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Summary Of Workout In Hongkong (August 2019)

23 08 2019

Summary Of Workout In Hongkong (August 2019)

Despite the protests and demonstrations in Hongkong during my trip last week, we enjoyed our two-day “back to back” runs in Lantau Island in Hongkong. We were not affected by the situation thereat as the Transportation Facilities (MRT/Subway and the Ferry Ride) were providing normal operations to the Public. Although the fare to and from the island is quite expensive which is about One Hundred Hongkong Dollars for each of us to include our food and water before and after our workout, the experience is priceless as we did not have to pay any Permits, Guide Fees, or any related fees in using the Lantau Trail. As compared to the trails in the Philippines, there are so many expenses or fees one has to incur in going to popular trail destinations near or outside Metro Manila.

Thomas was able to completely had an insight and orientation of the Lantau Trail knowing that he will be on this trail on the early evening of the second day of the event. Due to this recon run, he told me that he is confident to run the whole trail during nighttime. On the first day, he estimates that he was able to run and hike a distance of almost 25 kilometers. On the second day, he was able to run almost 30 kilometers. Those missing sections which he was not able to reach are the sections of Lantau Peak, Ngong Ping, and those flat areas in Tai Po.

As for me, on the first day, I was able to cover 11 kilometers with an elevation gain of almost 3,000 feet and on the second day, about 15 kilometers with an elevation gain of almost 1,800 feet. I am satisfied with my workout despite the heat and humidity; and the lack of training. Actually, I did more hiking in the ascents and descents, and tried to jog on the flat sections of the trail.

For two days, I have been using hiking attire except for the trail shoes. My shirt and shorts are from Columbia which are popular to hikers and mountaineers. My “Tilley” Hats that I used were bought at Decathlon  Hongkong and I find them to be comfortable and could easily dry when wet with my sweat or when I douse my head with cool water from the water spring/streams along the trail. My trail shoes is the Salomon Speedcross 5 which I found out to have a wider forefoot but I have problem with its insoles as they have the tendency to fold on my descents. It was suggested by Thomas that I have to glue the insoles inside the shoes to make them permanently immovable. I was using the Gipron Trekking Poles and they gave me the necessary aid and balance support in the ascents and descents. My hydration vest is the 8-liter Salomon SLAB Sense Pack where I stashed my money/Octopus Card, cellphone, space blanket, hydration bottles, dry clothes, light jacket, and power bars. It was my first time to use my Goodr Sunglasses (Green Lens) which I bought in A Runners Circle (ARC) Store in Los Angeles, California, USA two years ago. The socks that I used were newly-bought from the Decathlon Store in Mongkok, Hongkong.

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This recon run will be helpful to me as I am registered for the 2020 Translantau 50K Trail Ultra which is scheduled on March 1, 2020. Hopefully, by that time, I will be well-prepared as in my past finishes in the Translantau 100K. 

If I have a chance to return to Hongkong before the end of this year, I would gladly go back again to Lantau Trail and MacLehose Trail if time permits.

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Trip To Hongkong (August 2019): Part 2

22 08 2019

Trip To Hongkong (August 2019): Part 2

While Thomas and I were on our way back to Central after our first recon day in Lantau, I asked him if he wants to return on the following day to trace the reverse route of the trail from Lantau Trail Post 140, going to Lantau Trail Pos 000. Thomas answered affirmatively to my question. Immediately, I have to google the route of the Lantau Trail and I was able to locate the end of the trail. (Note: I could no longer remember the route when I ran the Translantau 100 in the past editions)

We adjusted our schedule the following day and we had to wake up earlier than the previous day in order to take advantage with a cooler temperature in the early morning. We left our hostel at 6:00 AM, took our Congee breakfast, and then proceeded to the MRT for our Ferry Trip at Central. The ferry trip that we took was the more expensive one with Air-Con and faster speed. In a 30-minute ride, we arrived at Mui Wo at 8:30 AM and immediately proceeded at the back of the business buildings near the Pier until we reached the entry/exit of the Lantau Trail where the Post Marker 139 is located.

Lantau Trail Post 139 Located At The End Of Lantau Trail

The climb was easier than the first kilometers we had the previous day. The trail route was covered with vegetation and with the absence of rock stairs. Thomas went ahead of me with the same agreement/arrangement we had the previous day. I told him to maximize the number of mileage he can cover for the day and he can easily meet me in some of the camping areas or barbecue grill parks along the route.

After 3 kilometers, I saw a resting fixture and I was enticed to take some pictures around the place and some “selfies”. I took comfort of my easy pace while hiking as the air was cooler and the trail ground was damp with some mud. I could see the trail shoe marks/footprints of Thomas along the trail. My next stop was the next 3 kilometers but there is only one water stream that I passed along the way.

