I Survived Kennon Road!: The Baguio Centennial Run

I Survived Kennon Road!: The Baguio Centennial Run
no training… check!
sick with cough and colds… check!
a good finishing time… uhmmm good enough…
good times… definitely!
This was my first race since the BOTAK 42k last May. I’ve missed so many Sunday races due to a hectic work schedule, but when I heard of this race from Jonel, I knew there was no way I was missing this one. This run would be part of the celebration of the centennial of the cityhood of Baguio City. And as a runner from Baguio, I had to be a part of this race.
Since I haven’t had any real training recently, I had set modest goals for myself for this race.
Goals:
1) to finish
2) though I wasn’t particular with my time, I was hoping I’d finish in 2:30
3) and that that time would be enough for me to finish within the 1st 100 so I could qualify for the finisher’s shirt.
Sunday
I woke up early to prepare for the run. I razzled up my sister so that she could drive me to the Lion’s Head at Kennon Road. When we arrived there, there were already a few runners already doing their warm-up routines.
The conditions that morning were just perfect for a run. The weather was just cool enough, it wasn’t too cold. There was no rain (though it rained the night before), and there was a nice cloud cover in the sky.
Once there, I met up with Jonel and some runners from the lowlands… we listened for some instructions from the race organizers, and after a few minutes (~5:45am), we were sent off! It was already daybreak when we started but I didn’t mind. It would make the run safer, it would allow me to savor the views of the race course, and a little sun would help in warming my body up.
The Run
“The Easy Part”
This was from the starting point at the Lion’s Head up to the Camp John Hay Rotunda. For those who go to Baguio through Kennon Road, the Lion’s Head is the 1st true landmark signifying that you are nearing Baguio City. As a kid, I was always excited to see this whenever we come up from Manila since I knew I was close to coming home.
As compared to runs in Manila, even the elite runners seemed to move at a slower pace at the onset. Of course this was to be quite expected since a very steep incline was staring right back at us even at the start.
I maintained at a good comfortable pace since I was checking myself lest I get burned out too soon. The comfortable pace also allowed me to take photos of the amazing views along the route ( also, taking photos was a good excuse for me to slow down and catch my breath… πŸ˜€
We ran up Kennon Road (~ 3 km) before turning right at the Loakan Airport Road. Though we left Kennon, the uphills didn’t end… actually, it didn’t end for the next 8 km or so. The route only become rolling once we reached the Voice of America area of Loakan Road (part of the Milo Baguio 21k route), though there were still more uphills than downhills… way more! Β I always enjoy running in this part of Baguio since this is where the last stand of the Benguet Pine Trees lie. For a long-time Baguio resident, this area brings back memories of the Baguio of my youth (I feel like such an oldtimer). Asphalt roads littered with the brownish hue of dried pine needles. The road lined with majestic trees…
At the Camp John Hay Rotunda, the runners turned right to enter Southdrive…
distance: 9.33 km
time: 1:08:38
pace: 7:21 min/km
“The Easier Part”
I also knew this route well since I make it a point to run here everytime I’m in Baguio. This part of the run was easier since the terrain was rolling. And it was here that I made my big mistake. At this point, I was thinking I’ve already survived the “easy” part, hence I began to feel cocky. It didn’t that I was already quite warmed up by now so I was feeling great! I decided that to make up some time, I would speed up running the downhills. And that is what I did. I’d move slowly going uphills, then I’d zoom it going downhill (I even reached a max speed of 3:30 min/km at one point). I didn’t realize my mistake until later in the race.
While at South drive (~midway), the front runners were already making their way back to the finish. They were running twice as fast as I was… and that was inspite of the tough terrain!
The route brought us to Paterno Drive, all the way to the Country Club, then up Outlook Drive. This segment ended up to be my fastest lap.
distance: 4.52 km
time: 26:42
pace: 5:54 min/km
“The Easiest Part”
This part of the route had a lot of less steep uphills, and more downhills. I enjoyed this part visually since it brought us to some of the well known land marks of Baguio. We went to the Mansion House, then to Wright Park (with the unmistakbe smell of fresh horse poop), before re-entering Southdrive to return to the Camp John Hay Rotunda.
Although there were alot of downhills, I could no longer speed up as much as I wanted to. I was beginning to get spent… my legs were starting to feel heavy and I began to feel a cold sweat come over me… then it hit me… I was bonking. This happened at around the 15km mark.
So I had to change my strategy. I walked up the hills alternating with jogging going down the hill. This strategy seemed to work since I was able to cover a good distance even if my legs were still feeling heavy.
distance: 3.98 km
time: 25:30
pace: 6:25 min/km
“The Home Stretch”
From the Camp John Hay Rotunda, it was now almost completely downhill up to the finish. We passed through Military Cut Off (where I got to see my Elementary School Alma Mater), up to the BGH Rotunda (the final up hill… which I walked up…), to Kisad Road, then finally to Burnham park.
At this point of the run, I could no longer move faster beyond a jog. I was just moving knowing that I was nearing the finish line. I was really tired and the thought of just walking the rest of the route crossed my mind more than once. However, I still had a little pride in me and so though my legs were burning, I still managed to maintain a good jogging pace.
At the final turn, with the finish line in sight, I was able to give one final push. It wasn’t actually much of a sprint but it was still a push nonetheless.
distance: 2.55 km
time: 16:45
pace: 6:34 min/km
I crossed the finish line ranked 86th (making me eligible for the fishiner’s shirt πŸ˜€ ) with an unofficial time of 2:17:35. My garmin measured the route to be 20.38 km.

