I’ve been very busy with my training and trail runs that I ended up climbing mountains again but I haven’t been able to publish a write-up about Merrell Adventure Run 2012 dubbed as “Run On the Rugged Side” held at Timberland Heights in San Mateo, Rizal last June 2, 2012. I will try my best to recall all the high lights of this run and my muddy experience and obstacles that race organizers created for us and what’s in store for runners.
I dropped by at Trinoma Merrell store to register. This time I wanted to do a 21K trail run.
At first, I thought I am the only one from my running friends who wants to run on this adventure race but to my surprise Jep, Josh and others also wanted to run as well though Dingdong is not available because he had other commitment at that time. When I registered I immediately informed them and they registered too. We are all both in recovery mode, so preparing for this race is not that important and we just did a 21K trail run from Tanay, in short we are still in the zone for trail running but I am sure that this is different because the fact that I know there are some obstacles along the way and it gets really muddy. 🙂 😀
My Racekit, singlet, Spalding wrist watch with Chrono & BPM, orange shirt and Conquer Trail 11 hydration pack.
A day before the race, Josh had a good news for us Barefoot Daves he said is giving away complimentary race kits and we asked for a total of 4 kits for 5K category. Since me, Josh and Jep already registered we had to asked our running buddies who wants to try trail running.
Without hesitation Roie, Rudolf, Iris (We meet her at Tanay when we did the first leg of Nature’s Trail Discovery Run and became of our running buddies today) and Mark Beloy. 😀 It was just a short notice to them and they had no time to prepare but among this 4 runners that will join our muddy experience Mark Beloy just decided to join us on the day of the race itself and he had to go up and down to Timberland Heights using his Mountain Bike, oh no, he just did a duathlon. 🙂 Well, I am proud of him and because of this I got an inspiration to build my bike too but until now I just bought a bike frame haha. 😦
On the race day itself, I was still asleep and Iris had so many texts and missed calls to me haha and I was like late an hour to met her at our meeting place. Good thing it was just a walking distance from my apartment and apologized to her for getting up late and we proceeded to Pure Gold San Mateo by riding a jeep and waited for the free shuttle service.
Unfortunately, the shuttle service is late and I contacted Jep if his on the way already and we just hitch ride with him and I asking why Josh is not with them. Josh said that he haven’t had a good sleep and feels sick. 😦 Anyway, all of my running buddies are in and we headed to Timberland heights and parked at the designated parking lot. We get ready for the race and visited booths of sponsors: Alaska, Merrell, Gadenia, Tender Juicy etc. I like Alaska’s booth because they are giving away free milk hot or cold with Pandesal with condensed milk inside, it’s so yummy and I consumed like 10 pcs. or more haha. 😀 Thanks Alaska!
We also visited Merrell booth because we still have lots of time to spare, we tried their sample shoes and we all tested Trail Glove which Jep is already using. The man in charge of the thread mill assess our running gait and corrected it and providing some insights. 🙂
I also saw famous faces in running community and one of them is Sir Greeneyes Val so I asked to take a photo with him and he did. There are also celebrities on the said run but I can’t recall their names haha, help me, he is the bald guy who is Big Brother’s house mate it is his 2nd time joining the race. The first time he run this adventure run he is with Wendy Valdez. Got any names for me? Let me know by leaving a message on the comments box below. Thanks in advance, your answer is much appreciated.
Off we go, 10 minutes before the gun start of 21K runners where I and Jep were running. I asked him to line up already. We left Jep, Rudolf, Iris because we are they are gonna be running 5K category, Beloy is not yet around we guess that he is riding his precious mountain bike going up already. Iris didn’t run but rather give her race kit to Maynard (Our new running buddy) and this guy can run he ranked 5th overall in 5K category if I recall it correctly.
The following photos were grabbed from running photographers and official photographers posted on their respected Facebook albums or the actual race, thanks for the pictures:
I am with Jep during the gun start and when I looked behind me he is nowhere to be found. Hmmm I didn’t bother to wait for him and I feel like I can over take when I wanted to so I did, I am slowly increasing my pace. I reached the first river crossing and then after that the falls, you have to option to cross using the bamboo bridge or through the 18 feet deep water falls, the guy in front of me without a fear jumped on it like a bomb so I just followed him maybe because of adrenaline rush and it was a great splash but I can’t get out of the water easily because my shoes are way to heavy so all the efforts are on my upper body. Good thing, no harm done just minor bruises I got from hanging on the rocks.
The journey continues and everybody is struggling at the river crossing so I took my ability in walking on the water (in our home town we used to cross the river when it is over flowing during typhoons and some of our areas going to the high way are usually flooded during rainy seasons so I’m kinda used to walking soaking wet on waters haha) instead of using the trail aside from it is slippery I choose to walk at the river and not on the banks. It is much faster for me.
