonna get!
  3. Exciting – Each week is different, and even the sessions are different, so that really helps break the monotony of Swim, Bike, Run, whilst building endurance, strength, and most especially, character.

Can you share what your training week looked like last week?
1 swim, 3 bike sessions, 3 run sessions

What is your goal for IM 70.3 Cebu? Do you feel confident in achieving your goal?
I’m hoping to set a new PR at the distance, which means going sub 5:09. More importantly, my goal is to pace the Swim-Bike well, keep my nutrition under control so that I can have a good run off the bike.

– Javy at Tri United 2 –

If you could only give one tip to people who want to get into triathlon, what would it be?
There are no shortcuts. There is only hard work, and hard work eventually pays off.

Meet a Triathlete: 51-yr old housewife Medy Martinez Proves That Age is Just a Number

Friday, 26 July 2013  |  Interviews + Features

This begins a series of interviews with age-group triathletes that I’ll be publishing for the next few days leading up to Ironman 70.3 Cebu.  I think it’s a great way to catch a glimpse of how people train differently for the same event and, more than that, it’s a source of inspiration for many of us who wish to do the same.  Just think: If they can do it, so can I!

For all these interviews, I collaborated with my Coach Andy Leuterio of Alpha Tri.  All the interviewees train under him, just as I do.  Our crazy slave-driver Coach puts us through hell during training (“Bike until you cramp” or “Do a REAL century ride…100 miles”) and, in a funny way, we all hate and love him for it.  

Here’s our first interview…

Number of years in triathlon: 2
Age: 51
Job: housewife

What do you like about triathlons?
The adrenaline rush, the camaraderie, the mental and physical challenge, the crazy, hilarious and inspiring triathlete stories. Most of all, that ultimate “high” feeling you get as you cross the finish line that makes everything you’ve been through so worth it, you just want to do it again and again.


Why did you decide to sign up for Ironman 70.3 Cebu?
A friend has been convincing me to join but I thought I was too old for it. But when I found out that the oldest woman triathlete was already in her 80″s, I know I absolutely have no excuse not to do it. At 50 yrs old, I have more than enough time for this sport. I think as we grow older, the reasons not to workout also increase to a million and one. I felt inspired. I needed a goal. Ironman 70.3 fitted in perfectly!

Give us 3 words to describe your training for coach Andy for Cebu? 

  1. Mentally and physically crazy – I’ve had to endure the “I-almost-died-but-didn’t” kind of training which were physically and mentally exhausting. At the end of many workouts, I felt I had nothing left for another day. But after a good night’s sleep, you wake up feeling just fine and ready to take on more.
  2. Intellectually stimulating – I must not only train smart, I also had to decipher what’s behind his uniquely titled workouts. I am constantly challenged to learn and improve my skills and technique. Many times during training, I am pushed to exceed my mental limits especially when a voice inside my head is telling me to “Stop this craziness right now!”
  3. Inspiring – My bilbil is almost gone without dieting, true… really. Kidding aside, I have realized there are truly no limits except those i set for myself. I keep on surprising myself of things I never thought I was capable of doing. The stronger I get, the better I feel.

Can you share what your training week looked like last week?
Actually, training has been intensed these last 2 weeks . Have you seen the apocalyptic movie “The Day After Tomorrow”? Everyday feels like I am training for the apocalypse! I had one workout that said “Bike 160KM in 6 HRS. Do not dilly-dally.”  My crazy coach must have gotten my age wrong thinking I am 15 instead of 51. Anyway, much to my and maybe his surprise…I didn’t die. I finished it. I would sometimes text him to ask if the workout he gave me was meant to be a joke or if there was some kind of mistake. But all the time, he would answer back “Yessss…That is correct!”

What is your goal for IM 70.3 Cebu? Do you feel confident in your goal?
I want to finish strong and to improve on last year’s time. Back then, I wasn’t able to prepare well and literally felt like crawling to the finish line. This year, I feel confident I can do better with fingers crossed that I won’t get a flat tire.

If you could give only one tip to people who want to go into triathlon what would it be?
Age is just a number and you can get yourself in the best shape of your life as long as work your ass off and never give up.

Adidas KOTR 2013: Interview with adidas King and Queen of the Road 2012

Monday, 24 June 2013  |  Interviews + Features, Race Announcements

All roads lead to adidas King of the Road 2013 on July 7, 2013 with the 10k and 16.8k race categories.  Runners of all shapes and sizes have been seriously training for the race and anticipating a well-attended event.  Among those that are expected to show off their running prowess on race day are two of the top elite runners in the country who are expected to defend their titles as King and Queen of the Road: Eduardo “Vertek” Buenavista and Mary Grace delos Santos.

