The Complete Guide: Leyte Island Ultramarathon Series 2017

Leyte is an island in the Visayas region of the Philippines, comprised of two (2) provinces, namely Leyte (Nothern Leyte) and Southern Leyte. The province of Leyte has three (3) cities, Tacloban, Ormoc and Baybay while Southern Leyte has one (1) city, Maasin.

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The island played a pivotal role in world history. Mentioning Leyte to every Filipino always brings back the memory of WW II’s most popular phrase “I shall return” of Douglas MacArthur. The Red beach of Palo is a famed landmark where General MacArthur landed on 20 October 1944 as the fulfillment of his promise to liberate the Filipinos from the hands of the Japanese invaders.

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Mount Pangasugan in Baybay City, home to one of the Philippine’s last remaining virgin rainforests.

Leyte is a vast island. It is mostly heavily forested and mountainous, though some valleys in the northeast and west coast has much agriculture. Leyte is endowed with countless natural sites and majority are not touristy which is a good thing!

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Agas-Agas Bridge, the Philippine’s tallest bridge. | Photo Courtesy of Ron Tagra

The Leyte Island Ultramarathon is a 7-month long series of marathons from the month of April until October 2017. Don’t worry, you won’t be running for seven months literally. The event is divided into four (4) different legs highlighting some of the best destinations in the island. This event’s core objective is to mark Leyte as a Sports Tourism destination. In fact, Prince himself dubbed some of the finish lines as one of the most scenic he has ever produced.

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MARATHONS VS ULTRAMARATHONS

I honestly didn’t know that marathons and ultramarathons are entirely different things. I first thought the word “ultra” is just part of a marketing stint, but it’s not. The primary difference is simple: Marathons limits to 42.195 km. If it’s more than the limit, then it is already considered as an ultramarathon.

JOINING ULTRAMARATHONS

If you are new to ultramarathons, you might be bulldozed by the distance. Personally, I just run for fun and imagining myself running for at least 10 kilometers already intimidates me. haha!

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Perhaps it is already unambiguous that being fit and healthy are the main reasons why people run and join ultramarathons. Running simply increases your endurance level. It improves your heart’s circulation, thus making it stronger. It strengthens your muscles too! You’ll probably see mental improvements as well, such as lesser stress (which I really need) and a better disposition in life.

Ultramarathons, at least for me has one, definite goal—to finish the race of course! But with this upcoming ultramarathon in the island, set a better goal by taking inspiration and motivation by helping others. Yes, proceeds will be donated to a selected beneficiary. Prince Multisports Events will be donating school supplies to the children of Brgy. Lintaon Elementary School, located in one of Baybay City’s most remote villages. A good reason to get you through the finish line, right?

Running a marathon is tough. Running for long distances can often lead to injuries if you are not used to training. What might be worse is when someone becomes so burnt out from the demands of marathon training that they quit running all together. So always start minimal; you know your body. Choose the right running shoes and gears too!

BUILDING CAMARADERIE

Running communities are diverse. If you’re no pro-runner, that’s not a problem at all. You don’t need to be an experienced runner to join. As long as you’re physically-ready then you’re in. A lot of fellow marathoners welcome newbies with open arms. If you commit to the marathon, you can reach out to the city’s local running club, the Baybay City Runners. It’s just impossible not to bond with people when you run for miles together, unless if you’re antisocial, but I think not.

IT’S A SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT

I’m a self-confessed unathletic and I’m pretty sure that some of you (including myself) cannot imagine running for miles and race to the finish line. I rather just sit and create a blog entry, haha! But hey, the truth is, it doesn’t really matter who’s the first and the last. Marathons and Ultramarathons are about finishing it and that alone is a major accomplishment. There’s nothing more rewarding than accomplishing a goal you set.

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Participants during the 1st San Juanico Bridge Ultramarathon

YOU WILL INSPIRE PEOPLE

I recently read an article about running and I was inspirited by a US-based author/runner, Jane Kanos. She said that we should run on a marathon to inspire others to do something they thought was too tough or impossible. When others see you train and cross that finish line, someone will follow your lead and start running. They might even run their own marathon or face a different fear.

Athletes doing a jogging workout outdoors
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To many people, running on a an ultramarathon is definitely a huge undertaking. It’s true, runners need commitment and perseverance. But as I’ve mentioned above, just hang on to your motivation—great health benefits, building connections, and sense of accomplishment. It’s now time to step outside of your comfort zone. Trust me, it makes you stronger and more confident than ever.

ACCOMPLISHED PRODUCERS

When I first heard about the Leyte Ultramarathon Series 2017, the word “ultra” made me said to myself, “yikes!” because I’m pretty sure it’s more than 10 kilometers. haha! I met the founder of Prince Multi Sports Events, Inc., Joseph Prince Baltazar who hails from Laguna.

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Left to Right: Yours truly, Alden Escabarte of Discover Baybay City, Dr. Cecillie Milan, and Mr. Joseph Prince Baltazar

Prince has been involved in numerous endurance sports across the Philippines. He’s a proud finisher of the famous Ironman Triathlon on a full-distance of 226 kilometers—that’s about running 5x between the cities of Baybay and Ormoc or almost running from Manila to Baguio! whew, I must have been hospitalized if I ran with that distance! haha!

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A glimpse during the Luneta to Tagaytay Ultramarathon in 2014

They have produced an ultramarathon from Kilometer Zero in Luneta, Manila to Tagaytay with 650 attendees in 2014. This year, the company brings the biggest ultramarathon in Leyte, dubbed as the Leyte Island Ultramarathon Series. Many pro runners coming from Manila, Cebu and Samar have already shown interest in joining the event.

