The following are the Rules & Regulations and Additional Information on the conduct of the 1st West Coast 200K Single Stage Ultra Marathon Race on November 1-3, 2013:
1. WEST COAST 200K Single Stage (WC200SS) is a single-stage solo run which will start o/a 5:00 AM of November 1, 2013 at the Remy Field Oval Track in Subic Freeport (Olongapo City) and ends o/a 5:00 AM of November 3, 2013 at the Port of Barangay Lucap, Alaminos, Pangasinan.
2. This is a SOLO run. Runners will run along the Olongapo-Alaminos Highway covering a distance of 200 kilometers. All runner-participants has the option to join as an unsupported or supported. A supported runner can avail of a support vehicle and support crew. An unsupported runner will be on his own as he/she can avail of convenience stores & eateries along the route.
3. Pacer/s are not allowed.
4. Runners should ALWAYS run on SINGLE FILE. Running abreast with other runner-participants will not be allowed. This is a cause for disqualification.
5. Runners should always stay on the farthest left side of the road facing the incoming traffic. The race route is an Open Road and the runners shall share the road with other vehicles. Be always vigilant on your surroundings and be alert on the vehicles in front and behind each runner.
6. A runner-participant is limited to only ONE support vehicle. However, a support vehicle can support a maximum of three (3) runner-participants.
7. Support vehicles should always park on the far RIGHT side of the Highway/Road. A runner will be disqualified if his/her support vehicle is parked on the Left side of the Highway. Support Vehicles shall not be allowed to “shadow” their runner. Only four-wheeled vehicles are allowed as support vehicles.
8. Runners will not be allowed to enter their parked Support Vehicle once the Race starts. Runners should bring a stool or portable chair or folding bed positioned outside their support vehicle (within the view of other runners & roving marshals) if they intend to sit or lie down. Runners will not be allowed to sit or lie on any part of their support vehicle.
9. Runners are required to display a piece of tarpaulin with the words “RACE IN PROGRESS” on any side of their Support Vehicle. Race Organizer will not provide such tarpaulin.
10. Only the NAME of Running Group or Team’s Name of the Runner will be displayed on the runner’s Support Vehicle.
11. Corporate Brands will not be allowed to be displayed on the runner’s Support Vehicle.
12. Runners with Support Vehicle must submit to the Race Secretariat the Type & Make/Model of Vehicle; Color; Number of Support Crew and Plate Number.
13. The prescribed cut-off time for the race is 48 hours. However, there will be intermediate cut-off times along the route on the following checkpoints:
Kilometer #40——7 Hours
Kilometer #80——15 Hours
Kilometer #100—–22 Hours
Kilometer #140—–32 Hours
Kilometer #180—–42 Hours
Kilometer #200—–48 Hours
14. Podium Finishers’ Awards/Trophies will be given to the Top 3 Male & Top 3 Female. Official Finishers (Finishers within the Cut-off time) will be awarded with a Finisher’s Belt Buckle, Finisher’s Medal, Finisher’s T-Shirt, and Certificate. Corresponding Award Points for the 2013 PAU Runner of the Year will also be awarded.
15. A runner is declared DNF once he/she could NOT cross each checkpoint within the prescribed cut-off time. The runner will not be allowed to run the course once he/she is declared DNF in the race.
16. In case of emergency and/or reports of DNF, the runner or support crew should contact Cellphone # 0918-965-9895 and provide the following information: Name of the Runner; Race Bib Number; Location of the Runner; and Nature of Emergency or Reason For Declaring as DNF.
17. There will be NO Aid Stations along the route. NO Drop Bags will be allowed.
18. It is mandatory for every runner to have his/her hydration system; headlight/lighting system; reflectorized vest; and first-aid kit. These items will be inspected before the start of the race. Unsupported runners must bring with them a cellphone.
19. Registered runners are advised to bring their BPI Deposit Slip to the Starting Area on Race Day and this will be used to redeem their Race Packet/Race Bib.
20. Each of the Municipal Plaza in Botolan, Zambales (Km #70) & Infanta, Pangasinan (Km #140) has a Covered Court (with Comfort/Bath Rooms) and Lawn Area where runners could sleep/rest and take a bath. Please don’t litter on these areas.
21. This is the FIRST 200K Run under the auspices of the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU) to be held in the country. Let us maintain the INTEGRITY of this run and be proud to be a participant and much more if you intend to finish the event.
