The ING New York City Marathon 2011

Friday, 25 November 2011  |  Bullish Insights, Favorite Posts

This begins my story about the ING New York City Marathon which took place last November 6, 2011. Over 47,000 runners from all over the world ran 42.195 km through the five boroughs of New York City: Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Manhattan. Over 2 million spectators came out to cheer for the runners. A whopping $34 million was raised for charity. And its male winner, Geoffrey Mutai ran the fastest ever on a record-certified course in the United States with a time of 2:05:05.

– NYCM 2010. Photo courtesy of Brightroom –

Thanks to Gatorade, I had the opportunity to run the ING New York City Marathon for a second time. The awesome people at Gatorade, who I can now call friends, offered full support from hydration allocation and scientific tests to actually running long runs together. They often said: We’re giving you the chance to redeem yourself at New York, but now with our full support.

I always say that every runner should run the ING New York City Marathon at least once in their lifetime. Imagine, I was given the chance to run it twice! This was a gift that I felt blessed to receive and I planned on giving it my best, whatever “best” meant given the situation I found myself in months before the race.


My story about the ING New York City Marathon is a tale about two runs within the marathon that were as different as night and day. The first run was the first 21k of the marathon, while the second was the last half. Everything changed for me after a potty break at the halfway point.


For those unfamiliar with the Big Apple, reaching the race start at Staten Island before the race actually starts feels like a huge win already. It can be quite confusing for international runners so careful planning must be done days ahead of the race. Fortunately for me, I rode a cab with NY-based runner and member of Adobo Run Club, Jet, to Whitehall Terminal, boarded the ferry to Staten Island together, and made it to our own corrals at around 8:30am with lots of time to spare before our race start at 10:10am.


I waited alone for over an hour. I was excited but anxious at the same time. After five marathons under my belt, I had never been so ill-prepared for a race as this one. Don’t get me wrong; I always take marathons seriously as everyone should, but, due to my neuroma, which I only fully recovered from 3 weeks before race day, I only had 21k as my longest run. 21k?! No amount of prayer would take me to a smooth and easy marathon. I predicted one of two things: 1) Bonk at 21k, or 2) Bonk at 25k. Either way, I knew from experience that this was going to be a painful and agonizing 42km. At the same time, I tried my best to calm myself with the idea that this was NYC and “In New York, there’s nothing you can’t do, these streets will make you feel brand new.” I sure hoped my legs would feel brand new even at 32km!

We were then finally called to walk to the starting line at Verrazano-Narrows bridge. A booming, energized voice welcomed us all for the race. Runners chatted nervously or walked quietly unto the front of the line. The weather was perfect, just a little colder than Baguio, so my two layers of clothing plus the throwaway jacket was just right. I walked slowly towards the race start smiling from ear-to-ear barely able to contain my excitement.

– At the race start –

– Woohoo! Few more minutes to race start –

Suddenly, there was silence. The US National Anthem, the Star Spangled Banner was sung. Then, one of New York’s anthem’s, Frank Sinatra’s Start Spreading the News broke through the air. There was cheering, yelling, screaming, then we raced forward towards the bridge and unto the start of our 42km through the five boroughs of New York.

– Running on the cold and windy Verazzano-Narrows Bridge –


Once we got out of the cold and windy run through the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and unto the sunny roads of Brooklyn, it felt like we were racing for our lives. The course was flat and fast and it was hard to hold back.

– Out of the bridge and unto Brooklyn –

– Ran behind a guy named “JOHNNY P.” same name as my Dad. My dad passed away just a few days before the race in 2008. Thought of Dad and ran in his memory –

We were running at a pace below 6 min/km. I knew I should’ve gone at a more conservative pace, but at the same time I thought: “Hey, if I’m going to bonk at 21k anyway, I might as well go full speed ahead. Besides, it was difficult to slow down with a crowd this fast anyway.” (I know, I know. I shouldn’t have done this. But, they don’t call me TBR for nothing!) So off I went.

5k – 29:48, 5:57/km
10k – 59:13, 5:55/km

I would slow down only for hydration breaks which, as advised by Gatorade was 125ml every 15 minutes. The hydration stations for the race were every 1 mile or 1.6km. I took gulps of Gatorade Endurance at most of the stations. Took a Hammer Gel at 10k. And off I went again feeling strong.

