Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sofitel Manila Half Marathon on August 17, 2014

The Sofitel Manila Half Marathon aims to be at par with other international marathons such as the Boston Marathon or Singapore Marathon. The greater aim of the event is to contribute to the upliftment of the lives of the street children of Manila through Virlanie Foundation, the beneficiary of the marathon. In 2013, Sofitel Philippine Plaza has raised over Php 1.5 million through the two runs organized, Sofitel Battle of the Sexes Leg 1 and 2 - a part of the proceeds had been used to purchase a van that was handed over to the foundation for their activities. This year, the target is to attract over 6,000 runners and better success in terms of fund raising. Since 2007, the hotel has launched several projects to help raise funds to support the foundation’s benevolent activities in order to reach out to the children and families living in the poorest areas of Metro Manila.

What: Sofitel Manila Half Marathon
When: August 17, 2014 (Sunday)
Where: SM Mall of Asia
Race categories: 5km, 10km and 21km
Race owner:  Runrio Inc.
Title sponsor: Sofitel Philippine Plaza
Race Beneficiary: Virlanie Foundation
Target registration: 6,000 runners

- 21km at 4:30AM
- 10km at 5:00AM
- 5km at 5:10AM

Sofitel Manila Half Marathon Registration Fees and Inclusions
Online Registration (June 27 to August 1, 2014)
- www.runrio.com

In-Store Registration (July 14 to August 4, 2014)
- Move, 30th Street, BGC
- Toby’s SM Mall of Asia
- Toby’s The Block

- Registration may end earlier than announced deadline. Kindly check online at www.runrio.com
- A Valid ID must be presented upon registration. For group registration, a photocopy of any valid ID must be presented by the representative
- Singlet size availability will be on a first come first serve basis
- A timing device will be used by all participants during the race

- Bib with timing tag
- Singlet
Sofitel Manila Half Marathon Singlet Design
Sofitel Manila Half Marathon 21km Finisher Medal
Sofitel Manila Half Marathon 21km Finisher Shirt

*** Press Release ***
Sofitel Philippine Plaza to revive the Sofitel Manila Half Marathon 

Manila, June 3, 2014 - Sofitel Philippine Plaza announces the revival of the Sofitel Manila Half Marathon, last staged in 2008. The Sofitel Manila Half Marathon 2014 will feature 5k, 10k and 21k categories, and will be held at the Mall of Asia grounds.  Cash prizes and luxury prizes from Sofitel are at stake for the top three male and female winners of category.

“The Sofitel Manila Half Marathon aims to be at par with other international marathons such as the Boston Marathon or Singapore Marathon.  Aside from this, the greater aim of the event is to contribute to the upliftment of the lives of the street children of Manila through Virlanie Foundation, the beneficiary of the marathon.  In the last year, we have raised over Php 1. 5 million through the two runs we have organized – a part of the proceeds had been used to purchase a van that was handed over to the foundation for their activities. This year we are targeting to have over 6,000 runners and for better success in terms of fund raising. ” says Sofitel Philippine Plaza General Manager Adam Laker.

The Sofitel Manila Half Marathon is a collaboration between the Sofitel Philippine Plaza and the premier running event organizer in the country, Runrio, led by Coach Rio de la Cruz.  “By organizing the Sofitel Manila Half Marathon, we hope to one day become one of the world's most popular running event attracting both amateur and professional runners from all over the world to compete in Manila.  This marathon is dedicated to the children of Virlanie Foundation with the objective of contributing to a better future for the children of Manila.” says Coach Rio de la Cruz.

The marathon takes the runners through a panoramic view of the Manila Bay while running with the cool breeze of the bay.  Sofitel Manila Half Marathon 2014 follows the two highly successful running events brought about by the Sofitel-Runrio partnership in 2013: The Sofitel Runrio Battle of the Sexes Leg 1 and 2.  Just like the two Battle of the Sexes events, the Manila Half Marathon shall be a green race.  Runners are highly encouraged to bring their own water bottles for refilling at hydration stations, instead of using paper and plastic cups.  

Online registration, selling of prepaid cards, and instore registration shall start this June 27 at Toby’s MOA, Toby’s SM North The Block and Move, 30th Street BGC. Complete race information can be found on www.runrio.com

Registration fees are as follows: P750 for the 5k, P850 for the 10k, and P950 for the 21k.  All runners shall receive a race bib, singlet, and finishers lootbag and drinks.  The 21km category shall also receive a finishers medal and finishers shirt.

