Official Results: 3rd Taklang Damulag 100-Mile & 50-Mile Endurance Runs

16 12 2013

3rd Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Run

5:00 AM Saturday, December 14, 2013 To 1:00 PM Sunday, December 15, 2013 (32 Hours)

SOCOM Headquarters, Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City (Nueva Ecija)

Number of Starters: 28

Number of Finishers: 14

Percentage Rate of Finish: 50%

Happy & Excited

Happy & Excited

@ The New Starting Line

@ The New Starting Line







Wilnar Iglesia (Champion, Course Record)



Raffy Gabotero (1st Runner-Up, Course Record)



Graciano Santos (2nd Runner-Up)



Bong Alindada 



Henry Laron



Glairold Recella



Nicolas De Leon



Yob Red



Jonel Mendoza



Elmar Bob Tolete



Ronnel Go



Meljohn Tezon



Benedict Meneses



Fernando Cabanero


Wilnar Iglesia, Champion & Course Record Holder

Wilnar Iglesia, Champion & Course Record Holder


3rd Taklang Damulag 50-Mile Endurance Run

5:00 AM Saturday, December 14, 2013

SOCOM Headquarters, Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City

Number of Starters: 11

Number of Finishers: 9





Mark Raon (Champion, Course Record)



Glen Mercado (1st Runner-Up, Overall)



Lady Dianne Palongan (Champion, Lady)



Dexter Cruz (2nd Runner-Up, Overall)



Michael Dauz



Brian Tan Seng



Edrick Nicdao



Manny Ocampo



Tess Leono (1st Runner-Up, Lady)


Mark Raon, Champion, 50-Mile Run

Mark Raon, Champion, 50-Mile Run

Congratulations To Everybody!

Rules & Regulations: 3rd Taklang Damulag 100-Mile & 50-Mile Endurance Run

12 12 2013

Rules & Regulations: Taklang Damulag 100-Mile & 50-Mile Endurance Runs

1. The events are SOLO Races. These races will Start at the same time and place on or about 5:00 AM of Saturday December 14, 2013 at the vicinity of the Special Operations Command Headquarters, Philippine Army in Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City (Nueva Ecija).

2. The race course is through paved roads, dirt roads and single-track trails. In the 100-Mile course, approximately 110 kilometers are dirt roads and single track trail and almost 57 kilometers are paved/asphalted roads. In the 50-Mile course, almost 55 kilometers are dirt roads and single-track trails and 28 kilometers of paved/asphalted roads.

3. Runners in the 100-Mile Race has to finish Two Big Loops (One Loop is 83K) where each Loop has two Smaller Loops (12K-Loop around Mt Daklang Damulag) within it. Runner has to finish the course within the cut-off time of 32 hours.

4. Runners in the 50-Mile Race has to finish only One Big Loop (with two Smaller Loops around Mt Taklang Damulag). The cut-off time for the 50-Mile race is 16 hours.

5. Intermediate Cut-Off Times For 100-Mile Race:

50K @ Fernandez Hill—-8 Hours/1:00 PM Saturday, December 14, 2013

83K @ Starting Area/SOCOM Headquarters—-15:30 Hours/8:30 PM Saturday, December 14, 2013

133K @ Fernandez Hill—-25 Hours/6:00 AM Sunday, December 15, 2013

167K @ Finish Area/SOCOM Headquarters—-32 Hours/1:00 PM Sunday, December 15, 2013

6. Intermediate Cut-Off Times For 50-Mile Race:

50K @ Fernandez Hill—-8 Hours/1:00 PM Saturday, December 14, 2013

83K/Finish Area/SOCOM Headquarters—-16:00 Hours/9:00 PM Saturday, December 14, 2013

7. Each runner must have the following basic gadgets/mandatory equipment with them:

a. At least 32 ounces of hydration (equivalent to two (2) Simple Hydration Bottles) fluids with them at ALL TIMES.

b. Basic First Aid Kit

c. Cellphone

d. Headlight/Handheld Flashlight

e. Whistle and/or Reflectorized Vest are NOT mandatory. It is enough that runners have reflectorized strips on their hydration pack or apparel.

f. Runners may use trekking poles.

8. Race Bib should be displayed on the FRONT part of the runner. Runner must be able to memorize his/her Race Bib Number.

9. Always run on SINGLE FILE and stay on the farthest LEFT side of the paved roads.

10. Drop Bags are allowed on the following Aid Stations:

a. Sitio Baccao

b. Barangay Palale

c. Barangay Nazareth

d. Fernandez Hill

e. SOCOM Headquarters/Start/Finish

Drop Bags will be collected at 4:00 AM and transported to their respective destination before the Gun Start. Drop Bags should be properly tagged/labeled with the runner’s Last Name, Bib Number & Location of Aid Station.

11. Support Vehicle is NOT allowed to “follow”; to “track”; or “leap frog” their runner along the course. Support Vehicle can ONLY have access to their runner/s at the designated Aid Stations. Support Crew can ONLY offer support to their runner within the vicinity of the Aid Stations.

12. A Pacer is ONLY allowed after the runner has completed the FIRST HALF of the course (83K) in the 100-Mile Race. A runner is only allowed ONE PACER at a time along the course. There will be NO Pacer for the 50-Mile Race.

13. Pacers are NOT allowed to carry any hydration, food, or equipment for the runner. Pacers are there as safety runners for the competing participant.

14. There will be Marshals on key intersections along the route. These are soldiers of the Special Forces Regiment of the Philippine Army and some of them will be manning the Aid Stations in Sitio Baccao, Barangay Palale, and Barangay Nazareth. Runners should be ATTENTIVE on these key intersections/Aid Stations on their FIRST LOOP as it is still DAYTIME. There is a possibility that some of these marshals could be sleeping/lying on the ground during nighttime in some of the key intersections in the Taklang Damulag Loop. Try to memorize these intersections!

