25 August 2014

1st Empire Angkor Marathon 2014 Race Report

17 Aug. 2014
Siem Reap, Cambodia 

Photo 1:  About 150 meters before finish during the 1st Empire Angkor Marathon 2014 between 8:43 AM and 10:53 AM
Photo 2:  Jinoe (Takbo.ph blog owner), Janine, and yours truly
Photo 3:  With Jinoe at the finish line
Photo 4:  April and Joven at the finish line

(Photos courtesy of Marathon Photos and fellow runner Janine Ngo)

Dreams Do Come True

I have wanted to go to Cambodia from the time when I saw the movies Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones were filmed there.  Well, I do appreciate history and reading books will take you to endless places in the world.  And Cambodia is one of those places. 

Race Registration and Hotel Booking

A window of opportunity finally came early this year.   When I found out that a full marathon will be staged (aside from its annual half marathon event) where start/finish arch would be at the famous Angkor Wat Temple, I found myself registering for the marathon.  What a beautiful way to see the place than by running.  Just like in my previous trips, I waited for any discount or seat sale early this year.  Though the race event organizers partnered with the hotels in Cambodia, I found them somewhat beyond my budget.  Then I remembered the brochure that was given to me by one of the speakers at a seminar I attended in October 2013.  I visited the web site of that guest house and found the room rates quite reasonable.  Airfare.  Check.  Race registration fee.  Check.  Accommodation.  Check.  All set except one—I couldn’t find anyone else to come with me on such short notice.  Ellen aka Kelcy and Jinoe, Takbo.ph blog owner, came into my mind.  You see, the three of us have run the Borneo International Marathon in 2012.  But Ellen was busy lately.  I tried contacting Jinoe.  Surprisingly, when I told him about it, he got interested that he booked his own flight, arranged for his accommodation, and registered for the marathon instantly. 

The next concern was who would claim our race kits considering our flight would leave the night before the race and claiming of race kits would start three days before race day?  I tried to seek assistance from the hotel staff.   Though they are willing to assist us, I was much keener if someone we knew would claim it for us.  Thanks to Jinoe’s assistance on this.  Just two weeks before the race, Jinoe informed me that a fellow runner would claim the race kits for us as she would be in Siem Reap days earlier.  Much thanks to Janine for claiming the race kits, leaving these at the front desk, and ensuring we had a ride via tuk-tuk* from the guest house to the event venue.  She also gave each one of us a Philippine flag pin.  Jinoe, on the other hand, gave us a free T-shirt printed with RUN.PH on the front to be worn after the race.  Thank you for the shirt, Jinoe.  

*Also known as auto rickshaw, a common public transportation in Siem Reap, Cambodia

On Marathon Training

Each race is different, so it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into.  Before my previous well-prepared marathons (Condura Skyway in 2009 was my best marathon time so far), I ran respectable times.  Not really fast, but at least within the goal I set for myself.  In a desperate effort to get race-fit, I tried to do long slow distances on Sundays, do a-once-a-week training session with my running coach, running three times on weekdays after work, and did extra pool laps into my twice-a-week swimming routine.  However, training was disrupted with complimentary races along the way.  I treated each race as part of the preparation.  The trail running in Nuvali two months ago helped a lot.  That was my longest run prior to another marathon, the Milo Marathon.  As previously mentioned in my blog post, the Milo Marathon was not really included in the list of races that I would do this year, but since the brand is celebrating another milestone, I so wanted to be one of the runners in this race.  Two running coaches have suggested to me to take it easy on the race and to focus more on the Empire Angkor Marathon, which was the proper way of doing things anyway.  The game plan was to just run Milo Marathon up to 30KM or something then to DNF (did not finish), or to finish it and walk the last 10 kilometers.  If I get fast in this, performance wise, marathon running in Cambodia might not be good.  They were right.  In marathon running, it takes two to three weeks for the body to recover from running a marathon, hence, running two marathons in a year is ideal.  Milo Marathon was scheduled on July 27 while Empire Angkor Wat on August 17.  That’s roughly three weeks before race day for Empire Angkor Marathon.  I didn’t want to DNF Milo.   When I had the GO signal from my running coach, I was vent on finishing these races within the cut-off time of six hours.  Also, these events are both IAAF and AIMS certified races.  And I know how strict IAAF and AIMS in implementing the deadline.  

The week before Empire Angkor Wat, I had to race in an aquathlon (a two-stage race involving swimming and running).  Though I felt happy to have won third place, but deep inside I was apprehensive how I would fare the next weekend.  “Stick to the game plan.” That was my mantra.  Based on my readings, the route is mostly flat so I thought I might be able to do the finish time I set for myself. 

Departure and Arrival

We were supposed to leave at 7:45 PM, but flight got delayed.  By the way, there is a one-hour time difference between Cambodia and the Philippines (Philippines is ahead by 1 hour).  We arrived at Siem Reap Airport minutes past 11:00 PM (Philippine Time).   Race would be at 4:30AM (Cambodia time), that means we only had more or less three hours of sleep.  Dead tired, I was able to sleep right away.  A light rap on my door woke me up.  I thought it was just my imagination.  So I closed my eyes again.  Then another soft knocks followed.  Got up to check what it was.  It was Jinoe all geared and ready for the race.  Janine, too!  Yikes!  It was the fastest shower and change of clothes I had done!  Sad though that I wasn’t able to eat or drink something hot prior to the race.  Our tuk-tuk driver was ready and waiting for us as early as 2:00 AM.  The drive from the guest house to the event venue took five or seven minutes on a route with a line of trees running along each side. 

