Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Races. Races. Races. The running boom continues. Cebuanos flock during weekend races all over Cebu province. Races have been scheduled almost every weekend and next month is no exception.

May 02 (SUN) - 3rd Mandaue City Run
May 08 (SAT) - SRP Sundown Race
May 16 (SUN) - RUNDaue 2010

TO ALL GLLR Participants: Updated results for the 21K and 10K race have been posted at the Great Lapu-Lapu Run facebook page and at Check them out!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My 21K Experience and The 2nd Great Lapu-Lapu Run

I love 21K races. Nothing humbles a runner better than a half, full and an ultra marathon. Running more than 10-16K needs patience, diligence and determination. 

I ran my first half marathon 6 months after I started running when I joined the 32nd MILO Marathon Cebu Eliminations. I ran the same 21K MILO CEBU route and finished in 2 hours and 13 minutes. We had no power gels, sports beans or gatorade then. All we had was water and the scorching heat of the sun. It was a painful 21K. I chafed between my thighs and I could not walk comfortably after the run. I had agonizing knee and hip pains after long runs.
Five months after my first 21K Race, I broke my PR during the 2009 Sinulog Half-Marathon when I crossed the finish line after 2 hours and 6 minutes. I was elated. I was running 30-40 Km/week and was regularly strength training in the gym. But I still had knee and hip pains after the race. It was becoming a routine for me to put Ice on my knees and thighs after long runs (as suggested by Kap. Joel Garganera) and wear compression sleeves or supports for days. I love running so much that I tolerated the pain thinking everybody had it after runs.
After constant persuasion by Dr. Alex Junia, I was convinced to run my first full marathon during the 33rd MILO Marathon Manila Eliminations with other CERC members last July 2009. I slowly increased my mileage from 30-40 km/week to 60-70 km/week and lost weight. I finished my first full Mary in 4 hours 55 minutes despite my knee and leg pains .
Three weeks after my first full mary, I joined the 1st Great Lapu-Lapu Run and broke my 21K PR again. As part of my recovery, I ran the scenic route in 1 hour 50 minutes and enjoyed the slight drizzle that cooled every runner's body. The race ended at the new but not fully finished HoopsDome in Lapu-Lapu City. A few hundred meters from the finish line, I was paced by my friend Jojo Canete who noticed I was starting to tire down. He reminded me that the finish line was only a few meters away and that I still have enough leg power for a strong finish. Yes I did. And because my legs had enough mileage and experience, they no longer hurt as much.

It was not until I ran and trained with Charlie Berberio that I noticed I no longer had knee and leg pains after runs. He taught me speed and strengthening drills that helped me significantly in my runs. He explained that the drills will help me correct my running form and help increase my speed. It changed my foot strike from a heelstriker to a midfoot runner. My experiences with running changed since then. Pain was no longer a problem.
I then joined the 2nd Great Lapu-Lapu Run held last April 18, 2010. I wanted to break PR of 1:50 but constantly thought of doing a sub-1:40. Can I do it? Only with a ton of Luck. The route was fairly flat except for the scenic Marcelo-Fernan Bridge which took us to Mandaue City. I was running only 20-30 Km/week because I had just recently started training for the Ironman triathlon and I needed base endurance for the swim and bike leg. My usual pace for the 10-16K is 4:40-50 and I want to try running the half marathon with the same pace. I was overconfident. I planned to run slow and controlled the first half of the race using a negative split. I ran 5:00/KM until KM 1 and increased pace by 10 seconds every KM thereafter until I reached 4:20/KM speed. I maintained this until I reached the foot of the Marcelo-Fernan Bridge where I ascended at 4:50-5:00/KM. I felt great. Forward arm swing, lean forward more, and smaller steps helped me climb the bridge with lesser effort than usual (Thanks to CHIRunning Coach Lit). I recovered as I descended the bridge with greater speed and lesser energy expenditure. I have to commend the organizers for providing thirsty runners with ample water supply and Gatorade. I maintained a 4:40 pace after the bridge to prepare for my next interval but noticed that my legs felt heavy. I was breathing comfortably but my legs lacked power. Low mileage and lack of runs finally made its toll. I still ran. It was at KM 15 when I decided to take walking breaks. I walked to conserve enough power for the final kilometer and to allow my legs to recover. Walking breaks strategy was discussed by Veteran UltraRunner Jonel Mendoza during one of our Ungo Friday Night Runs and decided to give it a try. I walked at water stations and in shady areas to cool down. It was during my final approach to the finish line when I felt really exhausted and if it weren't for friends like Elvin Rey Flores and Awi Saavedra who paced me during my final approach I would not have made a strong Finish. I crossed the finish line 1 hour 45 minutes 27 seconds after the 21K race started. I broke my PR!!! I did it even with low mileage and cross training. My next Half-Marathon will be part of the 70.3 Ironman Philippines this coming August. I'm sure that I won't be breaking my 21K PR then after swimming 1.7 KM and cycling 90 KM. I can do it. I will do it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Great Lapu-Lapu Run Updates!!!

