Pinay In Action 2010

Saturday, 13 March 2010  |  Race Reports

Pinay In Action is a race that carries a whole lot of meaning for me:

  1. As a woman, I fully support this race led by Sen. Pia Cayetano as it’s all about women power!  It promotes women rights, health, and empowerment and includes females with women-specific type of cancers as its beneficiary. Go Pinay!
  2. As a female runner, I love the fact that it’s an all women’s run. It encourages women, regardless of their running background, to come out and take a step towards getting fit.  Last but not the least,
  3. P.I.A. will always be one of the most memorable races for me.  Did you know that Pinay in Action 2007 was my very first race?  It was my first 5k and I remember it vividly.  I was a bundle of nerves, but it turned out to be such a wonderful experience that I caught the running bug and never looked back.


This 2010, the Pinay in Action gathered over 1,000 runners (mostly female of course) to run in SM Mall of Asia.  The roads were covered in pink as runners dashed out for their respective race distances.


I registered for 10km, but I felt awfully tired. My body still hasn’t fully recovered from the double marathons of February.  Add gym work the day before plus Coach Rio’s late-night birthday bash the evening before the race and I knew it was wiser to run a short and easy 5k this morning.

Despite the weary feeling, I got an instant energy boost talking with the super women I bumped into this morning.

While waiting for the race to start, I chatted with DORAY ELLIS of Fitness First Team and met her 10-year-old daughter who’s into tri as well.

Before the gun was fired, I stood among the other women with JOYETTE JOPSON of David’s Salon Team who I learned had stayed at Coach Rio’s party much later, yet still pushed herself to run the full 10km.

During the race, it was a pleasant surprise to bump into JOY ROJAS, the woman who truly inspires us all to reach for our goals when she ran across the Philippines and America.

– with Joy and her friend –

I stopped at 5k and spotted SEN. PIA CAYETANO and IZA CALZADO surrounded by a crowd. I stood in the back attempting to get a photo of them, but they were both nice enough to call me into the circle for a quick photo op.  They are two of my favorite celebrity women—sincere, smart, strong, and women you can basically talk to as if they were your best girlfriends!

– with Iza and Pia –

As I was about to head to the car, I then spotted three strong men standing out from the crowd of women: Lit Onrubia, Jun Bisnar, and my hubby.  All three are registered TBR Dream Marathoners and they used this race for their 20k training run. I decided to run an additional 2k with them and decided to DNF at 7k.

– Hubby with Lit Onrubia, Chi Running instructor, and Jun Bisnar, Nuvali GM –

After the race, I chatted with APRIL LEE of Pace Partners, a friend I met through this blog.  She leaves our country tomorrow and I wish I had been given the chance to get to know her better.

– April Lee and the Pace Partners –

It was a run filled with positive energy and women power.  It practically wiped my exhaustion away!

– with new mommy runner friends and their kids –

Read TBR archives of Pinay In Action here:
Pinay in Action 2009
Pinay in Action 2008
Pinay in Action 2007

Run United for Wellness

Tuesday, 9 March 2010  |  Race Reports

Hubby and I didn’t register for Unilab’s Run United for Wellness, but the kids did. My, how the tables have turned!


– My little runners –

TBR Jr. was well-prepared for this one. The night before, we broke the good news to him: Since the race was only 500m, we would allow him to sprint until the end. There would be absolutely no talk of pacing or slowing down.  “I can run fast?!” he asked with glee. “Yup!” we answered.  And, with that one reply, his eyes were beaming with excitement.

As for the little one, she was quite anxious about Kuya leaving her behind. So, we told her that we would just show up for the race and she would decide there if she would run or not.

We arrived at Bonifacio High Street a little after 6:30 a.m. for the kids’ 500m dash of the race. We parked at the far end of BHS not knowing we had parked at the opposite side of the kids’ race.

We saw the 21km runners coming in and wondered where our race would start.  By that time, it was around 6:50 a.m.  Then, we spotted the kids in the orange helmets and realized we only had a few minutes to spare before the race started.

– High tech start/finish line for United Run –

TBR Jr. and I ran towards the race start while Hubby and Little Miss TBR, who woke up on the wrong side of the bed and had a monster attitude that morning, strolled along behind.

– Uh oh! –

TBR Jr. and I ran, and ran, and ran. In between breaths, TBR Jr. said he was getting tired.  Uh oh, we hadn’t even reached the race yet!

Thankfully, we made it in time.  And, hubby and daughter who just walked…made it just in time, too.

– Super athletes joined in on the kiddie fun run: Monsour del Rosario, Norman Black and Alvin Patrimonio –

Unilab Run 035
– with TBR Jr. and Trey, the future runner son of RG who I met before the race –

When the gun went off, TBR Jr. waited for me as if to ask if he could run already.  I said to him: “Go, I’ll follow.  No need to look back. I’ll be behind you all the way.” And so he ran…

Still, he would look behind again and again, checking if I was still there. Again, I told him: “Just go as fast as you can. I’m running behind you.” It was in the last few meters, just after we turned towards the end, that he went full speed ahead, confident that his mom got his back all the way to the finish.

– No sweat…literally! –

After a few minutes, we caught sight of Hubby and Little Miss TBR walking towards the finish. She was still in an awful mood even if Kuya had ran back into the race to encourage her.  Well, no one can really force Little Miss TBR to do anything she doesn’t want to.  (Wonder where she got that!)

– Little Miss TBR manages a teeny weeny smile –

This was TBR Jr.’s first race that he ran all the way; no stops nor breaks. Wooohoo!  It was a good lesson on self-confidence for my boy.  And, the first lesson on letting go for Mommy.

– Congratulations to my little runner! –

– Unilab’s play area for the kids. Fun fun fun! –

Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2010

Wednesday, 3 March 2010  |  Race Reports

The Standard Chartered Hong Kong marathon started at 7:15 a.m. at Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. I was familiar with this area for shopping, but never did I imagine that I’d be standing there, among 8,000 marathoners and with fellow Pinoys, Dra. Lora and her husband, and Jinoe, waiting for the marathon gun to start.

– The view from our hotel room (HK side) –

The weather was cool in the start, but not as cold as I initially expected (so much for the arm and leg warmers I purchased in SM!) According to reports after the race, temperature was actually 24 centigrades with 92% humidity, which surprised me as I didn’t feel the heat except for a few times during the race.

The atmosphere was electrifying and exciting. I, on the other hand, was a lot more calmer than I expected. Don’t get me wrong: I was anxious over the unknown (what injuries or pains may come during the long, arduous road ahead) but I felt no pressure to beat a specific time or run at a certain pace. My only goals were 1) to avoid getting swept by the bus at the 5:30 cut off, and 2) to enjoy without injury.


As we made our way towards the Stonecutter’s Bridge, I got into a comfortable pace, kept my ipod off, and allowed myself to stay in the moment. I made a conscious decision to savor the experience of running in a new city and take in the sights around me.

HK2010 Bridge 0 00 02-27

The first thing that caught my attention was the sight of Tsing Ma bridge. From afar, I could see thousands of runners, like soldiers marching off to war trampling on the ground beneath them. I looked forward to reaching the bridge asap.

“Wow!” That was all I could say when I finally made it to the bridge. The view from the top was spectacular. I ran as close to the edge as possible seeing the water a hundred feet below me.  Soon after, we made our way to another bridge, Ting Kau bridge.

– Check out this video I took on one of the bridges (I honestly don’t know which one).  The view was breathtaking –

After the bridges came the tunnel.  The first time I entered the Cheung Tsing Tunnel was an experience. It felt cooler insider the tunnel and it wasn’t as frightening as I had imagined. In fact, I enjoyed the change of scenery. The only problem was my Garmin lost all GPS signals so I was running blind all the way.

HK2010 Cheung Tsing Tunnel 0 00 03-14
– Entering Cheung Tsing Tunnel –


Running through Tsing Kwai highway felt like forever.  I don’t recall exactly when all the ascents started, but I completely remember how I thought that they never seemed to end. (Actually, I believe they only ended at Km 41!)

One time we would climb half a kilometer, happily reach some flat ground for a few meters, only to find another ascent awaiting us. Despite the language barrier with other runners, it was pretty obvious that we were all tiring from the climbs with various moans and grunts heard before each hill climb.


The slanted roads of HK, particularly the on the highway, had caused some pain on my right ankle. I found it difficult to run without frequent stops to stretch, massage, or rest. With all my injuries in the past though, I had learned how to manage these little problems by changing my gait or distracting myself from the pain.

Somewhere on the highway as well, I felt a bit dizzy and, for a moment, I thought I was about to blackout.  Thankfully, I munched on two chocolate bars and drank water and that was good enough to get me back on track.


Every now and then, I glanced at my Garmin to make sure I was far from the 5:30 cut off. Hong Kong is very strict with their implementation of cut offs, not just at the end of the race, but at various locations along the course. At specific points, there was a bus waiting to sweep runners who didn’t make the cut off. It was as if the grim reaper was running behind us!  Early on, we heard horror stories of runners at 39km being forced to ride the bus…so I was hoping I wouldn’t be one of them!

For the first half, I ran at around 2:05. That’s just an estimate as I had fiddled around with my Garmin, turning it on and off, to capture a GPS signal. While I was fine throughout the first half, the second half was slower and a lot more challenging.

I clearly remember when we entered the second tunnel: the Western Harbour Tunnel, which was so cool inside I was tempted to run fast. It would’ve been another favorite part of my race if I had been able to run, but my ankle started acting up again at this point.


Soon, I found myself on the other side of HK, which was mind-blowing really!  As we neared Victoria Park, where the finish line was, spectators lined both sides of the roads cheering all of us runners.

– Less than a kilometer to the finish. Go go go! –

By this time, I was already walking due to the pain on my ankle and I didn’t mind at all. From out of the blue, I heard a woman yell “Go Bull Runner!” and I spotted three Filipinos cheering for me. I stopped to tell them something like “I couldn’t go any further” but ironically it was that instant when I regained the energy to run. (Thanks Khun and friends!)

I finished the the marathon with a gun start time of 4:54, the same time as my first unofficial QC International Marathon. It wasn’t my best time, but considering my trip to Disneyland the night before plus Condura Marathon 3 weeks before, I was all too happy to just finish what I heard was one of the toughest marathons in the world.

– The finish line. This was as far as my hubby was allowed to go –


– New Balance shoe mascots –

– New Balance VIP Tent where we were served with food and drinks –

* Thank you once again to New Balance for sponsoring this trip, especially Anton Gonzales and Bing Buenaventura of Planet Sports!

Back from Hong Kong Marathon

Wednesday, 3 March 2010  |  Race Reports

Good morning! I’m back in Manila and I’m glad to report that I survived Hong Kong: the hills, tunnel, and bridges of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2010, the technical and comprehensive 2-day New Balance Asia Pacific Tech Summit…as well as the amusement park and shopping marathon with the kids. It was a completely exhausting but immensely satisfying and fun-filled experience that I’m excited to post about. Thing is, clients await and I must finish my work to pay for the expenses of the trip!

So, while I find time to write my full race report, I shall leave you with three videos I took during the marathon. Oh yes, I carried my cam with me (told you it wasn’t race mode for me!) and I took more than a handful of videos during the race:

The Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon started at Nathan Road at 7:15 a.m. I stood at the start with Dra. Lora and her husband and Jinoe.

Here’s one good way to injure yourself during a marathon. Get too excited over the bridge up ahead and you don’t watch where you’re going…

I finished my 2nd marathon this February (and the 4th in 5 months) with an unofficial time of 4 hours 54 minutes, a time I was happy with considering how unprepared I was and how awfully difficult the course was; it was the exact time of my first unofficial marathon at QC International Marathon.

