Under Armour Megamall Launch: Part 1

With many well-known sports stores either closing shop or just plain downsizing, sportswear and apparel brand Under Armour seems to be on a roll, making its presence felt at the right places and at the right time. Under Armour’s first store at the Bonifacio High Street in Taguig which opened last May is doing largely well and has reportedly exceeded projected sales beyond expectations.

With this success and their iconic line of sporting gear and accessories selling like crazy, they have expanded to SM Megamall, launching another chic branch last October 22, 2014 with new styles and models being introduced.

UA Megamall facade

The Jazzrunner was invited anew for this launch in their 2nd store at the Ground Floor, Megamall, Bldg. A, and is just beside the Odyssey Music store. With crowds of guests and onlookers stationed at the entrance of the store, i made my way inside expecting their usual fare of shoes and garments but they had more than the usual, including new models of running shoes, dri-fit base layers, new shirt designs, training jackets and many more!

The store has this trendy look, similar in size to that of their BHS branch and their selection of sports gear seem to have expanded with many styles added to their products. This well-stocked sports house has the perfect pairing for functional sports gear for different sports like running and basketball and stylish off-sports look.

When considering your next set of running gear, like dri-fit tops, running shorts, sports bras, running caps and visors or even shoes at a store located in Megamall that has prices within your pocket’s reach, then the Under Armour Store should be at the top of your list!

I’ll be back with a short recap of the Under Armour Celebrity Cross-Fit Challenge which was a highlight of the store’s launch. The UA cross-fit challenge featured local tv and movie personalities flexing their muscles and pitting endurance against each other in a friendly competition on who’s the fittest and strongest. This will come out as Part 2 in a few days.

In the meantime, i’ll be leaving you with a sneak peek of Under Armour’s Megamall Branch.

The entrance

Mixed Martial Arts star Brandon Vera, flanked by Rochelle Romero (L) and Judith Staples (R) inside the UA Megamall Store


Under Amour’s Touchdown in Megamall
Under Armour Set to Open New Store in Manila’s SM Megamall

A few months after launching its first-ever Southeast Asia brand store in Bonifacio High Street, the US-based performance footwear and apparel brand continues its momentum in the market with the opening of a new brand store in the SM Megamall location.

The brand is hosting a special launch event on 22nd October 2014.

“Opening in Megamall is a natural step for the brand’s expansion in the Philippines,” said Carlos Maza, Senior Director, New Markets, Under Armour. “The response to our brand from athletes in the Philippine’s has been tremendous and we look forward to increase our presence throughout the country.”

The store in Megamall will embody a retail experience that evokes the high energy and signature gritty ethos of the Under Armour brand. Endorsed by renowned athletes such as former Ateneo volleyball star Gretchen Ho and football ace, captain of the women national team Natasha Alquiros, Under Armour Megamall will offer to its fans the whole Fall-Winter range and the same technologies that are now pushing those athletes to the max.

The FW2014 collection includes the brand’s technological innovations such as the HeatGear® Sonic, Heatgear® Flyweight, Coldblack®, Coldgear®, UA Storm, UA Tech™ and the popular Compression range. Additionally, among the technical apparel available is HeatGear® ArmourVent™, a new training apparel technology platform available in both men’s wear and women’s wear. The UA Studio & UA StudioLux® lines are designed for athletic females such as brand ambassador and American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland.

Under Armour is distributed in the Philippines through an exclusive partnership with Triple Pte. Ltd.

“The Under Armour Megamall store is the result of a well-planned expansion strategy,” said Adrian Chai, Chief Marketing Officer, Triple Pte. Ltd. “It’s in a high-traffic centrally located area making the brand even more accessible.”

Aesthetically, this new retail destination will bring to life the Under Armour brand personality. The environment will include accent metal and wood furnishings and the Under Armour Thrones, large black leather seats with the logo stitched in red prominently installed within the footwear zone.

