Posted by: jinoe | July 7, 2008

Manila Half Marathon Challenge

Finally, here is what I have been practicing for – The Manila Half Marathon Challenge. After being postponed due to typhoon Frank, it’s finally going to happen. It’s my first time to run a 21km run. Although I was able to run 22km during one practice, running with other racers is still a different experience.

The starting Line
Quennie and I arrived at around 4:45 at Kilometer 0. It’s the marker in between the Quirino Grandstand and the Rizal Monument in Luneta Park. This is where all distance measurement starts in Manila. This will also be the starting point for the half marathon. When I arrived, I was instantly intimidated. Other runners were there already and they are not just ordinary runners. Many have the Philippine flag in their shirts or shorts. It could only mean on thing. These guys and gals can rally run. I already have a feeling I would be terribly left behind.

A new name?
The gun fired to start the race by 5:15. I joined a group of runners and followed their pace. As I was running, I saw PatCon of Running Shield just a few feet beside me. He looked at me and asked,” You’re Manok right? Manok Runner?” I smiled and said yes. I was glad he recognized me from my blog and I was able to recognize him also. I also read his blogs on running. He has been running for more than 10 years already and had a total of more than 70,000km based on his logs. Wow. Then he said “See ya.” and run past that I could not catch up. Hah! Show off. Hehehe. Joke lg pre.

A Manila Experience
For this run I decided not to bring my music player. I wanted to experience Manila. The route will be covering the perimeter of the Manila District. Based on the map, half of these places are still unknown to me. So it will be nice to discover these places while running. I want to see it and feel it. I should be careful for what I am asking for.

So what have I experienced? Two things. Number one is pollution. I was exposed to a lot of smoking cars and dusty roads which were under construction. And number two is smell. There was a bridge that was littered with… well, shit. I thought they were dog’s manure. But they were forming a line at the side of the bridge showing that the creatures responsible for it have bigger brains than dogs.

Left Behind
I was running quite well in the first 10 kilometers. I must have mastered this distance already. But what happens next got me very tired. I started walking at 13kms and walked half of the time until the finish line. But of course I run to the finish line. I dont want people to see me walking on my way there.

I must have been the uphill bridges that got me exhausted. Or the hot sun at 7:00 in the morning. Or a fast pace at the early part of the race. I was getting worried since I could see a few runners left behind me. I dont want to be left behind in an unfamiliar place. I could esily get lost.

I was left behind already at the 15km mark. The pack I have been following is far ahead. I even saw Bald Runner run past me at Nagatahan Bridge. I wanted to call him to say hi. Or maybe just to slow him down. Hehehe. I wonder why I can’t post a comment on his blog. It always says I need to log in.

Seeing Manila in 21kms
Nonetheless, it was a good run. I was amazed at where my foot took me. I run from Luneta to Quirino Ave, to Nagtahan, to Tayuman, to Binondo and back to Quirino Grandstand. I run past those places where I used to take a ride. Made me thought, Manila is such a small place after all. I finished the race at 2hours and 24mins which was below my target of 2hours and 30minutes. Still a good time for my first time.

Well Organized
All in all, I thought it was a well organized race. I like the presence of the Binondo Riders Club. They made sure the runners were safe. They are at every busy intersection, stopping the cars to give way for the runners. They provided directions to the runners. Thanks a lot guys. There were also markers for every kilometers in the 21K route. Several water stations were available. We never run out of water. I just wish the water was cold. I had to stop over at MiniStop to buy a cold Gatorade. It made a difference.

Quennie’s Story

Quennie joined the 10km run also. Before the race started, she saw a kid who was preparing for the race. The told the boy that she’ll run against him. Show must have thought the boy was an easy target. Lo and behold, the boy out did her. The boy was actually running in preparation for a bigger race with Milo next month. Quennie should learn whom to pick for a challenge. As a result, she pushed herself a bit harder and is now complaining with her leg.