Race Venue, Gun Start, and Race Route

We all left our stuff with our able and supportive tuk-tuk driver, Cheang.  As we walked towards the Start arch, we heard the emcee announcing all the countries participating in the said race.  I couldn’t be more proud in that moment when we saw our flag being displayed alongside the other countries, and heard “Philippines!” announced by the emcee. We were making history here!  Three of us.  But wait.  There were two more runners from our country.  That would be five of us doing the full marathon! Great!  (Read: In Photos: the 1st Empire Angkor Marathon 2014)

I could feel the excitement of the crowd.  Roaming my eyes, I couldn’t believe what I just witnessed.  Welcome messages from the Guest of Honor and VIPs followed by the lighting of the torch.  I couldn’t see the entrance of the Angkor Wat Temple as it was too dark.  Then the countdown began.  I switched on my Garmin watch when they fired the start gun.  The course is relatively flat with gradual ascent and ancient trees along the route.  Runners could take photos during the race as there are ancient temples along the course.  Portion of the race passed through the city then back to the world heritage area. Runners would run asphalt roads (at times riddled with cracks) and in other areas some concrete roads.  I started to feel fatigue so early at KM22. On my way back, after the turnaround point at KM25, there were school children along the way excitedly doing high fives with the runners.  Their smiling faces and cheers made the run much more enjoyable.  

While running, my watch did not match the official kilometer markers.  I knew I only had almost four kilometers to go, but the distance markers were telling me a different distance.  It was at this time that Jinoe was able to catch up with me.  Knowing he’s a race organizer himself, I checked if in his watch it was more or less the same as the distance markers.  True enough, his watch measured extra kilometers.  Reality is we need to beat the deadline.  I knew I was already done with my marathon at a certain point.   But at the time the only choice was to keep running at a pace just enough to beat cut-off time.  The sun was burning hot and I could feel the sun burning on my skin.  I could no longer appreciate the ruins as I passed by.  I think I actually sprinted the last KM to the finish line.  Two lady foreigners were cheering on me and giving me the thumbs up sign.  I shouted at them, “Did I make it?”  Smiling back at me, both nodded their heads.   “I did it!  Thank you, Lord.”  I remember after crossing the finish line, I was a bit emotional that I almost cried.  Whew! That was close! I received my finisher's medal and got some drinks.  I was at the stretching area with some runners … thinking of what had just happened.  I asked them how long the distance was.  They said in their watch it measured 46 kilometers.  “Whoa!” I thought, “Four more kilometers to go and it’s already an ultramarathon.”  My watch registered a distance of 44.37 kilometers.  Overall, it was still a great run.  I enjoyed myself although I did not do as well as I hoped.  (Read: Race Results)  Based on the results, there were other participants from the Philippines. 

Approximately five kilometers from the Finish Line. Jinoe, who was running also at the other side of the road called my name when this photo was taken.  The background is called the Terrace of the Leper King just north of the Terrace of the Elephants Angkor Thom, built at end of 12th century by king Jayavarman VII.

Remaining Days

The day after the race, we spent the day visiting the Angkor Archaeological Park considered a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The next day, our last day in Siem Reap, we explored the area on a road bicycling and visiting Angkor National Museum, a perfect way to end my first visit in Cambodia.

Thank You

Would just like to thank Queenie for the support and cheers even if she was not able to come with us.  Thank you also to Janine for claiming the race kits, the photos taken after the race, for touring us on our first day in Siem Reap, and for ensuring we get a good tuk-tuk driver.  I enjoyed much your and your sister's company while celebrating our victory over lunch on Sunday.  Thank you also to the guest house owners.  You guys made our stay worthwhile (will blog about this, too, some other time).  To God be the glory!

21 August 2014

Women's Health POP-UP Studio Fitness Series

l never was a gym person. But when an invite from Women's Health through Queenie of Takbo.ph came to try another fitness craze, without hesitating, my answer was a big YES.  l thought it was timely since my training then included core strengthening and l think crossfit was a good workout. So last August 13, l was one of the lucky participants to experience it.  The Crossfit Mad Minute workouts include a short yet intense moves to shed off extra pounds. 

The workout is timed, up to eight minutes. We were grouped by four where each had to do and execute properly the moves--from running a 100-meter distance, push ups, squats, and ball slamming. 

Each had to count and the total number of times we did each workout would be the total workouts done by our group.  We did about 389.  Not bad for newbies like us.

To know more on how to have fun and get fit with this year's Women's Health Pop-up Studio, you may like their WH Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Women's HealthPhilippines or follow them on Twitter and Instagram @womenshealthph.

Super thanks to Summit Media for letting us experience and learn crossfit.

20 August 2014

2nd Corregidor Marathon and 5th Corregidor International Half Marathon


Race Registration Procedures

Beginning this coming 2015, race participants to both Corregidor Marathon and Corregidor International Half-Marathon will only be paying for the race itself. Team Run Corregidor is giving back to race participants the option to choose their mode of transportation to the island.

The race registration fees will have the following schedules:

Regular (Aug 21 – Oct 31)
42K Full Marathon = P2500 (USD 55)
5K Blitz = P1000 (USD 22)

Late (Nov 1 – Dec 31)
42K Full Marathon = P3000 (USD 65)
5K Blitz = P1250 (USD 28)

Last-Minute (Jan 1-11, 2015)
42K Full Marathon = P3500 (USD 75)
5K Blitz = P1500 (USD 33)

42K Full Marathon
17 January 2015
Gun Start: 6:00am
NO qualifying time; NO race finishcut-off time

Race Registration inclusions:
Finisher’s Medallion (0.5kg, 5-in diameter)
CM Dri-fit Race Shirt
Race bib w/ RFID timing chip
CM Race sling bag
Runners' Briefing (Jan 10 & 11, 2015)
CM Post-Race Party
CM Digital Finisher's Certificate
P1,000 SOLEUS Gift Voucher
*For race participants attending the Carbo-loading Dinner (Jan. 16,2015), Carbo Dinner ticket may be availed at P250.00 at the Runners’ Briefing.

5K Blitz
17 January 2015
Gun Start: 8:00am
NO qualifying time; NO race finish cut-off time 

Race Registration inclusions:
5K Blitz Finisher’s Medal
CM Dri-fit Race Shirt
Race bib w/ RFID timing chip
CM Race sling bag
Runners' Briefing (Jan 10 & 11, 2015)
CM Post-Race Party
5K Blitz Digital Finisher's Certificate
P1,000 SOLEUS Gift Voucher
*For race participants attending the Carbo-loading Dinner (Jan. 16,2015), Carbo Dinner ticket may be availed at P250.00 at the Runners’ Briefing. 

Regular (Aug 21 – Oct 31)
21K Half-Marathon = P1500 (USD 33)
10K Challenge = P1250 (USD 28)

Late (Nov 1 – Dec 31)
21K Half-Marathon = P1750 (USD 39)
10K Challenge = P1500 (USD 33)

Last-Minute (Jan 1-11, 2015)
21K Half-Marathon = P2000 (USD 45)
10K Challenge = P1750 (USD 39) 

21K Half-Marathon
18 January 2015
Gun Start: 8:00am
NO qualifying time; NO race finish cut-off time

Race Registration inclusions:
Finisher’s Medallion (3-in diameter)
CIHM Dri-fit Race Shirt
Race bib w/ RFID timing chip
CIHM Race sling bag
Runners' Briefing (Jan 10 & 11, 2015)
CIHM Post-Race Victory Party
CIHM Digital Finisher's Certificate
P1,000 SOLEUS Gift Voucher
*For race participants attending the Carbo-loading Dinner (Jan. 17,2015), Carbo Dinner ticket may be availed at P250.00 at the Runners’ Briefing.

10K Challenge
18 January 2015 
Gun Start: 8:15am
NO qualifying time; NO race finish cut-off time
Race Registration inclusions:
10K Challenger Finisher’s Medal
Race bib w/ RFID timing chip
CIHM Dri-fit Race Shirt
CIHM Race sling bag
Runners' Briefing (Jan 10 & 11, 2015)
CIHM Post-Race Victory Party
10K Challenge Digital Finisher's Certificate
P1,000 SOLEUS Gift Voucher
*For race participants attending the Carbo-loading Dinner (Jan 17,2015), Carbo Dinner ticket may be availed at P250.00 on Jan 10 & 11 during the Runners’ Briefing. 

Registration Procedures:

1) Pay the corresponding ADVANCE RACE REGISTRATION fee by way of a bank deposit at any BDO branch using the following details:
BDO Checking Account
Account Name: Big Big Big, Inc.
Account Number: 000410417114
*For international participants, as follows are the details when depositing corresponding race registration fee through bank transfer:

BDO (Banco de Oro Unibank, Inc.)
Branch details: 041 Bel-Air
Swift Code: BNORPHMM
Acct details: Checking Account
Account Name: Big Big Big, Inc.
Account Number: 000410417114 

2) Send the photo-captured copy of the deposit slip as a direct message/private message to the Corregidor Marathon FB fan page indicating your full name and chosen distance category. 

3) In 24 hours, an alpha-numeric code reply to your message will be sent to you by the page moderator. This code CAN NOT be shared with another person. This code is needed for the filling up and validation of your on-line registration form.

4) Once you have received your alpha-numeric code, on the applicable FB page, complete your registration for the race by clicking the on-line registration form link.

5) Once race registration is validated, you will receive in 48 hours your race inclusion confirmation via email. On the confirmation email, you will be notified when you may claim your race registration kit. It will coincide with the Runners’ Briefing. The venue will be announced via personal email and blog posts at a later date.

*CREDIT CARD payment facility is being finalized. Announcement of its availability will be announced in the coming weeks.

BONUS for CM & CIHM Race Registrants:
Running the full and half-marathon distances in Corregidor is no easy feat. Serious preparations must be undertaken.

To all race registrants, Team Run Corregidor is providing a free monthly training (training session is free but Sun Cruises will charge a fee of P1000 for the ferry transfers and island entrance) on the actual race course, on the following dates: Sep 28, Oct 26, Nov 23, and Dec 28. For more information, visit the FB fan pages of Corregidor Marathon and Corregidor International Half-Marathon. 

RUN CORREGIDOR P.R.o.m.o (Personal Record obliteration motivational offer)
All race registrants for the for the CM 42K and CIHM 21K will be given a 50% REBATE of their paid registration fee if they get to break their personal record in the same distance they have registered to.

42K and 21K race registrants fill out the on-line race nomination form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1TxIssSLmk86EA8FnPSrsA4CjH7mQGe5pYaiIS050Jug/viewform?usp=send_form

On the form, along with other details, indicate the race distance, name and date of race to be nominated, and official race finish time.

The race to be nominated must have been run during the period of January 1, 2014 to October 31, 2014 only.

Any form of MISREPRESENTATION will automatically disqualify the race participant from the promo.

Sun Cruises as our event partner is generously giving special rates for race participants of both the 2nd Corregidor Marathon and 5th Corregidor International Half-Marathon: P1300/person EXCLUSIVE to race participants ONLY (inclusive of round-trip ferry, lunch buffet, and entrance fee to the island).

Room accommodations are limited. In consideration of this, Sun Cruises will be offering Camping Tents for rent (P500 flat rate). 

Sun Cruises will start accepting ferry and accommodations booking for CM & CIHM participants beginning August 21, 2014.

For booking concerns, please contact Sun Cruises (8am to 5pm – Mon to Fri; 8am to 12nn Sat) at 5275555 loc 4511 and4512, 0917-5459917, 0917-8084641, 0922-8475418.


Run Corregidor Registrants' Bulletin

Run Corregidor Full and Half Marathon Advance Registration

12 August 2014

Beautiful Endorsers at the Vitress Project Catwalk

I am happy to be invited to watch the Project Catwalk event held on August 8, Friday at Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City.   Thanks to Marcie Linao and Camille Romero of Love and Light Productions for having me in the said event. 

I'm no stranger to this product since I've been using Vitress hair polish for quite sometime now and it's such a good thing that I had the chance to witness the glamorous launch event. Vitress, the number one hair cuticle coat and hair polish, has partnered with three powerful Filipinas, model and actress Solenn Heussaff, fashionista and TV host Kim Jones, and volleyball star player Gretchen Ho as the brand's endorsers.  