no training… check!

sick with cough and colds… check!

a good finishing time… uhmmm good enough…

good times… definitely!

This was my first race since the BOTAK 42k last May. I’ve missed so many Sunday races due to a hectic work schedule, but when I heard of this race from Jonel, I knew there was no way I was missing this one. This run would be part of the celebration of the centennial of the cityhood of Baguio City. And as a runner from Baguio, I had to be a part of this race.

Since I haven’t had any real training recently, I had set modest goals for myself for this race.

Goals:

1) to finish

2) though I wasn’t particular with my time, I was hoping I’d finish in 2:30

3) and that that time would be enough for me to finish within the 1st 100 so I could qualify for the finisher’s shirt.

Sunday

I woke up early to prepare for the run. I razzled up my sister so that she could drive me to the Lion’s Head at Kennon Road. When we arrived there, there were already a few runners already doing their warm-up routines.

The conditions that morning were just perfect for a run. The weather was just cool enough, it wasn’t too cold. There was no rain (though it rained the night before), and there was a nice cloud cover in the sky.

DSC01024daybreak –

Once there, I met up with Jonel and some runners from the lowlands… we listened for some instructions from the race organizers, and after a few minutes (~5:45am), we were sent off! It was already daybreak when we started but I didn’t mind. It would make the run safer, it would allow me to savor the views of the race course, and a little sun would help in warming my body up.

DSC01027

DSC01033Runners listening to the final instructions

The Run

“The Easy Part”

This was from the starting point at the Lion’s Head up to the Camp John Hay Rotunda. For those who go to Baguio through Kennon Road, the Lion’s Head is the 1st true landmark signifying that you are nearing Baguio City. As a kid, I was always excited to see this whenever we come up from Manila since I knew I was close to coming home.

DSC01032The Lion’s Head

As compared to runs in Manila, even the elite runners seemed to move at a slower pace at the onset. Of course this was to be quite expected since a very steep incline was staring right back at us even at the start.

DSC01037

I maintained at a good comfortable pace since I was checking myself lest I get burned out too soon. The comfortable pace also allowed me to take photos of the amazing views along the route ( also, taking photos was a good excuse for me to slow down and catch my breath… πŸ˜€

DSC01040

DSC01047

DSC01049

DSC01051running in the mountains

DSC01054the Zigzag Road

We ran up Kennon Road (~ 3 km) before turning right at the Loakan Airport Road. Though we left Kennon, the uphills didn’t end… actually, it didn’t end for the next 8 km or so. The route only become rolling once we reached the Voice of America area of Loakan Road (part of the Milo Baguio 21k route), though there were still more uphills than downhills… way more! Β I always enjoy running in this part of Baguio since this is where the last stand of the Benguet Pine Trees lie. For a long-time Baguio resident, this area brings back memories of the Baguio of my youth (I feel like such an oldtimer). Asphalt roads littered with the brownish hue of dried pine needles. The road lined with majestic trees…

DSC01062

DSC01063Primeval Pine Forests

DSC01067running amidst the trees –

At the Camp John Hay Rotunda, the runners turned right to enter Southdrive…

distance: 9.33 km

time: 1:08:38

pace: 7:21 min/km

“The Easier Part”

I also knew this route well since I make it a point to run here everytime I’m in Baguio. This part of the run was easier since the terrain was rolling. And it was here that I made my big mistake. At this point, I was thinking I’ve already survived the “easy” part, hence I began to feel cocky. It didn’t help that I was already quite warmed up by now so I was feeling great! I decided that to make up some time, I would speed up running the downhills. And that is what I did. I’d move slowly going uphills, then I’d zoom it going downhill (I even reached a max speed of 3:30 min/km at one point). I didn’t realize my mistake until later in the race.

