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NYC Marathon Week: Running with Ryan Hall and Bart Yasso

Our first few days in New York were packed with sight-seeing, shopping and spending happy moments with my family. I nearly forgot that we should have an easy run to get our muscles working and get the feel of running in a cold day. So the pink sole and I went out on cold 5ºc windy day and ran 6k around Northvale. It was exciting to run in a new route in very cold weather. But I know my day will get even more exciting.

Dressed in 2XU compression tights, 3 layers top (tank , long-sleeved dry-fit shirt and a jacket) with a cap over a thick beanie, gloves and my pink and gray lunar glides, we set out for a quick 6k run — a dress rehearsal.  The first kilometer was a BRRRRR (HAHAHA).  I was cold to death.  I wanted to run faster so I can already heat up but my legs felt cold and stiff.  We reached Northvale Park and ran rounds.  I tuned in to what I was feeling the whole run mindful of how I will adjust my gear at race day.  My face felt very cold and my eyes hurt and became watery because of the wind.  I never wore shades while running but noted I might have to this time.  After 3 kms, I felt hot enough to open my jacket wide and  removed my beanie.  The breeze would still make my ears very cold when I was just wearing my cap.   One thing that felt cold the whole time was my lower back and my thighs.  I don’t know why but I definite took note of that.  My coughs and colds seemed to be tamed at that point.  While my nose wanted to out-pace my running, my coughs didn’t give me any problems at all.  It was when we got home and stopped running that the coughs came and boy, how they did!  I swear I was coughing incessantly in the bathroom for around 15 minutes.  Jun and my sister got concerned and would knock to check if i was okay.  Even I got a little scared at one point as my eyes were already all watered and red and the coughs wouldn’t stop.  Huh, those 15minutes were a lot more tiring than our 50-minute run.

test run in Northvale 3 days before marathon day

The test run was a success!  It made me throw all my gear out the window EXCEPT of course my fave Nike Lunar Glides and jacket. HAHAHA  Gotta go back to Nike Town!  Yey!!!

Running with Ryan Hall and Bart Yasso

We went to the city after lunch and went around 5th avenue before proceeding to my next short run that day. I had the privilege of running with Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall and running legend Bart Yasso at the Run by Foot Locker Store. I submitted my entry a day after arriving in NY and got accepted the next day. Isn’t that amazing?

So by 5:30pm, I went to 34th E 14th street where RUN by footlocker shop is located. Mariel opted not to join me and do more shopping instead, hah! As soon as I arrive in the store, I registered and got a beautiful running tee from Footlocker, another long sleeve shirt from Nissan, a Runner’s World and Marathon Magazine. Few minutes after, Ryan Hall and Bart Yasso arrived, the organizer discussed the run and the route. And so, 30+ plus runners went off for an easy 5 mile run. Of course our easy is like walking for Ryan and Bart. Running while chatting with each runner and of course taking pictures with them. It was such an amazing experience. After the run, all of us got to have our magazines signed and of course the experience wouldn’t be complete without our pictures taken with Ryan Hall and Bart Yasso.

With the privileged few. I think I was the only Filipino there!

Hoping to get some energy for the marathon from the two if I stayed close. 🙂

Mr. Yasso, I only did 6x800 during my training. Do you think that will be enough for me to finish on Sunday? 🙂

With Olympic Marathoner Ryan Hall

With the legendary Bart Yasso

So much excitement for one day.  The next day brings more…

Next:  Claiming our Race Kits at the Expo


Celebrating My First Marathon (Sweet Dreams are Made of These)

Yes, it’s just not the race route providing pleasant and challenging surprises.  My family sprang a couple of them as well!  First, their surprise presence at the finish line which really overwhelmed me…

Here’s a picture story chronicling the time my family arrived at the race scene to surprise me to tears and the ensuing celebration that made my first marathon all the more memorable.

In Solenad, Nuvali…


5:30am.. i've been at it for 3 1/2 hours...

the finish line awaits ...

the matador waiting for the charging bulls...

sofie waits for mommy, my sister jen looking out for my grand entrance ;)...

mom and dad can hardly wait...

while Winter, the family cat, wait it out in the car...

.. a tired doggie wonders what all the fuss was about…

then, first runner checks in (congrats benny!) ...

Mikka asks: "is mommy near"

here, here.. just around the bend...

hey there's mom and dad!!!

come on mom, run!!!

Go Mom Go!


bliss at the finish!!!

marathoner at last!

surprise, surprise!!!

hahaha truly surprised!!!

Can't contain the laughter, can't contain the smiles. Nice one mom & dad! 🙂

mikka, did mommy do a good job? 😉

precious pic with my family (thanks for this copy Ben & Jaymie!)

