Product Review: SPIbelt and SPIband Wrist and Ankle Pocket

Saturday, 14 January 2012  |  Gear + Gadgets

If I could choose my favorite running gadgets for 2011, these two would definitely be in the top five: the SPIbelt and the SPIband Wrist and Ankle Pocket.

The SPIbelt is a sleek, expandable, secure pouch that does not bounce at all.  Key word: expandable.  It can hold a smartphone, camera, keys, energy gels, and other small personal items.  It is worn like a race belt or hydration belt slightly below the waist and can be used during training or racing and other activities aside from running.  It fits waist sizes 24” to 40”.

2Original Spibelt black body w colored zip
– Original SPIbelt black with blue zipper –

The SPIband Wrist and Ankle Pocket is slipped over the wrist or ankle for a convenient way to carry your cash, keys, I.D., credit cards, gels, chapsticks, tissue, and so much more in a secure and fashionable way.  No zippers, snaps, or clasps.  It features a dual-fold design made of soft yet durable materials to provide the ideal accessory for exercise, travel or general everday use.

1spiband blk-turq
– SPIband Wrist and Ankle Pocket –


Last last year, I was fortunate enough to be given samples for road testing.  I already had my own SPIbelt which I purchased in 2010 abroad, but I was astounded to see the SPIband, a nifty product which made me scratch my head in deep regret to say: “Why didn’t I think of that?!”  I road tested both products during my long runs and since both passed with flying colors (with bonus non-stop chatter to my friends about how simple yet amazing that SPIband idea was), I subsequently used both products at the California International Marathon.

During training in Manila, I could conveniently carry my Blackberry with Otterbox casing, plus a gel, tissue, and cash in the SPIbelt.  My Canon S100 with its case could fit in there too.  Sometimes, for shorter runs, I would leave the SPIbelt at home and only use the SPIband on my wrist to hold my car keys and emergency cash. This was certainly more convenient than stashing it in my pocket where it would often bounce.

– SPIbelt with my Blackberry in Otterbox case. Still enough room for probably 2 Hammer Gels in there –

– SPIbelt holding my bigger and bulkier Canon Powershot A100. It can easily fit my Canon S100 which I now prefer to carry for runs –

– Can you guess what else this nifty SPIbelt could hold?… –

– Yes, even Li’l Miss Bull Runner’s stuffed poodle! Hey, you’ll never know when you’ll need some cuddling during a marathon! –

During the marathon, in the SPIbelt, I was able to fit three Hammer Gels, tissue (hey, it was so cold there!), and cash.  In the SPIband, I decided to insert those that I needed quick access to while on the run: chapsticks (due to the cold again), more tissue, plus one more Hammer Gel.

– SPIband with a Hammer Gel in it. There’s still room on the other side for another gel, car keys, or other items –

Put simply, don’t be deceived by these tiny pouches.  They sure can carry a ton of essential running items. I heard it can also hold essential medical items such as asthma inhalers, insulin pumps, and other items for those with medical needs.

Another thing I loved about them?  They don’t bounce, move up and down, or slide sideways.  Now, I own quite a number of belts: Nathan, Amphipod and Fuel Belt for hydration, Ultimate Direction and Nathan for pouches only, and a number of local brands to hold race bibs only.  I would say that the belt of SPIbelt is the best.  It just doesn’t move AT ALL.  It just fits me snugly and comfortably.  In fact, during my marathon, I would sometimes forget I was wearing a belt. Oh, by the way, if you just add race toggles, then this SPIbelt can hold your race belt too.

I also liked the fact that it comes in various colors. In 2010, I purchased the black/yellow belt as proof of my unconditional devotion to Lance and Livestrong (okay, fine, call it obsession).  This time, I got the blue/black SPIbelt with matching Wrist Pocket, which I absolutely loved because they matched my Kwicky Blade Light. There’s a wide variety of colors to choose from to match every runners’ personality or crazed love affair with a sports celebrity and his advocacy.

Lastly, the SPIblet and SPIband are both washable. I washed mine myself abroad, but you’re also allowed to machine wash on cold and hang to dry.

