Category Archives: nature run

Corregidor Marathon Training, 21 December 2014

It was not only after four years after that l had the chance to run the Corregidor lnternational Half  Marathon (CIHM) event since its inception in 2010.  Proud to be invited by a high performance Corregidor International Half Marathon team to test run the route a few years back. Note: Both the Corregidor Marathon (CM) and CIHM events, however, were rescheduled to January 11 and 12 respectively instead of December last year to give way to relief operations in areas affected by typhoon Yolanda.

                                                             El Lobo supports Corregidor marathon training

Yes, running races back to back, a full marathon on a Saturday and a half marathon on a Sunday of the same weekend in January 2015, is slightly nutty and a new challenge which l haven’t tried before. To prepare myself on this, last Sunday, l joined the last batch of participants  who went to Corregidor Island to train with them and run portion of the race route. Training started with a three-part warm up exercises led by the CIHM founder, Edward Kho. For our main training, we did seven repeats up a hill, increasing effort each time until we were confident enough to continuously run the hill.  So glad to have come and learned new ways to tackle it. Training ended with cool-down stretch exercises.   This is it! No more backing out! 

Corregidor Marathon and CIHM participants and soon-to-be-soon-to-be Corregidor brave warriors

Super duper thanks to El Lobo Energy Drink through Sir Willy and Sun Cruises for the warm support.   Also, kudos to one of the lady Philippine Masters athletes who assisted Edward and took beautiful photos during the training session.  It was also nice to meet newfound friends.  See you at the starting line!

“Trail Running nOOb in Nuvali” – GUEST POST BY FR HORTELANO

Note: This post has been edited.  

It has been over a week since the Soleus Valley Trail Challenge race in Laguna.  And here I am still grappling with my post-race story.  Anyhow, allow me instead to share with you once more a trail running experience of a good friend/colleague of mine who was instrumental why I opted to try the trail running challenge.  I asked him if he wanted to share his story with you here so here it is. Francis or FR to his close friends has been in hiatus from racing and the trail race last weekend was to some extent his comeback in the world of long distance running.  He has scaled great mountains here and abroad including Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa, and I had the chance to race/run with him in major long distance PAU races before.  

Read on friends/dear readers …

Trail Running nOOb[1]in Nuvali
3 AM to 11 AM, Sunday, 29 June 2014

By FR Hortelano

A heavy downpour gets off the ground as the bus rolled on for Manila. The heavens pause its tears for a while. But upon arrival at home, Manila’s dusty streets were swept by the rains. Such was a respite from the boiling temperature I experienced for three long hours earlier.

It may have been grueling hot, but I still would have preferred it than cruising through sticky, muddy and slippery trails in a span of 8 hours. An Aquarian does not fear the water-bearer, but not after years of hiatus in any sports and outdoor activities.

Photo courtesy of Running Photographers

Once again, the newbie feeling resurrected, i.e., butterflies in the stomach, excited yet nervous.  Even doubtful.  Shall I ever cross the finish line? And if ever, will it be on cut-off time?

As I dropped my loot bag and race gears, the 50-KM Nuvali trail event slowly sank in.

For the first time, I received a loot bag after an ultra-race.

For the first time, I ran/trudged Nuvali’s scenic trails.

For the first time, I ran for free through the kindness of Adidas Body Care c/o the RUNNING DIVA (

For the first time, I was shuffling a hydration bottle on my left and right hands.

 For the first time, I ran at the mercy of a piteous mileage. 5 KM was my last fun run a year ago.

For the first time, I reached the starting line just before the race organizer started the countdown (“10, 9, 8….1. Goodluck Runners!”).

For the first time, I hitched a ride to the starting line (God, where did these angels come from?)

For the first time, I wore old, derelict shoes that just got sewn and glued.

Yep!  The list could go on and on.  Lest I forget…

For the first time, my mind was LSSed[2]  on Elton John’s Skyline Pigeon.

“Turn me loose… let me fly to distant lands, over green fields, trees and mountains, flowers and forest fountains…”

I started humming the lyrics on the break of dawn (past 4 am) as the majestic horizon revealed its secret grandeur.

            “Let me wake up in the morning.  To the smell of new mown hay …”

The scent, the sight, the milky white brush like foxtails (buntot pusa) strewn over the hills is a visual treat. The tamed cows and bulls even shared their morning grins.

            “Fly away… towards the dreams you’ve left so very far behind …”

Then approached the newly bulldozed areas. Everything became dry and brown. It was difficult to run. But yet, this path had to be faced head on. Slowly, I hurdled the 25-KM mark (3 hours or so? within cut-off time of 5 hours). I could breath. At least, I met my goal. I could call it a day.

       “To laugh and cry, to live and die, in the brightness of my day …”

Then the blazing sun illumined all nooks and crannies of the trail. I struggled the uphills and downhills from the 30th to 45th KM.  At times with a group and at times, in my lonesome.  The cows faded. The leveled grounds turned dusty. Every race of the sun started biting inch-by-inch my exposed skin and garments. Yet still, I needed to keep on moving. As a recreational runner, I just wanted to enjoy the run.

            “Towards the dreams you’ve left so very, so very far behind!”

Running a road or a trail race is no different from life itself.

