Date: July 19, 2015
It’s been raining for about 3 weeks before the run and somehow when the race started it stopped save for a few drizzle along the route. Pinoyfitness gave the challenge for those chasing the elusive sub 1 race time and also gave a scenic route for those like me enjoying the fun wave. The climbs were endless but the cool weather and the pine-scented atmosphere made this a really great feel-good run for everybody.
- 7 Ultimate Race-cation destinations in the Philippines
- Pinoyfitness Sub1 Challenge 2015
- Pinoyfitness 21K Challenge 2014
Pinoyfitness Sub 1 Challenge Baguio
Last month, I wrote an article for Pinoyfitness on 7 ultimate race-cation destinations in the Philippines and my hometown Baguio is among them. I am just glad that more and more races is seeing the potential of Baguio as a venue for challenging but scenic races and Pinoyfitness is one of them. Pinoyfitness Sub 1 goes to Baguio and I can say the city is also rich of strong runners for this one since they train in a very challenging elevation and higher altitude. I sure hope I can spend more time at home to train but I take every opportunity I can to join races in my hometown. Somehow, despite staying in the city for the first 21 years of existence, hills are not my strong suit so each race here is a chance to master running at this elevation and altitude. I opted to join the fun wave as I just wanted a feel good run in the city. The inclines have been my kryptonite as I’ve always struggled with shin splints in my past few runs here but let me find ways to properly break in and warm up my legs for a stronger run.
It has also been raining non stop for almost 3 weeks now that got my family and my cousins saying I was crazy for even thinking of running in the rain. It’s fun to run in the rain but I also was praying that the rain would be tolerable for a safer race. Somehow, the rain did stop and gave us a great weather for a run. I’m gonna enjoy every minute of the run.
Race Course and Elevation Profile
The race starts at Lake Drive in Burnham Park and heads to Harrison Road and Governor Pack Road before looping at UP on the way to Session Road Extension for the first 2 kilometers with a total climb of 50 meters. The next 2 kilometers is the full length of South Drive with a rolling terrain. The race shifts to climbs at Park Road and Romulo Drive before hitting the 5 kilometer u-turn slot at Villamor Street with a total climb of 50 meters. The race heads back through the same route to Lake Drive.
I woke up with the rains still ongoing before the race but rain or shine, this is a go for me. As I was preparing for the run, the rain was slowing down and it was just drizzling by the time I arrived at the venue. As the gunstart came, the rain stopped. That’s how crazy the weather is but I’m glad the weather did turn out ok for this run. I was able to share pleasantry with fellow runners, people from Lightwater, Pinoyfitness and Running Photographers. I was that relaxed for this run as I’m in the fun wave and I don’t have to chase the cutoff time. I was able to try the new flavor of Vitamin Boost, which was the Iced Apple Tea and it was delicious.
It didn’t take long before the race started. I started by playing the terrain game. I slowed down on the climbs and went faster on the flats and descents. I wanted to slowly break in my legs so I won’t have to deal with shin splints. It was working as the run went smoother with just a little sting. The first 2 kilometers were mostly climb including a steep one going to UP from Governor Pack Road. I did a run – walk set just to cover the climb a little bit faster and maintained the interval by the time I reached Upper Session Road for the second kilometer.
I used my Under Armour Compression Leggings to make sure that the muscles are relaxed as I navigate the climbs. I am also starting to be more comfortable with my Newton Kismet since it’s more cushioned to take a beating on the descent and the forefoot wedges are like levers on the climbs. The South Drive area was a bit rolling with the last part of the 2 kilometer stretch on the descent. I would run on the longer stretches and would take a few seconds walking break on the curves. I was also slowly shrugging off the small pains on the shin by the third kilometer which gave me more confidence to run fast on the descents going to the 4th kilometer. It was also refreshing as it drizzled a bit on this part. Nothing like rain to bring in the fresh scent of Pine.
After kilometer 4, it was kilometer forever as it was a straight climb. I went on with a 30 seconds run – walk interval as I didn’t want to go lazy on this one. I like to limit my walking breaks as it gets tempting to walk longer once you get the hang of walking. This was the hardest part as it was a pure climb and at it gets tougher at this altitude. I did take my e-gel on the last water station before the u-turn slot at kilometer 5. The good thing with walking most part of this stretch was that I would be fresh on the second half of the race as the energy boost from the gel also was kicking in.
What goes up, must go down. After a kilometers worth of struggle, gravity was now on my side. I dropped the run-walk act and just went on a straight run for the next kilometer as it was a descent. Upon reaching South Drive again and I had to shift to a different strategy. Somehow, I see that stretch as an altitude challenge as its a long 2 kilometers of mostly climbs but the inclines are tolerable. It was also a test of mental toughness so I went with a 1 minute run followed by 20-30 seconds walking breaks to catch my breath and would go on to the next set. I was slowly eating away the 2 kilometer climbs with consistent effort until I’ve reached Session Road Extension.
That stretch in South Drive gave me my second wind and I was deadset on finishing the last two kilometers strong. I dropped the run walk sets and relied more on the run and also took advantage of some stretches of descents to speed up. I would only stop for a few seconds on catching my breath or water breaks. The last two kilometer seemed like a breeze as I passed to the stretch in UP and then Harrison and then finally, Lake Drive. I went all out upon reaching Lake Drive and sprinted to the finish line for a strong finish.
Great job Pinoyfitness for bringing the sub1 concept in Baguio. I really admire those who reached their sub 1 goal at this altitude. I guess everybody was happy as after the run, the sun came shining after almost 3 weeks of rain.
Outfit of The Race
- Race Shirt – Berghaus #TaleOfTheTrail Design by Breakout Design
- Compression Leggings and Socks – Under Armour
- Shoes: Newton Kismet
- GPS Watch: Suunto Ambit 3 Sports
- Jacket: Nike
- Visor: Pinoyfitness