Race Report: 2nd Zamboanga Mountain 50K Ultra Marathon Race

18 10 2016

Race Report: 2nd Zamboanga Mountain 50K Ultra Marathon Race/September 18, 2016

After I finished the first edition of this race last year, I promised to myself that I would join every edition of this race as long as I am still strong to run an ultra distance event. I would make this race as my evaluation run as part of my training for my future ultra races here and abroad.

Three months ago, I have started my training for this race but instead of doing it on the trails and places where there are considerable elevation gain and/or loss, I have to do my training on the paved streets. I have to follow the usual training program and daily mileage which I have followed for the past three years of ultra running training. However, these street running workouts had to last for about two months before I had to go back to trail running.

The only difference with my training this time as compared for the past 3 years, is my desire to be faster as I grow older. I placed more emphasis on the conduct of “strides” during my daily runs and do at least two times of “tempo” runs during the week. Weekends would be devoted to long runs up to 18 miles with a faster average pace.

On the third month, I did a lot of hikes in the mountains on weekends which would last up to 6-7 hours and on weekdays, I would do 8-9-mile runs on trails with an elevation gain/loss of at least 2,000 feet every workout. This is where I would train myself on my hydration and nutrition with only water as my fluid intake. I tapered for about two weeks which consisted of hikes and easy runs in my “playground”.


The Mandatory START Group Picture

What is good with this race is that the Hotel (Palmeras De Zamboanga) where I stayed is the Starting and Finish Line of the event. I went out of my room 20 minutes before the start with enough time to greet and have “photo-ops” with the other runners. Before I went out of the Hotel, I was greeted with free sandwich and hot coffee at the end of the hallway and was able to take advantage of this offer as part of my stay in the hotel. I knew that the coffee and the sandwich would be enough for my food intake before I reach the first Aid Station at Km #8.

The race started promptly at 5:00 AM after a short prayer and 57 starters left the starting line. It was still dark when we were running along the street leading to the Pasonanca Park but the streetlights were enough to light up our way. Knowing that the first kilometre is flat, I made an easy pace and just followed the runners in front me. At Km #3, a runner started a conversation with me and I asked if my prevailing running pace would be maintained up to the finish line and replied him, “Yes”. And then asked permission if he would be allowed to pace with me during the duration of the race. And I said, “Yes”! We would be running side by side from this point up to the Finish Line. At that time, we were on a speed of 4 miles per hour as gleaned from my Suunto Watch.

It was my intention to maintain the said speed throughout the race. As I had predicted before the race, I have announced on Facebook that I intend to improve my ranking of #17 and finish time of 8:34+ hours from the result last year. Actually, my target goal was to finish the race below the 8-hour time and maintain the speed of 4 mph up to the Finish Line.


Route Map & Description

We reached the 1st Aid Station (Km #7) without any problem and tried my best to run through those ascents without any brief walks or hikes. I took me less than 2 minutes to refill my bottles with ice cold water and eat some suman. From the Aid Station, we had to follow the paved road as the route became a “roller-coaster” and it started to be warm. After about 4-5 kilometers, we reached the 2nd Aid Station in front of an Elementary School. I had to refill my hydration bottle with ice-cold water, douse some ice-water on my head and face as the day was starting to be hot. I ate two ripe bananas and I was back on the way. From this Aid Station, it was the start of a single-track technical trail which has some rocks, mud, and flowing water.


Course’ Elevation Profile

As I tried to speed up my pace on the descending portion of the trail which was muddy and slippery, I started to feel some “cramp” on my left calf and I asked the runners behind me to pass while trying to walk my way down the trail. I was still running downhill but I made sure to slow down my pace. I brought out some of salt tablets and ingest some and kept it to my mind to regularly ingest some every hour during the run. After a few seconds and minutes, I was able to regain my pace and it was just a matter of time before we would reach the first Turn-Around point which happens to be the Zambales Elementary School.


Marvin Sicat, My Running Partner During The Race

At the start of a newly cemented road inside a thickly vegetated area in the course, we met the two leading runners. This is where I started to hike the ascending parts and run the flat portions and descending parts of the route and kept on drinking my water in my handheld bottle during my hikes. As we got nearer to the Turn-Around point, we had to meet those runners who just left the 3rd Aid Station at the Turn-Around Point which happens to be in a School. As I count the number of runner that I and my companion-runner would meet, I was ranked as #12 runner with my partner as #11.

