MILO Half-Marathon/Tarlac City/November 7, 2010

I got qualified for the MILO Marathon FINALS to be held on December 12, 2010.

I registered for the MILO Provincial Qualifying Half-Marathon Race in Tarlac City which was scheduled yesterday, Sunday, November 7, 2010. My plan was to use the MILO Half-Marathon as my Performance Evaluation Test for the training adjustments I’ve made after my 4:39+ hours Marathon Finish at the CAMSUR Marathon last September 24th.

Training Adjustments

After comparing my past marathon times for the past years, I was able to make some conclusions and observations about some flaws in my training since I’ve started doing ultramarathon races. I decided to return to my training workouts during the year 2008 and strictly followed Jack Daniels Running Formula. One of the salient points in my adjustments is to make sure that my “Easy Runs” should have an average pace of 5:45 minutes per kilometer and gradually decreasing it by 3-5 minutes every week until I was able to reach 5:12 mins/km pace few days before race day. Obviously, my tempo runs’ and interval training average paces had been adjusted, too!  My tempo runs would average to 4:55-5:10 mins/km pace through my regular 5K tempo run repeats.


After six weeks of consistent training and being focused to my average pace in my workouts, I was able to finish the MILO Half-Marathon in 1:47:47 hours (unofficial) with an average pace of 5:07 mins/km. I still have 12:13 minutes to spare within my qualifying time of 2 hours for the said distance. I think I am in the right track again with my training to become faster and stronger in my future races. I was satisfied with the result of my Performance Evaluation Test on this race.

Hands On

I was surprised to see that there were a lot of runners in the Tarlac City MILO Qualifying Leg. My ultra running friends were also there to include some of the BDM 102 “veterans”. But what made me amazed and impressed was the presence of MILO/Nestle, Phils Executives/Managers who were directly manning the Start/Finish Area making sure that control and orderliness were being followed. MILO’s Andrew Neri and RACE’s Rudy Biscocho were there to see to it that the schedule of activities was being followed on the dot. At the turn-around point (10.5K), I saw MILO’s Pat Goc-ong who was personally handing out ice-cold Gatorade drinks to every runner that approached him. He even cheered each runner! I could not believe my eyes seeing these top executives of MILO/Nestle, Phils., doing such stuffs to the runners! To MILO/Nestle, Phils., my congratulations for another successful MILO event!


I have to admit that this is my first time to be a “legitimate” MILO Marathon FINALS qualifier. In the past, I failed to qualify as I joined the Full Marathon Qualifying Races and failed also when I tried to qualify in the Half-Marathon which was held in my hometown, Laoag City in 2008. It was an accomplishment to be finally qualified to the most prestigious marathon race in the country.

Congratulations to all the Qualifiers!

Before The Race With MILO/BR Singlet
Before Reaching The Finish Line
The "Usual Suspects" (The Young & Old Ones)


This post should have been published in my blog last week.

Last May 28, 2009, I posted a blog entitled “What If…?” and I made some predictions on what the public or the running community reaction would be if in case there is a case of death of a runner caused by joining a marathon or road race. Reading back at the said post, I think my predictions did not happen and will not happen now that we have a reported case of death in a road race.

A day after the 34th MILO Marathon Manila Elimination Race, I got an information/status update from Facebook that a runner died during the race. It was confirmed by other runners that there was such a case of death on the said road race.

Reading back on the posts/blogs after the MILO Marathon from takbo.ph and other runner-bloggers who participated in the said race, the topics that I’ve read were all about frustrations, cheating, injuries, lack of medals, lack of hydration needs on the last 10 kilometers of the race and prevention of heat-related injuries or cases…but nobody tried to inform the running community about the case of death during the 34th MILO Marathon Manila Elimination Race or wrote a detailed account about the death of this runner. What I’ve read is about the death of a (Malaysian) runner in the Kuala Lumpur International Marathon last month! Why do you have to blog and re-post the death of a Malaysian runner and keep silent on the death of your co-Filipino runner? I think that is not fair! 

