Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Skyathon Boracay Beach Run 2012

It's Skyathon's 3rd year! I was able to join the event on its first year amidst an ankle injury. On its 2nd year, I was out of the country on a business trip so I failed to redeem my abysmal performance. I've waited long enough and I think 2012 is my year to finally enjoy this annual beach run.

Imagine running on the white sands of Boracay...

WHAT: Skyathon Boracay Beach Run 2012
WHEN: April 21, 2012 (Saturday)
WHERE: Epic's Beachfront, Station 2, Boracay

GOLD'S GYM Glorietta
CHRIS SPORTS Glorietta 3 / Mall of Asia / SM Megamall / SM City North Annex
R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street (weekends only from 1pm to 8pm)

5k - 600 pesos
10k - 700 pesos
Couple's Relay (each member will run 5k at a time) - 1000 pesos

Online Registration available via their official website: http://skyathon.com

Skyathon Sounds of Sundown
April 20, 2012 (Friday) 3pm-7pm at the Epic Beachfront
Free massages and henna-inking

Skyathon Gold Rush
April 21, 2012 (Saturday) 10pm onwards at the Juice Bar
Party all night!

Event Poster

Skyathon 2012 Singlet Design

Race Map

PROMO: Register on or before March 15 and be qualified for the AMERICAN TOURISTER raffle!
Matteo Guidicelli running at Skyathon 2012:



Q: What is SKYATHON?
A: SKYATHON is a 5K and 10K running event that will be held in Boracay Island on April 21, 2012 (Saturday). It's on its 3rd year and is one of SKYCABLE's signature events. It's an eco-friendly race where Finishline's Green Chips will be used, and part of the registration fees will go to the clean-up programs of Boracay Foundation, Inc.

Q: Who can join SKYATHON?
A: Anyone is entitled to join. All they have to do is register.

Q: How much is the registration fee?
A: For 5K, it's Php 600. For 10k, it's Php 700. This year, we've decided to add another category – the couple's relay (romantic and platonic couples are all welcome). Two runners will team up and run 5K one at a time using the same Green Chip. Registration fee for the relay is Php 1,000.

Q: What does the race kit include?
A: All race kits will have a race bib and singlet. For the timing chip, participants who already have the MYLAPS Championship Green Chip (used at the Finishline-organized AXN Runs) can use that as their timing device. Non-owners may choose to buy their personal Green Chip with ankle strap at Php400 or rent a timing chip at Php250. All finishers will receive finishers' medals.

Q: How do I register?
A: You can register at R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street in Makati Saturdays and Sundays only, from February 4 to April 1, 2012. Online registration is also available on www.skyathon.com where you can also get great airfare and hotel packages at 0% installment.

Q: What do I need to bring at the registration site?
A: You will need to bring a valid ID, and cash to pay for the registration fee.

Q: Do I have to personally register, or can a friend register for me?
A: For interested participants who cannot personally register at the registration sites, they may download the entry form at www.skyathon.com, fill out and sign the waiver. They can have it delivered to the registration sites, together with the payment and photocopy of a valid ID.

Q: Will I get the race kit upon registration?
A: No. All race kits will be released on April 20, 2012 (Friday), the day before the race, at SKYCABLE's Sounds of Sundown event. It will be held at the beachfront of Epic at Station 2 of Boracay, and you can claim your race kit anytime from 3:00pm to 7:00pm.

Q: What are the sizes of the singlets available?
A: Singlets are available in 6 sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, and 2XL. These will be available until supplies last.

Q: What time is the actual race?
A: Gun start is at 6:00am. But we encourage you to be there for assembly time, which is 5:00am.

Q: Where is the assembly area?
A: Assembly and start and finish is at Epic's beachfront at Station 2 of Boracay. It's the beach fronting D'Mall.

Q: Can minors join the race?
A: Minors aged 17 and below can join the race. As long as their parent or legal guardian signs their waiver/release form.

Q: How many winners will be awarded?
A: For the individual categories, the top 3 male and female will be awarded. For relay, the top 3 pairs will be awarded.

