Half-Marathon @ 2:00:18 Hrs

Yes, I finished this race with a slow finish time but this is the hardest route so far for a half-marathon road race. I hope most of the runners who participated in this road race would attest to this observation.

The race started 10 minutes late due to some stretching exercises led by one of our lady soldiers who won in one of the past Milo Marathon races. From the Grandstand at Camp Aguinaldo (Start & Finish Area), the half-marathon runners started the run by leaving the Grandstand towards Gate 1 and turn right towards Boni Serrano Avenue which is downhill to Katipunan Road. From Katipunan Road, the runners had pass at White Plains and later to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church going to Ortigas Avenue. From the crossing, the runners had to go uphill towards Meralco and to EDSA. From EDSA, turn right at Boni Serrano Avenue towards Gate 1. That route consists of one loop and every half-marathon runner should go around for another loop and enter Gate 6 of Camp Aguinaldo. From Gate 6, the runners would have a brief tour of the housing facilities of AFP personnel, the Golf Driving Range, the Soldier’s Mall (SM), part of the Camp Aguinaldo Golf Course, the White House (official residence of the Chief of Staff, AFP), the St Ignatius Cathedral (which I had it air-con(ed) when I was the Camp Commander of Camp Aguinaldo), and later turning right towards the Grandstand/Finish Line.

In my GF 305, the distance registered 20.7 kms which is short by 400 meters. I slowed down on the last 3 kilometers due to hunger and the heat of the sun but my legs were still strong and could hardly felt any sign of getting cramps.

I was talking to this tall guy from India (I could hardly pronounce and remember his name) who served the Indian Armed Forces for 9 years in the Infantry and proudly said that he joined in a war with Bangladesh when he was in the active military service. He is a good runner and started so fast that I was able to overtake him at the uphill portion going to MERALCO at Ortigas Avenue. Colonel Oscar Lopez of the Philippine Army was listening to the Indian guy. Col Lopez owns a brand-new GF 405 & his 1st time to use it and it looks great and it seems better than my GF 305. It functions like an IPhone with the “touch” functions!

In my estimate, we had more civilian runners than the members of the military in both the half-marathon and 5-K race. I was at the middle of the pack together with the “friends of BaldRunner”. I saw Loonyrunner, Joms, Marga, Gabriela Calma, Runmd, datc, Segovia siblings, noel lopez, officers and men assigned at Headquarters Philippine Army, and at GHQ, Camp Aguinaldo and familiar faces whom I could not memorize their names.

I was using my ASICS Gel-Kayano 13 for the first time in a road race and it felt good despite a “mild attack” on my gout after eating a Protein PowerBar last Thursday on my 31K run. On this race, I became a model of New Balance (again!) using their new line of running shorts and T-shirts which are light and well-ventilated. I saw another civilian runner wearing the same T-shirt as mine and I smiled at him. At this point, we were going downhill from the 7th-Day Adventist Church towards Ortigas Avenue. I was surprised to see a Rustan’s Mini-Mart fronting the church where I saw a number of Porsche Sports Car parked with the owners looking at the runners passing by.

I was using my Nathan Water Belt and my Sennheiser MPX 70 earphone with my Ipod Nano listening to the songs of Bee Gees, Abba, and Barry White.

These two runners on my right were like Scout Rangers who ran together and finished together. They would overtake me but later I would overtake them at the water stations as they stopped to drink water. The curly-long haired guy would stop running & walked briskly while the other guy would wait for him. At this point, we were already going uphill at Ortigas Avenue. I left these guys on the last 3 kilometers of the course. MSgt Illut became my pacer on my second loop of the race and he was fast and strong. My thanks to MSgt Illut’s effort!

This is another view of running along Epifanio De los Santos Avenue (EDSA) on my last 4 kilometers of the race. It was unfortunate that there are some parts of EDSA that don’t have that “white paint” on the edge of the road. I had observed that such rubberized paint on the edge of the road (5-6 inches in width) added more comfort and bounce on my running shoes and I tried running consistently on the said line during the race. The next picture shows the white paint at the edge of the road. MSgt Ireneo Illut (the runner & pacer behind me) is presently assigned with the Philippine Army’s Special Service Unit administering our elite athletes assigned with the Phil Army.


Running along EDSA and going uphill towards Boni Serrano with all those smoke-belching vehicles was one of the hardest portions of the road race and we had to pass through this main road twice! It was a nice experience running uphill which could be hardly noticed if you are riding inside a vehicle or car. The smell of the gasoline and smoke from the vehicles would make each runner’s breathing hard and problematic.

