Birth Of Another Ultra Route

March 9-10, 2012

After the Awarding Ceremony & Get Together Party for the 2012 BDM and PAU Races, I had already a plan in my mind to try the initial King of the Mountain Road Race envisioned by Jonel two years ago. This is the Road Race which he dubbed as the Baguio To Baguio Route which is popular among professional cyclists and the popular cycling lap that determines who would eventually  win in the yearly Professional Cycling Event in the Country.

However, the main reason and goal of this running trip/adventure run was to be able to recon the King of the Mountain Mt Ugo Trail Marathon route which I was planning to join. Running along the Marcos Highway, Kennon Road, and Naguilian Road would serve as my easy long runs as part of the training before going to Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya.

Coming from Manila after breakfast of Friday, March 9, I drove my car without any target time for me to start my run as I planned to start at the Saitan Junction in Rosario, La Union once I reach the place and after wearing my running shoes. At exactly 3:00 PM, I arrived at the planned starting area and I was surprised to see that the structure on the said place is already abandoned and left to rot and decay. I wonder who is supposed to be responsible for its upkeep and cleanliness. Anyway, I parked the car and started to eat some cooked foods which we brought for my adventure run. We had cooked rice, pork and chicken adobo and fried fish. After my full meal, I changed to my running attire and I was ready to start my run.

My route has to take the Maharlika Highway going to the town/poblacion of Rosario, La Union and then turn right at the Junction which is the start of the Marcos Highway which is now called, “Ben Palispis Highway”. I wonder who is this guy who replaced the name of the former President of the country! From the Junction, the Marcos Highway would lead me to Baguio City. I finally started my run at 3:30 PM.

Strictly following my run-walk method of 3 minutes of run & 45 seconds brisk walk, I was able to progress my ascent to the summer capital of the country. My support vehicle would be able to “leap-frog” every 3 kilometers which is the estimated time that I would consume the water or Gatorade mix on my “Sprint” Nathan hand-held bottle. The last 5 kilometers climb to Baguio City would be the most challenging part of the route as I had to brisk walk most of the distance. I was able to run and walk the Marcos Highway going to Baguio City, a distance of 47 kilometers with a total gain of more than 6,000+ feet from the place where I started, at Barangay Saitan, Rosario, La Union. I did it in 8:20+ hours. I stopped my run infront of the Baguio General Hospital.

After an overnight rest in one of the decent hotels in Baguio City, I continued my run the following day from where I stopped and run through the famous Kennon Road going back to where I started. It was all downhill but I had to be cautious because I don’t want my quads and knees to suffer for the pounding with the distance of 33 kilometers. My trekking poles provided me with much comfort on those steep downhill portions of the route. With longer “pit stops”, I was able to reach my destination in 6:00+ hours.

After completing the 2-day running feat, I would discover that the total distance would result to 80 kilometers which is a good 50-miler route for an ultrarunning event. Thus, I decided to dubbed the event on this route as the “Marcos-Kennon 50-Mile Ultra Road Classic”. A status posted at FB gave some commitments from running-friends to help and support in the conduct of this event. Thanks to my ultra running friends!

I’ve decided not to run the Saitan, Rosario to Bauang, La Union route along the Maharlika Highway and instead, measured the distance aboard my car using my GF 305 watch. The distance registered at 53 Kilometers. Stayed overnight in Bauang, La Union. Enjoyed the food, beach and sea breeze of the place and I enjoyed my much-needed rest. From the Bauang, La Union Junction to Baguio City, the distance is 44 Kilometers up to Burnham Park. I did not run through the route but I simply observed the terrain closely as I drove towards Baguio City.

In summary, adding up all the routes of the Baguio-Baguio, the Original King of the Mountain Road Ultra of Jonel, it has a total distance of 224 Kilometers and it can be depicted on the following measured legs:

Baguio City To Saitan, Rosario via Kennon Road—33 Kilometers

Saitan, Rosario To Baguio City via Marcos Highway—47 Kilometers

Baguio City To Bauang, La Union via Nagulian Rd—44 Kilometers

Bauang, La Union To Saitan, Rosario via Maharlika—53 Kilometers

Saitan, Rosario To Baguio City via Marcos Highway—47 Kilometers

I will let Jonel push through with his plan Baguio-Baguio Route to be implimented. However, I will just take a portion of the said route as another challenging race route for interested ultrarunners to experience. Thus, the “Marcos-Kennon 50-Mile Ultra Road Classic” is born. Planning for this race route is not complete if I don’t share to you what are the detailed expenses incurred in order to discover and plan a certain ultrarunning route.

The following were my expenses incurred in the said trip:

Gasoline Expenses (Round Trip From Manila-Baguio & Back)—P 5,000

Food Expenses For 3 Days (For 2 Persons)—P 4,000

Hotel Accommodations—P 4,500

Miscellaneous Expenses—P 1,000

Hydration & Nutrition Needs For My Recon Runs—P 3,000

T   o   t   a    l ————-P 17,500

This is excluding for the Payment for the Wear & Tear/Service for the Car that I am using in my Recon Runs. And since this is my passion, I don’t give a price or costing on the time and effort/services I have to provide in order to create a safe road race for everybody. In addition, the daily salaries of my driver and assistant/support crew are not yet included in the above costs!

I hope in the future, Jonel would be able to stage a multi-day running event on his original Baguio-Baguio Route.

The Ultra Race along this route will come sooner than you think! Keep on running!


3 thoughts on “Birth Of Another Ultra Route

  1. Pingback: 1st Marcos-Kennon 50-Mile Ultra Road Classic « Bald Runner

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