This event is co-presented by Gatorade and sponsored by the following: Gold’s Gym, DOCOMO, StarXpo, DOLE, Delsan Office Systems,Canon Fashion Tailoring,10 Inch Lights and sounds, Dowi Hosiery, Delizio Fine Foods, Diversey, MJ Global, M Plus, Timex, Premier water and Nizoral. Media partners include ANC, Business World, Fox International Channels, Manila Bulletin, Philippine Daily Inquirer and Radio High. 

For more information, please call 02-703-1736 or 02-463-4814 or email feedback@runrio.com

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Alaska Milk's Lastimosa Joins Jr. NBA Camp in Vietnam

*** Press Release ***
Alaska Milk's Lastimosa Joins Jr. NBA Camp in Vietnam

Alaska Milk Power Camp Director and Philippine basketball legend Jojo Lastimosa joins the National Training Camp of the Jr. NBA Presented by Dutch Lady Vietnam to be held July 13 to 15 at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Dutch Lady and Alaska Milk Corporation are both under the FrieslandCampina family.

Lastimosa will be the lead assistant coach of basketball operations specialist for NBA Asia Chris Sumner who will run the camp.

"It’s a great opportunity for me to be able to share my knowledge of the game once again not only with my countrymen but now outside of Manila. I'm not only representing Alaska Milk, I'm also representing the Philippines. I'm aware that we have Filipino players playing for Vietnam but being able to teach there firsthand is awesome," said Lastimosa.

"My role in Vietnam will be the same as in the Jr. NBA in the Philippines. I will help organize the camp and teach the local coaches on the skill stations. The objective is the same in all Jr. NBA camps: to find the best 10-14 year old players. But the most important part really is making the Vietnamese aware of how beautiful this game of basketball is," said Lastimosa.

The NBA’s international youth development program aims to promote participation in the sport of basketball, improve child fitness and teach the public the importance of proper nutrition especially of drinking milk.

Here in the Philippines, Alaska continues their partnership with Jr. NBA to help young boys, and girls, become better individuals and encourage them to embrace a healthy lifestyle by engaging regularly in sports activities and through proper nutrition. Under-nutrition also remains to be a public health concern affecting nearly three out 10 children.   Alaska recognizes the need of Filipino children for proper nutrition.  According to the 7th National Nutrition Survey done by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute and the Department of Health, obesity is increasing with nearly two out 10 children considered as overweight. Through the program, Alaska leads in promoting a healthy lifestyle, especially among children, through regular sports activities and proper nutrition through its leading brands, Alaska Powdered Milk Drink and Alaska Chocolate Powdered Milk Drink.

In the camp held in the Philippines Lastimosa drew from his personal experience as a former national basketball player and professional to teach the participants how to become not just the best basketball player but the best person that they could be.

The basketball clinics in Vietnam have already selected the top 40 boys and 24 girls, aged 10 to 14, who will participate in the National Training Camp. The camp will be attended by Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk who will teach the game in the NBA Cares community outreach. The camp covers a three-day intensive training schedule and will culminate in the selection of 14 boys and girls who will be named as the inaugural 2014 Jr. NBA Presented by Dutch Lady Vietnam All-Stars.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

RACE REPORT: RU2 Exceeds Expectations

Each year, experienced runners and newbies alike are anticipating the Run United Trilogy. Last June 1, Unilab Active Health held the second leg and surprised everyone with lots of exciting changes to the race. As we runners exceeded ourselves, the organizers exceeded our expectations as well.

Listening to the clamor brought about by the registration issues from leg 1, the organizers simplified leg 2's registration, removing the race kit claiming event, and returning the option for online registration and race kit delivery, much to runners' delight. I was one of the early bird registrants, doing it online, and recommending that option to all my fellow runner friends as well. I got my race kit delivered to my doorstep, hassle-free.

Another surprise announcement (and a welcome one at that) was the release of the race maps for leg 2. First time the race start will be at Kilometer Zero at Luneta! Gone is the point A to point B race from the past years (starting at BGC and ending at SM Mall of Asia). Now, the race starts at KM0 and ends at KM0, with a route traversing Roxas Boulevard to Coastal Road all the way to Cavitex! Now that's one straight route with just one turn at the Cavitex entrance and one U-turn at Cavitex. It was such a fresh and exciting route!

The Run United 2 2014 32k Race Map
In order to relax and prevent the stress of looking for a parking space at Luneta on race day, I booked a hotel room at the nearby H2O Hotel at Ocean Park, walking distance away from KM0. I loved the view from my hotel room!
Great view from my H2O Hotel room
Race day came, and our meet-up area is near the Tamaraw statue at KM0. Gun start is at 3am so we were there an hour before.