15. Aside from the visible Marshals stationed on key intersections, there are also “invisible” (or hidden) marshals along the trails/dirt roads to monitor the runners passing along the route. They have a way to identify each runner passing on their respective station. These marshals are there to provide security to the runners.

16. In case of emergency, runner should contact Cellphone # 0918-965-9895 and/or # 0915-753-3834. Runner should state his/her name, location and the nature of emergency.

17. On the accommodation of runners, ONLY registered runners are FREE of charge. 100-Mile Runners are allowed two nights accommodation and the 50-Mile Runners are allowed one night only. Runners have the PRIORITY to be accommodated at the Special Forces Transient Facility and SF Alumni Center, near the SOCOM Headquarters. Three (3) Rooms (good for 4-6 people) had been reserved to be used for other runners and support crew at the 7th Division Army Transient Facility (near the Starting Area of the Fort Magsaysay To Dingalan 60K Ultra Run).

18. NO Bandits are allowed.

19. Runner must be able to provide the Name of their respective Pacer to the Secretariat before the Start of the Race.

20. It is the sole responsibility of the runner to have a thorough knowledge of the course. The course is MORE THAN 100 Miles or 161 Kilometers! This is NOT a valid reason for you to take a SHORTCUT or DETOUR along the course. Fort Magsaysay’s weather is always HOT during daytime. If you have complaints, please feel free to give directly to us your feedback immediately.

21. Maintain the Integrity of the Race.

"Pioneers" Of TD 100

“Pioneers” Of TD 100

Good Luck & Have Fun!

Administrative Announcement: There will be a Race Briefing & Dinner/CLP for the Registered Runners of the TD 100-Mile and TD 50-Mile Races at the SOCOM Headquarters, Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City o/a 6:00 PM of Friday December 13, 2013. Runners will be processed by submitting to the Secretariat/BR’s Staff their individual BPI Deposit Slips (For the Registration & Donation For the Typhoon Yolanda Victims).

Race Route Description: Taklang Damulag 100-Mile/50-Mile Endurance Run

9 12 2013

Race Route Description: Taklang Damulag 100-Mile/50-Mile Endurance Run (TD 100/50)

1. The race starts at the vicinity of the Special Operations Command (SOCOM), Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City (Nueva Ecija). The SOCOM Headquarters is located at the Abundo Area Complex inside Fort Magsaysay, the largest Military Camp/Reservation Area of the Philippine Army. The race starts at 5:00 AM of Saturday, December 14, 2013 together with the Taklang Damulag 50-Mile Endurance Run.

2. This is a solo race. The cut-off time for the 100-Mile Race is 32 hours. The cut-off time for the 50-Mile Race is 16 hours.

3. From the starting line, runners will proceed towards an east direction to a dirt road which is parallel to the Fort Magsaysay Airstrip. The airstrip is located on the right side of the runners. This dirt road has a lot of potholes and uneven portions. Runners must be able to have their headlights/handheld flashlight on this part of the course since it is still dark at 5:00 AM.

4. After almost 500 meters, runners have to TURN LEFT upon reaching an intersection. It is still a dirt road which leads the runners to the newly-constructed Fort Magsaysay-Laur Road after getting out from the Gate of the Camp. This dirt road goes down and slightly uphill towards the Gate. The distance of this road is about 700-800 meters.

Dirt Road To The Fort Magsaysay-Laur Highway

Dirt Road To The Fort Magsaysay-Laur Highway

5. Runners shall TURN RIGHT on the paved/cemented Sta Rosa-Fort Magasaysay-Laur Road. This is the same road on the first 3K of the Fort Magsaysay To Dingalan 65K Ultra Marathon Race.

6. There will be an INTERSECTION after running for almost 2 kilometers along the Sta Rosa-Fort Magsaysay-Laur Road. There is a Detachment and Military Checkpoint on this intersection. Runners will have to TURN RIGHT on this intersection which leads to Barangay Dona (Donya) Josefa. Runners will be able to pass on the intersection of Sitio ALORMA and Sitio BACCAO. Runners will have to follow the asphalted road up to Barangay Dona Josefa.

TURN RIGHT Towards Barangay Dona Josefa

TURN RIGHT Towards Barangay Dona Josefa

INTERSECTION @ Sitio ALORMA (Right Side of the Road)

INTERSECTION @ Sitio ALORMA (Right Side of the Road)

BRGY BACCAO Intersection (On the Right Side of the Road)

SITIO BACCAO Intersection (On the Right Side of the Road)

7. Once the runners will reach the center of Barangay Dona Josefa, turn RIGHT and just follow the dirt road. Do NOT take the road towards the LEFT Direction as it ends at the Dona Josefa Elementary School.





8. Runners will reach the first Spillway and after passing the Spillway, it will be an uphill climb and a steel arc will be seen with the markings “WELCOME TO SITIO LANGKA”.

First Spillway Before Barangay Langka Welcome Arc

First Spillway Before Barangay Langka Welcome Arc

Barangay LANGKA Welcome Arc

Barangay LANGKA Welcome Arc

9. After passing the BARANGAY LANGKA Arc, at about 20 meters, there will be a Y-intersection. TURN RIGHT on the Y-intersection and it will be the start of more uphill climbs and descending parts of the route. Ultimately, the runners will be crossing the Palale River.



10. After crossing the Palale River, runners will be able to reach the center of Barangay Palale after few meters. There will be an Aid Station in this Barangay. There are also sari-sari stores in this area.



