Monday, April 30, 2012

Unilab Run United 2 on June 17, 2012

This race event does not need any further introductions. Unilab has established itself as the premiere sponsor of the best and biggest running event in the country - Unilab Run United. RUNRIO again spearheads the much anticipated second leg of the trilogy.

WHAT: Unilab Run United 2
WHEN: June 17, 2012 (Sunday)
WHERE: SM Mall of Asia / BGC
CATEGORIES: 500m dash for kids, 3k, 5k, 10k, 21k

ONLINE REGISTRATION: April 16 to May 27, 2012
- visit
- successful online registrants should receive a confirmation email, which they need to print. They will be presenting this in the Race Expo, to be able to claim their singlet, race bib and other freebies.

IN-STORE REGISTRATION: April 30 to June 3, 2012
- Please take note that race kits may run out earlier than the deadline so register early
- During in-store registration, registrants will only get their singlet along with a receipt which they shall present during the upcoming Race Expo to get their race bibs and other freebies.

- Riovana Store BGC (28th Street, corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig)
- Riovana Store Katipunan (3rd Floor, Regis Building, Katipunan, Quezon City)
- Toby's SM Mall of Asia branch
- Toby's SM North The Block branch

Registration Fees and Race Inclusions
Race Assembly and Gun Time
21k runners get to have a different singlet - side color is sky blue (other categories will have white sides). Check out the singlet images below. Kids get to have their singlets too, care of Ceelin. Do take note that singlet size availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.

21k Runners' Singlet Design

Singlet for 3k, 5k and 10k runners

Singlet for Kids' 500m Dash care of Ceelin
Another exclusive for 21k runners is their personalized Runrio timing card, reusable on future Runrio race events. This will be given during the Race Expo.

RUNRIO Personalized Timing Card for 21k Runners
Also during the race expo, all registered participants will receive belt bags care of Unilab Active Health. Now runners will have something to put their stuff on, may it be their race nutrition, money, car keys, mobile phones or even their cameras.
Unilab Active Health Belt Bags
21k runners will receive the 2nd piece of their puzzle medal, and is a step closer to the completion of the circle.

Run United 2 21k Finisher Medal
 21k finishers also get this cool finisher shirt:
Run United 2 21k Finisher Shirt

All race finishers will get their hands on this Unilab Active Health sling bag.

Unilab Active Health - Finisher Sling Bag




What are the Race Expo objectives?
- Venue for runners to check out the latest and coolest sports apparel
- Fitness and athletic brands can present their latest products and services
- Hang out with fellow runners and sports enthusiasts, friends and family
- Race kit claiming made more interesting and interactive

WHAT: Unilab Run United Expo
WHEN: June 13 to 16, 2012 (Wednesday to Saturday)
WHERE: Bonifacio Global City Open Grounds (Near Riovana BGC)

Team Bike Boutique (TBB), the official merchandize partner of Ironman races worldwide, will organize the race expo.

* More details on the race expo will be posted here as soon as details are finalized.

Race Beneficiaries:

Race beneficiaries: Gawad Kalinga and Children's Hour

Kennon Global Half-Marathon: Eat and Run!

We all know how crazy the Manila heat is this summer. When my Team Alpha1 teammate Barefootdaves extended his invite of going to Baguio for a run, I did not even hesitate; anything to escape the scorching temperatures! It was an impulsive decision, I was not even thinking of the race event - just the Baguio breeze and ube jam at Good Shepherd. Haha!

Daves had everything planned, which I really appreciated. He took care of our (me and Martin) race registration, he booked our hotel, he bought our deluxe bus tickets in advance, he even researched all the good restaurants in the area - we were so pampered!

We left Manila 11pm of April Friday the 13th. Our trip was comfortable and fast; we arrived at Baguio around 5am. We stayed at the Victory Liner terminal to kill time as it's too early and establishments were still closed. Our plan is to have breakfast at Cafe by the Ruins, and it doesn't open until 7am.

