The NRC Nike Women’s Half-Marathon (21K) Manila

The NikeWomen Victory Tour comes to the Philippines as the NRC Half Marathon Manila to be staged at the CAVITEX on May 15, 2016!

Following the highly successful staging of the Nike Women’s 10K last May, Nike invites Filipina athletes to its first all-women half marathon in the country. Similar to the previous race, runners are invited to register with their best female buddy. Registration opens today, January 30, 2016.

The NRC Women’s Half Marathon Manila is part of the largest global women’s event series, the NikeWomen Victory Tour that will see female athletes around the world revel the power of the global female fitness community through a series of one-of-a-kind running and training events. Be #BetterForIt Together with your best buddy in this first ever NikeWomen 21K in Manila!

Online registration for the Nike Women’s 21k Manila is now available. Participants can pay online via credit card or PayPal at http://go.nike.com/0po61h. Registration fee is PHP 2,700.00 per pair.

WHAT: The NRC Women’s Half Marathon MNL 2016

WHEN: May 15, 2016

WHERE: Cavitex

GUN START: 4:30 AM

REGISTRATION ON-LINE: http://go.nike.com/0po61h or https://www.nike.com/events-registration/event?id=32321

REGISTRATION FEES: P 2,700.00 per pair

Registration for the NRC Womens Half Marathon Manila includes:

· A place in the NRC Womens Half Marathon Manila L race

· An exclusive NRC Womens Half Marathon Manila Tee

. A timing chip, the D-tag

. A race guide with additional information about the race

· Finisher’s entitlement for participants who finish the race on Race Day.

After the success of Nike Women’s 10k in 2015, which was the biggest all-female 10km race in Manila with almost 9,000 runners last May, Nike invites Filipina runners to join the NRC Women’s Half Marathon Manila, Nike’s first all-women half marathon in the country. Continuing the tradition and spirit of last year’s race, Filipina participants are invited to register with their best female buddy who is up for taking on bigger challenges and emerging #BetterForIt.

The NRC Women’s Half Marathon Manila is part of the largest global women’s event series, the NikeWomen Victory Tour, which will see female athletes around the world challenge themselves and experience the power of the global fitness community through a series of one-of-a-kind running and training events.

Nike has prepared a series of training services for registered runners that include Nike+ Run Club sessions and Nike+ Training Club sessions. As a start point, runners can design their training using the Nike+ Running and Nike+ Training Club Apps that are available on both iOS and Android platforms.

“Nike challenges Filipina athletes in this year’s Nike Women’s Half Marathon Manila to run hand-in-hand with their best friend in a race that not only inspires but makes them better for it together. This year, we are raising the bar for runners for them to experience a bigger, more challenging, and far more fulfilling race,” says Patrick Reyes, Country Marketing Manager of Nike Philippines.

Women can register online for the NRC Women’s Half Marathon Manila 2016 at http://go.nike.com/0po61h . Registration will open on January 30, 2016 at 1:00 am, Manila time. Registration fee is PHP2,700 per pair payable via credit card or PayPal.

Preview: A Sneak Peek of the Rizal Mountain Run

Like all the best trail-mountain races held recently near Metro Manila, (think Mt. Marami, Mt. Batolusong, Mt. Sembrano, among the few), the Rizal Mountain Run (RMR50) promises to be another trail race destination for your 2016 bucket list, something not to be missed! This trail run, which features a beginner’s 15k, a 30k and an ultra distance of 50k will be held on FEBRUARY 28, 2016.

Starting from the Basekamp Resort in Sapinit Road, Pintong Bukawe, San Mateo, Rizal, the route traverses into a short concrete road before it dives straight into the heart of some of the most rugged trails, scenic mountain ranges and endless river crossings of the Rizal provincial landscape.

I was fortunate enough to be invited with fellow trail runner-bloggers for a sneak peak of the RMR50 route, a short 12k run that forms part of all the distances to be traversed by the runners. The trails are not exactly new to me having ran them for both training and races in the past except for a fire road called the New Casile Road. The route is a visceral landscape, with the river snaking over a long vast track of valleys, with the Sierra Madre mountains always lording over our heads.

We started from the top of the new Casile Road and the route follows wide dirt roads, rolling hills and into Pintong Bukawe’s interior which will expose runners to a variety of terrain, including long downhills, single-track trails, lung-busting uphills and views of the Marikina-Casile River. For the 50k and 30k runners, the trails cuts into river crossings that would slow down runners, specially on parts where the river currents are strong, deep and slippery.

15k Finisher’s Shirt

The trails will be hot and dry late in the morning, shoes will be all wet every-time runners cross the river, taking with you small pebbles wriggling beneath your feet so it’s best to wear them trail gaiters if you have one. But the route takes in also subtle terrain, with trees giving shades on some parts specially the trails in Puro, Malasya and in Pintong Bukawe.

After the race, packed breakfast will be served while other nourishment and snacks will be sold at the cafeteria inside BaseKamp.

Many thanks to Atty. Aldean Lim, Ronald Declarador, Jael Wenceslao, Majo Liao, Gene Olvis and to the rest of the organizing committee for the invitation and for making this recon run a successful one!

Our test-run group

Rizal Mountain Run

February 28, 2016
Pintong Bukawe, San Mateo, Rizal

Event Distances:
15K / 30K/ 50K

Registration Fees:
15K – P1,000
30K – P1,500
50K – P2,000 (Limited to 150 Slots only).

50K Cut-Off Details:

Assembly Time: 1:00AM
Pre-race Briefing: 2:00AM
Start Time: 3:00AM
Intermediate Cut-off Time: AS4 – Sitio Wawa (KM 34) – 12:00PM local time (9 hours)
Cut-off Time: 4:00PM
Time Barrier: 13 hours

Registration is via online only at their website: http://rizalmountainrun.com/event01/rmr50-2016-reg

Deadline of Registration and Payment is on February 20

Follow them at:

For more information:
Website: http://rizalmountainrun.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RMRUltra

Leaving you with pictures of the route! Registration is still open!

The new Casile Road

A huge boulder that would be visible to all runners

Our run was supported by 4×4 vehicles which brought us our supplies during this test run

Some rock formation along the route

Dirt roads that goes downhill

Part of an uphill route with scenic views of the Sierra Madre mountains

A group picture with the mountains as backdrop

Perfect spot for a selfie.

Jun Santiago leaving his dust behind him! 🙂

Great views of the mountains at every turn

View of the Marikina-Casile River below

Our support vehicles waiting at every turn

Part of the route

Congregating at another scenic view

More on the Casile River below

Emerging at the 6k mark

At the single track trails

One of our river crossings with Majo, Iris and Adrian

Trails towards a valley

Lunch at the Basekamp Resort, start/finish line of the Rizal Mountain Run

With the ladies and the photobombers! 🙂

Hope to see you at the race!

The Blue Lagoon (Gasgas River) Trails in Solsona, Ilocos Norte: Part 1

A great joy of trail running is the feeling you get when you venture on some place completely new, a venue you haven’t seen nor experienced before. Many locations for trail running offer unique amenities like waterfalls or mountain ridges but there are only a few locations that offer one full package of a truly amazing experience.

Found one of this wonder of nature when we traveled in the town of Solsona, a 3rd class municipality in the province of Ilocos Norte, when rivers connects to waterfalls or when mountain tops stretch to a vast plateau offering a savanna like no other!

We were guests of Mr. Rene Santillan, Executive Secretary to the Mayor of Solsona, Mr. Jhong De Lara to explore the trails around Solsona and we were amazed at the variety of terrains, rich with undulating mountain climbs and treks atop single track trails over-looking the river. While the Cordillera/Mountain Province region gets all the attention when it comes to trail running, Solsona’s Cordillera mountain part offers the solitude of non-stop trail-blazing with far less people setting foot on these parts.

