Thomas Combisen: The First Local Pinoy To “Survive” @ 2020 Hong Kong Four Trails Ultra Challenge (HK4TUC)


Thomas Combisen: The First Local Pinoy To “Survive” @ 2020 Hong Kong Four Trails Ultra Challenge (HK4TUC)

Thomas Combisen, the top ultrarunner of the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU) finished as a “Survivor” in the 9th Edition of the Hongkong Four Trails Ultra Challenge, simply known as HK4TUC, with a time of 68:50 hours. This is his second time to join this race event where he declared himself as “retired” after running 228 kilometers on the third day in last year’s event. He missed his target time to board the Ferry Boat ride to Lantau Island for him to have the chance to finish the course in 72 hours for the last 70 kilometers of the event.

Hongkong Four Trails Ultra Challenge was created by Andre Blumberg, an accomplished ultrarunner who works as an Executive in one of the key Corporate Offices in Hongkong; a US Grand Slam of Ultrarunning “Eagle” Awardee; and a 2-time finisher of the famous and prestigious Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run and Hardrock 100-Mile Endurance Race in the US. The rule of the event is to be able to finish the total distance of 298 kilometers covering the famous Four Trails of Hongkong starting with MacLehose Trail (100 Kilometers); Wilson Trail (78 Kilometers); Hong Kong Trail (50 Kilometers); and Lantau Trail (70 Kilometers) in the said order but with each trail to be ran on the reverse course. To make it more challenging, each runner is “self-support” while on the trail and the only time that he can be supported is when he finishes a trail or before he starts the next trail. Each runner can be supported and transported by their respective Support Team while they are in transit from one trail to another. There are no Marshals, No Medical Responders, No Aid Stations, and No Whining in this event. There is No Registration Fees for the Runners and No Awards for the Survivors and Finishers. A Runner is declared as a “Finisher” if he finishes the event within the cut-off time of 60 hours. However, if a runner finishes the course within the cut-off time of 72 hours, he is declared as “Survivor”. All of them are required to kiss the Mui Wo (Green) Mail Post in Lantau to declare that they have finished the event. And for those who could not make it, they are declared as “Retired”. 

But for this year, Thomas has transformed to a stronger, faster, and smarter participant of this event. Determined to join again and improve his performance last year, he applied last July 2019 but he was placed in the Waiting List until he was finally accepted in October of the same year. Thomas focused on his training as he visited Hong Kong for a Recon Run in Lantau Island last August 2019 for two days. Due to his limited time to stay longer in Hong Kong because of his work in the Philippines and family to attend to, he decided to arrive earlier on the week of the event to review the places where he experienced “lost moments” that cost him a lot of hours of delay, most specially in the MacLehose and Wilson Trails. 

Having an experience from his previous year’s participation, doing some “recon runs”, and correcting his past mistakes with his race strategy and nutrition, Thomas was determined to finish the event, whether he could be a “Finisher” or a “Survivor”. What is important is for him to finish the event within 72 hours.

Thirty-three (33) participants selected by the RD/RO coming from different countries throughout the world started the race at 9:00 AM January 25, 2020, the Lunar Chinese New Year’s Day, for the 9th edition of the event at the starting area for the MacLehose Trail. Two other Filipino runners were also with Thomas in this event as they applied and qualified to join this race. Thomas started the race at the back of the pack and we, his Support Team to include his close family members from the Philippines and Canada, cheered him and later, monitored his movement through his Tracker on Racemap Application on the Internet. At Kilometer 50, Thomas was among the Top 3 on the trail and maintained his steady pace of 7 kilometers per hour. It was still too early for us to be happy that Thomas will target the sub-60 hour finish. However, he was in the right track for him to finish the MacLehose Trail in 15 Hours as planned. He slowed down on the last 15 kilometers as it was already nighttime plus the fact that it started to rain and he reported some tightness in his quads. Despite his situation, he was expected to finish this leg much faster than the time he registered last year with almost 2.5 hours. Finally, Thomas arrived at the Sai Kung Country Park as the 5th Runner with a time of 15:04 hours! It was a huge improvement from his time of 17:40 hours last year!

Thomas @ MacLehose Trail (Picture By Photo Guava)

In 10 minutes of eating and changing his clothes at the Park, we were on our way aboard a Taxi to the start of the Wilson Trail which is a good 45-minute ride but the Taxi driver had to refill some gasoline which added, at least 5 minutes of the travel time. However, Thomas had a good sleep, which he badly needed, during our trip to the start of the next leg. Once we arrived at the Waiting Shed near the Nam Chung Public Toilet, we set-up our “pit stop” assistance to Thomas——food, water, clothes, and running accessories were packed and placed in Thomas Hydration Vest while Thomas was eating. In a short time, Thomas started his run on the Wilson Trail with much encouragement for him to keep on moving, eat & hydrate when he can, and bring out & wear his reserve “wind-breaker” inside his water-proof jacket to make him warm as it was raining hard and colder temperature awaited him in the mountain peaks of the 78-kilometer long Wilson Trail. He started his run at 1:25 AM of the second day, January 26 which is again another improvement from his time last year. At this time, we were confident that he will not get lost and spend so much time when he will cross the Victoria Bay from the MTR Lam Tin Station to the MTR Tai Koo Station in Hongkong Island.

