Robinson’s Fit & Fun Buddy Run

Sunday, 12 July 2009  |  Race Reports


Overall Rating (10 highest): 7
Organizer: ExTribe


  1. Great 10k course. Relatively flat except for gradual yet manageable inclines and downhills around Bonifacio Global City. I especially enjoyed running on that narrow, car-less strip of road after Bayani heading towards the rotonda.
  2. Unique concept.
  3. Ample water at stations, mineral water at that.
  4. Lots of freebies and drool-worthy prizes for race and raffle winners. There were even pre-race freebies such as iced tea, Milo, and strepsils!
  5. Limited number of participants (they only accepted 1,000) made it a controlled affair.
  6. Very well organized from check-in to distribution of freebies (right after exiting the finisher’s chute)
  7. Presence of marshals all throughout the route
  8. Complete race packet.


  1. Late start. 10k started at 6:15 a.m.
  2. No kilometer markers or directional signs.

You can always depend on ExTribe to organize a great race. The Robinsons Fit N’ Fun Buddy Run was a well planned event from beginning to end. Although relatively small compared to other major races, this race was well-attended with the elite racing to win the all-expense paid trip to Boracay and CEOs (Lance Gokongwei & Fernando Zobel), politicians (Sen. Pia Cayetano and Rep. Gilbert Remulla) and celebrities (Drew Arellano and Paolo Abrera) running with their respective buddies. The flaws of the race were negligible and forgiveable. Hats off to Robinsons and ExTribe.


This was the 2nd Buddy Run that hubby and I were joining. Last year, he could hardly keep up with me for our 5k. This year, with more races under his belt, we registered for 10k and I was afraid I would slow him down.  For the past two days, I had been getting less than three hours of sleep due to tight work deadlines. Best case scenario would be for me to finish the 10k race without collapsing due to exhaustion. I took two Hammer anti-fatigue capsules and said a prayer.


Hubby and I practically went on a double race date running alongside two couples: Vince and Jun who crept up from behind to surprise us with their pinkies gripped tightly around each other’s and their hands playfully swinging in the air (I hope Mariel, Jun’s wife, isn’t the jealous type) and, soon after, we ran with inseparable running couple, Mark and Tiffin.

The first 5k was incident free. In fact, our pace hovered around 5:30 to 5:45, much faster than our planned training pace of 6.


After passing Paul Calvin’s deli, hubby and I realized we both needed to pee. We decided to bite the bullet and enter McDonald’s at Forbes Town. The other two couples ran ahead.

As soon as I stepped out of McDo, I felt the intense heat of the sun. When we started to run, my feet felt heavy and it was difficult to find my momentum again. My heart rate was too high for such a slow pace.

When we entered Bayani Road, I started feeling side stitches. I focused on breathing properly, watched all the other runners make their way back from the turnaround, and soon enough, the minor pain went away.

By this time, I was also depending on the hubby for distance and pace. My Garmin decided to conk out and die early on, so hubby had to deal with my constant nagging: “What’s our pace?”, “Distance?”, or “Did you pay the bills already?” (I’m kidding about the last one.)

There was improvement at the last kilometer where hubby and I went faster and finished strong. Our unofficial time was 58.29 mins for 9.98km with average pace of 5:52.

Hubby would’ve PR’d if we hadn’t stopped at McDo…argh.  I was satisfied with my performance considering how tired I felt the night before.  I was pretty surprised with myself when I invited hubby to run extra miles around Bonifacio High Street as we had initially planned.  We met up with oh-so romantic couple Vince and Jun for additional miles. Plan was 5k but we stopped at 2k and headed for Pancake House for a well-deserved breakfast with other running friends.

– Made a quick stop at Starbucks for my favorite low fat iced chocolate with mint and guess who I bumped into. TBR Mag cover boy himself: Drew Arellano. Thanks again Drew! P.S. TBR Mags will be at all Starbucks branches soon –

– Breakfast with friends (with Vince, Bobby, Mariel, Jun, Tiffin, Tin, Vimz, Ben, Mark, my hubby, Aljo, Ipe, Art)   –

First thing I did when I get home: checked out the loot…

– These huge bags of freebies (green for hubby, orange for me) intrigued me… –

– Groceries to last a month! Okay, I’m exaggerating, but this is a lot! The only thing I probably won’t use here is Anlene (I’m an Alaska Slim milk loyalist…so yummy) but even our dog can enjoy that –

– Even Li’l Miss Bull Runner got flashcards and tshirts from the loot. Thank you Robinsons. Great job! –

Animo Triathlon 2009 – Part 2

Sunday, 14 June 2009  |  Race Reports

More photos to share…

– The coolest, calmest triathlete on the course: Sea Princess Tessa Prieto-Valdez. Too bad I didn’t get shots of her dancing her way across the finish line –

– 3:42 Boston finisher and Polo Tri team member, Leica Carpo –

– Sen. Pia Cayetano and Maricel Laxa, both participants of Animo Tri –

– South Tri people: Yvonne, their friend, Paolo and Patricia –

– with friends, Dedette and Tiffin –

– with the hubby who finished his first tri. Woohoo! –

Animo Triathlon 2009 – Part 1

Sunday, 14 June 2009  |  Favorite Posts, Race Reports

This was so much more fun than my first triathlon last year!  While the first tri was a race to finish, this one was a race to beat—not others—but myself.  I jotted down my time for each sport in last year’s Animo Tri and, as I trained, I made sure that I improved on those times. With the training I had the past week, plus the bike lent by my friend Hans, I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t be the turtle that I was in 2008.  (Well, I wasn’t that confident but I sure was praying for that!)

– Big big thank you to Hans of GranTrail Bike shop, West Gate Center, Alabang –


Check in and body marking was quick and easy.  Hubby, who did his first mini-sprint, and friends Jamike and Jun were just a few meters away.  After hanging up our bikes on the racks, placing stickers on our bikes and helmets, and preparing all our gear for easy transition, we calmly walked towards the DLSZ swimming pool.

– Transition area set up –

{SWIM: 350 M}

This is when I started getting all jittery.  Seeing the green, murky water in the DLSZ pool didn’t help at all to alleviate the tension.  I ran to the bathroom twice, talked with my father-in-law about anything that came to mind, fidgeted with my goggles and swim cap, and started wondering if I should just stick to running instead.

When it was our turn, I jumped in the pool along with the other female mini-sprinters.  It was great to see my two highschool friends, cousins Jennie and Tintin, both strong athletes who were as nervous as I was.  After a brief chat, we heard the horn signal the start of our race.

There was a lot of pushing and kicking going on in there.  And, these women were fast!  I threw caution to the wind and went as fast as I could too paying no attention to the kicks I got or gave.  By the first lap, I was spent.  Obviously, I was not made for sprint swimming.  I took a 5 second break and went at it again.  Same speed, same gusto, but probably with terrible form.  


– Forgot about pacing. I went as fast as I could –

It went on like this for the next six laps.  Before I knew it, I was done.  Out of breath and tired, I ran out of the pool, slipped into my flipflops (which I now left near the exit unlike last year) and made my way towards the transition area.

SWIM TIME: 8.46 mins vs 18:00 mins 2008.  Beat my old time by 9.14 min.

{BIKE: 11KM}

Since the bike course was initially flat at Narra, I got to recover a bit from the tiresome swim portion.  I was still pretty much in relaxed mode at this portion.  As we headed out towards University Ave., that’s where the real race began.  I overtook bikers while the same bikers would overtake me.  It helped that I memorized the ocho-ocho loop a few days before the race.  There was no time lost on second guessing the route, or worse, missing out on a turn or doubling a loop, mistakes that were committed by a lot of participants this year and the last.

After we climbed up Country Club Drive, it was basically one other female biker and I who were competing with each other.  She and I started chasing each other through the rest of the course.  Aaack, it was tiresome, but I gotta admit, it was fun too!  Near the end of the course, I recognized her face and realized it was an acquaintance, Mavis.  We reached the end of the bike portion at practically the same time.  After transition and as we headed out towards the run, I told her how the bike portion became so much more challenging with her presence.

BIKE TIME: 34.21 (11km) vs 41.01 (12k) last year.

– Never thought I could have that much fun on a bike. I’m a convert. (I look like I’m in pain in the photo though haha) –

– Sprinters heading for transition –

{RUN: 3.5KM}

And now for the part we all love…When I started to run, I was breathless; I was panting like a puppy.  Nevertheless, I pushed forward, taking one quick step at a time, still paying attention to my form.  By the time I made it out to University Ave., there was no one behind me nor in front of me.  Honestly, had I not ran this route during our simulation last Tuesday, I would’ve thought I lost my way; there were no race signs nor marshalls.  I trusted my instincts and just plodded forward.  Soon enough, I spotted a couple of runners ahead.  One male, one female.  I followed.  There was another female heading back and she was escorted by a marshall on motorcycle, so she was #1.  The lady ahead of me was #2.  Then, in complete disbelief, I realized that I could actually be the 3rd!  

