General Aguinaldo Trail: Hike & Survey (Part #4)

3 10 2014

General Aguinaldo Trail: Hike & Survey (Part #4)

This survey and recon cover the portion from Tadian, Mountain Province To Banaue, Ifugao. It was my first time to travel along this route and the road was a paved one from Aluling Bridge to the Poblacion of Tadian, Mt Province. The vehicular traffic was limited to delivery trucks and some local jeepneys and motorcycles. Along the way, I was able to take some pictures of areas which I thought to be “markers” or “reminders” along the route.

I was able to stop in one of the eateries along the way and after my lunch, I was able to talk to the owner of the restaurant. Walther Cayabas of the Backstreet Eatery was so kind enough to give me information which was told by his forefathers about General Aguinaldo’s trek to the Cordilleras. He said that the road in front of their place/eatery was part of the “Old Spanish Trail” and he was able to point to me a part of the untouched (unpaved) portion of the said trail which is located few meters from the road. I promised to Walther that I will be back for the actual trek and I will make his eatery as one of my “pitstops”. The food served were cheap and delicious with the local mountain rice served with the meal.

Having known from my book that General Aguinaldo passed along Sagada, Mountain Province, I focused my attention on the road on the directional signs leading to the said town. After a few minutes of driving, I was able to reach the crossing of Sagada and the road that goes to Bontoc, Mountain Province.

Stairs Towards Tadian Municipal Hall

Stairs Towards Tadian Municipal Hall

Backstreet Eatery In Tadian, Mountain Province

Backstreet Eatery In Tadian, Mountain Province

Conversation With Walther

Conversation With Walther Cayabas

A Village Along The Route Before Sagada

A Village Along The Route Before Sagada

Road Intersection To Sagada

Road Intersection To Sagada

At Sagada Tourism Center

At Sagada Tourism Center

I was not impressed about Sagada. I felt that the place is too commercialized already for the tourists. I went to the Tourism Center and started to ask some information with the staff at the Center. Nobody knows among the staff about the history or story if General Aguinaldo had ever set his foot in the town. The staff is even asking me a Tourism Fee of P 35.00 for being there in the place. The tourism guide and list of fees for us to visit their tourism destinations were very expensive. The least that I could do was to have my picture taken with the Tourism Map of the Town. For me, first impression and appearance of the Tourism Center gave me the impression that this place is too commercialized without giving attention to the amenities of a customer-friendly Tourism Center. It only took me 20 minutes to stay in the said town. Hopefully, those road constructions along the road from the Bontoc Highway Intersection are all ready and done.

After those muddy road constructions along the Rev. Staunton Road, I was back on my way to paved road going to Bontoc, the Capital Town of Mountain Province. The following pictures are the things that I saw along the road:

Tourism Markers Along The Road

Tourism Markers Along The Road

Bay-yo Rice Terraces

Bay-yo Rice Terraces

It was time to have a refill on my gas when I reached Bontoc but unfortunately, as the gasoline boy was about to open my gas tank, there was a “brownout”! But looking on my Fuel Gauge, I decided to continue the trip hoping that I will be able to reach Banaue with few liters on my gasoline tank to spare.

Bondoc Municipal Hall

Bondoc Municipal Hall

On impulse, I went to visit the Municipal Library of Bontoc. The staff thereat are very nice and accommodating. But sad to say, they don’t have any information or reference material on the historic event that happened or that depicts the travel and stay of General Aguinaldo in the place and its environs. The staff gave me the name and address of a well-respected “historian” in the place but it would be better if I would be able to talk to him with more time on another day. I made a promise to be back to talk with this local “historian” on my next visit to the place.

Banaue Tourism Center

Banaue Tourism Center

It was a slow ride from Bontoc to Banaue as I enjoyed every scenery along the way. But it was cut short when I entered the boundary of Ifugao Province as it became cloudy and footy along the road. As I entered Banaue, it started to rain hard while driving my car slowly every bend, incline and decline on the road. I could only see road signs, the rain and the flowing water on the road as I entered the town of Ifugao. As my Fuel Gauge blinked with the yellow light, telling me that my Fuel Tank is about to be empty, I had to immediately take a stop on the first gasoline station on the road which is located two kilometers before reaching the center of the town. I was glad that the town had electricity! It was still raining hard when I finally reached the Tourism Center of the town of Banaue, Ifugao.

The distance from Cervantes, Ilocos Sur to Bontoc, Mountain Province is 56 Kilometers.

The distance from Bontoc, Mountain Province to Banaue, Ifugao is 48 Kilometers.

