Picture Of The Week #13

2013 BDM 160 196


Pinoy Runners’ Result @ 2013 Vibram HK100K Ultra Trail Run

The Pinoy Runners were ably represented in the 2013 Vibram Hongkong 100K Ultra Trail Run with 21 registered runners, to include 4 lady runners, out of the 1,225 participants in the event. Out of the 21 registered runners, 18 runners had been listed as finishers in the posted provisional result of the race.  It is worthy to note that only 854 runners finished the race out of the 1,225 starters.  Hereunder is the list of Pinoy finishers with their respective ranking and finish time:

RANK N  A    M  E T  I  M  E
15 Marcelo Bautista 12:08:42
33 Gerald Sabal 13:21:58
218 Mark Carlo Villafuerte 17:11:12
374 Verlie Bunao (Female) 19:02:55
387 Mallette Dela Riva (Female) 19:15:39
513 Almelito Casas 21:42:59
514 Reinzirobert Del Rosario 21:42:59
572 Jonel Mendoza 22:26:48
617 Alain Cuchas Llaguno 23:01:02
663 Alen Alba 23:30:17
691 Cheryl Bihag (Female) 23:56:50
713 Manuel Dela Serna 25:04:35
714 Romulo Doctolero 25:04:36
728 Nixon Pasiken 25:31:05
765 Jessie Lou Sulague 27:16:57
785 Ralph Angelo Real 28:09:31
793 Fernando Cunanan Jr 28:50:42
794 Laarni De Guzman (Female) 28:50:42
Vibram HK100 Logo
Vibram HK100 Logo
Pinoy Runners @ 2013 HK100 (Minus Marcelo, Gerald, & 4 other Pinoy Runners)
Pinoy Runners @ 2013 HK100 (Minus Marcelo, Gerald, & 4 other Pinoy Runners)

Aside from the Podium Finishers Trophy Awards, the following are given to the Finishers:

  • A Gold Award will be presented to runners finishing in under 16 hours
  • A Silver Award will be presented to runners finishing in under 20 hours
  • A Bronze Award will be presented to runners finishing in under 24 hours
Vibram HK 100 Podium Finishers Trophies
Vibram HK 100 Podium Finishers Trophies
Finisher's Award Trophies
Finisher’s Award Trophies

Official Result: 2013/3rd Bataan Death March 160K Ultra Marathon Race

3rd Bataan Death March 160K Ultra Marathon Race (BDM 160/Bataan 160 Ultra)

4:00 AM January 26, 2013-10:00 AM January 27, 2013

Bataan Death March Shrine, Mariveles, Bataan To Capas National Shrine, Camp O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac

Number of Starters: 60 Runners (with 7 Female Runners)

Number of Finishers: 43 (with 3 Female Runners)

International Runner/s: 0

1 12 Alfred Delos Reyes (Champion) 22:23:47
2 2 Roberto Abad (1st Runner-Up) 22:41:26
3 28 Henry Laron (2nd Runner-Up) 23:00:09
4 37 Laurencio Ogerio 23:44:24
5 90 Rolando Nerona 24:05:28
6 27 Elmar Bob Tolete 25:15:54
7 24 Junn Besana 25:24:18
8 1 Graciano Santos 25:40:38
9 8 Sandy Alentajan 25:47:10
10 6 Raffy Gabotero 26:11:21
11 80 Lieza Valerio (Champion, Female) 26:17:10
12 11 Simon Pavel Miranda 26:33:30
13 7 Bong Alindada 26:57:25
14 50 Camilo Paran Jr 27:01:28
15 13 Meljohn Tezon 27:51:11
16 160 Ronnel Go 27:55:22
17 77 Bonifacio Dalisay 28:11:06
18 14 Allan Paul Vargas 28:24:48
19 5 Calvin John Escandor 28:38:05
20 9 Jon Las Bruce 28:43:20
21 3 Ferdie Cabiling 28:44:40
22 34 Merwin Torres 28:49:23
23 68 Yob Red 28:50:14
24 412 Benedick Meneses 28:51:30
25 38 Wesley Noel Orana 28:54:19
26 48 Bobby Go 28:57:24
27 23 Tin  Ferrera (1st Runner-Up, F) 29:14:15
28 41 Trojan Lorenzo 29:15:33
29 29 Sherwin Tommy Botabara 29:17:10
30 44 Lawrence Arvin Tomas 29:18:26
31 88 Ben Silva 29:18:59
32 21 Alain Cuchas Llaguno 29:19:39
33 30 Nino Andrelix Navarro 29:21:01
34 100 Carl Balagot 29:21:13
35 20 Erwin Tolentino 29:21:43
36 161 Irene Ong (2nd Runner-Up, F) 29:21:49
37 32 Larry Daliwag 29:21:54
38 69 Nelson Val Caro Jr 29:25:37
39 15 Emerson Sto. Domingo 29:27:57
40 19 Roger Villareal 29:31:31
41 96 Ron Illana 29:33:01
42 83 Ernesto Badong 29:35:46
43 87 Alex Jones 29:58:51

