For the longest time now, I’ve been wanting to get into trail running. I’ve joined trail runs in the past and I have always loved it. For someone busy like me and with kids to spend time with on weekends though, I can’t seem to bring myself to take off for half a day to run outside of the city. I guess I’ll have to wait until the little ones are a bit older. If you’re one of the lucky ones who can escape to the mountains to run in the great outdoors, here’s a trail running camp you can join:
Pilipinas Trail Running Camp provides an experience that helps ignite one’s passion for trail running or running off-road. It’s a series of trail-running learning weekends that aims to introduce new and aspiring runners to the sport and also for the seasoned veterans to get equipped in their approach to training and preparing for races, local and international. Runners will learn from and run with the trail champions and veterans together with sports experts and specialists. It’s a five-month program which includes two stay-in weekends of training and a culminating intimate race. It’s the perfect time to take advantage learning from the best and the brightest in the community – trail running techniques, uphill/downhill running, nutrition, training plans, heat/hydration management, yoga, etc. (more…)
Filinvest City will be holding Filinvest City Endurance Weekend, a two day event consisting of a 12 hour trail run and a 12 hour mountain bike race, on November 8 and 9 at Filinvest City. Last year, I just dropped by to cover the event and, needless to say, I was quite envious seeing the runners on the trail. This year, I’m looking forward to running trails again in the middle of the city! Come and join! (more…)
While the rest of Manila were off to Baguio or the beach this morning, a bunch of us decided to head for the trails. We ran through lush forests and fantastic trails right in the heart of Quezon City at La Mesa Ecopark.
For P200 per head, we got to run the trails with a runner guide, Julie. We covered 13km for over 2 hours.
– La Mesa Ecopark requires a guide to run with you. No guide, no entry.
– For our guide, we contacted Mang Abe 0916-693-3981.
– Minimum fee is P1,000 to be divided among your group.
– Showing up on this easy holiday Thursday morning were Hec and Mayen of Secondwind, myself, Carl, Neville, Lit, Ton, Jun, Miriam and Angel. –
Here’s a video made by Hector of Secondwind…
The La Mesa Ecopark course makes for a nice and easy trail run even for beginners. It’s relatively flat and safe.
– On the right is Julie, our guide who seemed like he was going for a stroll while we were all trying to catch up behind him –
– Ton, Lit, and Jun searching for what I think were “gazelles” in the forest –
– View from the trails –
– We often stopped for walk breaks and photo ops. I don’t know how many times we affirmed to each other that we made a good decision to run the trails today instead of the road. –
– So much fun! Trail running offers less impact on the knees, more scenic views, a great opportunity to commune with nature, and it’s just a welcome change from the usual concrete roads –
– Mayen and Jun run under a canopy on the tree-lined path –
At 8.5km, we stopped to rest and hydrate at the Bangkalan rest station along with some other mountain bikers.
– Of course, we needed a group pic here! –
– Lots of mountain bikers here too –
Overheard from the bikers’ conversations about our group:
Biker 1: Saan yung mga bike nila?
Biker 2: Anong bike? They ran!
Biker 1: Ha?! Bakit?!!
– Check out the view –
– That’s me with my Nathan Intensity Hydration vest. (P4,990 at ROX) Oh my gawd, I am in love with that hydration belt. I’ll post a gear review soon. –
– Group pic before we headed back to the end of the trail –
I highly recommend La Mesa Ecopark for a nice and easy trail run. It’s accessible, safe, and clean. Entry fee is reasonable especially since, as mentioned on its website, “all revenues generated by La Mesa Ecopark are utilized for the continuous preservation and protection of La Mesa Watershed.” Bathrooms are clean with running water, soap, toilet paper and even a bidette (as Hector mentioned thrice!)
TIPS FOR TRAIL RUNNING (as I learned today):
1) Bring a hydration vest. It’s quite pricey, but definitely worth the investment if you plan to run trails often. Tip I learned from Neville: Get the air out of the water bag. My water was so noisy while running!
2) Bring food or gels. As road runners, we often think 10k will take an hour just like the roads. But, this definitely takes more time on the trails. It took us over 2 hours to cover 13km today. Always bring food to stave off hunger and keep your energy high.
3) Use short strides. Lit mentioned that in Chi Running for trails they remind runners to use small steps. When in doubt if you should take 1 or 2 steps, Lit said you should take 3 steps.
4) Watch your step but enjoy the view. Be careful of each step to avoid injuries, but also glance at the front every now and then to enjoy the scenery.
5) Run in a group or with a guide. Even if the path is marked and the trail is relatively safe, you don’t want to be out there alone. Besides, there’s more fun in numbers.
For weeks, I was mourning the loss of the opportunity to join The North Face 100. In fact, as I’ve said, I ran the Robinson’s Buddy Wellness thinking of how much fun all the other runners were having at TNF in Batangas. Little did I know that I should’ve been glad I didn’t join (only because I’m not a mud-loving, rock climbing type of girl.)
Word is out that it was a tremendously tough course reserved for the more experienced runners. There were four river crossings, dilapidated bridges and snakes! They say it was more of an adventure race than a marathon. For the 100km, of the 90 teams (including relay) that joined, I heard that only 30-40 crossed the finishline. An HK runner who finished the Gobi Desert Ultra Marathon didn’t finish either.
But, despite the toughness of the course, there were runners that did finish and conquer the trails. All of them deserve a big congratulations and a warm cup of hot chocolate:
– The first runner for 100km crossed in at 13 hours male and 15 hours female.
– A Singaporean couple joined for the relay. The first was the man who arrived late in the afternoon. The woman should have been next, but it was too dark already and the course was dangerous. So, the man ran another 50km loop to accompany his partner.
– Jeremy Go, my unofficial editor in this blog, who I met only a few weeks back and came across as an unassuming guy (who I thought at that time was a newbie runner) finished the 100km beating the 30 hour cut off time by 10mins. While other runners had quit and gone to sleep, he trekked throughout the night without anyone to accompany him.
– My friend Annie won the 20km despite it being her 1st trail run. She split four times and ran through slippery, narrow trails yet came out unscathed. Congrats again Annie! I’m so proud of you.
How about you? What’s your story? Would you do this again?
Oh, I know I want to join this. But, my rational self just tossed these questions at me: Can I do trails? Do I have to buy trail shoes? (No, not another new expense!) Do we have to stay overnight in Batangas? (Didn’t I just declare my fear of extra expenses?) Will I be fully recovered by then? And, if I do this, will I not run the risk of another injury? Let me think about it.