Incoming: Run for Wellness 9

81 years of Southstar Drug and 9th Year of Run for Wellness leads to a colorful celebration in a run at Plaze Quezon, Naga on September 9, 2018 with 3 and 5K fun categories.

Run for Wellness 9: Color Your Run

Race Map

Naga City – Southstar Drug celebrates 81 years with Run for Wellness 9: The Color your Run which is now on the 9th installment!  Color your run and color your life by joining the fitter side through a fun-themed run along Naga City. Register for 3k or 5k in select Southstar Drug branches in Bicol and get 10% off until August 31, 2018. Run for Wellness 9 will be held at Plaza Quezon in Naga City on September 9.

The Color your run with two categories that you will surely enjoy, 3K and 5K Color Run. With the combination of different colors with shades plus giveaways. RUN FOR WELLNESS will truly be remarkable and you can just FEEL THE WELLNESS in the route.  It’s a run that’s friendly even to non-runners who just wanna try out a short one.  The festival of colors will make it worth your while too. When you finish your run, you get to enjoy Zumba with the finale of color blast.

Race Details

Date and Venue:

  • Date: September 9, 2018
  • Venue: Plaza Quezon, Naga City

Fees and Inclusions

  • Php 300 FOR 3K / 5K (Inclusive of Racebib, Singlet and Finisher Medal)

Registration

  • Select Southstar Drug branches:
    • NAGA
      – Crown Hotel Bldg., Cor E. Angeles St. & P. Burgos St. San Francisco Naga City Camarines Sur
      – #77 Concepcion Pequeña, Naga City, Camarines Sur
    • DAET
      – Elevated Plaza Vinzons Ave., Daet, Camarines Norte
    • IRIGA
      – Alfelor St., Cor. Rotary Road, Iriga City, Camarines Sur
    • LEGAZPI
      – Rizal St., Legazpi City, Alba

Race Update and Information

  • Visit: www.southstardrug.com.ph
  • Call: Tel. No. +63 (2) 643-3137
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Incoming: CM Adventure Time Run 2018

Cartoon Network’s crowd favorite TV series, Adventure Time is coming to McKinley West on September 23, 2018 with the CM Adventure Time Run.  Here’s a fun run for all runners of all ages and experience level with 3K, 5K and 10K distances to choose from.

CM Adventure Time Run 2018

When it comes to bringing the fun in the run, Color Manila team has consistently brought happy and exciting memories over the years.  Aside from the usual festivities in the run, CM Adventure Time Run 2018 brings the popular Adventure Time tandem of Finn and Jake in the running field as they venture into a new territory at McKinley West, Taguig on September 23, 2018. The event is co-presented by Color Manila and Cartoon Network.

The Race brings us to the world of Finn the Human Boy and Jake the Dog as the runners conquer fun distances of 3K, 5K and 10K along McKinley West area.  Register Now!!!

Race Details

Date and Venue:

  • Date: September 23, 2018
  • Venue: McKinley West, Taguing

Fees and Inclusions

Registration

Race Updates

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Girls Running in Trails 2018

GRIT 2018 is a race to highlight women empowerment. It’s also to support Sandi Menchi’s journey to her upcoming international race in Scotland.  I joined the short but sweet 6K route which was a tour of Eastridge’s Bike Trails.

Girls Running in Trails

Good Luck Sandi!!!

Let’s start with the girl of the show, Sandi Menchi.  She’s bound for Salomon RIng of Steall Skyrace in Scotland next month and part of the proceeds would support her journey.  Sandi’s among our top trail runners in the country and last year’s GRIT paved way for her strong showing in UTMB-TDS Distance race. I joined the 6K Sub-Sandi category but I’d want to think that I joined the 6K Individuals instead as the Sub-Sandi categories were filled with mamaws.  The Sub-Sandi category was a special category for men in an all-women race.

I haven’t done a race this short when it comes to trail races but I must say, it can be as tiring as the longer runs.  Sometimes, when you feel like resting, you’re reminded that it’s just a 6 kilometer race and you can exert more effort.  Not as fast as I wanted to but stayed consistent throughout.

