Wednesday, January 29, 2014

711 Run 1000: A 21km "Recovery" Run

Sick before Cebu Marathon (January 12) - STRIKE 1.
Sick after Cebu Marathon and before 711 Run 1000 (January 19) - STRIKE 2.
Sick after 711 Run - STRIKE 3.

After STRIKE 3, I got confined in the hospital for three days.

I've been ignoring my on and off fever, sore throat, cough and colds with all the running mileage I've been collecting this January. I was self-medicating with lots of Bioflu and Biogesic and even decided to intake 1-week worth of antibiotics before the 711 Run. All these took their toll on my body which never fully recovered, thus the morning of the 25th of January, I was rushed to the ER. My tonsils were swollen and I had high fever. It was difficult to even swallow and I can barely talk.

My CBC results indicated my white blood cell count was beyond the normal range - WBC count is at 23,500 versus the normal range of 5,000 to 10,000 only. The doctor explained this was already in septic level, or sepsis of the blood, and the bacteria in my blood is way too much that it had to be treated with a very strong antibiotic which will be injected directly to my veins. Slowly, I felt better and after 3 days of confinement, I was discharged. It was recommended by my doctor for me to take a week rest, while continually taking the prescribed antibiotics for another 5 days. Next week, I'm hoping and praying for a full recovery. I miss running and I miss the gym and I miss the company of friends.

Well enough of the drama. I just wanted to justify the delay of my 711 Run post-race blog. Haha!

So let's flashback to the events the day of January 19:

I arrived at a very early 3AM at Aseana and to my surprise, no more slots at the parking lot across McDonald's. I settled to the next available parking area which is across DFA. Met Team Banana Becky Runner, Syril and Wyatt. Agreement was to wear the Cebu Marathon finisher shirt but Wyatt did not follow instructions. Haha!
We were hanging around and relaxing at McDonald's, confident that the starting area was just nearby (We assumed it was similar to Sante Barley Domination Run's starting area) but we were dead wrong! It was probably a 500-meter distance away from our assumed starting line. Our warm-up jog became a fast-paced run as we heard the gun start from afar. It took us about 3 minutes before crossing the starting line arc.

It was a never-ending zigzagging, overtaking fellow 21k runners left and right. But with 4500 registered 21k participants, overtaking was just plain hell. Becky Runner and I lost Syril as he sped off.

Halfway through the race (at the Cavitex Road), Becky Runner told me to go ahead. I was still eyeing a sub-2 finish but I was not that expectant given I know that going back would mean multiple merges with lower distance categories would make it more difficult to run. 21k runners had to battle it out for road space with 16k, 10k, 5k and 3k runners on their respective U-turn spots.

Action shot courtesy of Faces of the Race. Thanks for the capture!
The good thing though, is that amidst the sheer number of runners, the weather was cool and hydration is abundant (though the variety of sports drinks could mean trouble to runners' tummies). Disappointing for me though is that a number of participants (who might be newbies) are not following basic running etiquette - runners doing abrupt stops, walkers walking side by side eating up road space, runners overtaking and eating up the lane of runners already on their way back. Well, with 17000 total runners, this is probably something difficult to control.

I crossed the finish line with a chip time of 1 hour, 57 minutes and 31 seconds, meeting my sub-2 target. This is actually the first time I did a 21k a week after doing 42k. I used to think people who do this are crazy. So I'm crazy after all. LOL!

Simple yet nice looking finisher medal. 
Team MAMAWS! From L-R: Cholo, Jaycee, Archie, Wyatt, me, JP and Rolly (Photo courtesy of Cholo)
Team BANANA! Team CEBU! Hahaha! Or Team BLACK (Photo courtesy of JP)
Team LOYCE! Celebrity Barefoot Runner Loyce and fans (Photo courtesy of JP)
Team BIRDIES / Team SURVIVOR - Thirdy, CJ and Junjun (Photo courtesy of JP)
Post-race breakfast at KFC with Team SCR (Photo courtesy of Wyatt)
Results were released a couple of days after, which is a quick turnaround given the large number of participants. Official results may be viewed at

Top 9.5% ain't bad!
Kudos to 711 for staging an organized, massive event such as 711 Run 1000. Congratulations as well on your 1000th store. We're all looking forward to next year's edition!

