Out Now: Running Couple Mark & Bea Hernandez on TBR Magazine

Monday, 24 June 2013  |  Interviews + Features

Get your free issue of TBR Magazine at your favorite running stores. For this issue, we’ve got running couple Mark and Bea Hernandez on the cover!  Click HERE for complete list of stores and archives of old issues.


Something new this time is that I’ve decided to post our cover article online to give you all a chance to read it asap. Makes sense doesn’t it? I’ll be posting other articles from past issues as well in the weeks to come! Cool eh?  (But, still, don’t forget to grab your hard copy of the magazine.  It’s free anyway!)  Here’s our cover story:

This is a story about Mark and Bea Hernandez, love and running… and why couples should take note


Just minutes after their cover shoot, Bea, 31, candidly demonstrates to me the different smiles she had to pull to get the right shot (“I didn’t know what a half-smile was!” she chuckles) while we wait for her husband Mark, 34, who went downstairs to get their well-deserved brunch. Sitting in the moderately swarming second level of a café in Burgos Circle, this gorgeous couple feels like a warm burst of sunshine—massive running enthusiasts in their own right and massively in love with each other to such a degree that I felt their optimism emanate inches from where I sit in front of them.

Four years since embracing running and three years into their marriage, Mark and Bea Hernandez have marched on together to overcome the odds in their first race in April 2009, a five-kilometer stretch that led them to chase a running lifestyle and land themselves on The Bullrunner cover. And deservedly so.


This perfect power couple’s winning formula both on and off the road traces its roots from when they first met in high school (she the St. Scho lass and him the La Salle Greenhills chap) and grew up in the same village. “It developed really more than anything because we were good friends. We hung out together a lot and from there the rest is history,” says Mark whose chiseled good looks comes with a sensitive heart. That they decided to run their first race together without any preparations beforehand is another surprise that displays the nature of their relationship. When I ask if they trained for it, Mark and Bea, as if by telepathic mental connection, both laughed and said together “No!”

“It was a spur of the moment,” admits Mark, “You’d really spot us as a newbie. No training, no background, just went into it…” and like most couples who’ve known each other for a long time, Bea finishes the sentence for him, rosy cheeks aflush with enthusiasm, “…and enjoyed it a lot. And then we just kept joining all these fun runs every weekend.” But the rest of their running success can be attributed to the efforts they put into researching more about the sport, joining clinics, and procuring the right shoes and gear.

This unexpected healthy helping of running in their lives has even served their marriage well more than they could have ever expected. Says Bea, glancing at Mark, “We’re more understanding of each other and we’re very supportive no?”

“She has supported me in so many ways. All of which I would not have been able to do if she weren’t there to support me,” shares Mark. “In my ultramarathons she’s literally my support crew where she’s there the entire time and they’re fairly long events ranging from six to 30 hours and she’s there every step of the way. She takes care of my nutrition, she makes sure I’m still alive and breathing!” Bea looks around and says “YES!” with a snicker.


Mark and Bea have a strong sense of respect for each other to go with their affable personalities. For one thing, Mark doesn’t need to go to great lengths to get permission unlike certain cases where only the husband runs and the wife does not and well, that’s not an uncommon occurrence, but Bea acknowledges this necessity all too well. “We spend more time together and it’s not idle time. It’s also beneficial to both of us and it’s fun. It’s something different to talk about,” explains Bea, adding that they join races as a couple 99 percent of the time.

If there’s a race that never fails to make an impression on each other, it’s when Bea ran the TBR Dream Marathon in 2011. “He ran with me every step of the way,” she says. And they can laugh about it now. “I got to see her through all her emotions, her ups and downs, from smiling to crying to anger to smiling again to relief. The good, the bad, the ugly, I’ve seen it all.” Bea’s giggling like an excited schoolgirl by the time Mark finishes.

“And she did the same for me when I did all my attempts at the 160k Bataan Death March. She was awake, in a car, making sure that I got the right nutrition because there would be times I wouldn’t want to eat ‘cause I’m just exhausted but she made sure that I got the right food and fluids. And for someone to just be up and supportive for 29 hours, that’s already a testament of how much she loves me.”


And it seems as if their story as a running couple is just about to make a turn for the best. Their goals align themselves naturally with Bea aiming for another marathon sometime later this year and Mark targeting a full Iron distance in triathlon. But, says Mark, “I think as a couple though, we’d want to do a destination marathon together. One of our friends did the Bordeaux marathon where the aid stations served wine and oysters… so we’re considering Bordeaux and Tokyo (where they had their honeymoon).”

Nearing the end of the interview, I ask Bea about an upcoming 21K race on Sunday. “Do you still get scared?”  “Yeah of course. You never know what’s going to happen on race day.” I notice Mark give her a reassuring gaze. She’ll be fine, I thought to myself.

Happy Birthday, Rasselle!

Friday, 12 April 2013  |  Bullish Insights

It’s not very often that I get to play cupid. So, when I received an email from runner, Gerry Lita, requesting me to post a surprise greeting for his wife, Rasselle, who he paced during the last TBR Dream Marathon, I gladly obliged.

His note follows below. To Rasselle, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  (And, congratulations for having a hubby who was willing to run 42k for you and tell the world—or at least our running community—how much he loves you!)


Hi Miss Jaymie,

My wife ran in your race (The Bull Run Dream Marathon) and in days she will be celebrating her birthday (April 17).

I plan to give her a surprise greeting if this will be feasible with you. My plan is if its okay if you post the attached teaser in your Blog.

