Official Results: 2014/4th Taklang Damulag 100-Mile & 50-Mile Endurance Runs

15 12 2014

4th Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Run

5:00 AM December 13, 2014 To 3:00 PM December 14, 2014

Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Headquarters, Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City (Nueva Ecija)

Number Of Starters: 16

Number Of Finishers: 9

Percentage Rate Of Finish: 56%

Runners @ The Starting Area

Runners @ The Starting Area

RANK           NAME                                 TIME (Hours)

1. Lao Ogerio (Champion, Overall)——30:47:32

2. Milbert Cabral (1st Runner-Up, Overall—–31:07:38

3. Alfred Delos Reyes (2nd Runner-Up, Overall)—–32:38:52

4. Tess Leono (Champion, Female, Course Record)—-33:23:01

5. Ariel Briones —————————————–33:35:34

6. Dindo Diaz——————————————–33:37:31

7. Bong Dizon——————————————–33:38:58

8. Simon Pavel Miranda ——————————–33:40:21

9. Myk Dauz ———————————————-33:40:58

Overall Champion Lao Ogerio

Overall Champion Lao Ogerio

First Female Champion & Course Record Holder Tess Leono

First Female Champion & Course Record Holder Tess Leono

4th Taklang Damulag 50-Mile Endurance Run

5:00 AM December 13, 2014

SOCOM Headquarters, Philippine Army, Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City

Number of Starters: 12

Number Of Finishers: 12

Percentage Rate Of Finish: 100%

RANK          NAME                        TIME (Hours)

1. Raul Ragaodao (Champion, Overall/Course Record)—–12:39:30

2. Luc Hapers (1st Runner-Up, Overall/Course Record)————–12:50:31

3. Mark Raon (2nd Runner-Up, Overall)———————13:31:27

4. Von Rayan Martinez————————————–14:51:53

5. Romhel Biscarra —————————————15:33:40

6. Loradel Hanopol (Champion, Female)—————-16:18:31

7. Jobert Inclan———————————————16:37:45

8. Emma Libunao (1st Runner-Up, Female)—————18:35:19

9. Katherine Villaflor (2nd Runner-Up, Female)———18:53:37

10. Cleo Gevero (Female)———————————-18:53:38

11. Efren Monzon——————————————-19:32:33

12. Roland Pagaduan ————————————–19:32:33

Champion & Course Record Holder Raul Ragaodao

Champion & Course Record Holder Raul Ragaodao

Congratulations To Everybody!





Official Result: 8th Tagaytay To Nasugbu (T2N) 50K Ultra Run

7 12 2014

8th Tagaytay To Nasugbu 50K Ultra Marathon Race

4:00 AM To 1:00 PM December 7, 2014

Starting Area: Picnic Grove, Tagaytay City

Finish Line: PETRON Gas Station, Nasugbu, Batangas

Number Of Starters: 63

Number Of Finishers: 63

Cut-Off Time: 9 Hours

RD's Briefing Before The Start Of The Race

RD’s Briefing Before The Start Of The Race

T2N Batch #8 Group Picture Before Gun Start

T2N Batch #8 Group Picture Before Gun Start

RANK                N A M E                                   T I M E (Hrs)

