An Alternative Track to ULTRA

I nudged myself up early this morning to join Betty and Tonette on our regular Thursday run at Ortigas. Hadn’t run since our LSD last Sunday and i’m feeling guilty about it. As always, by the time i reach Mercury Drug along Meralco Ave, i’m all drenched in sweat as i get a head-start of 6kms before we all finally get to run together.   

We chose one of our favorite routes–that is inside the MERALCO compound where they have a 2.5 km loop with mild inclines, a small community of joggers and almost no vehicles to contend with. However, this morning was going to be different as Betty gave a heads-up of a dirt track that was just inside the vicinity which is hidden from the usual loop. As Tonette confirmed that there really is a track located at the back exit of the gym, we all decided to check it out.   

The Meralco Dirt Track oval. Betty giving it a test run

The Capitol Medical Center in the foreground

Betty and i were surprised to see the dirt track and the only way to access this is by entering the main Gym and walking through the back exit. Though the track itself is of dirt and rough sand, it is very well maintained and the sand seemed to absorb the water very well despite the continuous rains in the area. However, this is not your regular 400 meter standard track oval found at other Sports centers but is merely around 250 meters in circumference.   

Aside from the three of us, there were no more than five other joggers who were using the track. The surface was soft and is conducive to fast running. Betty and i did a series of 3 x 1km at around 6:00min/pace and around a dozen 150 meter sprints. I really felt good all throughout the run although Tonette had to take it easy because of a bum knee. Betty likes to kick butt and she sure kicked mine as she was smoking around the track as if there was no tomorrow! 🙂

It was a great run and the fun didn’t end there as it continued through Betty’s breakfast table where we had gourmet coffee with bread and corned beef hash! Thanks, Tita!  

This is now going to be a good alternative to our early morning, once-a-week runs at the Ultra since the latter is now off-limits from 4am–9am until December. Nice running—nice start of the day!  

The track's south side

Trees surrounded the oval

A view from the other end

The Meralco Fitness Gym

Going on her own


12 responses to “An Alternative Track to ULTRA

    • Dhentz–i had the impression that it was exclusively for meralco employees only. We had a runner-friend working there who used the gym and let us in.

  1. Hi Rene! Our office conducts the annual sportsfest at Meralco gym and I regularly see footballers playing around that field in the evenings. May track din pala dyan?! WOW!

    This is great since malapit lang from my office (Galleria). I’ll try to do speedwork there sometime.

    Btw, is there an entrance fee? I know the showers there are quite ok so pwede pumuslit during lunchtime. hehehe.

    hope to catch u guys there sometime!

    • Hi Roelle. We had a friend who accompanied us inside and we just registered. We went early so there were no people yet–we went just straight at the track. Hope to catch you there.:-)

  2. Hi Sir Rene,

    That’s our office in the backdrop! Er, at least the floor where you’d see the terrace/balcony (6th floor). I do see a small number of runners running the Meralco compound but to be honest, you’re the first people I saw running the dirt track. It’s a bit small though, I guess only half the 400m circumference of the usual track oval.

    For those wanting to try Ultimate Frisbee, they also have a clinic of some sort for newbies there every Monday night, 7:30pm, for a small fee I think (about P80).

    I would really love to run there but, as you said, it’s exclusive to employees (and friends) only; and they have such nice, clean and flat roads too! Maybe I can join with next time you run there?


    • Hi Ryan! Indeed, it was a “mini” oval but nevertheless usefull for short interval training. Sure, we’d be glad if you can join us. It’s usually on Thursdays that we get to run there although we sometimes go out around Ortigas when we want to do long runs.:-)

  3. Hi Rene, maybe it’s the Medical City, not the Capitol Medical Center as written. Pag dito sa amin sa amoranto, kita ‘yung capitol (LOL). Nice find you have here Rene.

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