TNF100: A Riveting Trail Run

L-R: Tagaytay Highland’s Alfredo labadan II, TNF Regional Brand Manager Ken Co, Majo Liao, TNF100 Female Champion, Primer Group AVP Dinah Yau Lim

The TNF100 was staged in Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna for the first time this year and winded through the scenic ridges of Tagaytay and through the rugged foothills of Talisay in Batangas. The runners were met with some of the most craggy and undulating hills that veteran trail runners have ever encountered!

At the start (22k) with Franc Ramon and the Running Atom

To say that the 100k run or even the 50k distance was very challenging is the understatement of the year! It can only be described as an epic pain in the arse ultra trail run as it was utterly debilitating even demoralizing at some points, according to my friends who ran both distances. True enough, statistics would tell. Out of the 231 starters of the 100km race, only 49 were able to finish the distance while for the 50k runners, a better percentage of 121 runners completed it out of a total of 162.

For the shortest event, the 22k distance, 458 runners finished out of a total of 570 runners. Results of the race could be found here:

As a consolation, many of the veteran runners who have ran the 3 previous TNF100k stagings in Baguio said that the present course in Nuvali is trickier and more arduous than those staged in the former venue. The very hot and humid weather at Nuvali proved to be the downfall of many participants!

Assault to AS7


Clearly, the course was not designed for the average trail runner. And contrary to what many perceived as an easy course compared to that of its previous Baguio venue, this year’s TNF100 was a monster route, not designed so that everyone can easily finish. Many runners, took the course very lightly and few were prepared to race on one of the most technical trail routes for this event.

So while the ultra distances were very tough, one would expect that the short 22 km distance (which i participated in as a media/blogger observer) would also have its own bells and whistles of a killer course. Surprisingly, it was tame, very manageable and with as little a challenge as doing a speed training run on the roads. The course is mainly on single tracks with some parts surrounded by lush greenery, a small stream and some gentle rolling slopes of both ground and concrete.

I was able to run two-thirds of the distance with 3 other wonderful female trail runners, Vanessa who i was able to train with during the Mt. Marami Trail Test Run a few weeks ago, her friend, Tess and a hiker and mountaineer, Marissa. I sort of set the pace of doing a run-walk method which worked out really good because it kept us from walking too long or running too fast. It also let whomever was leading to choose when they wanted to walk, and for how long. Mostly it was just the steep hills that we would walk, but later in the race we started to walk a bit more (and laugh a lot more). Just keep on moving, that was our only goal– to finish the race before cut-off time.

L-R: Marissa, moi, Tess and Vanessa

And finished we did… more than an hour before cut-off time and it was great finishing the 4 of us with our hands clasped together as we crossed the finish line! It was reminiscent of my Mt. Sembrano Trail Run Challenged when i crossed the finish line with 2 other female runners.

With trail runner friend, Ricky Francisco

We start as a group of people…we finish as a group of friends!

Thanks to Aileen Frugal, Media Relations Officer of the Primer Group of Companies for inviting me to run and observe the TNF100 proceedings, to the organizers and volunteers for putting together an outstanding race and to all the runners who toed the line, finished or not—job well done, guys!

TNF100 2015: Elevate yourself
The North Face 100 hosted the boldest trail running competition of the season, gathering the country’s top ultra-marathon runners to best it out in the Nuvali-Batangas challenge.

For five decades, The North Face remains to be the leading outdoor brand that supplies authentic, technically-innovative outdoor gear and apparel for active lifestyle enthusiasts. Whatever may be the nature of one’s outdoor inclinations, one can always find an extensive range of outdoor essentials at TNF.

Going beyond its position, at the heart of TNF is ensuring that outdoor recreation continues to flourish which ultimately inspires the brand to innovate as well as to reach out to various outdoor communities whether by sponsoring top athletes or raising the bars of a sport through its groundbreaking events. And one of the which is the biggest trail-running competition of the season, The North Face 100 or TNF100.

Hailed as the most challenging test of endurance for hardcore runners, TNF 100 was inspired by the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc race in Europe, a single stage mountain ultramarathon that takes place once a year in the Alps, of which the main sponsor is also The North Face.

Like the UTMB which is widely regarded as the most difficult foot race in Europe, it is TNF’s mission to elevate the standards of the community and urge runners to defy their limits. Once more, TNF100 did exactly that as it hosted the Philippine-leg of the competition last June 12 to 13 at Nuvali, Tagaytay, and Batangas.

With the first-ever TNF100 Philippines held in 2008, the race had gone from merely having a hundred participants to nearly 2,000 as it has come to be most highly anticipated trail running event that offers a truly unique experience and immensely challenging terrain. Over the years, TNF100 have had races in challenging and diverse terrains including ones in Clark, Batangas, Camsur, and Baguio, Benguet. This year, the route began and ended at Nuvali in Sta. Rosa Laguna, and encompassed the scenic trails of Tagaytay and Cavite all the way to Talisay, Batangas.

The race was divided into three categories – 100km solo, 50km solo, and 22km solo – for both men and women. On Day 1, the 100k began at exactly 4:00am while the 50km began at 5:00am which required runners to traverse the trail of Nuvali. Meanwhile, Day 2 saw the most competitive runners test their mettle as they race to the finish line from Nuvali all the way to Talisay, Batangas and back to Nuvali. The following day, another batch of runners gathered at 5am for the 22km race.

In the end, the toughest and most enduring runners stood out as they proved to be the very epitome of defying one’s limits. Recognizing what could be the most pivotal point of their trail running experience, the winners were awarded with medals and trophies as well as big cash prizes and TNF products to to equip them with the necessary resources they would need to continuously defy their own limits and elevate the community in the process.

