Disclaimer: I know zilch about enduro apart from the fact that it seems to be the most talked-about mountain bike racing format right now. I was invited by friends from Naga to try out the Cam Sur Enduro Lite last month, but work commitments got in the way. This was kinda sad because I really wanted to try Mt. Isarog’s trails. I was planning to bike on Isarog last December, but the weather was schizophrenic that month–rainy and dreary when it was supposed to be all sunshiny.
When I got the invite to do the CamSur Enduro Lite, I immediately checked if I could take some time off to finally sample some Cam Sur dirt. But… no can do. Fortunately, some adventurer from Travel Up agreed to cover it for me, while doing some canyoning/waterfall rapelling on the side. So this is the race I missed. Thank you very much Ms. Travel Up.
Enduro Lite on Mt. Isarog
Guest post by Travel Up
101 riders from all over the Bicol Region participated in the 1st Mt. Isarog Enduro Lite Challenge, held last January 25, 2015 at the mountain trails of Mt. Isarog covering parts of Naga City and Municipality of Calabanga.
With an elevation of 1,966 meters above sea level, Mt. Isarog is an ideal destination for mountain climbing and biking. The 19-km challenge route tested riders’ technical bike handling skills as well as their endurance with timed downhills and untimed uphills. Final race times were determined over a series of 3 special stages, with the top prize being awarded to the rider with the fastest combined time.
The event was organized by the Camarines Sur Enduro Team, Bicol Hot Deals, North Star Security and Lightning Star Security in partnership with the The Enduro Network (TEN)/Enduro Pilipinas, City Government of Naga and Municipality of Calabanga.
Francis Albos and Benito Pejo Jr. from Enduro Camsur served as Race Directors while Sly Lumbao from The Enduro Network/Enduro Pilipinas served as the Chief Events Officer.
According to Albos, the event attracted widespread interest from Bicolano bikers and became a bigger event than originally anticipated.
“Actually, we only expected to have 50 participants at most since this is our first time to organize [this in Camarines Sur],” said Albos. Despite not getting major sponsors and having to spend out of their own pockets, Albos said their passion for the sport drove them to pursue the event.
“Surprisingly, a few days before the event dumami ung nagpaparegister to a point na sinara na namin ang registration in Jan 23 kasi umabot na sila ng 100 and we only prepared for 100 persons. On the day of the event, may mga dumating pa, nagbabakasakali na makapasok pa sila. The people’s reception to the event was very overwhelming,” he added.
The route proved to be a challenge, espeically for first-timers.
“The liaison stage, which was from the drop-off point going to Stage 1, was approximately 3 kms. Sa mga baguhan umaabot na yun ng 1hr ride paakyat. It’s definitely draining. Pagdating naman sa stage 1, dun naman masusubukan yung presence of mind nila pag ride pababa. kailangan na yung technical biking skills nila,” said Albos.
“Bago sila makarating sa sunod na stage, they need to hike and trek the mountain trails. Nandun na yung tatawid sa sapa. To secure their bikes, others opt to carry it while crossing the river. As they advance to the next stage, the trails become more challenging. Trails are more steep and slippery.”
“Once they reached the next stage, they were only given 30 seconds to 1 minute rest then larga na naman kahit naghahabol pa ng hininga. Natural na sa larong enduro ung tumilapon ka sa bike while riding downhill madaming lumipad sa stage 2 kasi madulas yung daan.”
According to Albos, notable placers in the Bicol region came from Camarines Norte and Legazpi City. They also had riders coming from Tabaco City, Sorsogon and as far as Caloocan City and Marikina City.
Danilo Ibasco Jr. (Papadyak, Sta. Elena, Camarines Norte) bagged the top spot with a time of 8:39, while Ian Rhoi Borja (also from Papadyak, Sta. Elena, Camarines Norte) came in second with a time of 9:55. Third place went to Melchor Abehuro (Beast, Albay) with a time of 10:13. Coming in 4th and 5th place were Hezron Vasquez and Kevin Abejuro respectively. The youngest participant was 12-year old Keanu Espiritu, while the oldest were Willy Chavez and Danny Dulay (age 51). Christine Kay Pascual was the lone female rider.
Official race results: Enduro Pilipinas Website
All finishers received a Certified Enduro Rider Medal and Certificate, while the top 5 finishers were awarded cash prizes.
The event, which aimed to promote camaraderie among mountain bike riders in the Bicol Region has spurred greater interest in Enduro among bikers who joined.
“The feedback has been all positive. They (participants) enjoyed the trail and the food, sulit daw! Based on the evaluation forms, 97% are interested to join in the next Enduro event,” said Albos. “Sulit ung pagod, sakripisyo at oras na ginugul namin para sa event natin. Because of this event, another project has been given to us.”
For those who missed the first Enduro event, organizers are already planning the “CamSur Rainforest Summer Enduro Lite Challenge,” which promises a “new route, new experience, same fun” in the trails of Mt. Isarog in April 2015. For registration details, visit http://www.enduropilipinas.com/
Participating Teams included:
3) PHILIPPINE OUTDOOR TRIBE
4) NAGA EDSAM
6) ENDURO CAMSUR
8) MT. ISAROG TRAIL RIDERS
9) PAPADYAK STA. ELENA, CAMARINES NORTE
10) ADFARR RIDERS
11) LIFE RIDE
12) ZERO EMISSION 4400
14) RAKRAKAN BIKERS CLUB
15) CHELLEN MEN.ORG
17) JP PURE TRAIL RIDERS