Specialized Elite Store in Now Open at SM by The Bay.

 

Bike… Bike… Bike… and a lot more of it.  Mall of Asia just added a new reason for cyclist to flock Mall of Asia Cycling Grounds. Specialized Philippines opened its Elite Store at SM By the Bay and it comes with the latest and top of the line bikes in the world.

Specialized Elite Store

Gruppo Innovare Sales Directors – Miguel Abellada and Ritchie Santayana, Specialized Asia Managing Director Hideki Mochizuki, Gruppo Innovare Managing Director JL Gavino and Specialized Asia Hub Commercial Director Gino Abano lead the crowd in a chant to open up Specialized Elite Store in SM By the Bay. – Photo by KC Cruz

Specialized Asia Managing Director Hideki Mochizuki led the a strong chant for the Gruppo Innovare team and with that comes the opening of Specialized Elite Store.   Specialized Philippines, in partnership with Gruppo Innovare Corporation, the authorized and appointed distributor of Specialized Bicycle Components in the Philippines, officially opened the newest Specialized Elite Store on Wednesday, October 17 at the SM by the Bay, Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

Present during the event were the Gruppo Innovare team headed by its Managing Director, Mr. JL Gavino and Sales Director, Mr. Ritchie Santayana, Mr. Gino Abano, Commercial Director of Specialized SESA was also there to grace the event.

“We are proud to be opening the first Specialized Elite Store here at the SM by the Bay, a perfect location as it is a biker’s haven especially in the morning. As Specialized has striven to make the best bikes for riders since 1974, the Philippine riding community can expect the best one-stop bike shop experience the moment they walk in our store.”, said Mr. Santayana.

New Store, New Bikes

Venge

During the opening, Mr. Abano presented highlights of various Specialized bike products such as the Venge, the fastest road bike, and the Tarmac, the lightest race bike ever made by the brand.

Tarmac

For those who love off-road riding, the store also has the Stumpjumper, the brand’s most versatile trail bike, and the Turbo Levo and Kenevo, a pair of e-mountain bikes built to give riders the power to ride more trails.

The New Shiv

The highlight of the day was the special preview of the all-new 2019 Shiv Disc. Guests were given a sneak peek on an actual setup of this limited-edition triathlon specific bike, which promises unprecedented aero design, storage for fuel and hydration to last the whole race, and the most flexible fit. It is the most complete triathlon bike ever made.

“We are very fortunate to be able to present to everyone here today an actual set-up of the all-new 2019 Shiv Disc. This complete tri bike will be available globally as a limited edition product and reservations can be placed until October 31, 2018.”, shared Mr. Abano.

Specialized Experience

The Specialized Elite Store offers worry-free purchases, and a complete “Specialized experience” through the store’s full scope of services: providing expert advice in choosing the best bike, experiencing the bikes first-hand through their bike test program, bike servicing by trained staff, and the Retül Match and Vantage system, the most technically advanced bike fitting and product matching technology available in the market.

The Specialized Elite Store in SM by the Bay is the first of three Specialized concept stores to open, with Pasig and Maginhawa St. in Quezon City completing the new stores for 2018. All three are known to be bike-friendly areas in the metropolis, and more stores are promised to come throughout the country over the next few years.

For further information, about Specialized in the Philippines, visit https://www.specialized.com/ph/en or like and follow Specialized Philippines on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/specialized.ph/.

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Specialized to Open Concept Store in Mall of Asia

SM Mall of Asia has been a haven for bikers and they get another reason to flock SM Mall of Asia. Specialzed opens its Concept Store on October 17, 2018 at SM By the Bay.  Get treated with a fresh set of bikes and the upgraded models of your favorite models when the store opens.

Specialized

 

Specialized – a bicycle brand made for riders, by riders – gears up for its store’s grand opening on Oct. 17 at the SM by the Bay at the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.

Considered to be a biker’s haven especially in the morning, SM by the Bay is the perfect location for the first of three Specialized concept stores to open, with Pasig and Maginhawa St. in Quezon City completing the new stores for 2018.

 “We want to serve the riders where they are, and at the same time make it convenient for them to get that one-stop bike shop experience,” says Ritchie Santayana, Customer Development Director of Gruppo Innovare Corporation, referring to the choice of locations for the three stores. All three are known to be bike-friendly areas in the metropolis, and more stores are promised to come throughout the country over the next few years.

Since 1974, the brand has striven to make the best bikes for riders. The store is set to offer a comprehensive range of technically advanced products, such as:

  • The Stumpjumper, the brand’s most versatile trail bike,
  • the Turbo Levo and Kenevo, a pair of e-mountain bikes built to give riders the power to ride more trails,
  • the Venge, the fastest road bike, and
  • the Tarmac, the lightest race bike ever made by the brand.