This was my last dash towards the Finish Line! On my right hand is the bottle holder/strap that I bought last week at R.O.X., Bonifacio High Street. Aside from the water on my Nathan Water Jug, I used this bottle holder with a bottle of Propel on my last 5 kilometers and it served well for its purpose. I hope to get one more of this for my other hand. At the Finish Line, I was able to meet runners from Malaysia and Indonesia who finished the race and they said nice things about the race & the challenging route and proudly said that they are my daily readers/visitors to my blog. I met also Michelle of Mizuno whom I encouraged to start running. I told her also that she has a lot of fans here and abroad because of the “picture” I posted lately. 

To all the runners, thanks for running in this race despite our problem in our water supply. To all the winners and finishers, congratulations and more power to all of you. See you at the next Mizuno Rush Infinity 15K Run.

31 thoughts on “Half-Marathon @ 2:00:18 Hrs

  1. Congratualtions on the half and awesome photos! I’ll have a race report for you tomorrow on the Woodminster 15K trail race.


  2. sir jovie, if it is any consolation at all, nothing is perfect so we can live with that small water “shortage” today. nice course although we could have started earlier or the stretching part at least if only to escape the heat of the rising sun.

    i saw ms. michelle abad when i registered for the mizuno run.can’t mistake her for those chinita eyes and fair complexion.

    fyi,there is another half marathon next week with starting point at luneta , june 22, c/0 mayor fred lim of manila.

    and btw, i was the one wearing the same new balance shirt as you did. i should say we both looked good on these nb shirts. i have been using it for my 8 races this year so far and i am enjoying every minute of it.i i was with my kids ( who all did the 5k) and leading the stretching for them and i did want to disturb your stretching and talking with other runners.since you finished much earlier than i did,i was not able to have photo ops with you by the time i hit the finish line.this was my first half-marathon and longest distance in my flourishing running career so far.and i made sure i enjoyed every minute and step and kilometer the run had to offer. and i will keep on running.

    thank you for making this happen.see you soon again sir jovie.

    Happy Father’s Day.God bless you.


  3. hi sir jovie! happy fathers’ day! 🙂 thank you for organizing this race, made my first 21k rather interesting. it really was an arduous route combined with the hazards of vehicles zooming along the major thoroughfares. my only complaint would be a) absence of water during the last 8k or so, and b) lack of directions leading to the GHQ. the marshalls weren’t strategically placed. but all in all, it was fun. 🙂

    and by the way the indian dude you were talking to is doc oknoy’s boss at the UN.


  4. hi sir! congrats sa finish nyo po, sabi ko n nga ba sya yung girl na kasama nyo dati picture eh, nahiya lang ako lumapit eh hehe (tsaka kasama ko gf ko din hehe) maganda talaga sya….

    happy fathers day po and god bless.

    p.s. magkakaroon din po ba kayo ng booth para sa “donate a finisher shirt”?


  5. my GF measured the same distance… it was a nice course, dami paakyat! congratulations on the race… Happy Father’s Day! (forgot to greet you kanina 🙂


  6. Hi BR. It was indeed a long, arduous and exhausting half-m, my first btw. Nice to have a chat with you and Joe at the finish line. Too bad I won’t be able to join the Mizuno repeat run.

    I came prepared with a hydration belt and a bottle of propel so I have no complaints about the water stations. Scampering towards the water stations and competing with other runners for a cup of water is not worth slowing down for kaya I brought my own water. I was lucky to be just behind you, there were marshalls along the way. Other runners who finished later were not properly guided inside the camp.

    Will you be posting the results soon?


  7. Sir,
    Just to correct. I don’t think the church is a Seventh-day Adventist Church. This is a Mormon church.

    Yesterday was a good run. Nice to have met you sir.


  8. congrats for another good run. sorry, i didn’t join you this time. i’m not ready to run for another half-marathon, after trying it 30 years ago. i ran the mizuno-fuego run instead, to see if my uphill runs at mignon hill in legaspi city would bring me some good results! it did! i came in 4th, although with a rather slow time of 59:49, no thanks for that uphiiiiiil route, but thanks for a breathtaking view throughout.


