1. The plan for the 5th Day was to finish the “adventure run” to Baguio City. It will take me 58 kilometers to run/walk for the this “leg”. I knew that Kennon Road covers a distance of 35 kilometers and the uphill road starts from Barangay Saitan, Rosario, La Union which is the road that intersects with the Main National Highway.
2. For me to finish this “leg”, I need to have a longer time to sleep the night before the 5th day, wake up earlier than the previous days, and start the run before sunrise. The 5th leg is planned to be a continous run/walk from Kilometer Post #192 to Kilometer Post #250. So, I woke up at 4:00 AM; did the “drill” as if I am going to join a road race; and packed my things.
3. It was still dark when I started my run at Km Post #192 in Binalonan, Pangasinan at 5:45 AM. The sidewalk is still the same—full of stones/gravel and sand which made my run slower and had to use my flashlight. I was wearing my TNF Trail Running Shorts; TNF Long-sleeved shirt; TNF Hand-held Hydration bottle; Under Armour Cap; ASICS Gel-Kanbara 4; PUMA Socks; Armando Caruso Buff as headband; Oakley sunglass; and two Bandanas tied around my neck. From where I started, I had to run/walk at least 23 kilometers to the Rivervue Restaurant where I plan to have a decent breakfast with steamed rice! The restaurant is 400 meters away from the intersection of Kennon Road and the National Highway.
4. At Km 21, Rey Jimenez of Dagupan City met me along the road and we started to run together. Rey finally believed about my description on the sidewalks of our National Highway as he had seen stones and gravel & sand. After running for two kilometers, we stopped for our breakfast and rest. I ate “tapsilog” with their native chocolate/cocoa hot drink. I really liked the hot native chocolate drink! We stayed at Rivervue Restaurant for about 45 minutes and I think we were the first customer for the day.
5. What is good about running on the road is that you are not affected with those traffic brought about by the repair of some bridges and parts of the road where only one lane is usable by the vehicles. We have to pass vehicles which were waiting for their turn to pass the only lane for both traffic. I am sure the people inside the vehicles were talking about us that we are “crazy” running along the Kennon Road towards Baguio City.
6. Cyclists from the South would pass me while I was running on my first 20 kilometer and I know that they are also on their way to Baguio City. We would meet a lot of cyclists also coming from Baguio and later see them going back again to the city. I always wave my hands to these cyclists and they respond also. These “cyclists” are the real ones—they are thin, flat-chested, and with very DARK skin! I just laugh to myself when I compare those regular cyclists I always see doing their “circuit” workouts at the BHS loop.
7. Running along the Kennon Road is very tricky and you need to be always on the safe side. Take advantage of the limited space at the sidewalk where you could run/walk. I don’t advise runners to use their Ipods/MP3 when running in Kennon Road or for that matter, when running along the National Highway. A runner should have a keen sense of hearing from the incoming vehicle on both lanes of the road. During this adventure run, I could guess what type of vehicle was approaching from behind based from the sound of their engines, mufflers, and tires!
8. Rey and I ran together on single file. On the first 10 kilometers, I was leading the pace but on the next 10 kilometers, Rey was already the one who was trying to pull me along the road as he would lead me for about 5-10 meters. We had occassional “pit stops” where we replenish our water for our hydration; drink sports drinks; and ate Fita/SkyFlakes with Cloud 9 Chocolate. Each Kilometer Post along the road was a sight of relief as the number of Kilometers to my destination slowly became lesser until it bacame single digit.
9. After passing the long bridge at the Toll Station, we stopped for our late lunch. Rey and I ate the available food in one of the eateries for “truckers”—home-cooked sinigang na baboy, “chicken joy” & dinuguan with steamed rice. After our lunch, Rey prepared to go back to where he parked his car in Barangay Saitan as he was scheduled for a social function in Dagupan City late in the afternoon. Rey took a ride in one of the jeepneys and I was left alone for my last 11 kilometers to Baguio City. Thanks, Rey for the company and the pull/push for the 26 kilometers that we’ve run together! (Do I have to tell you again that I sang some songs with a Karaoke machine in that truckers’ eatery? hahaha!)
10. The last 10 kilometers took me two hours to run & walk. The “zigzag road” has steep uphill climb and I have to walk and then run again along the flat area. The technique was to brisk walk on the steep climb and then run on the flat part of the zigzag road. The technique had been repeated all the way to Baguio City. On my last 5 kilometer, I was received and met by Carlos, photograper of The FrontRunner Magazine and later was greeted by the family & relatives of Jonel aka Bugobugo/The FrontRunner Magazine. Thanks, Jonel for arranging a simple but meaningful reception as I reached my destination for this “adventure run”. I was informed that you arranged for a welcome party consisting of a band and group of runners from Baguio City to join me on my run/walk from the Rotary’s Lion Head to Baguio City. Though they were not able to wait for me, thanks again for the effort & gesture.
11. Reaching the Baguio General Hospital (BGH) was a realization that I’ve finally reached Baguio City. I am glad that the “Slide” area before reaching the BGH have been fixed as this was the “headache” of motorists and truckers going to Baguio City. You always find a vehicle or truck stucked at the middle of the road on this area almost everyday and such occurence always result to a traffic on both lanes of the road. However, I was not spared on this occurence during my run as one of the jeepneys got stucked at the bottom of the steep uphill climb!
12. I finally reached the Rizal Park infront of the City Hall of Baguio at 6:15 PM as I walked entirely along Burnham Park with heavy traffic of vehicles and people coming out and going to the Park and to those who are audience to a political rally at the Burnham Athletic Ground. Practically, I was on the road for 12 1/2 hours for my last day. I ran the 58-kilometer distance for the day with a running/walking time of 9:15 hours. Finally, I reached my destination. I did it. I was able to prove to myself how far I can push my body’s capability beyond its limits where I could run an ultramarathon distance almost everyday for 5 days. I was able to prove it also that I can inform my readers on a “near real-time” with pictorials through the Internet with what is going on with me in my “adventure run”.
13. This post will not be the end of my “adventure run’s” journal/diary. There are so many untold stories to tell which I experienced along the way and I will try my best to recall them and bring them to you on this blog. I did a lot of things along the way and I hope that such experiences will guide future runners/pedestrians who will embark on such challenge. The challenge is, “if I can do it (at the age of almost 58 years old), you can do it, too”!
14. My sincerest thanks to those who supported this “adventure run”. Your prayers, best wishes and words of encouragement pushed me to my limits. Lastly, my thanks to the Lord Almighty for giving me the strength and “vision” to inspire others. What is next? Keep on reading this blog for more interesting stories and surprises.
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