At the start of the Wilson Trail, looking at the Racemap App, the two other Filipino runners (Rolando Espina is a two-time finisher of the Spartathlon  Race in Greece and Ronnel Valero had just finished the 2019 UTMB 166K in Chamonix, France), had been declared as “Retired” which simply means that they declared themselves as “DNF” (Did Not Finish). Five other runners were also “Retired”, making it a total of seven (7) “retired” runners at the end of the first day. We did not try to find out the real reason/s why these runners “retired” on the first day. However, in a news report from the article of the South China Morning Post, they said that they could not stand and endure running on the “stairs” and on the concrete/cemented trails of Hong Kong. Some of the runners told to the reporter/s that the rain had brought them cold and freezing temperature which their body was not prepared to take.

On the second day, we were glad that Thomas was on the track without any “lost moments” and be able to finish the Wilson Trail on the said day. Our Support Team was at the Finish Line of the Wilson Trail at 5:00 PM January 26, 2020 with the hope that Thomas would finish within one hour. However, we waited for almost 3 hours for Thomas to arrive still smiling, happy and strong as he was ranked as the 9th runner at this point. Thomas arrived at 8:06 PM on the second day of the event. He finished the Wilson Trail in 18:30 hours.

Thomas arrival at the end of Wilson Trail (@ Stanley Gap Road) was very remarkable and surprising as he improved his time by 13+ hours as compared to last year. We immediately boarded a waiting Taxi for the 20-minute ride to the Bus Station on Shek O Road as the starting line of the 50-kilometer Hong Kong Trail. We “forced” Thomas again to sleep during the duration of our Taxi ride which he did. At the Shek O Road, we were met by Paper, the wife of Andre; Andre; Tomokazu Ihara; and Christian Viloria, a Pinoy OFW in Hongkong. We immediately set-up our “pit stop” for Thomas for him to re-charge his nutrition/hydration; rest; and change his running attire for more layering to fight the coldness in the mountains. At this point, the NHK TV Reporter and crew took a video of Thomas while he was eating and resting. The TV reporter was interested on the food prepared by his support team. Christian’s fried “tuyo” (dried sardines) and our Pork Adobo and Sinigang Na Ulo Ng Salmon were the “center of attraction” on Thomas’ food in the video and interview. Finally, Thomas left the Shek O Road at 9:05 PM after much encouragement and motivation from us and Tomokazu as he was his “classmate” in last year’s edition.

Thomas Before The Finish Line @ Hong Kong Trail

Based from Thomas performance last year, we estimated that he could finish the Hong Kong Trail in less than 9 hours and that we will be able to catch-up and ride the 7:00 AM Ferry Boat ride from the Central Pier to Lantau Island. But by looking on his Tracker, we estimated that he would arrive at the end of the Hong Kong Trail at 8:00 AM on the third day. We arrived at the Victoria Peak at 7:30 AM and the place was windy and cold. It seems that we were experiencing a freezing temperature being exposed outside the building and standing in the open/exposed park/space at The Peak. I decided to jog the last one or two kilometers before the Finish Line to meet Thomas and at the same time warn the members of his Support Team that he was arriving in a few minutes. At 1.6 kilometers from the Finish Line, Thomas was approaching, hiking and looked very cold but still in good spirits to finish the race. He had his fingers on both hands locked with one another with his palms pressed against his chest. He was trying to keep his body warm even if he was wearing his Salomon Waterproof Jacket. I jogged ahead of him by 50 meters and finally led him to the waiting Taxi with our Support Team. Finally, Thomas reached the Finish Line of the Hong Kong Trail at 8:42 AM on the third day, January 27. Thomas finished the Hong Kong Trail (50K) in 11:30+hours which is 3 hours slower than his time last year. He told me that the freezing wind temperature, sleep deprivation, the darkness along the trail and a bout of “acid reflux” had slowed him. He even had experience of “hallucination moments” with the rocks along the trail as talking tortoises only to realize that he was talking to the rocks around. 

Within the short 15-minute Taxi ride From Victoria Peak to the Central Pier, Thomas was able to eat “Lugaw” (Rice Porridge With Chicken) and Drink Hot Coffee and then took a nap. Five minutes before the Ferry Boat would depart for Lantau, we were running to board the boat and was able to ride in it. As the boat started leaving the Pier, Thomas was already sleeping for the 50-minute ride to the last leg of the event, the Lantau 70K Trail. We took the 9:00 AM Ferry Boat ride which was the slow one but the longer trip gave much time for Thomas to sleep. The fare was half the price of the faster craft but we did not complain as we estimated that Thomas would not be able to finish the event within the cut-off time of 60 hours.

Thomas @ The “Pit Stop” Before Lantau Trail

After the slow Ferry Boat ride, we established our “pit stop” under a tree near the McDonalds which is surrounded with steel seats. We bought Hamburger and Coffee which Thomas requested to eat and drink before starting the Lantau Trail. We refilled his hydration pack with water and food and he changed his attire and loaded some extra windbreaker and shirt in his pack. When he was ready, I accompanied him to the trailhead which is about 300 meters away from the Pier. Photo Guava, one of the Official Photographers of the Event, was also there to take pictures of Thomas and wished him “Good Luck”. Thomas started the Lantau Trail Leg at 10:25 AM of January 27, on the third day of the event. We estimated that he could finish the Lantau Trail at 1:00 AM on the fourth day, January 28,  which is about 15 hours of elapsed time. We returned to Hongkong where we were staying and monitored the movement of Thomas through the RaceMap App. 

We returned to Lantau Island aboard the last Ferry Boat trip at 10:20 PM to wait for the arrival of Thomas as a “Survivor” of the event. We boarded the Fast Ferry Boat and we arrived at 11:00 PM and tried to stay at the Silver Mine Bay Pier in Mui Wo to protect us from the freezing wind coming from the sea and the mountains. We looked for seats in the area and tried to get inside the telephone booths for a warmer air. Sometimes, we would go to the Public Rest Room for a warmer air and later went inside the 7-11 Store for food and drinks and we were allowed to stay at the 2nd floor of the store. Lastly, we were invited to stay at the heated Lantau Basecamp Sports Store where we monitored the movement of Thomas through the Racemap App. Jurg, the husband of Irene Montemayor, tried to join us at the finish line at the Hongkong Trail as he was our Main Support during Thomas first attempt last year but he was not able to catch-up with us at the Victoria Peak. He told us that he will be joining us in our Ferry Ride back to Lantau and cheer for the arrival of Thomas. At 1:00 AM, we were confident that Thomas will be arriving as the 9th Runner and the 2nd “Survivor” to arrive at the Finish Line.

After cresting the highest peak of the trail, Lantau Peak, on the last 15 kilometers, Thomas was passed by Lady Runner Virginie while he was sleeping in one of the Pagodas/Rest Areas. Virginie tried to help Thomas by giving him her “space blanket” to wrap his head and she even called the RD about the situation of Thomas. Thomas was freezing due to the strong cold winds at the Lantau Peak and after the peak, he took a brief nap while he was sitting with his back leaned on one of the posts of the Pagoda but he was surprised to wake up lying on the floor when he heard the voice of Virginie calling the RD on the phone. Virginie and Thomas had been running together before the Lantau Peak but Thomas went ahead of her until he was seen as sleeping on the floor of the Pagoda. Jurg and I tried to locate Thomas by boarding a Taxi to check on him on the said Pagoda after we received the recorded voice call of Virginie from the RD. However, when we saw that Thomas had moved on the Racemap App, we turned around and went back to the Finish Line. In a few minutes, Virginie reached the Finish Line at 5:30 AM on the fourth day and we were confident that Thomas would be the next runner to finish.

RD Andre, Tomo, and I were waiting for Thomas at the roundabout as we could see him going down the road on his last 100 meters to the Finish Line. After a few minutes of conversation, Andre and Tomo walked on the uphill road to locate Thomas and Tomo was shouting his name! After few minutes, RD Andre and Tomo shouted to us that Thomas was coming. Thomas reached the Green Mail Post at Mui Wo at 5:50 AM on the fourth day, January 28 as the 10th runner overall and the 3rd “Survivor” of the Event. Thomas finished the Lantau Trail in 17:25 hours. In total, Thomas finished the 9th Hong Kong Four Trails Ultra Challenge in 68:50 hours and declared as a “Survivor”.

Thomas Showing His PAU Shirt @ Finish Line (Picture By Alan Li)

In summary, Thomas finished the following Hong Kong Trails with these times:

MacLehose Trail (100K)—15:04 Hours (Cut-Off Time of 18 Hours)

Wilson Trail (78K)—18:30 Hours

Hong Kong Trail (50 Kilometers)—11:30+Hours 

Lantau Trail (70 Kilometers)—17:25 Hours

Almost 9 hours were spent in his transitions from one trail to another and his rests along the trails.

Out of the 33 Participants, 7 were declared as Finishers, 5 were declared as Survivors and 21 were declared as Retirees. Thomas is now one of the 49 Finishers & Survivors of this event since its birth nine years ago.  

The State of Ultra Running 2020


This study was made by RunRepeat.com and the International Association of Ultrarunner (IAU). This is an excerpts from the said study. You can read the whole article here.

In this study, we explore the trends in ultra running over the last 23 years. We have analyzed 5,010,730 results from 15,451 ultra running events, making this the largest study ever done on the sport. 

Key results

  • Female ultra runners are faster than male ultra runners at distances over 195 miles. The longer the distance the shorter the gender pace gap. In 5Ks men run 17.9% faster than women, at marathon distance the difference is just 11.1%, 100-mile races see the difference shrink to just .25%, and above 195 miles, women are actually 0.6% faster than men.
  • Participation has increased by 1676% in the last 23 years from 34,401 to 611,098 yearly participations and 345% in the last 10 years from 137,234 to 611,098. There have never been more ultra runners.
  • More ultra runners are competing in multiple events per year. In 1996, only 14% of runners participated in multiple races a year, now 41% of participants run more than one event per year. There is also a significant increase in the % of people who run 2 races a year, 17.2% (from 7.7% to 24.9%) and 3 races, 6.7% (from 2.8% to 9.5%). 
  • There have never been more women in ultrarunning. 23% of participants are female, compared to just 14% 23 years ago. 
  • Ultra runners have never been slower across distance, gender and age group. The average pace in 1996 was 11:35 min/mile, currently, it is 13:16 min/mile. The average runner has added 1:41 min/mile to their average pace, which is a slowdown of 15% since 1996. We don’t believe that individual runners have become slower, but that these distances are attracting less prepared runners now because the sport is more mainstream.
  • Runners improve their pace in their first 20 races, and then their pace stabilizes. From their first to their second race runners improve by 0:17 min/mile (2%) on average. But by their 20th they improve by 1:45 min/mile (12.3%).
  • The fastest ultra running nations are South Africa (average pace 10:36 min/mile), Sweden (11:56 min/mile), and Germany (12:01 min/mile). 
  • A record amount of people travel abroad for ultra running events. 10.3% of people travel abroad to run an ultra, for 5Ks this percentage is just 0.2%.
  • Runners in the longer distances have a better pace than the runners in the shorter distances for each age group. 
  • All age groups have a similar pace, around 14:40 min/mile. Which is unusual compared to the past and to other distances. 
  • The average age of ultra runners has decreased by 1 year in the last 10 years. It has changed from 43.3 years to 42.3 years. 
  • Ultra runners are getting more engaged – the average number of ultras per year has increased from 1.3 to 1.7 over the last 23 years.

