This is considered as the Pride of the North in terms of Running Events. It was usually held on the last Sunday of December every year since 1979. Unfortunately, the last North Star 10K Run was held in 2002 and it was never revived up to this day due to lack of sponsors and resources.
Mr. Pompey Crisologo and his brother, Danny Crisologo (sports columnist and sportsman who passed away) were the owners and race directors of this event. The Crisologos in Laoag City are the owners of the North Star Marketing, Inc which is the sole distributor of Petron Gasul in Ilocos Norte.
The race event started as a final test for the year-long running workouts to those who practiced running regularly among the youths, professionals and residents in Laoag and Ilocos Norte which was done on the last Sunday of the year. Cadets, Officers & Enlisted Personnel from the Philippine Military Academy would join this race regularly. Even runners from Manila would join as “free rides” were provided by the Farinas Bus Company, being one of the sponsors of the race.
The 10K route starts from the old Suba, Paoay Sports Complex/at the vicinity of the old Golf Driving Range of the Fort Ilocandia Golf Course. From that point, the runners go south along the Paoay Road where the finish line is at the point on the road directly beside the bellfry/tower of the famous Paoay Church at Poblacion, Paoay.
The first kilometer is the only hard part of the course as it is going uphill. After passing the 1st kilometer mark, the course is relatively a smooth downhill and flat terrain up to the finish line. The route is very near to the seashore as sand dunes are seen on your right while the Paoay Lake is seen at your left for the first 2 kilometers of the route. The rest of the route are bounded by rice fields/garlic fields on both sides of the road.
Mr Pompey Crisologo was my “informal coach” in running when I started training for the marathon. As an observer, he would make a critique on my running form and give tips on running training techniques and strategy. He reads a lot and he was way ahead of me in knowing the best and the latest technology in running, to include accessories in running and latest running news at that time.
This morning, I had a chance to see him in his office/commercial establishment and he is still very active and youthful at his age of 72!!! He is still wearing a running shoes with his jeans. Little did I know that he was 52 years old when he finished his first marathon in 1981 with an average pace of 6:00 minutes per kilometer. He said that he is still helping the sports development in the province with a sports (running) project spearheaded by his business company and the Office of the Governor where they conduct 5K races in the different municipalities in Ilocos Norte and later have a 10K race for the top finishers/qualifiers in the 5K races. The top runners in this 10K race are “spotted” as future athletes of the province and given proper training as well as scholarships for high school and college degrees. He is proud to say that the province of Ilocos Norte had been a consistent winner/champion in Athletics/Track & Field in the Regional Athletic Meets for the past six years.
How I wish this running event would be revived soon with the help of Governor Michael Keon of Ilocos Norte and former Commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission, Director of the “Gintong Alay” and a former athlete/runner.