Center Of Barangay PALALE

Center Of Barangay PALALE

TURN RIGHT on the Right Most Road

TURN RIGHT on the Right Most Road

11. Runners will take the road on the RIGHT as one leaves the center of the barangay. Runners will be going to the direction of the Provincial Cattle Stock Farm.

Approaching The Provincial Cattle Stock Farm

Approaching The Provincial Cattle Stock Farm

Take Note Of This Road Markings

Take Note Of This Road Markings

12. Once the runners reach the Provincial Cattle Stock Farm, TURN RIGHT on the intersection. This road will lead the runners to Barangay NAZARETH.

TURN RIGHT On This Road Going To Barangay NAZARETH

TURN RIGHT On This Road Going To Barangay NAZARETH

13. Runners shall reach the intersection of GAPAN-PAPAYA-FORT MAGSAYSAY Road which is a paved/cemented, once they reach the center of Barangay Nazareth. The Aid Station is located at the Barangay Hall of Nazareth. At this intersection, runners have to TURN RIGHT going to a north direction.

Barangay NAZARETH Intersection

Barangay NAZARETH Intersection



14. After 1.5 Kilometers, runners have to TURN LEFT in an intersection that goes to San Mariano/Purok 9/Barangay Militar. On this dirt road, runners shall always take or turn LEFT on intersections along the way.

TURN LEFT On This Road Towards Barangays San Mariano, Purok #9, Barangay Militar

TURN LEFT On This Road Towards Barangays San Mariano, Purok #9, Barangay Militar

TURN LEFT To Barangay Mariano/Purok #9/Barangay Militar

TURN LEFT To Barangay Mariano/Purok #9/Barangay Militar

SPILLWAY On The Western Side Of Barangay Militar

SPILLWAY On The Western Side Of Barangay Militar

15. Runners must be able to pass/cross an SPILLWAY on western part of Barangay Militar. After an uphill climb from the SPILLWAY, the runners will reach the PUROK #9  . From Purok #9, the runners will be approaching an intersection with the Santa Rosa-Fort Magsaysay-Laur Road/Highway.

S-Curve @ Purok #9

S-Curve @ Purok #9

Approaching The Santa Rosa-Fort Magsaysay-Laur Road/Highway

Approaching The Santa Rosa-Fort Magsaysay-Laur Road/Highway. TURN RIGHT

TURN LEFT Towards Barangay BANGAD On This Intersection

TURN LEFT Towards Barangay BANGAD On This Intersection

16. After about 1.5 kilometers, runners will reach a busy road intersection (Bangad To Gate 1 Fort Magsaysay Road & Santa Rosa To Laur Road). Runners should TURN LEFT towards Barangay Bangad, Palayan City.

17. After running for 2 kilometers along the Fort Magsaysay-Bangad Road (going North), runners will see a green steel arc with the markings “FORT MAGSAYSAY RESERVATION AREA” and a Waiting Shed on the right side of the road. There is a Y-intersection after passing the Arc and Waiting Shed. Runners shall TURN RIGHT on the road that goes to Barangay MALIGAYA.

Before The Y-Intersection Going Barangay MALIGAYA

Before The Y-Intersection Going Barangay MALIGAYA

Road To Barangay MALIGAYA

Road To Barangay MALIGAYA

18. After runners had passed Barangay MALIGAYA, the road will lead them to the FIRST intersection with a Military Checkpoint & Detachment along the Santa Rosa-Laur Road. Runners shall cross the Paved Road (Santa Rosa-Laur Road) on their way to Barangay Dona Josefa. At this point, runners shall have circumnavigated the outer perimeter of the Camp’s Cantonment Area.

TURN RIGHT @ The Intersection of SITIO ALORMA

TURN RIGHT @ The Intersection of SITIO ALORMA (Going To The Airstrip)

Runners Will Be Reaching This Place From Sitio ALORMA

Runners Will Be Reaching This Place From Sitio ALORMA

19. Along the Barangay Dona Josefa Road, runner should be ATTENTIVE. The first intersection is at SITIO ALORMA. TURN RIGHT at Sitio ALORMA intersection and go  STRAIGHT uphill. The trail will lead the runners to the end of the airstrip. At the end of the airstrip, there is a Y-intersection. TURN LEFT on the said intersection. The road will lead the runners to BATAAN ROAD and the runners will be going to a SOUTH Direction.

END OF THE AIRSTRIP. Runners Shall TURN LEFT Towards Bataan Road

END OF THE AIRSTRIP. Runners Shall TURN LEFT Towards Bataan Road

20. Along BATAAN ROAD, runners will see FIRING RANGES on their LEFT and a GOLF COURSE on their RIGHT. Runners will follow the Bataan Road until they will reach the intersection going to CORDERO DAM.



Street Sign/Marker @ Bataan Road

Street Sign/Marker @ Bataan Road

21. Runners have to TURN LEFT on a dirt road that goes to CORDERO DAM. After 2 kilometers, there is a Y-intersection. Runners shall TURN RIGHT on this intersection. This trail will lead the runners to the Special Forces School and then to FERNANDEZ HILL.

22. Fernandez Hill is the location of an Aid Station. Runners will have to pass this Aid Station for six (6) times for the 100-Mile Race and three (3) times for the 50-Mile Race.

@ Fernandez Hill With Mt Taklang Damulag At The Background

@ Fernandez Hill With Mt Taklang Damulag At The Background

23. From Fernandez Hill, runners will have to proceed to the peak of Mt Taklang Damulag and then descend on its northern part. The descending trail leads to SITIO BACCAO (along the Barangay Dona Josefa To Barangay Palale Road). Upon reaching the asphalted road, runners shall TURN LEFT and proceed to SITIO ALORMA Crossing/Intersection.

