CAMP JOHN HAY HALF MARATHON ROAD TO TRAIL


Their poster slogan reads:  “Camp John Hay 13.1 Miles (Half Marathon ) for the half crazy!"  This slogan just about sums it all up. After all, who in their right mind would want to wake up at the crack of dawn to prepare for a 21.1 km run on the muddy, slippery and uneven trails of Baguio at 6 in the morning when he could just stay tucked snugly in bed enjoying the cool Baguio weather and then wake up to a delicious Pinoy breakfast of longanisa, fried rice and egg with hot chocolate eh on the side??? Well, this time I guess you can call me crazy. 

Luckily, typhoon NOUL decided to veer a little off course and delay its arrival with only a slight drizzle during race day. 

The Race Route is about 30% Road and 70% Trail consisting of the Eco trail, Yellow trail, Blue Trail, extending to Brgy. Kadaclan, the steep road of Happy Hallow and then back to Camp John Hay.  I lost count of exactly how many times we had to hike up the mountains but it was definitely a challenging course.  As luck would have it, my right foot got caught in a branch which catapulted me to the ground not just once but 3 times!  I believe I may have aggravated an old injury which only means more therapy time. 

Despite the mishaps, the Baguio trails have a charm of it's own that keeps me wanting to come back for more. Not only do the trails provide a challenging course but all your other senses are peaked with the cool mountain air, scent of minty forest pine, lush greenery and magnificent views that all make up for a great running experience.  It's never a bad idea to get away from the city once in a while just to reboot, recharge and contemplate on "the true meaning of life and happiness."  I believe I just may have found mine .... even if that makes me "half crazy."
Thank you Charles G. for the Pictures :-)
The Race Map. I love its Simplicity.
Race Organizer and friend - Heidi G. Race Briefing Before the Start of the Race.
" Follow the Red Ribbon  ... Please alert your senses all the Time ! "
Yikes !
Part of the Actual Route


The View 
The Baguio  View " I Dont Like "

Salomon X-Trail Run 2015



 Once upon a time I signed up for the Salomon Trail Run 2013 and 2014 when it was still held in Hamilo Coast, Nasugbu which I never got to participate in for one reason or another.  It was suppose to be my first jab at a major trail race. In hindsight, maybe it was good that I never got to run it then because, from what I heard, it was a very tough course wherein at least 50% of the runners were disqualified due to failure to finish before the cut-off time.  At that time, my trail running experience was quite limited and I have no doubt that I would have been part of the disqualified group.


This year the Salomon X-Trail Run 2015 was held in Anvaya Cove Nature Club in Morong, Bataan and I signed up for the 24-km event.  Even with a little more experience under my belt, some trail running "know-how" and necessary trail gear on hand, I still had my share of the jitters.  The thought "What the hell am I doing!" crossed my mind a couple of times but there was no turning back now.  This time I was up for the challenge. 

I loved the 24-km course simply because it had a combination of everything.  It's varying terrains involved open field running, mountain climbing, river crossings, dirt roads, rocky beach paths and some hiking.  Overcoming various obstacles required a little bit of shuffling, skipping and "acrobatic" movements as well.  An added bonus were the trail sections overlooking the cove which was quite scenic with breathtaking views of the sea and the rugged Bataan peninsula.  The only time I really got in trouble was when my foot got caught in a branch and I pulled my right groin muscle which really bothered me until the finish line.  The last 6-km rock beach and boulder obstacle was, in my opinion, the hardest part of the course traversing through sand and managing slippery moss-covered  rocks and boulders. 

A regular 24-km road race would normally take me about 2.20 to finish.  For this trail race, however, I clocked in with a time of 3.32 with a little bit of energy left in my tank despite the 35 °C blazing heat. What was interesting is that my SUUNTO GPS WATCH registered 25-kms, a kilometer longer,  which I didn't  really mind since I would rather have the race route longer than shorter. It was a tough and demanding course but I believe that the preparation and training I did prior helped me considerably. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment and a feeling of exhilaration having finally joined and completed a Salomon X-Trail Race.  With all my pre-race jitters behind me, I'm so looking forward to running this race again next year.
The Last few Kilometers under the Blazing Sun.

Thank you Arch Allan Jay Quesada for the Awesome Pictures !
Jelly Fish all over the beach

 Thanks Jose Ramizares for the beach picture
Boy Putik
STELLA P.  - My Sister from another mother 
Jayson T. we have nice teeth :-)
Dbb D. and  RPC :-)
Jose Ramizares 
The Gang
Sunset at Anvaya

DBB Uphill Challenge (Mt. Sembrano Mountain Run 2015)

DBB Uphill Challenge (Mt. Sembrano Mountain Run 2015)
located at Pililia Rizal is my first trail race for the year 2015.  I had planned on running the 30km event but having just ran the Guam Marathon last weekend, my legs haven’t quite fully recovered yet.  So I settled for the 15km event instead.
When they said it would be an “UPHILL CHALLENGE", they weren’t kidding around . The first 5kms alone was pure torture feeling the burn on my back and thighs. I was literally down on my hands and knees walking and crawling while making my way to the summit of Mt. Sembrano. Luckily I even found a wooden pole to help me climb up. 
Once there, I was greeted with a magnificent view where one can almost see the entire Laguna de Bay.  The air was crisp, a bit chilly and the wind unbelievably strong ( hence the windmills in the area ).  I had to be extra careful for fear that I would get push over the cliff.  Even if it was a race, sometimes you just can't help but stop for awhile and take it all in --- raw nature at it's best. It was AWESOME!  Often I would find myself  shouting with happiness; feeling like a child again as I crisscrossed on the grassy path. 

The run back to the finish was a bit taxing on the legs because of the steep grade and loose rocks. I still finished feeling quite refreshed and exhilarated despite my sore legs. It feels great to run in the "boondoks" again and even better to race in it.   Mt. Sembrano was a wonderful and unforgettable experience altogether.  
My congratulations to the organizers.
No Frills No Race bib 
but guess what my race number is !
Windmills of Pililia Rizal

Thanks Ronald D. for the pics and also for not showing my Bald spot :-)
Im 3 rd from the right ;-)
Literally on my hands and knees to reach the summit. 
Thanks Jerry Peralta for the pics

Thanks Jon B.

Horse on the hill
Malaya Thermal Power Plant

Race Organizer - Daphne Codilla
Im signing the waiver of Death. Ha ha
Trail Runner Fanatics - Thumbie R. 
Jerry P. And Raffy G.
Good friend May Santos

The oldies