  9. noel, congrats for your good performance at mizuno-fuego run. you made a better choice where to run. happy running!

    jerry, thanks for joining the half-marathon, too! i will surely see you again at the mizuno run on the 29th of june. good luck!

    aldz, thanks for the correction. hope to see you again in the next road race.

    chefsy, thanks. if you train and prepare well in your running, you will be able to finish your half-marathon. good luck & keep on running.

    runmd, thanks for joining the half. i congratulate you for finishing your first half and you really improved a lot. if you consistently train, i can see that you can finish your 1st marathon in the Milo or Pasig River Marathon. happy running. i’ll try my best to publish the results later.

    loony, thanks & congratulations for another PR best for you. keep on running!

    jhunie, you should had approached us when i was talking to her. we’ll see if we can put up another booth for our “donate a finisher’s t-shirt” in every road race.

    marga, thanks for joining the half-M. yes, i observed the defects and my staff made some mistakes and these will be corrected asap. i am glad you enjoyed the race and congratulations for you 1st half-M.

    bugo2x, you should had approached me when i was having my warm-up/stretching. congrats for being a good example and motivator to your kids in running. i hope you can train also for your first full marathon now that you had finished your 1st half-M. congrats for a nice run & keep on running.

    wayne, thanks for the nice greetings. i’ve been making some readings for the past days on trail running. i hope i’ll be able to join one of the ultra trail runs during my stay in the US.


  10. Br,

    Great shots as usual. Its unfortunate that there were some problems. Hope these will not happen the next time around. Overall, it seems everyone had a great run.

    We had a great time at the beach. Spending quality time with the family is one of the things I treasure. I was supposed to run around Laiya but just decided to sleep as long as possible. : )


  11. mark, we missed you and the mizuno lady was looking for you!..hehehe..joke lang! actually, more runners enjoyed the run than those who complained. it was a very challenging half-marathon. of course, family first before anything else. hope to see you in the next road race. keep on running!


  12. Mizuno, ok sana but doesnt fit me well. Sayang as my foot width is D and not E. Does Mizuno have D width locally? Pareho tayo ng lapad di ba BR? Running singlet is ok but is currently out of stock. Got the last remaining XL at the Libis branch (near shopwise)

    Keep on running… that’s what I really need to do. Paddling has taken a toll on my running career! hehehe I still get to run though, but only 30km a week na lang. Well paddling with the team is the priority now. World Dragonboat club crew champs coming soon. Its from Aug 1 to 3 in Penang. Hopefully, we can contribute in bringing honor to the country.

    “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”
    – Steve Prefontaine


  13. Hi Sir,

    Congratulation! It was really a good, challenging half-M race. The lack of water station was actually very obvious after the last one before the stretch to the finish line.

    As for my time, I was actually fifteen minutes off my previous half-M run last March 9. Aside from intentionally going slow for this race (my knee was still sore one week before this race, and I haven’t ran for 11 days), I also got hungry and weak during the 2nd loop. Funny I had to ask for a glass of Buko Juice from the vendor on the side-street towards Gate-6. Since I didn’t have money with me during the race, I just promised the vendor thay I would pay him after. I did just that, and I would say that glass cup of buko juice had carried me thru the finish line. Sir, maybe I should charge you that Buko Juice, hehe. One good lesson though, is not to run un-prepared on a serious race like this.

    Overall though it was really fun and challenging. You were right Sir that most ascends are hardly visible if you’re riding a vehicle. In fact, I hardly noticed that one in front of Meralco until I felt my breath got harder and my stride got heavier. This is one of the stretches that made this race challenging.

    Good thing my knee didn’t get worse, and I’m off to the Mizuno Race on the 29th.

    See you there, Sir Jovie.



  14. Hi BR,

    Congrats Sir Jovie!! I didnt get to see you. I was at the back doing my warm-up. Joined the 5k run only as one of my short run and to test my GF205. See you at the Mizuno Race2, My first 15k.


  15. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the organizers and medics of this race. Due to my own carelessness I tripped on the sidewalk along EDSA. I am grateful for the prompt and effective care I received for my wounds that enabled me to finish the race.


  16. mark, ASICS is my only shoe brand right now because they have size D width to include their trail shoes. just keep maintaining your running base and focus more with your dragon boat practice. good luck in your competition.

    nolan, i am very sorry for your predicament and we hope this thing will not happen again. congratulations for a nice finish time. happy running!

    junc, i am sorry, i’ve mistaken you for nolan. anyway, thanks for joining the race.

    mindlessmotion, i am glad the medics were able to respond to you and for sure i’ll extend your thanks to them. thanks for joining the race. happy running!


  17. Hello sir,
    This is the Indian who met you at the start line. I have been an avid reader of your blog for some time and enjoy all your comments. It was such a pleasure meeting you in person. Sudipto Mukherjee (my friends in Manila just call me SM).


  18. Br,

    Seems I did miss a lot in the race. Especially the opportunity to meet other runners as well.

    What’s the model of the trail shoe you’re eyeing or have already?