With Mai and Aggy – Photo by Glairold Recella

More than just a race, GRIT was also a chance to meet friends in the community; as well as, share the time for people who share the same passion.  Great job for Race Yaya for coming out with this concept and I’m glad that you have invited me to your event.

With Mariel and Myk.

The Race

The Starting Line

Let me describe the starting line.  Sub Sandi included the Wawa Boys and Team Run Heya and then me and Rene.  Running at the same time would be the female 6K individual.  We’re obviously out of place in the Sub Sandi wave since we’re not fast and the speedsters in front of me would finish about half an hour ahead of me.  The plan was to let the speedsters go and just go with the flow for the 6K individual participants.

Habulin. – Photo by Myk Nagrampa

There was a short hill at the start.  I started running on the road stretch before entering the first set of single tracks at the trail head.  The pace was a bit lighter as I was following the pace of the group in front of me on the single track.  This led to the next set of trail after passing the aid station and it was wider trails so I resumed running.

Photo by Glairold Recella

At about a kilometer into the race, I felt that familiar pain on my shin when ever I start too fast before my muscle gets warmed up, Shin Splints!!!  I wanted to stop just to stretch but since this was a short race, I’d just bear with the pain until my legs gets warmed up and feel better.  I shifted to brisk walk pace just to keep a steady pace.

Photo by Myk Nagrampa

The trails were on the ascent but the climbs were moderate so I didn’t really have to stop to rest since I can rest on the flatter areas.  Since I was just brisk walking some of the runners were overtaking me and I’m used to it by now.  The climb lasted for the first two kilometers and we enjoyed several overlooking views of the mountains.

The views.

There were several viewpoints to appreciate.  It started to get warm towards the 3rd kilometer and you can feel it on the open trails.  There was a  wooden bridge in the middle of two rocks to cross.  It’s a bit of a struggle walking on wood especially with the short drop but all added to the fun of the race.

My legs also felt a lot better the second half of the race.  It got dizzying at kilometer 3.5 with the course shifting looping switchback “bitukang manok” kind of trails.  I started moving better and was able to pass a few runners along this stretch.  The area all looked the same so you’d get the feeling that you’re going around in circles.  I’d take note of even small changes in the course like if its a bit muddier than the last part just to make sure I’m moving forward and around.

Photo by Glairold Recella

The lower part of the trail was a lot muddier and after a muddy stretch comes another wooden ramp bridge.  It’s now a lot more slippery with wet shoes. Exciting, Right? After this stretch it was several muddy routes before the climb back to the starting area. As we made our way back to the road stretch, we had one last wooden bridge ramp to climb before heading to the finish line.  That’s my weekly dose of dirt at GRIT 2018.

With Sandi and Rene

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#TaleOfTheTrail Mount Ayaas (Rodriguez, Rizal)

Mount Ayaas

Mount Ayaas is another playground of the trail idols.  It provides various difficulty on the climbs with a share of dirt roads, steep paths, technical terrain and an overlooking view of the nearby mountain ranges being one of the higher peaks in Rodriguez, Rizal.

#TaleOfTheTrail

I’ve traversed this trail on two occasions. First was when we were feeling out the trail with Rene and Jun and the next was a few weeks after with Mike, Mariel and Inja.  Both trails were done at an easy pace though we had fewer rest stops on the second climb.  Mount Ayaas is among the favorite trails of experienced trail runners as it gives them a 5 kilometer climb that can also be a jump-off point for longer runs when you include the nearby areas as part of the trail loop.

Mount Ayaas

Trekking Mount Ayaas

Mount Ayaas

The start of the trek is at Wawa Tourism area where you take the hanging bridge near the covered court area.  There are several trails you get to visit from this parts and one of them is Mount Ayaas.  It’s a 5 kilometer climb to the peak with about 600 to 700 meters of elevation gain.  It has different trail surfaces and ascending trails for training.  The first 500 meters is the short stretch from the start to the foot of the climb.

We’re off to a rocky start.

The first part of the climb is a technical one with uneven rock paths mixed with some dirt roads.  I usually prefer my Hoka Evo jawz for this kinds of trail for better grip on rocks especially when wet.  It start with some steep ascents and then a series of rock paths.  I hate this part because of the drag but I also love that it help me familiarize myself with the surface.  There are moderate parts but there are also parts where you have to take a bigger step.  Once you get to the top the trails get easier.

