2009 Nike+ Human Race

Tuesday, 27 October 2009  |  Race Reports


Overall rating (10 highest): 4
Organizer: Eventologists

• Unique concept: to run with the rest of the world.
• Nice shirts. High-quality material, great fit.
• Race started on time.
• Scenic, out-of-town event.
• Nike bags given out after the race.

• Marshals were mostly on bikes only.
• No kilometer markers.
• Lack of water at the station.

Nike calls the Nike+ Human Race “the world’s biggest run” as runners from all over the globe run 10k on the same day. Sadly, the 2009 Nike+ Human Race at Subic International Marathon failed to live up to the hype of the global race and paled in comparison to the spectacular 2008 Nike+ Human Race at McKinley Hill.

Less than 200 runners showed up for the race, which was unexpected for a Nike event, but not too surprising either for an out-of-town race that only offered a 10km race distance and coincided with two other weekend races in Manila. With the limited number of participants, one would think the race organizer could’ve provided runners with a perfectly organized race. Unfortunately, it was quite the opposite.

The course initially took runners through flat roads, but eventually led to a steep and tortuously long uphill climb lasting for about 2.5 kilometers. Disappointingly, after the 5k turnaround, there was no water left at the last station. Marshals were mostly on bikes so they failed to block traffic as runners crossed major intersections heading back to the finish.

The saving grace of this race? Wonderful race shirts provided by Nike, plus a chance to view the Kenyans as they finished their marathon. That’s about it.


I had fond memories of Nike+ Human Race last year. And, the thought of running with the community of runners spanning the globe was a novel idea. So, I was intent on signing up for the Nike+ Human Race this year despite the 3-hour journey from Manila to Clark, the disruption of my training program (I don’t run on Saturdays), and the exhaustion I expected from running 10k that day followed by a 21k at Adidas KOTR the next.

When we arrived at the assembly area in Remy Field, I was surprised to find such a small gathering of runners.  Clad in the red Nike+ Human Race shirts, the runners were in relaxed mode awaiting race start.  I chatted with Nike+ Human Race ambassador, Bards of Banana Running, spotted another ambassador, Lino Cayetano, but failed to see the other three ambassadors.


The race started at exactly 4:30 p.m.  My run was quite the antithesis of the atmosphere of the event. As we rushed out of the track oval and through the flat but busy road, I found myself running in full race mode, not my planned slow 10k. My friend, Alvin, had sent me a commanding text message earlier (in full caps): “EASY PACE ONLY!”, but since Alvin was in distant Manila, he would never know, right?

I had ran this road twice before so it was nothing knew. At around 3km, a man yelled out to me that I was in 5th place, so it gave me an added boost of energy to go faster.

The next portion of the course was a shocker; it was a never-ending uphill climb that left me wishing I had listened to Alvin instead.  But, there was no turning back. I focused on my breathing, took smaller steps, and paid no attention to runners who started walking instead.  It was a long, dreadful, and exhausting climb to the top. What made it worse was I was chasing after the 4th placer!  Shortly before the 5km turnaround, I ran past her. 4th place, baby!

Soon, I rolled down the steep hill I had just climbed. With my paranoia over my old injury, Runner’s Knee, I slowed down and stepped on my inner breaks. By this time, everyone—yes, even those guys who were walking up the hill—were leaving me behind! Grrrrr!  As for that female runner I had worked so hard to overtake up the hill, she swept past me and was gone from my sight in a matter of seconds. Double grrrr!

By the time we reached the flat roads again, I caught sight of female runner again and tried my best to catch up with her.  For the last 2 km until the end of the race at the track oval, I ran close behind her trying to overtake her. I never did. She finished a few meters ahead of me.

I finished the race at 59 mins. Considering how spent I was, I thought I ran it much faster. No worries. I’m just glad I survived the toughest 10k of my entire life.

