Back from Singapore Half Marathon!

Monday, 8 December 2008  |  Race Reports


What an amazing experience!  I’m limping, I’m tired, and I missed my family terribly but I am still on cloud nine over the Singapore Marathon.  

I finished with an official time of 2:08, 196th out of 3,044 female runners in the half marathon category.  Not something to do cartwheels over, but considering my knee gave me hell starting at Km8 until the finish, I’m pretty proud of myself for surviving one of the toughest physical and mental challenges I’ve ever undergone.

Big congratulations to my Singapore roomie, Annie, who broke her marathon PR with  an official time of 3:59, she was 67th out of 1,998 female runners.  

Congrats to Coach Rio who finished 1:24  for his half marathon, which placed him at 12th for the men’s category and 3rd in his age category.  Galing!

I promise to write more tomorrow—as soon as I get down from this Singapore high…

* Photo courtesy of Red Sports

Unicef Walk on the Child’s Side

Monday, 24 November 2008  |  Race Reports


Organizer: Rio de la Cruz
Overall rating (5 highest): 3

– challenging 10k course (as always whenever McKinley hill is included)
– fair atmosphere with kids’s entertainment (inflatable), photo wall, finisher’s family photo, raffle, etc.
– race marshalls were everywhere
– quick response of marshalls in emergency
– UPDATE: Same day release of race results

– ample supply of mineral water at stations
– mile markers

– high traffic after entering McKinley hill
– limited parking space
– crowded race start (roads are too narrow in that area)
– need for more portalets (lines were too long)



The Unicef Walk on the Child’s Side wasn’t going to be a “walk in the park” for me. This was the plan: I was to run 10k with JunC at 5:30 to 5:45 pace. Yaya would dress the kids, who lay asleep in the car, and have them race ready by 6:45 a.m. Hubby would run 5k so he could be back in time for the kids’ 2k at 7 a.m. Hopefully, I would run fast enough to be back for the 2k as well.

Now, this is what happened: JunC and I ran within 5:20 to 5:30 for the first 5k. It was quite fun to finally run fast again after so many long slow runs the past weeks. But, upon entering Heritage Park at around 5k+, my left knee started bothering me; it was just a slight nagging pain that I could’ve ran with until the finish. But, with Singapore Half only two weeks away, I’ve been practicing extreme caution and over-paranoia. So, bereft of any runner’s ego, I slowed down to a walk and bid JunC goodbye as I made my way to the marshalls’ booth asking them to drive me back to McKinley.

At first, they planned on making me ride a motorcycle with a marshall. Gawd, I had no pride when it comes to DNF-ing, but I certainly didn’t want to tell the world about it. I was about to search for a brown bag to cover my face when Billy, a Heritage Park marshall, volunteered his car instead of us having to wait for the medics.  As I was about to heave a sigh of relief, the host at Heritage announces on his microphone “Thank you for joining the race, Ms. Jaymie.  We hope you join us again next year!”  Oh boy, let’s tell the world indeed.  In no time at all, we were back at McKinley with a few minutes to spare before the 2km walk’s start.



I knew it was a “2km walk”, but my press release at home was a “2km run.” My two kids were looking forward to this “fun run” for days, but they had very different goals. As it was my 7 year-old son’s 3rd or 4th run, he knew how tiring it could be so he only aimed to finish. On the other hand, my Little Miss Bull Runner, who was joining her 1st, had more serious plans. When I tucked her into bed the night before, she whispered “Mama, I’m going to win the race.”




I held my daughter’s hand, while hubby was with my son.  When the race started, it was a slow walk through the crowd and I could see the disappointment in Little Miss Bull Runner’s face.  But, as soon as there was space, we took our positions and I yelled “Ready, Get Set…Go!” as I always do when we race after school, and off she went smiling as she climbed up McKinley Hill.

We frequently stopped for walks and water breaks throughout the race, but for the most part, my daughter was dragging me to run faster.  Whenever Little Miss Bull Runner spotted Kuya in front of her, she would look up at me and say “Mamaaaa!” as if to say “We can’t let the boys beat us!”  

Before the race ended, as we climbed the other steep hill towards the exit of McKinley, I let go of my daughter’s hand and let her run free; as expected, she showed off her patented aerodynamic propeller-arm run for a final sprint.