Surprises. The upcoming Great Lapu-Lapu Run has plenty of it. Running Marshals to ensure runners safety and concerns, Pacers to help newbie runners achieve their goal finish time and Registration date extension for those who are still unable to register.

Running Marshals. They are marshals who run the route together with the other participants. They make sure no runner is left unattended in case of emergencies or untoward events.

Pacers. They are participants who are set to run at a specific pace to finish at a predetermined time. The Great Lapu-Lapu Run announced recently that they will be providing pacers for this Sunday's 21K race. These runners will be identified by balloons tied to their singlets with a corresponding FINISH TIME. 

Set to finish at 2:00-2:15 is Kenneth Casquejo of RUN CHECK. He will be running at pace of 5:40 - 6:20/KM. He is a member of the Cebu Executive Runners Club and has finished many full marathons since he started running. He runs frequently with his wife Dr. E. Casquejo, Obstetrician, along the early Cebu City streets. 

Our second Pacer is James Michael Go. He is set to cross the finish line at 2:16-2:30. James experienced his first full marathon last January during the Cebu City Marathon but has been a runner for 3 years. He is one of three founding members of CVGH Runners and trains constantly with friends, relatives and myself. A practicing nurse at CVGH, he juggles duty hours, gym and running almost everyday. He will be running at a pace of 6:25 - 7:05/KM to cross the finish line at the set time. 

Registration for the GLLR has been extended due requests from out of town participants. 21K and 10K registrants have only up to April 15 to register since names have to be logged in for the RFID timing chips. 3K and 5K runners are given up to Saturday to register as a "NO BANDITS" rule will be implemented. Bandits will be advised to defer from the route and some will be taken pictures and posted at the website. Registration still ongoing at announced locations.

Race packets will be distributed starting tomorrow and the final race route announced. The route was checked twice and is accurate by the meter. Don't forget to carbo load 2-3 days before the race and drink lots of water. As much as possible, rest your legs a day prior to the race. 

See you on the Road!!!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

PINK is the NEW RACE Standard

I was surprised. Three years running 10K races and I never would have thought that a local race would impress me as much as the Pinay in Action (PIA) race last Sunday. Organized by Kenneth Casquejo and Annie Neric, RUN CHECK certainly elevated the standards of local 10K races in Cebu.
Everybody was happy. Males had a good excuse to wear pink shirts / singlets as all runners were requested to wear pink race gear. Hydration was never a concern as water was overflowing from water stations and Powerade drinks were served at the finish line. Post-race snacks were adequate and a loot bag filled with goodies from sponsors were given to all race finishers. Marshalls ensured runners safety in every corner and in trouble spots around the route. Large Banners which says "Please Slow Down to 15km/h. Race Ongoing." greeted hot tempered motorists as runners flooded the busy streets of Lahug, Gorordo and Jones Avenue. Noy Jopson (Filipino Triathlete Champion) even complimented the organizers that it was one of the safest races he had ever joined. The Start/Finish Venue was also festive and poppers cued the start of the race. Punctuality was observed as the race started exactly 6:00 AM. Overall, it was a well organized race and will definitely be a standard among other local races. CONGRATULATIONS RUN CHECK!!!

Headed by Senator PIA CAYETANO, the Pinay in Action race was organized to empower all filipino women thru sports and health awareness. Now on its 5th year, Pinay in Action definitely made an impact in Cebu City.
(Photos Courtesy of Sen. Pia Cayetano Facebook Page)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

APRIL is my RACE month

Fun Runs have been scheduled every week after Easter Sunday. Runners have slowly increased at the Abellana Track, I.T Park and the Cebu Business Park (AYALA). Not even the HOLY Week can stop Cebuanos from running.

