28 May 2013

FOUR LAKES 100k Race Report

I will not get into the nitty gritty and even sometimes boring details. So this is probably one of my shortest race reports
For more information on the Four Lakes 100, please click the link below. Please note that there is a 60km version. 
One of the reasons I joined this race was because of curiosity and added training for an upcoming 100 mile race. I was really interested to compare this race with the TNF100 Baguio in terms of the essentials - ELEVATION, WEATHER, RACE ORGANIZATION and VIEW. Why? I have no friggin idea really :) CAVEAT: This is just my own observation and thus subjective. So don't flame me if you find it disagreeable. Perhaps, you should run and finish both first :)
Our good friend Atty. Aldean Philip Lim, who likewise ran both races, recorded the elevation profile of Four Lakes (shorter by 3-4kms since the battery did not last. Benj Termulo has also one)
Elevation Gain: 26,924 ft or 8,200m+
Elevation Loss: 30,374 ft
Min Elevation: 217 ft
Max Elevation: 7,018 ft
Elevation gain is 7200m+ based on Aldean's Garmin data:


The elevation profile of TNF100 in UTMB website needs to be corrected:

Here is the website of TNF100:
Here is the elevation profile of both races courtesy of Rocketbong:
CONCLUSION - Four Lakes is a winner which means harder. You add 1,500 meters (2011 UTMB when I ran it) to Four Lakes' elevation gain and you already have the elevation profile of UTMB. Can you imagine now? So it is very probable then that HARDCORE 100 mile race last February covering the route of Four Lakes could be between 12,000m to 14,000m? Wow. Same observation by Aldean.
The 2 editions of TNF100 in Baguio had been generally hot except the 2013 where there was a bit of rain. Well it did rain too during Four Lakes and sun was up until way past noon.
CONCLUSION - The same except the air in Kayapa is way way better and clean than Baguio which has been notorious for pollution recently. If you have been to Kayapa, you always get that feeling of sleepiness because it's serene and its overall good weather. Time seems to pass so slowly.
TNF100 has massive corporate backing unlike Four Lakes and thus can be well organized and yet, it has not perfected it yet mostly on fuel and fluid
CONCLUSION -  I like both except the underground appeal and difficulty of Four Lakes appeal more to my liking and personality. With a small underground race like Four Lakes, your always get that homelike feel to it on account of RD Jonel and Connie and their crew being able to establish rapport and PR with the runners not just because they are good friends of mine. That homey feeling is elusive in big races like TNF and others. Again, this is subjective. 
While both races are laid out on the same topography with countless mountain passes, Four Lakes seem to offer better, unadulterated, pristine view compared to TNF100 which is too close to Baguio City.
CONCLUSION - I go for Kayapa.
I like both races because they give us ultrarunners the challenges and training needed to hurdle 100 mile races. Both are good training races/runs for 100 mile events. But if I'd have my way, I'd like to join races that are low-key and more homey where runners congregate at the Finish line to wait for other runners to cross while talking, joking, eating and drinking a few beers. At the end of the day, little things like those count a lot.
Jon (new PR at 17:27:51 for a hard 100K and suprisingly recovering well for Bighorn) 


  1. Nice comparison between the two Jon, and you're right, laid back races as of the KOTM is well suited for trail-loving individuals. The place and the people are just perfect for this kind of race. As early as today, I'm setting my goal for the hundred next year.

    Congrats again on your new PR, I know you can still beat it. Cheers, man, and see you again soon.

    Sorry, I wasn't able to sit with you with those beers at the finish line. ;)

  2. Good luck man on your 100 mile race next year! Will reserve some beer for you at the next race :)

    See you around!