Congratulations To Everybody & Thank You For Your Support (Finishers; Non-Finishers; Pacers; Support Crew; BR Events Staff; Armed Forces of the Philippines; Philippine National Police; Marshals & Volunteers)!

Keep on running!

3rd BDM 160K Ultra Marathon Race @ The Starting Line in Mariveles, Bataan
3rd BDM 160K Ultra Marathon Race @ The Starting Line in Mariveles, Bataan

Pinoy Ultrarunners Shine At The 2013 Vibram Hongkong 100K Ultra Trail Run

(Note: This post is intended for Media Release. If there is anybody who would like to make a NEWS on printed or broadcast media about our Top Runners in the HK100, you are encouraged to use, copy or make this one as your reference. Thank you!)

Marcelo Bautista of Baguio City finished as the top 15th Finisher in the newly-concluded 2013 Vibram Hongkong 100K Ultra Trail Run held on January 19-20, 2013 along the famous McLehose Trail in Kowloon. It is the first international running event for Marcelo after winning eight (8) consecutive ultrarunning events in a span of nine (9) months last year held in the different regions of the country.

The Flying Marcelo @ Km 28
The Flying Marcelo @ Km 28

Marcelo crossed the finish line in 12 hours and 8 minutes after the race started with 1,225 participants coming from 40 different countries. This ultra trail run had become prestigious after its two past editions where the registration for this year’s race had lasted for only 48 hours or two days. Only 21 Pinoy Runners were able to beat the 48-hour registration period.

Gerald Sabal of Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat finished in 33rd place after running among the top 10 runners in the first half of the race. he crossed the finish line in 13 hours and 21 minutes which is two hours faster than the top two Pinoy finish times recorded in last year’s edition.

Gerald In 7th Overall @ Km 52
Gerald In 7th Overall @ Km 52

“This is the toughest race that I’ve ever finished. I’ve learned a lot of lessons here and I would like to return next year with a goal to improve my finish time and ranking”, said Marcelo who kneeled to the ground after crossing the finish line and could hardly stand by himself due to exhaustion brought about by his faster split time on the 2nd half of the race. He added, “I’ve exerted my best effort on the second half of the race because my primary goal in this race was to finish it at all costs!”

Gerald, being the faster runner than Marcelo on the first half of the race, had complained of cramping muscles on his both legs at the Km 65 section resulting for him to walk and stop along the way. “I did not notice Marcelo passing me as I was busy trying to massage my legs as they were tightening up due to cramps”, said Gerald who has more knowledge of the terrain and the weather as he was able to conduct a recon run on the 2nd half of the route last July 2012.

The Vibram Hongkong 100K Trail Run is on its 3rd year as it started with only 200 runners on its first year and then allowed 750 runners on its 2nd year coming from at least 20 countries. However, for this year the participants were increased to 1,225 runners coming from 40 countries where the slots were filled up in two days.

The Overall Champion in the race went to Yun Yan Qiao of China with a finish time of 10 hours and 16 minutes. He finished 5th place last year with a time of 11 hours and 1 minute. The 2nd Place went to Stone Chang of Hongkong with a finish time of 10 hours and 19 minutes where he led by 16 seconds from the 3rd runner. The 3rd Place went to Ram Kumar Khatri of Nepal who registered a finish time of 10:19:59 hours.