Once more, TNF has held a wildly successful event that brought together the entire community of runners for a two day celebration of their unified passion for the sport and the great outdoors. The TNF100 2015 marks another significant milestone for the brand and the community as it paves the way for two important things. One of which is to showcase the breath-taking landscapes of the country to inspire everyone to go outside and explore and secondly, TNF had once again took part in raising awareness for the sport and elevating the community to a whole new level as it hosts a bigger and bolder race each year.

The North Face 100 was made possible in partnership with NUVALI, SEDA Hotel Nuvali, AXN, Gatorade & Summit as it’s official hydration sponsors, the Primer Group of Companies, R.O.X., Department of Tourism, LGUs of Laguna, Cavite and Batangas, Tagaytay Highlands, Municipalities of Canlubang, Tagaytay and Talisay . Thanks also to our media partners Business Mirror, Business World, Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin, MB Sports Digest, Speed Magazine, and Men’s Health.

(Press Release)

TNF 100: Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Join

Having established itself as one of the Philippines’ premier off road ultra running events, the 2015 TNF 100 Philippines is set to attract participants from across the world that will come to compete alongside fellow runners on this new spellbinding route.

TNF 100 Philippines’ main attraction is that all main trails have never been used in past races and as with previous TNF 100 events, you get to challenge climbing on mountain passes located in Tagaytay and Batangas. They traverse the foothills, ridges of mountains and climb atop the crater of Taal Volcano so all participants will be able to enjoy the views of the mountains, lake and vistas surrounding it.

The Taal Volcano which is often described as one of the smallest volcanoes in the world, is actually one of the largest. The entire Tagaytay ridge is the crater’s edge and the Taal Lake is the caldera of the volcano. The little ‘volcano’ you see in the centre of the lake is merely a ‘vent’! It is unique because Taal volcano is known as the largest island within a lake on an island within a lake on an island! –

As with past TNF 100 Philippines events, there will be a high level of support and hydration stations en route.

Here are 10 reasons why you should join this year’s TNF100 Philippines which will have its starting area at Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna:

1. Previous years’ wins do not define this year’s race.#TOP1Asia’s 1st and Longest Running Ultra Trail Marathon Series now spans 9 countries. Be part of the global community that breaks all boundaries and never stops exploring!

2. Pain is temporary pride is forever. #TOP2As early as now, we congratulate all #TNF100Ph2015registrants. See you on the trails. Let’s make a legendary history on June 12-13. Break all boundaries!

3. See Taal Volcano like never before. #TOP3#TNF100Ph2015 prides itself for bringing participants to previously unexplored terrain. Get a unique vantage point of Taal as a bonus! Get your slot now.

4. Another reason to join #TNF100Ph2015? It’s historical. A surprise landmark from the 70’s appears from the fire roads at KM 16. You can’t miss it! Registration still ongoing. Visit any TNF stores today! #TOP4

5. Don’t come back with just words to tell. Share your experience at the trails as it happens. Re-discover yourself at KM 68 with wilderness as the background? Only at #TNF100Ph2015!

6. Match your words with actions. You say you conquer trails? #TOP6#TNF100Ph2015 is your chance to prove it. Register online via or visit any TNF stores near you. “Early bird” registration ends on May 15. Hurry!

7. Strength is the product of struggle. #TOP7The long running tandem of  #TheNorthFace Athletes, Coach Gado and blind runner Aga Casidsid, challenge the limit of human potential as they plan to conquer their first 100KM trail run. How about you? Will you conquer #TNF100Ph2015  too?

8. Represent the country! #TNF100Ph2015 gunstart happens on Independence Day—June 12. #TOP8 Showcase Pinoy endurance against nationalities from the world over and break boundaries all together.

9. True to being innovators in the industry#TNF100Ph2015 will be the 1st Ultra Trail Marathon to offer real time tracking through your own mobile phones! #TOP9Now your family, friends and supporters can see your progress real time as you conquer the trails!

10. Be the first to explore the trails! #TOP10 Hardcore pioneers got first dibs at Nasugbu, Clark, CamSur and Baguio—Benguet, the new course of#TNF100Ph2015 Nuvali—Tagaytay—Batangas is the most accessible yet. Don’t miss the chance to claim, “I am one of the firsts!”

Dare to Break All Boundaries
The North Face 100 2015

Press Release

On its 7th year, The North Face 100, Asia’s 1st Trail Running Ultra Marathon Series and the Philippines’ mother of all trail runs continue to break boundaries and challenge everyone to Never Stop Exploring.

After 3 years of high altitude running and massive elevation gains, 215 ushers in a “fast course” where speed and multi –terrain adaptability play much bigger roles. This provides a welcome opportunity for ultra road runners to try and experience the trails in a more accessible, controlled yet still challenging environment.

The outdoor pioneers have shown that with fundamental skills, proper training, and reliable equipment extreme trails can be conquered, now we challenge the greater majority to level up their game, be counted among the ranks of trail runners and be one of The North Face in Breaking All Boundaries.

So whether you are an aspiring trail running beginner or a seasoned racer looking for new challenges, unparalleled experience is offered in each competition of this season’s largest trail running series.

Break All Boundaries, and Never Stop Exploring!

The North Face 100 was made possible in partnership with NUVALI, SEDA Hotel Nuvali, AXN, Gatorade & Summit as it’s official hydration sponsors, the Primer Group of Companies, R.O.X., Department of Tourism, LGUs of Laguna, Cavite and Batangas, Tagaytay Highlands, Municipalities of Canlubang, Tagaytay and Talisay . Thanks also to our media partners Business Mirror, Business World, Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin, MB Sports Digest, Speed Magazine, and Men’s

The North Face is exclusively distributed in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia by the Primer Group of Companies.