UNILAB Run United 2012


I haven’t been around road races lately but UNILAB Run United 2 has, more than anything, shown me just how huge the running community has grown since I became part of it in 2009. Until Sunday, five thousand half-marathon runners were unheard of in the Philippines. In a way, it’s nice to see more runners taking more risks when it comes to pushing their capabilities. That most of them don’t just look at 5k or 10 and stop there is, I think, a very good thing – not only for physical fitness but also for general wellbeing. There most certainly is a good deal of pleasure to be had in besting one’s personal record and moving on to longer distance categories.  Trust me, I know, because I haven’t been able to shake-off the urge to keep doing better in whatever race I join – even when the odds are stacked high against me.

Run United 2 Expo

Just like this Sunday. I woke up around 3am to aching joints and that all too-familiar abdominal cramps. Yep, it was day one and what do you know, it was raining too! I briefly contemplated ditching the race and continue with my dreamy slumber – bed weather and all.  But after consuming six heaping spoonfuls of Nutella the day before, along with a few other unhealthy nibbles, I was too guilt-stricken I couldn’t possibly pass up the chance to burn some calories – even when in period-related discomfort and pain.

We reached BGC twenty-five minutes before gun start and I was pleasantly surprised to see the starting line crawling with runners; all of them oblivious to the steady drizzle drenching everything on sight. After dumping our bags at the luggage area, we made our way to the barricaded starting line, where the marshals were no longer allowing anyone to check-in until the first two waves of 21k runners have been released. We wound up on wave 3 – Bave, Cris, and I – and we snaked our way just a few layers behind the lead pack.  You see, I am not a fast runner but I kind of resent getting stuck behind runners much slower than I am. When this happens, first, I get exceedingly bored and then gradually, my temper starts to bubble up at the surface. I suppose it’s called aging, this ‘getting annoyed so fast’ syndrome.

Team Reebok with Eric Caramay and Sir Rene ‘Jazzrunner’ Villarta at the Unilab Media and Bloggers area (Thank you, Unilab!)

I have always enjoyed running in the rain so I started skipping happily past the starting line, momentarily forgetting about the painful spasms. Now I must say that Run United 2 has done very well with hydration. I’m not much of a hydrabelt-sporting runner but it was clearly unnecessary for me to worry about that in this case because hydration did not leave anything to be desired. There were piles of banana and sponge in some water stations, too, much to the runners’ delight. At least, I thought it was delightful! I had half a banana at one of the stations and chewing on it helped get my mind off the cramps I’ve been battling since I woke up.

Now the fun thing about starting at wave three is that you get to pass by so many runners from the first two waves who have slowed down. Not that I got any faster but I suppose they were more tired than I was, so I managed to squeak past a number of them.

Team Reebok

And then there was the finish line, with the digital timer blinking away beautifully. It was just the respite I needed. The pain in my abdomen did not recede one bit and in my drenched state, I was exceedingly uncomfortable too. One of those days when being a woman is not much fun.

After crossing the tape, I immediately went in search of my luggage so I can take my digicam and snap photos of the post-race revelry while waiting for my teammates to arrive. I visited the Reebok booth and was glad to see Ms. Yoya and Villy, both of whom have been very supportive of the team for a year now. We saw some of the latest designs in running shoes and apparel and they all look pretty ingenious! Too bad, most of them are for men.

Reebok Phils. family

Polecats Manila was also there and I stood there in awe of the grace and athleticism of the pole athletes led by Ms. CD. I really shouldn’t have stopped at just three lessons. I had been busy with work and travel that I wasn’t able to make time for it but now that I’m here and actually have a few days before I leave again and again, I’m definitely enrolling for some pole fun! My dream to become a pole athlete is still very much on.

Now that’s pure athleticism – with a sexy twist!

Now I have heard so much hype on the 3-piece RU2 medal, each piece of which you will have to collect for every RU2 race you join, and I can totally understand how so many runners have bought into it. The idea itself is nifty and it creates some form of loyalty from the audience. Since I wasn’t around when RU2 Leg 1 happened – at that time I was fighting for BDM 102 recognition with blood, sweat, and tears – I don’t have the first piece of the medal puzzle. So if there’s anyone out there who wants the second piece of the puzzle (I dunno. Maybe you were ill or incapacitated last Sunday and couldn’t run), I’m willing to donate mine. Kidding. Or not.

Thank you Mr. Photographer!

All in all, I thought UNILAB and Run Rio did an amazing job with Run United 2, which turned out to be a mega success despite the inclement weather the night before and on race day itself. The celebrity sightings and mini concert also added flavor to the show and even though I did not stay long enough to check out the booths and other activities at the Expo, the runners all seemed to have enjoyed themselves immensely that day.

By the way, here’s my 21k race results and analysis. I wasn’t fast enough, it seems. Oh well, let’s hope I do even better on my next full-mary: the 36th MILO Marathon.

***

Race outfit: Reebok top, Reebok RealFlex shoes (since it was raining, I wanted to go lightweight with my kicks), pink Newton socks, Smith Optics Pivlock shades, and a bright smile.:)

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BFF 8 Date: Let the awesomeness begin!