As we neared the finish, hubby and I agreed to cross the finish all at the same time to ensure that no one “won” the race. The kids were spent, but they were happy.  This was definitely a good experience for the entire family.  


– Little Bull Runners with Little Foreign Runners


When I tucked my daughter into bed that evening, she asked me if she won the race.  I replied “Yes, you won…and Kuya won too!”  Then, she asked “But…where’s my prize?”  Uh oh, let me think about that.


Thank you to the race organizers, especially those at Heritage Park, who took care of me during the little emergency!

Thank you to Dindo, JunC, and Marvs for photos!

New Balance Power Race

Monday, 17 November 2008  |  Race Reports


Organizer: Extribe
Overall rating (5 highest): 4

– use of RFID timing chip for 25k runners
– challenging course
– portalet at 12.5k turnaround 
– medals for all finishers plus other goodies
– separate race days for kids/5k and 10k/25k 

– ample supply of 100 Plus and mineral water bottles at water stations
– good number of race marshalls at certain areas
– accurate mile markers at every kilometer
– bananas and fluids at the finish
– NB recovery and photo booths
– pretty accurate measurement of distance (Garmin measured course at 25.14km)

– high traffic to check in at race start
– late starting time
– mistakes at awarding



– NB booth where runners lined up for extra loving care from therapists –

The New Balance 25km at Clark yesterday will be one of the more memorable races for me. It was the farthest I had ever run and, despite my fears and anxieties, it was, by far, the most fun I had ever had in a race. Excellent weather conditions (it was cool and cloudy all throughout with a bonus light drizzle at the start), fun and entertaining personalities among 25kers, a great job by race organizers, plus my better-than-expected performance (not that I had such high standards) contributed to making this race unforgettable for me.

According to my Garmin, I crossed the finish line at 2:33:10 with an average pace of 6:06 min/km, a great time for me because my training runs have all been at a much slower pace; actually, my only goal was to end the race without injury.  Here are the highlights of my race:

Zen dinner: We shared an early pre-race dinner with JunC and Jay and the rest of our families at Zen, just across the hotel.  It’s nice to know that, as much as we love running, for this training group, family still comes first.

NB_Dinner at Zen

Meeting other running bloggers: I met ibanrunner, high altitude, miraclecello, and run unlimited on race day. It’s always great to meet other runners, but even better to come across those who love it so much that they must tell everyone about it.

Bonding with family: The weekend trip to Clark was enjoyable for the kids, but it was also a great bonding experience for hubby and I since it was the first out of town race we were running together.  Hubby ran his first 10k which, as I mentioned to Mark, was of his own free will (and passion); nope, I didn’t have to force or even subtly persuade him (hehe) to register. 

NB_Jaymie 10miguel

– The hubby was my photographer, sponsor, and (as seen in photo) support as I was about to stretch my quads –

Running with JunC for the 1st half: Our plan was to run a 6 min/km pace. Jay decided the night before to run at a much faster pace while Dindo stayed close behind. During the 1st few kilometers, JunC and I managed to stay within our goal pace but, as soon as we reached the downhill portion, we upped the tempo to 5:30 for around 5km as buffer for the expected slow uphill climb on our way back. JunC and I make a lot of pre-race plans but part of the fun of running with him is agreeing mid-race that we should trash those plans and run faster…haha.

NB_Jaymie 01
– That’s JunC and myself – 

Potty Break: Before the race started, Ting had informed me that there would be a portalet that awaited female runners at the 12.5k mark. Thank God, I told her. All throughout the run, I (and perhaps other female runners) were tormented by the sight of numerous male runners having easy access to pee breaks anywhere on the road. Aaah, life is unfair. By 9k, I needed to go badly and I was praying Ting was right.  As we climbed the slight uphill in Fontana toward the turnaround, I caught sight of the portalet and did my business at world record time. Hallelujah!

Running with Mark P. and Renz: I bumped into Mark and Renz shortly after my bathroom break. Time flew as I ran with them—almost like running with Tito, Vic and…errr…I am certainly not Joey so scrap that idea. There was a lot of laughter and nonsense talk to keep ourselves entertained. A bonus from Mark was the technical race tip he gave which I will never ever divulge to anyone. (Mark, I tried it in the last few kilometers, and yes it works!)