From Right: Yun Yan Qiao, Champion; Ram Kumar Khatri, 3rd Place; Stone Tsang, 2nd Place
From Right: Yun Yan Qiao, Champion; Ram Kumar Khatri, 3rd Place; Stone Tsang, 2nd Place

On the Ladies Division, British Claire Price of Hongkong got the Ladies Champion Award with a time of 11 hours and 58 minutes which is a new course record by 20 minutes. She placed #14th Overall Finisher besting Marcelo by 10 minutes.

“We will continue to discover, develop, and expose our best local ultrarunners to international events as we have the potentials to become podium finishers on these races”, was asserted by Retired AFP Major General Jovenal D Narcise, Founder and President of the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU), the country’s Sports Federation for Ultrarunning and the Team Manager & Coach of Team Elite Bald Runner.

In addition, he said, “It’s about time for our local Sports Corporate Firms & Companies to come into the picture in supporting and sending our elite ultrarunners in this kind of international events”. With Marcelo & Gerald’s accomplishment and strong performance in the 2013 HK 100 Ultra Run, there is a bright future and potential for this Sports to grow, discover more talents in the country and for our best runners to excel in other international ultrarunning events.

Andre Blumberg of Hongkong With Team Bald Runner
Andre Blumberg of Hongkong With Team Bald Runner

Marcelo and Gerald’s participation in the Vibram HK100 was principally sponsored by Andre Blumberg of Hongkong who is also an avid ultrarunner travelling around the world to participate in ultrarunning events. This is the second year that Andre Blumberg had supported our elite runners to the HK100. Members of the Pinoy Ultramarathoners Group and PAU runners have also contributed on the training and other miscellaneous expenses for the two elite runners.

Marcelo Bautista and Gerald Sabal are presently the top elite ultrarunners of Team Bald Runner.

Intro: 2013 HK 100 Trail Run

This is the 3rd edition of this trail running race in Hongkong. It started with only 200 runners on its first edition and then followed with 750 runners on its 2nd edition and now, it has 1,213 participants coming from 40 different countries. The registration period lasted for only a few days.

The following is the tally of runners by each country.

20 Runners From The Philippines
21 Runners From The Philippines (Courtesy of Allen Lee of Malaysia)

This is the list of runners who will represent the country in this year’s edition.

1 Alen Alban
2 Marcelo Bautista
3 Almelito Casas
4 Fernando Cunanan Jr
5 Rienzirobert Del Rosario
6 Romulo Doctolero
7 Alain Cuchas Llaguno
8 Benson Martinez
9 Jonel Mendoza
10 Jones Mortega
11 Nixon Pasiken
12 Ralph Angelo Real
13 Gerald Sabal
14 Jessie Lou Sulague
15 Oliver Templo
16 Mark Carlo Villafuerte
17 Cheryl Bihag (F)
18 Verlie Bunao (F)
19 Laarni De Guzman (F)
20 Mallette De La Riva (F)

21 Manuel Dela Serna

Good luck to everybody.

To review on the last year’s edition of the race, you can click on the following links:




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

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

Result: 2013 BDM 102 “Test” Run (BDM Km 00-50)

2013 BDM 102K Ultramarathon Race “Test” Run (Km 00-Km 50)

10:00 PM-7:00 AM January 12-13, 2013

Mariveles, Bataan To Abucay, Bataan

1 Alvin Parreno 6:18:18
2 Rocky Taylan 6:19:45
3 Vincent Tanglao 6:28:49
4 Jon Borbon 6:28:57
5 Alvin Adriano 6:35:01
6 Hermie Saludes 6:53:50
7 Marc Conrad Molina 6:53:51
8 Francis Olive Trinidad 7:06:09
9 Johann Marquez 7:24:36
10 Edrick Nicdao 7:26:20
11 Ronald Robles 7:36:35
12 Ariel Mendoza 7:44:03
13 Orlando Ylaya 7:44:10
14 Jesus Roque 7:47:08
15 Wilson Barbon 8:18:41
16 Rico Azurin 8:41:16
17 Gerardine Kun (F) 8:41:16
18 Celito Jose Macachor 8:41:16
19 Katrina Sarsona (F) 8:41:16
20 Joseph Pineda 8:41:16
21 Joseph Sibal 8:41:16
22 Miko Sabado 8:41:16
23 Raymon Bodino 8:41:16
24 Jon Las Bruce 8:41:16
25 Ronald Ancheta 8:55:46

RD’s Report: 4th RIZAL DAY 32K Run

I seldom write or post on my report as a Race Director in my Races but for the RIZAL DAY 32K Run, I have decided that I have to bring back such practice.