The SM Megamall location was secured by local retailer, Grupo Athletica. (Press Release)

About Under Armour, Inc.
Under Armour (NYSE: UA), the originator of performance footwear, apparel and accessories, revolutionized how athletes across the world dress. Designed to make all athletes better, the brand’s innovative products are sold worldwide to athletes at all levels. Under Armour’s wholly owned subsidiary, MapMyFitness, powers one of the world’s largest Connected Fitness communities. The Under Armour global headquarters is in Baltimore, Maryland.
For further information, please visit the Company’s website at http://www.uabiz.com.

About Triple Pte. Ltd.
Triple Pte. Ltd., a sports & lifestyle retailer holds the exclusive distribution rights for the Under Armour brand across Southeast Asia. Under Armour is the fastest growing sports performance footwear, apparel and accessories brand worldwide. Triple launched the first two Southeast Asian Under Armour mono-brand retail outlets in Singapore and Philippines in May 2014. An omni-channel e-commerce will be served out of Singapore across the ASEAN region in Q4 2014. Triple is based in Singapore.

About Grupo Athletica
Grupo Athletica is the sole authorized operator for Under Armour mono-brand stores and shop-in-shops in the Philippines. They operate the UA section in Planet Sports Greenhills and PowerPlant, and the flagship store in Bonifacio High Street, Taguig and soon to open in SM Megamall.
As an enterprise, Grupo Athletica is driven by the same principles that apply to sports and athletic excellence: leadership is done by example, and validation comes only through results.

Location / Operating Hours

Bonifacio High Street
1F 12-13 Bonifacio High Street, Taguig City, 1634
Daily: 11am-10pm
+63 2 823 7289

SM Megamall
Bldg A, UG Level Dona Julia Vargas Ave. Wack-Wack, Mandaluyong
Daily: 10am -10pm
+63 2 654 5466

The Under Armour Store at BHS: A Sneak Peek

If you’re a runner who’s tired of wearing the same old Adidas, Nike or New Balance apparels and wants to try out a new performance sports brand, then this place is for you! Yes, Under Armour is now officially open here at the Bonifacio High Street!

I was invited for the media launching of their first retail store at the Bonifacio High Street in Taguig and even before its presence here, news of its opening a full outlet in Manila was already creating a buzz among runners and multi-sport athletes. It’s a welcome alternative to the burgeoning presence of other well established brands in the country.

Skimming the interiors of the store, it’s a regal shop with great interior designs, it’s well stocked and the selection is impressive. Staff we spoke with are friendly and attentive (they should be, it’s a new store). It’s a good sized-store, not too big but not small by any measure.

Lots of dry fit/technical shirts, dry fit cotton shirts, compression shorts and tights, singlets, running socks, caps, shorts and an almost complete assemblage of their latest running shoes. They have a Hero Zone that features Marvel and DC comics-inspired shirts like the “S” Superman label.

This is a great and very refreshing addition to the usual specialty running stores located at Bonifacio Global City. Their prices? Very reasonable! Thumbs up!

Leaving you with a a sneak peek of  Under Armour’s flagship store!


The large floor decal after the door step entrance

With lawmaker Se. Pia Cayetano, heartthrob Piolo Pascual and principals of the Under Armour store before the opening

Opening ceremonies

Men’s selection


For women

Brand Ambassador, Fafah P.

At center is football player, Natasha of the Philippine Women’s Football Malditas Team

Female running thights

Running shorts (F)

Female tops

The ladies will love these

Sen. Pia was trying these on

UA Brand Manager walking us through the different products

Reebok Fithub Makati

Reebok and fitness have been synonymous for quite sometime now and lately, the two have merged and you can taste that experience in Reebok’s first ever fitness concept store, the Reebok FITHUB! The FITHUB shop is located at the 2/F of Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati.

The store is geared to those who are passionate about health and fitness and their staff have a strong fitness background enabling them to work with customers to help them select the best products for their workouts as well as provide training tips and general health and lifestyle advice.

I, together with the sports media and running bloggers were witness to the store’s launching last March 13 and were treated with Reebok’s latest products in running shoes and apparel and their plans of having in-store events and activities related to fitness.

