2013 Run United 2 Now Set!


All those aiming to run the seldom held 32k distance, now is your chance to conquer this event at the leg 2 of the Run United 2013 which is going to be held at the Mall of Asia on June 2, 2013.

More than 4,000 are expected to run in this distance alone and if your training has gone well after running the Half last month at Run United-1, expect this to be another feather to your cap and aim for the RU Philippine Marathon (42k) this October.

I was able to attend the launching of this race yesterday at the Chocolate Kiss Cafe inside the UP Campus and here in brief are the details of the race:

Presenter – Unilab Active Health

Organizer – RunRio Inc.

Beneficiaries – Gawad Kalinga and Children’s Hour

2013 Run United 2 will be held on June 2, 2013 with Ceelin 500m dash, 10k, 21k and 32k race categories. All categories will start and finish at the SM Mall of Asia.


Online Registration: April 1 to May 12, 2013

In-Store Registration: April 15 to May 19, 2013

Priority Registration for Run United 1 21k Runners: April 10 – 14, 2013 (only at Riovana BGC)


  • BGC –28th Street corner 9th Ave., Bonifacio Global City –Monday to Sunday from 12nn to 8pm
  • KATIPUNAN – 3rd Floor Regis Center, Katipunan, QC (infront of ADMU) – Monday to Sunday from 12nn to 8pm


  • SM Mall of Asia – Monday to Sunday, 12PM to 8PM
  • SM North – The Block – Monday to Sunday, 12PM to 8PM





Singlet Design

21k Finishers Shirt Design

32k Finishers Shirt Design

Coach Rio discussing the event at yesterday’s launch


  • Registration is on a first come, first serve basis, and may end earlier than the announced deadline. Race kits may run out before May 19, 2013.
  • Singlet size availability will be on a first come first serve basis.
  • Singlet and finishers shirt samples will be available for fitting at the registration centers.
  • A timing device (d-tag) will be used by all participants during the race.
  • D-tag will be presented when claiming the finishers’ kits – no d-tag, no kit.

Here’s a promo offered by Riovana Store. If you buy specific products from their BCG or Katipunan branches worth P5,500.00, you get a free registration entry for this race at whatever distance you choose. Check out the poster for details.

Run For Free Promo



For In-Store Registration Inquiries:

  • Globe – 0927 347 7700
  • Smart – 0929 7178164
  • Landline – (632) 887 6194

Runrio Awards Night 2013

Finally, after two years of observing (with envy) runners getting up the stage to receive their awards for completing the Run United Trilogy Running series, it was finally my turn to summit the 5-foot high stage and received the coveted medal of honor, uhh… it’s actually a dog-chain medallion!

But no matter, it was one worth the recognition of having finished not only the trilogy, but a fourth culminating race, the full marathon!

The awards night has been staged for the past three years and for this particular awarding ceremony held at the SMX Convention Center at the Mall Of Asia in Pasay City last Saturday, April 6, yours truly and about 600 others were recognized for completing the Run United Trilogy series, the 21k-21k-32k and the final Run United Philippine Marathon (42k) all held last year.

This year’s awarding ceremony was surprisingly low-key with a Mardi Gras celebration as theme. Held in one big corner of Annex-1, the event was held simultaneously with other sports exhibitors in a Sports and Wellness festival. Gone is the grandiose banquet, elaborate stage, top band performers and my favorite beauty queen celebrities!

It may have been low in frills this year but that didn’t take away the meaning, prestige and honor it bestowed to us runners, an award not lost to those who painstakingly completed all four events to be given this accolade!

Thanks to Coach Rio Dela Cruz, Unilab Active Health and to Ms. Vimz Mendoza of Runrio Events who by the way, snagged the Best Blogger of the year award, a well-deserved recognition for her non-stop dissemination of all Runrio and other running events to the local running community!

I’ll leave you all with some pictures of the event. Cheers!

And finally, up on the stage with Coach Rio

The Mardi Gras Dance Group

Stage was simple but no less exciting!

