Wednesday, July 31, 2013


The recent races I joined were mostly trails.  Oh yes, I'm in love with trail running!!!

Trek the Hills
Baguio City, March 10, 2013

Right after my first marathon, hubby and I signed up for this race.  The registration and arrangement for transport and accommodation were all done by ADB Road and Trail Club with subsidized fee so how could we say no.

Hubby signed up for 32K while I settled for the shorter distance of 21K.  According to the race description, runners will be taken to marvel the breathtaking view of the city, the surrounding town out to South China Sea at the summit of Mt. Cabuyao and have a close encounter with two disc-shaped radars.  The race start and finish will be at the Burnham Lake Drive.

About 25 runners signed up from ADB.  A nice coaster bus was hired to transport us to Baguio on March 9. Wait, that's hubby's birthday!  Well, he chose not to announce it to the group to avoid being asked for some treat! We arrived in Baguio early enough to do some city tour (Botanical Garden, The Mansion and Mines View) and some souvenir shopping before we checked in at Royal Residences  Hubby and I had romantic birthday dinner at the student cafeteria costing him 200 bucks.  It was followed by a more romantic dessert at 7-11 where we had Ding-dong mixed nuts while watching the rain wetting the passers-by.

The following day, we arrived at Burnham Lake Drive with enough time to warm up and have coffee.  At exactly 4AM, 32K runners ran off and an hour later, we followed.  Indeed, we were able to view the city but it was not breathtaking, in fact, it made me breathless due to smoke-belching vehicles.  The route became really interesting when we started to climb the road to Mt. Cabuyao summit.  It was really hard going up, i was hating uphills!!!! Upon reaching the promised disc-shaped radar (only one for 21k), we took a U-turn and started the descent where it was pure bliss, I was loving downhills!!!

But happy times are over soon, it's back to the monstrous busy street of Baguio City.  You could play 'patintero' with some vehicles, i was not happy with the final route.  But alas when I saw I was nearing Burnham Park, i was back to being happy.  Finish line and another 21K finisher's medal for me!!!

SALOMON Xtrail Pilipinas
Sand Sweat and Sludge
Hamilo Coast, March 23, 2013

This was a road-to-trail challenge with distances 6K and 12K Road to Trail and a 24km Mountain Run.  Again, I settled for the lesser difficult distance, the 12K while hubby opted to join the 24km Mountain Run.  As the venue is not that far from our place, we decided not to check in at nearby Pico Sand Hotel despite the special rates being offered.  That meant however that we had to leave house very early.

salamon xtrail run 2013 photos and results

With a gun start for 24k of 5 AM, we left house before 2 AM as we estimated a 2-hour drive.  An hour after the 24k runners left, we, the 12k runners, started with our own challenging route.  We were greeted right away with uphills.  I was just glad that my earlier race in Baguio helped me on with this challenge.  However when the fun at the road ended, the struggle with the hilly terrain started!  It was really hard to climb up.  If this is what you call skyrunning then I am seriously not liking that sports.

We 'skyran' two (2) mountains and I thought the second mountain has no end!  Still, I was just glad to have finish it in 2 hours, 56 minutes and 3 seconds with the pace of 14.40 min/ km.  It was like I had walked the whole distance.  But truth is I crawled some parts of it!!!

Break All Boundaries
Baguio-Benguet, April 20-21

Please see the.
Running the peaks of Baguio and Benguet should land at the must-run list of thrill-seeking trail runners!  Not only the weather is conducive for running but the challenging mountains are surefire adventure.

 I joined the 22K category while hubby joined the 50K.  That's right, 50K!  First time to do ultra and he chose to do it in trails.  The 100K and 50K categories started on the dawn of April 20.  Cut-offs are strictly implemented so if you did not make it on a specific check-in point at a certain time, then you're out.

Hubby brought a cellular phone so he could text us his whereabouts.  We planned to shop along the export overruns store while we wait for him to finish.

The 50K race started at 4AM. I received hubby's first text at 1:12PM, he was at 30K point.  He seemed confident to be able to finish within the 18-hour cut-off because he put a smiley on that text.  Six hours to cut-off, I texted him asking his whereabouts.  That way, we would be able to plan dinner.  He didn't reply until a little more than three hours 'til cut-off, 6K to go.  So I gave him another hour to finish it.  But it was a trail so expectations are no good!!!

He did it at 16 hours 21 minutes and was gratified to see his girls waiting for him at the finish line.

Five-thirty in the morning the following day, it was my turn to start my race.  Since hubby was still dead tired from the previous day race, I decided to walk alone from the hotel to the race site.  Race started on time and we tackled first some road inside Camp John Hay until we entered the trail route.

Trail running was really a lot more enjoyable than street running.  The route has it all - all-terrain indeed.  I'm really loving my Salomon road to trail shoes.

I was able to finish the race within the cut-off time.  Though i prefer to run alone in street running, it's helpful to have somebody to cheer you on in trails.  I've met and talked to many runners while tackling the trails.  We encouraged each other until we reached the finish line.

Next trail run deserves a full post - the Nuvali Valley Trail Run!

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