Sacks Of Charcoal

15 04 2014

It has been awhile when I had my last post in this blog. I was too busy in the mountains where I could hardly get a good connection to the Internet. Aside from my trail running training, I’ve been busy preparing and directing my road and trail races which are scheduled for the past months.

In my desire to look for trail routes within the vicinity of my “playground”, I had been exposed and had observed some of the local people in the area to be involved in charcoal making in the mountains. I almost meet a group of locals with their sleds being pulled by a carabao (water buffalo) stacked with sacks full of charcoal on a daily basis. Sometimes, I would pass by a place where two locals would be guarding a makeshift underground “oven” where they process or burn the woods cut in pieces and wait for these woods that would turn to charcoal.

I really don’t mind or give any interest or even stop to start a conversation with these people in the charcoal transport and processing “industry”. It is enough that I greet them while I am running or simply wave my hand just to show that I really don’t care about their trade. Anyway, they simply know me as a crazy trail runner in the mountains where they do their business.

Last week, in one of my adventure runs in the mountains trying to look for trails, I was surprised to see a band of charcoal “carriers” or persons who carry sacks of charcoal from the mountains to be brought to the populated community. Most of these carriers are our indigenous people called the “Aetas”. I met these band of Aetas resting in a shaded part of the mountain where there is a pipe with water freely flowing from it. Most of them were resting and some of them were taking their lunch as I can see some cooking pots near the sacks of charcoal.

The following pictures will show the number of sacks of charcoal resting on the rocks along the trail and you can imagine the number of trees being cut by these charcoal makers in the mountains in order to produce these sacks of charcoal:

Spring Water & Rest Area In The Mountains

Spring Water & Rest Area In The Mountains

Sacks Of Charcoal On Top Of Rocks

Sacks Of Charcoal On Top Of Rocks

Closer Look On The Sacks Of Charcoal

Closer Look On The Sacks Of Charcoal

I am not here to post these pictures and make any judgement or opinion on what I have seen and observed in the mountains. It is enough that you can see and conclude for yourself what is really happening on those hidden valleys and cliffs in the mountain ranges which you can see far away while you are in the comfort of an air-conditioned bus or driving your personal vehicle along the highway on your way to the province and from the city.

As usual, I had to greet the Aetas and went on to refresh myself by drinking the fresh and cold water freely flowing from the plastic pipe that was inserting in between two big rocks on the cliff. And then douse my head, face, nape and back with the flowing water.

After a few seconds, I waved my hands and told to the resting Aetas that I will be ahead of them in going to their resettlement. And I am glad they waved their hands and replied to my greetings.

My mountain trail running must go on and as I was nearing the trailhead near the Aeta Resettlement Area, I could see more mountains and more trails to explore in my next outing.

Trail running in the mountains reminds me how blessed I am and the rests of us living in the lowlands.

Result: 1st Playground “Alpha” 50K Trail Ultra

18 03 2014

***By Invitation Only

5:30 AM March 16, 2014

Pastolan Trails, Dinalupihan, Bataan

Number of Starters: 21

Number of Finishers: 17

@ The Start/Finish Area

@ The Start/Finish Area


1 2 Wilnar Iglesia (Champion) 6:50:32
2 6 Raffy Gabotero (1st Runner-Up) 7:22:06
3 7 Bong Alindada (2nd Runner-Up) 7:57:10
4 1 Graciano Santos 9:23:42
5 14 Daphne Codilla (Champion, Female) 9:44:00
6 8 Jay Lamela 9:55:46
7 4 Venn Lamela 9:55:47
8 160 Ronnel Go 9:59:32
9 32 Marc Conrad Molina 10:00:11
10 311 Manny Ocampo 10:20:39
11 22 Michael Lafuente 10:33:01
12 10 Ryan Garcia 11:08:49
13 11 Roy Garcia 11:08:50
14 5 Lady Dianne Palongan (1st Runner-Up, F) 11:10:11
15 50 Januarius Padilla 12:40:10
16 30 Jonathan Moleta 13:17:26
17 42 Jon Ogsimer 14:21:44
Champion Wilnar Iglesia

Champion Wilnar Iglesia

Runners @ The Turn-Around Point (Km #25)

Runners @ The Turn-Around Point (Km #25)


Congratulations To Everybody!

2014 BDM Grand Slam Awardees

10 03 2014

Bataan Death March Ultra Marathon (BDM) Grand Slam Award/Trophy is given to an ultra runner who finishes the Bataan Death March 160K Ultra Marathon Race (BDM 160) and the Bataan Death March 102K Ultra Marathon Race (BDM 102) in succession within a year, a period of 4-5 weeks between the two ultra events.

For the past 4 years since the first edition of the BDM 160, there were ultra runners who were brave enough to do the impossible and they were awarded the first BDM Races Grand Slam Award/Trophy. Ultra Runners Jonnifer Lacanlale and Arturo Virata were the first BDM Grand Slam Awardees in 2011. They became the “idols”  of our Pinoy Ultra Runners. What made these two gentlemen extra special and admired by their peers was that the two races were one week apart!

Starting in 2012, I decided to schedule the BDM 160 on the last weekend of January and have the BDM 102 on the first weekend of March. With such development, more finishers of the BDM 160 were able to recover with the 4-5 weeks period in between the two races and received the much-coveted BDM Grand Slam Award. (Note: I will have another post in this blog to publish the BDM Grand Slam Awardees for the years 2012 & 2013)

Fast Forward. For this year, 2014, the number of BDM Grand Slam Awardees had increased more than twice compared last year and the number of Lady Awardees had also increased. Almost all the Lady Finishers in this year’s BDM 160 joined and finished the BDM 102 this month.

