The Hidden Trails of Corregidor

The trail route was probably the least mentioned attraction of the Corregidor Marathon 2014 (CM) last January 11 with mostly the ruins and canons as its best seller but for me, the trails should be included as one of the highlights of the run.  The route traverses through a 3-4 km trail stretch that passes through deep forests and crosses on some of the dramatic backbone of Corregidor and its mostly tranquil-inducing wilderness.

I had posted earlier my great experience of the CM. The race was awesome,  the pre-race day was the best i have experienced with Team Soleus  as every team member really enjoyed themselves running and clowning on the hills and beach front!  You can read it all here–>(running-the-marathon-at-the-rock/) as i mentioned just slightly about the trails.

There may be more epic trails that lies within this island (like the mountain ridge trail over-looking the ocean which we did back in 2010 but wasn’t covered in this year’s edition) but this short Midland trail in this year’s event serves up a little bit of everything along the Corregidor marathon route.

Somehow, i was a little at home while venturing into these parts as i managed to stop several times and take pictures, putting at the back of my mind that i was running a race. I was able to dodge those rocks which were camouflaged by dry leaves. Saw some runners tumble when they didn’t see the rocks and the tree roots which blended well with the surface. Good thing nothing serious happened.

I think it’s possible for the CM race directors to organize a pure trail race as a side event to CM and it would be awesome to see more of the untapped trails used during the last world war. Make it into a night event and let the souls who perished in the island pace you on foot! Boooh…

Here’s a glimpse of the trails. Enjoy!

This is at the entrance of the trails where a terminal of the tranvias are located

Trails here vary from wide dirt roads to double tracks and single tracks

Some trails thread near edges of cliffs overlooking the Philippine Sea

A view from a trail’s outer fringes

This trail was the route of the 42k runners

This is one inspiring family doing the marathon together and who i ran with on most parts of the trail

A futile attempt on selfie…almost!

There were different routes on some parts of the trail. We took the main trail.

That’s Rochelle Romero of Team Soleus doing a look back shot

So peaceful here but may be at times eerie when you’re all by yourself

Now entering the double track trails, the most picturesque part of the trails

This is in the inner part of the Middle Barracks forest

Here, runners were shrouded with tall trees and fauna

These trails are rarely used, if ever..

All alone again at the 11th km of the route

A welcome sight, the 12th km marker

And an aid station in the middle of nowhere

We had our water bottles refilled here, drank coco juice and some had some drops of honey too

Behind those trees were probably spirits of WW II veterans ruffled by our running footsteps

An outpost which seem to be relatively untouched

This outpost was just recently built and used to store farm equipments

An extension of the trail where other barrack ruins are located

Trails by the ruins

Approaching the finish line

Breasting the tape (Photo by WRFGH–thanks!)

Corregidor Marathon All Set: January 11-12, 2014

Last Saturday, i was able to pick up my race packet for next week’s Corregidor Marathon and this will be my 3rd visit to the island having ran the previous years’ Corregidor International Half-Marathon. For this year, they will be having the full marathon distance for the first time and this will be another daunting task for me having just ran the 53k Kawit to Laguna (K2L) Ultramarathon last week.

Except for a 10k recovery run i did a day after my K2L, i had taken a break completely from running although i did several cross-trainings/recovery work-outs at Fitness First Gym.

At the 100 Miles Cafe for the race packet pick up last Saturday

Running a marathon is more pressure-laden to run than a 50k ultra (at least it is for me), and there’s something particular about Corregidor which makes it really a ‘bitch’ of a run…those long uphills! I still remember the parts that i really had my heart pulsating heavily and walking those uphells was the only way to get you through!

Still, nothing beats running in one of the most spectacular and best-preserved historical monuments of World War II and there’s a good reason why many runners come back to take part in this yearly out-of-town running event: the SCENERY!

This World War II battleground looks like an outdoor museum that takes you to WWII ruins, tunnels, remnants of artillery and boasts ocean views along the edges of mountains.

I’ll be running and donning the eminent black-yellow tech shirt of Team Soleus together with another chance of pacing with Soleus Brand Manager, Ms. Judith Staples, provided she doesn’t leave me again in the dust during the early stages.

Hope to see you there!

Scenes during the claiming of race packets at 100 Miles Cafe (January 4):

Corregidor Marathon Race Director Edward Kho giving a short briefing about the race

Briefing time for the runners

Samples given out by one of the race sponsors

Titus Salazar–Coach turned hair dresser? 🙂

CORREGIDOR Marathon Route:

Trails with ocean views

Routes for both the the full marathon and the half

Towards Malinta Tunnel

Trail over-looking the Pacific Ocean

The killer uphill! Race was last 2010

Long uphill stretch

Part of the scenery

The finish line of the half-Marathon Race.