The North Face 100 2016 #TNF100PH2016

My North TNF Race Experience. – Photo by Jose Ramizarez

Breaking Boundaries! That’s what #TNF100Ph2016 is all about.  It may be your first chance at trail at 11K or a stronger 22K run.  It may be testing the limits of your endurance with the 50K and 100K categories.  This is why we keep coming back to this torturous race. It’s to break boundaries and to push ourselves beyond our limits.

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The North Face

The TNF Tradition Continues…

The North Face 100 is among the toughest trail races in the country and yet weekend warriors like me wouldn’t pass up the chance of being a part of the thrill of the trail.  It’s where lifelong stories are made and those who brave the challenges end up to be much tougher.  It is pushing your mental and physical limits to adapt to the constantly evolving and oftentimes, uncontrollable nature of the outside environment. It is about always being ready to explore, and that is what The North Face is all about.  Baguio and Benguet’s terrain are among the most scenic and toughest trails you’ll ever encounter with its pine-rich forest reserve and its unlimited uphills. It challenges endurance runners through several distance ranging from 50 and 100 kilometers for endurance runners and 11K and 22K for the rest.

The North Face has also launched the outdoor training regimen that will harness the athlete’s mental and physical agility, strength, balance, and core power like never before. Because the outside elements can be unpredictable and extreme, it is imperative that the practitioner uses apparel that gives superior breath ability and durability that complements their training.  For trails as tough as this, The North Face has developed its Mountain Athletics line that applies technology specifically suited for the outdoors, making its wearer Get Better and Go Further in their outdoor training

TNF 100 is among the most important trail event in the country and in the region.  This is one of the reasons I never dare miss it.  What makes this edition special for me was the effort I had to put into it just to make it to the starting line.  It was a busy week for me as I had to squeeze in a 3-day Singapore business trip before eventually rushing my way to the event last April 30 coming from a plane ride from Singapore and a Bus Ride from Manila.  It was exhausting just trying to catch the event but Baguio is my home court and I wouldn’t dare miss this one.

Race Route and Elevation Profile

Race Map powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sports.

Elevation Profile powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sports

The Race Starts at the Open Grounds at Ordonio drive. It starts with a short 500 meter parade loop before entering the Eco Trail, which is a 3 kilometers out and back trail with rolling ascent. The race shifts to the yellow trails passing at the side of Le Monet for another 2 kilometers worth of rolling trails until the aid station.  The trail goes on a net descent of 200 meters over the next 5.5 kilometers.   The trail goes on a climb back the Aid Station until kilometer 16.5.  It goes to the upper part of the yellow trail and descends to the Embassy area until kilometer 18.5.  The race goes back to the yellow trail and the finish line at Ordonio Drive.

The Race

Awaiting Gun Start

I was up early on race day and arrived at the venue at 4:30 am just to have sufficient time to warm up and get to meet familiar faces.  Camp John Hay is practically my training ground as I’m always at the Eco-trails and Yellow Trails every time I am in Baguio.  I have familiarity on my side but on the other hand, I have fatigue and rustiness coming from a business trip in Singapore.  I will try to race smart and play it by feel (Of course, mindful of the cut-off).  I also brought my trekking poles to aid me on the ascents.  Since I am not yet familiar with trekking poles, I decided to keep it in my bag and will only use it when needed.

With Pinoyfitness Peeps and Myk of Go Pro before the race. – Photo from Pinoyfitness

There were about 500 runners for the 22 kilometers category.  The parade loop would be critical in spreading out the runners before entering the trails.  I tried to move fast here just to make sure that I would be in a less congested group entering the eco-trail.  Coming from the rains, the eco-trail was a bit slippery.  I started slow and cautious in the first two kilometers as there were some bottlenecks on some areas of the eco-trail.  It would also allow my muscles to slowly warm up coming from rustiness and a cooler weather.  After reaching the u-turn slot towards the end of the eco-trail, I started to speed up already and it helped that I was familiar with the trail.

Starting to warm up on the trails.

I started to play the terrain game by speeding up on the descents and resting on the inclines. As the race shifted to the yellow trails, I went on further to speed up and went on with the pace of the group, which was mostly a series of runs and a few walking breaks.  The yellow trails had a flatter and run-able course so it was great to pick speed up here.  The weather was cool, the trail was damp and I really love the rich pine reserve of Camp John Hay.  It was always refreshing being on the trails.

With Hansen and Iris.

After reaching the aid station at Kilometer 5.5, we proceeded to the adjacent trails which would lead to the lower part of the Yellow Trails.  The next 500 meters was a steep descent but since I was comfortable with the traction of my shoes, I felt safe to go faster on this part.  Of course, I knew that this would be the tough part on the way back.  The descent was followed by a kilometer worth of climb and another two kilometers on rolling terrains.  It really helped that I wasn’t using the poles yet at this time as I was a lot more mobile at this stretch.  There were a few technical trails on this stretch so I had to slow down on that section.

With the Multi-time TNF Champion and this year’s runner up for 100K, Majo.

At about the 9th kilometer, we exited the trails and headed to South Drive to explore the next two kilometers of descending trails there.  The trails were a bit technical so it was more at walking pace on the descent and the short climbs.  I would run on the fire tracks and slow down on the steep single tracks.  The trails also had the common pine facade of Baguio and it led us to the trails heading to the DENR area.  This was also the lowest part of the trail and what goes down, must go up.

It’s time to switch to poles. – Photo by Active Pinas

I waited for the time that I would be in the lowest part of the trail before I brought out my trekking poles.  I never tried using two poles in a trek so it was time to learn the art of using it fast.  It really helps using two poles as it uses the upper body to crawl yourself out of an uphill climb.  After the u-turn, I had one carb gel and went on with the climb.  I didn’t want to count down the kilometers of the climb since it would feel so dragging because it was 2 kilometers.  I just tried to take it one step at a time and reduce my resting breaks as much as I can. To my surprise, the poles helped a lot and it was less of a torture taking in the climb part.

With the Great Jared who just did 100 K.

I shifted back to the Camp John Hay trails and I realized it was not as comfortable to run with two poles.  Fatigue also came in to play so instead of running, I went on a brisk walk pace.  I’ll get better at running with poles in time but I’ll make do of the brisk walk pace for now.  It was not as fast as I wanted but it was decent pace.  I also was getting my mind ready and body relaxed for the steep climb at the 17th kilometer.  The 17th kilometer was a killer climb as you had to hurdle 100 meters of elevation in 500 meters of distance.  It took a lot of heart beat raising steps to reach the top of the climb and I’m just about 5 kilometers away from the finish line.

