CLARK FREEPORT -- Professional runners and health enthusiasts have given high grades to the newly renovated jogging path around the Parade Ground here, citing its quality and advantage in athlete training and help to those wanting to keep fit.

Melvin Fausto, national head coach of Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) said that the new rubberized jogging path would greatly benefit both the professional and amateur runners.

"The improvements and the rubber finish is outstanding and I highly recommend it to athletes and runners who are either on training or on mere conditioning routines," Fausto said.

Fausto also said that the rubberized path can now serve as "alternative session for track training" in the run-bike-swim routine of TRAP athletes that also conduct regiments in Subic Bay.

He said that Clark's Parade Grounds is an ideal venue for TRAP's grassroot program where some 50 triathletes are being trained in Central Luzon.

Since the improvement, long-time health enthusiast Illuminada Lazatin, 77 years old of Angeles City now enjoys the newly renovated jog-path at the Parade Ground.

Lazatin said it’s better now to walk in the 2.5-kilometer long jog-walk path as she noted that there are no more pot-holes and that surface is smooth.

“It’s now so beautiful (referring to the newly renovated jog-walk lane)…aside from being free and convenient,” said Lazatin, who has been doing a routine of 45-minute walk on almost daily basis.

Lazatin said she has walked on the old jogging path since the 1990s.

A chanced-upon runner from Davao, Jose Landingan, 25 years old, said he is amazed by the improvements on the walk-jog lane and other amenities at the Parade Ground, including the new lighting systems around the facility.

Landingan, a regular runner, was in Clark last year for a seminar and returned this year to attend similar activity inside the Freeport.

Runners also cited the improved security with more lights for night time jog-walk routines.

A resident from Dau, Mabalacat City Japet Mendoza said he can now frequent the Parade Ground “because it is safer and better than it was before.”

Mendoza said the lightning system installed will help a lot of health enthusiasts, especially during night time at the walk-jog lane.

“We feel much safer now walking around here,” he said.

Mendoza is an employee in one of the locators here and can only do his routine exercise during night time before going home in the nearby city.

Incidentally, this month of June alone several activities will be held at the Parade Grounds area such as the Takbotika Fun Run on June 7, El Kabayo Monthly Memorial Parade and Flag Ceremonial on June 27, Green 24-Run Zumba Marathon on June 28. The ‘zumbathon’ will have 24-km and 12-km runs which will start along the Parade Grounds area while a Zumba is on going for three hours.

Some 1,000 health buffs are expected to participate in the first ‘zumbathon’ in Clark, said Fausto, who is also promoting the event.