22. It is the responsibility of the runner-participant to inform, advise, and instruct his/her designated support vehicle DRIVER and SUPPORT CREW on the Rules & Regulations of this Event.
23. Runners are reminded of the presence of dogs along the course. Take precautionary measures in dealing with them.
24. Runners are also reminded to talk politely to the locals and greet them as you pass them. There will be a lot of people and vehicles on the cemeteries along the road as the days of the event are declared as “Public Holidays” to honor the dead.
The following are the Rules & Regulations and Additional Information on the conduct of the West Coast 200K Ultra Marathon Run on November 1-4, 2012:
1. WEST COAST 200K (WC200) is multi-day stage run, a run of three (3) consecutive days which will start o/a 5:00 AM of November 1, 2012 at the Remy Field Oval Track at Subic Freeport (Olongapo City) and ends o/a 5:00 AM of November 4, 2012 at the Port of Barangay Lucap, Alaminos, Pangasinan.
2. This is a SOLO run. Runners will run along the Olongapo-Alaminos Highway covering a distance of 200 kilometers. A runner-participant has the option to join as an unsupported or supported. A supported runner can avail of a support vehicle and support crew. An unsupported runner will be on his own as he/she can avail of convenience stores & eateries along the route.
3. Pacer/s are not allowed.
4. Runners should always stay on the left side facing the incoming traffic. The race route is an Open Road and the runners shall share the road with other vehicles.
5. Support vehicles should always park on the far RIGHT side of the Highway. A runner will be disqualified if his/her support vehicle is parked on the Left side of the Highway. Support Vehicles shall not be allowed to “shadow” their runner. Only four-wheeled vehicles are allowed as support vehicles.
6. Runners will run or cover a distance of 70 kilometers on the FIRST Day. Runners shall assemble at the Remy Field Oval Track in Subic Freeport and the race shall start at 5:00 AM of November 1, 2012. The Finish Line/Area will be the Municipal Plaza of Botolan, Zambales. The cut-off time is 12 hours.
7. On the 2nd day, runners will run/cover a distance of 70 kilometers. Participants should be at the Starting Area (Municipal Plaza of Botolan, Zambales) before 5:00 AM of November 2, 2012. The race shall start at 5:00 AM and the Finish Line will be at the Municipal Plaza of Infanta, Pangasinan. The cut-off time is 14 hours.
8. On the 3rd day, runners will run/cover a distance of 60 kilometers and it will be a NIGHT Run. Runners should be at the Starting Line (Municipal Plaza of Infanta, Pangasinan) before 7:00 PM of November 3, 2012. The race shall start at 7:00 PM and the Finish Line will be at the Port of Barangay Lucap in Alaminos, Pangasinan. The cut-off time is 10 hours.
9. Podium Finishers’ Awards/Trophies will be given to the Top 3 Male & Top 3 Female. Finish Times for the 3 stages will be added and Finishers will be ranked from the fastest total of finish time to the slowest. Official Finishers (Finishers within the Cut-off time) will be awarded with a Finisher’s Medal, Finisher’s T-Shirt, and Certificate. Points for the PAU Runner of the Year will also be awarded.
10. A runner is declared DNF once he/she could NOT meet or finish the stage within the prescribed cut-off time. The runner will not be allowed to run in the remaining stages of the race.
11. There will be NO Aid Stations along the route. NO Drop Bags will be allowed.
12. It is mandatory for every runner to have his/her hydration system; headlight/lighting system; reflectorized vest; and first-aid kit.
13. Unsupported runners could bring their camping tents and their extra clothes to be deposited at the RD’s vehicle which will be brought directly to the Finish Line of each stage.
14. Each of the Municipal Plaza in Botolan, Zambales & Infanta, Pangasinan has a Covered Court (with Comfort/Bath Rooms) and Lawn Area where runners could sleep/rest and take a bath. Please don’t litter on these areas.
15. Runners will be responsible for their meals and accommodation if they prefer to be housed in hotels/pension inns/resorts/homestays. There will be no curfews as it will be the personal responsibility of each runner to have his recovery and rest every after stage. There will be NO “socials” in every stage of the run.
16. This is the FIRST Multi-Day Stage Run to be held in the country. Let us maintain the INTEGRITY of this run and be proud to be a participant and much more if you intend to finish the event.
