Picture Of The Week #10


Official Result: 1st FKT @ Taklang Damulag

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!

Olympic Fever? Who Cares?

I am not sure if there is “Olympic Fever” among the Filipinos now that the 2012 London Olympic Games have just started. Well, after the awesome entertainment during the the Opening Ceremony, we will just wait for our athletes to come home without any Olympic Medal (again!).

Can You Decipher It? London Olympic Games LOGO

For me, I am not that interested to find out when is the schedule of each of the 11 qualified Pinoy athletes to competes in their respective discipline. It does not mean that I don’t support our RP Team but I would prefer to be running on the roads and trails in the mountains to maintain my fitness level.

Olympic Logo Hanging Inside A Shopping Mall

In the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, we sent 15 qualified Pinoy athletes where we rooted so much on boxing, taekwando, swimming, and athletics. Well, the result was the same, NO Gold Medal and there are lots of “fingerpointing” as to who should be blamed for the dismal performance of our athletes. NOBODY took the responsibility of our performance and within the next four years nothing happened! Everything was ALL TALK but NO ACTION.

There had been an election for the new leadership of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) immediately after the 2008 Olympic Games but it became too dirty and political that it caused divisiveness among the different NSA leaders/heads.

We moved on and we prepared for the Southeast Asian Games but sad to say, we did not improve in the 2009 & 2011 editions despite the fact that almost all the NSAs “vision” is geared towards more medal haul in these games. Predictions of Sports Official on the number of medal haul were too bloated as we ended almost to the bottom of the list of the country participants.

Four years after, we are still in the same shit—fewer qualified athletes (11) for the Olympic Games but I think the delegation of Officials & Coaches/Trainers keep on increasing. I really don’t know if we are rooting for a particular sports this time. Well, I’ve read somewhere that our BMX cycling athlete has the chance to reach the FINALS.

2012 Olympic Games Pinoy Athletes

Since I am into running/athletics, I am not optimistic that our two athletes will ever land as podium finishers in their respective event. Obviously, their ages (31-33 years old) are too old to compete with the best athletes ten years or more, younger than they are.

So, after the 2012 London Olympics, the same shit will happen again—

1. The Senate Committee on Sports will file a resolution for a Senate Hearing and find out the real cause of the debacle. Looking for the scapegoat will be the Game/Sports on The Floor! Hopefully, this will pressure the President to sign the law that will create an Executive Department devoted solely for Sports.

2. Opinion writers, armchair athletes/experts, and average athletes like me will publicly make their own analysis through the media and through the Social Networking world. Of course, we like to make some “noise” hoping that somebody will hear us!

3. Our Sports Officials will make some promises to do this and that just for them to be seen and heard. After a few weeks, everything will be calm and we wait again for the Southeast Asian Games, ASIAN Games, and the 2016 Brazil Olympic Games. In short, there is NO accountability for their failure to improve our sports excellence program.

4. Of course, most of the older generation will again float for the revival of the Project Gintong Alay as the solution of our dismal performance in international sports competition. The Project Gintong Alay had been a time-tested system that had proven to be successful that even China and the rest of the ASIAN countries had copied and implimented. Now, we are the ones trying to copy their system well in fact it originated from us! (Note: It took China almost 30 years for them to develop and progress in Sports Excellence and be the No. 1 in the number of medal haul in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games)

So, what could be the problem why we could not progress in our Sports Excellence Program and be able to win a Gold Medal in the Olympic Games?

Because we LACK the LEADERSHIP that has the POLITICAL WILL to impliment CHANGE & REFORM in our Sports Excellence Program.

This is self-explanatory. I rest my case!

See you at the Starting Line!

Taper Run For MILO

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!


In almost seven (7) days, I got 11,000+ hits because of “Marcelo, The Champion”.

I was overwhelmed with the number of people/readers who shared my story/blogpost on Facebook and Twitter and for those who made their comment/s on the blog itself. Thank you for those kind words and shower of support to Marcelo Bautista, Champion of the 1st Marcos-Kennon 50-Mile Ultra Road Classic.

Mayor Bellarmin “Red” Flores of Rosario, La Union and Former Mayor Larry Flores will be bringing Marcelo to Manila to join the MILO Marathon Manila Elimination Race which will be held this coming Sunday, July 29, 2012. Wap Forbes Flores had also told me that a new complete set of running kit had been delivered personally to Marcelo in Baguio City.