I was able to have dinner at Cafe by the Ruins during my last trip to Baguio, and I really enjoyed the rustic feel of the restaurant. This time, I was excited to eat breakfast there. I ordered their open-face tuna sandwich, and hot choco with mint. The sandwich was surprisingly heavy, and the crispy fries were delish! The hot chocolate with mint serving is just a small shot, but it was so thick and chocolatey and bitter that I enjoyed it a lot. I only wish that it was more minty since the bitterness of the chocolate was quite overpowering.

Breakfast at Cafe by the Ruins
Our next destination is Good Shepherd for some pasalubong shopping. I noticed a lot of improvements on their order queues. And they're now accepting credit card for purchases! Nice.

Good Shepherd - where the best ube jams are made
We passed by Mines View Park, as it's just walking distance from Good Shepherd, to buy some more goodies. We had our pictures taken with the famous Saint Bernard Doglas, and got a bonus when we saw my HP officemates in a tarp promoting Baguio tourism. Our teammate Eugenator is now immortalized in Mines View. Haha!

Mines View Park - I love Doglas!
It was now time for early lunch after we've left our stuff at our hotel room. We rode a cab to Camp John Hay's Mile Hi Center. We ate at Little John's, wherein I ordered baby back ribs. Nothing special here, the rib serving was a bit small, and it's just an ordinary-tasting baby back ribs.

Mile-Hi Center - Lunch at Little John's
We visited the new R.O.X Camp John Hay branch for some window shopping and then it was time for merienda and some chill time. There's no better place to do this than Choco-Late de Batirol! I ordered their turon with langka and hot strawberry chocolate. A perfect combination!

Choco-late de Batirol at Camp John Hay
SM Baguio was our next stop, and it was our lucky day as newly delivered Baguio Country Club raisin bread were available. I bought three loaves. I'm such a fan of Cinnabon raisin bread here in Manila and BCC's taste is comparable to it (if not better).

Can you believe it? It's dinner time! We headed to Hill Station, a fine dining restaurant a few blocks away from SM. And the carbo-loading continues! I ordered their spinach ravioli with pumpkin soup base and blue cheese toppings, and then their carrot cupcake with cream cheese for dessert. Heaven! I also had a taste of their uber-moist melts-in-your-mouth chocolate cake, which Daves ordered. The food was a bit pricey but well-worth it for the restaurant's ambience.

Hill Station
And so we come to the race part of the blog, after all that food trippin'.

I was up as early as 2am (I was disturbed by Baguio ghost stories, haha!) and had a quick shower and light breakfast. After our race preparations, we were off to a long warm-up walk going to Burnham park, where jeepneys were lined-up to pick-up runners of the different categories, sending them to their respective starting points. We waited for quite some time as we were part of the last batch of 21k runners who arrived. The ride to our starting point's a killer. We basically traversed the entire race route in reverse, a continuous downhill along Kennon Road. This only means one thing: we will run a non-stop uphill (or uphell's the better term I think).

A lot of Kenyans were in sight - with a big cash prize awaiting the top winners. We had a quick race briefing, a few camera poses, and then we're off.

Starting line pics
I didn't even bother studying the race map prior the event. All I know is this would be a hell lot tougher than my Nathan Ridge Run experience at Tagaytay Higlands last year. Point A to Point B - from the base of Kennon Road, all the way up to Burnham Park.

Kennon Global Marathon Race Map - 3k. 5k, 8.5k and 21k distances
Our plan is to do a steady pace, not to race. We'll just enjoy the views and as for me, I'll take a lot of pictures. I was carrying a camera on one hand and a water bottle at the other. These would really slow me down but it's all part of the plan.

Breath-taking views of Kennon Road
Run, stop and take a pic... Run, stop and take a pic. I was awestruck by the views. I was drawing energy from the environment. Difficult as the route was, and as risky as it was with passing vehicles, I was still glad to have joined the race. It was a very welcome change from the normal city race route all runners are used to running.