In last year’s edition, I stayed in this Aid Station (Km #16) for a longer time as I tried to ingest more food and drink lots of water and craved for sweeter drinks. I even had more pictures taken with the other runners whom I was able to catch up in the said Aid Station. For this year, I was surprised to see a Zamboanga local runner who was still sitting and trying to cool off in the Aid Station when I arrived. “Chabby” is a very fast and strong ultrarunner and he beat me last year by almost one hour. I had to ask him his situation and he said that he was ok. But, I was brief in my stay by having my bottles refilled with water and then take in a mouthful of spicy noodles which gave me a little “jolt” and in less than 5 minutes, I was out of the Aid Station with my “partner” in tow.

It is a continuous uphill climb from the Aid Station and after about 1 kilometre, we started to meet the other runners behind us who were on their way to the Aid Station at Km #16. After passing the newly-paved road inside the thick forest, we were back again to the single-track trail before reaching the next Aid Station. Unknowingly, Chabby was few seconds behind us and we were together at the said Aid Station. However, he opted to stay behind as he changed his attire and wanted to rest for awhile. After refilling my bottles and eating some fruits, hard-boiled eggs, and rice delicacy, we were out of the Aid Station. The dreaded “Gulod De Medio” was already in my mind as I left the Aid Station! However, we passed another runner after about a kilometre away from the Aid Station. That makes me #11 and my partner as #10 as we battle the next ascent and the heat of the sun!


Steepest Climb @ Gulod De Medyo

As my running “partner” and I were about to climb the “Gulod De Medio”, we saw a runner clad in black attire (with 2XU tights) in front of us within a distance of 20 meters. I made my pace faster with the intention to close the gap with between us with the runner in front of us. As we were in the steep ascent of the “Gulod De Medyo”, the runner saw us trying to get nearer to him but as soon as he reached the peak, he started to run faster! At the middle of the steep ascent, I started to slow down due to fatigue and the heat of the sun but I had to exert more effort but slowed my pace just to be able to reach the peak. I knew that as soon as I passed the peak, it was a gradual descent to the next Aid Station.

I took some Ice Cold Coke and native rice delicacy at the Aid Station and after refilling my water bottle, we left in a hurry! I knew that the course/route to the next Aid Station was a generally downhill. However, the heat of the sun was the one which prevented us from increasing our pace. At this point, it was our last 18 kilometres and in a matter of time, we would be able to reach the next Aid Station.

Finally, we reached the Aid Station and the lady volunteers were excited to see me that they asked me to have some pictures with them! Since I needed time to rest and ingest more food, I allowed them whatever pictures they could take while I was there. I guess, this is the Aid Station that I rested the longest time on the course because of the heat of the sun and the fact that the course will be uphill from this point to the next/last Aid Station. I ate drank a lot of Coke while ingesting two pieces of their local Suman with Latik which are bare (without any banana wrap). I thanked the lady volunteers for being there and for being able to serve us with the foods we needed. This one of the very reasons why I keep coming back in this race——very happy, very encouraging , and very helpful and beautiful lady volunteers!!!


Fighting It Out With The Heat Of The Sun

I consider the next segment of the race as the hardest as one has to go uphill to the last Aid Station. It is not about the steepness of the segment but it is the continuous and gradual ascent that will force the runners to hike on the exposed portions of the road from the heat of the sun. This is where we could see again those who are trying to catch us from behind and from the distance we had made as a “buffer”, we can safely say that we will be able to maintain our rankings up to the finish line!

Reaching the last Aid Station was a relief as from this point, it is the last 7 kilometres of the course which is all downhill. We did not stay long in the Aid Station after we refilled our hydration bottles and ate some bananas. I carried a “Sakto” Bottle of Coke and my Handheld Bottle filled with water and I was confident that my liquid/water was enough for me up to the Finish Line but I was wrong! My running partner had to share some of his water and the Race Organizer had to place another Aid Station in about 3-4 kilometres from the Finish Line because of the heat of the sun. The descending portions of the course was steep and some are still rough with gravel and small rocks but the concrete pavement was too much for my knees but my legs were surprisingly prepared for the beating and pounding of my feet. My strides were short but quick and I was able to increase my pace as I took advantage of the gravity. It was the heat of the sun that really gave some problems to my body. However, I was prepared for it as I brought a lot of salt tablets and “coffee” candies; and really focused on my hydration strategy. The Aid Station at the last 3-4 kilometres was very helpful to everybody and I was able to regain my strength and keep my pace up to the finish line.


