The Road to the 1st Osmeña Peak 32k Challenge

The event poster

Someone told me that running on the road is harder than on the trail because the grass is softer compared to the concrete road. I wish that the trail run route was all grass.

I’m not a runner and joining the 1st Osmeña Peak 32k Challenge never crossed my mind. I was convinced by my friend, Jam, to join since she didn’t want to go to Dalaguete alone.  I haven’t joined a fun run yet and I thought that I’d be too gutsy to jump to a 32k run! After doing a lot of thinking, I finally decided to join. I had about three or four months at that time to train and I wanted to be into running which could help in improving my endurance in biking.

I started training once or twice a week.  I watched a lot of YouTube videos and learned about pacing, breathing, etc. My body was still too heavy for my legs and I was very cautious about having my knees/lower legs injured. During the first few days of training, I would immediately stop after a few minutes and try to catch my breath. I barely finished my first kilometer. I just kept on going and focused on beating my time, not focusing on my speed yet until I was able to run for five minutes straight, then 10 until more than two hours. A few weeks before the event, I was already able to run 16k uphill and downhill in Busay-Budlaan but in a slow pace. I was scared of not being able to finish the whole 32k.

Here are the details of the event:

1st. Osmeña Peak Challenge, 32k
November 30, 2015 (Monday)

Gunstart – 5:00AM
Assembly Time – 4:00AM
Start/Finish: Brgy.  Malones Elementary School, Dalaguete, Cebu

Route:  Brgy. Malones – Osmeña Peak – Brgy. Malones

Route Profile: 70% trail, 30% road, 16 km uphill, 16 km downhill

Registration Fee:
P800 – August 01 – September 30, 2015
P1,000 – October 1 – November 20, 2015
with finisher’s medal and shirt

Originally, the cut-off time was 8 hours until they changed it to 10 hours a few days before the event.

What I brought/wore during the event:

  • Hydration bag
  • Trail shoes
  • Compression pants
  • Shirt and arm covers
  • GU Gels
  • Money (to buy water/food along the way)
  • Cap
  • Eye wear
  • Energy Bars
  • Phone and earphones

The day before the event, we checked in at Just Inn, an affordable mountain resort in Dalaguete.  I highly recommend it if you’ll be staying in Dalaguete.  The owners were very kind and accommodating.

At the Brgy. Malones Elementary School. When we arrived, a lot (or majority?) of the participants were Ultramarathoners.  I just kept on looking at their legs. I love runner’s legs! Photo by Richard Anania
With Jam and Nacz before the race started.
Uphill run.  Photo by Richard Anania
A solo runner. Photo by Richard Anania
While the others ran in groups. Photo by Richard Anania
Photo by Richard Anania
To the forest.
Going up.  We had to look for arrows in spray paint, ribbons tied to the branches and other signs.
A single track
Photo by Richard Anania


Some parts of the route were very technical with loose rocks and steep climbs. I kept on holding on to the branches and other plants until I noticed that my hands were red, itchy and sore. Must have touched a poison ivy or the like. Photo by Richard Anania

The runners stopped to have their picture taken with this poster. Humor me. Photo by Richard Anania
Photo by Richard Anania
Photo by Richard Anania
Finally out of the forest! Photo by Richard Anania



We haven’t reached halfway yet but these two were already on their way back.  I really admire them because they weren’t bringing anything except a small water bottle!  Photo by Richard Aniana
My phone’s camera was already covered with sweat.
This was the hardest part because we had to literally climb “Spiderman” style, well that’s what they called it. We never expected this route to the peak. I wish there were marshals in this area because anyone could fall with one wrong move.


I had to stop to catch my breath (and insert cursing here).
After my “successful climb”, I knew that I was already near the peak.



I could see the other runners, locals and tourists on the peak (upper right of the photo). I should have been excited to see it but I realized that I still had to complete another 16k back to where we started. When I reached the peak, I could already feel my legs shaking and I knew that I needed to rest. We had our photos taken by the organizers, I rehydrated and continued with the challenge.


I finished the challenge with new-found friends in 7 hours and 30 minutes.  Being with a group really helped me in finishing the challenge because they were able to boost my morale when I felt like giving up.  There were still about half of the runners who haven’t arrived yet. I heard that the others were still staying on the peak while the others waited for their teammates.

The finisher’s shirt and medal 🙂

Next year’s event will be 42k with traverse to Kawasan Falls.  I’m not sure if I’m ready for that yet.  After the event, I could barely walk for two days.  LOL  I’m glad that I was able to finish the (run-walk-climb) challenge before the cut-off time and it inspired me to continue with my training.

2 thoughts on “The Road to the 1st Osmeña Peak 32k Challenge

  1. You’re so good! Training for only 3-4 months for a 32k; and a first-time runner at that. Would want to visit Osmena Peak for the view (not through a marathon though, I’m good with the very very short hike haha). Congrats on the first run!
    Caffeine Rush

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