Alaska's Junior NBA and WNBA Held in Cebu City

Over a thousand aspiring champions joined the Jr.NBA/Jr.WNBA presented by Alaska school clinic in Sacred Heart School - Ateneo de Cebu last January 25, 2014, breaking the record of Davao City. These little champions have participants from private and public schools and some of them came from Bohol and Ormoc.

Making Great Travel Stories at 4th Corregidor Int’l Half Marathon with

*** Press Release ***
Making Great Travel Stories at 4th Corregidor Int’l Half Marathon with

Last 11-12 January 2014, the team behind up-and-coming travel website tied up their laces and geared up for the 1st Corregidor Marathon and 4th International Half Marathon, the annual race set at the heart of the historic Corregidor Island., the first Philippine-focused online travel website, co-sponsored the event and four runners, and gathered an impressive number of ticket registrations via their website, which also offers a wide range of flights, hotels and experience packages that can be booked  online instantly. The dynamic website also allows travellers and tourists to provide their own reviews and recommendations for public viewing.

“We are honored to have been part of the 1st Corregidor Marathon and 4th International Half Marathon,” says President Zaki Delgado. “We at are keen on making great travel stories, and the experience we had at Corregidor was very memorable. The team got to meet different people, join the run and of course, enjoy being in such a historic place like Corregidor.”

At the close of the marathon on Sunday, treated the winners of the 21K run to another surprise – Erinio Raquin of the male category and Luisa Raterta of the female category were given a special helicopter ride back to Manila – no doubt, an exciting and rewarding end to the weekend.

“We are already looking forward to next year’s marathon,” Mr. Delgado adds. “It’s a wonderful event, and we at are always looking for ways to make great stories happen.”

adidas Supernova Glide BOOST

*** Press Release ***

Herzogenaurach, Germany (December 2013) – adidas has launched the Supernova Glide BOOST™, a combination of the precision crafted Supernova system and the revolutionary energy return of BOOST™ technology.

Launched earlier this year, BOOST™ provides a higher energy return than any other foam cushioning material in the running industry. The Supernova Glide has endured as one of adidas’ most successful technical running shoes, highlighted by adidas’ Torsion System, a Continental rubber outsole and an engineered mesh upper. With the addition of adidas’ BOOST™ superior cushioning, the latest edition of Supernova Glide is built to provide runners with the ultimate experience.

“It was a natural next step to combine the highly effective running technology of BOOST with the trademark Supernova line,” said Andrew Barr, Senior Product Manager, adidas Running. “The Supernova Glide is regarded as the runners’ shoe. Adding adidas BOOST™ technology will help take this iconic shoe and the runners who wear it to the next level.”

The engineered mesh upper ensures movement feels natural and provides support where needed. A full-length stability Torsion System allows the runners’ heel and forefoot to move naturally while the mid-foot remains flexible and stable. Ultimate grip for better traction in all weather conditions is provided by a high performance Continental™ rubber outsole.

“The Supernova Glide BOOST provides runners with a strategic compilation of our most innovative technology,” said Barr. “adidas has once again expanded the boundaries in the running category with the launch of Supernova Glide BOOST.”

The Supernova Glide BOOST™ 6 is available for purchase at leading adidas Sport Performance and Runnr Stores in the Philippines with a recommended retail price of PHP 5995.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cebu Marathon: My First Race For 2014

2014 has just started and guess what my first race for the year is - a 42.195km event! Cebu Marathon was not originally part of my race plans but due to the unfortunate cancellation of this year's edition of the Condura Skyway Marathon, I had to find a worthy alternative.

A few days to my scheduled Cebu trip, I was nursing a bad case of cough and colds (and even mild fever). I was fighting them off with Tuseran Forte, Bioflu, Berocca and warm calamansi juice. I told myself I would push through with the travel but will reserve the decision on doing the marathon once I'm in Cebu already.

