10 February 2014

2014 PlLIPINAS AKYATHLON® - Race Report

This is my 3rd year of 3. Previous race reports here: 2012 and 2013.


The 3rd Philippine International SKYRACE™
8 February 2014, Saturday, 6:00 AM
                                                            MT. Ugo, Brgy. Tinongdan, Itogon,
                                                                        Benguet, Philippines

Pilipinas Akyathlon Race Course Description:

This is a 35.3-km out-and-back race, starting from the Barangay Hall of Tinongdan (779 masl) in the Municipality of Itogon, Province of Benguet. The first 1.7km is a downhill run on paved road to the start of the trail (499 masl). From this point, the route to the summit is mostly uphill with a total elevation gain of 1858 meters, and loss of 195 meters. The route will showcase magnificent views of surrounding mountains, including portions of Binga and Ambuklao dams as far away as Pangasinan. The turnaround point will be at the summit of Mt Ugo (2162 masl). The 16.4-km route from the summit to the finish is a mirror image of the route to the summit, and concludes with a 1.7-km (280m vertically) ascent to the finish line at the hall of Barangay Tinongdan." (from race website). Based on Atty. Aldean Lim's GPS reading, we have this basic info:

Distance:    35.24 km
Elevation Gain:

2,249 m
Elevation Loss:  2,254 m


This Skyrace is essentially a training race for my upcoming 2014 Hardcore Hundred Miles (H1) race in 21-22 February 2014. My second year with 2012 race report here.
Unlike last year, I did taper a few days before this race which resulted to an improvement of my clock time - 5:20 from 5:40 given the route is a little longer now - 36K. Also, it was also nice to be with some friends before, during and after the race. This is what really appeals to me, the camaraderie and chit chat among fellow runners. Somehow, you always feel at home. Travelling the night before the race by bus, I did not make it during the pre-race briefing. So thank you to Aldean (thanks for the Injinji!) and Majo for taking care of my race packet for me and sharing the ride (taxi) to the race venue and house. Both are now part of the Philippine Team Salomon I think with Eric Guieb also. On that note, I am happy for them. On the way back to Baguio, thank you to Eric Guieb for giving us a lift. Good luck to Eric for his Full Ironman in Melbourne this March! I wish I stayed until Sunday for their recovery run but my family had to take a top position in my priority list.
I had issues during the race. My butt muscles were tight which considerably hindered my uphill effort although my heart rate was okay. Probably this is due to lack of sufficient massage or flexibility and/or sitting on my ass the whole day before in the office (although I consciously try to stand up and move around) and then bus for 6 hours! Dang. Upper abdominal part was tight too resembling a side stitch. In hindsight, I should have not eaten too close to the race and even the night before. Bloated tummy as well. Oh well.
Overall, it was a good experience. I had fun running the downhill portion of the race from the Mt. Ugo Summit. Surprisingly, the 1.7km ascent to the finish line was manageable this time unlike last year despite the heat.
Placing second for my age group category - 40-49 was just an added consolation and yielded some giveaways from the race organizer. After the race, it was nice to meet Clement Dumont - 2013 PSA Skyrace winner (3rd this year) and Editor of the first Asia Trail Magazine and his wife, Sabrina as well. We chatted a bit and gave me the magazine (hard copy with digital copy before) in which I was featured. One day, I'll run his Trans Lantau 100, which he is the race director. I hope we can get Asia Trail Magazine to sponsor 2014 CM50.
I will be back next year. This race is too perfectly timed as training race for H1 and so I have no intention of not giving it a go. So my "pilgrimage" trail races in the Philippines for now are H1, TNF100 and PSA Skyrace, in no particular order of importance but not difficulty :) 
Some pictures below.
Jon (thinking of H1)


Altra Lone Peak 1.5 performed really well during the race. Enough cushion and traction even how loose or rocky the terrain was. No blister or hotspot. The shoes seem to breathe really well. However, I noticed I was tripping a bit on rooty portion of the route more particularly the big toe nail part. Overall, I am satisfied. Cheers.
Male podium finishers

from left: Eric Guieb, Majo Liao, Roland Wang, 4th to 7th are from ROX (Jundel) and PSA, Aldean and moi (red shirt) 

2014 male champion chatting after the race with Thumbie

Front design of the shirt with the medal above. Good quality shirt. I like it.

Back design of the official shirt

Front cover   
Inside story


  1. Congratulations once again, buddy. This race had been on my sight for the past years, and was about to give it a go this time if not for the unfortunate event that happened to me. Maybe, in a couple of years time, God-willing. See you again soon. It's a little sad that I can't run with you (and everyone else) for years, but I will be back. Good luck on your H1, my friend.

  2. Sorry about your condition buddy. It saddens me that your presence won't be seen for a while in our community (ultra or not). Your presence in races and related gatherings always makes them a little brighter. Take care man and thank you!

  3. Congratulations Sir Jon and nice seeing you there. I must get an Asia Trail mag with your sign on it :)

  4. Hey nice to you see you too! It'll be my pleasure to do so. See you around!

  5. Thank you for your continued support of our race Atty. Jon! Congratulations on your PR too! :) See you in TNF 100! :) - JC (PSA)