Trail Coming From Taklang Damulag To Dona Josefa-Palale Road

Trail Coming From Taklang Damulag To Dona Josefa-Palale Road

24. Runners shall TURN LEFT at Sitio ALORMA intersection (Going To Cordero Dam). After about 20 meters, TURN LEFT on a trail that leads to CORDERO DAM/LAKE. (Going UPHILL will lead the runners to the end of the airstrip. Don’t take this UPHILL dirt road!)
Going South To Brgy Alorma Intersection (400 Meters)

Going South To Brgy Alorma (Going To Cordero Dam) Intersection (400 Meters)

TURN LEFT On This Intersection Going To Cordero Dam

TURN LEFT On This Intersection Going To Cordero Dam

TURN LEFT On This Trail (20 Meters From The Intersection)

TURN LEFT On This Trail (20 Meters From The Intersection)

25. Once the runners are in CORDERO DAM/LAKE (on the right side of the runners), they will reach a Y-intersection (the same Y-intersection that runners had passed after coming from BATAAN ROAD and upon reaching CORDERO DAM/LAKE). At the intersection, TURN LEFT and the runners will be going to the Special Forces School and then to Fernandez Hill. This completes the 12K inner loop.

26. Runners will have to run along the Taklang Damulag course (12K inner loop) for two times.

27. After finishing two loops, from Fernandez Hill, runner will follow the asphalted road that goes out from the Molave Complex (location of the Special Forces School and Fernandez Hill/Taklang Damulag). Runners must pass the Checkpoint/Gate of the Molave Complex that goes directly to BATAAN ROAD.

28. Runners will be running along BATAAN ROAD on their way back to SOCOM Headquarters/Starting Area. At the dirt road at the end of the airstrip, there will be an intersection (the first intersection on a dirt road after 800 meters from the Starting Line), TURN LEFT on this intersection. The dirt road will lead the runner to the Starting Area/SOCOM Headquarters.

TURN LEFT On This Dirt Road In Going Back To The Starting Area (SOCOM Headquarters)

TURN LEFT On This Dirt Road In Going Back To The Starting Area (SOCOM Headquarters)

29. This completes the FIRST HALF of the 100-Mile Course. The LAST HALF of the course will be a repetition of the FIRST HALF.

TD 100 Route Map

TD 100 Route Map

TD 100 Elevation Profile

TD 100 Elevation Profile

30. 100-Mile Race Runners must be able to finish the FIRST HALF in 15:30 Hours. Cut-Off Time for the 50-Mile Race Runners is 16 Hours.

31. On the SECOND LOOP, runners must be able to reach FERNANDEZ HILL in 25 hours before starting their last TWO (Small) Loops at Mt. Taklang Damulag.

Good Luck & Have Fun!

Good Luck & Have Fun!

Good luck to all the runners!

(Note: Rules & Regulations Will Be Posted Soon!)

Race Report: 2012 Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Run By Seow Kong Ng

15 01 2013

The following is a repost of Ultrarunner Seow Kong Ng’s Race Report on the 2012 TD 100 Endurance Run which was originally posted on Facebook last December 21, 2012.

Consecutive DNFs in two 100 miles races in Great North Walk 100 miles (Nov 2011) and Taklang Damulag 100 miles (Dec 2011) must have been so devastating. I signed up for 2012 TD100 immediately on 5th Jan 2012, vowing that I SHALL RETURN almost a year later with a vengeance to seek the revenge. It has been a long time coming since, and finally 2012 TD100 was upon us on 15th Dec 2012.

Training for the race has been less than optimal, with the “so cold and so wet” Shanghai Marathon two weeks ago serving as the last long run, but certainly not the kind of “heat training” called for by this TD100 which is known for the ruthless heat on Mt. Taklang Damulag. Although December is normally the wet season, it hasn’t rained for more than two weeks before the race. We were relieved that some river crossings would even be totally dry.

Things like DNF happened for a number of reasons, and I would be foolish not to learn the lessons.

I developed hyponatremia (a complication of other medical illnesses in which excess water accumulates in the body at a higher rate than can be excreted, sometimes a result of over hydration) in 2011 race, and had to stop at Palali (98k point). Why did I drink so much? It was HOT last year, and I stopped regularly at the sari-sari (stores) to buy coke and ice.

And I did not have enough to eat earlier on in the race, and went hungry for most of the race. Worst of all, I did not even have salt to eat, causing me to develop severe cramps even on my first trip ascending and descending Mt. Taklang Damulag.

Back in town again (I mean Fort Magsaysay of course), Allan Lee (my fellow Malaysian participant) and I may have overkilled quite a bit on the nutrition front. Supported by Cally and a vehicle, we had our meals and drinks strategy planned out before the race. Our hired van was well stocked up with watermelons, rock melons, honey dews, apples, pears and etc. If anything, nutrition should be the least of our issue in this race.

2nd TD 100 International Runners. Seow Kong Ng Is 2nd From Left.

2nd TD 100 International Runners. Seow Kong Ng Is 2nd From Right. (From Left, Gilbert Gray of USA, Mark Jolin of USA, Andre Blumberg of HK, Seow Kong Ng, & Allan Lee of Malaysia)

22 100 milers took off from the starting line at 5:00am on 15th Dec 2012. Instead of making myself to the front of the pack like last year, I held back for much of the first 5 km or so. Chatting along the way to Dick Balaba, with whom I got lost together for about 1 hour last year, Allan and I moved in the middle of a pack of runners towards Bacao (5k) and Palali (15.5k) without much incident, covering the undulating trails to Nazareth (27k) with much comfort too in about 3 hours.

