DNF @ 2016 Hardcore 100-Mile Mountain Trail Run

24 05 2016

DNF (Did Not Finish) @ 2016 Hardcore 100-Mile Trail Run

I have a lot of DNFs in my previous attempts to finish a 100-mile mountain trail run here and abroad and many are wondering why I would just simply finish one of my ROAD 100-mile ultras in my races and earn those buckles that I have designed. One of the important reasons why I insist on finishing a 100-mile trail run is because I have already transformed myself as a mountain trail runner after the conduct of the 1st Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Run. Since then, I limited my exposure to road racing as well as training on paved roads.

Maybe, my old age is fast catching up on my body that I need to spend more time in the mountains. However, more effort is exerted on my muscular and respiratory systems while I am in the mountains but after every run or hike I feel energized and more relaxed. It could be due to the following: the nice sights & scenery of the place where I came from, the clean and unpolluted air that I inhaled, or the variety of the ground where my feet would land that makes me more agile and fast in thinking. And the list gets longer with so many more reasons…

Fast Forward…The Hardcore 100-Mile Mountain Trail Run is very close to my heart as I was a part of the RD’s team to recon and measure the route for the first time within the duration of three consecutive days. We started in Kayapa, reached the peak of Mt Pulag, spent two nights in Balite, and then exited on the trailhead in Ambaguio, Nueva Viscaya and later linked up with our Support Team along the Maharlika Highway in Bayombong, Nueva Viscaya. We braved to fight the rains, the heat of the sun and the challenges of the mountainous terrain in Benguet and Nueva Viscaya. And the rest is history.

I made my first attempt to join the race in 2014 and I got lost on the first 14 kilometres due to error in judgment and arrived in Babadak Aid Station (Km #62) beyond the cut-off time of 16 hours. I was totally exhausted upon arrival at Babadak Aid Station even though I was well-prepared for the said event as I tried to catch-up from the loss of time I made from the Start to Pangawan. As compared this year, my preparation in terms of mileage and vertical distance is not even one-half of the mileage in put into the race in 2014.

I did not have any intention of joining this year’s Hardcore 100 but after my TransLantau 100 “abbreviated” finish last March where I was awarded only 2 UTMB points instead of 3 points, I decided to join the Four Lakes 100 where I could earn 3 UTMB points. I finished the Four Lakes 100K with a time of 26:45+ hours and it gave me the boost to try my luck again for the Hardcore 100 after asking the RD if I can still join the race. Instead of joining the TNF 100, I opted to join this year’s H1 Recon Run/Hike for me to familiarise again the first half of the route. Practically, my training for the event started immediately after I finished the Four Lakes 100 and I knew that the allotted time between FL 100 and H1 was not enough to gain more vertical distance and mileages appropriate for the event. But the hard-headed attitude in me prevailed and I know that any runner would not need “luck” to finish this race.

You may think that I was too ambitious to join this event and brave enough to toe the line with the rest of the Starters at the Starting Line but there is no shame in me because I am already 64 years (with nothing to prove anymore) and I would be happy to count the number of younger runners whom I could pass along the way which is, one or the other, would boost my morale to continue the race. So, my objective in this race was to catch up any runner whom I would see in front of me even if they are mountains ahead of me as long as I can see them and at the same time be able to build-up some buffer time before those designated cut-off times in the different checkpoints along the route.

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Hardcore 100 Route Map & Elevation Profile

The Journey To DNF

The race started at exactly 12:01 AM Friday, May 20, 2016 at the Kayapa Elementary School’s Multi-Purpose Covered Court with 134 starters for the Hardcore 100. Having considered myself as the Oldest Runner among the participants, I positioned myself at the back of the pack and started walking. I think I walked on the first 200 meters because it was an uphill along the Highway until we entered the trailhead which was a short downhill where I started to run and jog. I practically jogged the flatter part of the course and brisk-walked on those uphill climbs. I knew that it was an 8-kilometer distance of uphill before we reached the short climb to the trail of the “Mossy Forest”. However, upon reaching Km 7, it started to rain and I had to bring out my Patagonia Water-Proof Jacket to prevent my body from getting cold and wet. I was happy to see that there is a Marshal manning the short climb up to the Mossy Forest as this was where I got lost in 2014. I tried to run inside the Mossy Forest and I was comfortable with my pace until I was knocked down with a branch of tree that fell down years ago across the trail. I resumed with my run until I reached Pangawan and I refilled my bottle with water. The RD and the rest of the volunteers were there cheering us and telling us our split time as we arrived at the Aid Station. My time was 3:02 hours for 14 kilometres and I was 32 minutes late/slower from the “time plan chart” that I prepared and carried with me. Instead of losing hope, I have to think positively and made my brisk walking faster on the next 3 kilometers of uphill climb to Dayap.

I think I was able to shave off some minutes of my delay from Pangawan to Dayap because of better footing on the ground even if it was raining. The road has a concrete tire track and the exposed ground is too hard to become a muddy one as it was not saturated with the rain. I took advantage to improve my pace after leaving Dayap. However, the road to Banao (newly-graded for widening and improvement) became very muddy as more parts of the trail became ankle-deep mud with water. There are even landslides, too where barely one-foot of track could be passable on the edge of the mountain cliff. This made my pace slower even if I had the aid of my trekking poles to prevent me from sliding and landing on my butt on the ground.

Hardcore 100 39 Hours

Cheat Sheet: Time Plan Reference For A 39-Hour Finish

Before reaching Banao, I was able to pass 8 runners and most of them did not have any trekking poles as they deliberately and slowly selected/chose the drier parts of the trail where they would avoid sliding on the muddy road. Even if the course profile on this part of the route is steeply going down, a runner would not dare to run a faster pace with the mud and slippery nature of the trail. So, instead of getting faster and improving one’s pace in this portion, I had to move slowly and deliberately instead of falling down and getting injured in the process. One false or mistake move on my part would mean a fracture or two on my ribs or bones. Better to be safe than landing in a hospital and giving a problem to the RD. One of the runners whom I passed just simply sat beside the trail wearing his raincoat and declared himself as DNF for having blurred vision! Before reaching Banao, the sun was already on the horizon, the rain had stopped and I could see signs from the cloud formation that the day will be a hot one!

