On Assignment : Columbia Eco Trail Pinatubo 2012 + Race Results & Winners

Photo Courtesy of Columbia Sportswear
For the past couple of weeks, I've been actively pursuing another passion of mine - food! With the relentless quest for my selfish indulgence, my body started clamoring for physical activity that will not put a strain on my taste buds and that overstretched tummy. 

One evening, while gravitating towards a delicious spread of seafoods near the beach , I received news that Columbia Sportswear is organizing a trail run in Mt. Pinatubo. After a considerable absence from intense physical activities, I was excited to get back on the dirt and sweat it off. 

Apart from participating as a blogger, I was also tasked by Dispatch Media to interview some runners, along with a friend, Dominic or better known through his blog as Dong Ho. (Please watch their travel-docu, PHL360!) Our team who barely slept the night before, arrived at Nayong Pilipino in Pampanga with less than an hour before the gun start for the 12K Category which Dom and I joined. With everything happening in fast-paced motion, we started with some work and interviewed some participants including Wanderlass and several other bloggers. 

Gearing up - our adorable video crew Justin Joyas & Franz Lopez
Almost all runners for our division had already gone ahead when we started running. The first kilometer was through a paved even road and we did just fine. I couldn't believe I was able to run for more than 5 minutes straight, hahaha! :P 

As we entered the trail before the Sacobia bridge, I started slowing down to relish the view. I just couldn't stop marveling at the silhouette of mountains which stretched on almost the entire route. The 12KM trail was even and sandy, like running on a beach with powdery sand. Compared to other trail runs I've joined where we had to cling on vines and wallow through mud, this was a very kind route, very ideal for people who enjoy running all the way and for strollers like me who's just after a good sweat and nice views. 

As this was dubbed as an eco trail event, only hydration on big containers were available. We all had to bring our own water bottles. 

Everyone had to pass through these wet portions which felt close to mud on contact. 

I enjoyed the views so much, it felt like I was in a relaxing out of town trip with friends  since I also kept bumping into runner friends along the trail. :) 

Left to Right from the Top : Franco (former colleague,), Jojo & Dan (Team USB), Journeying James & friend, Dominic, Lilliane & Vangie, Fellow bloggers :) 
According to the race results, I finished the 12K route in 2:23:11 hours. I don't really know how well I faired but my main goal was just to cross the finish line with an enormous smile on my face. 

One of my first thoughts as I completed the fun route was Drew Arellano, a celebrity crush since his Sunsilk Commercial, which was very popular in 2004. Unfortunately, our editor, the very bubbly, talented and proactive Upper Viceo had already interviewed him while I was still on the trail and was already out of sight by the time I finished. Oh well, some other time. :P 

We also interviewed Kiko Rustia, former host of Born to be Wild and reality-tv show cast of the Philippine Edition of Survivor in GMA7. I've seen him before in Romi Garduce's talk  in R.O.X. (Post here.) and didn't take any interest in his rock-solid muscles but his down to earth and easy-going personality sparked some admiration as we spoke to him about his experience on the trail. Character truly makes a person attractive! 

Two food stops and two rounds of movie after, we headed back to Manila feeling as though we just came from a week-long escapade. I am inspired to get back into shape! :) 

For an account of other bloggers' experiences at the Columbia Eco Trail, please visit : 
12K Division : Wanderlass 
25K Division : Running Pinoy and Jazz Runner 

Race results are available at http://strider.ph. Photos during the race have also been uploaded at the Columbiasportswear Ph Facebook Page

Thanks to Dispatch Team  for an amazing time, thank you and congratulations to Laira Legaspi & Ian of Primer Group, Tifanny Batungbacal (brand manager for Columbia Sportswear), race director Thumbie Remigio and to the rest of the organizing team! To all the participants and winners, congratulations! :) 

List of Winners :
Men's Category : 
1st Place -  Robin Angeles (00:23:23)
2nd Place - Ronald Marquez (00:25:08) 
3rd Place -  Richard Barroga (00:25:25)

Women's Category : 
1st Place - Mary Flor Rabina (00:30:18)
2nd Place - Brechje Marechal (00:31:53)
3rd Place - Maria Kristine Cosio (00:32:35)  

Men's Category : 
1st Place - Andy Mendoza (00:49:40)
2nd Place - Aris Suaverdez (00:50:13) 
3rd Place - Al Felias (00:58:00)  

Women's Category : 
1st Place - Michelle Anne Tibayacay (1:00:03)
2nd Place - Merichiel Morales (1:00:34)
3rd Place - Sandi Abahan (1:07:19).

Men's Category : 
1st Place - Lee Mcmeekin (1:43:50)
2nd Place - David Munro (1:46:12) 
3rd Place - Franklin Penalosa (1:48:14)

Women's Category : 
1st Place -  Gretchen Felipe (2:13:33)
2nd Place - Feliz Nepomuceno (2:26:27) 
3rd Place - Daisy Merca  (2:38:00) 

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