The following are the recommended Resorts & Restaurants in Botolan, Zambales as suggested by the Botolan Tourism Office: (Note: Runners can directly contact these establishments through their respective contact numbers/websites)
1. C & J Sunset View Beach Resort. Contact Person: Mr Zaldy B. Yap. Contact Number(s): 0949-775-5082/0917-607-9207. Website: www.cjsunsetview.com
In Infanta, Pangasinan, there are NO resorts. hotels, or pension inns. There are restaurants in the nearby town of Sta Cruz, Zambales. Additional information on hotels/pension inns in Sta Cruz, Zambales will be posted soon on my Facebook Wall’s Event Page.
“High Peak” was the name/title of the Event Page as posted on Facebook by Bong Alindada.
One day after my “Run For Peace” in Negros Island, I was on my way to the Dampay Salaza Resettlement in Palauig, Zambales to experience peak bagging to Mount Tapulao, the highest moiuntain peak in Central Luzon!
I was invited by Bong Alindada and the rest of the Team Maligno whose members are seasoned ultrarunners and peak baggers. Even if I knew I will be directly involved in the “Run For Peace” and will be running a distance of 87 kilometers, joining these ultrarunners will be fun and worth the experience. I would not miss the camaraderie of this team/group.
Planning and Schedule were duly published and discussed on Facebook’s Event Page and the details of the event was set. All was needed was for me to rest the whole day of the 22nd of September (Saturday) and travel early to Palauig, Zambales on the next day.
Dampay Salaza Resettlement Area is the trailhead to the peak of Mt Tapulao. It is a resettlemt area for those families affected by the eruption of Mt Pinatubo in 2001 whose houses were buried by lahar. Most of the families are Aeta tribe and residents in most of the barangays of San Marcelino, Zambales.
If one has a personal vehicle, it can be reached through the Olongapo-Alaminos Highway going north. After passing the Poblacion of Palauig, Zambales, there is a road crossing going east from the Highway before reaching the town of Candelaria, Zambales. An appropriate directional board of the Resettlement Area can be seen along the said Highway. For those who would like to commute by bus, they can take the Victory Liner Bus up to Iba, Zambales and then hire those tricycles at the Bus Station. Although it is more expensive, hiring one tricycle would cost P400 which could accommodate 4 persons. The distance from the Highway Crossing to the Resettlement Area is 7.8 Kilometers.
I met the Team at Dampay Salaza Resettlement Area at 6:30 AM of Sunday, 23 September and with a few minutes of preparation and picture-taking, we were off to the peak of Mt Tapulao.
Mt Tapulao is very popular among Mountaineers. The trek to the peak of this mountain and camping overnight serves as the Initiation Climb for the new mountaineers in almost all the famous Mountaineering Clubs in Luzon & Metro Manila.
A gradual and non-stop incline awaited us as soon as we left the Barangay Hall of Barangay Dampay Salaza which serves also as the Office of the Barangay’s Tourism Office. I think we paid Twenty Pesos per Climber for the Registration Fee and each climber has to register at the said office before he/she climbs the mountain.
What is very distinct and different among the other mountains that I peaked is that this mountain’s trail is full of small, medium, and large rocks. The trail is wide for a 4 X 4 jeep or truck to traverse or travel. I have the suspicion that the PNOC had constructed the trail for their heavy equipment to reach the peak of the mountain. The trail’s construction has a similitarity with that of Mt Natib’s trail to its peak. The PNOC could have been exploring for possible source of energy as these mountains are considered as volcanoes.
I was in the company of my ultra friends from Team Maligno. We had 9 males and one female. I brought two of my men who served as the official photographer and “mule” for our food and water provisions not knowing that there are many sources of water along the trail. Not only I had running friends but also mountaineers as well and those who I have influenced in peak bagging. Bong Alindada served as our guide as he became the “talk of the folks in the barangay” for having registered the fastest time to reach the peak of the mountain a month ago! Team Maligno was in good hands and there was no chance for anybody of us to get lost on the “assualt stage” towards the peak of the mountain.
The people at the Barangay could not believe when we said to them that we would be back before sunset when they noticed that we did not bring any heavy backpacks for our camping needs and extra food & water provisions.
Our ascending pace was very fast! I was left behind with my two men and for having ran a 87 kilometers two days ago gave my leg muscles and knees a “recovery” workout! It’s weird but I think I considered this peak bagging event as my “after ultra recovery workout”. I tried to keep in pace with the last man of the front group making sure that the main group was always on my sight!