I am no exception. I need to increase my base run mileage from a lazy 15-20K/week to at least 40K/week. I will have to do this without disrupting my scheduled swim and cycling training. I need to increase leg power for my runs since I have noticed that lately my races are slowly losing speed. I need to regain my 10K pace of 4:30-4:40 mins/km before races start. I am scheduled to join all weekend races this month and the Takbong Urology Run which is scheduled on a Friday. These races include Takbong Urology (4/09), PIA Run  (4/11), Great Lapu-Lapu Run (4/18) and the Speedo National Age Group Triathlon event on the last Sunday of the month.

I am really excited. After running against fellow doctors on the Takbong Urology Run, I will  run Pinay in Action (PIA) and pace for a friend on her first 10K race. I am also helping another friend run her first 5K race. The Pinay in Action race will therefore be my guage on how well I trained my two friends. Safe and Injury-Free Running is our goal. Although the PIA race was initially organized to accept only female runners, the organizers revised the rules and allowed males to join the race. Run Check, PIA Race organizers, say it will be an opportunity for males to pace for their female counterparts and/or enjoy the "view". I totally agree. A Non-Exclusive Female Race will gather all the beautiful and sexy (not to mention Healthy) cebuanas in one place to run. Forget LOFT or PENTHOUSE, this is it!!! A Souvenir Shirt instead of the usual singlet also makes this race unique. This April 11, Reel Runner will be running for all FIlipino women. Go PINK!!
A week after the PIA race, I will run and try to beat my last year's PR for the Great Lapu-Lapu Run (GLLR). Organized by 2 of the most famous people in the running community, Noy Jopson and Raffy Uytiepo, this race is shaping up to be the 2nd biggest race in the VIsayas. Since 2008, Races have been forbidden to use the Marcelo Fernan bridge as part of the route and was only used by runners doing their LSD training  runs. This year, the 21K route for the GLLR will include the Marcelo Fernan bridge and the park beneath it. Runners will be crossing the channel to Mandaue City and witness Cebu's sunrise from the top of the new bridge. The GLLR will also be the first race outside Metro Manila to use Timing Chips for both 10K and 21K category. Runners who missed the Cebu City Marathon Timing Chip may now experience the accuracy and precision of the ChampionChip. The Assembly area will also be world class as Mactan Hotels will join the festivites and serve breakfast for the runners. Non-Cebu Runners will also be happy to hear that participating hotels* are giving special rates to race participants. Raffle prizes will also be given away as sponsors like Timex and Terra Plana (Makers of Vivo Barefoot Shoes) will be providing gift items. The GLLR also promises to send the  TOP FILIPINO  21K Male and Female Runner to the 2011 Hong Kong Marathon. Running personalities will flock this event as confirmed runners include Marathon Couple Dr. Yong and Donna Larrazabal, MarathonFoodie Haide Acuna and the BullRunner herself, Jaymie Pizarro. Elite runners from other parts of the country are also expected to join. Fireworks, shuttle bus transfers, ample parking space and a courtesy booth was also announced. This year's GLLR will definitely be better than last year. The ChampionChip timing chip, Food, Festivities, Prizes/ raffles and the unique route will definitely be a memorable experience.

A week after the GLLR, I will return to Mactan for my first try at the Triathlon. I will be joining the sprint distance event by Speedo (National Age Group Triathlon) under 30-34 category. I will finish. That's all I ask. The course will follow a 1KM swim inside Plantation Bay Resort and proceed to the 30KM bike and end with a 7.5KM Running sprint to the finish line. This event will be part of my preparation for the CamSur 70.3 miles Ironman Philippines event on August 22, 2010.

 *Complete List of Hotel rates and packages at GLLR homepage at or at Facebook page "The Great Lapu-Lapu Run."

Saturday, April 3, 2010


As part of Earth Hour celebration, Aboitiz held a Sustainability Fair and invited me to join their walkathon. Prior to the walk, Ms. Jovy Tan asked if I can give a talk and convince her office mates to participate in their upcoming Fun Run scheduled this May.

Races have now been scheduled weekly in Cebu. Participants are slowly growing and most are in the 3K and 5K Category. While some are experienced runners, most participants have only joined a race or two. Many runners are therefore more prone to injury and overtraining. Some jump from running 3K to 10K in only 2 weeks. To avoid this mishap, we must at least be oriented with the things that we need to consider prior to our first fun run.

These are the same slides I used during my ABOITIZ talk.



My photo
Call / Text / Email: (0922)826-6865