1.  Alen Bautista (Champion, Overall)————-4:54:47

2. Arnel Renato (1st Runner-Up, Overall)———5:19:22

3.  Lao Ogerio (2nd Runner-Up, Overall)———5:22:12

4.  Rhina Sison (Champion, Female)————–5:22:26

5.  Carlo Contemplacion—————————-5:25:01

6.  Annaliza Marsan (1st Runner-Up, Female)—5:38:52

7.  Jess Evangelista———————————-5:42:53

8.  Antonio Delos Reyes—————————–5:45:56

9.  Elpidio Berja————————————–5:46:42

10. Mark Anthony Rodica—————————5:46:54

11. Jerdie Jurado————————————-5:52:36

12. Aljim Gacad————————————–5:53:22

13. Rasette Hao Pesuelo (2nd Runner-Up, Female)—5:53:51

14. Madison Trinidad——————————–6:02:24

15. Loradel Hanopol (Female)———————-6:03:15

16. Myk Dauz—————————————–6:05:28

17. Ma. Rowena Madrid (Female)——————6:06:54

18. Kathleen Pinero (Female)———————–6:07:00

19. Ruben Veran————————————-6:17:17

20. Cecile Lalisan (Female)————————6:18:40

21. Ronald Robles———————————–6:24:57

22. Efren Olpindo———————————–6:30:17

23. Jaime Patricio———————————–6:31:09

24. Allan Pablo————————————–6:31:23

25. Ma. Teresa Villa Abrille (Female)————-6:31:24

26. Aleli Gloria Delos Santos (Female)———–6:38:29

27. Romhel Biscarra——————————–6:38:38

28. Eduardo Gelindon——————————6:41:11

29. Jake Nelson Cheng—————————-6:41:47

30. Richard Allan Mangalip———————-6:43:25

31. Maria Celeste Layug (Female)—————6:43:41

32. Myla Go (Female)—————————-6:43:42

33. Wilnar Iglesia———————————6:43:43

34. Floriemay Ragas (Female)——————6:43:51

35. Fraulein Mariano (Female)—————–6:46:35

36. Abby Aliwalas (Female)———————6:46:36

37. Edwin Cruz———————————–6:53:03

38. Renato Grande——————————-6:55:56

39. Eda Maningat (Female)———————6:56:18

40. Gerson Yuzon——————————–6:58:46

41. Ramil Lomboy——————————-7:02:35

42. Emma Libunao (Female)——————7:04:03

43. Marlon Santos——————————7:04:04

44. Mar Marilag——————————–7:05:50

45. Stephen Avanzado————————-7:10:20

46. Severino Khita—————————–7:15:43

47. Arnel Fajardo——————————7:17:40

48. Adrian Aquino—————————-7:19:08

49. Allenstein Co——————————7:20:19

50. Rommel Ayuson————————–7:34:03

51. Ma. Corazon Ramos (Female)———–7:34:50

52. Alberto Cruz, Jr—————————7:35:15

53. Joan Pardo Arevalo (Female)———–7:45:51

54. Edna Yao Lim (Female)—————–7:45:54

55. Joey Genecera—————————-7:50:42

56. Fernando Torres————————-7:52:34

57. Eliza Laureles (Female)—————–8:02:51

58. J. Cip Lim——————————–8:21:39

59. Quennie Lynne Aceveda (Female)—-8:26:06

60. Amor Gabriel, Jr————————8:26:07

61. Julius Danas—————————–8:41:35

62. Richard Toledo————————-8:43:28

63. Rosita Dino (Female)——————8:57:36

Overall Champion Alen Bautista

Overall Champion Alen Bautista

Female Champion & 4th Overall Rhina Vince Sison

Female Champion & 4th Overall Rhina Vince Sison

Last Runner Rosita Dino

Last Runner Rosita Dino

Congratulations To All The Runners & Support Crew!





Race Report: 2014 Clark-Miyamit 50-Mile Trail Run (Part 4)

3 12 2014

Race Report: 2014 CM 50 (Part 4)

Race In Progress: From AS2 To AS1 To The Finish Line

I still have 3 hours+ to cover a distance of 16-17 kilometers (on paper) but in reality, it might reach actually to 22-23 kilometers. I need to run and jog at an average pace of 6-7 kilometers per hour in order to reach the Finish Line before the cut-off time of 18 hours. It is doable and I could still have some “buffer” time to spare just in case I need more time to rest or power hike or simply walk along the course.

After running on the ridges of hills and edges of sugar plantation, I was going down again to the bank of lahar-sand-filled river which is popularly called as the Pasig-Potrero River and on my right is the bridge before reaching the Porac Exit along the SCTEX when one goes to the direction of Subic Freeport. After crossing the vast and wide river, I was back on the bank of the river and tried to follow those reflectorized markers and colored-orange paint that I could see on plants; on sticks; on rocks and on the ground. This time they were already located on my left side.

I was already getting impatient as to when I would be able to reach the “rope-climbing” part before I finally reach the populated part of the course and the cemented stairs that I’ve climb on the early part of the race. As I jogged and power hike, I would allow the faster runners to pass me because I knew that they are younger than me and they deserve to have that bragging rights to have finished the race ahead of me, a Senior Citizen!

Sacobia River

Pasig-Potrero River (Picture Taken From Google)

Finally, I was on my way up to the peak of a hill with those ropes and I know in a short while, I would be on my way to that descending cemented stair to be able to reach the populated area. Just the same with last year’s experience, I was able to see those parked 4X4 jeeps and those children playing on the road trying to mimic the way I run and would keep running on my side. I know that after passing the village I will be back again to that road which is full of lahar-sand which is flat and that will lead me to the AS1 which is near to a Spa and Wellness Facility. One runner had passed me on this part of the course and tried to follow him.

It was already getting dark when I reached AS1 and I thought to myself that I still have 7 kilometers more to go which is I could easily do in order to reach the Finish Line. I guess, I still had one hour and 45 minutes before the cut-off time at this point. The lady volunteer at the AS1 was asking me if I needed something, food and water, were still available and I was the only one she had to attend to. I just said to her, “Thank You” and I was on my way to the last 4 kilometers of lahar-sand filled river of Sacobia. I immediately brought out my headlight and had it fitted on my head as I walked on the lahar. With another runner ahead of me, I could easily spot him on his direction. However, even without the runner in front of me, I would easily get my bearing and direction back to the Finish Line as I still would recall that on my way to the AS1 on the early part of the race, all the runners were running on the left side of the river. So, on my way back, I should be running on the right side of the river trying to be near as possible on the right side of the bank of the river. From afar, I would see the flashing lights of the volunteers/marshals and I made a direct route to reach their positions. I was trying to hug the right bank of the river as I run in semi-circle path towards the trailhead.

Puning Wellnes Spa & Resort @ Vicinity AS1

 Near Puning Wellnes Spa & Resort @ Vicinity AS1 (Photo Taken From Google)

As I ran on these last 4 kilometers of lahar-sand and river with flowing water, different kinds of insects would be attracted by the glow of my headlight and they became problem to my vision. Some of the insects would get into my eyes and made used of my hands as an inverted pendulum to drive them away. It did not take long to endure in this kind of situation as I made my way back to the trailhead leading back to the paved road of the Clark Freeport. As I got nearer to the trailhead, I was able to meet the locals and their families as they proceeded to the river. I got the impression that they were going home to their respective villages which is about 4 kilometers of walking along the river. They even joked at me if they can borrow my powerful headlight as they were moving down to the river without any flashlights. At this point, my Garmin watch just died and I was looking on my other watch on how many more minutes left before the actual time of the day reaches to 7:00 PM. Upon reaching the paved road, I got 45 minutes to go before the cut-off time and I know I would make it and finish strong.