Solenn Heussaff quickly became a sought-after talent after debuting on a reality TV show and later proved her acting prowess when she became a Gawad Urian nominee. “When I first entered showbiz, I constantly had to curl or blow-dry my hair,” says Solenn. “I saw how damaged my strands became, so I looked for ways to protect and repair them. Aside from regular treatments at the salon, I use Vitress Hair Repair Cuticle Coat before and after blow-drying or curling my hair to protect it and add extra shine.”

Solenn’s hair tips: “I use the Vitress Solenn Cuticle Coat, which I co-designed every day. After I shower and while my hair is damp, I put a small amount to make it easier to comb. Once my hair is dry, I add a few more drops to boost shine. I also apply it when my hair’s in a ponytail to hide the baby hair that sticks out.” 

As a TV host and cover girl, Kim Jones is used to having a glam squad take care of all her hair needs. But when she’s not on set and working on her blog, she relies on Vitress to make her strands look sexy-beautiful. “It’s one of my favorite products to keep with me when I'm shooting for my blog and there's no hairstylist or when I'm running around town doing errands.”

Kim’s hair tips: “Honestly, I prefer a low-key regime when it comes to my hair. After I wash my hair, I just warm a few drops of Vitress Hair Repair Cuticle Coat in between my hands. It’s easy enough for me to do and it's effective. It’s my secret weapon to keeping my hair sleek and in place. The bottles are the perfect size to throw in your handbag, too.”

Pro volleyball player Gretchen Ho is a champion athlete whose known for her humble demeanor and laidback style—and these qualities are exactly what make her totally endearing to her fans. “I’m happy and grateful to be chosen as one of the newest endorsers of Vitress. I've been using this product for my hair problems and it's such a delight that I get to share this hair secret with everyone now.”

Gretchen’s hair tips: “With my active and on-the-go lifestyle, it's very important to have a quick solution. On normal days, I apply the Vitress Sun Protect Hair Polish to protect my hair. When I have a game, I use the Vitress Heat Protect Cuticle Coat to keep my baby hair in place with my ponytail. For shoots, the Vitress Heat Protect Cuticle Coat keeps my hair shiny and healthy, too.”

There are a various hair cuticle coat and hair polish types to choose. Price of each product ranges from P 38 to P80.  Not bad, eh?  Just like the newest endorsers of the brand, you may apply Vitress on your hair strands every day.  It will leave your hair gorgeous, shiny, easy to manage, and healthy-looking  always.


For more hair tips and exclusive updates, you may follow on social media:

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/vitress
Instagram: @OfficialVitress
Twitter: @OfficialVitress

11 August 2014

Podium Finish : Splash 'n Dash Aquathlon 2014 (Leg 2)

It has been five years since my last aquathlon.  My first attempt was in an open sea competition in Corregidor.  It was not really to test how fast l was in swimming,  but it was to get over my fear of swimming in an open sea water.  I learned to swim late (in my early 20s) because of fear of drowning in deep water.  In fact, as my graduation rite back then, my swimming instructor made me jump in the deepest part of the pool, around 11 feet deep.  

By the way, the deepest pool we have in my home city is 13 feet deep, good enough for diving lessons since it is equipped with a springboard.  After l successfully swam towards the shallow end of the pool, l realized that the actual depth of the water makes no difference.  If l didn't overcome my fear of drowning, l could have said "sayonara" to sport competition such as an aquathlon.  

I may have stopped joining aquathlon competitions, but swimming has been part of my workouts.  Running is best for cardio.  Swimming is best for the muscle. I do both. Yes, when legs are sore and aching from pounding the roads, swimming is my therapy.  Thus, finding myself in another aquathlon competition after five years is in itself exciting.

As competition neared, l got sick.  It was may be caused by stress at work.  l suffered a mild cough and a runny nose, common cold symptoms.  Did try natural remedies by getting a good night's rest, drinking lots of liquids, and eating congee with herbs. Thanks to the advice of a friend. Prescription was also considered. Of course, l didn't forget the power of prayer.  So when l woke up early Sunday, though still feeling a bit wobbly, l noticed that my cough has stopped somehow.

I arrived at the venue with enough time to claim my race kit, and for the arm and leg number markings.  l just stayed at the audience area to prepare my stuff while waiting for my Wave to be announced.  At the same time looking forward to the arrival of my choirmates, a first time for them to see me compete. 

l had the feeling of déja vu when our Wave was finally called.  There was supposed to be 13 of us in our wave, but two or three didn't make it. A quick race briefing followed. Then the dreaded countdown.   I had a good head start when almost halfway in the lane l suddenly stopped. I thought l heard someone calling me to stop and go back. As l was about to turn around that was when l saw my fellow competitors coming towards me. 

Since not feeling well, l had to take a quick rest in each lane before proceeding.   Honestly, that wasn't a good performance.  I knew l was slower.  And breathing (because of my cough) was kind much of an effort.  It was not for the win, but to just finish.  Besides, l didn't want to disappoint my friends who came all the way to Marikina just to watch me (and take note ... on a Sunday morning). Adult aquathletes were expected to complete the 600-meter distance by swimming the eight lanes thrice. 

Transition time happened quickly.  Running a 5-kilometer distance came next.  Again, just like in the swim leg, l was slower.  I just maintained a comfortable pace since my thighs were still sore from the speed workouts with my running coach two nights before the race. In the run leg, where each loop measures 2.5 kilometers, all of us had to complete the loop twice.  With just a few meters to go ... at the last road bend/corner, a runner whizzed past me. I thought, "Oh well."  "Why do l have to be sick on race day?" "... Of all days!" Then FINISH LINE. 

Since l didn't plan to stay longer,  l looked for Bave to thank and bid her goodbye.  To my surprise she asked me not to go yet.  She quickly checked the time record in the computer and came back smiling. It turned out, l won third place in my Wave. "Wow!" Didn't expect it. A second podium in aquathlon.  "Really?" What a comeback. Couldn't be more happier! 

Thank you F.O.M. choirmates, RJ, April, and Doinks for the support and cheers; Ivy M. aka Running Contessa for facilitating access to the swimming pool for my swim training; to my other friends who wished me well, thank you; and, Bave for patiently answering my queries. Congratulations to all participants and finishers of the 2nd Leg of the Splash 'n Dash Aquathlon 2014!  Kudos to the organizers, volunteers,  marshals, aid station personnel, and sponsors for a job well done! 