It’s another 24k of mainly flat road initially, trails later on to Fernandez Hill. It was during this stretch where we started our spending spree from sari-sari to sari-sari on coke, ice, and ice water. Sometimes it is like striking a lottery to find a store selling ice, so we went around sticking our tongues out to who ever that came in sight, and asked if they know which stores are selling ice. Mind you, we reckoned that Day 1 last year was hotter than this year, and I had a lot more coke taken then. Good for me.

One thing that I did not learn very well obviously is on “not getting lost”. Well, this time we were following a pinoy runner (can’t remember his name now) all the way to Bacao, took a picture with a sergeant and his fellow volunteers there, and ran straight into the trails. Almost like 2km down the trail later, a mountain motorbike came along with this rider who delivered the dreaded message that we’ve got into the “small loops” of the trail instead of the Big loop first. SO, we were not lost, but we got into the wrong trails.

So, instead of reaching Fernandez Hill at 12.00 noon (7 hours from the start), it was almost like 1pm when we could have our proper lunch at the Hill. 25 minutes of lunch break later (and yes, plenty of watermelons later), we headed to the hill to start our first ascent of Mt. Taklang Damulag.

I was intent on avoiding similar cramps at the hill and taking it real easy as I made my way up the hill. Turned out that it was much easier than I imagined. No cramp, and much less sweating than last year. Of course, I have been taking salt tablets every 1-2 hours before. Instead of 3 hours, we completed the first loop and in less than 3 hours, with the second loop slightly faster (cooler) although requiring wearing of headlamp. Returning to Fernandez Hill, there were already some casualties from the heat, and Andre and Dick (last year lone survivor and finisher) have both decided to pull out from the race.

By the time we reached SOCOM (Special Operation Command Centre) at 83km, the end of the 1st loop, it was about 7:50pm. We have completed the first loop in just under 15 hours, and have 17 hours left to cover exactly the same loop. We can’t afford to get lost at all, and will need to push the pace a little just to be on the safe side.

Again, we were well fed before taking on the long night out on the trails. We made sure we have Cally followed us with our support vehicle for as far as possible. Going pass the villages again, the dogs obviously did not believe that they have seen two friendly Malaysian runners passing by earlier on during the day on our first loop. So, went they barked, and barked, but we must be some kind of even more vicious creatures with lights on our heads bouncing along on the trails. No villagers have behaved like that before I’m sure. Especially when we pointed our headlamps towards the dogs, they must have been more frightened than us.

Such was the run through the night and the sunrises, and we were back at Fernandez Hill again at about 6:45am. By then, we have completed 134k in less than 25 hours. We have caught up with most of the remaining survivors of the race, which was 10. 12 runners have DNFed the race at this stage.

Fully energized, and motivated by the remaining distance of 32km, Allan and I shifted our gears right up. Especially Allan, who apparently completed the first loop in only 1.5 hour, whereas I was also faster than before, but a full 1 hour later than Allan. By then, Allan was already on his way passing and catching everyone who has been in front of us since 5am the day before.

The second loop was completed in hot condition between 8:40am to 11:30am, but I still have 1.5 hour to run 6km to the finish line at SOCOM. I was lying in 8th place then, with now 13 runners out of the race already.

Being the midday, the blazing sun was at its full blast on the home stretch of 6km. The water bottle (full of ice) did not last even 2km before it went totally warm in my hand. Passing CJ about 2 k down the road, and narrowing the gap with the 6th runner in front to within 200m, I finally hit the finishing line in 7th place. At 31h21m42s, less than a minute behind the 6th finisher.

Although TD100 is designed to be an easy course, but certainly one with a very tight cutoff, considering the hot weather during the day, which is when most of us will be scaling Mt. Taklang Damulag. Apart from the exceptional Allan and the 1st runner-up, all the remaining 7 finishers finished within 1 hour of each other, at around 31 hours. Not to mention a finishing rate of 40.9%, which is not a high successful rate as well.

In completing the unfinished business that was TD100, I can attribute the success to the following KSFs (key success factors):

1). Food was excellently prepared, catered, served (including the can’t be missed water melons), devoured and digested. In short, no stomach issue, but plenty of energy;

2). No over hydration this time. Drinks, complimented by chia seeds every now and then, were carefully consumed without excesses. Some cokes and ice cream went a long way too. In short, no hyponatremia;

3). No cramp. I sweated profusely last year on climbing the hills, and yet not taking in any salt tablet at all. This year, I have plentiful of them, and popping them at every 1-2 hours intervals. In short, no grimacing on the hills, up and down.

4). Buddying with Allan. Buddying always help in mental games like 100 miles races, especially when you are buddying with a fast guy like Allan. In short, he kept me on my toes, and I better be running;

5). Lastly, I believe I am a slightly different guy this year. In short? Older, but faster!

And wiser as well, even when I got lost again!!

(With this race, the final curtain came down for 2012 with the completion of 9 ultras, 6 full marathons and 1 half marathon. It has been a good year, a no-regret arrival at the door of the End of the World, today).

Seow Kong Ng of Malaysia Receiving His Silver Buckle & Finisher's Medal

Seow Kong Ng of Malaysia Receiving His Silver Buckle & Finisher’s Medal

Official Results: Taklang Damulag 100-Mile & 50-Mile Endurance Runs

16 12 2012

2nd Taklang Damulag 100-Mile & 50-Mile Endurance Runs

December 15-16, 2012

Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City

Number of Starters For 100-Mile Run: 22

Number of Finishers For 100-Mile Run: 9

Percentage of Finishers: 40.9%

Cut-Off Time: 32 Hours

RANK N  A    M  E TIME (Hrs)
1 Allan Lee (Champion, Course Record) 29:29:43
2 Graciano Santos (1st Runner-Up, CR) 30:00:45
3 Yob Red (2nd Runner-Up, CR) 30:49:25
4 Bong Alindada (CR) 30:59:22
5 Mark Jolin 31:11:26
6 Elmar Bob Tolete 31:20:40
7 Seow Kong Ng 31:21:42
8 Calvin John Escandor 31:23:15
9 Dindo Diaz 31:41:46
  Taklang Damulag 50-Mile Run  
1 Jeffrey Diaz (Champion) 13:45:14
2 Ronnel Go (1st Runner-Up) 14:38:07
3 Edrick Nicdao (2nd Runner-Up) 17:03:00
Nine (9) Finishers

Nine (9) Finishers

Congratulations to the nine (9) finishers of 2012 TD100 Endurance Run!

