Thursday, 28 March 2013  |  Bullish Insights, Race Reports

As is the tradition of TBR Dream Marathon, after the race, I post anecdotes about the marathon that I receive in my Inbox from our new marathoners. My inbox gets inundated with stories of triumph, love, gratitude, passion, and empowerment that it’s too much of a waste if only I read it. Through this series of stories (one every week for the next couple of months), may you all be inspired to run a marathon or dream big in your own lives.

I’d like to share with you Fernando’s letter to me.  It teaches us that we can try our best to prepare for a marathon, but we never really know what will happen at any point before we cross that finish line.  A lot of things can go wrong and a lot of things can go right.  What matters most is how we choose to react to the situation and how we let it affect us.  Good thing Fernando decided to run even after he stumbled.

TBR DREAMERS 2013: Fernando Hernandez
Bib Nos. 334

Hi Jaymie,

You can’t imagine, how thankful I am to be a part of this great experience. I actually came very close to not showing up last Sunday.

About a week before the marathon, during my daughter’s sportsfest, I took a bad fall during one of the events. I joined a relay race and ended up with two very large wounds on my knees – as in kneecaps.


Looking back it might not have been very prudent of me to join the sportsfest in the first place, but I entered the marathon with the mindset that it would never interfere with family activities. Anyway, my daughter asked me to join the relay race and I didn’t want to disappoint.

So there I was, the day before the race with two very large wounds on my knees. I thought long and hard about how I was going to do the 42K with injuries to both legs.  The thought of even just the salt on the wounds was just as painful as the thought of the knees bending every time I’d take a step forward. Anyway, the defining moment was when I just accepted the fact that the pain was going to be there from the start and it would be a matter of me being able to grin and bear it. I kept “fooling myself” that my left leg was fine and that I could just drag my right leg towards the finish. The added incentive was the fact that I knew I would be miserable waiting for an entire year to have the chance to do The Bull Runner Dream Marathon again and all that training just being thrown out the window.


No doubt the pain was there, but the encouragement I had from my co-TBR Dreamers (alot of them I don’t know personally but they could tell I was in pain) and Dream Chasers really helped. I really wish I could thank each of them personally because, they really helped me carry on even when I was in a lot of pain and quite miserable during the whole ordeal.


Anyway, through sheer will, (I can’t even call it skill, I just grit my teeth) I managed (somehow) to cross the line at around 7:30, really far off from the sub six / sub 5:30 goal that I really wanted but it was an even sweeter win for me nonetheless, that I managed to even show up and finish this race.


Thanks again Jaymie for doing this. I’m sure you hear it alot but this event has really showed me how deep inside myself I can dig and just what I am capable of. When I first signed up for this race, I did it because I needed a win for my 40th birthday. I didn’t realize how big a win it was until I crossed that finish line last Sunday.

Race Report: Run United 1 2013

Monday, 18 March 2013  |  Race Reports

Over 12,000 runners participated in the first of RunRio and Unilab Active Health’s series of Run United events for the year: Run United 1 yesterday at SM Mall of Asia Grounds.

Majority of the runners participated in the half marathon with a whopping 5,000 runners registered for the event. Indeed a sign that runners have now progressed to longer distances. Other distances had the following number of runners: 10k – 4,000, 5k – 3,000 and the 500m – 169 runners.

As expected, the organizers offered runners yet another well-organized event. Despite the large population of runners, the gun start was quick and simple with wave starts to diffuse the crowd in the early portions of the race. The requisite marshals and traffic enforcers, kilometer and directional signs, portalets, and medical aid were present. Bonus bananas and sponges were available at key stations as well. Runners were also given giveaways (loved the free bottle) and medal.

Perhaps the only issue I had as a runner was the parking. I arrived at 3AM only to discover that only one parking lot was open (all other parking lots were gradually opened as the hours passed). Runners who had gone early to ensure they had parking space were faced with long lines and bumper-to-bumper traffic. Hopefully, next race, all parking lots will be opened by SM as early as 3AM to ensure smooth flow.

Notable changes in this race:

1) Shift in sports drink brand to G or Gatorade – I can tell you that many, including this runner, were ecstatic about this news. No need to BYOG (Bring your own Gatorade) in your hydration belt anymore!  Gatorade also launched their new branding following the global brand: G for Gatorade along with their new slogan: That’s G!

