2014 Run United 1 on 16 March

Wednesday, 5 February 2014  |  Race Announcements

One of the most popular runs in the country is set to launch the first of its 3 races this coming March!

2014 Run United 1 will be held on March 16, 2014 with 500m, 5k, 10k, and 21k race categories. All categories will have a start and finish at the SM Mall of Asia.

I attended the bloggers’ conference last Monday where Lester of Unilab Active Health unveiled the new theme of Run United for its RunRio trilogy: Citius (faster), Altius (higher), Fortius (stronger), which is the motto of the modern olympics.

For Run United 1, the word “Citius” will…get this…magically appear at the back of your singlet as your start to sweat. (Okay, it’s not magic. The shirt is sweat activated, but it’s cool eh?)  For Run United 2, the theme will be “Altius” and “Fortius” for Run United Philippine Marathon.

– Coach Rio and Lester show off the new singlets for Run United 1. Photo: LeStSky Photography –

The new medals were also presented to us. As in the past years, the completion of all three races, RU1, RU2, and RUPM, will allow you to combine your hard-earned medals to form a single piece.  (I wonder when I’ll ever get one!)

Then, of course, we ended the night with some chit chat and photos as always!

– Bloggers’ Class Pic! Photo: LeStSky Photography –

– Nice to see my running blogger friends again! Photo: LeStSky Photography –

– with my favourite running blogger, Vimz of Kulit Runner. Photo: LeStSky Photography –

Congrats once again to Unilab Active Health and RunRio for constantly “exceeding yourself” and giving us runners bigger and better races to look forward to.

As for you runners, read below for details on race registration. I’ll see you there!


Online registration started last January 31, 2014 at www.runrio.com

You may purchase the prepaid cards at the following stores: from 12:00NN to 8:00PM Monday to Sunday starting February 8, 2014.
– Riovana Store BGC, 28th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
– Riovana Store Katipunan, 3rd Floor Regis Building, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City (across Ateneo, and beside KFC)
– Toby’s, SM North – The Block G/F, North Ave. cor. EDSA Quezon City
– Toby’s, SM Mall of Asia, G/F Entertainment Hall, Roxas Blvd, Manila

Category – Registration Fee
500m – Php350
5K – Php700
10K – Php800
21K – Php900

For Online and In-Store Registration Inquiries:
– Landline (+632) 463 4813 or (+632) 463 4814
– Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 5pm only, except holidays.

For more info, visit unilabactivehealth.com and runrio.com

Race Report: Run United 1 2013

Monday, 18 March 2013  |  Race Reports

Over 12,000 runners participated in the first of RunRio and Unilab Active Health’s series of Run United events for the year: Run United 1 yesterday at SM Mall of Asia Grounds.

Majority of the runners participated in the half marathon with a whopping 5,000 runners registered for the event. Indeed a sign that runners have now progressed to longer distances. Other distances had the following number of runners: 10k – 4,000, 5k – 3,000 and the 500m – 169 runners.

As expected, the organizers offered runners yet another well-organized event. Despite the large population of runners, the gun start was quick and simple with wave starts to diffuse the crowd in the early portions of the race. The requisite marshals and traffic enforcers, kilometer and directional signs, portalets, and medical aid were present. Bonus bananas and sponges were available at key stations as well. Runners were also given giveaways (loved the free bottle) and medal.

Perhaps the only issue I had as a runner was the parking. I arrived at 3AM only to discover that only one parking lot was open (all other parking lots were gradually opened as the hours passed). Runners who had gone early to ensure they had parking space were faced with long lines and bumper-to-bumper traffic. Hopefully, next race, all parking lots will be opened by SM as early as 3AM to ensure smooth flow.

Notable changes in this race:

1) Shift in sports drink brand to G or Gatorade – I can tell you that many, including this runner, were ecstatic about this news. No need to BYOG (Bring your own Gatorade) in your hydration belt anymore!  Gatorade also launched their new branding following the global brand: G for Gatorade along with their new slogan: That’s G!

– with Lit, Ton, and Jun in our G (Gatorade) shirts –

2) 21k course all in SM MOA – When I heard of the change in course to SM MOA area, I instantly thought that the race would be fast, flat, and easy for all of us. Sure, it was flat and fast, but it sure wasn’t easy, at least for me. Three reasons: I shy away from flat courses in marathons because one uses the same leg muscles all throughout the entire run. I thought it would be fine for a half marathon, but, um, when my calves started screaming at Km 18, I kinda knew it was begging for some gentle hills and descents. Secondly, the vehicular traffic at Buendia was just awful. I honestly don’t think the organizers can do anything about this anymore. The fumes from the buses and jeepneys got into my eyes and I ran flinching in pain hoping I could douse it with water at the nearest station. Third, one word: humidity.

Don’t get me wrong. The course wasn’t bad at all.  In fact, I’m sure a lot of the runners enjoyed it (e.g, Itong Torres and Noey Lopez who were smiling from ear-to-ear about their run without wanting to tell us exactly what their time was.  My guess, based on how fast they disappeared from my sight at Buendia, was sub-1:50) But, I’m just saying that I did like the BGC-MOA course more despite the inconvenience of a point-to-point course.

3) Bigger and better Unilab Active Health – I didn’t think ULAH could improve on their post-race area anymore, but wow, they got even bigger this year. There were lots of photowalls, free samples from sponsors, running talks for beginners, merchandise, and Pedicab and Rivermaya were there to perform! How cool is that?

All in all, it was still the big race that everyone was looking forward to and, judging from the smiles of the people around me that morning, Unilab Active Health and RunRio gave the runners what they hoped for…and more.


Coach Andy had initially plugged a 21k into the day of the race because he knew I signed up for Run United 1. Few days before the race, I asked if I could do 32k instead to build my mileage for London Marathon. After much thought, he said yes, but with the following words of caution: Do not get injured.

Gulp. I lifted my right hand up in the air and promised. Then, ran the numbers quickly in my mind.

The plan:

  • Before the race – 3k easy
  • Race – 21k comfortably hard. No time goals. No pressure. But not easy either.
  • After the race – 8k
  • TOTAL – 32k


Jun, Lit, and I started our run a little past 3AM. We easily covered the 3km running from the parking lot to the race start passing by the portalets and back. Done.

With barely time to rest, we entered the assembly area and had just a few minutes of waiting before the race started. We were in the 2nd wave.

As agreed, we would run our own race. We all put our earphones on and weaved through the crowd of runners in the first few meters of the race.

I felt strong, but I didn’t feel great either. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I just didn’t feel right.

Maybe knowing that I had to run 8k after the race kept me from pushing too hard? Maybe waking up at 1:30am with only 3.5 hours of sleep took its toll on me? Maybe the 1.5 hours on the trainer the day before tired me out? Or, maybe it was just one of those days when it’s not a great run, but it’s not a bad one either?

Whatever. I just allowed myself to run at an effort level of around 8 and I tried my best to keep up with the two boys without killing myself in the process.

– I’m definitely not a flat course runner! Photo: Yongsky. www.runningphotographers.com –

Before I knew it, I could see the finish line. It looked so near and yet so far! I glanced at my watch (which I wasn’t paying attention to because I wasn’t aiming for a particular time) and learned that I could actually reach a sub-2! I zoned out and ran full speed ahead.

Based on my Timex Run Trainer, I finished 21k at 2:00:34. Missed a sub-2 by 35 seconds! (It’s almost deja vu from my Ironman 70.3 Cebu experience! Waahaha!)

– 2:00:43 finish time for Run United 1 21k –


Despite the missed sub-2, I was happy with my time. I changed my shirts and socks, both drenched from the race, put on my visor and shades, sprayed SPF 100 sun block and bid my friends goodbye. I was doing the last 8k on my own. And, secretly, I was looking forward to it.

I’ve missed my solo runs. I’ve missed my long runs. And so, I thought a long solo run by my lonesome was long overdue.

– Photo op with JayR, Jerich, and Justin in the middle of my run. Photo: Justin Gomez –

I ran one long strip of SM MOA back and forth and covered the last 8k to tick off my 32k long run from my marathon program. It was not so much physically exhausting as it was mentally challenging. One could’ve included it in my Coach’s list of Character Building workouts!

– Nice bumping into Spongebob Runner Merl and Running Host Boy Ramos after my LSD –

Injuries? None. Just terrible chafing in the perimeter of my sports bra despite using Body Glide. Feeling? Tired, but not exhausted. I felt like I could do more if I had to. Hunger? Surprisingly, I didn’t feel famished. I drank my Enervon HP for recovery and had a light salmon crepe for replinshment. Happiness? 100%. I live for long runs and marathon training, fantastic races, and great friends to run them with.

– Tired but happy. Photo: Justin Gomez –

Block your calendar for Run United 2 on June 2 and Run United Philippine Marathon on October 6. For more info, visit http://unilabactivehealth.com/

Half Marathon PR at Run United 1…Not!

Sunday, 4 March 2012  |  Bullish Insights

Yup, that was my goal!  I wanted to break my PR for the half marathon which I ran at Run United 2011.  So, for the most part of January and February, Run United 1 was constantly on my mind.  I was thinking of Run United 1 when I ran my tempos, when I strength trained at the gym, and even while I ate (I wanted to lose weight before RU so I could run faster).  I was so focused on RU that I was half expecting the husband to throw a fit of jealousy over “RU” with whom I was spending too much time with.

Too bad then that, after a solo tempo run a couple of weeks ago, I felt my Morton’s Neuroma acting up again.  (I interrupt this blog post for a special message to Morton’s Neuroma: “I hate you!”)  So, as always, I backed off with the mileage and went on a mad hunt for wider shoes to keep Morton’s at bay.  As of now, the Neuromas have subsided with rest, but I’m still in search of that perfect shoe with a wider toe box before I run any distance above 10k.  (To the big running shoe brands, especially Asics, KSwiss, Brooks, and New Balance, please please bring in a few D widths for women with bunions and Neuromas like me!   Promise, I’ll buy more shoes if you do!)  For now, the only one that let’s me run short distances without discomfort are my Nike Frees.  Love ’em!

So, how was your Run United run?  Tell me because I feel like the outcast in high school who was left out of the biggest party of the year!  So frustrated was I this morning that I jumped into the pool, swam 2.2km, then had a good breakfast of pancakes and slathered it with tons of peanut butter!  Hah! Take that, Mortons!