– with the little Bull Runners –

– Female Kenyan runners gets a well-deserved massage after her marathon –

– Aileen Tolentino, top female Filipino marathon finisher, 3:29:01. Behind her, Mari Javier is all smiles over his new PR, 3:27.   –

– It was nice bumping into Gilbert of Chris Sports and Coach Jim Saret –

QCIM: My First Marathon

Monday, 19 October 2009  |  Favorite Posts, Race Reports

I woke up at 3 a.m. yesterday morning expecting to run a slow and easy 32km at the first Quezon City International Marathon. Little did I know that I would end the race as a marathoner. Yes, I finally achieved my long time dream of finishing the full 42.195km. You’re surprised? I was too!

Here’s the full story:


I was to meet good friend and now training partner, Alvin, at the assembly area. He was to run the full marathon while I was to stop at 32km. Target pace: 6:30 min/km. I was registered for the 21km but I was to start with 42k at 4:30 a.m. so Alvin and I could run together. Unfortunately, Alvin and I didn’t find each other before gun start.


Of all people to bump into during the last minute before race start, I was lucky enough to have found great company. I ran alongside Run Radio co-host, Jay (Prometheus Cometh) and Atty. Raymund who celebrated his 30th birthday that very day.

No pressures for this run. It was just a training run for me after all! We ran at an easy 6:15 chatting and laughing along U.P. and Commonwealth before the sun rose.

– with Raymund, the birthday boy, and Jay (Prometheus Cometh) –

Occasionally, we would get cheers from others: young students with whom my two running buddies exchanged high fives with like celebrities, race volunteers (one even yelled out “Mabuhay and kababaihan!” to me at which I replied “Mabuhay!”), and even Coach Rio, who shouted what I thought was the word “Injury!” from his vehicle only for me to find out from Jay that it was actually “Jaymie!” We met interesting people along the way too: Love Anover of Unang Hirit, who was Atty. Raymund’s support and John Pages of Cebu Marathon along with his brother.

– with Raymund and Cebu marathoners, John and Bro. Carlos –

– Looks like we were going at 4 min/km pace. But it’s probably the photographer who went that fast –


It was smooth and easy all the way until La Mesa Eco Park. Entering the area was a wonderful break from the monotony of the city roads, but the course was also quite challenging. The hills were undulating and steep. As we didn’t care about speed nor time, we took frequent walking breaks during the climbs while chatting away.

My favorite part of the entire course was here. The course took us by the dam, where the temperature cooled and the view of the water and the trees was much more scenic; I felt like I was in Subic.


When we exited La Mesa Eco Park, it wasn’t only back to urban reality, but even worse. As we ran by SM Fairview, the road traffic was terrible with cars and buses sweeping past us. If that wasn’t dangerous enough, the air was polluted, not the best atmosphere for health-conscious runners. And, worst of all, water ran out at the stations. Thank God I still had 4 ounces of Gatorade left in my amphipod.

When we hit North Avenue and Commonwealth again, it was back to safe and relaxed running. By this time, it was just Jay and I running together. Half of the road was blocked, so we could view (and hear) irate motorists stuck in traffic. Although I was on the other side of the road, the traffic posed a huge problem for me; it meant that the hubby wouldn’t be able to pick me up at Km32 on Commonwealth. I had brought my cellphone with me, so I texted Hubby to say that I would run back to City Hall instead, which would be around 35km.


By 30km, Jay and I parted ways and I ran the rest of the race alone. Still on training pace mode, I maintained an easy 6:15 to 6:30 pace and took walk breaks, especially at the climbs. By this time, water had been replenished at the stations, so I stopped at every station to take a sip and drench my head and arms with cold water.

I hit the 32km mark alone. Much to my pleasant surprise, I was feeling great—no pains, no blisters, no tightness—so it was then that this Bull started welcoming nasty thoughts of just going for the full 42k.

