Monday, April 25, 2022

The Itogonia Wild Country Trail Run is Back After a 2-Year Hiatus

"There is something magical about running. After a certain distance, it transcends the body. Then a bit further, it transcends the mind. A bit further yet, and what you have before you, laid bare, is the soul." - Kristin Armstrong

The trails and mountains of Benguet are slowly opening up. That's music to the ears of those whose passions and hobbies are married to the great outdoors. To finally be able to hike and run. To see the mud on your shoes. To feel the grass crunch under your feet. That's bliss. That's love.

Speaking of love, I first feel in love with trail running back in 2018 when I threw caution to the wind and signed up for my first trail running race. That race happened to be the first edition of the Itogonia Wild Country Trail Run. It was both a humbling and a motivating experience. Humbling in the sense that you realize that you don't own the trails, the trails own you. Motivating in the sense that you learn something new about yourself. Who would've thought that it's possible to run 32 kilometers in one go. 

Trail running encourages you to go even further. Once you are done with 30 kilometers, you want to run 40 kilometers, then 50 kilometers, then 100 kilometers, and some even go beyond the 100-kilometer mark. It's literally a kind of addiction - but of the good kind.

Another edition of Itogonia was held in 2019. Then the pandemic struck which basically locked down everything including trails and mountains. But here were are in 2022 and things are looking good. Outdoor events are slowly going back to normal. And another edition of Itogonia is coming up. The race will be happening in the 5th of June with 4 distances to choose from - 32K, 16K, 8K, and 3K. Whether you're an experienced runner or a complete beginner, there's a distance fit for your level of experience.

The race starts at Camp John Hay whose trails are a favorite training ground for local runners. The route then takes you to the mountain trails and rugged roads of Itogon. The route has its fair share of knee-breaking downhills, flats, and steep uphill climbs. You really need to train for this one - especially if you are going to sign up for the 32K category. There's a reason why previous editions of the race had DNFs (did not finish). 

If you love running on trails. If you are an admirer of the great outdoors, this is a race you wouldn't want to miss. See you in June!

Race details:

Race Director: Don Santillan / Active Pinas
Distances: 32K, 16K, 8K, 3K
Registration Fees: 2500 (32K), 1500 (16K), 1000 (8K), 800 (3K)
Registration Period: April 1 to May 21
Website/Facebook Page:

Photo by Itogonia.