I wonder why nobody among the Filipino runner-bloggers wrote about this Filipino runner who died at the 34th MILO Marathon Manila Eliminations? I wonder also why the traditional media outlets in our country kept “silent” about this incident. I hope one or two runners who tried to help the victim would be able to say something about this case or maybe, an officemate or co-running club member would be able to say something about the person…maybe, his name, age, number of years of running, and health condition before the run. A simple interview with the family, relatives and friends would be better to find out the background of this runner. I hope the frontRUNNER Magazine will do its work to find out the details and write about this case so that the running community will be aware of such cases in running.

Or maybe, the runner died because our Medical Support are not properly trained or well-equipped to react appropriately to running cases and injuries such as this. The same case that happened to my former classmates who died due to heat stroke.

I may not be an investigative reporter or member of the CSI but a detailed information about this case should be heard from Team MILO/NESTLE, Phils and the Race Organizers on the details to answer the questions WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHO, WHY, and HOW…and the ACTION TAKEN by the people responsible on the said road race.

Guys, this is NEWS! The public, especially the running community, deserves to know the TRUTH! ( This is the “overused” line you always here from the media! Right?). We have to learn something from this case with the hope that we could prevent this thing from happening again.

Cheating, Death, Frustrations, Redemptions, Happiness, Friendships, Betrayal, Power, etc….the Marathon Race offers a lot of DRAMA…like LIFE!

(Note: While trying to find details about this death and while waiting for the Official Statement from MILO/NESTLE, Inc, I happened to discover the Official Statement from Mr Rudy Fuentes, the father of the casualty, posted on the Internet. I will post the Official Statement of MILO/NESTLE, Inc. soon).

3 Loops

After I found out that the 34th MILO Marathon Elimination Route was changed into a different route where the 42K runners will have to undergo a 3-loop run within the course, I planned to recon the place, most especially that portion of the race route.

At 7:30 AM, last Sunday, I started my run at a certain point within the loop course which have a direct access to the MOA grounds and located along the Pres. Macapagal Avenue.  From this point, I went westward towards the PICC Complex by turning left going to the old and abandoned Film Academy Building; turning right towards infront of the Philippine Plaza Hotel and went all the way to the Folk Arts Theater before turning right towards Roxas Boulevard.

I turned right at Roxas Blvd and did not dare to run along the flyovers at Gil Puyat/Buendia Blvd and EDSA but instead ran along the flat road of Roxas Blvd. Running along Roxas Blvd gives you the tendency to run fast while inhaling the smoke from all forms of vehicle passing the area; smell of garbage & drainage; and the dust of the road. I turned right at the Aguinaldo Blvd (Airport Road) before finally turning right at the Pres. Macapagal Avenue and ending my run where I started along the said road.

My GF 305 registered a distance of 10.4 kilometers with an elapsed time of 1:01:32 hours and an average pace of 5:55 mpk!

I have nothing to complain about the 3 loops every runner for the 42K race would undertake as long as it will result to an accurate distance for the 42.195K race. The relatively flat terrain of the course where the Flyovers will be considered as “speed bumps” (on flat streets) will be an advantage for the runners. For those who will be supported with their own family/friends’ Aid Stations, they could select a place where they could wait for their runner to pass without having the problem of following or “leap-frogging” with their runner. This loop system will also a nice way to keep an “eye contact” or good sighting to your “target” for this race due to the straight direction of the key roads of the route. I’ll be glad that runners within my age range will also use me as their “target”! But for the younger runners, I’ll be happy to see them way in front of me because they will be qualifying for a faster time!

MILO Marathon Elimination Race Route

In my race strategy for this event, I’ll have to visualize that I’ll be running along the oval track with each lap measuring to 11-12 kilometers per lap, instead of 400 meters. I should be able to complete each loop in 1:10 hours or less and finish the remaining kilometers in 40 minutes or less in order to be able to qualify for the  MILO Marathon Finals and register a Finish Time of 4:10 hours or less. This could be my most conservative strategy for the race but depending on the actual situation, my body condition, and external factors, I could go for a faster time. Having prepared for this race since the last week of March 2010 and my training in the mountains had given me the confidence of a nice result for this race.

Despite my long runs had been within the range of 25-30 kilometers, I tried to compensate the need for longer LSDs by training along the mountain trails and “sharpen” my training through hill workouts. Another bold experiment that I’ve done for the past months is the ability to sustain my pace without drinking any water or sports drinks on my 10K or less distance workouts. I tested and evaluated this experiment when I participated in the latest NB Trail Adventure 15K Run at Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna last June 20, 2010. It did not affect me whether the Water Stations were not consistently positioned along the route.

I’ll be using the MILO singlet provided for this race; running shorts (“RMWRS!”); DryMax Socks; ASICS Gel-Tarther Shoes; Oakley Sunglass; and my Bandanas!

Always remember, when you run the MILO Marathon Race, you have to give justice to this event as the “most prestigious marathon race” in the country. Do your best and prove to yourself and to everybody that you are a “RUNNER”!

See you this Sunday! Good luck!

I'll Be Donating These Shoes! My Race Singlet On D-Day
You Will Never Miss Me During The Race!


If you are a runner in the Philippines, the color “green” signifies the MILO Marathon Race! 

Last Thursday noon, June 24, 2010, I was one of the few “runner-bloggers” who were invited by MILO/Nestle, Phils to attend the media launching of the 34th MILO Marathon for this year. I think only four of us were there who were outnumbered by the newspaper/print publications, radio, and TV media personnel & reporters—Kikay Runner, Bugobugo85 aka frontRunner, The Bull Runner and I. It was really an honor and privilege to be a part of this memorable event. 

The event started with some personal chat and greetings with the members of the TEAM MILO under the leadership of Mr Afnan Ahsan, the new Senior Vice-President, Beverages Business Unit of NESTLE Philippines. Lunch was served immediately at noon time. 

Race Route: 34th MILO Marathon Elimination Race/July 4, 2010

 As soon as the attendees had their lunch, the formal presentation of the media launching of the event started. What impressed me most is the presentation of the TV commercial film, “The Gift” for MILO’s project HELP GIVE SHOES. I can relate with this new advocacy of MILO because I’ve been a witness of runners in marathon races who are still using “old and tattered” running shoes and I was able to do something, at least, to solve the problem. My personal observation led me to come up with my “Project Donate A Shoe” which I started by donating four (4) pairs of my slightly used running shoes. Little did I know that my readers have the same observations too that they started donating their used shoes to my project. So far, I have received and distributed a total of almost 1,000 pairs of used running shoes coming from my friends in the country & abroad and my readers residing in Great Britain, United States, China, Japan, and the Middle East! 

Team MILO/Nestle, Phils During The Media Launching

 After the prepared presentation about the 34th MILO Marathon Event, the key members of Team MILO were presented to everybody and they emphasized the importance of their advocacy by sticking “footprints” on the wall. Key figures in Philippine Sports (PSC & POC), Race Organizer, and MILO Executives were seated in front of the audience as each of them were asked some questions and clarification and the Press Interview/Open Forum started. 

When a reporter who is not a runner ask a question, most likely, the question is a dumb and stupid one. They don’t read the written Press Release given to them once they enter the venue before they ask a question because the answer is already on those printed pages. Almost all their questions start with the word “Why?” However, I was impressed when a recreational runner-reporter asked the question, “Why MILO thought of such advocacy (Help Give Shoes) now, after 33 years of conducting a nation-wide running events?” Well, the Team MILO answered that they have the same observation as I have expressed in this blog. 

Team MILO Marathon with TBR & BR!!!

This year’s 34th MILO Marathon Elimination is totally different from the past yearly event because of their “Help Give Shoes” advocacy for the underprivileged children; the introduction of qualifying times according to one’s age category; increase in registration fees but with better quality of race singlet, finisher’s t-shirt & finisher’s medal; better support services to runners in terms of safety, hydration (water & Gatorade), food replenishments (fruits & sports gels); increase in cash prizes for the winners; accurate timing with the use of the RFID Champion Chip; and a new race course (which I will discuss in my incoming posts).  

“Green” means the Environment! “Green” means MILO! “Green” means GO! Run the MILO Marathon! 

See you on July 4th!