THE EVENT HAPPENINGS

LEG 1: LINTAON PEAK

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One of the vantage points in Lintaon Peak | Photo Courtesy of Danilo Catorce

One of Eastern Visayas’ emerging destinations, the breathtaking Lintaon Peak is vast, windswept highland situated about 10 kilometers south of downtown Baybay City in Leyte. It boasts a commanding view of the city’s prospering downtown area, Camotes Sea, the majestic Leyte cordillera and captivating landscapes.

Route: Ormoc City to Baybay City
Starting Line: Ormoc City Plaza
Finish Line: Lintaon Peak
Total Distance: 60 kilometers (37 miles)
Ultramarathon Date: 22-23 April 2017
Assembly Time: 2000H
Gun Start: 2200H (22 April 2017)

LEG 2: AGAS-AGAS BRIDGE

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Agas-Agas Bridge in Kahupian a village in Sogod town, Southern Leyte is the simply tallest bridge in the Philippines. It was built during the administration of President Gloria Arroyo to avoid the perennial landslide dangers in the area during heavy rains. It keeps the Mahaplag-Sogod section of the Maharlika Highway open and safe by creating the viaduct to bypass the original route that was carved on the side of the mountain. This 350 meter linear bridge is supported by two piers from the ground and has a height of 292 feet above the ground.

Route: Maasin City to Sogod Town
Starting Line: Maasin City Plaza
Finish Line: Agas-Agas Bridge
Total Distance: 80 kilometers (50 miles)
Ultramarathon Date: 17-18 June 2017
Assembly Time: 1800H (17 June 2017)
Gun Start: 2000H

LEG 3: LEYTE LANDING MEMORIAL PARK

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Leyte Landing Memorial | Photo Courtesy of Intrepid Traveler

Also known as MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park, Leyte Landing Memorial Park is an important historical landmark in the country, for it’s the very spot where the landing of General Douglas MacArthur took place in Leyte Gulf. This memorable event gave way to the Philippines’ freedom from its Japanese conquerors in 1944. We can remember through this war memorial, the biggest naval battle in the world, in which Japan lost, after almost 3 years of battle.

Route: Baybay City to Palo Town
Starting Line: Baybay City Veterans Park
Finish Line: Leyte Landing Memorial Park
Total Distance: 100 kilometers (62 miles)
Ultramarathon Date: 22 October 2017
Assembly Time: TBA
Gun Start: TBA

LEG 4: SAN JUANICO BRIDGE

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San Juanico Bridge | Photo Courtesy of FAQ.ph

San Juanico Bridge, the longest bridge in the Philippines spanning over a body of water, with a length of 2.16 kilometers—connects two provinces, which are Samar and Leyte. The bridge was built as a testament of love of President Ferdinand Marcos to his wife who hails from Leyte, Imelda. Considered as the most photographed bridge in the country, one can enjoy the feel of the fresh sea breeze and thrill of getting atop its highest peak, to gaze at the beautiful whirlpools, islets, and boats passing underneath.

Route: Baybay City to Tacloban City via Ormoc City
Starting Line: Baybay City Veterans Park
Finish Line: San Juanico Bridge
Total Distance: 160 kilometers (100mi)
Marathon Date: 2-3 December 2017
Assembly Time: TBA
Gun Start: TBA

FAST FACTS:

1. There are Hydration Stations for every ten (10) kilometers in all legs of the ultramarathon. It will be a selection of water, soda, energy drinks, breads, boiled eggs, and boiled cardava (saba) bananas.
2. There will be Drop Bag Stations for every 40km of the route. You can leave your things or change clothes at these stations and assigned marshalls shall take care of your valuables.
3. All participants will receive a medal, finisher’s shirt, a certificate and are entitled to a lechon meal at the end or every leg. The winner will receive a trophe.

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Note: The information below is subject to change for further updates. (as of May/02/2017)

Registration is now officially open for the 2nd Leg: Maasin City, Southern Leyte to Agas-Agas Bridge, Sogod, Southern Leyte

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80K Ultramarathon Leg 2
Registration starts on May 1, 2017

Registration Fee:

PHP 2,200 (May 1 to 31, 2017 )
PHP2,500 (June 1 to 30, 2017 )
with Finisher Shirt, Trophy, Medal, Certificate & Lechon (Meal)

 

• Hydration Stations: 10KM, 20KM, 30KM, 40KM, 50KM, 60KM & 70KM
• Assembly Time: 4:00PM & Gun Start 6:00PM of July 8,2017/ Saturday
START: Plaza of Maasin City
FINISH: Agas-Agas Bridge
Cut off time: 18 Hours

PROMO: For a group of ten (10) runners, they will be entitled to one (1) free race kit.

How to register?

STEP 1: Deposit the registration fee to either of the following bank accounts below:

Bank: Bank of the Philippine Islands
Account Name: CECILLIE MILAN
Account Number: 1309-1438-21

Bank: BDO
Account Name: CECILLIE MILAN
Account Number: 4910-3163-48

STEP 2: Secure a scanned copy or take a clear photo of the receipt of your deposit and email it to:

Email: princemultisports@gmail.con
Subject: Leyte Island Ultramarathon
Email Content:

Name:
Address:
Date of Birth:
Contact Number:
T-Shirt Size:

STEP 3: Prince Multisports Events, Inc. will contact you through text message of email confirming your registration.

If you need further details, please contact the Race Director:

Joseph Prince Baltazar
Sun Cellular:
(0922) 814-1431
Globe Telecom: (0917) 206-6110
Email: princemultisports@gmail.com

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