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Benguet Mountains Philippines Travel

Benguet: Columbia Eco Trail Run 2011 at Camp John Hay Baguio City

The air is thinner at 1500 meters above sea level that made me breath harder than normal. After that steep 45 degrees trail that went on for more than 10 minutes, I was gasping. But the fresh mountain air and embracing cold was enough to invigorate my body and continue to run the trail. A half cup of water quenched my drying throat and moved on. Then on a sharp turn, the view of mountains in all its gradient glory revealed itself on a narrow mountainside trail. It was stupendous. That’s why I love trail running. That is why I joined Columbia Eco Trail 2011 at Camp John Hay Baguio.

Columbia Eco Trail Run at Baguio
Columbia Eco Trail Run at Baguio

The air is thinner at 1500 meters above sea level that made me breath harder than normal. After that steep 45 degrees trail that went on for more than 10 minutes, I was gasping. But the fresh mountain air and embracing cold was enough to invigorate my body and continue to run the trail. A half cup of water quenched my drying throat and moved on. Then on a sharp turn, the view of mountains in all its gradient glory revealed itself on a narrow mountainside trail. It was stupendous. That’s why I love trail running. That is why I joined Columbia Eco Trail 2011 at Camp John Hay Baguio.

Well marked trails
Well marked trails at Camp John Hay

Running has been very popular these days and I really appreciate it’s value when you combine it with travel. Sightseeing on foot gives you a different perspective of a place. I enjoyed last year’s TNF 100 Ultra-marathon where I participated in the 11k category and finished at around 1hr and 27minutes that’s why I decided to join another trail running event in Baguio.

 

Start of the steep 45 degrees trail
Start of the steep 45 degrees trail that goes on for more than 5-10 minutes

This year Columbia Held it’s Eco Trail Run again in Baguio with a 6k Fun and 10k Elite category last March 20, 2011. I joined the 10k Elite since I’m confident I could finish in good time like last year. But I found out soon that this is a different trail, it was more challenging but the views were definitely a lot breathtaking.

Love the pine tree trails
Love the pine tree trails

The participants is not as many as I expected, since they limited the numbers to reduce impact on the trail. From what I heard, the numbers were around 500. The race started around 6am when the light was sufficient enough for the runners to easily make out the trail. When the whistle blew, we were off.

Running towards the Sun
Running towards the Sun

I’m not really a hardcore runner, I run for the sheer fun of it and for sightseeing as well. That’s why I have my Nokia N8 with me to take pictures along the trail and also keep track of the route through Endomondo. I kept at my regular running pace and make sure not to sprint too early.

Breathtaking views of the mountains
Breathtaking views of the mountains at the trail

I love the pine tree routes and as the sun got high in the morning, it lent dramatic shadows on the landscape. I especially liked the narrow trails along the mountains with a grand view of the surrounding mountainscapes.

A runner of the bridge heading back
A runner of the bridge heading back

There were really tough trails that tested my footwork and steep inclines that tested my endurance. I think I went past my regular running threshold on this trail that I took long strides instead toward the end. This is definitely tougher than last year’s 11k run for TNF 100. But I did enjoy it and finished at 1 hour and 52 minutes.

A runner on his way back to the trail
A runner on his way back to the trail

I thought that this was a very good run. It’s a lot quieter than other major runs at that time but it’s worth the while especially with the beautiful trail. The paths were also well marked and trail martials are well positioned throughout. There were shortage of water towards the end but it’s good thing I have an emergency bottle of my own. And at only P350, we get a nice Columbia singlet, a nice terracotta finisher’s medal, a certificate and P500 off discount card for Columbia.

The mountain view trail on the way to the finish
The mountain view trail on the way to the finish

Thank you for Columbia Philippines for organizing this run and looking forward to more future exciting Eco Trail Runs like this.

 

Columbia Eco Trail Run Finisher's Medal
Columbia Eco Trail Run Finisher's Medal and Certificate

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