Q: What are the prizes for winners?
A: Aside from winner's medals, cash prizes will be given to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners:
5K – Php 3,000, Php 2,000, Php 1,000 respectively
10K – Php 4,000, Php 3,000, Php 1,500 respectively
Couple's Relay – Php 6,000, Php 4,000, Php 2,000

Q: Will there be a baggage area?
A: Yes. But valuables and big items will not be accepted.

Q: What time will the event finish?
A: Event is expected to finish between 8:00 to 9:00 am.

Q: How many water stations will there be?
A: There will be three water stations along the route and another water station at the finish.


Happy Anniversary Team Alpha1!

Here's a collage I created and posted at the Team Alpha1 Facebook page. One year of great friendship! More years (and mileage) to come!Link

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Celebrating Loyalty at the Runrio Trilogy Awards Night

I've been lucky enough to be invited to one of the year's major "running" events. No, it's not a race; it's the annual Runrio Trilogy Awards Night held at Decagon Ortigas last February 20th. I'm attending as a blogger, though I wish I could have attended as a trilogy awardee (ran and finished the three Unilab Run United legs of 2011 - Leg 1 21k, Leg 2 21k and Leg 3 32k). I was able to run the latter two legs only since I was on business trip in France during Leg 1 March last year.

Arriving at the venue, we were greeted by fellow bloggers at the registration area and were then escorted by lovely ushers to our dinner table.

Spot me!

Fellow Team Alpha1 teammates later arrived (they were all awardees by the way; I was green with envy). It was such fun seeing people not wearing their usual running attire like we're used to seeing during race weekends.

The reason why I didn't enjoy dinner. LOL!

Me, Kathy and the TA1 awardees

After dinner, the program commenced. Everyone was greeted by the hosts - Boy "Running Host" Ramos, Anthony Suntay and Tricia Chiongbian.
Coach Rio of course had a few words on stage, congratulating everyone for their loyal support to the Runrio Trilogy last 2011. 2012 will only get bigger, as the demand for the long distance category of the Run United races increase. Decagon will most probably no longer fit the awardees next year.
Each awardee was then called on stage, with Coach Rio giving out the medal (and a photo-op with him as well). There were performances in between each batch of awardees - a dance number from All Stars, a cheerdance, a "light" dance, and a surprise performance from the Riovana boys.
The medal girls

Team Alpha1 awardees (from top left) - Jesy, Daves, Bryan, Marvin, Romp

Marvin got to go on stage twice! He also bagged the "Juvenile Awardee" for the being the youngest (and fastest) Afroman finisher. Nice!

I'd also like to say kudos to Banjo aka Ulikblog Runner for being awarded Blogger of the Year! Well-deserved!
Blogger of the Year! (photo courtesy of Running Atom)

Congratulations to all awardees! Next year, I'd get my hands on that loyalty medal!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Updates: Unilab Run United 1 2012 Gun Start, Shuttle, Baggage Buses

Here are some important announcements for March 4's RU1 race event. (Other event details can be found at this link.)

Updated assembly time and gun start (21k moved from the old 5am gun start to the new 4:30am start):
Free Shuttle Service:
Free shuttle services are provided for all 21k runners from MOA to BGC starting at 230am. This service will be available at 15 minute intervals until the last trip scheduled at 330am. After 3:30am, the next shuttle service to BGC will only be available starting 630am, at 15 minute intervals, with last trip scheduled at 930am. No shuttle services will be provided after 930am.

Designated pick-up point: OCEAN DRIVE (in between ECOM Bldg and Blk12) at Mall of Asia complex
Drop off point: In front of RIOVANA STORE in Fort - BGC
Runners are are recommended to plan their transportation in advance given these developments.

Baggage Buses:
21k runners may leave their bags at any of the two designated Baggage Buses parked along the 9th Avenue near the Gun Start area in Fort BGC from 2:30am until 5am only. After the race,you may claim your items from the same bus at OCEAN DRIVE (in between ECOM Bldg and Blk 12) at Mall of Asia. Participants are strongly advised not to leave any valuables in their bags. The race organizer and any of its sponsors will not be held liable for any loss or damage to your personal items.