The Aftermath
I was kind to my body for this run. This time I didnt feel pain in my legs after the race. But we went home and slept from 10am to 3pm. If I never felt hungry at that time, I could have slept more. I rewarded myself after the race. I bought a new running jersey for my practices at 40% off from a factory outlet and I ate a half chicken. I wanted to finish the whole chicken but I failed. Maybe next time if I made a full marathon, I get to eat a full chicken.

Manila Half Marathon Race Results can be viewed here.

Next race
I’m planning to join the One Run, One Family, One La Salle Run this Sunday. They say that “artistas” can register for free for the race. Hmmm… I could take my chance on that.

An early announcement
I have noticed several runners who are blogging and exchanging comments in their blogs. I visit their blogs and leave some comments as well. I decided to come up with a new website where all the runners will have more exchanges of ideas. It will be an online running forum for Filipino runners where we can discuss about our passion, encourage one another, and keep each other up to date. The website will be or My friend and I are still setting it up. I hope it will be ready by next month. I’ll keep you guys updated with this site.

If you have suggestions on what to put in the forum, just place them in the comments below. The domain is already registered and should be online within 24 hours but there will be no content yet. The logo is just a draft but I like it already.



  1. Hey Manok runner!
    It was really great to see you even for just a bit. I was hanging out in the finish line after the race maybe we could chat a little. I really enjoy your site. Funny and entertaining. See you in the races soon and great run. take care
    Patrick Concepcion

  2. congrats to you two, si rhoda bala nag full marathon 26.7 miles na bala mo, grabe, tapan tapan na tyan subong, daw ma marathon man ko kung magtapan tyan ko po, pero, sige lang ah, hiking lang ko ya :).

    Idol si Nang Rhods! I hope to run a full marathon within the year. Bal-an ta lang na a. Si Quennie asta 10K lg guid sya kuno. Daw wala man be tyan nga patapanon. Hehehe.

  3. Congrats to you and Quennie. Excellent and interesting report of the event.

    Also, good luck this Sunday at La Salle!

    Hi Wayne. It was a good first time for me. Since Im feeling ok from yesterday’s race, I think I can run again this Sunday.

  4. Hi Manok Runner — congratulations on the half-marathon!!! That’s awesome. I just started running races only in May this year — so, I’m a long way from you guys. 5K and 6K pa lang ako. Maybe in August or September, I can attempt a 10K. I was originally scheduled to run the Manila race until it was conquered by typhoon Frank. Instead, I ran the Tik:Takbo – Oras nang Tumakbo run in UP Diliman last Sunday and did a 6K. At my age (recently turned 50), I just want to slowly go up the mileage ladder and finish a race in a respectable time — not competitive time. The major stumbling block to my goals are injuries. I hope I can manage to stay relatively injury free to meet the goals. Good luck with your new project. Will definitely look forward to participating in it. Advance Congratulations and Best Wishes!!!

    Hi Johnny. Running at 50 is already something. I wish to still be running at that age. I even saw one lolo who started slow during the 21K but eventually caught up with me. He rocks! I also just compete with myself and make sure I have a respectable time. Thanks for dropping by.

  5. Congratulations Great run.
    Wanted to chit chat with you for a while after the race but couldnt find you.
    you have the best and most entertaining blog.
    Patrick Concepcion

    I arrived at the finish line quite late. You must have left by then. Thanks for dropping by my blog. By the way, this comment and the other two, was placed in the spam area. Must be due to the link you placed. WordPress can be strict at times. See you next time.

  6. Hi, thanks for stopping by at my blog. Im a new user and its nice to have someone like you to stop by. I persume this is your first half marathon. Your time 2 hrs. 24mins was my first half marathon record last november in the 31st Milo Marathon in Baguio. It was also because I got lost. the Marshall was sleeping and I took the wrong route. Any way, it was an experience to remember. I believe after this one, you will improve your time. Since the Baguio half Marathon, My time was always between 1hr 50- 1hr.59mins. I run my own pace and my own race. hope to see you in other races. Congrets!!