The following are the 2014 BDM Grand Slam Awardees:

1. Carl Balagot

2. Sandy Alentajan

3. Carlo Gonzales

4. Tess Leono (F)

5. Dante Sagayap

6. Glairold Recella

7. Meljohn Tezon

8. Joseph Sibal

9. Gia Estrella (F)

10. Wilnar Iglesia

11. Lao Ogerio

12. Ofelia Lorete (F)

13. Sheryll Quimosing (F)

14. Joel Sison

15. Noel Ko

16. Mark Tibo-oc

17. Myk Dauz

18. Marlon Saracho

19. Dindo Diaz

20. Ryan Sison

21. Hermie Saludes

22. Lyra Valles (F)

23. Emerson Sto. Domingo

24. Neil Broncano

25. Randy Racho

26. Peach Tamayo (F)

27. Ariel Briones

Congratulations to the 2014 BDM Grand Slam Awardees!

2014 BDM Grand Slam Trophy

2014 BDM Grand Slam Trophy

2014 BDM Grand Slam Awardees

2014 BDM Grand Slam Awardees

2013 PAU Grand Slam Award

8 03 2014

On the first quarter of last year, 2013, I came up with an award for ultra runners to look forward to and try for them to challenge themselves. I shared my idea with my ultra friends and on Facebook and I forgot to write about it in my blog. So, let me explain the concept and details about this special award among ultra runners.

As I copied the concept from the US Grand Slam of Ultrarunning Award which consists of four (4) famous 100-Mile Trail Races which are done within a period of four months, the PAU Grand Slam Award also consists of four races—two 100-mile road races; one 100-mile trail race; and a 200K single stage run. To be specific, they are: Bataan Death March 160K Ultra Marathon Race which is done in the month of January; Antique 100-Mile Ultra Marathon Race which was held in October; West Coast 200K Ultra Marathon Race in the month of November; and Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Run in the month of December.

A Silver Buckle is being awarded to each of the Finisher of these 4 ultra marathon races. A runners who finishes the 4 races shall be awarded with the PAU Grand Slam Award/Trophy.

Since I just made the announcement of my concept to my close ultra running friends after the conduct of the Bataan Death March 160K Ultra Marathon Race (BDM 160), I told them that if they were not able to join the said race event, they can still have a chance to complete the four (4) races if they finish the next year’s edition of BDM 160.

I took the risk of coming up with the Single Stage of the West Coast 200 Ultra Marathon after a successful 3-day stage race on its first edition. I had to go also to Antique on the first week of May last year in order to run the whole distance from San Jose De Buenavista in Antique to Caticlan, Malay, Aklan with a total distance of 166 kilometers. It did not matter whether I have only 5 or 10 runner-starters on these two new races. What matters most was to be able to try and find out the response from my ultra friends.

To my surprise, I got positive response and encouragements from the runners and I got full support from them. And the whole concept of the 1st PAU Grand Slam Award was implemented. And everything is already history.

During the 2014 Bataan Death March 102K & 160K Ultra Marathon Races’ Awarding Ceremony and Philippine Association of Ultrarunners’ (PAU) Recognition Party, I have awarded the 1st PAU Grand Slam Award/Trophy to the following ultra runners:

1. Graciano Santos

2. Ronnel Go

3. Raffy Gabotero

4. Anthony Mark Alindada

5. Wilnar Iglesia

6. Meljohn Tezon

7. Glairold Recella

8. Elmar Bob Tolete

9. Benedict Meneses

10. Yob Red

Congratulations to these First Awardees of the 1st PAU Grand Slam Award!

For the year 2014, the PAU Grand Slam Award will start with the Antique 100-Mile Endurance Run in September; West Coast 200 in November; Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Run in December; and the last race will be the Bataan Death March 160K Ultra Marathon Race in January 2015.

PAU Grand Slam Award/Trophy (Courtesy of Ronnel Go)

PAU Grand Slam Award/Trophy (Courtesy of Ronnel Go)

BR & 9 PAU Grand Slam Awardees. Raffy Gabotero was not in the picture. (Photo Courtesy of Bong Alindada)

BR & 9 PAU Grand Slam Awardees. Raffy Gabotero was not in the picture. (Photo Courtesy of Bong Alindada)

Official Result: 2014 Bataan Death March 102K Ultra Marathon Race

3 03 2014

2014/6th Bataan Death March 102K Ultra Marathon Race (BDM 102)

10:00 PM March 1, 2014 to 4:00 PM March 2, 2014

Cut-Off Time: 18 Hours

Starting Line: Bataan Death March Shrine, Mariveles, Bataan

Finish Line: Old Railway Station, Barangay Sto. Nino, San Fernando City (Pampanga)

