Pinoy Runners Finish Badwater 135-Mile Ultra Marathon, “World’s Toughest Running Event”

25 07 2016

Tess Leono, a Project Analyst of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and local resident of Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila finished the prestigious Badwater 135-Mile Ultra Marathon Race which starts from Badwater, California in the Death Valley National Park passing through three mountain ranges up to the Finish Line at Mt Whitney Portal which is considered as the highest mountain in the mainland USA. The race is popularly known as the “World’s Toughest Foot Race Event” because it starts at an elevation of 280 feet below sea level and finishes at an elevation of almost 8,300 feet above sea level. Runners would be able to tackle and pass three mountain ranges that would total a cumulative vertical ascent of 14,600 feet up to the Finish Line. Adding to the elevation, the prevailing temperature during summer in the area is 120-145 degrees Fahrenheit with gusty winds in the mountain ranges and sandstorms on the flatter areas.

This year’s 39th edition of the race was held on July 18-20, 2016 with 97 runners who were divided into 3 separate Starting Waves according to their past qualifying races. Tess Leono started the race with the First Wave at 8:00 PM of Monday, July 18 with 30+ other runners. The faster runners, 3rd Wave, started at 10:00 PM of the same day.

Badwater Tess Leono #22

Badwater Tess Leono #22

Tess Leono finished the race in 46:01:29 hours and ranked #82 among the 97 starters. The race has a cut-off time of 48 hours and checkpoints and time stations were located along the route which strictly impose intermediate cut-off times. Each runner-participant is equipped with Spot Satellite Tracker device showing their real-time location during the race which can be seen by everybody on the Internet.

The runners came from the different countries and from the different states in the US who were duly screened and invited to join the race. Most of these athletes are noted Ultrarunners, Triathletes, Adventure Runners, and Mountaineers. Runners from twenty (20) different countries were represented and the remaining runners represented twenty-seven (27) States from the US. Out of the 97 runners, 51 were Veterans/Repeaters and 46 were “first-timers” or rookies.

Tess Leono is one of the “first-timers” in this race which happens to be her first visit to Mainland USA. Her accomplishment in this race gives her the titles as the “First Local Filipino Runner” and “First Filipino Woman” to ever finish this prestigious race.

Tess In Action (Photo By Peach Poso)

Tess In Action (Photo By Peach Poso)

On the other hand, Gerald Tabios, another Filipino Ultra Runner residing in New York City also finished the race for the third consecutive times since 2014 where every edition he improves his finish time. He finished the race in 41:42:20 hours, an improvement of 40+ minutes, and ranked #61 out of the 97 starters. Gerald Tabios is from the Province of Bukidnon.

The Overall Champion in this year’s race is Pete Kostelnik of Nebraska, USA with a finish time of 21:56:32 hours registering a New Course Record for this race. He won the race in last year’s edition and finished it faster by almost one hour. In the women’s side, Venti Alyson of Barbados, USA won the Women’s Championship placing 5th Overall with a time of 25:53:07 hours. Out of the 97 starters, 13 runners were declared as DNFs due to fatigue, injury, and effects of the environment to them.

Team Leono (From Left, Rowell Ramos, Franco Soriano, Tess Leono, Peach Poso, & Ben Gaetos) Photo By Rowell Ramos

Team Leono At The Starting Line (From Left, Rowell Ramos, Franco Soriano, Tess Leono, Peach Poso, & Ben Gaetos) Photo By Rowell Ramos

Tess Leono started as an ultrarunner by joining the scheduled races of the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU) and the Bald Runner’s Events for the past three (3) years and her consistent performance as Lady Champion and Podium Finisher in these road & trail races earned her the PAU Runner Of The Year Award for two consecutive years (2014 & 2015). She is the only woman who have finished the PAU Grand Slam Races in one year (Antique 100-Mile Run; West Coast 200K Ultra Run; Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Run; and the Bataan Death March 160K Run). Last February of this year, she was declared as the Lady Champion in the yearly Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra Marathon Race. She submitted her finishes in these PAU Races as her qualifying races to join this year’s Badwater 135 Ultra Marathon Race.

Team Tess Leono At The Finish Line (Photo Courtesy of Rowell Ramos)

Team Tess Leono At The Finish Line (Photo Courtesy of Rowell Ramos)

Team Gerald Tabios (Photo Courtesy Of Donna Tabios)

Team Gerald Tabios At The Finish Line (Photo Courtesy Of Donna Tabios)

At the moment, Tess Leono is now resting and recovering from the said race. In an interview with her, she said that this race is so far the most challenging foot race that he joined and she is happy that she was able to push through despite her “down/low” moments along the route.