Until next time!

Related Blog Posts:

Ateneo Aquathlon 2010 

SNN Report

01 August 2014

38th National MILO® Marathon Finisher

27 July 2014 — Joining the MILO® marathon this year was not part of my game plan.  But I guess fate intervened when I suddenly found myself invited during the event launch and signed up for the full distance. Later that day, I got to thinking how I would tackle the full distance within the six-hour cut-off timeframe considering there wasn’t enough time to train (and I mean to REALLY train) for it.  Running a full distance (even for experienced runners like me) may seem like a scary prospect, especially if you feel your preparation wasn’t enough.

Double time training since race is fast approaching so I had been running more even on days when it rains.  When race weekend came, I made sure I get a good sleep Friday night for I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep the night before the race.  Then early Saturday morning, I went out for an easy 1.5K swim.  When night came, I found myself just tossing and turning on my bed waiting for the alarm clock to go off at 2 AM.  

I arrived at the race venue with enough time to check-in my stuff at the baggage deposit area then proceeded right away to the starting line.  Walking steadily not too far from the starting line, I bumped into two ultra running friends, Chito and Mel.  I couldn’t help but notice there was quite a good number of marathon runners.  

I ran with Mel and Chito during the initial stage of the race and eventually had to slow down upon reaching Roxas Boulevard at the corner of Buendia Street, the way to the last turnaround point, and then a final stretch to the finish line.  On my way back, I bumped into another ultra runner friend, Chips, and some running coaches.  Thrice I had leg cramps, but glad it just went away.  Finally, I finished my 8th marathon after a two-year hiatus!  I think I did pretty well.  Shaved a lot of time off from my last full marathon.  Still have yet to beat my best marathon time though.  Let’s see…

Two thumbs up to the race organizers (Runrio, MILO® Team, AIMS, IAAF, volunteers, staff, and sponsors), on this one! 

Congratulations  MILO® on your 50th year anniversary and for the successful staging of the marathon!  Good to be part of your history!

Congratulations to all finishers and winners of the 38th National MILO® Marathon!  
Thank you MILO® PR Team for the support and for having me in this event.  

Super duper thanks to my running coach, Coach John Lozada for your patience to train me.  

Many thanks to Fabulous Running Divas Rikki S. aka Cheapanggang Diva for the cheer at the finish line and to Blue Z. for your cheer during the race.  

Thank you also to Pepsi (Girley) and her BPI Runners Club Teammates, Lochie, Paulo, Benjamin, Jim, Ramon, and Filson for having me during their post race breakfast.  

Many thanks, too, to all photographers/photography groups — Tara Trip Tayo, AV Photography-AAquino, Running Photographers, Photo-Ops, Aquizzed Snaps Photography, Reggie C., Philipbf Photos, and KB Runner.

For those who I failed to mention here, thanks for all your support.

Until next time! 

29 July 2014

White Flower Kaya Natin 'to Pilipinas Updates

Rainy Day Promo!  21K registration fee reduction from P1000 to P900. At the same time, 21K participants will be given a finisher's medal and shirt. See poster for details!

Finisher's Shirt (Front Design)

Finisher's shirt (Back Design)

Finisher's Medal


28 July 2014

Myra Holistic Skin Care Campaign


Facial creams and lotions are not enough to keep your skin look beautiful. Recent studies show that the secret to healthy, young-looking, and glowing skin has to start from within.

To have that inner glow, one has to complement creams and lotions with a healthy lifestyle and way of life. When thinking of beautiful skin, remember this formula:

Creams and lotions + healthy lifestyle + healthy cells = Healthy, youthful-looking, and glowing skin

To better illustrate this, below is a checklist to guide you whether you’re taking care of your skin or not: 

SLEEP.  The body goes into repair mode when we sleep or rest.  A quality sleep helps our skin to regenerate.  It also relaxes the muscles.  If you feel like you’re not getting enough rest, one possible culprit is that your alarm is rousing you in the middle of your deep slumber. To make mornings less of a drag, or if you’re only catching a few hours of shut-eye, try setting a wake-up alarm that’s a multiple of 90 minutes. This is the length of the average sleep cycle, so you’re sure to wake up to a beautiful morning.

EXERCISE.  A good workout is great for your heart, lungs, and mental alertness.  Regular exercise is one of the keys to having a healthy skin. By increasing blood flow, exercise helps nourish skin cells and keeps them vital. It also removes waste products, including free radicals, from working cells. Think of it as a cleanser for your skin, but from the inside.

HYDRATE.  Healthy skin is well-hydrated skin. If you want your complexion to glow, you need to drink enough water every day.  Want to add a little flavor? Toss in a lemon wedge or a splash of fruit juice—it’s a great substitute for sugary sodas or iced teas.

EAT WELL.  What we eat matters so plan your meal every day, so you don’t end up going for unhealthy options.

TAKE VITAMIN E. This is where the heart of Holistic Skin Care is. As you go about your usual work day, you get exposed to bad and uncontrollable free radicals that damage your cells. The results: dull, tired-looking skin, dry, and aging. Help your skin bounce back by adding a daily dose of Vitamin E to your diet. Since this vitamin isn’t produced by the body, taking a vitamin supplement like Myra E can help. It’s rich in anti-oxidants to help your skin protected which will result to having a beautiful, glowing and younger-looking skin through the years.

For more information, please contact: 

Rhinna Cua
Assistant Product Manager, Myra

Support Myra Holistic Skin Care Campaign by following it on Twitter, MyraHolistic or Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/MYRAPhilippines or using IG: MyraHolistic and hashtags #tuloyangganda #MyraHolistic 

20 July 2014

MILO® Celebrates 50 Years as a Brand and the 38th National Marathon

MILO Celebrates 50 Years as a Brand and the 38th National Marathon ...

      To Build a Nation of Champions, 
              One Child, One Sport at a Time.

