Friday, August 29, 2014

Running Places: My Top 6 Favorites

My passion for traveling goes well with my love for running. I love to explore new places just as much as I love to pound roads and trails with my running shoes. It has been said that the best way to discover a place is to explore it on foot. So whenever I am in a new place, I try to find time to explore its nooks and crannies by running around.

Listed below are the top 6 favorite places where I have ran. These are culled from my various experiences in travel and running for more than three years now:

6. U.P. Academic Oval, Diliman, Quezon City

Three years ago, I got the opportunity to stay inside the U.P. Diliman Campus when I attended a work-related training for three separate weeks. Together with my officemates, we regularly run around the oval either early morning or late afternoon after our training classes.    The oval has a total circumference of 2.2 kilometers and is shaded by tall acacia trees. From Monday to Saturday, the inner lane is exclusively for the use of runners and bikers and every Sunday, cars are totally not allowed in the road that surrounds the oval. Running here helped me prepare for my first 10K run.

5. Cebu City

I have been joining the Cebu City Marathon for four years now. I started with 5K in 2011, went for my first full marathon in 2012, then tapered down to 21Ks in 2013 and 2014. The race route from IT Park to SRP road and back is very challenging due to the stretches of uphill upon returning to the starting point. Three things I love about this race: (1) The route passes through some of the City’s interesting spots such as the Capitol Building, Fuente Osmeña Circle, Basilica del Sto. Niño, Magellan’s Cross, Cebu City Hall, Malacañg of the South, Plaza Independencia, Fort San Pedro and the SRP Tunnel; (2) The race is always on festive mode since it is scheduled one week before the Sinulog Festival street dancing. Bands, dancers and cheerers are positioned on strategic areas making the race lively all throughout; (3) It has always been a well-organized race, no doubt many runners dubbed is as the best marathon event in the country.

4. San Francisco, Camotes Islands, Cebu

Camotes Group of Islands is part of Cebu Province. It is about one hour ferry ride from the port of Danao City. Camotes is home to beautiful white sand beaches, some of which are not yet fully developed. During our brief vacation here, I was able to run on the white sands of the raw but beautiful Bakhaw Beach and the wide, white sands of Santiago Beach.

3. Claveria Beach, Claveria, Cagayan

The small town of Claveria in Cagayan Province is situated at the tip of mainland Luzon. My wife and I made a side trip here during our vacation in Ilocos Norte. The coasts of Claveria boasts of a long stretch of fine, gray sand beach where I was able to do a morning run since it is only a few steps away from where we stayed overnight. It was a great experience running amid the breeze blowing on my face and the wild, wild waves lapping up the sands on my feet.

2. Bangui, Ilocos Norte

Bangui Wind Farm has always been my  dream place to run and it finally happened a year ago. Inspite of doing only a short run because of the intense heat of the sun, it was such an unforgettable experience running underneath the giant wind turbines.  And that priceless photo above is probably the most liked among all my Facebook profile pics.

1. Bukidnon

Of course, my home province would always top this list. Being a landlocked plateau, Bukidnon is home to wonderful trails which offer challenging terrain, beautiful sights and awesome running experience. My home town Malaybalay is an emerging running destination because of its cool weather, beautiful routes and an active running community. Not to be outdone are the municipalities of Impasugong and Sumilao whose annual fiesta runs never fail to draw out-of- town participants. 

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  1. Hello Pulaguy. Enjoyed reading this article particularly because I share your love for running i n the provinces and islands outside the busy Metro Manila. Wanted too tell you that early this month, I was able to run my first ultra marathon outside Luzon in Davao City at the Digios City to Davao City (DC2DC) 60km ultra. This was ably organized by Team Kapwa Davao and we had an enjoyable experience so much so that we include Davao City in our top running destinations.

    1. Congrats on your ultra finish Sir! Hope you could join some of our runs here in Bukidnon one day.