With Jazzrunner Rene and Iron Iris

The next part was the upper part of the yellow trail. which is among the more run-able part of the trail.  I had a mental footprint of the route and the 17th kilometer should have been the toughest climb of the race or so I thought.  I really thought that they would just do a simple out and back on the upper part of the trails. I said I’ll walk this off and speed up on my way back just to catch my breath.

That’s A for Ahon!!! – Photo by Jose Ramizares

Surprise!!! Surprise!!! After nearing the end of the trails we were asked to head down the embassy area, which meant we had to descend 100 meters of elevation over the next 300 meters of distance and climb back the same distance and the same elevation.  It was one of the steepest climb and descends I’ve ever had.  The trails were technical and the pine needles made the trails slippery.  It was important to be strategic on this part.  It was crawling pace especially on the climbs and I had to stop several times to catch my breath. Needless to say, it was my slowest kilometer of the race. TNF goes unli… unli uphills, I meant.

22K done.

After this stretch, I was certain that this race is over as it’s basically on flatter grounds.  I took the next half kilometer at walking pace just to catch my breath and after that it was time to speed up for the finish line and I managed to finish faster compared to the last time TNF was held in Baguio City.  It was a tough race but I guess I’m a lot tougher now. Great job TNF!!!

Outfit of The Trail

  • Shirt – Berghaus with #TaleOfTheTrail Design by Breakout Design
  • Compression Shorts – CWC
  • Cap, Arms Sleeves, Calf Sleeves, Hydration Bag – Under Armour
  • Shoes – Salomon Speed Cross
  • Watch – Suunto Ambit 3 Sports
  • Trekking Pole – Black Diamond Distance Z Poles
  • Socks – Ahon

Categories: My Runs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jr NBA and Jr WNBA Presented by Alaska Completes its All Stars at the National Training Camp

The All Stars – Photo by Jamil Buergo

 Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA presented by Alaska is done with this year’s search for their All Star Team with 10 boys and 5 girls making the team.  This was a culmination of months of selection camps with thousands of players joining the camp. #JrNBAph #JrWNBAph #Alaska #PlayPH

Jr. NBA Jr. WNBA Presented by Alaska

6 foot 9 inches Kai Sotto stands tallest after being named the MVP of the All Star selection for the Boys. – Photo from PlayPH

For someone who grew up fanatically following basketball in the country, watching the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA National Training Camp was more than just watching a game.  It was seeing the future of the sports.  Every time 6-9 stand out Kai Sotto would be battling for position with a defense-minded center in Miguel Tan,  it was watching a rivalry which will go on for the next decades.   I also saw a lot of potential court generals who have excellent instincts and on-court vision. There were also creative slashers who found ways to score points or make a good dish to a team mate. The future is bright for Philippine basketball.  These guys were 14 years old and below and have a whole world of potential in them.

Kai Sotto vs. Miguel Tan – This is gonna be a rivalry for ages. – Photo by Jamil Buergo

It’s been months of searching for the best of  the best at this age group starting with the tip off last January 23 at Don Bosco Institute in Makati.  The Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Presented by Alaska started its search for the best basketball players in the country through Regional Selection Camp that was held in Baguio, Davao, Cebu and Don Bosco Institute in Makati.  They also conducted school clinics that teach the fundamentals of basketballs with stops in Bukidnon, Butuan, Cagayan De Oro, Dagupan, Davao, Iloilo, Metro Manila, Puerto Princesa, Batangas, Catanduanes and  Cavite.

The young girls playing their heart out to earn that all star slots

The program would select the ten best boys and five best girls to become Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA All Stars. The All Star team will travel overseas for the NBA experience trip together with fellow All Stars from Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.  The 2015 Jr. All Stars traveled to China to watch the NBA Global Games in Shenzen featuring the Charlotte Hornets and the LA Clippers.

The future is bright for Philippine Basketball – Photo from PlayPH

The top 50 boys and 24 girls from the regional selection camps advanced to the final selection stage at the national training camp.  The list was further trimmed down on the second day of the camp before selecting the 10 boys and 5 girls making up the All Stars.  NBA and WNBA Legends Norris Cole of New Orleans Pelicans and Taj McWillians, formerly of the Minnesota Lynx attended the National Training Camp.

Warming up for the final game of the Training Camp. – Photo by Jamil Buergo

The remaining participants were grouped into two teams each for the boys and girls.  They had a final game to showcase their skills and talents.  Though the score won’t be a factor in the selection, everybody played their hearts out to show case their skills, will and talent to the coaches and the people around the Music Hall at SM Mall of Asia.  It was a long journey for the participants and everybody was a winner but the all star team had to be selected.

Kai Sotto and Jil Talas were the MVP of the Season – Photo by Jamil Buergo

Here are the All Stars:

Girls:

  • Darlene Regasajo of Cebu
  • Florence Jil Talas of Cebu – MVP
  • Ma Cecilia Quilenderino of Manila
  • Rozie Amatong of Davao
  • Aloha Marie Betanio of Davao

Boys:

  • Julian Alfonso Jugo of Powercamp
  • Fritz Felix Valencia of Cebu
  • Harold Alarcon of Cebu
  • Isiah Miguel Blanco of Powercamp
  • Ric Ozner Gatus of Baguio
  • Andrei Philip Lechoncito of Manila
  • Tracy Carl Dadang of Cebu
  • Jearico Nunez of Manila
  • Miguel Rey Luis Tan of Manila
  • Kai Zachary Sotto of Manila – MVP

WNBA’s Taj McWilliams and NBA’s Norris Cole joined the aspirants in the National Training Camp. – Photo by Jamil Buergo

The Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA is the league’s global youth basketball participation program for boys and girls which teaches the fundamental skills as well as core values of the game at the grassroots level in an effort to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents.  More than 36,000 players and 2,700 coaches have participated in the program since it started in the Philippines in 2007. Durng the 2015-16 season, the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA program will reach more than 6.5 million youth in 32 countries.

Photo by Jamil Buergo

It’s also important to acknowledge the presenting partner in Alaska with their contribution on the grassroots development of the sports.  The Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Presented by Alaska is one of the Alaska Milk’s program that shape, train, challenge and inspire children to achieve their dreams and aspiration in life.  Alaska Milk trains them to be disciplined and hardworking to prepare them to be winners in the future.  Through it’s partnership with the NBA, Alaska also boost their Nutrition Action Champion program.  It helps address the issue of overweight and undernourished Filipino children with the promotion of proper nutrition and active lifestyle through sports and outdoor play.

Photo from PlayPH

It’s another year of the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA presented by Alaska. Stay tuned next year for the 10th year of the program.  For general information about Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Philippines, please visit www.jrnba.asia/philippines, www.alaskamilk.com, and www.alaskapowercamp.com/basketball.  For live update log on to www.alaskaplayph.com and follow them on FB, IG and Twitter @playph #jrnba #jrwnba.

