41st Milo Marathon: Who’s Joining?

Saturday, 22 July 2017  |  Race Announcements

I’ve signed up for Milo Marathon 21k this coming July 30 in Manila.  Who else is in?!!

For some reason, I guess since this is one of the more popular races in the city that almost everyone gets excited about, I always thought I had joined quite a number of Milo races in my running career.  I browsed through my archives and realized that – gasp! – my last Milo Marathon 21k was way back in 2010.  That’s 7 years ago!  I was much younger then and hitting a 2:03 for 21k was effortless at that time (so different from how it feels nowadays lol).

I got really sentimental browsing through these photos. The running community was tight knit and quite a happy bunch.  This is a photo of Jun, Jay, and I, my closest running friends during that time and, of course, we’re still in touch

Hamming it up for Photovendo of Ben Chan!

For this coming July 30 at Milo, it will be my test race before my Ironman 70.3 relay with the Sun Life tri team the week after. I haven’t been racing much lately so, at this point, my body cooperates running at such an early time again.  Apologies for the Tita speak lol. (more…)

How to Avoid Pitfalls of Long Distance Running on Phil. Daily Inquirer

Sunday, 18 July 2010  |  Bullish Insights

There’s a very well-written article on “How to Avoid Pitfalls of Long-Distance Running” by Romina Austria on Philippine Daily Inquirer today.  Click HERE to read the full article.

The article comes on the heels of the recent death of Remus Fuentes who passed away after the Milo Marathon.  It provides us with a glimpse of Remus, a runner and family man, like many of us and what exactly happened on the day he collapsed.  It also presents the side of Milo and its organizer, Rudy Biscocho.  More than that, it offers tips on proper training and how to avoid heatstroke.


As I said in an earlier post when I wrote about Remus (click HERE), I feel that the best response many of us can give at this point is to listen to our bodies and practice caution in our own runs. While it is the race organizer’s role to provide adequate support and medical assistance, it is also our responsibility as runners to train properly for the race.

If you are an experienced runner help spread the word about proper training and racing, especially to the beginners.  Let’s encourage people to run, but to do so at their own pace and to build their mileage gradually.  It took me months before I had the courage to run a 10k, and it took me longer to run the 21k.  Nowadays, it’s quite frightening to hear about newbies signing up for a 21k for their first event when they’ve never even run 5k (nor do they know how long 5k is!)

Yes, there’s a running boom.  Yes, we love it that more people are getting fit and healthy through running.  But, as I told a friend last year: We have to be careful that we don’t have a boom in injuries or worse fatalities.  This is a wake up call not just for organizers but for runners as well.


Just one comment about Rudy Biscocho’s claim in the article.   Mr. Biscocho said: “There was a hydration station (water or Gatorade) around every one kilometer of the 21K race path for a total of 13 water stations…”

I have deep respect for Mr. Biscocho as one of the leading race organizers in our country.  But, Sir, while there were stations at the last 3km of the 21k course, there was absolutely no water left to serve when I and several runners passed it.


These other articles may interest you:

Milo Manila Eliminations 2010: 12th Place for Women’s 21k

Monday, 5 July 2010  |  Race Reports

TBR Race Review: Milo Manila Eliminations

Details: July 4, 2010, Quirino Grandstand
Organizer: Rudy Biscocho

– good management of foot traffic (runners)
– clear course with marshals
– directional signs and kilometer markers
– plentiful portalets at the start and along the route
– free gels and bananas along the route
– elite athletes as pacers (although I only found out about this after the race)
– medical aid stations along the course
– entertainment from bands
– use of timing chips
– announcement of names near the finish
– qualifying time per category
– lootbags for finishers
– various post-race activities at race area
– medical aid and marshals’ prompt response
– improved registration with satellite registration centers
– fantastic marketing campaign with worthy advocacy

– insufficient water at stations, specifically at Km 8 and stations during the last 3km. A marathoner friend informed me that they didn’t have hydration for the last 10km.
– lack of stations, there could’ve been more
– slow refill of water by marshals at stations
– water marshals were freely giving out water to non-runners
– no sponges
– crowding at the timing chip mats
– lack of control with pedestrians or finishers who leisurely crossed the route, especially near the finish
– 5:30 a.m. too late a start for 21k
– more expensive race fee compared to previous years

27,000 runners gathered at Quirino Grandstand for the Milo Marathon yesterday. The race start went by smoothly and the 21km started on time.