The Reebok Fithub (with its new Delta symbol) at the Royal Sporting House, 2nd Level, Glorietta 4, Makati

Miguel Dy Buncio (L) of Crossfit Manila partners with Reebok and shows the latest moves of exercises for the guests

Guests at the launching included Crossfit Manila founder Miguel Buncio who will work to create strong partnerships between Reebok FitHub, its customers and the local fitness community. Also present is fitness celebrity trainer and host, Jim Saret. FitHub is a crossfit-oriented store but still maintains their loyal followers of running, dance and other related sports activities.

Find out more and visit the FitHub at Glorietta 4 and check-out the latest Reebok apparel and running shoes.

(Many thanks to Ms. Villy Bay, Reebok’s Marketing Head for having us at the launch).


With Jonel Mendoza, one of the country’s foremost ultra running race directors

With running celebrity, Jaymie Pizarro, the Bullrunner

With the Pinoy Biggest Loser Host and fitness guru, Jim Saret (standing, 2nd from right) and the running bloggers


March 13, Makati City: Today, Reebok continues its mission to empower people to be fit for life with the launch of Philippines’ first ever Reebok FitHub Shop-in-Shop at the Royal SportingHouse Store, 2nd Level Glorietta 4 Ayala Center Makati. Designed to inspire people to move, to train, to get fit and have fun doing it, the Reebok FitHub offers a new way of thinking about fitness and is THE destination for those dedicated to living a fit lifestyle.

The retail store is inspired by elements found in fitness studios and CrossFit boxes around the country.  Like a gym, the environment is raw, creative and innovative with customers being immersed in fitness as soon as they enter the store.

A Zumba demo inside Fithub

The store will carry pinnacle product from Reebok’s latest collections specifically made for fitness and exclusive to the FitHub. This premium footwear and apparel collection features Reebok’s top-of-the-line technology and materials, allowing for optimal performance and comfort.

Yoya Maglaya, Reebok Phlippines’ Sales and Marketing Manager, commented; “We’re extremely excited to have opened the first Reebok FitHub Shop-in-Shop.  The FitHub is great statement to prove Reebok’s commitment to getting people active. It will give consumers a full fitness experience like no other, inspire people to get moving and become a desirable destination for the fitness community.”

The Philippines’ first Reebok FitHub is part of an ever-expanding global network of concept stores, which includes the USA, Korea, Russia and Dubai. The growth in number of FitHubs is more than just an expanding number of stores; it represents Reebok as a brand, aiming to empower people to get fit for life and to give them the tools they need to do this. Whether it is Running, Dance, CrossFit or Yoga, Reebok aims to bring people together to experience fitness in a way that is different, challenging and rewarding.

For more information on the Reebok FitHub please visit: www.Reebok.com


Brooks Opens First Concept Store in Manila

Brooks fans in Metro Manila will now be able to shop for their favorite Brooks running gears, apparels and enjoy the full Brooks retail experience. Located at the 3rd level of SM North Annex, consumers will find the best Brooks has to offer, including their multi-awarded running shoes, their gait analyses system called the “Running Lab” and other top-line products.

I was invited at the store’s launching last October 17 and we were shown the full array of Brook’s line of sports wear including a fashion show of their functional clothing and accessories.

Read more on the launching of Brooks’ first South Ease Asian Concept Store:


BROOKS, the go-to company for anything and everything related to running, together with Sports Resources Inc. (SRI), unveiled its first concept store in Southeast Asia at the 3rd level of SM North Annex.  The partnership promises to give local runners a huge boost.

FIRST IN SOUTHEAST ASIA. Brooks, the world’s number one running shoe brand in the US opens its first concept store in SM North Edsa.

Brooks running specializes in creating innovative and biomechanically engineered gear by providing the utmost support and comfort to runners. It is a brand dedicated to inspiring people whether beginners or elite to run and be active.

Recipient of various awards, Brooks through the years has helped local runners elevate their performance by bringing in top of the line and multi-awarded footwear such as the Ghost 5, Trance 11, PureGrit and PureFlow, all cited as best of their class by the world’s premier running magazine Runner’s World.

