Goodbye 2011

Friday, 30 December 2011  |  Bullish Insights

2011 was one hell of a roller coaster ride for me complete with double loops and hair-raising moments. But, it was definitely a year with bountiful blessings that I’m thankful for.  Here’s what made 2011 a great year for running for me:

(1) Races of all shapes and sizes.  There were huge, well-organized, near perfect races as well as small fun runs that I had the pleasure of participating in.  I thank all the race organizers and the people who work behind each race to make it memorable and safe for all of us runners.  It’s no joke to stage an event and I do believe each runner should be grateful for each experience.  If there’s a flaw or a mishap, then raise the issues with respect and in the proper forum.  My personal favorites were: Condura Skyway MarathonRun United, adidas King of the Road, and Mommy Milkshake Fun Run.

– with Alvin after running my fastest half marathon at RU 1 –

(2) TBR Dream Marathon 2011.  TBR Dream Marathon will always be one of the biggest highlights of each year for me. It’s a fave race that I’ll never get to run, but one where I have the great fortune of witnessing first- and second-time marathoners achieve their dreams.  Most of TBR Dream alumni go on to become my good friends in running, too.  Just one of the many gifts from TBR Dream that’s worth all the sweat and tears that comes into organizing it. Looking forward to see our 3rd batch cross that 42km finish line!

(3) Meeting celebs and legends!  I had the pleasure of meeting legendary runner Jeff Galloway, getting international star Apl .de. Ap of Black Eyed Peas to grace TBR Magazine cover, rubbing elbows with Coach Erik Spoelstra, and last but not the least, speaking with Congressman Manny Pacquiao!

– Super Pinoy star Apl. de. Ap –

– Starstruck over Manny while he browses through TBR Magazine –

(4) Traveling! Oh boy, the runs and the travels!  Thanks to Women’s Health for taking me to Boracay for Beauty and the Beach for it’s 2nd Anniversary. Thanks to Mitch Felipe, Armand Mendoza, and Misibis Bay for inviting me to the Misibis Bay Fitness Escape.  Thanks to Francis Velasquez and Jeffrey Ang of Circle Productions for taking us to Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon. I flew to Bohol with the family too. Thanks to Guam Visitors Bureau and EON for taking me to Guam for the awesome Guam Koko Road race.

– Boracay with Lara Parpan and Christine Ong of Women’s Health, Summit –

– with Francis Velasquez at the trails of Cdo-Dahilayan Ultramarathon –

– with friends from the Guam Visitors Bureau before the race start –

Special thanks to Gatorade for flying me off to New York to participate in my 2nd ING New York City Marathon. I ended the year with a wonderful trip to San Francisco and Sacramento for the California International Marathon, too.

– After the NYC Marathon 2011 –

– During the California International Marathon –

(5) Trying to Tri. So, I got my feet wet (a bit) and found out that I could seriously enjoy the triathlon world. Thanks to The Next Step Tri Camp for allowing me to be saling pusa in their camp. I had a blast there bonding with Team Hammer friends. I also got a swim coach with teammates Adel, Bic, and Jake and learned to love the water.  Running and marathons got in the way this 2011 (as they always do because it’s pretty evident that running is my love!), but I hope to get more into triathlon this coming year.


(6) Humble running achievements such as breaking my half marathon PR at Run United 1 with the help of running buddy, Alvin, and finishing a total of 7 marathons by the end of this year.  There’s still so many goals to reach, so many roads to cover, and oh so many marathons to run!

(7) Partnering with Sun Broadband and Cherifer Premium.  Thank you to Sun and Cherifer for the trust and the support in helping me get more people to run!  Thanks also to Hammer Nutrition, Oakley, and Gatorade for the support!

There’s only one thing I’d like to happily bid goodbye to this 2011.  Good riddance to Morton’s Neuroma which hit me in May and practically bugged me for the rest of the year.  Boo to you for making me missing Phuket Marathon!  I look forward to not seeing you this 2012!

May the coming year bring you lots of joy, laughter, bliss, and good health as you cover more kilometers on the road!  Hope to bump into you soon!