While at South drive (~midway), the front runners were already making their way back to the finish. They were running twice as fast as I was… and that was inspite of the tough terrain!

The route brought us to Paterno Drive, all the way to the Country Club, then up Outlook Drive. This segment ended up to be my fastest lap.

distance: 4.52 km

time: 26:42

pace: 5:54 min/km

“The Easiest Part”

This part of the route had a lot of less steep uphills, and more downhills. I enjoyed this part visually since it brought us to some of the well known land marks of Baguio. We went to the Mansion House, then to Wright Park (with the unmistakbe smell of fresh horse poop), before re-entering Southdrive to return to the Camp John Hay Rotunda.

Although there were alot of downhills, I could no longer speed up as much as I wanted to. I was beginning to get spent… my legs were starting to feel heavy and I began to feel a cold sweat come over me… then it hit me… I was bonking. This happened at around the 15km mark.

So I had to change my strategy. I walked up the hills alternating with jogging going down the hill. This strategy seemed to work since I was able to cover a good distance even if my legs were still feeling heavy.

distance: 3.98 km

time: 25:30

pace: 6:25 min/km

“The Home Stretch”

From the Camp John Hay Rotunda, it was now almost completely downhill up to the finish. We passed through Military Cut Off (where I got to see my Elementary School Alma Mater), up to the BGH Rotunda (the final up hill… which I walked up…), to Kisad Road, then finally to Burnham park.

At this point of the run, I could no longer move faster beyond a jog. I was just moving knowing that I was nearing the finish line. I was really tired and the thought of just walking the rest of the route crossed my mind more than once. However, I still had a little pride in me and so though my legs were burning, I still managed to maintain a good jogging pace.

At the final turn, with the finish line in sight, I was able to give one final push. It wasn’t actually much of a sprint but it was still a push nonetheless.

distance: 2.55 km

time: 16:45

pace: 6:34 min/km

I crossed the finish line ranked 86th (making me eligible for the fishiner’s shirt πŸ˜€ ) with an unofficial time of 2:17:35. My garmin measured the route to be 20.38 km.

DSC01070The Finisher’s Shirt
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16 thoughts on “I Survived Kennon Road!: The Baguio Centennial Run

  1. Wowww…. a 21k?

    I remember, my first ever Marathon was also in Kennon Rd., but it was only 10k, from below the Lion’s head as the starting line, going up to Kennon Rd. and straight to Burnham Park for the finish line.

    You’re a great runner, thumbs up to you! πŸ™‚

    that route, even if it was 10k, would have been very tough. especially if it was your 1st!
    thanks! πŸ˜€

  2. Amazing run you had! Congrats, what a good finish time that is (partida pa w/ all your training-lessness & sick mode)

    just had a good time up there that those factors that should have really slowed me down didn’t affect me much. thanks!

  3. congrats for being one of the 100 finishers! that’s quite a feat, considering you don’t have enough training. what am i saying? you’re a hardcore! is that isko amidst the trees? nice shot.

  4. Congratulations Joe! Wala pang training yan at may ubo’t sipon. May picture taking pa in between runs and yet you managed to finish #86!

    Sarap tumakbo sa Baguio. I wish to join one sometime in the future (sana buhay pa ang mga pine trees when that time comes).

  5. thanks! i ran quite well quite well because i probably had an undue advantage… laking baguio e! hehehe

    yup, si isko yun. siya kasi kasabayan ko for the early part of the run.

  6. i probably would have had a hard time surviving if not for those picture taking moments (my rest breaks hehehe).

    yup, you should try running up there… while there are still green areas… thanks! πŸ˜€

  7. 21K, no training, Baguio! only a Loony runner would do this! But your finishing time 2:17 is amazing!

    Congrats Doc Joe!

    Regards Mark

  8. hi mark! was just probably excited to join a race after awhile that’s why i ran relatively well πŸ˜€

    thanks!

  9. hey jerry, busy with work this weekend. the only marathon i’ll probably join will be the PIM42… but good luck this sunday!

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