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.

Father’s Day: Gifts Running Dads Will Love

Friday, 14 June 2013  |  Gear + Gadgets

It’s Father’s Day this coming weekend. Here are some gift ideas for the active Daddies out there:

1) Nike Free 5.0

Nike’s answer to minimalist / barefoot shoes. It offers runners increased foot strength with a dynamic, glove-like and comfortable feel.

Availability: Nike Park
Price: P5,295

Nike Free 5.0

2) Adidas Energy Boost

adidas’ new proprietary cushioning material, BOOST™, allows the runner to feel a continuous energy return and has been proven to be three times more temperature-resistant than standard EVA material providing a more consistent and comfortable run.

Availability: Adidas
Price: P7,995

Adidas Boost 1

3) Newton Men’s Distance

Lightweight neutral performance trainer designed for speed and spirited runs. This shoe is good for short- or mid-distance racing and weekly speed workouts.

Availability: RUNNR
Price: P7,995

Newton Men's Distance - S

4) PUMA Mobium Elite

Performance trainer that expands and contracts as the foot moves. The shoe encourages a more natural and efficient mid-foot strike.

Availability: Puma Stores, Planet Sports

Mobium Elite Mn's 186688_01_intro

5) Sony’s new Walkman Sports MP3 Player

Sony’s new Walkman® Sports MP3 Player (NWZ-W273) is a water-proof, all-in-one digital music player designed to conveniently and comfortably wear to the gym, the trail, the treadmill, or even into the pool. The NWZ-W273 is available in blue, pink, white and black.

Phone: Sony’s customer service hotline 878-7600
Website: www.sony.com.ph
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SonyPhilippines
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SonyPHinc


6) Ecoxgear

The first Floating Bluetooth speaker in the world with an amazing sound! It is shockproof, waterproof, and it floats! It has a great battery life and is universal for most phones and MP3 players.

Price: Ecoextreme P3,500, EcoBT P6,500, Ecoterra P9,000
Website: www.tenkiebox.ph


7) ID on Me Emergency ID Bracelet

A must for every runner’s safety and security. This allows the runner to carry personal details on the wrist or strap it on your shoes.

Price: P599
Website: www.idonme.com.ph


10 Do’s & Don’ts for Preparing for adidas King of the Road 10k

Monday, 10 June 2013  |  Running + Triathlon

One of the most anticipated races of the country, the adidas King of the Road, is exactly one month away. If you’re one of the thousands who’s signed up and all set to run, here are my top ten do’s and don’ts for newbie runners preparing for the 10k distance:


1 > DO train for the race. The 10k distance is an event that you must seriously prepare for by gradually building up your mileage weeks before the race. Never ever say you’ll just wing the race and pray you survive. That is no way to participate in a race. Once registered, commit to training seriously for the event and enjoy the training experience.


2 > DO follow a training program. If you’re serious about running and race, it’s best to follow a training program from a coach or a reputable running website. It gives you a weekly schedule and allows you to monitor your distance and pace ensuring you don’t over or under train. It also keeps you safe from injury. Best of all, it teaches you discipline and how to train properly for an event.

3 > DON’T eat all you want. Some newbie runners, especially those who are trying to lose weight, think that they can indulge with their diet since they’re working out more. While it’s true that you’re burning more calories, you still have to watch what you eat. If anything, adopting a healthy lifestyle through running, will help you to be more conscious not just about weight management, but eating to care for your body and use it as fuel for optimal performance.

4 > DO run with a buddy or a group. For most runners, it’s easier to lace up and train when they’ve got other people to be accountable to. It also makes the training experience more fun when you share conversations and experiences with like-minded people who are eager to get on the road to fitness through running.


5 > DON’T train for speed all the time. Most newbie runners immediately want to run fast in their first race. There’s nothing wrong with that. But, if you do wish to train for speed, then make sure you train the right way. Include speed work in your training program only once or twice a week. Do not run fast during each workout. Better yet, consult a coach to ensure you get proper training.


6 > DO think positive. Most new runners are petrified by the thought of racing. Negative thoughts arise such as “What if I finish last?” or “What if I don’t finish at all?” It’s normal to feel anxious because you’re stepping out of your comfort zone. But, overcome all your worries by inviting positive and powerful thoughts and have confidence in your own capabilities.

7 > DON’T wear brand new shoes on race day. It’s always great to get yourself a brand new pair of shoes for race day. But, make sure you break this in properly. Give yourself at least a month to use the shoe during training so you’re certain about the fit and comfort come race day. That means, get yourself those shoes NOW.


8 > DO hydrate properly. Some runners fail to give importance to proper hydration. It’s important to drink water if you’re running less than an hour and take a sports drink if you run over an hour to replenish your electrolytes. Heat stroke is a serious threat especially with the sun beating down on us.

