Holy Week Trail Running @ the City of Pines

It can’t be all a visit to Mines View Park, a stroll along Session Road, shopping at the public market, a banca ride at the Burnham Lake, nor church visitations that you do when visiting the City of Pines during Lenten week… and though I witnessed all these activities when I visited Baguio City last weekend with my running team, it was a whole new chapter when you’re with like-minded runners.

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Burnham Lake

Often flooded with tourists during Holy Week, what I did was to initiate a trail run along the pristine trails inside Camp John Hay, a favorite running haven for those in the know where you can enjoy peace and solitude, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, for a change.

My team, not used to a lot of trail running, were also looking forward to a break from their road run trainings back home, and this was a great opportunity to show them what the trails in this mountain city had to offer. This was their first time to explore the area and what a fabulous way for them to experience running the Blue and Yellow trails inside CJH.

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At the start of the Blue Trail

The Yellow and Blue Trails provides an oasis for runners, 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.

Betty 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, pine top needles, ravines and flowering ridges. Despite a sprinkling of occasional hikers, it was amazing how serene these trails could feel.

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!

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With Tita Betty

 

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With trail running champ, James Telias

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Burnham Park

 

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Strawberry Taho

Lagalag Sundown Trail Run on May 14, 2016: A Sneak Peek

When did you last ran the trails inside Timberland Heights? Since the majority of the trails inside Timberland have been closed to the public just recently, not many have actually been there to experience the cushy, well-maintained trails and beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.

This forested park located in a residential/resort development area in San Mateo features endless trails in the wilderness with glimpses of the Metro Skyline, parts of Taal Lake, Mt. Arayat and the plains of Central Luzon. It’s a trail runner’s paradise with nice single tracks, fire roads, lush forest, streams and non-stop views of the Sierra mountain range.

So 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 2016 is happening on May 14. It will offer a 6km, 12km and a 21km trail run which will start at 3:00pm.

Newbies and regular trail runners are invited to join. The Lagalag Sundown Eco-Trail Run will be the first of the Lagalag trail running series for this year.

RACE DETAILS:

LAGALAG SUNDOWN ECO-TRAIL RUN (May 14, 2016)
Timberland Heights, San Mateo, Rizal
May 14, 2016

Categories:
21KM: P950
12KM: P800
6KM: P700

CUT-OFF TIMES:
21 KM: 4 hrs (Bring headlamps just in case you arrive past 4 hours)
12 KM: 3 hrs
6 KM: 2 hrs

Race inclusions:
Finisher’s shirt
Post-race snack

Registration options:
A. BANK DEPOSIT
1) Deposit the reg.fee to:
• BPI Acct name: Soulsports
• Acct. Number: 1999 04 9873
2) Email scanned copy of deposit slip to: events.lagalag@gmail.com with subject header: LAGALAG SUNDOWN REGISTRATION
• Please include the following details:
o Full name
o Gender
o Race distance
o Contact info.
o Shirt size (XS, S, M, L, XL)

B. Or register in-store starting April 11, 2016
• In-store race venue: Lagalag Store, Lower Ground floor, SM North City Center.

Limited slots only.
Deadline for registration is on April 29, 2016.

Shuttle service:
We will be arranging for a paid ( by participants thru reservation) shuttle service from Philcoa to Timberland and back. We will post more details on this.

The route maps for each category:

Here’s a sneak peek of the trails inside the Timberland Heights:

Salomon X-Trail Run 2016: A Sneak Peek

 

The Salomon X-Trail Run is back and for this year, the race venue will be at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Zambales which again will offer challenging, lung-busting but scenic trails. This premier trail run will be held on April 9, 2015 and will offer a 6k, 12k Road To Trail Runs and the more challenging 24k and 32k mountain runs!

Both the 24 and 32k distances will be for the veteran trail runners and offers a very tough course and as with all previous Salomon Trail races will pass through arduous mountain peaks, breathtaking views, the El Kabayo Falls, several stream crossings and rolling hills.

The 6k and 12k events are designed to be easier, flatter, and faster than the longer distances. The courses are exhilarating & typically along a combination of roads, dirt trails and river crossings. Highlights of this course is the Pamulaklakin Trails.

During the launching of the Salomon X-Trail Run 2016 with Salomon Philippines Brand Manager, Janice Tanada (sitting, 2nd from right).

