Tuesday, December 8, 2009


like i've mentioned in my FB status, this race marked my:

- longest (32.03km)
- toughest (866m total elevation gain)
- coldest (below 15 degrees celsius)

...race ever participated in.

you can see the route here. here's my account of this memorable race on december 6:


cellphone alarm goes off on a chilly early morning. very glad we got a hotel room with hot water in the shower, even if the water was actually lukewarm because of the ice-cold water that the heater had to work on. we stayed at baguio holiday villa court hotel & apartelle (whew!) along legarda road. i chose this among other hotels that were situated near burnham park so it's near the starting line and we just needed to walk less than 1km to get there. they still offered the off-peak rate at P1,200 per night so for me, it was worth it.


after photo-ops with eire, ellen, & carlo along the hotel hallway, we went off to warm up to the starting line. as soon as we got out of the hotel building, the cold was instantly unbearable. even quick jogs didn't do anything to spark any body heat. i was glad i got a bonnet the night before at SM baguio and eire lent me her cool jacket since she noticed i was shivering in my new mizuno shirt & short tights. :) thanks, eire!


at the starting line, there were no lights nearby so we couldn't really see anyone in the dark. there were only a few runners--i think those who ran the 32K race were no more than 60 participants. the host depended on her megaphone to explain the route & reminded us that this was a tough course (thanks for the reminder :P).

we met up with other takbo.ph peeps...mon, roselle, & judah. and guess what...even cris sabal decided to join this race over others that were being held on that day. we had at least 1 celebrity with us. :)

with a 3:30 goal for the 30K race, my strategy in this race was to start fast so i can afford to run-walk later on as i got tired. i set my garmin to change laps every 10km with the following target paces per lap:

1st 10KM = 6:30
2nd 10KM = 7:00
3rd 10KM = 7:30

AVERAGE = 7:00/km for 3:30 in 30K

see the actual distance & paces below...


5:30am - 0km

gun start! our first 4km was mostly a steep downhill route from burnham park to the corner of kennon & laoakan roads. i shook off the cold after the 1st km with a quick pace and when i reached the lowest point of the race at kennon corner laoakan, i saw that my pace was around 4:54/km! :) not bad for a quick start. then came the steep hills of laoakan. here we go. :P

6:30am - 10km

as laoakan & the road to PMA kept on draining my energy, my pace went down to a net of 6:03 when i reached the 10KM mark. the view along that road was majestic as the road was on a cliffside and all i could see beyond was a light fog covering neighboring mountains on a cold & sunny morning. this is good race weather!

since there was a u-turn point ahead, i saw runners who were ahead of me and just for my amusement, i counted all of them to find out my place at that point. i was 44th at the u-turn point. hmmm... and then on my way back, i noticed that there was relatively a smaller group of runners who were behind me. i had thought that we were 100 runners, but my estimate was that we were no more than 60.

7:45am - 20km

this 2nd part of the race would be the ultimate drainer for me. more than 3/4 of this lap consisted of steep, zigzag uphills so when you're not from baguio, you wouldn't be able to tell how far you needed to run/walk before the hills end. halimaw judah overtook me and i noticed that he never walked on those hills...just did quick steps with ease. mon also caught up with me and we initially decided to push each other up to wherever. he wanted then to give up coz of the killer hills but we encouraged each other to move on.

i said it myself, "it's okay, i did a 6-ish pace in the 1st 10km...i still have some leeway to get the 7:00 average." i did the 2nd 10km in 1:15 with a 7:30/km pace.

9:15am - 30km

before this time, we were on our way up to minesview park, which i would find out later on was the highest point in the entire route. the road had significant residue of horse manure so i was a bit careful not to soil my own mizuno shoes.

at this point, around 25km, i was walking more than running since the roads continued to go uphill. at minesview, i saw a bananaque stand and i did not hesitate to buy one for myself. good thing i brought money. i ate one banana and gave the other one to mon (who eventually shared it with ellen who caught up with us there).

a big surprise was rai rn who also caught up with us. hey, i thought you were ahead of us! it turns out he got lost and passed thru camp john hay because there were no marshals on that turn. too bad for him. :(

we all had a quick chat and then estimated that from where we were, the course was much more than 30km. oh well, better longer than shorter. :P

the banana gave ellen & mon a lot of energy and they went on ahead of me. in my case, the banana just relieved me of hunger since i didn't eat anything before the race...not giving any running power. :) hehe

i reached 30km along the military cutoff road and since i was already familiar with the road, it motivated me to run more as i was nearing the finish line. checking my garmin...3:45...i could still make a sub-4 hours if i wanted to. i pushed on. my pace in this lap was a low 8:59/km.

9:28am - 32.03km

my spirits were revived when i saw burnham park...just a little more! i did my usual all-out sprint around 200m from the finish line. i saw other takbo.ph peeps already there waiting, but it didn't stop me from giving my all to finish strong and below 4 hours! :D yahoo! panting at the finish but very happy to have gone through it all. :)

after this race, i promised myself never to get intimidated by hills again. :)

halimaw judah finished 1st among takbo.ph peeps, mon next, and then ellen finished 9th place in the women's division (43rd overall) and i was glad with my 3:58 time that placed me in 45th overall...probably 36th in the men's division. :P hehe it was all good! the lost & found rai rn next, and then roselle.

kudos to the organizers for the challenging route and, except for the case of rai rn, they did a good job overall and waited for all of the runners to finish. above that, they literally posted the race results right after the race. no other race did this super quick show of the results. :) good for them that there weren't really thousands of runners to write on the manila paper.

with my muscles still aching but my spirits still high, i will definitely join next year's race in baguio. see you there! :)

my garmin details:


roo said...

what can i say? :D i'm one proud roo! :D prouder still to be the one-man support-photographer-hairstylist :P very good run, b! :D MEOW!!

"...eire lent me her COOL jacket..." yeah...very COOL jacket, indeed! that's a merrell, by the way, and almost a year old ;)

"...shivering in my NEW MIZUNO shirt & short tights..." talagang promote ng mizuno, ah! i hope you get cool goodies for this :P although...i'm sure t'was more than the gear that saw you through this tough race...t'was your spirit, your passion, and your overpowering drive...

...to conquer the BLC! :P hahahah!! kidding :D

seriously though, that race was something else!

happy roo! :D

Gingerbreadman said...

Bri... ang payat mo! :P~~~~ Congrats on your BAguio race, always awesome to run there :)


Bry, congrats! I enjoyed reading your post. There's only thing I could say, "it was a tough race."

kelcy33 said...

bry, good thing, selle mentioned this to me..i'm so proud of us! YIPPEEE!!!...like you said, "i will definitely join next year's race in baguio. see you there!"...yeah, if this will be the same route, game on..i couldn't quite describe the feeling..super saya! just to be a finisher is enough! more power and goodluck on BLC!

Anonymous said...

bry--ang galing mo! recover well, my friend!

i2runner said...

Hi Bryan, you really look different now. Unbelievable. Impressive. You should change your header picture to the one below: