Double Terrain Challenge (10km / 25km) Trail Run: August 6, 2017

Be Trail Ready Presents ::.. Double Terrain Challenge (10Km/25Km)

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10/Km and 25 Km Challenge

The thought of running through forest woods, rocky and muddy uphills and downhills, dirt roads for four or seven hours may not appeal to some, specially those who are still new to trail running but, for all its technicalities, this will be a well-organized and smoothly-run event, thanks to Race Director Dabobong Angeles and his new team “Be Trail Ready (BTR)” Events who has been at the forefront in staging short but challenging trail races near Metro Manila for the past 5 years.

Mountain passes, single track trails, water falls, raffle prizes, free food along the route and at the finish all help create a party atmosphere . And while some consider his longer distance offerings as hard-core and elite, the shorter one (10k) will be easier, manageable and will aim to attract more trail running newbies and other runners hailing from different levels.  The race’s start and finish near the vicinity of Baranggay Cuyambay, Tanay just adds to the “fiesta” factor. A 5am start should see you at the finish line in time for a well-earned medal and breakfast on the foot of this lively mountain municipality of Tanay.


Distance : 10Km Cut Off Time 4Hours / 25Km Cut Off Time 7Hours

Start Time: 5AM (25Km) / 6AM (10Km)

Starting/Finish Area: Basketball Covered Court at Brgy. Cuyambay, Tanay Rizal

Registration Fee: 10Km (Php 1,000) / 25Km (Php 1,500)

Inclusions: Finisher Medal, Finisher Shirt, BTR Saco Pack, Personalized Bib Number, Raffle and Post Race Meal

Registration Period: June 14, 2017 – July 15, 2017

Registration Procedure:

Pay the registration fee through:
Rayman D. delos Angeles (BPI S/A No. 3199-1456-56)

Send a scanned/pic copy of the deposit slip to with your name, gender and size of finisher shirt . Subject: DTC REGISTRATION and wait for confirmation through email. Please keep and present the deposit slip when claiming the race kit on the race day.

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Race medal 25k


****** The event takes place RAIN or SHINE! ******

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Part of the route…Tungtong Falls

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** Private Transportation
From Cubao take Aurora Blvd. East Bound and continue straight to Marcos Highway. You will pass by Sta. Lucia Grand Mall, Masinag, and Cogeo. After Cogeo, you will traverse zigzag roads.

You will pass by Palo Alto and Garden Cottages. A few kilometer you reach the welcome arc to Brgy. Cuyambay will be on your right.

** Public Transportation
From Cubao, take a jeep or FX to Cogeo Gate 2. Once in Cogeo, proceed to the jeepney terminal adjacent to the market and take the jeepney going to Sampaloc/Tanay. Tell the driver to drop you off at Brgy. Cuyambay.

Hire a habal-habal or tricycle to Brgy. Cuyambay Basketball Court

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25Km Runners:
Each runner must be self-contained or self-reliant with the following mandatory items:
• Hydration bottle/ pack with least 1.5 Liters of water
• Trail food
• Drinking Cup
• First aid kit
• Whistle
• Fully charged cellphone
• Headlamp/Flashlight

10Km Runners:
Each runner must be self-contained/ self-reliant with the following mandatory items:
• Hydration bottle/pack with at least 1L of water
• Trail food
• Drinking Cup
• First aid kit
• Whistle
• Fully charged cellphone

NOTE: These mandatory items will be check upon checked-in at the starting line and will be randomly checked during the race.

PARKING: Will be available the near the race site.

FOOD: Kindly present your race bib number to the people at the food booth when claiming your free post-race meal.

RACE SHIRTS: Shirts may be claimed at the Secretariat booth on race day. Please present your race bib number to claim. If in cases of unavailability of your shirt sizes, we humbly ask for your kindness as we shall send you your shirt after the race. Our race secretariat will note your name, contact number and email address and we ensure that you’ll receive your shirts at the soonest.

HYDRATION: There will be water and juices available in every aid stations. Note please that we will not provide drinking cups so it’s mandatory for every runner to bring their own cups. Water are for drinking and not for bathing.

AID STATIONS: We will provide food in every aid station which are as follows: chocolates, jellyace, boiled eggs, and the all-time favourite TIPAS HOPIA. If you have any food preference, you are encouraged to bring your preferred trail food.

Lagalag Sundown Ecotrail Run: April 8, 2017


Date:       April 8, 2017
Venue:    Timberland Heights, San Mateo, Rizal
Start Time:   3:00pm

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Lagalag’s inaugural Sundown Trail Run held last year didn’t create much stir as it may have registered below the regular trail runner’s radar but for the 300+ runners who were able to join the 3:00pm gun start, it was one of the best organized trail races with the cushy, well-maintained trails and beautiful views of the surrounding mountains that got our attention at Timberland Heights in San Mateo, Rizal.

Even though the weather was warm and humid, the race volunteers, course markings, bike marshals and the over-all race organization will be very hard to beat. The trails have nice single tracks, fire roads, lush forest, streams and non-stop views of the Sierra mountain range. This is one of those splendid races where you should really be taking in the scenic views but will probably be too busy trying not to wipe off the sweat in your face because of the warm weather.

For those of you who have not experience running at the Timberland trails, here’s your chance to do so.  The Lagalag Sundown Eco-Trail Run 2017 is happening on April 8. It will offer a 6km, 12km and a new 25km trail run (in lieu of the half marathon distance last year) which will start at 3:00pm.

We shall be updating you for more race details on this blog as soon as they come along.

Here are the details of the race:

Categories and Registration Fees:
6 km:    P750.00
12 km:  P900.00
25 km:  P1,200.00 (New Category)

Registration is now open!
Registration options:
1. Online: go to and select LAGALAG SUNDOWN Ecotrail Run
2. In-store registration: Visit Lagalag store at SM North and Baguio City Branch for manual registration and payment.

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Here are some pictures from last year’s race:

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At the start

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Uphill start

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FREE for the first 200 (paid) registrants.

Good news! Organizers are giving away a LAGALAG FUEL BELT for FREE for the first 200 (paid) registrants.

This is an all-purpose utility belt that sits comfortably around the waist. It’s a fanny pack, racing number belt or music device holder. Use it to carry your personal belongings: keys, IDs, small snacks, gels. Use it anywhere. Go anywhere!

Registration options:
1. Online: go to and select LAGALAG SUNDOWN
2. In-store registration: Visit Lagalag store SM North and Baguio City Branch for manual registration and payment.


The 2016 North Face TNF100: A Short Review

Every trail has its own unique characteristics… it has its magnet of charms, its allure speaking at you to discover it. Many are mostly gentle, letting you savor its calm terrain and green scenery. But it can also be harsh, forcing you to climb its steepest hills and stumble when you step on outgrown roots, hidden on soft, mushy pine needles.

Its sternness however reminds us that for every route that we take, there will be gale winds to blow our faces, higher mountains to trek until we are out of breath, rivers to slip into its cold waters until we reach the other end and only then would we be rewarded and discover who we truly are.

Last week-end, i was one of those fortunate to run the 2016 North Face Trail Run Challenge at the paradise-like Camp John Hay in Baguio City.

A loop going to the Eco Trails with the 11k runners

The John Hay Country Club was the start of the 100k, 50k, 22k and 11k trail run distances as the route showcased the scenic mountain ranges and the pine tree-lined trails of the Cordilleras. The race course is not new to me, having ran it several times with blogger and trail runner, Franc Ramon during my visits in his hometown here in the City of Pines. As part of the Primer Group Media Team led by Ms. Aileen Frugal, Media Relations Officer of the Primer Group, we were able to observe the activities of this premier race and witness hundreds or maybe a thousand trail runners testing their mettle in this scenic but harsh route laid out by the organizers.

Media and bloggers converge at the Microtel before our respective races

The 50k runners on their way

Leaving Manila at about 10am, we arrived in Baguio City at 3:00pm, checked-in at our designated hotel, the dainty MICROTEL with just enough time to freshen ourselves before the race briefing and race packet claiming for the 50k and 100k runers at the nearby Newtown Hotel which started at 4:00pm.

When we arrived, the place was teeming with hundreds of trail runners, many familiar faces, old friends and others i met for the first time. The briefing was held in a convention hall of the hotel that was large and pretty expansive. The packet pick up was an easy process and the organizers took turns in discussing all details of the race and an open discussion of concerns ensued.

At the race briefing center in Newtown Hotel where hundreds of trail runners came to pick up their race packets

With known personalities in the trail running community (L-R) Iggy Lopez, Monolito Divina, Thumbie Remigio and Wilnar Iglesia.

