Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Trail Endurance Run

It is about time that our local ultrarunners should and may be able to experience what it is like to run a 100-mile trail endurance run. This idea came about during the first quarter of this year as I tried my best to come up with a venue where familiarity and security are the most important factors to be considered. Since Fort Magsaysay of the Philippine Army is the most accessible and visitor-friendly among the military camps outside Metro Manila and for having been stationed and assigned to this camp in my past military carreer, the camp is the best choice for such running event.

Planning had been done since July of this year and the course had been plotted and I had personally ran through the route. Some of the detailed technical data/map are yet to be published in electronic and printed form but I will assure all the participants that the course will be well-marked and guides/marshals will be stationed in critical areas where runners might be lost and might choose or end up in another trail/route.

There will be ample Aid Stations along the route which will be serving hydration needs and solid and hot foods to everybody. However, each runner must be able to bring with them their hydration system during the run. There are portions of the route where sari-sari/convenience stores are located in the centers of populated areas and runners must be able to bring with them some cash. Some portions of the route are accessible to support vehicles, however, there is NO need to bring support vehicle during the race. I will not be strict on the use of support vehicle as long as they will not “shadow” or “pace” with the runner or else the runner will be disqualified. Every runner should be able take advantage of the food and services of the Aid Stations.

Since this is a “pilot event” and the “first” of its kind in the country, we have prepared finisher’s swags (belt buckle, individual medallion, individual trophy, and Finisher’s Shirt) to only FORTY (40) FINISHERS within the cut-off time of 32 HOURS. If you have officially finished a 50-mile or 100K trail/road race, you are qualified to join this race.


For the local runners, the registration fee is Six Thousand Pesos (P 6,000). For the foreign runners, the registration fee is One Hundred Fifty US Dollars ( $150). Payments can be made to the A Running Circle Store Manila (ARC); Landbank Account Number 1686-0795-85 in the name of Jovenal Narcise; or during the Briefing Event on December 16, 2011 in Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City. Updates on the Briefing Event will be announced in this blog or at my Facebook Event Wall. Registration starts TODAY. If you have further inquiries, you can send your e-mail at jovie75@hotmail.com or post a message on my Facebook Wall.

The course is an EASY Course which consists of an 80-Kilometer Loop where the runners would run twice. The 80K Loop goes around the periphery of Fort Magsaysay’s Cantonment Area and 50K of that loop will cover 2 loops of up and down the Taklang Damulag and Fernandez Hills. To summarize, runners would run 2 loops of the 80-K Loop and 4 loops of the Taklang Damulag-Fernandez Hills Complex. The course has an estimated total ascent of 17,000+ feet and total descent of 18,000+feet.

The Race starts on or about 5:00 AM (or earlier) of December 17, 2011 infront of the Special Operations Command Headquarters in Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City. The race has a cut-off time of 32 Hours. If a runner can not complete ONE Loop (80K) within 15 Hours, he/she will be declared DNF. PACER (one at a time) is allowed to join the runner on his/her SECOND Loop up to the FINISH Only.

For the Half-Marathon Event, the Registration Fee is One Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (P 1,500). Details of registration and payment of fees are the same with the 100-Mile event.

To refresh the participants, the following were the posts I have published in relation with the planning of the event:



If you finish this running event, you don’t only earn a very distinct “bragging rights” among Pinoy Ultrarunners but also have the rights and privelege to be a PART in the History of Running In The Country.

Good luck and Run Happy!


8-Hour Run @ TD 100 Route

On the last week of July, I went to Fort Magsaysay and make a recon on the trail route surrounding the Taklang Damulag Mountain. I mentioned in one of my previous posts about my trek towards the peak of the said mountain where I timed 52:37 minutes to reach its peak from Fernandez Hill, a distance of 2.7 kilometers. The trek to the peak was only a part of the 25-kilometer distance that I run & walked/hiked during that day and the trail loop towards the mountain peak from Fernandez Hill and around as it covers a distance of 13 kilometers. It took us 5+ hours to cover the distance (25K) as most of were hiking and brisk walking. If we tried to jog and run the flat portions of the route, we could have made it in 3+ hours. This part of the Taklang Damulag 100-mile run consists of the “inner loop” of the course.