In 1974, the brand's first ever sports event-the MILO® Marathon was launched.  With only 747 runners from a single race, it's now a year-round, nationwide, multi-race event with over 200, 000 participants.  

On July 27, Sunday, the MILO® brand will celebrate the 38th National Marathon.  It has grown into a globally renowned running event having certified by the Association of International Marathons (AIMS) and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), and hosts foreign marathoners from Kenya, Ethiopia, and other countries across the globe.  The race is organized by Runrio, lnc.

From a Greek Character

The name MILO® was coined after the Greek character Milo who was known for his extraordinary strength.  Inspired by its namesake, the brand MILO® uses its energy to strengthen Filipinos through sports (1964).

1980s witnessed the rise of the MILO® Sports Clinics which propelled many sports development programs including its life-long commitment on Building Champions.

A 'MILO® a Day' and 'Growing Up with MILO® ' jingles became household hits in the 1990s. It was also at this time that the B-vitamins was launched.

In 2004 (40 years), the highlight of the celebration was the campaign that featured sports legends led by Lydia De Vega passing on the torch to upcoming champions.

Be part of its history!  See you at the starting line!

19 July 2014

Press Release: [Former US] President Bill Clinton Delivers Keynote Address at Skechers Global Conference

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. – President Bill Clinton delivered the keynote address at the annual Global Conference for SKECHERS USA, Inc. (NYSE:SKX), which was recently called “the hottest major (footwear) brand in the U.S. by Princeton Retail Analysis*.

At the event held in Redondo Beach, CA on June 26, 2014, President Clinton spoke to 1,500 SKECHERS executives, team members and international partners about the importance of working together toward common goals for the sake of shared prosperity in the world. Using the successes of the Clinton Foundation in the context of ever-changing political and social challenges as his case-study, President Clinton said, “Within America, all over the world, people who believe in win-win scenarios, who really are trying to build networks of creative cooperation are making good things happen.”

At the conclusion of his remarks, President Clinton sat down for an on-stage interview with Michael Greenberg, president of SKECHERS, where they discussed importance of strong leadership, communication, service and social media within the global marketplace. After the event, Greenberg noted: “It was an incredible honor to sit down for a conversation with President Clinton this afternoon. His perseverance and commitment to action through the Clinton Foundation and beyond is an inspiration to all. The theme of the SKECHERS Global Conference this year was Innovate to Elevate and the President’s message about institutionalizing constant change in a positive way speaks strongly to our company, our culture and everyone who has helped make SKECHERS a success story around the world.” 

[Former US] President Bill Clinton and the president of Skechers Michael Greenberg
Adding to the motivational themes of the day, the conference also featured an appearance by elite runner Meb Keflezighi, who was wearing Skechers GOmeb Speed 3 shoes when he became the first American male in over three decades to win the Boston Marathon.  *Matt Powell, April 2014 Footwear Overview 


SKECHERS USA, Inc. (NYSE:SKX), based in Manhattan Beach, California, designs, develops and markets a diverse range of lifestyle footwear for men, women and children, as well as performance footwear for men and women. SKECHERS footwear is available in the United States via department and specialty stores, Company-owned SKECHERS retail stores and its e-commerce website, and in over 100 countries and territories through the Company’s international network of subsidiaries in Canada, Brazil, Chile, Japan, and across Europe, as well as through joint ventures in Asia and distributors around the world. For more information, please visit skechers.com, and follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/SKECHERS) and Twitter (twitter.com/SKECHERSUSA).

14 July 2014

Takbo.ph Runfest 2014 Race Report

(Photo courtesy of I Love To Do This)
13 July 2014 — When I looked at my mobile phone clock it said it was 3:24 AM and I have a race at 4 AM. Failed to set the alarm.  Yikes!  Luckily, I had everything readied the night before.  That was the quickest dress changing ever done by me! Whew!

I arrived at the race venue with just 10 minutes to spare. From afar I could see the start arch where frontrunners have congregated.  I was finding people I knew who were running but couldn’t see any familiar faces except the ones on stage.  A lady marshal approached and instructed me to have my bib checked.  When all of a sudden, I heard my name being called.  It was Jez D., my choirmate.  Beside her is another familiar face, that of Ferdie from the earlier batch of Takbo.ph runners whom I’ve met years before.  Didn’t even know they knew each other.  What a surprise!

My goal for this race is “to run by feel” since I intentionally didn’t wear my Garmin watch. Then the countdown begins… 

I have run this race route quite a number of times already.  More or less, it was familiar.  A much preferred route actually.  After the first turnaround point along Buendia near the South Superhighway, a runner said to me, “I think I know you.”  It was Patrick Concepcion aka Running  Shield or PatCon to us, Happy Feet.   We’ve known each other from the forum site called Impromptu Runners way back in 2007. Suddenly, I found myself running with PatCon.  Unbelievable! Running Shield is a fast runner.  No way could I run with him. Yet here I am, running with him.  And we conversed.  Epic!  Thank you Running Shield for the opportunity.  Eventually, I had to slow down a bit and let him go ahead.  We saw each other again along Lawton Avenue near McKinley Road, did a high five and cheered. Him done with the second turnaround point. And me, still on my way there.  

Impromptu pacing with Tagumpay Bros/Triabetics Reggie S.
(Photo courtesy of Flat Ironman)
With a few remaining kilometers, approximately 7 KMs to go…it was here that I chance upon again with another founding Takbo.ph forum members and now an accomplished sports person himself, Reggie or Rej to his teammates. It was just a spur-of-the-moment decision to run/pace together.  Rej is an ultra distance runner. He finished the Bataan Death March 160 (BDM) ultramarathon recently and is also into multisport events. I had the chance to run with him in past races and LSDs (long slow distance) especially during training runs prior to my Bataan Death March 102 ultramarathon race in 2011.  

