Race Day: Nature’s Trail Discovery Run – Leg 1 @ Tanay, Rizal

This is it, the day that me and my L.O.S.T. buddies are waiting for came. The new meaning of Team L.O.S.T. at this time would be League Of Summiteers and Trail Runners which is not far with the original abbreviation of the club. We simply changed Trailblazers into Trail Runners. Cool isn’t it! 🙂

I am trying to influence my LOST Mountaineering Team to try trail running since most of us loves to hike, trek and mountain climbing. Aside from that some members are into running as well just like me, transitioning from a road runner to trail runner is not that hard for us and that we have the advantage when it comes to technical and non-technical aspects of mountain run not to mention some know how during the uphill/downhill part of the trail. Haha! 😀 Thank you guys for being so supportive and willingness to run with me.

The 21K Finishers: Team L.O.S.T. (League of Summiteers and Trail Runners)

So far, 4 of us joined this much awaited trail run trilogy and they are all my colleagues at Trend Micro Philippines, 3 of us are member Team L.O.S.T that’s me, Dingdong, Jep and our running buddy and soon to become a member Josh the Swoosh Runner.

Josh is my running buddy last Salomon X-Trail Philippines 2012 held at Tagaytay Highlands, Tagaytay City. We conquered 24K mountain run but did not make the cut off, 😦 so sad but we still get our finishers medal, loot bag and post-race meal.

From L-R: Jep, Dingdong and Yours Truly Pao.

Exactly midnight, I left home to go ahead at the pick up station, there is Josh already waiting at Shell Edsa, Makati City which is the first pick up point that starts at 2AM. My original plan is to wait at QC Circle but I was hesitant because it was not indicated where is the exact pick up point.

Can you imagine how big QC Circle is? You might end up circling it around and round while waiting and then end up being left by the shuttle service haha. 😀

I texted Dingdong and Jep to go ahead to Ayala before 2AM but they couldn’t make it. Dingdong ended up going to QC Circle because he couldn’t make it there on time and Jep catches up at Mandaluyong City Hall in front of Shakeys because he missed the 2AM window of the first pick up point.

Finally, at the last pick up point all runners are all in the shuttle service going to the race venue and it’s an about 1 1/2 ride. Some are trying to get rest, some sleep and while 4 of us have a little chat ’til we too took a nap.

At Ynares Gym, nah ah ah its not what you think. It’s just a covered basketball court of Brgy. San Andres, Tanay, Rizal.

We eat breakfast before race time.

My new running short. Sexy isn’t it?

Finally, we arrived at the venue, we are being usher by the race organizers with a gas lamp on the street going to the covered basketball court of the Barangay where registration booth, baggage area, and other booths set up.

We saw guests, visitors, Policemen and soldiers including campers/runners are preparing for the race who camp for the night a day before.

We hurriedly register and deposit our baggage then eat breakfast. Before the race begins, they did a morning exercise which I didn’t bother to do the same because I remember Monica Torres said about static exercise over dynamic exercise. I did the dynamic exercise to fire up my muscles and get ready for the gun start though I didn’t do all of them.

According to Monica during her running clinic sponsored by Runner’s World Philippines where I attended she say’s it’s a big No, No! Ironically I noticed that Kenyan runners aren’t doing it as well. Haha! They must had different warming  up method, I wanna know. 🙂

Photo Courtesy of Team USB

Me and Josh photo opt with Sir Rene the Jazzrunner & blooger.

Team L.O.S.T. at the starting line.

It’s a good weather and it’s a sunny one. Prior to that, we pose for group pictures I even asked Jazz Runner (Sir Rene) to have a photo opt with me. He’s a runner and at the same time blogger that we religiously follow his articles about his reviews on races, shoes and anything about running.

Thanks sir Rene for posing with us, hope to see you in other running event and join you in future bloggers day haha. Jared is the host of the day he called himself Irish Runner announcing race rules etc. with his twang-twang Irish accent haha.

I didn’t have time to listen to what he is saying because I am busy preparing my running gears for the race and the only words that I ever remember from him is while he is shouting 4… 3… 2… 1… Go! Bang! The sound of the gun! It’s the start. Let’s go!

