Runilla: raising funds & exploring the highlands of Minglanilla

It was as if the act of running and climbing the heart break hills or mountains was a journey heading towards heaven while experiencing hell. Yes, that pretty much sums up the whole experience during this Runilla run if I were to limit it to one sentence. The Runilla Eco Challenge was my 1st ever trail run and at the same time, my first try at 18K - talk about the journey of collecting "first time experiences."

The highlands of Minglanilla :)

I don't usually join fun runs for the fun of it. I have a certain number of requirements or criteria that needs to be met before I decided to join in on a run. For Runilla Eco Challenge, my motivation are as follows: it was a trail run, first time to go for 18K, it was a fund raiser (for a solar generator to benefit a mountain barangay - Calbasaan Elementary school), it was interesting, it was near my house. :D

Screenshot via

The Runilla trail run into the mountains of Minglanilla had the following categories will be 30K, 18K, and 5K. Also, aside from the trail run, there were various pre and post event activities that any participant can join for free.

18K runners, photo by ShutterFrog

Pre-Race Events:
  • -(Trail) Running Talks — There will be a line-up of exciting speakers so watch out for it! =)
  • -Trail Trial Run — Organizers will give you a tour to some parts of the route. It will be a good time for runners to familiarize with the route. It is also open to non-participants.
Post-Race Events
  • -Run-union — Sharing of stories from the runners.
Another view

Since this is my first trail run I just wanted to enjoy it, take pictures of the trail, views and of course #Selfie. I was quite curious about this trail run and I just tried it out because I was captivated by the photos that were shown before the event started.

Facing a crossroads of destiny: Its Okay to be lost
Lessons Learned:
  1. -This is definitely a new way of experiencing running which offers fresh air, awesome views of nature, and natural cushion for walking or running.
  2. -Offers at least the same or even more physical and mental demands compared to running on the pavement.
  3. -Gained perspective with regards to my own capabilities and endurance. Water and Air are definitely much more important than work stress and #Heartaches :P
  4. -Learning to appreciate the beauty of our mountain places, which also led to some locals to become more appreciative of their place. I think this is an alternative way of raising funds for a cause, while providing an opportunity to promote local tourism and travel as well.
  5. -I did five things: explored the Minglanilla mountains (although I live near the coast this was my first time exploring the highlands), raised funds to light a school at Calbasaan Elementary school (which also helps the teachers, students and community), challenged and pushed myself to the limit, ran with a friend, being encouraged and supported by strangers which led to meeting new people too!

By writing this blog, I hope to encourage and inspire people to actively participate in these kinds of endeavors, open their minds for a whole new possibilities, and invest time+effort in activities for the benefit of our community and country.

Good news: Calbasaan Elementary School now has a generator donated by a former teacher of the school, who is now in Middle East. The teacher has been doing fund drives for the school from abroad. Kudos and a job well done: organizers, volunteers, and runners! -via

Imagine yourself running or climbing this slope then multiply that at least 20 times #katkat

Race Log:
The start and finish lines of this race was in the open field of Minglanilla oval at the public elementary and highschool of Minglanilla. The route crosses the national highway and then turns right across Gaisano Minglanilla which was also the start of the ridiculous slopes heading non-stop into the mountains.

Maypa si doggie nag pahulay naaaa #WonderfulDistractions
After taking some selfies, pictures and "being in the moment" of some views, I was able to survive the long uphill battle and going deeper into the non-paved trails into the Mountains. Upon reaching the highest elevation, the downhill challenge began. Halfway downhill my left leg was starting to protest, occasionally "trying to cramp," I was able to manage this for a while until my right leg suddenly cramped without warning.

with my Accidental Running buddy Ian Joplin doing the Runilla Boy pose!

I was left there wondering, "what the hell, I'm in the middle of nowhere though technically I'm still home, WTFudge!" My running buddy was no longer in sight and that I thought of panicking, however, I reminded myself as to why I was there and that at the beginning I already intended to do this by myself!

I blame the first leg of the downhills since it was nice that it wasn't so strenuous anymore and I sped downhill. Also towards the middle part, it was a literal downhill rocky road and I was pretending to be a ninja and doing some ninja moves.

Going down with 2 protesting legs, this old lady passed by me, she was just walking normally #ouch

I recall cursing myself "Fool of a took!" (LOTR reference) and suddenly joking about my ignorance of downhills as "You know nothing Vernon Go!" (GOT reference).

I re-gained my motivation once I saw some signs of civilization (at the back of Belmont Village). The most struggle run I had ever done so far was from the national highway coming out from Belmont and towards the finish line (Hello pollution, speeding vehicles and people obstacle courses!).

Photo by iCapture: #NaStrongFinish see race results here
My time, I really thought I didn't make the 4 hour cut off time and according to my pedometer, the distance I travelled was around 21K (I probably wondered off somewhere unknowingly)
Rewarded myself :D

It's was all worth the blood (scratches from nature), sweat (loads) and tears (teary eyed cause I made it!)! So friend and readers, #TrailRunDinPagMayTime!

Runilla: raising funds & exploring the highlands of Minglanilla Runilla: raising funds & exploring the highlands of Minglanilla Reviewed by Vernon Joseph Go on Thursday, May 08, 2014 Rating: 5

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