Skip to main content

The Salomon Mountain Run Experience

Though me and my friends have been doing some trail runs on our own, it was the first time we attended an organized activity with real trail runners here in the Philippines. My first ever trail run experience was in last year’s climbathon in Malaysia which we joined with not enough preparation and a delusional goal – to reach the summit.

The Kinabalu Climbathon is dubbed as the toughest mountain race in the world. I’m not even into running that much. I run to keep fit and because of football which I rarely get to play these days. We joined the race for fun, banked by sheer guts and determination. It did worked a little, we got back with no injury but it was not enough to take us to the summit. I was still proud of my performance though. I got as far as Laban Rata which was 2.72km away from the summit.  Just don't ask me how long it took me to go down. Hehehe! The cut-off time to get to the summit was 3 hours and 30 minutes, then another 3 hours to go down. I got to Laban Rata in approximately four hours!   Instead of feeling discouraged, we vowed to return this year in Kota Kinabalu and finish the race.

Part of our 11-month preparation is to train on our own and join activities such as this. This run was organized by Salomon, a French mountain sports brand distributed by the Primer Group of Companies. This was in cooperation with the members of the Philippine Skyrunning Association (PSA). Skyrunning is basically running in mountains with a height of 2000 meters above sea level or more like Mt. Pulag or Mt. Apo. Part of skyrunning training is doing some mountain or trail runs.

Registration for this promotional activity was free which was pretty amazing! My friend just found out about it while surfing the net. Except for food, we didn’t spend on anything else and even got Salomon, Goody and Burlington freebies. (Thanks guys!)

It was my first time in this particular Rizal side of Sierra Madre (forgot the exact name of the jump-off). This massive mountain range goes from Cagayan Valley to Quezon. Me and two other friends were grouped with the not so fast runners. The other group were the fast runners – really agile and strong runners. I started strong and even managed to take a video while running. Then in about less than an hour, my energy got depleted and I could barely run. The rest of the group zoomed by me. I met with my friend Jeff along the trail who was having issues with his knees. Along the way, we had to cross several rivers and small communities with friendly people. We reached the turn-around point by merely walking. Hehehe! It wasn’t bad as the views were amazing – mountains and ravines on both sides. The total distance of our run was 13km. I’ve climbed mountains which were farther than this but this was the first time I doubted myself if I could go back without collapsing. It was during those moments where I asked myself for the nth time why I get myself into these things. Good thing Jules and two new acquaintances were there to provide moral support and lots of entertaining stories. Despite the severe exhaustion, I had a great time going back. It was nice to just walk and talk.

Mountain running was more grueling than climbing. It provides you with a lot of challenges such as maintaining your level of fitness, training regulary, using the right techniques to maintain your balance and more. It also gives you a fresh perspective on climbing. It’s quite exigent,  which is why I feel drawn to it. Though I’m more into leisure hikes, I want to pursue this sport and achieve the level of fitness I’ve seen from the majority of the participants. They are so inspiring. Almost everyone looked healthy. Some of them didn't even look frazzled. I saw one of the strong runners who didn't look like she sweat  at all.   It was a huge wake-up call that I need to up my game – eat more healthily and train more.


I’m hooking you up with several other links in case you want to know more about skyrunning.

Kinabalu Climbathon website  – the  climbathon is an annual tourism activity organized by the Sabah Tourism Board. It’s usually one of the stops of Skyrunner World Series.

Philippine Skyrunning Association Site 

International Skyrunning Federation Website - ISF is the sole authority on skyrunningg with several organizations under it. PSA is one of its members.

Official Skyrunning Video Presentation

Definition of Skyrunning from the ISF Website : *(Skyrunning is defined as running in the mountains above 2,000 metres altitude where the climbing difficulty does not exceed II° grade and the incline does not exceed 40%).

Popular posts from this blog

Hiking in La Trinidad : Mt. Yangbew

To kickoff 2017, I  returned to the Cordillera region with one of my closest friends, Jules. We wanted to take it easy  so we decided to try a couple of short but very scenic trails in Benguet I found online (References posted below). 

Barangay Tawang in La Trinidad,the capital of the province of Benguet  is less than an hour from Baguio city and features several accessible, scenic mountain trails - Mt. Yangbew (also known as Mt. Jambo), Tayawan view deck and Mt. Kalugong. These are all beginner-friendly or as the younger Pinoy millenials would say, pabebe-friendly. :P
Since we were taking a super early bus ride,  (1:30 AM early! :P), we made sure  we got nice, comfy seats. Fortunately, with 3 days prior to the trip, we were able to book online via iWantSeats.

In five hours, we arrived in the City of Pines and walked towards Session Road to hunt for a hotel. Fortunately, a vacant room was immediately available at Benguet Prime Hotel so we were able to leave our bags.  We took our sweet t…

Part 2 : Bataan Adventures | Where to Eat in Bataan (Updated 2017)

Being an avid hiker and foodie, I've grown very fond of visiting  Bataan.  This province offers several hiking trails (check my post here) passing verdant forests and nicely decorated cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a proper cup of coffee and affordable comfort food. It is also highly accessible from Manila via land travel, making it a good option for a short but rewarding out of town adventure. 

Here's a list of restaurants in Bataan where you can enjoy satisfying meals. 

ANGELITOS (Orani)
The restaurant's name which means little angels (male) was inspired by the owner's 3 young boys, Miguel (after St. Michael), Rafael and Gabriel.This 2 year old family owned restaurant has a homey ambiance and serves any type of food that the family enjoys.

Dishes are flavorful and priced affordably -100 Pesos above for the main dishes and 20 Pesos above for the desserts.Specialty includes, pork binagoongan and creamy tofu (my fave!). The restroom which has a mini garden is als…

12 Useful things to Bring on your First Mountain Hike

Hiking has become very popular in the Philippines that it's now easier to find a mountain and come up with your own itinerary  or join an organized group. (Read 10 Tips on How to be a Good Climb Participant
If you're heading out to your first mountain hike and thinking of what to bring, here are a couple of tips. Note that this list was created as a guide and not a mandatory checklist. The items featured are based on what I observed to be  useful when hiking in tropical weather.

7 Hiking Tips for Beginners | 8 Essentials for Rainy Day Hikes by Basekamp PH

1.  Footwear
Footwear should enhance your experience outdoors and protect you from injury. There are shoes designed specifically for hiking but I encourage you to research the mountain  first before purchasing hiking shoes. Will there be sections where you need to cross rivers? How long will you be hiking?If the mountain has a clear and established trail that normally won't take more than 4 hours to complete, you can very w…