The 2019 Shiv

The 2019 Shiv Disc, is also set to take center stage during opening day. The all-new triathlon specific bike promises unprecedented aero design, storage for fuel and hydration to last the whole race, and the most flexible fit. It is the most complete triathlon bike ever made.

Riders can expect easy and worry-free purchases, and a complete “Specialized experience” through the store’s full scope of services: providing expert advice in choosing the best bike, experiencing the bikes firsthand through their bike test program, bike servicing by trained staff, and the Retül Match and Vantage system, the most technically advanced bike fitting and product matching technology available in the market.

Fabulous prizes will also be raffled off while Specialized will give a 10 percent discount on all items on its launch day

Gruppo Innovare Corporation is the authorized and appointed distributor of Specialized Bicycle Components in the Philippines.

For further information, about Specialized in the Philippines, visit https://www.specialized.com/ph/en or like and follow Specialized Philippines on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/specialized.ph/.

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Fitness First #ThatMoment Movement

Fitness starts with #ThatMoment and Fitness First encourages to take the fitter option when your excuses and your goals are on different directions.  Fitness First launches #ThatMoment video to inspire you to be fit and healthy. They are also launching a social media contest where you can get a chance to win prizes when your own #ThatMoment on Facebook and Instagram.

#ThatMoment

A study by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2016 revealed that physical inactivity in the Philippines is apparent in 28% of males and 38% of females aged 18 and above. In the same age group, cases of obesity accounted for 6% of total population. Apart from this, Non Communicable Diseases or long term diseases account for over 60% of deaths in the Philippines.

There is more truth today than ever before to the saying “Health is Wealth”.

In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, it has become a priority for most to maintain a steady balance to successfully go through the work week, eat well-balanced meals, keep a thriving social life, and manage a quick session to the gym. Keeping this kind of lifestyle seems exhausting at first, but there are small moments in between wherein you still feel bursts of energy that push you to go further!

You know that your exercise regime is working when simple everyday tasks such as carrying groceries with no assistance, taking flights of stairs, or walking long distances have become an easy feat.

In a regional campaign launched throughout six countries including the Philippines, industry-leading fitness brand, Fitness First, launched its latest digital campaign dubbed #ThatMoment.

The core of the campaign hopes to inspire more Filipinos to jumpstart a fitness lifestyle and achieve more than they ever thought possible, while celebrating the relationship between members’ efforts in the gym, and how it translates into performing everyday tasks even better.

“More often than not, we claim to have no time, we lack the motivation, or we find the gym too intimidating, finding every excuse possible to take that one crucial step towards fitness. But when we do, there will be that moment in our everyday routine outside the gym where we realize that the choice to a healthier and fit lifestyle pays off.,” said Mark Ellis, Country Manager for Fitness First Philippines.

#ThatMoment taps into the emotional benefits of exercise. Fitness is not just about training at the gym and achieving your target be it lifting more or running further – that’s only part of the story. Feeling fit gives you the confidence, energy, and self-belief to go further in life. So when you commit to putting fitness first, it is really about pushing yourself to perform well in everyday situations, not just for your own personal goals, but also for those around you,” he continued.

Over 18 years, Fitness First has successfully established itself as a leading health club brand in the Philippines, renowned for its personal and progressive approach to fitness. At the heart of the brand is the brand promise to ‘Go Further,’ which is what it strives to deliver every day. For members, it means that everything Fitness First does helps them build confidence, become better, and feel good doing it – no matter what their fitness level is.

Fitness First’s wide selection of Signature classes are built around the concept of dynamic movement training, which helps one’s body move with purpose and aims to deliver results in minimum time. These classes are progressive and caters to people who are at different levels of their fitness journey.

Do you have #ThatMoment? How does Fitness First inspire you to live better and go further in life? From October 10 until December 10, 2018, share on Instagram or Facebook what happens in #ThatMoment that you put fitness first!

It can be something as simple as conquering that flight of stairs without losing your breath, reaching the finish line on your first-ever traiathlon meet, or walking that distance to and from work. No matter how big or small, Fitness First wants to hear your stories.

Tag @fitnessfirst_ph and use #ThatMoment #FitnessFirstPH #FFbranchname (e.g. #FFPlatinumAura) and get a chance to win Php10,000 worth of exciting prizes from Fitness First! Your story will also be featured in Fitness First Social media pages.

For more information, please visit www.fitnessfirst.com.ph

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US Potatoes Pack Your Day with Proper Nutrition

50K at Cordillera Mountain Ultra

As I’ve aged, I got to appreciate taking in the proper nutrients.  US potatoes provide those nutrients in Fresh, Frozen and Dehydrated potato products, which allows you easy access to proper nutrition whether you’re at home, on the go, at work or outdoors.