I finally brought my distance nearer to the runner ahead of me up to 5-8 meters behind him as we ran the last 3 kilometer of paved road to the Clark’s Parade Ground. I told the runner that we will finish the race in the same order that we are in, which means that I have no intention of passing or “out-kicking” him on the last kilometer or so. I just maintained my regular LSD pace and I would notice that I was still strong at this point. My legs and knees were not hurting and did not have any bouts of cramping during the duration of the race. My feet were fine and I wasn’t able to feel any signs of blisters except for the annoying lahar-sand that was embedded inside my running shoes and socks.

On the last kilometer before the finish line, I slowed down and let the runner ahead of me to widen our gap in between us. It was okey and took my time to jog easily towards the Parade Ground. Finally, I was able to cross the Finish Line with almost 10 minutes more to spare before the cut-off time. Officially, my finish time registered at 17:50:51 hours! The RD awarded my Finisher’s Medal and I was able to get my Finisher’s Shirt.

Few Meters Before The Finish Line

Few Meters Before The Finish Line

I did it for the second time in two consecutive years. Not bad for a Senior Citizen at 62 years of age! Surprisingly, I was not limping, no chafing and did not feel any soreness or pain as I walked towards my personal vehicle.

It is worth to mention the following items that I used during the race. For the second time in a row, I did not use trekking poles in this event. And and never ingested any “pain-killer” and salt tablets during the run.

Running Cap: Salomon’s Matador-X (Red Color/Clima UV50+)

Headlight: Icon Polar by Black Diamond

Sunglasses: Oakley

Neck/Nape/Face Cover/Protection & Sweat Absorbent: Buff

Running Shirt: PAU Long-Sleeved Shirt By A Perfect White Shirt

Running Shorts: PATAGONIA Shorts

Watches + HR Monitor: GARMIN 310XT & CASIO Watch

Belt Pouches: ULTIMATE DIRECTION (Scott Jurek’s Signature Series)

Hydration Vest & Back Pack: ULTIMATE DIRECTION Anton Krupicka’s Signature Series

Water Bottles: SIMPLE Hydration Bottles (Two) + One SALOMON (Collapsible) Water Bottle (10 oz.) inside my hydration pack.

Thermal Blanket: SALOMON

Whistle: SALOMON

Cell Phone: SAMSUNG Dous Flip-Phone

Camera: NIKON Coolpix SO1 Pocket Camera

Calf Sleeves: COMPRESSPORT Ultra (Black)

Gaiters: Dirty Girl

Socks: DRYMAX

Runinng Shoes: SALOMON S-LAB Sense-3 (Soft Ground)

Running Gloves: Cycling Gloves By Specialized

Anti-Blister & Chafing Protection: LEUKOPLAST By BSN and BODY GLIDE

Pain Killer: Two (2) ALEVE Tablets taken after meal before the Start of the Race

Nutrition: 4 Packs of VESPA Drinks; 12 pieces of GELS ( GU + VFuel); 4 pieces of PB & J Sandwiches; 3 Packs of Honey STINGER; One Can of Tuna Paella; 8 Packs/Sachets of MILO Drinks; and 8 pieces of DYNAMITE Choco Mint Candies By Universal Robina Corporation (70 calories in every 4 candies)

Nutrition & Hydration Items Carried In My Belt & Pack

Some Of The Nutrition & Hydration Items Carried In My Belt & Pack

What Went Wrong?

It is nice to analyze once performance in every event that I join so that I can improve in my future attendance to this event. First, I need to discuss my “alibis” or reasons why I slowed down and was not able to duplicate my performance last year. These reasons are geared more to my training and preparation for this race. They maybe gross and disgusting reasons but I have to mention them here:

1. Diarrhea——Would you believe I was having a diarrhea for the whole month of October? Yes, the whole month and no amount of medication would be able to treat it. Just imagine me running towards creeks and streams during my trail running long runs just to be able to relieve myself. I really did not know what illness came to my digestive tract for those weeks. Even in my sleep during nighttime, I would wake up and go to the comfort room for a minimum of 3-4 times! After taking in different brands of Loperamide capsules, my situation did not improve and I just completely stopped taking such medication. Instead, I tried to drink more water and maintained my usual daily diet. I would meet and run the required mileages in my training program but the intensity was not there and I slowed down in my jogging but did more of “power hiking”. I experienced being dehydrated in almost all my long weekend runs.

2. Training Program Adjusted——As compared to last year’s average of 55-60 miles of weekly mileage on my peak training, I was doing 36-42 miles of weekly mileage for the 2 months of training preparation for this year’s event. Last year, I prepared for 5 months and for this year, my preparation was only 2 months! The training adjustment was done for my body to recover for my past ultra trail races in the middle of this year and for my knee injury recovery. It could be a blessing in disguise that I had some medical issues (diarrhea) for me not to over train and put more intensity to my training. There were no speed intervals done for the training period and it was limited to some progressive and tempo runs while doing my long runs and daily short runs. The training adjustment came also with an additional one day of rest and recovery for the week. Monday and Friday became my recovery/rest days for the week and it was maintained for the the tw0-month period of training.