Key points to remember:
Starting line at BGC across RIOVANA
Baggage buses: 230am to 5am
Assembly time 330am
Starting gun 430am
Cutoff of start 500am
Finish line at MOA
Shuttle services*:
MOA to BGC**:230am to 330am in time for the 430am starting gun
MOA to BGC**:600am to 930am
*all shuttle services are exclusive to 21K participants only
**in 15minute intervals

Registration Updates:
21k slots are sold-out! Lower distance categories are still available. Registration has been extended until March 2, 2012 (Friday).

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Runrio's FIC Run on March 25, 2012

Runrio and Fox International Channels (Fox, Star World, Star Movies and National Geographic Channel) are partnering up to bring another unique experience to runners.

WHEN: March 25, 2012 (Sunday)
WHERE: Bonifacio Global City
REGISTRATION PERIOD: February 22 to March 21, 2012
BGC - 9th Ave corner 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City - Mon-Thurs : 11am to 9pm; Fri-Sun : 10am to 10pm
KATIPUNAN – 3rd Floor Regis Center, Katipunan, QC (infront of Ateneo de Manila University) - Mon-Sun : 10am to 8pm
Athelete’s Foot
Robinsons Galleria - Mon-Sun, 12nn to 8pm
SM Mall of Asia - Mon-Sun, 12nn to 8pm

RACE SHIRTS FOR 3k (Blue), 5k (Purple) and 10k (Yellow)


Four Channels, Four Lifestyles, Four Races….
Choose One and Join Fox International Channels’
Fun Run On March 25, 2012

Fox International Channels (FIC) provides a bit of each TV channel’s flavor and a whole lot of fun in the FIC Fun Run on March 25, 2012 at the Bonifacio Global City. Participants can play dress up, hobnob with celebrities and support a worthy cause.

The event gives runners the opportunity to choose and participate in any of the four races organized by FIC featuring different lifestyle themes representing its four key channels. It will have four race categories that include an advocacy marathon aimed at raising funds to support the various projects of partner non-government organizations (NGOs).

Participants may register in the 500m Fox Costume Run, 3K Star Movies Blockbuster Run, 5K Star World Lifestyle and the 10K Nat Geo Run For a Cause. Those who are interested to join may register either via online or phone, at RunRio stores (BHS and Katipunan) and event partner stores. Participants may choose their singlet according to the channel and label they wish to run with.

Come dressed in your favorite character and run alongside fellow enthusiasts and sponsor mascots in the 500m Fox Costume Run. Fifty runners in costume will compete and make a dash for the finish line. Limited edition Fox DVD will be raffled off after the race.

Star Movies rolls out the red carpet for movie aficionados in the 3K Star Movies Lifestyle Run where writers, film producers and movie directors are expected to show their support to the event. For a bit of a movie trivia and a tad of inspiration, popular quotes from movie characters will be setup along the course. A home entertainment system is up for grabs in the raffle draw.

Run with panache – this is the battle cry of lovers of fashion and fitness when they run the 5K Star World Lifestyle Run featuring a red carpet along the route to mimic the paparazzi scene. Brush elbows with models, celebrities and other prominent personalities expected to show up in their running shoes. If you’re feeling lucky, you might just bring home gift certificates for a shopping spree at the end of the race.

Have fun while reaching out to others in the 10K National Geographic Run for a Cause. The race is in partnership with 10 select non-government organizations and seeks to raise awareness for their respective advocacies. Among the partner NGOs are Physicians for Peace, ICANSERVE Foundation, Virlanie, Greenpeace, Philippine Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, World Vision and Gawad Kalinga. The first 500 registrants will compete in the name of their advocacy.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Full Marathon #3: June 24, 2012

February 2, 2012 - 3 days before my Hong Kong full marathon, I already signed-up for the next one! Marathon #3 will be in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia! The Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2012 will happen on the 24th of June. My teammates from Team Alpha1 Bry (FFS) and Daves (Barefootdaves) have also registered for the 42.195k category.