Our first “pit stop” is a water source (spring) at Km # 6.3 and we enjoyed our water and food. I shared hard boiled eggs which appeared to have their shells separated from the egg itself due to the jarring effect caused by eggs knocking each other inside a “tupperware” container! It wasn’t a problem, the egg is still an egg and it’s a nice food for endurance athletes if dipped with some salt! I offered some boiled sweet potatoes, too! The next water source is at Km # 9.
We received information from the Barangay Tourism Office that there are at least 75 persons who climbed the mountain the day before and they slept with their camping tents at the base of the peak. Some of the persons are with the DENR who are conducting some studies on the “birds’ habitat & presence” in the area.
While we were resting in our first “pit stop”, an adult Aeta who appears to be taller than the usual height of the tribe, reached our resting place and he was carrying half sack of rice and other supplies for the DENR personnel at the peak. We invited him to join us, shared our food and tried to engage him in a conversation. He brought down to the ground the things that he was carrying and we had some conversation with him. I asked his name and he said that his name is Jeffrey. I immediately said that I am naming him as “Jeffrey Mutai”. He looks like he is from Kenya! He works as a porter for climbers and he is being paid P 300.00 per day with free food from his client-climber!
As we resumed our trek to the peak of the mountain, Jeffrey was left behind as he took some rest. However, after a few minutes, he was already on our tail. Jeffrey’s sight behind us became our gauge if we are dropping our pace during our trek!
As we got nearer to the Bunkhouse and getting higher in elevation, we met some of the climbers who are already going back to the resettlement Area/Barangay’s Tourism Office after staying overnight at the peak. We usually greet them as we meet along the trail with the usual “Good Morning” greetings. However, one of the climbers going down was aked by one of us if there are many more of the climbers still at the peak and we got a different answer! He replied that we still have a few more kilometers to walk/trek before we reach the “bunkhouse” which is the last kilometer plus hundred meters before the peak of the mountain. Weird answer, ha?
Getting nearer to the peak became positive as we started to see big pine trees, ala-Baguio City and the presence of lots of piles of chromites ores on the sides of the trail. This could be the reason why the trail is so wide and established that there is a local mining as cottage industry in the place! We could see the clouds enveloping the mountain and we felt cooler and more refreshed. We had smiles on our faces that finally, after running/jogging and brisk walking for 14 kilometers, we will be able to reach the Bunkhouse and be able to replenish our water ration from the spring thereat.
The sight of the Bunkhouse brought happiness in all of us. But it was a temporary one as we have to make the final assualt to the peak of the mountain. All of us knew already what to expect. It will be a very steep single track trail and some slippery ones, too! One Kilometer plus a change of 400 meters was the distance of the assualt climb which we targetted to be done in One Hour!
I was the one who led the group during the Assualt with Bong on my back! We could have made it to the peak in less than one hour but those DENR nets which acted as a BIG FENCE on the peak of the mountain (used to catch flying birds) prevented us from doing so. But we were blessed to have reached the peak with no clouds and the sight all around us was magnificent!
The group selected a place where we can lie down/sit or eat our light ration at the peak. I selected a place that was inclined and took a nap after eating some food. I did not mind the heat of the sun as I was totally tired from the trek. I think I was able to get a nap for about thirty minutes. I guess, it took us 4 hours plus to reach the top of the mountain from where we started, a distance of almost 16 kilometers!
Our peak bagging was not complete without some pictures as evidence that we peaked the mountain. Bong selected the place with the big hole at the peak (where story abounds the digging of an object the hole and it was transported out of the mountain through a helicopter!) and later with the whole Team Maligno clinging on the branches of the ONLY Oak Tree at the Peak! Our picture on that tree was EPIC in proportion! It showed so much fun on the faces of each of the member!
It was time to go down from the peak! Of course, it was faster but it started to drizzle and later, it would rain. Once we reached the Bunkhouse, we replenished our water supply and started our way back to the Resettlement Area.
Descending the mountain is very hard when it is raining! Why? The whole trail and the rocks are slippery. Being positioned from behind of the group, I was able to see members of the group falling down with their butt hitting the ground. I jokingly asked each member what was their score for the number of times that they slipped to the ground. Some had score up to 4X until they reached the starting area! Well, my score was zero!
We passed more of the campers who started to leave the peak earlier than us. And they are amazed to see that we hopped and jogged on those slippery ground and rocks! It was fun doing this on the first half of our descent from the Bunkhouse but it became harder when fatigue seeps in to our body with the rocks come in contact with our shoes. Pain on my feet and leg muscles were already becoming unbearable. Everything was mental postive attitude on my last 5 kilometers of the trek down to the Resettlement Area.