Salomon S-LAB Sense 3 (Soft Ground)

Salomon S-LAB Sense 3 (Soft Ground)

3. Wrong Choice of Shoes——Two weeks before the race, I made a 23K run at the Mt Pinatubo 50K Trail Challenge while monitoring the progress of my race and my runners. I used the Salomon S-LAB Sense 3 (SG) and I found out that the lahar-sand would easily enter in my shoes’ upper mesh. I was so hard-headed in my desire to come up with a 300-Kilometer mileage as soon as possible for this shoes before I could write and post a decent Shoe Review for it. I should have maintained using my INOV-8 X-Talon Trail Shoes which I used in last year’s edition where its canvass material would easily prevent more lahar-sand entering to my shoes. Although I did not bother cleaning my feet and socks from the lahar-sand throughout the race, I have the feeling that it affected my leg turn-over during the run and overall, I became slower and easily got tired from the additional weight my legs were lifting.

4. Weather——This is my hottest running experience on this route but the scenery was its best! My energy was zapped and got exhausted on my way from AS4 to AS3 after coming from Miyamit Falls. I know that most of the runners experienced this kind of situation. It was unfortunate for us to be in the “tail-end” that there were no more ice available for us by the time we reached AS3, AS2, and AS1. This was not a big deal for me as long as I was able to drink some Soda drinks in the Aid Stations. Anyway, my hydration bottles were never empty from this point on to the Finish Line.

Something To Be Proud Of

Something To Be Proud Of

To Be Continued.





Race Report: 2014 Clark-Miyamit 50-Mile Trail Run (Part 3)

1 12 2014

Race Report: 2014 CM 50 (Part #3)

Race In Progress @ AS4 To The Peak & Back

Upon reaching AS4 (Km #32), I saw a lot of runners making their refills in their hydration bottles and bladders; and some were eating what the Aid Station had to offer and what they had brought with them in their packs. One of the volunteers, who happens to be an ultra friend, asked my two bottles to be refilled with water as they were about to be empty when I reached the Aid Station. After a few seconds and as soon as my bottles were refilled, I left the Aid Station immediately and did not spend one minute in the place. As I left the place, I was smiling knowing that the Aid Station is consistently manned by Team BORING and I can appropriately relate to what I’ve been posting on Facebook about my training runs——they are simply “boring” trail runs and hill repeats!

AS4 @Km 32 Manned By Team BORING

AS4 @Km 32 Manned By Team BORING (Photo Taken From Facebook)

From the AS4 to the peak of Mt Miyamit is almost 10 kilometers of single-track trail. The trail is dry, hard and compact and there are portions (with rocks) which are slippery. I had to jog on the flat and descending portions and then power-hike the ascending parts of the trail. Almost half-way to the peak, I started to meet the leading runner who happens to be a foreigner and then later on, followed by fast and strong local trail runners. This part of the course is well-covered with trees, bananas and other vegetation except for the last mile to the peak of Mt Miyamit or turn-around point which is covered with tall grasses. The temperature in this part of the course is cooler and it is where you start feeling the breeze of a cold wind. My pace would be slow but I make it a point to breath deeply and take advantage of the cleanest air that is available outside Metro Manila!

I always have the habit of counting the number of runners that I would meet along this part of the trail as I would know how I fared and know my position on my way down after coming from the peak/turn-around point. When I reached counting up to 50 runners before I could finally reach the peak, I just stopped the mental exercise. From this point, I knew already that I was slowing on my pace as compared when I finished this event last year. I can still recall that I was among the top 40 runners when I reached the turn-around point in last year’s edition.

It was only in this year’s race that I was able to see the peak of the mountain; the scenery of the surroundings; the river and trail that goes to the northern approach towards Mt Pinatubo, coming from Barangay Sta Juliana, Capas (route of Mt Pinatubo 50K Trail Challenge); and the clear sky above. As I moved and jogged towards the peak, I could see those tiny figures of runners as they trekked along the single-track trail that leads to the peak. Last year, I was not able to see such sight of ascending steep trail and the runners that were moving slowly towards the turn-around point. As I moved higher towards the peak, I was able to meet familiar faces of trail runners who are half younger than my age. From what I saw from their faces as I met them, I would see varied reactions. Some were smiling and cheering but some were looking-scared, too! Finally, I reached the peak/turn-around point feeling hungry and tired. I reached the peak/turn-around point in 8:10+ hours which was a very slow time as compared to my time to reach the peak last year. I would guess it would be within the 7-hour mark in last year’s edition!

Single-Track Trail Leading To The Peak Of Mt Miyamit (Photo By Chips Dayrit)

Single-Track Trail Leading To The Peak Of Mt Miyamit (Photo By Chips Dayrit)

I immediately got my “loom” band from Brian Tang Sen, who was also taking notes of my Race Bib and time of arrival at the turn-around point. As I looked around, I saw those runners ahead of me sitting on the ground and eating their food that they carried with them in their pack. Since I was drenched with my own sweat, I felt cold as the strong winds would pass my body and I started to chill. To remedy the situation, I decided to go down from the peak and try to locate a place where it is warmer and protected from the strong winds in the mountain. After about 400 meters from the peak, I stopped and ate my food which was one can of Tuna Paella and drank a bit of my water. I was trying to save my water as I was anticipating for the heat and warmer temperature as I descended towards AS4. While I was eating and resting, the runners who were eating at the peak/turn-around point would pass me on their way back to AS4.I wished them good luck and I was hoping that I would be able to catch up with their group.