I want to tell her how much I love her and also the kids. Without her care, passion and tender love for us we will be at lost. I want also to tell her even if we seldom go out just the two of us, she is always in my heart… being treasured every day of my life.

thanks again and best regards,

Gerry Lita

Love at Kenny’s Urbanite Run

Tuesday, 18 August 2009  |  Bullish Insights

While most of us were worried over our race performance during last Saturday’s Kenny Roger’s Urbanite Run, Hector Yuzon, owner of Second Wind Running Store in Teacher’s Village, QC, had a little more on his mind.  Aside from running the 5k with his girlfriend, Tania Olea, he also had plans of proposing to her in the middle of the run!  Yes, he was excited about the biggest proposal in his life, but he didn’t know if he could pull it off as planned.  I’ll let Hector tell you what happened and, of course, what she answered!  


– Tania and Hector of Second Wind –


Girl: Tania A. Olea, 31 yrs. old, more of a walker for a year
Boy: Hector T. Yuzon, 30 yrs. old, running for more than a decade  


I chose to propose sa run because if I hadn’t gone through with Secondwind and traded my corporate life – our paths wouldn’t have crossed. So I owe a big part of our “discovering” each other through running. 


That morning, I did a long run with friends Mikey Macainag and Michael Paderes.  For the most part of the long run, I was picturing Tania.  I was thinking: what could she be doing that morning?  Does she have an idea of what’s to go down tonight?  And then it hit me – bigla ako kinabahan.  What if she says no?  What if I lose the ring sa run?  The whole week, I had trouble sleeping and also practicing my proposal speech.  To all those who are planning their proposal: NOTHING will compare to the event proper!!! Anyway, as the 10k went off, I immediately thought, “Ay, kami na, 5k na?!  Oh no, I cant remember my speech”… I forgot what to say…Parang I wanted to shout: “Wait!  I forgot what to do!!!  Wait!” …but then the crowd started to push forward…so I just said to myself, “This is it!”



As the crowd pushed forward, we were both enjoying the walk.  We took the sidewalk nalang so as not to bother the runners.  I personally enjoyed the walk because I didn’t know you can do that sa race – walking!  It was really relaxing for a change not having to think about your performance and just greeting and cheering on other friends!  Anyway, I was busy looking at venues on where to kneel down.  When we were at Mckinley Hill, she took a break inside Razons – there I grabbed the chance to check on the ring!  Thank God it was still there.  I had to pack it well, I had to put it in a plastic bag so my sweat wouldn’t ruin it, and then as I put it in the internal pocket of the shorts, the edges/corners of the bag was poking my hip, so I had to wrap it in tissue paper pa, and put rubber band around it to really seal and secure it properly! 😀 Then I saw the Venice area, the façade was near complete and it was nice!  Romantic pa (romantic daw o), but then it was well lit and there were a lot of runners – and I didn’t want to draw attention to Tania – and in turn pressure her.  So I said nice, but not feeling it. 

So there, after the turn around point – I said to myself, I better find “the spot” fast.  I even considered the big empty parking lot of Mckinley Hill… pero baka biglang may dumaan na delivery truck at masira.  Still walking back, after the last water station before Mckinley, I said this looks nice, by the condos and under the trees, still ang daming tao!  As I was running out of road, I said to myself: “Wala na, sa parking lot na bagsak nito…” and then suddenly, I saw the old closed grill resto with the mini golf… EMPTY and LONE.  This is it!  So I pulled her that direction.  

Tania: “Bakit dito?”
Hec: (bluffingly) “Eh doon din naman lusot nito e.”
Tania: (skeptic) “Ah..”  

And then I did my horrible speech… a week’s planning and writing, and my mind was still everywhere… and when I popped the question:   

Hec: (after my bad speech)…”Will you marry me?”   
Tania: (smiling, skeptic but now in shock) “Ha?  Ano ba?!” (and then pushing the ring to the side)
Thought in my head: “Did she just say no????!!!!  Crap!!!!”

Repeating myself (and more assertive)…

Hec: “I’m serious, will you marry me?”
Tania: (smiling before answering) “Yes”
Hec: “Thank God!”
Tania: “Bakit?”
Hec: “Ang sakit lumuhod sa semento.”
Tania and Hec: “hahahaha!”

Had my brain been in one place, the speech was:

Even though the people around me was saying, don’t leave corporate, stick with the sure thing – I still went with the opposite direction. Something or someone inside me kept whispering “go, everything will be fine”.  And since that day that I chased after secondwind I crossed paths with you. Even though we’re both old friends, I don’t think we would’ve discovered each other if I dint run after my dream.  I resigned to the fact that I will be married to my work while putting up secondwind.  after all that, good things started to fall in place, and having found this love is the single greatest and most beautiful surprise that came my way.    

One of the defining moments of a man is when he finally meets the girl that he wants to spend the rest of his life with, the girl that he wants to wake up to every morning, the girl that he wants to come home to everyday – will he treat it like another relationship and ignore all of the above?  or acknowledge the fact that this is the woman that I want to marry.  

Tania, this is my defining moment.  Will you marry me?


– Newly-engaged couple ends their most memorable race ever –


TBR: When is the big day?  Will you marry after a marathon or in running shoes? 🙂

Hec: July 2010 (because theres no major race that time haha joke!).  Yes, I think she allowed me to wear running shoes 🙂  or at least that’s my interpretation of her smile.  I think the key here is to ask the entire guys request right after proposing!  Im still pushing for a running inspired wedding though…

To Hector and Tania, congratulations!  May you have many more kilometers to walk and run together!