Running in Siargao: Siargao It Up Half Marathon

It is one of the most popular destination sites in the Philippines, included in the list of “Destinations to watch in 2013” by Condé Nast Traveller, and considered eighth in the “World’s 50 best surf spots” by CNN Travel.  It’s Siargao!  Now it’s opening up its roads for runners with the Siargao It Up Half Marathon.

Siargao It Up Half Marathon
Numancia Central Elementary School Grounds, Del Carmen
November 16, 2013 (Saturday)

Category Registration Fee Gun Start
21K ₱550 (₱300 for students and local SRC members) 3:00PM
5K ₱350 (₱250 for students and local SRC members) 4:00PM
400m 10 empty plastic bottles *
Finisher’s medal

* 400m event uses heat eliminations starting 10AM; finals at 4:30PM.


  • Singlet and race bibs for all participants in all categories
  • Finisher’s medal for 5K and 21K
  • Medals and cash prizes for the top three (3) male and female for all categories
  • Limited to 200 slots for participants coming from outside Siargao
Map of Siargao

Siargao It Up comes as a spinoff of “Shore It Up” campaign, a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of Metro Pacific Investment Foundation from the MVP Group of Companies.  This multi-awarded campaign is now on its fifth year of providing “more than just an underwater cleanup” and now comes on the shores of Siargao after having graced Anilao, Puerto Galera, Hundred Islands, and Subic.

Siargao It Up is an event for cause, but with much more impact than similar events.  Siargao has been known internationally for surfing and had been host to the International Surfing Cup for the past 18 years already.  But surprisingly, despite the many foreign surfers arriving in Siargao, the island is not economically improving.  Without going into details, the economic benefits of surfing isn’t reaching the ordinary people of Siargao.   This was why the local government of Siargao decided to diversify their tourism—moving beyond surfing.

Siargao Domestic Airport
(Courtesy Siargao It Up)

So what’s in store for non-surfers in Siargao?  Surprisingly plenty!  There’s of course the expected island hopping, but they say that when you go on an island hopping in Siargao, you practically own that island at that moment!  They have kayaking for some leisurely tour of the island’s waters, and diving if you’re done on the surface.  They have mangrove tours which serves as the nursery of fishes that populate the surrounding seas.  They have lagoons that you can only access during low tides.  You can also swim with Siargao’s stingless jellyfishes!  But aside from the water activities, they also have countryside and heritage tours, tourism training programs, biking, golf, etc. and now they’re also opening up their roads for running!

The mangrove forest of Del Carmen: at more than 4,000 hectares, it is the largest contiguous mangrove forest in the Philippines
(Courtesy Siargao It Up)

Research done by the local government estimate that a single runner from Manila would directly or indirectly feed 13 families (with five members each) for an entire day.  If the target of 200 runners from outside the island (namely from Manila and its nearby provinces) gets filled out, that’s enough to feed 2,600 families in a day (13,000 individuals)!  But just to clarify, it doesn’t mean that Siargao is expensive, on the contrary, it means that standards of living remains low on the island that an individual can make such a huge impact.  Just to give you an idea, a twin sharing room in the island typically ranges between ₱2,000 and ₱3,000 (around $44 to $66).  Del Carmen, the host of Siargao It Up, is a 5th class municipality with a staggering poverty index of 67.24%, so a single person joining the event makes a huge difference!

You may register for Siargao It Up online via or at the following sites:

  • Siargao Island Tour and Travel Inc.
    • Sto. Niño St., Dapa Island
      +63 917 892 8687
    • Stall #8 Surigao Pavillion Center, Luneta Park, Surigao City
      +63 917 512 0050
  • Without Limits
Event Singlet

Online registration is until November 08, 2013.  There will be an additional ₱150 – ₱170 delivery fee, depending on the location.  Kits will be delivered between October 15 and November 13, 2013.

You may already pre-register and reserve your kits in aforementioned sites.  Claiming of kits and regular in-store registration is from October 16 to November 13, 2013.

Salamat Karajaw sa Ijo Hurot!
(Courtesy Siargao It Up)

There would also be a “battle of the bands” right after the event, you may download the details here.

If you’re interested about visiting Siargao, you may find great information at

4 Comments Add yours

  1. sjbaird123 says:

    Sounds and looks nice but a bit too far for me here in the uk!


    1. dhenztm says:

      Awww… but it case you’re up for a long tropical vacation, we have 7,107 islands here in the Philippines to choose from 🙂


      1. sjbaird123 says:

        better start saving up then! 🙂


  2. Twit Twit says:

    This is like running in paradise! 🙂


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