Brian Tan Seng & Company @ The Peak/Turn-Around Point

Brian Tan Seng & Company @ The Peak/Turn-Around Point (Photo Taken From Facebook)

I felt energized after eating and I had my mixture of MILO drinks and Gel as my hydration while trying to maintain my pace back to AS4. I would try to save the remaining water in my bottles by placing some candies in my mouth and letting them “play” with my tongue. However, within 2 kilometers before reaching the AS4, I started to feel fatigued and wasted. I knew I was about to be dehydrated. I slowed down and tried to hike the uphills and made sure to bring myself to AS4. I consumed the rest of my water and mixed drinks at this point and I was thinking that I would be drinking lots of water once I reached the AS4. While I was on my way back to the AS4, I saw one of my ultra running friends to be sitting on the edge of the trail. I asked him what is his problem and he said something about a fatigue “issue” and I immediately got one of my candies in my running shorts’ pockets. As I handed him the candy, I told him to immediately take it in his mouth and try to relax. I passed him but I knew he will be able to recover after some rest.

As I arrived at the AS4, I saw more familiar faces and most of them greeted me and I greeted them back also. I had my bottles refilled with water and took a chair while waiting for the volunteer to do what I’ve requested. Suddenly, I saw some 1.5 liter bottles of Sprite and I immediately asked from one of the volunteers for some amount of it. For not being able to look for a cup, he offered a lot of Sprite in an improvised cup (empty Sprite bottle cut in one-half) and I was able to ingest an equivalent of 1/2 liter. After a few seconds, I was ready to go down to the Miyamit Falls. I never drank Soda drinks in my training and by drinking Sprite when I was about to be dehydrated gave me an extraordinary feeling of power and strength!

My moves from AS4 to the Miyamit Falls was a non-stop jogging/slow running as the trail was descending. I was able to meet a lot of runners who were going back to AS4. I saw some of the runners to be picking up their hydration bottle which they left on their way down to the falls and retrieving them back again as they reach back to AS4. Last year, I’ve observed a lot of my running friends leaving their hydration packs or hydration belts/bottles at AS4 before going down to the turn-around point at the Miyamit Falls. I personally consider this as unfair practice for those who don’t remove their hydration vest/pack/belt from their body during the entire duration of the race. Anyway, this observation did not affect my motivation to reach the Miyamit Falls and back to AS4 with a faster pace and be able to pass more runners in the process.

One Of The Numerous Pictures Taken With Miyamit Falls As My Background (Picture Taken During A Typhoon)

One Of The Numerous Pictures Taken With Miyamit Falls As My Background (Picture Taken During A Typhoon)

As soon as I reached the turn-around point at the Miyamit Falls, I was able to get my “loom” band and made a quick turn-around back to the AS4. There is no valid reason for me to stop, wash my shoes and remove the lahar-sand in them, or have some pictures taken with me and the Falls as the background. It was a waste of time. The power of the Sprite drink that I had taken from AS4 was still in me and I made it a point to jog and power hike all the way up to the Aid Station. I think I was able to break my record time in finishing this part of the course. It was a very fast climb back to AS4 even if I was sweating profusely as it was too hot already for all the runners. As soon as I reached the AS4, I took another drink of Sprite and I was off towards AS2. I was able to surprise those runners who were resting at the Aid Station and I immediately told them that “the race is about to start from this point!”

The Wide Dirt Road From AS4 To AS3 (Photo Courtesy of Jon Las Bruce)

The Wide Dirt Road From AS4 To AS3 (Photo Courtesy of Jon Las Bruce)

Running from AS4 to AS3 seemed to be the easiest part of the course since most of the trail was descending in nature. But I was wrong, the heat of the sun showed its strength to all the runners and it was time to adjust my Buff so that my nape and most parts of my face are covered; to wear my Oakley sunglass; to continuously hydrate with my water and mixed MILO + GU; and to try to look for a more shady part of the trail which was usually on the right side of the trail. I was glad those sunflower plants on the side of the road were able to provide enough shade for me! My knees were holding up so good that I was able to run a slow and even pace most of the time. This made the other runners to be scared of me as I tried to quicken my pace while I was in front or behind them. I have memorized already this part of the course after so many times of visiting/running this place and I was confident to anticipate of what kind of terrain to expect from afar. My race tactics is always consistent——count the number of strides up to 90 and then repeat; hydrate every 5 minutes with a sip, alternating water and MILO Drinks; breath from the nose; keep shoulders relaxed; power hike on the ascending portions but still maintaining on counting my strides up to 90; and think positively about the race!

AS3 is located in Barangay Sapang Uwak of Porac, Pampanga and the place is a resettlement site for the Minorities called “Aetas”. The building where the AS3 is located is a tourism facility and Barangay Hall Center. Once I entered the populated area of the Barangay and about 400 meters before reaching the AS3, I was hearing a loud announcement from one of the house’s TV that Manny Pacquiao won its latest fight in Macau. I even asked from the Aeta (owner of the house) standing in front of the house if the opponent was TKO’d by Manny Pacquiao and he related to me briefly what happened during the fight as I slowed down from my running! More or less, this is the approximate time of the day that I reached AS3.

Finally, I reached AS3 and I still have 23 kilometers more to go before reaching the Finish Line. With my experience last year, I knew that it was NOT the last 23 kilometers of the race. It is actually the last 30 Kilometers to the finish line as the whole course has a total distance of almost 54 miles! With only 5 hours + to spare to reach the Finish Line within the cut-off time of 18 hours, I made a mental computation on what could be my average pace/speed in order to be safe and be able to finish strong!

