Race Report: 2017 MILO Half-Marathon Qualifying Race/Tarlac City

2017 MILO Half-Marathon (21K) Qualifying Race In Tarlac City/August 13, 2017

I was supposed to have an scheduled 5-hour LSD/Hike in the mountain trails on this day but I asked my Coach if I could join and qualify for the MILO Marathon Race to be held this coming December 2017 in a Half-Marathon Race to be held on a Sunday. My Coach gave his approval with the condition that I have the option to continue my hike later in the afternoon to complete the 5-hour LSD/Hike for the day. However, after the race, I decided to completely rest.

My OnLine Registration 10 days before the race did not push through as the Local Race Organizer could not open the e-mail that I sent to them. However, I was given the assurance that I would be allowed to join the race as long as I will be early at the Race Packet Pick-Up Booth on Race Day. Two hours before the start of the race, I was already at the site making some effort to be included in the list of qualifiers for the race. The local race organizer was very helpful to arrange with the MILO staff/personnel coming from Manila to have me included in the 21K race after accomplishing my registration form and submitting the required Medical/Doctor’s Certificate and MILO Pack.

Thirty minutes before the start of the race, I was already at the Runner’s Corral and behind all the runners as some runners would request for Photo-Ops with me. In between those requests, I would do some quick stretching on my legs and arms. Some runners whom I’ve known and joined in some of my PAU/BR’s Events’ Races would greet me and wish them luck in the race, in return.

The race started at exactly 4:30 AM after a short program—Singing of the National Anthem; A Prayer; A Greetings to all the Runners; and a Good Video on the Reminders for the Runners For Us to have an organized and problem-free race. As soon as the Starting Gun went-off, I started to brisk walk and positioned myself at the back of the pack. As soon as the road became more spacious for me, I started to run and tried to keep pace with those runners on my sides and on my front.

2017 MILO Half Marathon Tarlac 00
Focused & Determined To Qualify

I really wanted to run this race while observing my effort as based from my breathing and how high were my knees while I was running. The harder I could breath and the higher my knees are would indicate that I was forcing my pace really hard and with more speed. However, based from my training, I made my first 20 minutes of my run as my warm-up run which is I think within the Range of 6-7 effort with 10 as the Maximum Effort. After 20 minutes had lapsed, I started to have my tempo run which would last for 10 minutes (Effort Rate at 8-9) and then recover for 2-3 minutes at a Range of 6-7 effort. This kind of tempo run was repeated all throughout the race until I reached the turn-around point at 10.5K. I was surprised that my time was below one hour!

On my way back to the Finish Line, I started to run faster and tried 5-minute “strides” with 2-minute “recovery” run and then later reduced to 40-second “strides” with 20-second “recovery” run. I was happy that my time was sub-1:55-hour when I reached the 20-Km mark but suddenly, I felt a “cramping” sensation on my right calf that prevented me from maintaining my pace and be able to finish the race in less than 2 hours. The more I would keep my pace, the cramps would become more severe and painful that I could hardly lift my right leg. I decided to run slowly and walked later for a few meters and waited until the muscle/calf tightening was over. On the last kilometer to the finish line, I had my slowest pace in the race that almost all of the runners that I’ve passed in the last 2 kilometers had overtaken me.

2017 MILO Half Marathon Tarlac
Easy Pace On The Last 200 Meters To The Finish Line

No worries. I finished the race in 2:00:33 hours which is almost 15 minutes faster than my qualifying time for the age of 65-69 years old. Oh, well, my name is not listed in the published list of qualifiers in the MILO Tarlac City Leg but I know this will be corrected soon by the Race Organizer.

As a point of comparison and analysis of my performance in this race, I tried to look for my split times in last March’s Los Angeles Marathon where I registered a split time of 2:04:30 hours at Km 20 point and comparing it with my split time now of 1:54:++hours, it is clear that I’ve improved in my pace and speed for about 10 minutes for the said distance. Hopefully and at last, I will be able to attain my dream to try and find a race for me to qualify for the Boston Marathon. God willing!