The following were the pictures taken during my recon run at the “inner loop” on the last week of July:

Descending From The Peak Of Mt Taklang Damulag
Lots of Single-Track Trail Around Mt Taklang Damulag
Muddy & Slippery Trail
Lots of Stream Crossings!
More Muddy Trail
....and Wider Streams To Cross!!

Last Thursday afternoon, together with one of my elite athletes, Jack Espana, I went to Fort Magsaysay and slept overnight in one of the transient facilities. We were already in bed at 9:30 PM and woke up at 4:30 AM of Friday. At 5:30 AM, we started our run from the Starting Area of the Race by hiking the first 2 kilometers as our warm-up. The purpose of the run is to recon the first 40K distance of the route which is considered as the “outer loop” of the TD 100 route. The trail route is located outside the cantonment area of Fort Magsaysay passing through Barangays Pag-asa, Dona Josefa, Bacao, Langka 1 & 2, Palale, Cattle Stock Farm, and Nazareth.

@ Km #6 in Barangay Dona Josefa
First of So Many Spillways To Cross
Am I Floating Above the Water?
Detailed "Looks" of the Trail Route
One of the Paths Towards The Peak of a Mountain
One of The River Crossings
Jack Was Infront Of Me Trying To Look For A Trail
Nice REMINDER Along The Route!
Typical Condition of the Route @ Cattle Stock Farm (Km #30)
Another Nice Reminder Along The Cattle Stock Farm
Watchout For This AlongThe Route!!! It's The Real "Taklang Damulag"!!!

Practically, we left on the northern side of the camp and run through the trails on the eastern side of the camp and then re-entered the camp from the south direction. The route traverses through rolling hills and mountains with maximum elevation of 375 meters with lots of stream crossings through spillways and river crossings. What made the run very relaxing was the scenery, clean air, overcast sky, rain & showers on mid-day, and some conversations with the residents along the route.

We had two “pit stops” along the route. These “pit stops” are sari-sari stores that sell anything from assorted bread & chips to drinks. We took some time to eat solid foods on these stores and were able to talk to the owners. The people were surprised as they always asked us where are our bicycles as we tell them where we came from. Bicycles? What bicycles are they talking about? They told us that a group of cyclists on mountain bikes would usually pass along the said route. Well, we told them that we were running, jogging and walking along the said route. It appeared that we were the first ones whom they see (as outsiders/visitors) to be running & hiking the said route.

Our "Pit Stop" @ Barangay Palale. Km #26
The People Does Not Know "Mami", They Call It "Noodles"
Our "Brunch" For The Day To Include Bread/Pandesal

We finished our recon run before 3:00 PM as we reached our Starting Area. After a quick shower, we were out of Fort Magsaysay as we headed towards Eva’s Restaurant near the boundary of Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija and La Paz, Tarlac where the best and very hot Bulalo is being served.

Getting back from the result of our recon run on the TD 100 route. So far, I have run through a distance of 65 kilometers from the 80K-loop of the trail route with an aggregate total time of 13+ hours. And since the remaining 15K route is on an easy rolling and flat terrain, it could be covered in another 2.5 hours. Adding these times would total to 15-16 hours to cover one loop of the course! However, my recon runs had averaged a pace of 12-15 minutes per kilometer which was basically a “hiking” pace! So, from these data, an average ultra runner could finish one loop in less than 15 hours.

The actual measurement of the course is done! The next thing to do is to finalize the administrative and operational needs for the race!

Guys, I only need 25 “brave and hardcore” runners for this another historic FIRST 100-mile trail endurance running event in the country. Let us help one another in putting our country in the world’s map of ultra trail running.