Potatoes in Everyday Life

I’m living a fast-paced lifestyle.  I’m always on the go.  I work 5 times a week, plan events and hold meetings on weeknights, work out and hit the trails on weekends.  It’s always a full-schedule for me and I like it that way.  With the gazillion things to do, I can count the time I have for food preparation. That’s why, it’s such a blessing that Potatoes USA is now in the Philippines with fresh, frozen and dehydrated variants.

Of course, first choice would always be having the fresh potatoes nearby for a quick meal fix.  The frozen variant would be a thaw and prepare option right of the fridge.  The dehydrated option complements my lifestyle.  It’s Potato power in an instant, which you can readily include into your regular meals. It’s nice that the US has lightweight and compact dehydrated potatoes that is packed with healthy Potato power nutrients.  It’s a handy nutrition I can bring at work, at the trails and on trips.

Running with Potato Power

My First Full Marathon – TBR Dream Marathon 2014

Being properly fueled is a key to performing at an optimum level.  Nutrition even becomes more critical when you go longer runs.  Loading on carbohydrates has been important for my longer races.  It gives me a base source of energy on the race.  Of course, I would need to replenish every 45 minutes to 1 hour of running.  Potatoes have the carbohydrates and the calories you get to burn and consume when you work out.  It also has the Potassium to aid in muscle recovery.  It’s a cycle of fueling, burning and recovery.  I’ve managed to finish two full marathons and one 50 kilometers trail ultra with ample support from proper nutrition.

Marathon Number 2 – Condura Skyway Marathon 2015

Even now when I hit the trails, I also need to re-fuel often even when I’m out at a steadier pace.  Nothing adds fun to the trails than those short snack breaks with friends.  There’s a full complement of meals and snacks that you can get from Dehydrated Potatoes

US Dehydrated Potatoes

 

It’s an easy addition to the family menu.  Match it with various cheeses and seasoning and it gives you a full range of flavors for your mashed potatoes.  It can also be an excellent addition for creamier soups, sauces and stews.  It can be also used in breads, cakes and pastries and even native delicacies.  How about adding potatoes to your breakfast pancakes or waffles or enhancing pies and local dishes with Potatoes.

Explore more recipes here: www.potatogoodness.com/potato-recipes/. For more information on US potatoes, visit www.potatogoodness.com/ or like and follow Potatoes USA-Philippines on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PotatoesUSAPhilippines/.

 

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Incoming: 29th Yakult 10 Miler

One of the longest running 10 Miler is back! Yakult 10 Miler returns on its 29th edition on October 7, 2018 at SM By the Bay with 3K, 5K, 10K and 16K categories.

29th Yakult 10 Miler

Yakult has been our favorite probiotic drink for the past 40 years.  Let’s join them on working on a Belly Fit tummy as they share their advocacy through the longest running 10 Miler in the country.  Run for a fitter life and have Yakult for a fitter tummy.  The event is open to both newbies and experienced runners taking the 3K, 5K, 10K and 10 Miler on a foot at Central Park, SM By the Bay, SM MOA Complex, Pasay City on October 7, 2018.  3K and 5K slots have been reopened. Register Now!

Race Details

Date and Venue:

  • Date: October 7, 2018
  • Venue: Central Park, SM By the Bay, SM MOA Complex, Pasay City

Distance, Fees and Inclusions

  • 16K / 10 Miles
    • Early Bird Rate: 650.00 (August 17 – 31, 2018)
    • Regular Rate: 750.00 (September 1 – October 7, 2018)
    • Assembly Time: 4:00AM
    • Gun Start: 5:00AM
    • Cut-off Time: 7:00AM
    • Kit Inclusion: Singlet, Race bib w/ timing tag, Finisher’s Medal, Finisher’s Pillow
  • 10 K
    • Early Bird Rate: 550.00 (August 17 – 31, 2018)
    • Regular Rate: 650.00 (September 1 – October 7, 2018)
    • Assembly Time: 4:30AM
    • Gun Start: 5:15AM
    • Cut-off Time: 7:00AM
    • Kit Inclusion: Singlet, Race bib, Finisher’s Medal
  • 5K
    • Early Bird Rate: 450.00 (August 17 – 31, 2018)
    • Regular Rate: 550.00 (September 1 – October 7, 2018)
    • Assembly Time: 5:00AM
    • Gun Start: 5:30AM
    • Cut-off Time: 7:00AM
    • Kit Inclusion: Singlet, Race bib, Finisher’s Medal
  • 3K
    • Early Bird Rate: 300.00 (August 17 – 31, 2018)
    • Regular Rate: 400.00 (September 1 – October 7, 2018)
    • Assembly Time: 5:00AM
    • Gun Start: 5:40AM
    • Cut-off Time: 7:00AM
    • Kit Inclusion: Singlet, Race bib, Finisher’s Medal