My The North Face Trail Shoes I used was a mess! The whole sole of both shoes just came off as we were ascending to the peak. On our way back, I removed those dangling soles and took extra careful on my footing and tried to be light. My trail shoes failed and this was my fourth shoes with the same brand that its soles gave up and got separated from the whole shoes! It’s time to cease from buying this kind of trail shoe brand!
Before it became dark, I finally reached the Resettlement Area with the “front group” cheering on me. I could not smile to them because I was already in pain and was simply exhausted! They knew the solution as I approached them—they offered me an ice-cold 1.5-liter bottle of Royal Tru-Orange! I was already smiling after I saw what they have prepared for me!
All the members of the Team Maligno reached the Resettlement Area safe and happy after reaching the Tourism Office! We proved to the Barangay folks that we can go up to the peak and be back to the Barangay for the period from sunrise to sunset!
I could no longer count how many mountain peaks I’ve bagged since I’ve started doing this kind of adventure!
Two weeks after, I was already in the Office of the Provincial Governor of Zambales telling the good Governor and his staff of my proposal to conduct a running event to the peak of Mt Tapulao as part of my FKT (Fastest Known Time) Mountain Runs to be scheduled for next year!
See you at the Starting Line!
(Note: Mt Tapulao’s Peak is 2,040 Meters Above Sea Level)
September 22, 2011: From Botolan to Santa Cruz, Zambales
After 4.5 hours of sleep at the Circles Inn in Botolan, Zambales, I had my shower and ready for the second day of my run. My team and I went to the commercial center of Iba, Zambales and chose Mang Inasal for our brunch.
One for the customers talked to me (seeing my ARC Los Angeles shirt) and she is apparently a United States’ resident who was born in Iba, Zambales and is the owner of one of the Beach Resorts which is situated at least 2-3 kilometers north of the Poblacion. After our brunch, we went back to the place where I stopped at the vicinity of Poblacion Botolan, Zambales. After some preparation for my hydration and food, I finally started my run at 11:00 AM and the weather was cloudy with a 100% chance of rains later in the day.
After covering a distance of 6 kilometers, I was already at the center of Iba, Zambales, the capital town of the province. There was a portion where there is one way street for vehicles going to the north as well as those going to the opposite direction. I took the road where vehicles going to the North would usually take. It was uneventful as I was able to cover another 3-4 kilometers away from the town.
I really didn’t know what hit me as it started to rain/drizzle and started to feel weak. I took a rest in one of the waiting sheds along the road and asked my crew to serve me some solid foods and Ensure Drinks. However, after drinking the Ensure Drinks, I felt sleepy and just laid down on my back.
I woke up after 1 ½ hours and started to eat some solid foods. Even it was noisy due to the sounds of the passing tricycles, I was able to have the much-desired rest. I immediately prepared myself to continue my run. I was aware that from this place I will have to encounter some hilly portions along the route.
The plan for the day was to cover as much as many kilometers for the day until the night and the following morning.
It was already at 5:00 PM when I was approaching the next town, Palauig, most especially near the Headquarters of the 24th
Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army. Having arranged beforehand about my run through their Area of Responsibility, I knew that the Battalion Commander will provide me with security personnel in civilian attire along the route. This part of the route was mountainous and for security reasons, there is a need to be cautious about the place.
After passing the highest peak in the said town, I had another “pit stop” before running through the night. I had to choose to stop infront of the Iglesia Ni Kristo churches along the way because it is well-lighted and the personnel/guards on their gates were very accommodating. We plugged on their electric outlets for the needed heating of our water in our electric thermos. The INK Church and its people in Palauig, Zambales were great!
At first, there were two motorcycle-riding intelligence personnel of the Philippine Army who gave me the security along the way through the night who would alternately switched from one position to another—one is pre-positioned at least one kilometer ahead and one is at least on my back at a seeing distance. These guys pretended to be like locals and they tried to be discrete on their locations and actions. It was fine with me as long as I have somebody to secure my movement during the night.
At midnight, these two personnel were changed with two personnel with a single motorcycle and they did what they were tasked. After an hour of running, I asked them to join me in my “pit stop” and shared my food (coffee and sandwich) to them. Conversations with them on my “pit stops” gave me more information about the place and its people.
