03 April 2023


2023 MT. UGO RACE    

To tackle the 42k trail race (Mt. Ugo), I swore to climb and train at Mt. Arayat. I have learned my lessons from the previous 21k trail race of sore quads with a lot of cursing #$%@ that came with it days after the race. My previous story here

I was just glad that Mt. Arayat is now open to trailrunners, climbers, hikers, and visitors in general. The place has changed after the pandemic. There are cafes along the road and the entrance is now through a DENR post where you have to pay, I think Php30.00 each for every visitor. Also, a group of climbers will be required to secure a guide depending on the number of persons. I was told the rate is Php1,000.00. Given that they know us through the years, we are exempted. Besides, they don't bother telling or requiring us because we move fast. Some of the guides wear slippers and I think they like to keep the pace recreational. 

On a serious note, it occurred to me that acting as a guide is a good way to get in that exercise and earn at the same time. I wanted to try but I am not sure I have the patience to guide a bunch of folks where it will take them almost a whole day to be out and back. No offense but time for me is precious. Perhaps, if there are fast climbers that might work for me. Anyway, I am not doing it except upon request of friends or friends of a friend and it is gratis. Just to get in that climb is in itself the reward.

I am digressing. Okay going back. A fellow trailrunner, Arwin Sta. Clara and his wife, Joy joined me (or is it the other way around) for a double climb a week before Mt. Ugo. His wife joined us on the last climb. Nothing crazy fast or what. Just a chill climb and one of the best parts was a brunch at Abe's Farm. Delish!

So, after doing the climbing and running, I knew I was ready for the trail marathon. 

On the way to the Finish line, I passed several runners. Enjoying the downhill until I bonked. I was so hungry and did not realize how far the next aid station was. I appreciate the male runner from Cebu (I think and my apology I forgot your name) who gave me water and Cloud 9 choco bar. Thank you so much! 

Other than that episode, overall, I was happy with how the race turned out. 

Thank you to Jonel Mendoza and Robert Watson for allowing me to join. Of course, the race crew at every aid station and along the trail. It was so nice to be back!


Well, I could tell you now that this event felt like an ultra race on 2 wheels! 

No sleep for more than 19 hours before crossing the Finish line. Worse part was the incessant rain for roughly 400kms stretch up North in the middle of the night! We were all soaking wet.

Just like in all my ultra races before, I always tell myself that to control things that you can and not things you cannot like the weather. There is no point bitching about it. So for this long ride, all I did was gear up to protect myself from the rain. That's all I could do. 

But really, it was hard riding in the rain especially in those areas where I had to manage steep slippery downhills in pitch dark! Unlike a headlamp resting on your head where you can pivot to see what is up ahead, you cannot do it with a big bike. The beam of the headlight is limited to a straight line and so when one is managing a curve, you cannot see what is on the other side. It could get tricky and dangerous. In fact, there were several eroded sections. All I could do was ride slow and sure. One mistake could be fatal was all I kept telling myself. There was one incident where 2 riders were severely injured on a head-on collision because of a drunk driver, who from all indications, did it purposely. Damn. That guy should be punished severely. I wish I could find the video, which Epoy Poblete sent a link here. Thank you! I am just glad the 2 riders have recovered or are recovering.

Thankful, however, that I finished the ride safe and sound but absolutely wrecked. I cannot imagine doing this event with a pillion but I did see some. So, kudos.

So that is one off the bucket list. Will I do it again? I don't know. Let's see.

(Simply exhausted)

(What a dirty bike! Ugh)

(It took me more than a week to clean James. I didn't want to get near him and am sure James felt the same way too!)


Jon (resting this week after the 32km race yesterday and realizing this blog has become his running, among others, diary)


Somebody told me of this 32k race in Clark and I immediately said why not. It is my neck of the wood anyway.

So, I bugged Don again to ask for free race kit. Thank you Don and the organizer of CCM!

Frankly, I was just happy to be running. Just give me a race bib and I don't care about the loot. Really. Ask some of the race organizers around. That is all I ask - a race bib just so I can run. And the same courtesy I extend to my fellow race organizers if they want to join my races. Besides, I don't want to bandit any race.



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