Entry To The Trail (Reverse Route)

This last portion of the Lantau Trail was flatter as compared to the first section of the trail. Although the next trail camp from the start of the reverse route is longer in distance than the original route ( from the trailhead), most of the sections of the trail are covered with vegetation and trees and due to its flatter elevation profile, I could jog or run on these sections. There is also a portion where the road is paved due to the fact that the route runs alongside a concrete drainage canal where the water comes from a dam with gates that control the flow of water to the drainage canal. There are also Barbecue Grill Camps where there are concrete tables and benches, and comfort rooms. The cemented flat road beside the drainage canal has a distance of at least 9 kilometers.

I would rest, hydrate and take in some of my power bars and SkyFlakes biscuits in these Barbecue Camps. When I was out of water, I just refilled my bottles from the flowing water of streams coming from the side of the mountain.

I think I was able to hike and jog for a distance of 12 kilometers. It is worthy to note that the first village that I reached along this route was at Pui O. This village is along the coast line where I could see modern houses and apartments where I could see white people living in them and most of the private cars parked are made in Europe, At one time, I was able to meet a group of young students being led by their teacher with camping gears and food. I would also see men who are with their swimming trunks and goggles coming out of the seashore. I have the conclusion that this place is a swimming area and a camping area.

“Selfie” While Resting

About 50 meters before reaching the National Road/Tun Chung Road, I saw a convenience store with a bench and a wide umbrella and I decided to stop and bought some water and bottles of Pocari Sweat. Because of the heat, I was able to drink half gallon of water and two bottles of Pocari Sweat. I think I took about 15-20 minutes sitting in front of this store.

As I reached the National Road, a yellow painted markings in wood points me to turn left along the National Road. After about 70 meters, I could see already another yellow directional sign at the other side of the road. I followed the sign and I was back again to the trail with softer footing because I transitioned again to wet ground. After a few Lantau Trail Posts, I reached a Cemented Biking Path which is near Barbecue Grill Camps. i tried to jog and power hike on this cemented portion of the trail which is beside a concrete drainage canal.

After drinking and eating my food, I decided to rest in one of the benches and I really don’t know how many minutes I have dozed off when finally Thomas arrived at the Barbecue Camp. He told me that the next Bus Station is located a few meters ahead and to our surprise, it was the same Bus Stop that we got our Bus ride back to Moi Wo the day before.

On Top Of Us Is The Bus Stop

After few minutes of waiting at the Bus Stop, we finally had our ride and we decided to change our clothes at the Public Comfort Room and then proceed to the Pier to catch our Ferry ride back to Central. We found out later that we were not able to catch our trip and we decided to have our light snacks and Coke drinks at the MacDonald’s while waiting for our scheduled Ferry ride.

We were back in our hostel at 4:00 PM, earlier than we had yesterday, and we did not know that there was a protest which was about to start at 5:00 PM a few kilometers from our place. We took our shower and changed immediately to our casual wear as we have a scheduled meeting with a Pinoy resident in Hongkong who is also an endurance athlete and who promised me to bring me to where I could buy the cheapest Seiko Watches in Hongkong.

My meeting with this Pinoy resident in Hongkong deserves another story in this blog.





Trip To Hongkong (2nd Trip For 2019)

21 08 2019

Trip To Hongkong (2nd Trip For 2019) August 12-15, 2019

This is my second trip to Hongkong for this year (2019). I was in Hongkong during this year’s Chinese New Year to support the participation of Thomas Combisen in the Hongkong 4 Trails Ultra Challenge on the second week of February. Unfortunately, Thomas was not able to make the cut-off time for him to reach the last leg of the Lantau Trail during the race. I promised to Thomas to bring him back to Hongkong purposely to run the Lantau Trail which has a distance of 70 kilometers.

Weeks prior to our trip this month, news had been around about the Protests and Demonstrations that had been occuring in the different parts of Hongkong. Sine we have purchased and made our reservations for our accommodation weeks ahead, we decided to take the risk and continue with our scheduled plan for this trip.

It was supposed to be a trip for four trail runners, including myself, but two of our companions were not able to make it due to personal circumstances. The overall plan for the trip was to recon the Lantau Trail starting from Original Trailhead and from the End of the Trail going on a reverse route. We planned to do this in one day and the rest of the days will be devoted to food trip, shopping, and side trip to Macau.

We left Manila at 5:50 AM of Monday, August 12 and arrived in Hongkong at 8:00 AM. After loading some money into our Octopus Cards, we took the regular bus to Mongkok, where our regular hostel is located. We had been a regular client/customer in the said hostel since I have started joining trail running events in Hongkong. Although I have stayed in more expensive hotels in Tsim Tsai Tsui, Kennedy Town, and Jordan, I always prefer to stay in Mongkok for the authentic Chinese cuisine which are very cheap and lots of shopping in the nearby streets and Nathan Road.