Early bird registrant

Race Map
Elevation Guide

Race registration - CHECK!
Flight - BOOKED!
Hotel - BOOKED!

16-week training program starts on March 5. Target time: sub-4:30. Wish me luck! :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

I Raced (and Paced) for the Orphans!

Right after my full marathon at HK, I was feeling fed-up with running that I haven't even thought of doing a recovery run. When I attended the Unilab Run United 1 launch the following Saturday though, I invited the idea of running at the Race of the Orphans the following morning. It was a race organized by sir Rene (Jazz Runner), and fellow bloggers CJ (Run Adobo King) and Thirdy (with a new personal domain at thirdylopez.com!) will be running 10k. I was game to CJ and Thirdy's request for me to pace them in achieving a sub-1 10k.

Good thing there was an on-site registration, which was handled quickly and efficiently by the people manning the registration booth. The 600-peso registration fee I shelled-out was but a small contribution to this event's cause.

The gun start for the 10k runners was supposedly scheduled 5:45am but got a bit delayed due to the flag-raising ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo. At 5:55am, we were off.

At the starting line - Doc Minnie as race marshal for the win!

My legs were soooo heavy during the start of the race that even I doubted myself I could have a decent 10k time. I just wasn't mentioning it to CJ and Thirdy since I still am their pacer and any negative comments I make might affect their performance. KB passed by my side and told me "Bro, you are dragging your feet." Indeed I was but I still continued on and prayed my legs just needed a bit of a warm-up.

And warm-up they did with the challenging route of Camp Aguinaldo! It took a long 5 kilometers though before I could correct my running form and not drag my feet. By this time, CJ was already pulling-out from our trio. I was constantly looking back and making sure he was only a few meters behind me and Thirdy. I asked Thirdy if we should just wait for CJ and just ditch our sub-1 goal or continue running and leave CJ behind. He replied he's ok with either so I made the decision to still attempt the sub-1.

Thirdy and pacer (CJ MIA)

Now for some good news and bad news. Good news: we made it to the sub-1 10k goal. We clocked in at the 10km mark in 59 minutes as per my Soleus GPS watch. Bad news: the route was 300 meters longer! That last stretch, Thirdy was so burnt-out that I had to give him the extra push, literally! Our official finish time is 1 hour, 1 minute and 9 seconds.

Last few meters before the finish line (pic taken by sir Rene)

Thirdy can still smile! Yay! Great race!

I love the intimate feel of a race like Race for the Orphans. Everyone was happy and stayed around to catch-up with runner friends and see familiar faces. I'm so proud to have represented Team Alpha1 on this event. Sir Rene did a fantastic job in organizing this - from registration, to race marshals, to the event host (Mish doing her debut hosting here), to hydration, to the bonus race raffle and to every other small details of the race logistics.

With Team Diadora Philippines (fellow blogger Running Atom on my left)

With the PF folks - photographer Phillipbf and interviewer (new career) Ms Mars

With the strict race marshal Doc Minnie (left-most) and the event host Mish (beside me)

the bloggers

post-race breakfast at Seattle's Best Coffee Valero

Another race plus: Race results were released the same day! Of course I wouldn't forget my ever reliable Excel graph for our race performance. Great to see another negative split finish with the final kilometer as our fastest kilometer!
Upcoming race: RUNew Alabang 21k on February 26! I need some practice runs this week! X.X

Unilab Run United 2012: One Medal to Rule Them All

Have you registered yet for Unilab Run United 2012 Leg 1? 21k slots are selling like hotcakes!

Why the build-up of all this excitement for the long distance category? If you still haven't seen the preview of the finisher's medals for the Unilab Run United trilogy and the Runrio Philippine Marathon, then feast your eyes out on the medal design images below!

