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Year-End Race

Yes, you read it right! I know 2013 has already stepped ahead and I should have done a kick-start run by now, but you see, I haven’t found yet the self-push that I need to fire-up my running shoes. So, bear with me for a while as I share to you my 2012 year-end race (and soon to be posted my other pending accounts of my race adventures). Besides, I don’t really want to just put away the great things of this year-end event without sharing and immortalizing it through this blog.

It was already the 2nd staging of this event, and to some, if not most of the runners in this Cool City have been watching out for, to be their year-end race also. On regular days, this same route has already become a favorite training ground of some grass-root runners and those aiming to better themselves. As for me, the route was no longer that much unknown as I have already hiked it thrice when most of the road was still rocky trail, and also had my share of training here once in preparation for my first Ultra-Marathon (T2N 2011).

I’m talking about the 2nd Mile-Hi Radar Run – a short 8-km distanced elevation run yet challenging enough to give the participants an overhaul of their lungs with high-altitude and fresh air, organized by Mr. Jonel Mendoza of the FrontRunner magazine.

The two radars shot from Mt. Sto. Tomas
I arrived at my hometown (Baguio) 15-hours before the event, and upon knowing that Ate Glo and Allan (my co-Six:30 Running team mates) were also in Baguio, I did everything at my SMS-power to convince them to also join, of which, I did succeed! Good thing there were still 2 race-kits remaining from Ms. Melan (Event Coordinator), meaning the race was really meant for both of them.

Next morning, realizing that I haven’t done a good hills training yet nor any kind of training for the past weeks, I decided to jog down and start my freezing blood going to the Hotel where Ate Glo and Allan are staying, that was a good 2.5-km run which was still not enough to drip out my sweat yet good enough to activate my quads and lungs. While waiting for them, I saw Marcelo Bautista (the Baguio runner who’s been topping the Country’s recent Ultramarathons) on his running short-shorts pacing himself southwards, going to the race venue.

Some familiar faces
Arriving at Green Valley in Brgy. Dontogan, we did not get out from Ate Glo’s car until 8-minutes before the gun-start due to the very cold breeze which made the pre-race more chilling. At the starting line, we saw some friends on vacation who also joined the event, the atmosphere then became warmer as we saw familiar faces and chatted with them. I haven’t seen Franc Ramon yet but I’m sure he was just around since he registered ahead of me right after he learned about the event.

Then the gun-start was fired!

I swear, the radar was just there!
Based on the elevation profile of Franc (using his Garmin), the starting elevation was at 1,490-masl (meters above sea level), slowly gaining at the first 3-kilometers of not so flat, not so hilly concrete road, while the rest was already pure uphill with a total elevation gain of 483-masl. It’s not really that much, but the change in altitude and air density would make someone new to this puff like a tired horse.

Some runners taking a breather at the highest peak.
To the right is the road going to the radar
Going higher, one can’t really help but be amazed by the cool fogs (take note, it’s not a smog like in the Metro), the descending clouds, the cliffs of the mountain ranges, the smell of the red soil and pine trees, the morning moon which was still peeking, and the slowly shining sun. If you’re not the nature-lover type, you will still enjoy the scenery of the strongly built houses at the opposite mountains and a top-view of the Marcos Hi-way tunnel and the long stretch of its elevated pass. At past 5-km mark, you will see the centralized aircon of Baguio (the two-radars) becoming bigger and bigger as you get higher, then farther once again as you turn from the winding roads.

Allan and Ate Glo a few meters away from the Finish line
The location of the finish line though wasn’t at what I expected – the radar station itself, but about 300-meters farther towards Mt. Sto. Tomas (just a segue, the two radars are located at Mt. Cabuyao and not Mt. Sto. Tomas). Nevertheless, the surprises at the finish line weren’t also the one that I’m expecting. For a mere Php 350.00 of registration fee, it already offered a lot for the participants. It wasn’t just the basic loots such as the singlet, the simple plastic finisher’s medal, and the roving ambulance, but also of keeping the race as a green event as there were no disposable cups at the water stations, but runners were obliged to bring their own drinking bottle. And as I’ve mentioned, I loved that the finish line offered the runners a boiled-egg, a hot coffee (I don’t drink coffee but the cold temperature made me do so), pan-de-sal, and a banana. The kind of breakfast that I do eat whenever I’m home!

Sir Jonel announcing the winners
Overall, the event was really more than great! Thanks to Sir Jonel for always making sure that he has a great race to offer just before the year ends in Baguio!

with Jun Rodillas

At the Finish line with Allan, Ate Glo, Juvy, Juvy's friend, and Koi Grey
On my Diadora Axeler and Dri-fit shirt with the radar fog on the background
Stray dogs cows while on my way back to Green Valley, Brgy. Dontogan
Going down only took me half of the time going up
(photo shot by Franc)
That's the two radar shot the next morning from the house
You may view the official race results from Sir Jonel's blog.

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