9 > DON’T give up. There will be times when, during the race, you may think “Why am I doing this?” or “I’m in pain. I wish I could stop.” Always remember that the pain and discomfort is temporary and you must rise above it. Focus on your goal: to finish strong and happy and to achieve something that you never thought you could.

10 > DO run your own race. When the race starts, you may get overwhelmed with the crowd of runners going at their own pace. Resist the urge to go as fast as they are. Run at your own pace as you trained and planned. Always remember that you are your own King or Queen of the Road and no one can tell you otherwise.


adidas King of the Road will be on July 7, 2013 at Bonifacio Global City.  If you have signed up yet, there are two ways to register for this year’s adidas King of the Road Philippines:

  1. Visit http://adidaskingoftheroad.com/ph and register online by filling up all the required fields (not available for 10KM Relay for Students). Online registration is open from May 2 to June 23, 2013.
  2. Visit any of the seven (7) adidas KOTR 2013 registration sites in the following stores —adidas Greenbelt 3, adidas SM Mall of Asia, adidas SM Megamall, adidas Powerplant, adidas Trinoma, adidas Two Parkade (Bonifacio Global City), or Runnr at Bonifacio High Street. Onsite registration is open from May 2 to June 30, 2013.

Race fees are as follows: P1,300 for the 16.8K race; P1,100 for for the 10K regular race; and P800 for for the 10K students’ race. Runners signing up for the 10K students’ race will have to present vaild student IDs (must be valid until July 7, 2013) at the registration sites.

There is also a discount for runners that sign up in large groups. Participants who register with their friends and family at the same time at the registration site get the following discounts:

  • Group of 10 runners = Php100 off each
  • Group of 15 runners = Php150 off each
  • Group of 20 runners = Php200 off each

For more news, updates, and promos on adidas KOTR 2013, visit www.facebook.com/adidas or follow the conversation with #kotrph2013.

My Workout, My Music Yurbuds Selfie Contest

Tuesday, 4 June 2013  |  Gear + Gadgets, News + Promos

I need my music when I run alone.  Occasionally, I enjoy slow solo runs as a “purist” (no iPod, no watch, nuthin!) but, for the most part, if I don’t have company or if  I’m on the treader at the gym, my iPod Nano and yurbuds Inspire for Women are my best run buddies. For workouts and even races, part of the preparation includes preparing my playlist.

What’s on my playlist?  I need music that makes me feel alive and happy.  Nothing too heavy so I feel light on my feet when I run.  Call me weird but what I listen to when I’m at rest and when I’m working out is pretty much the same. Some of you may fall asleep with my Acid Jazz playlist, but, hey, it gets me going!


Brand New Heavies, Midnight at the Oasis
Incognito, Everyday
Brand New Heavies, Feels Like Right
Galliano, Prince of Peace
Incognito, Deep Waters
M People, Just for You
Des’ree, Feel So High
Incognito, Beneath the Surface
Michael Franti, People in the Middle
Freak Power, Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out
Brand New Heavies, Never Stop
Urban Species, Spiritual Love

Now I asked my Coach, Andy Leuterio, what gets him race ready and he sent me some his favorite songs for a killer race simulation workout. (So different from mine! Hah!):

2.5 Hour Ride, Main Set 4 x 30” Tempo building to Threshold Effort/Power, 5” easy spin Rest Interval.
10k Run off the bike, negative split

Sarah McLachlan, World on Fire
Isaac Hayes, Theme from SHAFT
Black Strobe, I’m a Man
The Doors, L.A. Woman
Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the Devil
AC-DC, Highway to Hell
AC-DC, War Machine
AC-DC, Thunderstruck
Rage Against The Machine, Bulls on Parade
Rage Against the Machine, Guerilla Radio
Rage Against The Machine, Vietnow



Yurbuds wants to know what gets you pumped up! Post a picture of yourself on Facebook and Instagram with your yurbuds during, before, or after a workout and you could win an exclusive yurbuds shirt, a pair of yurbuds Duro, Ladies line, or the Grand Prize of the yurbuds Limited Edition! From June 3 to 15, 2013, Cascos Inc, the exclusive Philippine distributor of yurbuds, will be looking for the most interesting photos of yurbuds athletes.

To qualify:

1. “LIKE” the Facebook Page of Cascos Inc.
2. Use the hashtags #BEYONDTHEWALL and #YURBUDS
3. Put a caption of your workout and music to qualify for the contest!
4. Users may post as many entries as they want for the duration of the contest.



10km Tempo Run, Freak Power, “Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out”

Triathlon for Kids: Getting my Kids’ Feet Wet

Thursday, 30 May 2013  |  Running + Triathlon

When I started running in 2006, it was my secret dream that the rest of the family would pick up the sport, too.  The hubby eventually started running and he completed his first marathon at the first TBR Dream Marathon in 2010 (good choice for a first, eh?)  We ran NYC Marathon together later that year.

