Category Archives: Runrio trilogy

Run United 1. Runrio Trilogy 2014 Half Marathon (21K) Finisher, 16 March 2014

Who would have expected I get a complimentary 21km race kit considering registration for this particular distance had closed in just two days?  Well, lucky enough to get a slot through Que and Jinoe, site owners, who registered me in this race. I was one of the 5,000 runners for the half marathon alone (out of the total 12,000) who showed up at the SM Mall of Asia early Sunday morning last March 16.  For my part, I was surprised by the large turnout of half marathon runners as I waited for the gun start of Wave 2.  Glad though to be in that wave as I had a chance to catch up with some fellow (ultra) runner friends whom I haven’t seen in a while.
Since the long run is such an embedded facet of marathon training, this race was typically a training run for my upcoming marathon race few months from now.

Since I got myself into extreme distance running, I’ve been going to a snail’s pace, so (my finish time in this event) I considered it as a slight improvement in my pace.  Anyhow, aimed to shave time off my half marathon PR soon.   

Kudos to Unilab Active Health and RUNRIO Team for another successful event!

An Awardee? : A Recognition “That Never Was” …

The  unused Mardi Gras mask with
materials carefully selected by yours truly
for this event 

I laud RunRio for its noble cause—giving back to runners and recognizing their achievements in a ceremony prepared solely for them.  But no matter how small or grand an awarding ceremony is, missing out a small detail such as a name of an awardee, is sacrilege.  There’s no excuse for such a mistake.  Imagine if this thing happens to you in big events?  Here you are all geared up only to be informed your name is nowhere to be found.  Faced with this dilemma, you’d rather wish a sinkhole would swallow you in than experience embarrassment.
What’s the problem?  Here’s the problem. My name is not on the list.  Boo for me! If only the organizer knew of the lengths I had to go through prior to this event. It is just too disappointing not finding your name when you most expected it.  Apparently, the committee, if ever there was one, tasked to purge the list and supposedly present an ACCURATE list, did not do its job.  How hard really is it to purge a file? At least, my name’s in the guest list though.  But I came not as a guest (blogger) but as an awardee.  I was told by the staff that the initial list was published in their web site.  So if your name is not found, you need to contact them.  I didn’t know this.  I wouldn’t have known of the event until I received the e-invite just a few days back.  I thought everything was in order. I deduced it was sent to me as awardee and not as guest blogger.    
While the staff in control of the computer database, let’s call him Staff D, was nowhere yet at the Registration Counter upon my arrival, another staff, let’s call him Staff X assigned at the P to Z lane commented, after not seeing my name said, “Hindi pala kayo runner, e (You’re not a runner).”  What a way to add insult to injury!  Honestly, I had mixed feelings on how to react and what things to say to him without losing my head.  I must have looked at him incredulously.   I thought of replying a very good expletive rejoinder but tried not to.  
I asked a returning Staff D, “What happened? Why is my name not included? He said, “You indicated only your first name in one leg while in another leg you used your two names.”  I tried to process this information in my mind.  I further asked, “How many surnames the same as mine in your database?”  He answered, “One.”   There you go.  Common sense dictates that information in those names should have been further evaluated and verified.  Checking, for example, the e-mail addresses, birthdays, home addresses among others. Why do awardees have to do this when supposedly it’s the organizer’s job in the first place?  What’s the purpose of having those databases? What’s the use of technology if utilized for naught?
Staff D asked Staff X to add me in the list.  Just the same, I was asked to write my name manually in another paper. Mediocrity is so easy.  I was not alone in this predicament.  There was another runner at the counter “trying to establish he is an awardee”.  
“There’s no reason for me stay here after all,” I said to Staff D.   He only replied, “Kayo po (up to you).”  Now, this is what I call customer service at its finest (a sarcastic thought, of course).  I literally walked away.  Then, decided to go home even before the ceremony started.
I finished the trilogy 21Km-21Km-32Km in 2010 and another trilogy in 2012 21Km-21Km-32Km including the 42Km dubbed as 1st Run United Philippine Marathon.  I blogged my running experiences and even promoted these events.  To top it off, officially finishing those and completing the series, per Staff X statement,  this made me NOT a runner.  What the … !  
I bet, Staff X, couldn’t even finish a one-kilometer run without huffing and puffing. 