The following morning, Saturday was the race of the 50k and 100k distance runners with the latter taking off at 3:00am while most of the Baguio City residents were probably still tucked in their blankets. The 50k runners were sent off an hour later. Later that morning, our media team had the chance to visit and survey parts of the route, visiting various Aid Stations while watching runners come and go during their breaks on these stations.

U-Turn of the 50k runers at Itogon, Benguet

Last shot for 50k runners before they turn around on their way back

We saw first hand the difficulty of the terrain these runners had to endure, specially the 100km runners who had to battle intense heat, miles of undulating steep climbs, freezing cold when they reached the top, sudden downpours, cold sweeping winds, deep ravines, and thick fogs that rendered their head lamps useless. It was a difficult course navigating, exacerbated through the storm’s calamity. Later learned that many were not able to finish the race because of these trail hazards. Still a gallant effort for all these trail warriors!

100k Veterans, Jon Las Bruce and JC Igos on their lunch break at AS5 (Camp 1) before their assault back at the mountains. Both finished their race just 3 hours before cut-off time

While the 100k and 50k runners were out on their journey on the trails, the media and bloggers had a long Press briefing with Tim Sedo (L), TNF Regional Marketing Manager for HK and Asia and Jundel Llagas, Jr. (R), TNF Division Manager. Both had committed to support the TNF races in Asia, particularly in the Philippines where trail runing has grown leaps and bounds. They both assured that the TNF Trail Challenge Philippines will be in Baguio again next year, 2017.

The following day, Sunday was our turn to blaze the trails inside John Hay. I was originally set to do the 22km distance but didn’t want to bring havoc to my still recuperating left Achilles tendon so i decided to downgrade to the 11km distance.

With two of my media friends

Before the start with the 50k runners

We arrived at the venue at about 4:30am with cool weather and some morning fog enveloping the area. I was with about 10 other runners from the media and were poised just to have a good time running on one of the most beautiful paths of Baguio City.

With the SMART Communications Team and their Big Boss, Ian Yu aka Dagul Runner (L).

Champion of the 50k distance from South Korea who came in at 5:34:18

The 11k distance actually measured to 12.6k. It was a feeling of exhilaration combined with moments of exhaustion because of the arduous ascents on the middle stages of the route.

One of the best views running at the Yellow Trail

Highlights of this run are the rolling hills of the Eco Trail, the 500 meter zigzagging climb up to the Yellow Trails where i experienced some kind of oxygen debt just trying to put one foot over the other in reaching the top, the pine tree-laden Yellow Trails and the 45 degree, 300 meter slippery descent towards the embassy area which you will have to climb back once you reach the turn-around point. Best highlight many first-timers were raving were the great views all through-out, from the mountain ranges, deep ravines and the exceptionally wonderful trails with the pine trees surrounding it!

Runners at the Eco Trail

Congestion during the downhill parts of the trails

At the Yellow Trails

This was my 2nd time running the TNF Trail Challenge as last year’s race in Nuvali was one i didn’t savor too much as it was warm and humid compared to the cool mountains of Baguio. The TNF100Ph2016 lived up to its hype as it had what the organizers said it was…cool breeze, fresh air, awesome mountain views, umbrellas of pine trees, wooded forests, friendly race marshals and a lot more.

Some markings on the trails (c) Randy Belen

In no way do i get runner’s high or anything that will impress me anymore but having said that, it was still a great experience! The hills almost ate me alive, but I didn’t let me get the best of me. It was quite the hilly course but the people i ran with, the views and great camaraderie make it for an unforgettable experience.

Over-all, a amazing race and a majestic course.  Never have I experienced anything like it. And I highly recommend the short distance races (11k and 22k) for those new to trail running as a bucket list. Anyone can do it. Thank you TNF and Aileen Frugal of the Primer Group for hosting a great event!

Here are some pictures of our TNF experience. Enjoy!

With Ricky Francisco and his friend, Judith

With Cardimax-Clark Ultramarathon organizer and Simple Hydration Ambassador Tin Ferrera


With the Antique Hangaway Trail Run organizers led by Toto Manie Magbanua (second from left)

With 50k finisher, Marie Joyce!

With Pat and Tolits

At the MICROTEL where we were billeted.

With Iron Iris

The one and only Jose Ramizares!

With Majo Liao and the Great Jared!