I was surprised that we passed by the "Welcome Baguio City" marker. I didn't know we started from a different city and will be crossing Baguio's border. This was the time Daves caught-up with us (he was doing heart rate monitoring run-walk). Of course we didn't miss the opportunity to take a pic at the famous Kennon Lion.

Welcome Baguio City marker and the Kennon Lion
The never-ending incline took its toll eventually on my body, and I had to just walk it out. The sun's heat was also not helping. Starting KM12, I was doing a 10-min per kilometer power walk pace. I attempted to run again at KM16 but I already am feeling the early stages of cramps so I walked again the succeeding kilometers. At KM19, when I was simply tired and famished, a taho vendor passed by. My lifesaver! The sugar gave me a quick energy boost. When I saw the KM20 marker, I was able to run again (and according to my GPS watch, my fastest kilometer of the race).

Lifesaver Taho on the race's final stretch
Seeing the finish line at Burnham was sweet. I found out that Daves finished with rank #81, Martin #84 and I'm #85. The Baguio runners are really strong; I have to give them credit for that. I have no idea how many 21k runners finished the race though, as the race results were never released. According to my personal timing, I finished after 2 hours, 58 minutes and 33 seconds - my slowest 21k!

Finish line, Finisher's shirt and Finisher's Medal
After relaxing a bit at the finish line area, we walked to the nearby public market to do some last minute pasalubong shopping. Afterwards, it's time for our hard-earned post-race brunch at the Forest House. I chose to eat healthy by ordering pumpkin soup in a bread bowl as my appetizer and creamy dory topped with ripe mango salad as my main entree. Daves, Weng and Martin had bagnet. LOL! Again, the food was superb.

Post-race Brunch at the Forest House
I definitely had a blast on our two-day quick Baguio get-away. Next weekend destination: Boracay!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Meeting Trail Legend Iker Karrera, Salomon Ambassador

Last April 18, I was one of the fortunate bloggers who got invited to the meet and greet session with Iker Karrera at ROX. He is very well-known in the trail running community, with a list of credentials from way back 2005. His latest addition to his trail run wins is the recent TNF100 held in Baguio, where he bagged 1st place. Iker was accompanied by Edu Martinell, who also served as Iker's translator (Iker is Spanish-speaking by the way).

Iker Karrera
37 years

Tolosa, Basque County, Spain

Rural Development Technician

Favorite Trail:
Anywhere in Aralar or in the Pyrenees (which is near my home)

Dream Trail Run or Race:
There are many, more than I could ever run (within the duration) of my life. The world is full of beautiful mountains and I would like to run at all!

How can you describe your ordinary training week?
It depends on the season of the year. In Winter, I run less. I do other activities like Nordic skiing and biking. More or less I try to train 6 days a week. Sometimes, I have active rest days--not too many hours a day. During weekends, I run or ski from 8 to 10 hours.
Spring and Summer seasons have better weather. There is no snow in the Pyrenees! This marks the start of the racing season. The workouts are much longer, more intense. Active rest days are still present. On weekends, training volume increases. But this depends on my work, after i have organized my week.

What are your goals for 2012?
To run better and have less physical injuries (Not that i have many injuries but,....). Also to enjoy running more. The results come if I´m training well and if i am enjoying the mountains. 

Iker Karrera's Trail Running Achievements

From L-R: CJ aka Runadoboking, Edu Martinell, Rolly aka Speedytitan, Iker Karrera, Noel aka Deemen

During the Q&A portion, one of the participants raised a very interesting question: "What top advices can you give to runners who would like to start trail running?" This particularly aroused my interest, having not tried trail running yet. Here are Iker's responses:
- Enjoy outdoors, if you don't, then trail running is not for you.
- Consult experienced trail runners.
- Start with short distances, and increase distance as you begin to feel comfortable with the trails.
- Use stairs instead of elevators.
- When going to the gym, do a lot of lunges, squats and core workouts.