Each of the three Run United legs (Leg 1 21k, Leg 2 21k, Leg 3 21k and 32k) will give you this medal:
Upon completion of the three legs, the medals are like puzzle pieces which would form a round medal:
And now, the one medal to rule them all, the one medal to bind them (Runrio Philippine Marathon 21k medal on the left and 42.195k medal on the right):
Complete all medals. Epic awesomeness!
If these medals don't get you excited, I don't know what will. :)


A Running Start for Unilab Active Health
Run United 1 on March 4 offers a number of firsts

The 2012 Unilab ActiveHealth calendar is off to a raring start, as the registration for its first event this year—Run United 1 on March 4—picks up pace. On its sixth offing, Run United 1 continues to reinvent itself. It is set to once again offer runners a number of firsts.

“This is our first hurrah this year and we very pleased with the enthusiastic response so far from the running community. Registration, both online and in selected stores, is rapidly picking up. We are looking forward to another active year,” said Alex Panlilio, Head of Unilab Active Health. Run United 1 will still feature five race categories: Ceelin 500m dash for kids, 3k, 5K, Enervon 10K, and Enervon HP 21K.

Organizers Unilab Active Health and RunRio Inc. are introducing several new features to give participants a better running experience. These include new race routes, better hydration stations, improved security, safety marshals, new freebies, more exciting ActiveHealth village, among others.

Starting this year, the RunRio Trilogy/Run United Series of races will have different registration or pre-race giveaways. For Run United 1, it will be a race belt or bib holder. Even the medals for 21K finishers are made more special. It will be a collectible medal, thus those who will participate all of the three Run United races during the year, can put together all their finisher medals and form a big Run United medal.

“The joint Run United medals will serve as a true testament of the runners’ commitment to an active and healthy lifestyle. It is a good souvenir of all their 2012 Run United races combined,” said Lester Castillo, brand manager of Active Health.

Besides the new medals, half marathoners will have their gun start at Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig and finish off at SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

“We are very excited about the Run United races this year because we have so much in store for the runners. We are introducing a number of new features to give them even better quality runs because that is what Run United is all about,” said Rio dela Cruz of RunRio Inc.

Children also get to have their own singlet, too. After all, Run United prides itself for having the first to introduce a 500-meter dash in its races. “We really like to get the children get started in running young. So besides the other unique giveaways for them, the singlet is another come-on for them,” cited Dela Cruz.

Interested runners can register at these stores: Riovana at Bonifacio Global City and Katipunan, Quezon City; Toby’s at SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City; and The Athlete’s Foot at Robinson’s Galleria, Ortigas. For online registration, check details at www.runrio.com. Registration is until February 26, but race kits may run out before then, so the organizers urge everyone to register early to secure slots.

Run United is for the benefit of Gawad Kalusugan (the health program of Gawad Kalinga) and Hero Foundation. “Run United is part of Unilab’s advocacy through Unilab Active Health to promote an active lifestyle among Filipino families. Each event has been carefully designed and scheduled with the help of the race organizers and experts to allow each participant to sustain their active lifestyles throughout the year. We would like to thank all those who continue to support the Active Health programs” said Alex Panlilio, Head of Unilab Active Health.

Run United 1 is only the first of the Run United series. Run United 2 is set for June 17 and Run United 3 on September 16. Run United’s very own full marathon or 42K race, the Run United Philippine Marathon, is also slated for October 28.

The following are the other events of Unilab Active Health lined up for this year: The Bull Runner Dream Marathon, March 18; Tri United 1, April 14-15; Tri United 2, June 30-July 1; Tri United 3, November 10-11 as well as running and triathlon clinics all year round.

For more inquiries on Run United and Active Health, check out these websites: www.unilabactivehealth.com andwww.runrio.com as well as their respective fan pages on Facebook and Twitter. ###


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hong Kong: Marathon and the City

I've been so looking forward to blogging about my running team's first out-of-the-country trip (and race) in Hong Kong. The new year has just started but I know this would definitely be one of the highlights of 2012 for me.

Inspired by one of the running blogs I follow - The Scientist Runner - let me share with you my Hong Kong full marathon and travel experience, in 42 photos!