Andre Blumberg of Hong Kong had also committed to support the registration fee of Marcelo to the 2013 The North Face 100K Endurance Race.

Jerome Bautista and other ultrarunners as well as marathon runners had promised also to donate shoes and running apparel to Marcelo.

I hope by this time Marcelo had already received some shower of support and became an instant celebrity as a result of my story.

Marcelo Before The Start of the MK50 (Photo Courtesy of Ryan Jucutan)

Good luck and See you at the MILO Marathon Manila Elimination Race!

Marcelo, The Champion

He arrived at the Starting Area two hours before the Gun Start. I personally don’t know the man but looking at his physique, I already knew that he is an elite runner. I just observed him walking around and within the Assembly Area of the Race inside the Rosario Municipal Plaza (Rosario, La Union) and I was trying to figure out his running kit. He was wearing the usual running shorts with an upper garment which seems to be a midrib attire usually worn by elite lady runners as well as the men’s elite. He was wearing those colourful ladies’ hose/socks whose length is up above the knees and the color on one leg is black and the other one leg is a combination of light green, pink and cream. The socks must be functional for him as a combination of the usual socks and calves sleeves! He was wearing an old shoe which I suspected to be a worn-out racer flats.

He seems to have a problematic face and trying to look a familiar face within the crowd. After few minutes, he figured out whom to approach and asked about the race. He came to me and asked me if he can join the race. I said, yes! I pointed where my staff was located to show him where he should register and get his race kit. But his facial expression showed some problem. He was telling me that he was to be sponsored by another runner and he was waiting for the said runner to arrive for him to pay the registration fee. He told me that he “hitched a ride” in one of the vegetable cargo trucks from Baguio City to reach Rosario, La Union and be able to join the race. He pleaded to me that he is interested to join the race as he knows the route and he would like to test his running capability for an ultra distance. He was showing me some folded bills of money (Fifty Peso bills) which he said is not enough for the registration fee. (I found out later that he has only 450+ pesos tucked in his running shorts) He told me that this is the first time for him to run an ultra distance of that long.

I can see on the face of the runner that he is serious. I told him to wait and he should see me before I conduct the last briefing for all the runners. (I was thinking of giving him a free race kit before the start of the race!)

Bernadette Schleuter from Guam, USA came to me and asked if I will allow her to sponsor Marcelo to join the race. I was surprised and little embarrassed to find out that Marcelo approached the lady runner to support him in the said race. I said “yes” to Bernadette. Bernadette gave him P 1,000 and I accepted the money as his registration fee (50% discount rate). I told him to keep his own money for any contingencies during the race and for his fare in going back to Baguio City.

Marcelo In Red Running Kit Bought From “Ukay-Ukay” & Eating His Food Few Seconds From the Starting Line

I allowed him to run without any lights and reflective vest. I told him to be very careful of the incoming traffic and warn him about the dangers of falling rocks and constructions being done along Kennon Road. He gave me the assurance that he will run responsibly and carefully during night time and take extra careful along Kennon Run. He assured me that he is very familiar with Kennon Road.

I was touched when almost all the runners from Baguio City offered him Gels, fruits, power bars and other bite foods before the start of the race. He was not wearing any hydration pack or “fuel” belt! He just simply tucked the gels, bars, and fruits on his running shorts and started eating and drinking some water few minutes before the start of the race.

Once the gun was fired, he positioned himself at the front and he maintained his position throughout the race. He reached the Checkpoint at the View Deck of Kennon Road in 5:15+ hours! The next runner to reach the Checkpoint was more than two hours behind him. As he predicted to finish the race in 7 hours, he crossed the finish line in 7:56:50 hours!

Marcelo At The Center Receiving His Trophy From Mayor Flores

My staff offered him some drinks and food after he crossed the Finish Line! I congratulated him for setting a Course Record for the route and told him to rest/sleep until the rest of the runners would arrive at the Finish Line. After eating, I asked one of the staff of the Mayor to bring him to the house where he left his things which is one kilometer from the Finish Line by riding tandem on a motorcycle but he refused the offer. Instead, he jogged to the house and returned to the Assembly/Finish Area after 40 minutes. He slept and later waited for the rest of the runners to arrive.