It takes sheer persistence to reach the finish line; 

Train. Train. Train. Enduring trainings to build on required mileage/strength;

Be inspired but never bank on previous achievements.  Muscle memory can only bring you so far.

Honor your pace. Enjoy those moments when pacing with a group, even on lonesome times.

Express genuine gratitude to all (runners, marshals, organizers, sponsors). The blessings come back a hundred fold.

Dedicate your run. Thank you Mama for showing us how to courageously face life. Your body may have gone back to earth but your enduring spirit and resilience shall forever inspire our lives.

My sincerest thanks to Running Diva for making me sign-up on the last registration date; Ivy Macainan for making me remember Mama on the eve of the race; Mark Leo Antonio and Elma Magbuhos of Adidas Body Care for the race kit.  Apologies for failing to personally express this at the finish line; Sir Jonel Mendoza, race director and editor of Frontrunner magazine, for organizing this meaningful event; and, to all the runners who run with me along the dark and bright corners of the trails!

Thank God for making it all possible.   

[1] Newbie
[2] Last Song Syndrome

Done with Two, One More to Go

Nature Valley Run, 2nd leg of the Runrio Trilogy
30 May 2010
Photos by Lugs Borromeo and Photovendo

I couldn’t tell much what happened during the run. My heart was not really into it and I bet you knew why.

I realized though that no matter how many times one traversed the same route, with not much rest and mileage for the week, finishing a race can be daunting, one way or another.

I even entertained the idea of not finishing it but to DNF (did not finish) is not part of my vocabulary as a runner.

As I was on my way toward Buendia-Kalayaan flyover, a good number of runners walked the whole stretch. An advantage of running slower than the usual race pace is you get to do or notice a lot of things.

For one, I did a high five with Running Shield, clapped my hands to cheer tired looking runners, and had the chance to pace with friends and acquaintances even for a few minutes. At the other side of the flyover, one of the runners, may be on his way back to The Fort, recognized me and shouted my moniker.

Also, I was amazed with friends, like Gail aka Gailcon, who even stopped and offered her energy drink bottle when she saw me coughing at the Kalayaan flyover. Thank you, Gail!

After the turnaround point, I ran the course slowly and climbed the flyover, which to my surprise, with not much effort at all.

The whole time it was a run-walk-run strategy for me. “You’re doing fine,” I said to myself.

As I was on my way to Heritage Park, I noticed majority of runners looked so tired and some were already walking at the Bayani-Heritage area. “If I maintain a slow yet steady pace it would be enough to get past through these throng of runners,” I said to myself.

That “pace”, by not stopping in any of the water stations, brought me to the finish line.

All 21K finishers received a finisher’s medal, a pint of Häagen-Dazs ice cream, and a loot bag.

Done with the two “legs”, so what’s next?

On to the next leg of the RunRio Trilogy, the 32-kilometer race!

Nature Valley Run: Leg 2 of Runrio Trilogy

Nature Valley will stage its first major running event on May 30 titled The Nature Valley Run 2010, the 2nd leg of the Runrio Trilogy. Its theme is ONE RUNNER = ONE TREE.

Nature Valley is a range of granola bars that believes in promoting a healthy and balanced lifestyle in a natural way thru exercise and a balanced diet. The Nature Valley Run aims to create awareness about climate change and encourage positive action to curb its damaging effects on nature.

Nature Valley partnered with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bayanihang Bayan Legacy Project located in the Ipo Watershed in Norzagaray, Bulacan.

Nature Valley’s commitment is to plant one tree for every registered runner. This run is an all-out effort to contribute to stopping the effects of climate change. The run will help re-plant hectares of land in the Ipo Watershed with the help of the “Dumagat” community. The One Runner = One Tree pledge is not only about tree planting but also ensuring the trees are properly cared for, monitored and efficiently maintained for 5 years. “It is our goal to touch many hearts and feet to run on that day. We believe small acts if put together can make a big difference,” said Diana Lyn Velasco, Brand Manager.

Over 7,000 participants, including professionals, students, celebrities and weekend runners, are expected to join the event which features 3K, 5K, 10K, and the centerpiece 21K races.

Registration is ongoing with fees pegged at P400 (3K), P600 (5K and 10K), and P750 (21K), inclusive of race number, singlet, timing chip and the Nature Valley loot bag, among others. Singlets will be given to the first 7,000 registrants while medals and Runrio shirts will be awarded to all 21K finishers.

List up which ends on May 12 can be done at various Timex shops at SM North EDSA, SM Southmall, SM San Lazaro, Glorietta, Watch Republic at Robinson’s Galleria and at R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street at The Fort. Late registrants will be accepted from May 13-20 at R.O.X. Online list up is also available at Nature Valley Run and Runrio.

L~R: Coach Rio, Dona Cruz-Larrazabal, Nature Valley Officers, and DENR Representative

Some Happy Feet runners and fellow bloggers attended the presscon held at Dusit Thani Manila Hotel

L~R (standing): Master Mon, Tanya of PhilStar, Running Diva, Z, Vimz a.k.a. Kulit Runner, and Kulit’s friend
L~R (seated): Aljo, Bobby, and HF’s friend, Jun C. a.k.a.
The Sole Mates