Flatter grounds.

After the rocky part of the trail comes a short descent on dirt roads heading to the foot of the next set of climbs.    These is a short forested part with trees and bamboo shafts over a rolling terrain.  It’s a short stretch but this could be a good breather before the next set of climbs.

Steeper climbs

The climb resumes over a mix of single tracks and wider dirt roads.  The climb gets a bit steeper and for these parts, I try to cut the climb into shorter sections.  The store is about the mid way point of the climb and that’s my usual rest stop for a short round of drinks.  It’s a bit pricey here compared to the price at Wawa area but you got to understand the effort to bring the goods over 2-3 kilometers of climbing.

After the store, there’s a short descent before the climb resumes.  There’s another house along the way, which can be a rest stop. There’s a short paved road at the side.  That one heads to Mascap area so remember not to take road especially heading back.  Since we’re climbing a mountain, let’s take the road going up. The next is another set of climbs on dirt roads and it gets steeper again heading to the relay tower.  I’m sure you’re getting the formula now. The higher you get, the steeper the trail it gets.

Searching for Kung Fu Panda.

The relay station can be another rest stop since the next part would be a lot technical and steeper.  The last part is about 500+ meters to the summit but as the formula goes, the higher you are, the steeper it gets.  It’s mostly single tacks from this point.  I like the area surrounded by Bamboos as it feels like I’m searching for Kung Fun Panda.  I usually take it 50-100 steps effort before taking a break for a few seconds to catch my breath.  I’m just glad that the Evo Jawz have excellent traction even on the technical parts. It’s a grind out climb but it’s tolerable.

On false summits…

After going through a series of steep technical trails, I’ve finally seen daylight, which meant I was nearing the summit.  Yes and NO!!! There are several false summits as just when you dig deep to reach the summit, you see another set of climbs and you repeat the process until you reach the summit.  It’s worth it!!!

Summit High

Mount Ayaas summit is 627 meters above sea level and is among the higher peaks in the area. You are rewarded with a panoramic view of the mountain range.  It’s one of the best view points of the majestic beauty of the mountain trails of Rodriguez, Rizal.

What else can I ask for?

While it was open at the summit, it was also windy so we didn’t really mind staying for a while just to enjoy the view.  There’s also trail access points to Malasya and Mascap area.  Maybe next time, we get to climb Mount Ayaas from these areas or go longer to explore this regions.

My Trusty Hoka One One Evo Jawz

While the climb can be long and agonizing, the descent was pure downhill fun. We barely noticed getting out of the stretch from Mount Ayaas peak to the relay station as we were running over the technical trails.  I think it’s much safer to run this part because of the downward momentum.  I’m just glad that I had good traction to rely on.

Downhill fun!!!

It was another downhill run heading to the store where we rested and had a few snack.  The way back was probably half the time going up until the last 1.5 kilometers, which is the rocky portion of the trails.  There were run-able paths and there were portion, you had to slow down because of the uneven terrain.  I’m just glad to have a good grip and faster response time on this stretch as I made my way out of the trail and back to the Wawa main area.  Mount Ayaas has always been a good work out.

Going Down

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Over 2,000 Mudders Joins the 1st Tough Mudder Weekend in the Philippines

The first Tough Mudder Philippines event also attracted participants from countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and even USA.

It was a weekend of mud as Tough Mudder made its Philippine Debut at Portofino Amore in Alabang last July 21-22, 2018. Over 2,000 Mudders braved the mud, the obstacles and even the stormy weather for a the initial staging of Tough Mudder in the Country.

Tough Mudder

Over 2,000 participants from the Philippines and overseas, joined the first Tough Mudder Philippines weekend, which took place last July 21-22, 2018, at Portofino Amore, in Alabang.

The event marked the first collaboration between Tough Mudder, Inc., and Proactive Sports Management, which is better known for their highly successful ColorManila Run series.  The event also highlighted team work as the participants made their way through the obstacles as a team.