The mountains and hills of Palauig and Masinloc of Zambales were not noticed as I was running in the dark but I had to “power walk” on those inclines and jog/run on the descending portions of the route. These places are a “must” for cyclists to train and see the beauty of the province. The town of Candelaria was uneventful as the route started to level off until I reached the town of Santa Cruz, Zambales.
At 5:30 AM on the following day, I reached the Poblacion of Santa Cruz, Zambales, the last town of the province and decided to have a rest/break. I was able to run a distance of 66+ kilometers on my second day. For the two days that I’ve been running, I was able to cover a distance of 141 kilometers.
Not being able to look for a decent place to stay within the town, I had to drive all the way to Alaminos, Pangasinan, 60 kilometers away, for the much-needed rest.
In the military, if you are caught “sleeping on post” during a guard duty, you will face a “military court martial” and if you are found guilty, it means the end of your military career.
Well, this is how an ultrarunner looks like when he is “sleeping on post” during an adventure run…and during those times when he misses his regular posts in this blog (joke!). The picture below says it all!
9:30 AM September 21, 2011 to 4:00 AM September 22, 2011
One week after I was bitten by an astray dog in San Narciso, Zambales during my first attempt on this adventure run, I was back where I started at the Remy Field’s Oval Track inside the Subic Freeport. I started the run at 9:30 AM which is 30 minutes earlier than the targetted 10:00 AM start time. As I was about to enter the Oval Track, I met some triathletes, Melvin Fausto and two others on their bikes who just had their running workout at the Oval Track. I told them about my event to start a run from the Oval Track all the way to Pangasinan. These guys wished me good luck and shaked my hand before I finally started the run.
After a brief photo-ops and one lap around the oval track, I was on my way for my second attempt to finish what I’ve started. Initially the sky was clear from clouds but I could feel a colder wind coming from the sea. I walked the first 2 kilometers until I reached the Kalaklan Gate & Bridge and turned left as I entered the Olongapo-Bugallon Highway. You would notice in my picture that I was wearing the red ARC (Los Angeles) shirt and red Zhensa calf sleeves. I thought this color would mean “luck” for me on this attempt. It was also my attempt to run with my Hoka One One Bondi B (courtesy of Joe Matias of ARC) and find out its comfortability in road runs. I’ll make a separate shoe review on this pair of shoes later in my future posts.
I was already confident and familiar with the terrain from the Olongapo City Public Cemetery all the way to San Narciso, Zambales. I became faster this time as I limited my “pit stops” and shortened my time to rest and eat solid foods. I never attempted to update my blog or opened my laptop as I wanted to cover much more distance this time.
It started to rain after I left the town of Subic and as I was approaching the town of Castillejos, Zambales. I had to bring out my The North Face “Venture” Waterproof Jacket and used it to protect my body from the cold feeling brought about by a damp shirt on my body. I’ve observed that even if my shirt was wet from my own perspiration, I could still feel a comfortable temperature that is being maintained on my body using the TNF Waterproof Jacket. The body heat that is trapped by the jacket balances the cold feeling that is brought by the damp shirt to my body. The jacket gave me the much-needed comfort during the downpour of rain.
I never had a decent lunch this time as I ate some solid foods and tried to ingest some GU Gels in between my “pit stops”. In this manner, I was able to cover farther distance from my first attempt. As scheduled, I had again my decent dinner in the very same place where I had dinner in San Narciso, Zambales. This time, my crew and I stayed longer in the said “carinderia” and we had to engage them with some conversation. They were surprised to see us again for the second time and we told them about the dog bite incident. We later found out that the owner of the establishment is a retired Philippine Marines. Ultimately, they knew our purpose why we were there. However, we paid for our bill.
A short conversion with the owner of the carinderia spread like a wildfire that every people along the route in the Poblacion of San Narciso knew that I was on my way to Iba, Zambales which is still 43 kilometers away by running through the night. I could hear the conversations among the people along the road and among the tricycle drivers waiting for passengers from arriving buses and pointing at me that I was running towards the capital town of the province. At this point, I was already on my 8th hour of running for the day.
I brought out my headlight and my Surefire Flashlight and became wiser now from not using my Ipod during night run and for that matter, on this whole second attempt of this run! The highway was dark and I could only see some lights on the road in the center of each municipality. The road was silent and my support vehicle and crew were on my back “shadowing” me. There was no vehicle around except for the Victory Liner Buses that travel along the said Highway. I would observe that it’s the only Bus Transport Line that caters to the said route. I was already running on the right side of the road with my support vehicle on my back giving me more illumination on the road ahead of me.