On my way home, thoughts played in my mind.  What kind of preparation is this?  Is this their way of raising the bar?  If it’s so, I will take no part in it. This is not raising the bar; this is taking it many notches lower!   

To me, this year’s Runrio Awards, is a total disappointment … big time!   

Run United Trilogy Completed!

The pie is now complete.

September 16 — Yes, I completed the trilogy again. The first one I did two or three years ago.  
With barely three weeks left to get back into training plus a few short runs every now and then, I wasn’t sure how well I would do in this 32-kilometer race.  

There was a good crowd of runners, and it was nice to see many familiar faces at the start.

Surprisingly my game plan worked well even though the weather was less than perfect last Sunday. Running through heavy rains (note: for four hours) turned out to be an enjoyable experience as well. No cramps.  Steady breathing.  Uphill running at the three flyovers was OK.  Not much walking either, well, except when nearing the hydration station.  I was extremely happy with my time when I finished, indeed another personal best. 

It was great to note that a better baggage deposit and claim system has been implemented.   Hydration was not a problem.  Bananas were even provided.  
I guess congratulations are in order for Runrio staff, the marshals who braved the rain, medical staff, volunteers, and sponsors for making Run United series a successful one.  

Run United 3: Runrio Trilogy Leg 3, September 16

27 August 2012 — With less than three weeks to go, the countdown has begun to one of the most anticipated races, Run United 3, the third leg 32K of the Runrio Trilogy hailed as the Afroman Distance, is happening on September 16.  This will be my second attempt to finish the trilogy after completing the first one in 2010.  

Just two months ago, I had a marvelous time running Run United 2 half marathon.  Super duper thanks to Runrio for the complimentary race kit and Allen aka Ambo for pacing with me all throughout the race.  
What to Look Forward to in this Year’s Run United 3
The 32K category can be a good introductory race if you are going to run your first full marathon this year.  
The first ever Run United Philippine Marathon is scheduled on October 28 with the customary shorter distances or race categories—from 500m dash to 3k, 5k, 10k, and 21k.
New routes, different start and finish lines, and earlier gun starts for 32K (3 AM) and 21K (4 AM) runners. Run United 3 runners will experience running across three cities, Taguig, Makati, and Pasay.
32K runners will take the first ten kilometers in University Parkwayarea, then move up to Kalayaan flyover, go all the way to Buendia, take left at Roxas Boulevard, then turnaround taking the roads of Vicente Sotto, Diosdado Macapagal, and EDSA and turn left at Seaside Boulevardfor the finish at the Mall of Asia (MOA).  
Meanwhile, the 21k will have the same route as the 32k runners.  However, instead of heading to EDSA, they will turn right at Macapagal Avenue, then turn right again at Seaside Boulevard, and then all the way to the finish line in MOA.

Registration Details
Online registration for Run United 3 started last August 6 and will end on September 2 while in-store registration started last August 13 and will end on September 9. Registration centers include RiovanaBonifacio GlobalCity and Katipunan, Quezon City branches; and Toby’s SM MOA and Trinoma branches.

With only 8,000 runners when it was launched in March 2010, the number has  kept increasing steadily in the succeeding events. Run United 1 on March 4 kicked off this year’s RunRio Trilogy, which was followed later by Run United 2 on June 17. Runners who completed all the longest distances (21K-21K-32K) in all of the three Run United races will be recognized at the RunRio Trilogy Awards Night. 

Beneficiaries of Run United 3 will include Gawad Kalusugan and Children’s Hour.

For further information or inquiries, please visit Unilab Active Health  and Runrio websites.

