Distance: 8.2 Kilometers
Date: December 30, 2012
” I had fever, coughs and colds but I really wanted to feel the sting of the mountain and see the view from the radar. I wanted to be at this place at this point of time – On top of the world approaching the end of the year.”
The Foggy Radar
The Radar from Mount Sto. Tomas / Mt. Cabuyao can be seen from several vantage point in Baguio City and from there you can see two round structures. The round structure or the radar is the so-called air con that makes Baguio City cold. That’s one myth, some residents of Baguio including me, are guilty of propagating. I had childhood memories of my dad’s Ford Fiera bringing us here picking and eating strawberries in the plantation near the radar. Somehow, going back to the radar was a shot at nostalgia and at the same time, a chance to appreciate the scenery about 6,500 feet above sea level.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Baguio from the Top
Running in my hometown has been a long shot for me or I can even say, I may be jinxed. First time I was suppose to run in Baguio, it coincided with my cousin’s wedding and the second time, we had engine problems along the way which prevented me from being in the City of Pines. The third time… Well, days before the run, I started having my cycle of coughs and colds which takes several days to recover. The day before, I almost didn’t make it home due to conflict in transportation schedule and the night before the run, I had fever. All the signs would be ignored this time but I decided to just walk or even crawl if I must just to finish this one. Funny thing, in place of my energy gel was a pack of Strepsils just to supress the coughs. I also added some layers of clothing just to make sure I don’t complicate my coughs and colds as I don’t want to be in sickbay come the New Year.
Race Route and Elevation Profile
The race course was simple and it’s all about climbing starting from the police outpost in Sto Tomas Road with moderate climbs in the first 3 kilometers covering about 100 meters of elevation and extreme climbs in the next 5 kilometers covering around 400 meters of elevation which equates to a full 8 kilometer worth of climbs until the area of the Radar for the finish. It’s definitely an up-mountain adventure.
View at Km 3
The race was an intimate one and a really affordable one with a registration of P350. It was also environment friendly with no cups used at refilling stations and runners were encouraged to use water bottles instead and were discouraged from throwing trash anywhere. Gun start was on time and surprisingly even if it was an uphill race some runners were still at full speed at the start. It also had me starting fast before I remembered that I don’t have much aerobic threshold because of the coughs and colds so went back at a steady pace in the moderate hill parts in the first three kilometers. I then decided to go back to the original plan that had me brisk walking the rest of the way. Somehow, when I slowed down, I was able to appreciate the view better.
The Rising Sun
I was able to see the foggy cliff side of Baguio, the mountain ranges around the area, the long stretch of Marcos Highway, the rising sun on one side and the moon on another and of course, the foggy view of the radar. These were among the attractions I got to appreciate while climbing to the peak. Even at brisk walk pace, it was pure shut up legs moment throughout the course. The extreme climb was a real challenge but well worth seeing all the nice sceneries.
A Walk in the Clouds and the Full Moon is Still Around
It was my longest 8 kilometers ever but it didn’t feel that way as the route was visually enticing and running/walking in the clouds was quite an experience. It didn’t take long before the finish but I really enjoyed this one even if I wasn’t at the peak of health. I went into this run just to see the radar and I was treated to a nice route and this one, both the journey and the destination was well worth all the pain and effort put into this run. I would definitely run in the next radar run and I hope I would be in my peak of health the next time.
Some Manila Based Runners after the Run
I also met some Manila based runners and we decided to go to the Radar for a better view. Unfortunately, it was really foggy and all you can see are some of the steel railings. So much for seeing the radar but this is one of the reasons I wanted to be here, it was to be on top of the world as the year end approaches. I hope 6,500 feet above sea level qualifies as top of the world but at least in mine it does. This is the day I wanted to end 2012.
I’m on Top of the World in 2012