Salomon Xtrail Pilipinas 2016
April 09, 2016
SBMA Subic, Zambales

Registration Fees:

6km Road to Trail – P 850.00
12km Road to Trail – P 1,100.00
24km Mountain Run – P 1,400.00
32km Mountain Run – P 1,600.00

Note: Medical Certificate Required for 24km and 32km Mountain Run (Please submit upon race kit claiming)

Salomon Brand Ambassador Erick Guieb wearing the 2016 Salomon Dri-Fit Shirt

CHECK HERE: RACE INCLUSIONS,  RULES AND MANDATORY EQUIPMENTS OF EACH CATEGORY.  

Cut-off times:
6km – 1.5 hours
12km – 2.5 hours
24km – 5 hours
32km – 7 hours

Categories & Gun Starts:

  • 32km* – 4:45am
  • 24km* – 5:00am
  • 12km – 5:30am
  • 6km – 6:00am

Registration Centers:
Registration is until March 31, 2016.
Online registration -> http://www.extribe.com.ph/salomonxtrailregform.html

Online Fees will be added to the the Registration Fees and Bus Reservation Fees to facilitate online transactions.

In-store registration:
Salomon Store
– SM Megamall
– Glorietta 3
– SM North Annex
– SM Aura

Race Kit Claiming

You may claim your race packet at the following Salomon Branches on April 1-3 only.

  • Salomon SM Megamall
  • Salomon Glorietta 3
  • Salomon SM North Annex
  • Salomon SM Aura

Please select where you wish to claim your race packets in the online registration form.

​Please present a valid ID (with picture) and a copy of your confirmation letter. 24KM and 32KM Mountain Run participants are also required to present Medical Certificates to guarantee that they are fit to engage in this activity.

Online registrants for 6km or 12km categories, may have their race packets delivered via courier for P150. METRO MANILA ONLY.

BUS RESERVATION

Bus Shuttle Services are available to transport you to Subic. Meeting place for the bus will be at Trinoma (Mindanao Parking) on April 9 at 12:00am. Buses DEPART AT 1:00am.
​You may reserve your seats through your online Registration Form. P650 per person for online reg.

Entrance to the Pamulaklakin Trails

PRESS RELEASE:

The Salomon Pilipinas XTrail Run 2016 is calling all trail fanatics and running enthusiasts, as the much-awaited running event of the season is upon us once again – the Salomon X-Trail Run. Hosted by the leading brand for trail running, Salomon presents a series of trail running in the Asia-Pacific Region. For nearly ten years, the brand has mounted some of the more challenging trail running races, which features different terrain surfaces, vertical ascents, long uphill climbs, with multi-surfaces of dirt, rocks, sand, and concrete paths. This much anticipated event of Salomon has been making waves around Asia, including Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

On its 5th consecutive year, the Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas is thrilled to have the event in Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zambales, on April 9, 2016. As a trademark of Salomon’s race route, new trails are designed & opened just for this event. The race will allow the participants to experience Subic’s Majestic valleys, abundant hills and rivers & thick forests, while providing a breathtaking view of the countryside.

Salomon X-Trail Run Pilipinas Categories

The 32km Mountain Run is targeted for trail runners with advanced trail running experience. More for the adrenaline-junkies, this route presents a mixture of different terrains, from asphalt and soil, to rocks, and mud. This category includes some river crossing, and technical ascents, a simulation of Skyrunning—the turf of Salomon. There are mandatory gears for this category: headlamp, whistle, and hydration pack/belt – all of which will be checked prior to the race. The event imposes a strict “No Mandatory Gear, No Race” rule. Registration Fee is P1,600 which include a race bib, timing chip, Salomon X-trail technical jersey, Salomon race bag, and a post-race meal. Those who finish within the cut-off time of 7 hours will receive a Finisher’s medal.

The 24km Mountain Run is targeted for trail runners who wish to push the boundaries of their endurance. This category presents itself as a ‘level-up’ from the usual trail runs, as it includes technical ascents and varying terrain, simulating Skyrunning as well. The mandatory gears for this category include: headlamp, whistle, and hydration pack/belt – which will all be checked prior to the race. The event imposes a strict “No Mandatory Gear, No Race” rule. Registration fee is P1,400 which include a race bib, timing chip, Salomon X-trail technical jersey, Salomon race bag, and a post-race meal. Those who finish within the cut-off time of 5 hours will receive a Finisher’s medal.