    Hi Bro. I made sure I dont get lost in this race. That’s why I brought the map with me while running until it got wet with my perspiration. I hope to improve on my time. It’s what keep me running. πŸ˜€ Thanks for dropping by too.

  7. manok runner, you should had called my attention when i was beside you at the nagtahan bridge. i was late for about 15 minutes and that’s the reason i was in a hurry to finish the race..hehehe..just post some comments on my blog. i guess, it’s wordpress who is requiring you to log in..nice blog & congratulations for finishing your 1st half. good luck & keep on running

    Hi BR, Im already logged in in WP but stil cant post my comments. I’ll try to figure that one out. I wanted to drop by your booth last Sunday after Quennie and I finished with our own photo ops. But you weren’t there when I got back. There’ll be plenty of next time…. so see you next time. πŸ˜€

  8. Congratulations on your 1st half! Looking forward to the site… great idea! πŸ™‚

    Hi LooneyRunner. We’re starting to construct the site. You could see the front page by now but still cleaning up the contents. May take a while to complete. Just post your feedbacks here.

  9. Manok! Congrats! – from exotic! bwuhahahha

    Aba, pinanindigan mo na a. Hehehe. You might want to take pics during our runs. May mga prospects dun pre. πŸ˜€

  10. Jery takbo ka na rin kaya? πŸ™‚

    Takbo ka Jery. Tapos bibilangin namin ni Vinz kung ilan yung hahabol. Mahihirapan kami nun. :D:D:D

  11. Hi Jinoe! Manokan pala πŸ™‚ Congrats at nakaraos pala tayong perstaymers! See you this sunday at the One La Salle Run.

    Looking forward too the the site.

    Yes. Congrats sa atin. Hindi pa ako nakapag-register sa OROFOLS run. Wala nang sizes daw e. Hintay pa ako.

  12. ay ang labo ng ispeling… looking forward to the site too.


    Hilong-hilo pa yata a. Pahinga muna. πŸ˜€

  13. Hi Jinoe,

    Thank you for participating on the Manila Half Marathon Challenge. Your feedbacks will help us more improve our race next year. Hope to see you running with us.


    Hi Gay. You’re welcome. Let us know if there will be another. I’d love to beat my time on the 21K.

  14. Hi Jinoe,

    If people like baldrunner and I can do it (in our 50s) and are enjoying it, no reason why you can’t. You have the right spirit for running. Have fun at La Salle on Sunday. Hope Quennie runs with you in the event!

    I would definitely keep on running at my 50s and beyond. Quennie will be running the 5K since there is no 10K event. I would be running the 10Miler. We just registered yesterday.

  15. Baw, seryoso na gid sa dalagan… Hehehe… Mayo man kay nadayon gid ni nga event after Frank…

    Good luck on the next run…

  16. GOOD RUN.

    Thanks Pat. Nice to see you during the race.

  17. hi to all runners, On behalf of the City Government of Manila, Manila Sports Council and Grand Mountain Media Services, we would like to thank you for joining us and be part of our event “The 2008 Manila Half Marathon Challenge!” last sunday. CONGRATULATIONS to all of you. thank you also for all the comments, we will surely take note of these. As an organizer of this event, we always want to make this perfect for all of YOU guys. thanks again and see you on our next year’s event. by the way, you can send me messages guys on my email add:

  18. Hi manokan runners

    How are you? Just want to inform you that the official race results for The 2008 Manila Half Marathon Challenge are available now at If you have also comments, suggestions or other feedback please feel free to post it on that website. We hope that inspite of everything, you where able to enjoy the race. We look forward to seeing you at future race events.

    From The Organizer,
    Kenneth Montegrande

  19. I believe everything posted was very reasonable.
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    You might add a related video or a related pic or two to get readers interested about
    what you’ve got to say. Just my opinion, it could
    bring your blog a little livelier.

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