To Be Continued.





Official Result: 2nd Anteloop Bravo 50K Trail Run

23 09 2014

This trail run event was called the “Mt Natib 50K Trail Run” which was held on April 13, 2014. It was a “By Invitation” event among my trail running friends where only four (4) runners started the race. It was summer time and the trail was dry. All the runners were guided by one of my staff and the “turn-around” point was at the peak of Mt Natib. All the Finishers were able to establish a finish time of sub-14 hours and nobody was lost along the trail.

For the “rainy season” edition of this event, I opened this run to everybody through Facebook and changed its name to “Anteloop Bravo”. Nine (9) runners answered the call where four (4) of the runners knew the route. Due to the wet and muddy condition of the trail, I instructed all the runners not to reach the peak of Mt Natib and instead, take a one kilometer distance from “Binutas” to the trailhead at Barangay Tala, Orani, Bataan and back to “Binutas” before going to Mt Natib. The “turn-around” point was the clearing called “Camp 06″ before the assault to the peak of Mt Natib. In less than 20 hours, seven (7) runners reached the Finish Line.

Starters With The RD For The 2nd Anteloop Bravo 50K Trail Run

Starters With The RD For The 2nd Anteloop Bravo 50K Trail Run

The following is the List of Finishers with their respective Finish Time:

1. Graciano Santos (Champion, Overall)——–14:35:52 Hours

2. Ronnel Go (1st Runner-Up, Overall)——-16:18:01 Hours

3. JC Igos (2nd Runner-Up, Overall)——-16:18:18 Hours

4. Tess Leono (Champion, Female)——-19:12:25 Hours

5. Manny Ocampo——-19:13:19 Hours

6. Emma Libunao (1st Runner-Up, Female)——-19:16:10 Hours

7. Marlon Santos——-19:16:11 Hours

Overall Champion Graciano Sindac Santos

Overall Champion Graciano Sindac Santos

Female Champion Tess Leono

Female Champion Tess Leono

Congratulations To All The Finishers!





Results: Anteloop 50K/25K Trail Run

22 08 2014

6:00 AM July 6, 2014

Sacrifice Valley, Hermosa, Bataan

Result: Anteloop 50K Ultra Trail Run (In Hours)

1. Patrick Harvey Aquino (Champion, Men)—9:50:14

2. Epoy Poblete (1st Runner-Up, Men)———10:50:48

3. Roy Gracia (2nd Runner-Up, Men)———-10:51:36

4. Excelienieno Haloy —————————11:40:13

5. Tess Leono (Champion, Ladies)————-12:52:15

6. Ryan Garcia————————————13:18:54

7. Joyce Regalado (1st Runner-Up, Ladies)—14:28:18

 

Result: Anteloop 25K Trail Run (In Hours)

1. Ronnel Go (Champion, Men)——————5:41:19

2. Manny Ocampo (1st Runner-Up, Men)——6:17:54

3. Par Buenvenida (2nd Runner-Up, Men)—–6:29:58

4. Junar Layug————————————-6:36:40

5. Jun Soriao—————————————6:36:43

6. Jay De Jesus————————————7:00:53

7. Nica Tanjutco (Champion, Lady)————-7:04:49

The Few Brave & Strong Trail Runner

The Few Brave & Strong Trail Runner

Congratulations To Everybody!





Shoe Review: ALTRA Lone Peak 2.0

29 07 2014

Few months ago, I bought an ALTRA Lone Peak 1.5 trail shoes and after using it on my trail running workouts and putting almost 300 kilometers as mileage, I came up with a Shoe Review which I posted here in this blog. I was satisfied with the shoes with their Zero Drop concept and wider toe box but not so much on its weight when it is wet with my sweat and during my river/creek crossing; its sole traction when running on muddy trails where the sole would gather a lot of mud that would make the shoe heavier to the running legs; and the long period of time for the wet shoes to dry up during its use or when it is being “air dried”.

I concluded in my shoe review that the trail shoes is not suited for the muddy trails in our mountains (Philippines) but best suited for dry trails, loose gravel, rocky and technical as long as the trail is dry! I am not surprised on this because the shoes was conceptualized on what is written on the shoebox of every ALTRA Shoes.