With probably the most photograph celebrity runner at the awards, the charming ‘Lucky’ Jackie Gutierrez, a co-awardee. (Photo by J. Ramizares)

With top running photographer and friend, Jose Ramizares, also an awardee

With the running bloggers

With blogger friends (Thanks to Bee Yen for the photo)

With Coach Rio. Appear! (Photo by KB)

Rain United-3: A Race Recap

It’s been almost a week since this race last Sunday (too busy and constant traveling-around-couple-of-days) and i didn’t want you to think that i forgot all my experiences running in this superb 32k race.

With this final leg of  the Run United event, the race was awesome, soaking wet, rainy, well organized and as with most Runrio organized race, an all-around winner! Kudos to Runrio, you did it again! I was pleased over-all to have completed the TRilogy and connected all the 3 medals that came with finishing the 21k-21k-32k races. Finally, a looming march up the stage of the Runrio Awarding nights and get a recognition…hopefully, there will be an awarding nights this year!

The medal triad

Another good turn-out of about 6,000 plus 21k and 32 runners and it’s quite a good feeling knowing where you are on the pack, me…always in the middle, great seeing those faster runners in front of me, cheering them on but knowing you’re still in front of many other runners.

Some quick impressions:

  • Raining all through-out the 32k run, clothes all soaked-out, shoes came wet and floppy inside
  • Nice course, completing the first 10k inside BGC so that you won’t cover too much ground along Roxas Blvd which can be boring.
  • Paced with training partner Tita Betty from start up to the 27th km. Waited for her take a pee near Mercato which took some minutes off our time. Couldn’t keep up with her after the 27th km as she ran her own fast pace.
  • Undisciplined runners who threw their cups and banana peels on the road despite long trash chutes located near the water stations.
  • Suggest that large signs be placed ON TOP of these water chutes facing the runners (not just along the front and sides of the steel railings) where the runners can see them more.
  • Substantial hydration stations, plenty of water… plus rain-soaked POWERADE which gave it a diluted taste. Bananas galore!  Love these long races that offer bananas!
  • Great effort by organizers to light up Kalayaan bridge, the darkest part of many a races. They already did this during leg 2 and hope they continuously sustain this for the welfare of the runners.
  • Race distance seems to be longer than 32k. Some runners had 33k registered on their Garmin GPS while my Soleus’ reading stood at 32.76kms.
  • Very nice finishers shirt although this final edition T-s seems to be coarser than those of the first 2 legs. Never had a problem claiming my shirt which came with the right size although i heard of complaints from other runners not getting the size they were supposed to receive.
  • Great Pinoy bands (Imago, Sandwich) for the after-race programs!
  • Sumptuous breakfast at the Run United tent as guests of the RU Communications Team! Thanks, Run United!

So you may be wondering if i’m going to run the RUN United Philippine Marathon in 5 weeks time? Well, if my training turns out to still be consistent during the next few weeks and get another 32k long run sandwiched-in, i’ll be there at the starting line!

I’m sure this marathon event (October 28) will really give you something to rave about!

You can check the race results here:


Here are some of my RU3 pics. See you soon!

Pacing with Betty up to the 27th km.

A kilometer to go

Home at last!

We were guests of Raymund Santiago from Unilab’s Corporate Communication and husband to Tonette (left) at the Unilab tent after the run.

At the awarding ceremonies

Runners enjoying the activities

Run United 3 Now Set: September 16, 2012

Oh my, it’s just about 3 weeks away from my first 32k race of the year, the Run United Afroman 32k.  I’m sort of worried i won’t be sufficiently prepared, having missed many runs because of those monsoon rains that happened this past few weeks.  I’m trying to cram-in a few runs these past days and weather permit, i’ll be doing some more long slow distances and hope to accomplish a 25-30k run before race day.

I know I’ll make it through, although i don’t think i can duplicate the sub-4 hour time i did during last year’s RU3 in the same distance. And i think this year will be more of a struggle for me, if at all.

For those of you not yet registered for this race, they’ll still be having the 3k, 5k, 10k, 21k and the aforementioned 32k race. Oh, and there’s a Kid’s 500 meter race, as well. Here are the details:


Another Running Spree at Run United 3

All set for the third leg of the Runrio Trilogy 2012 on September 16

Run United is back, after a nearly three-month break. And as the cliché goes, ‘the third time is a charm’. Last year, in fact, a record number of runners estimated at over 14,000 participated in Run United 3.

