The Lessons Of The 7-Eleven Skyway Marathon

run-7-eleven-2017-race-kit-claimingSince the time I have come to understand and embrace running as a lifestyle, I have become relentless about my carefully chosen battles, which means training for the scheduled race, and properly gearing up on race day.

The Run 7-Eleven 2017 race village was all perked up when I arrived to claim my race kit. Roughly a quarter before the 11pm gun start for 42K, most runners including myself joined our respective wave groups. And being my first marathon for the year, I was excited to set the bar for this distance. I had a pretty good start running alongside my dear friend Rhina up until about the 5th kilometre.

Running through the Skyway was quite overwhelming I must say. But at some point, it has made me feel invincible. As I picked up on my pace, I realised I have missed my personal electrolytes solution (oresol). So I had to make sure I hydrate whenever necessary. Hydration marshals politely offered unli-water and unli-sports drinks along the way, and even went an extra mile of peeling off the bananas before handing them to us. It was actually a good idea to prevent banana peels from being scattered along the route, which when stepped on can cause someone to slip. A group of marshals were chanting giving life to the Skyway and giving the runners that extra push just when the legs started to feel heavy.

The Skyway became a rendezvous for me and my friends whom I haven’t seen for a long time, it was a good venue to simply catch up and say hello to, reciprocated each other when there’s no one to boost our waning energy.

At the 22nd kilometre, I could feel my calves locking in. I came up to the medics team and asked for a sachet of oresol to prevent further depletion of my electrolytes (although I already filled my personal hydration bottle with Lightwater, which is always available in 7-Eleven stores!). Lack of proper nutrition plan resulted to leg cramps. It prompted me to slow down and even walk to release the tension in the muscles, and started running again as soon as I could.

Literally hard-earned 42k medal. #Run711

Literally hard-earned 42k medal. #Run711

I was targeting a 4:30 finish time. Due to recurring leg cramps, I had to accept the fact that it was seemingly possible as I still had about five kilometres to go. Like what I would always advise to the runners I’m training with, “Always listen to your body.” I had to play it by ear, even if it means going beyond my target time.

Finally, as I was going off the skyway towards the finish line, a myriad of thoughts came into my mind. There were quite a few important things that I fell short on. Lessons were learned.

Back at the race village, I changed into my fresh clothes and had two bowls of the delicious rice porridge. Tucked my hydration with me and by 6 in the morning, I was back in the Skyway to fulfil my marshal duties to make sure that runners are off the Skyway before it opens for the motorists.

Marshal duties. #Run711

Marshal duties. #Run711

Capturing the sunrise as seen from the Skyway. #Run711

Capturing the sunrise as seen from the Skyway. #Run711

The race has brought me to a realisation that running is not all about the medal, the finisher shirt and the loot bags after crossing the finish line. Running a marathon has taught me how to value training, discipline, respect, integrity and self-worth.


Joining The Kaleidoscope World of Color Manila Run 5

color-manila-run-5-jaredWE all wanted to live a happy, fun and colourful life. But sometimes, our hands are just too full to handle a lot of things like stress, traffic, work load, and even some cruddy people. These are the things that make life dull and grungy. So, we look for things that could brighten up our day and add some sense of blissfulness in our life. For me, all it takes is putting on my running clothes, a pair of running shoes, a GPS watch, hydration bottle, and some pumped up music to whisk away a day in the dullsville. And on any particular weekend, I love joining fun runs.

I am grateful for the opportunity to join this year’s opening race – the Color Manila Run 5 held at SM MOA on the 8th of January. Though the concept is practically the same each year, that is, having colour stations along the route and the tossing of coloured powder later during the culminating program, I always have an inkling that there’s something special about this race.

Catching the 5am bus ride from Ortigas going to SM MOA, I instantly recognised a few passengers who are joining Color Manila Run 5. I arrived at MOA just in time for the 6am gun start.

I had to cut through the parking lot whilst I took out my race bib, shades, and headwear from my backpack. Unfortunately, I dropped the headwear so I backtracked my steps. Since there wasn’t much time, I hurriedly changed into my running clothes (I simply had to pull down my city shorts and take off my jacket as I was already wearing my running clothes underneath). I took my turn to deposit my backpack at the baggage counter and joined the throng of runners at the start line, which was unsurprisingly jam-packed! I was expecting all of us to be sent off at once but due to an avalanche of participants in the 10k category, a wave start was implemented to prevent a bottle of neck of runners along the route, especially in the hydration stations.

My Color Manila Run 5 race bib. #CMR5

My Color Manila Run 5 race bib.

As I stood in the midst of excited crowd by the inflated start line arc, I was speaking with Joy, who shared it’s her first time to join a fun run. And her running buddies were still on their way to the race venue. I know how it feels like to run your first race alone. Perhaps, you will all agree with me when I advised her “to just enjoy the run and have fun.” I’m pretty sure she had a good run.