NB_Jaymie 04
– with Mark and Renz –

Running with Coach Rio and Dra. Doray: As luck would have it, I did find Coach Rio and his hair as I had initially planned. I ran with him and Councilor Doray during the last kilometers of the race, which included the 4km climb that all of us dreaded early on. Coach Rio was his usual funny and talkative self (even if I could barely respond), but he also checked in on us often asking how we were doing.  Thank you Coach and Doray!

Last 2km: So, I ran this behind Coach Rio and Dra. Doray and, as they started speeding up, I wondered if I should (or could) do the same. There was barely enough time to think, so I just ran with my eyes practically closed. It was one of the toughest and longest runs for me—ever. Ack, I wanted to yell out and ask Coach Rio if the finish line was really “malapit na” as he had repeated over a hundred times, but I didn’t have the energy to talk. Soon enough, we crossed the finish with a large crowd cheering all finishers and it felt awesome; I couldn’t have been happier that I pushed myself to the limits.

NB_Training group1
– Our training group: Jay (Prometheus Cometh), Dindo (RunningDATcom), JunC, myself plus the hubby –

NB_Jaymie 09with annie

– with hubby, Annie who won 1st in her age category with a time of 2:05 accdg. to her Garmin, and JunC –


– Councilor Doray (Doralicious), Nina, Wayne (SFRunner), Coach Rio, hubby, myself, Vimz, Mayen, and friend –

– with the Cougcat Family of racers –

– with Missy, and super fast running partners, shirtless Ben and Joms –

Congrats to all the finishers! It was a fun race!  Congrats to race organizers as well!

Thank you to Jay (X59) and Jun, Mariel & Bea for some of the photos!

VSO Bahaginan Race

Monday, 10 November 2008  |  Race Reports

Before the roosters crowed, at around 5 a.m. yesterday, a large number of giddy runners, including myself, had gathered at NBC Tent for the VSO Bahaginan Run. After two short trips to the rest room, I made my way to the assembly area in search of my training group for our 15km run.  JunC, Jay, Dindo, Dra. Doray, Levy and I had agreed to run together at a relaxed 6 min/km pace for this run.  At such an early time, I wondered if I’d ever find them in the dark.  Good thing Levy is a runner/triathlete stuck in a basketball player’s body so I caught sight of him first. Pretty soon, the others appeared; we were complete. 

I almost regretted waking up early for this race, as it started 20 mins. late at 5:50 a.m. instead of the 5:30 call time. However, the long wait gave me the opportunity to finally meet Wayne (who just flew in from SF), Nora (truly the golden girl because her mere presence lights up the room, or in this case, the road) and other runner friends that were just everywhere!

The course was similar to Mizuno and Nike Human Race’s course; in a word, it was challenging. By now, most of us know that when McKinley Hill is included in the map, one should take extra steps to train well for the race, plus make the Sign of the Cross soon after the gun is fired.

When the race started, our group stuck like glue running out of Bonifacio Global City.  As soon as we made our way to Lawton, however, we had split into two.  For the most part though, we managed to stay within our goal pace running at around 6 to 6:20 all throughout the run.  Running with a group made the entire 15km more enjoyable and a lot less gruesome.  Chatting was light and free-flowing with exceptions in the uphill portions and last few kilometers of the race where all talk had stopped (either we ran out of stories or energy—you decide.)

The organizers did a good job as well to make the race as pleasant as possible.  Water was overflowing as is always the case when it’s organized by Coach Rio.  Half of the road was closed so there was less traffic than usual to contend with.  Large and accurate mile markers were also placed along the road to remind us 15km runners that we still had a long, long way to go before we reached the finish…hah!

As for me, everything went smoothly.  The only nightmarish incident I (and other squeamish runners) faced was the last kilometer’s veritable obstacle course where hundreds of higads hung from trees waiting to pounce on our sweaty faces.  Aaaack!  Thanks to good samaritan Mark Parco who warned us all about our entrance into higad territory.  I was ready to get run over by a car rather than have a higad land on my face!

According to my Garmin, I ended my 15 km run (exact measurement from organizers…great job) at 1:33:14 with a pace of 6:11 min/km.  After crossing the finish, I took a few gulps of water, had a few photos taken with Nora and Bald Runner, and run off to the comfort room for a quick change before our 2nd portion of the run.