  19. sm, thanks for finally posting a comment to this blog. i have high respect to the officers & men of the Indian Armed Forces where I had a chance to meet and talk to some in the past while i was still in the active service. having the influence and traditions of the British army to your army make it a well-respected army in the world. talking to you was also a nice opportunity to get insights from you about our physical fitness program and other sports activities in the country. i hope to see you again in the next race. keep on reading this blog and enjoy running!

    mark, meeting runners from other countries was really fun and opportunity to get nice insights and feedbacks from them. as for my trail shoes, i am using the The North Face (TNF) “Rucky Chucky” trail shoes and just got the only trail shoes of ASICS available at The Athlete’s Foot as my alternate one. i am already training for a 50K trail run scheduled on the last saturday of august in calabasas, california (Bulldog 50K Trail Run). wish me good luck!


  20. hi BR. can i run the manila half-marathon this sunday (22nd) even if i only had a 10.4 k run this week (tuesday, 17th) which was my recovery run for the dnd half on the 15th? too ambitious?

    i just want to get your opinion. i asked joe the same question.


  21. mark, i’ll treat this as a marathon & i plan to use GU & energy bars along the way. in my readings, the stations in US ultras’ along the way have a lot of food and water supply & medics. for my hydration, i’ll use my nathan belt (water jug on my back) with my hands (both) holding water jug with bottle straps. my other option is to bring my 2.1-liter Camelbak Hydration Pack.

    runmd, of course, you can run! since you are not aimimg to be the 1st place in your age category or beat cris sabal or vertek buenavista, you can run and treat this half-marathon as your training run where you can test yourself again. you did well last sunday and treat the past days (w/out any runs) as your rest and recovery days. you will be surprised that after days of rest, your body will be ready again and craving for more kilometers to run. i can predict that you will have a better time on sunday. good luck & see you in Luneta Park.


  22. mark, the ASICS trail shoes that I am using is the ASICS-Gel Trail Attack 4 WR which is in red like the NF “Rucky Chucky”. good luck in your rowing training!


  23. Hi Sir Jovie,

    Im a regular visitor of your blog, and I find your space interesting. Specially for runners like our age bracket nearing 50 and beyond..
    I would like to comment and also correct me if Im wrong on this.

    “MSgt Leonardo Illut (the runner & pacer behind me) was our country’s Marathon athlete/runner in the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.”

    The runner who is pacing you maybe is MSgt Ireneo Illut. Because Leonardo Illut is already dead. He was shot dead in a cockpit in Malabon.
    Ive’ known him because we used to run together before, also with Jun Tabunda, Gerry Bulasoc ( also a military killed in action ), Ricardo Carillo (the winner of the first Manila Int’l Marathon), Barredo ( the first ultramarathoner in those days), Manuel Oyao ( Milo Marathon consistent champion), Jimmy de la Torre ( also deceased -shot in a movie house in Iloilo City), many other runners from the 80’s. Im not running at their level but I have given the opportunity to run and brushed shoulders with these Pilipino great runners.

    Thanks.. more power..


  24. runmd, you are welcome! see you tomorrow at the Luneta Park.

    lovekoto, you are right! msgt leonardo illut died already and i stand corrected. i just corrected my post after reading your comment. i am presently making a research on our national sports program and i saw the names of those national athletes who participated in the past olympic games and i thought msgt illut might be the same as leonardo. it is very unfortunate that our past elite athletes in athletics/running just faded away…just like us in the military. anyway, thanks for the correction & comment. thanks for being a regular visitor of this blog.


  25. BR, Leonardo Illut ran a 2:49:39 and was 77th at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. I was honored to see him run as I headed the water station at the 25K mark. To my understanding, there were over 100 runners (I believe it was 107) who started back then.

    From my memory, he was running very strong when he came by the water table.


  26. Br, very interested in doing trail running. The ultra is inviting, will just have to do a couple of 42 first. : )

    Bad weather, hope you guys didnt attempt to venture out today. Been up since 4am with the winds howling. Our practice got cancelled as well. Even the breakwater area cant stop the waves.


  27. wayne, thanks for that added information on leonardo illut’s time and place/ranking during the los angeles olympic games. actually, i was in los angeles that time after finishing my advance schooling in fort benning, georgia & watched the marathon on tv. i learned from local filipino news that illut got some stomach trouble after the 30+ kilometer point, thus, making him weak to reach the finish line. at least, he finished the race. one of my friends in LA observed that our filipino athletes were overwhelmed by the presence of lots of food to eat and lots of milk to drink in the olympic village’s mess halls that most of our athletes became undisciplined in their food intake.

    mark, hey, you need at least 3 years of running experience and at least 3 marathons before going to the ultra. this is the way of the future in running as more americans and europeans are involved in ultras. they are leaving the 42K marathons to the africans! talking about the typhoon, i was at the Luneta grandstand at 4:30AM and ready for the race. it was postponed but the organizers gave us free breakfast!


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