The run started at Japas where it was all trail going in and ended at the Bokod Municipal hall, Benguet. The event was joined in by as many as 123 runners, from seasoned upto to the newbie trail level. The terrain and surroundings are just breath-taking and explicitly beautiful. I have never seen a place like this in my entire life.
It was a run not well suited for me as I am not used to high elevation trailing but I still persevered and pushed on till the end. The trails are very challenging especially those uphill climbs with inclines that will surely slow you down and pull you back. I had to take a step at a time on the first 8km.
Upon reaching the peak of Mt. Pack(8km up approx), we had to enter a mossy forest enroute to Mt. Purgatory which was very damp and muddy but I’m thankful for the locals for putting in cut tree branches so we can have some footing at least on the muddy and slippery terrain. The inside of the forest has lots of trees clothed with moss. Light just barely enters and its always damp all over, all the time.
Mt. Purgatory is just heaven on earth. The inside of the forest is just cool and still full of mossy vegetation plus fog is always present. This must be the reason why it was given its name. It gives you a feel of heaven here on earth.
Mt. Kom-Kompol is the highest point of the trail which is 2,323 masl. This is the point where it starts to go downhill but you still have to pass through some mossy forest again for about 2-3km until you pass through those loose rocks on the side of the mountain. Each step needs to be taken carefully because one wrong move can injure you or worst, throw you off the cliff.
I got to meet two runners named Errol Regaya and Roy Encela who I started running with when we met at Mt. Pack and until we finished. We were all supporting and pushing each other. Sharing a thing or two about our experiences in trailing and running. Its just a relief when running with a group as you get take your mind off the difficulty you are encountering. They are your pushing hand when you want to give up at times.
Overall, I would say that the trails are properly marked. The runners were kept safe with all the caution markers they placed along the route. They also utilized the help of the local guides to look over the runners and their safety. This event is just one for the books. It was planned well and the venue was properly chosen for the enjoyment of the runners. I do not regret joining this because the experience is just priceless. As what I have told a fellow runner, “nothing beats seeing beauty up close and personal”. I would certainly run this course again when given a chance because I know that the organizer is doing a great job of giving what trail runners need…an unforgettable adventure.
To God be the Glory!
This is part 1 of a 3 leg series for trail running organized by Pimco Sporting Events which is spread out on months where there won’t be any bad weather to worry about.
The first race was joined in by as many as 300+ runners from all age level in the 5k, 10k, 21k and 50k category. It comes to show that PIMCO’s reputation for trail running is spreading across the country and even outside.
The trails plotted by PIMCO are just so challenging and good even to experienced trail runners as you get to go up several steep mountains, cross small creeks, see valleys, see clouds below you( during the early morning period), go through thick foliage and many more. The course is very challenging and beautiful at the same time. You get to enjoy nature at its best. All the runners had a great time as all had been cared for by the organizers by placing visible markers along the trail plus hydration stops are found at the right places where they are needed except at the Bangkaan mountain turn-around where they run out of water supply as its situated at the top of the mountain we assaulted but so far, all are good and bearable. From this turn-around, it was all downhill until we reached the foot of the mountain and made a turn towards barangay Sto. Niño where we were given a chance to take a dip into the shallow river before taking the rough road back to the final steep mountain and to the finish line.
The second leg is something to look forward to because you just do not know what PIMCO will be cooking to surprise the runners again. For sure it will have killer views and uphills again.
Here are some pictures taken by Coach Jackie Gutierrez aka Lucky Jackie.
To God be the glory!
Baguio City as it is commonly known as the summer capital of the Philippines because its situated high in the mountains of Benguet Province north of Manila. Here, the weather is cool and the locals are very friendly. There are so many activities you can do like hiking, biking, horseback riding and so many more…but for me, I took the chance to run as I have wanted to do it for so long now.
I started my run with my wife inside Camp John Hay traversing the main road heading to South Drive on Baguio Country Club for 2.7k and back then we split up as she is done with her run and I am just getting warmed up. I went out gate 2 heading to Loakan Road and turning back to South Drive direction again. I was able to enjoy 11.2k of run through the uphill and twisting roads.
My view on the run is pretty much full of enjoyment as its a new place I am running in plus seeing the views of the trees and mountains is just refreshing. Experience-wise, running uphill and about 1540m above sea-level just teaches you so many things. First, is how you manage to run correctly and secondly, how you breath properly because with higher altitude…air is thinner. You try to get more air in your body so you get to expand your lungs even more with heavy breathing. Well, I will discuss that more on a separate and specific topic. Thirdly, with a new place to run in and some beautiful views, you get to run much longer than usual. That is because your mind is busy processing new information of your surrounding and it cheats your body into thinking that its tired.
When in Baguio, take the opportunity to run as its so full and beauty and freshness all around. Enjoy and God bless!
Please check the link and you may download the program. It is by coach Ani Del Leon. Happy running!
Training for a better 10k run
I have been running for quite sometime now and when I run, I do not want to be holding anything. I feel like it upsets my balance. I always wear those hydration belts even for those mid-distance runs and most of the time, the liquid just spills off the container that is held by the belt as it bounces, thus it gets me wet or it lessens the liquid it holds.
Then I found this “Simple Hydration” bottle from a fellow runner. It can conveniently be tucked on your shorts or behind the neckline of your shirt. It’s held on by the unique shape of the bottle where it has a hook shape on one side. The bottle just stays in place as long as your clothes are not too loose. I tried running with it the first time and it felt like I am not bringing anything. It stayed in place and didn’t fall off. It can hold a good amount of liquid for short to medium distance run. This bottle just made everything easy in running. It’s a must have for runners who don’t want to wear loads of gears during a simple run.