Official Result: 1st FKT @ Taklang Damulag

29 07 2012

After finishing a 10K Race inside the Fort Magsaysay Complex yesterday morning (Saturday), I invited ultrarunners who joined this race for the 1st Official Fastest Known Time (FKT) Run at Taklang Damulag. The FKT Race started at the Fernandez Hill up to the peak of Taklang Damulag and back to the Starting Line/Area. The race covered a distance of almost 6.3 kilometers.

FKT RD With TD On The Background

Five (5) runners joined the event and the following was the result;

1. Danin Arenzana—–   59:32 minutes (CR)

2. Ronnel Go———– 1:03:20 hours

3. Bong Alindada—— 1:04:55 hours

4. Mar Marilag——— 1:12:46 hours

5. Stephanie Hefti (F)- 1:13:25 hours (Lady, CR)

The 1st FKT Runners @ Taklang Damulag

FKT Runners In Action From The Starting Area

Danin Arenzana Reaching The Finish Line

Ronnel Go aka Kampuger

Bong Alindada Approaching The Finish Line

Coach Mar Marilag

Stephanie Hefti, Lady Course Record Holder!

Prize/Award For All The Finishers—–Lunch @ Fernandez Hill!

….and Halo-Halo @ RAZON’s Caltex Metro Rest Area, NLEX

More of this kind of running event will be conducted soon!

See you at the Starting Line!

Taper Run For MILO

25 07 2012

I am inviting runners who would like to have a “taper run” on Saturday morning before the MILO Marathon/Half-Marathon Elimination Race on Sunday in Metro Manila. I will be personally joining this race together with ultrarunning friends and some of my Team Elite Bald Runner.

Taper Run For MILO Marathon Manila Elimination Race

If you are interested to join this race, I will make sure that you will have a chance to “peak bag” Taklang Damulag after the race.

Starting/Finish Area is in front of the Headquarters 7th Infantry Division (Starting Area of the Fort Magsaysay-Dingalan 60K Ultramarathon Race). There will be On Site registration before the start of the race. Other details of the race can be seen at the above event’s ads.

This event is a fitting and deserving tribute to the newly-promoted Commander of the 7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, Major General Alan Luga whom I have the chance and opportunity to pay a courtesy call on the very same day that his promotion had been signed by the President to Major General (Two-Star General). Congratulations General Luga!

General Luga is always supportive in Sports to his officers and men. Upon his assumption as the Commander of the Division, he gladly supported my request for the Command to be part of “Operation Linis” in the Mountains that I had been visiting within its Area of Responsibility as well as to promote these mountains for eco-tourism.

Major General Alan Luga, BR, & Brigadier General Rolly Atendido

See you at the Starting Area!

Official Results: 1st TD 50M/50K/21K Trail Run

4 06 2012

1st Taklang Damulag 50-Mile/50K/21K Half-Marathon Trail Run/June 2, 2012/Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City (Nueva Ecija)

(Note: Photo Courtesy of Elaine Botabara)

  TD 50-MILE RUN  
1 Ronald Illana 14:27:22
2 Mary Maureen Baylosis (F) 16:21:06
3 Cenuel Mark Geminiano 16:21:07
4 Sherwin Botabara 18:18:52
5 Bong Alindada 18:19:18
  TD 50-Kilometer Run  
1 Ronnel Go 7:33:37
2 Romulo Doctolero 7:33:38
3 Carmeli Ortega (F) 10:07:25
4 Stephanie Hefti (F) 10:07:27
  TD 21K Half-Marathon  
1 Juvalin Dionisio (F) 6:12:51
2 Mike Jojo Brito 6:35:01
3 Meljohn Tezon 6:40:17

Taklang Damulag 50K/50M (TD 50/50) Ultra Trail Run & Half-Marathon

1 05 2012

In connection with the celebration of the 50th Founding Anniversary of the Special Forces Regiment of the Philippine Army in June of this year, the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU) & Bald Runner’s Events had scheduled the conduct of three (3) trail races inside Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija on June 2, 2012.

These races will serve as a “recon or test run” for those who are intending to join in this year’s 2nd edition of the Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Trail Endurance Run which is scheduled on December 15, 2012.

The following are the details of the races:

Date of Race: June 2, 2012

Place of Assembly and Starting Area: Infront of the SOCOM Headquarters, Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City

Assembly Time for 50K & 50M Races: 3:30 AM June 2, 2012

Assembly Time For 21K Run: 4:30 AM June 2, 2012

Gunstart For 50K & 50-Mile Runs: 4:00 AM

Gunstart For Half-Marathon: 5:00 AM

Cut-Off Time For 50-Mile Run: 16 Hours

Cut-Off Time For 50K Run: 10 Hours

Cut-Off Time For 21K: 4 Hours

Registration Fee For 50-Mile Run: P 2,000.00

Registration Fee For 50K Run: P 1,500.00

Registration Fee For 21K Run: P 1,000.00

***Included in the Registration Fee: Dinner & Accommodation Inside Fort Magsaysay on Friday night, June 1, 2012.

Registration Period: May 2, 2012 to June 1, 2012

Registration Center/Area: ARC Running Store OR Deposit the Registration Fee at BPI Savings Account #0296-0673-22 in favor of Jovenal Narcise OR at the Dinner/CLP & Race Briefing on or about 6:30 PM of June 1, 2012 at the SOCOM Headquarters. (Note: Please bring your validated deposit slip to the CLP/Race Briefing)

Good luck & see you at the starting line!

