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The Bull Runner Half Marathon

Posted by on 23. February 2016

Doing the first ever The Bull Runner Half Marathon

Two Years Ago, I always thought crossing my first marathon was my finish line at TBRDM2014. A graduation of sorts for my running career which started in 2010.  It turned out as a beginning of a new chapter and a new life.  It’s life changing in a way that you believe that you are indeed ready for anything.  Two years have passed, I still look forward to being around The Bull Runner Dream Marathoners as their feel good stories unfold in front of me. #TBRSmartDream2016

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TBR Smart Dream Marathon 2016

The Finish Line 2 Years Ago

Marathons are always special to me, which is the reason I try to do one one a year or even every other year.  It really entails a lot of preparation especially when you start building up your mileage up to race day.  It’s the preparation that makes you battle ready and stronger as a person as you cross the finish line.  I really had a wonderful experience for my first marathon and that’s because of The Bull Runner Dream Marathon 2014 and I even got to share about my first marathon at Runners’ World.

Runners World 2Q Issue 2014

More than the finish, I got to appreciate the process.  It takes a special kind of craziness. It’s so heartwarming to see the different marathon stories unfold as you see the runners transition from the agony of the run to the sheer bliss of the finish line.  If I had one advice to share, it is to do a marathon. Go through the process and watch yourself evolve to a new person. This year, they had their first The Bull Runner Half Marathon to complement the Marathon event and at first chance, I signed up.  The plan was to join the race, cheer or even pace the runners when needed and hang out near the finish line to support the first and second time marathoners as they conclude their marathon.

I also went on to visit Nuvali last year to cheer the marathoners.  In photo with Jaymie Pizarro, the Bull Runner and founder of The Bull Runner Dream Marathon.

Race Route and Elevation

Race Map Powered By Suunto Ambit 3 Sport

Elevation Profile Powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sport

The Race starts at E Nature Avenue and takes a 1.5 kilometers inner loop heading to Nuvali Boulevard.  The race descends to Nuvali Boulevard and have a short but steep climb in the Rotonda heading to the other side of Nuvali Boulevard for the next two kilometers.  Up next is a long 4.5 kilometer climb covering about 50 meters of elevation towards the end of Nuvali Boulevard.  The roads shifts to a descent of about 30 meters at Diversity Avenue for the next kilometer before shifting to another steep climb at Venare for the next 1.5 kilometers covering 50 meters of elevation.  The race descends back from Venare to the end of Diversity Avenue over the next 2 kilometers with a drop of 60 meters.  After the u-turn slot, the route climbs back again to Nuvali Boulevard over the next 1.5 kilometers worth 50 meters of elevation gain. The race shifts back to descents along Nuvali Boulevard over the next 3.5 kilometers worth 60 meters of elevation.  The race then goes up to the Rotonda and goes back to E Nature Avenue over the next 2 kilometers before finishing off with the inner loop to E Nature Avenue going to the finish line.

The Race

With Team Smart Icar and Ian, Monching of Raceday and the Running Host Boy Ramos

I went throwback for this one as I wore the exact customized singlet I used on my marathon 2 years ago. As it would turn out, it would also throwback to the same situation of racing with no sleep just like when I did my first marathon.  It’s possible to run a marathon with no sleep but make sure that you had a lot of sleep during the rest of the week.  I did have a lot of sleep reserved for the half marathon.  Anyway, the goal is just to enjoy the distance and support the marathoners.

With Team Smart Team Manager Ian and eventual female champion Icar (Spoiler Alert)

The race started at exactly 5 pm and I went on for a sustainable pace as we went through the inner roads and headed to Nuvali Boulevard.  I wanted to ensure that I had enough time to warm up my legs before shifting to a run walk set and also took advantage of the descent heading to the guardhouse.  I maintained the pace and went on to run a portion of the climb in the rotonda before slowing down to preserve energy on the descents.  I went back on the running pace at the top of the Rotonda heading to the other side of Nuvali Boulevard for the first 4 kilometers of the race.

After the guardhouse, we entered the false flat portion of Nuvali Boulevard. I noticed my cadence was going down.  It was still too early to slow down so I started to pick up the pace on the out and back loop going to Xavier Univerity for the next 1.5 kilometer of the race.  The race was now shifting to the climbs and I didn’t want to go lazy on the climbs since it can really make you stronger so I went on to run about 1-2 minutes of climbs before having 20 seconds of walking breaks.  I was able to sustain that up until the 8th kilometer or the end of the climb.  I took advantage of the descent at Diversity Avenue for the next kilometer before we were asked to turn to Venare.

Since I’m familiar with the area, I knew that the turn to Venare was a long and steep climb.  I took it as a challenge to attack the hills one interval at a time so I’d go again at one to two minutes run and have 20 seconds of rest and repeat until I finally reached the u-turn slot at kilometer 10.5.  The road back was easier so I cruised on the descent at a relaxed pace as I wanted to preserve my energy on the climb.  The descent continued to the end of Diversity Avenue and after the u-turn, I knew it was time to make my move.  It was another 1.5 kilometer of run and I still wanted to push the pace so went back to the run walk routine to cover the climb faster without draining my energy reserves.

Enjoying the Hills. Photo by Jose Ramizares of RUnning Photographers.

Once I’ve stepped back at Nuvali Boulevard, I knew the hard part of the race was over. I took the chance to cruise on the descents. I took my time on the aid station to eat the various treats prepared by dream chasers. It was also time to say my Hi’s and hello’s to friends who were in the chasers tent.  I took the descent back to Rotonda at a relaxed pace especially since gravity was on my side this time.  On the way back to the other side of Nuvali, it was also time when the heat of the sun came into play. I just made sure I’m properly hydrated and went on to endure the heat.  I headed to the last 1.5 kilometer stretch took it easy, chatted a while at the chasers tent and went on to finish and surprisingly at a decent pace.

Time to support the dreamers.

The half marathon was not my main focus for this one as I would want to give back and cheer the runners as they went on to finish their marathon. I immediately changed after my race and went on to the last 200 meters heading to the finish line.  I was there for several hours congratulating runners and cheering on them for one last push.  You would just be amazed how the faces of the runners would radiate once they get to hear that they are so close to the finish line and being a marathoners.  There’s hundred of feel-goof stories happening that morning from the runner who was cramping in the last 2 kilometers but remained strong-willed to finish the race.  There were runners who suffered the rest of the race and dug deep to finish.  There were runners of all ages, sizes and fitness level who found the strength of will and character to finally be christened a marathoner.  There’s nothing like your first and there’s no marathon as heartwarming and inspiring as The Bull Runner Dream Marathon.

Outfit of The Race

  • Top: Oakley with My Run #TBRDM2014 Design by Breakout Design
  • Shorts, Calf Sleeves and Visor: Under Armour
  • Shoes: adidas Ultra Boost
  • Eyewear: Oakley Racing Jacket
  • GPS Watch: Suunto Ambit 3 Sports
  • Socks: Features
  • Tape: Rock Tape

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