On a personal note, this is the only race (for the past years) where I did not use a compression socks or calf sleeves. I’ve been running ultras with calf sleeves/compression socks and I never experienced any cramps on my calves and I personally believe that I should have used them on this race. With this experience, whether it will be a short race or an ultra running event, I will be using these compression socks and/or calf sleeves in my future races!

I will be happy to visit Cebu City this coming December 2017 to join in the 2017 MILO Marathon Finals.

Nutrition: One Power/Energy Bar Before The Race; One GU Gel on the last 4K; Water In Every Aid Station

Runner’s Kit: BROOKS Koi (Launch 4); Surge Socks; BROOKS Racer’s Shorts; Outdoor Avenues Track & Field Shorts; PAU Shirt; Garmin Forerunner 310XT; Trail Asia Buff; Adidas Adizero Cap.

(Note: I am a CTS Athlete)



MILO’s Official Statement (???)

I am not sure if this is the “real” Official Statement of Team MILO/NESTLE, Phils as a result of the death of Remus Fuentes on the July 4th MILO Marathon Manila Elimination Race. One of the BDM “veterans”, Albert Salazar, sent a comment in my previous blog stating the following statement which he indicated as taken in one of the links with MILO Philippines’ Facebook account. In the said link, the following statement had been posted in their PHOTO ALBUM Page. I really don’t know why they have to take a picture of the said statement and have it posted in their Photo Album. They could have simply sent to the e-mail addresses of the runner-bloggers and other interested parties.

I’ve been waiting for this Official Statement as I requested from Team MILO/NESTLE, Inc to send it to my e-mail address in order to give them a chance to explain their side of the incident. Up to this time, I have not yet received such copy in my e-mail address. Anyway, whether the following statement was not signed or not, the fact that it was posted at MILO, Phils Facebook Account, it needs to be posted in this blog in order to get the side of Team MILO/NESTLE, Phils and its Race Organizer. Hoping it is the real one!

After reading this statement and the side of Remus family, the runners who participated in the 21K and the Marathon (42K) Race and my readers will be the judge.


We are deeply saddened by the passing away of Mr. Remus Fuentes, a participant of the July 4, 2010 MILO Marathon held in Luneta, Manila.

We reached out to Remus’ family as soon as we were informed. Our deepest sympathy is with his family during this most difficult time.

We assure participants that all the internationally recognized precautions had been taken by the organizer for the Manila leg of the MILO Marathon, specifically:

On hydration stations, according to the International Association of Athletics Federation (lAAF), the rule is, for a race longer than 10 km, refreshment stations shall be provided at approximately every 5 kms along the race route. For mass races in a tropical country like the Philippines, the same IAAF rule recommends to have water stations every 2.5 km, The Manila leg of the MILO Marathon had water stations installed every 2 km along the race path, and in between each water station, there were Gatorade stations to ensure every runner had the opportunity to hydrate as necessary. On average, there was a hydration station around every 1 km of the 21K race path. In total, there were 13 water stations, 10 Gatorade stations, 2 sponging stations, and 1 banana station strategically Iocated throughout the 13.5 km race loop.

On first aid, all MILO Marathons are fully equipped with first aid teams to attend to runners needing assistance. In the Manila race, for instance, there were 7 roving ambulances plying the 13.5 km race loop, 15 medical stations, 5 teams of first aiders on bicycles, and nearly 500 marshals – policemen, traffic aids, and radio communicators – manning various points of the race path. These marshals were equipped to immediately contact first aid stations and ambulances with trained crew and rescue facilities.

Like any vigorous sport, the marathon involves a certain amount of risk, especially for those who participate in longer distance events such as the 21K and the 42k. We would like to remind all runners who plan to participate in the forthcoming MILO Marathons to adequately prepare before the race, ensuring that they are properly conditioned mentally and physically. This includes undergoing the necessary training getting enough rest, properly hydrating, and eating the right food.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Remus Fuentes at this very difficult time.

(Note: Copied from MILO Philippines Facebook’s Photo Album)

Help Give Shoes

MILO/Nestle Phils launched its MILO Marathon website last Sunday, June 13, 2010 and I am impressed with the site. But what impressed me most is MILO Marathon’s cause/advocacy of giving running shoes to underprivileged but deserving children in the elementary & high school grades.  