The mountains and the long river takes precedence here. From our base camp at the Karinking Mountain and River Resort (KMRR), we wandered into a established trail with leads at once into views of a long river below with paths of rocky single track terrain and an assortment of fauna that envelopes the area.

There are numerous epic treks that can be inter-connected to each other but the trail to the GASGAS River or what the locals fondly call the BLUE Lagoon serves an easy 30 minute single run-hike that connects to the DUA Falls and some more trails at the base of the mountains.

My trail running buddy Jun Santiago including another trekking visitor of the place Mario and our guide, Fernan were to trek on this scenic landscape beginning at the KMRR by scaling on ascending and descending boulders that offers lots of challenges. If the trails were to steep or too narrow to pass over, we slid down on ravines that leads to the river banks which were much safer to maneuver instead of risking of falling down from unsure footing. Once we find another opening to scale up, we do so to re-connect with the trails.

And when you conquer this quirk jaunts up those trails and emerge at their famed Blue Lagoon and look at at the vastness of this river, you will feel the true timelessness of this place.

Don’t forget to freshen up while in the river. The water is cold, by the way but it beats the heat that you were subjected to while scaling the trails. Enjoy!

Start of the trail

A detour to avoid the narrow, loose trail above the banks of the river

The rocky trail overlooking the river

Making a stop, enjoying the view

Another boulder atop the edge of the river

A flat portion of the terrain

Getting down from those limestones

Blue Lagoon (Gasgas River) now on view

The fast current makes it so difficult to pass through

Jun and the guide crossing on the shallow part

 

Trying to balance at the slippery rock

Trekking our way further on the eastern side of the river

One of the Dua waterfalls

The Yellow and the Eco Trails of Camp John Hay

There’s no other city on the northern part of Luzon than i am more fond of than the cool, charming summer capital, Baguio City. It’s been countless of times that i’ve been to this summer resort since the 70s but for some odd reasons, have not been able to visit this place for the last 7 years. But last week, when fellow blogger Franc Ramon invited me for a week-end of trail running at Camp John Hay (which is a few minutes from his home in the city) and at the Sta. Fe Trail Run in Ampucao, Benguet, 40 minutes further away, (story here)  i couldn’t resist the invitation.

Tha many times i’ve visited the “City of Pines”, our itinerary would include Camp John Hay (CJH), the former R&R facility of the US Armed Forces, now under ownership of the Philippine government. CJH for me was more of a place to dine, stroll along its manicured gardens, go horseback riding or set up picnic on one of the picnic tables and view the awesome natural surroundings.

However, it was only recently that i learned about the running trails inside the camp, knowing that these were used exclusive for horse-back riding and was the venue for the North Face Trail run series a few years back. So Franc, being very familiar with these trails brought me along for a short run-walk jaunt and being here for the first time was magical!

Start of the Yellow trail

The Yellow and Eco Trails provides an oasis for runners, mountain bikers, and hikers. Good thing that majority of this trail is now off limits to horse-back riding as they have been confined only up to the trail-head.

Franc and I readied our cameras to catch snaps of our run-hike and just put our minds to auto-pilot and let the undulating trails take us through hard-packed single track trails, groves of pine trees, glimpses of mountain tops, grassy fields and ravines and flowering ridges. Despite the sprinkling of mountain bikers and occasional hikers, it was amazing how serene these trails could feel.

Along the trails, we met fellow trail-ultra runner, Epoy Poblete who was also venturing into these trails for the first time.

It’s one of the most beautiful places to run in Baguio City and a great destination for trail runners who would like to explore a short but exhilarating run inside Camp John Hay.

Leaving you with some pictures we took along the route. Happy trail running!

With Franc Ramon

Bumping into Epoy Poblete (middle) who was also venturing out into the Yellow Trail

ECO TRAIL

The 2016 Sta. Fe Trail Run: A Short Review

I guess i’m past running competitively now, specially when running about on new trail paths that leaves me calmer and happier without the stress of pushing myself against others or trying to improve on myself. I still do fast-paced running once in a while but running relaxed through the woods, mountains and enjoying the camaraderie of being with other trail runners who have the same passion for the sport just takes out the pressure of running.

I think it comes with age. I’ve found relaxed trail running to be better for my body and mind. Right now, i love the laid-back feeling of discovering new venues, sharing about my new discoveries to the running community, taking photos along the trail, promoting local trail races through this blog and supporting trail runs as an alternative to road running.

The Ampucao Trails in Itogon, Benguet

Last week-end, i had one of the most amazing experiences running up north, thanks to blogger Franc Ramon who invited me to his home-town in the City of Pines where last Saturday, he brought me to his “playground” inside the vast Camp John Hay where we explored the pine tree-lined Yellow Trail and the Eco Trail (more on this on my next blog).

But the big event happened the following day where i was able to join FrontRunner Magazine’s Sta. Fe Trail Run located in Ampucao, Itogon, Benguet, a 40-minute drive away from Baguio City. Thanks to Race Directors Jonel and Con Mendoza for allowing us to register on site and joining a few dozen others explore the trails of Ampucao. The categories offered were a 21k and 10k distances. Since it was my first time running here and knowing that the course would entail mountain running, i opted for the shorter distance.

I have run so many beautiful but challenging trail run destinations but i think the Sta. Fe Trail Run route takes the cake which leads runners to one of the most breathtaking yet difficult terrain that this mountain province has to offer. I was told that this is just a glimpse of an exhaustive overview of the Cordillera Mountains.

We started on a cool, 18-degree breezy morning at about 5:45am, ten minutes after the 21k runners were fired off at the Baranggay Hall of Ampucao. After just about 450 meters, we were brought to a 100 meter concrete uphill onwards to the trails of Ampucao.

Immediately, we were treated to a unique mix of hard-packed single track trails, pine-trees all around and views of the vast Cordillera mountains. I then took out my 2 cameras, my ever reliable point and shoot digicam and the other from my Android phone.

 

The 21k runners listening to the pre-race briefing. It was cold inside the covered courts.

RD Jonel Mendoza orders the runners not to get lost or else…

The well-marked trails took us to stunning cliffs and ridges, rolling hills, switchbacks and steep climbs for runners to get in a quick workout! I was literally out of breath, both from the lung-busting climbs and the post card scenery. On the latter part of the mountain trails nearing Mt. Ulap, the views can be a little dangerous as you’ll need to pay attention to keep your balance in order to navigate the trail’s very narrow and slippery surface as you might fall on deep ravines that span mountains after mountains.

I’m leaving you with pictures of the trails as the real rewards is of course the pure joy of being here. Enjoy!

 

One of the first open spaces after the uphill single track trails

Runners descending on this magnificent view

For a second, i thought i was running in a foreign country

 

Part of the covered trails

Clouds below the mountains

Views on top of ridges

Looking at the vast Cordillera mountain range

This has got to be one of the best viewpoints along the trails

A small plateau before heading to a very long downhill

One of the trail runners on her way back

 

Sorry for that dirty finger…

Part of the route. Scaling up then return back down

Rashel Pena leading the downhill assault on this hill

Freeze! 🙂

Some hikers were on the trails as well but were all gracious enough to give way to incoming trail runners

Moi! (Photo by NxnPhoto For Events)

We had to climb this mountain with stone art atop then descend back to the trails

Some of the trails on the ridges were narrow and one dumb move, down you go to the ravines! 🙂

 

Struggling up those hills, as always.. :p

 

On the way back to the finish

It was time to end the run. I had a lovely visit to a paradise-like route but all good things must come to an end so i promised myself to return back again…soon!

 

Franc and I with the FrontRunner organizing committee

Thanks to Franc Ramon for being a gracious host and to Jonel, Con and the rest of the FrontRunner Team for staging this fantastic race!