Number Of Starters: 300

Number Of Finishers: 253

@ The Starting Area

@ The Starting Area/BDM Km Post #00

Emerging Women's Power @ BDM 102

Emerging Women’s Power @ The 2014/6th BDM 102


N  A  M  E

1 Eric Cruz (Overall Champion & Male Champion) 10:30:20
2 Melanie Malihan (Female Champion, Course Record) 11:18:24
3 Arvin Galos (1st Runner-Up, Male) 11:24:56
4 Junifer Frenila (2nd Runner-Up, Male) 11:44:40
5 Alfred Delos Reyes 11:46:02
6 Ador Sietereales 12:09:33
7 Jaylord Ballao 12:09:40
8 Gil Conanan 12:12:44
9 Nina Ferando (1st Runner-Up, Female) 12:16:29
10 Roman Mabborang 12:21:45
11 Raschid Lee Apostol 12:21:46
12 Rodelyn Guidaben (2nd Runner-Up, Female) 12:31:32
13 Willie Jan Altarejos 12:35:19
14 Edwin Fernandez 12:39:13
15 Rowell Cabardo 12:41:31
16 Dante Sagayap 12:43:13
17 Glairold Recella 12:43:34
18 Maricar Hiponia (F) 12:54:48
19 Jilberto Marpiga 12:59:19
20 Arnel Timbreza 13:04:00
21 Edwin Clemente 13:05:58
22 Jay Lamela 13:07:03
23 Myk Dauz 13:08:06
24 Jimmy Collado 13:10:34
25 Lady Dianne Palongan (F) 13:11:08
26 Sandy Alentajan 13:18:28
27 James Joseph Soto 13:20:30
28 John Paul Navarrete 13:22:31
29 Rhodora Operto (F) 13:25:53
30 Werner Cruz 13:28:46
31 Sheila Elasin (F) 13:34:25
32 Sang Oh 13:34:35
33 Errol Osea 13:38:40
34 Syril Wong 13:38:56
35 Joji Salvador 13:42:46
36 Lao Ogerio 13:50:50
37 Ariel Briones 13:52:51
38 Joel Simsiman 13:53:29
39 Joseph Rebolledo 14:00:12
40 Melan Ku Marquez (F) 14:02:51
41 Percival Dictado 14:02:59
42 Rico Laplana 14:05:23
43 Lyra Valles (F) 14:06:29
44 Tess Leono (F) 14:06:30
45 Robert Watson 14:09:38
46 Angelo Pangasinan 14:10:04
47 Bong Ortaliz 14:13:57
48 Dexter Beltran 14:14:42
49 Alfeus Delos Santos 14:15:02
50 Roberto Vocal, Jr 14:15:26
51 Enstein Calaoa, Jr 14:15:39
52 Roberto Villamor 14:21:00
53 Orlando Payumo 14:21:45
54 Dennis Villanueva 14:21:49
55 Nelson Janiola 14:22:04
56 Elmer Caballes 14:22:24
57 Madison Trinidad 14:22:39
58 May Santos (F) 14:24:09
59 Ronnie Florendo 14:24:10
60 Patrick Geneblaza 14:25:22
61 Bryan Lagman 14:26:18
62 Randy Miranda 14:29:57
63 Carlo Gonzalez 14:36:14
64 Fernando Cabanero 14:36:49
65 Edmund Kagahastian 14:45:19
66 Merbert Cabral 14:47:12
67 Allan Macaraig 14:48:01
68 Youngsuk Chae 14:50:35
69 Arnold Banaay 14:51:05
70 Jeffrey Jay Amurao 14:51:53
71 Gia Estrella (F) 14:52:56
72 Calvin Matol IV 14:54:54
73 Aaron Laron 14:55:44
74 Henry Laron 14:55:45
75 Armando Fabella, Jr 15:05:19
76 Obeth Malana 15:05:59
77 Rosauro Dizon 15:07:56
78 Florencio Sy 15:09:28
79 Ely Casulla 15:11:41
80 Jasper Ryan Olivete 15:13:32
81 Loradel Hanopol 15:13:55
82 Jerome Paolo Castro 15:15:21
83 Ricardo Diaz 15:19:56
84 Dindo Diaz 15:20:22
85 Rone Milan 15:20:47
86 Mark Capistrano 15:22:29
87 Celedonio Quinto 15:22:43
88 Chill Orbegoso 15:23:06
89 Neil Broncano 15:23:51
90 Arvi Ama 15:24:34
91 Frederick Tupaz 15:25:13
92 Terrence Lu 15:27:03
93 Jonel Mendoza 15:30:28
94 Jackson Pederiche 15:30:49
95 Richelle Perez (F) 15:32:43
96 Meljohn Tezon 15:32:44
97 John Alexis Virtucio 15:33:41
98 Michael Paja 15:34:44
99 Ernesto Badong 15:37:12
100 Ricky Sangalang 15:37:13
101 William Marino 15:37:14
102 Starkey Apilado 15:37:53
103 Maidy Soriano (F) 15:39:10
104 Bing Brillo 15:39:27
105 Bong Anastacio 15:40:39
106 Randy Racho 15:40:51
107 Rogelio Paz 15:41:42
108 Rodel Mendoza, Jr 15:43:23
109 Jean Lim (F) 15:44:55
110 Ronaldo Alog 15:45:53
111 Noel Ko 15:46:07
112 JC Santo Teresa 15:46:39
113 Kenneth Tenebro 15:46:43
114 Roy Garcia 15:46:58
115 Kathleen Fresnido (F) 15:47:10
116 Regie Lazerna 15:49:29
117 Marlon Saracho 15:49:48
118 Nerrisa Jane Golondrina (F) 15:51:54
119 Benedict Meneses 15:51:58
120 Dennis Uy 15:52:45
121 Bryan Calo 15:53:26
122 Simon Pavel Miranda 15:53:41
123 Doodsie Mallari (F) 15:53:57
124 Ruben Herrera 15:54:12
125 Merwin Torres 15:54:32
126 Roden Jesus Rosin 15:57:57
127 Godfrey Palpal-latoc 16:01:40
128 Ruben Veran 16:10:33
129 Arnel Villanueva 16:10:50
130 Ian Francisco 16:15:17
131 Mark Andrew Melgar 16:20:46
132 Argie Cabrera 16:22:46
133 Ric Mallari 16:24:31
134 Carl Balagot 16:25:50
135 Frans Van Dongen, Jr 16:25:59
136 Jonathan Moleta 16:26:43
137 Luzel Franco Tibo-oc (F) 16:27:07
138 Mark Anthony Tibo-oc 16:27:08
139 Roberto Hernandez, Jr 16:27:25
140 Rodelio Mendoza 16:28:12
141 Andrei Philip Lim 16:30:26
142 Allan Claudio De Lima 16:30:51
143 Angelito Mallari 16:30:52
144 Erlyd Ortiz 16:31:41
145 Rona Saludes (F) 16:32:03
146 Hermie Saludes 16:32:05
147 Jeoffrey Ramos 16:34:22
148 Emerson Sto. Domingo 16:34:34
149 Ma. Vicenta Gado (F) 16:35:24
150 Jonel De Ocampo 16:35:59
151 Ray Paras 16:39:01
152 Orlando Ortinez 16:39:20
153 Katherine Villaflor (F) 16:39:41
154 Peter Perez 16:42:23
155 Joeffrey Pagaduan 16:43:38
156 Melbourne Querubin Pastor 16:44:58
157 Mac Laugayan Adversalo 16:45:18
158 Gerry Lita 16:45:32
159 Fer Setenta 16:46:49
160 John Prospero Tugade 16:46:50
161 Norberto Mortel 16:47:48
162 Arthur Ryan Dolina 16:49:54
163 Anton Parin 16:50:36
164 Addison Sayoc 16:50:56
165 Albert Bartilad 16:51:30
166 Danny Anonuevo 16:52:01
167 Gay Baniwas (F) 16:52:51
168 Nixon Pasiken 16:52:52
169 Jeffrey Garcia 16:53:08
170 Raymond Geloca 16:53:09
171 Fernando Balane 16:55:21
172 Anjoe Resurreccion 16:55:32
173 Nap Ocampo 16:56:21
174 Kharl Ocampo 16:56:39
175 Dar-c Silao 16:58:56
176 Cheche Magramo (F) 17:00:32
177 Eden Pagsolingan 17:00:33
178 Carmichael Famorcan 17:01:07
179 Edgardo Caubang 17:01:19
180 Gerson Yuson 17:01:20
181 Janice Mauricio 17:01:35
182 Archie Gascon 17:01:36
183 John Paolo Reynes 17:03:28
184 Myla Go (F) 17:05:09
185 Wilnar Iglesia 17:05:10
186 Ramon Flores 17:05:48
187 Brett Basset 17:06:54
188 Dan Rice 17:06:55
189 Bryan Manicad 17:07:06
190 Elmeray Kabigting 17:07:08
191 Edmund Manlangit 17:07:15
192 April Bernadette Gaborno (F) 17:08:02
193 Peachy Tamayo (F) 17:12:24
194 Venn Lamela 17:12:34
195 Jerome Ervin Catipon 17:13:46
196 Jeremiah Mendoza 17:13:53
197 Maila Rostrota (F) 17:16:06
198 Edward Vega 17:16:07
199 Cheryl Bihag (F) 17:17:12
200 Jeffrey Velasco 17:17:39
201 Ian Cristian Torres 17:19:07
202 Ofelia Lorete (F) 17:20:24
203 Sheryll Quimosing (F) 17:21:01
204 Christian Albert Pabatao 17:22:09
205 Antonio Viernes 17:22:59
206 Billy Joe Tuvera 17:23:13
207 Harry Duruin 17:24:35
208 Adel Medenilla 17:25:23
209 Mark Jayson Antonio 17:25:32
210 Rico Azurin 17:25:53
211 Ryan Sison 17:26:08
212 Jade Camasora 17:26:09
213 Carlo Jay Fernandez 17:26:32
214 William Hernandez 17:26:52
215 Nestor Ramirez 17:27:22
216 Loyce Nunez 17:27:27
217 Ma. Theresa Amansec (F) 17:27:48
218 Greg Venecio 17:28:11
219 Julius Ebalan 17:31:22
220 Joseph Sibal 17:32:17
221 Joanna Liu (F) 17:33:10
222 Nelson Val Caro, Jr 17:33:11
223 Glenn Santos 17:33:25
224 Heijhay Gatdula 17:34:19
225 Bernadette Schlueter (F) 17:35:45
226 Evan Lu 17:36:18
227 Eduardo Anonuevo 17:36:31
228 Christian Almendrala 17:36:37
229 Mark Sigue 17:36:40
230 Bernard Go 17:36:51
231 Mary Joanne Sapalasan (F) 17:37:09
232 Nikki De Dios (F) 17:37:14
233 Melo Jane Amit (F) 17:37:22
234 Ronaldo Sabio 17:39:08
235 Cleodelia Armendez (F) 17:39:21
236 Alwyn Sy 17:40:43
237 Oliver De Guzman 17:41:04
238 Laurice Reese Rogel (F) 17:42:15
239 Joel Sison 17:42:53
240 Ted Mallen 17:42:53
241 Jeff Kristoffer Lualhati 17:43:00
242 Richard Allan Mangalip 17:44:08
243 Dennis Matias 17:44:26
244 Dario Carpio 17:44:33
245 Unknown Runner 17:44:52
246 Lorna Vejano (F) 17:45:42
247 Ariel Mendoza 17:46:39
248 John Patrick Dela Paz 17:46:56
249 Gan Moreno 17:47:28
250 Edwin Cruz 17:48:46
251 Juvy Pagtalunan (F) 17:49:25
252 Jose Mari Molejon 17:50:14
253 Bernard Enriquez 17:50:40
Eric Cruz, Champion Of 2014 BDM 102 Ultra Marathon Race

Eric Cruz, Champion Of 2014 BDM 102 Ultra Marathon Race

Melanie Malihan, Female Champion & Female Course Record Holder

Melanie Malihan, Female Champion & Female Course Record Holder

Arvin Galos, 3rd Overall Finisher

Arvin Galos, 3rd Overall Finisher

Congratulations To All The “New Warriors” of Bataan Death March 102K Ultra Marathon Race!

5th Week Of Training (February 3-9, 2014)

17 02 2014

February 3, Monday: Rest Day

2-Hour Massage

February 4, Tuesday: @HPA Parade Ground (Paved & Dirt Roads) Start: 5:00 PM

Distance—13.21 Kilometers/8.25 Miles

Time—1:24:04 Hours

Average Pace—6:21 mins/km

Average Speed—9.4 ams/hour

Total Calories—905 cal

Total Ascent—492 meters

Total Descent—508 meters

Weather—Hot & Humid/Afternoon Run

Shoes—Hoka One One Stinson Evo

February 5, Wednesday: Indoor

40-Minute Stationary Cycling

February 6, Thursday: @HPA Parade Ground/Start: 7:40 AM

Distance—17.01 Kilometers/10.6 Miles

Time—1:55:00 Hours

Average Pace—6:45 mins/km

Average Speed—8.9 kilometers/hour

Total Calories—1,174 cal

Total Ascent—565 meters

Total Descent—559 meters

Weather—Hot & Humid

Shoes—Hoka One One Stinson Evo

February 7, Friday: @Mabalacat, Pampanga To San Fernando, Pampanga (Route of Manila to Baguio 250K Ultra Marathon Race)/Start: 9:55 AM

Distance—35.43 Kilometers/22 Miles (Road Run)

Time—6:25:49 Hours

Average Pace—10:52 mins/km

Average Speed—5.5 kilometers/hour

Total Calories—1,943 cal

Total Ascent—1,259 meters

Total Descent—1,263 meters

Weather—VERY Hot

Shoes—Hoka One One Stinson Evo

Comment: Slow Run with Walking Breaks/”Pit Stops” @ 7-11 Stores

February 8, Saturday: @ Mabalacat, Pampanga To Tarlac City (Route of Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra Marathon Race) /Start: 1:03 AM (Night Run)

Distance—32 Kilometers/20.15 Miles

Time—5:20:18 Hours

Average Pace—15:54 minutes/mile

Average Moving Pace—14:47 minutes/mile

Elevation Gain—168 feet

Elevation Loss—357 feet

Total Calories—1,644 cal


Shoes—Hoka One One Bondi Speed

Comment: Slow & Easy Run. Tried some nutrition food/drinks to keep me alert during nighttime running

February 9, Sunday: @Baguio City

Rest Day/Race Director at the Finish Line of the 1st PAU Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra Marathon Race (3-Day Stage)

Total Weekly Mileage: 97.65 Kilometers/61 Miles

Total Weekly Time: 15:15 Hours

Comment: No trail runs for this week but took advantage of the Manila To Baguio 250K 3-Day Stage Ultra Run to put more endurance on my legs, heart and lungs. Runs for this week were more on “heat” training.

Finishing 35K On The 1st Day/Leg Of The Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra

Finishing 35K On The 1st Day/Leg Of The Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra

“If I Can Do It, You Can Do It, Too!”

13 02 2014

My First Adventure Run was the Manila To Baguio 240 Kilometer Run which took me 5 days, from February 9-13, 2010, 2 days after I finished the Condura Skyway Marathon with a time of 4:17:++hours.

The primary motivation why I did this run was to show to my readers that a runner who would venture to this kind of running can also “journalize” or document his experience on the road on a near “real time” reporting through a blog. My “pit stops” would include writing something on my blog so that my readers would know the progress of my run. My adventure story would be very detailed so that the reader is transported on the road and places where I was running. In simple terms, I was showing my integrity in doing this adventure run.

The second reason was to show and prove to my Cavalier colleagues/alumni and cadets of the Philippine Military Academy that I could join the yearly Alumni Homecoming in the month of February without riding a bus or a car. There seems to be a problem of Parking Areas in Fort Del Pilar/PMA every time there is an Alumni Homecoming of PMA. For obvious reason, there are Alumni who would join this event with lots of “support vehicles” in tow, from the Officer’s Aide, Family, and Security Detail. If you add up those politicians who are Honorary Members of our Alumni Association attending this event, parking of vehicles would extend up to the Loakan Airport!

As a result of my run, it became a topic of conversation among the Generals and Colonels of the AFP and Alumni of the PMA as it filtered down to the subordinate units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Army. I just hope that the Vehicular Traffic and Parking Space problems inside Fort Del Pilar during our yearly Alumni Homecoming had been solved (joke!)

Obviously, this Adventure Run was my recovery run after the Condura Skyway Marathon. It is also great way to travel by foot and see the places along the road in a very “slow motion” mode.

Fast Forward. On the last quarter of 2013, I thought of coming up with an ultra race from Luneta Park/Rizal Monument to Rizal Park in Baguio City and came up with a Facebook Event Page. I wanted to limit the number of runners to 30 only but I was surprised to find out that more runners were interested to joining the event. Just like what I did with the West Coast 200, I wanted the runners to experience a multi-day stage running event where they could rest every leg of the event. After 3 days since I posted the Event Page, the applicants for the race had exceeded 35 and more runners would request me to be included in the list after I closed the registration period.

The 250-kilometer distance from Manila to Baguio is divided into 3 legs where the 1st Leg is a 90-Kilometer distance to be completed in 16 hours; the 2nd Leg is also a 90-Kilometer with the same cut-off time; and Final Leg is a 70-Kilometer  to the Finish Line with a cut-off time of 16 hours. The total cut-off time for the race would add up to 48 hours which equivalent to 2 days!

@Rizal Monument, Luneta Park, Manila

@Rizal Monument, Luneta Park, Manila

At the starting line, I could see “new faces” to include Tan Ray from Singapore, Lito Malillin from General Santos City (Mindanao), Rhodz Cordora from Zambaonga City (Mindanao), Dhannie Tan from Manila, Benedict Ngo from Dagupan City, Jaylord Ballao from Team Ek Ek, and members of the Team Snail Runners. The “usual suspects” in my Ultra Races were there and I could see that they are entertaining and talking to the “new faces” in my events.

And The Race Started Before 1:00 AM of Friday

And The Race Started Before 1:00 AM of Friday

There were 42 runners who started the race in front of the Rizal Monument in Luneta Park few minutes before 1:00 AM of Friday, February 7, 2014.

Having declared this event as an adventure run, I am not that type of a Race Director that “spoon feeds” my runners by showing and instructing them very detailed route description and providing them with map, elevation profile, and deploying marshals on every intersection of the road. It is the responsibility of the runner to be observant on the signs along the road and find out the correct route to the Finish Line. It is either a runner would “google” the route or “test run” some portions or conduct a “window tour” while riding a vehicle in order to familiarize with the route.

The first leg/day was considered as a “disaster” for the other runners who were not observant on the signs of the road or they were simply ignorant of where they were on the road. Instead of going to Malolos City after hitting the Tabang Area, runners went straight to the Sta Rita Area (NLEX Entry/Exit for those Vehicles going to Cagayan Valley). Some runners would spent 40 minutes running just to realize that they were on the wrong track. Because of this experience for some of the runners, I allowed all the runners who finished the 1st Leg/Day beyond the cut-off time of 16 hours to still join the 2nd Leg/Day.

1st Runner To Reach Km #90, Jaylord Ballao

1st Runner To Reach Km #90, Jaylord Ballao

2nd Runner, Jael Wenceslao, @ Km Post #90

2nd Runner, Jael Wenceslao, @ Km Post #90

Km Post #90, Finish Line of the 1st Leg & Starting Line of the 2nd Leg,  is located 2 kilometers north of the center of Dau, Mabalacat. Dau is a famous Entry/Exit to and from the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and it has a lot of commercial establishments to include hotels, motels, pension inns and restaurants. This place is an ideal “pit stop” for the runners for their much needed accommodation and food/supply replenishment.

Four runners did not join the start of the 2nd Leg/Day as they declared themselves as DNF. Most of them were victims of the intense heat of the route. Four minutes before 1:00 AM of Saturday, the remaining 38 runners started their run for the 2nd Leg.

I also joined the runners after two minutes from the time I released them. I wanted to practice my nutrition on this time of the night as it became my weakness to be sleepy when running from midnight to the early morning time. Slowly, I was passing some of the runners until I reached Tarlac City. I had to stop when my GPS watch registered a distance of 32 kilometers. Later, while I was driving my car, I found out that I was one kilometer away from the main group of runners.

More Power Walking On The 2nd Day

More Power Walking On The 2nd Day

Self-Support Runner Rhodz Cordora From Zamboanga City

Self-Support Runner Rhodz Cordora From Zamboanga City

The runners were able to experience what I’ve experienced during my Adventure Run on this route. The intense heat of the sun and the road made the runners exhausted and would brought them to run slowly. It was a big test for them to endure as the stretch from Gerona-Paniqui-Moncada-San Manuel and the Pangasinan towns of Rosales, Villasis and Urdaneta were the hottest places along the course. Such stretch covers a distance of 60 kilometers of intense heat!

I decided to shorten the 2nd leg distance by 250 meters and made the famous Matutina Restaurant in Urdaneta City (Pangasinan) as the Finish Line. It was a very convenient place for the runners and their support team to rest and eat their snacks/lunch and dinner. I hope in the next year’s event, I will be able to get the said restaurant as one of the Race Sponsors.

Alfred Delos Reyes Arriving At The Finish Line On the 2nd Leg

Alfred Delos Reyes Arriving At The Finish Line On the 2nd Leg

I had to be strict on the implementation of the prescribed cut-off time on the 2nd day and it resulted to only 25 runners who would finish for the day. Runners were able to get accommodation within the city and most of the runners had more time to rest before the last leg of the event. Little did I know that there were some “drama” and/or “strategy sessions” being made by some of the top ten runners on how they would run the last leg of the course. However, one thing was sure as I’ve seen on the faces of these runners—they all wanted to finish the race and reach Baguio City on foot on the fastest time possible.

Runners from Pangasinan were at the Finish Line at the Matutina Restaurant to cheer the arrival of runners. Dennis Uy from Pozzurubio, Pangasinan, Head/Leader of the Pozzurubio Running Club was there to reiterate his invitation to stop by at his place at Km Post #195 for a “pit stop” for all the runners, support teams and to include my staff.

25 Runners On The Start Of The Last Leg/Day

25 Runners On The Start Of The Last Leg/Day

Few minutes before 1:00 AM of Sunday, 25 remaining runners toed the line and started the last leg of the race. After releasing the runners, I went immediately (aboard my vehicle) to Dennis Uy’s place at Km Post #195 and he established an Aid Station for all the runners with Ice Cold Water, Hot Coffee, local rice cakes called Tupig and Patupat, and Hot Soup #5 with Misua (thin rice noodles). After 24 runners had passed the said Aid Station, the 25th/last runner was having some digestive tract “issues” but he was trying his best to catch up with the group.

Dennis Uy (Yellow Shirt) With The Pozurrubio Running Club

Dennis Uy (Yellow Shirt & Eyeglass) With The Pozurrubio Running Club

Jaylord Ballao of Team EK EK had consistently led the runners from Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 and he was leading by two hours based from their aggregate total times from the rest of the runners. At Kennon Road, he was leading by almost 3-4 kilometers and it would be a matter of time before he would reach the Finish Line with a Course Record.

Jael Wenceslao of 100 Miles Cafe was trailing Jaylord Ballao from the start of the race up to the 3rd Day and he was already sure of getting the 1st Runner-Up position. The “drama” on the 3rd Day was a fight between Lao Ogerio, Alfred Delos Reyes, and Raffy Gabotero as who would be the 3rd, 4th and 5th Overall Top Runners of this Event.