Registration

  • Online via Track Oval
    •  SM Tickets Nationwide located at SM Cinemas and SM Department Stores’ Customer Service Counters
  • Onsite Registration: Planet Sports Glorietta 3 and Planet Sports Trinoma (August 17 – October 7, 2018 or until supplies last, 10:30 AM – 6:30 PM)
  • Claiming Details: Planet Sports Glorietta 3 and Planet Sports Trinoma (September 19 – October 6, 2018, 12NN – 8:00 PM)
  • Delivery: Open until September 16, 2018. Runners are expected to receive their race kits between September 19 – October 6, 2018.

Race Updates

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Trail Running with Potatoes USA

Mount Fuji

I’ve slowly shifted from the rigors of road running to the lighter-paced and a lot more scenic trail running.  While trail running can be much more refreshing, it’s an equally a tough outdoor activity that involves physical strength, mental fortitude and general awareness on the evolving surface of trail running.

The Rigors of Trail Running

Mount Kinabalu

I’ve been a fixture in trail running races for the past few years that had me racing between 10 to 50 kilometers year-round, as well as, climbing peaks almost on a weekly basis.  The trail has been my playground and of course, that passion always comes with a cost.  Firstly, it takes time and resources to explore the different trails and mountain ranges.  It also has its demand on the body and the mind to keep up with the never-ending challenges.

Mount Marami

The demands of the trail running is a lot different from the usual road runs.  There’s the seemingly endless chess battle as your mind keeps on adjusting with the different surfaces and terrains.  The climbs introduces you to the concept of forever as some ascents that seem endless.  It’s both physically exhausting and mentally challenging as you manage the distance, the elevation and the ever changing environment.

Mount Ulap

One key part of every sports including trail running is nutrition.  That’s fuel that keeps your engine running on the trail.  While there may be a lot of food choices, there’s one that gives you a lot of benefits on the rigors of trail running and it’s spelled as P-O-T-A-T-O.  What does Potato Power brings into a trail runner’s regimen? Here’s what you get in a normal size Potato (5.2 ounces).

  • 26 grams of carbohydrate: We burn carbs as we expend energy. Count on the quality carbs in potatoes for optimal mental and physical performance. Plus, potatoes contain as much if not more of several essential vitamins and minerals than spaghetti, brown rice or whole wheat bread (compared on a per-serving basis).
  • 620 Milligrams of Potassium: With more potassium than a medium-size banana, potatoes are perfect for aiding muscle, cardiovascular and nervous system function during long endurance events. Potassium can help prevent muscle failures like cramps and keeps out systems balanced despite the rigors of the trail.
  • 110 Calories for Energy: Easily digestible and more energy dense than any other popular vegetable, potatoes are a good choice to fuel the demands of trail running. 110 calories is equivalent to about an hour of trail running.

That covers so many bases from fueling you with energy, keeping muscles in tip-top shape and keeping your system balanced with the right amount of nutrients in your system as you let the kilometers pile while exploring new ridges, appreciating the natural landscapes, surmounting higher altitudes and breaking new personal bests when it comes to races.

POTATOES USA is Now In Town

Here’s some more good news!  US potatoes are now in the country. Thanks to Potatoes USA-Philippines, US frozen, table stock and dehydrated potatoes are available in the local market, ready for different recipes running from main dishes to snacks, soups, salads and desserts.

Dedicated growers in partnership with the US Department of Agriculture help ensure that only the best potatoes in different varieties make it to dining tables worldwide. And, high quality potatoes are specially selected for processing into frozen and dehydrated potato products.

US potatoes are already classified as a superfood, a nutrient-dense food that can help fuel huge exertions from physical exercise and movement. Potatoes are high in potassium, even more so than a banana, and are also full of vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, iron and magnesium. Prepared with the skin on, US potatoes are true power-ups. Potato skins are a great nutrition source of proteins, phytochemicals and amino acids, especially lysine. Lysine promotes healthy organ and muscle growth, and also helps convert fat into energy.1

For more information on US potatoes, and how it can power up physical and mental performance, visit www.potatogoodness.com/performance/ or like and follow Potatoes USA-Philippines on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PotatoesUSAPhilippines/.

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Hoka Takes Flights with Hoka Trail 201

Photo by Glairold Recella

Trail Academy resumed at Timberland Heights for Hoka Trail 201.  About 200 participants got to experienced the fusion of a trail talk and trail run in a single event powered by Hoka One One and featuring the scenic up and down trails of Timberland Heights.