– With superfast women, Annie (3rd place 15k) and Lala –


– With my favorite coach, Coach JoAr. You have to check out Photographer Ben’s cool photos of him here

Within 5 to 10 mins, JunC, Jay, Dindo and I began our next run at a slower 7 to 7:30 min/km pace.  My goal was to run a total of 22 km and initially I thought I could do it.  However, after one loop around Market! Market!, with the sun beating down on us at 7:40 a.m., I decided to call it a day a little before 2km.  My total for the day was 17km.

When I got home, I wanted to slap myself in the face for making the impulsive and foolish decision to quit with only 5km to go before I reached my goal. Argggh.  Sayang!  Oh well, I stopped beating myself up for it this morning when I woke up with a sore left thigh; I guess it’s good I got some rest in preparation for NB 25 next week.  As for how I’m going to finish 25km with only 20km as my highest mileage ever is a question that I have yet to answer…gulp.


– Nowadays, once you take out a cam, everyone just comes running! In this photo: (FRONT ROW L to R) Coach JoAr, Vince, Coach Rio, Mark P., Master John Ting. (BACK L to R) Taki, TBR, Jaimie, Zinnia, Philip, Glenn, Tiffin, Mon, Ipe, and two other running friends. –

4th OctobeRun Festival

Monday, 27 October 2008  |  Race Reports


I had only two words in mind as I dressed for the race yesterday morning: TRAINING RUN. My “race mode” button was shut off that morning so that’s probably why I took my sweet time—even had time to touch up the pedicure on my dead toenail (yes, it’s dead again)—before I left for Bonifacio High Street.  

It came as no surprise then that I arrived just 5 mins. before the race start. When I arrived at the assembly area, I was in no mood to socialize (except to wish Cougcat good luck in his 3k and congratulate Carolyn on her Nike Women’s Half in SF) while I let out quite a number of yawns as I waited for the babbling host to just let the race begin. Fortunately, just after the Philippine National Anthem was played, JunC and Jay—my training partners that day—appeared and we had a few minutes to chat before the race started at 6:15 a.m. (thanks to the super talkative host).

Our plan was to run at 6:15 pace during the 10k race plus an additional 10k thereafter at 6:15 to 6:30 pace to complete 20k for me while Jun and Jay, who ran before the race, would reach a total of 25k.  

This was the first time I ran with a training group during a race and I’m sure glad I did. Our steady and relaxed pace allowed us to chat during the entire length of the race, yell out words of encouragement to runner friends who made their way back ahead of us (and maybe whisper “I’ll get you next time!” to a few others), and even stop at some water stations to splash some cold water on our faces. We even “recruited” Dra. Doray to run with us for a few kilometers before we parted ways.

The Fort Striders Club did a great job organizing this race. We went through the challenging Lawton-Bayani Road route without a hitch. There was an abundant supply of mineral water (not balde system as in Adidas KOTR) and marshalls were so helpful that they even poured this on our heads or faces as if they were personal coaches. I wished they had started at exactly 6 a.m. but hey that’s a minor inconvenience.  Congratulations to Fort Striders, especially my friends Taki and Glenn, for a successful race.

We crossed the finish line—agreeing to meet in 5 minutes for the next 10k—at 58:21 mins with an average pace of 5:54.  Total distance was 9.9k on my Garmin, pretty accurate measurement for organizers. We ran a little bit faster than our planned pace, but it left me feeling strong enough for the next half of our goal.

{ NEXT 10KM }

After a 5 minute break where I changed my top, munched on half a ClifBar, and found myself sharing an almost empty parking lot with Fernando Zobel, I met Jay and Jun at ROX to run our next 10k.

We were an indecisive bunch not knowing which route to take that would give us the most shade from the 7:30 a.m. sun. We decided to run loops around Market!Market! where more than half of the route was shaded and, as I requested, the roads were flat.

The next 10k was light and easy and filled with good conversation. Sometime during the run, I had what I’d like to call a “running epiphany” where I realized that I enjoyed this slow and steady type of run vs. a race; I would give up a 10k podium finish (and even cash prize!) anytime for an easy half marathon distance with friends. I could’ve screamed “I love to ruuuuuun!” right there and then, but I thought of Jun and Jay who didn’t have brown bags with them to shield them from embarassment.

We ended our 10k with an average pace of 6:55km to complete a full 20km for me. This was the farthest distance I had ever run.  Wooohooo!  And, as I ended without any hint of injury, I took it as a sign that I was ready for NB 25k.  Double wooohooo with cartwheels (if only I could do them)!  See you at Clark!