When asked about his thoughts regarding the first Tough Mudder Philippines event, Tough Mudder Senior Operations Manager for International Events Nathan Bassett, says, “Yes it has been fantastic.  I think the ColorManila team and Proactive, have really done a good job pulling off an amazing event.  It has been a challenging week with all the rains and the flooding, but the event that they put on this weekend has been fantastic, and I see that the participants are all having a great time. 

“Today we got a taste of having the 5K and the half (8K).  And we’re hoping to bring the full (16K) over here, and bring the best obstacles that we’ve got for a full event.”

Proactive VP Justine Cordero, adds, “We’re very happy that we have a lot of mudders today who joined.  I’ve seen the participants enjoying themselves as they went through the obstacles, and they’re also helping each other out,…it’s all about teamwork.  It’s also about exceeding, challenging your own self, and overcoming your fears.  The Filipinos really know how to have fun.”

Some of the participants included Tough Mudder Ambassadors Raymond Guttierez, Gretchen Ho, Eduardo Lara, Noel Agra, Christi McGarry, Lahaina Mondonedo and Fabio Ide.  They were also joined by Tough Mudder influencers Will de Vaughn, Alex Diaz, Carla Piscoso, George Irineu, and other well-known celebrities such Marc Nelson, Erwan Heussaff, Nico Bolzico, Vince Velasco, Moritz Gastl, Luis Hontiveros, and Dyan Castillejo, among others, who were all seen enjoying the event, at Portofino Amore, in Alabang.

Tough Mudder in the Philippines is held in partnership with Proactive Sports Management, a sports events company which started in 2012, and is known in the industry for staging various marathons and mass participation events.

The event was made possible by Cobra, Merrell Philippines, Black Arrow Express, Pretty Huge Obstacles, Vivere Hotel, Crystal Clear, Anytime Fitness, Snippet Media, and Manila Times.

Proactive’s next event will be the Yakult 16-miler, to be held on October 7, 2018, at the CCP Grounds.

For more information, please visit www.toughmudder.ph and FB/ToughMudderPhilippines.

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Incoming: Girls Running in Trails 2018

Be a part of a Champion’s journey and women empowerment as Girls takes over the trail. Girls Running in Trails (GRiT) is happening on August 5, 2018 with 30K, 15K, 6K, Kiddie Run and a Sub-Sandi Challenge for Male runners.

GRiT 2018

GRIT

GRiT – Girls Running in Trails – embodies a strong woman who pursues an intense passion for sports through constant hard work and dedication. She is a relentless fierce warrior who rises above all boundaries and difficulties. A GRiT woman is a tough spirit who overcomes the toughest travails as she elevates and influences others with her unadulterated love for sports. More than an ardent commitment to pursue excellence in the athletic field, a GRiT woman inspires, uplifts and empowers others to always be better than their best.

It’s an All-Women trail run for Girls Running in Trails 2018 with 30K, 15k, 6k categories at August 5, 2018 inside the Eagle Ridge Golf & Country Club, Binangonan, Rizal.  GRiT is now bigger and better and will have two side events: the Kiddie Run and Sub-Sandi Challenge. The event also welcomes its male friends as volunteers and pacers or as Sub-Sandi Challengers. The run aims to promote the advocacy, “Women empowering others: together we run, together we conquer!”

The run also offers a scenic new trail destination in Binangonan, Rizal. It a new trail playground for everyone to explore.

It’s All About Girls

Sandi Menchi

GRiT 2018 is organized by RaceYaya for the purpose of raising funds to help, Sandi Menchi Abahan as she embarks in another big race this year. The proceeds of GRiT will support the training and racing expenses of Sandi Menchi Abahan – GRiT Ambassador – which includes the Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace in Scotland and other activities which aim to promote and support women in the sport.

Last year’s edition gathered five hundred (500) strong women with their family and friends and male volunteers in the trails of Pintong Bukawe, San Mateo, Rizal. The net proceeds from the event helped in the financial support for Sandi Menchi Abahan’s entry to TDS-UTMB in Chamonix, France where she finished 21st among the female elite runners, and became the first Filipino/Southeast Asian runner to be present in the race leaderboard of TDS-UTMB, not to mention, a race that is mostly dominated by Europeans and Americans; it is considered as the most prestigious trail running event in the world.