MILO Running Shoes


This is one of the reasons why the registration fees for the 34th Marathon Races had increased as a portion of it goes for a small contribution from the runners for this project. For an amount of Five Pesos from each runner registered for the race, in return, MILO will donate an equivalent amount to the total fund raised. 

Everystep..MILO's Help Give Shoes Project


For further details of this advocacy, I enjoin my readers/visitors to visit the MILO Marathon website at www.milo.com.ph. The video entitled “The Gift” is nice which I know most of you have seen it on the TV commercials. 

Let us support this advocacy. Register now and join the 34th MILO Elimination Races & Finals. 

See you on July 4, 2010 at 4:00 AM. 

(Note: Pictures were taken from MILO Marathon’s Website at www.milo.com.ph)


For my age of 58 years old, my qualifying time for the MILO Marathon FINALS on December 12, 2010 is to be able to finish the 34th MILO Marathon Elimination Race at 4 hours and 10 minutes or less.

Do I have to be happy or challenged by the introduction of the qualifying times for the 34th MILO Marathon Finals? At my age, finishing the marathon with a time of 3:45:00 hours is still my goal which is the qualifying time for my age in the Boston Marathon! In the 80s when I concentrated for months and years (yes, I prepared for my first marathon for a year!) to reach the Boston Qualifying time for my age (3:10 hrs), I could only get a finish time of 3:29 as my best time. Trying to qualify for Boston Marathon during those years were impossible because of my career in the military. At present, 3:45 hrs as a qualifying time is finally doable as I have more time to run and try to improve my finish time as I become older!

Finally, MILO had come up with a new qualifying time according to age category for runners. The 4:10 hrs qualifying time for my age bracket made me happy as this cut-off time will not make me pressured during the race. It simply means that I can run the distance by completing every 10K segment in one hour and do a 5:00-minute per km average pace for the last 2 kilometers! But deep in my mind, the BQ time of 3:45 hrs is still my ultimate goal in every marathon race that I join. That’s the fighting and competitive spirit in me.

34th MILO Marathon Manila Elimination Qualifying Times: (From takbo.ph)

A New Running Form?
18-34 3hrs 10min 3hrs 40min
35-39 3hrs 15min 3hrs 45min
40-44 3hrs 20min 3hrs 50min
45-49 3hrs 30min 4hrs 00min
50-54 3hrs 35min 4hrs 05min
55-59 3hrs 45min 4hrs 15min
60-64 4hrs 00min 4hrs 30min
65-69 4hrs 15min 4hrs 45min
70-74 4hrs 30min 5hrs 00min
75-79 4hrs 45min 5hrs 15min
80 and over 5hrs 00min 5hrs 30min

Abovementioned qualifying times are for the Boston Marathon!

Noteworthy to mention are the comments I had been reading at Facebook from my running friends. Topics and comments deal with the high registration fees and the new MQ (Milo Qualifying) times. I would surmise that the MILO Marathon this time will be “cheater-proof” and with more logistics & Aid Stations along the route, thus, we have a higher rate of registration fees. I hope that the Race Organizer will offer some foods aside from the usual water and Gatorade in every Aid Station. Please don’t serve those 100 Plus Drinks as they are carbonated drinks which is totally different from Coke and other sweet carbonated drinks.  As for the MQ times, this will encourage more of our runners to train properly and pursue for excellence. As compared to the BQ times, it should be noted that the MQ time for the 18-34 Men (3:45) is the BQ time for the 35-39 Women runners! And the same time is my BQ time as a 58-year old male runner.

With the higher registration fee, although I am not fond of those give-away singlets, I hope MILO will have a better quality of cloth for their singlet. The past singlets tend to be very heavy after they are soaked with my sweat/perspiration. I guess, a wet MILO singlet adds up to another 1/2 kilo I have to carry during the most critical second half of the marathon race. This is true! 

I just hope that “cheating” will not be done in filling up those registration forms in this race. Let us be honest this time and enjoy to run the most prestigious national marathon race that the country has to offer. Thanks to MILO/Nestle, Phils!

I’ve seen the list of Cash Prizes for the Eliminations and Marathon Finals plus the bonus prizes for breaking the fastest record time of 2:18+ hours and the imaginary time of 2:14 hours. This is a big improvement as the cash prize have increased which will be beneficial to our elite athletes plus they have the goal to excel and improve the record finish time for the marathon in the country. How I wish our King & Queen Champions for this year will be sent to compete in one of the prestigious marathon races in the US.

In the coming weeks and days before July 4th, I will be posting my preparation/training and race strategy in order to qualify for the MILO FINALS Marathon on December 12 this year.

Once again, I personally congratulate MILO/Nestle, Philippines for having consistently brought us the only competitive and the most prestigious marathon race in the country. For a multinational company that is based here, this is the only corporate entity that had focused its support in Athletics/Running, the most number of sports diciplines, and the conduct of local /National Sports Meets in the country. It should be noted also that MILO/Nestle is the Number #1 supporter for our athletes/national delegation to the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games, and the Summer Olympic Games. 

To all the runners, this is your chance to excel and not be contended in finishing a marathon race within the cut-off time.

34th MILO Marathon Schedule

This is it! This is the most prestigious marathon race in the country which everybody should prepare!

I received the list of schedule from Mr Andrew Neri of MILO/Nestle, Philippines yesterday and I tried to analyze their race schedule for this year. And the following are my observations:

1. The opening “salvo” for the 34th MILO Marathon will be the conduct of elimination race in Metro Manila on July 4, 2010. And every month, there will be a scheduled elimination race.

2. There will be only one elimination race for the month of August which will be held in Davao City. I wonder why MILO scheduled only one race for this month. I would suspect it is the month of CAMSUR’s Ironman Philippines activities (?).

3. Last year, there were 27 races to include the Finals and the elimination races. This year, MILO/Nestle, Phils reduced the number of races to 18. I suspect that less races means more “improvements” in this year’s Elimination & Final Races.

4. The early announcement of this year’s schedule is very commendable as runners would be able to have enought time to consider their training cycle and focus their preparation for the Metro Manila Marathon Elimination on July 4, 2010. A 5-month preparation or training cycle geared to qualify and have a finish time of sub-4 hours for this race is an ideal length of period to attain such goal.

5. It is not impossible if MILO/Nestle, Phils will double the cash prize for the Champions in the Final Marathon this year. A Cash Prize of P 150,000 for the Men’s and Women’s Champion and a Free Trip to a Prestigious International Marathon Race in the US would be a “quantum leap” in the development of running excellence in the country. I’ve been suggesting this idea before with the people of MILO and bring back the “glory” of MILO Champions when Champions would participate in the Boston Marathon and other international races as part of their prize. (Sa palagay ko ay wala ng mag-TNT sa Amerika ngayon basta bantayan natin ang atleta!!!)

6. Lesser races this year would mean better monitoring of runners during the conduct of races, most especially in Metro Manila. Reports of “cheating” during the Metro Manila Marathon Elimination Race had been an issue among runners as well as bloggers. I hope this bad practice will be finally eradicated in this year’s races. RFID timing devices should be a “must” to such a race with qualifying times.

7. Five (5) months to train for the Marathon Elimination Race in Metro Manila and another five (5) months to prepare for the Final Marathon Race on December 12, 2010 is a good and well-balanced spacing in between two training cycle for the marathon race. Whoever thought of this spacing of races is really a competitive runner! Thanks, Mr Dennis A and the MILO/Nestle marathon team!

Runners, what are you waiting for? It’s time to go back to the drawing board for your training program for the MILO Marathon this coming July 4! Good luck to everybody!

Rey Antoque: The “Old Warrior”

Rey Antoque is presently one of the Coaches of the Elite Team Bald Runner. His credentials as a runner speak for itself. He had been with the Elite Team for the past ten (10) months. What I like with him is that he started to train hard for the Marathon Race at the age of 33 years old, an old age for an elite runner for the Marathon distance.

His performance in Marathon Races in the 1990’s and early 2000’s speaks well of his focused training, dedication, perseverance, and determination.

On his first competition on Marathon Road Racing, Rey placed No. 4 in the 1990 Pilipinas International Marathon with a time of 2:24:06 hours which was considered at that time as the fastest time for a Filipino in a marathon race held in the country. He was 33 years old.

After one year of training for the Marathon distance, he placed #3 Overalll in the 9th PAL Manila International Marathon in 1991 at the age 0f 34 years old.

In 1992, the following year, he won as Champion in the 16th MILO Marathon with a time of 2:28:47 hours at the age of 35 years old. At that time, he won a Cash Prize of P 60,000.

Picture Depicts The Intensity of Rey's Race & Finish
Picture Depicts The Intensity of Rey's Race & Finish

In 1993, he was the 1st Top Filipino and 2nd Overall in the Pilipinas International Marathon where a Belgian runner won as Champion. Rey Antoque improved his time at 2:27:32 hours.

In 1994, he was the Champion in the 12th PAL Manila International Marathon on March 13, 1994 with a time of 2:28:24 hours. He was able to beat and overtook the younger Guiseppe Veletti of Italy who was then 25 years old on the last kilometers of the race. Antoque was then 36 years old.

Guiseppe Veletti of Italy & Rey Antoque
Guiseppe Veletti of Italy & Rey Antoque

In 1995, the following year, he was able to defend his title as the Champion in the 13th PAL Manila International Marathon on March 12, 1995 beating again a younger Lucio Danza of Italy (28 years old) who was with Guiseppe Veletti. He registered a time of 2:28:02 hours at the age of 37 years old. He won P 100,000 as the Champion and additional prize of P 50,000 for being the Top Filipino Finisher.

Women's Champion Praskovia Gregorenko of Russia Gives Rey a Buss
Women's Champion Praskovia Gregorenko of Russia Gives Rey a Buss

On July 30, 1995, he was the Champion in the 1995 SIJORI (Singapore-Johor Bahru-Riad) International Marathon Race held in Johor, Malaysia with a time  of 2:33:16 hours. He won a prize of RM 10,000.

Malaysian Newspaper With Rey Antoque in the SIJORI Marathon
Malaysian Newspaper With Rey Antoque in the SIJORI Marathon

In November 20, 1994, he was the Champion in the 5th 10-Mile YAKULT Run with a time of 1:03:15 hours.

In 1996, he was the Champion in the 9th Annual PUMA Half-Marathon with a time of 1:08:46 hours.

In 2004, he won the Gold Medal in the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter runs in the ASIAN MASTERS Championship held in Bangkok, Thailand.

Rey Antoque, 54 years old @ BOTAK's 1-Street Mile Run
Rey Antoque, 54 years old @ BOTAK's 1-Street Mile Run

He shared some of his “training secrets” of which I am going to divulge in this post.

He trains and prepares the whole year only for ONE Marathon Race Event.

He spends and stays in Baguio City at least 6 months during his training. Kennon and Naguilian Roads were his training routes.

He applied what he learned from a Kenyan elite runner—running three (3) times with a distance of 5,000 meters in 15 minutes with 3-5 minutes of rest/interval in between repetitions in his speed workouts at the oval track. I did this speed workout once (in 23 minutes) and I had to rest & recover for two days!

He runs twice a day, morning & afternoon, reaching up to 200+ kilometers mileage per week. His long run workouts exceeded the marathon distance!

He is a disciple of Arthur Lydiard.

(Note: News Clippings Courtesy of Rey Antoque’s Files & Memorabilias)

Send Your “Used” Running Shoes To The Philippines…Not To Other Countries!

Yes, send your “used” running shoes to Bald Runner of the Philippines and not to Africa and other countries.

It was timely that I received donated slight “used” and “used” running shoes from Good Samaritan and supporters of my Project Donate A Shoe for the month of November. The following were so kind enough to support this advocacy for the month of November 2008:

1) Wayne Plymale aka SFrunner, who arrived to the Philippines for a brief visit on the 2nd week of November, donated a slightly used ASICS Landreth running shoes.

2) Amado Castro, a businessman who daily practices his skills as a race walker at the ULTRA Oval Track, donated two (2) running shoes.

3) Charlie Chua, a runner and a RP Dragon Boat Team member, donated three (3) pairs of his old running shoes which are slightly used.

4) Del Quevedo of Walnut, California, who sent a Balikabayan Box filled with Road Race Finisher’s T-shirts, running apparel, and twenty-eight (28) pairs of “used” but still reliable running shoes.

After the MILO National Finals Marathon, our Project Donate A Shoe Booth was established along the sidewalk at the side of the Quirino Grandstand and luckily, we were not “bumped-off” this time!!!.

The following pictures speak for the need of our runners for those “used” running shoes from the more fortunate runners and from those Good Samaritan and our running friends across the seas.


This is a group of people and runners who lined up for screening before they are finally given the donated shoes. Only legitimate runners were given the donated shoes.


I had to request Coach Salazar to properly screen the recipients as more people were lined-up than the number of running shoes to be given.


Finally, this runner is finally parting from his old shoes after using them for the past 5 years!


This young runner is smiling knowing his ?????? shoes is going to be replaced with a better one.


Manong, you are using a different shoes not appropriate for running! This guy is 71 years old and he is still running strong. After he received his “new” shoes, he was still looking at his old shoes as if he did not want to part ways with them which he had been using since 2001.


This is one of the top runners from Sta. Rosa, Laguna whose old shoes were full of adhesive “rugby” glue on the sole and upper mesh parts of his shoes.


This runner is 76 years old and the oldest recipient of the donated shoes. He finished the 10K MILO Run.


Standing beside me is Mr Ben Capili, a retired Colonel of the Philippine Air Force who is based in Chicago, USA. He usually comes here to the country during winter time in the USA. He is also involved in the same project where he brings home “used” running shoes to be distributed to the runners in his community.


These were the old shoes replaced by those shoes donated by DelQ, Amado Castro, & Charlie Chua. A million thanks to you and to the rest of my supporters in this Project Donate A Shoe.

193 Days: Insights On Milo Run (Laoag City)

I have the folowing insights and observations on the conduct of the Milo Elimination Half-Marathon Race held in Laoag City last 21 September 2008:

1) Local Government and Sports Development—My impression during the race was that the local government was used as a “contact point” for the Milo Run Organizers to conduct such race in Laoag City.  Local government officials were at the Start and Finish Line to Fire the Starting Gun and to present awards to the winners. In short, they were there for “exposure” and the “image” that they were promoting sports awareness to the people in Laoag City and Ilocos Norte. These local government officials were also late for the scheduled start time of the race.

2) Lack of Runners—I can not believe that there were only about 40 runners for the Half-Marathon Elimination Race. Out of the 40 runners, five of us came from Baguio City and Metro Manila; one female runner; at least 15-20 runners belong to the 40+ age group; and the rest were local runners. This is a sign that physical fitness or running is not well-exposed in Laoag City/Ilocos Norte. There is a need to develop more runners and promote physical fitness awareness for the province. In contrast with the lesser distance races during the Milo Run in Laoag City, 90% of the runners where children with ages 10-14 years old. About 200 children joined the other races to include some beginners among the adults. It seems that these children were obliged by the school authorities to join the race and be at the starting area at 5:00AM. Some of these children even came from the neighboring towns of Laoag City. Continue reading “193 Days: Insights On Milo Run (Laoag City)”

196 Days: Laoag City Milo 21K Elimination Race

6:00 AM 21 September 2008 in Laoag City

Instead of starting infront of the Provincial Capitol (as published in the newspapers), the Milo Run started along the Ablan Avenue near the Provincial Sports Complex. About 40 runners for the 21K waited for the arrival of the Governor of Ilocos Norte, Hon Michael Keon, the former Director of the Project Gontong Alay and President of the Philippine Olympic Committee as he was late for almost 40 minutes for the 6:00 AM scheduled start of the 21K Race. Anyway, the race started without any problems and the road marshalls were all posted in key intersections as the race proceeded to the main street of Laoag City, Rizal Street, going all the way to the east, towards the direction of the Municipality of Sarrat. Continue reading “196 Days: Laoag City Milo 21K Elimination Race”