From L-R: Cholo, Wyatt, me, JP, Ryan, Rolly
Some of my Team Banana teammates were late, so we failed to have a group photo donning our Nike tops. When the announcement was made that we could go to the assembly area, we went ahead as we didn't want to be placed too far back from the starting line.

The usual pre-race program commenced, which started with the national anthem, an opening prayer, a warm-up led by Chris Everingham, and the visuals for the race route and countdown. We had the entire four lanes of Roxas Boulevard the first few kilometers, which is a great strategy for runners to spread out and lessen runner congestion.

At the start of Coastal Road, I met Becky Runner, Ikasam and Kyle who were pacing each other. I mentioned my strategy of doing a constant 6 minute per kilometer pace, with a sub-3:20 target. They joined me for a few kilometers but then I lost them at one of the hydration stations as I was practicing doing quick stops only - pick a water cup, sip, walk a few seconds, then run again. As I ran and looked back, I couldn't see them following me, so I was back alone on my steady pace.

I was able to sustain my target pace, and on my way back, I had to walk it out on the two flyovers to reserve my energy. My strategy on being patient all throughout the course worked, as I had enough energy left to run even on the final kilometers (but I had a cramps attack at KM31 haha!). I finished with a chip time of 3 hours, 18 minutes and 49 seconds. Target achieved! (By the way, my time from 2013 RU2 32k is a miserable 4:16 so almost an hour improvement was a welcome one.)

Thanks to Lem of Pinoyfitness for this shot! Almost at the finish line!
Some race notes:
- Run United races never fail at hydration. As usual overflowing ice-cold water and Gatorade at evenly-spaced hydration stations.
- Lots of marshals and medics and visible ambulances along the route.
- I love the 32k race route and hope something similar will be in store for us this coming RUPM
- Medal quality consistency is way better than 2013's trilogy medals
- The finisher shirt rocks!
- I couldn't help but laugh when some runners blame the organizers for smoke belching vehicles or the foul stench at Coastal Road. I hope people understand that there are things beyond the organizer's control.

Of course, no RU2 race will be complete without the photo ops at the finish line area, as we waited for friends who are about to finish the race.

From L-R: Cholo, JP, Wyatt, me, JC
From L-R: Goldi, Becky, Bernie, Lurvin, me, Wyatt, Reyman, Archie, sleeping Sy and JP. Ikasam sitting down. 
From L-R: Paul, Jireh, Hazielle, me, Sy and Rolly
With officemate and triathlete Jhino and his girlfriend Giselle
From L-R: Syril, me, Ryan, Loyce, Rolly
Another plus? As soon as the race results were officially released two days after the race, it was in two batches - one according to gun time, and another according to chip time! Yay! It's one of the items I was looking for in RU1 and they have it now in RU2. Great job!

Top 7.7% - 217th out of 2794 32k finishers. Nice.
One more leg to cap-off this year's trilogy. I'm excited for RUPM! Thanks Unilab, Runrio and Unilab Active Health!

Friday, June 13, 2014

#NatGeoRun2014 - Marathon #8

I've always supported NatGeo races and believed in their advocacy. This year's edition is a special one as it is the first time the event introduced the marathon category. It was a very welcome change for runners looking for a 42k event, having been disappointed by the cancellation of this year's Condura Skyway run.

It was marathon #8 for me, and I was targeting at least a sub-5 on this race. I did my usual pre-race preps (massage, stretching and chiro) days before the race but for some reason, I think I overdid it. My body, instead of getting relaxed, became more tired coming into the race. I also regret having worn a race belt during the race, with the sole intention of it carrying my mobile phone for event photos. I was not used to running with this worn on my waist, and I could only sigh as it became heavier and heavier as the kilometers progressed.

At an early KM25, I walled. My left calf was screaming with pain as cramps attacked. It didn't help either that the 42k route is just a loop of the 21k route. And to top it off, the merge with the sea of 21k runners during the 2nd loop became a big headache. The roads of BGC just couldn't handle the sheer number of participants. (Of course it is a different story for faster runners who did not experience merging with the lower categories.)

My finish time? 5 hours, 4 minutes and 1 second. Another blah marathon performance. But I finished it injury-free so I still have something to be thankful for.

So some notes from the event:

  • I love the 12mn gun start for the marathon category. It was a hot and humid summer day but at least we avoided the sun.
  • Hydration was overflowing.
  • The finisher medal is simple and the design is ok. (My runner friend Wyatt's medal was detached from the lanyard by the way.)
  • I'm not a fan of route loops but the organizers made the most of what BGC can offer as part of the race map anyway so I'm not complaining.
  • The only improvement item for me - the finisher shirt. This is the first time I received a finisher shirt that had 21k|42k both printed on it. It was soooo generic, it doesn't even make the marathon finishers feel special.
And now to some photos to remember the race by:

The "Mamaws" (photo courtesy of JP)
Me and Boki Wyatt
With Cholo, Wy and Rolly
With Ryan and Hazielle (who paced and finished together until finish line) and Rolly
Breakfast at Yellow Cab. Nice meeting you Nik! And thanks, Hazielle for the pizza treat!
Hope NatGeo offers the 42km category on their 2015 race! Great job to NatGeo and Event King!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

2nd Alaska World Milk Day: Bigger, Better and Healthier!

Last June 1, 2014, the country celebrated Alaska World Milk Day for the second time at the Bonifacio Global City. The celebration was definitely bigger and better than last year, with more than 3,500 participants in the fun run and raised the same number of milk products for the feeding program of Children’s Hour. The Alaska World Milk Day celebration is part of Alaska’s continuing advocacy toward health and nutrition, particularly its Nutrition. Action. Champion campaign. For more information, log on to www.alaskaworldmilkday.com, like www.facebook.com/WorldMilkDayPH or follow us on Twitter @ALASKAsportshub.

Chang siblings spread positivity at Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon

Austin Chang and sister, Athena Chang hold hands as they cheerfully raced with more than 132 kids at the Alaska IronKids Aquathlon event last May 25, at the Club Manila East, Taytay Rizal. The Alaska IronKids sports program has become a platform for the Chang siblings to bond by racing together and supporting each other whether they win or lose. It helps instill the values of Determination, Hard Work, Teamwork, Discipline, and Sportsmanship in children and this is what real champions are made of. Join the Alaska IronKids program now and become a real-life champion! Just log on to www.ironkidsphil.com or at www.alaskamilk.com for more details.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: 38th National MILO Marathon MANILA Elims Registration Schedule

Here is an important announcement from MILO and RunRio, Inc.:

Dear runners,

The National MILO Marathon Team is getting ready for the opening of onsite registration for the Manila Eliminations Leg. For everyone’s convenience and for us to provide better service, please note of the following adjustments on registration opening schedules:

1. Low distance categories 3km and 5km registration will open in all partner stores on Monday, June 9, 2014
2. Long distance categories 10km, 21km and 42km registration will open on Thursday, June 12, 2014, also in all partner stores.

These schedule adjustments were made to allow us to properly manage the surge of people coming in to register by opening day and more importantly, in consideration of everyone’s convenience.

Thank you very much for your unending support and we look forward to seeing you in this year’s 38th National MILO Marathon!

See you on the road!

Under Armour Flexes Muscles in the Philippines

*** Press Release ***
The brand’s latest expansion effort includes 
the opening of a retail store in Manila

MANILA, Philippines – Under Armour, the leading performance and innovation brand, has recently celebrated the expansion of its international footprint into the heart of the Philippines. The launch is highlighted by the introduction of a retail store that opened on Bonifacio High Street (BHS) at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Manila.

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony were star Piolo Pascual, of the upcoming show Team U, Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano, and representatives from Under Armour USA who passed along a few words through Charlie Maurath, President of Under Armour International. “We are leveraging our domestic momentum to build a long-term and impactful global presence,” said Maurath. “The Philippines is an important market for our brand. Athletes in Manila and the surrounding areas are passionate about sports and we’re dedicated to offering them innovative products that will give them an edge.”

The Under Armour flagship branch at BHS employs striking architectural and interior designs, underscoring the innovation and technology engineered into Under Armour’s performance footwear, apparel, and equipment. The store’s interiors with wood accents, cement floors, and bolts evoke an industrial and gym-like atmosphere to reflect the brand’s signature ethos of gritty determination, passion, and will.

The Hero Zone stands out in the store as it houses Under Armour’s Alter Ego line, which features Marvel and DC comics-inspired innerwear designs. The Footwear Zone also grabs a lot of attention with Under Armour’s innovative and attractive performance footwear on display.

Featured products from the Spring/Summer 2014 Collection of footwear, apparel, and equipment available immediately include Under Armour Speedform™ RC – the revolutionary running shoe that employs the world’s first seamless heel cup – and UA HeatGear Sonic, UA HeatGear Flyweight, Coldblack®, and Under Armour Compression from the apparel range.

In Southeast Asia, the brand is currently available at select retail stores in Singapore and additional expansion in the region is planned throughout 2014 and 2015.

Singapore-based Triple Pte. Ltd. is the exclusive distribution partner for Under Armour in Southeast Asia.