As I looked at my watch, I was already delayed for almost one hour due to the muddy road (and slow start up to Pangawan) and decided to continue without dropping by at the Banao Aid Station. Knowing the different natural and free-flowing water sources along the trail, I was confident that I could easily refill my hydration bottles and bladder with water. It is a steep downhill run from the Banao Aid Station until you reach the bottom where one has to cross the 2nd Cable Hanging Bridge along the course. From the bottom, one has to go uphill again until one will be running along the edge of a mountain where on your left is a big & wide raging river. This is where you will pass the famous Sitio Happy, Kabayo where one will be running on the middle of a mini-rice terraces. Just be careful on your footing that you might land or fall down on the lower level rice terrace which has a height of at least 10-12 feet. There are more Cable Hanging Bridges to cross along this part of the course and be careful not to slip on those wooden planks. The course seem to be flat as the trail becomes flat as one has to run beside the raging river. Sometimes, you will run a flat trail with a narrow irrigation canal on your left side after passing the ABAT Elementary School until you reach a “meadow” where some houses are located. From the houses, it will be a deep descending part of small rocks on the trail where is a wooden fence on your right and a big trunk of fallen tree on the middle/left side of the trail. Take advantage of picking up your pace on these flat and descending parts of the course. After crossing the longest Cable Hanging Bridge in Kabayo, be ready for the next 7 kilometres of relentless climb up to the trail intersection/crossing of Napo-Tuyak which is still one kilometre away from the Aid Station/Checkpoint.

ToNapoTuyak

The Longest Hanging Bridge Towards Napo-Tuyak

I started to slow down on the last 5 Kilometers to Napo-Tuyak because of the heat of the sun and the steep climb to the crossing/intersection before the Aid Station. It was only on the last 2 kilometres that I thought of ingesting some solid food and taking in my first Salt Tablets that I was able to recover some strength to beat the cut-off time in Napo-Tuyak by 2 minutes. The “pit stop” to eat and rest on the last 2 kilometres was costly that I squandered 20-25 minutes of my “buffer” time.

I was the #124th and last runner to arrive within the cut-off time of 11 hours at Napo-Tuyak (Km 45). How I wished there was an Ice Cold Coca-Cola drinks to greet me at the Aid Station but there was none. The newly-cooked Camote just arrived and I picked-up one or two pieces which were still hot to eat. I put them in my pocket and proceeded to the store where I could buy some Coke. After eating some solid foods and the newly-cooked camote with the Coke, I started my climb as the last runner to Grassland without any hope of arriving at the next Aid Station/Checkpoint within the cut-off time of 16 hours!

It is a consolation that it was my 4th time to trek on this very steep climb from Napo-Tuyak to Babadak no matter what time will I arrive at the next Checkpoint. There was still light as it was before sundown when I finally reached the Grassland. There is no need to bring out my Cellphone as I was here for so many times since started in trail running. From the Grassland, I was on a Hiking Mode to Babadak and hoping that I would be transported back immediately to Kayapa for my shower, tooth-brush, hot food and warm bed.

I missed the cut-off time of 16 hours in Babadak Aid Station/Checkpoint and I was declared “DNF” (Did Not Finish).

Things To Be Improved To Myself:

  1. Fighting With Age & Body Deterioration——I am so lucky and blessed that I’ve reached this age without any major illness or living a life while taking in some “preventive maintenance” drugs/medicines to buy more time in existence in this world. All I could do is to maintain my health/physique and continue what I love doing which is trail running and hiking up and down the mountains. I will be going back to Kayapa next year and finish this course and be declared as the “Oldest Finisher in this Event”.
  2. More Mileage, More Vertical Distance But More Rest——For one to successfully finish this race within the cut-off time of 40 hours, one needs the whole year to train and prepare for it. An average runner knows what is meant by periodization and one must follow this principle of training. For my age, I would strictly follow this principle and make the H1 as my A-1 Priority Race and consider the rest of the races of the year as part of my training and evaluation leading to this Main Event. The training cycle of 3-4 weeks will be observed as to give time for my body to rest and recover for the workouts I’ve put in to my body. Hopefully, I will be devoting more sleeping hours during the days and nights during my training period.
  3. Strengthening Exercises——My strengthening exercises and drills at the Gym for 4 weeks leading to the race complemented or substituted in some of my absences and missed trail running days in my weekly schedules. I did not feel any attacks of cramps or tightening of my muscles on my legs and arms except for some pain on my lower back which needs more “core exercises” during my climb from Napo-Tuyak to Grassland. I think those gym workouts which were concentrated on my leg muscles to include my butt muscles had greatly helped in my run and hike without any signs of any pain or developing any injury to my legs.
  4. Tool or Devise To Remind Me To Eat——I usually use the “beep” sound of my watch every time I complete one mile as a reminder for me to take in my liquid and food but most of the time, I would not hear the sound while on the run. There are times also that I become hard-headed not to drink or eat even if I hear the sound and focus more on what I see in front of me while running. I think I have to practice or train on this using my iPhone as a reminder device or use my iPod music, too! My faster pace between Banao to Kabayo and then to Napo-Tuyak contributed on my lack of concern on my nutrition to the point that I forgot that I had with me in my Hydration Pack lots of Clif Chews which could be eaten easily and gave me the needed energy just like when I ran the TransLantau 100. Age is catching so fast on my memory that I forgot also to take my Salt Sticks/Tablets on the early part of the race when the sun was out and I was sweating profusely and only to remember to take in some when I was about to be totally drained from my energy on the last 2 kilometers to Napo-Tuyak! Next year, this thing will never happen again! Can anybody suggest those “talking” Applications to be downloaded for my iPhone?
  5. Weather, Expect For The Worst——I’ve used my ALTRA Superior 2.0 in my successful runs for the Translantau 100 and Four Lakes 100 but it did not perform well on muddy and slippery trails of H1. Aside from not being aggressive on holding my feet from sliding on muddy trails, the insole kept on folding-up front inside my shoes! I thought that a lump of mud had accumulated inside my shoes that I had to dip my feet/shoes on every running water I could pass along the route just to remove the mud inside. I had some slips but I was glad I had trekking poles to balance myself. I think I have to go back to my Inov-8 Mudclaw or New Balance Trail Shoes with Vibram Soles if this event will be scheduled on this part of the year where I would anticipate some rains during the event. As with my Patagonia Jacket, it passed flying colours on what it is used for as a raincoat and warmer outfit to prevent me from the cold winds in the Grassland. I have used a The North Face Waterproof Jacket during my Recon Hike two weeks before the race as it rained from Napo-Tuyak to Grassland and it passed with flying colours, too!
  6. Trekking Poles——I used my almost 4-year old Black Diamond Trekking Poles which is 120 cm in length. I used them in my past TNF Races, Mt Ugo Marathon, Translantau 100s, Four Lakes 100, and CM50 editions and they are very useful. Now that I am becoming an expert on the use of trekking poles, I feel that I need a longer one in size for more stability. I will buy the same brand of trekking poles with 130 cm in length.
  7. Need For More Speed On The Trail——Hardcore 100 is a very unique mountain trail running event. One has to need some Speed or Faster Pace on the first half of the race and then maintain a comfortable jog-walk pace on the second half of the race. If you don’t have a “buffer time” of 3 hours upon reaching the Napo-Tuyak Aid Station/Checkpoint (Km 45), be ready to DNF at the Babadak Aid Station/Checkpoint (Km 62). If you are arrive at the Babadak Aid Station within the cut-off time of 16 hours in good condition, you have a 50-50 chance of finishing the race within the 40 hours cut-off time. In order to have a “buffer time” of 3 hours at Napo-Tuyak, I have to run an average pace of 5.6 kilometres per hour from the Starting Line up to Napo-Tuyak! Considering the total gain in elevation of about 13,000+ feet within the distance of 45 kilometres, the said pace is a very fast one for me. In my training, I could only manage to have my fastest average pace up to 4.9 kilometers per hour with a lower total gain in elevation by almost 3,000 feet. I have one year to improve my average pace appropriate for the first 45K of the course, hopefully! This will be the first thing that I will improve on in order to have a greater chance of finishing the race.
  8. More Recon & Visits To The Route—-Aside from doing more practice runs on the first 62 kilometres of the route (Start to Babadak), it is also a “must” to know and feel how it is like to run and hike from Napo-Tuyak back to Dayap (Km 102) during nighttime. From Dayap to the Finish Line is the “reverse” version of the Four Lakes 100 route but there is still challenge to it as one has to reach the peak of Mt Ugo before going to the Finish Line. Hopefully, I will be able to do my practice runs and hikes by segment or section on this part of the route when the body is already weak and exhausted. We will see!