It all started on October 3, 2011 - the first day of registration period for the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon. I have been monitoring their official website and was one of the lucky registrants on the first day of registration. Below's the acceptance letter I received last October 7.
The race route of the full marathon - starting from Tsim Sha Tsui and ending in Victoria Park at Causeway Bay. The race ultimately crosses all Hong Kong territories, with a number of bridges and tunnels as part of the route.
Hong Kong Marathon is known for its very challenging elevation. The first 8 kilometers is a grueling gradual incline until the first bridge is reached. The 37th kilometer at the Western Harbour Tunnel is a killer uphill which will definitely test one's endurance. Just looking at this picture days before the big day gives me butterflies in my stomach.
February 3, 2012 (Friday). Here's the Team Alpha1 full marathon runners upon arriving at the Hong Kong International airport - Jesy, Eugene, me, Rolly and Bryan.
International participants of the race would enjoy looking at this big "You've arrived" billboard at the airport.
After almost an hour of travel from the airport to Hong Kong island via the Airport express train, we've finally arrived at Causeway Bay. This is where all race categories converge for the finish of the race. Here's us walking to our hotel.
Finally arrived the the Regal Hong Kong Hotel - the official hotel partner of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon. Ironically, when we asked one of the hotel crew about the marathon, he just gave us a blank stare. Haha!
After leaving our luggage at our hotel rooms, we headed to Victoria Park, location of the race kit collection.
The race kit collection for the international participants was hassle-free. When we went there, there were only a few runners claiming their kits. Much to our disappointment though, there is no more race expo. The race expo was opened only during the race kit collection of the locals during the early part of the week. So much for the merchandise craving.
During race claiming, we got to meet Purito Rosero, a contributor for Runner's World Magazine Philippines. He was there to join the half-marathon and to take some pictures of Filipino participants. He took this picture along with the next...
...which we're hoping to be published at the next issue of Runner's World Mag. That would be such a treat! We asked to have our picture taken with the race officials manning the race kit collection booth. They pose for pictures better than us.
Before leaving, we had to take our picture at the runner's pack collection entrance.
I wasn't able to take a picture of the race kit contents so I'm grabbing this from Rolly's. Hehe! The bag contains (an oversized) shirt, race bib, timing chip, runner's guide and...
...a souvenir medallion with a year of the dragon design! Nice!
After claiming our race kits, we were famished. We passed by the Times Square mall in our search for a place to have a quick bite since we still have a packed schedule ahead. We ended up eating in McDonald's. Ha!
After lunch, it's time to go to travel destination #1: Hong Kong Disneyland! It's my third time to visit the theme park but the excitement level's the same. The Disney MTR ride is such a thrill-builder!
The 15 degree weather in the park was perfect!
Oh Mickey!
Still my favorite part of the park is Tomorrowland. Aside from meeting Buzz Lightyear in this area, the thrill-seeker ride Space Mountain is located here.
The only characters we had a chance to have a picture with are Woody and Jessie from Toy Story. It was quite a long queue but the picture was worth it. (I still find the resemblance between Woody and Jake Gyllenhaal quite disturbing.)
No visit to Disneyland would be complete without a picture with the Sleeping Beauty Castle as the background, and of course, watching the Disney Fireworks. Right after the fireworks display, we sprinted to the MTR station to avoid the big crowd and the long queues at the train. Day 1 ended with good memories of the happiest place on Earth!
February 4, 2012 (Saturday). Right after having breakfast at the nearby McDonald's, we passed by IKEA since it was Jesy's favorite place. We had fun looking at different home designs. Funny that we left IKEA with a purchase of just a pathetic lint remover. LOL!
Day 2 itinerary: Go to The Peak. We tried out riding the tram instead of the MTR just for the experience of it.
After having lunch at one of the local restaurants (I should mention I had the BEST milk tea at that place), we had a boy band pictorial with the International Financial Center (IFC2) building as the background. Cool eh?