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , | 18 Comments

#TaleOfTheTrail Camp Sinai, Pintong Bukawe, Casile, Inigan (San Mateo, Rizal)

Camp Sinai

Camp Sinai has a giant tablet of the 10 commandments.  Aside from that you get a majestic view of the Siera Mountain Range with the clouds and the mountains painting a beautiful picture.  The fun part of this trails is that it’s run-able but do expect a really long and challenging climb on the way back.

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#TaleOfTheTrail

The View from Camp Sinai

There are so many trail alternatives in San Mateo, Rizal and Camp Sinai is an excellent place to start your trail.  Camp Sinai is popular for having a large tablet of the 10 Commandments like Mount Sinai in the Bible.  Apart from that, they have an overlooking view of the Sierra Madre Range.  It was a majestic picture as the clouds and the mountain combine for a masterpiece. Soleus would be having a Cross Country Challenge here and this is also a recon of the course.   Check out the details below if you want to join Soleus Cross Country Challenge.

The Map and Elevation

Map is powered by ASICS AG01 Run Watch

Elevation Profile is Powered by Asigs AG01 Watch and Strava

The route starts at Camp Sinai and proceeds to a rolling terrain for the next 3 kilometers before entering a brief road stretch heading to the Casile trails with a descent of about 400 meters over the next 4 kilometer stretch.  There’s about another 1.5 kilometer to the u-turn slot in Inigan with two river crossings.  The route goes back to Casile for the 10th kilometer.  The route goes on a 4 kilometer climb the Casile trails with about 400 meters of elevation.  The road has a 1 km access point back to Camp Sinai.

Trekking San Mateo, Rizal Trails

It’s a Magnificent View of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range – Photo by Del Villanueva

The trail started at Camp Sinai.  It starts from a higher viewpoint so you’ll immediately appreciate the beauty of the surroundings.  It was a hot morning and we started a bit late so this was a heat training as well.  I opted to bring in a trekking pole to help me on the ascent back in the second half of the route plus I’m also training to use poles for races too.

On Single Tracks – Photo by Del Villanueva.

The first 3 kilometers were on single track trails that had a rolling terrain.  I was expecting a much slower trail but it did turn out a lot faster than expected.  The first kilometer had us descent Camp Sinai and enter the single track trails. We started at walking pace since there were several climbs already at this stretch.  I positioned myself at the lead pack.   On trail recons, I either go at the first part or at the middle because it’s the last runners who gets the least rest during stops.

It was a hot morning to be on the trails. – Photo by Del Villanueva

The pace of the trail shifted at the second kilometer as the lead pack went on to breeze to the descents and remain steady on the incline.  We (Me and Del) followed their pace so it became a really fast-pace trail.   It was also a hot morning so we might as well try to keep moving.  The good part about the trail, which I know the trail runners would love is that it’s run-able.  The descents can be long and the inclines are tolerable.

There was a small river around the 2 kilometer mark and it was a bit of a scene so we had pictures at this stretch as well as shooting the video above.  After that stretch, we got separated from the lead pack but we went as fast as we could to catch up with the lead pack. There was a stretch that we got confused with the trail so we had to go back and ask directions. After finding our way back, we found the lead pack (Judith, Coach Roel and Jessa) waiting for us  at the store for some refreshment around kilometer 3.  We also waited for the rest of the pack here.

It was time to speed up. – Phot0 by Del Villanueva

After the short rest, it was the long stretch of descent that would cover the next 4 kilometers.   I joined the lead pack again and after walking the paved area, we started running when the trails resumed.  It was time to speed up.   It was rough roads with a lot of stones.  It also helped that I had a trekking pole, which added some balance on the stony portion of the trails.  It was fun to run at this pace on the trail as gravity was on our side.

Gravity was on our side on the descent – Photo by Coach Roel Amabao – Ano.

The roads was also a popular area for cyclist so from time to time, there were cyclists who would pass by on the trails.  There were also trail runners preparing for the race next week.  Runners would definitely enjoy this stretch and I also suggest that come race day, they should take advantage of this stretch as the second half of the race would really be a long climb.

You gotta love the scenery along the trail – Photo by Del Villanueva

Even with the fast descent, you had to really stop to appreciate the views around you.  You had different vantage points of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range.   That’s the beauty of trails like this even if you have to bare the heat and fatigue, you have the views to make it worth your while.

The adrenaline-rush of a fast run and the scenic delight of a great view – Photo by Del Villanueva.

We have covered the 4 kilometer descent in such a short time.  The road intersected with the New Casile Road, which is included as part of the 21K distance.  We took the Casile Road before the river and rested in the store to wait for the others.  We also took a chance to have fresh buko juice to quench our thirst.  It took some time for the others to reach the store.

The Fast Trails – Photo by Coach Roel Amabao-Ano

After the rest at the store, we then went to the rivers to find the u-turn slot for the 12 kilometer distance.  I suggested to have the Inigan area as a u-turn slot as it’s among the most scenic part of the several river crossings we tried a week ago.   There were two river crossings heading to Inigan area.

12K u-turn Slot.

After the first river, there was about a kilometer stretch of land heading to the Inigan area.  It had a mix of rock, stones and sands for its surface.  Expect your shoes to get messy from this stretch.  It’s run-able if you want but it’s also great to take it slow to appreciate the view from the river.

The view from the River

I’ve been here a week ago but I’ll cover that in a separate Wawa – Inigan – Casile Tale Of The Trail.  I like this spot because it felt like a scene from the Last Samurai movie.  You had the clear rivers, You had the rich green surroundings and you had mountain ranges around you.  This trail would give you both a view from the top and a view from the bottom and it’s both great.

With Judith Staples of Soleus and Coach Roel.

It’s a picture taking hot spot.  There were also deep parts of the river where you could have a good swim, which is a perfect way to cool down on hot days like this.  The 21 kilometer would have to go through 5-6 more rivers before they get to their u-turn slot.

With Team Soleus – Photo bu Judith Staples

We then took the way back.  It was a relaxing walk back to the Casile area and we had a short snack break at the store near the intersection of Casile Road and New Casile Road.  It was also our way to recharge a bit as the next four kilometers would be a really climb on a very hot day.

Last rest before the long run. – Photo by Kerwin Ng.

I started to condition my mind to toughen up on this stretch as it’s 4 kilometers climb on a hot weather.  The plan was just to be consistent on the climb and stop if needed.  The first kilometer of the climb was the hardest and mentally exhausting part of the climb.  I can feel the sweat trickling down my face coming from the weather and the effort of the climb.  It was a great help that I am using a trekking pole which helps me propel myself forward.

Hats off to Judith Staples, Marketing Head of Soleus, for being strong on this run.