With the change of course—from out and back last year to loops along Macapagal-Roxas Blvd.—runners were concerned about heavy foot traffic among half and full marathoners who were likely to converge along the route. The foot traffic was capably handled by organizers, a feat considering the enormity of the race. The high-traffic areas were where the timing chip mats were located. (Methinks Milo should invest in more mats next year. A gift to those who will be gunning for PRs.)

Free Hammer gels and bananas were distributed, but there was no water within the area to drown both. Missing were the blaring Milo jingle from last year (which I surprisingly wanted to hear to pump me up!), sponges, or even cheerers along the route.

What was astounding and devastating was the poor management of water stations. A few stations had water but glasses were not quickly filled. This runner had to pick a cup out of a stack and pour her own from a pitcher! Some hydration stations, especially the last few kilometers, were empty, which left runners suffering in the heat or worse from dehydration.

Coming from a well-organized Milo Marathon finals last year, all that was required was a repeat of that race at the very least. The failure of this race to provide the most basic requirement: proper hydration was, in itself, enough to cause a huge disappointment among runners.

Milo Marathon is an institution; it is and always will be one of the most anticipated races of each year. This is a double-edged sword as runners have high expectations from Milo and its organizers. Runners will continue to look forward to Milo Marathon (as this runner does) and have faith in Nestle and its organizers to improve the race next time. After all, they came so close to perfection already last year.



Bumper to bumper traffic. That’s what greeted hubby and I are 5 a.m. on the way to the assembly area. We hopped out of the car and left our driver to battle the traffic alone as we sped off to run what we thought was a 1.5km warm up to the race start. It turned out to be a 3km warm up for our 21km.

We entered the starting chute to meet Jay (Prometheus Cometh), Jun (The Solemates), and Jun Bisnar of Nuvali. They looked fresh while hubby and I were sweating like pigs.


We started the race as a group. Slowly, we broke away from each other with Jun and Hubby running at an easy pace, while Jun, and I were made to believe (by Jay) that we were running at an easy pace.

– Jun, Jay, and I –

– Happy happy! –

For the first 5k, we happily chatted along Roxas Blvd. as we do when we, along with Dindo who was running 42k that day, meet up for lunch every now and then. We talked about NYC Marathon (all three of us are registered), triathlon dreams, and more.

It wasn’t too long after when Jay confessed his strategy. He planned on chatting us up throughout the race hoping to have us run at a fast clip (and hopefully a PR) without our knowledge. I laughed and told him I was actually panting already so I had a clear idea of how fast we were running even if I refused to glimpse at the pace on my Garmin.

Shortly after, Jun asked: Is this the first flyover we’re climbing? Jay answered: No, it’s the second. I guess Jay’s strategy worked enough to have Jun obliviously attack an ascent!

For us to forget about climbing another flyover, I advised Jay that he could promise to cover our airfare for NYC. Perhaps, that way, we could even PR in the race without breaking a sweat.


By around 8k, we had parted ways. Jay was ahead of me, so I just focused on him and followed his lead. I enjoyed feeling like I was in full race mode, without distraction, and focusing on the game.

– Serious mode –

It was at this time when I was completely parched and the water station was nowhere in sight (over 2.5k distance I believe). I was even more annoyed to find free gels and bananas being distributed as my throat dried up. I ran 5:24 and 5:34 mins/km at Km 9 and 10 respectively in desperate search of water.

After finding water after 10k and using it to drown my own Hammer Gel from my pocket, I forged ahead.


Except for that brief water problem, it was smooth-sailing all the way. In my mind, I thanked KL Marathon last week for the preparation.

I thoroughly enjoyed the race. Climbing the flyovers a total of four times was exhausting, but it was a welcome challenge that made the race more colorful. (I heard the marathoners climbed it 10x. Oh boy.)  The new 21k route was quite enjoyable for me, actually.


From 10k until the end of the race, except for Km 11 when I walked to swallow the gel, I ran sub-6 minute pace, which told me that my body had finally climbed out of the out-of-shape phase I was stuck in for months and that my speed was gradually returning.


The last 3k was torture. I was thirsty and exhausted, but there was no water in sight. I bumped into Donna Cruz who was battling the heat too, but still ran at a fast pace.


I mentally blocked the thirst, heat, and hurt from my body and just started counting from 1 to 100 until I reached the finish line. I don’t remember much anymore, except for those annoying pedestrians who crossed the street and stopped you midway through the run. My counting reached 6 sets of 100’s in my mind before I entered the finisher’s chute.