Forget Starbucks! Pacific Coffee is the best in Hong Kong!
After an hour and a half of falling in line, we finally rode the Peak Tram, the oldest form of transportation in Hong Kong.
The Sky Terrace 360 is the best vantage point to see the city. We waited until it got dark to see the beauty of the city lights from the highest peak in Hong Kong. Then it was time to go back to the hotel for some much needed rest since the next day's the big day.
February 5 (Sunday) - Race Day! I took this picture from our hotel window. It's the finish line area and the race village. That's how near our hotel is from Victoria Park.
Race-ready! I'm the only one wearing a sleeveless top. Good thing I had arm compressions on, to at least protect me from the cold weather. It was drizzling by the way.
The full marathon category had two waves - the first wave of runners (Eugene, Bry and Jesy) had a 6:45am gunstart. The second wave (me and Rolly) leaves thirty minutes later at 7:15am. I paced with Rolly for the first 11 kilometers. By km-12, Rolly had to go on a urinal break, so I went ahead and was on my own. I was happy with my half-marathon performance, clocking in at 1 hour and 54 minutes. I was doing an average 6-min per kilometer pace. Well, until km-29 when I faced the dreaded marathon wall. From there it was pretty much a walkathon, me doing 9.5-min per kilometer snail pace. The last kilometer I ran again while fighting cramps, since I did not want to be caught walking by a number of photographers. Stepping into the blue and green path at the finish line was pure ecstasy!
Meeting up with my running teammates after the race, each of us has lots of stories to tell. As we took pictures of us proudly wearing our medals, we can't help but smile for achieving something BIG. Another full marathon finish.
Back to our hotel, I took another pic of Victoria Park from our hotel window. The 6-hour cut-off for the full marathon is over. The runner approaching the finish line on the below picture is probably one of the last finishers of the race. The rest who did not meet the cut-off were swept from the route.
It's time to celebrate with a satisfying post-race meal! We had lunch at Din Tai Fung, a top 10 New York Times-reviewed restaurant...
...serving the best Xiao Long Bao, or soup dumplings. Can't have enough of these! With our stomachs full, we headed back to our hotel rooms for a few hours of rest.
Late afternoon, it was time to go to Tsim Sha Tsui on Kowloon to witness the Symphony of Lights. I found it a bit underwhelming show since I was already able to watch this with accompanying fireworks before. After the lights show, we craved for coffee. On our way to the nearby Starbucks, we had our picture taken at the Aqua Luna. Looks like one of 'em ships at the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides movie.
The Avenue of the (Chinese) Stars! The Hong Kong skyline is amazing!
We capped the day off with a (big) glass of beer at The Whiskey Priest, an Irish pub at Lan Kwai Fong. One of the waiters was a fellow Filipino. I'm sure one more beer would make me drunk.
February 6 (Monday). It's time to say goodbye to our home for 3 days! We had this picture taken while waiting for the airport shuttle.
We had an early dinner at Crystal Jade and had one more shot at Xiao Long Bao. Unfortunately, it didn't match Din Tai Fung's, and the place was quite over-priced. We then did some last-minute shopping at the airport before boarding our plane bound to Manila at 10pm.
February 7 (Tuesday). Two days after race day, the official results were released, along with the photos available for purchase online. I played around with the photos and the results and came up with the picture below which I posted at the Team Alpha1 Facebook page.
I plotted my Soleus GPS watch data onto Excel and created a graph for my per-kilometer performance. I hate the parts when we had to pass through tunnels and I would lose the GPS signal. Kilometers 29 to 41 oh how I hate you too! Haha!
I had a very poor performance on my first full marathon at Singapore last December 2010, with a pathetic time of 5:47:57. I was able to cut quite a big chunk off marathon #2, finishing 4:55:22. I targeted for a sub-5 finish which I achieved at Hong Kong. That will do for now, but there are still a lot of room for improvements on my upcoming marathons. Isn't it obvious I'm such a fan of Standard Chartered runs? I'm a proud owner of two full marathon finisher medals!
Whew that was tiring but this blog post was definitely worth my time writing. Don't you just love Hong Kong?