The 12km Road to Trail Category, is targeted for runners with short-distance trail running experience, with the hopes of leveling-up their trail skills to a more technical level. The registration fee is P1,100 which include a race bib, timing chip, Salomon X-trail technical jersey, and a post-race meal. The cut-off time is 2.5 hours.

The 6km Road to Trail Category, is targeted to entice beginners to try the sport of trail running. Registration fee is P850, which include a race bib, timing chip, Salomon X-trail technical jersey, and a post-race meal. The cut-off time is 1.5 hours.

The Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas 2016 is a GREEN RUN. No disposables will be provided at the hydration stations.

Registration for the Salomon X-Trail Run Pilipinas 2016 is open until March 31, via the registration centers: Online Registration via credit card at http://www.salomonxtrailpilipinas.com , or via Registration at the Salomon Stores – Salomon Store SM Aura, Salomon Store SM Megamall, Salomon Glorietta 3 Store, Salomon Store SM Annex North Edsa.

Bus Shuttle to and from Subic is available for the first 300 registrants, for an additional fee of P600. Race kit distribution is on April 1 to 3, at Salomon Stores. Delivery option is also available, please contact Extribe at (02) 439-3007.

DBB Mt. Batolusong Mountain Run: Oct. 25, 2015

Good times are coming for trail runners who are itching their way to run the great outdoor trails once again. The Mt. Marami 21k Trail Challenge is up this coming Sunday where most of the 700+ trail runners ( a record of sorts) will be having the chance of having their pictures taken at the dizzying Silyang Bato, near Mt. Marami’s peak. Also happening is the Conquer 50k Trail Challenge and the Conquer 25k/11k Trail Challenge to be held on September 12 and 13, respectively to start and end at the Tanay Adventure Camp in Tanay Rizal.

Too, Alvin Balderama of PIMCO, the master trail blazer of Tanay will also be staging the Amazing Tanay 15k/10k Trail Race on November 22, 2015 at Sampaloc Inn in Sampaloc, Tanay as venue while the Miyamit Falls Trail Marathon (MF42) and 26k will be held on October 4, 2015 in Porac, Pampanga.

Meanwhile, one of the most awaited trail races of Dabobong (DBB) Angeles’ MGM Productions (the same organizers of the vastly successful Mt. Sembrano Mountain Trail Challenges in Pililia, Rizal) is also gearing up and this time, their race is headed for Tanay too! To be staged is the MT. BATOLUSONG 50k/25k/12k MOUNTAIN RUN this coming October 25, 2015. This race is in conjunction with Tanay’s yearly HANE Festival.

I particularly love the route of the Mt. Batolusong Mountain Run as this is a route where we have ventured several times in the past that features gorgeous trails, green views, rolling pastures, ridges and deep ravines. The scenery is a perfect back drop for taking photos, hiking and of course trail running. Mt. Batolusong is one of its attractions – a bit difficult in the beginning (until you reach the Maypatag Plateau), but plenty of places to stop for a breather and to catch views of the Sierra Madre Mountains.

Mt. Batolusong is not a tall mountain, but it will definitely give you great views of the nearby Susong Dalaga peaks, Banahaw, Cristobal, Laguna, Rizal and as far as Quezon. It does have a couple of spots where elevation can cause you to huff or puff a bit.

I’m leaving you with details and some pictures of the Mt. Batolusong Mountain Run route for their upcoming race this October 25, 2015.

Enjoy!

In celebration of Tanay Hane Festival,
MGM Productions Present: DBB Mountain Rockstar Trail Run

Mt. Batolusong, Barangay San Andres, Tanay, Rizal
October 25, 2015

This is part of the DBB Uphill Challenge Trail Running Series and a 100% TRAIL race.

Distance: 12km / 25km / 50km

Start Time: 6AM (50km) / 6:30AM (25km) / 7AM (12km)

Starting/Finish Area: Barangay Hall of San Andres, Tanay Rizal

Registration Fee:

Php 1,050.00 / 12km Mountain Run
Php 1,350.00 / 25km Mountain Run
Php 1,650.00 / 50km Mountain Run

Inclusive of the following: Finisher Shirt, Medal, MGM Rockstar Cap, Race Bandana, Bib Number, Post Race Meal and Tree Seedlings.
* only 25km/50km can get a FREE MGM Rockstar Cap

Registration Period: July 25 – October 01, 2015

Registration Procedure:

Deposit the registration fee to
Account Name:Rayman D. delos Angeles
BPI Savings Acct Num: 3199-1456-56

Send a scanned copy of the deposit slip to mgm_mtbatolusong@yahoo.com with your name, gender, race distance and size of finisher shirt . Subject: MGM MT. BATOLUSONG REGISTRATION”. Please keep and present the deposit slip when claiming the race kit on the race day.