Soon after, I spotted Hector of Second Wind, almost like an angel (but darker and on a mountain bike), sweeping down the road with a bagful of yellow Gatorade popsicles. Manna from heaven! I thanked him profusely and, as he left, Neville, his best friend and Team Principal of Pinoy Ultra Runners arrived. He started to bike slowly by my side.


Neville stayed with me from then on until the end. As the leader of PUR, this guy knows how to support a runner in need. He carried my hydration belt to lighten my load. He didn’t ask endless questions nor did he bombard me with small talk. He was silent most of the time, except for the instances when he’d share info about the course ahead. He advised me to just decide at Km35, when we passed the assembly area at QC City Hall, if I should stop or go for the full.

We passed Km35 with no fanfare nor talk. In silence, I had decided to push through with the bullish, foolish, or whatever-adjective-you-wish-to-describe-it decision to run the full marathon a little less than two months in advance of my planned first marathon in Singapore.

During these last 10km, I was fearfully expecting to hit the much talked about “wall.” I took one step at a time, listened to my body, and waited, but “the wall” thankfully never came. My legs were completely fine. My mind was calm and confident.

When we hit 37km, Neville told me “the last 5k will be the longest 5kms of your entire life.” As I went through each of them, it was quite the opposite; I actually enjoyed it. Each kilometer marker didn’t leave me thinking “4 or 3 or 2 more kilometers to go…” but I was thinking “Wow, I’ve done 38…39…40…Cool!”

Neville then told me, “You’ll enter Trinoma for 500m and I’ll wait for you here outside. After that, it’s just 500m to go.” I ran in, hit the turn around at the end, and exited unscathed. I spotted Neville and ran once again until the end.


I crossed the finish 4:54:23 according to my Polar. Clock time read 4:55:36. I couldn’t be happier with a sub-5 for an unplanned and ill-prepared training run turned impromptu marathon. I didn’t shed a tear nor jump up for joy. I ended the run in a state of disbelief, excited to see the hubby who was famished by that time (as he only learned I ran the full when I was at 40k!)

– A race I trained for since I started running in 2006 –

– Big thank you to Neville of PUR! Ultra next year? Game! –

As they say: Running is a metaphor for life. In this QC International Marathon, I was proud to have gotten a glimpse of my life in a 42k. I learned that obstacles shouldn’t be feared but used to jumpstart a stronger, better you; that friends will be there for entertainment, for company, or most importantly, for support when you need them most; that you must grab every opportunity thrown your way and try your darndest best to make full use of it; and that no matter what you go through, the one who loves you most will be the one waiting for you at the finish.

– 42km: DONE! –

* Thank you to Raymund for some of the photos.

Milo Marathon Finals

Tuesday, 13 October 2009  |  Race Reports


Overall rating (10 highest): 8
Race organizer: Mr. Rudy Biscocho

• Fairly simple route covering spacious roads (except for road repair along Buendia)
• Very affordable registration fee
• Marshals along the route
• Accurate kilometer markers
• Abundance of water and Gatorade stations
• Free visors distributed before the race
• Entertainment such as cheerleaders and Milo theme song playing along the route
• Announcement of race number and name upon nearing the finish
• Runpix race analysis
• Photovendo photos
• Booths after the race
• Goodie bag for runners

• Limited portalets

The Milo Marathon is one of the more popular marathons in the country. Its organizer, Mr. Rudy Biscocho of RACE, can probably manage the event with his eyes closed considering all the years he’s done this. For this particular race, as expected, almost everything worked like clockwork. The race was well-organized from race start to finish. That’s no mean feat considering the quantity of runners who sign up for this race, counting the school children, of course.

It was nice to know that even old dogs can learn new tricks. This was the first time Milo introduced the following innovations: timing chip, runpix analysis, and photovendo photos, which gave runners an even better race experience. The announcement of a runner’s name as he neared the finish line was a pleasant surprise.

Overall, this was a fantastic race. All serious runners should run the Milo Marathon at least once in their lifetime.