It’s All About Sandi

Sandi’s dream is to become a champion She strives for excellence with steadfast resilience. Sandi has empowered and inspired women to be audacious with their dreams with her continuous performs well in local and international events. She is a natural-born athlete and started as a school track and field varsity athlete. She continued to train hard and joined races even after her stint as a student athlete and earned several significant local and international podium spots including The North Face, Miyamit Falls, Asian Skyrunning Circuit in Kota Kinabalu among others. Of course, she also had a strong finish racing with the elites at TDS Event in UTMB.

Let’s Support GRiT and let’s continue raising an International Champion in Sandi Menchi.

Race Details

Finisher Item for 30K, 15K, and 6K

Date and Venue:

  • Date: August 5, 2018
  • Venue: Eagle Ridge Golf & Country Club, Binangonan, Rizal

Fees and Inclusions

  • 30K – P1,800 (Inclusive of Event Shirt and Finisher’s Token)
  • 15K – P1,200 (Inclusive of Event Shirt and Finisher’s Token)
  • 6K – P1,000 (Inclusive of Event Shirt and Finisher’s Token)
  • Kiddie Run – P400 (Inclusive of Special Kiddie Token)
  • Sub Sandi Challenge – P1,000 (Inclusive of Event Shirt)

Registration

Race Updates

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A Walk Happy Tour at Brooks Trail 102

Brooks Trail 102

Brooks Trail 102 is my dream event as a runner and part of the event team.  It’s more of giving back to the trail community and a great way at sharing the passion for the trails. 

Read About

Brooks Trail 102

Brooks Trail 102

Circle of Support – That’s how I see the direction of Trail Academy.  There should be a mutual support among participants, organizers and brands for an event to thrive.  We are really thankful that it turned out that way as we got the full support from the title sponsor, Brooks and other major sponsors like Drymax Socks, Gu Energy Gels, Sanctband Resistance Bands, Amihan Sports Gear, Lightwater, Vitamin Boost, Emco Musli, Suntrust Properties Inc and Smart.  The event is a co-presentation between Pinoy Trails, Active Pinas and Team Malaya with John Hay Management Corporation as the venue partner. I’m beyond blessed to have partners to mount an event like this.

With Stephen of Team Malaya, Zaldy Bello of JHMC, Don Santillan and Eric Tipon of Active Pinas

Trail 102 is a follow up from Hoka Trail 101 and we’re just happy to share our passion for the trails.  We started our quick setup early morning before the opening of registration at 6 am.  We’ve upgraded the topics for Brooks Trail 102 with Brooks Ambassador Don Santillan sharing insights on race preparation, weather management and nutrition while also getting inputs from Female Champs in Sandi Menchi and Aggy Smith and local athletes in John Amio and Carlo Funtanilla. Stephen Felices of Team Malaya also shared on trail etiquette and plogging.  Don handled the run fast group, while Stephen handled the run happy group.  I handled the walk happy group.  It’s good to note that a lot of runners have moved forward to the moderate and fast category from the walkers wave in Trail 101.

Photo by Active Pinas

Walk Happy

Walk Happy

I also had the kids as part of the walk happy wave as we had kids as young as 7 years old getting their feet dirty in the trails.  We started our walk after both the fast and moderate groups were in the trails.  We were using the same route from Trail 101 but given that it was raining the past few days, it’s totally gonna be a different experience.  We actually welcomed the different situation just to send the message that trail running is an all-weather sports.

We really wanted to keep the walkers wave just to encourage non-runners to just get the feel of the trails.  Trail time even walking can help give you familiarity on the different trail surfaces.  We headed to the lower part of  the Yellow Trails and we were welcomed by the mud and the slippery surface.  I told them to keep safe and remain aware of their surroundings and the different surfaces.  Be on the look out for rocks, twigs and rougher surfaces that they can use to counter the sliding momentum on the trail.

We had several huddle sessions on the trail just to emphasize the approach on the trail.  The first past was slow and dragging as we had to pass by soft muddy surfaces.  After a kilometer, the trail surfaces were much more solid so were able to pace more consistently on these parts.