The one and only shot from the Running Photographers! Thanks!

A Taste of Antique Trails (ATAT): Antique’s First 10K Trail Race


The A Taste of Antique Trail Race (ATAT) is a small event that showcases the trails of Sibalom, Antique in the Island of Panay and is expected to draw many seasoned trail runners from Antique and nearby Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz and Boracay as well as runners from Metro Manila.

This trail race will be held on January 10, 2015 where the weather will be generally cool during this time and makes for a great race atmosphere. This will be Antique’s first organized trail running event and will feature newly discovered trails that vary from single-track paths, dirt roads, hanging bridges and short river crossings. This will be an adventure trail run with awesome scenery that will cater to those chosen few who want a cheap race but not be bothered down with big crowds, heavy logistics, high entry fees.

Here are the details of the race and a sneak peek of the trails:

Race Details

RACE DAY – January 10, 2016
DISTANCE – 10K Trail

Regular Registration
November 23, 2015 to January 3, 2016
Php 750.00

Late Registration
January 4 – 8, 2016
Php 900.00Inclusives
Personalized Bib (for registration not later than December 31)
Technical Shirt
Post-race MealAssembly time
4:30amGun Start
5:00amClick here for On-Line Registration: or more details, please contact:



+63 917 7954458
+63 926 7168791
A.T.A.T. – A Taste of Antique Trails Route 1 is a first trail running event to be organized in Antique, Philippines. It is a 10K event that will kick off from Barangay Egaña in Sibalom. The route is friendly to first time trail runners but it is composed of 15% cement road, rough/aggregate road, hill climb (muddy when it’s raining), steep downhill, river crossing and the highlight would be the steel hanging bridge approximately 1.5Km from the finish line. This race is organize by the team behind The Antique Marathon.

Finisher’s Shirt


The route is not so technical but is enough to give runners the real challenge of trail running. It is compose of 1.5 km cemented road before it enters another few kilometers of dirt, aggregate road with some sharp stones approaching the muddy uphills. It is advisable to wear road-to-trail running shoes. There are parts of steep descend which is so slippery especially when it rains then followed by river crossings. Expect to get wet.

Rivers are located somewhere about km 7-8. It’s perfect to soak in the fresh water to freshen up those tired legs and cool down the hot body temperature. The highlight would be the steel suspension bridge or the hanging bridge. Runners are advised to walk across it as the vibration makes it hard to run especially if many runners would cross at the same time.



1. Participants below 18 years old must have their waiver signed by a parent/guardian.

2. Race bib number must be worn at all time during the race. It should be pinned in front of the running shirt.

3. Registration is non-transferable and non-refundable.

4. Finisher’s shirt size are on a first-come-first serve basis. The first to cross the finish line will have the privilege of choosing his/her size base on availability.

5. Organizers maintain the right to remove any participant from the race. Injuries and  medical emergencies are the utmost priority.

6. A cut off time will be strictly implemented. Runners on the course after the cut off time will be pulled out by the race marshals.

7. The race will start exactly on time. Late runners will be allowed but must still finish within the required cut off time.

8. Organizers can impose time penalties or disqualification on runners who do not follow race rules.

9. NO CHEATING! Runners are NOT allowed to ride any vehicle or take a short cut even he is not aiming for a podium finish. All runners must start and end the race exactly like all runners do.

9. All protests related to the results must be made in writing and submitted to the Race Director within 30 minutes after the official announcement of winners.

10. The organizers reserve the right to make changes at its discretion without prior notice. The organizers’ decision is final.


All runners are REQUIRED to bring their own hydration packs. No hydration station will be provided along the route. Hydration will be provided only at the start/finish area. There rivers and are natural spring waters sprouting along the route that runners can use to wash, bathe or freshen up. but not recommeded for drinking. Medical stations will be strategically placed along the route. ​


Race bib distribution will be announced through our page.


Vanj Endaya Test Runs the Cavinti Trails

As the 1st Cavinti Road and Trail Adventure Marathon winds down on its final 3 weeks, registration is at fever pitch with the 21k and 42k distances already running out of race bibs! Race Director Joseph Prince Baltazar had to reconsider requests to open up more slots and with the Cavinti Mayor’s go signal decided to add an additional 100 slots for the 21k and 50 more slots for the 42k distances.