Here I was all alone after the marathon, resting my dead tired legs before heading over to the New Balance VIP tent…

To follow:
– Full race report on Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon
– New Balance Tech Summit

Century Tuna Superbods Run 2010

Monday, 22 February 2010  |  Race Reports

TBR RACE REVIEW: Century Tuna Superbods Run 2010

5 TBR medals – Excellent | 4 TBR Medals – Very Good | 3 TBR Medals – Average |
2 TBR Medals – Poor| 1 TBR Medal – Terrible


  • gigantic event with 11,000 plus runners
  • timing chip
  • spectacular set-up: wide open spaces for post-race event, supermarket, go-see, freebies, program, etc
  • plenty directional signs along the route
  • marshals lined the route
  • abundant water and Gatorade in long tables (given out by Brazilian models!)
  • organized parking and assembly area
  • LCD screens for the start/finish
  • display of finisher’s name on LCD screen upon finish
  • challenging 10k route
  • convenient and easy registration and race packet redemption
  • immediate release of results (Click HERE for results)
  • Run pix and Photovendo


  • early start of 10k
  • cars along the route (runners were literally running through traffic)
  • dark areas despite floodlights
  • many runners lost their way despite marshals directions and directional signs (or some due to wrong directions of marshals)

SPECTACULAR. GRAND. UNBELIEVABLE. All the superlatives were rolling out of my tongue as I viewed the gargantuan stage set-up, LCD screens in the starting line, and all 11,000 plus runners sprawled across the expanse of road across Bonifacio High Street. This was definitely the biggest, most high-tech, and world-class race I had the pleasure of joining.

Early on, due to the magnitude of the event, I quite frankly expected the worst. I expected traffic, chaos, crowds, and a runner’s worst nightmare: a whole lot of pushing and shoving during the race leading to the slowest performance ever. Yes, there were reports of misdirected runners, close-call road accidents, or advanced gun start of the 10k, that some runners complained about. But, fortunately for me, mine was a near-perfect experience.

This was THE race to be in. This was the kind of race that brought surprises, made my heart race with excitement, and gave me a thrill over the entire running experience. As I stood there amid the organized chaos after the race, I thought: How far running has come in the Philippines…and I can’t wait for even more surprises!

Bravo to Century Tuna and Run Rio for staging, for me, was one of the best race events of the year!

– So many runners at the finish line. Amazing!  –

– Huge fair after the race. Raymund, Vimz and I were like highschool kids in a school fair –



What do you do 2 weeks after Condura marathon and one week before HK marathon? Can one race in a training shoe (New Balance 1225) that’s just being broken in? I had no clue. I just knew I registered for 10km for Century Superbods run and I was in the mood to race.

I stood at the assembly area with Atty. Raymund (Everybody Loves Raymund) and his friend, Jolon and waited only a few seconds before the race started. Here’s the funniest short clip about our foolish mistake!  You have to see it…Click HERE.


We sped off into the dark along with all the other 10k runners. It’s been so long since I joined a 10k event that I completely forgot about warming up (something I do during 21k runs).  We were running at sub-5 min/km pace and my legs felt stiff and heavy. Argh. We were running way too fast.

A couple of kilometers after, I reminded Raymund that we should slow down. We kept a steady pace at 5:30 min/km instead. Still, the pace kept me challenged all throughout the run. I realized how the past week’s workload and late nights had taken a toll on my body.


There it was again. That long uphill near I.S. that tormented me during the last 2kms of Condura Marathon. The same one I’ve run over and over again during training runs. I mustered up my strength and pretended I had fresh legs and went at it. For a while, I zoned out again and kept a strong pace climbing up. Before I knew it, the hill was gone and the roads were flat again.


That 10k was fun and fast. It’s been so long since I raced that way; I didn’t know how much I missed it!  According to my Garmin, my time was 53:54 for 10.14km. Average pace: 5:18 min/km.

Official time was 54:11. And, for another surprise to end a wonderful run, I placed 12th overall for females out of 628 runners.  Woohooo!

Cick HERE for results.

– with pace buddy Atty Raymund (Everybody Loves Raymund) –

– In a sea of 11t runners, we managed to bump into the fastest of ’em all: Eduardo Buenavista with Raymund, Vimz (The Kulit Runner), and myself –

– Poor hubby didn’t reg for the race thinking he’d be camping out with Lil Bull Runner. Plans changed and the sched freed up but it was too late. Hubby ran around BHS instead during the race –

– with Raymund, Vimz (The Kulit Runner), and Edward –

– with Renze of Newton, his friend, and Raymund –

– The day wouldn’t have been complete without a photo with the giant Century Tuna can! –

* Thanks to Vima (Kulit Runner) for some of the photos.