My headlight served as my early warning light from incoming vehicles while my Surefire flashlight served as my weapon for barking dogs along the road, I have observed that the powerful illumunation from this special type of handheld flashlight is so strong that dogs would stop barking. I believe that this kind of flashlight is used among the police and military security forces to stun their targets through their stong and powerful illumination. So, for the whole stretch of the road, I was protected by this flashlight. However, from time to time, one of my escorts would come out from my support vehicle with a baseball bat just to be ready to use it if there is any brave dog who would attack me while I was running. Yes, I was well-armed and protected this time!
The next town was San Felipe after San Narciso, It was uneventful until I reached the Poblacion of Cabangan, Zambales. As I was about to take my “pit stop”, I was approached by one of the residents riding on his bike and a conversation started. I forgot to ask his name but I’ll just call him as “Cabangan Biker” (CB). Some portions of our conversation went this way: (Our converation was in Tagalog but I’ll have to translate it to English in this post)
Cabangan Biker (CB): It seems you are running through the night. Where did you start and where is your destination?
Bald Runner (BR): Yes, I’ve been running since 10:00 AM today and I started in Subic Base. I hope to reach Iba, Zambales before the day breaks.
CB: You are very strong! How old are you, Sir?
BR: I am already 59 years old. You are using a bike. Why are you still awake this time of the night?
CB: I have a small business which I own and operate. I am on my way home when I saw you running towards the Poblacion and I followed you and your support vehicle.
BR: You look very athletic. Do you run, too?
CB: I started running few months ago because a friend of mine invited me to run in one of the road races in Manila. I joined a 5K run and then a 10K run and lately, I just finished a half-marathon run in RunRio’s UNILAB Run. Now, we have a running club here among friends.
BR: That’s good! Congratulations on your first half-marathon finish!
CB: Our running club only join races in Manila when it is a Run Rio’s Event!
BR: Of course, you have to be selective in your races because it is very expensive on your part to be travelling from Cabangan, Zambales to Manila and back. Why do you like and prefer to run in Run Rio’s Events?
CB: Our group likes RunRio Events because there are more people/participants running the race. We find enjoyment if we see a lot of different people running along side with us. The more people to see, the better for us! However, I am a competitive cyclist and it is my favorite sports!
BR: So, you are a cyclist! Do you participate in cycling events, too? How often?
CB: We have cycling group/team here and we usually compete in Subic Cycling Events and to other provincial cycling events to include Duathlons!
BR: So you are very athletic and competitive also. That’s good! C’mon let’s eat!
The conversation went on as I consumed the hot noodles and boiled bananas prepared for me. I found out from CB, who is in his late 30s, that Cabangan Poblacion is the turn-around point for the cycling stage in the yearly White Rock 70.3 Triathlon. So, basically the route where I was running is the route of the White Rock 70.3 Triathlon. Very interesting!
After I finished with my “pit stop”, I resumed my run towards the next town—Botolan. CB was still looking at me as I left the Poblacion’s Public Park!
I could only see at least 10-15 meters ahead of me brought about by the light of my support vehicle and the rest on my sides was totally dark. From time to time , I had to check on my watch for my HR and I was surprised that I was having an average of 132 bpm during the run. I was running comfortably making sure to take a sip of water from my handheld Nathan “Sprint” bottle (bought from ARC Los Angeles). And everything was on “cruise control”. I would stop as I asked for my hydration bottle to be filled up with water. There are times also that I had to take some GU Gels every other hour. I was running an average of 6-7 kilometers per hour on this part of the route as I didn’t know if I was running uphill or downhill except when approaching on bridges. All the bridges on this part of the route have uphill approaches but as soon as you reach the end of the bridge, everything is downhill.
The distance and the road from Cabangan to Botolan took me sometime to cover it. It could be a half-marathon distance with lots of uphill and downhill on the last 6 kilometers from the town’s Poblacion. The best part of this route was that I could hear the sound of the strong waves coming from the beach on my left side and it became good “music” to my ears for almost 8-10 kilometers! The worse part is that on the last 3 kilometers from the Poblacion of Botolan, there is a road construction and widening of the road being done and the road was full of mud and loose soil. The feeling was that as if I was running on a trail for about 2 kilometers. I thought it was better to be running on muddy and damp ground rather than running on a dusty road. It was good also that there were only one or two vehicles that passed me along this part of the route.