After breakfast the day after, I had the chance to talk to him together with the Municipal Mayor of Rosario. I found out that he is thirty-two (32) years old, married and residing in Baguio City without any children. He works as a “segregator” with the Waste Management of Baguio City with a monthly take home pay of P 2,500.00. He is known by the Mayor of Rosario to be a consistent winner in their annual 5K Run where the latest run/race was during the birthday of the Mayor last April. He was awarded some Cash Prize for winning the event. He is also a consistent Podium Finisher in running events in Baguio City. At present, he is among the top 5 runners of Baguio City. He won the latest Race to Mt Cabuyao from Burnham Park. Among his prizes was a new running shoes which he sold to a cheaper price due to lack of money to support his training.

When I asked about his hydration and nutrition, he told me that he only drinks when he is thirsty and eat when he is hungry during races. On a regular day, he drinks hot coffee in the morning after his early morning run and that’s it! No breakfast, lunch and snacks! He eats once a day for his dinner after having his running workout in the afternoon. He explained that he eats a lot of rice with only one viand for the dinner, his only decent meal for the day.

He works as a waste segregator from 7:00 AM up to 3:00 PM and he has time for his early morning jog and late afternoon running workout. He sleeps early in the evening after taking his dinner. He has no vices and he intimated to me that he had no running-related injuries so far!

He said that he can still run a sub-38 minutes 10K race with the proper training and preparation. He was challenged by the Municipal Mayor to run a Full Marathon with a finish time of 2:45 to 2:55 hours in this coming MILO Manila Marathon Elimination Race by the end of this month.

The Flores Family, to include Wap Forbes Flores, had promised him a new racing shoes, running apparel (shirt & shorts) and running socks for the said event. To top it all, his transportation, food and accommodation needs will be provided by the Flores Family. He promised me that he will not sell whatever running kits he will get from the Flores Family.

The Pink Reebok Shoes Was The Shoe That Marcelo Used During The Race. He Changed To Another Tattered Brooks Shoes During Breakfast & Awarding Ceremony

You might ask, why I am telling this story about Marcelo. It’s because he is your typical fast and strong Pinoy runner who is unknown from those glitzy and “very promising” road races in Metro Manila. “Very promising” because there are Race Organizers who promise some cash prizes or travel abroad to compete but nothing comes out for the winner in the end. They are unknown because they are poor and could hardly afford the registration fees not unless they are sponsored by others. These “unknown” elite runners will never land on the pages of your typical runners’ or sports magazines!

There are more “Marcelos” in the provinces who could be Champion in Road Races and Running Events. All we need is to bring the races in to the provinces and allow these unknown runners to join and prove their mettle even if there are no cash prizes. Ultrarunners have the heart and passion to help these runners, this trait makes us above than those runners who only care for themselves and their own personal interest!

Thanks to Bernadette Schleuter and to those Ultrarunners who helped Marcelo achieved his goal as the Champion of the 1st Marcos-Kennon 50-Mile Ultra Road Classic. Please continue helping these “poor & unknown” runners!

We hope to look for more “Marcelos” in the provinces throughout the country and let them join our ultrarunning events.

(Note: If you have an extra new/slightly used running shoes with size 8 1/2, feel free to contact me and we’ll give your donation of shoes to Marcelo. Thanks!)

Result: 1st Marcos-Kennon 50-Mile Ultra Road Classic

2:30 PM July 14-15, 2012/Rosario, La Union Via Marcos Highway To Baguio City & Back To Rosario, La Union Via Kennon Road

R A N K N   A     M   E T  I  M  E
1 Marcelo Bautista 7:56:50
2 Almar Danguilan 10:25:52
3 Henry Laron 10:25:54
4 Bob Castilla 10:42:09
5 Michael Fabian 10:44:33
6 Marlon Ponce Ian Zarate 11:00:24
7 Edilberto Yonzon 11:04:45
8 Arman John Jison 11:07:01
9 Bernadette Schleuter (F) 11:07:44
10 Smile Ellasus 11:39:53
11 Ryan Jucutan 12:14:18
12 Jojo Dela Cruz 13:44:06
13 Jorell Paringit 13:53:33
14 Carl Balagot 13:53:34
15 Jonathan Navalta 13:58:58
16 Calvin John Escandor 14:02:26
17 Jonel Mendoza 15:07:59
18 Ron Yllana 15:08:00
19 Randy Racho 15:34:28
20 Fernando Sy Jr 15:34:29
21 Stephanie Hefti (F) 16:51:23
22 Roger Villareal 17:29:01
23 Joel Balagtas 17:38:43
24 Carmeli Ortega (F) 17:43:18

Congratulations to the 1st Batch of Podium Finishers/Finishers of this historic event who realized that the route for cyclists is now a favorite route for runners/ultrarunners!