Lots Of Ice @ The Aid Stations & Emergency Aid Stations

On the last 1.5 kilometres to the Finish Line, my running partner begged off that he should stop and slow down for awhile because of leg cramps and I replied to him that we should finish together. But he started to walk while I was maintaining my running pace. I guess, he was very courteous and respectful enough to offer the 10th place to me as a guest and a Senior Citizen! At the Finish Line, I found out the complete name of my running-partner, Marvin Sicat, who happens to be a close friend of one of my “pioneer” runners in the Bataan Death March 102 Ultra Marathon Race.

Finally, I crossed the Finish Line in 8:04:30 hours even if my plan was to finish in sub-8 hours with a ranking of 10th finisher. I was able to improve my time for almost 30 minutes and my overall ranking by 7 slots and I attribute my improvement to my quick turn-around at the Aid Stations; having a running partner/“pacer”; training with more “strides” and tempo runs on paved roads on the first two months; and later on the last month prior to the race on my hikes to mountains with higher altitude. My focused nutrition and hydration were also followed where I had to drink water regularly, eat solid foods in the Aid Stations, ingest my salt tablets regularly every hour, and regularly placing some coffee candies in my mouth.


Crossing The Finish Line

The Zamboanga Runner’s Club and their Race Sponsors did an outstanding job for this race to be a successful one. I highly recommended this race to all my readers to this blog, most specially to those who are ultra runners, local or foreigners. It is worth the trip to Zamboanga City. Next year, I will be back!



Swags: Nice Finisher’s Shirt & Heavy Finisher’s Medal

Official Results: 4th ANTIQUE 100 & 50-Mile Ultra Marathon Race

28 09 2016

4th ANTIQUE 100 & 50-Mile Ultra Marathon Race

Assembly Area & Starting Line: Antique Provincial Capitol, San Jose De Buenavista, Antique

Start Time & Date: 10:00 PM September 23, 2016

Finish Line: Army Transient Facility (ATF), Barangay Caticlan, Malay, Aklan

Finish Time & Date: 6:00 AM September 25, 2016

Course Cut-Off Time: 32 Hours

Intermediate Cut-Off Times:

Kilometer #40 —- 7 Hours

Kilometer #80 —- 15 Hours

Kilometer #130 —- 24 Hours

Number Of Starters (100-Mile): 14 Runners

Number Of Starters (50-Mile): 2 Runners


Starters At The Antique Provincial Capitol

RANK                           NAME                                       TIME (Hrs)

  1. Gibo Malvar (Champion, Overall) ——————- 28:44:56
  2. Jonathan Moleta (1st Runner-Up, Overall) ——— 28:45:07
  3. Ruben Veran (2nd Runner-Up, Overall) ———— 28:45:23
  4. Glenn Rosales —————————————— 30:24:26
  5. Dondon Talosig —————————————- 30:24:34
  6. Emma Libunao (Champion, Female) —————- 30:39:25
  7. Marlon Santos —————————————— 30:39:37
  8. Tina Aldaya (Female)————————————- 30:51:17
  9. Fer De Leon ——————————————— 31:31:29
  10. Rod Losabia ——————————————— 31:39:54
  11. Arvin Sauler ——————————————— 31:39:56 

Champion Gibo Malvar


Female Champion Emma Libunao

50-Mile Ultra Marathon Race

  1. Archimedes Musni II (Champion, Overall/Male) —– 12:55:03
  2. Angelica Paz (Champion, Female) ——————- 14:26:28

50-Miler Champion Archimedes Musni II


50-Miler Female Champion Angelica Paz

Congratulations To Everybody!!!

Why I Hate “Selfies” In Running Events

17 08 2016

In my early years of joining running events, which is about 40 years ago, runners then were not particular with their pictures before, during, and after finishing a race. What was important to them was to finish the race, get their Certificate of Finish and hoping that the race result will be published in the daily newspapers. It was only the Top Male & Female picture that would be featured in the next day’s newspapers, if the race is a Marathon distance. It was only the Marathon Races that award Finisher’s Medal to the runners!