It was encouraging to see kids in the trail.  One of the participant from the previous trail 101 brought her sister, mom and friend to get a feel of the trail.  The youngest participant we had was 7 years old.

It was easier to manage the group as we were able to pace at the same time.  We explored the lower part of the trails and inserted some huddle sessions in between.

We’ve reached the fire roads leading to the fork in Camp John Hay, where we caught up with the moderate who got a good insights from Sandi and Aggy.  They also went up to the steep climb.  We were supposed to skip the steep climb but the kids wanted to climb.  At first, I asked Del to accompany the kids to climb the steep part but after seeing them, I also wanted to climb to so I went up as well.

The view after the steep climb

The climb and descent was challenging especially with the wet soil but we managed to safely finish this section.  The next set of trails were downhill trails leading to the longest part of the climb.

I had to huddle the group after the descent as the next part would be the longest climb for us.  It’s about 300-400 meters with 20-30% gradient.  I said let’s divide the climb into shorter segments.  We counted 30 steps before a short rest and then proceed for the next set of steps. The steeper the gradient the more exhausting it gets.  The kids were running on some portion, which also meant they were more exhausted after each set.  I was teaching them to conserve energy for the climb.

The top of the climb was the fork at the US Embassy and the rest should be easy. The Run Happy group was on their way back and we let them pass us as it would be more difficult locating each other if we get mixed with other pace groups.  The rest of the route was flat with slightly rolling ascent. The surface was also a bit drier so it was easier to move.

It was routine for the remaining part except for the short muddy stretch towards the end.  We then made our way back to the event area where we enjoyed our Lightwater / Vitamin Boost, Musli and freshly brewed coffee.  We wrapped it up with a raffle and one last group photo.

See you in Trail 103

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#TaleOfTheTrail Itogonia (Itogon, Benguet)

Itogonia

Itogonia Wild Country Trail Run will definitely give you a wild country ride across jaw-dropping descents, steep climbs and a lot of visual treats of the greens of Itogon.  Here’s a #TaleOfTheTrail View of the 16K route of the run.

Read About:

#TaleOfTheTrail

The Yellow Trails of Camp John Hay has been one of my favorite trail playgrounds.  Don of Active Pinas introduced me to the section that leads all the way to another municipality, Itogon.  Every one gets a chance to enjoy the route that comes in 8K, 16K and 32K variety for the Itogonia Wild Country Trail Run happening on August 19, 2018.  A month ago, I was able to explore a one-way 16K route that leads all the way to Poblacion, Itogon (32K out and back) where you can experience the hot springs.  For this one, I’ll be focusing on portions of the 16K route.

16K (10 Miler) Race Shirt for Itogonia Wild Country Run

Trekking the Itogonia Route

Itogonia Teaser Route for Brooks Trail 102 Participants

The two times I did the route, it was raining and foggy so we had the elements of a slippery trail as well as a foggy backdrop especially on the Camp John Hay area.  I was with Don, John, Carlo and Art who were doing the recon for the 16K distance of Itogonia.  We started at the Camp John Hay open field and the headed to the upper part of the Yellow Trail.  The first kilometer was a rolling descent but is really muddy coming from the rains.  We started running on the second kilometer before hitting the border at the US Embassy area.

After hitting the fork, we took the steep trail heading down.  There is also a paved road at the side but it was a bit slippery so we opted to use the trail section. I was running on some stretches and taking it slow at some part.  At the bottom of the descent, I made a misstep on the slippery trail and rolled my ankle.  Sprained ankle in about 2 kilometers into the recon.  I managed to shake it off but I felt a sharp sting if I ever over pronate on the trail.

It was a foggy morning. The trails were wet and slippery so we went at a more cautious pace.  We shifted to the Happy Hollow part of the trail, which had an access from the base of the trail after the descent.  It was several zigzag paths that is a bit technical especially when wet. It’s a fast trail on dry days and a slower trail when it rains unless you dare to go fast on the jaw-dropping descents.  There are also peaks at the mountains of Itogon as well as some scenic ridges.  3 kilometers into the route, we exit shortly on a road segment at Kadaclan Village in Happy Hollow.

We then entered another trail segment with mix of stairs, trails and paved roads while passing though village houses.  It was another round of slip and slide trail. We used the dirt roads at the side instead of the paved ones, which gets extra slippery from the build up of moss.  It was another 2 kilometers of crazy descents, some hanging bridges before a 500 meter climb to the main road.

We’ve reached the main road before entering the school in Gumatdang, 5.5 kilometers into the recon.  It was a steep uphill to the trail head, which led to another sets of climb.  It was about 2 kilometers of climbing with about 350-400 meters of elevation gain.  Now, it’s time for the Wild Country part of the trail with unli-climbs, wild grasses and technical surfaces.

Wild Country Trails

We took it slower at this part with me requesting several rest stops just to catch my breath.  The climb felt endless and forever until we reached another village area before the route goes on a downhill.

Rose Terraces

When the route went down, it also meant that it will be fast.  I didn’t want to risk worsening my sprain so I went at brisk mode pace to catch up with the group.  The trails were run-able though there were section, which was a bit technical. The weather was also much better in Itogon with its lower altitude so we had drier trails at this part.

This was my favorite part as we were now moving faster through forested trails and ridges, which gives you scenic looks of the lower part of Itogon and the nearby Mountain Ranges through different vantage points.

Such a scenic delight

At about 9 kilometers into the race, we tried to check on two routes so I took the shorted but unexplored route while Don and the rest took the usual longer route.  I liked this route because its on ridges with overlooking view of Itogon.  The descents are much steeper but the trail surface is manageable.  The trail led us back to the main road after 1 kilometer, passing through a coffee plantation.

The route differential was about 2 kilometers between the longer route and the route we took.  We rested at the store while waiting for the other group.  At this point, I decided to call it a day at 10.2 kilometers as a precaution on the sprained ankle since I still have Brooks Trail 102 the next day.  This was the last bail-out point where I can get a ride after Baguio.  I’d also like to leave the last 6K going back as a race-day surprise but just a little spoiler, it’s unli uphill.

If you’re looking at the 20 mile distance, here’s a teaser for how the lower part of Itogonia trails looks like.

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Marvel Run Philippines 2018

10K Marvel Run

It rained in the road and it was so much fun. That’s my 10K Marvel Run experience in a nutshell.

Marvel Run Ph 2018

It’s a rare day for road runs for me when I joined Marvel Run Philippines 2018. The hardest part of the run was waking up early and catching the gun start. I actually was late for gun start, fortunately it also started a bit late plus I’m just looking to enjoy this run. It’s a simple run around Mall of Asia, which would be a good way to earn some mileage.

After arriving at about 5:30 am, I immediately rushed off to get my kit. I was able to catch the last part of the warm up and there it was gun start. It was a crowded start line since there’s about 8,000 participants for the event. I’m good with the volume of the runners since I don’t plan to go all out on this one. I went at a slow jog and went on to stop with several cos-players around the area.

I would go on several run segments and walk several segments. No pressure really! My cadence has been slow lately especially on the road so the kilometers were just slowly trickling in. I guess, I’m no longer used to road runs but it was good to have some Marvel characters along the route.

It’s an out and back route so it’s 5K out and back starting at Seaside Boulevard with loops in Diokno Boulevard and finally Macapagal Boulevard. It was about 3K into the race that it started drizzling. It was good that I brought a ziplock for my phone. I went on with the remaining loop headed to Macapagal. It was a sea of Marvel fanswearing various Avengers-inspired costumes, such as Iron Man, Thor, Spiderman, Captain America, Black Widow, among others along Macapagal.

The rains went pouring after the u-turn and it was really fun. Running in the rain. I caught up with Jeff Lo, Chiqui and their friends and pace with them for a while. The rain was pouring and I was soaking wet. It was great that my On Cloudace had a good grip even on rainy grounds. I was a bit faster here as it’s mostly interval running.

Nice meeting Chiqui along the route.

I guess I needed it to rain to remind how fun road running can be. It was now counting down the remaining kilometers so the second half of the race felt a lot quicker. I was back in Diokno and down to the last 2 kilometers of the race and I didn’t mind running in puddles of water along the road as the rains was even stronger.