Finally, I reached the Poblacion of Botolan and it was about 3:30 AM of September 22 and I was on the road for the past 17 hours! I did a slow run once I passed the Municipal Hall and started to walk and be ready for a short “pit stop”. After eating boiled banana and eggs, I felt sleepy and it started to rain. I decided to get inside the vehicle and look for a decent place where I could change to dry clothes and sleep for awhile. From this point, I still have 6 kilometers to go before reaching Iba, Zambales!
The rain was so hard that I could hardly see the road while I was inside the vehicle. Moreso, it was harder to look for the names of the establishments on the sides of the road. It took us sometime to find a place as most of the resorts did not have a personnel to man their registration offices at 4:00 AM. Finally, we checked in to a new motel which has the amenities of a hotel. I guess, the name of the establishment is “Circles Inn” which is located in between Botolan and Iba, Zambales! I went immediately to bed once I changed to a drier clothes and my support crew just did that. We were all tired after 18+ hours on the road
The plan was to sleep for about 4 hours, take a bath, change to a new attire, have a decent meal, and we were ready to continue the journey for our second day! So far, everything went well and I was able to cover a distance of 73 kilometers!
1. I could run and walk as far as 73 kilometers in 18+ hours to include “pit stops”.
2. I could run on the run & bike legs of the White Rock 70.3 Triathlon Event and I am now familiar with it. It does not mean that I will try also to swim its swimming course at the Subic Bay in the future. But, who knows?
3. A simple conversation from the local residents creates a fast news to everybody along the road.
4. It is nice to engage to people along the road and find out more about the place and the people.
5. Local folks would like to run in Metro Manila (and Run Rio’s Event) for the fun of being part of a bigger crowd & running community.
6. All night running is very relaxing and silent. The cooler temperature made my Average HR to be in the lower 130’s and it kept me going without any muscle cramps or soreness on my legs.
7. And last, Surefire Flashlights are really good for barking/attacking dogs along the road!
I finished my self-proclaimed “West Coast 200-Kilometer Endurance Run” in 57:48:32 hours with the route along the Olongapo-Bugallon Highway from the Remy Field’s Oval Track at Subic Freeport to Alaminos, Pangasinan.
This is the summary of my daily runs:
September 21 (Wednesday). I was able to complete a distance of 73.5 kilometers, from the Remy Field’s Oval Track to the Poblacion of Botolan, Zambales with 18 hours on the road to include “pit stops”. Average Heart Rate: 135 bpm
September 22 (Thursday). I was able to complete a distance of 67 kilometers from Botolan, Zambales to the Poblacion of Santa Cruz, Zambales (the last town before reaching the boundary of Pangasinan). It took me almost 16 hours on the road to include “pit stops” and sleep in waiting sheds along the road. Average Heart Rate: 132 bpm
September 23 (Friday). I simulated this run at my own “race pace” which I purposely did at nighttime. I was able to complete the remaining 60.4 kilometers in 9:48:32 hours to include brief “pit stops” and some “photo-ops”. Average Heart Rate: 138 bpm.
I was able to finish my self-proclaimed run in almost 3 days with an average daily distance of 66+ kilometers! This could be my best performance in my adventure runs despite some setbacks (dog bites, LBM, recovery from my left knee injury and inclement weather on my last day’s run). A big improvement from my best daily run of 55 kilometers during my 1st adventure run from Manila to Baguio City.
This feat would not be possible without the snappy performance of my support team (a driver and a support crew). I would like also to thank my sponsors—A Runners Circle Specialty Store; FrontRunner Magazine, Northern Luzon Command of the AFP, 7th Infantry Division & 24th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, and Reinier Pacific for their support on this adventure run.
Details on my training and preparation, details of the route and personal thoughts during the run, my running kit, and my daily experiences & photos will posted soon in this blog.
Now, it’s time to rest and recover and make a detailed account of this adventure run. How I wished I could post a “near real-time” account of this run but due to weak Internet connection along most of the the areas of the route, my time could had been wasted just to look for reliable signal or places with WiFi connections.
My special appreciation goes also to those who prayed and wished for my fast recovery/treatment for my dog bites and those who wished me for my safety and best of health during the duration of my run and trip in this latest adventure run. As always, this adventure run is dedicated to all the runners out there, whether you are a novice/beginner; average runner; or a seasoned ultra runner.
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