As I circled the turnaround, I spotted female #4. Lord, not her!  It was the super strong french lady runner from Hope in Motion 3 last year. (After chasing her throughout the race, I gave up and fell behind.  She placed 2nd and I 3rd.)  When I saw her, I wanted to run for my life!  Unfortunately, I was just so tired.  I just gave it my all, put on step in front of the other, and prayed to God that she was as exhausted as I was.  In a few minutes, I made the right turn and headed towards the finish line.

RUN TIME: 17.18 (3.5k hilly course) vs 16.06 (3.4k flat) last year.  

– Tri is lovelier the 2nd time around! Finish time: 1:00:25 –

– with my training buddies: Jun, Jamike and hubby (or as Annie would say Tito, Vic, and Joey heehee!) –

– with my “Team Mate”…same trisuit, long hair, but she was a lot leaner and taller and faster on the bike. Sheesh, forgot her name! Please email or comment! –

– with highschool classmates, Bau and Tin. See you next year? –


Turns out I got 2nd place for female overall, while the french lady won 3rd.  The lady runner ahead of me at the run won 1st place; she beat me by 24 seconds.  I don’t exactly know what happened to the lady leading the pack.

The podium finish was a pleasant surprise.  I really just set out to beat myself, so the medal and P250 David’s Salon Gift Certificate (perfect for covering up my new dead toenail) are really just bonuses for an hour of sweat, excitement, and friendly competition.

– 2nd Place female overall –

– Official results –

More photos in the next post…

Mizuno Infinity Run Race Report

Monday, 8 June 2009  |  Race Reports


Organizer: Rudy Biscocho 
Overall rating (10 highest): 7

– Time trials announced at the end of the race scheduled for January 10, 2010.  Everyone loves a surprise—and this one was a great idea from Mizuno organizers.
– Race started on time.
– Tried and tested race route passing Buendia flyover from Bonifacio Global City.  Lacks authenticity but it’s still a great course.
– Ample water and Gatorade supply at stations.  
– Marshalls were everywhere and in distinct blue Mizuno uniforms.
– Kilometer markers lined the roads.  
– Pacers were present from Mizuno team.  (I wish they had announced this earlier though.  It would’ve been better if they had balloons too so runners could spot them.)

– Balde system again at the water stations.  Even if you tell me it’s mineral water in its purest form in there, I will not ingest a drop of that.  
– Singlets were given out only after the race and one had to endure long lines to claim them.
– No race map in the race packet.
The Mizuno Infinity Run went by smoothly.  It was a no-frills race—no marching bands, live entertainment, or food and sponges along the route—but runners got top-notch service for all the basic requirements of a race.  It was so well-orchestrated that I think they even got to convince Someone up above to temporarily stop the rains and let the sun out for this event.  The flaws were minor and forgiveable.

The thing that set this race apart from other races was the announcement which came at the end.  This was to be the first race followed by a surprise time trial race set for January 10, 2010.  A great idea on the part of race organizers that would challenge runners to improve their time in a little over 6 months.
Congratulations to Mizuno for a great race!



Training?  Not enough.  
Sleep?  11:30 pm the night before.
Supplements?  Thank God for them!

Days before the race, my friend, Harvie, the local distributor of Hammer  products and member of Polo Tri team, asked if I was willing to give his Hammer products a try.  Without hesitation, I agreed.

Like a nutrition coach, Harvie gave me directions the night before.  (Honestly, I thought they were all about gels but I was so wrong!):

– 2 Hammer Anti-Fatigue caps

– 1 Hammer Enery Surge
– 1 Hammer Gel 

– 1 Hammer Anti-Fatigue 
– 1 Hammer Energy Surge
– 1 Hammer Gel

And, like a dutiful student, I followed his orders (except for the 2 Anti-Fatigue caps at the turnaround.) 


Hubby had the fantastic idea of stopping at Shell gas station before the race to avoid long restroom lines at Bonifacio High Street.  Unfortunately, by the time we arrived at Bonifacio High Street, we both had to go again!  When we reached the assembly area, the gun was fired so we ran towards the starting line.  I spotted Team Super’s Javy and Hannah Olives hurriedly squeezing themselves between the barriers to reach the road; hubby and I briskly followed them.  I learned only after that Javy was following another late runner, Mark Parco.