BIG thanks and snappy salute to the Local Government of Rosario, La Union under the leadership of Honorable Bellarmin “Red” Flores III, Municipal Mayor; former Mayor Larry Flores; Wap Forbes Flores, a friend and ultrarunner; PNP Rosario Chief of Police Supt Erwin Dayag; PNP Sr Supt David Lacdan of Baguio City; PMA Superintendent Major General Nonito Alfredo Peralta Jr AFP ; and to all the staff & support personnel of the Office of the Mayor of Rosario, La Union for their “all-out support” to make the event as a memorable experience to all the runners.

See you at the Starting Line!

25 Brave Warriors/1st Batch of MK50 Runners
Champion Marcelo Bautista with a Course Record of 7:56:50 Hours
Lady Champion Bernadette Schleuter of Guam, USA With a Course Record of 11:07:44 Hours

The Doctor Has Spoken

I had a running-related injury during my last long run before my participation to the 2011 MIWOK 100 Trail Run last April 2011. There was pain on my left knee and it did not improve until the race day. Since that time, I was in denial that I am injured and caused my lesser time to do my daily runs and easy long runs. Instead, I opted to take some rests, do some brisk walking and until I thought of joining the last year’s RIZAL DAY Run, 2012 CONDURA Skyway Marathon, and the 1st Mt Ugo Trail Marathon in Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya. On my way to Mt Ugo for a recon run weeks before the race day, I started an alternative activity which is peak bagging and the rest is history.

You might be wondering why I was able to finish the Rizal Day 32K, Condura Skyway Marathon, Mt Ugo Trail Marathon and Adventure Run along the Circumferential Road of Guimaras Island (110K) and did more peak bagging activities despite my left knee pain and injury. The explanation will be provided  in detail in another blogpost.

Pain management had contributed much in my ability to run and continue on my running in races and peak bagging activities. But there is a need for medical attention as I am no longer young like the other runners out there.

Yearly, I always make it a habit to go to the United States to visit my family, recharge and rest, do some chores in the house, and buy some books about running. But my main reason of going to the US is to have my yearly medical check-up! Last year, I passed all the medical tests to include my uric acid level, prostate test condition, and others but I did not include some tests/exams for my knee pains.

This year, my medical tests included an examination on my two knees through X-Ray. During my initial consultation with our family doctor who happens to be a former marathon runner and also a Pinoy, he said that the symptom on my knee pain is an indication that I should stop running. Like him, he stopped running and joining marathon races after he started feeling some pains on his knees. He warned me that if I force myself to continue running, there will come a time in the near future that I will be walking with the aid of a cane or walking stick and the pain on my knee will be unbearable that I need to take some big dose of pain-killer medications.

I felt like I was going to have a heart attack/stroke when I heard the doctor’s advice! So, I said to myself, this is it, this could be the end of the Bald Runner!

But having that kind of a fighting spirit in me of being a warrior, I mean, an old warrior, I asked the doctor if there are alternative means where I can still be active and maybe, one day I could go back again to serious running. I asked him if I can bike and he said that I could not bike because the knees are the main source of force in such endeavour. I asked the doctor if I can hike and brisk walk and he said yes. Later during the consultation, I asked him again if I can do some swimming and he said yes. Swimming is the best sports that I could do to relieve the pain from my knees.

On that consultation, the doctor took some of my blood for my medical exams to include a test for my prostate and he advised me to have an X-Ray session with my two legs and chest to another clinic. On this consultation meeting with my doctor, I registered 110/70 blood pressure; weight of 145 pounds; and a Heart Rate of 50 BPM. If my computation is correct, I might register a BMI of 21.5.

On the next day, I went to an X-Ray Clinic and I had relaxing moments with the secretary and technician because the Clinic is being manned by Pinoys. After I finished with my chest x-ray, the technician commented that my lungs and heart are very healthy and powerful for my age! Of course, it is a given and not surprised with the comment of the technician. I usually have that same comment when I was still in the active military service. However, the knee X-Ray took so much time as there are 3 positions needed for each knee! In all, six positions! And to top it all, the technician had to repeat my right leg X-Ray shots! So, I did 9 shots for my two knees!