I could not believe that the 4th edition of this Fun Run in memory of the death of our National Hero, Dr Jose Rizal had passed with a number of regular runners, triathletes, and Ultrarunners. It started as a Fun Run to cap/end the year; a run to burn those calories stored from the Holiday Parties; and a run to start the season of training for the incoming Marathon Races and the Bataan Death March Races which are scheduled within the First Quarter of the incoming New Year.

The first edition was a sell-out because of the P 100.00 registration fee and it attracted 300+ runners. It will be hard for me as the Race Organizer to go back on those days with the same amount of registration fee due to obvious reasons. Anyway, I tried to give some options to runners during the latest edition to pay P 950 or P 1,000 with the P 50 going to the Fund of the two elite athletes in their training/preparation for their participation in the 2013 Vibram Hongkong 100K Trail Run. (Note: There were runners who paid P 950 only and opted not to have a share for the Fund of the Two Elites Athletes!)

2011 3rd RIZAL DAY RUN
2011 3rd RIZAL DAY RUN

For the past two editions, I joined the race as an Official Participant with the proper Race Bib and following the prescribed route/number of loops inside the premises of Camp Aguinaldo. Although I was in a relaxed mood and started later after the whole runners have left the starting line, joining the race was a good way to find out the problems among runners as well as problems/concerns in the different aid stations along the route.

2012 4th RIZAL DAY 32K RUN
2012 4th RIZAL DAY 32K RUN

This is the reason why I made a comment on Facebook when I posted an Event Page on this running event that runners tend to forget how to count from One to Five! Each runner has to complete at least 5 LOOPS with the 5th loop as 3/4th of the whole loop which a runner had been running for FOUR TIMES. Well, there are some who should do their assignment on ADDITION before they have to join this running event.

For the latest edition (2012), I adjusted the starting time to 4:30 AM so that the fast & faster runners will take advantage of the cooler temperature before sunrise. This solved the problem for some who could hardly count 5 loops as they enjoyed the cooler temperature. However, there are still runners who could not count properly up to 5!

Aside from the counting problem of some runners, everything was perfect! There were ample supply of water, ice, soft drinks and bite foods. I guess, this is the only running event (less than marathon distance) that serves noodles, soft drinks, biscuits, & chocolate bites along the route. Of course, most of the runners had been asking about the lechon and the beer after the race but sad to say that the Principal Sponsor for these items did not run in the said event.

On a personal note, I was able to improve my finish time as compared to my last year’s, 4:20+ hours, to 3:48:++hours and I think with such conservative result, I can say that I am back again for bigger races in the next coming new year.

On the financial side of things, I was able to raise the amount of Ten Thousand Pesos for Gerald and Marcelo as their “support for their training & pocket money” for their participation in the 2013 Vibram Hongkong 100K Trail Run.

For the future of this event, I have discussed to some of my ultra running friends after the race that this event will expand to more category of distances. I will maintain the 32K event and let the runners practice more on how to count properly; a 42K distance will be added where a runner will practice how to count up to 6 loops; and a 50K ultra distance where a runner will patiently count up to 7 loops inside Camp Aguinaldo. I hope this plan will work! Of course, the registration fees will vary depending on the number of loops you want to count during the run.

So, see you this December 2013 for the 1st RIZAL DAY 50K Ultra Run! Be sure, you know how to count up to seven!

Keep on running!

(Note: I hope I can be considered as a “reputable” Race Organizer of Running Events considering that this event had lasted for almost 5 years!)

“Train As You Race”

In Special Units in the military, you always hear their mantra as, “Train As You Fight”. Among elite runners, their mantra should be “Train As You Race”.

In order to have a quick look and observation on the training & preparation of Gerald Sabal and Marcelo Bautista for the 2013 Vibram Hongkong 100K Trail Run in Baguio City, I have to personally see for myself how their training was on-going with regards to their acclimatization to cold weather environment, altitude training, and feedback about their training program & workout. I went up to Baguio City and see the progress of their training. I had a chance to join in one of their daily workouts.