Now that we are in the Age of the Internet and Social Media, the tendency is that you need an evidence that you are participating in a running event by posting a picture of yourself in the Internet/Social Media showing that you are really in the said event. Added to this is a “bragging right” to your friends that you are really a legitimate endurance athlete. No evidence, no “bragging rights”! And the more your pictures is being SHARED and have LIKES, the better for you that your feat is being recognized.

Let me define what I mean by “selfies” or a “selfie” picture. “Selfies” are those pictures taken by ones digital camera or cellphone’s camera where you click the shutter button by yourself with your face or body and the surroundings as a product/result in the said picture. Sometimes, I can consider “selfie” pictures when I see runners stopping by the trail or road to take a picture of the scenery or the surroundings. I don’t consider “selfie” pictures taken by official photographers as well as pictures taken by the support crew or pacer of a runner.

Let me then tell you the reasons why I hate “selfies” in running events and they are the following:

  1. Runners taking “selfies” with another runner on the background or taking a “selfie” behind another runner don’t ask permission to take a picture of you as the background. Most of the time on these “selfies”, they would show that I was walking or having some “low/down moments” when these pictures are taken while the one taking the “selfie” is smiling or laughing happily behind my back or in front of me. Just imagine what the picture would depict if it is posted in the social media.
  2. It slows me and breaks my racing momentum in races. Ok, I admit that I am a very positive person and I don’t say “No” to the requests of other runners to have a “selfie” during a race. But for God’s sake, please don’t ask for a “selfie” with me at the peak of a mountain in a trail race if I am about to continue my run to proceed on the descending/downhill part of the course. As a rule, never ask another runner for a “selfie” during the race. Every runner has their goal to finish the race as fast as they can and that is the simple essence of race!
  3. “Selfies” or pictures taken at the Turn-Around Points in trail runs are also annoying as it delays the momentum of a runner. Simply have the Race Marshal on these points/locations to take note or write the Bib Number and time of arrival of the runner and don’t delay the runner from finishing the race. Just imagine if you are in a group of 4-6 runners in that turn-around point and each runner would wait for his/her turn for him to pose a picture showing that he/she actually reached or passed the said place!
  4. In the Aid Stations, Race Marshals and Volunteers should not take “selfies” with the runners while they are being helped with their food and while refilling their hydration bottles or packs. These requests for “selfies” would alter or disturb the runner’s focus on what he decides to do in the Aid Station at the fastest time possible. Once a runner’s focus is unnecessarily disturbed, his or her temper would spike most specially if his target time to reach that Aid Station/Checkpoint is not met. To be safe, never ask a “selfie” to those who are fast and runners who are focused to improve their finish time/s in a race. Moreso, if they are elite international runners or “good-looking” lady international runners.
  5. Let it be known that even if I am already 64 years old, I am still a competitive runner. Having said this, I have target pace, speed, and finish time in all the races that I join. I would be happy and contented to race with the younger runners in road and in trail races, whether they are non-ultra or ultra distance events. So, a simple delay for a “selfie” would be a reason for my targets to be altered, resulting to slow performance or sometimes, bad temper!

I am already tired!

So, what is my advise on “selfies” or taking of pictures during the race?

  1. If you want to improve your PR in a certain race, leave your cellphone/camera behind. Aside from being a distraction (of taking selfies/pictures), carrying a cellphone or camera adds weight to your body.
  2. If you have a blog or planning to document your races and need to have some pictures of scenery or places along the race route, do a recon run along the route and you can have all the time to take pictures along the route. On race day, your only goal is to focus to finish the race without any distractions.
  3. If you are a fast runner, you have all the time to take your pictures but do not distract or interrupt other runners and request them to take your picture or ask them to have “selfies” with you. In one of my trail races, a runner in front of me suddenly stopped along a single-track descending part of the route and requested me to take a picture of him that I wanted to deny his request. But I just smiled and did the favour to take a picture of him…not once but three times!
  4. In international races, don’t be stoked to world-class/elite runners by asking them to have “selfies” with them during the race. You can have “selfies” with them during the Race Briefing (a day before the race) or after the Race. These international elite ultra runners are kind and easy to talk with as they would accommodate a “photo-ops” with them once you request them to have one. I never had any problem talking to these people before and after the race.
  5. In races where one of the mandatory gears is a cellphone, the cellphone is a gear that is very vital for your survival just in case of any emergency/accident or serious injury that will happen to you. Bringing out ones cellphone to take pictures of the scenery and “selfies” adds up to the extra time spent in the course, most specially if you are “cut-off time beater” like me. If you successfully finished the race within the prescribed cut-off time, you can register again for the next year’s edition if you intend to run it faster and have a chance to take selfies during the race.
  6. You must be warned also with runners who intentionally request you to have “selfie” with them must specially if you running ahead of them. This kind of runner will destroy or impede your momentum in the race and after taking a “selfie” and making some time to pack or stow your cellphone or camera in your pocket, the one who requested you to have a “selfie” with your will just leave you without even saying “thank you”. Just when you realised that you have been tricked by this runner for stopping, you would see him almost one hundred yards ahead of you with a blistering pace.

“Selfies” are already a “norm” in most of the Social Media outlets and platforms and they are already part of being a runner and as an avid outdoor adventurer. But if you don’t have any time to beat, it is fun and self-satisfying because it creates memories to your activities or events.

With or without “selfies” running is still fun but don’t do it to me when I am racing.

Go out and run!

H1 Recon 02

Smiling But Actually Tired

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.


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.


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


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


Thomas Combisen, Overall Champion & Course Record Holder

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

See you in the next edition (2017)!


Official Results: 10th Tagaytay To Nasugbu 50K Ultra Marathon Race (T2N 50K)

10 05 2016

Official Results: 10th Tagaytay To Nasugbu 50K Ultra Marathon Race (T2N 50K)

Start Time & Place: 4:00 AM May 8, 2016 @ Picnic Grove, Tagaytay City

Finish Time & Place: 1:00 PM May 8, 2016 @ PETRON Gas Station, Nasugbu, Batangas

Number Of Starters: 197 Runners

Number Of Finishers: 188 Runners

Percentage Of Finish: 95.4 %

RANK               NAME                                       TIME (Hours)
1. Jeffrey Galicio (Overall Champion) ———— 4:16:28
2.  Adona (1st Runner-Up, Overall) —— 4:22:25
3. Rogelio Puzon (2nd Runner-Up, Overall) —— 4:46:37
4. Joel Sindanum —————————————4:54:30
5. Jaspher Galanza ———————————— 4:55:00
6. Beverly Manansala (Female Champion) ——5:04:42
7. Doris Manguiat (1st Runner-Up, Female) ——5:04:43
8. Simon Pavel Miranda ——————————-5:09:01
9. Jilbert Marpiga ————————————— 5:09:02
10. Rayel Daza ——————————————- 5:15:22
11. Shuji Nakano —————————————- 5:16:12
12. Ronaldo Racines ———————————- 5:20:16
13. Sam Bigtas —————————————— 5:21:29
14. Allen Del Monte ———————————— 5:21:42
15. Joelle Reyes II ————————————- 5:22:23
16. Sandy Alentajan ———————————— 5:22:44
17. Cris Guevarra ————————————— 5:23:18
18. Rodolfo Barrozo ———————————— 5:24:50
19. Jennifer Cabbab (2nd Runner-Up, Female)—5:26:55
20. Ronald San Pedro ———————————- 5:28:23
21. Rafael Gan ——————————————- 5:31:51
22. Rustico Martinez ———————————— 5:32:00
23. Herbert Gutierrez ———————————— 5:32:01
24. Ryan Rentillo —————————————— 5:32:02
25. Mark Anthony Loresto ——————————- 5:34:01
26. Mike Tripp ———————————————- 5:39:56
27. Jun Permejo —————————————— 5:42:25
28. Marie Del Villanueva (Female)——————- 5:46:13
29. Levie Sinatad —————————————- 5:46:14
30. Reynaldo Casimero ——————————— 5:48:45
31. Aldrin Pallera —————————————— 5:49:54
32. RJ Velasco ——————————————— 5:51:36
33. Samuel Maniaul ————————————— 5:53:27
34. Justin Rainer Duño ———————————- 5:53:58
35. Ross Lim ———————————————— 5:54:15
36. Noel Diaz ———————————————— 5:54:16
37. Allan Repiso ——————————————— 5:54:57
38. Edwin Clemente ————————————— 5:58:31
39. Carlito Rudas, Jr ————————————— 6:02:02
40. Benjarde Cuales ————————————— 6:02:42
41. Chin Go ————————————————— 6:03:45
42. Tupe Dela Cruz —————————————- 6:04:10
43. Dennis Ryan Nava ———————————— 6:04:16