Based from the “Key Results” of this study, I would like state my opinion and observations on the following:

  1. Participation has increased by 1,676% in the last 23 years from 34,401 to 611,098 yearly participation and 345%in the last 10 years from 137,234 to 611,098: Within this period in 2009, the Philippines had its contribution of an event in the ultramarathon community with the introduction of the First Edition of the Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race. I can safely say that this was the first Ultramarathon Race in the country in the 21st century (from the year 2000 and beyond). It is also the First “Point-to-Point” Ultramarathon Event in Asia. Through the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU) and endorsement of PATAFA in 2010, the Philippines was the 6th ASIAN country to be accepted and sanctioned with the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU). PAU is also considered as the FIRST ASEAN Ultramarathon Federation to be a member of the IAU. The BDM 102 Ultra had “sparked” the popularity trend of ultramarathon events in the country as more events were organized by individual persons in almost all regions in the country in the coming years. Trail Ultras had also expanded in the country with runners trying to get ITRA points for possible entry to the UTMB Races. However, in this report/study, I can only see Malaysia as the only South East Asian country that is included among the Top 20 countries that has the most number of ultra marathon runners. I wonder why? With Malaysia’s population of 32.7 Million against the Philippines’ population of 109 Million? With more Ultra Races here in the Philippines than Malaysia? Maybe, this is a good start for somebody in the country to document and collate all the ultramarathon events and number of participants in every event in the country. I am not saying that we should be included in the Top 20 countries of Ultra Marathoners but we have the potential to be a future contender in the said list if we just cooperate and be united among ourselves.
  2. Local Ultra Marathon Runners Have The Tendency To Run More Ultra Races Every Year: With more Ultra Race Organizers “sprouting” all over the country, runners are enticed to join these races and taste what it is like to finish an ultramarathon race. But what I’ve have observed is the loose consideration and “comfort-oriented” prescribed cut-off times of these races. In Japan, the average cut-off time for their 100K Road Ultra is 14 hours and 8 hours for the 50K. For the BDM 102K, due to the heat and prevailing weather, the cut-off time is 18 hours and for my 50K PAU Events is 9 hours. For the PAU 100-Mile Road Races, it is pegged at 32 Hours. For longer distances, a PAU runner must be able to cover an average distance of 5 kilometers every hour. All these Cut-Off Times for my races are way below and slower than the cut-off times of Japan’s Road Race’s COTs. I can not speak well about the other Road Races in the country and their respective COTs. (Note: In almost all my Races at PAU and BR’s Events, I use myself as the “gauge” to determine a decent COT for the distance as I run my events first before making it as an Ultra Marathon Event for the Public)
  3. More of our Local Ultra Marathon Runners Are Satisfied With Just Finishing: This is the reason why our Average and Competitive Ultra Marathon Runners could barely finish the Races in International Events. This is a question of having so many Ultra Races but not having Quality Finishers with the goal to level-up or be at par in International Standards in Ultra Marathon. I consider myself as one of the “back-packers” and one of the last runners to finish within the COT in International Races but considering my age of almost 68 years old, I still consider myself as a good quality Ultra Marathon Runner. I have yet to see a Filipino Ultra Marathon Runner who will land as Podium Finisher in the Badwater 145-Mile Endurance Race (with due respect to those Pinoys who have finished this tough race); a Silver Buckle Awardee in the WSER 100-Mile; a Podium Finisher in the Spartathlon; Podium Finisher in the Leadville 100 & Hardrock 100, and a Top 10 in the UTMB.
  4. Fastest Countries In Average Pace: South Africa in 10:36 minutes per mile is the fastest; Sweden is second in 11:56 minutes per mile; Germany is third in 12:01 minutes per mile; and Malaysia in 20th rank in 15:55 minutes per mile. Based from the yearly results of the BDM 102K Ultra, I can safely say that the Average Finish Time is between 16-17 hours (with a COT of 18 hours). Using this as a baseline, an Average Local Runner who finished the BDM 102 is just a few seconds slower than the Malaysians. Positively speaking, we could be in the 21st or 22nd rank! (I can only speak for my PAU Races as I know that most of the other races have slower COTs).

For the meantime, these are the only observations and conclusions/opinions that I can think of as related to this study. I hope that in the next period of study (within 5 or 10 years), the Philippines will be in the List of Top 20 Countries in the Ultra Marathon Community. Let us strive more to be positive. And let us unite our efforts in this sports.

Official Logos Of PAU & IAU

 

Official Result: 8th Fort Magsaysay To Dingalan 65K Ultramarathon Race


8th Fort Magsaysay To Dingalan 65K Ultramarathon Race

3:00 AM-3:00 PM November 11, 2018/Cut-Off Time: 12 Hours

Starting Line: Headquarters 7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City

Fine Line: Sitio Tanguige, Barangay Aplaya, Dingalan, Aurora

Number of Starters: 7 Runners

Number of Finishers: 7 Runners

Percentage of Finish: 100%

RANK         NAME                TIME (Hrs)

  1. Gibo Malvar (Overall Champion) —7:48:30
  2. Ralph Louie Jacinto (1st Runner-Up, Male) —8:17:29
  3. Dixie Sagusay (Female Champion) —9:50:58
  4. Jonas Olandria (2nd Runner-Up, Male) —11:26:57
  5. Reque Angway —11:30:11
  6. Rowena Tan (1st Runner-Up, Female) —11:46:16
  7. Isagani Zuniga —11:46:17
Gibo Malvar, Overall Champion
Dixie Sagusay, Female Champion

Congratulations! See you next year!

