06 April 2010


It was a long holiday and every runner includes, by habit I supposed, running into his usual holiday fares. Having 5 days (March 31 to April 04) to squander was something of a luxury nowadays.

Saturday was something I planned. As soon as the rooster crowed, I was up and about before 5AM. It would take me around 20KM to reach my destination and travelling time was something to be considered. Cold and windy outside but it would not be for long. The sun has been merciless lately.

The solo run started at Evercrest (start/finish area of 2008 TNF), south of Manila and I picked a 14-year old local guide (Leo de Villa) along the way. He was the only one available and had to agree that this was not something of the usual trek. The plan was simply to traverse Mt. Batulao by running (if possible), reaching the summit and back to Evercrest at the shortest time possible. We were done in 2 hours and 14 minutes  and my companion was only wearing a pair of slippers and could even outrun me. Amazing. The run was about 12kms only but given the topography I was not suprised it took us that long to finish it. 

Given the proper guidance, Leo would become a strong runner given his early exposure much like the East Africans. He mostly likely has a pair of stronger feet than the rest of us but this is another story all together.

Woke up at the same time the next day (Sunday) and headed out to Tagaytay starting from the Mendez-Tagaytay intersection passing through Mahogany Market (famous for beef meat) and all the way up to Palace in the Sky and back (30K in 3:14). (The guard allowed me to pass free of charge since I just told him I was just jogging all the way up. The place is now in a pathetic state.) I detoured to Crosswinds village since the place looked good for a place to run. Only less than 10 minutes of running when a security guard in a motorbike chased me out of the place. Outsiders, he said, are not allowed to run inside the village. Oh well.

The Batulao run was more like a strength traing while the Tagaytay run was more on endurance. As expected, my calves were shot the next day but it was the good kind :)

Below are some pictures during the Batulao run. Enjoy and see you folks during the TNF100K in Baguio City.



Can you see the moon?

Can you see a tent?



  1. It's terrible what grassland fires do to this mountain and nearby Talamitam during the dry season. They look like burnt lechon without the food colouring :)

  2. Wow, incredible shots Atty. Jon! While not much of a trail guy, I'd sure like to try running these sites one day :) Good luck with TNF!