I’m a bit surprised how this trail run has attracted huge interest considering that the venue is located remotely away from Metro Manila where travel time takes about 2 to 3 hours to get there and the limited time it took for the organizers to launch the race.

Already, registrants numbered to 445 from the day registration opened 2 weeks ago and is about to exceed the limit of 500 runners for the four (4) distances offered.

Part of the allure of this race might be its scenic course, a combination of roads and trails that winds down to many interest facets of Cavinti like its natural forests, lakes, rivers, mountains and its brown trails and fire roads. Together with other trail runner friends, I was fortunate enough to document the route of the race during a test run we did a few weeks ago which best describes on a blog i wrote:

Mild temperatures, expansive views of surrounding mountains, rolling hills, moderate elevation gains, a beautiful lake and wildflower meadows are the highlights of running in Cavinti. It reminded me of running up the mountain passes of Miyamit in Porac, Pampanga but here, they were shorter and the rolling terrain was more tolerable.

The dirt roads and wide-track trails offer everything from gentle loops to challenging climbs with sweeping views of the Sierra Madre Mountains…

(Complete story and pictures here: cavinti-test-trail-run/):

Just recently, no less than runner and triathlete A-Lister Vanj Endaya took to the trails of Cavinti and tested its waters, so to speak.

Vanj is such a popular multi-sports figure in the local community that when she posts her pictures on Facebook while either running, biking or just lounging around at home or at work on a selfie shot, chances are that in just an hour or two, the picture would garner anywhere from 150-200 “likes”, more if she’s in close-up shots wearing those body-hugging tri-suite of hers!

She’s sexy, to put it bluntly and she attracts what any red-blooded male (or even female) runner wants to see in a female athlete… fast, fierce and a beautiful competitor!

Unless any conflict of schedule gets in the way, Vanj is running the 12k or 21k of this race on November 30.

Let’s get to see some of her pictures during her run in Cavinti a few days ago:

Whether in a trail or road shoe, it sure looks good on her

Getting ready for the run

At the spillway

At the Bumbungan Eco Park

At a fire road in the innermost side of Cavinti (This pic attracted 510 likes as of press time)

She gives us a sneak peek of the 42k route

After the run, Vanj gives a courtesy call to Cavinti Mayor Milbert Oliveros (middle). At left is RD Joseph Prince Baltazar

The nice glass-made 42k medal

Glass trophy

Thanks to Aquiz Minlay and Vanj Endaya for the photos!

A Glimpse of the Last 14K: CRT42

After running a 25km road-trail run last month in Cavinti, Laguna  with fellow trail runners, i was back again in this quaint town (alone this time) at the invitation of Prince Baltazar who sits as the Cavinti Sports Coordinator and Race Director of the forthcoming Cavinti Adventure Road-Trail Marathon (CRT42) which will be held on November 30, 2013.

Prince wanted to showcase the other parts of the road-trail marathon after he had shown us most of the trail route last month and this time, it was the concrete road part that he wanted me to see.

I was supposed to leave Manila for Cavinti at about 9am last Friday but because of last minute tasks that i had to complete at work, i was only able to leave at about 12 noon, riding a BLTB bus in Cubao. Reached Sta. Cruz, Laguna at about 2:30pm and took another short jeepney ride to Pagsanjan where Prince was to meet me at a local 7-Eleven Store in the middle of town.

So i finally met with Prince, but there was another 7 km jeepney ride we had to make from Pagsanjan to Cavinti and when we finally arrive at the Cavinti Municipal Hall it was already past 4pm. Although there wasn’t much traffic to contend with, the rains made it hard to navigate the roads as  it was foggy so drivers had to slow down considerably.

With Prince

Wasn’t up to running that afternoon and with rains coming on and off, we just decided just to run the route the following day. That night, there would be a party to be held at the Plaza for the municipal hall employees so here’s one event that i would have to witness and probably take part at, with all the food, booze and dancing! Uh oh, i know i’ll just be sticking with the food and spirits.

Woke up the following day with a little hang-over as Prince was already up and about waiting for me to wake up! It was about 8am, so late that i had to rush for shower and change up to running gear.

We set off and surveyed the area from Bumbungan Eco Park, where the race would end, and working our way back to where the concrete roads would start after running the trails. This means that the marathon would start on concrete roads for the first 10k, then the trails start at about the 10.1km mark up to the 28k mark. From 28k, it would be a roller coaster run back on cement roads up to the finish. So that’s another 14k of concrete roads.