As a closing note in this post, I know that there are so many younger, stronger, and more experienced trail runners who have declared themselves as DNF in this race, to include our foreign friends/neigboring countries’ mountain trail runners who have finished other challenging races in other parts of the world and this Hardcore 100 event is something that we could be proud of. This international event could not be possible without the vision and advocacy of Jonel Mendoza and his Team to bring Sports Tourism in this part of the country and establish an added economy for the people of Kayapa and its environs. Let us support this event whether you are a trail runner or a volunteer and hopefully, the government and/or private entities will come into play and be aware of this event and come up with “projects” or establishments for better living conditions and accommodations for the people joining this event.

And for those local Pinoy Runners, Men & Women,  who took the Podium Finish Positions and up to the Top Ten Overall Ranking, they have proven that they could Break The Course Record in the previous year/s and even performed well within the standards of the world’s elite international trail runners. This outstanding performance of our Local Trail Runners shows and proves that we can compete among the top international elite trail runners in the world. I just hope that our local as well as our multi-national Outdoor Corporate Brands and Private Business Establishments, and of course, our Government will have the INITIATIVE and CONCERN to bring these outstanding trail runners to international competitions and exposure.

To those who experienced running in this event and about to join  this most challenging trail running event in the country, always remember, you came to join this event not to brag to have tried or finished it but you came here to prove that you can endure the most painful experience you can inflict on to yourself because of mountain trail running…thus, you will know more about yourself and what you are capable of from the strength of your mind and body.

Congratulations to those who endured the pain and victorious to have defeated the mountains and had successfully finished the race. To those who failed, we have one year to prepare, train, and save some money.

See you next year!





Official Result: 1st NORTH COAST 200-Mile Ultra Marathon Race

17 05 2016

1st NORTH COAST 200-Mile Ultra Marathon Race

Gun Start & Starting Place: 12:01 AM May 12, 2016/Laoag City (Ilocos Norte)

Finish Line: La Perla Inn, Santa Ana, Cagayan

Finish Time: 12:01 AM May 15, 2016

Cut-Off Time: 72 Hours

Number Of Starters: 9 Runners

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Pioneers Of The NORTH COAST 200-Mile Run

RANK              NAME                            TIME (Hours)

  1. Thomas Combisen (Overall Champion, CR) —–64:37:41
  2. Dondon Talosig (1st Runner-Up, Overall) —— 65:55:31
  3. Jonathan Moleta (2nd Runner-Up, Overall) —– 67:05:57
  4. Allan Sabado —————————– 70:16:30
  5. Roberto Vocal, Jr ————————– 70:45:23
  6. Benedict Meneses ————————- 71:41:25
  7. Jocel Lanas***—————————- 73:14:49

***Beyond Cut-Off Time

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Thomas Combisen, Overall Champion & Course Record Holder

Congratulations To All The Finishers! Thank you for your support.

See you in the next edition (2017)!

 





Route Description: 1st NORTH COAST 200-Mile Ultra Marathon Race

11 05 2016

The race starts on Midnight of May 11, 2016 in front of the Provincial Capitol of Ilocos Norte which is located along Rizal Street in Laoag City.

Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol

Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol

From Rizal Street, runners will go on easterly direction until they reach the second street intersection and then TURN LEFT along the so-called BACARRA Road. The Bacarra Road goes on a northerly direction towards the town of Bacarra. After passing the Bacarra Bridge, the runner follows the Highway towards the town of Pasuquin and by-passes the Poblacion of Bacarra.