“I did not know why I tripped and fell down on the pavement on the downhill run from Townes Pass to Panamint Springs for two times that my Support Crew had to immediately treat my wounds on my hands and legs. I owe a lot from the support, care, and pacing provided by my Support Crew headed by Benjamin Gaetos”, she said.

Benjamin Gaetos, a Filipino Architect/Engineer residing in Los Angeles, California is the First Filipino to have finished this race in 2013. The other team members consisted of Western States 100-Mile Finisher Franco Soriano of Livermore, California, Rowell Ramos & Peachy Poso, both from Los Angeles, California. They are all accomplished ultra runners who have prepared and trained for this event.

Gerald Tabios Cheering & Handing The Philippine Flag 10 Miles To The Finish Line

Gerald Tabios Cheering & Handing The Philippine Flag  To Tess 10 Miles To The Finish Line

Tess also said that, “The hot temperature along the route was too much to bear as compared to the prevailing temperature in the Philippines during summer and the gusty winds on the peaks of the mountain ranges along the route was too strong that I had to slow down to a hiking pace”. In her statement, she was lucky that on the second night the temperature plunged to its lowest at 60 degrees Fahrenheit that she was able to recover and ran faster, however, she started to have colds as a result of the sudden change of temperature.

Knowing that her friends and running mates in the Philippines are rooting for her success, it was pure grit and determination that drove and motivated her to finish this race at all cost. “I will never forget my experience in joining this race as most of the runners who would pass me along the course would either stop or walk just to engage a conversation with me and try to encourage me with their positive advise of pushing through my pace up to the Finish Line. It is heartwarming that most of them would say that they will be waiting for me at the Finish Line and they really did! This is the reason why I love ultra running!”, she said.

The Filipino Pride: Badwater Tough Tess (Photo Courtesy of Ulysses Chan of Paksit Photos)

The Filipino Pride: Badwater Tough Tess (Photo Courtesy of Ulysses Chan of Paksit Photos)

Tess Leono made a history and she will be an inspiration for more Filipino ultra runners to shine in international competition.

After one day rest in Lone Pine, California, I asked if Tess Leono would be willing to return to improve her finish time and she said, “I need more training, more planning for my race logistics, apply the lessons I have learned, and find out if I can get more sponsors to support me, then I would be glad to return.”

In an interview by the Balitang Pinoy of ABS-CBN California with the President of the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU), the National Sports Federation on Ultrarunning in the country, Major General Jovenal D Narcise AFP (Ret), he said that, “After 7 years of patience and consistency in conducting ultrarunning races in the country, it is now proven that our runners could compete in international races and that would give pride and inspiration to the whole nation and we have our first woman finisher in the Badwater 135 Ultra Marathon”. He also added that, “With this accomplishment and participation of our runners with other countries, hopefully, the government will have the heart and political will to provide “all-out” support to our athletes/runners in this kind of sports”.

General Narcise is the Founder and Race Organizer & Director of the yearly “Bataan Death March 160K & 102K Ultra Marathon Races” which is tagged as the most prestigious Ultra Marathon Event in the country.

Team Leono With ABS-CBN's Balitang Pinoy & ARC's Joe Matias

Team Leono With ABS-CBN’s Balitang Pinoy & ARC’s Joe Matias (Black Shirt)





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!





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

19 04 2016

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

Mariveles Bagac 20

Bataan Death March Shrine In Mariveles, Bataan

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

Mariveles Bagac 19

Kilometer #1

Mariveles Bagac 18

Ricarte Street , Then Turn Left

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

Mariveles Bagac 17

 Turn Right On This Road

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

Mariveles Bagac 16

Bridge Under Construction

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

Mariveles Bagac 15

After The Bridge, Keep Right

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

Mariveles Bagac 14

Follow The Camaya Coast Sign

Mariveles Bagac 13

Camaya Coast Gate Keep Right

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

Mariveles Bagac 12

1st Kilometer Of Trail

Mariveles Bagac 11

At Kilometer 2-3 Along The Trail Road

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

Mariveles Bagac 10

First Intersection Keep Right

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

Mariveles Bagac 09

First Stream Crossing

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

Mariveles Bagac 07

Second Intersection, Keep Right

Mariveles Bagac 06

The View

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

Mariveles Bagac 05

Dusty Road Under Construction

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

Mariveles Bagac 03

2nd Stream/River Crossing

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

Mariveles Bagac 01

Km Post 161

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

Mariveles Bagac 00

Finish Line

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

Elevation Profile Mariveles Bagac

Elevation Profile From Km 0 To Km 45

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

Good luck to all the Runner-Participants!