Sea of Clouds at Tanay, Rizal. View from the Peak!

Me and the background: The Sea of Clouds.

It’s a go, so I take it strong at the starting hoping to get a good start and lead as I don’t want to get stuck at the end of the pack while entering single tracks which happened to me a lot of time during my last trail run.

I am gaining momentum in uphill and I am running side by side with Josh when I started to felt my back is aching and it is slowing me down but I didn’t mind it I hard to continue running uphill then downhill.

Approaching the 2nd uphill run it is where my greatest worry takes it toll a huge file up of runners are now walking and there is no way to overtake so I had to slow down and walk with them like it is a blockbuster movie. Approaching the 3rd uphill and the highest peak of the race where you can see huge Sea of Clouds where it is only possible to see at Mt. Pulag and I never thought I can see it here at Tanay.

At the peak, unlimited bananas are waiting, I just grab one, took some pictures of the clouds and pose for one then hurriedly go down because I still see runners getting up and there’s almost no place to stay with.

The hardest and challengest descent of the race.

The dilemma, going up is no problem but going down is a tough one, at least I felt relieved because my back pain is gone and I am ready to go down but there is obstacle ahead because the problem runners are now crawling down and sliding down on my way down.

I called myself a downhill specialist so I climbed down easily without any problem. I am proud to say that my descent is without harm and I climbed down not sliding. I never use my butt going down a mountain ever. Haha! 😀

A simple rappelling technique going down using the grass-roots as your rope facing the mountain then taking mini steps with controlled braking on your foot is the key to going down and to avoid collision with runners in front of me.

Note: Don’t use grass leaves as it may give you paper cuts, you can do so if you’re wearing gloves to protect your hands.

On the way down, another technical descent approaches runners and here runners are using trees to go down.

They are all lined up to the left side of the trail and I found a slight opportunity on the right side of the trail so I used my mountaineering skill and took that window to go down passing them.

I can say that I was able to go down without being injured and started to run down the mountain and take my first turn at the river crossing going to the falls area.

Photo Courtesy of Doug Laz

I never mind stopping on water stations because I have with me my hydration pack nor posing for a camera which I usually do in road racing. My A game is on haha. I ran to the last trail and mud at the water falls though I didn’t notice the falls because again I am conscious at that time to getting a best time.

This last trail run is a mix river crossing, mud and slight uphill and downhills which I am getting used to. My home town is one of  a hill farm land with mud on the road and floods during rainy days so I never mind running through it.

After that last trail is the longest dirt road run and a series of river crossing.

Running buddy Josh strikes a pose at the river crossing.

Me enjoying the run through the river. The Kalongkong pose as my friends say.

Dingdong and Jep at the far back smile for the camera while crossing a wooden bridge.

Approaching our next destination is a full course river crossing, bridge crossing or should I say hanging bridge crossing where it’s like intensity 5 earthquake when you’re in the middle where 2 runners simultaneously run one after the other.

During the first river crossing you have options to get wet or not but this time you don’t have any choice but to go through the water to finish the course. I ran through it like a frog freed to the waters jumping around, touching the waters and wash my face with it and it was so rewarding and relaxing after all.

It brings back my child hood days when we trek to river nearby our house during summer vacations. I keep on running, running and running until it felt tired on my knees so I had to stop and do brisk walking due to hard pounding on the dirt road where a series of uphill and downhills are still the challenge.

I could ran with this coconut with me haha but I did not.

Here I found Josh sitting and eating his free coconut.

Me and Josh eating free coconut courtesy of the Bry Captain.

At the last turn of 21K route at Brgy. Tinucan, I’m the last runner to have a free coconut given by the Brgy. Captain him/herself not sure if he/she is a male or female haha. I’m lucky or is it destiny? Haha! In that station, I found Josh setting and eating his coconut.

That’s the only time I take my camera out of my back pack and took some pictures then we decided to pace together until the finish line.

Jep and Dingdong on our way back to the finish line.

As we continue with the race, going back the same route after the U-turn we met along the way our 2 running buddies Dingdong and Jep where I couldn’t help but take another group picture so I didn’t bother to stop one runner and asked him politely to take photo of us four. Thank you sir, I wasn’t able to get his name or bib no. to get in touch with.  😦

Finally Team L.O.S.T. met at the middle of the race. Our strategy, buddy system The LOST Way.