We attacked the remaining kilometers by combining power walk and running, and targeted each hydration station as a good break or rest.  The last kilometer where the new overpass to C5 northbound from Bonifacio Global City, we tackled it by walking the uphill, stopping at the last water station, and running all the way to the finish line. Just a few meters ahead, we bumped into another Team Boring ultra runner, Doc Topher on his bike, who exchanged jokes with us and was kind enough to hand us a bottle of energy drink which we gently declined.  The finish line is not too far, anyway. Then there it was, the Finish Line right before our eyes.  Done!  What a great half-marathon running! 

A personal congratulations to Jinoe and Queenie Gavan of Takbo.ph, and the rest of the crew of the Leadpack Team for organizing such a good race yesterday.  It was my first time to run the new overpass to C5 and to me, a best feature of the race. Two thumbs up! There was no problem with hydration, bananas are a plenty, energetic cheerers and volunteer marshals.  I had a blast!  One of my favorite organized races I have done so far.  

Until next time!

Corregidor Full and Half Marathon Advance Registration Until 20 Aug. 2014

08 July 2014

38th National MILO Marathon 2014 Factsheet


Registration Details

Interested participants are required to pay a non-refundable entry fee plus one (1) MILO® 300g empty pack alongside the accomplished and signed official registration form. 

Registration may be accomplished online or by downloading the registration form for submission to the area race organizer.

Entry fees for Provincial Races
Entry fees for Metro Manila Races
21K Half Marathon Elimination Race
P 630
42.195K Elimination Race
P 730
10K Run
P 530
21K Half Marathon Race
P 630
5K Fun Run (Adults)
P 110
10K Run
P 530
3K Kiddie Run & 5K Fun Run (Students)
P 80
5K Fun Run (Adults)
P 110
3K Kiddie Run & 5K Fun Run (Students)
P 80

P10 from the registration fee will be donated to the HELP GIVE SHOES advocacy.

NOTE: Registration is on a first come, first served basis.  Participants should wear their MILO® Marathon singlets and race numbers during the race or they will not be allowed to run.

Participants must be 18 years and above on the race day to participate in the Full Marathon (42.195K) and Half Marathon (21K). Each will have to secure an official ‘Fit-To-Run’ medical certificate signed by a licensed physician within 2 months before race day.

Participants must be 16 years and above on the race day to participate in the 10K race.

Participants must be 7 years and above on the race day to participate in the 5K Fun Run.

Participants must be 7 to 12 years old on race day to participate in the 3K Kiddie Run. They are required to have their entry forms signed by a parent/guardian and must submit a photocopy of their NSO birth certificate or current school ID.

Participants below the age of 18 must seek their parental/guardian consent and fill up the entry form where the parent/guardian is required to sign.
Schedule of races is as follows:

Jun 29
Jul 6
Jul 13
Jul 20
Manila Eliminations
Jul 27
Aug 24
Aug 31
Puerto Princesa
Sep 7
Sep 14
Sep 21
Sep 28
Oct 5
Oct 12
Oct 19
Cagayan De Oro
Nov 9
Gen. Santos
Nov 16
Nov 23
Manila Finals
Dec 7

Only local participants (Filipinos and foreigners with working visa) can join and win in the 42.195K and 21K elimination races. Overseas participants may join and compete in the 42.195K and 21K National Finals for as long as they fulfill the requirements (To qualify, overseas runners must provide proof of finish in any AIMS/IAAF accredited races dating back at least one (1) year before race day or they mayqualify in the Manila elimination race. They must have a finish time within the specified age-bracket and time identified in items 18 (for 21K) & 19 (for 42.195K).

Start time per category is as follows:
42K (Manila only) 3:00 AM
21K 4:30 AM
10K 5:00 AM
3K 5:30 AM
5K 5:35 AM

Participants may claim their official race packets (containing the race number with timing chip attached, safety pins, and route map) upon complete registration. Race numbers are non-transferable.

About MILO
The MILO brand is the world’s leading chocolate malt beverage that can be prepared with hot or cold milk or water. MILO also promotes participation in sports through its Summer Sports Clinics, MILO-B.E.S.T. Center Training Program, MILO Marathon, and MILO Little Olympics. The leading beverage brand believes that these contribute to the holistic development of Filipino champions in sports and in life. 2014 marks MILO’s 50th year in the country.

About the National MILO Marathon
The National MILO Marathon is an annual marathon event open to amateur and professional runners. From its humble beginnings in 1974 as a single marathon race in Metro Manila attended by 747 participants, the National MILO Marathon has grown to be the biggest, longest, grandest national running event in the country attracting more than hundreds of thousands of runners across the country. The race is organized by RunRio, Inc.

3K Kiddie Run
Boy’s and Girl’s Divisions:
Champion: P1,500 + Trophy
Runner-up: P1,000 + Trophy
3rd Place: P500 + Trophy
4th Place: P250+Medal
5th–10th Place: P150+Medal

5K Fun Run
Men’s & Women’s Divisions:
Champion: P2,500 + Trophy
Runner-up: P1,500 + Trophy
3rd Place: P1,000 + Trophy
4th Place: P500+Medal
5th–10th Place: P250+Medal

10K Run
Men’s & Women’s Divisions:
Champion: P5,000 + Trophy
Runner-up: P3,000 + Trophy
3rd Place: P2,000 + Trophy
4th Place: P1,000+Medal
5th–10th Place: P500+Medal

21K Run (Eliminations)
Men’s & Women’s Divisions:
Champion: P10,000 + Trophy
Runner-up: P6,000 + Trophy
3rd Place: P4,000 + Trophy
4th Place: P2,000 + Medal
5th-10th Place: P1,000 + Medal

21K Run (National Finals)
Open Category
Men’s & Women’s Divisions:
Champion: P15,000 + Trophy
Runner-up: P12,000 + Trophy
3rd Place: P10,000 + Trophy

Local Category
Men’s & Women’s Divisions:
Champion: P8,000 + Trophy
Runner-up: P6,000 + Trophy
3rd Place: P4,000 + Trophy
4th Place: P2,000+ Medal
5th–10th Place: P1,000+ Medal

Note: All 21K finishers within the cutoff time will receive a medal and loot bag.