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

11 04 2016

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

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

Cut-Off Time: 9 Hours

Number of Starters: 15 Runners

Number Of Finishers: 13 Runners

RANK                       NAME                           TIME (Hrs)

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

Overall Champion Armando Olan

Female Champion Rasette Pesuelo

Female Champion Rasette Pesuelo

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





Race Report: KOTM’s Four Lakes 100K Mountain Trail Race (Part 2)

7 04 2016

In about one month, I will turn to a 64-year old mountain trail runner and I have accepted the reality that I am getting old and about to retire from ultra mountain trail running with the hope to leave some legacy to the next generation of runners, most especially to the local ultra runners. I also accepted the fact that I am becoming the “cut-off time chaser” in all my past international ultra races. But for the past months, I improved on my nutrition strategy; more rest and recovery in my training; and getting smarter during races. And because of these reasons, I became more confident to finish the ultra races that I intended or scheduled to join this year. I guess, I might not retire in the near future after all.

I was surprised with my performance in last month’s Translantau 100K in Hongkong even if I was stopped at Km 90 due to severe weather conditions in the mountains. If only the race was not stopped by the Race Organizer, I would have improved my previous finish time last year by one hour or more. Instead of earning 3 UTMB Points, all of us who were stopped along the course were considered as Official Finishers and were given 2 UTMB Points. Due to this setback to earn 9 UTMB Points in 3 Ultra Races, I decided to join the 2016 KOTM’s Four Lakes 100K (FL 100) Trail Run and earn 3 UTMB Points from it.

Here are the reasons why I did good in this race:

More Time To Recover & Rest—-The Translantau 90K that I’ve finished 2 weeks before the FL 100, became my “peak LSD” in preparation for the said race. And the last 50K LSD “heat training” that I did one week before the race was my taper run. Within those two weeks, I did two sessions of leg workouts and the rest were devoted to rest and more sleep. However, before the Translantau 100, I finished the Condura Skyway Marathon (42K) and my Fort Magsaysay To Dingalan 65K Ultra Marathon Race.

Total Elevation Gain——As a mountain trail runner, this is the most important factor to consider in one’s training and looking at the data gathered and recorded by my Suunto Ambit 3 Peak GPS Watch, I was able to satisfy the suggested Total Elevation Gain that I have to attain within a certain distance. For example, if the 100K trail course has a total elevation gain of 15,000 feet, one must be able to train in a course that has at least, a total elevation gain of 1.500 feet within a distance of 10 Kilometers, 3,000 feet in 20 Kilometers, and so on. My playground offers a Total Elevation Gain of 2,100 feet within a distance of 8 kilometers and if I extend it to 22 kilometers, I would attain a total elevation gain of 4,250 feet! This explains why I have the endurance to go up to the peak of any mountain during races.

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 11.10.39 PM

Four Lakes 100 Elevation Profile From SUUNTO Ambit 3 Peak GPS Watch

Nutrition & Hydration Strategy——Don’t wait till you feel you are hungry or thirsty that you start ingesting your food or drink your water/hydration mix. To be safe, once my GPS Watch beeps to register that I have completed ONE MILE (1.6 Kilometers), it usually reminds that I have to eat a bite food or drink my hydration mix. If I have an average speed of 3 miles per hour, then I would hear 3 beeps within the hour which means that I ingest any solid food and drink my water 3 times within the hour. Drinking and Eating are done while on the move which I usually do during my training runs.

Train Heavy, Race Light——I usually bring a lot of water during my training runs but in my races, I only carry enough water to sustain me in between the Aid Stations. But I carry my CarboPro mix packs which I programmed to sustain me for the whole course in my pack. For this race, I carried 12 packs (1 pack/serving in every two hours of running/hiking) but in the end, I only used 7 packs for the whole course. The pack that I carried during the which consisted of the mandatory kits and extra solid foods which was lighter in weight than the pack that I carry in my training runs.