I got to interview Vertek and Mary Grace to learn the secrets of these two winning runners.  (Hope you don’t mind. I translated them from Tagalog into English already):

Best times:

5k – 13:58.43  – 2002 Asian Games, Busan, South Korea
10k – 29:02.36 – 2002 Asian Games, Busan, South Korea
21k – 1:03.42 – Incheon, South Korea
42k – 2004 2:18:44 – Beppu Oita Marathon, Oita, Japan

– Eduardo Buenavista wins first place at adidas KOTR 2012 –

Best times:
5k – 17:44
10k – 37:49
21k – 1:20
42k – 2:49

–  Mary Grace delos Santos wins first place at adidas KOTR 2012 –

TBR: How long have you been running?

EB: I started my professional career as a runner last 2000 but I’ve been running since high school as a track and field athlete. I got to join the 1997 Palarong Pambansa when I was in 4th year high school in which I ran the 1500, 3000, and 5000 meter events.

MD: Since 9 year’s old up to the present.

TBR: What are the top medals you’ve earned from running?

EB: It was during the 1998 National open that I won 1st place in the 1500, 3000 and 5000 meter events.

MD: Malaysia Standard Marathon, Hong Kong Standard Marathon, 2012 KOTR Singapore Asia Championship, National Milo Marathon Final.

TBR: What distance do you enjoy running the most?

EB: I enjoy running the 10k distance. Short and easier to manage.

MD: 10k, 21k, and 42k.

TBR: Tell us more about your experience running adidas King of the Road last year.

EB: I joined the 16.8 distance and won 1st place for the Men’s Filipino category with a time of 54.39mins. By winning the Filipino category, I won Php 30,000 and was sent to Singapore to represent our country in the Adidas KOTR Southeast Asian Championship in which I won 1st place with a time of 53:12 minutes.

MD: I ran the 16.8k in 1 hour and 3 minutes. 
I won the cash prize and a trip to Singapore to represent the Philippines for KOTR Asia Championship. 

TBR: How did you train for adidas KOTR 2012?

EB: I was training for both Milo Marathon and adidas KOTR that time.  I did my speed workout in the morning and road race training almost everyday.

MD: I trained every day that time because I was preparing for the upcoming Milo National Finals.

TBR:  Are you ready for adidas KOTR 2013?  How’s training been for you?

EB:  Yes. So far so good. Right now I’m focusing on developing my speed in preparation for KOTR and also for SEA Games where I will compete in the full marathon event.

MD: I’m not as prepared this year for KOTR because I haven’t had much time to train due to work.

TBR:  Why did you decide to join KOTR 2013 again?

EB:  I want to defend my title here the Philippines as King of the Road but most especially I want to represent our country again in the KOTR Southeast Asian Championship.

MD: I joined the KOTR to participate and support the KOTR and I love to run.

TBR:  What advice can you give to other runners?

EB: To my fellow runners who want to achieve a better time, I only have a few words for them. Discipline, dedication and hard work are the keys to success.

MD: My only advice is that you should have self-discipline, proper training, and always listen to your coach. 


Aside from bumping into Vertek and Mary Grace on race day, there are other things to look forward to at adidas KOTR 2013.

For 2013, adidas opened a new category exclusively for students 25 years old and under. The 10K Relay for Students is set specifically to encourage the youth to get into a healthy, active lifestyle and to give them a chance to represent their alma mater.


On race day, adidas will also be rolling out BOOST™ to more of their adidas running products. It will come in more colors, too.  What is BOOST™? It’s a groundbreaking innovation in adidas footwear technology featuring superior cushioning that allows runners to store and unleash energy more efficiently with every stride. The new Energy Boost collection will be available worldwide at adidas Sport Performance stores and selected retailers on July 7, 2013, race day, at PHP 7995. Visit for more information.

adidas King of the Road will be on July 7, 2013 at Bonifacio Global City.  To register visit:

Out Now: Running Couple Mark & Bea Hernandez on TBR Magazine

Monday, 24 June 2013  |  Interviews + Features

Get your free issue of TBR Magazine at your favorite running stores. For this issue, we’ve got running couple Mark and Bea Hernandez on the cover!  Click HERE for complete list of stores and archives of old issues.


