Sunday, September 6, 2009
1st Masters 15Km Run - Camp Aguinaldo
Camp Aguinaldo is the national headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and is located in Quezon City. Camp Aguinaldo was established on January 11, 1935 as Camp Murphy. It was named in honor of Frank Murphy, the last Governor-General of the Philippines who subsequently became the first American High Commissioner after the first Philippine Commonwealth Government was established. In June 1965, by virtue of Republic Act 4434, Camp Murphy was renamed Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo.
A very informative website is maintained by Camp Aguinaldo and can be accessed at;
The camp has a total land area of 178 hectares. The total length of the camp main thoroughfare roads and road nets extends up to 19,307 meters which provide access to a population of 5,421 personnel living inside Camp Aguinaldo.
It is on this very historical, secured and peaceful place that the 1st Masters 15K Run was held today Sept. 6, 2009. The vicinity and locale of Camp Aguinaldo is known practically to all Filipino, however, very few have had the opportunity to actually visit the Camp in its totality. My personal knowledge of the Camp is limited to the Golf Course which I have frequented in the past to play golf on a number of occasions. It was however only today that I was given the opportunity to run the roads inside the camp. I could not think of any ideal place within the city proper a road running race could be conducted with very minimal vehicular traffic and clean air, free from polluted air to that of EDSA which is closely situated and only separated by a perimeter wall. To top it all, nothing could beat the security! You have the whole army to protect you.
The race was scheduled at 5:30am, however, due to heavy rain it was still dark during the said time so it was delayed to 6:00am. A simple opening ceremony was done at 5:45am at the Parade Grandstand of GHQ with an opening invocation followed by the National Anthem. This was followed by Bald Runner himself Gen. Jovinal Narcise (ret) welcoming all participants and he as well gave a little historical background of Camp Aguinaldo for the information of all. It was great to know that after a very long period of time it was only today that the camp was opened/allowed to the civilian for the usage of the peripheral roads within the camp.
At exactly 6am with light to moderate rain the start of the race was signalled taking all participants to a two loops totalling 15Km starting at the parade grandstand going northward then west to general direction of EDSA and to subsequent twist and turns on the different roads passing through the golf course thence returning to the grandstand for another loop.
The route was safety and health friendly for all runners. The road was practically empty for the runners and with no pollution nor traffic. I do not have the exact number of participants, but, it was not that much considering there were other races going on within the city and that the race was primarily only for masters 40 years and above for male and 35 years and above for female. However, those that were there were more than impressed on how the race was conducted before, during and after.
The 1st Master 15km Run was a labour of love. A race that was bare of any commercialism with different individuals pitching in to make the event a reality. I wish to congratulate Bald Runner for giving us all the opportunity to run inside Camp Aguinaldo. A job well done sir!