Just this year alone, Brooks has scored the following awards for its different models: Trance 11, Runner’s World “Editor’s Choice” (March 2012); Trance 11, Self “Best for Run/Distance” (April 2012); PureGrit, Runner’s World “Best Buy” (April 2012); PureCadence, Running Network “Best New Shoe” (Spring 2012); PR MD, ESPN HS “Best For Track (Spring 2012); PureGrit, Shape “Best for Mellow Trails” (April 2012); Adrenaline GTS 12, Fitness “Extra Stability” (April 2012); PureCadence, Running Network “Best Minimalist Shoe” (Spring 2012); PureConnect , Triathlete “Best Minimalist” (Spring 2012); and Ghost 5, Runner’s World “Editor’s Choice” (Fall 2012).

The Brooks Collection

The brand is endorsed by world-class athletes such as four-time World Ironman Champion Chrissie Wellington. It was recently recognized as the #1 brand in the specialty running retail in the US. This is a testament that the brand stays true to its objective of offering the best running gear and continues to be a trusted brand by many runners.

Brooks’ line of clothing

Award-winning Brooks shoes

Other accessories

More accessories

The new concept store offers a wide selection of Brooks running shoes and apparel that are exclusive to the store and features a complete range  of running accessories that runners need from head to toe.

It also features “The Running Lab,” a technically advanced system that determines one’s foot type and stride using a footprint scanner and a high-speed video gait analysis to recommend the right shoe for every customer.

Brooks ambassadors – celebrity/ triathlete Jennylyn Mercado, 70.3 Ironman top Filipino finisher August Benedicto, Southeast Asian Games long-distance running multiple gold medalist Eduardo “Vertek” Buenavista, along with other guests, graced the formal opening of the store last October 17, 2012.

Toby Claudio, of Tobys with Ms. Jenellyn Mercado at the opening ceremonies of the store

Guests and media

A fashion show was also held at the activity hall of SM Annex to showcase the best Brooks running gear, which includes awarding-winning footwear selection such as the Brooks Pure Project collection and the best apparel of the season.

At the Brooks fashion show

Brooks apparel were presented during the fashion show

Steve Ave, Brooks International brand development manager for Asia Pacific was recently in the country to experience the dynamics of running in the country and further concluded that running market continues to expand. “We feel there is no better time than now to open the new Brooks concept store here in the country. He added “We are proud to bring you the technology that is being enjoyed by top athletes in the United States and across the globe,” said Avé.

A quick look inside

“The Ghost, the Adrenaline, everything that has helped US athletes of all levels elevate their game and enjoy the sport more, we have now brought to the Philippines,” said Rodolfo S. Claudio, SRI president. “We, as always, are proud and pleased to give local athletes the best brands and the needed lift to help them perform better.”

At the launching. Toby Claudio answers queries from the media

With friend and fitness guru, Zinnia Villarin

For more information, you may visit Brooks at the 3rd level of SM Annex in SM North Edsa or log on to brooksrunning.com.ph, brooksrunning.com and follow frequent brand updates on Twitter (@brooksrunning) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/Brooksrunningphils). (Press Release)

Riovana’s Grand Launch!

Finally, Coach Rio’s Riovana Running store had a grand launch and its fixture at the Bonifacio High Street will be one runners will be visiting often in the years to come!

I’ve blogged about Riovana before, here and here–> recovery center and it was time for Coach Rio dela Cruz to have a grand send-off of his two stores (the other located along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City). The grand inaugural was held last February 17 and the BHS store showcased its line of footwear and accessories in a fashion show-like setting replete with the latest gadgets and live ramp models showing them off.

Within the four walls of Coach Rio’s store lies an impressive inventory of running shoes with even newer models expected to come in very soon. His stock includes some of the newer models from Saucony, Brooks and Nike. The store also carries the latest on GPS watches, apparels like jog bras, tops and shorts, compression gear, socks and even cellfone/mp3 cases.