The runners will pass the town of Pasuquin as he/she proceeds to the town of Burgos. The Kilometer #50 Checkpoint will be located in front of the Burgos Municipal Hall.

Kapurpurawan Rock Junction Before Poblacion of Burgos

Kapurpurawan Rock Junction Before Poblacion of Burgos

In Front Of The Burgos Municipal HallI

In Front Of The Burgos Municipal Hall

After passing the Windmills in Burgos and Bangui, the runners will be on their way to the Boundary of Pagudpud. Once they reach the intersection/junction going to the Poblacion of Pagudpud and towards the Province of Cagayan, runners would have covered a distance of 72 Kilometers.

Pagudpud To Cagayan Junction (Kilometer 72)

Pagudpud To Cagayan Junction (Kilometer 72)

After 18 kilometers, runners will reach the famous Patapat Bridge and hopefully, the last runner will pass this place while there is still daylight. Patapat Bridge is Kilometer #90

Patapat Bridge (Kilometer #90)

Patapat Bridge (Kilometer #90)

After 10 kilometres, there is a flowing water from a hose from the side of the mountain which is very near to a road repair construction due to mountain slides. This is the Kilometer 100 mark of the route.

Free-Flowing Water on the Right Side of the Road Near a Landslide Repair/Construction

Free-Flowing Water on the Right Side of the Road Near a Landslide Repair/Construction

After 2 kilometres, the runners will reach the Ilocos Northe-Cagayan Boundary Arc (Kilometer 102).

Ilocos Norte-Cagayan Highway Boundary Arc

Ilocos Norte-Cagayan Highway Boundary Arc

From this point, runners will be going downhill towards the town of Santa Praxedes and to the plains of Claveria, Pamplona, and Abulog until they reach the famous Magapit Bridge, the Longest Suspension Bridge in the country.

Claveria Arc

Claveria Arc

Pamplona Welcome Arc

Pamplona Welcome Arc

The Pamplona Welcome Arc is Kilometer #150 and the Pamplona Poblacion is Kilometer #160.

Eight Kilometers before the town of Allacapan is marked as Kilometer #200.

Upon reaching the Magapit Bridge, the runners would have reached Kilometer #226.

Magapit Bridge

Magapit Bridge

After crossing the Magapit Bridge, runners will TURN LEFT towards the town of Lal-lo, Cagayan and proceed to Aparri, Cagayan. The runners will pass the DUGO Intersection (Dugo, Camalaniugan) on their way to the direction of Aparri until they will reach Km Post 0578 which is 4 Kilometers before reaching the town of Aparri. At this Kilometer Post, runners will TURN-AROUND back to the DUGO Intersection and then TURN LEFT towards Santa Ana, Cagayan.

The DUGO (Camalaniugan) Intersection is Kilometer #244.5 and the Km Post 0578 which is the TURN-AROUND point is Km #251. Upon reaching back to DUGO after coming from the TURN-AROUND Point, the runners should have covered a distance of 258 Kilometers.

DUGO (Camalaniugan) Intersection

DUGO (Camalaniugan) Intersection

TURN-AROUND Point Before Aparri, Cagayan

TURN-AROUND Point Before Aparri, Cagayan

From the DUGO Intersection to the Finish Line in Santa Ana, Cagayan will be a long-stretch of flat road of about 62+ Kilometers. The Finish Line will be at the LA PERLA INN which is 10 Kilometers away after passing the Santa Ana Welcome Arc.

Santa Ana, Cagayan Welcome Arc (Last 10 Kilometers To The Finish Line)

Santa Ana, Cagayan Welcome Arc (Last 10 Kilometers To The Finish Line)

La Perla Inn Entrance

La Perla Inn Entrance

La Perla Inn Merker & Road To Santa Ana's Centro

La Perla Inn Marker & Road To Santa Ana’s Centro

Good luck to all the Runners!





Official Result: 1st Mariveles To Bagac 50K Ultra Marathon Race

25 04 2016

Official Result: 1st Mariveles To Bagac 50K Ultra Marathon Race

1st Mariveles To Bagac 50K Ultra Marathon Race (BDM Km #00 To BDM Km #00)

Start Time & Place: 5:00 AM April 23, 2016 @ Bataan Death March Shrine (BDM Km #00), Mariveles, Bataan

Finish Time & Place: 4:00 PM April 23, 2016 @ BDM Km #00, Bagac, Bataan

Number of Starters: 39 Runners

Number of Finishers: 39 Runners

Course Cut-Off Time: 11 Hours

RANK NAME TIME (Hrs)
1. Reminando Visca (Overall Champion, CR) ——5:33:38
2. Charles Christopher Cruz (1st Runner-Up, Overall) ——5:35:20
3. Raymond Balan (2nd Runner-Up, Overall) ——5:44:43
4. Jairuz Agang-ang ———————————5:44:44
5. Rosette Sarmiento ———————————6:23:34
6. Ferdon De Leon ————————————6:28:40
7. Gilbert Malvar ————————————— 6:38:56
8. Adrian De Mesa ————————————6:40:39
9. Kelly Castro —————————————— 6:41:30
10. Tess Leono (Champion, Female) ————— 6:43:35
11. Lilibeth Castro (1st Runner-Up, Female) —— 6:57:50
12. Jerick Miranda ————————————— 7:08:58
13. Art Chester Sanches —————————— 7:13:41
14. Januell Rivera ————————————— 7:13:42
15. Roy Garcia —————————————— 7:13:43
16. Adison Sayoc ————————————— 7:20:46
17. Rolan Cera —————————————— 7:23:07
18. Arlene Pangilinan (2nd Runner-Up, Female) ——7:26:02
19. Renevic Fernandez ——————————— 7:26:03
20. Marlon Santos ————————————— 7:27:10
21. Jon Borbon ——————————————— 7:28:06
22. Engelbert Pantig ————————————— 7:33:15
23. Tina Aldaya (Female) ——————————— 7:47:00
24. Eduardo Magpoc ————————————— 8:09:06
25. Jemel Aguilar ——————————————— 8:11:58
26. Ryan Paul Mena ————————————— 8:21:06
27. Audie Tolentino —————————————— 8:21:07
28. Kathleen Piñero (Female) ————————— 8:23:19
29. Edgardo Alcantara ———————————— 8:33:24
30. Ryan Garcia ——————————————— 8:33:25
31. Leonora Ealdama (Female) ————————- 8:36:22
32. Sherwin Guansing ————————————- 9:03:14
33. Maricris David (Female) —————————— 9:14:11
34. Gene Parchamento (Female) ———————— 9:14:34
35. Val Caro ————————————————— 9:15:08
36. Rimberto Del Rosario ——————————— 10:10:02
37. Orlando Ylaya —————————————— 10:24:48
38. Angie Del Rosario (Female) ———————— 10:29:04
39. Ferdinand Manzano ——————————— 10:33:17

Congratulations To All The Finishers!