Run United 3, the third leg of the Run Rio Trilogy, has always been much anticipated because it offers what is dubbed as the ‘Afroman distance’ or 32k category—not usually included in other run races. Of course, on top of the other race categories: the Ceelin 500m dash, 3k, 5k, 10k, and 21k.

“The 32k Afroman Distance in RU3 can be a preparatory race for the full 42.195km category in the upcoming 1st ever Run United Philippine Marathon slated on October 28. RUPM will still have the shorter categories: 500m dash, 3K, 5K, 10K, and 21K.” said Alex Panlilio, Head of Unilab Active Health (ULAH).

Meanwhile, according to premiere race organizer Coach Rio dela Cruz, the runners’ anticipation over Run United 3 will be all worth it as new features and surprises await them on September 16. For one, there will be new routes as well as different starting and finish lines again for Run United 3 in the 21K and 32K categories, like in the previous two races for 21K.

The 32K runners will have a gun start at Bonifacio Global City (BGC) starting at 3am, an hour ahead of the 21k runners. They will be led from BGC to take their first 10k in University Parkway area, then move up to Kalayaan Flyover. Then, they will go all the way down to Buendia, take left at Roxas Boulevard, turnaround taking the roads of Vicente Sotto, Diosdado Macapagal and on to EDSA before finally turning left at Seaside Boulevard for the finish at the Mall of Asia (MOA).

The 21k will have an earlier gun start at 4am compared to Run United 2’s 430am. They will have the same route as the 32k runners, but instead of going to EDSA they will turn right after Macapagal Avenue, turning right at Seaside Boulevard and then all the way to the finish line in MOA.

“Run United 3 runners will get to run across three cities— Taguig, Makati and Pasay. Based from the feedback we got from them, they really enjoyed the experience and the new routes. The earlier gun start of both race categories will give runners a safer route as well,” said Dela Cruz of RunRio Inc., the race organizer.

Online registration for Run United 3 started on August 6 and will continue until September 2, 2012. In-store registration will start on August 13 and will be up to September 9, 2012. Registration venues include Riovana in BGC and Katipunan, Quezon City; and Toby’s at SM Mall of Asia and Trinoma.

The runners will receive their complete race kits upon registration (Active Health Sun Visor, Singlet, Bib with B-Tag and wrist tag for 500m dash runners). The wrist tag for 500m dash kid’s runner which is usually given on race day will now be included in their race kits upon registration.

Run United 3, which is for the benefit of Gawad Kalusugan and Children’s Hour, is part of the ULAH running series. Run United started with only 8,000 runners when it was launched in March 2010 and the numbers have steadily grown in succeeding events. An estimated 14,000 runners participated during its last offering— at 2012 Run United 2.

Run United 1 on March 4 started off this year’s RunRio Trilogy, followed by Run United 2 last 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.

Fun and exciting activities await runners and their family at the Active Health Village, new and bigger Active Kids Zone, Runners’ Lounge, I-Connect Zone, The Food Pavilion and Health, Sports, & Leisure Zones.

For further information or inquiries on race details, results, photos and discussions, please visit the following websites:  www.unilabactivehealth.com or www.runrio.com.

With Coach Rio, Unilab boss Lester Castillo and bloggers.

With bloggers and media at launching of RU3.

Run United 1: A Great Opening Salvo!

I’m not one who wears his finishers’ shirt immediately after a race as i usually save the shirt to wear on a week-end visit to the movies or go out with friends on out-of-town trips. However, after last Sunday’s Run United-1 21k race, the spanking white and blue color combination shirt was so enticing that i immediately put it on after replacing my singlet and freshening-up. Seems i wasn’t alone who wore his prized shirt! Many others, specially the newbie runners were proudly wearing theirs and it showed in their faces, the thrill of finishing their first half-mary!

This probably would sum-up how worth it was running Run United’s first leg!

So here i am, 4 days late for this review and removed from all the excitement that was, i can now sit back and give my thoughts. This is the first Runrio Events trilogy and i have to give Rio and his staff 4.5 stars out of 5 on their level of organization.