44. Gibo Malvar ——————————————— 6:05:26
45. Ma. Hyna Nava (Female) ————————— 6:05:56
46. Rogelio Rubica —————————————- 6:08:53
47. Dan Pastorpide —————————————- 6:09:56
48. Bobby Go ———————————————— 6:09:57
49. Arnold Espiritu —————————————— 6:11:04
50. Yuki Nakano (Female) ——————————- 6:12:26
51. Mark Anthony Redondo —————————— 6:15:24
52. Benjamin De Guzman ——————————- 6:14:43
53. Stephanie Delle (Female) ————————— 6:16:20
54. Darryl John Pagcalilwagan ————————- 6:16:21
55. Levie Sinatad ——————————————- 6:18:13
56. Sheryll Quimosing (Female) ———————— 6:22:17
57. Jah Santander (Female) —————————- 6:23:09
58. Hope Jhon Brazil ————————————- 6:27:52
59. Glenn Rosales —————————————- 6:27:53
60. Ronaldo Santos ————————————— 6:28:25
61. Johnny Borlagdan ———————————— 6:28:42
62. Dennis Racho —————————————— 6:28:43
63. Fiel Violeta ———————————————- 6:30:13
64. Joss Ian Sobrepeña ———————————- 6:32:28
65. Michael Rubica —————————————- 6:33:22
66. Rain Marti Luzano ———————————— 6:34:05
67. Marites Pausal (Female) —————————- 6:36:23
68. Dan Panganiban ————————————— 6:36:24
69. Irrol Novenario —————————————— 6:37:39
70. Generozo Perez —————————————- 6:38:47
71. Reymond Bueno —————————————- 6:38:48
72. James Salonga —————————————— 6:41:32
73. Remy Caasi (Female) ——————————— 6:41:34
74. Dave Montemayor ————————————- 6:42:01
75. Edward Sampelo ————————————— 6:42:11
76. Tess Leono (Female) ——————————— 6:43:35
77. Bong Dizon ——————————————— 6:43:36
78. Roy Simon ———————————————- 6:44:14
79. Robin Soriano —————————————- 6:45:03
80. Charlie Palacios ————————————- 6:46:53
81. Kristel Pechon (Female) ————————— 6:48:58
82. Antonio Ballesteros ——————————— 6:49:31
83. Laico Tolentino —————————————6:49:32
84. Salve Atie (Female) ——————————- 6:50:36
85. Engelbert Pantig ———————————— 6:51:56
86. Edgardo Alcantara ——————————— 6:52:30
87. Mrae David (Female) —————————— 6:52:40
88. Reden Rodriguez ———————————- 6:53:18
89. Michael Dela Rama ——————————- 6:55:09
90. Noel Carreon —————————————- 6:57:52
91. Michelle Salvatierra (Female) —————— 6:57:58
92. Mark Anthony Golez —————————— 6:58:31
93. Melody Arce (Female) ————————— 7:00:23
94. James Chan ————————————— 7:03:44
95. Ma. Andrea Lucia Santos (Female)———- 7:04:27
96. Luz Tiuseco (Female) ————————— 7:04:47
97. Jonathan Baysa ———————————- 7:05:12
98. Louie Atienza ————————————- 7:05:28
99. Chris Liwanagan ——————————— 7:05:29
100. Jose Aranzado, Jr —————————— 7:07:55
101. Rolando Ealdama, Jr ————————— 7:08:07
102. Noel Caringal ———————————— 7:08:24
103. Mark Sidamon ———————————- 7:08:41
104. Reyval Perlin ———————————— 7:10:00
105. Ryan Depalco ———————————- 7:10:48
106. Rowena Dagdag (Female) —————— 7:12:52
107. Jane Lucille Jamoso (Female) ————- 7:12:53
108. Heidi Garcia (Female) ———————— 7:13:14
109. Nilo Sarmiento ———————————- 7:13:38
110. Ervin Cabral ————————————- 7:14:25
111. Tinal Aldaya (Female) ————————- 7:16:54
112. Dmitri Navarro ———————————- 7:17:55
113. Ener Calbang ———————————- 7:17:59
114. Jenel Redada ———————————- 7:18:25
115. Bernalito Dela Cruz, Jr ———————- 7:18:57
116. Alliener Tiguelo ——————————- 7:20:41
117. Cheryl Buela (Female) ——————— 7:22:25
118. Jose Mari Mercado ————————- 7:22:53
119. Jhon Henry Bueron ————————- 7:23:24
120. Janice Mauricio (Female) —————- 7:23:35
121. Ralph Estardo ——————————- 7:23:36
122. John Mandy Caparas ———————- 7:24:03
123. Ela Marie Soqueña (Female)————- 7:25:32
124. Kathleen Piñero (Female) —————- 7:26:48
125. Mando Cariaga —————————— 7:27:55
126. Levita Gutierrez (Female) —————- 7:29:07
127. Mark Daniel Flores ————————- 7:29:21
128. Oliver Peñarubia —————————- 7:31:53
129. Roby Amil ———————————— 7:33:07
130. Nomer Abajo ——————————— 7:39:37
131. Lorna Pagsiat (Female) ——————- 7:42:14
132. Reinna Serrano (Female) —————- 7:42:35
133. Amante Dumlao —————————- 7:42:36
134. Junmar Que ——————————— 7:43:06
135. Kathryn Ty (Female) ———————- 7:43:07
136. Mark Paulo Peñafiel ———————- 7:50:04
137. Ruel Peñaloza —————————— 7:50:05
138. Rodolfo De Jesus, Jr ——————— 7:51:41
139. Vanessa Labit (Female) —————— 7:52:02
140. Sherry San Pedro (Female) ————- 7:52:29
141. Analiza Que (Female) ——————— 7:53:17
142. Butch Santander —————————- 7:58:15
143. Lourdes Maghuyop (Female) ———— 8:00:52
144. Raymond Dongeto ————————- 8:01:17
145. Ric Ballecer ———————————- 8:03:09
146. Rennelynne De Leon (Female) ———- 8:03:10
147. Madana De Guzman (Female) ———- 8:03:32
148. Rodel Crisostomo ————————— 8:04:30
149. Ma. Hyna Nava (Female)—————— 8:05:53
150. Jess Alentajan ——————————- 8:06:17
151. Jonas Olandria —————————— 8:06:23
152. Bjorn Reyes ———————————- 8:06:39
153. Virgilio Belen ——————————— 8:07:29
154. Arbie Tolentino ——————————- 8:07:29
155. TJ Barrientos ——————————— 8:12:53
156. Ruby Jane Dimayuga (Female) ——— 8:15:00
157. Marielle Magramo (Female) ————- 8:15:17
158. Pee Wee Del Villar ————————- 8:15:19
159. Sally Lustina (Female) ——————— 8:16:43
160. Ramon Joseph De Jesus —————- 8:17:22
161. Nathaniel Tolentino ———————— 8:18:43
162. Alen Alban ———————————— 8:20:57
163. Mike Salazar ——————————— 8:21:12
164. Nelson Tupas ——————————- 8:22:26
165. Norvie Cruz ———————————- 8:25:11
166. Troy Oliva ———————————— 8:30:04
167. Fernando Torres ————————— 8:30:31
168. Michelle De Ocampo (Female) ——— 8:32:23
169. Arnel Boaquiña —————————— 8:38:59
170. Harvey Gutierrez ————————— 8:40:14
171. Rahadel Destreza ————————- 8:40:15
172. John Michael Ordiales ——————- 8:40:16
173. Kim Zamora ——————————— 8:40:41
174. Lawrence Arvin Tomas ——————- 8:41:25
175. Jun Sollestre ——————————- 8:41:58
176. Niel Marcelo ——————————- 8:42:13
177. Vic Cadacio (Female)———————8:42:26
178. Elmar Casaway —————————- 8:44:09
179. Katrina Durana (Female) ————— 8:44:29
180. Rose Ann Cefre (Female) ————— 8:44:54
181. Mirjam Del Rosario (Female) ———- 8:45:18
182. Kerwin Ng ———————————- 8:45:27
183. Edmond Cuenca ————————- 8:45:39
184. Mark Amielle De Ocampo ————- 8:45:53
185. Raymond Talavera ———————- 8:47:24
186. Rona Carandang (Female) ————- 8:48:02
187. Marc Tierro ——————————— 8:51:01
188. Enrico Dela Cruz ————————- 9:54:00

Congratulations To All The Finishers!

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

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!

%d bloggers like this: