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Fresh air, beautiful scenery and not your average road run are among the attractive points of an out of town organized run. These type of events are sprouting around the Philippines and most people are taking advantage of the opportunity to travel and get fit at the same time.
Overseas, destination running is not a new idea. Ever heard of the Sahara Desert Marathon or the Vibram Hong Kong 100? I'm glad that various brands operating in the Philippines are beginning to notice its potential to draw crowds and are jumping at the opportunity to expose runners to various routes around the country. With proper management, it should to be a good thing because it helps drive business to the community.
There have been previous races that were raved by its participants such as the CDO-Dahilayan Run, a 55 KM Ultra marathon which took runners around CDO and Dahilayan in Manolo Fortrich, Bukidnon. There’s also the local TNF 100 Series which is dear to my heart as several friends are part of the organizing committee. This year was held in CamSur and the route passed through Mt. Isarog. Another wonderful event is the Kitanglad Rugged Mountain Race, spearheaded by another friend Ben Maputi, a trail run held at the beautiful but rough terrain of Mt. Kitanglad (watch out for part 2 on Feb. 2012!). Another anticipated annual event and among my favorites is the Corregidor International Half Marathon organized by Edward Kho. It’s usually held in December when weather is much cooler. For 2011, it’s going to be held on December 10.
Of course, I shall reserve an entire paragraph to praise my loving hydration partner – Nathan Sports Philippines which had just concluded their first race. (Congrats!!!) The Nathan Ridge Run was held within the confines of Tagaytay Highlands where weather is cooler and the views of Taal Lake - breathtaking! Although I am utterly grateful to them for providing support during the race, I need to stress that I will not be raving about them if I didn’t truly enjoy it. Part of the race kit is a free Nathan water bottle that can be used to refill at the hydration stations because no paper/plastic cups were provided. There weren’t any liters in sight except for some bits and pieces of energy gels left on the side walk. There was also a shuttle from Manila to the venue which had to be paid by the participants at a reasonable price and oh, free lunch!!! It wasn't that much but it was good. Oh, the best thing of all - the views of Taal Lake! The route was grueling but fun, as it was mostly "uphell", especially at the 21KM division where I joined. I finished in 3 hours which is a bit slow but I'm just happy because I was able to run as much as I could. It was my best effort! Haha! It was also nice to spend some time with old friends and meet new people. (Hi friends!)
So if you're looking into a different type of thrill you may want to consider joining destination runs. You will most likely get a great deal because some organizers usually get discounts from hotels or transportation and embed it to the registration fee. A highly recommended source is Takbo.Ph which has a calendar of running events. The site is pretty easy to navigate. If you want check out other sports apart from running, check out Pinoy Fitness (Hello Jeff!!!) which features various events around the Philippines.