Daves had everything planned, which I really appreciated. He took care of our (me and Martin) race registration, he booked our hotel, he bought our deluxe bus tickets in advance, he even researched all the good restaurants in the area - we were so pampered!
We left Manila 11pm of April Friday the 13th. Our trip was comfortable and fast; we arrived at Baguio around 5am. We stayed at the Victory Liner terminal to kill time as it's too early and establishments were still closed. Our plan is to have breakfast at Cafe by the Ruins, and it doesn't open until 7am.
I was able to have dinner at Cafe by the Ruins during my last trip to Baguio, and I really enjoyed the rustic feel of the restaurant. This time, I was excited to eat breakfast there. I ordered their open-face tuna sandwich, and hot choco with mint. The sandwich was surprisingly heavy, and the crispy fries were delish! The hot chocolate with mint serving is just a small shot, but it was so thick and chocolatey and bitter that I enjoyed it a lot. I only wish that it was more minty since the bitterness of the chocolate was quite overpowering.
|Breakfast at Cafe by the Ruins
|Good Shepherd - where the best ube jams are made
|Mines View Park - I love Doglas!
|Mile-Hi Center - Lunch at Little John's
|Choco-late de Batirol at Camp John Hay
Can you believe it? It's dinner time! We headed to Hill Station, a fine dining restaurant a few blocks away from SM. And the carbo-loading continues! I ordered their spinach ravioli with pumpkin soup base and blue cheese toppings, and then their carrot cupcake with cream cheese for dessert. Heaven! I also had a taste of their uber-moist melts-in-your-mouth chocolate cake, which Daves ordered. The food was a bit pricey but well-worth it for the restaurant's ambience.
I was up as early as 2am (I was disturbed by Baguio ghost stories, haha!) and had a quick shower and light breakfast. After our race preparations, we were off to a long warm-up walk going to Burnham park, where jeepneys were lined-up to pick-up runners of the different categories, sending them to their respective starting points. We waited for quite some time as we were part of the last batch of 21k runners who arrived. The ride to our starting point's a killer. We basically traversed the entire race route in reverse, a continuous downhill along Kennon Road. This only means one thing: we will run a non-stop uphill (or uphell's the better term I think).
A lot of Kenyans were in sight - with a big cash prize awaiting the top winners. We had a quick race briefing, a few camera poses, and then we're off.
|Starting line pics
|Kennon Global Marathon Race Map - 3k. 5k, 8.5k and 21k distances
|Breath-taking views of Kennon Road
Run, stop and take a pic... Run, stop and take a pic. I was awestruck by the views. I was drawing energy from the environment. Difficult as the route was, and as risky as it was with passing vehicles, I was still glad to have joined the race. It was a very welcome change from the normal city race route all runners are used to running.
I was surprised that we passed by the "Welcome Baguio City" marker. I didn't know we started from a different city and will be crossing Baguio's border. This was the time Daves caught-up with us (he was doing heart rate monitoring run-walk). Of course we didn't miss the opportunity to take a pic at the famous Kennon Lion.
|Welcome Baguio City marker and the Kennon Lion
|Lifesaver Taho on the race's final stretch
|Finish line, Finisher's shirt and Finisher's Medal
|Post-race Brunch at the Forest House