Run United 1. Runrio Trilogy 2012 Edition: My First Race for the Year

I always used my mobile phone as alarm clock, put it on vibrate, and kept it near me so it can wake me up. At 3AM, I had to literally drag myself out of bed feeling tired after doing house cleaning the day before. I was still moving like a zombie, when about 4AM I was jolted awake by the sudden realization that I had only a few minutes left before the start of the race. I hurriedly placed my stuff in my backpack and went out, praying all along I could get a cab right away.

I arrived at the race venue with only just a few minutes to spare to deposit my stuff at the designated bus and do some warm up exercises. I could hardly believe seeing the number of runners at the starting line. Half marathon running wasn’t this big four years ago. I didn’t even see any familiar faces, well, except for one, that of Raff, whom I haven’t seen since our Macau trip in December 2011. What a way to see Raff. He was my ultracompetent volunteer support during my Bataan Death March 102 ultramarathon race a year ago.

I stayed in the middle of the pack since we would start in waves, and I only had to wait about 5 minutes before our coral hit the starting line. We all lined up minutes after 4:30AM and watched the multimedia presentation shown on the big screen. Then the countdown began.

Last Sunday was supposedly scheduled as an easy long run at about 32-36 kilometers for me, but decided to forego it to give way for this race. I found it really nice to run in a route with different start and finish. I also had no goal in particular as far as PR is concerned. All I wanted was to run easy and finish the race. My getting back slowly to training mode paid well considering that I didn’t experience any difficulty running the first 12 kilometers. It was not until I reached the Roxas Boulevard area, nearing 15KMs now, when I experienced chafing on the inner thigh areas. To me it only means I still need to shed some fats! Haha!

Mind you it was really irritating and I was getting uncomfortable every minute but I had no recourse but to run. After the last turn around point near Luneta Park, seeing the distance remaining on my Garmin, which was to my utmost relief, I only needed to run 6 more kilometers. It means war against chafing! Run chafing run! Haha!

It was also good to see familiar faces that of fellow running bloggers Gigi, Rod, and Jinoe, some of my comrades from the ultramarathon community, some fast running friends, and race organizer Coach Rio, on his motorcycle while monitoring the runners and progress of the race. I had no problems with hydration. Both water and energy drink appeared to be plentiful. There were also bananas given to runners.

On the last 3KM, I was cheered on by another race organizer, Ian Alacar, and lucky for me I was paced by an elite runner, Genevieve Dela Peña, all the way to the finish line. I salute you, Ms. Elite Runner!

Got the finisher’s medal … done with the first leg … on to the next running odyssey!

Explore Unilab’s Active Health Expo on March 4

To give you a glimpse of what to expect on Sunday at the Mall of Asia grounds, here are some tidbits about what to explore at Unilab’s Active Health (ULAH) Expo. 
Unilab ActiveHealth gives you more with not just a village but an ActiveHealth Expo. ULAH gives you more areas to explore because apart from their regular activities: photobooth, awards, program, cheerdance competition, ULAH Expo offers more to excite everyone joining on March 4. ULAH has the Try Running Zone, a must see and try for those who wants to get started into running.
Watch as how the 500m dash runners get tips and training from topnotch coaches. Session starts at 7AM for guests. ULAH also has the Runners Zone, an exclusive area for runner finishers, not only for the elite but also for children and active adults. The ULAH Expo Zone features various apparels and gears from exhibitors.
Unilab Zone Brand: The biggest zone in the ActiveHealth Expo, this zone features various Unilab brands and sponsors. Enjoy the various booth activities, whenever their are games, there will be winners. Have fun in this zone and bring home some exciting goodies.

Try Running Zone: ActiveHealth wants you to start running. And Try Running Zone will help you learn some of the drills and proper stretching techniques from our coaches to help you get started. Tips will also be provided on how to prevent injuries from occuring.

Runners Zone: You have sweated it out. You have run a good distance. You deserved to be pampered. Get a rub down in our massage area, ice pools and cool down to relax those muscles and freshen up station so you can still look your best after crossing the finish line. Indulge In!

U Run U Connect Wifi Zone: Share your running experience – post it on our facebook site. Snap a shot with your running buddies and upload if right away with our free wifi powered by Globe.

Winners Lounge: Get to meet the other winners of Run United 1 2012, this is where winners should be. Because crossing the finish line ahead of the rest deserves some special treat.

Food Zone: Load up on protein, carbo and health drinks. Indulge in food treats, to recover fast and stay healthy.
ULAH Expo Area: Gear up and run like a pro. Run, sweat and still look your best.
Family & Couples Photo Booth: Have your family/ couple’s photo taken in this new photo booth. Get a shot from our professional photographer and it will uploaded in our site for you to see.
Check-Up Station: Needed a health check? Our doctors, nurses and staff will assist and welcome you right on cue.
ULAH Block: Invite your friends and strike a pose with our ULAH Block – the newest logo of ActiveHealth. Have fun and share the memories – post it in Unilab ActiveHealth’s fan page.

RUN United Leg 3: Running the Afroman Distance the Second Time Around

Courtesy of JpegMendoza
and Deemenrunner
The Afroman distance was one of the races I looked forward to running this year. Completing the trilogy was no longer my goal since I already did that in 2010.

And as race date got nearer, I couldn’t contain my excitement. Well, it has been months since my BDM 102 experience, and I haven’t got the time to run longer distances other than the recently held 21K races during the Run United Leg 2 and the Adidas KOTR. Kind of missed ultra distance running events lately.

Too much excitement can be a little nerve-wracking also. PatCon, also known as Running Shield in the blogosphere, said in his recent blog posts that he couldn’t help being nervous every time he’s racing. My sentiments exactly! Yes, I still get those butterflies in the stomach as well as not being able to sleep well the night before the race.

After depositing my stuff at the baggage area, it was great to finally see familiar faces—fellow bloggers, friends from group, the “masters”, Happy Feeters, multisport enthusiasts, fellow ultramarathon friends among others—at the starting line. The 32K gun start was at 4:30AM. With the large number of 32Kers, it may be likened to the number of participants in a full marathon event.

I failed to achieve my goal in Sunday’s race even if it was a fairly good finish for me. I failed because aside from starting way too fast during the initial stage of the race, I also gained a little weight. It means I must control, tweak my pacing, and not be lazy in doing the core exercises next time.

Mall of Asia area was my training ground prior to BDM 102. In fact, the RU3 Starting Line was the exact spot where I usually begin my training workouts. I haven’t been back until recently and was surprised to note some changes in the area. Buildings kept mushrooming, traffic lights have been added, and the vehicles, well, just too many of them especially at night. The somewhat U-shape route was my favorite but when I came back for my training runs, I could no longer do it with the many parked vehicles and the ongoing building constructions in the place.

When in a Runrio race, expect a well organized running event. The baggage area is easy to find, lots of water, efficient marshals and traffic aides, race starts on time, KM markers in place along the route, a challenging route, availability of first aid personnel, efficient way of giving freebies and loot bags, medals given to finishers at the finish line, energetic emcees, provision of portable toilets in strategic areas, and many more.

Some said they didn’t like the route because there were areas which are smelly and polluted. I also agree to a certain degree but guys we couldn’t blame the race organizer for this. We have ourselves to blame for polluting our environment in the first place. In fact, we contributed every time we throw and leave those empty cups, gel packets, and bottles on the road. There were those who were nice enough to put their cups in the receptacles provided though. The organizer was not lacking in providing containers for the cups as well as collecting these after the race. We should laud them for these initiatives instead of complaining about it. Those garbage collectors who were there ready to gather the plastic cups should be lauded also.

I’m recommending a little improvement in the area of providing enough energy drinks for runners (if possible only) next time.
Overall, it was a great race! Congratulations to all finishers, those who completed the trilogy, and kudos to Runrio Team and Unilab for bringing a series of pretty good running events this year!

Runrio Trilogy Leg 3 In-Store Registration Postponed

Here’s the official announcement about the postponement of the Runrio Trilogy Leg 3 : Run United 3 in-store registration which is originally scheduled to open on 3 Oct. 2011.

Dear Runners,


Due to the unfavorable conditions that the recent Typhoon Pedring brought to the country, the scheduled delivery and receipt of the official RunRio Trilogy Leg 3: Run United 3 2011 singlets were not met. Due to this delay, RunRio decided to move the In-Store Registration to October 7, Friday to ensure that runners will be able to bring with them a complete race kit upon registration.
Online Registration on the other hand, will still open as scheduled on Monday, October 3, 2011.

Thank you very much for your kind understanding. We look forward to your participation in the upcoming Run United 3 2011.

Warm Regards,

The Runrio Team

Runrio Trilogy Leg 3 : Run United 3, 13 Nov. 2011

So many good races to look forward to next month. 
One of these is the Runrio Trilogy Leg 3 dubbed as Run United 3 brought to you by Unilab and organized by Runrio. 
Included in this event are categories 500m for children, the usual fun distances of 3K, 5K, 10K, 15K, 21K, and the very much awaited Afroman distance 32K.   Well, don’t wait for last minute to register.  Runners keen on running the Afroman and those vying to complete the Trilogy are encouraged to register early.   Runners joining the 21K and the 32K categories will get finisher’s shirt and medal.


RUN United 3 Singlet Design


Registration Fees and Inclusions

500m for children | P 250
Unilab active health kit, race kit, finisher’s kit, discount coupons

3K | P 500
Unilab active health kit, race, analysis, race kit, finisher’s kit, discount coupons

5K & 10K | P 600
Unilab active health kit, race analysis, race kit, finisher’s kit, discount coupons

15K | P 700
Unilab active health kit, race analysis, race kit, finisher’s kit, discount coupons

21K | P 750
Unilab active health kit, race analysis, race kit, finisher’s kit, discount coupons, 21K finisher’s shirt and medal

32K | P 900
Unilab active health kit, race analysis, race kit, finisher’s kit, discount coupons, 21K finisher’s shirt and medal

Registration Sites

ONLINE: 3-30 Oct. 2011

IN-STORE: October 3 to November 6, 2011
Using the first automated registration in the country.

RUNNR – Bonifacio Global City
RUNNR – Shangrila
Planet Sports – Glorietta
Planet Sports – Alabang Town Center
The Athletes Foot – Galleria
Planet Sports – Trinoma
Unilab Head Office (to accommodate Unilab employees)

For route and gun start information, please visit Runrio website. 

The Runrio Trilogy Awards Night, March 1

From its inception, I knew then that I wanted to complete the trilogy. And so I did.

The Runrio Awards Night was Coach Rio’s way of giving back to runners who have conquered the three main events dubbed as 21K-21K-32K.  It was a night fit for stars.   From the red carpet, photo wall, to stage props, it looked like the Academy Awards.  

I attended this event not only as a blogger but also as an awardee for completing the Century Tuna Superbods Run (21K), Nature Valley Run (21K), and Run United 2 (32K) dubbed as The Runrio Trilogy

Never a dull moment especially with the powerful performances of the Philippine All-Stars, a hip-hop dance group that won the World Hip Hop Dance Championships in 2006 and 2008.  That was really a great bonus for me. Yeah, I’m a fan of this group!

With Philippine All-Stars
Receiving the award
Another plus that night was the presence of the Filipina beauty queen, Venus Raj, who was crowned Miss Philippines-Universe last year and represented the country in the 2010 Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, and placed fourth runner-up. 

With Miss Philippines-Universe, Venus Raj

Some runners also garnered special awards.  Runrio’s theme song, Run for Love, and Runrio races for 2011 were also launched that night. Overall, it was a successful event. Kudos to Coach Rio and his Runrio Team for a job well done!  Many, many thanks to Doc Marvs for the photos.