Running Kit——The ASICS Running Shorts that I’ve been using in my ultra trail races since last year’s CM50 is becoming my favourite and my best running shorts so far. The ALTRA Superior 2.0 which I used in Translantau 100 is becoming my favourite choice for my 100K trail races, too! My Salomon 5-liter Advance Skin 3 Pack with its accessible pockets had been also helpful that I could easily reach for my bite foods and candies while on the move. My reliable PETZL Tikka XP which is very light gave me more confidence to run during nighttime.

Reduction of Stop Time in the Aid Stations——It would have been smarter not to stay long in the Aid Stations but I committed some mistakes in having unnecessary “long breaks” in between Aid Stations to sit and eat my food. My experience in the FL 100 taught me some lessons and with the hope to improve on them in my next races.

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SUUNTO Ambit 3 Peak Data

Looking at the data that had been recorded by my SUUNTO Ambit 3 Peak GPS Watch, I will have to improve on my average pace by eliminating some of the mistakes that I’ve committed in this race. I think I brought so many CarboPro Packs and bite foods in my pack. My lack of knowledge on the route from East Market Proper to Dayap made me slower during the race. I think I was also overdressed when the heat of the sun was at its strongest along this part of the route. Hopefully, I will be able to correct all these mistakes on my next race!

FL 100 Results

Ranked #109 Out Of 127 Finishers

I will be back to this race next year!





Official Result: 2nd WEST To EAST 280K Ultra Marathon Race

28 03 2016

2016 (2nd Edition) WEST To EAST 280K Ultra Marathon Race

5:50 AM March 24, 2016 To 1:50 PM March 26, 2016

From Ramos Beach Resort, Barangay Patar, Bolinao, Pangasinan To Seaside Restaurant, Sitio Tanguige, Barangay Aplaya, Dingalan, Aurora

Intermediate Cut-Off Time Every 50 Kilometers: 10 Hours

Cut-Off Time For The Event: 56 Hours

Number Of Starters: 15 Runners

Number Of Finishers: 9 Runners

Percentage Of Finish: 60%

RANK                           NAME                                      TIME (Hours)

  1. Thomas Combisen (Overall Champion, Course Record) —- 48:49:26
  2. Eden Pagsolingan (1st Runner-Up, Course Record) —–50:01:55
  3. Mhel Biscarra (2nd Runner-Up) —-52:09:51
  4. AJ Alvior ——————53:09:38
  5. Joselle Lañas (Female Champion, Female Course Record) —-54:57:10
  6. Benedict Meneses ——————–54:57:12
  7. Jonathan Moleta ———————55:03:28
  8. Alvin Cesar ————————-55:03:53
  9. Myk Dauz ————————–55:39:10
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Overall Champion & Course Record Holder Thomas Combisen

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Overall 1st Runner-Up & Course Record Holder Eden Pagsolingan

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Overall 2nd Runner-Up Mhel Biscarra

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First Female Champion & Female Finisher Joselle Lañas

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Finishers Doing The Last Ritual Of The Event

Congratulations To All The Finishers!





Race Report: 2016 TransLantau 100K Ultra Trail Race (Part 2)

21 03 2016

Training & Preparation:

I started my serious training on this event in the month of December of last year (2015). Monday in every week was my Rest Day and almost everyday was devoted to running on flat and hilly terrains. My average mileage for my easy runs and tempo runs was 7-8 miles. My longest run in the mountains would be 7-8 miles during the months of December and January and followed by hikes with the same route the following day. However, in my weekends or Saturdays, I would run a distance of 50-60 kilometres on flat & paved roads for my endurance runs. And on the following day, Sunday, I would go out for a hike in the mountains for a distance of 7 miles. I did this LSDs for 4 consecutive weeks. My tempo runs would be included in my flat long runs on Saturdays and lots of faster downhill running from the peak of the mountain where I usually do my recovery or daily runs. I never visited any oval tracks and do some speed intervals during the period of my training but I did a lot of hill repeats of 1 kilometer distance (run in going up and then easily jog or hike in gong down) with repetitions ranging from 10-15 repetitions, at least once a week!

My participation in last month’s Condura Skyway Marathon was also a part of my training as my gauge if my previous ultra distance LSDs were making me a stronger runner but not necessarily a faster one. I was happy that I did not encounter any “cramping/bonking” issues during the said race.

