Race Report: Pilipinas Akyathlon 2017

Post Race: Pilipinas Akyathlon

JC Igos got the impulse in joining the Pilipinas Akyathlon upon seeing the event in Facebook.  It’s a whole new level for him as it’s a skyrunning event and it’s located in one of the tallest peaks in the country, which is Mount Ugo.

Operation Akyathlon

JC Igos on Pilipinas Akyathlon – Photo by Active Pinas

Mount Ugo is among the highest peaks in the country.  The  Cordillera Administrative Region is a new playground.  I have never run in Tinongdan, Itogan, Benguet in 4 years of Ultra Running. When Philsky Member Iris Torculas messaged me to join the Akyathlon recon last January 7, I immediately said “I’m In.”

Photo courtesy of Cordillera Conservation Trust

Before the recon for Akyathlon, I was already doing my weekend training on the at Mount Marami and Mount Apayang-Talamitam. I know the recon is not a walk in the park. In addition, I was also doing a consistent 10 milers on the road during weekdays. Sometimes I run twice a day depending on how I feel.  The recon gave me an idea about the route and how I will approach it on race day.

The Race Preparations

In my training preparation for Akyathlon. I targeted 80-100 kms per week with mostly road runs on weekdays and I also had 1 session on the mountains during weekends (typically 3-4 hours in the mountains). 45-60 minutes cross training on my bike trainer 4 times a week from moderate to intense was also part of my training. I also included upper mid and leg training like push ups, planks, and squats consistently everyday in the morning.

Nutrition

My nutrition on race day was 5 GU Regular Gels with caffeine and 5 granola bars.  I consumed one GU Gel 15 minutes before start, then the rest was after every hour. My 2 UD hydration bottle were filled with Gatorade. That should be enough since there will be food and Gatorade to be served at the Aid Stations. I also stopped at Aid Station consistently for less than a minute to refill my bottle with Gatorade and water. While at the Aid Station, I  grabbed some boiled camote or boiled banana and ate it while I was walking.  The Aid Stations were well organized with a lot of hydration and food!  The marshals are also cheerful for the runners passing by!

The Gear

Vest: Amihan Fastrak Shoes: Inov8 Mudclaw Trekking Pole: Black Diamond Distance Z Head Lamp: Black Diamond Revolt 150 Lumens Sunglass TNF Wind Breaker Jacket (just incase it rains) Cellphone for emergency

Elevation Profile

The Race

Before the Race

When the the gun took off at the starting line of the toughest Pilipinas Akyathlon 2017, my plan was very simple.  It was to run at my own pace. The race was stacked with fast runners. The 42km distance was dominated by age 30-39. I saw the first 15-20 runners going fast already. They were attacking the hills and after 2 to 5 minutes, they are out of sight.

Going up at Lion’s Head Trail 5kms into the race – Photo by Active Pinas

Going up at Lusod Aid Station, AS Leader Romulo Doctolero informed me that I was in 25th place/100+. It was not bad after all. I said to him, let them attack the hills.  Some of them will fade later for sure. hahaha. I just patiently stayed at my own pace.

Climbing up summit of Mt Ugo

Mount Ugo Summit

Mount Ugo Summit

The 1km steep climb up to the peak was very tough! At the Checkpoint at Mount Ugo summit, I was surprised and happy to see sir Orland Danis Fuentes Beltran. He greeted me and scanned my Raceyaya timing chip. I was informed that I’m still currently at 25th place.

Attack!!!

32-34km into the race – Photo by Active Pinas

The first part of my plan was to save energy until the summit. The second part was to go full blast and attack the downhills (my favorite part).  My mind was in race mode to chase the runners ahead of me one by one.  Step by step, I was passing runners just 15-20 minutes later.

Km 37 Hanging Bridge, Photo Courtesy of Kian Vicera – Phil Sky

By kilometer 37, I thought I overtook 5 runners and was in 19th place up to the finish line which was my goal.

The Finish

Finish Line – Photo by Active Pinas

It’s a sudden burst of emotion to seeing the finish line and went on to finish strong.  I was surprised that I’m the 16th overall finisher of the 42km distance category in the official results. Maybe I miscalculated. haha. The rank was something I never expected which was for me is a good thing. I can still be competitive and I can still race and push myself physically and mentally.

Overall it was a satisfying race. The marshals, the staff and the whole organization of Philippine Skyrunning Association did a very good job in staging a race like this in a high level! A race to watch out for 2018!

About JC Igos

JC Igos is a member of Team Power Puff Boys running team. He discovered the love for running in 2010 by joining 3K and 5K fun runs. Since then, he has evolve into joining longer distances like 42K and Ultra Marathons. He is a two time Milo Qualifier since 2015 with a 42K personal best time of 03:31:38. JC finished his major ultra trail event at The North Face 100 Philippines in Baguio Benguet last year. He was also a former Champion and the first course record holder in 50K Road Ultra at the 1st PAU Naic to Nasugbu 50K Ultra Marathon 2014. He is an entrepreneur, A husband and father of 2.

Other Notable Finishes:

  • Clark Miyamit 50 Miles Trail Ultra – 2014
  • PAU Anteloop Bravo 50K Trail Ultra – 2014 ( 2nd runner up)
  • Miyamit Falls (MF42) Trail Marathon – 2014 (Top 7)
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