Finally, Alfred Delos Reyes arrived at the Finish Line as the 3rd Runner of the 3rd Leg. Then, Raffy Gabotero came in as the 4th Runner to arrive at the Finish Line. Raffy Gabotero was surprised to know that Lao Ogerio was still on the road towards the Finish Line. Lao Ogerio, after running around the streets of Baguio City, realized that he was lost! It took him 30 minutes to finally find his way to the Finish Line. Despite such mistake, he landed 4th Overall with Raffy Gabotero as the 5th Overall Runner. Alfred Delos Reyes registered a faster pace on the 3rd Leg and eventually got the Third Overall Place for the race.

Podium Finishers (Left To Right: Alfred Delos reyes; Jaylord Ballao; Jael Wenceslao; RD)

Podium Finishers (Left To Right: Alfred Delos reyes; Jaylord Ballao; Jael Wenceslao; RD)

After the cut-off time of 17 hours for this leg, 24 runners arrived and they were declared as the First Official Finishers of the 1st PAU Manila To Baguio 250K 3-Day Stage Ultra Marathon Race.

I consider this Road Race Event as an Epic Run and I could personally assess it as the most challenging road running event race in the country today. My special thanks and appreciation would go to the runners and their teams; Benj Termulo of Our Kitchen Restaurant who established an Aid Station in Meycauayan, Bulacan; Dr Marco Christopher Montaos  of Valenzuela, Bulacan who provided an Aid Station at Bocaue, Bulacan; Juvy Pagtalunan for the Aid Station in Malolos City which served hot coffee and breakfast to all the runners; Dennis Uy of Pozzurubio, Pangasinan; Melan Ku Marquez of Baguio City for the post-race dinner to my staff; and to the BR’s staff. My snappy salute to everybody!

My friends (ultra runners) in Taiwan and South Korea are now telling me that they will train and prepare to join the next edition of this race. It would be a great exposure again for the country in terms of Sports Tourism and for our local ultra runners to mingle and develop friendship with the best ultra runners from our ASEAN brothers.

Two of the runners of this year’s event came all the way from Mindanao and they ran unsupported. Lito Malillin of General Santos City DNFd on the 2nd Day and he told me that he will be coming back for a vengeance on the next edition as he had learned a lot of lessons and experience during the event. Rhodz Cordora of Zambaonaga City, who ran also as unsupported, landed on Top 10 Overall and I consider him as the Most Hardcore Runner among the Finishers!

As I look for the future of this event, I can see great potentials in coming up with “side events” for this race. By next year, we will have a SOLO run for the distance, the multi-day stage (3 days) will still be there, and we will add also a 5-man relay competition (with one woman per team) event.

There are two things that I’ve proven in the conduct of this event. First, my past Adventure Runs can be easily converted as a Road Race Event because I was able to run and survive the distance at the age of 58 years old, and Second, the greatest lesson/experience we got from this event, it proved that we can travel by foot if we want to reach and visit the Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio City!

The next Adventure Run to be converted as a Road Race Event will be the “West To East”: Run Across Luzon!

Lace up, get out of the door and run! Keep on running!

Official Result: 1st Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra Marathon Race (3-Day Stage)

10 02 2014

1st PAU Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra Marathon Race (3-Day Stage)

1:00 AM February 7, 2014 – 6:00 PM February 9, 2014

Start: Rizal Monument, Luneta Park, Manila

Finish: Rizal Park, Burnham Park, Baguio City

Number Of Starters: 42 Runners

Number Of Finishers: 24 Runners

Starting Line @ Luneta Park (Photo Courtesy Of Elaine Botabara)

Starting Line @ Luneta Park (Photo Courtesy Of Elaine Botabara)

1 Jaylord Ballao (Champion, Course Record) 30:26:51
2 Jael Wenceslao (1st Runner-Up) 33:01:41
3 Alfred Delos Reyes (2nd Runner-Up) 34:03:12
4 Lao Ogerio 35:22:18
5 Raffy Gabotero 36:06:09
6 Carlo Gonzales 37:29:52
7 Rhodz Cordora 38:09:12
8 Simon Pavel Miranda 38:36:47
9 James Joseph Soto 39:26:09
10 Albert Salazar 39:26:23
11 Sandy Alentajan 39:34:24
12 Bobby Go 39:34:59
13 Ronnel Go 39:38:52
14 Vanz Camannong 42:37:28
15 Dhannie Tan 43:13:46
16 Carl Balagot 43:45:07
17 Fernando Cabanero 44:04:33
18 Graciano Santos 44:16:01
19 Ronel Medina 44:23:35
20 Amos Adalim 45:19:59
21 Benedict Meneses 45:54:23
22 Nino Andrelix Navarro 46:26:01
23 Leiza Valerio (Lady Champion, Course Record) 46:26:04
24 Ricardo Cabusao 46:35:54
Podium Finishers (Left To Right: Alfred Delos Reyes, Jaylord Ballao, Jael Wenceslao)

Podium Finishers (Left To Right: Alfred Delos Reyes, Jaylord Ballao, Jael Wenceslao) Photo by Ms. Valerie Tauli

Congratulations To All The Participants!