Trail Academy

Trail Village

Trail Academy has been an ongoing project by Pinoy Trails, Active Pinas and Team Malaya. With two stagings at Camp John Hay, Baguio City, the Manila leg can’t be far behind.  Somehow, we found Timberland when Jun Santiago set up a trail visit with Fred Silloga at Timberland Heights.  After our visit, we met with Timberland officials and it turned out, they also love the idea.  The next part is bringing in Hoka to see the trails and it was set. When we opened the registration, the originally planned 100 slots was out for the first hour so we had to increase to 200 slots, which was gone by early afternoon so eventually had to close it the same day to keep the event intimate.  Sourcing pacers was also an easy task with several friends volunteering as pacers.  Next up was to introduce the pacers to the concept of trail academy and to get their inputs in the route a week ago.

Photo by Vanessa Tagaro

Event day came fast and a part of me was both excited and anxious.  I guess if it doesn’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough.  I’ve gone the various what could go wrong in my mind and see the potential solutions that came.  The race village was really impressive with the display from Hoka One One, Runnr, Lightwater, Vitamin Boost, Emco Musli, Timberland, Timberland Sports and Nature Club, Amihan and Pinoy Trails.  It gave the runners a race day feel.  Though the event was free, the runners didn’t go home empty handed as they hand drinks and food from Lightwater, Vitamin Boost, Emco Musli and Del Monte, a Hoka Gift box consisting of a 20% discount coupon and Gu Energy Gel.  They also got the chance to win some raffle items including one Hoka One One shoes and get some exclusive discounts.

Pacers – Photo by Glairold Recella

 

Thanks for the overwhelming support to Hoka One One, Runnr, Drymax and Gu.  To Timberland Heights from officers to event staff, you were such a gracious host for the event. To Lightwater, Vitamin Boost and Emco Musli thanks for providing food and hydration during the event. To Samahang Mananakbo ng Smart and Smart Mountaineering Club, thanks for partnering with us for the event logistics and providing volunteers.  To Amihan Sports Gear, thanks for providing some prizes.  To Del Monte, thanks for providing our runners with some added drinks and freebies.  To Active Pinas and Glairold Recella Photography, thanks for covering the event with your wonderful shots.  To the Speakers, Otep, Noy and JC, thanks for providing your wonderful insights to the runners.  To the pacers, you are the lifeblood of the event as your teaching during huddle stops gave the runner some practical lessons along the trail. Of course to the runners, thanks for the support.

Trail Talk

Trail Talk – Photo by Glairold Recella

The Trail Talk segment started the day after the registration at 6:00 am.  I opened the event with a few remarks on the history of trail academy.  This was followed by a short talk from Rons Nebre from Timberland, on the future plans for trail runners at Timberland trails.  Leo Libuna from Quorum Group also gave a short talk about the brand.  Noy Gentoleo started the talks with trail gear as his key topic.  Recent UTMB finisher Otep Sibal gave a talk on race planning.  JC Igos then gave a talk on trail etiquette and the environment.  After the talks, the runners were grouped into the fast wave, moderate wave and walker’s wave.

Trail Run

I joined the walkers wave, which has been my usual group since the very first trail academy.  I love this group as there’s so much room for growth here.  Walking in the trail is a good start as you start developing the feel moving around and trying out different surfaces of the trail.  The walkers wave had a shorter route from the spine road heading into a Table Top view deck after 3 kilometers and back.

Poured my hydration just at the start – Photo by Glairold Recella

While I was adjusting the lid of my water bottle, I accidentally spilled my water and it was captured above by Glairold Recella.  So there, I had to make do with limited hydration for the rest of the route.  We went on towards the lower end of the spine road and stopped for our first huddle point before the climb.  We emphasized understanding the terrains during an actual race or managing your efforts on the climbs.  Joma also shared his insights on the trails. The next set of stretches were muddy stretches and some did struggle at this part.

Photo by Vanessa Tagaro

We waited for the rest at the chapel at around 1.5 kilometer into our route.  The next set of trails were wet and rocky but it was easier to navigate than the muddy stretch.  We also had a lively time especially because we had Joma with us.  The next set of trails were the rolling single track stretch along the ridges.  This had a lot of overlooking views of the green mountain ranges.  The climbs were tolerable until we reached the river area.

River crossing

The river was just about 400-500 meters away from the table top area but it was a steep climb on muddy surfaces.  This made the route a lot more memorable.  I suggested our group to divide their efforts on the climb with several breathers after certain number of steps.  It was lung-busting at this part but it was part of the challenge.  I was part of the first group of runners and we slowly ascended the Table top area with a few rest stops.

Banayad lang – photo by Vanessa Tagaro

After reaching the top part, we rested at the shaded area at the corner to wait for the rest.  The Table Top area has been my favorite areas as it gives you a panoramic view of the mountain ranges.

Table Top

It’s also the perfect place for our group picture since it’s a wide flat area that’s accessible via different trail entry points.  After several minutes, the others slowly came to the top and then we had a group photo for the first half of the route.

Walker’s Wave. – Photo by Vanessa Tagaro

The road back was much faster as the road was mostly downhill except for the stretch after the river.  The steep descent was also a slow one followed by an ascent of about 500 meters. The last 2 kilometers were mostly rolling terrain.  I joined the first wave of walkers back and after a while, we were back to the event area. Upon arriving, we resumed our program and gave away some prizes including one Hoka One One shoes.  That wraps up Hoka Trail 201. See you at the future legs of Trail Academy.

With Mai and Leo.

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#TaleOfTheTrail Timberland Heights (San Mateo, Rizal)

Timberland Heights has been my recent trail playground. It has a large trail ecosystem that gives you a variety of surfaces, terrains, forested trails, river treks and even waterfalls.  The trails is also a scenic wonderland with a view of the mountain ranges and the forested trails.

#TaleOfTheTrail

I’ve been to Timberland Height trails several times for recon and once for a race.  It’s a perfect place to train for trail running with a mildly rolling terrain and a lot of run-able stretches along the way.  As of now, it’s more popular as a bike trail but it has also been a home for several trail runs and events.  It just gets better in the future as Timberland would be developing a lot of unexplored areas for runners.  I’ve also tried the trails in both wet & wild and hot & humid conditions yet it remains to be such a scenic trail playground.

Wet & Wild Timberland Trails

The first time we explored the trails it was wet and wild. We entered via the Blue Trail .  We had a mix of single track trails with overlooking view of the mountain ranges that also came with a lot of surprises like this one.

That’s a really steep climb of 400-500 meters.  We had to crawl on some parts and also had to rest as it literally took our breath away. After the long climb, you get rewarded by a scenic view of the mountains.

Now this one makes up for that really steep climb.  It was also wet and wild at that time so I did have several slips and slides but it’s all part of the fun.  After the steep ascent and the magnificent view, we took the trails heading to Ka Vergel, which is a common pit stop here for Mountain Bikers.

It was a fun descent that added to my slip and slide total of 4.  There were muddy areas, which was all good.  We took a short break at Ka Vergel and proceeded our way out of the trail.

Short and Sweet Timberland Trails

The second visit was a quick 6K loop we have to squeeze in before heading to our meeting that day.  We took the spine road this time and headed to the main trail passing by the chapel, which was about 1.5 kilometers mix of single track and forested trails.  The main trails leads to the rolling mountain trails that gives you an even better view of the mountain ranges.

It was drier this time around though there are still some puddle of muds at some areas.  The trails lead to a short river crossing before it ascends again.  Since we are short of time, we took the road heading to Ka Vergel mid way into the climb before heading out of the trail for a short but sweet 6K loop. Even on a short course, the trails can really amaze you.

Timberland Falls

The third trip we had was to go check out the Timberland Falls.  Basically we had to follow the trails on our second visit except that we had to climb further up to the overlooking part of my Timberland, which is fast becoming my favorite part of the trail.

This is the same overlooking part we visited on our first trail but the climb was much more tolerable from the river area compared to the first one.  It was a bit foggy this time but the view is still breathtaking.  From the overlooking part, we went further to the trail before we descended towards the trail leading to the river.  When you reach the river, you can actually do a river trek but it would be more difficult since you have to pass by slippery rocks along the way and it was raining.  We took the upper trails, which was a much better idea since it was also a scenic one.

As we went up the trails, we hit the ridge area with the lush green surroundings as your backdrop. It was all way down from here.  It was a bit of a challenge going down on the lower part of the trail though there were steps that would help you on the descent.  The trail leads to the river and from there was a mix of rocky surface as well as river treks to hit Timberland Falls.  It was raining then but it was tolerable though you have to watch where you step as there are some deep parts of the river.

Timberland Falls was beautiful.  There were some deep parts, which is good for a swim.  The water was cold and refreshing.   We stayed a while to enjoy the falls before we took the road leading up the trail.

It was a series of uphill climbs at this point.  Some were steep but the climbs were tolerable as we divided the climbs to several segments.  The climb brought us back to the spine road. We then tried out the Green Zone which is a beginner-friendly trail with switch backs along forested trails before we called it a day.

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The Earth Got Softer with Brooks 2018 Collection

Photo by Jinoe Gavan

Is it just us or DID THE EARTH GET SOFTER?  Brooks ushers in the cushioning revolution when it comes to running shoes with its 2018 collection in Levitate 2, Ghost 11, Transcend 5, Glycerin 16 and Adrenaline GTS 18.

Brooks Running

I won a Brooks Levitate 2

Brooks has been in business since 1914 and that’s over a century’s experience when it comes to performance footwear and apparel.  I’ve been a Brooks user for about a decade now and innovation has always been among its key strength.  They have both the feel and the float models that can cater to different type of runners, which that makes it a leading brand worldwide.  It has adopted its shoes depending on the runners need. With its latest models in 2018, it’s now entering the cushioning revolution with shoes so soft that would make you feel that the earth got softer.

Brooks is introducing new additions to its popular cushion and energize shoe category giving runners everywhere the power to run further and go faster. The new shoes – Levitate 2, features Brooks’ innovative DNA AMP, Ghost 11, and Glycerin 16 features the newest technology of Brooks: DNA LOFT, while Transcend 5 still has SUPER DNA but an updated guide rails and Adrenaline GTS 18 has its original BioMoGo DNA.  When it comes to shoes Brooks is a shoe made with the runner’s DNA embedded in their shoes with a fit that we’ll make you feel that it’s a part of your anatomy. Brooks has fine-tuned two features into its latest collection.

DNA Loft – The NEW standard in soft

A finely calibrated mix of EVA foam, rubber, and air, DNA LOFT is the new midsole cushioning in our softest running shoe yet. Engineered for unequaled comfort, EVA Foam puts more “ahhhhh” in every step, making this the softest midsole we’ve ever offered. Also an added rubber means you can stop worrying about your cushion holding up and enjoy the same blissful softness whether it’s your first – or 500th – time lacing them up. Extra air in the midsole ensures that DNA LOFT won’t weigh you down. Because cushioning that’s soft as a feather should be as light as one, too. Get lost in your run with the cushion that’ll keep you comfortable, step after step, run after run.

DNA AMP – The power to outrun yourself  

DNA AMP is a polyurethane (PU)-based cushioning system strategically engineered to provide unparalleled energy return. The foundation of DNA AMP is a PU foam that naturally expands, returning energy as force is applied. To deliver an amplified experience, Brooks encased the foam in a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) skin that resists horizontal expansion to deliver energy directly back to the runner. The result is an engineered compound that provides exceptional energy return.

Levitate 2 – Maximum Energy Returns

The new Levitate 2 returns more energy with every stride, so runners feel like they can run further and faster. Combined with an outsole that moves quickly from heel to toe and a new sleek knit upper, Levitate 2 delivers maximum energy with every stride.

Ghost 11 – The smoothest ride possible gets softer and lighter

After a decade of engineering, the Ghost has more than earned its name. Straight out of the box it’s as comfortable as any shoe you’ve worn for years. And the Ghost 11’s ethereal feel is rivaled only by its responsiveness and durability

Transcend 5 – Running’s most advanced support system, served super soft

Offering super soft cushioning and plush comfort, the Transcend 5 features Guide Rail Technology, an advanced support system that provides holistic support from feet to hips. 

Glycerin 16 – The ultimate in softness and supreme comfort—now even softer

You might be able to outrun our engineers. But when it comes to supreme comfort, super-soft cushioning and mile-after-mile plushness, you’ll never out-engineer them.

Adrenaline GTS 18 – Perfect balance of soft cushion and support, modernized

Now in its 18th version, the best-selling Adrenaline GTS is better than ever, with the same trusted cushion and support runners have grown to love, plus a new, streamlined look.

Run Happy

The latest addition to the Run Happy Brand was launched last September 12, 2018 at Torch in BGC over afternoon snacks.  Brooks Ambassadors Noy Basa, Al Gonzales and Jojo Macalintal gave testimonials on the soft cushy feel of the 2018 collection of Brooks Running Shoes.  All of them have been long-time Brooks users and are really happy.  I’ve yet to try the new collection but I’m high on the Levitate 2 from feedback from fellow athletes.  Since I won one pair, I’m going to do a separate review once I get a decent amount of mileage with the shoes.  It’s gonna be interesting to check out the cushy feel of the new one after also being able to try out their Pure Project collection, Adrenaline GTS and their trail line in the previous years.  To get to know more about the feel check them out at Runnr and Toby’s Stores below.

  • All Runnr Stores
  • Tobys MOA
  • Tobys SLP
  • Olympic Village Glorietta
  • SM Department stores MOA, North Edsa and Davao.

Pricing

  • Levitate 2                    Php 7,495.00
  • Ghost 11                     Php 6,495.00
  • Transcend 5                Php 8,295.00
  • Glycerin 16                 Php 6,995.00
  • Adrenaline GTS 18      Php 6,295.00
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Run 2 Me 2018

Run 2 Me

Run 2 Me was a character defining race. The unli-putik gave us the struggle on the climb and those heart-beat stopping moments on the slippery descent but that’s what make this a memorable one.

Run 2 Me

The first kilometer was uphell at its finest with the dark adding to the obstacle on the wet, extra muddy and technical surface.  That first kilometer set the tone that this would be grind out race and you have to find your inner strength to outlast the mental and physical challenges of this race.

The Race

Run Wild!!! – Photo by Joreb Valdez

It’s my third time in Mount Ayaas. The first two times the climbs were tolerable with the first and last kilometer of the 5-kilometer climb being the tougher ones.  Just add water and the trails changes into a totally different playground.  Run 2 me was a mud-fest and the difficulty of the climb was probably multiplied by ten at this conditions. That’s the beauty of trail running, the experience is never the same.

The 10K distance started at 5 am and I thought that it should be ok since I can get pass the technical part before being able to see the overwhelming long climb.  Well, I was wrong as the lack of visibility despite the headlamp made it a lot tougher. I had several missteps along the way and slipped several times. I’m just glad that the shark-teeth like traction of Evo Jawz was reliable in this type of trail condition.

6.95 oz for Hoka One One Evo Jawz with probably 20 pounds of mud the whole race =>

The first kilometer felt like forever.  I started with a slow and steady pace on the climb.  I was able to sustain the pace without stopping for the first kilometer but I felt the struggle of each mud-filled stepped.  The soft extra muddy surface added to the drag of the climb and made me add a few resting stops to catch my breath.

Km 1 was a mixed of muddy, rocky surfaces.  It was a difficult climb and it made me re-think that the earlier option was just to sell Pinoy Trails share while the trail was ongoing but I’m here now so I must find the hidden strength to finish the race.  We were out of the climb about a kilometer and a half into the race.

On flatter grounds. – Photo by Joreb Valdez

There’s a short flat and descending stretch before the climbs would resume.  What I thought would be a respite was not as the mudfest continued and we had two cross several short wooden slippery bridges along the way.  The drag was there in each step.  I took this part to recover a bit as the climb would resume a few 100 meters after.  I set my sights on the first hut along the way as my next resting stop followed by the store, mid-way into the climb.  It was another muddy climb and you can feel that each step was a lot heavier compared to my previous climbs here.

I just had a few drinks at the aid station at the store and went on the next set of trails. There was a short downhill trail leading to the river, where I took the chance to clean my shoes and lessen the drag coming from the mud.  I set my mindset that I have to gut-it-out until I reached the relay tower, which is about a kilometer from the aid station.  It was pure uphill but knowing that I can rest at the relay station gave me a goal to look forward to.

Resting in between climbs. – Photo by Joreb Valdez

I had a short rest at the relay station and proceeded to the last part of the climb.  There was a short flat stretch along the bamboo invested area. This is among my favorite area as the bamboo gives a different feel of the trail.  When the climb resumed, it was the steeper climbs so I had to be more conservative. I would go 20-30 steps on each set of climb and rest a few seconds before the next set.

Nearing the peak. – Photo by Joreb Valdez

When I was in the open part, I knew that there were several false peaks before the actual Mount Ayaas Peak so I had to take it a peak at a time.  The views were overwhelming as always.  I knew once I reached the peak that the race is over as it would be mostly downhill after that.

U-Turn Slot

Mount Ayaas is my favorite peak in Wawa area as it shows you a panoramic view of the mountain ranges nearby. It was breathtaking at this peak and I had my usual photo-ops at this part before I went down.

It’s not the mountains we conquer but ourselves.

I then proceeded on the second half of the race.  It was less of a struggle despite the steep descent as I felt the lugs of the Evo Jawz kept me stable.  I was already setting up for a faster descent when one of the runners approached me and told me that one of my friend was having a hard time and is already feeling light headed.  It was Redg and I asked her if she was ok and she was not so I joined her on the way down at her pace.  I kept looking back just to make sure she is still ok.

Mount Ayaas

About a kilometer with Redg, I saw the marshals from Run Heya and told them that Redg was having a hard time so they joined her on the descent.  I still kept within range to make sure she’s ok.  It was a smooth descent heading into the aid station.  After the aid station, I went ahead knowing that the Marshals are with Redg though I would alert all marshals I met to check on her when they meet her.  The rest of the descent and the short climb went smoothly until the last kilometer.

The last kilometer was downhell at its finest.  It was difficult navigating over a mix of boulders, mud tracks while the sun was up and adding to your exhaustion level.  It was a mental battle hereon.  One struggling step after another over the varying surfaces and I slowly descended the trail, which led to the bridge and the finish line.  Unli-Putik + Unli-Climb = Wasak!

Happy Birthday Master Lao!

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