With a whole gamut of independent and chain sports retailers vying for the loyalty of the running community, Riovana has to do a better job than its competitors to keep its sales receipts up. To that end, the store offers special services like running clinics and coaching from its team of coaches, handles registration for numerous races and most importantly, it has set up a sports recovery clinic with several sports doctors on hand or by appointment to treat runners help manage their injuries or get a sports massage by their able therapists.

Here are some pictures and a press release from the event:

The party/launch just in front of the BHS store

Coach Rio on hand to welcome the guests

Fashion models showcasing sports apparels sold at Riovana

Nice models but do they run?:-)

One of the attractions wearing a Zoot tank and shorts

Men have their own fashion too


A heightened experience welcomed the members of the media and other guests during the grand launch of Riovana held last February  17, 2012. Owned by the running industry’s frontliner Coach Rio De La Cruz, the event demarcated the formal unveiling of this one-stop-shop that provides a different high to runners and enthusiasts alike by enlightening them about the right tools, techniques and other know-hows regarding running so they can transcend from being ordinary to extraordinary runners.

Guests were given a tour of Riovana to introduce them to the various areas within: Sole Running, where the perfect pair of shoes for an individual depending on his fitness level: gold-for speed work, interval trainings and the race day, silver – for intermediate training and bronze for beginners, are determined via the Gait Analysis – the shoes; Sole Searching, the lounge area where members can interact with other runners as they build lasting friendships over races and Sole Healing, a revolutionary recovery center that focuses on pre and post running treatments.

Apart from the tour, there were also raffle draws which paved way for lucky guests to win exclusive items from Riovana. Another highlight of the evening was the fashion show which featured the 2012 collection of some of the brands which Riovana carries.

Visit Riovana at the Ground Floor of Active Fun Building 9th avenue corner 28th street at the Bonifacio Global City, near Honda BGC and at the 3rd Floor of  Regis Center Building, Loyola Heights, Quezon City in front of Ateneo De Manila University.

For more details, please visit www.riovana.com. Like us on facebook: RiovanaPhilippines and follow us on twitter RiovanaPH for the latest updates.                                                     

For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/RiovanaPhilippines and http://www.riovana.com/

Goofin' with the runningfitmom, Gigi

With Runrio boss, Angelo and blogger Banjo

Rio and fiancee, Nicole with Vimz Mendoza and bloggers inside Riovana BHS

Riovana Katipunan Branch

RUNNR: Now Open In Alabang!

Located at the 2nd Level, Garden Wing, Alabang Town Center

This is going to be one great news for runners living in the south, particularly those from Alabang, Muntinlupa; Sucat in Paranaque; San Pedro, Laguna, Las Pinas City, Zapote and other outlying towns within the area. RUNNR Running store has just opened its doors at the Alabang Town Center (ATC) to cater the needs of these runners living near the area which saves them time from going further north at their store in The Fort, Taguig City.

Mr. Toby Claudio, RUNNR Founder and President located his store at the Garden Wing of ATC. It’s in a very good location, well within an affluent residential area (Ayala Alabang) and Mr. Claudio expects about 30 to 50% of business will be from standard mall traffic but will continue to be a destination store for runners looking for more specialized shoes and accessories.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to their launching last week and their store opening was marked by a running clinic they themselves organized with lectures coming from Takbo.ph head, Jinoe Gavan and a lecture on running technique by US-certified running coach Jay Valencia.

RUNNR President and Founder Toby Claudio giving the opening remarks during the store's launching

Takbo.ph's Jinoe Gavan giving his lecture on the basics of running

With shops firmly established at their Bonifacio High Street Main Branch, Trinoma and Ayala Center in Cebu which i had recently visited, RUNNR Alabang will continue to provide outstanding service and merchandize knowledge, the works in technical clothing and accessories and a hard to beat shoe selection at competitive prices.

Clearly, this new shop in Alabang Town Center is worth a run to the mall!