I love that the start time was moved back to 4:30am, a little sacrifice for waking up early but a great way to avoid the heat of the sun now that summer has emerged. Me and my group of Betty, Tonet, Leo, Sylvia and Chito arrived at  about 4:00am so there was enough time for us to attend to last minute details, warm-up and have our laces tied-up with these small reflectorized tags which hardly made an effect in running the dark stretch of Kalayaan flyover and beyond.

The idea of a point to point course seems to be overdue and i was glad that they decided to trek-out a route that would finish 21k away from where you started. So BHS to MOA was a nice start…and finish! The route is one i have ran many times in the past although the still dark streets was a little bit restraining as runners were careful not to bump or step on anything that might cause them to trip. Buendia Extension was a bit chaotic as both runners and vehicles ran side by side with each other. I had to run outside the cones designated for runners as there was an ambulance blocking our path and hindered our paces.

The water tables were evenly spaced and all supplied ice cold water and Powerade sports drinks. The Takbo.ph group supplied the first salvo of large bananas at Buendia Ext. just before Taft Avenue and even went as far as providing “taho” for whoever cared to get one. One drawback to these hydration stations in Buendia was that it lacked manpower as runners were made to wait for a few seconds to have their cups filled. A lady manning the station admitted that they were understaffed.

At the last 2 kms, i could already feel the heat setting in and boy was i glad that we started as early as we did or we would have been baked had this race started at 5am. At the finish, i got my medal and had no problem getting my swag of sports drinks and Finisher’s T-shirt although i would find out later that the shirts  have run-out specially for those who finished the race in 3 hours or more.

Over-all, RU1 was well-planned out, well worth the run and the hype that went to it. I’m all geared up to finish the trilogy and the marathon this October! See you at Run United-2!

Wearing our finishers shirt with pride as if we were wearing one for the first time.

The world of running is like one spinning wheel. We experience our high ones and dread being at the low end. But we were all feeling "high" after this race!

Celebration after the race! No pulling back this time!

Taken at Leo and Sylvia's condo near MOA

Running United In Cebu: The Lechon Experience!

Some of my favorite indulges, the Cebu Lechon, the tastiest lechon (roasted suckling pig) ever, Cebu’s Danggit and Carcar’s Chicharon (pork rind) are some of the reasons why Cebu City is high on my Must Visit Cities list. If your runners’ diet too often includes a plate of pasta, green salad and a fruit, forget it! You’re on an out of town trip and so is your diet! Besides, this is Cebu–a food lover’s paradise! This place is one of the few cities i’ve visited down south more than a decade ago where you get to taste some of its delicacies and once thought, “I can live in this place and eat all the food available.”

Cebu City’s urban development renaissance began in the late 90s and the result is a radiant metropolis. The dazzling Asian Park (I.T. Park) showcases an array of gleaming buildings, hotels, shops and restaurants. It’s like a little Ayala Alabang with clean and well-paved roads most suitable for, what else…running!

While Cebu boasts most of the visitors perks associated with a major city, there is little of the “snobbishness, mind your own business” feel you get in other cities of Metro Manila. Instead, the Cebu ethos is one of relaxed amiability. Also, there is a great running tradition here as well, the Pearl of the South is home to many competitive runners and other elite athletes.

Last week, i was one of the few bloggers fortunate enough to get invited by Unilab, Inc. to witness and run the last leg of the Run United Regional Series Half-Marathon in Cebu City which was held last Sunday, December 18 and it was great! It was nice seeing the large turn-out of runners specially in the 21k event which boasted a total of 1,300 runners, one of the largest 21k event to be participated in Cebu.

