La Mesa Ecopark Trail Run

Thursday, 5 April 2012  |  Running + Triathlon

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 more info on La Mesa Ecopark:

Call: (02) 430-4051/ (02) 430-5207/ (02) 430-5207 (telefax)
Sarah – 09062234125
Dong – 09159013772