Another interesting reason for this trip to Hongkong is for my new hobby of Seiko Watch Limited Edition Collection! Before this trip, I have been asking some of my FB friends who are residing in Hongkong as to where to buy these Seiko Watches and they gave me some tips. Earlier this year, I was fond of the Onitsuka Tiger sneakers and I had to look and buy a particular model in Causeway Bay. I am done already with the OT sneakers and now I am crazy with Seiko Limited Edition Watches!

Starting At The Trailhead LT Post 001

On Tuesday morning, Thomas and I took the MRT from Mongkok to Central and then walked to the Ferry Terminal Port #6 for our trip to Lantau. After one hour and half, we were at Mui Wo and walked along the Tun Chung Road going to the Trailhead of the Lantau Trail and it was already 9:30 AM. The distance from the Mui Wo Bus Terminal to the Trailhead is about 2 kilometers which is an uphill road. As we reached the trailhead, we were already sweating because of the hot/warm weather in the area. Thomas and I made an agreement for him to proceed and run the trail as fast as he can while I would hike and jog to the next trail camp and try to follow him. If in case he would determine if his target mileage for the day is done, he can just backtrack along the trail and try to find me. From there we could take the bus in going either to Tun Chung or back to Moi Wo Bus Terminal.

So, that was what we had done. From the trailhead, it was an uphill climb to Sunset Peak and then descend to the next trail camp/rest area and then cross the National Road in going to Lantau Peak. It was a very hard hike for me because of the heat and lack of training. I had to rest for three times before reaching the Sunset Peak and stopped every flowing stream to douse some cold water to my head and body. There is also a water reservoir where there was a faucet on its side that gave me lots of water to fill up my bottles and rehydrate myself. A white guy in trail shorts and shirt passed me on the first 2 kilometers of my ascent; I met two white guys and a lady going down from Sunset Peak; three white guys with big backpacks on my descent from Sunset Peak which I found later that they are from California, USA for some Para-Sailing activity in the area; and two local young guys who were taking selfies on my way down near the trail camp/rest area.

Descending From Sunset Peak

I attempted to start hiking the first kilometers towards Lantau Peak but I could no longer endure the heat of the sun and I was already exhausted due to lack of training. I went back to the waiting shed at the trail camp and wait for Thomas to arrive.

I really don’t know how many minutes I was able to doze off when Thomas arrived. Thomas was also complaining of the heat and humidity but he was happy to recon the place. He was longing for an ice cold Coke that we decided to walk towards the next village along the National Road. But to our surprise, the village was still too far that we decided to stop our hike in a Bus Stop and waited for our Bus Ride to Mui Wo.

In a few minutes, we took our Bus ride and immediately changed to dry clothes at the last row of seats inside the said bus. We went directly to the McDonalds at Mui Wo  for our first meal of the day with a Large Ice Cold Coke and Double Cheeseburger! 

After our McDo meal, we waited for our ferry ride back to Central. This time, the Ferry was an Air- Conditioned with higher fare BUT with NO Wi-Fi as compared with the slower one, cheap with Wi-Fi which we rode on our way to Lantau.

Thomas and I @ The First Resting Camp

It was good to be back to Lantau Island to run and hike after finishing the Translantau 100K for two times in the past. Well, I was then a younger and a stronger trail runner then!





Official Result: 9th Fort Magsaysay To Dingalan 65K Ultramarathon Race

20 08 2019

9th Fort Magsaysay To Dingalan 65K Ultramarathon Race

3:00 AM August 11, 2019 To 3:00 PM August 11, 2019

Start Time & Starting Area: 3:00 AM August 11, 2019 @ 7th Infantry Division Grandstand

Finish Time & Finish Area: 3:00 PM August 11, 2019 @ So. Tanguigue, Brgy Aplaya, Dingalan, Aurora

Number of Starters: 10 Runners

Number of Finishers: 10 Runners

Percentage of Finish: 100%

Runners Of The 9th Edition Of Fort Magsaysay To Dingalan 65K Ultra

RANK        NAME                  TIME (Hrs)

  1. Christopher Iblan (Overall Champion & New Course Record)—5:54:00
  2. Dixie Sagusay (Female Overall Champion)—9:58:15
  3. Rodrigo Abias Jr (1st Runner-Up, Male)—9:09:14
  4. Dianne Marie De Leon (1st Runner-Up, Female)—10:35:28
  5. Tereso Sy (2nd Runner-Up, Male)—10:35:29
  6. Emery Torre—10:44:30
  7. Janice Reyes (2nd Runner-Up, Female)—10:48:35
  8. Jonas Olandria—11:03:50
  9. Khristian Norland Caleon—11:08:41
  10. Anna Odessa Albaracin (Female)—11:15:41

Cris Iblan, Overall Champion & New Course Record Holder

Dixie Sagusay, Female Champion

Congratulations To All The Finishers! 





Official Result: 1st Manila To Pagudpud 580K Ultramarathon Race

28 07 2019

1st Manila To Pagudpud 580K Ultramarathon Race

June 3-9, 2019

Starting Place & Assembly Time: Km 0, Luneta Park, Metro Manila/9:00 PM June 3, 2019

Assembly Time: 9:00 PM June 3, 2019

Start Time: 10:00 PM June 3, 2019

Finish Line/Area: Pansian Beach, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

Finish Time: 1:00 PM June 9, 2019

Intermediate Cut-Off Time: 100 Kms Per 24 hours

Event’s Cut-Off Time: 135 hours (5 days & 15 hours)

Number Of Starters: 14 Runners

Number Of Finishers: 6 Runners

Percentage Of Finish: 42.85%

Runners At The Starting Area In Luneta Park

RANK          NAME              TIME (Hrs)

  1. Robert Watson (Overall Champion & Course Record) — 129:15:57
  2. Thomas Combisen (1st Runner-Up, Overall) — 132:41:40
  3. Bong Dizon (2nd Runner-Up, Overall) — 133:12:21
  4. Laico Tolentino — 133:35:42
  5. Edgar Miras — 134:30:39
  6. Carlito Don Rodas — 134:50:32

Overall Champion & Course Record Holder Robert Watson

Finishers Of The Race (From L to R): Thomas Combisen; Bong Dizon; Laico Tolentino; Edgar Miras; & Carl Don Rodas

Congratulations To All The Finishers!





Official Result: 4th Tagaytay To Naic 100K Ultramarathon Race

26 07 2019

4th Tagaytay To Naic 100K Ultra Marathon Race (via Kaybiang Tunnel)

Starting & Assembly Area: Picnic Grove, Tagaytay City (In Front of the Development Academy of the Philippines)

Assembly Time: 9:00 PM July 13, 2019 (Saturday)

Start/Gun Start: 10:00 PM July 13, 2019 (Saturday)

Finish Area: Naic Municipal Plaza, Barangay Poblacion, Naic, Cavite

Finish Time: 6:00 PM July 14, 2019 (Sunday)

Cut-Off Time (Event): 20 Hours

Starters: 12 Runners

Finishers: 10 Finishers

Percentage Of Finish: 83.33%

RANK         NAME                TIME (Hrs)

  1. Thomas Combisen (Overall Champion) — 11:58:49
  2. Sherwin Bargos (1st Runner-Up, Overall) —12:19:55
  3. Aldrin Pallera (2nd Runner-Up, Overall) — 12:34:10
  4. Bryan Anuran — 18:30:00
  5. Kelvin Dela Torre — 18:43:03
  6. Emery Torre — 19:19:10
  7. Vhon Boston — 19:20:17
  8. KR Inosanto — 19:21:50
  9. Tom Barrientos — 19:28:50
  10. Cris Tatel — 19:30:35

Podium Finishers (L to R: Sherwin Bargos, Thomas Combisen, Aldrin Pallera)

Congratulations To All The Finishers!





Official Results: 2nd 12-Hour & 3rd 6-Hour Endurance Races

3 06 2019

2nd PAU 12-Hour & 3rd PAU 6-Hour Endurance Races

@ Philippine Army Grandstand & Jogging Lane

5:00 AM May 26, 2019

2nd PAU 12-Hour Endurance Race:

RANK      NAME          KILOMETERS

  1. Ian Christian Torres (Champion)—72
  2. Jubert Castor (1st Runner-Up)—71
  3. Vicente Zapanta Jr (2nd Runner-Up)—65
  4. Tina Aldaya (Female Champion)—59
  5. Aureo Pascua—50
  6. Kevin Lucero—45
  7. Gibo Malvar—40
  8. Laico Tolentino—37

Podium Finishers: 12-Hour Endurance Run

3rd PAU 6-Hour Endurance Race:

RANK    NAME          KILOMETERS

  1. Thomas Combisen (Champion)—56
  2. Jon Borbon (1st Runner-Up)—43
  3. Gary Mosqueda (2nd Runner-Up)—39
  4. Ale Paez—37
  5. Janice Reyes (Female Champion)—37
  6. Jerard Asperin—36
  7. Ruby Ann Angway (1st Runner-Up, Female)—34

Event Participants With The RD

Congratulations To All The Finishers!








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