As for the kids, they would run shorter races with us.  Sometimes, I would take them out on weekends for short bike rides and runs.  But, I never ever wanted to push them into taking the sport more seriously.  I believed that if I wanted them to enjoy this sport as much as I did, they had to want to do it for themselves.  And so, through the years, I’ve been living a very active lifestyle allowing the kids to see me come home after a long run, pack my running gear for a marathon abroad, or simply listen to me wax poetic about an awesome run.  At the same time, I prayed, hoped, and waited that one day they would ask me for more serious training.

After years of waiting, that day finally came!  At least for my older son, Anton, who is now 12.  (12 already? How time flies. Sigh.)


Indulge me for a moment here and allow me to tell you about this not-so-little boy of mine.  He’s a good boy. He’s quiet, respectful, obedient, and humble.  (I won’t argue with you, he probably got this from his Dad haha!)  At the same time, underneath all this shyness, he’s also smart, a deep thinker (a trait he got from him Mom.  Er, that’s what people tell me.)  His teachers tell us that he’s an old soul who throws out questions like an adult sometimes.  Last March, he graduated from Elementary school.  He was one of only two kids who bagged ALL the awards given out that day.  I was floored…and, I was overjoyed.  It was truly one of the proudest moments of my life.  The feeling beat a marathon finish 10x over.

– That’s my boy! –

– with the proud Mama and sis! –

If that weren’t enough, a few weeks after graduation, with summer upon us, Anton gave me even better news: he wanted to run and bike with me.  My reaction?  First, I was ecstatic!  Okay, let’s do this!  I had images of me and my boy running and conquering hills together and riding past cars (and Vin Diesel in a jeep) all over the city!  Then, reality struck.  While I could easily take him running longer with me, I worried about biking out with him. Wasn’t it irresponsible of me to send my dearest child out to bike with a newbie biker like me? With visions of me struggling to uncleat and dismount as I try to save him from an oncoming truck, I thought it best to find a coach to get his feet wet into this world the right way.


Lucky for me, I’ve got a lot of great coach friends around.  I texted coach friends like Ani de Leon-Brown and Norman Pascual who I know train kids regularly.  After checking schedules (my daughter decided to take up swimming with Ria Mackay’s Aqualogic Swim Classes. More on that next time) and figuring out how I could possibly train for Ironman 70.3 in August while taking two kids to different sessions this summer (gaaah! the life of a tri mom!), I decided to go with Coach Norman’s Duathlon Sessions for kids in SM Mall of Asia every Wednesday and Friday. I thought if he wanted to get into triathlon later, then it would be easier for him already.

As for his gear, I chose NOT to spend to much on this just yet.  The only thing we really invested in were his shoes: Asics Gel Kayano, a few months ago. (I love run shoes and one should never compromise on this. So there!) I got Anton a very cheap mountain bike in Cartimar a few months ago and this was what we use for now.  For shorts, the hubby lent him.  For his tops, I gave him some of mine.  Hey, stop laughing about how frugal we are! I’ve got a couple of barely used football shoes, a tennis racket, and goggles gathering dust at home to remind me about spending too much too soon.  I just told Anton to prove to me first that he’s interested in doing this long term and we’ll support him all the way.

The first few sessions were one-on-one which was awesome for a beginner like Anton.  Coach Norman started with basic mounting and dismounting lessons, gearing, and even rode out with him around SM MOA a couple of times.

– with Coach Norman –

– Running seems natural for this kid. He actually leans forward and lands on his mid foot –

– After running, he gets on his bike –

By the next sessions, four other kids, all siblings, joined Anton for more fun sessions.  They raced with each other and even rode MOA in drafting positions.  During the last sessions, Anton even learned how to do a flying dismount, something I can only do in my dreams.

– They rush to wear their shoes, helmet, head off to bike, then run –

– The bigger kids biking –

– Little Sis comes out to watch Kuya. I’m hoping the bug rubs off on her too –

For now, Anton enjoys every single session and, for that alone, I am thankful.  I’m crossing my fingers that he’ll continue this even when school starts in June.  Just yesterday, he asked me: Mom, when can I get a nicer road bike?  Aaaah, it may burn a hole in our pockets, but, hey, it was music to my ears!


If you want to get your child started in triathlon or swim, bike, and run, here are some info that may help.


  • Coach Norman Pascual – 0917.862.6224, tricoach norman@yahoo.com
  • Coach Ani de Leon-Brown – 0915.444.0290, anikarina@gmail. com

RACES FOR KIDS (click on the links)


  • Junior Triathlete – published by Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan and Coach Ani Brown