– Hydration stations: water and Gatorade Endurance every mile –

– Runners were running at a fast clip –

– Blurry pic but guess what the sign said: DREAM BIG. RUN STRONG. Our tagline for our TBR Dream Marathon. How cool is that? –

– Just one of the many bands that provided local entertainment –

– I agree 100%! –

– Check out those trees! Not the guy, he isn’t my type! Hah! –

– Hey hey! Nice bumping into siblings Joey and Nona Torres of Polo Tri –

Wow. The sights and sounds of the ING New York City Marathon really compared to nothing else. The number of runners on the road that day were astounding already. But, to see the spectators lining the main roads and side streets, standing by the curb handing out food or yelling our names, was simply overwhelming. There were just so many people around us at any point during the race that there was no time for loneliness or boredom. Each borough pulled out all the stops to bring motivation, good cheer, and entertainment to us runners. It really was a celebration of running and the human spirit.

15k – 1:29, 5:56/km
20k – 2:03, 6:09/km

I took a peek at my watch when I hit 20k and had mixed feelings. It was a good split, but I knew I couldn’t keep it up with so little training in my legs. I took a potty break, saw the slight climb on the bridge ahead, and took a long, deep sigh. I suddenly felt depleted.

– 20k. Sigh. Tired. 22k to go. Gulp. –

– Nooo, not another climb –

– Here we go! –


21K – 2:13, 6:20/km

Why were there so many uphills? I remember myself thinking. I didn’t notice all the climbs from my run last year. They say that ING NYCM is one of the most fun courses you’ll ever run because of the crowd support, but make no mistake about it: it is still one tough route with five bridges to climb and several ascents throughout the course, even in the last mile.

One of the most unforgettable portions of the race was Queensboro Bridge. It’s one of the few portions where there are no spectators to cheer runners on, and most runners struggle to run the steep half-mile climb in silence.

– Queensboro Bridge –

– Well he was looking strong –

– I had to stop for a photo op on Queensboro Bridge. Who could resist this fantastic view? Thanks to the nameless Spanish runner who spoke no english but agreed to take my pic –

By this time, I had accepted the fact that this could be my slowest marathon ever. I was alternating between running and walking and enjoying the walks a lot more than the runs!  I could choose to feel disappointed over this or enjoy the experience. I chose the latter. No use crying over missed training that I could do little about because of my Neuromas. Uhm, I may have also gone too fast during the 1st half and suffered for it now. (You marathoners, take note of this. Don’t be as bullheaded as I am and don’t do as I did in the first half!) I slowed down and started to notice more of the view around me and was overcome by joy: I was running NYCM a second time! How lucky was I?!

After surviving Queensboro Bridge, the next part was the highlight of the race for me just like last year. We entered First Avenue where the roar from the crowd was electrifying and energizing. The crowds here were five-rows deep from beginning to end. Cheerers provided tissue, chocolates, bananas, petroleum jelly and moral support just at the point where runners are struggling and wanting to give up.

– Out of Queensboro bridge and unto First Avenue –

– Thick, boisterous crowd awaits. Here’s a marriage proposal –

– It’s like a huge party on First Avenue –

– Crowds cheer but it’s also a tough portion for most runners –

By the time, I was walking most of the time and I was taking in the sights: I would read the banners from the spectators, watch runners struggle alone or find strength in another, and take photos of this incredible experience.

25k – 2:45, 6:36/km
30k – 3:25, 6:50/km

– 30k! 12 more to go! –

I took me almost the same amount of time to run the first half of the race and the last 12k. As I run-walked through Central Park out again to Columbus Circle and back again into the park towards the finish, I was filled with emotion over the last few miles of struggle and the wonderful support from strangers around. It’s almost feeling a battle within: wanting so badly to finish the race and sit down to rest, but also wishing that this awesome experience would never end.

– Central Park on our right. So near yet so far! –

– Uphill again! –

– No matter how tired, this guy made me laugh! –

– Mile 24 in Central Park! Wooohoo! –

– Ooops. Gotta get out of Central Park into Columbus Circle first. Gasp!

– Thank God for crowd support. We really needed it here! –

– Heading back into Central Park towards the finish line. Yes! –


I finished the ING New York City Marathon with a time of 5:21:09. This is my slowest marathon time for all six marathons I’ve run. In fact, I had never run a marathon over 5 hours before.