Ayala Triads @ AS3 Who Served Food For Me With Watermelon

Ayala Triads @ AS3 Who Served Food For Me With Watermelon (Photo Taken From Facebook)

The Ayala Triads was manning the AS3, the one that I promised to the RD to have my pit stop on my way back to the Finish Line. I really stopped here for about 15 minutes——ate a lot of watermelon bites; I was served with fried bean curd dipped in vinegar (tokwa) and pork adobo with rice; refilled my bottles; mixed my MILO drinks; hydrated with a lot of Sprite; and had a brief chat with the volunteers and the rest of the runners at the Aid Station. I knew that this will be my last Aid Station where I will stop and make my refill, so I took time to rest and eat some solid foods. I was so thankful to the members of the Ayala Triads for very attentive and helpful to my personal needs and to the other runners’ needs.

Last "Pit Stop" For Food & Water Refill @ AS3 (Photo By Rovelyn Dimaala)

Last “Pit Stop” For Food & Water Refill @ AS3 (Photo By Rovelyn Dimaala)

The afternoon was getting hotter as I gained my ground from AS3 to AS2. It was a non-stop jogging and power hiking, alternately. This is the most “boring” part of the course where I would consistently count the number of my strides as I was getting nearer to AS2. It was so simple and “boring” to follow——count my strides while jogging up to 90 and then repeat until I felt I was tired and then power hike up to the count of 30 and then back again to jogging and…counting! It is a “boring” practice/habit but it is very effective! The power hike was my rest period and yet I was still moving forward!

As I was getting nearer to the Finish Line, my Race Belt Pockets/Pouches and Hydration Vest/Pack are getting lighter, too after consuming some of my stashed drinks, food, and gels. But my Salomon Sense-3 Soft Ground Shoes was getting heavier due to the lahar-sand that entered in them. It was time-consuming to stop and clean my socks and shoes from the sand as I knew that I will pass and cross those lahar-filled river crossings (again) before finally reaching the Finish Line. There was no time to fret on such thing where I thought it would be better if I used my INOV-8 shoes which I used in last year’s edition. I did not listen to my first observation when I used them for my 20K run at the Mt Pinatubo 50K Trail Challenge two weeks before this race. I was too engrossed in coming up with a 300-Kilometer mileage before I can write a Shoe Review for this shoes!

I was able to reach AS2 but I simply passed through it and continued my run. My next target was to reach AS1 as fast as I could with my remaining strength and will power. I think I still have 3 hours+ before the cut-off time at this point. It was still daytime!

To be continued.





Race Report: 2014 Clark-Miyamit 50-Mile Trail Run (Part 2)

29 11 2014

2013 CM50 Experience

I finished my first Clark-Miyamit 50-Mile Trail Run (CM50) with a ranking of #28 among the 120+ starters and I am proud to have registered a finish time of 15:30:20 hours. I did not publish or post on this blog a Race Report about such accomplishment but I was able to post a Race Report of a shorter version of the event which was the Miyamit Falls 42K Trail Run. More or less, my Race Report on this short trail run (which is one-half of the CM50) covers those significant points that brought my successful finish in this event.

My success in my first CM50 can be summarized by the following factors or reasons:

1. I finally decided to get the services of a reliable mountain trail ultra Coach.

2. My training program was done consistently on mountain trails. Monday is my Rest Day. The rest of the days of the week were running days where recovery or hard/easy runs were strictly followed. My training started in the middle of June of last year, making it to five (5) months as my training/preparation for this event.

3. Hydration and Nutrition were tried and experimented during my long runs.

4. Core Workouts and Strengthening Exercises were done regularly, at least, three times a week.

5. I joined the Miyamit Falls 42K Trail Run and was able to conduct a recon to the peak of Mt Miyamit.

6. The weather during the race was cooler and the sky was overcast.

CM50 Logo

CM50 Logo

2014 CM50 Experience

I finally decided to join this year’s edition in the middle of September of this year as I had some time to rest and recover from trail running for almost six weeks. This “rest & recovery” period was devoted to mostly mountain hiking at an easy and relaxing pace.

I had to make some adjustments to my training due to my recurring knee injury. My knee injury would be the result of getting older and “wear and tear” due to running. This is the reason why I had to run consistently on the trails for a softer impact to the ground. And whenever I try to run on the pavement for my long runs, my knees would be sore and aching.

I told my running coach about my recurring knee injury and my plan not to join the Chimera 100 in Corona, California on November 15. Instead, I told him that I will be attempting my second consecutive finish in the CM50 with a better time without being injured leading to race day.

My coach advised me to take an extra day off for me to recover and rest before my weekend long runs so that my knees will be well-rested before my long runs on trails. After back-to-back long runs on weekends, I would take my usual Monday rest day. By doing this on my weekly runs, I was able to sustain healthy knees and kept them from any soreness or pain. However, my speed did not improve but I was able to bring back my endurance without thinking of my recurring knee problem/injury.

A few days before Race Day, I told my Coach that my knees are holding up and ready to take the beating from the incoming race. He advised me to take it easy and slow on the first half with my pace. And most importantly, take in my nutrition as early within the race and maintain my hydration strategy. The “real race” on this course will start from AS4 back to the Finish Line.

Race Proper

Having been a “repeater” in this race, I knew the “drill” on what to prepare and do on Race Day. My nutrition was the key for me to finish this race and I concentrated much on it. I had PB & J sandwiches, a can of Tuna Paella, Stingers, Gels, MILO Packs, Candies, and Vespa. I’ve been consistently using these nutrition items in my weekend runs and I was confident that they will give me the much-needed energy to finish the race.