Race Route: 1st Mariveles To Bagac 50K Ultra Marathon Race

19 04 2016

The race starts inside the Bataan Death March Shrine/Park in Mariveles, Bataan. From the fenced Park/Shrine, runners will exit from the Gate and turn right towards the Highway going to the Poblacion of Mariveles, Bataan.

Mariveles Bagac 20

Bataan Death March Shrine In Mariveles, Bataan

Runners will go straight along the Highway with the Jollibee and the Municipal Hall of Mariveles on the right and the sea on the left. Runners will run on the street along the sea until they will reach Ricarte Street. Runners must turn LEFT on Ricarte Street, staying on the Left Side of the road.

Mariveles Bagac 19

Kilometer #1

Mariveles Bagac 18

Ricarte Street , Then Turn Left

While on Ricarte Street, go North until one has to turn RIGHT towards Barangay San Isidro.

Mariveles Bagac 17

 Turn Right On This Road

At the end of the Road along Barangay San Isidro, there is a Bridge that is under construction. It is either you follow the Detour or pass in between the Blue Tarp Fence.

Mariveles Bagac 16

Bridge Under Construction

The picture below shows the road after crossing the Bridge under construction. Take the road on the right which has a Camaya Coast Directional Sign seen on the Left Side of the road.

Mariveles Bagac 15

After The Bridge, Keep Right

Follow the Camaya Coast Directional Sign up to the Gate of the Resort. The distance from the BDM Park/Shrine to the Gate of the Camaya Coast is 14 Kilometers.

Mariveles Bagac 14

Follow The Camaya Coast Sign

Mariveles Bagac 13

Camaya Coast Gate Keep Right

Once the runner reaches the Gate of the Camaya Coast, turn RIGHT after the CAFGU/PA Detachment which is located on the RIGHT of the Road. The entry to the wide dirt trail road will be descending and the dirt road road has a distance of 12-13 kilometres.

Mariveles Bagac 12

1st Kilometer Of Trail

Mariveles Bagac 11

At Kilometer 2-3 Along The Trail Road

There will be intersections along the trail portion of the route but there is ONLY ONE Thing to remember—ALWAYS TURN RIGHT!

Mariveles Bagac 10

First Intersection Keep Right

There are at least two river/stream crossings along the route. One is not too deep but the other one is waist-deep when one has the intention to make a dip into the river. One can cross both streams without ones shoes being wet.

Mariveles Bagac 09

First Stream Crossing

After the first stream crossing, there is an intersection and one has to TURN RIGHT towards the direction of Bagac.

Mariveles Bagac 07

Second Intersection, Keep Right

Mariveles Bagac 06

The View

Some parts of the wide dirt road are under construction and I can predict that this route will be all paved by next year!

Mariveles Bagac 05

Dusty Road Under Construction

The picture below is the 2nd stream/river to cross but there are already culverts in placed along the flow of the river making us to cross the river with dry feet/shoes.

Mariveles Bagac 03

2nd Stream/River Crossing

This is the first Kilometer Post that one can see after passing the wide dirt road and it tells that the distance to Bagac is 10 kilometers.

Mariveles Bagac 01

Km Post 161

If ever you reach this Bataan Death March (BDM) Kilometer Post in Bagac, it means that you covered a distance of 45 Kilometers. One has to pass this Kilometer Post towards the Phil-Japan Friendship Tower and reach the 2nd BDM Post along the Bagac-Pilar Highway from the BDM Km Post 00 and then turn-around back to this BDM Km Post for the Finish.

Mariveles Bagac 00

Finish Line

There will be two (2) Aid Stations along the route. The first Aid Station will be positioned at the CAFGU/PA Detachment (in front of the Camaya Coast Gate) and the 2nd Aid Station will be located at the DPWH Kilometer Post #161, 10 Kilometers away before reaching Bagac, Bataan.

Elevation Profile Mariveles Bagac

Elevation Profile From Km 0 To Km 45

As shown in the Elevation Profile, the highest elevation is located at the Gate of the Camaya Coast Resort. From there, everything will be descending with some rolling hills up to the Finish Line.

Good luck to all the Runner-Participants!





Official Result: 6th PAU’s Tanay 50K Ultra Marathon Race

11 04 2016

6th (2016) PAU’s Tanay 50K Ultra Marathon Race

5:00 AM Sunday April 10, 2016 To 2:00 PM April 10, 2016

Cut-Off Time: 9 Hours

Number of Starters: 15 Runners

Number Of Finishers: 13 Runners

RANK                       NAME                           TIME (Hrs)

  1. Armando Olan (Champion, Overall/Male)——–5:55:35
  2. Baracks Baracael (1st Runner-Up, Overall/Male) —–6:35:26
  3. Rasette Pesuelo (Champion, Female) ————–7:02:35
  4. Gilbert Malvar (2nd Runner-Up, Male) ———–7:23:52
  5. Bien Alcala ———————————–7:28:06
  6. Bobby Go ————————————7:40:07
  7. Kathleen Piñero (1st Runner-Up, Female) ——7:51:53
  8. Tina Aldaya (2nd Runner-Up, Female) ———7:53:33
  9. Cecile Lalisan (Female) ——————-8:15:42
  10. Aleli Delos Santos (Female) ————-8:26:00
  11. Ronnel Go ———————————8:32:21
  12. DM Padilla ——————————–8:34:43
  13. Melchor Nicolas ————————–8:58:27
Overall Champion Armando Olan

Overall Champion Armando Olan

Female Champion Rasette Pesuelo

Female Champion Rasette Pesuelo

Congratulations To All The Finishers! Thank you for your support!