– with Lit, Ton, and Jun in our G (Gatorade) shirts –

2) 21k course all in SM MOA – When I heard of the change in course to SM MOA area, I instantly thought that the race would be fast, flat, and easy for all of us. Sure, it was flat and fast, but it sure wasn’t easy, at least for me. Three reasons: I shy away from flat courses in marathons because one uses the same leg muscles all throughout the entire run. I thought it would be fine for a half marathon, but, um, when my calves started screaming at Km 18, I kinda knew it was begging for some gentle hills and descents. Secondly, the vehicular traffic at Buendia was just awful. I honestly don’t think the organizers can do anything about this anymore. The fumes from the buses and jeepneys got into my eyes and I ran flinching in pain hoping I could douse it with water at the nearest station. Third, one word: humidity.

Don’t get me wrong. The course wasn’t bad at all.  In fact, I’m sure a lot of the runners enjoyed it (e.g, Itong Torres and Noey Lopez who were smiling from ear-to-ear about their run without wanting to tell us exactly what their time was.  My guess, based on how fast they disappeared from my sight at Buendia, was sub-1:50) But, I’m just saying that I did like the BGC-MOA course more despite the inconvenience of a point-to-point course.

3) Bigger and better Unilab Active Health – I didn’t think ULAH could improve on their post-race area anymore, but wow, they got even bigger this year. There were lots of photowalls, free samples from sponsors, running talks for beginners, merchandise, and Pedicab and Rivermaya were there to perform! How cool is that?

All in all, it was still the big race that everyone was looking forward to and, judging from the smiles of the people around me that morning, Unilab Active Health and RunRio gave the runners what they hoped for…and more.


Coach Andy had initially plugged a 21k into the day of the race because he knew I signed up for Run United 1. Few days before the race, I asked if I could do 32k instead to build my mileage for London Marathon. After much thought, he said yes, but with the following words of caution: Do not get injured.

Gulp. I lifted my right hand up in the air and promised. Then, ran the numbers quickly in my mind.

The plan:

  • Before the race – 3k easy
  • Race – 21k comfortably hard. No time goals. No pressure. But not easy either.
  • After the race – 8k
  • TOTAL – 32k


Jun, Lit, and I started our run a little past 3AM. We easily covered the 3km running from the parking lot to the race start passing by the portalets and back. Done.

With barely time to rest, we entered the assembly area and had just a few minutes of waiting before the race started. We were in the 2nd wave.

As agreed, we would run our own race. We all put our earphones on and weaved through the crowd of runners in the first few meters of the race.

I felt strong, but I didn’t feel great either. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I just didn’t feel right.

Maybe knowing that I had to run 8k after the race kept me from pushing too hard? Maybe waking up at 1:30am with only 3.5 hours of sleep took its toll on me? Maybe the 1.5 hours on the trainer the day before tired me out? Or, maybe it was just one of those days when it’s not a great run, but it’s not a bad one either?

Whatever. I just allowed myself to run at an effort level of around 8 and I tried my best to keep up with the two boys without killing myself in the process.

– I’m definitely not a flat course runner! Photo: Yongsky. –

Before I knew it, I could see the finish line. It looked so near and yet so far! I glanced at my watch (which I wasn’t paying attention to because I wasn’t aiming for a particular time) and learned that I could actually reach a sub-2! I zoned out and ran full speed ahead.

Based on my Timex Run Trainer, I finished 21k at 2:00:34. Missed a sub-2 by 35 seconds! (It’s almost deja vu from my Ironman 70.3 Cebu experience! Waahaha!)

– 2:00:43 finish time for Run United 1 21k –


Despite the missed sub-2, I was happy with my time. I changed my shirts and socks, both drenched from the race, put on my visor and shades, sprayed SPF 100 sun block and bid my friends goodbye. I was doing the last 8k on my own. And, secretly, I was looking forward to it.

I’ve missed my solo runs. I’ve missed my long runs. And so, I thought a long solo run by my lonesome was long overdue.

– Photo op with JayR, Jerich, and Justin in the middle of my run. Photo: Justin Gomez –

I ran one long strip of SM MOA back and forth and covered the last 8k to tick off my 32k long run from my marathon program. It was not so much physically exhausting as it was mentally challenging. One could’ve included it in my Coach’s list of Character Building workouts!

– Nice bumping into Spongebob Runner Merl and Running Host Boy Ramos after my LSD –

Injuries? None. Just terrible chafing in the perimeter of my sports bra despite using Body Glide. Feeling? Tired, but not exhausted. I felt like I could do more if I had to. Hunger? Surprisingly, I didn’t feel famished. I drank my Enervon HP for recovery and had a light salmon crepe for replinshment. Happiness? 100%. I live for long runs and marathon training, fantastic races, and great friends to run them with.

– Tired but happy. Photo: Justin Gomez –

Block your calendar for Run United 2 on June 2 and Run United Philippine Marathon on October 6. For more info, visit

The 4th TBR Dream Marathon 2013

Wednesday, 27 February 2013  |  Race Reports

It’s been three days since 584 finishers crossed the finish line of our 4th TBR Dream Marathon and I’m still on a high.