“The 160 Km Journey” By Candy Balaba

4 01 2012

The 160 Km Journey

by Candy Pastor- Balaba on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 3:53pm
Last Saturday, the first 100-mile Trail Run in the country dubbed as TAKLANG DAMULAG 100mile ENDURANCE RUN, was staged. Taklang Damulag is a landmark inside the army division in Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City, Nueva Ecija.  In recent years, it was used as an impact area for live fire training for canons/artillery guns, and currently being used as a training ground for the Special Forces Regiment.

Race Director, Gen Jovie Narcise (Ret) a.k.a. The Bald Runner is the brains behind the Taklang Damulag 100mile Endurance Event. We learned that this would be the 1st 100mile Ultra Trail Run Event in Southeast Asia. Being a retired soldier, he is familiar with the place and thought that this would be a challenging route for ultra runners who seek for the toughest course. The route has a total ascent of 17,000 feet and a total descent of 18,000 feet. The course will take them to climb Taklang Damulag 4 times which would total 52kms, and twice on a 54 kms outer loop, hence given a total distance of 160kms

Even when the event was only on its planning stage early this year, hubby was already telling me that he wanted to try out this race. He has signed up for the 2012 BDM160 which will be on January, and thought that Taklang Damulag race will be a good training for his BDM 160 (Bataan Death March).  I didn’t think he would be too serious about it, because he has never been too keen on Trail runs.

Fast forward to Dec 17, my son JB and I found ourselves in Ft Magsaysay doing what is most expected from us… to be his support crew.


Ultra runs are usually the “no- frills” races. There are no grand pre and post race activities. No prizes, no loot bags.  Its usually just a small group of happy and fun hard core ultra runners that gather on this races. For this event, only 19 brave warriors signed up.  Two foreigners, a German and Malaysian guy who came all the way from Hongkong and China, respectively. The rest in the pack were Filipinos from all walks of life, a doctor, 2 lawyers, a grandson of an ex-president, a writer, entrepreneurs, professors and 2 military officers.  It’s a nice mix of interesting people who share the same passion for ultra running.


The race briefing and carbo loading Friday night was time for runners to get to know more of each other. Everyone was happy, excited and maybe jittery too on the challenge that was coming their way, especially when The Bald Runner started to brief them on the route (it was not disclosed until Friday night). However, for some unknown reason, one runner backed off immediately after the briefing.  So 1 down, 18 to go.


As I was unable to leave work that Friday, and Benedict needing to attend the course briefing and carbo loading that day, he had to go ahead without us. I packed all the necessary stuff he would need, gave him clear instructions on all that has been loaded, and promised that I would be there Saturday before noon.


I called up Benedict an hour before gun start. He said he was all geared up and just ready to go. I gently reminded him to take it slow and to just enjoy the race.

53 KMS

Arrived Fort Magsaysay with my older son JB just before noon, my father-in-law with my daughter Icee – who was on their way to Baguio, drove us there.   Shortly after arriving at Fernandez Hill where an aid station was set up, the first 2 runners – Andre Bloomberg and Jones Mortega arrived. Both had their lunch of noodles, boiled sweet potato, boiled eggs and some crackers. They also took time to reload their hydration packs. After more or less 35 mins of doing all these tasks, the runners were back on the trail to proceed with 2 loops in Taklang Damulag.

Benedict together with 4 other runners came 15 min after Andre and Jones left. He told us how he got lost with Malaysian guy – Seow Kung Ng in kilometer 9, which meant an added 6 kilometers to find their way back to the route. Benedict had his lunch, we reloaded his hydration packs, rested for a few minutes and then left again with the 4 runners.

The rest of the runners started arriving 30min after. They all took time to rest, eat, change clothes, tape their feet, prick those blisters (ouuuuch!!), someone even decided to take a short nap.  Everyone seemed to be holding on strong except for 1 runner who looked very wasted, he couldn’t even eat and just took sips from the recovery drinks offered to him.  After a short nap, he got up removed his race bib and raised the white flag.


The Taklang Damulag loop has an elevation of 409 meters. To quote Bald Runner, “it is a short course and a very low mountain, but if you think of going up to this mountain for 4 times in a single event, then you have a very high mountain”.  The runners thought of it as an easy trek, and clearly no one expected that it would take them 3 hours to complete 1 loop which was only 13kms. It must have been a tough climb because after Andre’s first loop, I overheard him confirming from Bald Runner if they needed to do another loop and that he hoped he heard it wrong during the briefing to do 2 loops.


The 83km- SOCOM AREA is also the Starting and Finish marks.  An aid station was set up so runners can have their dinner, reload their hydration packs, change clothes etc.

Jones came in a few minutes ahead of Andre, but he decided to quit after a bad fall that left him with a sprained ankle. As for Andre, he seemed to be holding on strong.  He left immediately after a quick dinner and after reloading his hydration packs.

Benedict came in 45min after Andre left, he said he got lost again on the 81km mark when he missed a turn which eventually led him to a longer route back to SOCOM area.

After having dinner, a quick wardrobe change (his rubber shoes was soaked, torn and beaten up), he was off to cover the next 83kms. It was already 8:30pm, dark, cold and drizzly. I began to worry now about how he would be able to get through the next 83kms alone. A pacer is already allowed for every runner from this point, unfortunately no one can pace him, I am not prepared to run an 80km distance, neither can our son JB. So, there was no other choice but for him to go alone and run in the DARK, COLD, DRIZZLY, CREEPY TRAIL.