Pictures: https://web.facebook.com/baldrunner/media_set?set=a.10216625885653249&type=3

Official Result: 5th WEST COAST 200K Ultra Marathon Race


5th WEST COAST 200K Ultra Marathon Race

5:00 AM August 19, 2017 To 5:00 AM August 21, 2017

Starting Line: Remy Oval Track, Subic Freeport, Olongapo City

Finish Line: Barangay Lucap, Alaminos City (Pangasinan)

Cut-Off Time: 48 Hours

Number of Starters: 29 Runners

Number of Finishers: 28 Runners

Percentage of Finish: 96.5%

2017 West Coast Start
Group Picture @ Starting Area

RANK       NAME                  TIME (Hrs)

  1. Rolando Espina (Overall Champion & New Course Record) — 26:45:18
  2. Thomas Combisen (1st Runner-Up, Overall & New Course Record) — 29:08:58
  3. Ian Piza (2nd Runner-Up, Overall) —- 32:27:55
  4. Remedios Barcelo (Female Champion & New Female Course Record) — 35:13:45
  5. Badong Sietereales —– 35:40:55
  6. Rod Losabia —- 37:23:17
  7. Ryan Fabie —- 37:27:22
  8. Jonathan Moleta —- 38:01:23
  9. Frederick Peñelosa —- 39:08:36
  10. Aldrin Pallera —- 39:16:52
  11. Gibo Malvar —- 40:46:35
  12. Engelbert Pantig —- 41:00:41
  13. Tess Leono (1st Runner-Up, Female) —- 41:04:12
  14. Khris Calleon —- 41:52:17
  15. Gammy Tayao —- 43:41:13
  16. Richard Gano —- 44:29:10
  17. Jeff Velasco —- 46:21:39
  18. Vicente Zapanta —- 46:24:35
  19. Kathleen Piñero (2nd Runner-Up, Female) —- 46:27:25
  20. Laico Tolentino —- 46:28:54
  21. Isagani Zuñiga —- 47:11:58
  22. Elmar Casaway —- 47:15:41
  23. Tina Andaya (Female) —- 47:16:45
  24. Jonathan Baysa —- 47:16:45
  25. Avin Sauler —- 47:19:40
  26. Mick Teaño De Jesus —- 47:24:17
  27. Kerwin Ng —- 47:28:11
  28. Reese Rogel (Female) —- 47:36:50
2017 West Coast Champ
Overall Champion & New Course Record Holder Rolando Espina
2017 West Coast Female Champ
Female Champion & New Female Course Record Holder Remedies Barcelo

Congratulations To All The Finishers!

Final Instructions: 4th Fort Magsaysay To Dingalan 65K Ultra Run


1. Due to military-related activities in Fort Magsaysay scheduled for the weekend, all the Transient Facilities inside the Camp, to include the Special Forces Regiment and SOCOM Transient Facilities are FULL. However, runners who would like to spend Saturday night within the vicinity of Fort Magsaysay, they can avail of the hotels and commercial transient facilities in Santa Rosa-Cabanatuan City area. Most of these hotels are located along the Maharlika Highway. For those who choose to arrive early in the camp and rest inside their respective Support Vehicle, they can park their vehicle at the back of the 7th Infantry Division Headquarters and . Parking of Vehicles in front of the Headquarters Building is strictly prohibited. All the other roads surrounding the Headquarters Area is available for Parking.

Intersection Philippine Coast Guard/Pier And Umiray Road
Intersection Philippine Coast Guard/Pier And Umiray Road

2. The race will end on the shore of the Pacific Ocean at Purok Tanguige, Barangay Aplaya, Dingalan, Aurora. From the usual finish line at GINA’s Resort, follow the highway that is descending towards the Poblacion of Dingalan, Aurora. Runners would be able to pass the short section of commercial establishments and follow the road that leads to the Philippine Coast Guard/Dingalan Pier. Runners have to TURN RIGHT once they reach an intersection with a PETRON Gasoline Station on the right and a tarpaulin with an Iglesia Ni Cristo 100th Anniversary hanging across the said Gas Station. The road leads to Barangay Umiray.

Turn Left On This Alley With The Sign "Purok Tanguige"
Turn Left On This Alley With The Sign “Purok Tanguige”

3. From the road leading to Umiray, turn left on an alley which is a paved path, about 400 meters away from the PETRON Gas Station, good for one vehicle which is marked with PUROK TANGUIGE. Runner would see the seashore and the Finish Line will be few meters before the beach. On your right will be the Seaside Restaurant where lunch will be served and for the runners can have their shower.

Pacific Ocean's Open Water Swimming Pool
Pacific Ocean’s Open Water Swimming Pool

4. Warning for those Runners with Support Vehicle. There is a limited parking space along the shore and vicinity of the Seaside Restaurant. Runners should advise their support driver/crew to park along the road leading to Umiray. The road is safe with few vehicles passing in the area and with the Barangay Hall within the vicinity.