Instead of doing maintenance runs a week before Cebu (and since I'm not well enough to run too), I just conditioned my body through other means - a massage at Sesitra Day Spa, stretching at Intercare and bone alignment at Karada. Haha! These treatments were quite expensive but they really felt great and relaxing.

And so unfolds the story of marathon #9 - a story of traveling to a new location and forging new friendships. Once again, I will tell the story through 42 select photos:

A quick 3-day getaway to Cebu from January 10 to 12. Thanks Cebu Pacific for the discounted airfare!
Quite a hefty amount for a 42k race registration - I paid Php2200 for the late reg fee.
January 10 - Arrival at Cebu. First order of business: claim the race kit. After dropping my bags at Quest Hotel, JP and I went to Ayala Center Cebu to get our kits. We were to meet Team SCR runners here as well. I have some of them as Facebook friends (Becky, Wyatt, Syril) but haven't met or talked to them in person yet. Surprisingly, everyone was warm and friendly and I didn't have any difficulty adjusting to them. Maybe that's the thing with runners - you easily cope with people you have the same passion with. [From L-R: Mervin, Ate She, Wyatt, Syril, Becky, JP, me and Raphie]
Time for lunch! While claiming our kits, I had a quick chat with Ally of Runrio and she told me one recommended restaurant to dine in is Casa Verde. So that's where we headed.
Casa Verde's known for its large serving of ribs. Our jaw dropped once the plates were sent to our table. For such an affordable price of Php208 we got this heavy plate of ribs goodness! I'm now a Casa Verde fan!
Just captured the Ayala Center fountain from the vantage point of Casa Verde. Great, relaxing view.
After our late lunch, we were off for some sight seeing. We went to the nearby PUV terminal and rode a jeepney going to Sto. Nino church. However, with an ongoing parade, traffic was terribly heavy, so we were forced to walk a few kilometers to the church. By the time we arrived, it was already getting dark.
Viva! Pit Senyor! A small Sto. Nino statue as displayed at the side of the church grounds.
Our next stop: Magellan's Cross. It was a short walk from the Sto. Nino Church. From photos I've seen of this place I thought the cross was huge but apparently it's not. It was a small chamber with the cross in the middle. With the recent earthquakes, the cross stands with some wood support. We offered 5 multi-colored candles to bring us luck. I prayed for a safe, injury-free and enjoyable marathon for all of us.
After our tour of the two tourist destinations came the realization that going back to Ayala Center will be a struggle. A lot of people were in that location and jeepneys passing by were all full of passengers. JP checked the city map in his mobile phone and told us we could walk all the way back - it would be a 5-kilometer walk! We were a crazy bunch so everyone agreed to do so. This long walk became an instant acclimatization and leg warm-up! Haha! The sight of our hotel gave me a sigh of relief.
Sinulog 2014 decorations were everywhere at the Quest Hotel ground floor and lobby.
We were supposed to have dinner at CNT Ayala Center Food Court but unfortunately the restaurant is closed due to renovations. We opted to buy Cebu's Best Lechon instead and took it to our hotel room.
Dinner time! Lechon overload!
January 11 - Day 2. Syril and Becky arranged for a van rental so that we could tour the city and go to the must-see sights. We are to be joined by more runners so more new people to meet! New folks I met this day - Aries, Gen, Patrick, Nil, Cyrus, Noel, Clark and Michael. It was a fully loaded van! [Photo courtesy of Becky]
Time to have lunch at STK or SuTuKil (short for Sugba, Tula and Kilaw - Visayan style of cooking dishes). Looks could really be deceiving! Our impression looking outside of the restaurant is that it's just a plain cafeteria. But when we got inside, we were surprised at how beautiful the inside is! It's old yet rustic and homey.
SuTuKil's tuna belly is delish! One of my faves!
After the sumptuous lunch, we were off to our first stop which was the Taoist Temple at Beverly Hills. Funny that they have a village names Beverly Hills but looks like it's really a place for the wealthier folks in Cebu. I've been to a number of Chinese temples so I find nothing particularly special about this place.
Mandatory group pic at the tower. Haha! [Photo courtesy of Nil] 
Who's not following the correct cross leg pose?
Fort San Pedro is next.
In my opinion, the Php30 entrance fee they charged really's not worth it. There's nothing much to see inside the small complex. 
We were then off to South Road Properties (SRP) and we checked out a newly constructed church - the Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod. Looks like an architectural masterpiece. I love the church design both inside and out.
Anyone familiar with this font? I like it! The 14 Stations of the Cross spread outside the church grounds bear captions with this font as well. 
Our last stop is Mactan Shrine - a place to commemorate the heroic efforts of Lapu-lapu in fighting the Spaniards led by Magellan. 
By this time, weather was already becoming foul so it was a very quick stop, and we headed back to Ayala Center.
We had our dinner at Mooon Cafe (yes there are three 'O's). We were all planning to have light dinner but it seems in Cebu, they really don't have a concept of a small serving so were all full again.
After dinner, we chanced upon Mish, Wes and Rale while they too are having dinner at a nearby restaurant. We said our "good lucks" and "good nights" as race day happens in a few hours. 
January 12 - Race day! JP and I walked from Quest Hotel to IT Park, probably a kilometer warm-up walk and met with the others. This time I met Mark - he did 42k at Corregidor Marathon the day before, and then flew to Cebu to do another 42k. Now that's what I call insanely brave. Haha! [Photo courtesy of Wyatt]
3AM sharp, the 42k runners were off! Initially, Syril, Becky and I agreed to pace together but upon gun start, Syril had a fast start so Becky and I were left behind. The first 8 kilometers were tough, with the rolling terrain but Becky and I still manage to talk from time to time so I guess we were doing "chika pace". I don't remember at what kilometer we were joined by Patrick but at some point we three started running together. At about KM24 we caught up with Syril. We were getting tired at that point so Syril suggested we do a 4:1 run walk interval. Becky told us to go ahead at KM25 so it was me, Syril and Patrick all the way to the finish line.

