From the team of 4, we seek and recruited more runners to try trail running and they too responded well with our challenge and so we registered as a team and grab the 9+3 promo that PIMCO gives us and the rest of the race is epic as I tell you all the details of this race based on my experience and my team.
I’ve communicated with my new trail running team via email and though we are all on the same office we barely see each other but the team seems all excited and in shape. On the race day, as agreed upon we will all meet at Shell Station in Ayala, Makati and the rest of the trail runners will be pick up at the designated pick up points of the shuttle service for runners.
Me, Josh and Roie took the van service of the race organizer going to Tanay Adventure Camp and we arrived first while the rest rides the bus service and will arrived after an hour. Having to arrive their first give us pleasure to take a few minutes to roam around and took some pictures.
The three of us lined up earlier too to register and get “Get Dirty” shirt from Norphl Philippines where they sponsored a game where the dirtiest shirt wins a pair Viking shoes. Congratulations to the winner of this game. I will get my pair of shoes on the next leg I’m sure I will haha. 🙂
The bus already arrived I immediately instructed my team to prepare and leave their baggage at the baggage counter, we ate breakfast, have a little conversation then we started to warm up and of course picture-taking before we set off and run.
At the gun start, I lined at the front where Elite runners are eager to start and bet the Kenyans. I hear the gun start and runners are starting yelling the first part is a downhill, a bit of mud part and uphill going to the highway.
The long stretch is look like a road run. From the report I received that was not the original route and for runners safety they use the highway for the rest of the leg instead, thanks Pimco, you really thinks of the participants first.
At the highway, the sun rises and once again 21K runners saw the beauty of “Sea of clouds” of the Tanay, Rizal and stopping a minute wouldn’t hurt our target time I said in mind so I didn’t waste any a sec to take pictures and that includes waiting my team mates because I am confident that I can run through the rest of the leg and finish strong.
When we arrive at the long and steep downhill part I was kinda celebrating because it is my forte I keep on saying to myself in times like this I tell me thinking “I’m a downhill specialist” though I gotta confess, downhill is the hardest part of every mountain climb or trail run because you’re knees worn out easily without the proper training.
While doing the downhill part I am kinda planning my run going back to this same route because this time it’s the reverse one I’ll uphill and it’s gonna be punishing but it is the last push until you reach the highway again and oh by the way, at this point I’m expecting a water station and it didn’t happen good enough Pocari Sweat sports drink and banana for runners.
Before I finished the long stretch of the downhill guess who’s back, no surprise, it’s the Kenyans, running going up and still strong without their Filipino counterparts. I hurried and felt sudden urge to keep on running fast at a page of 7 minutes per kilometer after I reached the first river crossing.
I brought out my camera and took pictures again then continued running. It was like 9 river crossings and double it going back so a total of 18 river crossings. It was fun because river crossing is not new to me and running in flood is something that I mastered without stumbling down.
It worked for me and in fact I passed more runners during the river crossing part going to the last U-turn and back to the grueling and really punishing upwards run because I know I will be walking my way up.
On this part, my team expected me or Josh in the lead pack raising the flag of our team and to our surprise Sir Joelle Reyes is a strong runner and ended up in top 44 for this leg. Going back, I didn’t waste my time and energy and I run, run, and run hoping to gain back my lost time because of taking pictures and this is it the uphill part.
The good thing about this is, my uphill training is paying back, I can run and walk on this part and started to gain my momentum and here I see struggling Joshua haha 🙂
I talked to him, slow down to his pace and said we will finish the race together once more but before that a new runner on my team swings over and running strong gets passed us and this is my old running buddy Rudolf, nice to see you getting back on shape Dudolf my man.
To be continued…