The only downside to SPIbelt is the fact that, if you’re planning to carry a hydration belt, then it would be much too inconvenient to wear two belts.  You gotta choose one and usually hydration will win.  So, I would say the SPIbelt is more for short runs where you won’t need hydration or longer runs where hydration will be adequately provided.


– Expandable pouch can accommodate a lot of essentials for a run
– Snug and comfortable fit of the belt, doesn’t bounce nor move
– Comes in various colors
– Also has water resistant and waterproof models
– Can hold your race bib if you get race toggles (sold by the same distributor)
– Washable

– Only for runs where one won’t need to carry hydration

I highly recommend both the SPIbelt and SPIband. Get one for yourself and another one as a gift to your favorite running friend.

Water Resistant SPIbelt is P1,190.

For other inquiries and products, please see below.


For now, SPIbelt products can be purchased at:

Splash Underwater Imaging, Inc
Level B, Store # 2003 Shoppesville Arcade
phone: +632 7249803

Visit SPIbelt Philippines website HERE for more details and other products.

NYC Marathon Shirts

Tuesday, 1 November 2011  |  Gear + Gadgets

Every time I run a marathon abroad, buying a souvenir marathon shirt—aside from the Finisher’s shirt or singlet that comes with the race kit—is a must.  You see, every marathon, regardless of performance, is memorable.

I once asked the legendary Jeff Galloway which of the many marathons he’s run in his lifetime was his favorite.  He replied: All marathons are like children to me.  I love them all.  I don’t play favorites.

Back to the shirts, here’s what I dug out from my cabinet as I was packing for NYC Marathon: (I leave tomorrow!)

– NYC Marathon 2010 Official Long-Sleeved Shirt –

– NYCM 2010 Shirts from Asics (left) and Mizuno (right). Got these at the expo –

– Nike NYCM 2010 shirt –

– A present from Team PH. Love love love this shirt! Hilarious plus I like the quality of the shirt! You can get a shirt just like this by visiting Team PH FB page. Click HERE

And now for this year’s race. Pinoy runners running NYC Marathon 2011 had this made. We should all be wearing this, but mine is too big! Sob sob. Still, it’s a great shirt to own. Pinoy Pride, baby!



Goodbye Garmin, Hello Garmin

Friday, 9 September 2011  |  Gear + Gadgets

Goodbye Garmin Forerunner 310XT. You’ve served your purpose well from November 2009 until my run last Tuesday.  You were by my side—or more on my wrist—through my 2nd marathon in Singapore, 3rd in Condura, 4th in Hong Kong, 5th in New York and many more half marathons and happy training runs.


When I look at you, I know you’ve grown old. We’ve had to be resourceful by tying a pathetic rubber band around your straps just so you don’t annoy me during long runs.


Last Tuesday, I felt like I was running at 5:45 min/km, but you said my pace was 8. You probably didn’t lie to me intentionally. You’ve just lost your sharp wit and accuracy.


I didn’t know how to tell you, but it’s better you hear it from me rather than others. I’ve met someone else: the Garmin Forerunner 610.  We ran together for the first time this morning and we hit it off.  For now, rest well in my ol’ treasure chest of running memorabilia along with other running gear.  Be happy for me knowing I’ll be completely fine with this newer, sleeker, and lighter Garmin.  Oh did I tell you he’s touchscreen?!


Shoe Review: Nike Lunar Glide+ 3

Monday, 8 August 2011  |  Gear + Gadgets

The world knows I’m a huge Nike Lunar Glide fan. I was never a fan of Nike running shoes until the first Lunar Glide came along. I used the Nike Lunar Glide+ for all my five marathons so far. It has literally gone the distance with me.

The recently released Nike Lunar Glide+ 3 is very much like the Nike Lunar Glide+ and nothing like its predecessor, the Nike Lunar Glide+ 2. For that, I am extremely overjoyed; nothing quite sucks as to have your favorite running shoe massacred into what was coined an upgrade.

