The running scene has been booming the past few years. It’s so booming that almost every weekend sees a race (sometimes more than 1) being scheduled. But, a quick scan of this year’s and last year’s schedule (through Takbo.ph) seems to show a certain pattern. It seems the Philippine running scene is beginning to develop its own running season!
The first quarter of the year sees its usual sprinkling of weekly races but now, there are races to look forward to. In January, there’s the Bull Run, February has the Condura and the Bataan Death March Ultramarathon happens in March. These races have been consistently held every year for the past few years.
This year’s summer season is turning out to be our trail season. Trail runs will be held in Rizal (All Terra King of the Mountain), Bulacan (Merrel Adventure Run) and Baguio (TNF). It would be the perfect time to indeed have these races as the days are quite longer and the trails remain dry and not get transformed to mud baths. However, for those not into trail running, there are still a lot of road races scheduled to choose from.
The third quarter of the year heralds the start of the Milo Run Series marked this year by its opening salvo, the Manila 42k Elims this July. This, being the rainy season, is the usual time where races are not as scheduled as frequently (though I wouldn’t be surprised if races would still be set at a weekly basis) because of the threat of cancellation due to the rains.
The last few months of the year could be called our marathon season. The previous months also have marathons scheduled (Condura in February and the TBR Dream Marathon in May), but if it would be just like last year, this would be the time most of the marathons will be held (Subic, Clark, Pasig). Though when most of the marathons will be held haven’t been set yet, two marathons have already claimed race dates in the schedule. The first would be the CamSur Marathon in September (touted to be the first truly international marathon in the country — this early, registration has already started!) and the ever-reliable Milo Marathon Finals in December (which is a variation as the finals had always been held during October the previous years). Aside from the marathons, this part of the year is also when some of the long-distance races are scheduled (RunRio Trilogy 32K and New Balance 25K).
With the way the races are scheduled this year, a runner who’s planning to join Condura 42 or the BDM next year could tailor training based on the schedule. That runner could start base training during the races scheduled during summer and rainy seasons. The marathon season can then be when those long run mileages could be attained. The Bull Run next year could be the used as the final tune-up race before beginning tapering for Condura or the BDM.
Though the scheduling is still far from perfect, the developments that are happening are quite exciting for the running community. More races are being held outside of the metro, races are becoming more “big-time,” race are being scheduled early, and a semblance of a season where training could be tailored for particular races seems to be slowly taking shape (though this wasn’t probably planned as such).