On my first day in Baguio City, I treated them to a lunch and it was there that I was able to give my instructions about their schedule of training; suggested running route in the city and its environs; and gave them their running apparel/kits and their nutrition needs, courtesy of Andre Blumberg who brought the items from Hongkong to Manila during his participation in the latest edition of the TD 100 Ultramarathon Race.

Gerald, Girlene (Wife of Gerald) & Marcelo @ Good Taste, Baguio City
Gerald, Girlene (Wife of Gerald) & Marcelo @ Good Taste, Baguio City

Gerald and Marcelo were instructed to use the Hammer Perpetuum as their source of nutritional needs during the race in order to minimize spent time in stopping in every Aid Station for their food intake. And they should be used to be taking such food mixture/supplement every time they have their daily workouts until it becomes natural for them during the actual race. I clearly explained to the two runners on how to mix the Hammer Powder with water in their hydration bottles and how the mixture is being consumed during the run.

I asked them to run with me all the way to the peak of Mount Santo Tomas on the following day and be able to start using the Hammer mixture as their food intake during the run. We started at 4:00 AM when the temperature in Baguio City was at its coldest at the Marcos Highway & entry to the Green Valley Subdivision. It was still dark and we were able to use our headlights and hand-held flashlight. The two runners were using their respective Salomon S-Lab 5-Liter Hydration Pack where one bottle is full of Hammer Mixture and the other bottle was full of water. As for me, I brought a single bottle of Simple Hydration filled with water and no gels or Power Bars.

Danin Marcelo Gerald 083

At sunrise, we were already at the peak of Mt Cabuyao and it was cold and windy. We pushed, jogged and brisk-walked, for another 4 kilometers until we reached the peak of Mount Santo Tomas. Before we reached the peak of Mt Santo Tomas, I felt all my fingers were already numbed and could hardly clench my fist because of the cold temperature. The wind had become stronger, producing a distinct loud sound within the surroundings. Marcelo told me that it is always cold and windy as one approaches the top of Mt Santo Tomas. We end up on the building structures and antennae on the peak of the mountain and we had some picture taking moments.

At The Peak Of Mt Santo Tomas (2,250 MASL)
At The Peak Of Mt Santo Tomas (2,250 MASL)

After a few minutes, we started our descent towards Mt Cabuyao but my fingers were still numbed and hard! It was an easy jog in going back to Mt Cabuyao. From Mt Cabuyao, I took some pictures of the two elite runners going down towards Marcos Highway.

My run to the peak of Mount Cabuyao and Mount Santo Tomas officially started my next season of “peak bagging” feats. It is a “short” but long 24K run but it took me 4 hours & 20 minutes for the said workout.

After the workout, I had another chance to get feedback from my runners. They told me that they like the Hammer Mixture and they did not have any stomach issues. I instructed them to use it every time they have their workout until they taper down before the event.

For one of their long runs before tapering, I told them to run the Baguio City-Ambuklao Dam-Baguio City route and be able to use the Hammer Mix during the duration of their run. They were able to follow my instruction and they were able to finish the course in 7+ hours! The feedback was that they liked the Hammer Mix and they did not have any stomach issues.

A good teamwork developed between the two runners for the three weeks that they have trained together in Baguio City. The two shared their strengths and weaknesses and I could see that both runners respect each other. Practically, both runners lived together in one place during the duration of their training.

I can’t consider myself as their Coach & Manager but I think I am a “facilitator” and a “father-figure” to them with regards to their training and preparation for the “Big Dance” in Hongkong. Sometimes, I would still act as a Military Commander & General to them just to stress and give importance to what I am telling them. However, the bottom line of what I’ve been telling them is all about Discipline& Being Focused to their Goal! And impressed on them the mantra, “Train As You Race”!

As these two runners are tapering for the running event and preparing for their departure to Hongkong in one week’s time, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the runners, local & international, who contributed financial support to these two runners and to Andre Blumberg of Hongkong who is the Principal Sponsor for our Pinoy Elite Runners to the 2013 Vibram Hongkong 100K Trail Run. Thank you very much!