We caught up with familiar faces—Jun, Vince, Ben, and other friends—and chatted with them as we made our way towards the Buendia flyover.  The first kilometer was my slowest kilometer split at an average of 6:27, probably because I was scrambling for my supplements while talking and laughing at the same time—talk about multi-tasking!  

After the 1st kilometer, the next few kilometers’ pace hovered around 5:45 to 6, a good, comfortable pace for me; I didn’t want to go all out on this race anyway.  All of us friends had parted ways, including hubby and I, so we were all running on our own.  I was feeling great. And, bumping into other runner friends, even if they were just acquaintances, made the run even more exhilarating.  One runner had viewed a TV interview on my baby sign language classes and started demonstrating signs he learned from my talk to say that he was in “pain” and he wanted to “eat” already—hilarious!


When we hit the turnaround, I scrambled to take my Hammer supplements and gel. I still felt okay at this point and I felt that those supplements did their job well.  With my lack of training and energy, I was surprised I was even running at a steady pace at this point.

Shortly after, I saw my friend from Mizuno team, Alvin Adriano, who just finished his Sundown Marathon in Singapore.  We exchanged hellos and only then did I notice the sign attached to his back “1:30 Pace Group”.  I would’ve chatted with him longer, but after learning that he was the pace leader of the 1:30 runners, I decided that my goal for that race, which was initially “to finish without injury” suddenly became “to run a sub-1:30.”  All I had to do from that point forward was to run as far away from Alvin as I could!


I was fine all throughout the race, even as I climbed up the Buendia flyover.  It was only as we rolled down the Buendia Flyover that I started feeling the brunt of my lack of training.  It was then that I realized how out of shape I was and how I just wanted to reach the finish line ASAP.

As we made a right towards Forbes Town, Alvin creeps up behind me and I exclaim “Oh great, the 1:30 runners have caught up with me!” Shortly after, he runs ahead of me and I fall behind catching my breath.


As I recovered from back-breaking Buendia flyover, I suddenly had the energy to sprint when I neared the finish.  At least, when I thought I saw the finish!  Turned out that 15k runners had another turn before making a left towards the finish.  Arrrrgh!  Fortunately, I had enough energy left to make it to the end.

I saw the clock and it hit 1:30, but since we started late, I knew my Garmin time was below 1:30. I ran towards the finish line as fast I could, stopped my Garmin, and took a quick look: 1:29:48. Average pace was 5:56 min/km for 15.15km. I listened to my body for any niggle of pain…none, nada, zilch. Mission accomplished!

For more info on Hammer products, click here.

– with Bards (Banana Running), Jay Em of Paul Calvin’s Deli, Coach Rio, Harry (Mukhang Guilty), Vimz (Kulit Runner), Art and friend –

– with Essie, Bards, hubby, Harry, Dingdong (RunMD), Tina and Alice –

– with main man, Jinoe Gavan –

– with Hector and Neville of Second Wind Running Store  –

– with Ian Alacar of Botak –

– Tired but happy –

TNF 100: More Photos (Part 2)

Monday, 25 May 2009  |  Race Reports

More photos from the TNF 100 at Clark…

– Jay (Prometheus Cometh) running from Holiday Inn to the race venue. His way of warming up for his 20k trail run –

– Dindo (RunningDATcom), Ting, and Mesh (My Iron Shoes) accompany friend, Bards (Banana Running) to the race start. Bards was the only one who joined the TNF, the rest ran long on the roads. –

– Our running buddies, Jun & Mariel (Solemates) –

– Who cares if I looked like Olivia Newton John? Those long socks and tights protected me from scratches. And those shoes survived the mud, lahar, and river runs. –

– I wasn’t the only raging bull around. This mad cow blocked our path. –

– This young boy greeted me politely as we ran past him. –

– Taki (TechSpec) and wife Charmaine on the highway –

– with Team Go, Marga and the hubby. See that kid? This is his 2nd trail run! –

– Girl Power! with Mariel, Marga, and Charmaine –

– with Vince of Finishline. Congrats for another well-organized race! –

– Runners let their feet dry after a very wet run –

– Happy happy trail runners! –

– The trip wouldn’t have been complete if we hadn’t stopped by the Nike Factory along NLEX. Guess who we bump into there…Jun, Mariel, and Jay. Later on, I see Mesh and Ting too! Great runners think alike. –