Race Report: 2016 KOTM’s Four Lakes 100K Mountain Trail Race

5 04 2016

KOTM means King Of The Mountains!

I really did not have any plans of joining the Four Lakes 100K (FL 100) or the Old Spanish Trail 50K (OST 50) this year but with what happened at the Translantau 100K Trail Run in Hongkong two weeks ago where the race was stopped when almost all the runners were at the last one-fourth of the race due to strong winds in the mountains, I finally sent a personal message to my good friend and Race Director of the KOTM Races, Jonel Mendoza, that I would be glad if he will accept my late registration for the Four Lakes 100 Mountain Trail Run. When both Race Directors of Ultra Events in the country talk to one another, the results are always positive.

Within the two weeks in between the Translantau 100 and the Four Lakes 100, I did two sessions of workouts for my leg muscles concentrating on my adductors, the muscle that stretches from the groin to the knee on the inside portion of the leg. I had some experiences of cramping on this muscle during last year’s CM50 and at the Translantau 100 and I need to strengthen and stretched them. I also did one LSD run covering a distance of 50K in a mixed paved and trail surfaces under the heat of the sun one week before the race.

Four Lakes 100 Course Map

Four Lakes 100K Mountain Trail Run  Course Map

There was no pressure or stress on my part what to really expect with this mountain trail race. It will be enough that I would see Jonel and Connie again after years (I think, two years!) of not seeing each other; visit Kayapa and its mountains; mingle with old and new friends who have passion in trail running (most especially in ultra trail running); finally meet my Facebook Friends in person; and be able to earn 3 UTMB points for finishing this race within the cut-off time of 28 hours.

Having finished the first edition of the Mt Ugo Trail Marathon and been a part of the laying out of the Hardcore 100-Mile Mountain Trail Run’s Route Course and a former participant of this race, the Old Spanish Trail (OST) Course is new to me! I have been hearing stories about the place called “Amelong Labeng” from other runners who finished the OST and Four Lakes 100 (FL100) for the past editions but I’ve never asked the details about this place. Since I could not find a detailed description or Race Report of the OST and FL 100 on the Internet, maybe, I will be the one who will try to come up with a good description about the said place through a Race Report on the FL 100.

Race Briefing

Due to a big gathering or event among the locals of Kayapa and neighbouring towns/barangays in the area, the Covered Court of the Kayapa Elementary School was not available and the Race Briefing was moved to the Kayapa Parish Hall which is one of the concrete structures inside the Kayapa Catholic Church Compound. The Hall was filled with lots of trail runners and the rest of the runners who could not squeeze inside the hall were seen standing outside. This was an indication that more runners are interested to join the KOTM series and to think that some of the runners were still on their way to Kayapa, coming from Metro Manila and other provinces.

There are detailed things which are very important that you can not see or read in the event’s website like the description/color of the trail markings or emergency contact number of the RD or being able to see in person and be able to talk with the with the Race Director. Except for the Ultra Events that I’ve joined in Hongkong, the Race Directors in all the other Ultra Events here in the country and in the US are there in person to brief the participants on the “nitty-gritty” of the race event.

Four Lakes 100 Elevation Profile

Four Lakes 100 Elevation Profile

Since I have made my homework on the details of the event (except for the specific drinks and food to expect in the different Aid Stations) what caught my attention is the steady increase in the number of trail runners in the country based from the “new” faces that I’ve seen during the briefing. I felt like I was the “stranger” among the flock of trail runners and mountaineers present in the hall. There were also foreigners present in the briefing which is an indication that our trail running in the country has attracted them to visit the country.

What I like about the KOTM series is that there is NO fun fare and does not carry any CORPORATE Brand and every runner gets what is worth for what he/she pays for the registration fee. On the other hand, I can see some economic changes as shown from new building constructions at the Town Proper area. This proves that Sports Tourism through the KOTM series is bringing some good economic opportunities for the community.

Location of Aid Stations/Checkpoints & Cut-Off Times

Location of Aid Stations/Checkpoints & Cut-Off Times

Race Proper

Start (Kayapa Parish Hall) To Mt Ugo Peak (Km 0 to Km 22)

In all the KOTM series of race that I have joined, the area in front of the Kayapa Municipal Hall was always the Starting/Assembly Area. And for the Finish at the Covered Court of the Kayapa Elementary School. For this year, the Start/Finish Area was changed to the Kayapa Parish Church Area.

I was already in the Starting Area one hour before the start of the race (2:00 AM of Saturday, April 2) and was trying to see the faces of the runners. Hot coffee, local foods, and water were available in the area. I had myself checked-in with the Race Staff and the RD himself and I was confident that I will finish the race. Some runners would approach me and greet me and it made me more relaxed. I would also greet the other runners as the start will be simultaneous with both of the races, Old Spanish Trail 50K Run and the Four Lakes 100K Trail Run. It was still dark to be able to clearly distinguish which one was running what race as seen from the runner’s race bib. I estimated that we were about 300 runners assembled at the Starting Area and for me, it was already a huge crowd.

Before the customary final briefing of the RD, I mentally reviewed the “plan” that I have formulated to be able to finish the race and forced my mind to strictly follow it. Some of the details of my “plan” were the following: (1) Arrive at the Checkpoints, at least, 2 hours before the cut-off time; (2) Refill my hydration bottles in every Aid Station to mix my CarboPro; (3) Eat my solid food stashed in my pack every hour while moving; (4) Don’t stay more than 2 minutes in the Aid Stations; (5) Hike the Uphills and Force myself to run on the flats and downhills; (6) No picture-taking/“selfies” using my iPhone; and (7) Never miss to place a “Coffee Candy” inside my mouth!