Some quick race notes: Overflowing hydration, nice sponges from Safeguard, lots of chocolates and banana along the route too! I particularly love the route at Cebu South Coastal Road, especially the tunnel part! There were music stations as well. It really felt like a combination of Runrio's best race features in one event!
Action shot (heavy rain captured) with Syril and Patrick. [Photo courtesy of Darwin Saromines]
Almost at the finish line!
We crossed the finish line in about 4 hours and 53 minutes. JP captured this moment as soon as we arrived. Tired but still smiling.
My solo shot captured by Wyatt. The medal rocks!
With Team Ninoy/Team Banana. Lol!
This medal definitely is in my top 3 favorite medals! That guitar design!
We had our post-race breakfast at McDonald's IT Park. After devouring my big breakfast, JP and I headed back to our hotel since we need to check-out by 11am. Since JP's flight back to Manila is 2pm, he went straight to the airport. I had some time to spare (since my flight's delayed to 6:30pm) so I decided to stay and headed to the hotel where the others were staying. 
Patrick graciously invited everyone to their home for lunch. This table greeted us upon arrival. Note: there are two types of lechon at the table - one regular and one spicy. The spicy variant is goooood!!
Everyone's wearing their finisher shirts, except me! Haha not following directions. 
Wyatt, Raphie, Syril and I during the long wait at the airport. All flights were delayed.
Best buy ever and my pasalubong to the folks at home - 2 kilos of Zubuchon Lechon!
A day after the race, the official results were out. I ranked 298th out of 1233 marathon runners (~24%). I still consider this a strong marathon finish!
Thanks to my officemate Paul who lent me his Soleus GPS watch (as mine is defective), I got to track my race performance. Shocked to see we did a sub-5 minute kilometer at the early part of the race!
Wow that was another long blog post! Really fun recalling the events, and I had a grand time at Cebu, with what short time we had on our stay. Super thankful for the company of new friends, and hope I could join you again on another out-of-town trip. An ultramarathon event perhaps? If I become crazy like you guys. Hehe!