Wet & Soaked ALTRA Lone Peak 1.5

Wet & Soaked ALTRA Lone Peak 1.5

For about a week, I had been running on my new ALTRA Lone Peak 2.0 trail shoes. As soon as the shoes arrived, I immediately used it for my daily stretching and calisthenics. I immediately felt a big improvement on the cushioning of the shoes. This is a big improvement from the Lone Peak 1.5. The shoe lace is replaced with a flat and lighter material, a big improvement from the LP 1.5 heavier and rounded laces. The shoe tongue had been shortened for about half inch. The big ALTRA sign and mountain logo on the outer side had been removed, together with the “black net pattern” and white leather that you can see on the inner side of the shoes. What I don’t understand the reason why ALTRA placed a leather on the #3 and #4 holes for the shoe laces. It could be for aesthetic reason where small prints of the shoe model is written but it is not necessary to sew such where the laces should pass through. The rudder at the back/heel portion of the shoes is still there but it is shortened. The velcro (with cover) for the gaiter is still there. There is a new pattern of lugs on the sole but I still have some reservations on how it would work on muddy trails. The lugs have the same thickness with that of the LP 1.5.

Thicker Sole and Simple Shoe Logo

Thicker Sole and Simple Shoe Logo

The big improvement on the cushioning is due to a thicker sole, 3 mm thicker than the LP 1.5 and a thicker insole which is 5 mm. There is no change in the “Uppers” of the new LP 2.0 from its predecessor. It means that the new model has the same problem with its water retention, slower drying time and heavier weight when it is wet.

More Comfortable To The Feet

More Comfortable To The Feet

On the website of ALTRA, the Lone Peak 2.0 has a weight of 11.4 ounces while the Lone Peak 1.5 is 9.9 ounces for shoe size 9. It means that the latest model had sacrificed or made some trade off for its weight by adding more cushioning and comfort for the feet. So, this is the reason why I could hardly noticed the weight of the shoes because of the comfortable feeling every time my foot strikes the ground.

The Same "Uppers" With The Lone Peak 1.5

The Same “Uppers” With The Lone Peak 1.5

Lugs/Sole Print On The Trail

Lugs/Sole Print On The Trail

For almost 100 kilometers as mileage for this new trail shoes, I am satisfied with how it performed on my feet and on the trails. If you ask me why I did not order for the “Yellow Bus”? I have already my yellow La Sportiva Bushido and this is my first time to have a black colored trail shoes. So, the black “Ninja” shoes was ordered as part of my trail running arsenal.

With this kind of trail shoes, the challenge now for me is how to run faster with them on the uphills, downhills, rocky and technical trails, muddy trails, and when they are completely wet from my sweat and after creek and river crossings. With a new 5.6-kilometer loop of ascending and descending trails as my “testing” ground, I hope to compare this shoes with the other trail shoes in my tempo/progression runs.

I highly recommend the new ALTRA Lone Peak 2.0 as your training trail shoes and if you can manage to adapt on it as your racing trail shoes, then go ahead. Your feet will be happy to finish an ultra distance with them!





Trail Running By GoPro

10 06 2014





Trail Running Tips

28 05 2014

This post was taken from the Runner’s World Magazine’s article from Coach Jenny’s (Jenny Hadfield) Training Tips.

If you are new to trail running, the following tips are very easy to follow and understand. The list is a good reference and guide for serious trail runners.

Good luck and have fun on the trails.

The following is the link to the said article:

http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/21-quick-trail-running-tips?cm_mmc=Facebook-_-RunnersWorld-_-Content-Training-_-TrailTips





Shoe Review: ALTRA Lone Peak 1.5

16 05 2014

In November 2013, it was a choice of buying an ALTRA Lone Peak 1.5 and La Sportiva Vertical K and after reading some reviews and technical specifications, I opted to buy the La Sportiva Vertical K. The main thing that I considered without seeing yet the actual shoes is the WEIGHT. In their weight comparison, obviously, the La Sportiva Vertical is far lighter than the ALTRA Lone Peak 1.5.

Brand New, Out Of The Box

Brand New, Out Of The Box

In last year’s recon runs and actual race in the TNF 100 (up to Km #53), I used the La Sportiva Helios and I was satisfied with its performance. I never had any incident of slipping on the declines of the trail route and it is a very light shoes. Having experienced an excellent performance of La Sportiva Helios on my preparation in last year’s TNF 100, I decided to have the La Sportiva Vertical K as my race shoe for this yea’s TNF 100 which is a bit lighter than the Helios. (Note: In the actual race of 2014 TNF 100, I used the old La Sportiva Helios instead of the Vertical K).

Last November 2013, after I bought my La Sportiva Vertical K, I’ve read and heard testimonies about the ALTRA Lone Peak 1.5 which are positive, as well as, negative feedback. I forgot all of these things as I got busy with my trail running training and switched/interchanged one trail shoes to another on a daily basis.