4th Week Of Training (January 27-February 2, 2014)

6 02 2014

January 27, Monday—Rest Day

2-Hour Massage

January 28, Tuesday: @HPA Parade Ground (Paved & Dirt Roads)/Start: 6:51 AM

Distance—-16.2 Kilometers/10 Miles

Time—-1:40:06 Hours

Average Pace—-6:10 mins/km

Average Speed—-9.7 kms/hour

Total Calories—-1,117 cal

Total Ascent—-518 meters/1,700 feet

Total Descent—-500 meters/1,640 feet

Weather—-Cooler on the 1st Half and Early Morning Sun’s Heat on the 2nd Half

Shoes—Hoka One One Stinson Evo

January 29, Wednesday: @Remy Field Oval Track/Start: 3:30 PM

Distance—13 Kilometers/8.1 Miles

Time—-1:14:16 Hours

Average Pace—-5:42 mins/km

Average Speed—-10.5 kms/hour

Total Calories—-883 cal

Total Ascent—-355 meters/1,164 feet

Total Descent—-361 meters/1,184 feet


Shoes—-ASICS Gel-Lyte Racer

Note: Speed Workout—Tried “1-2-3-2-1″ Speed Intervals (One Minute @ 5K Pace with One Minute Recovery Run; Two Minutes @ 10K Pace with Two Minutes Recovery Run; Three Minutes @ 21K Pace with Three Minutes Recovery Run; and then back to 2 minutes @ 10K pace then one minute @ 5K pace. Followed by 3 Reps of 800-meter Intervals with 800-meter recovery run after each repetition.

January 30, Thursday: @Pastolan Trails/Start: 10:37 AM

Distance—-21.13 Kilometers/13 Miles

Time—-3:37:20 Hours

Average Pace—-10:17 mins/km

Average Speed—-5.8 kms/hour

Total Calories—-1,077 cal

Total Ascent—-1,107 meters/3,631 feet

Total Descent—-1,098 meters/3,601 feet

Weather—-Sunny On The 1st Half; Windy & Cloudy/Overcast On The 2nd Half

Shoes—-ADIDAS Vigor Trail

Nutrition—-2 pcs of Hopia (Chinese Bread) + 20 oz of Gatorade + 60 oz of Water

January 31, Friday: @ Pastolan Trails/Playground “Alpha” Loop/Start: 9:40 AM

Distance—-26.21 Kilometers/16.4 Miles

Time—-5:29:53 Hours

Average Pace—-12:35 mins/km

Average Speed—-4.8 kms/hour

Total Calories—-1,254 cal

Total Ascent—-2,377 meters/7,796 feet

Total Descent—-2,300 meters/7,544 feet

Lowest Elevation—-42 meters/137 feet

Highest Elevation—-510 meters/1,673 feet

Weather—-Sunny/Hot & Windy

Shoes—-TNF “Single Track” Trail Shoes

Nutrition—-Steamed Rice, Hard-boiled Egg, Hotdog, 2 pcs of Hopia + One GU Gel on the last 5 Kilometers + 80 oz of water

February 1, Saturday: @Pastolan Trails (10.5K Route-Out & Back)/Start: 1:32 PM

(Note: @7:00 AM—-30-Minute Stationary Cycling)

Distance—-21.16 Kilometers/13 Miles

Time—-3:39:28 Hours

Average Pace—-10:22 mins/km

Average Speed—-5.8 kms/hour

Total Calories—-1,040 cal

Total Ascent—-1,079 meters/3,539 feet

Total Descent—-1,084 meters/3,555 feet

Lowest Elevation—-42 meters/137 feet

Highest Elevation—-390 meters/1,279 feet

Weather—-Cloudy/Overcast & Windy

Shoes—-ADIDAS Vigor Trail

Nutrition—-3 pcs of Hopia + 40 oz of Water + 1 GU Gel mixed with 20 oz of water

February 2, Sunday: @Bataan Death March Route (Km Post #50 – Km Post #83)/Paved Road/Start: 6:56 AM

Distance—-32.40 Kilometers/20 Miles

Time—-4:42:19 Hours

Average Pace—-8:42 mins/km

Average Speed—-6.9 kms/hour

Total Calories—-1,862 cal

Total Ascent—-801 meters/2,627 feet

Total Descent—-818 meters/2,683 feet

Weather—-VERY HOT

Shoes—-Hoka One One Bondi Speed

Nutrition—-Fresh Fruits (Sliced Apples & Korean Pears); Hopia; and Gatorade Drinks

Note: Heat Training For 4 Hours

Total Distance For The Week: 130 Kilometers/81 Miles

Total Vertical Distance (Ascent): 6,237 Meters/20,457 feet

More Trails For This Week

More Trails For This Week

Friday Trash Run

5 02 2014

Starting last Friday, Danin (my training partner) and I had put in our training schedule some time to spend cleaning the rivers/streams along our trail running route and pick-up/collect the trashes that we see scattered along the trail.

From the start of our 26.2K-loop, we started picking up trashes we saw on the trail until we reached where we started. We also cleaned the streams from dried twigs, branches and leaves.

Pool Cleaning Along The Trail

Pool Cleaning Along The Trail

It made our running workout slower but what we did during the said workout was all worth it. If there is a simple thing to do for the good of the environment, picking up of trashes along the trails is a “no brainer” for a trail runner to do. It may not have an immediate result or impact on the environment but the thought of maintaining cleanliness in the environment has a personal satisfaction for me and Danin.

I did not expect that the trash we collected ended up in two plastic bags which we brought as our garbage bags. As we were going back to where we started, Danin thought of tying the bags on his backpack. One can see from the picture of Danin how big are the volumes of the two garbage bags full of trash!

Danin Running With The Bags Of Trash

Danin Running With The Bags Of Trash

Two Bags Full Of Trash!

Two Bags Full Of Trash!

From the contents of the garbage bags, most of them are non-biodegradables—plastics, water bottles, soda cans, junk food plastic bags, candy wrappers, cigarette packs, and plastic bags.

The Collected Trash

The Collected Trash

Danin and I will be doing this “exercise” once a week along the trails in my playground.

I hope this personal effort to save the environment will have its “spread” effect to the other trail runners and trekkers of our mountains.


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