Every year, I feel blessed to be given the opportunity to witness runners cross that finish line ribbon and see for myself the power, beauty, and magic of a marathon all at once. There’s nothing like it. No words can express the spirit of the marathon, the transformation that occurs within each runner.

Hopefully, these photos will give you a glimpse of what some of our TBR Dreamers experienced that day. There will be more photos and, as is the tradition, marathon stories to be shared almost every week here on this blog from the runners themselves  with the hope of inspiring even more people to go for their marathon dream.

Enjoy and see how these people lived their dream. For more info, visit

All photos courtesy of Tong Pascua Photography.

– The start. And yes, we’re the first race with Garmin as our official timekeeper –

– Farrah at the finish –

– Marice Laxa-Pangilinan finishes her first 42k a day before her birthday. She was paced by husband Anthony –

– Ecstatic finish! –

– Planet Sports President Anton Gonzales finishes his first marathon with his wife Mia who finished both her first and now 2nd marathon at TBR Dream –

– Happiness, laughter, and triumph at the finish line –

– Our host Boy Ramos hugs his wife as she finishes her 2nd marathon at TBR Dream –

– A marriage proposal for a new marathoner! She gets a medal and a ring! –

– Tina and husband Dennis, a diabetic, both finished their first marathon –

– Mommy Rhea and her biggest fans –

– Joanne runs towards the finish with the full support of Dream Chasers behind her –

– Joanne crosses the finish line beating the cut off by 3 minutes! –

– TBR Dream Team: Neville, myself, Jun, Macel, and Lit.  Missing in photo: Jim. –

– TBR Dream Marathon 2013 Medal –

TBR Dream Marathon 2013 Official Results

Monday, 25 February 2013  |  Race Reports

Congratulations to all 584 Finishers of TBR Dream Marathon 2013 yesterday!  We were happy and proud to see each one of you cross the finish line!  Stories and photos to follow, but for now, we’re giving you your official results!


Date: Feb. 24, 2013
Venue: Nuvali Road, NUVALI, Sta. Rosa Manila
Gun Start: 2:00 am

Please click here for official results… (UPDATED: 4 MARCH 2013)

TBR Dream Marathon 2013 Overall Results rev02

Some runners may lack their split times at 30k or 39k.  This is due to an internal error with the machine during the race and the splits are irrecoverable.

For any concerns regarding the official results, please email  Subject: TBRDM Official Results.

Nike We Run MNL: TBR Run-porter Bernard on His First 10k and VIP Treatment

Wednesday, 12 December 2012  |  Race Reports

Nike We Run MNL was held last December 2, 2012 at SM Mall of Asia.  While I flew off to run Angkor Wat Half Marathon, BERNARD MASA, the winner of my Nike We Run MNL contest, ran in my shoes and promised to report (or, in this case, Run-port) about the race.  What follows is Bernard’s account of his fantastic experience at Nike We Run MNL (it was his first 10k!)  including his special VIP Treatment and double post-race meal.  Lucky, lucky guy!  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.  In fact, I was hitting myself on the head half the time for missing such an awesome race.  (Thank you to Nike for treating Bernard like royalty!)

Words and Photos by Bernard Masa

After the cities of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, it was time for our very own capital to play host to the 2012 Nike We Run race series. And as they promised, Nike was able to draw some 13,000 runners for the Manila edition of its event. The achievement is all the more impressive when you consider that there were at least two other big races held in the Metro that same day. And this one was by far the most expensive, too. Except for the lucky ones who got in for free, of course. Cough, cough.

– Bernard at the Nike We Run MNL 10k race –

The 2012 Nike We Run Manila was perfect for anyone looking to set a new PR for their 10k. The race took place in the straight, wide and flat roads of the Seaside and Diosdado Macapagal Boulevards surrounding the SM Mall of Asia, with only a few turns to slow you down. There were also plenty of water and Powerade at the four hydrations stations along the route to help replenish and power you up for a faster run.

The race started at the Seaside Boulevard around 5:30 am, with the sky still dark. Because I was about 100 meters from the starting line when the race began, I had to spend the next several minutes alternating between running and hopping as I tried hard to overtake dozens of other participants. Fortunately by the first corner turn towards Coral Way road, there was no need for that as the road simply widened up for everyone. After about another kilometer, the runners then made a right turn to that long straight road that was the Macapagal Boulevard.

A few hundred meters after I crossed the 5.8 K U-turn, daylight had already brightened up the route. I noticed this because it was then that I was able to witness this sea of black and green in its full glory. One shirt, one race, one finish line. And all of them barreling towards me from the opposite lane. Even though I don’t usually like being in crowds, it was still a sight to behold. But as I noticed myself slowing down in awe, I gathered my thoughts and reminded myself that I have a goal to accomplish. Just like that, I was off to my race pace again.