LIMITED SLOTS ONLY!

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

Love A Tree 32k Trail Race Recap

Finally, we were able to nail down this labyrinth of a route with all its hazards, obstacles and in pitch darkness. We did at times stray off the designated trails but recovered quickly before we got too far and it was one long, graphic adventure.

Having familiarized myself with the route twice during daylight, I was still worried about how we would go about finding our way in this circuitous maze of a jungle trail in the wee hours of dawn, with only the flicker of our headlamps peeking through the shallow river, rocks and narrow pathways.

Yes, the race started at 4:00 am, too early i might say, and we were off from our start in front of Sampaloc Inn, as running buddy Jun Santiago ran along the 1.2 cemented highway and up on the trails thereafter. We were all basking at the cool “Baguio” weather and didn’t sweat a bit until we reached that uphill assault in a small village where i could hear gasps of runners around me trying to catch their breath. Mine was as wheezing as theirs!

This was our first salvo into the trails and a portent of things to come! With one uphill after another, we were then led into a long downhill rough road then into more uphills and into a Barrio called Dayapa. Since this is an out and back route, i could just imagine the struggle we would encounter as we would tackle back the hills that we went through.

At about the 4th km, my main headlight went bonkers as it would switch off every time i skip or jump over a rock. And every time i re-set it on, it would go off again once i step on a bump! Good thing i had taken with me a spare single LED light which sustained me for the rest of the run.

The course came out to this river trail and we had to cross or wade through it several times, some knee-deep high. This part offers the most incredible running on the trail as we had to figure out which way to cross to the other side of the river. Groping in the dark, there were really very few options on how to move forward and it was a hit or miss thing finding the right trails. Regardless, we did our best to work around it.

There are probably a dozen scenes that vary from one trail to another—every surface from soft-packed trails to steep rocky ones and every kind of environment from vegetable fields to river and rock trails, often in different scenery.

There were arrow signages and yellow ribbon markers along the trails but they were far and few in between. You can’t see most of them in the dark so we were always keeping a sharp eye, like connecting the dots through these ribbons but as long as we saw some hanging on branches, we knew we were on the right track.

The course came out of the woods around the 10km mark and it was daylight by then. Six kilometers more of rough roads before the turn-around point at the Tinipak River and Rocks, my favorite part of the route.

The second half of the route was a long and arduous one as we re-traced our way back from Tinipak river to Daraitan Road then to the jungle maze then finally going through those hellish uphills which reduced many of us to walking. We made it again running into the small villages before hitting back on that 1.2 cemented highway for one final time.

I knew i was just a few hundred meters away but didn’t see the finish from the road as it was tucked inside the front parking space of the Sampaloc Inn. Still, i tried to make a dash for it and it finally came abruptly as i made a slight left turn to hit the tape! It was great to be done as the distance covered was actually 33.8 kms with my time at 6:57.

First place finisher, Manolito Divina who clocked in at 3:44 will be one of three runners representing PIMCO for a 50k trail race to be held in Hong Kong next week.

Running buddies Jun and Rhett

Instead of using the entrance bridge going to the Tinipak rocks, we were detoured to cross this shallow part of the river. No to bridge toll fees! 🙂

You can miss this scenery, on our way up to the trails of Tinipak

Chinky and Dave

Ashley, Rhon and Aldrin

The trail along the river banks

This was on our way back with about 3 kms to go

Over-all, it was a well-organized race with lots of hydration this time although i wished that they had moved the starting time a little later than the 4:00am start of the 32km distance and the 4:30 start of the 15k. I was told that majority of the 15k runners were not able to see the waterfalls at their turn-around point at the 7.5 km mark since it was still dark when they reached there.

Still, it was well worth the effort for the organizers to give us a good race. Our kudos to the Pimco Team of Alvin Balderama, Manny and John Santos for a job well done!

If you came from the usual fanfare of other local races in the city which were held simultaneously last Sunday, this Love A Tree Trail Run would pale in comparison in numbers but if you look past the loot bags and after race programs and gimmicks, this is one beautiful trail run with great back-drop all around.

If you love picture card scenery, this trail run is for you!

For RACE RESULTS you can check it here: http://www.pimcosportingevents.net/#!32k-love-a-tree-y3/cwls

Trail Chronicles #5: Tinipak River and Rocks

What a find in Tanay’s wilderness! We went back to Tanay for the second consecutive week to complete our unfinished business of test running the whole 32k route of the PIMCO Love A Tree Daraitan Trail Run for next week (February 23). With me this time were veteran ultra runners Tin Ferrera, Chito Carreon, newbie Rhett Del Rosario and our ever sprightly running guide, Emer of Pimco Sports.

We started off with a swath of a little air-conditioning as it was “Baguio-cool” at about 6:30am when we headed off to the trails and it’s a great way to start a run. By no means is this an easy trail as we had experience this ourselves during our first outing last week. We only did one way of the 9 km trail section that connects it to Daraitan Road on the way to Tinipak River and Rocks. Story here (trail-chronicles#4).

Since the path going to the trails are in the foots of mountains, the varied terrain keep things interesting.

The trails itself are beautiful in an substantially wooded area with a mini museum of streams, waterfalls, jagged rocks to maneuver, hills and cliffs. It’s an off the beaten path that may lead you out of the way of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty so were were careful not to stray out too much.

After about 9 kms of traversing inside the woods, we finally come out into the Dairaitan Road, a dirt road that leads to Tinipak. The road is hilly but the surroundings are serene with just a small community doing their own daily chores. It’s about 5 kms more before we reached the entrance to Tinipak and there’s a bridge that connects the town into the main river.

The trails along the river are rocky but you have an option of running on the sand path located at the left side portion. Here, the scenery already offers a magnificent view of Tinipak river and as excitingly anticipated, the grander view still lies ahead.

I’m leaving you with pictures taken from our 33k run and this excludes our alarming experience when we got lost on our way back to town. That will be for later.

Enjoy!

L-R: Tin Ferrera, Rhett Del Rosario, Chito Carreon and Emer of Pimco

Trail Chronicles #4: New Trail For The Love A Tree Daraitan Route

Sunday, running buddy Jun Santiago and i headed out to Sampaloc Inn Hotel and Resto in Tanay, Rizal to meet up with other trail runners for PIMCO’s familiarization run of the new route for their Love A Tree-Daraitan Trail race this coming February 23.

I was really excited to try on these new paths going to the Tinipak River and Rocks at Daraitan without going through much of the long rough dirt stretch along Daraitan Road which we did last year. This is a great new running jaunt with lots of magnificent views of the Sierra Madre Mountains.

There are great views of the valleys and the peaks beyond when you get to the ridges. The trails are mostly rolling, some are steep and there are parts when you have to wade along knee-deep rivers and scurry across boulders with jagged edges. You’ll be surprised that beyond these, the trails surfaces again once you get to dry land.

I could go on and on about the views and how enjoyable hopping from boulder to boulder on the river sections are. And i’m just talking about the first 10k paths here, not even touching on the race’s main attraction which is the Tinipak Rocks and River located on the 15th and 16th kilometer of the 32k out and back route!

I was immensely enjoying the place, taking pictures on my point and shoot camera one after another when an unexpected glitch happened—the click mode button of my camera has stopped functioning because the SD card has apparently ran out of space! I couldn’t erase old pics previously stored because all individual pictures have been incorporated into an album which you cannot erase manually except when you delete the storage on a PC! Tough luck!

Me and the rest of the group fumbled for a few minutes to figure out how to solve the problem but it seemed there was no way to fix it so we just headed on without my camera. All was not lost however when some in the group had their own camera and cell phones to document the place.

All told, this is what runners are going to expect when they run the Love A Tree International Trail Run (15k and 32k) on February 23! Go run this race if you want to sharpen your trail running skills in preparation of much challenging events like the Mt. Ugo Marathon, Salomon Trail Run or the TNF 100!

And to echo what the organizers have said about this route: “COMPLETOS RECADOS”, it’s everything a beautiful trail run must have! But be forewarned: this is not an easy route and is challenging as it is to make you feel that you earned that finishers’ shirt waiting for you at the finish line!

Here are some of the pictures. Other photos provided by  Manolito Divina, Marvin De Guzman and Juniery Villalon. Thanks to you, guys!