Colourful confetti rose in the air with the release of each wave of runners. The tribal beat of the drums added a more festive mood to the race ambiance, even hinting that there’s more than just the coloured powders. True enough because the relatively flat 10k race course treated the runners to an early morning shower where everyone had almost no way of escaping it. Just a few hundred metres off the start line!


At the Color Manila Run 5 race village, I chanced upon ABS-CBN Sports Unlimited Host Dyan Castillejo, Rodel Montejo, Spongebob Runner (Kuya Merl) and Spongebob, Jr., Sports and Fitness bloggers/runners Franc Ramon and Leo Salazar, and Philippine Volcano’s Chris Everingham.

Along the Pea Rd., runners were having fun being poured with the coloured powders! Runners in groups queued to get a palm print of a dear friend Catherine Manuel at the Purple Station. And that’s just the first one! The next four for five kilometres brought the runners towards Macapagal Blvd. down to the CCP area for the U-turn and back to Seaside Blvd. Even though there was so much laughter floating in the air, I could still hear Sammy Salud cheering for the runners who spared an extra time completing the fun and easy leg work exercises at the Orange Station. That was something new, actually! As what I have commented in Niel Veluz’s social media post, “Bawal ang KJ sa Color Manila Run!” (Don’t miss out on the fun in Color Manila Run!).

Turning right to JW Diokno Blvd., the Blue Station was like a children’s playground. Runners were playing with those coloured powders. A photographer was pointing his camera lenses to any runner passing by. Up ahead was the Green Station and Blue Zapanta’s familiar face was the first to greet me. You see, more than just covering 10 kilometres from start to the finish line, running is about meeting friends who exerted an extra effort to add more fun to the run! The Yellow and Pink Stations completed the colour palette, which added more zest and sprightliness to the already polychromatic route.

My Color Manila Run 5 Medal.

My Color Manila Run 5 Medal.

It took me about 53 minutes and more fun to complete the entire race course. At the race village, I chanced upon Chris Everingham, who led the warm up prior to the gun start and Dyan Castillejo who was getting ready to do her spiel for her TV show Sports Unlimited. Had a short chat with Rodel Montejo, and a bit later, bumped into Franc Ramon and Kuya Merl Magtangob, aka Spongebob Runner, and Spongebob Runner, Jr.

As Franc and I came looking for Manong RJ of Running Photographers, we came by the 21k Redemption booth, where Suncoast Brands Team was handing out Lightwater and Vitamin Boost to half-marathon finishers, who likewise handed us our preferred post-race hydration, as LJ Miranda was busy taking snaps of the finishers. But of course, can we afford to miss her? And I’m very Thankful to Ma’am Lea and Ma’am Maila of Suncoast for the support. Always.


Lightwater and Vitamin Boost Ambassadors Franc Ramon, RJ Espinoza, Jared Baliguat and LJ Miranda.

Soon, finishers painted with various colours have taken over the race village taking photos, selfies, sharing their race stories and what not. And for me, it was another race done. And as I took my seat on the bus going home, I could say that that Life is more colourful with Color Manila Run.

Wellness Weekend With Herbalife Philippines’ 22nd Anniversary


Celebrating Health and Wellness with Herbalife Philippines @ 22

Marking another milestone as a leading distributor of nutritional products, Herbalife Philippines gathered health and wellness enthusiasts to its 22nd Anniversary Celebration Fun Run on 4 December 2016, at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. The wellness activity was attended by at least 3,000 runners composed of Herbalife independent distributors, professional athletes, running enthusiasts, members of the media, bloggers and Herbalife Philippines employees.

As a sports and wellness enthusiast, I had the opportunity to be part of this celebration, as the event was extended to non-members by invitation only.

Excitement filled the race venue as runners were prepping up for their respective races. In my case, I joined my team Ayala Triads in the 10K category. Though I arrived at the race venue early, I was roughly 500 metres away from the start line during the 10-second count down. The 10K runners have already been flagged off by the time I reached the start line, and I had to make my through the 5K runners who had already occupied the area. I was the last 10K runner to cross the start line. Obviously.

All prepped up for the 10k run at Herbalife Philippines 22nd Anniversary Fun Run.

All prepped up for the 10k run at Herbalife Philippines 22nd Anniversary Fun Run.

Having completed a 10K race a couple of weeks back, and having a pretty good training, I was able to catch up with the mid-pack a little sooner. What I liked about the race is that I’m familiar with the route. As a recreational runner who has set up my running goals, my run strategy was, I started at about 5.5 mins/km at the first 2 kilometres just to find my rhythm, and gradually picking up on my speed towards the third kilometre – slowing down a bit at times when I felt that I was reaching my max heart rate, or when I have continuously ran at 4 mins/km pace for at least 10 minutes. Like I have always advised other runners, “Always listen to your body.”