After a week, I got the results. First, the bad news! My cholesterol is High (too much Pork/Chicken Adobo, Bulalo, and Lechon!). My sugar is also High (too much Starbucks Coffee, Krispy Creme donuts, cakes, Magnum, and Coke/Sprite) and I am about to be a candidate for Diabetes. My Knee X-Rays showed that I have Bone Spurs on my both knees! The good news is that the prostate is A-OK and my uric acid is at a manageable level. My immune system is strong and healthy!

I said to myself, what the fuck are bone spurs? The Internet provided me with the answer to my question and I did not want to hear again the advise from our family doctor because I knew I will be hearing the same shit! So, all my activities right now are geared towards the solution to get rid of these bone spurs!

Surgery? No way! I pity a young officer whom I’ve met lately at the Philippine Army Swimming Pool who was having his water exercise therapy after undergoing a surgery due to bone spurs on the bones of his feet. He was walking with a cane and he is in his late 30s or early 40s! I also know of a senior officer (retired already) who had a knee surgery and he is still swearing/complaining up to this date that he made a wrong decision to have undergone such surgery.

Medical injections of steroids or any “thing” that will lessen or temporarily remove the growth of this bone spurs or prevent the rubbing of these spurs to my ligaments and tendons? I have yet to see and find out about this solution and decide to try this treatment. However, I know of some people younger than me who have undergone this kind of treatment and they are still running well.

At this time, I am administering the old-fashion rest, ice and hot treatment, deep-tissue massage, fish oil/Vitamin D & B-Complex supplements, some “voodoo”/organic herbal drinks and cross training regimen. I hope I will not be bored with my home-made solutions to my bone spurs! Patience and Consistency are the factors that are neded for this kind of treatment .

So, if you see me out there hiking, or maybe running, stair climbing, or doing some cross training activities, you know that I am trying my best to get back into my best shape as a consistent runner!

Sand Dunes Running

“Marathon Des Sable” In Ilocos Norte/April 10, 2012

The Sand Dunes in Ilocos Norte had become a tourist attraction since the early 80s with the construction of the Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel and for being a popular site for movie shooting location of so many local as well as foreign films in the past. The complex had been planned to be the location of a world-class tourist destination; a sports haven; an entertainment and gambling paradise; and an export processing for industrial and manufacturing firms. But due to political developments, everything (all the plans) had to be buried in the sand with only the Fort Ilocandia Resort Complex; a Golf Course; an International Airport; and some road systems opened and paved as projects that had been realized as part of the grand plan for the place.

The Sand Dunes of Ilocos Norte remain to be untouched except for the endless tracts of 4 X 4 all-terrain vehicles. I thought that if all-terrain vehicles could navigate and create paths on these desert and sand dunes formations, runners and pedestrian adventure seekers are not far behind to experience what it is like to have fun in running and hiking on the sand dunes of Ilocos Norte.

So, a plan had been hatched to run, jog, and walk along the said sand dunes and relive the history of the place.

Visiting My Mom’s Grave Is A Yearly Activity

I visited the tomb/grave of my mother in Laoag City and offered a prayer on her supposed to be 87th Birthday last April 7, 2012 but I made my trip on April 9. On the following day, I was scheduled to run along the Sand Dunes of Laoag City up to Paoay, Ilocos Norte and if time permits, I could extend my run up to the Currimao Beach. The plan was to come up with a route along the Sand Dunes which can cover a distance of a Marathon (42.195 kilometers).

My Running Friends/Companion In This Adventure Run

Dr. Chester Puno of Bad Circle/Team KIMAT and Running High Specialty Running Store of Laoag City, Rogelio Alcaraz Alejandro Jr of Team KIMAT, and my nephew Duckie joined me in this recon run. The run started at the City Hall of Laoag City at about 6:15 AM and our direction was to reach Barangay Gabu as we passed along the Laoag Bridge by going South and then to the West. Short conversations while we were running made our run effortless as we maintained a steady easy pace.

The view of Laoag River and Barangay La Paz, Laoag City

We had a brief stop as soon as we reached Barangay Gabu where we met familiar faces as residents of the place. We had also some photo-ops with the mouth of Laoag River as it exits on the South China Sea. After a short run from the populated area of the Barangay, we reached the entry of the Sand Dunes of Laoag City which is considered as the northernmost portion of the area.