Something new this time is that I’ve decided to post our cover article online to give you all a chance to read it asap. Makes sense doesn’t it? I’ll be posting other articles from past issues as well in the weeks to come! Cool eh?  (But, still, don’t forget to grab your hard copy of the magazine.  It’s free anyway!)  Here’s our cover story:

This is a story about Mark and Bea Hernandez, love and running… and why couples should take note


Just minutes after their cover shoot, Bea, 31, candidly demonstrates to me the different smiles she had to pull to get the right shot (“I didn’t know what a half-smile was!” she chuckles) while we wait for her husband Mark, 34, who went downstairs to get their well-deserved brunch. Sitting in the moderately swarming second level of a café in Burgos Circle, this gorgeous couple feels like a warm burst of sunshine—massive running enthusiasts in their own right and massively in love with each other to such a degree that I felt their optimism emanate inches from where I sit in front of them.

Four years since embracing running and three years into their marriage, Mark and Bea Hernandez have marched on together to overcome the odds in their first race in April 2009, a five-kilometer stretch that led them to chase a running lifestyle and land themselves on The Bullrunner cover. And deservedly so.


This perfect power couple’s winning formula both on and off the road traces its roots from when they first met in high school (she the St. Scho lass and him the La Salle Greenhills chap) and grew up in the same village. “It developed really more than anything because we were good friends. We hung out together a lot and from there the rest is history,” says Mark whose chiseled good looks comes with a sensitive heart. That they decided to run their first race together without any preparations beforehand is another surprise that displays the nature of their relationship. When I ask if they trained for it, Mark and Bea, as if by telepathic mental connection, both laughed and said together “No!”

“It was a spur of the moment,” admits Mark, “You’d really spot us as a newbie. No training, no background, just went into it…” and like most couples who’ve known each other for a long time, Bea finishes the sentence for him, rosy cheeks aflush with enthusiasm, “…and enjoyed it a lot. And then we just kept joining all these fun runs every weekend.” But the rest of their running success can be attributed to the efforts they put into researching more about the sport, joining clinics, and procuring the right shoes and gear.

This unexpected healthy helping of running in their lives has even served their marriage well more than they could have ever expected. Says Bea, glancing at Mark, “We’re more understanding of each other and we’re very supportive no?”

“She has supported me in so many ways. All of which I would not have been able to do if she weren’t there to support me,” shares Mark. “In my ultramarathons she’s literally my support crew where she’s there the entire time and they’re fairly long events ranging from six to 30 hours and she’s there every step of the way. She takes care of my nutrition, she makes sure I’m still alive and breathing!” Bea looks around and says “YES!” with a snicker.


Mark and Bea have a strong sense of respect for each other to go with their affable personalities. For one thing, Mark doesn’t need to go to great lengths to get permission unlike certain cases where only the husband runs and the wife does not and well, that’s not an uncommon occurrence, but Bea acknowledges this necessity all too well. “We spend more time together and it’s not idle time. It’s also beneficial to both of us and it’s fun. It’s something different to talk about,” explains Bea, adding that they join races as a couple 99 percent of the time.

If there’s a race that never fails to make an impression on each other, it’s when Bea ran the TBR Dream Marathon in 2011. “He ran with me every step of the way,” she says. And they can laugh about it now. “I got to see her through all her emotions, her ups and downs, from smiling to crying to anger to smiling again to relief. The good, the bad, the ugly, I’ve seen it all.” Bea’s giggling like an excited schoolgirl by the time Mark finishes.

“And she did the same for me when I did all my attempts at the 160k Bataan Death March. She was awake, in a car, making sure that I got the right nutrition because there would be times I wouldn’t want to eat ‘cause I’m just exhausted but she made sure that I got the right food and fluids. And for someone to just be up and supportive for 29 hours, that’s already a testament of how much she loves me.”


And it seems as if their story as a running couple is just about to make a turn for the best. Their goals align themselves naturally with Bea aiming for another marathon sometime later this year and Mark targeting a full Iron distance in triathlon. But, says Mark, “I think as a couple though, we’d want to do a destination marathon together. One of our friends did the Bordeaux marathon where the aid stations served wine and oysters… so we’re considering Bordeaux and Tokyo (where they had their honeymoon).”

Nearing the end of the interview, I ask Bea about an upcoming 21K race on Sunday. “Do you still get scared?”  “Yeah of course. You never know what’s going to happen on race day.” I notice Mark give her a reassuring gaze. She’ll be fine, I thought to myself.