My Milo races have always been jinxed. Eve of Milo Eliminations 2007: I collapsed in Alabang Town Center. A couple of days before Milo Finals 2007: I got Runner’s Knee. For all of 2008, I didn’t even bother registering anymore.  For this race, I failed to make it to registration. What’s new, I thought, resigned to the fact that I was going to miss yet another Milo race. But, by some stroke of luck (or perhaps the running gods finally took pity on me), a friend was able to register me at the very last minute.


At 4 a.m., my alarm rang and all I wanted to do was get more rest. Boy was I pooped. I had barely enough sleep coming from the early morning call time for The Rescue Run the day before. It didn’t help that I spotted the new black/yellow Nike Lunar Glides (reminds me of Lance!) the night before and decided instantly that I had to make them mine. We got home that night at around 10 p.m., packed for the race, attached the timing chip to “Lance” my new favorite running shoes (forget about breaking them in!), and hit the sack close to 12 midnight.

Half asleep I drank Hammer anti-fatigue tablets and a cup of coffee on race day morning. I shook off my weariness by reminding myself that I could go easy that day. Target was a relaxed 21km at 6:15 min/km. I could handle that.


All this time, I had envisioned Milo races to have runners squeezed together like canned sardines in the assembly area. But, when I arrived, I found that the half marathoners were a small contingent. There, I spotted Dindo and Vener and chatted with them for a few minutes before the gun fired.

In the blink of an eye, Vener was gone. Dindo and I ran easy all the way. There was a lot of time for chit chat, viewing the Manila Bay on our right, and even a quick stop for the rest room along Roxas Boulevard.

– That’s half of Dindo on the right –

I enjoyed the wide paved roads with occasional entertainment from children cheering in their green uniforms or loud Milo music roaring in the background. Fine, I felt like Milo 3-in-1 was being drilled into my subconscious, but any kind of entertainment during the run was well appreciated.

The road repair along Buendia narrowed the course for a few meters, but this didn’t pose much of a problem. In fact, it got us close to the runners who were on their way back. They were a mix of fast half marathoners and even faster full marathoners, the leaders of the pack. One didn’t have to glance at their race bib to know what distance they were running; just by the look on their faces you knew if they were running the full 42.195.

Kilometer 1 to 16 for me was completely stress- and incident- free. No niggling pains nor problems. No worries. Not even weariness. It was all fun!

– No pain + new shoes + great race = Happy TBR –

When we hit 16km, Dindo, a recent Milo Marathon finisher, advised me “You have to finish the last 5km strong. So go ahead and run at least at tempo pace.” I don’t recall what I replied. I may have an answered with a snort, but I do know that I took a deep breath and pushed forward.

– Serious face on. Tempo pace begins –

I ran at around 5:45 pace moving up to perhaps 5:30 nearing the finish. I am guessing my pace because my silly ol’ buddy, my Polar RS800CX PTE, decided to go crazy on me. It may be due to the fact that I used new shoes and didn’t calibrate it yet. Oh well, anything for “Lance,” right?


In the last 1km, I felt strong enough to increase my pace even more. I was quite happy with how I felt at that point, like I still had enough fuel in the tank to run faster, it only proved that the lung-busting tempo runs the past weeks were working for me. I was going at about 5:00 min/km pace along with a younger runner who was likewise giving his all. I told him “Ang tagal naman ng finish line!” He agreed and said “Nabigay ko na lahat. Wala na akong maibibigay!” Who would’ve thought that lines straight out of a telenovela could be used on race day!

We passed the host of the event who yelled out my bib number and said “Jaymie Pizarro, Kaya mo yan!” Woooah, he called out my name and the names of all the runners passing by! Talk about moral support!

– Out of breath near the finish –

In less than a few minutes, the race was over. I crossed the finish at 2:14 official time. My watch said 2:12 with an average pace of 6:17. Good pace for a training run. Not bad for my first Milo experience.

– I overtook 70 runners but one runner passed me. I wonder who that is. Growl! –

Click here for official Milo results and free Photovendo photos.

* Big thank you to Photovendo for the great photos!

The Rescue Run

Monday, 12 October 2009  |  Race Reports

Runners are powerful people. Not only can they run long and far, but together they can make a difference.

The Rescue Run, a no-frills run with 100% of proceeds for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy, was held last October 10, 2009 at SM Mall of Asia. Over 500 runners came to donate and run.

Total cash raised: P90,700. Plus, a lot of relief goods were collected and subsequently delivered to victims in Taytay, Rizal where relief operations had not arrived yet.

Total cost for organizing: P0. All efforts were voluntary. All resources were donated.

Thank you to all the rescue runners—participants and volunteers—who made a difference that day!

– Organizers The Rescue Run: Eric Passion (Run for Change) and Raoul Floresca (he thought of this all) and myself –

– Race marshals were all volunteers. Here’s Second Wind peeps led by Hector Yuzon along with Mon Domingo, Vener (Run Unlimited) and Jeremy Go –

– More volunteers: Jay Em of Paul Calvins Deli and Ian Alcazar –

– I manned the reg booth and saved my legs for Milo 21k the next day –

– Bull Runner Jr. woke up at 4:30 am to be my registration assistant. His job: provide 2 safety pins for each bib. –

– Li’l Miss Bull Runner initially signed up for 3k with Papa. But, due to an unfortunate incident (she woke up on the wrong side of the bed), she just watched the race instead –

– And the race begins. Turnout was fantastic! –

– Rescue Runners who helped while enjoying the simple run –

– Fastest 10k runner –

– iamNinoy family + me! –

– with SMS: Samahang Mananakbo ng Smart all set for Subic International Marathon –

– TBR Family –

– Food and clothing donations from kind souls. We even saw some barely used running shoes in the mix –

– The end of one of the most fulfilling runs I’ve ever joined…to think I didn’t even run! –

TO ALL RESCUE RUNNERS: Please hang on to your race bibs. Our friends at Mizuno will be holding a private sale for its Mizuno Club Members. Rescue Runners can present The Rescue Run race bib for entry to obtain discounts.

Gabriel Symphony & Rotarun Races: Extreme Opposites

Sunday, 20 September 2009  |  Race Reports

Double race weekend, folks. One was light and fun, the other was downright exhausting and forgettable…


If there’s a race that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, it’s the Gabriel Symphony 12-hour Multi-Sport Event. In this race, there’s a variety of events that take place from sunrise to sunset, all for a worthy cause: to help sick and disabled children. The people who join the events aren’t just there to compete, but to help and, of course, to have fun.

I arrived at Alabang Country Club field alone and registered for the 5k race. I don’t know if it was just me, but the atmosphere was just so positive and friendly. Kids in trisuits guided by their parents, cyclists in full gear laughing, and hosts of the event, Sen. Pia Cayetano, Coach Ani de Leon, and Mailet Bonoan-Ancheta chatting with participants in the field. 

– Exhibit area –

– Super Tri Kids studying their course –

– Doting parents watch over their Super Tri Kids. That includes Fernando Zobel –

– Mark and Tiffin Parco with budding triathlete, Cassie. Congratulations Cassie! –

– Ting and her adorable daughter –

– Mark and Doray Ellis with their little triathletes –

– South tri friends: Glenn and Yvonne –

– Pinays in Action: Coach Ani de Leon and Mailet Bonoan-Ancheta –

As runners gathered behind Sen. Pia at the starting line, I realized we were less than 20 participants. Sen. Pia introduced me to the foreigner by my side and advised him to just follow me as it was just his first race in the country. I assured him he would be fine and whispered “I won’t be surprised if you win the race!”

In a few minutes, we were off. Through the field and unto the roads, our little race began to get serious. Some were running easy, others were going full blast. My newfound foreigner friend led the pack followed by fast male runners!

To say the route was familiar to me would be an understatement. This is the route I take on training runs when I want a tough workout. That morning, with little sleep the night before (it was Run Radio the night before, remember?) and a half marathon the following day, I decided to take it easy knowing that the ascents at 4km just might kill me. I ran at 5:30 min/km, a pace that’s comfortably hard, but not full race mode for me.

By around 3km, I realized I was running just slightly behind the female leader, a young girl probably in her teens. Then, a crazy thought hit me, I could actually grab first place! Now, I’m no bully, but when it comes to races, we always must give our best, right? I thought this was probably my first and perhaps last opportunity to ever bag first place. So, my nostrils enlarged, my bull horns appeared, and I ran steadily behind her.

In a water station, young female leader slowed down to drink just before the difficult ascent up Country Club Drive. The distance narrowed between us and I successfully overtook her as we were climbing my favorite hill (same road where this photo was taken by Ben Chan).

I made a right turn and headed back into Alabang Country Club immediately when I was supposed to go straight ahead! (That’s what I get for chit-chatting during the race briefing!) I was asked to make a u-turn, which I did, and made a break for the finish with no one behind me.

I came in first for the 5k. I forgot to check my time neither did I get my official results. Needless to say, I didn’t take the win too seriously (I was actually laughing about my luck all the way home) but I did show off my sparkling blue medal to show off to the kiddos and hubby!

– Bianca Gonzales, Mikhaela and friend –

– Podium Finishers! –

ROTARUN (Sunday)

My running program ordered a 21km at 6:40 min/km pace this morning, so I thought it best to run it during the Rotarun at McKinley Hill. Exhausted from the lack of sleep and the Saturday activities with the family, I dreaded waking up at 4:00 a.m. for this race. Even so, I managed to scrape myself out of bed, as hubby did too, and we dressed for the race. We had to arrive early to claim our reserved race packs, but it seemed that we were moving slower than usual this morning.

We arrived at McKinley Hill to find a long-line of cars entering the area. It was even worse entering the parking lot. I bid hubby goodbye at 5:25 a.m. (he was running 15k) and I was confident I would make it to the 5:30 a.m. 21k race start. By the time I reached the assembly area, the 21km had left (I heard they began 10 minutes earlier than scheduled) and the 10k and 15k runners were assembled at the starting line. I decided to wait for hubby instead. In a few minutes, the race started and, guess what, I didn’t have a race bib yet! Worse, hubby was nowhere to be found!

I am vehemently against running bandit, but in this case, I decided to run at the end of the crowd promising to myself that I would not avail of the services provided for registered runners (e.g., drinks at water stations, medals, certificates, etc.) I ran at training pace all by my lonesome with my trusty ipod to entertain me. Somewhere along McKinley Hill, I spotted good friend and sometimes training buddy, Harvie, who was late too. I waited for him and we decided to run this slow together.

Good thing Harvie planned on running easy too. We agreed to run at 6:30 min/km and chatted all the way through. We managed to entertain ourselves with lots of chit chat and frequent hi’s and hello’s to friends (and even strangers whom Harvie was playing a prank on.) Occasionally, he would tell me “I am so tired” because he biked 90km the day before, and I would echo “Me too!” because my body was just breaking down with all the work and the lack of sleep the past weeks. Yet, there we were plodding on, hoping to fulfill our training program’s requirements like good little soldiers.

Thankfully, we finished our 15km race strong and smiling. My time was 1:32 with a distance of 15.18 km (I didn’t cross the finish). Average pace was 6:06 min/km.

All things went wrong for me this morning: I felt fatigued even before the race started, I failed to get my race pack and missed my race start, it was terribly hot, and the race itself was forgettable. I almost had the worst race day ever, but great conversation and an injure-free run made the little mishaps more bearable.

Note: As an unregistered runner, I decided to abstain from my usual race review to give due respect to the organizer.