Due to limited directional signs and kilometre markers and too many loops and turns, I thought I got lost somewhere around the 8th kilometre, prompting me to slow down, and even jogged while I was composing my senses. Nonetheless, I followed my runner’s instinct, asked other 10k runners/marshals if we’re on the right route, and just ran off. About two hundred metres off the finish line, I can feel the excitement within me that’s about to explode. I could sense that kind of nitro-infused energy pumping through my veins whilst sprinting the last 100 metres. It wasn’t a new PR, it was a brand new experience. Catching up with running friends whom I haven’t seen or spoken with for a while was an added value for joining the race.

I prefer Lightwater for my post-run hydration since it is infused with electrolytes that our body needs after a strenuous activity like running.

I prefer Lightwater for my post-run hydration since it is infused with electrolytes that our body needs after a strenuous activity like running.

I gathered my backpack from the baggage counter for my hydration. Whilst there was ample hydration supply at the activity area, I preferred Lightwater since it is infused with electrolytes that our body needs after a strenuous activity like running.

Herbalife, which advocates healthy living through its nutritional products, served all finishers with a healthy protein shake to speed up recovery and cell repair. It’s fuller for the body’s nourishment, but feels lighter. No need to worry about gaining excess weight.

Thank you, Herbalife Philippines for this easy-to-carry water bottle.

Thank you, Herbalife Philippines for this easy-to-carry water bottle.

With my Ayala Triads team mates at the Herbalife Philippines 22nd Anniversary fun run.

With my Ayala Triads team mates at the Herbalife Philippines 22nd Anniversary fun run.

Herbalife is a global nutrition company that has been changing people’s lives with great products since 1980, committed to fighting the worldwide problems of poor nutrition and obesity by offering high-quality products, one-on-one coaching with a Herbalife member and a community that inspires customers to live a healthy, active life.

For some people, it may be just another Sunday. Another fun run. But as a champion of healthy living through active lifestyle and good nutrition, I knew that it was a well-spent Sunday morning.

Love Your Body Fair 2016

It’s been six weeks since new year. How are you keeping up with your New Year’s resolution of getting fit and staying fit? Are you experiencing some humps along the way? For some, having a new year’s resolution and keeping it is like standing between two opposite poles. And more often than not, keeping and standing by it is a pretty big challenge.

Here’s your opportunity to keep up with your new year’s resolution of getting fit and staying fit as brings you #LoveYourBody Fair 2016 happening on February 20 at Greenfield District Central Park, Mandaluyong City.

#LoveYourBody Fair 2016 aims to raise awareness on positive body image and self-worth. It’s time for women to unite, along with their families, to spread positivity through health and fitness.

“We’re happy to host this year’s #LoveYourBody Fair,” says Jacq Brabante of Greenfield District. “It’s at the heart of Greenfield District to provide our community with activities that can enrich their lives. If anything, we really want them to enjoy every time they’re at the Greenfield Central Park.”

Activities include a Zumba class by Regine Tolentino, Yoga classes by Urban Ashram Yoga, Running Clinic by Coach Jared Baliguat, and free talks about loving your body and having a healthier lifestyle. Fitness activities will start at 7:00 AM, along with the wellness bazaar, which may coincide with Greenfield Weekend Market.

To register, buy your tickets at

Early bird tickets (P300) are extended until Feb 15! After that, tickets will be P450 for all access pass. Join YOGA, ZUMBA (R), and RUNNING CLINIC + listen to talks about loving your body and living a healthier lifestyle. Ticket price for each activity is only P250. Enjoy face painting, facial, talks, and a lot more for free when you register.

**Get free Gelattto digital watch when you join Zumba w/ Ms. Regine Tolentino.
**Get free class passes when you join yoga with Urban Ashram Yoga.
**Get free Lightwater / Vitamin Boost drink when you join running clinic with Coach Jared.

6:00 AM – Registration (claiming of tickets and onsite registration.

Sports and Fitness Camp:

07:00 AM – 08:00 AM: Yoga
08:00 AM – 09:30 AM: Zumba® with Ms. Regine Tolentino
09:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Talks
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Running Clinic
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Yoga (or another fitness event)/Talks
12:00 PM – 01:00 PM: Entertainment: dance/song/band/music while having lunch)

Wellness Bazaar: 06:00 AM – 12:00 PM

  • Pampering Corner: Massage, Facial, and more.
  • Fun Activities: Face painting, photo booth, and more.
  • SHOPPING: healthy food, homemade gourmets, sports and fitness items, gym memberships, beauty products and more.

*Bazaar vendors, attractions, and event schedule are subject to change. Follow on Facebook and @healthjunkieph on Twitter and Instagram.

For more info, visit

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