Adidas KOTR Kick Off Advisory

Wednesday, 5 October 2011  |  Race Announcements

adidas would like to remind you that the KOTR 2011 Kick-Off is this coming Monday to Wednesday, October 10-12 from 11am to 11pm at the NBC Tent at the Fort Bonifacio Global City.

Come collect your race pack during this time. Do note that it is mandatory to collect your race pack in order to participate in the race. There are running clinics, talks for runners, selling and sampling booths, games, and raffle, so we encourage all participants to drop by. The KOTR 2011 Kick-off is open to the public so please feel free to bring family and friends.

Read on to ensure smooth race pack collection.


The adidas Race Pack consists of the ff:
1. KOTR 2011 Tote Bag
2. KOTR 2011 Singlet
3. Race Bib
4. KOTR 2011 Timing Device
5. Freebies from Sponsors


10 Predictions for 2011 from Madame Au-BULL-Ring

Monday, 3 January 2011  |  Bullish Insights

Okay. That’s the corniest way to start the new year.

But, yes, I’ll channel Madame Auring for this post—not for the entire year, mind you!—and make some predictions for our new, exciting year of running:

(1) Back to basics. From gadgets to races (to even P-Noy as President), runners will opt for simplicity rather than extravagance.  Runners will purchase equipment for running, but will focus on the essentials, e.g., the right running shoe.  Runners will not give importance to LCDs or fireworks in a race (those are just bonuses), but will demand for ample hydration, safe route, and the like.  There will be greater interest in simple, natural approaches, such as Chi Running and yoga.

(2) Barefoot shoes will be all the rage. Barefoot running is still a controversial topic, but more runners are seeing (and feeling) the importance of going barefoot at least once in a while (this runner included). I don’t think Pinoys are quite ready to go completely naked down there (in the foot, silly) so we’ll go conservative by purchasing Vibram Five Fingers, Terra Plana’s Evo barefoot shoes, or Nike Frees (still my all time favorite!)

– Nike Free Run+ –

(3) Compression is in. As if there weren’t enough brands of compression tights in the market! Despite the high price and the hot weather, expect more people to purchase compression tights or socks as they go for longer distances. With the great demand, even smaller, lesser known brands may come in.

– A page off of TBR Magazine – October/November 2010 –

(4) NUVALI will be the new BHS…at least as race venue.  Runners know Bonifacio Global City’s route like the back of their hands and we are looking for new courses to conquer.  NUVALI’s fresh air, traffic-less roads, and challenging route will be a refreshing venue for more races this year.  Don’t forget that it can also host muddy trail runs.

(5) Coach Rio will be the star of a new teleserye. As if he’s not doing well enough with race organizing, I predict Coach Rio’s star will shine brighter this year. He’ll be the favored race organizer for those with big budgets…and okay, maybe he won’t have his own teleserye, but we’ll see him more often in the boob tube. This guy deserves all the good karma that’s coming his way.

(6) Runners won’t just run, they’ll stretch and strengthen. It used to be that runners would just run, run, and run, then get injured.  Now, we’re much smarter. We know that it’s important to strength train, do core work, and stretch, not just to avoid injury but to become better runners.  See stability balls, dumbells, TRX Suspension training, foam roller, and other equipment flying off the shelves. See more runners in yoga classes too…and not just the ladies.

(7) Runners will run slower…by choice. It’s still cool to run fast, but it won’t be an issue if you run slow either.  Runners will give more importance to running really slow during their long runs and will even learn the value of run-walking intervals.  Jeff Galloway’s arrival in February should help encourage slow and safe running.

(8) Runners will pay more attention to diet. Sure, we run so we can eat more.  But, runners this year will pay more attention to eating more of the right food to get proper nutrition to fuel their runs. Expect to see more sweaty guys in singlets requesting for non-fat soy milk lattes from their baristas.  Nutrition experts and dietitians will be just as popular as running coaches.

(9) Everyone will be coaches and race organizers. Well, not exactly everyone, but a number of runners without proper credentials nor experience will hope to cash in on the running boom.  This is NOT good for the community.  Think twice before signing up for a run clinic or a race. Do your research on the background of a “coach” or a “race organizer.”