After letting go of emotions in seeing my family at the finish line, it was time for some happy celebrations with fellow dream marathoners, dream pacers, well-wishers and whoever… hahaha   I’d celebrate with anyone and everyone!!!

with Dr. Lora (2nd-time marathoner) who i briefly ran with in K15 ...

and Joy, a new friend made along the way... (thanks for this photo, joy & hubby)

yvette made sure i got a cup of water plus a cheer at K3 & K23

then there's team second wind, hector & mikey who provided amazing support at K39...

and Coach Rio who dished-out a big cheer for me at K34...

of course there was Iya and Drew who provided glam and fun...

and coach rio who provided... rhum? (haha couldn't find a rhyme)...

before he hammed it up with tessa and with drew on hand...

my prize --42k medal. Anyone interested gran per gram? haha

Well done, well done! Now it's time for some serious fun!

I thought that was it.  It was more than enough BUT the surprise is not over. In fact, it has just began..

Pink Sole:  Where are we having lunch?  Mom & Dad said they’ll go wherever we go.

Blue Sole :  Tagaytay.

Pink Sole : “Really? Nice!”

Blue Sole : “Overnight tayo.”

Pink Sole :  “Huh, talaga? But… I’ve no clothes.  You packed for me?”

Blue Sole :  “Siyempre, eh kami pa!”

Pink Sole :  ” Wow, saya! Galing-galing! Thanks! Mmmmwaaah!  Aloveet! Aloooveeeet!

So off to the mountains we went for some overnight family fun…

There was peace and  quiet moments …

… but  lots of clowning around, too!

These are the stuff that fill my heart with love and laughter …

Sweet dreams are made of these!

"the jump"

me and my solemate

What a weekend that has been.  Forever it will be… etched  in my heart…  colorfully painted in my mind.

This is the day that the Lord has made.  I will be glad and rejoice in it.

Dream BIG.  Run STRONG.

See you still  in the more exciting, much bigger and a lot longer marathon called LIFE.  🙂

Run with Looney Tunes

This is sooo cool! I love this poster ad!  According to Coach Rio, this is only the 2nd time the Looney Tunes characters shared a frame with earthlings!  The first one being with Michael Jordan.  Remember that?

Cooler still would be the race itself.  Obviously meant to attract the kids, I’m pretty sure moms and dads are equally excited.  Another opportunity for a family run! YEY!!!

Read on…

Here’s  the official press release:

Looney Tunes characters are active by nature. Their high-energy humour continues to thrill audiences young and old.  And because of their active perpetual motion, they’re one of the few character brands that stand for an active lifestyle.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) launched the Looney Tunes Active! as its    contribution to global efforts to promote an active and healthier lifestyle for children. Looney Tunes Active! aims to encourage an active lifestyle among its target market, primarily children, and their families, by engaging in sports and other physical activities while having fun at the same time.  Looney Tunes Active! shows kids that being active is cool!

In 2009, WBCP, through its Philippine agent, Global Brands Group, launched a school tour where running clinics were conducted by locally renowned coach Rio de la Cruz, in partnership with the Physical Education and Sports Clubs of participating schools in Metro Manila. This culminated with the first Looney Tunes Active! Fun Run in SM Mall of Asia on August 30, 2009.  The event was attended by almost 1,000 participants, consisting of children, parents and sports enthusiasts.

This year, WBCP will launch a sequel to the Looney Tunes Active! Fun Run, this time in SM Megamall on May 29, 2010, and SM City Cebu on June 5, 2010.  Acting as race directors are Rio dela Cruz, fresh from the Boston Marathon, and Noy Jopson, Philippines Iron Man, respectively.

To Register for the Looney Tunes Active! Fun Run Events

Register in Timex, SM Megamall, from April 26 to May 22, 2010, for the SM Megamall race; and Timex, Ayala Center Cebu and Watch Republic, SM Cebu, from April 26 to May 30, 2010, for the SM Cebu Race.

The following registration fees apply:

Retail Promotion

From April 26 to May 30, 2010, a minimum P500 purchase of Looney Tunes products in all SM Department Stores Character Shops, will entitle you to a free Looney Tunes Active! race singlet to encourage you to start running!

Coach Rio, Star Inside-Out

The guy has not changed at all.  He is still the same Rio dela Cruz we knew from the first time we had the pleasure to know him as a personal coach and friend up to this time when his star is fast rising.  What can we say…   He deserves all the success.

We watched  him tirelessly posing and smiling with runners who wanted their pictures taken with him. He gamely got my camera phone when we kiddingly called him to take our group picture after posing for fans one after the other.  We laud his efforts to help his community when calamity struck even when he himself was affected. We watched and heard how he is still the same Rio to his roaster of coaches and other runrio staff.

We, ourselves,  attest to this unchanged persona.  He may be bigger than life now, busy as a bee but he remains to be the same ol’ friend we know.    He is no saint, that’s for sure! He can lash out and defend himself when someone is trying to pull one over him.  One thing we know,  he is one guy striving to be better.

Kudos to the man who’s feet is firmly planted  on the ground!  We pray that the fame change you only for the better. We’re so very proud of you, for life’s challenges you have hurdled, for your extra-ordinary accomplishments and most especially, for the person that you continue to be.

May you continue to be a blessing to others as you continue to be blessed!!!  God bless you more!!!

Coach Rio just finished an impressive 3.00.15 Boston Marathon finish. May 3-minute emergency restroom break pa yan ha!   What’s next,  the Olympics?

Cheers!!! 🙂

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