5. The 65-Kilometer distance will be short by about 500 meters. As I don’t want each of the runner to make an additional distance along the Umiray Road and somewhere have a U-turn back to Purok Tanguige, this arrangement might result to some confusion, most specially when the runner is thinking of a cold beer waiting for him once he crosses the Finish Line. Just reserve that lacking 500 meters for your open water swim on the shore of the Pacific Ocean once you cross the Finish Line!

Good luck and see you at the Starting Line!

Official Result: 1st Tagaytay To Naic 100K Ultra Marathon Race (T2N100K)


1st Tagaytay To Naic 100K Ultra Marathon Race (Road)

1:00 AM May 11, 2014

Starting Line: Picnic Grove, Tagaytay City

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

Number Of Starters: 35

Number Of Finishers: 27

PAU LOGO
PAU LOGO

RANK NAME TIME (HRS)
1 Alfred Delos Reyes (Champion, Course Record) 13:25:01
2 Eric Cruz (1st Runner-Up, Overall) 13:48:31
3 Simon Pavel Miranda (2nd Runner-Up, Overall) 14:09:32
4 Aldrin Pallera 15:30:45
5 Michael Dauz 15:58:18
6 Laurencio Ogerio 16:12:01
7 Irrol Novenario 16:25:30
8 Lurvin Ocampo 16:27:28
9 Erwin Tolentino 16:44:40
10 Archie Tiu Gascon 16:45:50
11 Bing Baltazar Brillo 16:49:50
12 Benedict Meneses 17:02:34
13 Allan Sabado 17:30:16
14 Loradel Hanopol (Champion, Female) 17:32:57
15 Mel Severino 17:41:25
16 Herbert Puyat 17:53:27
17 Mary Grace Lao (1st Runner-Up, Female) 17:59:08
18 Jerome Paulo Castro 19:18:18
19 Inocencio Rosario, Jr 19:20:18
20 Carlos Sadalsund 19:20:19
21 Isabelo Estacion 19:20:30
22 Nap Ocampo 19:41:40
23 Merlito Mallari 20:21:25
24 Laurice Rogel (2nd Runner-Up, Female) 20:21:26
25 Ciriaco Manalansan 20:21:27
26 Joseph Balbino 20:21:28
27 Mark Capistrano 20:22:07

Congratulations To All The Finishers!

Pictures By Epoy Poblete: https://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.d.poblete/media_set?set=a.605950859501111.1073741851.100002586082721&type=1

2013 PAU Grand Slam Award


On the first quarter of last year, 2013, I came up with an award for ultra runners to look forward to and try for them to challenge themselves. I shared my idea with my ultra friends and on Facebook and I forgot to write about it in my blog. So, let me explain the concept and details about this special award among ultra runners.

As I copied the concept from the US Grand Slam of Ultrarunning Award which consists of four (4) famous 100-Mile Trail Races which are done within a period of four months, the PAU Grand Slam Award also consists of four races—two 100-mile road races; one 100-mile trail race; and a 200K single stage run. To be specific, they are: Bataan Death March 160K Ultra Marathon Race which is done in the month of January; Antique 100-Mile Ultra Marathon Race which was held in October; West Coast 200K Ultra Marathon Race in the month of November; and Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Run in the month of December.

A Silver Buckle is being awarded to each of the Finisher of these 4 ultra marathon races. A runners who finishes the 4 races shall be awarded with the PAU Grand Slam Award/Trophy.

Since I just made the announcement of my concept to my close ultra running friends after the conduct of the Bataan Death March 160K Ultra Marathon Race (BDM 160), I told them that if they were not able to join the said race event, they can still have a chance to complete the four (4) races if they finish the next year’s edition of BDM 160.

I took the risk of coming up with the Single Stage of the West Coast 200 Ultra Marathon after a successful 3-day stage race on its first edition. I had to go also to Antique on the first week of May last year in order to run the whole distance from San Jose De Buenavista in Antique to Caticlan, Malay, Aklan with a total distance of 166 kilometers. It did not matter whether I have only 5 or 10 runner-starters on these two new races. What matters most was to be able to try and find out the response from my ultra friends.

To my surprise, I got positive response and encouragements from the runners and I got full support from them. And the whole concept of the 1st PAU Grand Slam Award was implemented. And everything is already history.

During the 2014 Bataan Death March 102K & 160K Ultra Marathon Races’ Awarding Ceremony and Philippine Association of Ultrarunners’ (PAU) Recognition Party, I have awarded the 1st PAU Grand Slam Award/Trophy to the following ultra runners:

1. Graciano Santos

2. Ronnel Go

3. Raffy Gabotero

4. Anthony Mark Alindada

5. Wilnar Iglesia

6. Meljohn Tezon

7. Glairold Recella

8. Elmar Bob Tolete

9. Benedict Meneses

10. Yob Red

Congratulations to these First Awardees of the 1st PAU Grand Slam Award!

For the year 2014, the PAU Grand Slam Award will start with the Antique 100-Mile Endurance Run in September; West Coast 200 in November; Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Run in December; and the last race will be the Bataan Death March 160K Ultra Marathon Race in January 2015.

PAU Grand Slam Award/Trophy (Courtesy of Ronnel Go)
PAU Grand Slam Award/Trophy (Courtesy of Ronnel Go)
BR & 9 PAU Grand Slam Awardees. Raffy Gabotero was not in the picture. (Photo Courtesy of Bong Alindada)
BR & 9 PAU Grand Slam Awardees. Raffy Gabotero was not in the picture. (Photo Courtesy of Bong Alindada)

Result: PAU Fort Magsaysay 60K Ultra Run


The following is the Official Result of the PAU Fort Magsaysay 60K Ultra Road Race from Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City to Dingalan, Aurora on July 16, 2011.