 

BFF 8 Date with Vida!

 

So last week, I received an email invite to a first-ever Clean and Clear bloggers’ event for a Facebook application they’re launching. (Already launched and making waves on FB as of writing) The application is called BFF 8 Date and all 15 bloggers of us who were invited to the launch were asked to bring our BFFs along for what was promised to be a fun-filled afternoon. Fun being the operative word and the Clean and Clear team certainly did not disappoint.

The launch was held at TGIF in SM Mall of Asia last Saturday and much to my delight, I saw two of my Vanita partners in sexy crime – Abby and Shanna – who were there with their BFFs as well. The 11 other bloggers were strangers to me as I have not exactly been putting myself out there in the hodge-podge of blogging events. Maybe it’s high time I do so.

I brought along my niece, Vida, with me and I was very proud of her for being so game about the whole thing. Vida tends to be shy around people, you see, and unlike her aunt (that’s me, thank you very much) she’s not much into hogging the camera.

The bloggers and their BFFs were challenged to show eight uber fun activities that they can do together in, well, eight hours. Except that we were only given two hours to get everything done! The activities have to be documented digitally and at the end of the two-hour deadline, a scrapbook has to be created and uploaded using the FB application. We were among the first ones to finish the documentation and rush back to the venue minutes before the deadline was up. Overall, it was a great event – for us, especially, as my nieces (Debbie tagged along as well and she took nearly all of the photos) and I don’t get to spend as much time together anymore because of work and our individual extra curricular activities. But the bond and fondness are obviously still very much intact.

Thank you Clean and Clear!

***

Picture this: You are walking down High Street with your best friend. Your hair is blowing, your outfit is brand new, and you know you are turning heads. Then this feeling of fabulousness pops. Mid-way through your confident strut, you come to realize an uncomfortable sensation on your face. It’s that dreaded oil.

From a full day of activities, you can feel the thick layer of icky oil start to cake on your face. It is as if your face has now become a magnet for dirt and pollution, which might even give rise to pimples. And then, all of a sudden, you feel slightly less awesome.

Sound familiar?

Girl, we feel your pain. Having an oily face is one of the most complained-about skin problems among Filipinas. And who wouldn’t complain about something that could dampen your day? It’s not right for something as trivial as oil to ruin what would be a perfectly perfect moment. So from now on, it won’t.

How do I know this? Because something great is out there to help you get rid of that nasty oil for an ENTIRE day. The new and improved CLEAN & CLEAR® Deep Action Cleanser has a breakthrough rice extract oil absorbing system that uses the powerful absorption power of rice to get rid of excess oil for up to 8 hours. That’s 8 hours of doing whatever it is you love to do—WITHOUT having to worry about oily skin. Finally!

To help you celebrate this liberation from oil, CLEAN & CLEAR® Philippines is inviting you and your partner-in-crime (a.k.a. your best friend) to go on a BFF 8 Date. A BFF 8 Date is 8 hours of oil-free fun with the person you can’t live without—your best friend! The BFF 8 Date Facebook application (http://apps.facebook.com/bffdate) challenges you and your best friend to spend the best, most amazing 8 hours together, document your 8 hours through photos, and then upload them onto the app. The application will then automatically arrange your photos into a scrapbook for you to share your 8-hour adventure with the world! When the world sees how special your scrapbook is with your BFF, they can vote for your scrapbook. Remember, this is a challenge! Depending on the genre you select for your scrapbook (Food, Fashion, Music, Arts, or Sports), and depending on how many people “like” your scrapbook, you stand a chance to win mouthwatering prizes that you will one day tell your grandchildren about:

–          Food: You and your BFF can win an exclusive training session with the head chef of Miss Desserts (you know, that dainty desserts place in Serendra that sells the BEST cheesecake in town), who will coach you as you come up with the newest item on the Miss Desserts menu.

–          Art: Get exclusive training with the artists of the popular t-shirt company, Analog Soul. They will teach you the ins and outs of graphic design, and you and your best friend will get to design your own t-shirt that Analog Soul will sell in their stores.

–          Fashion: Go on an all-expense paid shopping spree at Forever 21 with your best friend. But before you revamp your wardrobe, you’ll both get fashion tips from the super fab stylist, Stef Cabal.

–          Music: Looking for your big break? Love to be surrounded by music? If you win in this category, you and your best friend get to host a Channel [V] program! You can VJ, sing, dance, soak up the limelight—do whatever you want on the show!—to express your musical talent!

–          Sports: If you and your BFF are the sporty type, you can win private soccer training sessions with the uber-yummy Younghusband brothers! Phil and James will personally equip you and your BFF with soccer skills that will wow the crowd.

To start your BFF 8 Date, you and your best friend must “like” Clean & Clear Philippines on Facebook (facebook.com/cleanclearphilippines) and “allow” the BFF 8 Date app. Once you have registered, you are good to go! You have got until December 31 to upload your scrapbook and garner votes for yourselves.

Get up to 8 hours of oil-free fun with your BFF and CLEAN & CLEAR®. Don’t ever let oily skin ruin your day again. Girls, let the awesomeness begin!