After the first kilometer, I felt a lot tougher already. Exhausted but a lot more determined on the climb.  It was a consistent effort on the climb and after each stretch I had to sip from my hydration bag so I won’t be dehydrated.  I had a short water break after 3 kilometers of climbing at the store where the others were resting too.  After the short rest, it was just routine getting over the last kilometer of climbing.

Different Views of Sierra Madre

We waited for the rest at the store at Pintong Bukawe and after that it was just 1 kilometer road access back to Camp Sinai.  We then had lunch at BaseKamp at it was really tasty lunch after a really tough effort at the trail.

A Kid at Heart Playing at Basekamp.

Outfit of the Trail

  • Top Adidas Climachill with #TaleOfTheTrail design by Breakout Design
  • Shorts, Hydration Bag, Socks, Arms Sleeves and Calf Sleeves – Under Armour
  • Eyewear: Suunto Radarlock Path Tour De France
  • GPS Watch: Asics AG01 Watch
  • Shoes: Salomon Speedcross

 

Categories: My Travels | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Incoming: Color Manila Blacklight Run 2016

I’ve been running Color Manila since its inaugural run. I am glad to see it grow to a challenge run and night run and even have regional legs.  Color Manila Blacklight Run returns to the streets of Filinvest with the neon color powders illuminating the darkness of the night. It’s happening on May 28, 2016 with 3K, 5K and 10K categories to choose from.  It’s time to bring back the “FUN” in the run, register NOW!!!

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Color Manila Blacklight Run 2016

Last year’s blacklight run.

Color Manila has changed the game when it comes to “FUN” in the runs several years ago.  I’ve been a participant since day 1.  It’s a run you can do at your own pace.  You can walk it and have all the selfies with your friends.  You can jog and just get a good exercise.  You can even run it and catch a new PR. It’s a run for everybody, whether you are a runner or not.  They always bring the most colorful and festive environment for a good run and an even better after party.  You get to try out the fitness lifestyle in the most enjoyable way possible.

Playing around with the neon color powders at Prive during the launch.

The blacklight run is an all-together unique experience.  It’s a tnight and perfect for those who hate waking up early for the morning races.  It’s a lot cooler to run at night and it’s an even better time to party.  You get to enjoy the glow of neon color powders that’s gonna illuminate the night skies of Filinvest.  It’s also the best run to enjoy with your friends, family or even strangers who share your passions.  More importantly, Color Manila is not just about the fun as they have the Color Manila Foundation, which is aimed to give HOPE to impoverished kids through their various missions.

Everybody is a winner at Color Manila as everyone ends up with a medal.  It doesn’t matter if you are the fittest runner or the last of the pack. It doesn’t matter if you run the 3K, 5K or 10K distance. You get to have that cool medal once you cross the finish line.  One thing I appreciate with Color Manila is that they make sure that they give the coolest and quality race swag to add value to each registrants participation.  So I hope you’re IN with the colorful fun at Color Manila Blacklight Run. Register Now and see you on May 28, 2016 at Filinvest City Alabang.

Race Details

I’m already full of colors even just during the launch, with Justine of Color Manila

Date and Venue:

  • Date: May 28, 2016
  • Venue: Filinvest, Alabang
  • Gun Start:
    • 3K: 9:45 pm
    • 5K: 9:40 pm
    • 10K: 9:30 pm

Fees and Inclusions:

  • Deluxe (3K, 5K, 10K) – P 950 (Inclusive of CM Blacklight Drifit Shirt, LED Headlamp, Drawstring Bag, Finisher’s Medal, Race bib, Color Packet)
  • Rockstar (3K, 5K, 10K) – P1,500 (Inclusive of CM Singlet & CM Blacklight Drifit Shirt, LED Headlamp, Drawstring Bag, CM Towel, Finisher’s Medal, Race bib, Color Packet)
  • Superstar (3K, 5K, 10K) – P6000  (Inclusive of 2Days Crimson Hotel Accomodation, CM Singlet & CM Blacklight Drifit Shirt, LED Headlamp, Drawstring Bag, CM Towel, Finisher’s Medal, Race bib, Color Packet)

DriFit Shirt for All!

CM Blacklight Drifit Shirt for Rockstar and Superstar Runners

Headlamp for all runners.

Medal for All Finishers

Color Packet for all runners.

Drawstring Bag for all runners

CM Tower for Rockstar and Superstar Runners

Registration:

  • Register Via Color Manila
  • Payment options:
    • Credit Card or Paypal
    • Prepaid Card:
      • Runnr ATC
      • Runnr Trinoma
      • Runnr BHS
      • Tobys Glorietta
      • Tobys MOA
      • Tobys Aura
      • Tobys Megamall
    • SM Ticket Net (Available at SM TIckets at any SM Cinema Ticketing Center)
  • Kit Claiming:
    • Date:  May 20, 21, 22​
    • Where: Crimson Hotel, Alabang
    • Schedule: Mall Hours

Race Updates:

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Alaska Promotes Health and Fitness through the Alaska Power Camps

Tomas Lozano, Football Powercamp Head, Dickie Bachman, Basketball Powercamp, Michelle Gumabao, Volleyball Powercamp, Blen Fernando, Managing Director.

Summer is the time for sports camps. Alaska brings you 3 camps that would encourage kids to try out different sports and live a healthy and active lifestyle.  Kids can opt to join Basketball, Volleyball or Football camps handled by established names in  the industry.

Alaska Power Camp

Alaska has always been on the forefront on nutrition and grassroots development of sports in the country.  Both nutrition and sports goes hand in hand as Alaska uses sports development as a tool to promote proper nutrition.  This is a good development as according to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute’s 7th Annual National Nutrition Survey in 2008, at least 16 million Filipinos aged 20 and above and about 2 out 10 children are overweight.  Under nutrition is also prevalent with 30% of children.  Technology has also played its role in limiting activities of kids directly impacting their fitness level.

Alaska Milk Corporation is committed to help promote proper nutrition and the active lifestyle.  Alaska gathers basketball, football and volleyball enthusiasts through its Alaska Power Camps.  Instead of being hooked on TV or video games, the power camps inspires both girls and boys to engaged in sports.  By being involve in Basketball, Football and Volleyball, they acquire proper skills development and get to instill the values of discipline, hard work, team work and sportsmanship. Take advantage of the summer months for kids to immerse in the different sports and help improve their skills and character.

The basketball power camp  will be headed by Philippine Basketball Association legend and Alaska Aces Assistant Coach Jeffrey Cariaso. Basketball has been the most popular sport in the country for decades with a court located at almost all street corners.  The power camp will help give kids the proper skills, discipline and foundation in Basketball and make them competitive as they grow up.

