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Malaybalay City, Bukidnon: Runner’s High in the Big Rock
If you are a city runner looking for a refreshing change in scenery or more challenging route far outside your usual running grounds, the Province of Bukidnon could be your next ideal destination. Perched in the highlands of Northern Mindanao, Bukidnon’s topography is defined by an extensive plateau bounded by hills and mountain ranges. With an average elevation of 915 meters above sea level, it has a cooler climate compared to most parts of the country. Its flat, uphill and downhill roads and trails present a variety of challenging routes which also offer breathtaking views of mountain ranges, canyons, pine trees and evergreen farms.
Listed hereunder are the Top 5 routes you should consider running in once you visit Bukidnon. Having personally tested these routes, I guarantee that you will have a challenging workout, enjoy the fresh air and soak in the beautiful outdoor sights.
5. FCI Plantation Road in Kisolon, Sumilao, Bukidnon
From Kisolon barangay proper, the road is all uphill towards the dirt road which passes through the Sumilao canyons and goes in-between pineapple and banana plantations. On a clear day, you will see the full view of the Kitanglad Range Natural Park in going up and the rock walls of Mount Palaopao in going back down to where you started.
Running event to remember: Kisolon Fiesta Run is held every November.
4. Old Atugan Highway in Impasugong, Bukidnon
This road used to be part of the main Cagayan de Oro-Bukidnon-Davao highway. When the present Sayre Highway was opened, the Atugan route was somehow “forgotten” as vehicles don’t regularly pass here anymore. With only a few habal-habal motorcycles passing along, you can have the up-and-down road and the magnificent view of canyons and rolling hills all to yourselves.
Running event to remember: Impasugong Invitational Fun Run is held every September.
3. The Big Rock in Can-ayan, Malaybalay City
A favorite practice route of hardcore Malaybalay Runners members, the Big Rock is situated in Sitio Caleb, Brngy. Can-ayan, Malaybalay City. Before reaching the rock, you need to survive 3 kilometers of steep uphill. Your reward will be the awesome view of hills and mountain ranges stretching out as far as your eyes can see.
Check this POST for more about the Big Rock.
2. Bukidnon Provincial Tree Park in Malaybalay City
A vast area of forest tress on rolling hills, the park is a favorite hiking destination due to its proximity to Malaybalay City proper. From the jump off at GK Capitol Village (formerly Gawad Kalinga), the narrow trail goes uphill to the famous Two Trees peak. This spot offers a refreshing overlooking view of the city proper with Mount Kitanglad Range on its background. On the opposite sides are the golden paddy fields and more mountains and hills. You may traverse the trail to Mt. Tralala then make your descent in the road going to the public market where you can rehydrate with fresh buko juice sold by market vendors.
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1. Lorega, Kitaotao, Bukidnon
Elevated at 4,000 feet above sea level and with temperature that would sometimes drop down to 12 degrees Celsius, Lorega has all the right to be called the Summer Capital of Bukidnon. Situated along the Bukidnon-Davao (BUDA), this barangay is popular for its veterinary check point locally called “kwarantinas”. In order to protect the province’s livestock industry from diseases, all vehicles entering Bukidnon from Davao are required to stop in this check point and passengers have to step on the disinfectant foot bath. Because of its cold climate, affluent families from nearby Davao Region built their vacation homes here. There are also a few mountain resorts and camping grounds where you can stay for the night. Pounding your soles on one of its numerous trails in an early morning will give you the surreal experience of running amid the fog, mountain view and scent of pine trees all around.
Check this POST for more photos on Running in Lorega.
Earl Bolivar. A banker by profession, a runner at pulaguy blog, a traveler who waves stories at suroypilipinas.com, and a proud settler of Bukidnon, Bukidnon Photo Journal.
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