Certified U.S. running coach, Jay Valencia on proper running techniques

At the store's opening

A sizable crowd inside

Press Release:


THE footrace fever in the country remains high as all roads lead to the south of the metro with RUNNR formally opening its doors in Alabang Town Center on Saturday, March 3, 2012.

RUNNR, the country’s first world-class running specialty store, and Ayala Mall’s Store of the Year in 2010,  brings state-of-the-art technology and a complete selection of  running brands to the premier business and residential area south of Manila, which has recently become the new favorite venue for running and other endurance events.

The revolutionary Footworx system –a combination of Footprint Analysis, High-speed Video Gait Analysis and Custom Insole Moulding services–has benefited a huge number of athletes since RUNNR brought the technology to the Philippines three years ago. Now with the new RUNNR at ATC, more running enthusiasts will get the help they need for improved performance and injury prevention.

The custom-fitting system helps runners identify the best shoe to match their foot type and stride, which helps them run longer and more comfortably. RUNNR carries several topnotch brands including Newton shoes–the choice of some of the world’s best triathletes–and CW-X compression wear.

RUNNR also offers other world-class brands such as Brooks, Adidas, Nike, Vibram Five Fingers, and New Balance. All the guesswork in picking and fitting the proper shoes are eliminated by the Footworx system and RUNNR’s highly-trained staff. Another huge plus is that everything that a runner needs, from sophisticated heart rate monitors to hydration equipment, are available at all RUNNR outlets.

“We want to inspire people to get into the running lifestyle by helping them find the right gear and teaching them the basics that will help them become better runners.” RUNNR is staffed by dedicated and skilled staffs who are runners themselves. They can help find the right shoe for each person’s specific Footype and even teach proper running form and training methods. Also available at RUNNR are world-class running gear and accessories from Polar, Smith Optics, Fuelbelt, Nathan, GU, CEP, Spenco, and Equipe.

The formal launch of RUNNR ATC was highlighted by an inspirational talk from Jineo Gavan of takbo.ph and a lecture on running technique by US-certified running coach Jay Valencia. Also present at the event were radio and television host Sam YG, actor JC De Vera, RUNNR Founder and President Toby Claudio and COO Jojo Claudio.

This March, RUNNR offers a special P1000 pesos off on footwear priced P4,995 and above when donating running singlets of any brand and from any fun run to RUNNR stores at Alabang Town Center, Bonifacio High Street, Trinoma, Ayala Center Cebu, and RUNNR corners in Toby’s Arena stores in Shangri-la Plaza, SM Mall of Asia and Abreeza Davao.

Donated running singlets, which will be given to the communities of Smokey Mountain, should be in good running condition. The RUNNR Alabang Town Center launch is presented by RUNNR and Alabang Town Center in cooperation with Newton, Brooks, CW-X, Smith Optics, Moving Comfort, Nike, Adidas, New Balance, and Zoot.

The newly opened RUNNR is located at the second level of The Garden in Alabang Town Center. For more on running and world-class running gear, visit www.runnr.com.ph, facebookcom/RUNNRPhils or newtonrunning.com or follow RUNNR on twitter.com/RUNNRStore.

RUNNR Alabang Opens March 3, 2012: Free Running Clinic and Singlet Promo

Calling all runners specially those from the south!

On March 3, 2012, Saturday, RUNNR will launch its ATC outlet store through a heart-pumping afternoon filled of activities and information on the sports of running. This will be held at the Alabang Town Center Activity Center at 5PM.

To co-incide with the opening, RUNNER will conduct a FREE running clinic, entitled “START RUNNING”.
This event is presented by Alabang Town Center and RUNNR, powered by Newton & Brooks. Enjoy a free clinic from top running experts:
  • Getting started into Running – An inspirational talk by Takbo.ph Jinoe Gavan
  • Natural Running – a lecture on running technique by US-Certified Natural Running Coach Jay Valencia
Event is on SAT, March 3, 2012, 5:00-7:00pm, at the Alabang Town Center Activity Area. FREE REGISTRATION. Limited seats only (100 maximum seating capacity). First come, first served.   Come and visit RUNNR’S newest branch in the 2nd level of the Garden Wing in Alabang Town Center.
In addition, they’ll also be having a unique summer promo entitled “RUNNR DONATE-A-SINGLET PROMO.” Get P1,000 off on your shoes when you donate your old singlet!
Here’s the mechanics:

  1. Bring in your old running singlet (sleeveless or shirt-type race apparel) to RUNNR stores in Bonifacio High Street, Trinoma, Alabang Town Center, Ayala Center Cebu and RUNNR corners in Toby’s Arena stores in Shangri-la Plaza, SM Mall of Asia, and Abreeza Davao, and exchange it to get P1,000 OFF upon purchase of regular-priced shoes worth Php 4,995 and up.
  1. One (1) old running singlet is equivalent to one (1) discount transaction. Each discount value is applicable for only one item purchased. Bring in as many old running singlets to get discounts on as many new shoes.
  1. They will only accept athletic running singlet of any brand, fun run or races, in adult male or female size. Kid’s size shall not be accepted.

Donated old running singlet should be in decent condition and is still wearable.

  1. All collected running singlets will be donated to the communities of Gawad Kalinga’s Paradise Heights Smokey Mountain.
  1. This promo is not valid in conjunction with any other promos. Promo runs from March 2 to April 1, 2012.

Hope to see you all this Saturday!

Riovana: The SOUL of Running

I was suppose to blog the upcoming Run BGC 2011 for November 27 but thought about writing something on Coach Rio’s newest venture first, his new running store cum cafe cum shower room, cum everything else, the RIOVANA. There will be a soft opening this afternoon, the affair will be low-key and will showcase many running products not readily available at other running stores.

The first of many shops Coach Rio plans to open is located along 28th Street, corner 9th (near Honda) at BGC, site where many races start their runs and based on the interiors which was being hastily spruced up last night, it looks spacious and swanky that will surely attract runners when it comes to life.

Riovana will surely be the next gathering of runners. Consider that every Thursday evening at 6:00pm anywhere from 50 to 60 runners gather at A Running Circle (ARC) along Roxas Blvd. and not just to buy shoes and gear. ARC is the starting point for a weekly 5 to 15k runs so think about the BHS running crowd with the hundreds of runners training around the BGC at any given day (or night). It will be the ideal meet-up of running groups, an information or registration center for races and when buying your shoes, you get the knowledge of experts who’ll give advice to your every need as a runner.

I heard that they’ll provide locker rooms and shower facilities for runners who want to freshen-up after a run, for a fee, of course. It will also be a venue for running clinics and race launches and those who want to take a quick bite, they’ll serve some coffee, drinks and other delectable snacks.

With Jaimie Liu and Cooach Rio

The store’s tagline reads, “The Sole of Running”. But there’s more than putting pun out of a tagline. Coach Rio has been serving the needs of runners through the mostly excellent races he organizes, to running clinics that he conducts and to the products that he endorses which says a lot about his credibility and the trust people put into him. A top flight runner himself, he’s always in the offensive line of running success and serves in just about any imaginable capacity to keep the local running community going strong.

The guy with the afro hair is the core of the present running community. He is the SOUL of running. Peace, brother!

It's raining at Riovana!

Chris Sports: A Run To The Mall

Last night after a meeting with some foreign employers from an agency I consult for, I met up with some of my co-running bloggers to attend the Chris Sports Bloggers Night at the Glorietta to drum up the store’s introduction of the ON-Running shoes which will make its debut this coming September. Last night’s bloggers were not exclusively from the running community but from all sectors of the blogosphere– from lifestyle, food, sports to other general interests.

My first time to really scan on what’s inside Chris Sports and it got lots to offer for the general sports buff but don’t look for rows of running shoes on display or lots of running apparel hanging on racks to choose from. It’s still your general sports goods store where gym equipments, racquet accessories, court balls and other exercise amenities rule although I see that they have accumulated some hydration belts and compression outfits in their arsenal.