Former Professional Football Player and Alabang Football School and Makati Football School Director Tomas Lozano will spearhead the Football Power Camp as its Project Director.  Football’s popularity has risen over the years with strong play from our football team in the international play.  Equipping kids with the right foundation in football can really lead to better prospects in football for the country.

Philippine Super Liga Volleyball Player and Former DLSU Lady Spikers Star Volleyball player Michelle Gumabao will lead a team of volleyball experts in teaching aspiring young girls in the Alaska Volleyball Power Camp.  The exciting play of the collegiate and professional volleyball teams in the country improved the popularity of the volleyball.  Michelle has been passionate with mentoring kids and with that the future is bright for the sports.

Alaska continues to encourage children to go out and play by participating in various Alaska sports program like Alaska Power Camp.  For general information about Alaska Milk Corporation visit www.alaskamilk.com, for more information about Alaska Milk Corporation Sports Program visit www.playph.com, Twitter: @playph and instagram @alaskaplayph

For more information about Alaska Power Camps, visit the following links:

For inquiries, please call 840-4500 local 205 or 209 and look foor CK Canapi-Daniolco, Sports Development Group.

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

The Great Outdoors came to BGC with the R.O.X. Outdoor Festival 2016

Summer is a great time to be Outdoors. R.O.X. just got the adventurous summer months in by bringing the great outdoors at BGC last April 16-17, 2016.  Participants were able to get the feel of the outdoors with workshops, challenges, activities, shows, exhibits, games and competition during the #ROXOutdoorFestival2016

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R.O.X Outdoor Festival

The Zero Gravity National Lead Climbing Competition was among the highlights of the weekend.

There’s so many ways to enjoy the outdoor.  You can challenge your vertical endurance on climbs or trail adventures.  You can get your feet wet on beach and river activities.  You can challenge gravity and test your courage in wall climbs and rappels.  You can go on an scenic tour on two wheels by cycling.  You can have a more solemn nature interaction when you camp.  The possibilities are limitless and it’s a perfect time to explore the great outdoors especially during the summer months.  R.O.X. brought the outdoors to Bonifacio Global City last April 16- 17, 2016 and for the weekend, everybody at the high street became an outdoor enthusiast with all the variety of outdoor activities and challenges.

The Last Man Standing competition really challenge participant to withstand exhaustion, heat and mental fatigue to be the Last Man Standing.

Last April 16 and 17, Bonifacio High Street became the home of athletes, weekend warriors, families and friends looking for a great time. There were thrilling games and challenging crash courses that kept everyone’s adrenalin high. For young families, children were also in on the fun as they did exciting activities that gave them a taste of the great outdoors. It was an outdoor fun event for everybody of all ages.

Set the fastest time challenges.

The games and competition were intense. The participants of the Last Man Standing had to brave exhaustion, the heat and mental fatigue for hours just to be the last man standing.  There were also time challenges were participants got to do several drills to set the fastest times.  There were different games where participant get to win prizes.  The zero gravity lead national climbing competition was a real challenge.

Outdoor Movie Viewing

Aside from the games and competitions, guests were in for a treat as they were showed cool outdoor film showings and band performances from bands like Up Dharma Down that amped up the free-spirited vibe and friendly mood that lasted throughout the festival. Acquaintances and even strangers were able to converse easily and share their love for the outdoors in a natural setting of green landscapes and fresh air. Definitely if there was anything that the R.O.X. Outdoor Festival did, it was to share a greater appreciation for the outdoors, and foster a closer knit community amidst the busy, concrete world we live in.

Paolo Abrera at the workshops for Bambikes

There were also workshops during the weekend.  One of the workshop we got to attend was that of Bambikes.  Bambikes were made of Bamboo and we got several inputs from TV host Paulo Abrera.  Bamboo Technology is really a good one. It feels as light as carbon and it’s as durable as steel bikes.  It can be constructed in 3-4 days and can last you more than 5 years.  It’s also a good technology to have in the Philippines since we have a lot of bamboo supplies.  Aside from the workshop by Bambikes, there were also talks on mountain biking and trail runs handled by Salomon and Fox.

Outdoor Board Games.

There were no shortage of awesome things to do during the special weekend. Thanks to R.O.X. and Primer Group of Companies who put together the Outdoor Festival. R.O.X., Southeast Asia’s biggest outdoor superstore, is the go-to place for anyone who wants to gear up for the outdoors. Experienced and courteous sales staff can assist you in giving you useful tips and helping you find the best product to fit your needs.

International brands, known for their expertise in creating superior outdoor gear and apparel, stock up the shelves and racks of the multi-storey building of R.O.X. in Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City. The North Face, Salomon, Fox, Columbia Sportswear, Mountain Hardwear, Sea To Summit, Poler, Eddie Bauer, Quiksilver, Roxy, O’Neill, Volcom and DC are just some of the premier outdoor brands that are available in R.O.X. Whether it’s climbing, trail running, biking, camping, swimming or surfing, you can find all your outdoor needs met in R.O.X.. Don’t let the walls close you in on everything the world has to offer. Get out and experience life the way it should be lived. Visit R.O.X. and be part of the great outdoors!

You can check out R.O.X. at R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street Manila, R.O.X. Solenad 3 Nuvali, Laguna, R.O.X. Marquee Mall Pampanga, R.O.X. Camp John Hay Baguio, R.O.X. Ayala Cebu, R.O.X. Abreeza Davao, R.O.X. The District Cagayan De Oro, and R.O.X. The North Point Bacolod. You can also follow @roxphilippines on Facebook for news and updates on your favorite outdoor brands!

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Incoming: Mount Sembrano Mountain Run 2016

Mount Sembrano Mountain Run would definitely give you that breathtaking scenic view that will make those breathless moments worth each difficult stride. Be it a 15K distance or the longer 30K, you’re in for a visual delight and a physical challenge.  Register now and see you on May 29, 2016 at Malaya, Pililia, Rizal.

Mount Sembrano Mountain Run

There’s infinite ways that Nature will amaze you. There’s the rugged paths that will challenge your legs.  There’s the seemingly endless assault that would literally take your breath away. There’s the other wonders of nature would refresh you on the tougher times.  Then there’s that overlooking view that humbles you with its raw beauty.  That’s what you get at Mount Sembrano Mountain Run.  You’ll get the challenging trails and climb and end up with a really great overlooking view of Laguna De Bay and Talim Island.

MGM Productions Presents, the DBB Uphill Challenge (Mt. Sembrano), which is the 2nd Leg for the grand slam of the MGM Production Trail Running Series.  Offering a 15km (Old Trail-Summit turn around-New Trail) and 30km (Old Trail-Summit-Bugarin Trail- turn around-New Trail) distances that would surely great time bonding with Nature.  It’s all happening on March 29, 2016 at Malaya, Pililia, Rizal.

