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.


5 Tips On How I Beat My Marathon In 4:30

Photo Credit: Adrian Aquino Photography

Photo Credit: Adrian Aquino Photography

I completed my first marathon in 2011 a little over four months after my first race, which was a 3k run. Due to lack of knowledge and proper training, the race was a huge challenge for me as I struggled a lot just to make it to the finish line. It was almost a running disaster! Right around the 17th kilometre, I started to feel the muscle cramps building up on my calves then up to my quads. I had to slow down, stop, and stretch just to relieve the pain, not to mention the nasty chaffing on my inner arms and my thighs. Though I made it in one piece through to the finish line in 4:47, still it wasn’t a good race performance. I could’ve trained harder, or better yet, I could’ve waited for the right time to run my first marathon. Nonetheless, it was a learning experience for me, and it’s something that I won’t be very proud to talk to about. And I definitely won’t encourage runners to do same thing.

Learning from other veteran runners, coaches and doing my own research, I trained on my own, tweaking the training programs that come in handy to suit my schedule and my fitness level.

When Run United Philippine Marathon made its debut, I also recorded my first Sub4:30 in a marathon distance clocking in at 4:29:02, ranking 247th out of 2,072 runners in the 42k distance. I had to train hard and it took me a long while to hit that 4 hour 30 minute mark. But it was worth the wait. My training and perseverance paid off.

For some runners, a Sub430 is an easy-peasy target finish time whilst for others, it could be a coveted personal record. Runners who are gunning for a specific target finish times are already in their top shape and training form. With barely a six weeks left to go before the Run United Philippine Marathon, how’s your training so far?

Are you gunning for a Sub430?

It would be safe to assume that you have already done at least a couple or three marathons in the past 6 months or so, with a good finish time. Take note that to for a sub4:30, your running pace should be at 6 minutes and 25 seconds per kilometre.

Here’s how I did it.

In my case, I considered slashing off a good 20 seconds per kilometre to give leeway for the stops at the hydration stations. I have also considered the fact that as I run further, I could slow down and even go below the target pace. My strategy was to hit my first 10 kilometres in just about an hour or 1 hour 5 minutes. Make it to the 20th kilometre in 2 hours and 10 minutes. So, that leaves me with 2 hours and 20 minutes to run the next 22 kilometres. At this time, I’m taking my second energy gel.

The next ten kilometres can already be physically and mentally challenging. But I had to make sure that in 3 hours and 15 minutes, I should already hit the 32nd kilometre mark. There goes my third energy gel. With 1 hour and 15 minutes left on the running clock, run the remaining 12 clicks at 6 minutes 15 seconds a kilometre taking my last energy gel at 37th kilometre just enough to get me to the finish line.

Remember to stick to your nutrition plan, and when to take your hydration/sports drink. Wear comfortable running shoes, shorts/compressions and singlet. You don’t want to blame your gears for another epic fail performance of not hitting the target finish time. And as I have always said, “Listen to your body.”

So, how was my training like weeks, and even months before the race?

Quite frankly, I didn’t train everyday because I felt that training everyday won’t efficiently help me to become stronger and faster. I train three to four times a week using a dynamic training plan. There’s long runs, speed training/intervals/hill repeats, easy/recovery run after a hard training, and running at race pace. In this case, that’s 6 minutes per kilometre.

  1. Speed training. For my speed training, I started with a 30-minute run at my race pace then gradually increasing the duration by five minutes (that’s a kilometre) for each speed training day.
  2. Mileage is important. Increase the distance of your long runs each week. Also, consider the 10% rule for your weekly total mileage.
  3. Rest and recover. Don’t do hard trainings consecutively. Give your body enough time to recover to repair any damaged tissues.
  4. Hydration and nutrition. I have developed a nasty acid reflux due to unhealthy eating habits. Since longer periods of trainings and running can deplete my electrolytes level, as an alternative to sports drink, I’m using Hydrite instead.
  5. Focus. When you feel like slacking off on your training, focus on your goal.
Photo credit: Adrian Aquino Photography

Photo credit: Adrian Aquino Photography

My Pre-race and Race Day Reminders:
  1. Stick to your diet during your race week. Remember that carbo-loading does not only happen a day before the race. Your carbo-loading happens on your taper week. Taper week is when you cut down on your training, this will help you avoid any possible injuries and getting burned out for the big day. So, even if you have less training hours and less intense training, try to start to load up so that you don’t binge a day before the race. And come race day, you don’t want to feel a bit slacking. Carboloading the night before would mean eating more that your normal food intake. And that could mean upset stomach. You don’t want stomach cramps a few hours before the gun start,do you?
  2. Wear the most comfortable running gear. Remember not to wear anything new on race day.
  3. Prayers help a lot. Regardless of what your beliefs are.  Ask for guidance from the One above.
  4. Smile. Nothing can beat that. Make sure to wear your best smile at the finish line.

