The Old Spanish Trail (OST) is a path that was built and used by the
Spaniards centuries ago to connect the provinces of Benguet and
Pangasinan. The trail still exists today although it remains single-track and is
used mainly by a few mountain climbers, bikers and locals who travel on foot.
The Old Spanish Trail 50km route begins with a steep climb to the summit
of MOUNT UGO, before dropping towards the picturesque Old Spanish Trail,
then several ascents more to another summit before heading towards the
finish line in KAYAPA.
From the start area at KAYAPA CENTRAL SCHOOL (1,107 masl), runners
ascend a concrete road for about two hundred meters before entering the
trailhead to the left heading towards INDUPIT. Runners will pass dirt roads
and intermittent stretches of concrete tire paths until they reach a RIVER CROSSING (1,213 masl, 1.5 kilometre point). From there, runners will proceed to the right via a single-track trail heading towards INDUPIT (1831 masl, 4.7 kilometre point) which is marked by a small settlement and another waiting shed. From there, runners take a dirt road until reaching the next landmark of BUNDAO (1,805 masl, 6.36 kilometre point).
Continuing along the dirt road and approximately 650m past BUNDAO,
runners will take a right turn onto a single-track trail and proceed until they
reach ANSIPSIP (AID STATION 1) (1,639 masl, 12.2 kilometre point) which
offers a view of the Mount Ugo summit, and even the city of Baguio on a clear
day. An aid station will be located in here.
From there, runners will go to BODORGAN (1,420 masl, 13.3 kilometre point), and start the more than 3 kilometre ascent to the summit of MOUNT UGO (2,220 masl, 16.6 kilometre point), the highest point of the route. All runners must make sure to check in with the race marshal at the peak, who in turn will record every runner’s race bib number and time.
After summiting MOUNT UGO, runners will descend through some rocky single-track trails and a dirt road towards DOMOLPOS (AID STATION 2) (1,740 masl, 18.6 kilometre point), where spring water and trail food will be available. After passing through DOMOLPOS, runners will proceed to the picturesque OLD SPANISH TRAIL. The 10 kilometre, mostly downhill trail will lead to AID STATION 3 at the KAYAPA PROPER WEST MARKET (812 masl, 28.8 kilometre point), the lowest point of the route.
All runners are STRONGLY advised to eat, drink and refill here for the long grind ahead. This will be the last food station until CASTILLO VILLAGE (AID STATION 4). KAYAPA PROPER WEST MARKET is also CUT-OFF POINT 1 (8:00:00 hours). Runners who do not make the cut-off time here will be disqualified and prevented from resuming the race.
From KAYAPA PROPER WEST MARKET, runners will pass rice paddies and a hanging bridge on their way to AMELONG LABENG (1,402 masl, 32.0 kilometre point), which is marked by its Barangay (village) hall, school, worship place and a basketball court.
The next landmark to the SECOND SUMMIT will be a cellular phone tower. Runners will then exit at the Nueva Vizcaya-Benguet Road at the entrance of CASTILLO VILLAGE (1,284 masl, 42.6 kilometre point), which is marked by a huge welcome sign, a waiting shed, and a World War II Memorial. The shed also marks the location of AID STATION 4.
From CASTILLO VILLAGE trailhead, runners will proceed two kilometres to BUACA LAKE. This is also the THIRD SUMMIT. Runners will pass vegetable gardens and open fields to then descend to a “saddle” area by the name of BALANGABANG (1,352 masl, 46.8 kilometre point).
From this point, runners will turn left and take the concrete road of about four (4) kilometres in distance going back to the Nueva Vizcaya-Benguet Road where they will turn right and proceed to the finish line in KAYAPA CENTRAL SCHOOL.