I had my mandatory gears checked by the RD before I was able to get my Race Bib. After I wore my running attire and shoes, I was ready for the race. I took a meal of rice and corned beef 30 minutes before the race started, took one Gel, and drank one pack of Vespa. I went to the starting area and wished my friends “good luck”.

CM50 & CM60K Start @ 1:00 AM of Sunday November 23, 2014 (Photo Courtesy Of AVAquino Photography)

CM50 & CM60K Start @ 1:00 AM of Sunday November 23, 2014 (Photo Courtesy Of AVAquino Photography)

The race started at exactly 1:00 AM of Sunday, November 23 from the Clark Parade Ground and the runners were off towards the direction on the Main Road going to the Southern Portion of the Camp/Facility which was a former US Air Force Base. The first 3 Kilometers is along a paved wide road with a rolling profile elevation where one would be pulled by the other faster runners. I was able to maintain a slower pace on this part of the course. It was too early to be racing with the other runners. As I looked around, I would see familiar faces but I did not know whether they are with me in the distance category where I was competing. I guess, at this point, I was almost on the tail-end of the runners of the 50-milers and 60K runners.

CM50 Course Map & Location of Aid Stations

CM50 Course Map & Location of Aid Stations

After 3 kilometers, I started to reach the trailhead with a single-track downhill trail leading to the bank of a river. The bank of the river was a dry bed of lahar-sand and after a few meters, my feet had their first taste of the flowing water of the river which is mixed with lahar-sand. I could feel that my shoes had been absorbing a lot of sand through its upper mesh while I was crossing the river. The flowing water was very shallow but the current was very fast! The river is called Sacobia River and I will be coming back on this wide river on my way back to the Finish Line.

I was using the same headlight that I used last year and it gave me the much needed illumination and it served me well during the race. The Icon Polar Headlight from Black Diamond is a heavy one on the head because it has 4 Double A Batteries as source of power. I don’t complain much on this because this lighting system is very reliable and long-lasting on its power.

The running period for a 4-kilometer of river-lahar with flowing water was so fast that I was seeing myself to be nearing the First Aid Station (Km #7) which was located before an ascending paved road towards a Spa & Wellness Resort. I did not stop at the 1st Aid Station! Once I reached the peak of the paved road by power walking/hiking, it was all downhill on a wide dirt road until it became another road with loose lahar-sand. It was so hard to run on the lahar-sand even if I was following the tracks of wheeled vehicles passing along this road. Because it was still dark, my sight was concentrated on the whitish-color of the lahar-sand as it was illuminated by my powerful headlight. It started to be boring and running to an endless sand!

The loose lahar-sand ultimately led us to a hardened wide dirt road with a high-walled fence on the right side of the road. Because it was still too dark to look around, I could sense that this is a populated village where 4 X 4 jeeps would park and where I would see children play along the road when I was on my way to the finish line in last year’s edition. I knew that after a few meters, I would be turning on a sharp right towards an uphill climb on a cemented stairs! Once I climbed on those stairs, I knew that after a few meters of winding trail, the next challenge will be a steep descent towards some trails of loose lahar-sand (again!).

CM 50-Mile Run Elevation Profile

CM 50-Mile Run Elevation Profile

Once I reached the steep descending trail, I saw a rope with some runners clinging on it while they were on their way down to the foot of the trail. It was my turn to use the rope in going down the trail and it was too easy for me to grasp the rope as I was using a cycling gloves. There were three (3) parts/portions of the rope towards the lowest level of the ground where each part is about 10 meters. I knew that after this descending part, another flowing river with lahar will be the next part of the course.

If there are parts with no marshals on this vast lahar-covered river, there are blinking lights and reflectorized strips that would indicate the correct direction of the course. It is very clear and easy to see those reflectorized strips on the right side of the trail on the first half of the course. There is no reason why a runner should be lost along the course. I guess, my headlight might have a very strong illumination that those reflectorized strips on the trail could be easily seen from afar. Last year, aside from my headlight, I was also using a handheld light which gave me more illumination to a specific direction/location while on the move.

Running on the river with lahar is a big problem for runners whether it is during the day or night. The first problem is that lahar-sand would enter ones shoes most specially when crossing the flowing river whether a runner is wearing a gaiter. The lahar-sand would accumulate in-between the insole and the socks and later on the space between the tips of the toes and the front tip of the inside part of the shoes. The second problem is for the runner to be careful in avoiding the rocks or if they choose to step on the rocks, they should land their foot lightly on them and avoid being “tripped” by them. The third problem, is the “heat” that comes out from the sand when the sun is hot. One should remember that these river-lahar crossing along the course are not covered and every runner is exposed to the heat of the sun, most specially on their way back to the Finish Line. Running on a lahar-sand environment should be a part of ones training if a runner would like to have a good finish time in this event.

After crossing the second river I knew I would be towards an uphill climb and starts running on the ridges of hills and edges of cultivated fields where most of them are sugar plantations. These part of the course is also exposed to the heat of the sun and the trail is loose and dusty! Since I was not particular with the exact time as to how long I’ve been running, I was surprised to see the Second Aid Station/AS2 (Km #16/17) before me! I passed the Aid Station without stopping and I knew I was about to reach the first “mini-tunnel” or “big culvert” of the SCTEX.

