Posts Tagged ‘Evercrest


TNF Thrill of the Trail Experience, Part 3

I’ve got so many stories to tell about this trail experience that a single post is not enough to contain it all!  Back to the trail: just as I mentioned before, being able to run with my friends was enough for me, then just passing by MP1 (Marshal Point 1) I was asked nicely by the Marshal what my race number was.  I think my face just light up that moment—I was, incredibly, back in the race!  Of course I memorized what my race number was: 0-2-0.  I even had a picture of it on my phone should it be needed as proof.  With all smiles I gladly replied “twenty!”  I just had to make sure to inform the succeeding Marshals in the following MPs of my number to be sure I was on the results list.

Enjoying the view…

As you may have noticed on the elevation chart (the one I posted with the race route) the trail was a gradual descent for the first half of the race.  The view was just spectacular; add the cool breeze and the rising sun—you can’t have it any better than that.

The right side was actually much steeper than it seems

The trail varied from being wide for those who wishes to really run the race, to being really narrow that only a single person may pass at a time.  I know there were some frustrated runners on these parts of the trail because they can’t overtake slowpokes like us who were just enjoying the sights (and taking pictures!).  I was carrying a camera all throughout the race, sometimes running sidewards and even backwards to take pictures of the sights, my friends, and of course myself (which was very difficult).

It’s difficult to take your own picture while you run, that’s for sure

My NB 811 in action

I really didn’t mind the lone water station on the trail since I had my own water supply and you don’t get dehydrated as fast because of the cool weather.  We were exerting almost normal effort on the trail, except for the steep climbs of course, so we didn’t really got exhausted like in a normal race.  It doesn’t mean that the trail was easy—it’s anything but a walk in the park!

Part of the route…

So you won’t go wrong!

My favorite part of the trail (and for me, the most difficult) was the part you see with the sudden dip and rise in altitude (it was really that steep!).  The ground was dry so it was pretty loose and sliding downwards was inevitable.  The Organizers placed (thankfully) a rope that we could grab on as guide and if ever we lost traction we wouldn’t slide too fast.  At the bottom of this area was a bridge crossing over a small river and then it’s uphill again, a four-wheel drive up (both feet and hands).

This was my favorite part of the trail!

This was how slippery it was…

I was already missing the trail when we saw the paved road (relatively) leading to Caleruega Church—the feeling of grass and ground below your feet was just irreplaceable.  I won’t trade these trails for rubberized tracks, that’s what I thought.  This road was the last stretch to the finish, and with the rising elevation the views of the mountains surrounding the area was even better.  I just love this area around Caleruega Church—it always reminds me of scenes from Cedie (an old animé I grew up with).

Spectacular view of the mountains…

Heading back to the finish there were lots of Marshals that guide us where to go.  Even if it was a trail run, I really felt that we’re really taken cared of.  It was one of the most organized races that I’ve joined so far—easily one of my current favorites.

Yosh! I’m a Finisher!

I was glad I joined this race.  Even if I didn’t have my race bib I was still able to be part of the race, and even got the freebies and certificate.  I finished with no injury despite the challenging trails, and didn’t felt any fatigue at all.

My NB 811’s AFTER picture.

The best part about finishing a race was being “licensed” to eat!  Because of our accommodation at Evercrest, my roomie and I had a complimentary breakfast.  I can’t say anything negative about the food at Evercrest because all that I’ve tried were really good (suddenly I’m a food critique).

My breakfast after the race.

The awarding ceremonies were held at El Patio, Evercrest’s in-house restaurant, where everyone had their well deserved breakfast.  The prizes were just envious—it’s a big bag full of TNF items!  The categories were top 3 finishers, male and female, for 10K and 20K.  It was already mentioned that only those wearing TNF products were qualified to win but TNF gave a special well-deserved prize to the fastest female for 10K (even without any TNF item).

I don’t think I’ve ever taken so much good memories from a race.  Being away from Manila, running on new surfaces, experiencing the great outdoors—everything was memorable.  Of course this race would not have been possible without the initiative of The North Face, the efforts of the Race Director Neville Manaois, Team Principal of Pinoy Ultra Runners, and the sponsors—thank you all very much and congratulations for having a successful great race!  I’m definitely looking forward the next event.  Keep it up!

Thank you TNF!

To all my fellow trail runners, especially to those having their trail debuts congratulations as well!  This was a wonderful start for the New Year!

TNF Thrill of the Trail Experience Index:



TNF Thrill of the Trail Experience, Part 2

TNF Thrill of the Trail was held January 19, 2009 within the premises of Evercrest Golf Resort in KM 72, Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas.  It’s basically a loop around some very good and challenging trails, with the 20K having two laps of the approximately 10K loop.

TNF Trail Route and Elevation courtesy of GF405

TNF Trail Route and Elevation courtesy of my Garmin FR405.