Iker was also able to showcase the different Salomon trail gear - from running tops to compression shorts to calf sleeves, and of course the different Salomon trail shoes, with special focus on the latest model XR Mission.
Salomon XR Mission


Salomon, the innovative outdoor brand, Introduces XR Mission, all terrain trail running shoes with specific mens and womens designs and constructions. XR Mission is for runners who train regularly and vary their workouts.

Light, exible, unbelievably comfortable, the XR Mission  is the newest member of Salomons award-winning XR family  of door  to trail running shoes. The XR Mission is a trail running shoe for people who want to take their training seriously and want lightweight and flexibility,explains Jeff Dill, Salomons Product Line Manager for Trail Running Footwear.

The XR Mission is not simply a slimmed-down version of the very  popular (but  higher mileage) XR Crossmax. New from the ground up, XR Mission is light and  responsive with a womens specific version. The heart of the shoe is the OS muscle and tendon, Salomons patented cushioning midsole and energy returning tendon system. It cushions shocks while improving heel to toe transition, making the shoe simply easier to run in.  With a Contagrip™ outsole, XR Mission naturally adapts to variances in terrain, aproviding great grip and rebound on any surface.

XR Mission  has  a host of comfort features that specifically address the most critical issues runners typically contend with. Sensiflex™  is a soft mesh  fabric,  coated with exible  TPU and  placed on the metatarsal area of the foot. This provides great foot support in the forefoot, but  reduces bunions that occur in about 30% of runners. Add internal Sensifit and Quicklace, and the Mission  adapts comfortably to almost any foot.

XR is also specifically tailored to the morphology and motion of men and women, respectively. XR Mission Women is the rst shoe built with Womens Specific Ride. In addition to  a specific last shape, asymmetrical fit that wraps medially to support a higher arch  and  taller instep, common among women, and  thicker foam around the heel,  XR Mission Women has more and deeper ex grooves to accommodate a lighter average weight and  more  rigid foot, also common in women. “Developing the XR Mission was very much two different projects, explains Dill. Although they look similar, it was critical throughout the process to define specific fit and performance characteristics for each gender. We have given women a shoe that is designed for them in every way.

The Primer Group of Companies, Asia’s next retail giant, is the exclusive distributor of Salomon in the Philippines.

* Photo with Iker courtesy of Roland Pangilinan

Friday, April 20, 2012

Ensure to Endure Run on May 20, 2012

Misconception: Ensure products are just catered for the elderly.
Truth: Ensure products are for all active adults. It can even be an excellent pre- and post-race drink!

Ensure is partnering up with Entraineur, an affiliate company of Runrio, in bringing another quality race in the metro. Joining this race is different, as one's entry is thru purchasing Ensure products, with receipt date from April 16 to May 17. Kindly refer to purchase requirements table below:
WHAT: Ensure to Endure Run
WHEN: May 20, 2012 (Sunday)
WHERE: Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
REGISTRATION PERIOD: April 16 to May 17, 2012
- Riovana Store BGC (28th St. cor. 9th Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City)
- Riovana Store Katipunan (3rd floor Regis Bldg. Katipunan, Quezon City. Across Ateneo and Beside KFC)
- Toby' s SM Mall of Asia (G/F Entertainment Hall, Roxas Blvd., Manila)
- Toby's The Block (3rd Floor SM The Block, North Edsa)

Categories, Assembly and Gun Start Times
All participants get a race bib and a singlet.
Run to your nearest grocery (and registration centers) now!

Friday, April 6, 2012

I Raced at BDO Race4Life

There were a lot of choices of race events last March 25 - FIC Run in BGC, Tupperware Run in ASEANA, BDO Race4Life in Mall of Asia, and for those with extra cash to spare for travel, Globe Run4Home in Cebu. I chose to run in BDO Race4Life since it offered the longest distance category among the Metro Manila races - 15k.