If you’re enjoying the easy / hardcore, moderate to steep rocky trails through open forests, mountain ridges, steep ravines and magnificent views of Laguna De Bay and Talim Island then The DBB Uphill Challenge, Mt. Sembrano  will be the perfect trail race for you! The mountain trails offer an elevation of 625 masl to about 745 masl. In between these elevation gains are single track dirt trails, grassy mountain ridges, hilltops and a waterfall that will surely be refreshing for those tired muscles and overly sun-exposed skins. Registration is now ongoing and slots are limited.  This is a rain or shine event.

Race Details:

Date and venue:

  • Date: May 29, 2016
  • Venue: Mount Sembrano, Malaya, Pililia, Rizal
  • Starting/Finish Area: Brgy. Hall of Malaya, Pililla, Rizal
  • Gunstart:
    • 6:00 AM May 29, 2016 (30km)
    • 6:30 AM May 29, 2016 (15km)
  • Cut Off Time:
    • 6hrs (15km)
    • 9hrs (30km)

Fees and Inclusions:

  • P 1,000.00 for 15km Mountain Run 
  • 1,250.00 for 30km Mountain Run
    • inclusive Finisher Medal, Shirt, Race Bandana, Bib Number, Post Race Meal, Freebies and Raffle

Registration:

  • Deposit the registration fee to:
    • Account Name: Rayman D. delos Angeles
    • Bank And Account Number: BPI Savings Acct Num: 3199-1456-56
  • Send a scanned copy of the deposit slip to mgm_dbbmtsembrano@yahoo.com.ph with your name, gender, distance and size of finisher shirt . Subject: MGM MT. SEMBRANO REGISTRATION”.
  • Please keep and present the deposit slip when claiming the race kit on the race day.
  • Registration Period: March 21 – May 13, 2016

Updates

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Welcome To The Newton Tribe

The Newton Tribe

Runners, Newton Ambassadors and the Media converged at Runnr BGC last April 13, 2016 in a #TestTheFeel event and the launch of the Newton V.  The push-of-the-toe forefoot lugs technology of Newton just got better. It got its own test run via a short loop in Bonifacio High Street. #NewtonRunning

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Newton Tribe

Test The Feel wearing the Newton Kismet X4

I’ve been part of the Newton Tribe for the past 3 years. It was nice to see that more people got to try out the advantages of Newton shoes.  I remember starting with Newton Gravity in 2013.  It took me a while to get used to the feel but once I got used to it, it has been my go-to running shoes up until now.  The newton technology is just so efficient and makes running feel so natural.  It slowly corrects your running stride to a mid-foot landing then it propels you forward via the added push of the toe from its forefoot lugs.  I’ve probably logged in thousands of miles over the years with newton running shoes.

In a sea of Newton Runners.

This was one unique launch for the Newton V as runners, Newton Ambassadors and the media converged at Runnr BGC last April 13, 2016 to witness the launch of the Newton V.  The event was a mix of testimonials, talks and of course, the run.  We had testimonials from professional athletes including the recent Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay Craig “Crowie” Alexander via video message.  I’d want to share some of the excerpts of Toby Claudio, the President of Runnr and Toby’s.

Toby Claudio on the Newton Brand

He used to hate running before because he had a bad back and a damaged knee.  He got to learn about Newton from a friend, which led him to actually ordering the shoes and eventually meeting the Newton owners.  Slowly, the shoes changed his running form, which made running more comfortable and painless for him allowing him to conquer more distance.  That’s the reason we have Newton today and easily available at Toby’s and Runnr Stores.  Here’s the full video from Pinoyfitness.com.

The talks were followed by the run where Newton Runners got a chance to run a short loop around Bonifacio High Street.  I was wearing the latest Newton Kismet, which is among my favorite shoes in the Newton Line.  The other shoes I use frequently is the Newton Distance, which I love for its lightweight feel .  The Kismet has more support but the Distance is lighter and is an excellent speed shoes.

Newton Kismet X4.

The run went really fast. A 2-kilometer loop can feel like a breeze when you are powered by the Newton forefoot technology.  Even with just a short run, we ended up soaking in sweat because of the humidity in BGC and the really fast run powered by Newton.  It really helps a lot that the Newton has a lightweight and breathable mesh upper, which gives you a cooler feel on the shoes even on humid nights or warm days.

Running with Newton

It was a short and sweet run with Newton. Running comes so naturally with Newton.  Of course, the star of this event is the latest Newton V and here’s a short recap of the latest in Newton Technology.

Gravity V

The fifth edition of the Gravity is Newton Running’s finest work to date. The pinnacle of performance and comfort, the Gravity is ideal for high mileage training and racing and has been one of Newton’s top selling models since its inception.

Men

  • Weight: 8.1 oz.
  • Heel to Toe Drop: 3.0 mm
  • Price: P 8,995

Women

 

  • Weight: 6.7 oz.
  • Heel to Toe Drop: 3.0 mm
  • Price: P 8,995

 

Motion V

The days of compromising speed for stability are over, the Motion V combines the best of both worlds. It is time to run fast, run far, run stable. No compromises.

Men

 

  • Weight: 8.4 oz.
  • Heel to Toe Drop: 3.0 mm
  • Price: P 8,995

Women

  • Weight: 6.9 oz.
  • Heel to Toe Drop: 3.0 mm
  • Price: P 8,995

Distance V

The original model from Newton Running, the Distance is the shoe that started the revolution. Like its predecessors, the Distance V is lightning fast and wickedly light for runners who want a dynamically propulsive speed trainer and racer.

Men

  • Weight: 7.0 oz.
  • Heel to Toe Drop: 2.0 mm
  • Price: P 7,995

Women

  • Weight: 6.1 oz.
  • Heel to Toe Drop: 2.0 mm
  • Price: P 7,995

Fate X3 and X4

A little bit of pop and a lot of comfort, the perfect ride of the Fate from Newton Running is not an accident. It’s Fate.

Men

  • Weight: 9.4 oz.
  • Heel to Toe Drop: 4.5 mm
  • Price: P 6,995

Women

  • Weight: 7.9 oz.
  • Heel to Toe Drop: 4.5 mm
  • Price: P 6,995

Kismet X3 and X4

With a soft and peppy feel, the Kismet from Newton Running offers comfort and stability, all day long.

Men

  • Weight: 9.7 oz.
  • Heel to Toe Drop: 4.5 mm
  • Price: P 6,995

Women

  • Weight: 8.2 oz.
  • Heel to Toe Drop: 4.5 mm
  • Price: P 6,995

What’s your favorite Newton?