Looking as far as the eyes can see, I can see the tip of the southernmost part of the Sand Dunes which happens to be called, Culili Point, a small hill which is already a part of the next town, Paoay. I told to the group that after running for almost 9 kilometers from Laoag City, we have to reach the said Culili Point and find out if we could run along the beach up to the next town, Currimao. But I told them that we had to make a pit stop at the eateries along the beach of the Fort Ilocandia Resort for our breakfast.

So, we continued our run along the beach and the sun was about to be seen on the eastern horizon. Running on the sand dunes with the heat of the sun in Ilocos Norte could rival with the heat which I experienced when I visited Badwater, California in 2009. It was so hard to run as our feet would land on the loose ground and have our leg muscles exert some more force to lift them for the next step. Running would later become slower into jogging and ends to brisk walking.


After more than one hour of jogging along the sand dunes, we reached the area of the Fort Ilocandia Resort Complex and it was time to have our breakfast in one of the eateries along the beach. We ordered breakfast meal with fried eggs and corned beef and we were surprised that our meal had the native rice as part of the breakfast order. We were really hungry and enjoyed our meal. We also replenished our water supply on our hydration system and had a brief rest after our meal.

Running With Badwater Temperature!
Culili Point Is Still Far!

Culili Point was always on our sight as our destination before proceeding to the beach of Currimao. From the Fort Ilocandia Complex, the heat of the sun was already taking its toll on us as we continued our run-jog-walk along the beach. There are group of fishermen who were pulling their fishing nets from the sea and some of them were resting in temporary makeshift. It was nice to talk to these people as they were surprised that they saw us to be running along the beach at a time when the sun was already almost on top of us.

A Water Well At The Sand Dunes. It was our Savior from the Heat & Dehydration!

We rested on this makeshift as we unlaced our running shoes to remove the sands that were inside our shoes. The longer we ran on the sand, our shoes became heavier as the finer sands would enter on the mesh of the upper part of our shoes and from our ankles. Nobody from us were using gaiters and there was no way we can prevent the sands from entering our shoes. Later, it became a ritual to have brief stops along the route in order to remove the sand from our shoes.

Finally, Culili Point On My Background With 2 Kilometers More To Go

Our conversation with the fishermen led us to know that there are water wells on the sand dunes where we can re-supply our water supply. We looked for the water well and it was refreshing to pour more water to our heads and bodies for the needed cooling effect to bring down the heat of our bodies. From this water well, our target destination was within our grasps.

But sometimes the heat of the sun would play on us. We thought the distance to the Culili Point would be estimated to be one kilometer from us but in reality it took us forever to reach its foot. It took us almost 30 minutes to cover the last kilometer up to the peak of the hill. My companions took a pit stop at its foot while I just went directly to its peak without resting.

Last Push To Culili Point

The all-around view from the peak of Culili Point was beautiful! The Currimao Beach was on my sight in the south, the South China Sea on my west and the Sand Dunes on the north and east directions. After some photo-ops with my companios on top of the Culili Point, I decided to end the run and find a route that goes back to the highway that would lead us to Paoay.

At The Peak Of Culili Point

We had been running for the past 6 hours and we have yet to reach the highway. Our run towards the highway was very challenging as there were uphill climbs and soaring heat of the sun. After almost 3 kilometers, we reached a populated area where we stopped for more water to douse our hot bodies. We have to hydrate ourselves and take some of our power bars just to fight fatigue to our bodies.

The Road In Going Back To The Highway
Lots Of Mountain Peaks To Be Bagged On The Background

I am glad one of our companion’s friend fetched us on the said barangay aboard a car and it was a great feeling to be sitting in a car with the air coming from the shaded portions of the road. If not for the car that fetched us, we had another 3 kilometers to run and jog just to be able to reach the paved road leading to the town of Paoay.

To replenish ourselves with a lunch, we were treated with hot bulalo meal and other ilocano recipes in one of the eateries in Paoay. The lunch and the ice-cooled soda drinks were enough reward for our sand dunes adventure run.

The Damage & Aftermath
The Reward: P 35 Pesos Worth Of Hot Bulalo!

The recon run registered a distance of 25 kilometers which took us almost seven (7) hours of fun and adventure. I promised myself to be back and extend my run up to the beach of Currimao and if possible, come up with an ultra running event in this place.

See you at the Starting Line!