Two months ago, I decided to order a pair of ALTRA Lone Peak 1.5 from a local distributor which I believed was “hand-carried” all the way from Singapore. I got a discounted price as a trail runner and a Race Director of local races. This shows that I don’t get a complimentary shoes for Shoe Review or Display on my workout so that my readers have the impression that I favor the use of a particular shoes.

After logging 250+ kilometers after two months of use and a chance to run them during rainy days, I have now a balanced shoe review on the said shoes. I will not be stating those technical specifications that anybody could read on the corporate website in this review. What is important is on how I could feel when I use it and my personal experience whenever I use them.

Wet Shoes After Workout!

Wet Shoes After Workout!

The “zero drop” thing was not noticeable when I run since I’ve been fond of using racing flats in my road runs, road races, and oval track workouts. I am basically a mid-foot strike runner and it was just natural for me not to notice the difference of the “zero drop” thing of the shoes.

The best feeling and experience of using the shoes is the wide toe box. My whole feet are relaxed and comfortable, thus, my toes are spread as if I am barefooted or using my “flip-flop” sandals. This a complete change from my experience of using ASICS, New Balance and ADIDAS shoes. However, my New Balance 101 Trail Shoes has the same “toe box” feeling with that of the ALTRA Lone Peak 1.5.

The next best feeling and experience is the comfort and support cushioning of the shoes. From the heel portion up to the front end of the toe box, the support and cushion are perfect and I never had any pain, sore or burning sensation on my feet’s sole even on hot days. Whether I run them on rocks and other technical terrains (loose gravels and trails covered with leaves, twigs and branches), I could not feel these “bumps” on my feet. It has also a good protection when my feet would bump on roots or rocks on the front part of the shoes.

Of course, the RED color is something that is a plus for the shoes. For me, it connotes, speed, being hot, and full of strength!

The third best thing on the shoes are the lugs on the sole on a dry trail, most especially on the steep descending ones. The lugs can prevent you from sliding on powdery and dusty trails. However, it is a different story if the trail is wet and muddy.

On the negative side, the shoes is heavy as compared from my other trail shoes. Since I would sweat a lot in my trail running workouts, my sweat would flow on my legs and to my socks and ultimately, to the shoes! Almost in my runs, the socks and shoes would be wet and it would place an additional weight to my legs. I have also the habit to cool off my body by submerging my body to a pool of water on a creek or river along the route without removing my shoes. And once I continue to run, the shoes could hardly extract the water it absorbed. This will result for the shoes to attract dust/powder of soil dirt from the trail which makes the shoes to become heavier.

After my workout, I would “air-dry” the whole shoes and it would take forever (at least, 2 days/48 hours) to let the shoes to dry without exposing them direct to the sunlight. As compared to my La Sportiva and ASICS Trail Shoes, they would dry up overnight, and that’s 12 hours!

"Mud Trap"

“Mud Trap”

For three times, I’ve used the shoes on a wet and rainy environment. The lugs on the sole are considered as “mud traps”, the mud would stick to the lugs and they are hard to be removed as one continues to run. The additional mud and wetness of the shoes would put more extra effort for the legs to lift the shoes. You have the feeling that your legs are lifting an addition weight of one pound per shoe! What is worse when the mud is trapped on the lugs, you don’t have any assurance anymore from your shoes to help you or prevent you from slipping from the mud. If you are not careful, your butt will have the tendency “to kiss” the ground. Obviously, this will result for you to stall on your speed and simply be deliberate on your steps on the muddy trails. (Note: I think I remember right when one of the runners in last year’s Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Run complained that the shoes could not handle slippery mud on the trails).

Heavy When Wet

Heavy When Wet

The shoes could be lighter if they use lighter materials for the uppers; use a thinner material for the shoe laces and make them a little shorter; remove the “rudder” at the back of the shoes; and come up with more drainage holes for sweat and water that could be absorbed by the shoes. There is no point also of placing a cover for the velcro at the back portion of the heel, let the velcro be exposed. Reduce the number of lugs on the sole and make sure that they are more aggressive for muddy conditions.

Rainy Days Are Here Again!

Rainy Days Are Here Again!

The shoes is highly recommended for dry trails, thus, this shoes should be used during dry season/summer. After testing the shoes during the rainy days, I would not bet a good performance on a race where the predicted weather is wet and rainy.

As of the moment, the ALTRA Lone Peak 1.5 is now one of my alternate trail running shoes when my “playground” is dry but they are my favorite trekking/hiking shoes in my regular mountain peak bagging adventures.








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