Here are some quick impressions of the 21k Run United Event:

  • Great course which was relatively flat with just a few gentle hills
  • Runrio’s usual high-tech pre-race program which included the video of the route and Emcee Boy Ramos’ exciting hosting of the event
  • During the early stages of the run, we saw church-goers arriving in their places of worship, some bringing their own stools to attend midnight mass. I can only surmise what they had in mind while looking at us. They must have been thinking that we runners are supposed to celebrate midnight mass instead of running while i was wishing that they should run instead and hear mass later!:-)
  • Though most roads were closed to accommodate runners, street intersections were partially allowed to open thus at times, we were running side-by-side, playing “patintero” with vehicles.
  • Cebu runners are raging fast from the very start and you feel them whiz past you during the early stages. You seldom see walkers during the first half.  However, you get to catch up with some of them during the latter stages of the race.
  • I NEVER saw any lovers (runners) walking and holding hands!
  • There are many good teen-age runners who topped the short distance races. They will be the country’s top runners in the future.
  • Saw numerous running clubs (based on their uniforms), many more than you would see in several Manila races combined.
  • Coach Rio standing alone below the finish line arc, ready to greet the finishers, which he rarely does in Manila
  • No complaints for the delayed medals and finisher’s shirt!
  • Loaded on lechon for lunch the day before the race, another serving for dinner, and still another serving after the race. I ate way too much and paid for it when i really felt heavy during the race. Lessons learned.
  • Even after running the half-marathon, i gained 3 lbs when i returned to Manila.


I was completely toast when i crossed the finished line in 2:31:24 (2:30:58 chip time ). Over-all, the race was an amazing experience and one that i’d do again if given the chance. I big thumbs-up to the Unilab Team led by Ms. Claire Papa, Janice Ianne Miguel and their team for their great hospitality and support who took care of all our needs while in Cebu! Mabuhay kayo!

I’m not been doing any “real” running as of late, this Christmas season has been just an endless series of late night-outs, parties and over-stuffing with food!

Tonight is Christmas eve and guess what’s on the table for our noche buena?


Here are some pictures taken during our Cebu trip:

Getting ready to board at NAIA's Centennial Airport

Cebu's famous Marcelo Fernan bridge

Checking-in at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel

Inside the hotel lobby with its imposing Christmas Tree

View from our hotel room

At the Cross of Magellan Shrine

At the Sto. Nino Church patio with Glaiza and CJ

Coach Rio and Host Boy Ramos prepping up the runners before the race

The 21k crowd numbering about 1,300 runners

With Jinoe, Bee Yen, Amanda, CJ, and Pedz

We're almost ready

About to get the high-five from Coach Rio at the finish line (Photo by Jinoe Gavan.)

With Unilab's big boss, Claire Papa (3rd from right) after the race

3rd place finisher at the 21k run, Loushen Abella.

Unilab Run United 1 and Some Reflections

Firstly, I congratulate those who ran the Unilab Run United last Sunday and maybe set out some PRs for themselves. I was able to talk to Coach Rio last night and he sends all of you his thanks more making the event a success. I was able to run the 10k race myself and witness the mammoth crowd that lined up the starting line and experience the high-tech screens that Rio put up at the start. Way to go, Rio!

High-Tech start

With just my second race for this year, i’m feeling circumspect to reflect upon what these two races has taught me so far while still recovering from a sore plantar fascia:

  1. You can’t run or race at the speed that you would like to run (that is, faster) knowing that you’ll feel discomfort at the latter stages of the race.
  2. You always set a limit to your speed and are consciously aware of your pacing. For these races, it’s just a constant 7:00/km pace and it did show with the finish times i got at the Last Man Running Run and last Sunday’s Unilab Run United. You always remind yourself to take it easy.
  3. You never stop training (even if it’s only a few kilometers a day) thinking that you’ll lose your fitness if you take a few days off to rest your injury.
  4. Running for more than 10 kms at a time is never going to be a pleasant experience for now. Because the discomfort returns immediately after you finish your run.
  5. Being injured and not being able to run regularly does not provide an excuse to drink regularly and have night-outs with your friends. Nor is it an excuse to eat anything and everything you want!
  6. You don’t want to cross-train even when the opportunity presents itself and equipments are readily available because you feel that it’s not the same as running. Somewhat ironic because i cross-trained a lot when i was not injured!
  7. Right now, i would have to be content in running 10k races or less and i envy those running the half-marathons, marathons and the ultra-marathon runs!
  8. Lastly, you must never lose hope and continue to persevere so run, eat, drink and be merry!:-)

Fire-off for the 21k runners at last Sunday's Unilab Run

A minute before the 10k start

At the freebies booth

A quick breakfast with Betty and Tonet

With Sylvia, Don Leo and Tonet