Start strong. Finish Stronger! See you at the race!

NatGeo Stages Simultaneous Earth Day Run in Five Cities Across Asia

 EDR Blog FinalFive cities. One common goal.

National Geographic Channel brings you a one-of-a-kind running event that spans across five cities in Asia namely Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taichung and Manila all in one day. The event dubbed as the Earth Day Run is now on its seventh year and pledges to support various environmental advocacies spearheaded by the World Wide Fund for Nature. In Manila, the event will be staged at the McKinley West on April 17, 2016.

Runners’ participation has tremendously helped fund various projects here in the Philippines alone. With the funds coming from these races, National Geographic Channel was able to plant 36,000 fruit-bearing trees in the Abuan watershed, Isabela, in the Sierra Madres region. The farmers living in the vicinity of the watershed were allowed to harvest the fruits from these trees. In 2014, Earth Day Run’s proceeds funded the training of fishermen affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) on how to make and use fiberglass boats. In 2015, NGC was able to provide portable solar-powered lighting kits to the Tawbuid Mangyan tribesfolk in Mindoro, giving them and Forest Rangers’ camps safe and sustainable light sources off the grid.

Once again, we are calling everyone to register for the Earth Day Run. Let’s help our communities. Let’s help save the Earth. It’s the only ONE we have.

Earth Day Run
17 April 2016
McKinley West, BGC

Registration Details:
EDR Instagram reg details2

How to Register:

  • Online: Log on to
  • Onsite: March 1 – March 31, 2016, 11:30 AM – 8:00 PM
    SM Aura Ground floor, in front of Uniqlo and Forever 21

Race Kit Claiming:
April 9 and 10, 2016
Samsung Hall, SM Aura, BGC


21k & 42k Singlets

5k & 10k Singlets

5k & 10k Singlets

Single Size Dimensions:

Finisher Shirt (21k & 42k):

Finisher’s Medal (21k & 42k):

21k & 42k Finisher's Medal

21k & 42k Finisher’s Medal

Race Routes:

Which race distance are you running in? Post your comments below.

See you all on race day!

Run United 1 2016

Run United 1Active Health, in partnership with Runrio, continues its commitment to every individual who wants to exceed himself. Get ready for this year’s edition of the Run United trilogy as your proving grounds are being laid out.

I’m inviting you all, dear runners, to register for the upcoming Run United 1 happening on March 13, 2016. Check out the race details below and secure your slot to the race by registering today.

Run United 1
13 March 2016, 3am
SM MOA Concert Grounds, Pasay City

Registration Details:

Registration Details Run United 1 2016

How to Register:
Online: January 22 – February 21
Log on to or
Runners have the option to have their race kits delivered of picked up at their chosen registration site.
Delivery of race kits is on March 7.
An additional delivery fee of P150.00 and web admin fee of P50.00 will apply.

In-Store: January 30 – February 29
Purchase prepaid cards at the following stores betweem 12 noon and 8:00pm, Monday to Sunday.

  • Runnr – BGC, Trinoma
  • Toby’s – Robinson’s Galleria, SM MOA

Race kits distribution will be on March 5 – 11, at the registration site of your choice.
Singlet sizes availability is on a first come, first served basis.

Note: For a minimal amount of P100.00, you can avail of Active Health Kit which comes along with a customised training program by Coach Ani de Leon – Brown. Inclusions of the Active Health Kit are as follows:

  • 5k, 10k or 21k Exceed Yourself Training Plan by Coach Ani de Leon-Brown to be sent by email
  • Personalized Race Bib
  • Race Belt (for 21k runners only)
  • FREE Sports Nutrition Solutions
    – One (1) capsules of Enervon Activ – Daily for training to help built stamina
    – One (1) 40g pack of Enervon HP – After Work out for faster recovery
    – One (1) ActiveHealth Carbgel Banana flavor – during work out for sustained energy

Bundle Packages are available, too!
Run United 2016 Bundle PackageNote: Bundle cost is INCLUSIVE of P450.00 delivery & processing & one-time P50.00 web admin fees for online registrants using credit card.

Run United 1 Singlet:

Run United 1 singlet

Finisher’s Shirt.

Run United 1 Finisher's Shirt


Run United 2 Singlet:

Run United 2 Singlet

Run United Philippine Marathon Singlet:

RUPM Singlet

Singlet Size Chart:

Run United 2015 Singlet Size Measurements
Finisher’s Shirt Size Chart:

Run United 2016 Finisher's Shift Size Measurements
Race Results:

Race results will be available within three (3) days after the race at the following websites: and
For Timing and Race Results concerns:

For enquiries:
Telephone No.: (+632) 463 4813
Mondays to Fridays, 10am to 6pm only, except holidays.

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