Rank Name Time Points
1 Dick Balaba 6:25:46 60
2 Junrox Roque Jr 6:32:11 59.08
3 Gene Olvis 6:36:02 58.45
4 Alfred De Los Reyes 7:04:58 54.49
5 Jose Duenas 7:08:47 54.03
6 Tina Narvaez (F) 7:16:51 53
7 Bert Camangonan 7:21:25 52.43
8 Chito Vegim 7:37:28 50.6
9 Deo Jaravata 7:41:59 50.1
10 Salvador Castilla Jr 7:47:33 49.52
11 Randy Rubio 7:51:44 49.08
12 Magno Rafael Gabotero 7:52:36 49.02
13 Jerome Bautista 7:54:18 48.81
14 Graciano Santos Jr 7:54:37 48.77
15 Simon Favel Miranda 7:55:01 48.73
16 Jonel Mendoza 7:59:37 48.26
17 Keshia Fule (F) 8:02:57 47.92
18 Elmer Tolete 8:07:11 47.51
19 Paolo Osmena 8:07:39 47.46
20 Frederick Quitiquit 8:13:33 46.9
21 Carlos De Los Santos 8:21:04 46.19
22 Ronnel Go 8:23:40 45.96
23 Junn Besana 8:27:49 45.58
24 Allan Martos 8:37:13 44.75
25 Roberto De Los Santos 8:37:25 44.74
26 Victor Verry 8:41:43 44.37
27 Gil Brazil 8:42:17 44.32
28 Allen Gaspar 8:52:30 43.47
29 Christian Oting 8:52:50 43.44
30 Jose Cando 8:56:50 43.12
31 Jael Wenceslao 8:56:52 43.1
32 Emerson Sto. Domingo 9:03:21 42.6
33 Kharl Ocampo 9:05:44 42.41
34 Ceasar Aquino 9:05:57 42.4
35 Bong Bernadez 9:08:11 42.22
36 Kokoy Delmo 9:08:12 42.21
37 Ferdie Cabiling 9:10:07 42.07
38 David Buban 9:15:25 41.68
39 Rodel Montejo 9:15:34 41.66
40 Jose Lorenzo Mina 9:15:40 41.65
41 Wilfredo Parcon 9:16:00 41.63
42 Jerome Aragones 9:16:17 41.61
43 Arnel Vizmonte 9:16:47 41.57
44 Nuestro Arman Garcia 9:17:54 41.49
45 Camilo Paran Jr 9:18:10 41.47
46 Julius Savella 9:19:32 41.37
47 Chaps Grande 9:24:31 41
48 Mel Severino 9:25:27 40.93
49 Chito Carrion 9:26:01 40.89
50 Emilio Hulipas 9:28:00 40.75
51 Edward Villareal 9:29:54 40.61
52 Irene Ong (F) 9:30:08 40.6
53 Mac Millan 9:31:26 40.51
54 Vans Camano 9:32:13 40.45
55 Ricardo Cabusao Jr 9:33:59 40.33
56 George Dolores 9:34:06 40.32
57 Anthony Alindada 9:35:37 40.21
58 Junar Layug 9:36:41 40.14
59 Camilo Kagaoan Jr 9:38:48 39.99
60 Fernando Sy Jr 9:38:48 39.99
61 Steve Paul Dumlao 9:40:33 39.87
62 Julius Cervantes 9:43:54 39.64
63 Francis Frio 9:52:17 39.08
64 Ronel Gallardo 10:01:01 38.54
65 June Villamor 10:01:04 38.52
66 Randy Racho 10:01:05 38.51
67 Alladin Cordero 10:01:32 38.5
68 Nelson Anthony Malillim 10:01:39 38.48
69 Cesar Abarientos 10:02:35 38.41
70 Rod Apolinario 10:03:29 38.35
71 Gaphet Grande 10:05:42 38.21
72 Art Virata 10:06:46 38.15
73 Ofelia Lorete (F) 10:07:45 38.1
74 Jake Pescador 10:08:27 38.04
75 Bee Yen Soberano 10:10:08 37.94
76 Bart Torralba 10:13:09 37.75
77 Vic Topacio 10:13:18 37.74
78 Alex Jonesy Jones 10:13:19 37.74
79 Michael Joseph Ko 10:15:37 37.6
80 Ronald Illana 10:17:35 37.48
81 Marvin Pangan 10:22:41 37.17
82 Mar Marilag 10:27:08 36.91
83 Ed Escalante 10:33:21 36.55
84 Wesley Orana 10:37:36 36.3
85 Janus Ajusto 10:39:11 36.21
86 Carmeli Ortega (F) 10:40:50 36.12
87 Erlinda Pamesa 10:42:40 36.02
88 Larry Daliwag 10:42:42 36.01
89 Nap Ocampo Jr 10:42:45 36
90 Ronel Espinoza 10:43:12 35.98
91 Harold Lorete 10:43:47 35.95
92 Joseph Ligot 10:44:01 35.94
93 Sherwin Botabara 10:46:02 35.83
94 Andy Joshua Oting 10:49:05 35.66
95 Jerome Jamili 10:51:28 35.53
96 Marco Christopher Montaos 10:52:55 35.45
97 Jonly Sabaricos 10:53:50 35.4
98 Sammy Delena 10:54:10 35.38
99 Emil Perez 10:56:34 35.25
100 Carlo Serrano 10:56:38 35.24
101 Eric Caramay 10:56:55 35.23
Finishers After Cut-Off Time
102 Vince Rodriguez 11:21:16
103 Garry Garcia 11:24:48
104 John Paul Bautista 11:25:53
105 Zaldy Santillan 11:43:14
106 Mark David Aquino 12:53:10
107 Ellen Castillo (F) 12:55:46
108 Brandy Simbe 13:22:18
109 Dindo Magallanes 14:19:30