What’s your favorite Newton?   The five lugs design matches each of your metatarsal bones giving you a better feel and reaction from the shoes.  There’s so much to love about Newton aside the really efficient forefoot lugs and includes the following:

  • It has a seamless finish, which allows you to go with socks or go sockless, without experiencing blisters.
  • It uses a breathable mesh material for better cooling effect when you run.
  • The New 4-way stretch-mesh metatarsal panel gives your toes more room to move freely.
  • It’s flashy and it has 360 degrees reflectivity for better visibility at night.
  • It gives you full foot cushioning within the lugs and the heel
  • It has an extended medial bridge to add stability on your landings

Newton feels like running on trampolines as it gives you a bouncier and more powerful strides that propels you forward.

 

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , | 46 Comments

Cardimax Powers High Endurance Athletes with L-Carnitine

Integrated Pharmaceutical Inc.’s VP for Operations Katheryn Feliciano, UP Women’s Voleyball Varsity Team (UPWVVT) Manager Ma. Cecilia Ronquillo, UPWVVT Captain Kathy Bersola, UPWVVT Vice Captain Nicole Tiamzon, Integrated Pharmaceutical Inc.’s National Sales Manager Maribel Suarez.

Energy is a finite resource we have in our system.  It something we can harness though proper training and nutrition.  Cardimax uses L-Carnitine to help convert fats to energy, which can keep our system running at an optimum level in fitness and in sports. #CardimaxPH #HarnessYourOwnEnergy

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CardiMax pumps up energy of high-endurance athletes

The UP Women’s Volleyball Varsity Team play Gravity Volleyball at the Trampoline Park during the media launch of L-Carnitine supplement CardiMax.

CardiMax pure L-Carnitine burns body fat, boosts muscle recovery after intense activity, reduces muscle soreness and protects the heart. Using L-Carnitine, Cardimax converts the fat mass into energy and gives a more efficient body metabolism.  It’s a perfect dietary supplement for high-endurance athlete to bring in more energy in their activities. We always see fat in a different light especially for figure conscious people.  It’s also a source of energy and by harnessing that energy through Cardimax do we get to make more out of it.

Soaring High for a Slam Dunk!

We were able to see a lot of stories and testimonies at the Cardimax Media Launch.  We also felt like kids again having fun as we tried the different trampolines at Trampoline Park in Mandaluyong.  Seasoned athletes, including the UP Women’s Volleyball Varsity Team (UPWVVT), revealed that the L-Carnitine-based supplement helped raise their energy levels and improved their performances.  The UPWVVT emerged as one of the UAAP’s top squads this season, marking a breakout year for the team.

UPWVVT Vice Captain Nicole Tiamzon said that the supplement helped her team warm up, train and play harder during their UAAP matches. “It’s hard for our bodies to warm up in big, heavily-air conditioned venues, but it became easier for us to work up a sweat after CardiMax. It also helped us play with more intensity,” Tiamzon shared.

L-Carnitine, a non-toxic, natural amino acid that helps convert fat to energy, makes these energy boosts possible. Though L-Carnitine primarily treats people with heart-related conditions, it also helps in metabolism, weight loss, muscle building, and recovery, which are essential for high-performance athletes.

Even more senior athletes attested to the effectiveness of Cardimax.  Louie Mapua first tried CardiMax at 55 years old, when his neighbor invited him to go cycling from Dasmariñas, Cavite to Tagaytay City. Mapua still felt energetic upon reaching Tagaytay while his neighbor, a younger cyclist, started falling behind.  Now 63, Mapua joined the Riviera Tri-Sport last August, where he finished the race ahead of much younger athletes.

Mapua’s performance prompted his daughter Anna, herself a triathlete, to take the supplement prior to her strong showing at last September’s Aboitiz Tri at Pico de Loro. “When I took it 30 minutes before the race, I felt like I was ready for anything,” she says. “I felt an intense surge of energy. And I was never short of breath, even while swimming.”

“With sufficient amounts of L-Carnitine, athletes are able to perform at a higher level,” said Katheryn Feliciano, Integrated Pharmaceutical, Inc.’s VP for Operations. “Because CardiMax does not have adverse side effects, it is ideal for athletes doing intense activities over long periods of time.”

CardiMax is available in Mercury Drug and select drugstores. Some athletes mix it with their drinks, while some take it straight from the bottle before an intensive activity.  A teaspoon is recommended to be taken in the morning or afternoon. For more information about the supplement, send an email to cardimax@integrated.com.ph or call (63-2) 241-8501 to 04.

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , | 18 Comments

Salomon XTrail Pilipinas 2016

Hard Earned!!!

If it’s not difficult, it’s not Xtrail!!! Last April 9, 2016, Salomon Xtrail Pilipinas 2016 has again lived up to being a tough man’s race.  The climbs were forever, the trails were technical and the heat of the sun was at its full summer blast.  The best race stories are those that test your character and finding the strength of will in you to conquer the path of most resistance.  #SalomonXtrailPilipinas2016 #TrailLove

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Salomon XTrail Pilipinas 2016

2014 Salomon XTrail (Left) and 2105 Salomon Xtrail (Right) – Photo by Jose Ramizares

I have a very high regard for Salomon XTrail Pilipinas races because it’s among the toughest you can join.  The past two years had me finishing on an empty tank.  It’s something you had to prepare for both physically and mentally.  For me, a race does not start at the starting line but it begins from the previous weeks build up entering race day.  I was practically on panic mode the whole week since I missed some key training and a lot of sleep owing to a busy work schedule.  I was scheduled for 24K (which later on became 25.3K) with 5 hours cutoff.  I contemplated to downgrade distance but eventually decided to go with the 24K distance and just run by feel.  I hope that I have invested enough trail mileage to cover the distance and the elevation gain.

It was also a welcome relief that there are over thousand runners and outdoor enthusiasts who would also be braving the different distances for the Salomon XTrail Pilipinas 2016.  It’s one of the most anticipated trail running event in the Asia Pacific region for the past five years. With competitions held in unique and exotic locations in countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hongkong and the Philippines, it is reputed for mounting the most challenging and scenic trail running races that feature a mixture of different terrain surfaces, including vertical ascents, long uphill climbs, with multi-surfaces of dirt, rocks, sand, and concrete paths.  In the Philippines, the races had been held in exclusive venues – ensuring that the race venues not only demonstrate the majestic beauty of nature but also, offer participants a stimulating and unique trail running experience. This year, Salomon decided to hold its 5th installment at the Subic Freeport Zone in Zambales, where new trail routes were created exclusively for this year’s race.

Race Photos are available at Salomon Philippines Facebook Page.

Race Maps and Elevation Profile

Race Map is powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sports

Elevation Profile is powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sports.