So without much further ado, here are the scenes that 42k runners will enjoy in running the last 14k of the Cavinti Adventure Road and Trail Marathon (CRT42) on November 30, 2013.

Starting line of the race. At the foot of the centuries old Cavinti Transfiguration of Our Lord Parish

Scene at the Bumbungan Eco Park where slaughtered pigs are being bartered every Saturday morning or brought to the local markets. This will also be the finish line of the Marathon

Torrential rains in the last few days have murked this clear river. Hope water clears up on race day

More scenes come race day

Boundary to Paowin. Runners will be able to wash their shoes here coming from some muddy parts of the trail

Prince running this spillway which is just ankle deep.

Great view from atop the spillway bridge crossing

Another view from the spillway bridge

From this point, another 18 kms awaits the 42k runners before the finish line

A downhill part that overlooks Lake Lumot

Lumot Lake and the Caliraya mountains

Fish (tilapia) pens at the lake and they are quite tasty here.

A closer view of the scenery

Nice view to those residents living below

A selfie moment

Trees and plants abound on both sides of the road

Stopping by a ricefield

The end of the trail part before going back to the roads. Hope no rains will occur during race day.

A look at Lumot Lake from the west side

1st Cavinti Adventure Trail Marathon: Nov. 30, 2013

The first ever Cavinti Adventure Trail Marathon will be held on November 30, 2013 in the beautiful, centuries-old town of Cavinti, Laguna Province and starts at the Town Plaza, fronting the historic Our Lord Parish Church.

The town is hosting for the first time a trail run marathon with runners completing a scenic loop deep within forest trails and rough roads, woodlands, rivers, falls and a lake that will surely mesmerize runners completing their respective distances.

The course for the 42k runners will have moderate to steep rolling hills, several river crossings, one of which will lead to the Cavinti underground river. Mild to cool temperatures, expansive views of surrounding mountains, rolling hills, moderate elevation gains, a beautiful lake and wildflower meadows will be some of  the highlights of this race.

The start will be at the Cavinti Town Plaza where the town mayor and the townsfolk of Cavinti will be on hand to send-off the runners in their adventure run while the finish will end at the Bumbungan Eco Park Falls where runners will be treated with a sumptuous lunch after they cross the finish line.

The organizers will just be setting up conveniently placed refilling stations in different points of the route. No cups will be provided to ensure an environmentally friendly race. So runners are encouraged to bring their own hydration bottles, Hydration back-packs, hydration belts or any hydration gear.

Cut Off Times will be:

42km/10hours cut-off,

21Km/ 5hours cut-off &

12km/ 3hours Cut-off times

More updates will follow soon and will be posted in this blog.

For more details of the race course, here’s our test run made a few weeks ago and take a glimpse on what to expect: a-sneak-peek-our-cavinti-25k-adventure-run/

Cavinti Adventure Trail Marathon
November 30, 2013 @ 4:30AM
Cavinti Town Plaza, Cavinti, Laguna
Organizer: Cavinti Sports and Tourism Council

Registration Fee:

6k   – P300.00

12k – P500.00

21k – P800.00

42k – P1,200.00


– Inclusive of Singlet, Finishers Shirt/medals (42k and 21k), race bibs, packed lunch and guidelines.

Registration Venue:
ARC Manila, SecondWind Running Stores, 100 Miles Cafe (BGC) AX Fitness Center (Sta.Cruz,Laguna)

You can also send or deposit your registration fee to Bpi acct#417-9363017/ A/Cs of Juden Thaddy & Race Director- Joseph “Prince” Baltazar. CP Nos. 09182300203/ 09172066110

Please send your Deposit slip with Distance & Singlet Size for confirmation-Email address:

Bus Service To Be Provided To and From the Race Venue (for an additional fee):

–to be announced

21k and 42k Finishers Shirt


Race will finish here at the Bumbungan Eco Park

Lake Lumot

The trails inside Cavinti

River crossings

Views along the route

Uphills galore

Wide open rough roads

At the underground river complex

Mountain bikers will be part of the marshals during the race

A Sneak Peek: Our Cavinti 25K Adventure Run

If anyone would ask for a suggestion where they could run some trails in Laguna, i’d mention Cavinti in a heartbeat! The rough roads and trails are a hidden gem for trail running but it’s the fantastic scenery within this quaint town that immediately grabs your attention.