– From the 1st to the 3rd Nike Lunar Glide –

Back to Lunar Glide+ 3…

– Nike Lunar Glide+ 3 for Women –



I’ve used the Nike Lunar Glide+ 3 for the past couple of weeks at races and training runs.  Here’s what I think:


  • Comfort: Snug fit. Feels like the shoe wraps around your foot comfortably, like I’m wearing socks.
  • Just-right cushioning: Perfect balance of cushioning and stiffness. Not too soft that I feel there’s no support, but not too stiff either that it feels like plywood
  • Light: This is a lot lighter than other bulky stability shoes out there.  Great for those long slow distances.
  • Dynamic Support System: Still has the Dynamic Support System which adapts to the runner’s gait so that with each step the runner gets cushioning and support to guard against overpronation
  • Midfoot strap: The shoe has a strap on the side for additional support. This was a feature only for the Women’s shoe with the 1st Lunar Glide, then it completely disappeared with the Nike Lunar Glide+ 2, but I’m glad Nike revived it for both Men and Women’s shoes since it’s one of my favorite features.
  • No need for break in: Okay, don’t quote me on this. But, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve used brand new pairs of this shoe to run marathons and I had no problems! For any other shoe or model, I would never dare to do this. But, based on experience, this shoe needs no break in.
  • Handsome shoe: Love the colors!


  • Lacks bounce: I’m yearning for that springy, bouncy feeling with each step, but I can’t find it with this shoe
  • Durability is a concern: Since the shoe feels like a sock, I noticed that it expires much earlier than other shoes. After 4 months, cushioning significantly decreases.
  • Too narrow for runners with bunions: Since the shoe is a bit narrow, I wouldn’t recommend this for runners with bunions. I have bunions so they start to hurt after over 5k distances in this shoe. I never experienced this with the 1st Lunar Glide, hence I’m not sure if this will be the marathon shoe for me this year. So sad.


I would highly recommend this shoe for runners with mild to moderate overpronation who are looking for a light stability shoe for training or long distance races.  Oh, and those that have no bunions!

Where to buy: Nike, Runnr

Retail price: P5,495

Now Open: Toby’s Sports Arena in Shangrila Mall

Thursday, 7 July 2011  |  Gear + Gadgets

I’m not much of a shopper…except when it comes to sports gear!  So, I’m glad I dropped by the new Toby’s Sports Arena last week at Shangrila Mall (near Mercury Drug).

The new Toby's Sports Arena Shangrila

Toby's Cashier

Admittedly, I was expecting to see the same ol’ Toby’s Sports store that we’ve grown accustomed to through the years. But, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Toby’s Sport Arena housed the three stores of Toby Claudio under one roof, namely: Toby’s Sports, Urban Athletics, and of course, Runnr. It also had a much more modern look from its new logo to the store interiors. The place is so huge that I like how they labelled each area for easy shopping. (No time should ever be wasted shopping for sports gear, right?) They have items for basketball, badminton, swimming, fitness, and many more.

Speedo & Water Sports
– This injured runner is so into swimming and Speedo now –

UA shoewall
– Urban Athletics for lifestyle shoes for the younger crowd. Yes, that still includes us, right? –

– Toby’s stores’ badminton and indoor fitness equipment –

As for running, Toby’s of course, has Runnr. I spotted items in Shangrila Mall that were not available in Bonifacio High Street, such as the Thrive Bamboo Cotton sports apparel (featured in TBR Magazine May-Jun 2011) which kinda reminds me of Lululemon and a Halo headband (which I eventually purchased). The Shang branch also had a treadmill for gait analysis.

RUNNR corner
– Runnr corner –

RUNNR Footworx
– Cool cove for gait analysis –

Aah, you can imagine how wild I went in that place. Okay, maybe you can’t. To give you a clearer picture: I shopped for an hour in the morning, had brunch, and returned for another 30 minutes after. Two days after, I returned for more items. Aside from running items, I went crazy over swimming gear and even lifestyle brands like my super favorite Sanuk. I left the place with a new Speedo swimsuit, Finis paddles, Reef flipflops, and a Halo headband. I know, I know, I’m such a sucker for anything running and now swimming. Hey, aren’t we all?

– I’m a huge Sanuk fan (I have three pairs) so I was happy to see ’em here –

– See those thin headbands? I got one and I love it. They really don’t slip unlike some “non-slip bands” that actually do! –

Toby’s Sports Arena is located at Shangrila Mall near Mercury Drug and The Travel Club.