The race starts at Binictican Drive and goes on 4.5 kilometers of paved roads with a total ascent of 70 meters with a rolling terrain. The route shifts to the trails of El Kabayo for another 50 meters ascent over the next 1.5 kilometers. It goes on a steep descent over the next 1 kilometer covering a descent of 110 meters.  The race goes back on a steep ascent of 150 meters over single track trails for the next 1.5 kilometers. The race goes on another 4 kilometers of fire and dirt roads with an elevation gain of 220 meters to the u-turn slot at Hill 394.  The route goes back on the same course from the u-turn slot.

The Race

The Calm Before The Storm

We took our bus ride from R.O.X. at Bonifacio Global City at 1 am and arriving at Subic around 4:15 am, which was enough time to claim our kit and warm up in the venue.  It was also good that I was able to catch a short nap at the bus since I needed every rest I can take before the race.  The 32 Kilometer runners had their gun start at 4:45 am while we had ours at 5:10 am.  It’s always an anxious time when you are up against a vertical race with an added challenge of a cutoff.  We had a 5 hour cutoff and that’s not an easy cutoff for a 25K trail run with about 800++ meters worth of elevation gain.

Here we go!!! Photo by James Orlanda,

There’s a 4.5 kilometer worth of roads before entering the trail at El Kabayo.  This was a chance to invest some time before things get slower at the trails.  It was a hot and humid morning so even at 5 am, you can already feel the heat.  At gun start, I took advantage of the flat terrain to start fast on the first 1.5 kilometer.  The elevation shifts to a rolling terrain over the next 3 kilometers so I pulled my pace a bit since I wanted to be fresh when I entered the trail.

With James and Jham

The plan was to be conservative at the first half of the race since it’s mostly climbing anyway and assess if it’s worth chasing the cutoff at the u-turn slot halfway into the race.  It was good that it was a bit bright already once we entered the trails.  The trails were mostly single track route that had roots, twigs, branches, leaves, bamboo shoots and rocks on the trail.  It was run-able but at the same time, caution is also important as you can easily trip on the roots, twigs and other debris.  The first 1.5 kilometers were uphill climbs so I just went on an easy walking pace making sure that I won’t over exhaust myself on the climb.

Let’s get this on!!!

After the climb comes a steep descent.  I went on at a brisk walk pace being mindful of the uneven trail so I won’t trip.  Every time I tried to speed up, I always ended up slipping, sliding or tripping. It’s run-able but the steepness made it a bit technical so I had to opt for which sections to run and which to walk.  The downward trail led to the Boton River and El Kabayo Falls.

Taking a fast start on the road stretch.

Whenever there’s a river, expect a climb to follow.  It’s actually a 5.5 kilometer climb covering about 370 meters worth of elevation gain but I had to divide this into two section. The next 1.5 kilometers were on technical and steep trails that really challenge your lung power as you really have to huff and puff your way towards this stretch.  Funny thing that it was at this point that I thought I lost my bib.  Even during the time that I thought I lost my bib, I still went on with the torturous climb hoping that I’ll find it on my way back.

Entering the trails

I was always amazed at the beauty of the forest in Subic. It always had the thick forest reserve that’s so refreshing to look at and really scenic.  During the Salomon Xtrail, we were deep in the Subic forest reserve. Even if it’s a challenge, the backdrop was beautiful.  It lacked the overlooking views that some mountain trails offer but the thick forest view was what set this trail apart.   The thick forest was also our protection from the sun as you can count the spots during the trail, where the trail was open.

I managed to crawl my self through the steep part of the trail and finally hit the fire trails and dirt roads at kilometer 8.5.  It was at the water station that I came to realize that maybe my bib wasn’t lost at all so I checked my race belt again only to find out that the bib shifted to my back.  I guess I was just to caught with the difficulty of the trail that I failed to check my bib at my back.

Half way point

The next four kilometers were mostly climbs with short descents or flat areas.  My strategy was just to walk it as fast as I can.  I wanted to run the short descents and the flat areas but I decided against it.  I wanted to be fresh whenever I would start the climb. So I lost some time on the descent but was able to be more consistent on the climbs.  The next 4 kilometers felt like forever. The fire roads shifted to single track dirt roads and became a lot steeper.  The toughest part was braving the last kilometer heading to the u-turn slot.  It was practically a crawlfest.  It was nice though that I met a lot of friends along the route.

Chillin’ like a villain at hill 394

The halfway point was at the top of Hill 394. It had a nice overlooking view of Subic.  I was able to reach the half way point sub 2:30, which meant I had a shot at meeting the cutoff.  I was assessing the course as the large part was downhill except kilometer 18 and 19, which were steep ascents.  I made my way down the hill doing run walk sets to speed up without straining my knees. I had to stop shortly at Kilometer 14 to assist a 32K runner who had cramps.  I tried to help him loosen up the tightness. He told me, he wanted to rest it off a bit.  After I left, I told one of the Marshall who I saw after a few meters to assist the runner.  I went on to continue on the trail and stopped and rest at each hydration station.

I was able to speed up going to the water station at kilometer 16.5.  The trails then shifted back to single track and technical trails, which had me shifting to brisk walk pace and had me running some parts.  I was also reserving my energy for the climb at kilometer 18 and 19.

River crossings.

After crossing the river, it was the toughest part of the race. Kilometer 18 and 19 had long stretches of steep climbs.  This was also my slowest part of the race as I had to stop once in a while to catch my breath.  The climb felt endless. You just have to endure those lung-busting moments until you’ve reached the top of the climb.  After being several hours in the trails, fatigue sets in and the ascents challenges your endurance and climbing threshold.  After the end of the climb, it was a straight descent heading to the road part of the race at kilometer 20.5.

Last stretch.

The road part started on uphill stretches that gave us the feel of the hot Summer Weather in Subic.  I had about 40-50 minutes to cover this stretch to meet the cutoff.  Coming from running on soft trails, it does feel so heavy on the knees when you shift to paved roads.  It started with the uphill stretches. I was brisk walking on the climbs so I was able to cover the next two kilometers at a faster pace.  With about 2.5 kilometers to go, I felt that it would be a bit risky just walking the remaining part so went on a run walk stretch until I reached the finished line and I was able to finish within the cutoff at 4:54.  It was a hard earned medal indeed.

It’s not easy but it’s worth it.

Outfit of The Race

  • Top: Adidas Climachill with #TaleOfTheTrail Designe by Breakout Design
  • Bottom, Cap, Hydration Bag, Calf Sleeves, Arm Sleeves : Under Armour
  • GPS Watch: Suunto Ambit 3 Sports
  • Eyewear: Oakley Racing Jacket
  • Shoes: Salomon Wingsflight
  • Gaters: Ahon.PH
  • Socks: Features

Categories: My Runs | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 60 Comments