Update: PAU Fort Magsaysay 60K Run


Update: PAU Fort Magsaysay 60K Run (July 16, 2011)

This is the 2nd PAU Race for the year (2011) and it will start at the 7th Infantry Division Headquarters of the Philippine Army inside Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City (Nueva Ecija) at 5:00 AM of July 16, 2011. The Assembly Time will be at 4:00 AM and Race Bibs will be distributed to the registered runners during this period before finally starting race.

There are 223 applicants to this race as listed in the PAU Races’ site at http://pauraces.blogspot.com and acceptance of application had been CLOSED since the last week of May 2011. We are expecting 223 runners who will finally register to run the said race. If ever there are slots to be vacated (from the 223 slots) due to non-registration of applicants, such slots could be filled-up with late registrants before the start of the race.

Registration and payment of registration fee can be done at the A Runner’s Circle Store located at Aloha Hotel, Roxas Boulevard, Manila or simply deposit the registration fee of Nine Hundred Pesos Only (P 900.00) to LANDBANK Savings Account # 1686-0795-85 and keep the deposit receipt for confirmation of your payment. Bring your deposit slip and present it to our staff to claim your Race Bib on Race Day. Deadline of Registration/Payment of Registration Fee is July 13, 2011 or before the Closing Time of the ARC Store on the said date.

There will be no late registration on Race Day (if all the 223 applicants had registered and paid their registration fees).

Starting Area of the 60K Run (7th ID Headquarters)

Rules and Regulations of the Race:

1. The race will start on or before 5:00 AM of July 16, 2011.

2. There will be No Aid Stations along the route. Runners are “self-supported” in this race. Runners may bring their respective support vehicle and/or support crew. Support vehicles should always “leap-frog” their runner/s. Support Vehicle shadowing their runner/s is strictly not allowed. Reports of such incident will be a ground for disqualification from the race. Support Vehicle must always park on the right shoulder of the road.

3. Pacers are not allowed in this race. Support crew will be there to simply hand in the needs of the runner-participant or help/assist on the needs of the runner. Support crew are not “mules” for the runner-participant.

4. Runners without any support vehicle can run the race on “self-support” and they are allowed to ask assistance from other runners. The route has a lot of local convenience stores and eateries but they have to pay for their own needs.

5. Runners are advised to run on the left side of the road, however, they could also have the option to run on the right side. Stay safe and be observant on your surroundings while running.

6. There will be no restrictions on the use of earphones and “wires” attached to the runner. However, the volume of such earphones should be set on a lower tone for the runner to still hear what is happening to his/her surroundings.

7. Strictly, “bandits” will not be allowed in this race.

8. Race Bib should be displayed in front of the runner’s shirt or shorts. Runners who are using race belts must be always aware that their race bib is always on the front. There will be “secret marshals” who will be listing your number on different locations along the route.

9. If possible, runners must be on “single-file” or two runners abreast, if there is no incoming traffic on the road. Personal discretion and judgement are needed on how a group of runners run along the route. Safety is the foremost consideration on this race.

10. Cut-off time for the 60K Run is 9 hours. The Official Finishers of this race should be able to cross the Finish Line on or before 2:00 PM of the same day.Finish Line will be at the View Deck at Dingalan, Aurora, specifically at the vicinity of the GINA’s Restaurant & Resort.

11. Official Finishers will receive Finisher’s Medal, Finisher’s T-Shirt, and Finisher’s Certificate.

Finish Line Area in Dingalan, Aurora (GINA's Place & Resort)
Finish Line Area @ GINA's Place & Resort In Dingalan, Aurora

12. There will be Medical Team/s and Ambulance/s deployed along the route. However, runners must bring with them basic First Aid Kit as a “stop-gap” measure on the brief period before the arrival of the Medical Team.

13. Do not look for portalets along the route! There is a vast space of vegetated areas and tracts of land along the route and they need “fertilizer”. Make sure you are covered or hidden by the terrain or trees during these “spraying” and “depositing” moments.

14. In case of emergency and other incident reports to be relayed to the Race Director, calls and/or text messages shall be sent to this number—0918-910-0825. Sender must be able to identify himself/herself if message is sent through SMS.

15. The integrity of the race shall be maintained. Reports of cheating will be investigated immediately and runner/s involved shall be disqualified from the race and future races of the Bald Runner’s Events Management and PAU Races. Runners are deputized to report acts of cheating and/or violation of the race’s rules and regulations.

16. If you are new in ultra marathon and this is your first ultra road race, be prepared to submit a copy of a Medical Certificate or a Doctor’s Certificate stating therein that you are capable of participating in any endurance sports like long distance running and that you don’t have any heart-related ailments. Such Certificate shall be submitted to our Staff at the Starting Area.

17. It is the personal responsibility of each runner to arrange for his/her trip/travel arrangement or itinerary to the venue of the activity and lodging accommodation before and after the race.

Last reminder: We always maintain our signature/reputation of starting the race ON or BEFORE the scheduled start time. Arrive at the Race Venue ahead of time.

“NO WHINING IN ULTRA RACES”…GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!!!!