Skip to main content

The North Face CamSur

Why????!!! With my brain devoid of food  because I miscalculated my energy gel intake, I have forgotten the reason why I joined a 22 KM Trail run in Camarines Sur. I dragged myself and tried very hard to ignore the desire to sit down, relax and sleep on the trail until someone brings me a heaping glass of halo-halo and a bucket meal.

It was my 3rd hour on the trail and I felt hot, famished and craved for a cold bath. I was still approximately 14 Kilometers away from the finish line according to the race marshall I asked. Given my condition, I estimated another 2 gruelling hours of run and walk until I make it to the finish line.

A month ago, it seemed like a super fun idea to join this race organized byThe North Face. It’s a local trail running event held every year and is popular for its tough course.

It was my 3rd time to join an event from this particular organizer and I’ve anticipated challenging terrains and extremely hot weather. Despite being mentally prepared for what’s in store, my body failed to calibrate. (Note to self : must train more!) From positioning myself at the front of the pack on the first 2 hours, I fell to the bottom half as my endurance wore off.

Though I wish I performed better, I was just so happy that I was able to travel to CamSur and see wonderful views without having to worry about getting back as there were appropriate markers and marshalls positioned at the confusing parts. The water stations courtesy of the sponsor – 100 Plus of Asia Brewery were quite adequate.

Thank you Estan for this photo! Estan is an acquaintance from the Pinoy Travel Bloggers group and it was during this race where we met in person for the very first time.
 My most favorite part of the course was the trail leading to a secluded waterfalls which reminded me Tappiyah falls in Batad. We had to enter a mountain, cling to ropes and walk on the edge of ravines to get there. I loved every minute of it even if that was the most technical part. It reminded me so much of hiking, another activity which I enjoy more than running.

Photo from my friend - The Running Mistress

When we got out of the forest and into the hot, paved part of the course, I met other participants who were equally tired. We chatted and laughed away for several kilometers trying to overcome our weariness. Yay, I made new friends...Oh if only congeniality adds to  endurance and speed!

We also ran into the last guy for the 100 KM Division four kilometers away from the finish line. Their race started the previous morning at 4:00 AM! He had been on the trail for more than 24 hours with no adequate sleep. He said some of the locals who had homes along the trail fed him laing like no other the previous night (Now, that’s  when I got envious!). He even showed us the cross they gave him for protection which was pinned on his shirt. (I love you CamSur!). 

Eventually, we had to overtake him as we were all dying to cross the finish line to end our agony. The race organizers provided him an escort who had a radio and rode a motorbike so we knew he was in good hands.
When my new friends felt recharged, they bolted away and I was left on the trail again.

I spotted another new found friend sitting at the side of the road and we walked together until we caught glimpse of the finish line. There I saw the smile of one my best friends glaring from a distance. I can hear her cheering me on. Me and my new found friend used our remaining ounce of strength to run to the finish line together. My time was 5 hours 10 minutes. I ranked 96th out of 133 runners. It’s not my best but I felt fulfilled and overjoyed that I finished it. 
Smiling from a distance...Yayyyy, finally finished it with my new found friend! Thanks bffeee Jules for this photo and for waiting on me!
After devouring some food and taking a long, refreshing bath, I was again reminded of the reason why I submitted myself to such gruelling physical activity. More than the feat of completing an entire course, it’s the things I learn, the people I meet, the time I spend with amazing friends and the places I see that glorifies the experience. And being a foodie, it’s what I get to consume before, during and after the race that matters more than the distance I run!

Now I am back in Manila and contemplating on my next trail run. I feel that I feel that I am ready to torture myself again! Haha!

Hope to see you on the trail!

Popular posts from this blog

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. 

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…

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…

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…