I was in for a treat when long-time friend and the run’s host Prince Baltazar invited me and other trail running friends for a test run on the rough roads and trails of his hometown in Cavinti, Laguna which has never been actually tried by runners before and the chance of being the first runners to set foot on these trails was pretty exciting, indeed.

Running buddy June and i, together with Chito and Wilnar who tailed us in the second car set off at about 4am from Quezon City, enough for the 2-hour drive to Cavinti, as i thought. I then realized that our departure time was too late for the scheduled 6:00am run as it took us about 3 hours to reach Cavinti, including a short stop-over we made in Fami for breakfast.

While Chito and Wilnar had porridge and an egg for breakfast, June and i had our fill of Goto-Batangas with egg and a cup of rice each which should be enough as energy reserve for our run. It took us all less than 10 minutes to finish our food as i realized that we were really running late.

Goto batangas

Fortunately when we arrived at about 7:20am, the runners were still congregating at the covered court as announcements were being made by our host.

We were greeted by mild rains that Sunday morning when we arrived so i expected the trails to be wet and muddy. As announced by Prince, the run will cover a distance of around 30k, the first 10k to be ran along the main concrete highway and the last 20k on rough roads and trails. Except for the first 2 kms of the trail road which were indeed muddy, the succeeding kilometers were drier and soft which made my run easier and manageable.

Mild temperatures, expansive views of surrounding mountains, rolling hills, moderate elevation gains, a beautiful lake and wildflower meadows are the highlights of running in Cavinti. It reminded me of running up the mountain passes of Miyamit in Porac, Pampanga but here, they were shorter and the rolling terrain was more tolerable.

The dirt roads and wide-track trails offer everything from gentle loops to challenging climbs with sweeping views of the Sierra Madre Mountains including parts which were denuded by illegal logging for timber and coals for cooking, a rather heart-breaking sight.

All in all, we did a total of 24.7 kms (not 30k which was originally intended) in about 4 hours and 23 mins which included all the walking and picture taking i did along the course. The batteries of my old point and shoot camera gave out after only a few shots so please bear with the pictures as i used my BB phone as replacement.

As i am typing this, Prince had just announced that the first Cavinti Adventure Trail Marathon and Half-Marathon is going to take place here with tentative date on November 30, 2013. So here is a glimpse on what to expect on this course:

At the Cavinti Plaza, in front of the Municipal Hall just before the run

A mini dam taken from atop a bridge

The first 10k of the run were done in concrete with views of forests, lakes, mountains and residential neighbors

June and Val taking their time

Passing by this beautiful lake, Lake Lumot

One of the scenic views of our run

Lake is rich in aquatic resources

Couldn’t help but go down the shore to take some pics! 🙂

Arianne Ortega catching up with us

Entry into the trails and rough roads. Luckily, the trails weren’t this bad as we went along inside

We had bikers from Cavinti who acted as our guides so we wouldn’t get lost on the trails. Thanks to Prince!

Nice view of the countryside though the road was damp and soggy

This is our guide’s playground

14 kilometers of rough roads going to the underground cave

This is how green the place is when you consider that illegal logging has denuded some parts of this area

One of the few dwellings located in the area

Entrance to the Deaf Evangelistic Alliance College

Sign at the entrance: Isaiah 29:18

The School’s Church

The 2nd half of the route is mostly rolling terrain

One of many uphills

The ugly face of illegal logging

Another sad picture of illegal logging

Going further inside the forest

One of my favorite parts of the trail

These trails and rough roads snake around the Sierra Madre mountain range

A scenic view near the 22k mark

Another uphill trail

The trees are always a feast of the eyes

The trails were drier on these portions but intermittent showers kept the grounds soft

The trees seem to be arranged perpendicular to each other

Endless mountain views

Downhill all the way from here

Just a kilometer away from the caves

A green rotunda trail

Just after this bend is the finish

All that was left at the boodle lunch table. 🙂

Finally, our destination (Thanks to Benj for the photo)

Water was cold enough to dip our tired legs

Taking a refreshing dip on the icy river

With May Santos

This bamboo raft transported us to the cave

The mouth of the cave

The underground cave

Another group pic

Thanks to Benj Termulo, Prince Baltazar, Ronnel Go, Vener Roldan and the others for letting me use their pictures posted here.