Approximately 7 kilometers to the finish line we run, jog and walk to catch up with runners in front of us but Josh is now complaining because his hamstrings getting hurt so I walk with him instead of leaving him behind.

There are times that we run if it is a downhill, on our way is really a scorching heat, the good thing is I brought a sun glass for the first time in my race and this help a lot.

Thank you Popoy (my wife’s nephew) he let me use his sunglasses not a sporty one but comfortable enough to use during the entire race. My next running accessories would either invest with Spyder or Rudy Project sunglasses. 🙂

We get passed the check point where 10K runners take their last turn and 21K are directed to another route and is rumored that race marshals wasn’t able or didn’t guide 10K runners accordingly to the correct route and ended up going to 21K route haha. 🙂

Rayban sunglasses for my eyewear.

The View of Sierra Madre Mountain Range

On our last 3 kilometers, a runner who finished the race said push off and it’s the finish line so we did though it’s still a long walk for us and we are taking our time I decided to take a short video to record our last mileage for us to remember and motivate on our future runs.

On this video, my running buddy started to hallucinate with food, Josh mentioned he wanted to eat unlimited oat meal at the finish line haha and talking to a dog. Watch the video below I uploaded via YouTube haha.

On the last 50 meters or so we got confused on the road sign “Right Turn”. It’s a 2 right turn instead of one and there is a trail going up to our right.

There is no race marshal already and we are trying to get help to the people on top but it seems like they don’t see us at all so after wasting a valuable 2 minutes we decided to go straight and it’s the right choice we see a sign that say’s “To finish line”.

Me and Josh race to the finish line and I am .05 seconds ahead of him haha or a tie. The good thing about finishing it was Jazz Runner (Sir Rene) managed to stretch a rope and I feel like I the first one to finish the race, a happy feeling of finishing the race I felt next.

Josh’s favorite sign. The finish line. Sort of Redemption from our last run.

Me at the to the finish line sign…

We proceed to get our finishers shirt, medal, loot bag (Go green inspired) because it is sealed on a brown paper bag instead of plastic and we waited for Jep and Dingdong to finish.

We changed clothes at the Barangay Hall and get our unlimited oat meal and free snacks courtesy of Norphyl.com a distributor of a trail shoe called Viking, try to visit http://www.norphyl.com for their merchandise.

Go Green inspired Loot Bags

My Loot Brown Paper Bag

Finisher’s Medal and Shirt

They also raffled off 3 pairs of Viking Shoes to lucky winners and no one from my team get any including a GC oh sad 😦

After the raffle draw and awarding of winners, we waited for the last runner to cross the finish line and we hid back to the shuttle service and travel back to Manila.

Dingdong 2 thumbs up pose

Josh’s Finishing Pose

Jep’s Go Manny Villar Pose Haha!

My Kalongkong Hiker Run Pose! Haha!

Back to Metro Manila, we drop off at Ortigas MRT Station, me, Josh and Dingdong while Jep decided to drop off at Ayala Station. Josh wanted to freshen up so he proceed in RBC, our office building while me and Dingdong decided to eat at Sisig Hooray first then drink 3 bottles of San Mig Lights.

This is a short of rewarding our self for accomplishing an important race because we get used to post-climb celebration so we did.

With Pimco Sporting Events and Organizers.

A pose with Supladong Irish Runner (host), Coach Mherlz and the rest with Josh.

About Kalongkong Hiker

I am Paolo Mercado for 20 years I've been riding a bike, walking a lot and running a lot. I am Kalongkong Hiker, a trail runner, mountaineer and a biker that can also write a blog of my travels, adventures and places that I visited through walking, running and biking. I write to encourage others to stay healthy and fit. #KeepOnRunning #ShareTheRoad #KalongkongHiker
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4 Responses to Race Day: Nature’s Trail Discovery Run – Leg 1 @ Tanay, Rizal

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  3. Pingback: Off We Go: Nature’s Trail Discover Run – Leg 1 | Kalongkong Hiker

  4. Pingback: The Benefits Of Uphill and Downhill Running | Kalongkong Hiker

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