Not all runners are passionate to trail race, but I and my friends love it. Trail running requires extra energy, similar disciplines but the training varies.
Generally, the race course is 80-90 percent of loose track, steep, single track, river crossing, dense canopies, open forest, muddy, rope segmenting and even underground tunnel. Argao Highland Endurance Run is one of the best in Cebu. It is a complete package to describe a trail race, and the endurance make it very sense. The event was scheduled last May 14, 2017 and organized by a joint project of local and private units of Argao, spearheaded by the Physician and Mayor Stanley Caminero.
The Starting Line. The event is not on their first edition. Last year, the race began at Cebu Technological University Argao Campus. But this year it was moved to their municipal ground which I think the best. As a traveler, I was able to check on them their very Cabecera de Argao. It features old structures and heritage of the town and don’t snub the Catholic Church, the baroque architecture is awesome! Their plaza is so clean and green. As early as 5AM, the race started and the cut off time was 4 hours.
The Runners. Well attended by runners all over the island. There were Kenyans, few elite runners, and trail lovers. I met some of my good friends and met new friends. Since, I was a second timer in the event, as expected I was able to reunite with the other runners who were my running mates in the other ultra and marathon events.
The Route. I love the trail so much, fun and adventure. Crawl, wade and scream. It was a mud-covered route because of the rain teemed prior the race day. A 25 Kilometer of endurance that summed up into very challenging route. Runners crossed rivers, dipped to river waters, took the rope segment, survived the single loose track and steep hills. I would love to reroute it and be my training ground.
The Finish Line. Coal Mountain Resort in the mountainous area of Barangay Linut-od served as the finishing line. It offers spring-fed pools, I took a dip and I love it. The race concluded by passing the hanging bridge and underground tunnel. A head lamp was needed in the tunnel to grasp the total darkness. And at the end of it, your race is officially endured. Luscious Filipino menu awaits you on the table, you can eat as much as you’ve wanted.
The Organizers/Race Director. As expected, no wonder runners keep coming back and that is because of the credibility of the organizer to raise up it into a well-organized trail event. Trail marshals and aid stations were placed in order. The foods in the stations, were good and enough to support all runners. The post-race meal, can’t say nothing- heavy meals served! Congratulations!
Honorable Mentions. The ever supportive and sport man Mayor Stanley Caminero and Sir Joel Baring, the race director. Elias Tabac of Team Tribuddies and Cherry Andrin of Spectrum Runners. Good friends Jade Abellana and Jonathan Dungog, both veterans of ultra-running and triathlon. And also, to Sulirap Sukarap for the awesome photos . You’ve all deserved a laudable recognition.
Evaluation. I give 9/10. See you in 2018!