Baguio Day Two: 20KM Around Baguio

Friday, 9 April 2010  |  Running + Triathlon

Previous Post: Baguio Day One: Camp John Hay

DAY TWO: SLOW AND EASY | 2 hours, 30 min around Baguio

Based on Coach Jim’s TBR Dream Marathoners training program, which hubby is following, he was to run 2 hours and 30 min. over the weekend. He was to do a 9 min. run and 1 min. walk interval. I promised to run with him.

The night before, I set my Garmin 310XT to a 9:1 interval program with 15 reps. Just 15 reps?! It sounded so short and manageable.  (Later on, we realized it was easier said and done, especially with the undulating hills of Baguio!)

We started our run at 5:30 a.m. with the roads enshrouded by a wonderfully thick fog. The weather was slightly chilly, just the way I liked it.

– Map of our 20km Run around Baguio from Garmin 310XT –

First 5k: Mines View

From Baguio Country Club, we made a right on Country Club Road. Upon reaching Park Road, we made another right climbing up a steep Ignacio Villamor St. that made me yell no less than 5 minutes into the run: Is this our warm up?!

– This was our marker on Park Road –

Every now and then, we had to deal with crap (not figuratively but literally horse manure) but that was about the only problem I had. Our slow pace, combined with the walks, allowed us to enjoy the cool weather and wonderful view that Baguio had to offer.

There were a handful of runners we passed along the way. A couple of them were obviously veterans, clad in Milo singlets and conquering ascents as if they were flats. The one that stood out was a boy, probably below 10 years old, who ran solo at a pace that was reserved only for the elite.

– Up, up and away! –

When we reached Mines View Park, the park and the stores were still closed. It was unfortunate as I looked forward to even just dropping by the Mines View viewdeck to catch a glimpse of Baguio’s landscape or to ran past the quaint stores with souvenir items. Still, we felt like tourists seeing the place with new eyes as we surveyed the area on foot even before the crowds came in.

We ran downhill (finally got to rest those quads!) through Gibraltar Road reaching the rotunda passing Pacdal Church. We hit 5k at Park Road, near Baguio Country Club, where we started earlier. This gave us a perfect 5k loop.

– Pacdal Church along the rotunda –

2nd 5k: The Mansion & Wright Park

Eager to hit more tourist spots, we took the same route earlier (yes, another round of those hills on I. Villamor!) but, instead of entering Mines View, we took a left turn on Leonard Wood and ran towards the Mansion, the official summer residence of the President. As soon as we reached the Mansion gates, I slapped myself in the head for leaving my camera behind.

– I took this photo when we returned in the afternoon by car –

Across The Mansion was Wright Park where hubby and I ran around the Pool of Pines along with other runners doing their rounds. It was the first time I visited this side of Wright Park, even if I had spent every summer visiting the horses on the other side.

– The Pool of Pines was filled with runners early in the morning. I took this in the afternoon too –

We made our way back to Baguio Country Club for a quick toilet break and we were off again.

3rd 5k: Teacher’s Camp

After Baguio Country Club, we ran through South Drive, a road which I found more enjoyable to run on; there were less hills, the road was a bit wider, and, most of the time, we could run on the sidewalk without worrying about vehicles.

We passed the old location of Hyatt Hotel, one of the worst hit by the 1990’s earthquake killing over 50 people. Hubby was running at a steady pace, but I quickened the pace at this point as my imagination went wild over ghosts and spirits.

When we reached Teacher’s Camp, we screeched to a halt thinking if we should enter the area to pay the Track Oval a visit. Almost on cue, hubby and I shook our heads at the same time since we both knew the uphill climb heading out of Teacher’s Camp from the track oval would be pure torture.

We attempted to run in Loakan, but after almost getting sideswiped by oncoming vehicles, we decided against it. We made a u-turn and ran towards the gas station (forget if it was Petron or Shell) where we refueled with Gatorade, Hammer gels, and—I couldn’t resist—a tiny chocolate bar. We then headed back towards Baguio Country Club again.

Last 5k: Camp John Hay

Our last 5k was at Camp John Hay. We covered almost the same route we ran the day before but at a much slower pace.

By the last 15 minutes, hubby felt knee pain. He stopped to rest and a good samaritan—in the form of a National team boxer—helped stretch the tight muscles with my hubby squinting in pain. It was a funny sight, really.

I advised hubby to walk it out. After all, he had covered around 2 hours 20 mins already. I went ahead to finish an exact 20km. To date, that was the most memorable tour of Baguio I’ve ever had. Highly recommended!