– I did it! –

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was disappointed with the time. Of course, I could always blame the Neuroma for messing with my training, but still a bad performance is just hard to take no matter how you look at it. I was severely depressed about if for, uhm, around 2 minutes. Then, I plodded forward along with other runners in that long, cold walk out after the finish line (some runners call it “The Walk of Shame”) while sipping my Gatorade post-recovery drink and munching on pretzels. I claimed my check-in baggage, sat by the sidewalk on Central Park shivering in the cold alone barely able to move my legs and my teeth chattering. I glanced at the medal around my neck and thought: Woah, I just finished a marathon! Fast or slow, walk or run, I finished! And, boy was I proud of it!

Thank you once again to Gatorade for the opportunity of a lifetime!  

ING New York City Marathon 2011 Expo: Claiming and Shopping Time!

Friday, 4 November 2011  |  Bullish Insights, Gear + Gadgets

Hello from New York!  The weather is perfect here, a bit nippy but not as freezing as last year.  I arrived yesterday afternoon and woke up this morning feeling fresh and energized. Jetlag is not in this bull’s vocabulary—at least not for this trip!

This morning, a group of us Pinoys running the ING NYC Marathon agreed to meet up at the ING NYCM Expo to claim our race packets. Plan was to do it today, Thursday, the first day of claiming, to avoid the huge crowds on Friday to Sunday. Little did we know that we arrived soon after it had opened, so we had to wait in line which extended to the road outside Javits Center where the expo was held.  Talk about excited!

– myself, TBR Dream Alumni and now NYC Marathoners Rico and Gene, and NY-based Carla on our way to the expo –

– Long line for the early birds! Gene, myself, Karinna –

The lines moved fast though. The staff was welcoming. And I breezed through the claiming of my race kit and went on to my favorite part of every marathon abroad—SHOPPING!

– First we submitted our race registration form and passport for verification –

Claiming race pack
– Then we claimed our race pack and official shirt (no lines here!) and it was done! –

I spent over an hour shopping at the expo. There were a lot of commemorative shirts to fit, new gear to ponder over, and a lot of samples to taste and drink (for research purposes, you see)…

– Some of the booths at the expo. I stopped at the Gatorade booth for quite a while to taste the pre-race fuel, race drink, and post-race drinks (yes, they have 3 different drinks there!) –

meeting US based runners william and ronald
– Met Tri Fil-Am runners, US-based William and Ronald, for the first time –

Meeting other Pinoy NYC runners at the expo
– Bumped into the Osmenas who I usually see on the road in Manila –

with joey torres
– with Joey Torres of Polo Tri –

with anthony pangilinan
– with our flag bearer in the parade of nations tomorrow, Anthony Pangilinan –

pinoy runners at NYCM
–  with the rest of the Pinoys running NYC Marathon!  Pinoy Pride, guys! L to R: Julian, Gene, Rico, Anthony, Joey, myself, Ronald, William, Karinna, Gene, and Jonel –

Then, we had a late but great Japanese lunch before we parted ways…

lunch after the expo w pinoy NYCM runners
– Busog na so uwian na! We sorely missed Angel of Gatorade here! –

Back at the apartment, I opened my loot. Oh baby! You know, I really only get this excited about my running purchases…

– The race kit. Official shirt on the right side. Love it. I hope it rains often in Manila just so I can wear this long-sleeved shirt! hah! –

– Got myself NYCM shirts from Asics and Mizuno, beanie, and a cap –

– Glad I found this: tear away jacket and bottom for pre-race chilly wait. You can just rip this off while running when your body warms up. $20 –

– Medal rack to hold my medals. All my medals are currently housed in a humble old ice cream container. So excited to hang them on my home office wall instead. Strictly for 42k medals only though! $48 –

– My favorite find! I’m not into jewelry, but I just had to get this when I saw the pendant. It says “GOTTA RUN” which is the way I end all my emails. It was meant for me, don’t you think? $25 –

Do You Believe in Second Chances?

Thursday, 28 July 2011  |  Bullish Insights

I certainly do. And, it turns out, so does Gatorade.


The good people at Gatorade are giving me the chance to run my dream marathon…again. Hopefully, this time, I get to run it exactly the way I want it. No more tripping over Disneyland sidewalks (grrr!), pre-race sightseeing, and last but not the least freezing my thighs off in shorts. I know now what to do and what NOT to do.

– Running NYC Marathon 2010 with my “bodyguards” –

It will be serious, steady, and hopefully joyful running at the biggest marathon in the world: The ING New York City Marathon 2011. Looking forward to seeing you again in November, New York!


Gatorade, thank you!