My unofficial time was 2:02 for 21.03 km with an average pace of 5:50 min/km.  1 minute shy from my PR at Cebu Marathon last January.  And, over 2 minutes shy of a sub-2 half marathon, which is fine because I had no plans of breaking any personal records at Milo anyway.  The good news: tI placed 12th for 21k Women’s category!  Click HERE

My reward after the finish? 2 Nestle Twin pops! Perfect food for recovery and the best twin pops I’ve ever had in my life.

Photos courtesy of Ben Chan of Photovendo.  Visit photovendo.ph

Milo Marathon: Getting Ready for July 4

Thursday, 24 June 2010  |  Race Announcements

Less than 10 days to go until the 34th Milo Marathon!

I attended the Milo Marathon press briefing this afternoon at Bayview Hotel, a sea of green press people and guests filled the entire room, a preview of the runners clad in green on July 4, 2010 at Roxas Boulevard.

– Good thing they gave me this so I can blend in with the crowd next time –

As I’ve said, this 34th Milo Marathon is unlike any other marathon Milo has staged in the past. The way I see it, they managed to maintain their image as the premier race in the country (Milo Marathon is almost an institution, really), while proving that they can compete with the newer, world-class urban races.

As they plan to provide runners with all the perks of a contemporary race—bananas, portalets, timing chips, Gatorade, bands, and even gels—they were careful to remind us that their focus is still their new advocacy: to give shoes to public school children in every city where a Milo race is held.

We learned that the 4,000 school children who will benefit from Milo Marathon will actually be running 3k on race day with their brand new shoes! How cool is that?

After the presscon, I had the pleasure of chatting with Nestle executives Afnan Ahsan, Andrew Neri, and Lester Castillo.  We discussed the new route along Macapagal-Roxas Blvd. and the feedback from most runners concerned about the convergence of the various race distances. It was nice to know that the 3k and 5k will be in an entirely separate route from the other distances. I do hope they can do their best to keep the 10k, half marathon, and marathon runners’ course free from traffic upon the inevitable merging on the road. Having to weave through a crowd of runners during a road race can be exasperating (flashback: my Singapore Half Marathon 2008)

– with Nestle execs Afnan Ashan, Pat Goc-Ong, myself, Bald Runner, Andrew Neri, and Lester Castillo –

– with Mr. Ashan and Cris Sabal, defending champion of Milo Marathon with a time of 2:32:56 last year –

Mr. Ahsan also shared with me his dream of making Milo Marathon as big as Boston Marathon some day. “If we do that,” he said, “we’ll make our mark.” Well, nothing is impossible, really. As they say, “great things start from small beginnings.”

See you at Milo on July 4, 2010.

For more info, click HERE to visit the Milo website.

Milo Marathon Website is Up

Monday, 14 June 2010  |  Bullish Insights

Woah, Milo is pulling out all the stops to hype up the upcoming marathon on July 4, 2010. To be honest with you, it’s working for me!

As a graphic designer, I’m a sucker for well thought out and creative concepts, even more for incredible and eye-catching designs. If you’ve got both, plus the budget to have the world see it, then that’s wonderful.

I posted the Milo Marathon poster last week.  Click HERE to view.  Notice how the two posters are related?!  Awesome.

Only yesterday, their website was launched as well…

– Click HERE to visit Milo Marathon website –

– What a pleasant surprise. They asked me to write a short note and I found it posted on the website

I vote for Milo Marathon website as the best race website so far.  Followed closely by Condura Run 2010.  Any other good ones you liked?


And, they have a TV ad, too!  Love how the TV ad tugs at your heart strings.  One can actually feel good just registering for the race knowing that you’re giving shoes to school children by running.

I registered last week for Milo half marathon and training has officially begun! (If you read my post last week about slowing down, whoops, disregard it.  I knew I couldn’t stop running for too long.  Perhaps many of you knew that, too!)  Milo, here I come!


I think it’s great that Milo Marathon is showing an attempt to innovate not just with the promotion of the race, but with the race itself.  Last year, they implemented timing chips.  This year, they have qualifying times per age category.  And, F-I-N-A-L-L-Y we all don’t have to travel all the way to Greenhills to register!

Last year, pleased with the Milo Marathon Finals, I had this to say about Milo “You can teach an old dog new tricks.”  I believe I was right.  Perhaps by July 2010, I may just call them “The new old kid on the block.”

Read my archived posts about Milo Marathon:

Milo Marathon Finals – November 11, 2009
Milo Manila Marathon – July 22, 2007 (This is when I fainted on the eve of the marathon! Memories!)