Team 7-Eleven Philippines Rocked The Laguna Phuket Marathon 2019

Team 7-Eleven Philippines with 7-Eleven Philippines executives.

Once again, Filipinos elite runners made great waves in the recently concluded Laguna Phuket Marathon 2019 in Phuket, Thailand. Team 7-Eleven Philippines, the country’s contingent, despite the tough weather conditions, made strong finishes in their respective races. Coming from various parts of the Philippines, the 15-strong team of elite runners joined thousands of other runners in Phuket as part of the of their prize for landing in the podium of the 42km, 32km and 21km race categories of the 7-Eleven Run Series held simultaneously in Manila, Cebu and Davao
last February.

Philippine Army’s Richard Salaño, who took time off his preparations for the upcoming SEA Games, emerged as the 21km race’s Male Division Champion, clocking in at 1:13:25. Cebu’s Prince Joey Lee came in second with a finish time of 1:14:00.6, while Davao’s Joerge Andrade finished at 1:18:29.5 to land at the fourth spot, behind Daisuke Yamauchi of Japan who claimed third place.

Female Top winners in 21km -Laguna Phuket Marathon 2019

Male Top winners in 21k – Laguna Phuket Marathon 2019

At the half-marathon Women’s Division, Bukidnon’s Christine Hallasgo bagged first place in what is to be her first-ever international race outing.

“I am thankful to the Lord because He gave me the strength despite the unfavorable weather condition during the race. I am also thankful to 7-Eleven because I was given the chance to participate in an international race. It was my first time and I was not expecting to win. It has been my dream to be able to wave the Philippine flag and I can’t describe the feeling now that I am one of the Pinays who was able to wave our Philippine flag at the finish line and be able to bring home the win,” said Hallasgo, who covered the race in 1:25:28.6.

Completing the team’s conquest in the half-marathon women’s division is track and field legend, Christabel Martes who clocked in at 1:29:51.4 to finish in third place, Manila’s Luisa Raterta (1:34:53.6 ) and Jocelyn Elijeran (1:36:55), finished fourth and seventh, respectively. The Phuket race was also Raterta’s and Elijeran’s first international race experience.

The team also claimed victories in the full marathon race. Bryan Quiamco from Davao finished with top two honors in the Men’s Division with a time of 2:40:15.1. Cebu’s Azlan Pagay snatched the third place spot from Japanese Hiroki Nakajima (2:41:20.2) with a come-from-behind sprint finish of 2:41:20. Richeel Languido, also from Bukidnon, settled for the fifth spot with a time of 2:50:22.2.

Filipino Female 42k Winners in Laguna Phuket Marathon 2019

Filipino Male 42k Winners in Laguna Phuket Marathon 2019

On the distaff side, April Rose Diaz from Manila, finished the 42km race in 3:24:57.6 which was good for the third spot in the podium. Caviteña Maricar Camacho finished at seventh with a time of 3:39:47.1.

The Laguna Phuket Marathon is Phuket, Thailand’s largest mass participation sports event. This year, the race’s 14th edition, it welcomed a record of over 12,000 runners from 73 countries.

“We are very satisfied with Team 7-Eleven Philippines’ performance here at the Laguna Phuket Marathon. Considering the weather is not so cooperative, the team was able to deliver as expected and as they promised. 7-Eleven Philippines will continue with its program to nurture and support our Filipino runners who aspire to get the chance to represent the country in an international race,” shared 7-Eleven General Merchandise Division Head Mr. Jose C. Ang Jr.

Ever since 2013, 7-Eleven Philippines have given a set of Filipino elite runners a chance to compete in the international stage by bringing them to a foreign running race, all expenses paid for plus pocket money and all needs taken cared of. Apart from this, runners who successfully finish on any of the top three overall spots in their respective category will not only get to bring home the race prizes but also receive a bonus cash prize from 7-Eleven Philippines.

42km Men’s:
2nd – Bryan Quiamco 02:40:15.1
3rd – Azlan Pagay 02:41:20
5th – Richeel F. Languido 02:50:22.2

42km Women’s:
3rd – April Rose Diaz 03:24:57.6
7th – Maricar Camacho 03:39:47.1

21km Men’s:
1st – Richard Salaño  01:13:25
2nd – Prince Joey Lee 01:14:00.6
4th – Joerge Andrade 01:18:29.5

21km Women’s:
1st – Christine Hallasgo 01:25:28.6
3rd – Christabel Martes  01:29:51.4
4th – Luisa Raterta 01:34:42.9
7th – Jocelyn Elijeran 01:36:55.0


Time To Gear Up For 7-Eleven Run 2019

It’s been a couple of years since my last race before I temporarily went on hiatus (which I think most of you are aware of, and even helped in various ways. So, thank you!). Coincidentally, that last race was the 7-Eleven Run 2017. And now, I’m blogging about this upcoming race.

The race is happening simultaneously on February 3, 2018, in three venues. In Luzon, the race will be held at the Filinvest City, Alabang. The Visayas leg will see runners gather at Cebu Business Park. Runners from the southern part of the country will converge at SM City Davao.

This year’s race challenges runners with the new race category – the 32k category. I so missed running this distance in sub-3. A 500m distance will cater to our kiddie participants. There’s also a 10k Buddy Run, and for those who trained for longer distances, there’s a marathon category for you. My last race was also 42k. Anyway, whichever distance you have registered in to participate, this year’s event promises a bigger, better and more exciting race for all.

“The 7-Eleven Run Series is one of the most anticipated marathons in our country today,” said Jose Victor Paterno, President and CEO of Philippine Seven Corporation. “We listened to our runners and added new distances like the 32K which will serve as an entry point or trial run for 42K.”

7-Eleven, in it’s continuing support to Filipino athletes will award the overall top 18 Filipino winners in 21K, 32K, and 42K categories with cash prizes and medals, plus a chance to join an international marathon in Asia, all expenses paid. Just so you know, last year’s winners of the 21K and 42K races from 7-Eleven Run Series 2018 were sent to Jeju, South Korea to compete at the 23rd Jeju International Tourism Marathon Festival where they dominated the top spots in their respective race categories.

To further encourage the spirit of competition, 7-Eleven will be giving away a bonus cash prize to the top Filipino runner who can beat the Philippine record for the 42K category. The record setter will get to take home P500,000 in cash.

The race categories are as follows:
● 500M kids
● 3K
● 5K
● 5K Buddy
● 10K & 10K Buddy
● 16K
● 21K
● 32K (new race category)
● 42K

The race in Davao will only have 9 categories (all except 500M).

Registration is now open until January 15, 2019.

Be sure to visit the official website at and follow its Facebook page at for more information about the race.

Sharing with you my story about the 7-Eleven Run 2017.

Gear up and rock the road!

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!
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