29 November 2022



Hmm. Where do I start?

Things are going well for the next race Cordillera Mountain Ultra 2022 this weekend, December 3 to 4, 2022. I will be merely running the 21K as part of slowly easing into longer distances starting next year. 

We will be seeing old familiar and new faces for sure during the event. It'll be fun to relish the rapport and camaraderie amongst trail runners once again. This feeling is hardly present when joining road races. Once thing I love about trail running is the kindred spirit you have with other trail runners. I always look forward to the Finish line where most of us linger around while waiting for other runners to cross. Then there is the chat, and if you are game, beers too!

Given many runners will be attending this race event, I would like to invite, speak with and "interview" (for lack of better term) runners on the current state of trail running in the Philippines in general and some of the issues affecting it. So please feel to approach me anytime when I get there on Saturday morning or you can message me privately in FB on how to go about it. The anonymity of these runners is certainly guaranteed. 

Regardless of their opinions, beliefs and affiliation, I want to talk to as many runners as possible on these issues because I feel objectivity and impartiality are important considerations before releasing the next blog post here on this topic. So thank you very much in advance.   

NORTH LOOP (unofficial)

Moving on. Alright, so we did this "unofficial" North loop (minus the Aurora province) last weekend covering, more or less, a distance of 1,143 kilometres. James has proven itself to be very reliable for this long arduous trip.

The actual route plus a detour to Villa Verde Trail 

We decided to cover the North loop after joining the 7th Ilocos Sur Invitational Ride in Vigan City as part of our "training" for the 2023 Boss Ironman. There were more than 2,000 riders so they say. We purposely skipped Aparri and Baler in Aurora since it'll be nice to see something "new" during the actual Boss Ironman. Just like in ultrarunning, you don't cover the entire distance, say, 100 miles in a training. You have to leave some area or distance, so it'll be exciting, as earlier said, to see something new. I love the long stretches in Cagayan!

At any rate, the highlight of this trip was a visit to the parents of my law school classmate, Atty. Louie Soriano of Honda Philippines in Roxas, Isabela. I remember distinctly on how hospitable his father was when we saw him for the first time during the baptism of my classmate's child in Laguna. I was one of the ninongs.  His father was then 53 or so and now at 73. We loved the papaitan he prepared for us especially after getting drunk with Fundador :) So that was around 20 years ago. 

He is still chatty, friendly and cool even at his age. Not the grumpy old man. Of course, the experience was complete with heap serving of their local dish, papaitan over Jack Daniel and red wine. I can't explain it but you have this instant rapport with some old gents. He is one of them.  

Thank you so much for the accommodation and hospitality!!!

Tatay Maeng Soriano

Here are some pictures of the trip. 

Welcome lunch venue. Look closer at those bikes on the bridge.

Riders at the Welcome lunch.

Fellowship night

Some riders at the Rosario La Union before heading out to Vigan.

Try the Bigote IPA

The famous Vigan Longganisa

Now this is the best "mineral" water in the world! Truly free and natural.

Jon (tired as hell after the trip. It felt like the next day after running an ultra race except your legs are still fresh :)

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