I finished in 54:33, much faster than my target time of 60 minutes. For my first-ever 10k road race, it was good enough for me.

– Bernard after his first 10k run –

P1000396_after their run
– Finishers of Nike We Run MNL 10k –

All in all, Nike We Run Manila was one of the most organized races that I’ve ever took part in. No hassles and long lines during depositing and claiming at the numerous baggage counters. On the route itself, marshalls were at just the right places to guide the runners. Vehicular traffic was well-managed, too. And bless the organizers for placing those portable toilets at the side of the road.

And at the end of the run, there was none of that typical mess and mad scramble after the finish line. The marshalls were proactive and all over the place (in a good way) as they guided the exhausted runners to the proper tents and stations. I was able to get the banana and finisher’s tee nice and easy. They were able to accomplish this despite the huge number of participants. Speaking of the finisher’s shirt, the bright green top looked as great as the race tee. But this was a Nike event, so we should expect nothing less, right?

But my great experience here was just starting. After gathering my stuff from the baggage counter, I headed straight to the spacious race village. I saw a few booths here as I surveyed the area, but I was surprised at the one booth where nearly everyone else was lining up: the photo booth! It looks just like another race starting line when you see how long it is. Just shows you how valuable this part of a race event is for the participants.

P1000422_line at photo booth
– Everyone’s willing to wait for a good photo! –

As for me, I thought that I better get good photos elsewhere in the area before the rest of the runners filled up the entire village. That led me to the Nike+ (NikePlus) Lounge, which as I understand was exclusive for Nike+ members only. The people there, however, were nice enough to let me in. So in yet another record time, I quickly filled up my plate at their eat all you can buffet. It was just the perfect post-race meal for me: sausage, scrambled eggs, yogurt, pineapple juice and tons of rice. All of it for free! I could not believe my luck at this event. The people who followed were not as fortunate though, as the security got tighter with more people coming in. Before this freeloader got caught by the officials in-charge, I went into race mode again as I left the area.

I also got a nice finisher’s medal near that booth, which are given out to the top 100 finishers of the race. It was quite heavy, too. But the thing is, I was 7 minutes off the time of the 100th finisher (good for 388th place as per Nike’s official results). I was more like one of the first 10 people who gorged through that Nike+ Lounge buffet. I just requested it from the guy who was handing out the medals, and he gave me one. No questions asked. Yes Google, I’m Feeling Lucky.

P1000684_finisher's medal
– Nike We Run MNL 10k medal –



Then the post-race entertainment started. I heard the host Drew Arellano saying something about how good the food was at the VIP lounge. And it was only at this point that I recalled: didn’t the registration website indicate that my reg code was a VIP pass? So I went to the VIP lounge, this time at an easy pace because I was still full from that sumptuous breakfast earlier. And what do you know–my name was on the VIP list! And yet another eat-all-you-can buffet! There was Angus Beef Tapa, wild spinach and feta fritatta, banana pancakes, steamed Jasmine rice and homemade granola and yogurt served in a glass. It wasn’t the same power breakfast as the Nike+ Lounge’s. But no complaints here. For my already satiated stomach, the meals were just the perfect top-off to my feasting experience.

– VIP Treatment, baby! –

– Bernard’s sumptuous breakfast courtesy of Nike –

– of Black Eyed Peas graces the event –

– Runners cheer during the show –
And there at one of the VIP dining tables was of the band Black Eyed Peas, enjoying the same post-race meal. My photo-op with him could wait, I thought. Or rather, his bodyguard thought and said it to me.

As promised, the bands Never The Strangers, Sponge Cola and Chicosci filled the venue with some great live music. himself put on quite a show as he performed onstage, belting out his band’s most popular hits. He was later joined by Slapshock vocalist Jamir Garcia. And because of my VIP access, I got to enjoy the performance up close as Apl performed one hit after another. Thanks again, TBR!

After a great run, great meals and some great entertainment, there was just one thing left to for me to accomplish in this great event. One last thing to make the most out of my free Nike We Run Manila experience. So just before he was ushered out of the VIP lounge, I went ahead and had my picture taken with Mr.

P1000474_me and apl de ap
– Bernard with of Black Eyed Peas and cover of TBR Magazine – May/Jun 2011. Click HERE to download the issue –

– with representatives from Nike and iamNinoy-iamCory Runners. Nice to see my good friends, brothers, Rapa and Jamike Lopa on the right –

Just in case you’re reading this, Nike people, I would just like to ask: How do I get another VIP pass next year?