The cut off time for the first loop (83kms) was 15hours. Only 7 runners were able to make it before the cut off. Bald Runner decided to allow those who didn’t make it to cutoff to continue if they still wanted to.


As runners started to arrive at the 83 km mark, the DNF list also started to rise. A swollen knee, sprained ankle, bouts of chills and dizziness, or just totally wasted to continue, were the reasons that 6 runners decided to seal the nail in their DNF coffin.

So from the 83km mark, where the second loop will start, only 7 runners have decided to continue.

110 KMS

Our son JB was supposed to pace his Dad from this point, unfortunately Benedict wasn’t able to spot the car which was parked on the side of the road, so he decided to run and continue to go alone.  We also eventually left the place after staying there for 3 hours, we decided to move to the next aid station which was the Fernandez Hill.

A few kilometers before reaching Fernandez Hill, we finally spot him running in that long dark road. He was glad to see us as he was running out with energy drinks.  JB was all geared up and ready to go, so after reloading their hydration packs, the boys were off to cover the last 45kms.


I arrived Fernandez Hill around 5:40am after I got back from the early morning mass that I attended in the nearby church. I was surprised to see JB resting on a makeshift hammock. He told me that Benedict did not allow him anymore to trek Taklang Damulag as it was still too early and the path was dark.  Benedict left for his first loop to Taklang Damulag at 4:30AM. I got a bit worried, because it was raining and the trail was pitch- dark, wet and slippery.

After a few minutes, Andre arrived.  I was surprised he came in after Benedict. He told us that he got lost on his way to Fernandez hill, and wasted 2 hours finding his way back to the route. He didn’t look good. I could read disappointment in his face.  He didn’t talk much and just sat quite in one corner. After 30 minutes, I saw them pack their bags and asked me if I could give them a lift back to SOCOM. He has decided to quit too.  Paper, her girlfriend, and I tried to persuade him to continue. There was still enough time for him to cover the 2 loops.. He said that after getting lost on his way back to Fernandez Hill, and a bad fall that caused him much pain, he is now unable to think clearly and feels too wasted to continue.

I felt so bad that he had to quit after already covering 130kms. He was really a good and strong runner. Although, he said that this is his first 100 miler, he has also done quite a number of TNF ultra runs around the globe. I wonder what went wrong for him to decide to DNF.

Eventually, I learned that 4 more runners have DNF’ed on the 110km mark, including Malaysian guy- Seow Kung. Seow Kung  is an equally seasoned ULTRA RUNNER, having  done Les Sable in Africa, Amazon Ultra Run, Comrades Marathon. 


Benedict was back in Fernandez Hill after 3 hours of trekking Taklang Damulag . He looked fine and was not complaining of anything other than hunger. He was surprised to know that Andre has already quit the race. As of 9AM, we had confirmation that only 5 runners continue to be on the race, with Benedict leading the pack.

Cut off time is 32hours. It was 9AM and Benedict had 4 more hours to cover the last 18kms.   A whole loop to Taklang Damulag is 13kms plus 5 kms to the Finish Line. I was completely in awe with his grit and sheer determination to move on and continue. Everyone was telling him that he could be the only one to finish the race within the cut off time. With all that being said to him, he was all the more determined to GO FOR THE WIN!!!

Benedict also finally allowed JB to pace him on his last loop to Taklang Damulag.  JB acted like a giddy 7 year old who immediately jump up to join his Dad again.


I was back at SOCOM- Finish Line to wait for the 2 boys. I was surprised to see that the runners who DNF’ed were eagerly waiting for any finisher to make it before cut off time. It was almost 12noon, cut off was just an hour away.   The waiting seemed endless, I was getting so worried. Will the boys make it?

Then at about 12:05, 2 guys were seen moving towards the finish line. Everyone started jumping, screaming, clapping and cheering. Finally someone is going to make it before the cut off time.  It was raining outside yet everyone got up, forgot about all the pain in their legs, ran outside and started to cheer on Benedict and JB who was coming towards the finish line. Everyone was asking who he was running along with, I proudly told them, he was our 15yr old son. That gave them even more reason to cheer. My heart melted and tears welled up in my eyes at the sight of our son- JB pacing his Dad onto his glorious triumph. THIS IS ONE MEMORABLE MOMENT THAT WILL FOREVER BE IMPRINTED ON MY MIND’S EYE AND ETCHED ON MY MIND’S HEART. 


Benedict raised his tired arms like a “V”.  JB slowed down a bit to let his Papa  cross the finish line alone. But even before Benedict could cross the finish line, he was swarmed by the other runners, gave him high fives, shook his hand and embraced him. IT WAS SUCH AN AWESOME SIGHT!! I WAS ALL BEAMING AND FILLED WITH SO MUCH PRIDE!!!

After 31 hours 11 minutes and 26 seconds …HE MADE IT!!!

As of this writing, Dick and I continue to share stories about last weekend. He is overwhelmed and humbled by all the congratulatory messages he receives everyday, and all the nice words being posted on his FB.

The very daunting feat has earned him blisters, sore muscles, chafed seams, 10 dead toenails, that will last for days, but it has also tattoed his pride with a memory of a great finish that will last him forever.


PS:  Benedict was the lone finisher who made it before cut off, making him the only one to earn the Silver Buckle for the 1st 100miler Endurance Event in the country. 4 other runners were able to cross the finish line  with a time of 41hrs. The Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Trail Endurance Run was organized by the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners and was participated in by local and international ultrarunners and is officially considered as the first and only 100-Mile Trail Endurance Run in Southeast Asia.


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