(10) New York Marathon will be the new Singapore Marathon. Two years ago, every runner wanted to run Standard Chartered Singapore.  Now, everyone wants in on New York.  It’s quite costly, but it’s worth every penny.


Did I miss any? What’s your Madame Au-Run-ning prediction for 2011?

Happy New Year to you!

All Systems Go for Condura Skyway Marathon

Friday, 17 December 2010  |  Race Announcements

This is what I wrote about Condura Race in 2010: “If Condura Run hopes to remain as one of the best races in the country, it must step up its offerings next year and inject newer, fresher ideas to compete with world-class local races that runners will definitely see this year.”

And, after the bloggers briefing about the race and going through Condura’s E-reg system, this is what I have to say about Condura’s upcoming race in 2011: “Goodbye Condura Run, Hello Condura Skyway Marathon! Leeeet’s run!”

For 2011, Condura is definitely pulling out all the stops to make their race one of the biggest and best events of the year.  Their tradition of running for a cause continues—this time, P50 goes to the dolphins of Bohol with the rest of the proceeds donated to other beneficiaries.  By 2012, Condura hopes to be the premier marathon event in the Asia-Pacific region. (Challenge for Condura is how to make tourists see and feel the culture of the country if they’re up on the Skyway 90% of the time….but I’m sure the Concepcion brothers will figure that out!)


You can check out the Condura Skyway Marathon website, which is just wonderfully made by the way, to learn more about this much anticipated event in the running world. They enumerate 12 reasons why you should join the race (e.g., 3inch medals for 42k, cool shirts, tons of freebies, etc.)—not that a lot of people need convincing.  I don’t know anyone who isn’t joining this race.

For me, Condura Skyway Marathon is a must-run event for me every year. Here are my 5 reasons why I’m definitely joining:

1) I have fond memories of Condura. In 2009, this was where I launched The Bull Runner Magazine.  Last year, Condura Race was my first official local marathon. And it was a PR at that. It was made extra special because my best running buddy Annie came home from Singapore to run it. We ran side-by-side on the Skyway.

– with my irreplaceable running buddy, Annie-girl! –

2) Route is simple and relatively fast. It should even be faster now without that awful Condura Hill. (Oooh the memory of that steep ascent still sends chills up my spine!)

3) Coach Rio de la Cruz is the race director. By far, RunRio’s races are the most well-organized events in the local running scene from marshaling to traffic management, there are rarely any mishaps anymore.  (Hey, Rio’s my friend but I remain unbiased and I speak the truth!)

4) Race organizers Ton and Patrick Concepcion are runners who will toil away for months on end to deliver a bigger and better Condura event each year. Ton says he is the only runner who hasn’t joined the Condura Skyway Marathon!  (How can he when he’s so hands on managing his own race?)  Ack, I can’t wait to run the race this year.

5) I need a goal. And THIS IS IT!


At the bloggers’ dinner hosted by Condura, we were briefed about the race and then treated to a special surprise. We were brought to the Condura Kiosk right in front of Asics, the race’s official shoe sponsor, and were guided through the convenient and efficient race registration system.

– Bloggers register. Say hi Bards (Banana Running)! –

Here’s how Condura’s E-registration goes:

1) Register online. Or, you may also register at the computers provided in the kiosk. Print out the confirmation form.

– Hubby keys in his information –

2) Submit at the Condura Registration center. Pay the fee. Sign the waiver.

– Staff checks the printout and collect payment at Step 2 –

3) Present confirmation stub and claim race shirt and bib.

– Vener claims his shirt at Step 3. He gets a free Hershey’s bar too! –

– Nice shirt, Condura! Logo was designed by Team Manila –

I allowed everyone else to register as I bit my nails and pulled all my hair out over the huge decision I had to make: Was I going to register for a 21k or a 42k?

At the very last minute, I decided to go the conservative route: 21k.

– with Jun (The Solemates), hubby, Ton Concepcion, and his daughter –


I woke up the following day and felt like crap.  I couldn’t get Condura out of my mind.  My brain told me I did the right thing in registering for 21k.  But, my heart told me otherwise.  I waaaant to do the 42k!  This requires some deep pondering among good running buddies over a long run this weekend and a tapsilog breakfast.  Let’s see!