AS #2 @ Km #16/17 (Photo Taken From CM50 Facebook Page)

AS #2 @ Km #16/17 (Photo Taken From CM50 Facebook Page)

I was still using my headlight when I reached the second “mini-tunnel” which leads to the Security Checkpoint before reaching the steel bridge. As I reached the third Aid Station/AS3 (Km #23), the RD was there cheering the runners. The RD suggested us to drop by and I answered him that I will drop by on my way back to the Finish Line. I think I had to cover another 3-4 kilometers after passing the AS3 before I finally put off my headlight.

Two kilometers away from the Fourth Aid Station/AS4 (Km #32), I met the first runner of the CM 60K race and it was followed by the 2nd runner. Before reaching the AS4, I was able to meet the third runner of the CM 60K race. I have a “wild guess” that I could be at AS4 after running for the past five (5+) hours. The sun was about to rise from the east horizon!

So far, so good!

To be continued.





Race Report: 2014 Clark-Miyamit 50-Mile Trail Run (Part 1)

25 11 2014

In the history of this event on its 4th year, I am the ONLY Senior Citizen and OLDEST Finisher for TWO consecutive years within the prescribed cut-off time eighteen (18) hours.

At The Mt Miyamit Peak (Turn-Around Point)

At The Mt Miyamit Peak (Turn-Around Point)

Last year, I finished the race in 15:30:20 hours and placed among the top 30 runners with 120+ starters. I prepared for five months in order to finish this race with more favorable weather during race day. I was then 61 years old.

Near The Finish Line!

Near The Finish Line!

This year, I made it again to the Finish Line with only 10 minutes to spare before the prescribed cut-off time of 18 hours. This time, I prepared for four (4) months with lesser mileage in order to lessen the return of my recurring knee injury. The weather was so brutal and challenging to all the runners. I am now 62 years & 6 months old.

I was able to tame and defeat this “beast” for two consecutive years and I feel I am still strong enough to fight this “monster”.

My personal record in this event is intact and hopefully, someone within my age bracket will take the challenge to break my personal record.

My trail running adventure continues.

To be continued.





How Much?

14 11 2014

It’s been awhile that I was not able to post my thoughts in this blog. Oh, well, I am back!

Let me ask you first this question. “How much is the worth of your International Marathon Race Finisher’s Medal?”

For the past years, there had been a lot of local runners (Pinoy Runners) who would go abroad to join “famous and not-so-famous” Marathon Races. I am not sure of their definite reason or reasons why they have to go abroad to experience such event. I am not against this but I am one of the average runners who highly recommend other runners to experience what it is like to join in any of the International Marathon Races.

I’ve been to International Marathon Races and I liked it, most especially, when I run with my children. Most of my past International Marathon Finishes were done in California, USA where I finished the San Francisco and Los Angeles Marathons. I was a witness and cheerer for my son when he finished the New York Marathon. Basically, I know the feeling what it is like to be in these International Marathon Races. The experience is priceless!

Let me get to the point directly. Once a local runner finishes an International Marathon Race, he/she goes to Facebook and writes a “drama” and tells everybody that he/she successfully finished the race with a picture showing his/her Finisher’s Medal, sometimes stating also, after having failed in three (3) successive lotteries for entry to the race. The runner will be happy to receive a lot of comments on his/her status with the words, “Congratulations”; “Good Job”; “Wow”; “Amazing”; “Where is your next International Marathon Race?”; and others. However, nobody dares to make or write a comment on what was their finish time or how much did they save and spend to join the event.

Nobody would say how much did they spend for the experience and be able to “brag” about it together with their accomplishment. Not one of them would openly discuss how much money they spent just to get that “prestigious” Marathon Finisher’s Medal. Actually, I am also guilty with this but my purpose in joining such International Running Event is for me to visit my family and spend some time with them. My Race Reports in my past International Marathons are well-documented in this blog but I also missed stating how much I spent to join such events. I got a lot of “savings or freebies” joining these Marathon Races because I have our house to stay and a family car that I can drive.

But, for a local runner coming from the Philippines and going to another country without a friend or relative who could be a “host” to him or her, it is a different story.

This Is A Lot Of Money

This Is A Lot Of Money

Theoretically, I can answer such question for these runners who have finished their International Marathon in the United States based from my personal experience and data available in the Internet. First, is the Registration Fee. It would range from $250-$300 depending on the popularity and prestige that go with the event. Second, is the Round Trip Plane Ticket Fare which would range from $1,300-$1,600 depending how far from the Philippines and the “class” that you prefer to be accommodated inside the plane. Third, is the Accommodation which would range from $200-$300 per day stay in a hotel, which is of course, is not a big problem if you have a friend or relative who is hospitable enough to open his house or condominium/apartment for you. Fourth, is the Food and Other Miscellaneous Expenses/Transportation Expenses (Car Rentals) which could range to about $60-$100 a day. Fifth, is your Shopping Money which is geared towards buying a new pair of running shoes, a new electronic/tech gadget, or a new running apparel in the Marathon Expo which are not yet available in the local market. So, if you add up everything, a runner would easily spend a base figure of almost $3,000+ and this amount increases depending on the number of days you will stay in the city where the Marathon Race is being held.

If the Marathon Race is held somewhere in Europe, I think it is a different story. It could be more expensive than what I previously presented on Marathon Races held in the United States.

If you convert such amount of money to our local currency, it is an amount that an ordinary government employee or a corporate employee could hardly save for the whole year. It is for this basic reason why our best elite marathon runners could not afford to join these prestigious International Marathon Races.








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