On the last 4 weeks before the event, I did at least 3 sessions of double-traverse in the mountain that I used as my training ground/playground and in every session, I would register a total of elevation gain of 4,250+ feet within a distance of 14 miles (22.4 kilometres) which I usually finish in 5:45-6:00 hours. In these 4 weeks, I was already using my trekking poles during the runs as well as practiced on how to tie or untie them from my hydration pack while on the move. I would also practice on how to hold them with my hand while on the run. I discovered that I was more comfortable in holding both the trekking poles with my left hand rather than holding the each pole on each hand while on the run on flats and downhills. In this way, my right hand is free to grab my food or hydration bottle from the pockets of my pack.

Trekking Poles

Using My Trekking Poles In My Playground

Two weeks before the race, I had my last double-traverse in my mountain with my best effort; without any “pit stops” and eating/drinking on the move, using my trekking poles, and with a faster pace. This workout registered my fastest time of 4:58+ hours for the course! One week before the race, I joined my race, 5th edition of the Fort Magsaysay To Dingalan 65K Ultra Marathon Race, and finished it in 9:19+ hours. Since the elevation profile of the course is hilly, I knew I would get a lot of leg speed and strength on the ascents and descents and be able to fine tune my nutrition/hydration strategy. On the rest of the days before the event, I just did easy 8K and 5K on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. However, I got so much time to sleep and recover before my flight to Hongkong.

Comparing my training this year’s event and that with last year’s, my training in the 2015 edition was more in volume and intensity. But in this year’s edition, I had more rest and recovery days and the use of trekking poles were contributory to my faster splits in the different Checkpoints. Additionally, I improved on my nutrition with the use of CarboPro, instead of using GU/Energy Gels every hour during the run. Being smart of not staying long in Aid Stations and by-passing the earlier ones had also contributed to my faster splits in the different Checkpoints.

Nutrition & Hydration

During my training and preparation, I’ve never used my stash of CarboPro since I only use them in my races. Instead, I used only water; Succeed Salt Tablets; SkyFlakes Crackers; and Coke which I buy at the turnaround of my double-traverse located in a populated area.

During the race, I brought and stashed 14 servings of CarboPro in my Salomon Hydration Pack which I intend to use one serving in one Simple Hydration Bottle filled with water within two hours of running/hiking. I would drink it with my Clif Blok Chews or Clif Meal Bar or with the foods available in the Aid Stations.

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At Km 22 Along Sham Wat Road In Ngong Ping (5:00-6:00 AM Saturday (Photo By Ying Chai)

I was consistent during the race of consuming one serving of CarPro in between Checkpoints. I would leave the Checkpoint with one bottle mixed with water while the other bottle is filled with the CarboPro Powder without water. As I reached the next Aid Station, I would bring out the bottle with CarboPro powder and ask the volunteers to fill it with water. Once it is done, I would leave the Aid Station immediately and walk while getting one serving of CarboPro from my pack and have the powder fill in the other empty bottle. This drill was done regularly in every Checkpoint in the course.

I brought also Jack N Jill X.O. White Coffee Candies stashed in my Ultimate Direction Race Belt that has two zippered pockets. I would place two candies in my mouth and play them with my tongue while on the run. This would provide me with continuous supply of sugar to my nutritional needs aside from my CarboPro and Chews. One of the pockets of my ASICS shorts was designated as my trash pocket for the wrappers of these candies and the ziploc plastic bags for my CarboPro Mix.

I forgot to bring SkyFlakes from the Philippines but I was lucky to find out that there were crackers being served in the Aid Stations. So, every time I would reach the Aid Station, I would get two packs of crackers and put them in my shorts’ pockets and I would eat them during my run. But I advise you to be careful when you eat their crackers because it made me choked during the run. I stopped choking and coughing when I drank most of my CarboPro Mix!

When there is a chance to eat their Hot Noodles in the Aid Stations, I would mix them with Salami slices and they gave me the much needed fats and salt to my diet. I would also pick-up their Nutella Sandwiches, Raisins, and Chocolate bites as I leave the Checkpoints. I started drinking Coke at Km #44 and every Aid Station thereafter.

Bottomline, I did not have any nutrition or stomach issues during the race. It could be the prevailing cold temperature or cold weather of the day that contributed from having no problems with my digestive system. However, there was only ONE Problem that I’ve encountered during the race…

Peeing During The Race

After leaving the Starting Line and about to enter to the trailhead, a distance of about 1 kilometre, I was already irritated that I need to pee immediately! There was no amount of controlling it that I had to urinate on the side of the street near a fence while the rest of the runners were waiting for their turn to enter the narrow trail. For the rest of the course, I would pee in every 3-4 kilometres!

There are times that I would enter their Public Toilets situated along the popular and visited trails but most of the time, I would just pee beside the trail most specially in the mountains. There was a time that I did not know that a lady runner was running behind me when I just decided to side-step and just pee beside the trail without any cover.

Surprisingly, I did not have the urge to pee when I was battling with the strong winds and fog as I was ascending to the Sunset Peak as well as when I was going down to the Checkpoint in Pak Mong (Km 85).

On hindsight, my regular peeing was a sign that I was regularly hydrated and did not have a feeling that I was “bonking”. Actually, I only ingested two Succeed Salt Tablets during the run.

I could have peed for almost 20-25 times during the race and if it took me 30 seconds to pee, then I would have spent a total stop time of 10-12 minutes and if I would enter a Public Toilet, each pee time would be longer than 30 seconds! I am not sure how I will solve the problem of not peeing so many times in a cold weather environment during a race. I am an expert already in peeing while on the run or on the move but I only do such thing during night running. I did this thing in last year’s participation in this race though where I would here laughter from the runners behind me upon seeing the traces of moisture drops on the dry trail ground as their lights would see them.

On Apparel and Running Kit

During my training in the mountains, I was using alternately, the ALTRA Superior 2.0 and INOV-8 Race Ultra 270 trail shoes. I have observed that the ALTRA shoes was giving me more comfort and cushioning but less in sole traction with the muddy trail/ground/slippery rocks. On the other hand, the INOV-8 Race Ultra’s soles are very aggressive to muddy trails and slippery rocks and there is comfort on my feet in the toe box section but lacking in cushioning. With the help of a weighing scale, I finally decided to use the ALTRA Superior 2.0 because it was lighter than the INOV-8 Race Ultra by 53 grams!

My gray-colored ASICS running shorts had been my favorite shorts since I bought it before the 2015 CM50. It has a side pocket on the left side that fits with my IPhone; a big zippered back pocket; and big slanting pockets on both leg portions of the shorts. I usually use it with my Under Armour Compression Shorts as my underwear/brief and it never gave me any rashes on my groin and butt.

The same as last year, I was using a compression shirt/muscle shirt without arm sleeves (by Adidas) and a white PAU long-sleeved shirt as my Uppers. I brought two Jackets (Uniqlo Water Repellant Down Jacket & Columbia Water Repellant Windbreaker with Hood). I used the Uniqlo Jacket on the 1st half of the course and the Columbia Jacket on the 2nd half which was proven to be very effective against the strong winds in the mountains and maintained my body heat temperature despite of the cold condition of the night. I was using my old Shenza Compression Calf Sleeves; Drymax Trail Socks; and Dirty Girl Gaiters. To protect my ears from getting cold, I used the Mission Buff (Blue-colored) which is thicker and longer in size than the other buffs in the market. For my cap, I used my old white Under Armour Runner’s Cap.

Lantau Cable Car Trail Ngong Ping

Along The Cable Car Trail In Ngong Ping @ Km 62 (Photo By Freebird)

My trekking pole is made by Black Diamond which is the old version of the Ultra Distance Z-poles which is 120 cm. long. It is always partnered with my old and trusted Specialized Cycling Gloves!

I bought the new version of the Salomon S-LAB 5-Liter Hydration Pack on the mid-part of last year and it was my 2nd time to use it in a race. Instead of using the Salomon plastic bottles that go with it, I replaced them with Simple Hydration Bottles with the reason that they have bigger openings where I could easily pour my Powder Mix from the Ziplocs containers that I use. What I like in this hydration pack is that it has a lot of expanding zippered pockets as well as back main compartments which can accommodate my jacket and my nutrition needs. I could easily tie and untie my trekking poles while on the run or on the move without removing my pack from my body. The same is true when trying to reach for my nutritional needs.

I’ve been using a Mission Buff for the past two years and I’ve selected it for the Hongkong event because it is thicker and longer and it is advertised to maintain coolness to the body but for the prevailing situation during the race I’ve used it as a cover to my ears from the cold temperature and at the same time absorb the sweat coming from my head. The buff did its work and it was very useful for me during the race.

Medication & Drugs

Once I ingested the Hopias (Chinese Bread), which I brought from Manila, few minutes before the start of the race, I took 2 pieces of Aleve tablets and one capsule of Immodium. After eating my egg sandwich (Km 55) before trekking the Ngong Ping 360 Emergency Rescue Trail, I took another 2 pieces of Aleve Tablets.

To be continued…








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