THE BULL RUNNER DREAM MARATHON
THE FIRST & ONLY MARATHON IN THE WORLD FOR FIRST-TIME MARATHONERS
In 2008, Manila was experiencing a running boom. Running events were held almost every weekend with thousands of participants at every race. While this was good for Filipinos, the rapid growth of the sport also led to the following problems: increase in injury due to lack of education among new runners, flawed races due to inexperienced organizers who simply wanted to profit, and absence of a unifying event to build the running community.
As a runner who personally experienced these challenges and one who had the influence and skills to provide a solution, I created “The Bull Runner (TBR) Dream Marathon” in 2010 along with co-founder, marathoner and Procter & Gamble CEO at that time, Jim Lafferty.
The Bull Runner
Founder, CEO, visual designer
6 part-time remote staff
PROJECT / INDUSTRY
Sports, Health, Digital
May 2010 to Present
I called the race “Dream Marathon” because I envisioned the race to be the ideal race experience for every runner who wanted to do his or her first marathon. “The Bull Runner” or “TBR” is the name of my running blog, which I founded in 2007 and, to this day, is one of the top running blogs in the country.
TBR Dream Marathon is the first and only marathon in the world that caters to first- or second-time marathoners. It is an intimate and exclusive race where we accept a minimum number of slots per year on a first-come, first-served basis. The inaugural event was held in 2010 with only 350 participants. In 2020, we accepted 1,100 runners and slots were filled in less than 1.5 hours. Registration is held online at thebullrunner.com.
TBR Sun Life Dream Marathon 2018 Official Video
Developed and designed by
For all official race videos, visit:
TBR Dream Marathon was recognized by Runners’ World Philippines as one of the top marathons in the country in 2012 and 2013. It is a unique event where runners register not just for a single race, but also for a 22-week journey towards their first marathon.
Runners register in July and receive a Welcome Kit containing a marathon-training program, training shirt, discount card with perks from partner establishments, access to an exclusive Facebook group, and regular e-newsletters from us. We also provide five free run clinics called Bull Sessions and five free running talks called Bull Circles every month until race day. A week before race day, we hold a Send Off Party with games, raffles, and tips from the organizers for race day. The race is held annually on the 2nd week of February. Finisher's receive a Finisher's shirt, a swag bag containing freebies from sponsors, and a most coveted Finisher's medal.
* All race material design by myself except for the official training shirt
Aside from the special perks, the race also seeks to build community. Every year, we accept volunteers for the race, mostly alumni from previous batches, who are called Dream Chasers. Dream Chasers are assigned to a specific tent on race day and cheer, massage, serve, and motivate the runners in the best way they can. This is how we give more experienced runners the opportunity to “pay it forward” to other runners who are just starting out.
TBR DREAM TEAM
TBR Dream Marathon is my passion project, my legacy, my brainchild. In the first few years, I worked alone with Jim as my consultant. I conceptualized every detail from the content of the Bull Circles to the race tagline “You’ll never forget your first.” Today, 11 years later, I continue to manage marketing and communications, visual design, and finance, while I oversee CRS and logistics. I have a core team of six part-timers who work remotely and are based in Manila. We call ourselves the TBR Dream Team.
In the past 11 years of TBR Dream Marathon, we have “graduated” over 6,000 marathoners from our race. While we are proud of their achievements as runners, it is the transformation in their lives that is truly remarkable. Our once beginner runners have now achieved more dreams. Some have gone on to complete Ironman distances and run ultramarathons all over the world.
In the 22-week marathon journey that we share with our runners, we are fortunate to witness the transformation in our runners who start from zero and finish as heroes.