Getting There
The starting area was very easy to find, it was along the highway and even public transport were very accessible so we had no problems of getting there.  It was actually my first time to go to the area, and my running mates and I decided just to use public transport so we can all be spared of driving (and getting lost).

There are Batangas-bound buses in Pasay, we took one that goes to Nasugbu, and 67 kilometers later we were there.  It was pretty cheap too, just P111 from Pasay to Evercrest.  Be wary of the time and day you travel as these buses use Coastal Road on the way to Batangas—we learned it the hard way so we lost quite some time to heavy traffic, nonetheless we arrived with enough sunlight to spare and enjoy the breath-taking sunset.

Nice sunset.

Evercrest Golf Resort gave discounts to TNF Trail participants who wanted to stay for the night.  I’m not sure how much the original price was but for me and my running mates it was worth it, the room was excellent: there were two beds (we had an extra one since there were three of us), hot and cold water on the faucet and shower, there was even a bathtub along with standard hotel room amenities, and the package included breakfast and massage for two.

Evercrest Golf Resort, our home for the night.

The view was excellent around the resort and we had time to goof around and took some pictures while there was still sunlight.  (For reasons of privacy I’d basically post only photos with permissions 🙂 )

Where are the ducks?

The weather in the resort was very similar to that of Tagaytay: cool and windy.  The sky was clear but it’s probably as cool, if not cooler, than the bus we rode.  This was quite unexpected but very pleasant to experience.

Running Forgetful
Having a race outside the Metro for the first time also meant bringing along a lot of stuff.  I kept reminding my running mates of things to bring, and guess what, I actually forgot one of the things I reminded them to bring—race bib.  I had some tendencies to forget this but this was actually the first time I actually forgot it!  I only realized it during dinner when I saw a fellow runner’s race bib.  I just thought, “oh no, this isn’t happening… I actually forgot my race bib.”

Running Support
I really intended to be a support to my running mates, especially that one of us is having a 10K debut.  I brought my hydration bag with me on the trail to provide space for any items they may want to bring along.  With my forgotten race bib I thought that I may not join the race and just be a full-pledged support crew for the team (although in this case my support was limited to taking in-race pictures).  I wasn’t really expecting to win anything on the race (especially that I’ve not a single TNF item with me) but I was sad of the possibility that I may not be included in the race results (and be on the DNA list).  Sigh.

My running gear.

Race Day
Having a room that’s about a stone’s throw away (literally) from the starting area was a convenience that we really enjoyed—we didn’t have to travel to get to the race, we were well rested, and best of all we don’t have to wake up that early!

One of the problems we had was the cold breeze: it’s one thing to have a low temperature but to have wind blowing at your face—that’s another! We didn’t expect it to be that cold and windy so I and one of my running mates didn’t bring any jacket.  We only had our regular running attire (shorts and singlet) for the race so it’s quite a challenge for us to even come out of our room.  Only our 10K debutante had warm clothes (and we’re supposed to be the pros at these).

The Start/Finish Line: it was really cold and windy.

We can’t do anything about the weather so we just ignored it.  I just wore my running attire like the usual sans race bib (I was wearing the event singlet so at least they’d know I’m “licensed” to run the trails) plus my hydration bag and off we go to the starting line.  We went to the assembly area just a few minutes before the start and just walked off the cold weather (that served as our warm up).  Apparently I wasn’t the only forgetful one in the race but that didn’t deter us from running, and I think the Organizers were aware of this issue as well so even if I’m not wearing my race bib nobody stopped me from joining the race.  Just being able to join my comrades in the trail was enough for me.  Besides, some other runners probably had their race bib under their sweats and jackets!

The TNF Trail Runners.

The race actually started at 5:59AM (based on GF405).  It was still dark then and curiously, the 10K runners were first off.  The sun was slowly rising as we progress the race so we actually saw sunrise during our trails, and during which we were on high elevation so the view was very good.  The cold weather was no longer an issue a few hundred meters into the race because of the effort exerted in running.  We were actually breaking sweat long before arriving at MP1!

Let’s Go!

More pictures and the continuation of my trail experience on my next post.

TNF Thrill of the Trail Experience Index:


TNF Thrill of the Trail Experience, Part 1

It was truly an amazing race!  I just returned home from one of the best races I’ve ever had!  I have so many stories to share so please bear with me until I’ve compiled the pictures and completed writing about it.  I’ll share it here even if it takes on an installment basis. 🙂  For the mean time I’d like to share with you guys some information about this race held early this morning in the cold and breezy trails of Nasugbu, Batangas, courtesy of my new GF405 (I told you I had stories to tell):

TNF Trail Route and Elevation courtesy of GF405

TNF Trail Route and Elevation courtesy of my Garmin FR405.

For a more interactive information on this run, you may visit my Garmin Connect activities at

TNF Thrill of the Trail Experience Index:

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The MIRACLE isn’t that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the COURAGE to START
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