Invocation/Prayer Before The Start Of The Race

Invocation/Prayer Before The Start Of The Race

At exactly 3:00 AM, the race started after a countdown from 20 to GO! I started with an easy jog as the first 100 meters was downhill and I could feel that the first 1 kilometre of the course was runnable until the road started to ascend. The first 3 kilometres are already paved as compared few years back that it was only a paved tire track then with patches of dirt road. At the start of the 4K mark, I started to feel that I was already perspiring and it was time for me to unleash the trekking poles tied on my hydration pack. Since the first 10K of the course is uphill, I maintained my hiking using my trekking poles as a support for my old knees and legs! It was still too dark and I was not keen of knowing where and what are the things that I could see around me. I just concentrated on seeing on what my headlight would illuminate…and that is—one meter ahead of me! There are times also that I would bring up my head and see what is happening above me as we snaked towards the higher grounds of the mountain. It was nice to see the headlights of the different runners going to the peak of the mountain.

Approaching AS2 In Domolpos

Approaching AS2 In Domolpos

After two hours of continuous hiking, I reached Barangay Indupit and the surroundings was starting to get brighter as the sun was about to rise on the eastern horizon and at this point I was about to cover a distance of 10 kilometres. Ahead of me was the towering sight of Mt Ugo and the tiny dots of different colours of the runners’ shirts ahead of me as they approached higher elevation. It was a sight that motivated me hike or jog faster along the course.

I started to run when I would see that the trail is descending and without much effort I would be able to increase my pace. From Indupit to Domolpos was an easy run and I reached the Aid Station after 3 hours from the start. I immediately refilled my hydration bottles and prepared my next mix of CarboPro. In a short time, I was ready to “assault” the peak of Mt Ugo. At this point, I started to see the faster runner coming from the peak of the mountain. I would give way and stepped aside from the trail for the runners coming from the peak. This is where I was able to find out that there are so many trail runners whom I don’t know their names! Slowly but surely, I would be able to reach the peak of Mt Ugo in almost 5 hours but I was still comfortable to make up for my slow ascent to the peak after leaving the mountain.

Practically Running With The Ladies Along The Course

Running With The Ladies Along The Course (@Assault To Mt Ugo)

I ate my breakfast at the peak of Mt Ugo and had some picture-taking with a group of friends which slightly delayed my stay at the said Checkpoint. It was nice to finally see the faces of the runners as the day was becoming brighter. Looking at my watch, I was able to register and cover a distance of 14 miles or 22 kilometres!

Mt Ugo Peak To Kayapa East Market (Km 22 to 35)

It was a breeze to go down from the peak of Mt Ugo but with those small rocks along the trail and slow lady runners ahead of me, I was very careful and deliberate in every step of the way. In about 30 minutes, I was able to reach the Aid Station in Domolpos. I immediately filled up my two Simple Hydration Bottles with water and CarboPro mix and be ready for the long descent to the Kayapa East Proper Market.

@ Mt Ugo Peak With Team Tarayem

@ Mt Ugo Peak With Team Tarayem

Since the trail is descending as seen from the course elevation profile, it seems to be easy but with the nature of the trail as being rocky and single track, there is some difficulty in passing the slower runners ahead of me. The trail on this part of the course could be described as very dangerous for very fast runners that a single misstep will lead them to fall on the ravine on his right or hit the rocks on the side of the mountain on his left side.

In my estimate, I was able to reach the AS4 at the Kayapa East Market in 7 hours with one hour as buffer time before the cut-off time of 8 hours in this place. I stopped to refill my bottles and eat some solid foods. I was craving for an Ice Cold Coke but the AS did not have any and one of my good friends assisting in the said AS readily produced a 1.5-liter of Coke. He even gave me a bagful of assorted fresh fruit bites with ice inside the bag and and a bowl of rice porridge with two hard boiled eggs. It took me about 10-12 minutes to sit, rest and eat the foods served to me.

Tiny Dot Along The Old Spanish Trail

Tiny Dot Along The Old Spanish Trail

Kayapa East Market To Amelong Labeng (Km 35 to 40)

As I left the Aid Station/Checkpoint, I knew already what to expect for the next miles—I have to reach the peak of the next mountain with those Telecommunication Antenna! As I was crossing the hanging bridge to the foot of the mountain for the start to my trek to Amelong Labeng, I was reminded on those other hanging bridges along the Hardcore 100-Mile course that one has to cross. Slowly, I was going up to the mountain with the aid of my trekking poles but the heat of the day was making it more difficult for me to have a faster pace. I would take a number of short rests for about 5 seconds each pause before going up again to the said mountain. On hindsight, I committed a mistake in resting in a waiting shed with the rest of the runners where the conversation among us ate most of our time not knowing that most of the runners in the waiting shed were with the shorter OST 50K Race. But the said rest gave me time to eat and hydrate and was able to meet some friends on Facebook whom I met personally for the first time. When my friend Bong Bernadez came up to rest in the Waiting Shed, he gave us the news about the new cut-off time at AS6 in Dayap. I thought it was 14 hours but it was changed to 16 hours! But there is no need to relax as I was focused to finish the race and earn more buffer time in each AS or Checkpoint!

@AS4 East Kayapa Market

@AS4 East Kayapa Market (With Bong Bernadez in Red Shirt)

Amelong Labeng To Castillo Village (Km 40 to 52)

The steep ascent to Amelong Labeng stopped when we reached a school where I managed to refill my bottles in a Comfort Room. I took some time to douse the cold water coming from the faucet to my head and neck. I was comforted with the cold water and I was ready again to reach the next peak where the Transmission Antenna are located. I did not have any problems with my stomach or my leg muscles at this point but the heat of the sun was my main enemy at this point. It was good that I had my last LSD “heat training” a week before the race that I braved to jog and run to the peak. Moreso, when I reached the peak, I continuously jogged and hiked from the peak of the mountain up to the time that I reached the Aritao-Kayapa Highway. Along this part of the course, I monitored my nutrition intake and closely observed the colour of my urine. I was satisfied that I did not feel or see some signs or symptoms of dehydration. I knew that I was perspiring heavily but with my constant drinking of water and CarboPro…and never-ending supply of Coffee Candy in my mouth, I was confident that I would not be dehydrated because I carried with me an extra Salomon collapsible soft plastic bottle full of CarboPro mix . From Amelong Labeng to the peak of the mountain is runnable as the trail is a wide dirt road and it is the same with that in going down from the peak of the mountain to the Aritao-Kayapa Highway. I was able to regain more of my buffer time within this part of the course.