42.195K Metro Manila Elimination Race

Men’s & Women’s Divisions:
Champion: P50,000 + Trophy
Runner-up: P30,000 + Trophy
3rd Place: P20,000 + Trophy
4th Place: P10,000+ Medal
5th–10th Place: P5,000+Medal

42.195K National Finals

Open Category
Men’s & Women’s Divisions:
Champion: P300,000 + Trophy
Runner-up: P250,000 + Trophy
3rd Place: P200,000 + Trophy

Local Category
Men’s & Women’s Divisions:
Champion: P150,000 + Trophy 4th Place: P30,000+Medal
Runner-up: P100,000 + Trophy 5th–10th Place: P10,000+Medal
3rd Place: P75,000 + Trophy

Additional Notes: Fastest Filipino 42.195K winners (male & female) will be dubbed as the 2014 MILO® Marathon King and Queen respectively and will be given the opportunity to compete in an international race outside the country. All expenses will be shouldered by MILO.

About Help Give Shoes Advocacy
The National MILO® Marathon is the biggest running event in the country, with an immense popularity that has attracted runners from all age groups to participate, including children.  However, a lot of driven young runners don’t have shoes.  Imagine seeing a little boy run kilometer after kilometer of rough cement barefooted.  This moving scene inspired MILO® to make this year’s run more meaningful, by giving out running shoes to deserving public school children. 

The root of this advocacy lies in MILO®’s belief that they are not just providing children with running shoes, but are giving them something that they can wear to school, for sports and other activities.  It’s definitely a step to help them reach their true potential and be the best that they can be. In 2010, the National MILO® Marathon provided 4,200 running shoes to public school children nationwide with the “Help Give Shoes” advocacy. Since its conception, MILO has donated a total of 34,200 pairs of shoes across the country.

The running event continues the advocacy with an aim to donate 160 pairs of running shoes to 100 students in 100 schools in select Typhoon Yolanda-hit cities —amounting to 16,000 more pairs of shoes and dreams fulfilled. In the same way that Nestle has been a part of Filipinos lives throughout generations, the National MILO Marathon invites Filipinos to be part of the cause to help make the shoe-less child today a champion tomorrow.

Php 10 from every registration fee will be allotted to the advocacy. MILO will then match the proceeds and work with the Department of Education to select 16,000 public school student beneficiaries in Tacloban, Ormoc, and Eastern Samar cities. MILO aims to reach its 50,000 advocacy mark by the end of the 38th marathon season.

For more information on the National MILO® Marathon beneficiaries and to get an up-to-date count of shoes donated, log on to www.milo.com.ph.

About the 38th National MILO Marathon Side Events

Biggest Company Delegation Competition
To join, companies must submit their entry forms at the same time. Employees must indicate the name of their company on the entry form and submit a photocopy of their company ID (front and back). To qualify, a minimum of 10 employees must finish the race. Top three companies in each area with the most number of employees finishing the 5K and 10K Run will win the awards. In case of a tie, the winning company will be determined according to the best time recorded.

First Prize: P 10,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque
Second Prize: P 7,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque
Third Prize: P 5,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque

Inter-Company Running Competition
To join, company teams must have at least 10 employees competing in the 10K Fun Run. They must submit their entry forms at the same time. Winners will be determined through the average/aggregate time of the team’s first 10 finishers.

First Prize: P 10,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque
Second Prize: P 7,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque
Third Prize: P 5,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque

Biggest Club Delegation Competition
To join, running clubs must submit their entry forms at the same time. Club members must indicate the name of their club on the entry form and submit a photocopy of their company ID (front and back). To qualify, a minimum of 10 members must finish the race. Top three running clubs in each area with the most number of members finishing the 5K and 10K Run will win the awards. In case of a tie, the winning running club will be determined according to the best time recorded.

First Prize: P 10,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque
Second Prize: P 7,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque
Third Prize: P 5,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque

Inter-Club Running Competition
To join, running clubs must have at least 10 members competing in the 10K Fun Run. They must submit their entry forms at the same time. Winners will be determined through the average/aggregate time of the team’s first 10 finishers.

First Prize: P 10,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque
Second Prize: P 7,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque
Third Prize: P 5,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque

Biggest School Delegation Competition
To join, schools must submit their entry forms at the same time. Students must indicate the name of their school on the entry form and submit a photocopy of their school ID for the current school year (front and back). To qualify, a minimum of 50 students must finish the race. Top three schools in each area with the most number of students finishing the 5-K Fun Run and the 3-K Kiddie Run will win the awards. In case of a tie, the winning school will be determined according to the best time recorded.
First Prize: P 10,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque
Second Prize: P 7,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque
Third Prize: P 5,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque

Inter-school Running Competition
To join, school teams must have at least 25 student runners competing in the 5K-Fun Run. They must submit their entry forms at the same time. The team may be composed of grade school, high school, and college runners. Winners will be determined through the average/aggregate time of the team’s first 25 finishers.
First Prize: P 10,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque
Second Prize: P 7,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque
Third Prize: P 5,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque

Cheer Leading Competition
There are three divisions: Grade School, High School, and College. Each division will have a separate set of winners who will receive cash prizes and plaques as follows:

First Prize: P 10,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque
Second Prize: P 7,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque
Third Prize: P 5,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque
Consolation: P 3,000 worth of sports equipment + plaque

About MILO R2
MILO R2 is a blend of PROTOMALT and cocoa formulated for active adults. PROTOMALT is a special malt extract made from malted barley grains found only in a MILO drink, which naturally provides energy. Its power-boosting content and nutrients brings a rich chocolate flavor that helps sustain body activity for a well-balanced lifestyle.

About the MILO-APEX Running Academy
With the aim of leading Filipinos to a healthier lifestyle, MILO has partnered with one of the country’s top athletic training programs, the APEX Running Clinic. Headed by locally renowned fitness coach Jim Saret, the MILO-APEX Running Academy brings elite training workouts and sports medicine based running principles for beginners, amateurs, and professional marathoners. Currently on its 8th season, the program offers various assessment sessions to guide runners into the world of athletics based on their physical condition and skill level.