Running in the rain.

It started to mellow down getting to the last kilometer and it was cool down from here on as I just went slow until the finish line. That’s a fun 10K in the bag. There was a color powder ceremony after the run and the usual post-race party by the Color Manila Team.

ColorManila’s upcoming events include the CM Challenge Clark, to be held on August 5, 2018, at the Clark Parade Grounds. While Proactive Sports, ColorManila’s sister-company will host the first Tough Mudder to be held in Asia, on July 21-22, 2018, at Portofino Amore in Alabang.

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Another 5 Coffee Places to Try in Baguio City

Brewing my own coffee to Grindosetamp Cafe

I have this simple itinerary whenever I am in Baguio City. Trails in the morning and coffee in the afternoon.  With its cool climate, sleepy weather ambience, pine-rich surroundings, Baguio has also been a home of a lot of wonderful coffee places.

Coffee in the City of Pines

My own coffee shop vibe at home.

Coffee is not only my go-to drink to keep me awake but it’s also something I’ve grown to appreciate.  I’ve slowly veered away from the typical mainstream coffee shops to get to experience the hole-in-a-wall type of feel that the different coffee shops around the city.  Baguio is my favorite place not only because it’s HOME but it also has a lot of coffee places to appreciate and comes with the cooler climate to match my warm drink.

This is a sequel to my original post below.

Sessions Gallery Cafe

First plus is accessibility as it’s located 411 Jose De Leon Center III, Session Road, Baguio City.  Up next is the artsy ambiance filled with wall paintings and artist works.  The best part about the place is its cozy and relaxing ambiance complete with oversize pillows and bean bags for lounging around while enjoying a good cup of coffee and cake.  They have a full range of coffee to choose from and like most coffee places in Baguio, the price-point is affordable.

Facebook Page: Sessions Gallery Cafe

Studio Cafe at PhotoTech

For those who grew up in Baguio like me, PhotoTech is known for being one of the main photo studios for our then grad picture or every time we’d want to have a good studio photo.  Aside from a studio, it has now a Cafe with select portraits and photographs around you.  They also have specialty coffee blends and different espresso shots plus a whole line of pastries.  It’s also easily accessible at 201 Antipolo Building, 89 Session Road, Baguio City.

Facebook Page: Studio Cafe at PhotoTech

The Coffee Library

The Coffee Library is located at Rex Hall, Upper Bonifacio St., Baguio City, which is just nearby schools like SLU and UB and also just a few hundred meters away from Baguio Cathedral.  With a Library type of feel, it also makes a great hangout for students in the area as well as nearby residents wanting a coffee break.  They have a wide range of coffee to cover different preferences among drinkers and I also like the food and most especially the dessert offering.

Facebook Page: The Coffee Library Baguio

Vanilla Cafe at Kamiseta Hotel

Vanilla Cafe brings you a bright ambiance and a lot of inspirational quotes all over the walls.  It’s like you’re living in a world of colorful cupcakes.  Each corner is IG worthy and also has an overlooking view of the Pine Trees and the Mountains outside.  It’s located at #20 Villamor St., Brgy. Lualhati, Baguio City.  Aside from their wide range of coffee options, they have food and also a lot of colorful cupcakes.

Facebook Page: Kamiseta Hotel

Grindosetamp Cafe

Me and my Selfieccino

Grindosetamp is my favorite as of late because it does have single origin coffee options where you get to appreciate the different taste of coffee blends.   You can even brew the coffee yourself for a more immersive experience. They also have a selfieccino where you can have your photo printed in your coffee.  It’s a small cafe but it’s also complete with meal options and a simple ambiance, which includes a painting that depicts the origins of coffee.  It’s located at #1 Villamor Street, Baguio City.

Facebook Page: Grindosetamp Cafe

And here’s a bonus for the Chocolate lovers – Tsokolateria

It’s not really much of a coffee place but they do have some chocolate infused coffee.  It’s actually everything about chocolate that has been infused into their meal and drink offering.  It’s located at the Igorot Stairs, Upper Session Road, Baguio.

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