Run United 2, 32k Race: A Short Race Recap

What’s even better than driving over at Cavitex? Running over it and last Sunday’s Run United 2 offered that chance for me to run it once again after the Santey Barley Half-Marathon last year. This is the first time that a Run United race have used the Coastal Highway and Cavitex for its route and it’s a nice change of scenery!

The 32k Afroman course is relatively flat through mostly Roxas Blvd, except for the fly-over bridges along EDSA and Buendia and the Cavitex interchange bridge. It’s an out and back course which seemed that it would be tedious but the views at Cavitex all changed that and it was one great run over-all!

With team mates at the Yellow Cab before the start

At the starting line

Weather conditions were tolerable, humid and dry at the start and it got really warm at the finish. Water stations were aplenty although it got too crowded when both the 21k and 32k runners merged along the route starting somewhere at the 24km distance.

It was great to be running with my team mates, Team 90% and except for a few who were abroad, we were part of the large 12,000 plus runners who toed the line at the start and we all had a nice time.

Approaching the finish line

Thumbs up to the WRFGH photographers

So this is the 2nd race done from the Run United trilogy and i get to scratch this off my list. One more to go and that will be the RU Philippine Marathon on October 5, 2014.

After the running the 32km distance, we were all elated having experienced this awesome race. At the finish line we were given our medal and a bag with some sports drinks, dri-fit finishers shirt and small goodies from Unilab.

Overall it was a nice experience and we’re all looking forward to RU’s full marathon this October. Thank you to Janice Castillo and Claire De Leon-Papa of Unilab for the hearty breakfast at the Media Center!

Check out this link for the race results:

Our finishers shirt and medal

Goofing off at a 7-Eleven convenience store after the race

Rico Blanco, Moonstar88 To Perform Live At Run United-2

Are you a fan of Moonstar88 band or maybe pop icon Rico Blanco? Well, they’ll be performing to you live during the awarding ceremonies for this Sunday’s Unilab Run United 2 at the Mall of Asia grounds.

I don’t really follow much on these cool guys but i know most of you will bob their heads when their hits will blast on stage! How ’bout some jazz music next time, Unilab? (asa pa!)

See you there!

Moonstar 88

OPM icon and singer-songwriter Rico Blanco will rock the stage this Sunday, June 2, with pop band Moonstar88 at Unilab Active Health’s “Run United 2013”, which will be held at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

Blanco is known as a pop icon in the local entertainment scene and has been, for years, considered as the face of the popular 90s band “Rivermaya.” Moonstar88, on the other hand, immortalized the OPM hits “Torete” and “Sulat.”

Rico Blanco

More than 12,000 have signed up for the second leg of this year’s Run United event.  The run features 500m, 10k, 21k and 32k routes which starts and ends on Seaside Boulevard near Block 16 of the mall’s expansive parking lot.  The 10k loop trails the Diosdado Macapagal Avenue on to Roxas Boulevard and back, while the 21k loop reaches as far as the Luneta Park (also on Roxas Boulevard) and Uniwide Theater/Movie Hall on Diosdado Macapagal Avenue.

The 32k route will take the same path as the 21k’s except that it will also reach the opposite end of Roxas Boulevard where it meets the Manila-Cavite Expressway and the NAIA Road.

Although registration for the race is already closed, non-runners are still welcome to participate in exciting and fun-filled health events at the Unilab Active Health Village Areas, which will be situated a few meters from the finish line. The Health Village is divided into five zones namely the Ceelin Playground (for kids); Health, Sports and Leisure zone; UST Physical Therapy zone; Active Health zone and Sports Nutrition zone.

The Ceelin Playground zone includes a giant inflatable playground, a kiddie salon, and henna tattoo, face painting and photo booths.  The other zones offer health lectures, running tips, physical exercises, and an ice pool, among others.

Additionally, three conveniently located areas are designated for the Active Health Apparel shop, Food Pavilion and iConnect booth, which is a social media photo booth where pictures of participants are uploaded in real-time to Unilab Active Health’s Facebook fan page.

Run United is an annual running event sponsored by the pharmaceutical giant United Laboratories (Unilab) through Active Health, its advocacy for the Filipino’s health and wellness, in partnership with RunRio, Inc., a race organization company founded by running coach Rio Dela Cruz.

More than 10,000 runners participated in the first leg of the 2013 Run United, which was held on March 17 also at the SM Mall of Asia.  The final leg of this year’s Run United trilogy will be held on October 6.  For more information, check out Unilab Active Health’s website at

Apart from Run United, Unilab Active Health also sponsors the annual Tri United (a triathlon event) which is organized by Bikeking### (Press Release)

Race Review: Run United2 (One More Slice To Have)

Photo: RU2 21k done! I just need the last piece of cake!:-) #rununited2

One missing slice to fit in

If anyone wanted to have an idea how big 5,000 runners racing the Run United2 21k category alone was going to look like (out of the 14,000 total runners), the assembly at the starting line yesterday would have been your first indication. It was about 3:55am when we arrived at the Bonifacio Global City by bus provided by the organizers after June and i parked his vehicle at the Mall of Asia grounds. And what did we expect to see?