After the river crossing is a steep uphill where again first time trail runners is struggling. I remember telling 2 or 3 runners to crawl like a turtle to climb much easier showing them how and I was happy because they followed it and saying it worked. 🙂 Sharing some tips wouldn’t hurt anyways and it will gain you new friends, in fact, I got all techniques that I wanted to share. Speaking of techniques, I drafted one Philippine Skyrunner (I think her first name is Mia I’m not sure haha) and I learned her technique in climbing efficiently without losing much energy and it has something to do with your hand glides that acts as your drive wheel to lift you up much more faster with less energy, the more you swing your arms the faster you climb up, that’s a good technique so I tried and I felt the difference compared to your arms steady on your sides. Thanks haha! 😀
I finished the long rolling trail and reach the first obstacles course down the hill there is waiting a no escape obstacles where you need to cross it whether you like it or not. See the picture above if you know what I mean hehe. Don’t worry there is a shower created to wash off or clear you face with this mud that you are about to kiss or sometimes taste haha. The second obstacle course is the mud pit with bamboos that you need to go under. I spanked Beloy’s butt when I saw him struggling to cross because he’s too big to crawl and me saying “Come on boy, run”, he replied “Tangina This – What the hell!” haha and it is also written on his back also. I’m pretty much sure runners at back uttered the word for sure haha. 🙂 What the fudge! Isn’t it great to have motivational words like this haha. It’s kinda funny but on the other hand helps you get your frustrations in finishing the race haha.
After this pit, it’s a long steep uphill again where trails are busted covered with mud all over the place until I reach a chapel inside the jungle. I made a sign of the cross for good luck and pray for safety and that no harm done to me and to others. I needed to restore back my energy so drinking sports drink will help me refuel my lost energy, electrolytes and sweat.
Yeah, I crossed this mud pit without any dirt on my face hehe. Would you Agree? On the left: See the arms? It’s looks familiar huh! Is it Beloy’s arms haha. Come on boy! Let’s keep on running. 🙂 See mud pit it’s like Milo chocolate.
Though you can’t see in this picture I actually had a bottle of Powerade at my back and some raisins. Energy gels aren’t cheap so I opted for alternatives and a pack of raisins is a good endurance food and will save you from starving, try it to test it, some prefer bananas.
When I reached 10Km U turn or left turn I am ready for the 2nd loop, I didn’t waste any time running and I felt like I’m in the zone, so I ran, ran and ran. No more runners in front of me and I feel like I was lost but I am pretty much sure I’m on the right track. When I started to see some runners ahead of me, it is where I started to count runners that I overtake one by one and I was able to count 50 + runners that I overtook until finish line.
It’s my little own way of bragging about it but I am not showing it to others that I do. It was a motivation for me to pass one runner at a time and finish the race strong. I finished this race with newest PR of 4:12:26 a time that you need to complete in a full marathon road race. I felt great because I can say that I did it and didn’t met any injuries except for the left leg cramps after I crossed the finish line which I think is okay and it was gone after resting 20 to 30 minutes. I waited for my turn to wash up from a water supply coming from the fire truck.
My running buddies are waiting for me asking me where is Jep and I replied I don’t know, he was way behind me and I can’t tell what time he will cross the finish line. While waiting I lined up for the shower and took a bath together with other finishers and visited booths to get post meal brought to us by the sponsors. When Jep crossed the finish line we took pictures and celebrate.
I saw an opportunity to clean up our shoes at the flowing water from the shower coming the fire truck at least it will initially remove the dirt and mud covered our shoes. After freshen up, we head back to the parking lot and took crazy photos and view of the place.
Meet our new found running buddies, these boys can run like Kenyans if you know what I mean. Try to beat them their names are Iris, Maynard, and Junar. Thank you for the opportunity to run with you guys and gals, let’s run for life.
The so-called “Kulitan” part before we head home. Just for fun no pawn intended.
That’s it, hope you had fun with us and looking forward for more trail races this year and the coming next year. Next stop, write ups about our Nature’s Trail Discovery Run 2nL or Leg 2 held at Tanay, Rizal this time it’s a bigger team. Introducing, Team L.O.S.T. Trail Runners.
Thanks Merrell Philippines, Timberland Heights, Timex and many more for the successful Adventure Race. I will join again next year. Yohoo! Keep on running on the rugged side! 🙂
I brought home a finisher jersey for my dear and she liked it. I asked Maynard to give it to me so that I could surprise my lovely wife so that next time she will still let me join trail runs or marathon one day, I hope, fingers crossed. I love my black Merrell 21K finisher and her white 5K finisher. Too bad I forgot to take pictures of my finishers medal haha. 😀
Photo credits: Team USB, Merrell Philippines, Sir Thumbie and many more.