Castillo Vilage To Barangay Dayap (Km 52 to 56)

I was craving again with a sweet Ice Cold Coke once I reached AS5 in Castillo Village. The Pepsi-Cola Max drinks available in the AS didn’t have any sugar in it but just the same I drank some of it. I did not stay long as soon as I refilled my bottles. It was another long climb again coming from the AS5 and the heat of the sun was at its strongest! It never affected me as I steadily used my trekking poles to reach the higher elevation of the next mountain. Before reaching the “Green Lake”, I stopped to eat “suman”/rice cake wrapped in banana leaves and Pork Chicharon! It was a nice feeling to see the “meadow” at the peak of the mountain after passing the Lake! But it was short-lived when I started to go down from the mountain as the trail was slippery and narrow and the descending nature of the trail gave some pain on my knees! My running friend would jokingly said that down the mountain is the next “Lake” and I was laughing when I saw what he was referring to…it’s a Lake full of carabaos! At least, it was a good diversion and joke to forget my aching knees as went down to the foot of the mountain.

After another ascending road, we finally reached AS6 in Dayap and I reached it in 14:10 hours! After eating a bowl of hot Macaroni Soup, changing my shirt, and refilling my bottles, I was out of the AS6 towards Banao at 14:20 hours or 5:20 PM of Saturday!

Dayap To Banao (Km 56 to 69)

As I left AS6 Dayap, I started to meet those faster runners as they were coming from Banao, the turn-around point at Km 70. It was nice to meet and greet them as it was still clear to see their faces (it was about sunset already after leaving Dayap). I mentally calculated that I have to reach Banao in 3 to 4 hours and be back again to Dayap with the same elapsed time so that I will be able to make it before the cut-off time of 24 hours. With a distance of 13 kilometres for one-way (Dayap to Banao), I was confident that I would make it, not unless I got injured or have some muscle cramping along the way that would slow me down!

Later in the early evening, I would see approaching lights coming from the runners as far down and up in the mountains and it gave me some impression if the trail ahead of me was ascending or descending. If I see lights lower than where I am, I would increase my pace as the trail is descending. If the lights are above me, I would power-hike with the aid of my trekking poles and try keep up with my prevailing pace as shown in my watch. This was repeated as well as greeting the runners that I have to meet along the dark trail.

After 3 hours, I was able to reach AS7 Banao and I was happy to reach the turn-around point with added buffer time. After a taste of the delicious hot misua with pork, I was out of the Aid Station and determined to reach back to Dayap. I gave a brief message of thanks and gratitude to all the people at the AS7 before I left by telling them that they are “the angels who came from heaven who saved me after a lot of fights with the demons along the dark and lonely road from Dayap to Banao”.

Banao To Dayap (Km 69 to 82)

I consider this part of the course as my most challenging segment of the course! I started to feel my lowest level of power and strength after covering 4 kilometres from the Aid Station as the trail was relentlessly and never-ending uphill. This is where I felt hungry, cold, sleepy, and weak! There is only one solution——find a place to have a short rest and eat some solid foods! That was what I did! I even shared some of my food to a runner who stopped in my place just to change the batteries of his headlamp! More coffee candies had to be placed in my mouth and keep on drinking my CarboPro mix! After that brief rest, I was energized and continued my trek/hike towards Dayap. I made it in 3.5 hours! I reached AS8 Dayap in 21:28 hours and then left the place after refilling my bottles after 1-2 minutes. The volunteers were offering some hot macaroni soup but I declined the offer and left the place immediately. At this point, I was able to accumulate 2.5 hours as buffer time fort he whole course’ cut-off time of 28 hours.

Dayap To Indupit (Km 82 to 92)

I am already in a more familiar ground as I was descending from Dayap to Pangawan. Though my old knees were hurting as I ran down on those steep and paved road towards the Kayapa-Ambuklao Highway, I tried to keep up with a faster pace but I conservatively prevented from exerting much effort as I knew I have another last steep uphill to encounter before reaching Indupit. As I reached the Highway, I knew I was already in Pangawan. Slowly, I would power hike on those ascending paved road towards Indupit with lots of “false” peaks along the way. When the paved road ended in one of the peaks, it was time to turn right on a single track grass-covered trail and I was on my way to the “mossy forest”.

I will never forget this “mossy forest” as it was the “culprit” why I was DNFd in my attempt to finish the Hardcore 100-Mile Trail Run two years ago! For this year, it will be remembered at the place where I was hit for three times, yes, three times, on my head from the branches overhead as well as from those fallen trees across the path/trail. This is where one would crawl under fallen trees and be patient on the never-ending single-track trail circling the side of the mountain as if you are not leaving the forest! Runner, once again, should be very careful on this trail because the left side of the trail is a cliff/deep ravine and running along this trail needs a lot of focus and attention! Finally, I heard the voices of the runners who were 30-minutes to one hour ahead of me before reaching the Banao turn-around point and they are starting their their descent to the Finish Line.

Indupit To Finish (Kayapa Parish Hall)

It was 24:55 hours when I started my descent from Indupit to the Finish Line. I had almost 3 hours to cover the distance of 8 kilometres before the cut-off time of 28 hours. I tried to reach the last person among the group of runners ahead of me and passed some of them. But later along the way, I decided to slow down and hiked most of the descending parts of the route. There was no need to race with the rest of the runners ahead of me. I gave them the courtesy to finish the race ahead of me even if I still have the speed and strength to reach and cross the Finish Line with a faster pace. It was time to relax, cool-down, remove and stash my jacket inside my pack, tie my trekking poles to my backpack, turn-off and remove my headlight, and fix my running cap. While hiking down to the Finish Line, I tried to review the things that I went through and already came up with a story for my  blog.

I finally crossed the Finish Line at the Kayapa Parish Ground with an unofficial time of 26:45++hours!

To be continued…








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