A humongous crowd of runners occupying every shaded part of buildings available around the starting area! It was still drizzling a bit when we were called for the first wave of runners to enter the starting line. Because of the slight rain, some runners were hesitant to be on the first wave in the hope that the rain would subside by the time they join the 2nd or 3rd waves. However we wanted to get this over with, rain or no rain because if this continues during the race itself, we’ll all get wet just the same.

Bus service from MOA to BGC

I had taped my right ankle heavily as it was in pain 3 days prior to the race. I could not flex it side wards as i would really feel a sharp throbbing pain although i would not feel it if i step flat on my heel. Why do these things happen before an important race? I knew i could not give my 100 per cent so the run strategy was just to take it a kilometer at a time and see how it feels. I already told June that i was to abandon the race if the pain acts up during the run.

The customary warm-ups led by the 360 fitness instructors took place but we had no space to move and even jumping up and down was a bit of a stretch. After some low-key remarks from Alex Panlilio, one of Unilab’s big boss, the race commenced. June and i were pacing each other during the first part but it was Jet Paiso, a friend from Team Boring who took over June’s place at the start of the 3rd km and we shared pacing chores for the most part of the race.

As mother luck would  have it, it didn’t rain at all during the run, except for needle-like drops of water for few intermittent seconds. The sky was cloudy-gray indicating that we won’t have the sun that baked us during the first Run United race the last time.

One thing very distinct that i noticed during the run along Kalayaan bridge was that this stretch has now been lit with lamps installed on electric posts. I was sure glad that Coach Rio did something to alleviate the darkness that marked this stretch. Headlamps weren’t needed this time . Well, i didn’t bring one anyway. I was feeling good at this point, no pain on the ankle so far.

One of the water stations along Buendia Avenue Ext.

The pass through Buendia Avenue extension came without a hitch as this was one of the choke points during RU1 when runners had to run side by side with vehicles which were just inches beside you. This time, there were cones lined-up away from where the runners were and traffic moved like precision. I would say that the marshals did a splendid job in controlling traffic as there were considerably less honking and shouting from irate drivers.

Jet and i entered Roxas Boulevard and when we made the first U-turn, it was only then that we realized the long line of runners trailing behind us and when we were atop Buendia Bridge, we could still see the vast sea of runners down, approaching Roxas Blvd and there were still thousands of them. At this point, some of the fast runners from the 3rd wave have started to overtake us but we were still coasting along just fine.

The hydration stations were abundant, lots of ice-cold water, Powerade and eat-all-you-can bananas which really helped sustain and complement the high-energy sports beans that i was popping up. I walked through the stations, bidding my time until i feel giving it a go again.

At around the 14 km mark, Jet decided to slow down and do his Galloway thing so i was left on my own. Incredible how i saw Coach Rio all-over the route, running along side us, monitoring the proceedings with just an APV phone on hand. He was moving plastic drums, picking up scattered cups, banana peelings, sponges and other litter sprawled on the race course. Amazing for a race organizer to do what he did!

At the 20th kilometer, i saw Dyep and Jixee suddenly pacing beside me (they were from the 3rd wave) giving some encouragement as i was nearing exhaustion although the pain that i was expecting from my right ankle never appeared. That last 200 meter stretch on Ocean Drive is like heaven. Every time i see that finish, i try to make a good last drive at it with all my remaining energy which i did again until i reach the orange line! 21k done!

The timer above the finish line posted a 2:21:50 finish and i was at first very surprised and pleased at the same time. However, relying on my Soleus GPS which i had set from the start (and always been accurate, for the record), it read 2:31:50 for the distance 21.11k. It could be that the timer on the finish line was intended for the 3rd wave as there was a 5 minute interval for each wave at the the starting line. We’ll see the official results soon.

Claiming of our finishers kit was a breeze! It was very orderly and you automatically go to the tent where your shirt size is indicated. Just took me less than a minute to get mine.

The big guys got their finishers’ shirts here, including myself

Talking to other runners about the race, all had positive views about the over-all conduct, that it was a great improvement from the previous one (Run United1) specially the distribution of race freebies after the finish. The generous hydration, bananas, great marshals, traffic plus good weather all contributed to the success of the race.

One minor suggestion to the organizers is to place the exhibitors booth in a more visible area of the Health expo as they were mostly located at the back side of the stage. Many runners were not aware that there were booths with products on display because they were not seen easily.

I am thankful for having ran this race injury free. I’ll be pinning for the third and last race of the trilogy series, the 32k race on September 16 and hopefully complete the medal puzzle above.

Race results will soon be posted in the following links:

Here are some more pictures of the race event:

After i crossed the finish line

Entrance to the Active Health Expo

At the wellness tent where PTs gave runners free massage

Actors Zoren and Carmina with their kids. All of them ran the shorter race.

There’s even a Wi-fi hub here courtesy of Globe Comm.

With the officers of Unilab, Coach Rio and representative of The Children’s Hour, a race beneficiary

Little ROX booth with Mariel Flores of Primer Group

With bloggers at the media tent

After finishing Run United’s 2nd 21k run yesterday, i’ll be pinning for the third and last race of the trilogy series, the 32k race on September 16 and hopefully complete the medal puzzle above.