Knowing this is BDO's first attempt to sponsor and organize a race, I didn't have high expectations. BDO is affiliated with SM and for some reason, I kept having weird flashbacks of my abysmal experience at the ACE Hardware Run last 2010.

Registration Process:
- I did the online registration at the BDO website. Payment was manual though and I had to go to a BDO branch to deposit my registration fee payment.

Race Kit Claiming:
- All registered runners had to go to the BDO Corporate Center building at Makati Avenue to claim their kits from March 16 to 18, grouped by the first letter of runners' surnames. My specific claiming date was March 18, a Sunday. I had to find time to go there just to claim my kit, which I think is quite a hassle. The wait time was quite long too. Fortunately, the queue for 15k is not as long as the other distance categories. Later on I found out that there's an onsite claiming of kits. Bummer.

Race Day:
Race Likes:
- First 100 runners for 15k and 10k as well as the first 50 runners from 5k and 3k crossing the finishline will get a finisher's medal - I like this concept, but just because I'm quite competitive on races. Before the race started, I saw a number of elite runners and runners from the military. I knew my chances on grabbing a medal were slim, but there's no harm in trying.
- The race village was already active before the start of the race - runners can already go around and get freebies and get sample drinks and food from the different booths. (The only downside here is if runners consume something that might upset their stomach during their respective runs. :p)

Improvement Areas:
- Gun Start delay: We found out gun start for all categories was delayed for 30 minutes. It was for safety purposes, but still a short-notice announcement.
- Inadequate hydration on merge areas of all race categories: Along Roxas Boulevard, on our way back to Mall of Asia, there were hydration stations that no longer have any water or sports drink. We had to run another couple of kilometers to be able to hydrate. If I remember it correctly, this was in front of CCP. It didn't help either that the marshals in this area don't seem to care at all.
- Short route for 15k: My GPS watch registered 13.9kms only. I found out later the organizers had to change the route again for safety reasons. Pity to those running to beat their PRs as the distance is a bogus.
- Longest queue for a sports drink: The line just to get a small bottle of Pocari is the longest line ever. Runners from all categories had to muster all the patience they have before being able to hydrate. They could have just included the drink in the finisher's kit claiming booths as these were separated by category anyway.

I ran at the event with fellow blogger Roland aka Speedy of Team Titans. Our goal was simple: make it to the top 100 15k finishers, or die trying. LOL!

We started fast (sub-5 pace) which was our biggest mistake. We didn't agree on who would pace who, so we were sort of competing with each other, and got burnt-out at the latter part of the race. Before the major U-turn at Roxas Boulevard (km8), I was able to count how many 15k runners were ahead of us. We were runners #67 and #68, which gave me a bit of hope. However, with the lack of hydration on water stations (and our wrong fast-paced start), our legs became heavier, so we had to insert short walks. I lost count of 15k runners overtaking us left and right, but there were quite a few.

During the final 3 kilometers, another 15k runner asked me if he could pace with us the rest of the race. Not wanting to disappoint this runner, I agreed and with whatever energy left in me, kept running a steady pace until the finish line. With a marshal taking down the bib numbers of runners crossing the finish line, we can't help but laugh at our ranking - #98, 99 and 100! Crazy luck!

Me and Roland taken just after crossing the finish line - I'm as red as my singlet!

Mr. Jinoe and me had a quick catch-up chat - they were handling the manual timing of the race event

Ms Mars introduced us to her secret boyfriend Carl Guevarra (he's somewhere in the top 20 15k finishers)

LUCKY ME! 99th out of 560 - I'll take it!

Race performance - positive split! :(

Overall it was not a bad experience for me (I probably got pacified when I made it to the top 100, hehe!). BDO Race4Life could definitely improve, should they choose to organize another race next year.