Good Morning, Glendora!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010  |  Bullish Insights

Aaaah, can I just tell you? I deserve this vacation. For the first time in months, I finally get to think of nothing else but family, food, and running. It’s the way life should be, isn’t it?

We arrived in Los Angeles last Saturday. This gives us a full week to relax and tour LA (read: Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Lego Land with the kiddos) before things get serious and we fly off to New York on Nov 1 for the marathon on November 7.

– After a 10k solo run in wet and chilly Glendora, CA this morning. My favorite Nike Storm Jacket with a Mizuno long-sleeved top underneath and CW-X tights kept me warm and happy. Loved that run! –

I’m having a grand time.  But, I’m not at all losing my focus on the race.  I promised myself this.  And, I promised a few other people too who have been all too generous in helping me train:

On the last day of my gym workout, my trainer, Coach Pete, looked me in the eye and demanded a commitment: “Jaymie, stick to the plan, okay?” I smile and say “Yup!”  Not content, he adds: “Remember, this is NOT a vacation; it is a RACE. Don’t mess up the past months training and hardwork on two weeks of fun before race day.”  And, it hits me: He is so right.  Coach Pete teaches me four strengthening workouts I should be doing while in the US. I memorize it and promise to do them.

During my last tempo run with Alvin, my pace buddy, he reminds me: “Do not go too fast during the 1st half.  Hold your pace so you’ll be strong enough to run the 2nd half.”  I repeat his words over and over hoping that I remember his advice—or, if I do remember, I hope I don’t throw it out the window after Km 10.  I will however continue to run this week here in LA trying to imagine him pushing me to keep my pace and, just like him, I won’t be listening to all my silly excuses.

Then, finally, on diet, I am trying my darndest best to stick to Harvie’s nutrition plan which he taught me a few month’s back.  I hadn’t consulted with Harvie for over a month now, but his words still echo in my head: “All that sodium will stay in your body for 48 hours!” or “That is the devil’s food!”  It’s a challenge, I tell you.  I haven’t been a perfect student with all the good food to taste in giant portions, but I’m proud to tell you not an ounce of Doritos nor Cheetos has passed through my lips!

It’s serious marathon work over here.  But, hey, not THAT serious.  This runner has gotta live a little, too.  I’ll just let loose completely after November 7!

Hello, Glendora!  See you soon, New York!

NY Marathon Pinoy Update From Mikey

Tuesday, 4 November 2008  |  Race Announcements

A reader of this blog, Mikey, posted an update about fellow Filipinos (including himself) who ran New York Marathon last Sunday.  Big thank you, Mikey!  Here’s what he wrote:

Greetings from New York!

Just wanted to report to you what had just happened in Barrio Nueva Yorka.

With Paula retaining, dos Santos regaining and yes no Kenyans this time, a good number of Pinoys made walastikish sub-4 performances, Franchesca Carpo of Makati – 3:48, Leonardo de Ocampo Jr. of Muntinglupa – 3:55, Dino Paolo Pison of Bacolod – 3:40, Jon-Jon Rufino of Makati – 3:42 and Achtung, Achtung: MICHAEL MESINA – a bumubukol na 3:12 – HE IS BOSTON BOUND!

Other kabayans garnered fairly good bragging rights of overrunning the five boroughs, Roman Azanza – 4:25, Rosanna Kristine Cruz – 6:43, Ana de Ocampo – 4:16, Margarita Beatriz Locsin – 4:50, Rishi Mirani – 5:57, Gem Padilla – 5:02, Genea Padilla – 6:01 and Vicente Rufino – 7:17.

Her Royal Highness Jamby’s taray on Senadora Pia Cayetano may have been a distraction, as she finished 4:10, two minutes off her last NYC. Her ading Direk Lino Cayetano finished with a 4:38.

I had a crappy 4:22, having hit the wall at Mile 23, and literally dragged my feet around the peripheries of Central Park. No excuses though, I went to a gunfight armed with a butter knife.

This is one karera which one real runner should do before allowing themselves to die!

By the way, the digits above were made by silly Pinoys who travelled half way around the world from their respective sitios, not included are Pinoy yuez citizens, grin card holders or even TNTs.

Another tidbit from Mikey:

Of the three Carpo sisters, both Manda (3:39) and Leica (3:40) qualified for Boston. Unfortunately, Franchesca fell short by 8 minutes. Sayang!

Wooah, congratulations to all the NY Marathon runners!

To the Carpo sisters, you make us proud.  Bow bow bow!