With a whole running gamut of running stores and other sports retailers in the country vying for the loyalty of customers, Chris Sports has to do a better job to flood its stores more with running apparels, particularly running shoes if it wants to attract more of the runners.

To that end, the store will be slowly introducing more running gears and by next month will be introducing its first running shoe, the ON-Running, a shoe developed in Switzerland that has already made its mark in Europe, some parts of the U.S., Australia, Singapore and Malaysia (my review here).

A lot of credit goes to Arleen Lindo, Marketing Manager of Chris Sports who has fashioned and will direct the store into a more runner-friendly sports hub. That said, it has already offered services like sponsorship of various races and handles race registration for numerous events. Incidentally, it is one of the registration centers for the popular EARTH RUN this coming August 28 and the RUN & HELP 2011 for the Cancer Warriors Foundation, Inc. on September 18.

The Big Boss: Chris Sports Marketing Manager Arleen Lindo (R) with Jinoe, Pedz and moi

Arleen introducing Maryanne Ringor of Adevents, Race Director for the Earth Run

I think most, if not all Chris Sports shops are located in malls that cater to week-end shoppers, office workers and mall habitués and probably 75% of their business is standard mall traffic. I like their various displays of their top-of-the-line treadmills, stationary bikes and machines for core exercises. Wish i could afford to buy all of them!

But if Arleen will try to resolve in bringing in more brands of running shoes, more technical clothing, running gears and accessories with competitive prices, it will be a hard-to-beat store which would make this shop worth a run to the mall for us runners.

Thanks to Arleen, Maryanne, Joanne of Solar Entertainment, Sarah and the rest of the Chris Sports staff for a great time last night!

Here are more pics from last night’s event:

With Jinoe, B and Kassy

Arleen working on the crowd

With Sarah of Chris Sports

The bloggers at last night's Chris Sports event

ARC: More Than Just A Running Store

The only running store located in the city of Manila and a stone’s throw away from the running paths of Roxas Boulevard, A Runner’s Circle (ARC) seems to be enjoying its exclusivity in the area and content enough to cater to the running habitues of Manila and even beyond.

Two weeks ago, during the Condura Skyway Marathon, i bump into Raul Acuna, ARC’s local managing partner (while he was handing out free GUs to the runners along the marathon route) and he invited me to visit the store. This was going to be my second visit. The first time was during their opening launch last October and they had a still modest selection of products but has grown since then (read here).

But what caught my attention later was how the mission of the store has evolved over the months into much more than selling shoes and gear. It has supported some local runners through sponsorships by way of free running gear and entry fees. They even have sponsored some fun runs that starts from their store going to Rizal Park and back with overflowing snacks and drinks.

Although just a recreational runner, Raul even goes further by attending races and lends hand by giving out sports drinks and gels along the course to any runner who wants it. But Raul isn’t stopping here. He has some grand plans in the offing and will be more inter-active with the running community as well.

The group fun runs will continue and ARC will sponsor various running activities that will tap the main running clubs of Metro Manila. They will also provide seminars and clinics on everything about running from how to have the proper running form to getting motivation while injured. Raffle draws will be had.

To interact more with the runners, they will set-up an information center that will provide race applications, schedules, names of running clubs to join, recommend running coaches and sports doctors and point you to places for your runs. However, their main thrust is to continue to impart their wealth of experience, knowledge and insight into running and getting the right shoe for your fit and avoid running injuries.

Raul envisions ARC as a gathering place for runners where people can come in to hang-out and talk about everything from their upcoming race, their last work-out, the value of a new shoe and to talk about whose hot in their get-ups and crushes among the members.

So who says you can’t talk about your crushes too?

Here’s a look inside their store now:

Complete Brooks line-up

Love the Kinvaras

Hydration belts, fully represented

More on Amphipod

Shoe inserts/injury prevention products

Gels galore. Buy 3, take 1 free!


K-Swiss too

No, this isn't buy 3, take 1 too:-(

I'm pining for this!

The ARC singlet and shirt

ARC honcho, Raul Acuna. The bottle brandy behind him is not for sale.:-)


Team ARC!